It’s going to be under 95 degrees tomorrow…. what does that mean??
Yup, I’ll be back out on dreambike tomorrow! more to come tomorrow evening : )
It’s going to be under 95 degrees tomorrow…. what does that mean??
Yup, I’ll be back out on dreambike tomorrow! more to come tomorrow evening : )
I have been listening to the music of Weezer since I was 12 or 13 years old. I really related to their music- a lot of the earlier stuff about dorky topics, plus they’re just really nerdy in general. Their music also has this wonderful quality about it- they like to use a lot of triple meter stuff that was really popular in earlier rock from the 50s and 60s. Their videos are amazing too. I still remember the first time my brother showed me the amazing Happy Days based Buddy Holly video. AMAZING!!! Buddy Holly is also my favorite song in the entire world. I know it’s difficult to say that as a musician, but yes, I have a favorite song. And it’s Buddy Holly by Weezer.
Despite the technical reasons as to why I’ve taken so much to Weezer, their music makes me happy. It’s as simple as that. There’s something completely inexplicable and wonderful about their music that makes me happy. There’s also nothing like it in the entire world.
So when I heard they were coming to Vegas, I knew I had to see them. When my boyfriend heard they were coming to Vegas, he bought me the ticket!
The concert was held at Mandalay Beach, the pool at the Mandalay Bay Resort. Mandalay Bay is, without a doubt, my favorite resort in Vegas. Last night was the first time I had ever been to their pool, which I had been eying for quite some time. I had read it had a lazy river, several smaller pools, and a huge wave pool, and it was one of the nicest pools in the entire city. Whoever said that was correct. I had never been to a pool so nice in my entire life. And the craziest thing about it was that the stage for the concert was actually in the pool.
I am kicking myself because I did not charge my phone before I left home. When I took this picture of the stage, I was already at 9 percent of my power remaining. So sad!! This is a picture of the stage around 8:15 when I arrived. As you can see… everyone is standing about ankle deep in the pool. Shortly after I took this picture, I moved closer to the stage (because there wasn’t anyone there yet… can you believe that?) Closer to the stage, I was about mid calf deep in the water (I put my sandals in my purse!) Luckily, I decided to a short romper to the concert, because the wave pool was still operating. My shorts were soaked by the end of the concert!
This may seem totally lame and stupid, but when they came out and started playing, I literally started crying. I know. I’m the lamest person alive. But seriously, seeing these guys in real life was a dream come true. Their music got me through my angsty teenage years. Whenever I hear it now, it makes me happy. In fact, whenever I hear the song “Buddy Holly” on my radio or on my shuffling ipod, I feel like the universe is telling me something good is going to happen. It never fails.
Here’s a recording I took of them playing the Sweater Song, another one of my favorites.
I can’t really pinpoint my favorite part of the night. Possibly when they came back out and played Buddy Holly? Seeing Rivers Cuomo live, in the flesh, after listening to him over 10 years ago late at night through my discman? Standing in a pool at a huge party?
I wish I could go to a weezer concert every night.
Three weeks ago, my garden looked like this:
Now, it looks like this:
Wooooaaah! Big difference, right? over the weekend, I repotted my two largest zucchini plants into plant spas, and I transfered my remaining living seedlings into larger pots. I’ll hopefully be starting some more seedlings soon, of some herb plants to compliment my larger plants.
I also took my three little ornamental pepper seedlings and put them all together into one big container. It can’t hurt, right? They’re very small!
Two weeks ago, I transferred this little Armenian cucumber guy into this very large pot. Today, he looks like this:
Up until today, I had been watering everything once a day, usually when I get the chance, or remember. Last week was a bad week for remembering to water my plants. While Dan watered them for me every day while I was at work, after he left, I neglected to water them for a couple days until I transferred. I then watered once a day until I found that I may have accidentally fried one of my zucchini plants when I went to check on them this morning at 9 AM before work. The leaves were all limp and weak. I quickly watered my zucchinis that were out in the sun, and left for work. I guess that’s what i get for not watering my plants in this crazy Vegas heat where it’s already 95 degrees at 9 in the morning.
When I came home, I quickly had to prune off all the dying leaves. I hope my plant will be ok! But it seems I now have to water twice a day to keep up with the extreme heat we’ve been having.
I hope to post pictures every two weeks of my garden. To me, it’s so awesome to look at the pictures of where it used to be, and where it is now. I love progress : )
My birthday was this past tuesday. It was the most amazing day ever- Future Husband had flown into town for a quick visit, and everything is better when he’s here. I sent my mom my wishlist of new goodies I wanted for my bicycle. Now my bike has gone from being just Dreambike to becoming Dreambike- super dreamy!
Here is a list of the new goodies Dreambike is now donning-
A new double kickstand from Velo-Orange!!! Now Dreambike can stand up straight- no more falling over after I load the back basket!!
A Brooks B67 S Saddle from Amazon.com!!!!! This is a handmade leather saddle from England. Brooks Saddles are seriously the best in the world. Before last week, I was sitting on the seat that came with my bike, made out of synthetic materials. It wasn’t very comfortable. My new Brooks saddle feels AMAZING- and I haven’t even broken it in yet. I’ve been eying one ever since I started biking, so being able to sit on one of these day in and day out is truly a dream come true.
A front rack from Publicbikes.com. My mom is a following of my tumblr (you can follow her tumblr here- she writes about her Catholic faith and travels related to it. Check it out- she’s got some great stories about traveling internationally). Going through the posts, she saw that one of my bicycles’ names was Baby Blue. I do have a bike named Baby Blue- a Schwinn single speed I picked up from Walmart last October when I first decided to get into cycling. She then went ahead and ordered a baby blue front rack for my bike. I personally love the color combination. Plus, this’ll truly make my bike one of a kind, and very recognizable. I just installed it yesterday, and I’m in love with how it looks!
I also bought a new crate for Dreambike as well. It’s much larger and far more sturdier than the $1.50 crate I picked up from Goodwill last December (originally, it was from Target). It looks very large and slightly obnoxious… but that’s ok. I can carry so many more bags of groceries right now!
I’m still looking for the perfect panniers for the front rack. If anyone has any suggestions for bags I can easily attached to my beautiful blue front rack, please let me know!!
So I mentioned the crate I got for Dreambike. Did I mentioned where I purchased it from?
That’s right- there is now a Container Store in Las Vegas!! I am ecstatic. I have been eying their website for years but have never gone because there was never one in my area. When I lived near Philly, the closest container store was in Cherry Hill. Now we have one at Town Square, just south of the strip! My closet already looks more organized, and my bicycle now has a super awesome new crate! Thanks Container Store!
Later on, I met up with my friend Rachel for drinks and dinner at Yard House (the Red Rock Casino location). Red Rock Casino is located about 3 miles uphill from my house in Western Las Vegas. It’s a smaller casino, but it’s pretty nice, and it’s very far away from the craziness of the Strip. I found out yesterday that they have a bicycle rack inside the parking garage, which is good news. The bad news…. it was a severely inadequate bicycle rack.
As you can see, only my rear tire is locked. How awful is that? I felt nervous the entire time I was at dinner, even though someone would have to wheel a one tire bicycle past a car valet in order to steal my bike. Parked next to my bicycle is a Cannondale security bicycle, used by the security guards who ride around the parking. Wouldn’t it be awful if the security bicycles were stolen because their rack is lacking?
Even Taco Bell’s bicycle rack is marginally better than Red Rock’s. At least I can lock the frame here! (Luckily, this is Vegas, and probably no more than 2 bicycles at a time will ever be locked to this thing.)
This is the weather report from about a week ago. Luckily, I had the day off last friday, but instead of riding around my neighborhood as I would have liked, I stayed inside with my air conditioner on.
What’s nice, however, is that 90 degrees now feels very cool to me. I think warm weather conditioning is important. When I move away from Vegas, I’ll be able to spend time outdoors, no matter how hot it is!!
Here’s a picture I took at my local Whole Foods after doing my grocery shopping last night. Someone decided to park their Schwinn hybrid across from Dreambike while I was inside the store. I was so excited to see another bicycle I took a picture of it.
Is it sad that I get excited to see someone who has the same, strange, slightly dangerous hobby I have? Maybe. But it’s nice to not feel so alone on these car dominated streets. I even passed two bicycles on the way to work this morning. One was a girl on a beach cruiser- that’s pretty rare, I never see girls on bikes in Vegas- and the other was a grown man traveling on a BMX. I, of course, dinged my bell at each of them. Whenever we see another bicycle in Vegas, most of us wave to each other. I’m not sure why this is. Maybe it’s because there are so few of us?
Also, I saw a hummingbird on the commute home from work yesterday. It totally made my day. I never would have seen that in a car.
A couple weeks back, I had posted a picture of my seedlings I had started on my balcony. I’m going to elaborate a little more about my gardening project in this, and many other future posts.
I grew up in the rural upper section of Bucks County, PA. It’s all farmland up there. Most of my peers at school lived on farms or near farms, and if they didn’t live on a farm, they probably lived in the woods and had parents that hunted. And if they didn’t do either, they were my family. But we did have a nice little vegetable garden. Every year, we would grow our own veggies. We would grow mostly cucumbers, tomatoes, zucchini, and sunflowers, but we would sometimes throw in some other plants, such as peppers, spinach, lettuce, watermelons, and pumpkins (my mom is actually bringing the pumpkins back this year.) I remember my mom would send me out to the garden on most summer evenings to pick vegetables for the salad. And by salad, I really mean I would just eat a plate of tomatoes and sliced cucumbers because I loathe salad.
When I was in college, I had a yard- a yard I wasn’t allowed to touch, unfortunately. I knew when I went to graduate school, I wanted some space to do some gardening and grow my own veggies. My apartment in Vegas has a good sized balcony- maybe about 7 feet wide, and 9 feet long, if I had to guess. For the first 3 months, I didn’t really go out on my balcony except to store my bicycles. It wasn’t until I mounted a tension rod above the balcony to hang my laundry that I actually began to appreciate the space. Now I come out here quite often, not only to tend to my plants, but also to sit and spend some time outside, and get some fresh air (because I don’t get enough on my bike, right?). I like to read books while sitting on my balcony, and I even enjoy writing on blog entries while sitting out here too (hint hint- that’s what I’m doing right now.) The only downside of my balcony? The downstairs neighbors like to smoke cigarettes on their balcony underneath of mine. Boo, stop polluting my happy place!
I love cities. I’m not sure why- I grew up in the countryside, and I also hate most people. But there’s something about being in proximity to shopping, school, and recreational activities that has always appealed to me. We would have to drive 10 miles to the nearest grocery store where I grew up. My high school was 17 miles away. Plus, you can’t exactly bicycle to anywhere where I lived either, and I’ve always loved bikes. I knew someday I would live in a city. Vegas isn’t exactly a city- outside of the strip it’s a sprawling suburbia land (which, not going to lie, I kinda hate) where everything is spread out, and everyone either lives in homes or 2 story condos like me, but it’s the closest I’ve gotten to the big city so far.
Urban gardening has always appealed to me. I knew when I came out here, I wanted to try growing something out on my little outdoor space. While most people have tables and chairs for outdoor dining set up on their patio, I have bicycles and plants, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Here is my container garden this past saturday. Over memorial day weekend, we had unusually cool weather. It was only 76 on this day. The big plants in the yogurt containers are my zucchini sprouts. The little ones are the tomatoes that I transferred that day. As you can see, most of my zucchinis are flourishing- except for the one in the Silk milk carton. He was looking sad since the day I transferred him- dried up and dying a little. Days later, I checked on my plants to find most of this true leaves missing- and a tiny little inch worm curled up at the bottom of the stem. I ended up throwing him out. He’ll be composted- bye little buddy! : (
I ended up transferring my seedlings into yogurt and other containers, as you can see from the picture. I hate paying for things. I also had saved several yogurt containers for storing leftover food. I figured I could always get more of these, I decided to put them to use in my little garden. All I did was took a sharp object and poked some holes into the bottom of them, and they’ve been working great ever since.
Also, my plants are about 90% organic. I started them in an organic coir mix. My zucchinis were repotted into some generic potting soil, but I made sure to buy lots of organic soil for the remainder of my plants. I’m also fertilizing with organic fertilizer. Who says you can’t have good plants without chemicals? Mine are doing ok so far!
I had transferred my zucchini seedlings about a week ago. In that week, I did some reading about how I probably should have replanted all the way up to cover these stems. They were looking a little lopsided anyway. I decided I would repot these, as well as transfer one of my cucumber seedlings, and 2 of my eggplant seedlings.
Ah, that looks better! If you look closely at the surface of the plants, you can see that I mulched with a mixture that I call “plant poo”. I made a batch of fertilizer tea using Kellogg’s organic fertilizer. You’re supposed to strain it out, which leaves behind the fertilizer solids. I was then instructed to mulch around the root area of my plants with these leftover solids. The leftovers solids… well, they looked and smelled like poo. This definitely was my least favorite part of my gardening experience. But I hope that my plants will be healthier because of it!
After starting four cucumber seeds, I then read that cucumbers should be started straight into the ground because they don’t really like having their roots messed with. It was a little too late for my to start over, but I didn’t want to mess with this plant more than I had to, so I transferred him straight into a large pot. This is actually a self watering planter that I picked up from Home Depot. It’s made out of recycled materials, and it’s supposed to keep plants watered for up to two weeks. However, when I checked the water level today, after my little cucumber sprout was sitting out in 95 degree heat, the reservoir was completely empty. Maybe this is because it’s just starting out? I’ll have to see if the water level is at a similar place tomorrow. If so, it’s going to be a long summer of watering… I have bought two of these so far- hopefully picking up more as I need them. I’ll probably be transferring my zucchini’s again in about a week, so I can see myself picking up two more before then.
There are a couple more plants I want to plant- lettuce and basil are two. I want to grow those underneath my tomato plants, once I have them potted into my big plant spas. Maybe some herbs as well, like thyme, rosemary (which grows amazingly here in Vegas), cilantro, oregano, and parsley. I’m trying not to get myself too excited, because it’s so unbelievably hot here, but seeing how my seedlings have just sprouted up in the past three weeks has gotten me so excited for what’s to come in the future!
Every week in Trent Park here in Summerlin (an area of Western Las Vegas), there a weekly farmers market. I’ve actually had class every Wednesday night for the entire semester, and had not been to the farmers market until last week, when I decided to leave my apartment in pursuit of a shave ice. Shave ice is a delicious hawaiian desert. It’s sort of like a snow cone- except for the fact that it actually tastes good. I don’t know what’s in the syrup they use, but these things are so delicious I can hardly stand it. After bicycling home from work earlier that day in 100 degree scorching heat, I knew today was the day I was going to cool off with a refreshing shave ice.
Lucky for me, Trent Park is only 2 miles from house, and there are actually several cycle paths that go straight there from my house. There is a bicycle lane on Vegas Blvd, and there’s a shared use path that goes straight from Durango all the way to the park. How awesome is that? Vegas doesn’t really have much going for it in terms of livability, but it does have some really nice parks. Trent park is one of those- it features a baseball field, soccer facilitates, and some indoor activities as well. It even has a couple of play grounds, and a fountain for kids to play in when it’s too hot (which is every day.)
It does, however, lack any place to park my bike. I believe the last time I rode here (on Baby Blue, the single speed Schwinn I picked up from Target for $150 last October), I chained my bike to a jungle gym. This time, I decided a tree would do. Someone would have to be really desperate to cut down a tree just to steal my bike, wouldn’t they? And I was close by and surrounded by other people the entire time, so I figured I was safe.
Someone else had the same idea. This is actually the most common type of bicycle you’ll find here in Vegas- mountain bike, straight handlebars, disc brakes. If I remember correctly, they were wildly popular during the 90s. I actually had one of my own- the brand was called “Eagle Spirit”. It was purple, and my dad bought it for me from Sears. It was perfect for riding around our woodsy back yard. I’m glad that I have a bicycle more suited for roads now that I live in a “city”. It must be so hard to ride a mountain bike in the streets.
There were so many stalls at the farmers market. Most sold locally grown (and by locally grown, I mean California or Northern Nevada) produce, people with fresh baked goods, honey, there was a man offering hummus samples (I stayed away from him- how did he know my achilles heel was delicious hummuses?), arts and crafts, freshly made BBQ and sausage, the shave ice truck of course, and a man who was making the world’s most delicious kettle corn (I stayed away from him too. The last time I was here, I bought a bag of his kettle corn. And I ate it all. By myself.)
This sign eventually did me in. How can you beat this deal? Plus the pigs they used were locally raised, fed on vegetarian diets only, and look at all those flavors! Apparently this blog entry is exploring my many food weaknesses- freshly grilled organic sausage on a stick is another one.
The Snow Ono Shave Ice Truck arrived at around 4:30. It’s always difficult for me to figure out what flavors I want. They have so many to choose from, ranging from your regular fruit flavors like cherry and blue berry, to more exotic flavors like guava punch and wedding cake. You can even get toppings like chile con limon and condensed milk. It’s so good.
I’m not usually adventurous with my shave ices. I went with half cherry half pink lemonade, with sour spray over the cherry. Oh, have I mentioned the sour spray? It may be my favorite topping- they just spray it over the flavors you want covered, and BAM- you have a sour ice!
I lied down in the grass nearby. I really do dislike Vegas grass- it’s always slightly damp because they have to sprinkler it to death just to make it green. The type of grass they use is also very coarse and thick. It’s nothing like the soft grass in PA, where you can run through it without shoes on and be completely comfortable. The grass where I was sitting was slightly damp- I’ll remember to bring a blanket next time.
While I was sitting here enjoying my shave ice, I spied a couple who brought their doggies with them to enjoy the farmers market. Many people brought dogs. Nothing says “livable city” to me like being able to bring your dogs places. I loved Japan for that very reason- people love their dogs in Japan and bring them everywhere. Today was one of the first dog-friendly days I had experienced in Vegas.
One of the things I miss about living in PA the most is laying in the grass, reading a book, and enjoying being outside. I’m seriously considering making the farmers market a weekly event, just for this experience. I like this picture. I look happy and relaxed, and my lips are dyed red from eating a cherry shave ice.
I mentioned a couple of days ago when I washed my bike that I had bicycled through a sandstorm. First of all, I didn’t really bicycle. I pushed my bike most of the way home, which really sucked because I have a 5 mile commute. It was so bad that I had to wash my face and wash my mouth out when I got home because I was absolutely filthy. And it was still 90 degrees out while this was all happening too. The sandstorm was caused by the following weather event:
I love the saying “in retrospect, that was a bad idea.”
Well, in retrospect, on this particular day, biking to work was a TERRIBLE idea.
Vegas is a desert, who knew?
Before I moved here, I really downplayed this fact. I didn’t think that life in a desert would be that much different than life in Pennsylvania, except for the fact that there’d be less humidity, hopefully making my hair less frizzy. People would tell me how dry it is in Nevada, and I would acknowledge them, but I never really believed it until I got here.
When I first moved to Vegas, I felt sick every morning until I bought a humidifier. It may have been the fact that I was sleeping on the floor and wasn’t adjusted to the time zone, who knows. But I think the lack of humidity had something to do with it. And the fact that stepping outside felt like stepping into a laundry drier.
A lot of people from the Pacific Northwest like to joke about their cloudy and rainy weather. Vegas is the complete opposite. (Almost) every single day in Vegas looks like this:
I took this picture on my way home from work. Clouds are even a rare sight here. I’m not gonna lie- the weather is fantastic, I’ve never had so many sunny days in my life. Here’s the thing though:
1.) Clouds are nice because they provide shade occasionally. They also provide rain, which makes stuff grow.
2.) It was over 100 degrees out when I took this picture at a crosswalk median (yes… I use crosswalks. That’s a different entry for a different time).
There isn’t much shade here because things like trees don’t grow here naturally, so my first ride home from work in this excruciating weather was pretty painful. While I thought the air was difficult to breathe in Pennsylvania because it was thick and humid, the air here is too dry to breathe. It’s kinda like breathing in the air in the winter- except the air here is over 100 degrees. It hurts.
So far, I have two pieces of advice for anyone who wants to try bicycling daily in such extreme weather.
That’s all I got for now. I’m just hoping that I get used to this after a while. But is it even possible to get used to such extreme conditions?