Tuesday, December 11, 2007

A Birthday Letter to My Little Sister Johnna

Dear Little Juana:

I don't think I've ever told you this, but you really pissed me off the day you were born. You came poking out of our mom on a Sunday morning. It was the Sunday morning that we were supposed to be making Christmas ornaments in Sunday school. So that morning, when Dad came rushing into our room in his tighty-whities, I thought he too was really stoked about going to church to make ornaments. Then he started saying some crap about having to go to the hospital and some water breaking. I didn't get it. Then Lynette told me I didn't have to put on my church clothes because "the baby is coming." Then I got it. Then I realized that there would be no Sunday School that morning. More importantly, I realized that there would be no ornament making. They had told us about the ornament making the week before and I had spent all week thinking about how killer my ornament was going to be. So yeah, I was pissed.

I admit, my anger toward the little sister I didn't even know yet was briefly subdued when the nurses treated Lynette and me like rock stars. They gave us cookies and pudding and soda and entertained us while we waited for you to do your thing (which took forever, by the way). I'll also admit that I forgot about the ornaments in the days following your premier appearance. You could even go as far as to say that I was excited about having you around ... until the following Sunday.

Since I had forgotten about the ornaments, I arrived at Sunday School expecting the usual: some coloring, some singing, some games, and hopefully some tasty snacks. Imagine my dismay when I walked in and saw all the really sweet ornaments my classmates had made. I felt even worse when my friends described to me how exactly they made these fabulous works of art. They had mixed up some glue stuff in some bowls. Then they added some glitter to the glue stuff. Each kid got to pick what color glitter he or she wanted! They could even mix colors! After that they blew up small balloons. They dipped this weird yarn into the glitter-laced glue stuff and then wrapped that around the small balloons. This yarn part was repeated several times. They let the sparkling glue-soaked yarn dry for awhile. All week, to be exact. That's right. They weren't even done with the ornaments when I got there that Sunday. That's how awesome these ornaments were going to be. They took a week to make! So I got to WATCH everyone else gleefully complete the final steps. They used pins to pop the little balloons. Then they pulled the deflated balloons out of the rigid yarn-webbed structures. Imagine this with me, Juana: cute little Ross with big brown eyes on the verge of overflowing with sorrowful tears watching the happy laughing kids pop balloons. Imagine how I felt when all the kids started saying "Look at mine!" with pride and wonder in their voices. Can you see why I was so mad at you? Clearly my disgust with you was justified.

I've decided that 19 years is long enough for time to heal my wounds. So, for your birthday, I'm giving you my forgiveness. I know, it's really noble of me, but this is your day, so let's focus on you. Even though you were too concerned with crying, pooping, and sucking Mom's boobs to realize how you robbed me of a little glittery part of my childhood that day, I forgive you. I know you wanted an iPod for your birthday, but you can always just ask Dad for one of those. I'm not saying Dad couldn't buy you my forgiveness, but it would be pretty expensive and I don't think Dad loves you that much. You don't have to worry about that though, because I forgive you. Happy Birthday!



PS. Just kidding! I did get you an iPod! I mailed it to Mom and Dad's house.

PPS. Oh, and just kidding about Dad. He probably loves you a lot.

PPSS. I love you, Juana, and I am very proud of you.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Don't Look Down.

Last week I found myself yearning for a good long ride on some smooth flowy singletrack. I'd had several conversations with various people in the few weeks prior about the Womble, so I decided it was well-past time to hit up the central Arkansas epic. I can always rely on Little Newt to be up for a good time, so I gave him a ring and pretty soon we'd formulated a plan.

6:00 Saturday morning came not so bright, but early nonetheless. I woke up discouraged at how cold and wet it was outside. I started to doubt the weather channel's prediction for a warm dry day, but then I remembered that we were going three hours to the south, which can mean a huge difference as far as the weather goes. I drove the boring and uneventful two hours down to Russellville to pick up Newt, and then we headed down another hour to Mt. Ida. The whole drive down we worried about the foggy, wet, cold sky that didn't seem to want to cheer up. Finally, when we were within about ten minutes of the trailhead, the fog lifted and the temperature started to climb.

By the time we got out of the car, the temperature had made it all the way up to 64 degrees. In Arkansas. In December. Go figure. So we took off with high hopes, short sleeves, and lots of water. The first two miles sucked. It was mostly climbing. Fat kids hate climbing. Then we got to the river bluff section, which I didn't remember being so treacherous. There were a few sections of trail no more than a foot wide with a mountain on one side and an intimidating abrupt drop off on the other.

That's when I had to remind myself of some solid advice I hear often: don't look down. It really is good advice and has served me well in many a tough situation. I just wanted to give everyone a little reminder, whether you need it or not. So, whether you're riding along a tall bluff, standing on the edge of a major change in life, or reluctantly relieving yourself in a Port-a-Potty, just remember those three words: Don't. Look. Down.

We rode for awhile on some fast soul-warming singletrack before we finally decided that it was going to be a long ride back. So we stopped, ate some crackers, and rode back. After over four hours of pedaling, we made it back to the car. According to my dashboard, it was 70 degrees out. 70! Then, after not more than 15 minutes, the temperature dropped to 65 and continued dropping with each northbound mile. The fog came back and the rain started to fall here and there. We got back to Russellville and filled up on some stellar Mexican food before I had to head back home (and back to a wintry reality).

Now I'm back in Fayetteville where it's 32 degrees out and we're under a winter storm watch. Bummer.

Newt ... livin' on the edge.

I was unhappy after a weird crash that left me thinking, "I did not know my legs could move in that direction." My groin still hurts a little.

Where I'd rather be.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Good Times in the Rock.

So my plan for not getting fatter has only been going "okay." I keep eating out too much and drinking too much beer. Stupid beer.

Speaking of beer, this past weekend was my last working weekend of the year! It was a fine way to end the season too. I left my house Friday morning in good spirits. Everything was great until about 50 miles down the road. Then I had a massive blowout on the trailer, so that kinda sucked. That's the 5th time this year I've had to change a tire on the trailer. LAME. Oh well.

So then I got back on the road and rolled into Russellville to see my little friend Newt, otherwise known as Nathan. He used to hate that I called him Newt, but I think now he's grown to love it. Newt was done with school for the day, so we made it out for a ride. I've been rather fascinated by the delay timer on my camera, so I insisted we use it:

Rather than hang around and party with some college kids, I decided to head on over to Little Rock. I checked into my hotel (Hampton Inn, of course) and then made plans to meet up with my old roommate Jason. I have a bad habit of forgetting what room number I'm in, so I usually tear the room number off the little envelope and put that in my pocket, just in case. I know this sounds like an awful trivial detail, but keep reading. So Jason and his girlfriend Amy and I went out for beers and food. Our waiter was a friendly guy, so we chatted with him quite a bit. Then the bill came. I put my credit card in the little book and off he went with it. No big deal. But then he brought it back. With a grin on his face. At first I thought, what a weirdo. Then I opened the little book and inside I found the bill, my credit card, and that little piece of paper with my room number on it. Mind you, this little piece of paper was CLEARLY from the Hampton Inn. Crap! Now this guy thinks I want to jump his bones! I left there dearly hoping this guy wouldn't show up at my door with lofty expectations.

He didn't.

Work the next day was pretty fun. I won't go into details, but this picture is pretty representative of the entire day:

It was unseasonably warm in Little Rock, so we all decided to take advantage of the nice day and go ride. I had no idea Little Rock was such a pretty place. I've gone all this time thinking it was just a big crap hole.

Then of course, we all went out for pizza and beer after the ride. Hilarious times were had by all. It rained yesterday, so we called it an early day, which was okay with me because then I got home way earlier than expected.

Now I'm home for awhile. Although I'm trying to plan another vacation just because I can. And because I'll go nuts if I stay home doing nothing for a month.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

The last week has been nothing short of fabulous. Danger got to join me at my second to last demo for the year. She got to hang out in the trailer and get petted a lot. Although I think she was a little pissed off when I put a t-shirt on her:

Then of course, there was Thanksgiving with the family. As usual, we drank a lot and made asses of ourselves. I found these football pads. They were a little small, but they did the trick. I was impervious to attacks:

The day after Thanksgiving, I drove up to Madison to hang out with my pals here. I always know it's going to be a good weekend when I check into the Hotel Fossen (Heath and Heidi's house). The weekend consisted of the following:
  • Hella good food, courtesy of Heidi
  • Plenty of booze
  • Approximately 7 hours of The Sopranos on DVD
  • A couple hours of climbing with Julie and Heath
  • Plenty of sleeping
  • Surprisingly pleasant Old Navy bargain hunting
  • Beer at the Dane with a fun crew
  • Riding bikes
  • Cramped quads and frozen toes
  • More booze
  • Delicious Tacos
  • Hot Chocolate with Peppermint Schnapps
I know. Another list. I'm too lazy right now to really write anything. I'll make up for it later this week. Here. I took some pictures. Pictures are substance!

17 miles, 40 degrees, 7 weirdos

Julie rockin' the singlespeed

I stole Heidi's sweet ass Surly to go to lunch with Julie. Check out my sweet Party Bars!

Alright. I gotta wrap this up. I need to get on the road and head home. One more demo this weekend and then I've got roughly a month of sitting around trying not to get too fat.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007


That is probably the best word to describe me lately. Aside from doing one weekend of work, I've basically been sitting around the house trying not to do anything. I'm decompressing. I started to clean my room, but it proved to be a much too daunting task at this time. So I took a nap instead.

I don't really have anything else for you, but this should suffice till I get back from Thanksgiving festivities:



- - - -

PILGRIM: Happy First Thanksgiving. Thank you for having us to your tepee.


(The INDIAN holds his hand in the air with his palm facing out.)

INDIAN: That means "Hello" in Indian.

PILGRIM: We came here on the Mayflower. It is that big ship over there. It has nothing to do with the NiƱa, the Pinta, and the Santa Maria. That is something else completely.

INDIAN: We are having a powwow; it is like a meeting.

(PILGRIM takes a bite of food.)

PILGRIM: This is good. What is it?

INDIAN: That is corn. It is also called maize.

PILGRIM: Yes, like a labyrinth.

INDIAN: (Mumbles something inaudible about David Bowie.)

PILGRIM: Thank you for introducing corn to me. This turkey is good, too.

INDIAN: We hunted it. We are hunters and gatherers.

PILGRIM: Excuse me one second; the buckle to my shoe has come undone.

(PILGRIM bends down and buckles his shoe.)

PILGRIM: This is a nice neighborhood.

INDIAN: It is called Plymouth Rock. It does not refer to one single rock. We are not eating dinner on some large rock sitting by the water, even though people might one day think that. We just moved here. We used to own Manhattan, but sold it for $24. They paid us in buttons and arrowheads.

PILGRIM: (Sarcastically.) Wow, $24! That, uh ... sounds like a good deal.

INDIAN: We have casinos and sell cheap cigarettes.

(INDIAN lights a peace pipe, adjusts his feather headdress.)

PILGRIM: I have a buckle on my hat, I think for no reason.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007


So, after 7 weeks on the road, I'm finally home again. I came home last night to find that my roommates purchased Guitar Hero for the Wii. Awesome. This is what today's to-do list looked like at the end of the day:

  • Box and ship 17'' 7.5 FX bike
  • Call Travis back.
  • Finish event feedback reports.
  • Clean out the car.
  • Do laundry.
  • Beat Guitar Hero.
  • Call Gator Cycle about Jan event.
  • Get other January dates set.
Don't let this fool you, though. I only beat Guitar Hero on the "easy" level. I still have a lot of work to do.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Still goin' ...

It's been a pretty good week. I didn't do much for Halloween, just ate some pizza and drank some beer. I camped in Greenville, SC on Thursday night. I hadn't camped in awhile, so I was happy about it. Although the ranger said they had free firewood, but in this case, "free firewood" meant "really huge logs that no human could ever carry." So then I just resorted to plan B. I walked around the camp ground going "Hey, can I have one of those pieces of firewood?" It took me about 30 minutes, but then I got more than enough wood to make a fire. I have to say, I am the best marshmallow roaster I know. I have perfected this tasty art form and it is delicious.

Friday was frustrating. I needed to get some work done before getting back on the road, so I found a Starbucks. I spent about 20 minutes trying to get online with no luck. So I asked the guy behind the counter what the deal was. He said, "we don't have internet." WHAT? Are you kidding me? Who has ever heard of a Starbucks with no internet? UGH. So I used my sweet phone to find another Starbucks. I went there. I tried to get online. It wasn't working. I asked the guy behind the counter and braced myself for the irritating answer. And it came. He said "we don't have internet." WHAT THE HELL? Isn't there some rule that Starbucks Coffee places are supposed to have internet? Does this just happen in Greenville, or are there other internet-less Starbucks locations out there?

I just got back from a ride and realized that I've had three really great mountain bike rides in the last week. The weather's been perfect, my bike's been working great, and the trails have been fun and fast. Can't ask for much more than that.

Although the trails in Arkansas will always hold a special place in my heart, I have to say, North Carolina has some really nice trails. I also figured out that there's a plant here that smells like gin. Thank God ... at first I thought that smell was coming from me.

Now I'm on what might be the most comfortable couch I've ever been on. I'm writing this, watching Austin Powers, drinking wine, and watching Travis swirl his wine around in his glass. He doesn't know this, but I'm secretly hoping he screws up and gets wine all over himself. Oh, and Travis's fiancee Cristin is in the kitchen making lasagna that I get to eat pretty soon.

You could say I'm pretty happy right now.

That's all for now, kids. Good news for those of you back home ... one week from today I will be turning my pony toward the house. Start planning for the GLORIOUS REUNION now. Or at least just get off the couch so I can lie there all day long.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

All the leaves are brown ...

Well, I guess I can't complain too much. At least the sky isn't gray. The harsh reality of Fall has hit me kinda hard in the last few days. I spent most of October in various parts of Florida, so I sort of forgot that Autumn is setting in. I was walking around in board shorts and flip flops, going to the beach, putting on sunscreen, and basically living in my own happy little world until I had to come to stupid North Carolina. Now it's cold and I'm not happy about it. Mostly because I really didn't pack enough cool weather clothing. Back in ... September when I was getting ready for this little jaunt, I thought I was really planning ahead by packing one pair of pants (actual full-length pants, not capris or shorts), one pair of real shoes, two pairs of socks, and one long-sleeved shirt. Now I feel stupid for not packing more stuff. Oh well. That gave me an excuse to go shopping.

And while I'm complaining, not only did we have an event ruined by the pouring rain, but I also managed to get a flat on my trailer on the way there. And of course, the guys were more than willing to stand around taking pictures:

Anywho ... I've been working way too much in the last week or so, so I haven't had time to post much. What I really wanted to tell you about before I started whining about Fall was the sweet paddling I did in Tallahassee. I was traveling through Tallahizzy last week and had a day off, so I met up with this guy there to go paddling. While we were driving to the river, he mentioned that we might see some cool wildlife. I'm sure I don't have to mention my fascination with alligators and manatees, as I have written about this before, but I tried not to get my hopes up about seeing them. So we got to the river and Andy unloaded our boats. At this point, I learned that it's a really good idea to go paddling with someone who is both tall and strong because then they can load and unload the boats while I just kick rocks and stuff. Then we started paddling upriver. The water was pretty cold and really clear. Apparently the river is fed by natural springs or something. We saw these fish jumping about a foot out of the water. Mullets. Seriously. You learn something new every day. That day, I learned that "mullet" is not just a term describing Billy Ray Cyrus's hair. So I was having a pretty good time and was happy enough to be out on the water. BUT THEN .... we heard this sound that sounded like a whale doing that thing with it's blowhole (that sounds a little dirty, doesn't it?). Turns out it was these:

Yeah ... that's right ... MANATEES! At first we just saw two of them, and one of them was just a little (relatively speaking) guy. That second picture is the little guy under water. I took that with my sweet camera that I still haven't managed to break yet. If you look closely in the last picture, you can see them next to my boat. Then as we kept paddling we kept seeing more MANATEES! By the end of the day we'd seen: 8 MANATEES!, 1 otter, 2 turtles, 2 owls, and a whole bunch of mullets (the fish, not the redneck haircut). Then we (and by "we," I mean, "Andy") loaded up the boats. We went into the nearest little town and had fish sandwiches and beer. Needless to say, it was a pretty good day for me.

Other than that, there's only been the usual amount of excitement. By mere coincidence, I did get to meet up with my fun friends Mimi and Jeff for a day at the beach, which was made better by a delicious bottle of wine sent from a friend:

We didn't have any glasses, and there was no way to keep it chilled, so we had no choice but to drink it from the bottle while sitting on the beach. Keepin' it classy. Then we ended up at Downtown Disney and I wanted to die until we found the Margarita Shack, at which point I started to become increasingly happy with each delicious drink. Then of course, Jeff and Mimi had my back and they let me have some floor space in their hotel room so I didn't have to pony up the cash for one myself. Beats the hell out of sleeping in the car!

Ahh ... sunny, warm Florida ...

While North Carolina is cold this time of year, it's really not such a bad place. I did manage to get one really good mountain bike ride in on Sunday, and I have a day off tomorrow, so I should be able to get another one in. I just have to make sure I get my flat tire from last week fixed because well ... I have another flat on the trailer. Bummer. Oh well. at least I'm not working on Halloween, which means I'll be drinking and making fun of people instead. Not bummer.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Does this look infected?

My leg doesn't look so good. But it's been pretty itchy, so that means it's healing, right?

Thursday, October 18, 2007


First of all, you'll be happy (or maybe disappointed) to know that I did not have a nervous breakdown yesterday because of UPS.com. With stern words and a furrowed brow, I managed to finally get my urgent shipping label made.

I'm still in Florida, so that makes me pretty happy. I spent all of last week in south Florida, but I only had two events, so I got caught up on some important things: sleep, paperwork, drinking, and paddling. I even had good company on my last two outings, which is a welcome change from traveling alone. Some nice boys from one of the shops went with me one day:

I'm fascinated by manatees:

Then I had to do some drinking with Becky, with whom I worked and stayed all week. I kept a close eye on her alcohol to make sure she didn't try to pour it in my gnarly wound (which I think might be a little infected now). Then I got to paddle again! We went down to Miami since we knew we could rent a kayak for Becky there pretty easily. We paddled down the river (we did go under that creepy bridge this time) and out across the bay to this little island. There were huge ass spiders all over the place, so we didn't stay long:

The perils of drinking like a fish:

We got kinda tired of running into big creepy spiders, so we turned around and found a couple boats anchored on the beach. Becky made friends with some people and managed to acquire us some delicious beers. We also played with their cute dog who really liked chasing coconuts:

Then we realized it was going to be a long paddle back against the wind, so we said bye to our temporary beer-giving friends and headed away from BeerCanSpider Island.

There's plenty more I'd love to tell you about, but it's going to have to wait. I've got some work to do.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Public Service Announcement:

I'm interrupting your regular programming to let you know that I am about to go completely ape shit on UPS.com.

Thus, no real blog post at this time. Maybe tomorrow.

Monday, October 08, 2007

time flies ...

As usual, I really don't know where to start. The last time you heard from me, I was at home getting ready to go work my ass off at Interbike. I did, in fact, work hella hard there. I did get a couple chances to ride mountain bikes in the desert, which turned out to be really cool. It was weird at first, since there were no trees and I've always equated mountain biking with trees, but then it was pretty sweet. Now I can sort of understand why people like the west so much. Our last ride there was one that we kinda squeezed in right before dark. We're slow, so the last quarter or so of our ride was by moonlight, which was alright, since there were no trees. There are plenty of stories that go along with a week in Vegas, but I'm going to leave those out for now. I also really should have taken more pictures, but the only one I took was this one on that last ride:

I flew home from Vegas and was warmly greeted at the airport by all three of my roommates. Pip even worked really hard to make me this sign:

It's a little hard to read in the picture, but it says: Rossina. I hope UR pretty as your picture in the catalog. Thanks mailorderbrides.com! Dumbass couldn't even spell my name right. Oh well. It was well worth the effort. Thanks Pip!

After Vegas, I was home for two days and then I took off for Orlando. I did some events and then had some time to go for a ride. The trails around here aren't anything like the trails back in Arkansas. For starters, this state is flatter than .... crap, I don't know .... something that's really flat. They make up for it with a shit ton of unnecessary turns and stuff. It was alright though, it's just hard to get a good workout in on stuff like that. In any case, I did see this huge ass turtle just kickin' it next to the trail. I think he was mad, cause he hissed at me a lot:

Sorry you had a bad day, little dude.

I always like to get at least one picture of every trail, so here's the one:

After I finished things up in central Florida, I had a couple of days off, so laid around at my friend Kellen's house for a little while before heading down toward Miami to get a ride in on one of about three trails in south Florida. On the way from the car to the trail, I ran into what is probably the ugliest creature I have ever seen in person:

Bleh. It looked all pissed off. Then again, I guess I would be pretty pissed off too if I looked like that.

So I found the trail. It was nice to be out on my bike, but I have to say, there's a reason mountain biking isn't that popular around here. It sucks. So I rode for about 45 minutes, and was a little irritated the whole time about how crappy the riding here is. Then I quit paying much attention and started to let my mind wander. This was a bad thing. I came around a corner and hit a root and did this weird sideways endo thing. It's hard to explain, but all you really need to know is that I ended up on my ass with my bike on top of me. After that I was like, "fuck this," and I headed back to the car. After careful examination, I realized that I had hurt the following: my pride, my hip, and my calf:

Yeah. There's a pretty good chunk of my skin missing there. Ow. Actually, it didn't really hurt that bad until my "friend" Becky poured rubbing alcohol all over it and then started prodding it like a stupid science experiment. But maybe now it won't leave a nasty scar.

After giving up on biking for the day, I decided it was about time to bust out the kayak. I took a little cruise up and down parts of the Oleta River. One thing I figured out is that if you're scared of alligators, then everything pretty much looks like an alligator.

This little bridge thingy was kinda cool, but I didn't go under it. I thought, "If I were an alligator, I'd totally hang out under there ... all Billy Goats Gruff style." So I just took a picture instead. The rest of the river was ... pretty river-like:

As I was heading back toward the take-out point, I saw these little dudes up on shore:

See the funny guy on the left? I like to think he was smiling at me. I followed them along the bank for a little while and was able to get another good picture of them:

I got so close to them that I could have reached out with my paddle and smacked one of them upside the face, but I didn't. It didn't take me that long to get bored with them. All they did was eat stuff and then put their paws in the water.

I took my boat out, put it back in my trailer, and avoided the piercing stares of some Cubans nearby. Then I realized ... "crap, I need a shower." I noticed a bike wash nearby. The wheels started turnin' and pretty soon it was a Ross wash. So for the second time this week, I showered outside with a hose. It's actually surprisingly pleasant and it really saves a lot of time. Although it's probably not gonna work out so well for me once the weather starts to get a little colder.

Alright. I'm kinda tired and I have a lot of crap to do tomorrow. I'm out.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Home, Sweet Home.

Holy Crap. It's already September 17th? Where the hell have I been?

Oh that's right ... home.

It's been nice. I've been busier than I thought I would be, but still it's still been pretty damn good. I've slept in almost every day. I've ridden my bike quite a few times. I've spent a lot of time on my couch. I had to spend my first two weekends home in Oklahoma because my best friend from high school got married, which was alright since I got to see my mom:

I did have to go to a karaoke bar, which I normally wouldn't do, but Reina really wanted to have her bachelorette party there. I didn't sing. I just sat there smiling smugly at how I was clearly a superior human compared to most of the people there. I also had to wear the following: a dress, lots of makeup, heels, and fake nails. It sucked. I mean, I was flattered that Reina asked me to be in her wedding, so that was great, but come on ... you all know me ...

It was actually a pretty cool wedding. It was really low-key and there wasn't that much fuss, but having those fake nails annoyed the living shit out of me.

I also spent two days at the Tour of Missouri. That was well worth my time. Brett and I got to watch George Hincapie take the sprint to win stage 2 in Springfield. It was neat to see such high-caliber riders racing right there in Missouri. That's gotta be a step in the right direction for American cycling.

This past weekend I had the bright idea to go race my mountain bike at Devil's Den. I didn't ride much all summer. Instead I was generally either driving or drinking beer. So I'm still not sure why I thought I'd have a chance at a race, but I went anyway. We did two laps and there were only two other girls in my class. One girl left us in the dust midway through the first lap. I managed to stick with the remaining girl until about halfway through the second lap. Then we got to a bitch of a hill climb and I was like, "this sucks." Needless to say, I let up and she took off up the hill. So, I finished 3rd. Which sounds great until you add "out of 3." Brett managed to finish 2nd out of 10, which is really awesome, so we stuck around for the awards even though I didn't care ... until I got my award which was $40 in a pint glass! My entry fee was $35, so even though I sucked, I still made $5! Bonus!

Last night a bunch of us went to a Bela Fleck show. Normally I'm not a big fan of the banjo, but this guy makes the banjo kick ass. The rest of his band can jam too. I wouldn't say it was the best show I've been to, but I felt like it was worth the price of admission.

Other than that, my time at home has been pretty uneventful. I've been sleeping, reading, and working here and there. I've had to box up a whole bunch of bikes, make some long phone calls, and write an ass-load of e-mails. Speaking of e-mails ... I forgot what is probably the most exciting news of the last three weeks. After one particularly frustrating day with my computer, I finally decided to pull the trigger and order a MacBook. I am SO over this Windows bullshit.

That's really all I've got for you right now. I need to get back to the shit load of stuff I have to get done before I leave for Interbike on Saturday.

I'm out.

Saturday, September 01, 2007

I get by ...

With a little help from my friends.

So I've been home for almost a week now, and I have to say, it's REALLY nice to not have to be on my feet all day. Hotter'n Hell was really fun, but exhausting. I ran into a bunch of Arkansas peeps who used to be customers at the bike shop, so that was pretty neat. I also got to hang out with my pals Mimi and Jeff, who are always really great about feeding me, housing me, and giving me delicious beers whenever I'm in Texas. Or New Orleans.

Speaking of good friends, I completely forgot to mention the Fossens (Heath and Heidi) in my last post. These are some first-rate people who always take good care of me when I'm in Madison. After 10 days, staying in a hotel and eating the same food every day was really getting old. So when Heidi sent me a text message saying she was cooking, I bolted right over there. As soon as I walked in the door, Heidi poured me a glass of wine. I did some laundry, chilled on the couch, and then ate some hella good lasagna. Then I drank more wine and sat around some more. And I didn't talk about bicycles one bit. It was fabulous ... until I had to make an appearance at work. But it was a much-needed break and I did manage to make it back over there several more times. It's always a nice time checking into the Hotel Fossen.

I also got to hang out with Maggie, who is the funniest female I know. She's probably the third funniest person I know in general. We're going to have a talk show together someday and it's going to be fucking hilarious. So imagine how delighted I was to discover one morning that Maggie was going to be working the demo with us. I have to say, it really made the day much more enjoyable. As you can see from the photo, we were made to be friends with each other:

So, I got to see the Fossens and I got to see Maggie, but what was really awesome was kickin' it with all of them AT THE SAME TIME! On what I think might have been my only night off, we all went to eat tacos and drink beers. It was a magnificent time and as I sit here and tell you about it, I start to miss Madison. I mean, really, look how happy we were:

I didn't get to see Andrea, except for about five minutes. We just couldn't make our schedules work out. She's all busy getting ready for an Ironman and stuff, but maybe next time I come to Madison, she'll be all busy having fun instead of training.

So anyway, I'm home for a much-needed break now. I'm not actually off work, I'm just doing work from home. Although I plan to have a couple completely work-free days next week. I'll be doing a lot of this: And also a lot of this:
Yes, that's my (sort of) new sweet ass kayak. I'm planning on spending quite a few early mornings out on the lake catching the shit out of some bass. Fish fear me. And those chicks ... they are fantastic people who put up with my shit on a regular basis. Especially Helen and Teena. Teena is the one I always go to when I want to whine about something. And Helen ... well, I live with Helen ... that alone says enough.

Since this post seems to be mostly about friends, it would be wrong of me not to mention DANGER! She is the best dog EVER. She's been living with my parents since I'm never home, and I miss her all the time. So, I took a little detour through Oklahoma City on my way home from Texas to pick her up. Pictures really do no justice, so I've posted these videos for your veiwing pleasure:

That's Danger and Brett. Brett wins the prize for the funniest person I know.

Danger is still recovering from ACL surgery, so I wouldn't let her go on a walk with Helen and Gracie. She was pretty upset about it:

Alright. I'm gonna go pet Danger some more and then go to bed. I'm out.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Work. Work. Work. Bleh.

Alright, the last two weeks have been hella busy. In fact, if you weren’t in Madison, Wisconsin during that time, then you most likely did not hear from me. There’s a reason for that, and it’s not just because I don’t like you. I just got home two hours ago and am trying to make the most of my 12 hours here until I have to leave again for Hotter’n Hell down in Texas. I’m seriously dreading getting up at 5:30 to start driving, only to arrive there and start working in the oppressive heat at one of the nation’s biggest cycling events. In fact, the only thing keeping me going right now is the fact that I’m home for approximately three weeks after this.

As usual, I’m too lazy/tired/stupid (pick one) to write actual paragraphs about what’s happened since my last post, so I’ll try to hit the high points in … list form! I swear, next time there will be no list, only a series of coherent, well-planned paragraphs. I still figure I’m doing better than Sarah who only copies and pastes quizzes on her blog in a blatant act of comment-whoring. However, that’s another matter entirely. On with the list:

- I’ve been consuming way too much alcohol lately. It’s not my fault. The beer was free and it’s rude to turn down free beer.

- I have not slept much in the last two weeks. But I did manage to sleep about 10 hours last night, so I feel pretty good about that. And you can bet your sweet ass that I’m gonna be averaging about 13 hours a night as soon as I get back from Texas next week.

- I spent about two days agonizing over a career decision that, in retrospect, was actually a pretty clear choice.

- I remembered how much I like Madison.

- I met some really neat new friends.

- I had a glorious reunion with some not so new friends.

- I did no fishing or kayaking or fishing from my kayak whatsoever in the last two weeks, and I can’t wait till next week when I can get back to it.

- I wore my favorite pants (my IR board shorts) five times. For those of you who are wondering (and I know you are), I did wash them twice. I think it’s time to order more pairs though.

Okay. That’s enough. I’m incredibly tired and I have to get up ridiculously early. Here are a couple photos to tide you over till next week:
Me doing what I do best ... leaning. Oh, and rockin' my favoritest pants.

A thousand freakin' bikes. Long story.

It was pissing rain and Julie was thirsty, so it all worked out.

John was kind enough to point out Brett's weiner to everyone. Brett didn't seem to mind.