Monday, June 1, 2009

Before I left, Krista and Howard took me on a day of garage sales. Garage sales in upstate New York are different from what I'm used to. The variety of stuff is incredible, and if you know where to look, you can find pretty much anything—including urinals.

SKIPPABLE DORK PARAGRAPH: I found a Commodore 64 on sale. The garage next door was selling A/V cables that fit. For a moment, I was debating buying it and shipping it back to Massachusetts (I'm still a little bitter that my parents threw out my VIC 20 back when we moved when I was 13). Had I been able to find a fitting power cable, I probably would have purchased it. The shipping would have been more expensive than the purchase.

I was already preparing for my departure and the calories I would burn. We went to an Indian buffet, where I ate enough to start stretching my stomach. That night, Krista made pasta, and knew to put more on my plate. Just the same, I finished eating long before her or Howard, and she made another, even bigger batch of pasta, which I wolfed down in its entirety.

"I still owe you cash," said Krista. I had helped her and Howard paint the kitchen orange.

"You don't owe me anything," I said. "You let me stay at your place for over and a week and you fed me."

Krista threw her hands up in the air in exasperation. This wasn't the first time we'd had this discussion. "Fine! I don't owe you cash."

In the morning, Krista made pancakes. I ate the vast majority of them.


In keeping with the rule that no day is allowed to go completely smoothly, as soon as I rode 20 feet from the front of the house, my entire luggage rack fell off. Krista has photos; unfortunately, I don't. I was afraid it might mean going back to the bike shop, but I was able to fix it pretty easily, and put one of my spare bungee cords to use, giving the rack some more support. Yet another thing I'll need to check periodically.

The wind was some of the most brutal I have experienced so far. At one point, I was going about 30 miles per hour down a hill when a gust, over the course of about five seconds, brought the bike to a complete stop, despite the incline. Luckily, it's only 50 miles or so from Utica to Syracuse, so I just walked a large chunk of it. Even that was made more difficult by the wind.

But I did reach Syracuse, and I met Alicia, with whom I'll be living for a few days. I went out this morning and, unlike Utica, Syracuse looks like it won't be wasting my time. Everyone told me flat out that I simply will not find work. Nobody needs anything. I met Alicia's brother last night, who said he had some tasks that needed to be done that he had decided he was going to just pay someone to do. So that might be where it's at here.

I don't expect to stay long. I need to start moving faster anyway.

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