Tossing and Tortured 'Till Dawn

I come back to you now, at the turn of the tide.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Well, I'm off. The Mt Hood Classic stage race starts today, and runs through Sunday. It'll be my first NRC stage race, and by a long shot the biggest race I've ever been in.

I'll try to shoot up some pictures, race reports, and garmin data, but it all may have to wait until I get back in a week minus a day.

Wish me luck!

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Catastrophic failure and using up your stuff:

K-man posted this today. It definitely highlights what I don’t want to happen to me!

One of my training partners is pretty good at using up his stuff. As an 80 kg cat 1 leadout rider and crit-racer, he put as much stress on components as anyone. For the non-bike-racers out there, if the average rider is a Honda, this guy is a top-fuel drag racer. He’d be running the same aluminum frame, and the same spinergy rev-X wheels, for 3 seasons. Trained on it and raced, winter and summer.

At the start of the season, I noticed that the braking surface of his rear wheel was strongly concave, and it kinda concerned me. At a race, he flatted, and when he was changing the flat, the rim came off with the tire. Oops.

I recently found a protour-level carbon fiber frame for sale for… well, for more than a song, but far less than market value for the thing, to say nothing of retail. I passed it onto my friend, who didn’t like the creakiness his alloy frame had picked up anyway. When taking his components off of the old bike to put them on the new one, he noticed why the sucker “didn’t feel right:” a 3-inch long crack in the downtube. He said he could flex the thing open with his hands. Well, crap.

I’m just glad the thing didn’t fail suddenly and catastrophically on a big descent, and gods forbid during a race…
(I Will Be Home Then)

Portland, Oregon. To borrow a friend's phrase, the City of Rain and Crazies, although it's almost June so the rain's abated some. Not the crazies, though.

In any case, I am here. I will be until Monday, when I leave for the Mt Hood Classic stage race. It's a BFD, and I'm pretty excited.

I'm mostly here on a long layover, so I'm not spending 100% of my days riding. If you are in the area, you should give me a call. We can get coffee or something. Trust me, in Portland I can get coffee 6 times in a day if I want.

Friday, May 25, 2007

The Other Shoe has Dropped:

The 1998 Tour de France was one of the first cycle races I watched -- on a borrowed VHS tape, no less, in the spring of 2005. That year, Italy's little Marco Pantani won the race over Germany's Jan Ullrich, with an eerily fast time trial for a man that stood shoulder-high to many riders. Not knowing anything about the history of the race, I was pretty surprised when almost half of the competitors were kicked out midway in what's now called the "Festina Scandal." Even watching a race seven years past, I was stunned. What the crap was I watching? Another big thought that crossed my mind was that if two of the big teams were definitely doping in an organized, systemic way, then nearly everyone had to be.

If TVM and Festina were doping, and they weren't totally kicking everyone off of the mountain and over to Suisse, then a lot of other people were doping to keep up, too. But then, suddenly, right before their very eyes ... nothing happened. Everyone continued as they had been, a few people got a handful of suspensions handed out, and it went on.

The "omerta," the code of silence, stayed largely unbroken until last year. A few odd riders admitted to doping, like Jonathan Vaughters and Jesus Manzano, but the cycling world largely "pffshaw"'ed them off. These were retired riders who were never really big winners anyhow -- surely, this was just a case of sour grapes. Wasn't it? WASN'T IT?

Then came "Operacion Puerto." Bags and bags and bags of blood, nitrous oxide boosters for your legs, with cute little nicknames like "birillo," and "hijo rudijiano" written on them.

It was all hearsay, they said. A witch hunt. No real evidence! Not a shred!

Of course, said each rider, I won't provide my DNA to be tested. That's for crimnals, you see, and we are not criminals.

So, what happened to Jan Ullrich -- "winner" of the 1997 Tour de France Jan, olympic champion Jan, second place to Lance Armstrong 395 times Jan Ullrich? What about all that blood labeled, "Jan?" DNA test and you're out!. Yep. His blood. Doper. Done.

Exactly what shit was flying towards the fan for Ivan Basso -- "winner" of last year's Giro d'Italia, second place to Lance Armstrong 116 times -- I'll never really know. But, Ivan, did you dope? No, no no no no. Er, um, yes. Yes.

A bit, a bit. (The nose?) And, you're done, sir.

And then it all started rolling in... the T-mobile, formerly Telekom, that famous German team that included big winners like Jan Ullrich, his former mentor Bjarne Riis, Erik Zabel, were doping. Yes, all of them. Okay, so Ullrich has vanished into the abyss from which he came, but the rest of 'em have come out and admitted doping. First it was retired support rider Bert Dietz copped to teh dope, but, of course, it's just more sour grapes, right? "Dietz was paid to say that. If Erik Zabel said something like that, it would be a different matter," quoth Walter Godefroot, manager and personal trainer extraordinaire for Ullrich et cetera, now with the new Boys in Blue, team Astana.

Well actually, said Erik Zabel, let me tell you a story: I did it, too. I doped. And Rolf Aldag, and Udo Bolts, and others. We all did it. Next, Bjarne Riis, former boss of Ivan Basso, faced the harsh light of day with a confession.
One by one, riders past and present -- though presently, more in the past -- are stepping up to step down.

Whither now? In the case of a rider like Zabel, what do you do? What was his real motivation to come out with this? Was he on the verge of being caught, and admitted doping just to save face? Or did he really feel the pains of his conscience for the past decade, and finally thought that the time was right to come clean? If Zabel, whose work ethic has long been admired by just about everyone, if he doped, who didn't?

We have to start again. Look, EPO and blood doping make you faster, right? All research readily admits that it does, that's why it's banned. If a big portion of the riders all admit to doping, and other riders are still competitive with the admitted dopers, and the dopers still trained and were talented like everyone else, it means that the other riders either have a lot more talent than we knew, or else they were dopers too.

We've got to allow some kind of amnesty. We've got to have riders admitting their doping, en masse, and also describing details: what they took, how they got it. Then, set up a more complicated system of controls and penalties. We can't say that riders, on their own, without the knowledge of their team, are doping, and so the team is fine, it's just the rider.

Cycling is the hardest, most beautiful sport on earth, or, at least, it could be. We have the technology to do this right or wrong. For the sake of everyone who's inspired by the epic struggles up mountains, who is motivated by feats of toughness and courage that seem inhuman, let's make sure that it still IS human. Mr Gorbachev, tear down this wall!

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Okay, what now?

How about, supertubes. And, superfeet.

Supertubes are these. I got 'em at the wal-mart of bicycles, Performance, because I hate flat tires. Yes, yes I do. They're "thorn-resistant tubes," which basically means that they are inner tubes that are so thick that you might as well just carve a tread pattern into them and ride with them only. A nice, light race tire weighs about 200-220 grams, or just on half a pound. These inner tubes weigh about 250 grams. They roll like slugs, but, you will not get flats from any little pissy pieces of glass any more. I got -- no exaggeration this time -- 8 flats in 2 weeks from that stuff.

The one on the right is the Supertube. Pictured with a normal, 75-gram inner tube. From the picture on the website, you'd have no idea they were this burly.

I hadn't really thought about why I was gettin' all the flats, either, but I remembered it didn't used to be that way. Then someone pointed out that I lived in Washington state now, not Portland, Oregon. What's the difference?

No bottle bill. Sure, sure, it's only a nickel. I'm having a hard time tracking down the numbers, but I think something in the upper eighty-percent range of deposit-requiring containers in Oregon are recycled, whereas about a third of depositless bottled water bottles are recycled. Sundays and Mondays are the worst. All of the bottles of smashed, cheap beers are everywhere.

Anyway, so, now I have these supertubes, plus Michelin Carbon tires, plus "Slime" tire liners, which are like Mr. Tuffys.

Of course at this point I may as well be rolling on bricks. Slightly rounded bricks.

Superfeet are insoles. I just got some for my cycling shoes, after several weeks of pain in the arches of my feet after hard rides. It wasn't so bad, really, but they were cheap enough, I had an REI giftcard (thanks, R+R), and it seemed worth a shot. Wow, what a difference. I'm really surprised. Have you ever listened to the radio with really horrid reception, and gotten used to it? Then, when the reception clears up, you think, "wow, how was I even tolerating that before?"

It was like that.

Mick was talking about that, too, only with fancier parts.

It makes me consider actually looking into how my feet affect my riding, instead of just picking something and going with it. I just bought shoes that I thought fit online, and some pedals, and rode. Maybe I should try to make sense of these things? I have no idea about proper cleat positioning, cleat shims, how my shoes should fit, anything. I think my shoes might actually be a hair too narrow, as I used to get blisters between the smallest and second-smallest toes on my left foot. There's a callus there now, but it is kinda annoying nonetheless...

Pet Peeves of the day:
* "On the Go" -- have I complained about this useless little phrase before? It's everywhere. It doesn't mean anything. It's useless. Travel-sized, single-serving, no-tools-required, ready-made, heat and serve, snack pack, bullcrap. "Fight Club" all over again. I think I might be the most interesting single-serving friend you've ever met.

Unintelligible sale prices: I just bought some stuff from Safeway. Most of it was on sale, because, what else can you do? But it was on sale for prices like this:
* 5 / $3.00
* 10 / $10.00
* 4 / $8.00
* Buy 3, get 3 free
I can't decide which is worse, the five for three dollars (EDIT: Crap, I mean, THREE for FIVE dollars) which makes me have to do math to discover that the items are $1.66 each, or ten for ten dollars, because, get with the program, it costs one fucking dollar. Then you have to play the little game where you hunt on the sale tag to see if you buy less than the numerator quantity, if you still get the price. Are five unites going to cost five dollars, or will it end up being $6.89? At Safeway, as far as I can tell, you never need to buy the listewd quantity, but at other stores, especially convenience stores, it's two for three dollars, single purchase regular price. Or how about this one?
* $3.89 each (when you buy two. Single purchase regular price, $4.99)
Now that's just not. Cool.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Update: I quit bike racing.

Don't worry, I un-quit. But I had to let it all go, just for a day or two.

After last weekend's crappiness, I took Monday off, then proceeded to ride about 4 hours on Tuesday and Wednesday. I got it done, but it was just no-fun, going through the motions, garbage-time. When spinning beside the river in the sun feels like suck, you know you need the day off! So, when the little group started hammering on Thursday, I just let 'em go and kept riding. Fuck this, I thought, I quit. I never planned to hang it up, really, but sometimes you have to let it all just -- go.

This weekend, there's racing going on in Enumclaw -- last year's edition was one of the first USCF races I did, as I recall. I'd already thought about giving it a miss, and the events of last weekend sealed the deal. Instead, I hooked up with some folks from the bike forum that I geek out on sometimes to ride around the east side of Seattle. The rain even held off for us, which is a good thing, because riding in wet jeans would have sucked.

Yeah, I was pretty out of my element, and when I got to the meeting point, I realized my shorts and helmet were still in my gear bag from the race last week. At least I had my shoes! Whatever, I thought, this is just going to be a casual deal anyway. So I rolled off, in a jersey and rolled up jeans, and half a dozen guys I'd never met before. None of 'em were racers, and somehow, that was just fine. A couple had cameras, too. It looked like this:

The key element here isn't how much of a fred I look like -- though I might even beat Kerry today -- but the fact that I'm smiling. Actually, I am in pretty much every pic from this ride.

The other funny thing was the Broadmark, that is, Haagen-Dazs, er, Hagens-Berman guys I ran into on the way to Cougar mountain. What was their not-at-Enumclaw excuse? But, somehow from across the road they both recognized Yours Truly, and shouted at me for my lack of a helmet. It was good-natured, and I told them they'd have to chase me up Cougar and catch me. But, really, what's the helmet obsession among Americans? Okay okay, helmets are great, they protect your head, and modern ones are light and ventilated enough that they really aren't a pain to wear. I do, nearly all of the time. But everybody seems like they are everybody's generic mother on it. It's like the whole CLICK IT - OR TICKET! campaign.

Yessir, we have the freedom to carry assault rifles around, but, woe befall he who rides a bicycle without a styrofoam hat!

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Antitank? The problems with universal spam advertising

A man was arrested in Kitsap County, WA, yesteday, on suspicion of having a whole fucking bunch of bombs. Anti-tank weapons, even.

Where did this all come from? An ASK.COM search reveals all:

"Looking for Anti-Tank Weapon? Find exactly what you want today!" --
"Anti-Tank gun online. Shop"

The FBI, NSA, CIA, and CTU should go have a look at ebay and target. That's where the terrorists are getting it all...

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Not about cycling post!

Pet Peeve of the Day: No sentence for you! -- Did your mother ever tell you to "use your words?" Some people haven't learned to use very many of them. I do merchandising and stocking at a small grocery store, which isn't very exciting, but far less exciting is cashiering. Occasionally I fill in to do that, and I hate it when people can't be bothered to do anything other than declare the name of an item. Almost invariably, this is cigarettes. "Killomatic full flavor 100's." I am just supposed to infer by this that you'd like me to sell you some. Granted, you're being efficient, but still, how much time and energy does it take to say "Could I please have," as others seem to be able to manage. For that matter, "I'd like..." or even "give me..." are just fine.

One noun, though, is not an acceptable sentence.

Politics: The 44th President of the United States will be Rudolph William Louis Giuliani III.

I'm not pleding my support for the man, mind you, nor for any candidate at the moment. I'm simply saying that he's the only electable person running.

Sure, I'll take bets. You can have the field. ten dollars at 1:1, or something more interesting.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Emoboy bikeracer connundrum:

1) Bike racing is hard
2) I tend to quit things that are hard
3) I carry on bike racing
4) Bike racing is sometimes *really* hard

To mix all of the above up, this weekend got realy hard, and I quit. It was actually a funny lesson in mortality. First "real climbing" race with the fast 1/2 kids. So, argentineffigeloplexicus, what did you think was going to happen when you decided to ride up those two mountains on Wenesday? Oh, you think it's a good idea to then ride 4.5 hours on Thursday? Of course it is! Now, when is your race? 1pm? Oh, whatever, breakfast, you can get by on a scone, a banana, and some juice. You don't even need to eat during the race! Look, you should be able to drop that Cofidis guy. Really. Keep it up, dork.

What? It's two thirds of the way through the race, and you're going pretty deep in the red to stay with the lead dozen? Getting gapped off a bit? Time to abandon!

If this sounds dumb to you, it does to me, too. But it's still what I did.

Minus thinking I could drop the protour rider.

On the plus side, I actually had FUN in a crit. Sure, I didn't do anything exciting, but in criteriums past I'd be so white-knuckled on the bars I'd be barely able to go around the corners, and this time we were at night, under the lights, over surfaces that can only generously be called "pavement," and it was the first main event crit I've done. So, that was cool.

In the end though, it makes me angry. Though CYCA (who doesn't seem to know what that stands for, and neither do I!) says being angry never helped him race better, he adds that doesn't stop him from feeling that way. For my part, it probably WILL help.

Like I said...

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Add Ivan:

The waters are getting even muddier

"Only attempted doping"? "Will serve my suspension, and then return to race"?

This isn't the sweeping confession that I had hoped...

Monday, May 07, 2007

Grazie, Ivan.

Also, I hate you.

But it appears you have a lot more guts -- how do you say that in Italian? -- than a whole lot of other riders today. Doping could spell the demise of the whole sport of cycling, and I'm pretty angry about your being part of it. You were always the nice guy, the gentleman, with quiet confidence and seemingly endless strength.

Today (at least it appears) that you've admitted that some of that strength came from doping. While "shame on you" doesn't begin to cover the way that doping is stabbing this beautiful, epic sport in the eye with an icepick, top-level riders admitting to doping is going to be essential to cleaning this sport up. You had nothing to gain and everything to lose, and you're still doing the right thing.

So, thank you, Ivan Basso. I might be the only one that does so.

But when I think of the courage it takes to stand before the firing squad and admit everything, I am impressed. The only thing to gain is a partial absolution of a guilty conscience -- it's clear that it's not just you, Ivan, but when the only reward for confessing is execution, what ELSE could we expect besides the omerta that has plagued the peloton? It's the prisoner's dilemma but worse. If everyone denies it, some riders will be banned, some will be cleared, and everyone will go about their merry doping way. If some riders confess, they will be banned, and still, others will be cleared, and go about their merry doping way.

But that will change, in part because of your confession, (if it ends up being as complete as it appears, I might add), and in part because of progressive practices of teams like America's Slipstream and Germany's T-mobile. The teams I've mentioned are the way of the future, as are penalties by the UCI against teams whose riders dope, but clearing up the past to pave the way for a clean future lies with riders like you. It is not enough for a rider to be banned, under protest, by a mess of confusing scientific evidence.

What we need are confessions, and for names to be named.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Race Report: Longbranch Senior State Championships

When your first race after upgrading to Category 2 is also the state championship road race, you're bound to be a little nervous, right? I was, at least. Longbranch's rolling course was pretty solid for an all-rounder, with two gradual little risers and one short, steep wall. We'd do the whole thing seven times, making around seventy-five miles. I definitely wished this could have been a longer loop; although it went by quickly, it gets pretty boring doing the same thing so many times in one race, and there is only so epic you can make an eleven-mile lap!

I was unsure of what kind of pace to expect, but I'd heard one of the big differences in the elites (open men, senior pro/1/2, or whatever you feel like calling it), compared to the cat 3's, is that it's almost always "on." This proved to be true. There'd be an attack, a break would form, and whoever missed it would chase the thing down, and then someone else would attack, so with the exception of a few moments when everyone was trying to sort out what to do, there wasn't a lot of resting to be had.

This kind of profile is one of the hardest courses for a skinny guy like me: the hills are too flat or too short to really shell people off, and the descents are shallow and straight enough that you need to pedal down many of them to keep your speed up. This means I'm getting a little respite up the hills, and drilling it to stay on down the hills. On the first lap, my nerves are still getting the better of me a little bit. Sure, I shouldn't care. I shouldn't bother to think, "holy crap, I am in a 1/2 race!" but, I was, a bit. I mean, it doesn't get any faster than this. Just on a year ago one now was of my first "real" races, the Mutual of Enumclaw stage race. I was duking it out with the 4/5's. I still have my Category 5 license from 2006. I think I'll hang onto it.

When we got to the wall the first time, I don't think I was really paying attention until I realized that the big ring wouldn't cut it, that I was at the back of the field, and that things were stringing out pretty seriously. Oops. After making sense of my gears, I take a moment to wonder how people did this kind of thing when they had to fiddle with downtube shifters, and promptly run it off the road into the gravel to dodge someone going backward in a hurry. Oops, again. I think I'm fine, but then a pretty serious pothole dislodges my Garmin Edge from its precarious little seat on my handlebar stem. Those things cost quite a bit more than the entry fee to the race, so I swing off my bike to swoop the thing up.

Thankfully, the pack wasn't in TOO big of a hurry up the wall for the first time, and while catching back on was no problem, I am now solidly at the back! And, my plan to have exciting data about the race to marvel at as I waste time on the computer is foiled. Oh, well. Time to race. It's tough to move up unless I am confident. In the cat 3 field, people will pretty much let you do whatever. Here, everyone holds their line pretty solidly, and no one minds a little wrist-bumping to stay in place. It's a little unnerving until I get used to it. When things string out a little bit I get about halfway up the pack, and things are cooking pretty quickly. At this point the jitters have worn off, and I'm just racing, but I am still probably being a little too conservative: I have no idea what's going to happen next. Are the two Symmetrics guys goiung to suddenly hit Warp Speed? Will the Toyota-United rider's "Hybrid Synergy Drive" kick in?

The second time up the wall, I get it into the small ring with time to spare, and someone attacks at the front. A brief minute of chaos ensues as guys are going backwards, guys are going forwards, and a lot of going sideways for good measure! Suddenly, there are gaps everywhere, and I am behind a big one at the top of the hill. Well, crap, how did this happen? I grab some gears and get moving as quickly as I can, ignoring the protests from my stomach. Apparently I'm not the only one who's been caught out, as I can see a teammate's jersey up the next little riser. I tap him on the back, swing past, and gun it for the back of what little is left of the "pack," about twenty riders, with three more guys off the front of that. I'm on the point of my saddle, just drilling it, and after what seems like forever my teammate has recovered enough to take a pull. A little of this, a little of that, and we're back on. Whew.

I would've been embarassed to get dropped like that. The next part of the race is tricky -- a rolling fast downhill section, a sweeping turn, and a little bridge with chunky pavement, leading to the feed zone climb. We're going over 50k an hour over the bridge, and I don't bother to use my small ring on the climb, which turns out to be a mistake. I make a mental note to remember to downshift for the feed hill, but it won't get in my head for two more laps. The pack swells a bit as a few more riders get back onto terms, and as we get into the start-finish area I am at the back of forty or fifty riders. I'm thinking about making the long slog up the mostly single-file line to the front, but then I get a free pass: a rider from the Axley / Seigler team swings out of line, armed with both determination and the deepest set of shiny carbon rims I have ever seen. I mean, these make Zipp 404's look shallow. I have no idea what they are, but they make a nifty growling noise as he powers his way up to the front. I hop off just behind my defending-champion team leader, maybe eight riders back. Perfect.

The next lap is a blur, although the three riders off the front stay away, extending their lead to about a minute and a half. At least I've got a strong teammate there -- when I read the names in the official's white board, I'm pretty sure it'll stay away. All three riders are super-fast riders with the endurance to go the distance. Nonetheless, I'm happy that I've gotten to the front with 3 laps to go, when the group gets temporarily neutralized to go around two ambulances and a fire truck attending to a couple of downed riders, one of who (or is it whom? I can't manage that little detail.) is in a neck brace, a stretcher, and is pretty bloody. I later find out he had a compound fracture. That means bones sticking out of skin, which can't be good. Yikes. Anther reminder to stay at the front, where the crashes aren't. The other thing I remember is that I run out of water, and haven't brough a feed-helper with me like some have. I'm really happy when Brian, the teammate I helped catch onto the field earlier, gives me half a can of Coke that he picked up. That was a really, really good Coke. Thanks B.

Second to last time up the wall, I'm hurting pretty badly, I'll admit. I've used far too much energy attacking from the back and other silly moves, and when someone shouts "Symmeeeeetrics!" as the named riders drill it at the front, I groan as I get gapped. Upshift, upshift, and I punch every turbo button I've got left. I'm on with a selection of about a dozen riders, now. Hey, this is pretty cool. It doesn't stay at a dozen, of course, but I feel pretty good that I've come this far, even if I haven't really -done- anything relevant in the race yet.

That happens next, when I get up to third wheel and watch another move go off, just as the last lap is beginning. Someone else shouts "go," and I jump, sitting on the point of my saddle as I turn myself inside out to grab onto the breakaway that's establishing. One more guy follows me, and there are six of us up there working. I'm really not sure what the etiquette is when you've got a guy off the front, but pretty far off the front. I end up taking my pulls, but not really working hard to drive the pace; I just kind of roll through. Staying with this breakaway up the wall the final time is one of the hardest single things in cycling that I've done. Though people tell me I'd like the course -- it has a hill, I like hills, right? -- a super-steep 400 meters is not exactly my cup of caffeinated beverage. I handle the longer stuff a lot better... but I hang on. I'm happy about that, but spent. When we get to the feed hill for the final climb, I pull a humpy dumpy and fall all to pieces, but, so does half of the break, and it gets re-absorbed into the hard-charging selection from the peloton.

The counter-attack comes from 2 of the known strong-men in the race, my teammate Kenny (CYCA!) and Darth Tubbs, plus another fellow in white and red that I don't recognize. It sticks. I hang in with the twenty-or-so frontrunners to finish, but don't really sprint it out for eighth, or whatever it ends up being.

At the end of the day (that one's for you, dad), my first cat 2 race didn't suck, though I wasn't amazingly strong, either. I made some mistakes, and paid for them, but it didn't knock me out entirely. My teammate won the race, keeping the white-and-green WA champ's jersey with First Rate Mortgage for another year, and I proved that I at least belong in the 1/2 peloton, even if I'm not going to be destroying the field week in, week out.

Not just yet.

(( for what it's worth, I don't think Lang Reynolds did last year, either...))

Friday, May 04, 2007

Sleep is part of this balanced breakfast. It does a body good. Better get your whole grain. Better eat your wheaties.

I'm exhausted. Completely knackered, even.

I saddled up at about noon today. Though there were a few stops along the way, I got back at 6:30.

I had never known this type of exhaustion until I started combining working graveyard shifts with riding three to six hours immediately thereafter. Lack of sleep makes me tired. Riding my bike a long way makes me fatigued. The comination of the two is a strange, through-and-through weariness that I've never known.

It made me realize, for one thing, how much I fidget: when I go to bed, when I am eating breakfast, when I am blogging, I am also constantly doing SOMETHING else, in the middle of three things at once, tapping my fingers, something. This type of -- quick, what's another synonym for exhausted? -- falling over tired is consuming. I do nothing else. I sit, I lie, I sleep. That is all.

There's a peace in that simplicity that is also new. Bed never felt SO good.

Goodnight, then.