Thursday, November 13, 2008

Taking the Lane

I've mentioned a couple of times that I have a rather nice bike-commute to my part-time job. It takes about 20-25 minutes each way, most of it is either bike lane or bike path, some of it is lakefront, and there are just enough inclines to make it a bit of work without being too discouraging.

The most dangerous bit is a left turn that happens near our house, crossing a busy street. Left turns can be tricky. In general, the safest way is also the scariest -- you have to leave your bike lane, merge into traffic and act like a car for a bit, blocking other cars until you've completed the turn.

This maneuver is called "taking the lane."

Now, one doesn't HAVE to take the lane. The more timid route is to come to a dead stop in your bike lane, wait for all the traffic both ways to pass, and then quickly cut across the whole street. Trouble is, there may be other bikers behind you, who may or may not want to turn themselves.

Alas, my bike commute ends for the season when the Daylight Savings switch comes around in the fall, even if the weather is still good. Once we "fall back," the left turn near our house on the way home begins to happen after sunset. And I don't play traffic games on a bicycle when dark is falling!

In past years, this is when I begin to turn into a hibernating pudding. At the time I most need the exercise (yes, I've finally realized I do have some seasonal-affective issues, on top of the holiday feastings), I lose my best regular workout. Fortunately this year, the Couch to 5K training program came along just in time. I'm midway into week 3 now, and it still feels pretty do-able. We're also getting an exercise bike to go with the treadmill. Maybe after the 5K I should train for a triathlon? Nahh, let's not get ahead of ourselves...

Anyway. These past few months I've been blogging have been an interesting "take-the-lane" time for me in other ways too. I've found myself to be more of an idea person, and being unusually forward in acting on those ideas. Things as small as -- getting in touch with the principal & PTA co-presidents to inquire whether there might be some way to get the city to do a better job of snow-removal on the sidewalks across from the elementary school, which was a real pain in the patoot during last year's record snowfalls. (My e-mail turned into a PTA board meeting agenda item; people-who-know-people inquiries are underway).

Two potentially larger things are spinning with my plates now too. Remember my dad's lovely review of beyond.words by Suddenly I got the itch to try & bring the production to my city! I've been in touch with the director, and the booking agent, and some contacts both in the arts & autism community around here... it may or may not happen, particularly in this economic climate, but wouldn't it be too cool?

Second, I've been taking some steps on my idea of creating an online information source and support group for linear nevus sebaceous syndrome, something that is sorely lacking on the web right now. I've got a potential partner lined up for maybe providing the domain & web hosting, and I've collected a bunch of information from the medical library -- working on a draft of the site, in all that free time of mine.

Lots of "taking the lane" going on, even with the bike commute over for the year! Now that I've told you all this, it gives me extra accountability to keep moving on these projects. I'll let you know.


And in further updates: we're doing better on the sleep front, helped by melatonin, nap management, a white noise machine, and we're now waiting/weighting on the weighted blanket to arrive by mail. Maybe the dimmer switch is moving in the right direction too. We can hope.

And yes, we made two months seizure free! Woo-hoo! Neurologist appointment later this morning (I really must go get ready for the day)... we'll see what that conversation brings.


Niksmom said...

All great stuff! Here's to more seizure-free months!

Anonymous said...

You bike, I mow. lol!

I like that word 'patoot'. Gonna have to work that one into a post.

And you KNOW I like the 'take the lane' metaphor. Just watch-out for the oncoming traffic!

Woohoo for more sleep!

mama edge said...

Catching up on blogreading again (blast it, Norman!). Sounds like you've been on a wild ride lately, and I don't know where you get the energy to take the lane. I'm touching wood (which sounds a little naughty; I've always said "knock on wood") in hopes that the neurologist appointment goes well! Maybe next week we can find time to get together?

Anonymous said...

i love this concept .. we all need to take the lane sometimes, don't we?

and 2 months! woooohoooo! that;s fantastic news!

Anonymous said...

Sounds like you've got a lot of good stuff going. i wish you well as you spin all those important plates! We're of the same mind - I posted bike metaphor as well.

Hooray for Joy!!!!

JoyDad said...

Joy's neurologist appointment was uneventful. We decided to let the dosages on her meds stay put until there's a reason to change them. No EEG for the time being, either. The neuroligist said he would recommend one as a way to infom med changes if the seizures come back, but in the meantime he didn't see a need for one.

Yay, Joy!!

Casdok said...

2 months! Excellent! I also think your online info and support is also an excellent idea.