Newsletter 4/18/16

The crest of summer is on the horizon. Having a deep love for sun, California drew me from my frigid origins of Minnesota. My love for the sun has caught up with me, though, and proven to be a harsh mistress. Years of riding and working under the fiery goddess, has caused damage to my skin that required surgery last December, hence my hiatus. Fully recovered (skin cancer has 99% recovery rate), I am all geared up to do a bike tour from Alaska back to SF in June, with a lot of sunscreen. I’ve been working so hard to recoup from the financial backlash medical issues can cause, I decided to take a month, and do something for myself. To live minimally, and re-enter the city with 2,000 miles of gorgeous west coast and thinking behind me. I do love this city, but I need a new perspective. The constant hustle, the information overload, everything at your fingertips, the gloomy thought of forced relocation; it all builds up like a pressure cooker. Well, my cooker is steaming, all the irons in the fire are starting to melt. This trip will be a reminder that everything I need to live….I can carry on a bike.


Newsletter 4/4/16

Finally, after what felt like forever, I’m able to take advantage of multiple creative outlets. I felt like I was going insane. I’m sure everyone knows the feeling, consumed by work and all the other everyday stresses and feeling completely stagnant. But when that creative dam finally bursts, it’s like gaining a whole new perspective on life. As of late, I’ve been writing song after song after song for one of my bands (albeit they are between 25 seconds to a minute long) and also kind of took the reins of our visual design (i.e. shirt designs, patches, etc.), and it has just been filling me with much-needed and welcome feelings of accomplishment and purpose. It has changed my perspective so much, in fact, that I even made use of a giant paint stain on my bag, which was the unfortunate result of unsecured paint can lids by revisiting an old habit of mine. Now I kind of love the way the paint spill made my bag look, just took a little modification and creativity. I’ve been trying to take that approach with Cupid as well. Make little changes and modifications and try to make things more fun and exciting. Designing the new brochures and website were definitely large tasks, but they were also super fun because I had to problem-solve and be a little expressive with things as well. I dunno about y’all, but I definitely think there’s a bit of my personality in both. Or I could just be a raging narcissist. There’s always that too. I guess that’s easy to fall into when you’re part of the best-looking messenger company in the  city!


Newsletter 3/17/16

Farewell To San Francisco
“One makes mistakes.  That is life.  But it is never a mistake to have loved.”  — Romain Rolland
     If I can give myself so much credit, I will ride away from San Francisco in two weeks, knowing that I loved it with all my heart.  And it failed me.
     But only in my dream of what it might be when I moved here five years ago.  A place of artistic, caring people, and progressive action.  The reality was even better.  It was more real.  More challenging.  More beautiful, and had greater rewards.  A couple major losses, several jobs, many new friends, hundreds of incredible views, thousands of magic moments, and metamorphosed thighs later, I could lay down on the ground and hug its dirty sidewalks for how much this layer cake of beauty and ugliness has given me.
     But the nomadic spirit that guides me has to move on.  Still, I wonder, and grieve; I feel like I’m abandoning a lover, and many friends.  Robert Frost said,  “In three words I can sum up everything I’ve learned about life: It goes on.”  It does.  Often, just like that, and overnight.  But I don’t know if it can ever be a clean break.  There is both unwanted residue and newfound armor that clings to our physical bodies and our minds.
     I am moving both for more and less romantic reasons than why I came here.  I am going to try a more natural place, a slower pace of life, stretch my daily adventures further than what our topographically diverse, but ultimately limited parcel of earth allows.  But will I really forget the pain of that conversation about love, tears streaming, rain pouring on 15th and Guerrero?  Or the first and last kiss in front of the laundromat deeper in the Mission?  That time I almost became roadkill on the 3rd Street bridge?
The day I discovered the majesty of Mile Rock Beach by accident and watched the sunset on our massive, engulfing ocean.  Or the train ride down the peninsula that day one of my best friends almost died?
     What you remember and what you forget are about as unreliable a source of real history as you can get, but they are a part of what carries you forth.  Whether I will think on San Francisco fondly, for all the freedom and innovation, entrepreneurial spirit, and natural beauty it represents.  Or, with some bitterness at the pain and suffering I saw day after day, and the hard times I personally endured, is neither here nor there.  When, you consider the fact that it is now a part of me.  My physical muscles are cut from riding its streets – some of the asphalt is actually still embedded in my knee from a bad fall I didn’t have time to properly clean out.  And my mind molded by everything from my life as a messenger, to its intellectual denizens, its businesses, its complicated but colorful history, to the transient populations yelling in the Tenderloin.
     And, if you look at it another way, I am forever a teensy tiny part of the ever-changing organism that is San Francisco, too.  We all are.   So, I will not say goodbye.  But I will tip my hat, er, helmet.  And say, let’s hit the road.  Because, as Mr. Albert Einstein famously said: “Life is life riding a bicycle.  To keep your balance, you must keep moving.”
Arrivederci, mi amori.
-Michele L. Appel

New Rates and Brochures!


There you have it! Our updated San Francisco rates. Effective as of 3/1/16. Physical copies will make their way to you very soon. If you’d like an extra one//one for a friend just let us know and we’ll be happy to drop one off with you next time we see you. The rates page has been updated as well, so if you don’t hold onto your new brochure and this post gets buried it’ll still be very easily accessible. Please don’t mind the typos, I’m a messenger not an editor. See y’all out there


Newsletter 3/1/16

Hello again everyone,
Another few years have passed, and we’re readjusting our rates.  This will mostly be reflected in the vehicle and out-of-town rates; vehicle costs are on a definite rise from 2014, and other expenses necessary to running our courier business are having us pull the belt loop tighter and tighter.  Some of you with offices close by will receive a new, shiny brochure with our bicycle and vehicle rates.  All of our rates, and other information, can be found on our website (which is also new and shiny, thanks to Sam!).  But, if you’d like a brochure (because they’re nice things to have, in lacy envelopes, or perhaps you’d like to pass it along), don’t hesitate to let us know!
For all my financial anxieties, I made a vow to myself, long ago, to never feel bad about spending money on food.  As a messenger and weightlifter, I need to eat about four meals a day and snack constantly.  I can’t carry the amount of food I need to eat in a day on the road, lest there be no room left for packages.  Food is a very personal subject wrought with emotions and fears and intense connections to the very core of how we feel about ourselves.  It’s something we put inside of our bodies so that it may, literally, become us.  The experience of eating is an extraordinary physical sensation; we smell the food before us, taste it in our mouths, and feel it slide into our bellies.  Muscles relax and a burst of hormones surges through us, seething in our blood and changing our perceptions of thoughts and situations around us.  It’s also a cultural heritage and center of social activity.  Several times a day we encounter this phenomenon, and it’s nothing short of amazing.
It’s no wonder food is so intensely bound to our deepest emotions.  I think back to an article I once read about assigning moral qualities to food, and how dangerous that practice is.  When you’re convinced that a food is “good” or “bad,” YOU become “good” or “bad” for eating or not eating it, and oh God what a way to torture yourself into misery.  There you have your worth as a human being defined by a cupcake, or a carrot.  Unfortunately, that line of thinking is a main pillar of the diet industry, and almost taken for granted in this society.  People often don’t think twice about calling something “a guilty pleasure,” or thinking of having “earned” a “sinful” treat because they went for a run.  In lieu of statistics about eating disorders that I don’t know off the top of my head, I’ll say that many, many people close to me have suffered from them.  It’s devastating.
It might be easy to think, “Oh, this incredibly active person eats 4000+ calories a day and doesn’t need to worry about food at all!”  but that isn’t true.  In fact, that kind of sentiment, that people often openly express to me, falls right in line with all these toxic perceptions.  The athletic world is filled with as many (and many of the same) terrible attitudes as the diet industry regarding food.  My own relationship to food has changed drastically throughout my life.  I’ve done extensive research on different diets and learned a great deal about nutrition and digestion (particularly, the hormonal response to certain foods that you eat, and how that affects the way your body functions).  I love to cook and experiment with recipes; it’s a primary activity along with all the moving I do.  On top of all that, I’m on my way to developing a chronic gut illness that runs in my family, and I get sicker every year.  There are a lot of foods I can’t digest, and you can bet I have my own complex emotional relationship to that whole ordeal.
Where does that leave me?  I try to get people to not feel bad about the food they eat, or the effect they think that has on their body and the way they look (a whole other topic no five-newsletter could cover).  At the same time, I understand that absolutely everything else around us is shouting the contrary.  I’ll give whatever crack in the monolith I can render, I suppose.

Newsletter 2/16/16

     This newsletter is being written in a tiny airport, in a small town, on the South Island of New Zealand.  I am returning to San Francisco after competing in the world championships for bicycle polo that was held in Timaru, New Zealand.  The town reminded me of Santa Cruz, a small town nestled on a bay surrounded by mountains with crafty little houses stitched along well-kept streets.  The people of Timaru did a tremendous job of hosting a truly world-class event, where 56 teams gathered to compete from all corners of the earth.  My team placed 28th, right in the middle, but was one of the very few teams composed of women.  I felt I was representing women more than my country, which gives me great pride, part of the reason I love working for Cupid;  working together with strong women!
     More notable than the tournament was the the 56 kilometer hike we did over 4 days in the mountains outside of the city, Queenstown.  Honestly, if I knew how grueling it was going to be, I may have chickened out, but I’m glad I didn’t, for it was a deeply spiritual experience.  Seriously, I felt like a freakin monk!  Walking all day through rough terrain in the blazing sun only to reach a hut stocked with nothing but cold water to fill your bottles.  We had to pack all our food, and pack out all our garbage…..don’t think I’ll be eating peanut butter for a long time.  But, to walk for four days in a “Lord of the Rings” landscape, with nothing but the sounds of nature, and not much energy to think of anything more than your next step, was some how enlightening.  It is important to remember to immerse one’s self in nature now and again, it sort of regenerates the spirit.
     Now I have 15 hours of flights ahead, and despite insufficient sleep, I can’t help but feel uplifted and elated to return to the Bay Area, my home.  Last night someone asked me what I miss the most about home, and without thinking I promptly said “My cat, Pear.”  She is a little tuxedo cat, equipped with a bow-tie, gloves, spats, mustache, a buttoned jacket, and her markings even include cuff links!  The extraordinarily well-dressed cat spends most of her days sitting on my front stoop awaiting passing people to pay her homage with pets and hugs.  She runs out of the bushes like a little pup, when she hears a bicycle approach the house, because she knows it’s probably me.
I believe the souls of our homes are manifested in these little creature we call pets.  Even though my house would be considered shabby by San Francisco standards…I feel incredibly lucky to have a little butler that greets me every time I come home.

Newsletter 2/1/2016

I’ve been getting tattooed for 10 years. Weird. I’m getting old. It’s something that hasn’t always been a consistent part of my life, but an ever-remaining part just the same. I’ve gone months, even years at points, without getting tattooed. Every time I’m back under the needle though it reminds me of why I love it. The whole experience is very meditative for me. With the initial stroke, right up until the endorphins have long since worn off, I’m feeling every burning, scraping and stinging sensation running across my skin. The end result is always the most satisfying, of course, but I genuinely don’t think I’d be as into getting tattoos if they weren’t such an experience each and every time. At this point in my life I’ve covered a considerable amount of my legs and arms, feet and chest. I’ve been getting tattooed very consistently as of late with no intentions of slowing down. Not only is the endorphin high one of the most amazing feelings but knowing that I am able to sit through what some people would consider a torturous nightmare and smile and converse and enjoy myself while it’s happening is really empowering. I guess it’s nice to like what you see in the mirror a little more every time, too.
On a completely unrelated note we will be closed for President’s Day 2/15! Maybe I’ll get tattooed that day..

Newsletter 1/15/2016

Jacki’s last newsletter, in all its conciseness, has seized my recent thoughts.  “Modern humans often forget that being uncomfortable at times is necessary for one’s  mental and emotional wellbeing.”  As I shiver in my poorly insulated house, listening to the rain drip in through a floor-to-ceiling crack by the front door, I think about my various life decisions that fall in line with those words.   A year ago, much of the direction in my life had been lost, and I was on the verge of moving from the Bay Area.  I didn’t have a job at the time, and was spending most of my time furiously researching housing options.  Each day yawned horridly before me.  My back sagged from being hunched over endless Craigslist ads, and my cheeks stiffened from the hopeless tears of defeat that inevitably soaked them every few hours.
There were many factors commanding this wretched state, and many changes that worked to unravel it.  However, there was one thing that seemed to reoccuringly dominate my despair: guilt.  I felt as if I had no right to feel the way that I did, and felt horrible for feeling horrible.  What problems was I really facing?  What difficulty was really crushing me so completely that I was reduced to such a state?  Of course, this engenders an endless spiral of self-deprecation, and only obscures the few pinpoints of possibility for anything to be any different.
A lot has happened since that several-month-long drag, and daily I consider what has made me feel completely different at this point.  I began working on my bike again in February; in April I joined Cupid.  Little compares to the slow burn in my legs as I churn up block after block of %15 grade.  The sun can roast my skin, or the wind chafe it, and my wrists can ache from the jolts of cracked pavement and potholes.  As I also returned to lifting weights from a nine-month hiatus, the soreness in my muscles whispers hoarsely with the exertion already murmuring through me. And what a relief it all was. How glorious it felt to understand my body once again; it had a purpose beyond society’s narrow, superficial judgements, and was mine once again to feel and experience. It didn’t solve everything right away; however, it provided something else to draw me away from feeling as if I could do nothing. Through the emotional stagnation and despair, it reminded me that I was alive, and how glad I was to be.


Newsletter 1/5/2016

Talking about the weather is sort of mundane but here we go….its been COLD and WET!  It certainly affects the life of a messenger or people who choose to transport themselves via two wheels (four wheels for skateboarders).  Anyhow, it’s a blessing to have some rain, and the cold is a reminder that you are alive.  Modern humans often forget that being uncomfortable at times is necessary for ones mental and emotional health. Perhaps why I am feeling a bit down, trapped inside me house for a couple of weeks due to an health issue.  BUT, if feels good to be healthy again, and back on the road!  So bring on the rain, and the cold winds, and the San Franciscan hills, I’m ready to feel alive.


Whoa, A Different Website!

Hey check it out we have a new website! Things are changing very rapidly over here at Cupid as two of our beloved Cupoids, Michele and Jacki, are taking off to explore other avenues in life. We wish them all the best! Furthermore, we will be making adjustments and fine-tuning some things so that we can keep providing y’all with the service you have come to know and expect.
In other news, we will be CLOSED on Friday, December 25th and Friday, January 1st but we will be open for the rest of the holiday season. Also both of our numbers ARE currently working. We were having some technical difficulties with one of the lines earlier this week but things have since been resolved.
Hooray for the first post on the new site! See y’all out there!


(From 12/11/2015)