Monthly Archives: December 2011

Festivus – Feats of Strength 2011

Oy.

*sigh*

[shakes head]

Great start, ehh?

After re-reading last year’s Feats of Strength, I am smacked in the face with just how spectacularly different this year was.

I raced MTB this year.  Marathon races.  What can I say here…?

HOLYSHITIFUCKINGLOVEDIT!

If there was ever a way to feel complete zen and pain and badass all at once, marathon races were it for me.

3+ hours of dirt, sweat, pain, snot, and saddle sex while people cheer and spray you with Super Soakers.  Hmmmm…

Oh my dog!  I had such a blast!

MTB racing used to intimidate the hell out of me.  Hell, riding a mountain bike in general with its different fit and weird tires just flat out freaked me out.  That is why you would see my crazy ass on my cx bike on trails it allegedly did not belong.

*PSHAW*

First off…cx bikes belong EVERYWHERRRRRRRRE!

OK, perhaps they do not belong on a ski lift for that extreme downhilling thing that some folks are into, but in my world we do not shun the cx bike.

That said, I had the honor of riding the Specialized Epic Marathon 29er for Mesa Cycles this year and on that bike, aka “The Sickness”, I found my inner kid in a different way than with cx.

I found a kid that I never was and frankly didn’t know existed.

The wild child party girl that I am during cx season was replaced with a calm, quiet, giggly mess of a girl.

It was all very bizarre and I have no idea what to say about it.

MTB was not on my list of grievances, but after landing on the podium my last race of the season, the day after doing a mock sprint triathlon*, I was pretty effing stoked and consider that fear conquered.

(Always save the bike, people!)

*A group of us had signed up for a sprint tri to do with The Sass and it was canceled due to storms. Two of us did the distances anyway indoors at Lifetime Fitness…whom I would also like to thank for not looking at us like we were fugging nuts considering we still had our numbers written on our arms.  That was awesome.

[clears throat]

Eh-hem…anyway…

I guess that also means I wrestled my issues with triathlons to the ground too.  It was the swimming, frankly.  I was really not a fan when I looked at the sport as a whole.  The Sass however wants to do them and she is a fantastic swimmer…and giggles a lot when doing it.  That’s weird, I know…but she’s a giggler and I like to be around that.

Don’t get me wrong, triathletes on bikes still freak me right the fuck out because…well…TURNS!  

And also don’t get me wrong that I will forever (FOREVER) make fun of anyone on a group ride in their aero bars because, seriously?  SERIOUSLY??  You folks are wrecky!

But I have conquered my issues with “the swim”; the stupid suit, the cap, the goggles, and how my hips look when doing all of that.  I am now relaxed and actually enjoy the swim, so one less thing to stress about.  Heh.

I have wrestled a few other things from the list too.  The main one being that I have learned to let people go.  Just let them go.  You don’t need to kick their ass, just let them go.  If they are dead set on being a tool/jerk/douche/bitch/maniac/stalker, let them.  Those are their issue(s); not yours.  You have to ask yourself what value they have on your life and conquer your fear of them not being there.  Sure, conquering your anger and fear may give you the sads for a while, but if you sit back and breathe, you may see a lot of things that you were missing before…like peace.  This year, I wrestled chaos to the ground and kicked its ass…because it’s really about the chaos and not the people.  To this day, I still love the people I let go this year, but not their chaos.

OK, perhaps I have not entirely kicked chaos’ ass, but I have called it out and am giving it the silent treatment with a raised eyebrow and it knows (KNOWS) that  I am on to its little game.

I was about to say that I have not wrestled cancer to ground and kicked its evil ass…but the fact that I am here typing this blog means that I actually did.  I have to remember that.   Twelve years, baby.  <- BAM!

[shakes place where titties used to be]

Well, there you have it.  After a colorful year of c*nts, chaos, and cancer, I am still kickin’.

I wish I could say I have no regrets from this year, but I do.  I am writing each one down and lighting them on fire on New Years Eave so I can let them go.  I wish the same for anyone reading this.

Peace and dirt.

Santa Fraud

It’s no secret that I do not like the “Santa Game” and all that comes with that.  Like another friend mentioned yesterday, my seemingly irrational dislike for the fat, jolly one stems from my belief that it is OK for children to learn that their parents’ hard work, sacrifice, and generosity afforded them their treasures on Christmas morning.

I never understood the desire to give children the impression that these gifts were created effortlessly by caffeinated little people.  Whaaaaaat?

Look, I don’t need to be patted on the back for the gifts given because frankly along with the thanks comes the blame too…for all the wrong things purchased or things not received.

The Sass put Santa in “time out” when she was 3 for bringing her the wrong talking kitchen.  She mentioned Santa’s blunder repeatedly throughout the year when someone would suggest she put her desired items on her Xmas list.  I even have video of her having a “chat” with Santa the following year to make sure he got his shit straight.

Guess what? She received the correct talking kitchen that year…and then declared it a “baby toy”.

[slaps head with hand]

That year, she also got that awful, ginormous mechanical horse that Target was whoring. That thing made me dread Target and when she got it, she then told us that when turned on (something she delighted in at the store), the horse freaked her out and was obnoxious.  (Yes, she said “obnoxious”.)

I did not have a lot of money and that thing was a ridiculous amount of money.  My heart almost audibly cracked from the double-punch and it took everything I had not to burst into tears and spill the beans about the old fatty.  But, I remembered that The Sass was 4 and was in fact happy, but just pointing out the obvious. I also learned a lot about my daughter that day.  She will do something on principle. She asked Santa for the Dora Talking Kitchen and Santa could not be released from time-out until he made it right.  Point made, Sister!

My own Santa discovery came the year following the Great Coal Incident.

I am pretty sure I was 9 when the incident occurred, because my sister was still pretty young.  I believe this is also the year I mastered the raised-eye brow-stare-combo.

So, let’s call it the Christmas when I was 9.

We went to bed and were later woken by my mom to come downstairs in our ridiculous matching candy cane-striped night gowns.

Well what do you know?  Old fatty is down there with his ‘Ho! Ho! Ho!” and all that nonsense.  My parents’ friends are down there too and my sister and I are very confused.

My sister is of course also terrified because seriously, what the fuck? She’s 2.5 years old and Santa is a loud stranger in the middle of the night…

He gets to me and yabbers on about good girl/bad girl hoopla and then presents me with a bag of coal and a speech on how I need to try better next year to be a good girl.

Hmmmm…

I’m gonna try very hard not to “Deck the Balls” at the moment, fat man.

(OK, I didn’t think that.  A) I didn’t know what balls were back then and, B) I wasn’t even snarky back then…but we can all thank Santa for playing his part in my snark development.)

Anyway, this adorable little speech went over pretty well as you might imagine.

I was devastated.

They sent us off to bed…with me a mess of mental anguish and wishing someone would form The Smiths so I could sing along and cry.

Imagine for a moment the stress I had on my 9-year old shoulders that night as I lie there staring at the ceiling and sobbing and shredding my brain trying to think of what I did that was bad enough for him to pull that shit…in front of other people too.  I mean, he didn’t even take me aside and have a little talk.

Just WHAM!  Here’s your coal, Bitch…and also you are bad at being a kid.

(For the record, that Santa moment also taught me how NOT to manage my co-workers.  Ugh.)

I dragged my butt downstairs in the morning and was shocked (SHOCKED!!!!) to see a ton of presents under the tree.

My mom said Santa told her that he thought I was sincere in my promise to do better and so the slate was now clean.  I had no idea what that meant, but whatever…TOYS!

I was without a doubt very excited by all of this and it was a good Christmas.

(Let us recall that the previous Christmas had my mom throwing the tree out the front door in a psychotic fit literally over spilled milk, so yeah, this was cake.)

Between that Christmas and the next, I learned a lot…and I was pissed.

No Santa meant that it was my assclown mom and idiotic step-dad who staged that Santa session and that Santa was the fat neighbor friend (a drunk, mind you) from down the block.

That meant that my mom and step-dad intentionally inflicted that mental pain on me and let me go to bed like a whipped puppy.

What assholes.

Of course, years later when I stopped hating Santa, it also dawned on me that my mom busted her ass to get me presents.  I always seemed to know that the gifts at my grandparents’ came form the rest of my family, because my grandma was not as great at secret-keeping as she thought.

When later the next year my mom went ape shit and threw all my toys out one day while she was angry at me, I learned the truth.

She said she bought them, so she can toss them.

When I later cried to my grandpa, he was angry because he and my grandma had purchased much of what my mom had thrown away.

I ended up having a separate stash of toys at their house, but Christmas was never the same and my mom left before Christmas the following year, when I was 10.

I knew that regardless of whether I liked some hideous bath robe that someone gave me, that they had taken the time to select it for me and that I wasn’t some name on a list of gazillions.

When my daughter, who is now 9, told me recently that she believes me to be Santa, she said it with pride.  She seemed so grateful that it made every sacrifice worth it.  She knows her dad and I coordinate the gifts and she likes that we work together.  That makes her happier than the idea of Santa…and I can’t really argue with that.

Santa gave me a great kid…or was that the Pumpkin Fairy?

Whatever your beliefs, don’t sweat the Santa…or miss the lessons, good and bad, in the magic of Christmas.

The Power of the Snot Rocket

My dogs are friggin brilliant!  I cannot lie.

I have learned a lot over the last month just watching them interact.

You know what?  Sheer genius.  (Unlike me who actually typo’d that word because I never believed typing would become “a thing” so I am a mess with the keyboard…but still wicked quick. Go figure.)

Anyway, Sasha (the Husky who we pretend is a wolf) and Raycer (the French Poodle who we pretend is Bob Marley) are diverse little fuckers who have little in common…other than the whole canine thing and the fact that they both rely on me for food and love.

They play and fight regularly, but always resolve their issues pretty quickly…no matter how ugly it seems to get.

They never go to bed angry and talk regularly, but still…a battle is a battle.

On the rare times that she is losing the battle, I have now observed Sasha pull a stunt that shuts the whole fight down…

She sneezes on Raycer.

When she does this, it affords them a “time out” where both parties just look at each other like:

R: “Did that just effing happen?”

S: “Yeah, Dude.  I just went there.”

R: “Way to own it.  That was not cool.  I would never do that to you.” [looks down sadly]

S: “Yeah, I know, but…it happens.  Wanna go jump on the good furniture while mom is exhausted by our fighting and not looking?”

R: “No, but I will watch you do it.  I love you.  You’re on your own if you get busted though.”

OK, maybe they don’t say all that, but regardless, things certainly chill out after she blows that snot rocket on the little dude.

I have to wonder if this would work if I pulled that shit on some of the more unreasonable people I encounter.

I blew my first snot rocket (one that did not result in a wreck) only recently, but feel I have quite the talent for it…especially with my current chronic health issues.

All I’m saying is too often in our disagreements we fail to take a step back, a breath, a moment…

A snot rocket may just be the thing to aid in this process.

I know it won’t be popular with some people, but really…what’s the harm…especially if someone will not take a break from their attack(s)?

*raises eyebrow*

I know I am willing to try.

*grin*

The Great Gory Scale Toss of 2011

Every day since November something of 2008, I have stepped on the bathroom scale to make sure that I did not drop below a certain weight.

Then, admittedly, there were times after this year’s surgery that I hopped on the scale praying/chanting that I had not gone above a certain weight.

Once we got my meds figured out, I stopped stressing the latter and only worried about the former again.

I have always had a ridiculous love/hate relationship with the scale and that is coupled with what I call a “self depth-perception” problem.  Without the scale, I could never tell you if I was thin or fat…

I was a yo-yo kid.  I was either skinny or chubby depending on the year and what fresh hell was brewing in my home life..mostly related to my “mommy issues”.

I can look at any picture from any year and tell you what was going on based on my weight.

In 1995, I ballooned to a weight that most people, if they did not see me during that time, drop their jaws in shock upon hearing.

A few family members saw me later that year…but that was after I had lost a significant amount and was down to a very confident and saucy size 10.

Because the last time they had seen me I was a size 6, this was “huge” to them.

They would have fainted had they seen me at size 18, but then again, I stayed away from all people except my toddler son and co-workers that year.

My grandmother and mom saw me twice at the almost 200 pounds that was my person.  My mom asked me if my dress was a tent.  That was enough of the visits with her.

I got to work on losing the weight and knew I would never go back down that path.

My weight monitoring was a full-time job because I am not only a foodie, but a good ol’ Brooklyn girl who adores her pasta and bread.

(OMIGAWD do I ever LOVE bread!)

I became creative in finding ways to eat at least 3 times per day and not take in more than 10 grams of fat daily.

I became a pretty excellent cook and dined out as little as possible.

That all changed on August 12, 1999 when I got sick and the weight dance became irrelevant and unnecessary.

I started to live a little just when they told me to stop.

I started eating other people’s food.  (Things they cooked to share; not things I stole out of the work refrigerator.  Sheesh!)

I started drinking wine.

I laughed more.

I got married and had another beautiful baby.

I didn’t stress about my weight while pregnant or after.

Since 1999, I have dropped weight drastically and gained weight oddly, but the latter is always for a short period.

Currently, I have walking pneumonia which “we” thought was other things ranging from cold, to flu, to sinus infection, to mono…

I have been sick since the first weekend in November and am not getting better…

…so I have been monitoring my weight a bit more closely…again.

I am not stressing (yet), but checking.

I can see my ribs, but the number on the scale is only 3 pounds below my “allowable minimum” so that relaxes me a bit.  A bit.

I know I have to get the weight back on from a medical standpoint.

Then there is also the shallow, fucked-by-current-American-culture psyche that makes me feel fat for being above 120 pounds.

Or, I’ll see a race photo of me and let’s face it, sometimes photographers don’t always grasp how to photograph ladies in spandex and that will mess with a sista on the wrong day.

Today was such a day.

Regardless of knowing my weight is actually below what my doctors would like it to be for me to race, I still stepped on that scale this morning.

Even though I am sick as a dog and have no near-future plans to race.

I got up on it.

You know what happened?

That futher mucker slid across the tile floor and damn near broke my neck throwing me off it.

It was like a scene in Paranormal Activity and that scale was not having it and just got up and left…violently.

I dragged it back and held my now strained back (from twisting and contorting in that way that people do when they are trying to save themselves from eating a face full of tile) and gingerly stepped back on the evil/possessed scale.

The number was the same as it has been, but I stepped off the scale and immediately thought of how unimportant that number was.

I am as healthy as I am going to be right now and obsessing over this daily is not going to do anything positive for me.

I wish we could all forget a lot of numbers.  Ages, weights, dollars, power wattage, “friend counts”, followers, etc.

That scale is like that one person you all know…

We all have that person…

The one who tells you things you don’t need to know because you have rationale and common sense and already know what they are telling you but they just HAVE to tell you because they know EVERYTHING…

I hate those effing people.

(No, I do not hate those effing people but they are annoying as fuck.)

If I gain (or lose) a shit ton of weight, guess what?  My clothes will tell me before that scale ever does.

I think I am going to hurl that scale in the trash tonight.

And I think that you should do the same to yours, whether you are big or small.

If there ever was a Devil, scales and trisuits are it…

…but I am keeping the trisuit…just in case I want to slum on the dark side a time or two.

The Slightly Terrifying Town of Singledom

I normally don’t comment too much on dating and the like, mostly because I hate it and am pretty awful at it.  That said, regardless of what I do not know, there are a few things that I DO in fact know and one of them is…

Never act like a complete effing psycho after one date (or even 100 dates).

Duh.

Just don’t act like a psycho in general, mmmkay?

I just read this letter that some twatwaffle sent a lady after one date with her and you know what?

It fucking terrified me to be single again…

…actually, I am not at all terrified of being single because I have the awesome Sass and the dogs and they bring me more joy than does Death by Chocolate to a fat kid…

I am however in fact terrified to date again after reading that letter.  Seriously.

Don’t get me wrong, I have been turned on by men who can creatively use bullet points, but this guy is fugging nutso.

He is the 27-cat, makes suits out of past girlfriends, eats bellybutton lint, types 1,600-word emails and knows the chemical composition of Twinkies  type of crazy.

I think he must read Cosmo, The Daily Love, or some other like garbage written for men without balls who have no idea how to communicate with The Vagina People…and that is just wrong….for everyone.

Jingle Cross 2011

Can we say “ROAD TRIP!”????

I can say it in multiple languages this year….

OK, I cannot, but I can say it in plenty of accents.

Last weekend (not the one that just passed but the one before that) was Jingle Cross.

I have not written my race report because the sick that I had been nursing since Cincy 3 CX kicked up into complete “Fuck You, Bitch!” mode last week and I didn’t do a whole lot of anything…So I am writing now.

I am writing now because I am about to get new meds and have no idea how those will affect me, so now is better.

Jingle Cross is still the most fun CX event in the Midwest.  Mostly because just knowing you are going keeps you from shoving your pie hole full of…well…pie and other yummy goodness on Thanksgiving.

Jingle Cross starts on Black Friday and continues thru Sunday.

So, while some thousands of lame asses are lined up outside retail monsters to prove their stupidity and buy things they don’t need, the smarter folks are sleeping soundly and dreaming of The Grinch and Mt. Krumpet in Iowa City.

There is almost always frost or rain or some combo of both, and if not…then there is ALWAYS Mt. Krumpet.

Always.

The man of my dirty dreams.  He is always “up” and always a sweat-making maniac of leg-shredding, dirty bliss.

I never wonder if he is happy to see me.  He is.  And like a good man, is always happy for me to climb up on him and ride, ride, ride… He seems to like when I go down too.  Good man.

*Note: Hey!  PSSSSSST!  You dirty-minded freaks need to focus…I am talking about a hill.  A big one!  What were YOU thinking?  Nevermind.  I know what you were thinking…and I like it.  Carry on!

On Friday night there was only a bit of mud.  A teaser if you will.  One was on a berm before the flyover and the other was on the face of Krumpet.  (Yep; he even gives good face.)  I am in love.

The mud was good, but again, just a teaser as we watched the radar and knew that the true cxgasm would be the following day when it rained.

Omigawd, I am a rain whore between September and January.

I don’t so much like ice because that brings the ouchies and the breakies and frankly does not photograph well, but mud is my money shot.  Those roadies who race that “Froze Toes” nonsense can have the ice.  It’s all theirs.  Take it.  Ice on mud will shred a tire and that gives me the sads, so I am whole-heartedly against it.  Ice is for martinis; not cx tires.

So, I was as pleased as spiked punch that the temps were damn near tropic (in the 50s) when the rain came.

*snicker*

Yes, I am 12 in my head.  Shut up.

There was so much dirty wetness on Saturday that I damn near lost what was left of my tragic little mind.

I shot my nose spray up my nose and hopped on Christian.

The sound of wet cx is like porn music…except good.

Sadly, they took the flyover out of the race on Saturday because they were afraid people would act a damn fool and make it a Slip-N-Slide.

*raises hand*

I was bummed to lose it, but the muddy, off-camber goodness of Mt. Krumpet’s face was pretty magical.

The sloppy mess of the swirly/”toilet bowl” was a fantastic cxgasm of power and muddy spray.

My two favorite hecklers (Awesome 1 and Awesome 2) screamed at me each time over the barriers and through the finish of each lap.

I tried to give them a show each time through and gave them their reward in my finishing sprint…unintentionally.

I came off the dirt and hit the pavement like a maniac.

I did this weird thing where I added gears and tucked in and went very fast…

I need to stop that shit.

I hit the wet grass and gravel again and my bike caught air in front of A1 and A2 and I went sideways a bit…in the air.

(Hey look! I’m Tony Hawk, bitches!)

…except that was a bike and not a board.

It was the longest 100th of a second where I actually had the time to think, “If I do not land this shit right, mama is gonna be wrecked and torn up!”

Due to the power of physics, I was now over gravel…

Holy crap.

*exhale*

I somehow (amazingly enough) landed rubber-side down, finished the sprint, taking the guy I was chasing (for no good reason) at the line.

I finished blahblath place, but you would have thought I podiumed because I rode over to A1 and A2 (whom we had just met whilst heckling Chris Jones on Friday night) and A1 hands me her beer and…

…I drank it!

I think the rain and mud helped make that shit taste OK, because I didn’t make a “Cory face” and we just jumped around and squealed like a bunch of freaks…and it was awesome.

Basically, Jingle CX is like Lollapalooza with bikes instead of music and bad beer instead of pot.

I mean, we brought sangria and fancy acrylic wine glasses…because we are awesome assholes.

Because we know how to bring the party, we also hung out in the hotel room watching Forest Gump after a super yummy lunch at Vesta.  (Seriously delish for the 2nd year in a row!)

This old gal was feeling the sick by 4pm and could have stayed in all night…and should have.

However, how often am I around this many fun people in a strange town?

(Apparently a lot, but still…)

We stayed out later than needed.  (Totally past the street lights coming on!)

I was a sick ball of “ewwwww” the next morning and decided to play it safe and not race, having already missed 2 days of work the previous week.

Some chap told me to “HTFU”, which gave me the sads for 3-120 minutes because that was just uncalled for and also mean.

He will now be receiving a lifetime subscription to Cat Fancy magazine as thanks for his motivational speech to me, as I have realized that all people I dislike also happen to own cats, so he should be thanking me in 3-2-1…

The End.

 

*Disclaimer 1: I did not send anyone a magazine subscription. I am against magazines as most are a useless waste of trees unless they contain photos of bikes or boobies.

*Disclaimer 2:  I do not dislike all people with cats, but in a strange coincidence, of the small group of people I dislike, a high concentration own multiple cats.  This is not the fault of the cats.  My daughter likes cats and all things with a pulse.  Her father and I have discouraged her from cat-love, but kids rebel.  We now say nothing and distract her with better pets and hobbies.  I like my friends who own cats, but visit them infrequently.  I will pet them when I see them, but that is where it ends.  I like Hello Kitty and Chococat.  We’re good.

*Disclaimer 3:  I actually don’t give a cat’s ass if my dislike of cats offends you.  All people will not like what you like.  Triathletes do not get offended that I don’t like their sport.  Scratch that; I may do a tri but will never do a cat.  Blame my mother and take it up with her.  She cares; she really does.