8:53 am - Saturday, Aug. 10, 2002
(This entry was originally done Friday evening, around 6 pm. But due to some technical difficulties too boring to get into, I had to copy it from the "editing bay" in Diaryland, and put it back in. So there you have it.) In our top story this hour, Jim H. has a new bike!
I met up with Cary earlier this afternoon in Burbank (I was about 15 minutes late, having underestimated Friday afternoon traffic). I parked, then we switched over to his car, and drove to a sporting goods store--Sportmart--where they were having a 20% off sale on all their bikes.
I had a sense of what I wanted, of course, but I'm no bike expert--I don't know that Cary is either, for that matter--but I tried best I could to intelligently assess my options; I didn't want to buy the cheapest thing just because it was the cheapest thing (This is something I'm going to be using a lot, after all), but I obviously couldn't get anything too pricey either, so it came down to deciding on things like appearance, what features each bike had (or lacked), and basically what I thought I'd be happiest with for the money spent.
It came down to two different bikes, both adult "comfort bikes" (I don't know why, but I find the phrase "comfort bike" kind of amusing. I guess it's the term now for what used to be called "hybrids", bikes that aren't racing bikes or mountain bikes, but are just for getting from here to there, which is basically what I want to do).
One I actually liked better in terms of its "look" (It was blue, with knobby, "mountain bike" tires), and it was $20 cheaper to boot.
But the other bike was more "adult looking" (And, I thought, less attractive to young thieves), and had a couple more features that I liked (A nicer seat, with a little "shock absorber" underneath, and a kickstand; It's been awhile since I've shopped for bikes, and I was surprised to find not all bikes come with kickstands, but there you are).
So after hashing it out with Cary, and spending five or ten minutes looking back and forth between the two bikes, I decided on the "Union Flyer"--Kind of a "retro" name, dontcha think?-- which was the bike I thought was more "adult looking" (Oh, I just remembered another feature I preferred on the "Union Flyer"--The handlebars curve in, towards the rider, instead of going straight out to the sides).
(And it just occurred to me; This may be the first time ever that I bought something, at least in part, specifically because it didn't look "cool".)
Cary held onto the bike, while I grabbed a lock (A Kryptonite "BikeTrap"), and a pump (I would have bought a rear tail light too, but all they had were sets of front-and-rear lights, and I already have my patented flashlight-and-bungee-cord setup), and then we made our way to the register.
The bike was originally priced at $219, had been marked down to $199, and was being discounted 20%, so it ended up being a little under $175.
Cary bought it for me.
As I told him while we were at the store, this was not one of the scenarious I'd envisioned when thinking about this day; I thought I'd either buy something really cheap and charge it, or else Cary would charge it, and I'd pay him on the installment plan. But he said he and Kay had talked it over, and "We really want to do this for you".
I was overwhelmed. I'm still embarrassed that I didn't put up more resistance, but ultimately, I'm just very, very grateful; I've done absolutely nothing to deserve this sort of kindness, the continual generosity Cary and Kay have shown me since I came out here, but they've shown it to me anyway (It was all I could do not to weep with gratitude while Cary and I were in the store, but I didn't think Cary would appreciate that).
Anyway, they're very good people, and I am fortunate-beyond-belief they're here for me.
I'd hoped Cary and I would be able to have something to eat, maybe hang out for awhile today, but Cary had a work thing he had to do, so he drove me back to my car, and helped me get the bike in my trunk. I thanked him again--It feels like the kind of thing where you just can't really thank someone enough, if you know what I mean--and we went our seperate ways.
When I got home, I got the bike out of the car, gathered my stuff together, and rode the couple of blocks to my apartment. Then once inside, I got out the lock and tried to figure out where I could put the little rack it fits into on the bike (The frame curves downward, from the handlebars to the rear wheel, so it wouldn't really fit directly under the seat, as I found out when I tried it and went for a test ride; The lock swung out at one point, getting in the way of the pedals, and I almost killed myself; Right now, it's hanging off the left fork of the rear tire. I don't think it's in the way of anything there, but I guess we'll find out).
(You'll hear more about the bike in days to come, to be sure, but I'll give it a rest for now...)
It took five days, but I finally heard back from the Coleman about Corpus Christi (Not from the director, but from someone at the theater. The producer, perhaps?).
There's still nothing to report, really--The call was to tell me I had to come to the theater sometime soon, to bring in three resumes and headshots and fill out some paperwork--but I was just glad to hear something from somebody (We did a little bit of "phone tag" for a couple days, but "Erika" got back to me this afternoon, and told me a tentative rehearsal schedule would be available when I came in on Wednesday to drop off my stuff).
I'd been concerned about conflicts with work and what-have-you (John O. is very amenable to working with my schedule, but of course he has to know what that schedule is going to be first), but when I shared that concern with Erika, she said that sort of thing would be hashed out at the first rehearsal, which looks like it's going to be this coming Friday (My feeling, from our conversation, is that the theater takes the very reasonable view that, since they aren't paying anyone, they're obligated to work around people's paying gigs. If that is their philosophy, I agree wholeheartedly).
Everyone's been asking what role I'm playing in the show, and of course, I'm pretty curious about that myself, but at this point, I don't know; Everyone in the show plays a number of roles, apparently, but while I don't want to get my heart set on one part and be disappointed, I'd sure like it if I ended up being "Gay Judas". That would be a pretty big challenge for me--the gayness, the "Judas-ness", the whole thing. But I guess we'll see what happens.
I recently discovered, after however many months it's been, that the computer John O. gave me has a condenser mic on the monitor.
I think that's pretty cool. I found myself wanting to make some use of this new toy, but very quickly realized that, in terms of chatrooms, boring people are boring people, whether they're typing or talking.
Kevin recently dropped his phone line at home, so talking to him on the computer is out as well.
I did send an "audio email" to Jane, which I think she got a kick out of, but she only seemed mildly enthused about getting a mic so we could talk in "real time" (One reasonable concern of hers is that this would be one more very appealing way for both of us to waste time).
And then I discovered that Lauren not only has a mic on her computer, but she has a webcam (She never mentioned it, because she didn't know I had Yahoo messenger, which I didn't, until very recently).
So last night, we experimented with "talking" to each other, and the way it ended up working out was kind of funny; First we tried talking on MSN Messenger, but we hit a snag after a couple minutes, so we switched over to Yahoo Messenger, but for whatever reason, she could hear me, but I couldn't hear her. And I could see her, obviously, with her webcam, but she couldn't see me.
So she was typing, and listening to me, and I was talking, and watching her, and it was really fun.
(So if you're out there, and you've always wondered "What would it be like to actually talk to Jim?", now's your chance. Seriously, if you have a mic on your computer, and you'd like to chat sometime, let me know.)
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