new commute map

Here is a map of my new potential commute. It's only 6 miles longer according to google maps pedometer, but damn does it look long. And depending on how busy that bike path is, it could be a LOT slower. We'll see, I guess.

internet balderdash

YESSS!! I just checked my statcounter (a fantastic waste of time if ever there was one), and somebody got here by googling "old lady hairstyles." I RULE.

Also "client mail ads in 2005 wada tourism," which I do not understand at all. Today's entertainment for all you blog-readers out there will be kind of like Balderdash, except instead of making up definitions you will be telling me what in the world this guy was looking for. Phrased differently: You are googling "client mail ads in 2005 wada tourism." What are you hoping to find? Comment section is open for business.

this post is brought to you by "all the files are packed and i don't even have a desk"

Well, we're installed in the new building now. "Installed" is an exaggeration, of course, since there are still holes in the floor (architect: "oh, I wasn't aware there was a timeline") and nothing is unpacked, but we're out of the old building. It takes a full 15 minutes longer to drive here. I haven't yet experimented with riding here, but yesterday I did drive home along Lake Road instead of just going straight up to 94, and it turns out there is a bike path on Lake all the way back to Century (where the old office is). It's not always on the same side of the road -- apparently the city planners decided to just throw it any old where and make people cross the street back and forth at random -- but at least it's there. Only marginally better than a sidewalk, but certainly better than a four-lane corridor with no shoulder. We'll see. It'll probably take 2 hours to get here, though, which might be a problem. Ugh. Have I mentioned I hate Woodbury?

In completely unrelated news, some guy had this to say about me: "Somebody needs to marry this girl! She rides, she likes good beer and coffee and she doesn't like 'chick flicks'... sounds too good to be true... maybe she has three butt cheeks or something. Otherwise, Annie gets nominated for 'Chick of the Year'."

Yay me.

Oh, and this weekend Nate and I are going to DL to hang with his family again. Driving, not riding. *grin* Hopefully tourist season has died down enough by now that people will be wearing pants again, but you never know.

Thinking of stuff to post about.... thinking.... blank. Damn, my life is boring.


three shitty hours at the great minnesota get-together

Yesterday Nate and I went to the State Fair, which for the most part I hate anyway, because a friend of ours, who lives so far up north that a bar she works at actually gets its electricity from a generator, was going to be working at a booth there and I wanted to see her. We paid our $9 each to get in, found her booth, and lo and behold, no friend. She'd left several hours earlier. So we called her to see what the story was. She was "sick" (translated: too hung over to deal with the smell of deep-fried cheese curds), but thought maybe we could get together later in the evening after she'd had a chance to recover. Her parting words were:

"Oh, and [Annie's ex-boyfriend] and [Annie's ex-roommate who also became ex-friend around the time she started having noisy sex with ex-boyfriend on a regular basis, forcing Annie to listen to VERY loud music even when trying to study] called me a little bit ago. So they're around there somewhere too. Watch out."


See, it had been about two and a half years since I'd spoken to either of them, and I was very much hoping to keep it that way. I wasted two years and eight months of my precious four years of college with [ex-boyfriend], officially, only one year of which was actually any good, and when it became blindingly obvious that I was never going to be anything but frustrated and disappointed as long as I hung around with him, we broke up. And then I went to Madagascar for a semester. While I was there, I discovered this amazing sense of freedom and joy, and started to wonder why I had wasted so much of my life with this guy.

Unfortunately, during this same four months, he was busy coming to the opposite conclusion.

Within a week of me getting back to St. Paul, he came crawling back, begging me to change my mind and get back with him. I said no. I said look, we broke up for a reason, did you forget? How can you expect me to re-quagmire myself in this miserable relationship when I've already decided in my heart that I don't want to be with you any more? Seriously, NO.

He cried. He made me cry, which I resented. Over time, he wore me down, numerous pity-fucks were administered, I started avoiding other interesting guys because I didn't want to make him cry more. I resented that too. He said you know, we're acting like we're back together, why can't we be back together? I howled in rage, said look, obviously you can't handle this arrangement, maybe we shouldn't see each other at all for a while. He told me he couldn't handle that either.

That summer I left St. Paul to do some summer fieldwork up north, then went back to Indiana for more coursework so I could cram an entire bio minor into my last two semesters of college. [Ex-boyfriend], never much for emailing to begin with, suddenly went silent. I didn't mind. I'd stopped avoiding the other interesting guys and didn't need his whiny little voice in my head making me feel guilty about it. But occasionally I wondered.

In late July, I caught up with [ex-roommate] on AIM. "What," I asked, "is [ex-boyfriend] so goddamn busy doing that he can't be bothered to email me?"


"What, you?"

More silence.

"It is you, isn't it."


I didn't have much to say to that, although secretly it made me a little nauseous. I extracted promises from both of them that we could all still be friends, since our apartment lease ran through the following spring, and I really believed that the promises were good. They weren't. [Ex-boyfriend] started going out of his way to be an asshole to me, to prove to [ex-roommate] and probably to himself that he was over me. [Ex-roommate], probably still suspicious, started going out of her way to be an asshole to me too. Catty girl-stuff, making fun of my bra size. I shot back that I'd take my A-and-a-half tits over her double-D ass any day. Things went downhill fast.

When I finally moved out, in January 2003, I didn't look back, never talked to either of them again. Until yesterday.

I was keeping such a good lookout, being so alert, ready to run and hide at the first sight of them. Then we went into the art building, where there are walls and corners and no place to hide. And no advance warning. I rounded a corner and there they were, right in my face.

[Ex-roommate] said, "Oh."

I said, "Uh, hi." Long pause. "We heard you guys were here."

[ER]: From who?

me: [Friend who wasn't at her booth].

[ER]: Oh, yeah, we called her.

Long, long silence. Nate was on the phone with [friend who wasn't at her booth] at the time, and therefore not even there to save me. Nobody said anything at all. I think I probably turned red, as I am wont to do when confronted with shit I don't want to deal with. And then we just kind of ran past each other really fast without saying any sort of "bye" or "nice to see you again" or anything. I hadn't even made eye contact with [ex-boyfriend], just saw out of the corner of my eye that he'd grown his hair back into that silly floppy mid-90s thing that he had during our first semester of college. This is probably good; I have so little respect left for him that I don't think I could speak to him without rolling my eyes or curling my lip. Perhaps I can't speak to him at all. I certainly didn't exhibit much spine yesterday.

At least my new haircut looks hot, eh? Jesus. Maybe we'll move to Portland after all.


woodbury sucks

Our office is moving early next week, Tuesday or Wednesday, to a nicer building that unfortunately happens to be way the *&#% out in the middle of crappy Woodbury. I already work in crappy Woodbury, but we're moving to crappier Woodbury. I'm not sure I'll be able to ride my bike to work any more. There are no streets that actually lead anywhere, just four-lane psycho killer highway things and subdivision roads that all end in cul-de-sacs. Unless I want to be killed by road-raging Hummers on their way to Starbucks, I'm screwed. Seriously, go to maps.google and look up Woodbury, MN. There really aren't any roads.

I could start a long harangue on suburban planning and how it's ruining the world, but I'm leaving in two minutes.

Watching a business pack up to move out of a building it's inhabited for years is pretty good entertainment. Especially when everybody just got going today -- now people are discovering just how many things have not been thought through. One of the attorneys just came in here wanting to know if I had any Ziploc bags for him to put his paperclips in. That's right, folks, we're packing the paperclips. And no, I didn't have any Ziploc bags for him.

On Tuesday, after the Birchwood women's ride, I was sitting at a table in the Birchwood having lemonade with some of the other women, and somehow the topic turned to Woodbury. (I didn't start it.) One girl said "If I had to pick the worst place in the world to live, it would probably be Woodbury, Minnesota." You know, I've been thinking that ever since I started working out here. People actually got excited when a new Ruby Tuesday's opened in Cottage Grove. And they talk about Applebee's like it's some kind of fancy restaurant. You couldn't pay me to eat at Applebee's. Granted, it's not as bad as the exurban types that are actually afraid to venture into Minneapolis because it's "too dangerous," but come on, people, why on God's green earth would it ever seem like a good idea to live in a place where Ruby Tuesday's is exciting? Crikey.

In other news, I'm chopping off my hair tonight. Those who know and love the shoulder-length mousy mess, it is time to let go and move on.


duuude, what if, like, my red is the same as your blue, man?

You know what I like about NASA? Everything they come up with sounds like something a bunch of stoned college students would say. Listen to this:

"Baby black holes apparently come into the world kicking and screaming, not unlike humans. And they're fussy eaters, too. Scientists using NASA's Swift satellite say they have found newborn black holes, just seconds old, in a confused state of existence, sloppily gorging on material falling into them while somehow propelling other material away at great speeds."

You libertarians out there will be pleased to know that your tax dollars have enabled not just the above purple prose, but also an animated movie of the slurping, burping, puking baby black hole, which is available (alongside an article) here. Which begs the question: How would I go about getting a job as NASA's in-house animator? Some people have all the luck.

talking bathroom lady goes down in defeat

Yesterday afternoon I changed out of my work clothes into all my spandex, put my sunglasses and helmet and gloves and cleats on, and wheeled my bike down the hall to the elevator. As I was standing there, waiting for the elevator, Talking Bathroom Lady emerged from (where else) the bathroom.

She did not say HI THERE! HOW'S IT GOING?

She did not say anything at all. She didn't even make eye contact. I wouldn't have believed it possible, but she actually averted her eyes, put her head down, and hurried down the hall to her own office without looking back.

I think she was scared!


of motes and neighbors' eyes.....

Congrats to Pete for getting his letter to the editor published in the Pioneer Press on Sunday!

Speaking of bikes and stop signs:

This Saturday I had just ridden up the high bridge and turned left to go down Cherokee/Ohio to Lilydale Road. When I came up to the intersection of Cherokee and Ohio, I slowed to a near-stop, checked for traffic, and when I saw that there wasn't any I went ahead and made my left turn without making a complete stop. As I went, this old fart on a hybrid bike hollered "Whoa! Stop sign!" at me. Given that most cars' "rolling stops" are faster than mine, I figured for all practical purposes I had stopped. Stupid old fart.

So about a quarter mile later, at the bottom of Ohio, I hit an intersection with actual traffic, so I stopped for real: unclipped, put my foot down, the whole deal. As I was coming to this stop, the old fart (who was apparently following me) bellowed "WHOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAA!!!" at me. Once my foot was down he said "There you go," as if it were only his WHOA that had caused me to stop, rather than the oncoming traffic. Uh, thanks, Grandpa. Good thing you were there.

THEN, the best part: he made his right turn onto that road (is that Plato? I don't even know) WITHOUT STOPPING.

Maybe Joe Soucheray bought himself a bike this weekend.


coffee to go

I am not alone. Here is the Bicycle Coffee Systems website, created by a guy who obviously understands the need for coffee on your morning bike commute. Next step: Purchase stainless steel, vacuum insulated, bicycle bottle cage sized, sport bottle slurpy topped COFFEE BOTTLE that keeps beverages warm for TWELVE HOURS! (And goes in the bottle cage so my bag doesn't dig into my shoulder.)

christopher walken for president

Well, now I know who I'm voting for.


our protagonist gets inducted into the club

So today I officially joined the legions of Twin Cities area bike commuters and rode to work. A gallon of gas now costs about what I make in an hour, so I had incentive.

And you know what? It wasn't fun. In fact, it sucked. It sucked for no reason other than my bag weighing approximately 37899565 pounds, which made me go slow. Verrrrrrrrrrrrrry slow. I believe I averaged 14.3 mph over the course of my 16-mile commute. I think most of that was because I was going about 0.0000000000001 mph up all the hills, and I discovered hills that I didn't even know existed. I've always been confused when people complain about going uphill and I can't figure out what hill they're talking about, but now I know. When you weigh 37899565+127 pounds, everything is a hill. If ever I needed an incentive not to gain weight, finding out how slow it makes me would do it. It's not very fun to go 0.0000000000001 mph up hills. It's fun to go 20mph up hills in the big ring and stomp the snot out of your friends.

Going home should be better. A lot of what was heavy was my lunch, which will be gone, and my 32-ounce nalgene bottle filled to the brim with coffee and milk, which I probably shouldn't be drinking anyway since nobody actually needs 32 ounces of coffee. Oh, and the big tub of lemon-scented baby wipes will be staying here, just in case I'm off my rocker enough to keep doing this.

On the bright side, it would give me an excuse to start building up some crazy singlespeed contraption with knobby tires, fenders, lights, the works. Maybe I could paint it camouflage or something. Or pink. Pink pinstripes. If it's going to be an ugly-ass bike anyway I might as well go whole hog. Wheeeee!


know when to say when

A Washington, DC police officer who was in training to be a bike cop died last week. He and some fellow officers were on a 12-mile training ride, and he must have been pretty thirsty, because he apparently drank THREE GALLONS OF WATER during these twelve miles, and died of hyponatremia.

Now, even at the snail-like pace likely to be dictated by chubby donut-eating cops, it only takes an hour to ride 12 miles. So each gallon disappeared in about 20 minutes. Which is a quart every five minutes, which is six and a half ounces per minute, which is pretty much chugging nonstop. Folks, it is never that hot out there, and you are never that thirsty. I hope none of you even OWN three-gallon camelbaks.

Here's the Washington Post article.


business in the front, party in the.... uh....

So I'm getting the urge to chop off my hair again, which usually leads me to a Google search for "hairstyles." Here is what I found. HOLY SHIT.



Everybody here knows roadbikereview.com, right? Where you can find consumer reviews of every bike product known to man, except the one you happen to be looking for that day. Anyway, for those who were wondering, no less than eight badass cyclists wrote reviews in the cycling shorts category for.... you guessed it... cutoff Wrangler jeans!

Maybe this guy was actually the author of all eight reviews:

Or maybe, just maybe, it was actually these they were talking about.

In more or less related news, the Wikipedia entry for "mullet" actually includes Laurent Brochard. In case you are unfamiliar with the fastest mullet on two wheels:

.....uh, yeah.


another vaguely inflammatory christianity post

Main Entry: heathen
Function: noun
Inflected Form(s): plural heathens or heathen
1 : an unconverted member of a people or nation that does not acknowledge the God of the Bible
2 : an uncivilized or irreligious person
- hea·then·dom /-d&m/ noun
- hea·then·ism /-[th]&-"ni-z&m/ noun
- hea·then·ize /-[th]&-"nIz/ transitive verb

I am a heathen.

I kind of like the word, really, for all the images it conjures up of wild Dionysian orgies in the woods, although the closest I think I've come to that started with a box of Franzia chardonnay and a lot of marshmallows and ended with a yoga lesson at 2AM in the middle of the road. Orgies or no, I am certainly uncivilized. I am also a lefty, an erstwhile academic, and a loudmouth who has always gotten a weensy little charge out of shocking the actual civilized people. This may be a bad combination.

I was going to explain my reasons for being so damn fascinated by the Christian housewives, but I'm not entirely sure myself, so in lieu of that I'm going to provide you, my loyal readers (all 3 of you), with a brief history of the heathendom in which I wallow. Also I was just reading my own archives recently and I came to the conclusion that anyone who is not a Minneapolis-area amateur bike racer is going to find my blog ass-boring, and ass-boring is not something anyone aspires to.

Until sometime in 1998, I lived in Terre Haute, Indiana. Terre Haute is home to the federal penitentiary where Timmy McVeigh met his maker, as well as a paper plant, three colleges, Cathy from the first season of The Bachelor, and the "professional wrestler" from the most recent season of America's Next Top Model. The town as a whole is so grammatically challenged that there is a tanning salon called Alway's Tan. Stephen King has blown Terre Haute up in several of his books; rumor has it he drove through once and despised the place so much he just can't help himself. And it is controlled almost exclusively by Bible Baptists, the kind who boycotted Disney World when it began extending benefits to its employees' same-sex partners.

So I was born a minority, to a father who is the biggest heathen in the whole town, or at least the most public one. He has the gall to a) teach evolution at the university, b) believe in evolution, and c) continually be goaded into participating in creation-versus-evolution debates and letter-to-the-editor wars. Coming from that background, how could I not be a lefty loudmouth? My very first theological debate was in first grade with my friend Danielle. It went like this:

Danielle: What church do you go to?

me: I don't go to church.

Danielle: Why not?

me: 'Cause I don't believe in God.

Danielle: (gasps) You can't not believe in God!

me: (shrug)

Danielle: Do you believe in worms?

me: Sure. I see worms all the time.

Danielle: Well, if you believe in worms, you believe in God, because God made worms.

me: I could find a worm right now and show it to you. You show me God.

I don't remember if I actually dug up a worm for her or not, but she failed to dig up God and hand him to me, so I went away from that one thinking I'd won. She presumably thought she'd won with her irrefutable syllogism. Everyone was happy, and we got some Popsicles out of the freezer and peace was restored.

By high school it had become a little more complicated. My friends had developed their theology a bit more, and one of my classmates had actually participated in the letter-to-the-editor war with my dad ("What seems more ludicrous to you, Professor? That we were created by a benevolent Heavenly Father, or that our great-grandparents were fish?"). One day my friend Matt, incredulous at my professed lack of religion, set out to determine exactly what religion I was, if not Christian. We were on a school bus, on our way to some jazz festival or another (yeah, I was in band), so we had a LOT of time. Matt peppered me with questions for a good hour: Do you believe Jesus existed? Yeah. Do you believe he was the son of God? No. Do you believe he died for your sins? No. But you think he existed? As a historical figure, sure. Etcetera.

All this time Matt was plugging my answers into some great theological calculator in his head, and when he was done, he pronounced me Islamic. I said "uh, okay."

See, I don't have a problem with God/Allah/Whatever. I won't be an atheist until someone comes up with a viable way to prove a negative. My problem is with some people's interpretation of God. I received a comment (on my last post about the housewives) asking what exactly was wrong with being a fundie, when being a fundie became a bad thing. In a nutshell, my problem with fundies is this: You remember the game "telephone," where one person whispers a sentence into another's ear, and they repeat what they heard down a line of 20 or so people, and then the person at the end of the line says it aloud and everybody laughs and laughs at how different the final sentence is from the original. Now, take a two-thousand-year game of telephone, add multiple changes of language (Hebrew, Latin, English, etc.), add translators with political agendas, and you are going to have a very difficult time convincing me that the KJV Bible is exactly what the original prophets intended.

Not to mention, most of the cultures who presently have direct contact with their deities freely admit to using 'shrooms to get there. If every college student who had a divine revelation while on shrooms started his own religion, well...... actually we might have a much more democratic society with fewer wars. But I digress. The point is, I'm a little skeptical of divine revelation as well.

The Bible is a pretty cool book, don't get me wrong. Sometime in junior high, feeling theologically deprived, I read the entire thing cover to cover. (I also memorized the Lord's Prayer during this time, which came in handy until I started going to Mass with Nate's family and discovered that Catholics end it in the wrong place, and once I figured out when that was, they started SINGING it, so now I'm back where I started: lost and embarrassed through the whole service. Again, though, I digress.) It definitely has literary merit, and as general guidance and life lessons go, it's not too bad. It's hard to argue with "thou shalt not kill" and "love thy neighbor." I just don't know that the philosophical ramblings of a few shroomed-up two-thousand-year-old Middle Eastern fellows should be taken as literal (and followed to the letter) in the context of modern society. Especially since our current misadventure on that side of the ocean is being rationalized (now that the WMD thing didn't work out) as liberating the poor oppressed Iraqi people from their antiquated Middle Eastern culture.

Which brings me to the housewives. As you probably know, my degree is in cultural anthropology, which is similar to sociology except that in sociology you look at the group to understand the individual, and in anthro you look at the individual to understand the group. I blindly undertook a four-year study of a completely unemployable major because I loved it. I like people, I like languages, and I've always been fascinated by religions. Unfortunately, I no longer get to research and write papers as my main occupation. I have a soul-crushing desk job, much of which involves following the secretary around undoing her mistakes. Anyway, my academic urge to figure out what makes people tick hasn't been crushed like my soul has, so in lieu of actual fieldwork, I have the blogosphere, which is populated by an astonishing number of interesting microcultures, including the Christian fundie housewives. Christian fundie housewife BLOGGERS.

These girls are the opposite of everything I am. I am a shitty housekeeper, I feel exactly zero guilt about living with my boyfriend, I do not refer to children as "blessings" and probably never will, I have impure thoughts, I can't stand my neighbors, and until somebody shows me empirical proof that there is a heaven I will not put any energy toward suffering my way into it. Oh, and if you haven't guessed, I have my own opinions, and I will not stifle them in favor of obsequiously asking Nate for his opinions so that I can adopt them as my own. So the housewives are at least as foreign (and therefore interesting) to me as any undiscovered African tribe.

They do spend a lot of time sharing recipes, house cleaning tips, childcare tips, and (to my shock and disgust -- yeah, even I can get grossed out, imagine what happens to the water in the washing machine) homemade cloth menstrual pads for "heavier flow gals." Although I did copy down a recipe from one of them, mostly I'm bored by that stuff. My, er, "research interest" is the rules that define their marriages. It's all very interesting, and maybe someday I'll write an academic blog post on how to have a proper fundie marriage as seen through the eyes of the fundie wives. But that'll have to wait. I don't know if blogger has a word limit for posts, but maybe it should.

On an unrelated note, I just discovered in her archives that the only noncyclist I've found funny enough to link to so far lists cyclists as one of her pet peeves. Whoops. Too late now. Oh well, she's still funny.



I don't understand why people complain about thunderstorms getting their cars dirty. Honestly, the next surest thing after death and taxes is that every time it storms, someone will say "And I just washed my car, too, goddamnit!" Me, personally, I'm glad when it rains because that's the cleanest my car gets. Considerably more than a month ago, I was (cough cough) left without quite enough space in the garage to actually get into it -- the space was big enough for my car, sure, but not actually big enough to maneuver the evil Republican gas-guzzling behemoth into it -- and ever since then my car has had an interesting streak down its left side in the exact same color as the garage. It's a pretty public advertisement for my driving skills: Don't Let This Woman Borrow Your Car. You'd think I'd be embarrassed enough to wash it off, but y'know, the car wash costs six or seven bucks, and that is a lot of Ramen. So I've been waiting for it to rain. Thing is, we've been having a dry spell, maybe even a drought, and everybody's lawn is brown and crispy and my car is still decorated with garage paint.

Today it is finally raining for real. Not sprinkling, raining. In a Biblical sort of way. The basement will probably flood, but folks, my car will finally be clean. Hallelujah.


philosophical homeless guys

When I was in high school I was obsessed with homeless people. A disproportionate amount of my fiction included one or more homeless characters. More specifically, it included articulate, philosophical homeless guys. It was my archetype. Other fiction had the "noble savage" or the "prostitute with a heart of gold;" I had the "philosophical homeless guy." The ones I spent the most time with were Virgil, Harry, and Eli. Harry was sort of a gay Patch Adams; Eli was a sensitive guitar player. They would not have fit in with the crowd in the parking lot of the Rainbow Foods on University.

The only real homeless person I've gotten to know was a guy named Paul who spent most of his time in the bookstore where I used to work. Paul had a ratty knit cap that he wore twelve months out of the year. He pulled a rolling suitcase behind him, and he kept a small notebook in the pocket of his old Army jacket. He was trying to teach himself to read by picking random words and asking the bookstore employees to spell them for him.

One day he wanted me to spell "tuxedo" for him. I took the notebook and wrote tuxedo. He squinted at it. "No," he said. "Tuxedo."

"That's what that says," I told him. "Tuxedo."

Paul shook his head, jabbing his finger at the word. "Tuck. Seedo."

"Oh," I said. I got it. "No, it's one word. Tuxedo. See?" I showed him where in the word each syllable went.

He squinted at it some more, took his notebook, and shuffled off, mumbling "Tuck, seedo, tuck. Seedo." A little later I saw him with one of my coworkers, presumably looking for someone to make it into two words for him.

Anyway, I had forgotten my philosophical homeless guy by then, and even if I hadn't, my mind probably would have been changed by the drunk I found inside my apartment building one evening, passed out against my front door so that I couldn't open the door without him falling into my kitchen-- if not him, the cluster of people sitting on the curb behind the bus stop rocking back and forth and muttering, or the old lady that tried to hit me with her shopping cart as I walked past, or the fellow I saw pissing on the Coke machine outside the check-cashing store.

But look what I just found - an actual philosophical homeless guy! Apparently this guy got some media attention a few years ago when it was discovered that there was an articulate homeless person keeping a blog from the computers at the local library. He's been blogging for about three years, and he makes his living by KNITTING.

So to all the people that told me my philosophical homeless guys weren't believable characters:


....yummy. Green one for my birthday?


...and shouldn't there be 28 seasons in a year?

I wonder fairly often how my dog rationalizes the extremes in weather. The major changes happen slowly, so maybe he just has no long-term memory, but if I had nobody to explain seasons to me, I'd be pretty pissed that sometimes it was 20 below and sometimes it was 95. That seems like an even crueler trick than saying "hey, you want a treat?" and then giving him an Altoid.


money for nothin', sin for free.....

All right, I'm a loser. I have to admit I'm still reading the Christian housewife blogs. Today I found out that ABC (yeah, the TV station) is harassing a large number of these women, trying to get them to go on their reality show Wife Swap. Apparently they are desperately looking for a fundamentalist, homeschooling family. One of these women posted a remark about this experience, and as of the time that I'm writing this, her post has spawned a discussion to the tune of 43 comments, mostly from other homeschooling fundie housewives. Seriously, go read it. The ABC producers have called a LOT of them. Then, when that didn't work, one of the ABC people hopped into the discussion and posted a comment, which the housewives then made fun of ceaselessly.

I don't know if I have any fundie housewife readers -- I doubt it, but then again, they probably wouldn't think I would read their blogs either -- but you gals out there, there's a load of cash in this for you. If you're not too wrapped up in the whole "earning money is a sin" philosophy, they pay each family $20,000. I'll make it even easier for ya. Here's the application to be on the show. That goes for my heathen readers too, which I expect I have a lot more of. They have to have families to send the fundies TO, after all. You do have to list your psychiatric conditions and all your prescriptions, but, y'know......

Ah, entertainment.

results posted

Well, we all knew I was mathematically challenged.

Turns out there were 12 women, although if you add the three juniors there actually were 15. I finished 9th. Based on my fifth-grade knowledge of fractions, 9/12 = 3/4, so therefore I was third. Where's my medal?

the view from the back


I'm starting to hate writing race reports. I've always written them in my training log, but now I have to make them interesting to other people, and sometimes they're just not. Anyway, here is a boring report of a non-epic race. Enjoy!

Any race on July 31st is going to be hot, so I got lucky in that the cat 4 women started at 10:45. Not that it wasn't hot by then, but it was certainly better than the 3:45 start time of the women's open race. We had a pretty good field for a non-open, too, at least 15 women. I didn't count. GP was decently represented by me, Liz, and Jen, who turns out to be alive after all. She abandoned us in favor of MOUNTAIN BIKING! Harrumph.

The main excitement of my day was when the USCF officials noticed at the last minute that Jen and I had somehow gotten assigned the same bib number - you'd think they'd only have one of each in the stack - and so our start got delayed while they found and pinned a new number on me. The woman who did it forgot to pre-crinkle it, though, so I rattled like Marley's ghost through the entire race.

The course was a little technical for my liking, especially after Tuesday, so as we rolled out I put more energy into keeping a large buffer zone around myself than into staying with the front group. By the end of the first lap there were two distinct groups, and I was in the second without having made any effort to stay with the first. However, being with the slower group meant that I could take corners at a comfortable speed and not scare myself. My teammate Jen and I traded pulls most of the time, letting about three others hang behind us. Two of those three were juniors, and, well, they were squirrely, and I decided I'd rather do the work at the front than sit in the back dodging them.

I hadn't started with much motivation, but by halfway through the race I figured out that a lot of that was due to my breakfast being a loooooooong time ago. Halfway through a crit is not the best time to realize that your blood sugar is crashing.

The group I was with was pretty much chilling, though, so it wasn't a problem. Two or three laps from the end the two juniors started to have their own race and both went off the front. I watched them go, not caring. I'd like to say it's because I knew they were scored separately anyway and didn't have to chase them, which was true, and I did know it, but at the time I was just floating along in a hypoglycemic haze of apathy and my thought process pretty much consisted of "oh, huh, look at them go." A lap later the three of us that were left came up on that hairpin turn again and saw the 15-year-old getting back onto her bike after clipping her pedal on the ground and sliding out. We passed her, only to have her bellow "SCUSE ME! GOTTA GO!" at us as she sprinted past after the other junior, leaving a trail of blood behind her. Ah, the immortality of youth. What a difference ten years makes.

The next lap was the last one, I think, and I still didn't care, so I went ahead and led the other two out of the hairpin and up to the finishing straight. They sprinted past me, and I didn't even stand up. I considered it for a minute, but there weren't any gaps wide enough (that being about 15 feet) for me to want to come up behind a couple of oxygen-starved cat 4s and try to squeeze through. I'll get over it, but right now I want lots of space for finishing sprints. Besides, the difference between 12th and 13th place is unlikely to matter to anybody. Ever. Unless there are exactly 24 people in the race.

Then my stupid friends berated me for admitting that I hadn't tried. My stupid friends that hadn't even showed up on the start line, yeah, you guys can talk. :-P

Oh, and these pictures of me looking like a 'tard in my big red helmet came from SkinnySki. There are many more available there for your viewing pleasure.