I just got the save the date card for my friend Ali's wedding. They were eating popsicles when he proposed, and they're registered for two -- count 'em, two ice cream scoops. At least they know what's important to them.

and fer chrissakes, try google next time

Today, while perusing my statcounter, it came to my attention that I would be the number one response if you were to ask Jeeves "Do students like to listen to music when trying to study? If so, what kind?"

Somebody out there has grossly inflated expectations of poor Jeeves. Jeeves will not go out and perform your sociology class experiment for you, no matter how nicely you ask him. In fact, Jeeves is more confused by your punctuation than anything else. Give the guy a break.

Poor Jeeves.


the sporting life

If anybody was wondering where I was yesterday morning, it's because Nate and I got there 90 seconds too late and didn't quite have the time-trialing skillz necessary to catch the group before the World's Longest Stoplight. But we saw you guys from across the lake.

After we gave up we did our own 48 miler, then came home and ate a lot and took a long nap. Ah, winter. One thing is for sure though. When I get off the yellow bike and onto the Salsa, it's going to be like there's a rocket engine under my saddle, because the yellow bike a) weighs 26 pounds, b) has tires slightly wider than its brake clearance, so the front brake rubs endlessly, c) has tires that are not only wide (28mm) but thick-treaded, heavy, and inflated to a whopping 75psi, and d) is covered with mud, most of which is coating the chain. The latter can be blamed on no one but myself, and I will probably clean it this week (probably), but all together it makes it pretty dang hard to go 16mph. The Salsa snickers at me every time I come in from a ride. Yeah, I keep it in the living room.

And today we did our last long run before the half-marathon, splashing through puddles and accumulating snow on our eyelashes. I'm moving to Tucson, I swear.

Now it appears that I'd better go snag some food before Nate eats everything in the house. Which isn't much, so this is a very real danger. Goddamn grocery store, why does it have to suck so much?


hey, baby, can i anoint those with holy water for ya?

Waco, Texas, which has never been known as a bastion of normalcy, has made news once again... for opening a Hooters. What's wrong with Hooters? you might ask. I go there for the wings, of course. But a number of religious leaders in Waco made it known that their fear of boobies far outweighs any love of delicious wings they might have. The protests were many, as were the pastorial signatures on the anti-Hooters petition, but in the end it seems God loves boobies as much as the next guy.

That's right, the new Hooters has been officially blessed. By a priest.

The evening before the new Hooters opened, Monsignor Isidore Rozycki, head Catholic priest for the Greater Waco area, offered a "special prayer of blessing" for the restaurant at a VIP reception.

“Blessings are part of the Catholic tradition,” said Rozycki, who is pastor of St. Martin's Church in Tours. “You bless the building so it will be a safe haven, so that the families that enter will be blessed, so the employees will be blessed as they support their families.”

None of the articles specify how thoroughly the priest may have blessed the waitresses.

“The Catholic priest that they had seemed to think that the rest of these ministers, about 60 who signed the letter of petition against Hooters opening, were a little narrow-minded,” says the Baptist minister who started the petition. “But the Bible does say, ‘Narrow is the way’ to life, and wide is the road to destruction.”

Waco Tribune article

Agape Press ("Reliable News from a Christian Source") article


because i feel like it, GOSH

What's with people thinking there is only one reason to do healthy things, and that is to lose weight? You eat yogurt in public, they ask if you're on a diet. You say you're running a half-marathon next weekend, they say "that sounds like a good way to lose weight."

You know, America, maybe yogurt tastes good, and maybe it's kind of fun to run 13.1 miles for no apparent reason. It ain't TORTURE. Jeez. Lighten up.


tuesday dogblogging

Another big event passed about a week ago, and silly me, I almost forgot to mention it! Dylan, the ravenous beast you see above, turned two. All together now: Awwwwww.

Of course I baked him a cake. Last year he got a carrot cake with cream cheese frosting, but this year I forgot until the last minute so he had to have a yellow cake with chocolate frosting, because that was the only cake mix I happened to have on hand. But he got his piece before I frosted the rest of it, because of that whole dogs and chocolate thing (which I'm a little suspicious of, just for the record, since every dog I know has stolen an entire pan of brownies from the counter at some point in his life, and none of them have even gotten very sick).

Two is supposed to be this big milestone for dogs, sort of like eighteen is for people. Once they hit the magic birthday, dogs are All Grown Up. They're supposed to stop eating shoes, start sleeping in past six, and stop shoving their nasty slimy toys in your face when you're trying to watch TV. They become calm, cool, and collected. Responsible adults, in other words.

Yesterday he tried to pee on a bag of cat litter at Petco. I'm not going to hold my breath.


it's a boy!

Sorry I've been MIA for a while. All last week we were in trial, with a defense attorney who couldn't figure out that .88 means 88%, not 8.8%, and who was so boring and long-winded that by the third day the jurors were rolling their eyes in unison every time he opened his mouth. (We won.) Meanwhile, Nate's sister had her baby five weeks early by emergency C-section. The poor little bugger is still in the NICU, where he is kept in a metal pan under a heat lamp like he was an egg waiting to hatch, but they say he's doing well and should get to go home sometime this week. So Saturday morning we drove up to Detroit Lakes, and Sunday afternoon we drove back. The one thing I can't figure out is what baby clothes to buy, because the smallest size they have is 0-3 months, and he hasn't even made it to 0 yet! Doll clothes, maybe.

Oh, and (apropos of nothing) you know what's good? Sundried tomato & basil Wheat Thins. Also rosemary & olive oil Triscuits. I'm thinking if I suck up to Nabisco enough, maybe they'll start sending me free stuff. I got free Chapstick once, in seventh grade.


stickin' it to the man

I figured out over the weekend that my health insurance, which gives me a $20 discount off of my monthly gym membership fee if I go often enough, does not actually require that I work out while I'm at the gym. I just have to show up 8 times a month. In fact, I could use my membership card to get past the main gate, walk directly to the vending machine, buy some Pop Tarts, and leave again, and as long as I bought Pop Tarts eight times a month, HealthPartners would give me a discount for being a "healthy person."

I realized this because on Sunday I was at the gym for exactly four and a half minutes. Saturday, after riding the same 55-mile loop as last week, Nate and I decided to go to the gym just to use the hot tub. It was great. We soaked in it for close to 45 minutes and left warm and relaxed, which is not something our water heater at home can accomplish. So on Sunday, after a two-hour run (that damn half-marathon again), we decided to do it again.

We weren't even in it long enough for my butt-cheeks to stop being cold to the touch when the Queen Bitch of the Lifeguards marched up and barked, "Everybody out! Cleaning the hot tub! Right now!" She may even have clapped her hands at us.

And she stood there and kept barking until everyone in the hot tub had gotten up and left. Nate asked her if this was a regular occurrence, if they cleaned the hot tub every Sunday, and she said in her best I'm-the-only-thing-keeping-this-gym-from-bankruptcy voice, "Well, I do. Every Sunday at four."

Now correct me if I'm wrong, but if you were to clean the hot tub once a week, wouldn't it make more sense to do it, say, Tuesday at 10 AM, when there aren't twelve people using it?

So I went back into the locker room, having been gone approximately three minutes. The same scrawny, dessicated old woman was still parading around naked with shampoo in her hair. I hadn't even been in the hot tub long enough for her to get around to rinsing it.

I was pretty pissed, seeing as I'd gone there just to use the hot tub, and since I'd just run for two hours I didn't really want to swim laps or anything, so in this case it was obviously the Man that stuck it to me and not the other way around. I didn't even buy any Pop Tarts. BUT, I came to the valuable realization that while I wasn't even there five minutes, I still got insurance credit for working out. HealthPartners, I own you. And you can bet your sweet ass that this summer, not one of my eight visits per month will be spent exercising. Take that.

(Judging from the girth of the other people in the hot tub, however, I do not think I was the first person to realize this. I'm just late to the party. Oh well, better late than never.)


lady velo, doper extraordinnaire

So yesterday in my mailbox I received a catalog. This is not exactly news, since as near as I can tell catalogs make up about 75% of all the mail being delivered in the United States at any given time, but this was no ordinary catalog. Oh no, my pets, this was the catalog to end all my miseries forever. It calls itself the Vitamin Shoppe.

I checked the back. Yep, that's my name on the address label. Where these people found me, I may never know, but I suspect Rodale Press. In any case, I immediately assumed that the "vitamins" in question were probably the same "vitamins" Barry Bonds and the entire Russian powerlifting team are so fond of. Call me cynical, whatever.

The first few pages were pretty tame. It gradually sucked me in with known gateway drugs like Gu and PowerGel, but oh, did it get better fast. Some of the more tempting options:


Secretagogue GOLD!

Stallone Pudding


Of course, there weren't quite enough varieties of HGH to fill up the whole catalog, so after a while the good stuff disappeared and the pages were instead filled with actual vitamins and weird new-agey things, including an entire page of "mushroom formulas." Oh, and banana flavored protein bars. I throw up a little just thinking about it.

All's I can say is it's a damn good thing I haven't mailed my order for this year's team kit yet, because I will now be ordering everything in Extra Beefy. You fools are toast.



I just ran ten and a half miles, and damn, am I hungry.


the wheels on the bike go round and round....

It's been a bikey 24 hours. Last night I took the crapbag yellow bike to Freewheel because its headset was totally shot, and in fact was SO loose -- how loose was it? -- it was SO loose that when I did the loose-headset test, the one where you squeeze your front brake and rock the bike back and forth, the fork actually moved. Visibly. Now, I wasn't actually sure if it was physically possible for a headset to be THAT loose, even this one that works itself loose once every three rides, so when I walked in I said: "Okay, so I hope I'm only going to have you tighten my headset, but before you do that I want you to look at this and tell me if my fork is broken." I did the brake-squeezy headset test. Patrick (can I use his name without permission? It's free publicity, right?) snatched the bike out of my hands, hollering "DO NOT RIDE THIS!" It was all very dramatic.

But I was dead set on being at the ride this morning, so Patrick dug up a cheap replacement fork and took out the old one. Apparently in 12 years of wrenching, my fork is only the second one that he's seen fail in this particular way. He's also one of the ones that dealt with the GT when it cracked, and so he pointed out that I was probably eligible for some sort of award for the sheer number of broken bikes I've dragged in there this year.

My new fork is CHROME. Yeah, a yellow bike with a chrome fork. It's hilarious.

After I got home, Andy came over to take a look at the Pepsi bike, since he was crazy enough to volunteer to help me with it. He spent most of the time laughing. As I may have pointed out before, PepsiCo was actually giving these bikes away to their employees, and that was right around when I was born, so this is not exactly a top-of-the-line piece of equipment we're talking about here. Never was. So not only does it have the aforementioned evil BMX bottom bracket, it also has 26" wheels and (no shit) 90mm front hub spacing. Is there even such thing as a 90mm front hub? So now my options are either to keep the front wheel I have, meaning that if I want a flip-flop hub in back I'll have to get a custom 26" flip-flop wheel built for me, OR, I can (and this is all Andy's idea, just for the record) take it to Freewheel and tell them to spread the front fork to accommodate a normal 100mm hub. Andy's advice is to "ignore whatever they tell you about 'safety' and just tell 'em to do it." And you should have heard the contempt dripping from his voice when he said the word safety. Given Patrick's remark earlier the same evening about how narrowly I avoided "giving [my] dentist a lot of money," I may concern myself a little more with this "safety" business than Andy suggests. I haven't decided yet. The custom wheel might be more than I want to pay. Then again, as Gilby pointed out, nobody on earth is going to steal my rear wheel because mine would be the only bike in the city that it could be used on.

And then this morning the yellow bike, with its shiny chrome fork, got to go for a cool 55 miles around Lake Minnetonka and back. Sascha wrote about it in detail already, so I'll skip that, but it was a good ride. And I discovered that one other girl I know and two of her friends are also heading down to Hell Week, so while YOU all may be sticks in the proverbial mud, SOME people around here know how to have fun. Minnesota will be well represented.

p.s. if I write really, really long posts, does it make up for them only appearing once a week?

p.p.s. there, Sascha, now the boobies are not at the top of the screen. You're safe.


freudian friday

So around 5:15 this morning I had this dream, right before my dog decided that if I wasn't getting up to go to the gym something was clearly wrong and I needed to be barked at. Damn dog, it's not like I even take him with me. Anyway, I dreamed that Nate and I were getting married, and I woke up in my nice cozy bed only to realize that the bed was in the middle of this big stadium-like church and that everyone was staring at me expectantly. So I hopped out of bed and ran to take my place at the top of the aisle.... without any pants. Yep, starkers from the waist down. In my dream I actually contemplated going through with it, bare ass and all, but fortunately common sense prevailed and I had my brother go find me some pants. While he looked for the pants, I continued to stand bare-assed at the top of the aisle, gazing down at the altar. My brother eventually returned with some two-sizes-too-big hot-pink capri pants, which I put on, and got on with the show. Halfway down the aisle it occurred to me that we probably didn't have any rings, at least none that I knew about because I certainly had not remembered to buy one for Nate, so unless he had thought of this and bought one for himself we were pretty much screwed. Afterward, at the reception, we figured the best way to cover the disaster was to go around telling everyone that it had just been a dry run, that the real wedding wasn't for another couple months yet.

Ready, set, analyze.


happy 2006!

Well, happy New Year, y'all. Hope it's treating you well so far. I eschewed the parties this year in favor of sledding -- yeah, midnight sledding. It rocked. At the last minute, running out the door, I swiped the bottle of champagne out of the fridge and popped the cork at midnight at the top of the sledding hill. The five of us passed it around, stuck the bottle into a snowbank, and then furtively ran to take a swig between runs until it was gone. Five people, two functioning sleds, but that didn't stop us from sliding down on whatever scraps of other people's broken sleds we found. It was hilarious.

Then today Nate and I put the first cold, snowy miles of 2006 on the bikes. Yesterday we turned the living room into a bike shop for about an hour so that he could resurrect his old mountain bike and so that I could scrounge up enough parts to get the yellow bike rideable again. I bought it some new tires, 28mm and with some tread on 'em -- a far cry from those Nokians, but I couldn't fit anything better in there. Tim, you almost got your bloody knuckles just from the tire changing process. My regular racing tires are as stretchy as rubber bands compared to those things. My thumb still hurts.

And it was all for naught, I think, since as soon as I hit snow I slipped around just as much as if I'd still had racing tires on. Fortunately there weren't too many snowy patches and we were able to cobble together a decent 30-miler out of the clear roads. Nate had 'celebrated' a bit more than I had last night, so he didn't feel like eating this morning and still hadn't eaten when we left, so, natch, he bonked hard, which is how I wound up sitting on the sidewalk outside the Dodd Road Holiday station, shivering until my back cramped and stuffing my face with Fig Newtons (in solidarity) for 20 minutes. (Fig Newtons are God's gift to cyclists, by the way. If I was starting a cycling team I'd ask Fig Newtons to sponsor me. And no stupid red Nabisco triangle, either, just Fig Newtons. With a bright-ass yellow jersey.) I never did quite warm back up after that. At least not until we got home and I fell asleep in the bathtub.

I had a really dorky commemorative cell-phone photo of me and my ugly bike and my uglier red mushroom-looking helmet (rationale being that if I fell on some ice and broke it, it'd be a lot cheaper to replace than the Sweep), but Blogger is demonstrating the age-old truth of "ya gets what ya pays for" by telling me that my photo has been uploaded when, in fact, it has not. So no photo for you. I'll try and edit it back in later. Update: the photo has (obviously) been edited in. Worth the wait? Prob'ly not.

So happy New Year, folks. Get out and ride.