Do Bike Helmet Laws Do More Harm Than Good?

Do Bike Helmet Laws Do More Harm Than Good?: I’m not sure what I think about this.  If public health laws are intended to sacrifice the good of the few for the good of the many, then I suppose it makes sense – but I also am unconvinced that a few (or a lot, actually) people need to have their heads split open to encourage cycling amongst the many.


Last things

I just took my last whirlwind bike ride through Champaign. I had planned on keeping yellowbike here with me until I moved, but there’s no great place for me to lock it up where I’ll be staying. Instead yellowbike will be going for a ride on the moving van along with stealth bike, and I will be walking as much as possible in the next few weeks. Despite all of my accidents, the pedestrians and drivers who don’t pay attention, the black ice in the winter, and the miserable route through the one-ways, I will really miss biking here.

I signed up for goodreads. It’s already proved more interesting than LibraryThing. Join up and add me as a friend!

I bought jeans that FIT last night – in a size smaller than the last pair I bought a few months ago. Woohoo! If only I could be so lucky with bras – I’ve tried on approximately 3 dozen over the last two months in a variety of sizes, cuts, and stores, and nothing fits. Augh.

I also bought a rack and grocery carriers for yellowbike yesterday. The farmers’ market starts in a little over two weeks, and I can’t wait! SB, El, and I rode in Critical Mass on Friday – lots of people, good weather, a nice time.

SB bought me my very own Mr. Bento this week, and I’ve been inspired to make fun, healthy lunches. After a long few months of Lean Cuisines, it’s fun to have fresh fruit, salads, and other small things in fun containers. I’ve been documenting my meals on Flickr, along with 500+ other people.

I was going to say something else here, but I can’t remember, and I’m sure it’s because I have brunch stuff roasting in the kitchen, and a pile of books staring down at me. I hope everyone’s well, and that I’ll be slightly less scatterbrained in a week or so.

At dinner last night I mentioned that I really think the weekend of the Boneyard Arts Festival is the best weekend to live in Champaign, period. Three years ago I said this because it was also the best, most beautiful weekend I’d had in my relationship at the time. This year is the first in three that I haven’t had to work at Aroma, which is nice because it means I get to do what I’m doing right now – sitting on my porch drinking a beer and doing homework (not that homework is all that idyllic, but you know what I mean). The Boneyard tends to coincide with the first really nice weekend of the year, so everyone is in a good mood – plus there’s art and music everywhere, food and drink specials, and lots of other good things. I went for an eight mile bike ride this morning, and have been out here on the porch for a sizable part of the afternoon. The end of the semester is looming up ahead of me, but for now, life is good.

What have I been up to?

  • Finished up the semester on the 10th, making me a Master of Science. I have one paper to finish for my doc sem, which I haven’t touched since the beginning of the month. Don’t tell Boyd.
  • Spent a week and a half testing, tweaking, and training on our new CMS, which, after two semesters of piloting, goes live for all classes in t-minus 17 days. I’m anxious about the training issues, but cautiously optimistic.
  • Drank a bunch of barium and saw my insides (looking for an ulcer), but haven’t heard anything back yet. The whole procedure was more miserable than any pelvic exam I’ve ever had in terms of the uncaring touches, the lack of explanation for what was going on, the discomfort, and being left uncomfortable, cold, and alone on a weird table for an extended period of time.
  • SB went to Ohio for almost a week to visit his family. Solo time was nice but unproductive, and I was very glad to have him home.
  • Sid continues to be sick. She’s been on antibiotics for 10 days, but they don’t seem to have done much. Baby kittens with their crazy bugs!
  • Went to Rockford for Christmas, spending most of the weekend chilling with my family. I came home with a pile of cookbooks and a new food processor = yay! Photoset here
  • Received a beautiful necklace and perfect stationery, among other fun gifts, from SB. I gave him a Slimmy, a couple of books, and a few other things.
  • Carrie was here for a few days/ It’s always nice to have her around, even though we mainly just veg out. We went to yoga on Wednesday, and I was pleased with my flexibility, though I’m wildly out of shape. She left yesterday afternoon, and now I owe her a visit. She lives in Brooklyn, which I’m sure is wildly more interesting than Champaign.
  • SB and I rode in our first Critical Mass last night. Only six people (including us) came out, but it was nice to start small and be able to ride at a normal pace rather than going v slow with lots of people.
  • SB and I have been taking advantage of a quiet break to do a lot of cooking – some from new cookbooks, others from books we had lying around. In the last two weeks, we’ve made:
      Bourbon Cranberry Sauce for a vegan Hanukkah. We ate this over soy ice cream, but I’m sure it would be equally good over turkey or regular ice cream.
      – Plantain and Corn Soup and Lamb Tagine with Sweet Potatoes from The African and Middle Eastern Cookbook. My first experience working with lamb, though SB did most (OK, almost all) the work. The tagine was incredibly tender and flavorful. The plantain soup took almost no time to make, and was even better the second day.
      Roasted Pepper and Goat Cheese Sandwiches and Zucchini Pancakes from The Barefoot Contessa at Home. I added the Barefoot Contessa cookbook to my Amazon wish list primarily so I could remember to buy it for Mom. Instead, she bought it for me, and I’m really glad she did. Roasting the peppers was time consuming but easy, and the payoff (in sandwich form) was awesome. I made the zucchini pancakes for brunch yesterday, and they only reinforced my new love for zucchini – simple, relatively low in fat (a total of 1 T butter and 1 T oil used for the whole recipe, which made 12 pancakes), and very tasty. I’ve marked about half the recipes in the book for later cooking. 🙂
  • I start a work-study at the yoga studio next week. One hour of cleaning per week in exchange for one free class per week. I’m hoping to take two classes this winter/spring, so that will help me save some money!
  • Still not sure our exact plans for New Years, but I’m hoping they’ll involve a few parties and lots of friends

good things

Thanksgiving has come and gone, though it has been much celebrated around these parts. My family’s most unique tradition is Turkey Notes, which are small rhyming poems written on each guest’s placecard. The poems are almost always eye-rollingly silly, but my family loves them, so we continue to do them, year after year. This year mine was about Sid, and Shane’s was about Herky. With my friends, however, we usually go around the table and list the things for which we’re thankful. I haven’t had a chance to share that list yet this year, so here, in no particular order, are a handful of things for which I’m thankful:

  • ShaneB and all the joy and good things he’s brought into my life this year
  • a great job that I love, even if some days are very hard
  • my family and an awesome crew of friends
  • the impending end of the semester
  • Project Runway and Tim Gunn
  • veggie breakfast sausage
  • Basil’s safe return, and the advent of Sid
  • We love Katamari
  • yellowbike (and maybe RAGBRAI in the new year??)
  • my healing arm
  • Bonnaroo

What are you thankful for?

This photograph is my proof.

This weekend, I fell off my dad’s mountain bike and broke my arm. We spent most of Friday night at immediate care and in the ER, getting my arm x-rayed and set in a temporary cast. I was scared and hungry (we were getting ready to go to dinner when this happened) and in pain, and Shane took care of me the whole time, making me laugh and letting me cry on his shoulder.

You know what is hard to do with a broken arm? Just about everything. Over the weekend, Shane cut my food, put product in my hair, buttoned my pants, adjusted my sling, and put a garbage bag on my arm so that I could shower. He bought me these shoes last night so that I wouldn’t have to ask for help every time I needed to go somewhere, even though he swears he likes helping me with my shoelaces.

Yesterday he was helping me with my socks and shoes and my mom told me that he was a keeper, and told him that he couldn’t go away and had to love me forever. I’ve been telling him all of these things, but somehow it means something more when it comes from my mom.

Shane’s ex-girlfriend has a new(ish) boyfriend who does lots of sweet things for her, and she posts pictures of the exceptionally sweet ones to her Flickr. In comparison I feel bad sometimes that I can’t share with everyone photographic proof of how wonderful Shane is to me every day, and how much I love and appreciate him in return. This photograph is my proof.

Yellow Bike to the rescue!

My new friend Yellow Bike and I had not one but two accidents today. Accident #1 involved a truck parked on one of the skinny bike paths that snakes through campus by the library, the observatory, and the child development buildings off Nevada. I rode around it, but my tire got caught on the edge of the sidewalk, and I crashed to the ground. The truck guy came running over to make sure I was OK – I said yeah, I’m fine – it’s just hard to ride on the bike path when trucks are parked there.

Accident #2 involved an undergrad who stepped in front of me on the bike path on Wright Street. I was headed north from the library towards school and had already dodged a couple of people in the path when this girl stepped off the sidewalk in front of me without looking in either direction. I yelled “look out!” and swerved, narrowly missing her but crashing into the curb and cutting up my leg on my pedal. She apologized a bunch of times and asked if I was OK – I said yeah, I’m fine – but you need to look where you’re walking because this is a bike path.

In the last year I’ve come to really love biking places. I just spent a bunch of money on a helmet, lights, and a pretty new messenger bag to make a biking-mainly lifestyle safer and more realistic. I obey traffic laws about 95% of the time, which is about the same as when I’m driving. It’s just frustrating that stupid people not paying attention makes it harder to be healthy and environmentally friendly.

good things

good things from the last few days:

  • brunch at allerton with good friends and walking in the gardens on a sunny day
  • working with hot doctors and seeing my uterus bump up against my belly during an exam
  • coffee ice cream with a cute boy in the sunshine before class
  • giving a successful (if rambling) two hour talk without being overly nervous
  • realizing i really know this stuff inside and out
  • renting a locker at the gym that is 2.75 miles away from my apartment by bike, meaning that every workout will also include 5.5 miles on the bike to and from
  • girl talk with my best friend
  • winning (1) pink plaid hightop chucks ($10 on ebay) and (2) tickets to see ladytron (for freeeee!)
  • the weekend is almost here!


My 26th birthday is Monday. I’m celebrating by going rollerskating on Saturday with friends, and then I’m guessing having an intimate dinner or some such on the actual day, which is also a day off from school and work, which is good by me. A year and change ago I made a list of 25 things I wanted to accomplish this year – I didn’t finish all of them, but I made a damned fine dent in them. I couldn’t come up with 26 for this year, and I felt like that list = age constraint was all played out, but I did want to make another list, so, for your reading enjoyment, my 2006 To Do List:

  1. be more responsible financially
  2. take a vacation on the east coast
  3. get new docs
  4. have a successful garden (even if it’s only herbs)
  5. open a savings account and make deposits monthly
  6. read don quixote
  7. finish my masters
  8. go camping
  9. quit smoking
  10. read one book for pleasure every week
  11. learn how to knit something other than scarves
  12. get a new not-ghetto bike and ride it regularly
  13. learn how to make a really good dirty martini
  14. start learning another language (considerations: spanish, portugese, arabic)
  15. submit for at least two conferences (fingers crossed)
  16. keep swimming and improve breathing
  17. finish my survey of all CUMTD buses
  18. drink more water
  19. go to bonnaroo
  20. walk the camino portugues