Monthly Archives: July 2012

Principle Upside Cake

I read an article that contained a quote that pissed me off today.

The quote came from a charming little group of hate mongers/”advocates” calling themselves  One Million Moms.  They were behind the boycotting of JC Penny and Glee for the cardinal sin of promoting…

*GASP!*

[drops to whisper]

Capital G-a-y people!!!

But, that is exactly what JC Penny did by hiring complete alien/non-human Ellen DeGeneres as a spokeswoman and exactly what Glee does by having all those singing swishy folks dancing around corrupting children with happiness, silliness and evil-Jesus-forbid…diversity!

Today, while waging a war against yet another diverse new television program, they released a statement that said:

“NBC is using public airwaves to continue to subject families to the decay of morals and values, and the sanctity of marriage in attempting to redefine marriage. These things are harmful to our society, and this program is damaging to our culture.

“Millions of Americans strongly believe that marriage should be between one man and one woman. NBC’s ‘The New Normal’ is attempting to desensitize America and our children.  It is the opposite of how families are designed and created. You cannot recreate the biological wheel.”

Nice.

These things are harmful to our society, and this program is damaging to our culture.”

Is this the same culture that has TV shows about teenage moms getting pregnant over and over again?

The same culture that has a Kim Kardashian, a Paris Hilton, a Snookie, and a Courtney Stodden as current “celebrities”?

The same culture that pimps women (and men) out on TV to find potential “mates”?

Odd…those are all hetero people making messes.

Ms. Kardashian was married for 72 days.  Courtney was 17 when she married a 50-year old.

Pardon me if I vomit on that last one.

That is the culture being threatened?

Alrighty!  Bring on the gays!

I’ll take a bunch of swishy queens over slutty tarts with orange skin any old day of the week.

Humor aside, the part that actually strikes a nerve with me is the part where they state [homosexuality] “…is the opposite of how families are designed and created…”

You know what?

My mom and stepdick were married for 5 years before she left.  That was the longest 5 years of my life and the same 5 years that aged me from 5 to 40 in like 24 months.

By the time I was 10 I didn’t want a husband, kids, or cats.  Dogs were still up in the air.

For the next few years I lived with my lesbian aunt(s) and grandpa and was bullied, tormented, and pushed to an almost breaking point.

Not by them, but from the ignoramous peers I encountered daily.

In the beginning, I became a little asshole and created a make-believe world that I hoped my peers  would better accept and allow me to live in peace.

After a year of that nonsense (I was 11), I finally had enough and started fighting back.

I was an asshole not because I was being raised by gays, but because I had to fight against the cruel and ignorant monsters who refused to allow their kids to play with me because I might give them AIDS or molest them…or my aunts might.

I became one angry little effer, that is for sure.

Even my grandma was a dick before she came around to the fact that my aunt was simply not going to “break up with her girlfriend and find a nice boy to settle down with”.

I remember hearing this from her when I was 16 and my aunt was well out of the closet and I remember saying something that rendered my grandma silent for the first time that I could recall…

“Gran, your daughter IS the ‘nice boy’ that some girl is going to fall in love with.  Let it go.”

Now while my aunt is obviously NOT a boy and that isn’t how homosexuality works, it was the clearest way that I could see to get my grandma to comprehend what was up.

She right then and there asked me if I was a lesbian…as if it rubs off or is airborne.

I remember my mom also having concerns that I would turn out gay.

I used to just look at them with a certain look and shake my head at them.

Believe me, I tried to be gay.  At some point I wanted nothing more than to be gay just because I thought it would drive my mom and grandma absolutely insane.

Eventually, my grandma got on trend and was cool with the lesbian thing, but I think that was more because she too had her own closet of skeletons and while not a lesbian, maybe closets are made of glass and maybe we all give a wink and a knowing nod and have some tea sandwiches of shut up.

Oddly enough, I ended up magically hetero.

*scratches head*

Yeah, I don’t get it either because I REALLY like boobies almost as much as I liked making my grandma uncomfortable.

I guess I understood a little about what some of my gay friends (and aunt) went through trying to be straight only to realize that it wasn’t going to stick.

In 3 years of living with my aunts (whose relationship lasted over 25 years), I saw a lot of things.  This is not the first time that I have written about it, but it bears repeating.

I saw love.  I saw ups and downs.

I saw 2 people get angry, have arguments, make up, have fun, cook meals, go on trips, dance around the house, play softball, go to concerts, shop, go camping, go to work, laugh, cry, pout, eat pizza, etc…

(Craaaaaayzeeee, right????)

They taught me how to make a good baked ziti and quiche.

They helped me make costumes and shop for dresses for dances.

We all had the same size feet, so I had LOTS of shoe options.

I hung out with lots of lesbians and gays and we did lots of “gay” things that I had no idea were gay because these gays didn’t wear neon signs or have a certain smell to them.

No one ever touched me inappropriately or hit on me and no one was hiding their orientation from me because they all knew I knew and that I didn’t care.

I didn’t get away with more because my aunt was “grateful” that I accepted her; you expect acceptance from those who love you and you don’t give acceptance hoping for an ROI.

When I wore black eyeliner, I still got grounded.

When I lied, broke curfew, or snuck out…I got in trouble.

There were no free passes.

There was no treating the situation as if our family had a disability that needed to be “handled”.

If someone had a problem with our family, it was their problem.

I didn’t get hugs or cuddling for getting my ass kicked by ignorant bullies and I didn’t get medals and high-fives for fighting back or not getting my ass kicked.

I moved away just as I was about to turn 14 and for the first real time, I was enrolled in a public school.

There were gays and lesbians there and that was a new thing for me.  I mean, I am sure there were homosexuals at my private school, but you know…it was a christian school so no one spoke of it.  The coolest sin there was black eyeliner, rolling our skirts, and pretending to be worldly.  At 12 and 13.  Yeah.

MySpace , Facebook, and Twitter?  Bitch, please!  We actually WENT places and DID things.  Hard core, brah.  Hard.  Core.

So, in South Florida in public school, I had access to lesbians.  Hot ones.  And weirdly enough, I was not “corrupted” by their hotness and “loose morals”.

I did my thing and they did theirs.

This One Million Moms group might be fascinated to know that I was not harassed, molested, raped, assaulted, or made to feel uncomfortable by any lesbians.  Straight males though…are another story entirely.

Frankly, hetero males made me consider being a lesbian more than actual lesbians.  I still consider this from time to time and I am 40 for crying out loud.

I’m not going to attempt to tell anyone what to think or how to think, but as someone who understands the difference between sexual orientation and people who are just your average douchebag, I can say that I feel confident that I can make a pretty sound argument against heterosexuality if I wanted to you know, be closed-minded like this One Million Moms group.

I think whether it is the topic of sexual orientation, religion, politics, or sushi, the fact that you don’t dig something does not make it wrong and does not give you reason to try to ruin it for everyone else.

Frankly, the more you tell people that they are doing something wrong on an opinion topic, the more they are going to throw it in your face, so maybe just let it go.

My kids have been around gays and lesbians all their lives.

Would I want either of them to be gay?

I wouldn’t care.  My job as a parent is to guide them with the principles and tools to be true to themselves; not to live up to any expectations I may have of them.

That said,  I don’t want my kids to have people who don’t know them hate them for the sake of hating them based on the concept of “different”.

Where I grew up, it was “weird” to be an Orthodox Jew.  Can you imagine?

I learned to ask questions and learned about their culture.  It didn’t take long before I simply saw them as different and maybe a little fascinating.

Is it the same?  No…but to the wrong people it is.  Ask these One Million Moms how they feel about other religions and cultures and I am guessing you will see that they have some strong opinions there too.

Throwing hate out there for those with whom you disagree is like a motorist throwing tacks/nails/glass on the road so that cyclists are hurt.

It makes no sense and all it does is piss off the cyclist.  That cyclist isn’t going to hang up his/her bike…and that gay isn’t going to hang up their rainbow.

And frankly, why should they?

 

The Pride Cometh Before the Fall

Yay…Dirt Crits!

Last night was chock full of super mega awesomeness!

My littlest, The Sass raced her very first dirt crit last night and it was so, so, SO much more than I thought it would be because she is SOOOO much more than I ever imagined!

So huggable, that kid!

At first, she was a bit skeptical…but less resistant than I suspected she would be.

She loves to ride out at Castlewood and the course for the dirt crits is where she actually learned to ride a bike…because why start a kid on pavement when you can start them in dirt?

She felt OK because I told her it would likely only be a lap and she typically rides a lot longer than that, so she was game.

I said, “Just go as fast as you can for a lap and then you are done.”

“Well, I probably won’t go as fast as I can, but I will ride,” she replied.

SOLD!

When we got there she told me that she would probably help out any younger kids who didn’t know the course and make sure they were alright.

I smiled at this and raised an eyebrow because I knew she was using a play right out of her momma’s playbook.

When I am intimidated in a race, I focus on helping someone if I can and although that takes me out of contention, it relaxes me enough not to puke or pass out.

When it came time for her to race however, we realized that she was racing a modified/shortened course.  It was short enough that no one was getting lost and all the kids could haul ass if they so chose.

Because 3/4 of Sass’ biker boys were also racing, she played it cool and didn’t even want me to ride the route behind her.

(She is pathologically shy and is so afraid to fail that many times she will not try new things simply because she fears being bad at it…which is why her momma likes to try things first and show her how it isn’t scary…things like triathlons which she said she wanted to do and then backed out of 2.)

However, there she was…at the line just chit-chatting away…with a boy.

Oh boy; we’re in trouble.

The bell went off and so did she.  She took off on her tiny little bike that she seemingly outgrew overnight and pedaled her little ass across the field.

I rode quite a bit behind with the littlest racer and saw Sass through the trees as they headed in the other direction on the trail.

I felt pride for her great form and the fact that she was in front of the girl who intimidated her the most; a sweet little girl named Olivia who had a bigger bike and bigger wheels.

They changed positions throughout the race with O eventually beating Sass, but Sass gave it her all and looked happy and exhausted all at once.

She raced all out for the whole 2 laps, even though she had said she wouldn’t and it was then that she seemed to have lost all fear.

Later when we were at dinner, we discussed her bike and the likelihood that she would need a bigger bike pretty soon and as her birthday is in October, we may as well put it out there now.

We had always talked about a cx bike, but last night when I asked her if she wanted a cx bike or mtb, she immediately (and before my sentence was punctuated) said, “MTB!”

She then fell asleep with her head on the table before the pizza arrived…

Perfect.  Absolutely and delightfully perfect!

SCORE!

Now, as for MY race…

It was pretty fantastic!

It was by far my best dirt crit ever and I had a lot of fun.

I did not race on the cx bike because I just wasn’t feeling it like I thought I would be.

Mostly, the last thing I wanted to happen was for me to slide out and get hurt before Sass’ race and freak her out, so I made the non-sacrifice of riding The Sickness.

I was able to pass boys and stay with or attack on boys the entire race and that felt pretty awesome.

Maybe I have always been capable but just not able.  Now, I want to and am doing it and it feels good.

Every time I started to feel cocky in the race, I checked myself though because no one has boomerang karma more than I do and it is proven that every time I pat myself on the back while doing something, the Universe will teach me a lesson right then and there to help me refocus, so I have learned to keep a level head when I start doing well.

As I crossed the line, I knew I had done well but also knew I was not on the podium so to speak.

Unfortunately, when the results were posted I was not on the list.

That seemed weird because I was pretty sure I had actually raced and I knew I finished.

After going to Matt, we realized immediately what had happened…

In the rush after work to get Sass and I both ready, we had traded numbers and I raced under her number…which did not have a chip.

I was sad.  So very, very sad.

hee hee…not really.

I mean, it was a bummer for sure, but I knew Larry had written down numbers, but also knew what a pain in the ass it would be to have him figure out where I was.

So, I shrugged and called it a day.

I knew I had a great race and I knew for the most part whom I had come in ahead of and knew I had not blown up or wrecked.

I mentally praised myself for keeping it upright for what has to be the longest streak ever and smirked as I thought about my office and how they were expecting scrapes and bruises.

I felt pretty pleased with myself.

…which is why my razor kicked my ass this morning in the shower.

Right on the knee too!

See?

Pride cometh before the fall…

…and if there is nothing to fall off, the Universe will find a way to make SOMETHING bleed…at least on me.

Next up is a big giant rest night and then the fantastically fun Pfirecraker XC 3-hr MTB tomorrow morning.

I am humbled.  I am humbled.  Please keep me rubber-side down!

*wink*

CHEERS!

The Dirty Little Dirt Crits

Last Thursday (yeah…I know!) I did what I didn’t think I would have the chance to do this year.

I entered and raced my beloved Dirt Crit (short track mtb) series.

Every year starting with the last race in 2008, I have raced this series on my cx bike…because that is right after I discovered what a cx bike is.

CX bikes are like crack to me…and once you go crack, you don’t go back is what I always/never say.

Last week was in the middle of a wicked obnoxious heat wave that had caused a drought and dried and cracked the earth on which we pay homage when we ride the knobbies.

Because of this, after pre-riding the course 2 days before on the cx, I opted to race the mtb.

I was nervous about this because I have never raced him “all out” and was not practiced in handling him at speed.

When I arrived at the park, I was happy to see people I haven’t seen in a while and happier to see that I knew everyone in my race.   That said, it was all fast ladies so I immediately mentally placed myself in last place and waited for our race.

As I sat there, I thought about why I was there, the cost of the race, and what it is I was afraid of.

I realized I need to stop being so conservative in my racing, because regardless of the fact that I could now race for 4 hours when in 2008 I struggled with 15 minutes, it was in fact a race.

Being capable of finishing has long ceased to be an issue of mine and last year I had even gotten to the point where I was only about 70% gassed during and after any given race…with the exception of Harbin Park UCI cx race.

(Holy shit!  That is a bitch/beauty of a course and EVERYONE should race it!)

I thought, “You know what?  You have done zero speed training this year.  You love these crits.  Just go all out until you blow up because you know these trails like the back of your hand and worst case scenario is that you will come in last.”

Yep.  I said that.

It was a funny thing to say to myself and frankly, I blame the heat because it was 104 degrees and had been at least that for some days at that point.

Saying things like that doesn’t seem like me, but when I run the tally, I surprise myself with how many times I actually say, “What the hell'” and mean it in a “Ehhh…may as well” manner.  I think I just like to cuss.

I am a weirdo.

I also decided that because Jamie (who is a machine) was there I would try to stay with her as long as possible because even a little while is good on that wheel.

The race went off and Jamie and I moved up well in front of some boys…and then got slowed when some boys ate shit and one dropped his car keys and had to turn around.

(FYI: Don’t take your car keys into a MTB race or any race with a mass start unless you have duct taped them to your person or tied them to your junk.  This is how bad things happen to alright people.  Just don’t do that, mmmmkay?)

I was able to stay with Jamie for two laps and then a dude got in the way on a huge hill (bump) and in waiting for him to get it together, I dismounted and got my pedal caught under a root, so that was fun/stupid.

I could still see Jamie, but was not hot on her tail and didn’t really know how to fix that because I sort of forgot how to add a gear for a few seconds…and then I remembered and was all like, “OHHHHH YEAH! DUH!”

I added my gears but it was all for naught because my legs just don’t go like her legs and so I just focused on holding that pace and surging when I could.

At that point I just made a mental game of passing boys and looked back from time to time to make sure no females were closing the gap.

I wanted to see how long I could push without easing up and was surprised with each lap.

I dismounted at the climbs because frankly it was faster every time with people ahead of me and it felt good.

When I finished the 4th lap, Larry told me to go, so I knew then that I was still in the time and not getting pulled…which frankly at that point would have given me the sads because I felt pretty effing spectacular about how I was performing.

At that point I passed a dude in the field and just added gears as I hit the dirt.

I felt like I was pushing hard, but ultimately that lap was slower so maybe I lay off that extra gear next time.

I finished a minute behind Jamie but ahead of two other awesome ladies, so I was like Jan Ullrich when he got 2nd at Le Tour…minus the gummi bears.

I comprehend that 5 laps all out in a dirt crit is no stage race or even a long race…

…but I don’t care.

I felt great and happy and then I started to twitch and swoon…but it was good and I poured ice-cold water provided by Polk Audio over my head and ate a blue ice pop and I was 5-years old doing a dance in the summer sun.

Damn, I love these Dirt Crits!

I cannot WAIT until tomorrow for another one…when I play on my sweet cx baby.

Who Am I? – Questions 41-50

I know I still owe a race report for last week’s Dirt Crit, but that will come tomorrowish.

Like Annie and the sun.

Tomorrow, ok?

Betyourbottomdollar!

I am getting on this happy train like it is a phat fat raft on a lazy river (a real river not one of those noisy, obnoxious things in a water park which are not the least bit relaxing) and going with the flow and the warmth and the chill and moving right through The Feel Good Tribe’s 95 Questions to Help You Find Meaning and Happiness

What are you known for by your friends and family?

  • Family: Somehow not ending up on the pole or on the corner after being spawn by Satan himself.
  • My kids: Loving them no whatever what and doing everything in my power for them.
  • Friends: Being like an M&M or a Skittle; hard exterior and either sweet or a mess inside depending on the day and the temperature.

What’s something most people don’t know about you?

I have actual feelings, bleed actual blood, and feel actual pain.

What’s a common misconception people have about you?

That because I CAN handle almost anything that I SHOULD handle everything… or that it is OK to heap on the crap.

What’s something a lot of people do that you disagree with?

Support the Legend of Lance Pharmstrong, smoke cigarettes, drink and drive, gossip, spread rumors, have affairs, advocate hate and violence.

What’s a belief you hold with which many people disagree?

I believe I can fly!

…Just kidding!

Sort of.

I believe that religion (all religion) is fabricated and that how you live your life and the principles that guide you speak more to who you are than the building/organization/church you claim.

What’s something that’s harder for you than it is for most people?

  • Breathing; I almost have to think about it…which can be tricky because with all the concussions, sometimes I forget.
  • Holding grudges; I’m awful at this.  I don’t know that I want to better at it, but regardless, I just suck at this.
  • Having a good mental game when I race.
  • Grasping the Disney Princesses as a thing.
  • Beer.  I really do not get it.  It smells like feet and farts.  Ewww….or apparently YUM! If you are a beer lover…?

What are the top three qualities you look for in a friend?

  1.  Self-awareness
  2. Humility
  3. Humor

If you had a friend who spoke to you in the same way that you sometimes speak to yourself, how long would you allow that person to be your friend?

OOOOOOH!  This is a really good question…and a tricky little fucker too!

I speak to myself pretty well and know who I am.  I am tough on myself, but always know I will be OK.  I am comforted by this.  That said, when someone does something mean/bad/wrong…habitually…I get a little lost and have been known to ask myself what is wrong with me that I have so many of the same type of people around me.  That makes me feel bad, and then I disconnect from those people and go back to knowing and trusting who I am.

Bottom line: I treat myself with respect so I would keep me as a friend to me.

When you think of ‘home,’ what, specifically, do you think of?

My children and dogs.

What’s the most valuable thing you own?

My sense of self.

Heroes and Monsters

I have heard a lot of talk over the past few years/months/days about a certain boy wonder with a bike and a testicular issue who sells little yellow halos that you wear on your wrist and they make you stronger/better/faster/blind/deaf/confused.

I am not going to get into my opinions on guilt v. non-guilt, because what keeps catching my attention is one word.

“Hero”.

I have heard this many times.

I have also been told that he is a “national hero” and that my issues with him are my own and that he is still a hero regardless of what my opinion is.

Well, if he is a hero to you, isn’t that your issue?  What makes your issue better than mine?

Is it numbers?

Is it like prom?

He campaigned for King of the Yellow Prom and won and because I am not on board I am the weird one?

Maybe I am…so I looked up the word “hero” to see if maybe I had had one too many concussions.

he·ro  [heer-oh]

1.  A man of distinguished courage or ability, admired for his brave deeds and noble qualities.

I pondered that for a moment and it is subjective.  I can agree that tackling cancer is indeed a brave and admirable thing…but then I remembered the big “28 Million” campaign and thought…well…all 28 million of us are heroes by that logic (which is true, but also makes him equal; not better).

2.  A person who, in the opinion of others, has heroic qualities or has performed a heroic act and is regarded as a model or ideal: He was a local hero when he saved the drowning child.

Hmmm…winning a bike race (or a gazillion bike races) is not heroic.  It is amazing and admirable and I would love to win a gazillion or 5 bike races, but if I did, I would know that I am not a hero.  I should only be a role model for what I do off the bike…and if I am a dick off the bike, then no child/adult should want to be like me.

If my child spoke to people the way this yellow-halo wearing freak does, he would get lots of hot sauce on the tongue and a good long “time out”.  I would also take away his bike, because letting them keep their toys when they have misbehaved is stupid.

3.  The principal male character in a story, play, film, etc.

Well…he sure is a character…but that is not what this means, so no.

4.  (Discusses Classical Mythology; moving on.)

5.  Hero sandwich

Yep.  There you have it.  A soup sandwich…because this guy is a mess.

I read and re-read the definitions of hero and thought that whether it is this one athlete whom I do not respect or a thousand other athletes, these are not the people to make heroes.

I think as we watch our alleged heroes fall in a way that we made possible because they are in fact human, we need to be more fair to them.

Should Lance fall, it will be hard and the public did that to him.

Lance didn’t build himself up to his status; and he didn’t bring himself crashing down.  Sure, he helped on both accounts but it is our own fault for constantly seeking out these perceived heroes that we turn into monsters as soon as they aren’t what we imagined them to be.

We need to start becoming our own heroes.

We need to become the people that we want our children to admire, follow, believe in.

As long as we continue to create these false heroes who are only human, we will remain a fragile society, disenchanted and disconnected from each other.

Look how skeptical so many “true believers” have become in the past 2 years alone.

I feel sad for them…and Lance.

Lance didn’t want to let them down, but really…they gave him no other option.

I hope everything works out quietly for Lance and his people…but mostly…even when or especially when I am most angry at him…I think about his kids.

I think about how they just wanted a dad.

Those 5 kids couldn’t give a shit about whether their dad wins races, so long as he is there for them.

What they have is a man who is making them and many people around them question more than they should at their young ages.

My hope is for Lance to shut up and quietly walk away and go be a dad.

That would make him more hero-like and less monster-like…and we all have both in us.

reference: dictionary.com – hero