Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Las Vegas: An American Right of Passage

This past week I went to Las Vegas for 5 very tiring days. Anyone who has been to Vegas knows what I am talking about, it is exhausting! You are constantly on the go, constantly doing something, constantly drinking, and constantly making less than ideal life decisions. I was not too keen on this trip to Vegas (I would have preferred an island in the Caribbean), but having the opportunity to hang out with some of my favorite people, I didn't want to pass it up. Whenever I hang out with this group of people, lasting memories are always created. This trip was no different that is for sure! I will never forget some of the stories that we created while we were there... You want to know what they were? You should have come to Vegas. :)

While I was in Vegas though, I saw some very troubling things. I saw things that had a lasting effect on my psyche and my overall take on that city and life in general. One night while we were on Freemont Street, there was a homeless man harassing casino patrons. We walked up right around the time he was being arrested and slammed to the ground. Another homeless man came up and started telling us what the deal was and what was going on. For the last few days this man had been harassing patrons in hopes he would get arrested so that he could go to jail and have a warm bed to sleep in and a hot meal to eat. This other man was laughing at his predicament like it could never happen to him and that he was too good for that kind of behavior. It made me think seriously about what we do to make ourselves feel better about our situations at the expense of other people.

In my middle class eyes, there was no difference to me between these two men. There was just one who was in a little more dire straights than the other. Looking at them in this city that has so much wealth and excess though, this behavior should not be something that has to be done. Hotels throw out thousands of pounds of edible food daily. There are rooms that are not booked, there is furniture and bedding that is thrown away for new stuff regularly. Everyone wants to turn a blind eye to a big problem and pretend that it can not happen to them. Myself included, I could easily lose my job. What then? I don't have anyone to fall back on that can afford to pay my fat ass mortgage or that I can even expect to do that. I could easily end up in the same situation and we all turn our eyes away from it and pretend that it is not a problem. I am fully aware that some people create their own problems and that drug/alcohol/mental problems is the reason that many homeless people are where they are due to these things, but there are also people like you and me. There are educated people that used to be middle class and earn a decent wage until corporate greed killed their financial security and left them with nothing. There are military veterans who were pushed out of the military because of downsizing who can't get jobs and can't live on the $700 a month in unemployment.

We seem to be a cruel society that looks at poverty with hardened eyes and I am not sure why. In our eyes that only happens to people who don't play the game of life. The ones who don't put in the hard work to create the "American Dream" for themselves. This is a huge misconception among the middle class. We are the ones who are most vulnerable to end this way. We are the ones carrying huge mortgages and trying to "keep up with the Jones'" not saving nearly enough to fund our futures or emergencies. With the return of hundreds of thousands of war veterans soon, I do hope that we can all be a little more compassionate to those in need because we may find many of them with no place to go just as we did after the Vietnam war. It breaks my heart to see people starving when I have plenty of food to share, or no place to sleep when I have plenty of room for them and extra beds. It makes me feel like a fake and a sell-out. Now what can I do about it?

Om Mani Padme Hum

Tibetan Buddhists believe saying the mantra, Om Mani Padme Hum, out loud or silently to oneself, invokes the powerful benevolent attention and blessings of Chenrezig, the embodiment of compassion. Viewing the written form of the mantra is said to have the same effect. It is often carved into stones and placed where people can see them.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Fahrenheit 451

I recently finished reading Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury, this book is absolutely astonishing to me. Mostly due to the fact that it was written in 1953, during an era of voluntary oppression where people went to their industrial job for 8-10 hours a day, every single day, without complaint, and without thought as to the meaning of life. It was a time when women willingly set back women's rights by 20 years to become Susie Homemaker and had no other aspirations in life other than to be pregnant tending house for their men. Anyways, off point there.

The 50's was a great time for books, and in my humble opinion one of the most remarkable times for literature. Some of the greatest stories ever told came out of the 50's, such as Catcher in the Rye, 1984 (although written in 1949), Lord of the Flies, The Lord of the Rings Trilogy, Fahrenheit 451, Night, Charlotte's Web, and so many more. Books that have relevance now more than ever. The funny part is that many of those books were banned and even burned in the 50's for being irreligious, too sexually explicit, or using some word that was offensive in some way to one person or another. The premise of the book Fahrenheit 451 is a society where books are burned on sight, that the only books allowed to be read are shortened versions of books that have been reduced to a single paragraph summing up the book (Spark Notes), but removing anything that someone could find offensive.  (Wow, I couldn't imagine a life with not being able to get my hands on any book I want to read at any time.)

The only books that were available were comic books and erotica. While reading this book, it stuck me as odd because in the book it made constant mention to DentiFloss and the constant advertising being jammed down the throat of society by the multitude of hours spent in front of televisions trying to find happiness through other people's lives. They would spend hours in their "parlors" surrounded by  massive television sets that were constantly blaring loud programs and advertising about what will make you happiest. They commonly referred to these programs as "The Relatives" because they spent so much time with them and they were essentially part of the family. People became so engrossed by the television that eventually they voluntarily gave up books and there was little resistance when they began burning them. Their lives were boring and dull, all the excitement they got was from watching other people live their lives on television... and they were ok with this because they would just take their "happy" pills to make them numb to all the things that felt wrong or are missing from their lives. They took sleeping pills to sleep, happy pills to be happy, and new blood when they happened to have too much of one thing or another. They drove extremely fast when they needed to feel some sort of excitement about life and their children were nothing more than for show.

Boy how close this apple fell... I know people who have lives that revolve around their "programs" and television. People who have massive televisions that blare all the time and they get all their information from what is spewed out of the television. They don't read books, they have massive televisions that are constantly blaring advertisement and programs telling them how to live "their best life" and what to wear to make them happiest. I speculate that The Jersey Shore and 16 and Pregnant are only popular television shows because their lives are such train wrecks, that it makes people feel better about their own life. People who would kill themselves without their happy pills, people who drive dangerously to feel excited about life, and people who have children because that is what is expected of them. Myself included in this, when I feel myself getting upset or sad about something I will turn on the TV so that I have a distraction. So I can just watch TV and "zone" out so I don't have to think about anything. I drive fast when I am angry and slow when I am thinking about things.

Advertising is what tells us what we need and what will make us happy if we acquire it. It is a constant stream of chatter about how much stuff we need... the more stuff we have the happier we will be right? It is my personal opinion that this type of thinking has resulted in a lot of people being extremely unhappy with their lives. Not only are they massively in debt, they are now slaves to their jobs and their lifestyles because of all this "stuff" that was supposed to make them happy but has not so they buy more, perpetuating the cycle. Instead of working on themselves as human beings, when they feel a void in their lives, or a tinge of unhappiness, they run to the nearest store and buy something new to make themselves feel better. Advertising is a constant drone in the background to life and it has created a massive market for pharmaceutical companies because people seem to be missing one fundamental concept... more stuff does not make you happier... so they keep buying and digging their hole filling it with stuff as they pop their pills to feel better about life.

I was recently having a conversation with someone about the brand North Face. Anyone who knows me, knows I am a label whore when it comes to The North Face product line. I have at least 6 different North Face jackets, backpacks, fleeces, hats, gloves, etc. I willingly pay more for the brand because I think it performs better even though it often costs more than brands with proven track records that perform equally or better. I am not entirely sure where I got the idea that it performs better, I just feel like it does. One of the people I was having this conversation with said something about wanting a North Face jacket because they looked cool, and then went on to say that is what North Face wants you to think though right? So maybe he wanted the coat because North Face made him think he needed the coat to be cooler. The North Face has advertised extensively to break out of just being a mountaineering brand to become a brand to be worn by suburbanites following the wilderness chic trend, who could never even dream up the idea to climb a mountain nor ever need a jacket that is 850 fill goose down to keep you warm in -30 degree weather. I am making a conscious effort starting right now to stop being a label whore with this brand and to question why I felt the need to in the first place.

I feel like this is an important subject right now because Christmas is right around the corner. I am seeing people fighting over toys for their children that are sold out because their children are also being subjected to extensive advertising telling them what they would want to play with. We are letting companies that have a financial interest in us wanting their product telling us what we want in life and what will make us happy. Only we can decide what will make us happy and I assure you, it is not a material item. This holiday season, try to remember what is important. It is not about buying a ton of presents for someone to show them that you care about them... the more money spent does not mean they love you more. It is about spending time with the ones you love and care about. The ones who make your life a better place, the ones who help you to stay off the happy pills, the ones who make you a better person, and the ones who help you build the life you want. Celebrate your friendships, your relationships, your families and let them all know how much they mean to you. Tell them, and show them, don't assume that they know... and for gods sake don't go in debt trying to buy their love. Happy Holidays from an atheist who has nothing to gain from this rant about advertising or the commercialism that has taken over this world. Good day all! <3

Pluto and Life: What's the Difference? Nothing.

What is up with all the negativity on Facebook lately? Whenever I log in I seem to be reading this constant stream of everyone's negative feelings and how the universe has plotted against them once again to see their demise. What about the happy feelings that must be experienced at least once in a while? Why don't people ever post how happy they are feeling or the good things that have happened to them recently?

Last night my life partner (aka J-Don, Jenny Baby, J-Woww, and sometimes Pam) brought it to my attention the constant negativity of some people on Facebook. They complain about everything, and they always think the world is against them in some way shape or form. After she said this, I couldn't help but notice that she was right. People just want to complain all the time. Here is my question to you people who complain all the time: Why don't you do something about it? Quit making excuses and truly do something about your problem?

So this is how it goes, this is your one chance at life... you get no other shots once this one is wasted up, so why do you insist on focusing on the negative and being an all out downer in general? To speak the truth here, people avoid suck ass people like you because we get tired of dealing with your "Whoa is me" attitude that just generally sucks a big fat ass. Due to the fact that this is a public forum and not the place to call people out, you guys know who you are. If you feel like this applies to you, even if it doesn't take heed and do something about sucking so much fat ass.

So I am tired of people taking things personally. Everyone takes everything so personally, like everything is a personal attack to them and their character. Why do they do this? These people need to realize that they are not the sun, the galaxy does not revolve around them... they are in fact, Pluto... this tiny, inconsequential "planet" that most other planets, stars, and galaxies do not even see from their surface... they care so little about it that they even took away its planet status. This is you... this is me. There are only a few scientists that truly care about Pluto, much like there are only a few people who truly care about you. So if a star 47 million light years away has something bad to say about Pluto or the fact that it was downgraded from Planet to star, what does Pluto care? That shit is so far removed from Pluto's world that he handles that shit like a Boss and just lets that junk roll off his surface.I wish more people would start acting like Pluto and stop acting like the Sun.

Life is what you make it. If you make it suck, it is going to suck. If you make it good and focus on the positive, then it will be good. YOU are the only person who can change your life and the only one who can be expected to change it. Your happiness is dependent on you, no one else and really, it isn't the job of anyone else to fix your shit. Moving on.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Occupy Wallstreet

So the new political movement Occupy Wallstreet is a bit delusional in my opinion. I believe wholeheartedly in what they are trying to accomplish, but I believe that it is going to fail because they are not being realistic. The whole movement is about the atrocious fact that major corporations spend billions of dollars to sway elections in their favor, stockpile trillions of dollars and further distance the rich from the poor economically, outsource work to china, all the while fighting the tax hike on millionaires (saying they are the "job-creators" yet don't actually hire Americans) with the political clout that they gain from their billions of dollars in campaign financing.

I get it, all these things are awful. Corporate campaign financing has ruined our democracy and should be illegal; instead the Supreme Court has made it not only legal but has encouraged it by not putting a ban on the spending limit. I hope that Occupy Wallstreet is successful in their movement, I really do... but this is why they are going to fail...

They are shunning support from major corporations who also believe in their cause. They are lumping all major corporations into the same category and using the credo that the only thing corporations are concerned with is profit. This may be true in most circumstances, but there are major corporations out there that have had huge profits and still do their share to be globally and socially responsible. Just a few:

Clif Bars
Ben and Jerry's

Recently, Ben and Jerry's decided to feed the protestors in NYC's Zuccotti park that are at the base camp for the Occupy Wallstreet campaign, they did it with little fanfare and no logos on the items to show their support for the cause. Some of the protestors then had the audacity to come out against them for doing this... this is the ignorance of the protestors and why their campaign isn't going to work. Big Business rules the world. If you don't have some sort of backing by someone with public visibility or someone that the media has an interest in, your protest and your revolution is going to go unnoticed and no one is going to care about it. I think it was extremely short sighted and idealistic on the protestors part (who are all young 20 somethings) to shun the support of a large corporation showing them support.

I wish all corporations would be banned; however, since that will never happen... I think we should help support those that do their part globally and socially and recognize that not all corporations are created equal. There are the very few exceptions that do care about their customers, that do care about hiring American employees and not outsourcing their work, that care about the environment, and care about the overall impact that their product(s) have on society. The facts of life are that we live in a branded society, we live in a Target, Wal-Mart, Costco society. They have pushed out most of the competing businesses because of their ridiculously low prices from their outsourced labor... there is no way around these facts now. People should have been fighting that fight 15 years ago when the trend was beginning to set roots in our communities. There are hardly any options to get supplies locally except for these huge chains, it is a sad and terrible fact. I am going to bet that a good chunk of these people participating in the Occupy Wallstreet campaign still do their shopping at one of these major stores, or maybe one of the major grocery chains?? Whole Foods maybe?? What about the $9 billion dollars of revenue that Whole Foods generated in 2010?? I got $9 billion dollars to go with my idealistic, arrogant, attitude and my organic fruit that was shipped all the way from fucking Guatemala or Argentina... But what the fuck, who cares about the cost of the fuel to get it there because organic means BETTER... So I have my organic banana from Guatemala to eat while I protest the greed of corporate America. Don't want to get hungry in the middle of protesting such things.

Starbucks is another company that has come out publicly calling for a ban on campaign financing... Starbucks, a company that could easily make more money by lobbying FDA regulations on public health codes, yet they do not. I hate Starbucks and the branding of America that it represents, but Starbucks is doing its part to be socially and globally responsible. They have cut energy consumption, use recycled cups, give discounts to customers for using their own cups, will give away the used coffee grounds to customers for composting if requested, and they are ranked No. 15 on the EPA's list of top 25 Environmentally Friendly Companies.

This whole protest takes on the meaning to me as the saying "It is not your Christ I do not like, it is your Christians." They are delusional, idealistic, and arrogant which is just terrible because it is a great cause to support because corporate greed is ruining this country and has corrupted our democracy already.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Degree of Relativity

We all have the potential to be crazy, the degree of relativity for craziness is the huge difference between us all. So my personal experiences have dealt with a lot of crazy f*cking people, and not just "Oh Girl, that girl is SOO Crazy" or "that b*tch be crazy" I mean clinically ape sh*t crazy. For the most part I am able to contain my crazy, it usually is only seen in the form of licking strangers when I am drunk or biting nipples of random men that walk by me at concerts. I am slowly growing out of this habit though due to the fact that I could potentially get gonoherpasyphaids from this practice and I just don't think that would be much fun to take care of for the rest of my life... other than that threat that looms on the horizon, I really see nothing wrong with this practice.

This one particular person who used to be in my life until the crazy got so bad that I just had to walk away is on my mind lately. I miss the person terribly, but I have a lot of bitterness and anger in my heart over all the lying that this person did to their own detriment as well as their entire family. I miss a person who is not actually the real person. They had this persona that they would put on and say what you wanted to hear, lie straight to your face for god only knows what reason, and really told some doozies for lies. I mean big ones, that affect other people's lives. This person is clinically effing nuts to the core and it has been in my best interest thus far to walk away and have no contact because they were doing a great job of bringing me down with them, but I do love this person very dearly... so it has been a pickle. I find it heartbreaking that I have to choose between my sanity and having this person in my life... Ahhhhviously I will choose self-preservation. It still doesn't make me feel any better though, so I just don't think about it. I'm not a thinker, I don't dwell on things for very long usually. I must reiterate the word USUALLY!

I used to wonder why this person would get so mad at me whenever I told them to stop putting on their fake smile in pictures. I guess I now know it is because they don't have any other smile, they are rotten to the core and incapable of genuinely smiling because they are incapable of ever being happy. Due to this person's illness, they are not capable of seeing their mistakes and they are always the "victim" and it has always been like this... at least as long as I can remember. This person has easily replaced me and anyone else in her life that has called her out on her craziness and there appears to be nothing more that I can do anyway. So alas, I was just writing to vent some frustration/irritation/anger/hurt/hostility... and these are the days of our lives. Moving on. I want an RV... let me tell you why...

Monday, October 3, 2011

The Ever Changing Face of Miss Myrtle

I don't really know why people tout the phrase that "Change is Good For You!" with a serious face. They must not make big changes often in their life. I am not entirely convinced that change is good for you... coming from a person who attempts major changes in life on average of 3.56 major changes every 5 months. I have always been told that change is good for me, and that I should not fear change, nor get too comfortable in life... and I never have. You can ask anyone who has ever lived with me, I move frequently and I hate staying in one place for too long, it starts to smell funny to me and I just plain don't like it. I don't understand why, it is just part of who I am. I wish someone would fill me in on why change is believed to be so good for us though. I just made a major change and I haven't decided if it is good or bad. I am feeling mighty depressed about it at the moment and I am sure hoping things begin to look up, but change can be hard on human beings. It is stressful, depressing, and some times not for the best. Maybe even 50% of the time not for the best.

That seems like a high statistic, but seriously why are we always  trying to change our lives? Why can't we just live comfortably, with the people we know and love, and continue in that fashion with small regular changes such as the sheets on our beds? I don't know if this is my Gypsy soul finally settling down, not wanting change to occur so much anymore or if I am just in a stressful situation right now that I am hoping I won't end up regretting. Who knows, it is probably my rapidly deteriorating biological clock ticking its last final ticks in an attempt to get me to pop a kid out before my insides resemble dried up prunes.

I understand that change is necessary in some regards, but why are we encouraged to make major changes all the time? I think I am tired of change... this is probably that point in life where people's wardrobes stop progressing and you see people wearing their 25 year old Birkenstocks with MoM jeans and flannels. I will do my best to not let my wardrobe stop evolving... well except my 13 year old Birkenstocks. 

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

The Importance of 711 on a 20 Mile Run

I went on a 20 mile run tonight in preparation for voluntary manslaughter on October 2nd. Yup, that would be a marathon, 1 of 3 this season... in case you have never done one and are considering it, let me offer you this one small bit of advice... DO. NOT. DO. IT. Unless you meet the following criteria first:

1. You enjoy wearing spandex
2. You are completely irritated with all the free time you have on Sundays
3. You like the taste of butt hole (that is what GU packets taste like)
4. You don't mind not being able to walk upright for about 10 hours after long runs
5. You enjoy a diet of Ibuprofen, water, GU, and Gatorade. Rinse. Repeat.

** WAIVER** all these can be waived if you have children... I find that Mothers who run are exceptional long distance runners, I think it is because they are naturally fit from chasing children around, eating cold meals that also resemble the taste of butt hole, and enjoy Sundays out running for 4 hours as compared to being home because it is actually quiet while out running! 

So my run tonight started out normal, I felt great for the first 12-13 miles. I was surprised with myself actually because I felt no pain, my heart rate was on the lower side, and nothing was pinching/riding up/chafing. Well that magic bus ride quickly came to an end around mile 13.5 when I started having the worst farts ever! They were soooo loud, which was really funny to me actually since I was alone and just had to turn around to see if anyone was behind me before I let the explosion come... but then all of a sudden I felt like I had a bad case of herpes climbing down my leg! So for the next 1.5 miles I kept on running through the intense pain of my shorts chafing my thighs! They get hungry sometimes and really like the taste of my spandex for some reason, I just can't seem to break them of this habit no matter how hard I try. Luckily there was a 711 in my sight and I was able to get some Vaseline. I was sitting on the ground in the parking lot of a 711, legs spread eagle, with both hands up my shorts applying Vaseline to my poor bloodied thighs while eating a banana with no hands. I am sure I was a sight that belonged on a cover of Hustler. After applying this magic medicine, eating my banana, and refilling my water bottle I was on my way to finish my last 5 miles. It was amazing... instant relief, well except for my boost booty blowout, I continued to fart my way all the way back to my truck 5 miles away. 

True story. :) 

Monday, September 19, 2011

The Price is Wrong B*tch!

I sold out. I sold out to myself, to my dreams, to who I am. There is no nice way of saying you are a sell out. I am a sell out.

I bought into "The American Dream" of a big house, a big salary, and nice THINGS. This is not who I am and I am having a hard time lately continuing to choke it down. I am not an unhappy individual, in fact I am a very happy individual most of the time. If I knew what I know now though, I would not have chose the same fate. I would not have gone after financial security or comfort. I would have checked my 18 year old ambition and determination at the door, bought a one way ticket to Colorado and became a guide on some outdoor adventure, or Mt. Rainier and became a Mountain guide.

Some people have such a strong work ethic, and some people when asked say they would continue to work if they won the lottery just so they wouldn't get bored. I don't trust those people and I tend to not like them because more than likely they are pretty boring fucking people. There is no chance in a burning house that I would ever work another day in my life if I didn't have to. There are so many things to do in this world and I want to do them all and I can't do them with a full time job, yet I need the full time job to do them. Do you see the conundrum?? Do you see where I am stuck here?

I went white water rafting with a friend on The New River in West Virginia recently. Our guide was a 24 year old woman from Rochester, NY who left Rochester the day after she graduated, moved to Fayette, West Virginia and learned to guide the rivers there from her father who also was a guide. She was very entertaining and kept telling jokes, one was "What is the difference between a cheese pizza and a raft guide? A cheese pizza can feed a family of four." It sort of made me think about things more than laugh about things... I would trade my comfortable life to be guiding a river, or be a bike guide, or on ski patrol and happily eat pork and beans for the rest of my life. I feel that I have gotten myself so far wedged into this "American Dream" though that the idea of escaping it now terrifies me more than jumping out of an airplane or hurdling down a mountain with something waxed binded to my feet... In addition to these fears, I don't even know how to get a job as a guide. Her name was Caitlin and she inspired me to look into making big changes with my life, which is funny because I am sure a lot of people would like to have my life. I have a nice life, I have nice things, I am loved very much, I have a nice job that is actually sort of fun in its own way, but I miss the outdoors. I miss grass between my toes, I miss the mountains, I miss being able to drive 5 minutes to absolute silence and quiet. Everything is so loud here in Baltimore. There is never real quiet and the sight of so much road kill on the sides of the roads tears at my heart strings. These animals are being booted from their home so more sub-divisions can be built and they have no place to go so they end up getting hit by the never-ending traffic here.

Last night I was driving to the grocery store and I saw a furry thing in the road, I thought it was a dead cat. As I drove by, it sort of flopped in the road. I grabbed what I needed very quickly from the store and drove quickly back down my road. I was coming up on it and had my hoodie and a magazine ready to jump out and grab it. I had taken my seat belt off in anticipation to grab it and move it or take it home as quickly as possible so it wouldn't lay dying in the middle of the road. I get up to it, get ready to jump out and upon close examination realize it is someone's fake hair. Some woman lost her damn weave in the middle of the road and I was ready to take it home and save it because I thought it was a hurt animal. Yeah, story of my life.

"My name is Ray-Ray and I am here all day!"

The rafting was pretty weak because there hadn't been much rain, but at least something good came out of it... by good I mean something to make me question all my decisions in life and wish I would have done them differently... a person who had no regrets, now has a major regret.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Overly Sensitive??

So I saw a groundhog get ran over by a car today because the driver could not take 5 seconds out of their day to stop and honk their horn to scare it out of the road. Instead it *tried* to swerve around it and instead scared it into running toward the car and getting hit... it did not die, instead it laid in the road flopping around like a fish out of water. I cried my eyes out when I saw this happen. I can admit, an injured animal will bring me to my knees and I lose it whenever animals are injured... more so than when I see injured people. Has our society become so desensitized by death to humans that we are no longer affected by it because it is plastered all over the TV and the Internet?

I seriously cried my eyes out because of this poor groundhog and I seriously thought about going back on a major highway to try to help this dying groundhog. I don't know what I would have done and I probably would have had a breakdown seeing this poor, innocent animal laying there in agonizing pain and being unable to help it in its last final moments when it is terrified and alone. I am afraid of dying, I can openly admit that. It keeps me up at night sometimes because I can get rather morbid when I watch my girls Blanche, Sophia, Rose, and Dorothy on The Golden Girls. It just breaks my heart that Rose is the last living Golden Girl. Death is such a scary idea, and it is even more scary because I don't believe in anything after this life. In my world this is it, this is the finale, the end of the line, Ka-Put. There are so many things that I instantly miss when I think of not being here anymore, it terrifies me. I don't want to die. Ever. I am one of those people who want to be hooked up to every machine necessary to keep me alive and put into every research program possible because death scares the shit out of me.

So I am not sure if any of you have ever noticed but it seems that when flies are getting ready to die they seem to swell up and get very lethargic. They buzz around haphazardly running into windows, people, toilets. Everything. They also get huge all of a sudden... there is this huge lethargic fly that has been buzzing around me for hours now and part of me wants to kill it because it keeps whacking me in the side of the head. I swear the buzzing of flies in your ears is almost as creepy sounding as Barry Badirnath with his creepy pedophile mustache. I want to kill this fly and put it out of its misery but what if it is like me and terrified of death? Is death welcome to creatures who have no conscious thought or self-awareness? How do we know that flies don't feel like we do? The fly that keeps whacking me in the side of the head is either lucky tonight or brutally unlucky, I am not going to smoosh his guts on my wall tonight.

Endurance. Check. Determination. Check. Faith. Eh??? Not so much.

"But there are [wo]men for whom the unattainable has a special attraction. Usually they are not experts: their ambitions and fantasies are strong enough to brush aside the doubts which more cautious [wo]men might have. Determination and faith are their strongest weapons. At best such [wo]men are regarded as eccentric; at worst, mad...

Everest has attracted its share of [wo]men like these. Their mountaineering experience varied from none at all to very slight - certainly none of them had the kind of experience which would make an ascent of Everest a reasonable goal. Three things they all had in common: faith in themselves, great determination, and endurance."

~ Walt Unsworth, Everest

So for as long as I can remember I have wanted to climb Mount Everest... well at least from the 90's I should say when I heard about this mountain. I don't really have a good reason either. My mountaineering skills are seriously lacking and I hate the cold... so it is absolutely ludicrous that I would want to subject myself to -60 degree Fahrenheit weather for two+ months. So what is it that drives this dream onward? I seriously don't know. I think it is that Mt. Everest is one of the toughest physical challenges on this planet for the body and I want to see what my body will do when I subject it to these brutal conditions. Will it succumb to the harsh conditions and I end up another ill prepared mountaineer who thought she could conquer Jomolungma when she wasn't ready for it?? Or will my body be tough enough to handle the severe conditions and make it back down in tact with all of my fingers, toes, and one nose??

It is a common misconception that people who participate in endurance sports are masochists for pain or that they don't feel the pain like everybody else. This is not true. I don't PARTICULARLY like how it feels. It is not comfortable for me, it is not easy, and I struggle just like everyone else who begins a new running program and yet I dream about things that test my physical limits just to see if I can do it and for how long. Endurance athletes feel the same pain that everyone else feels, we just seem to process the mundane repetitive task in a different way that makes it bearable. It becomes a mental battle with your body and endurance athletes are just able to deal with the mundane for longer. Endurance sports are boring, they last forever, and aren't even fun for spectators to watch. Anyone can run a marathon physically (assuming they don't have injuries or serious medical conditions that would hold them back), the thing that keeps people from completing a marathon though is not usually physical limitations... it is how absolutely F*cking boring the training is! Even listening to music, after a couple hours you are just exhausted and your ears even hurt it seems.

I have decided that this is my last year training for marathons, I am done with the endless hours of running and I have decided that half-marathons will be my longest distance from now on since I can do those without much training and I need to continue to run to stay in shape for other activities. I have turned my sights to new adventures and new sports that challenge my body and my mind... alpine mountaineering is one of those sports. I have serious hopes of climbing an 8000 meter peak in my lifetime and I am beginning my preparation for it now by strengthening my Oprah-like arms with rock climbing. I have began the search for the gear I need to deal with the cold, I have started getting the schedules for Glacier Rescue Classes, this is really going to happen and I am scared of it. I am afraid that I am going to lose toes, because I have some seriously cute feet... they are a bit hairy... but come on, everyone loves a little hair. Right??

Anyways, the point of this post is to question what your dreams are?? Do you dream of climbing mountains, rowing oceans, raising kids, or working on your tan?? What moves you? Why aren't you doing it? Your time is very limited on this planet. Your body is going to eventually break down and you won't have the physical abilities to conquer your dreams anymore. Seize the day and get on it now! Don't wait anymore. Time is flying by, don't be a spectator to someone else's life.

Is death by mis-adventure really such a bad way to go? I don't think so, I think it would be pretty fucking sweet actually.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Halfro-Samurai meets a Georgia Peach

This story is for Amanda E. and all possible to the graciousness of Miss Brenda W.

So I have a special talent for making people feel awkward sometimes... well about a month ago during the weekend of the now infamous Kentucky Derby Bawl Crawl, I did one of the most ridiculous things ever all for the sake of akwardness. It really was spectacular.

The shenanigans started out by a group of my good friends coming to visit me for the weekend from New York, the weekends with them are always some of the most memorable. They are seriously, very special people. Well my Brother-in-law decided to bring his new lady friend, who is a charming, lovely, southern-bell from the peach-eating state of Georgia. Well it turns out that Miss Georgia herself was going to be arriving at my house before anyone else. She had never met me before, she only spoke to me through Facebook, and it wasn't very often. For a reaction my Brother-in-Law decided to tell Miss Georgia that I was a nudist and that I really liked burning incense. This freaked Miss Georgia out a little bit and I do believe she was really anxious to come to my house after that from what my Brother-in-Law was telling me. Well I can't let a gem like this just go by and not take advantage of such a beautiful opportunity to make things awkward.

So 7:30 pm rolls around.... I am sitting in my house completely naked waiting for her to get there... she is late. She calls and says she is at an exit about 45 minutes away... great, I finish up a little housework, text message my silliness to a couple friends, and continue waiting. An hour and a half later, she finally shows up. Ryan and I left all the lights off in the house so she wouldn't see me answering the door naked. I go answer the door to let her in... completely bare ass naked. My dogs go running up to her to greet her and jumping all over her... I am telling them to get down, but it appears that she has never enjoyed a dogs distraction so much in her entire life. She keeps all eyes focused on my dogs and pays them a huge amount of attention, which I am sure won them over instantly. Well this isn't getting the reaction I want, so I say "It is so great to finally meet you, I am so glad you made it safely" and go in for the biggest hug ever. Yup, I was hugging a complete stranger, completely naked. She was such a champ about it too, she even patted me on the bare back if I remember correctly.

We walk down my hallway toward my living room where Ryan is sitting on the couch about to go into a fit of laughter. She is dilly dallying down the hallway being extremely attentive to my dogs and their social needs. She finally gets to the end of the hallway, which I am sure seemed like an eternity to her... I start talking to her about 8 inches away from her about nothing important, the whole time she is trying her best to not look at my naked body. I make the mistake of looking down at Ryan once, and I lose it. I start laughing hysterically and tell her I am just fucking with her, I am not really a nudist. The relief that washed over her face was instantly visible. I run upstairs to get some clothes and I come back down naked, I figure she has already seen my Halfro-Samurai so there isn't much left to hide and get dressed in the living room.

It really set the tone for a great weekend full of fun stuff like pregnant midgets in bars, Mexican prostitution rings, being followed by an under-cover cop car after leaving the bar that was a Mexican prostitution ring, punching our horses in the face, doing the Bawl Crawl, and an old lady that had no underwear on and was sitting with her legs spread wide open for all the young boys to crawl up inside and make themselves nice and toasty.

Good times... all in the course of a weekend at my house.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

MS 150 Ride

So if you ever run out of inspiration to go on living I want you to go to an MS Society event. This past weekend I had the pleasure and the pain of riding 150 miles on a bicycle to raise money for the Multiple Sclerosis Society. Thanks to my wonderful friends, we were able to raise $580 to benefit the MS Society. MS is a debilitating disease with no cure. It affects women more than men, and is usually diagnosed between the ages of 20-50. It is a disease that has the potential to leave you completely paralyzed and unable to control your own body, and the most worrisome part... doctors do not know what the main trigger for MS is. Please read more on this disease here and start spreading the word:

This was taken at the end of the race right before we all parted ways to go eat, shower, etc.

Ok, so I am not a road biker, that needs to be said first and foremost. Luckily I am an endurance athlete so I was able to hang around for the entire ride, but it was not without severe pain afflicting my backside. I bought a road bike about 8 weeks ago, a Trek Lexa and have been training for the last 6 weeks for this ride... considering I did the ride last year without training, I felt like this was me being responsible and going in the right direction as far as being a grown-up and being responsible for my decisions. Do not take my stupid actions from last year as an indicator that this ride is easy. This ride is what you make it. It can be hard, and it can be less hard but there is no way around being in the saddle for 8-10 totally brutal hours.

This picture was at mile 50, right before a killer hill right after we finished eating. 

The first day, Saturday, June 11, 2011... we all get around. I wake up to my roommate blowing up the room with his gas blowouts. It was very alarming to say the least and absolutely repulsive. We get to the start line, take our awesome team photo (Riders on the Storm), meet up with our friends from another team and all start out together. We pretty much stayed in a group the entire ride, with the exception of two of our riders who preferred a slower pace. First day goes pretty well... at mile 60, I sort of just fell off the bike and sulked in my misery for about 10 minutes while performing Tantric-like stretches. Then a little girl came up to me (she was a volunteer at the rest stop) and started talking to me. She showed me that her pet rat could count to ten and that he knew his alphabet. Right as I was leaving, she gave me a little flower she picked and stuck it in my helmet as good luck and we said we would meet up at the finish line. How could anyone not be motivated by an 8 year old girl with a creative imagination volunteering her Saturday afternoon to help us poor riders and our poor mental state. She was a great help and so was the flower she gave me. We get to mile 100 on the first day... we all mostly finish together or within 20 minutes of each other, go have dinner, do a quick recap of the day, and discuss how disgusting Phil is for using the used spoon of a stranger.

Mile 50, eating lunch.

The second day, Sunday, June 12, 2011... again I wake up to the appetizing aroma and sound of my roommate shitting himself. Nothing to get your digestive track moving like the smell of someones insides right as you wake up. We miss breakfast because we read the schedule wrong... get to the start line and it is absolutely the most painful thing ever to sit on my seat. My ass feels like I had been pummeled by Lexington Steele all night long. He had no mercy for me and showed me who the boss was, thanks Lex I look forward to doing it again soon! So I get into the rhythm of pedaling and a few miles in, this super fast draft line goes flying by and most of my teammates are in it and tell me to hop in there... challenge accepted. I jump in toward the end of the draft line and I keep pace with them for maybe 2 miles (that's an optimistic number)... At that point the rider in front of me starts to fall back on the hills and doesn't recover. I can't get around him in time and I start to fall behind too. I pass him and then I lead our own small draft line of 4 riders for awhile, then another rider jumps in front of me to lead because my pace is too slow... I stayed with him for a few miles but honestly it got to be too much and I knew I would not make the 50 miles if I kept that pace up so I slowed back and three of us stuck together until the first rest stop a few miles away. That was about the extent of the excitement for the ride. Well we get to mile 34 and by this time my ass is on absolute fire. I seriously feel like I have a bad case of herpes that has burst open and is leaking its gooey goodness down my leg. One of my teammates told me that he had this stuff called Chamois Butter, aka butt butter that would help with it. So I get a small tube from him and go to the port-o-pot and apply liberally to my very tender backside. I cake that stuff on so thick that it is all over my hands, my gloves, my spandex, and my ass. I looked like a baby that had a bad diaper rash with Desitin caked all over it. It feels wet... goopy, very moist. We leave and I sit on my seat... immediately I feel disgusting and dirty like Lex might have left something behind. It took away the little bit of chafing I didn't know was going on, but that is about it. It was so wet and so sloppy feeling that I just wished I could have wiped it off, instead I had to ride 16 more miles with it on. The last 3 miles of the race my butt and my mental state were in complete agony, I drafted behind my fellow rider and tried to just concentrate on the distance between his wheel and mine instead of the intense pain that I was in. I vowed to buy a new seat after that ride no matter how much it costs, it is all about minor comfort when you are riding centuries apparently.

There were four of us from my team that crossed the finish line together and I am glad that I did stay with that group even though it was killing me, I got to see the MS Challenge walkers finishing their route and coming in. It overjoyed me and made me stop thinking about my sloppy swamp-ass. It was such an inspiration to see these people, many of them in wheel chairs or with braces on their legs walking or being pushed across the finish line. People who have been affected by this disease and instead of giving up and just sitting at home they are out living their lives and facing their disease with courage. Courage is said to be the discovery that you may not win, and still trying even though you know you can lose. These people are still trying even though ultimately, they may lose to this disease. We must never forget those that need our help, and we must never turn our backs on those weaker than us, instead we must lift them up and encourage them, help them because any day the tables can easily be turned and it could be us that are dependent on the generosity and compassion of others.

Team SSTi Cyclopaths, my new riding buddies

Me, Oksana, and Curt at the end of the first day.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

As Luck Would Have It!

So as luck would have it, I am pretty unlucky when it comes to things like my wallet being stolen, never winning anything, being accident-prone, my house being broken into, my toes stubbing everything and anything when they are cold, and many other misadventures such as those (which is not a good thing since I am pretty adventurous and will do just about anything for the sake of fun)... but the one area of life that I am extremely lucky in is my personal life. I like to think that it is because I have shit for luck when it comes to everyday dealings. My personal life is pretty great to be honest. I have some of the most astonishing friends on this planet that have my back and that I am going to grow old with and travel the country in an RV for a year or two just because it sounds fun to me. We are going to dye our gray hair blue, our gray pubes blue, and try our best to sleep with Juan, our pool boy... we are also going to make him wear degrading things such as elephant thongs as he serves us fresh mint Mimosa's in our wheel chairs.... it's just how we roll. We are going to live out of an RV and bike the craziest trails by day, and see the Milky Way by night from the top of our RV parked in the desert. These are my dreams and they support them, for the most part. Still working on that RV dream.

I was just reading my great friend Jennifer's blog, if you haven't read it or don't know her... check it out here, there is some good stuff in there:

As I was reading her blog it totally cheered me up because I was in a pisser of a mood about the current state of one of my friendships, one that I value very much. Jennifer said in her blog that life is too short to let things get in the way and if there is a problem tell the person so they can work it out or move on because maybe they are not someone you need in your life. This bit of advice is genius. Many of us seem to spend so much time working on the drama that is part of many of our relationships rather than having a supportive healthy relationship with the people in our lives who deserve our attention, our praise, our support, and most importantly our time. We spend time on people who don't really deserve our time when we have great people in our lives who deserve more of our time. So reading Jennifer's blog, it totally made me start to think about the friendships in my life and made me start to think about what is important to me, who is important to me, and quality or quantity? Definitely quality.

I went through an especially bad funk of spending time with someone who didn't really measure up in my standards as someone who should have gotten that much of my time about a year ago, it was a rough period for me in life. To be perfectly honest, it is something that it has taken me many months to get over and to move on from. It was an emotionally draining relationship that did not come easily and was plagued with doubts, insecurities, and resentment... but I am a very determined person when I have set my mind to something, especially with the things and the people I want to share my life with. I put myself into a bad situation knowingly and happily because I saw value in this person that as it turns out was a figment of my imagination. I was giving credit to this person's character when really it deserved none because none of this person's actions were genuine. The tiniest, most minuscule acts this person would do, I would praise as a sign that our friendship was going to work and this person was meant to be around when in reality this person was nicer to strangers and people they didn't like than they were to me. I turned into someone that I could hardly recognize. I was not myself and when this friendship finally came to an end even though I was devastated by the loss of this person, I was also immensely relieved. I was relieved that I would no longer have to go through life feeling the way that person made me feel, I was relieved that I was no longer attached to my phone like it was my only way of breathing, and mostly I was relieved that I no longer had to look for something in a person that wasn't actually there. I no longer had to defend a person's actions that really had no defense. I no longer had to pretend that I don't blow up the toilet when I take a shit and that my farts don't smell like shit when they come out. It was hard to recognize all of this 5 or 6 months ago when this friendship ended, but luckily for me I have the insight to see it for what it was now. Thanks to a few people with more wisdom than I could ever possibly hope to possess, I was able to pull my head out of my ass and come out of it wiser and less willing to deal with the shit people throw at me. Damn monkeys throwing their shit at everyone. I have gained an appreciation for a certain person in my life who has showed me kindness, unconditional love, support, patience, and truly how great one human being can be. With his support  I feel like I can accomplish anything, I can rule the world with him by my side because I know that if I fall on my ass, he will be there to give me a hand to get back up and will help push me back out the door on my quest at world domination no matter how many times I fail and go somersaulting off a mountainside in my journey. To quote the late, great Janis Joplin "All you gotta do is be a good man one time to one woman." He has done his duty 10,000 times over and I have no right to ever ask anything from him ever again.

The point of this story is that our friendships should be things that bring us great joy, we should look forward to seeing these people, we should look forward to spending time with them, sharing our greatest victories, defeats, and dreams with them. We should be able to be who we are around them and most importantly we should trust them. You can not have a friendship without trust, it just isn't possible. Several months ago, maybe even a year ago at this point... my great friend Meaghan and I took a rock climbing class. As we discovered rock climbing requires complete trust in your climbing partner and their abilities to save your ass if you slip and fall. There were times when you were 30+ feet in the air with nothing holding you there but your grip on the rock wall, one missed step and you would fall if your partner was not paying attention to the ropes. Lucky for me, Meaghan turned out to be a great climbing partner and I look forward to her having her beautiful baby so we can climb together again someday.

Our friendships should be dealt with like climbing partners. Complete trust to save your ass if you need it and to share in your victory when you have scaled a difficult wall and your defeats when you have fallen from an easy climb. Trust that they have your best interest at heart and that you have theirs no matter what. It is a 50/50 relationship that requires give and take to work. Due to the technological advances that have become part of daily life we are quickly becoming self-inflicted recluses. We don't need people around us as much anymore to feel like the social creatures that we are because we are so heavily dependent on technology to give us these same effects and it is turning us all into social retards who don't actually know how to deal with people in real life. I am totally guilty of this, there are many weekends when it takes all of my energy to get out of the house and go socialize with people in real life... and I am ALWAYS thankful that I did once I get out. It is just the initial push I need to get out the door.

We all need to start spending more time on our healthy relationships and less time on friends that drain us emotionally and leave us feeling frustrated, irritated, annoyed, or just plain bored. I am a loyal friend, if I call you my friend, you can bet your ass that I will be right by your side the second you need me, it is just who I am. I will go out of my way to help the ones I care about no matter the cost to myself and I am starting to wonder if it is worth it if the person on the receiving end wouldn't do the same for me? What is loyalty anyway? Is it putting up with the shit that our "friends" and family dole out just because of the label they have as friend or family? Is it a lifetime of crap because you pledged your loyalty to someone who really wouldn't do the same for you?

I am a social butterfly. I get along easily with most people, I can make friends with the most socially awkward person on the planet if I am given enough time. I willingly and happily accept new friends and new people in my life. I trust too easily and I love too quickly, it just happens and I am glad that I am this way. I am glad that I am not a bitter, angry person who is unable to trust and unable to love. I would not have met all the wonderful people in my life if I guarded myself. I would have missed so many opportunities to talk to some of the most interesting people on the planet (like the old man in an Irish pub in Ireland that told me "If you are alive you made it." A philosophical genius when you are drunk off too many Guinness pints and learning Celtic swearwords from Irish locals. Pog mo thoin still rules as the most awesome cuss combo) It is easy to lose faith in humanity, especially when you see so many people acting like greedy, selfish, fools who are more concerned about money than their fellow humans and animals who share this planet... but we must all strive everyday to see the good in people, to be compassionate to animals, to be compassionate to the less fortunate, to spend time with the ones we care about, to work on the friendships that mean something to us, and to let go of the ones that bring us grief and shit on a regular basis. As Jennifer has already said, life is too short. Time is the one thing that we can not get back when it has run out for us, it is finite for all of us. It is our most valuable gift to someone, to spend our time with them... spend that time wisely.

Friday, June 10, 2011

This Body I Was Given

So I didn't get much of a say on what type of body I was going to have when I popped out of my Mom's vagina in all of my 7 pounds of glory. For most of my life from puberty to 30 years old I have detested a good portion of my body even when it was an enviable body at times. I have lost huge amounts of weight, I have gained huge amounts of weight, I have looked like I had an "eating disorder" and I have looked like a total fat ass. I know that we are often our own worst critic and we probably don't look as disgusting as we feel on certain days but you really can't help how you feel... through all of these ups and downs with my body, I think I have finally accepted myself just the way I am... mostly (hey, I have high standards when it comes to performance).

I am an endurance athlete... this means I may not go fast but I can go FOREVER! I have run marathons, I have rode 10+ hours on a bicycle (which I will be doing again tomorrow... hopefully only 8 hours though), I have participated in 182 mile running relays, and through all this my body has held up and has made minimal objections to the strain I put on it. I am in the beginning training stages of preparing my body to climb to Everest Base Camp in Nepal, and I have agreed to ride a bicycle across the US next year, as well as up the coast of Portugal. I have not suffered any great injuries, except a stress fracture in my fifth metatarsal a few years ago when I was attempting to train for my first Ultra running event... I blame that on the uneven road though and running on a slant for 13 miles. This is a huge feat for an endurance athlete, especially a runner.

As I sit here totally naked in my living room which feels like the fifth circle of hell (thank you central air for being a huge smelly pile of shit), I take my resting heart rate... it is 58.... I look at my legs... they are **almost solid muscle... my feet are strong, my hands are strong, and my tummy is downright amazing these days. This body I have might not look like a super models, especially now as I get older everything is starting to hang just a little bit lower, but I am not sure that I would trade it in if ever given the opportunity. I have absolutely no health problems. I do not have high blood pressure,  my blood sugar is completely normal... (even when I am stuffing my face with lasagna as I take the test and have not fasted), my body handles everything I throw at it with ease, so in return for being such a great sport and putting up with the shit I throw at it I feed it the best food I can on a regular basis. Eating organically and locally are both very important things to me, not eating too much meat, and drinking plenty of water are also things I abide by, and drinking alcohol is usually in a binge sort of way every 6-8 weeks.

As I sit here and assess the readiness of my body to handle the challenge in front of it this weekend, I am for once in 15 years thankful for the body I have been given. I am thankful for genetics at this point in time and I am thankful that I am able to do all the things I love to do and that I am not held back by my own body's weakness. I can sit and look at my stretch marks (much fewer these days) and  not have a complete overwhelming desire to burn them away or do drastic things to get rid of them because they are just a reminder to me to watch my eating better and to not get fat again.

I am strong, I am in perfect health, my weight is in the "normal" healthy range as dictated by the FDA, and my body is downright amazing with handling the shit that its sometimes mentally deficient owner hands to it and tells it to make the best of. This body I have is not a super models, it is quite average looking at best, but I have accepted it and have been very thankful lately for it as I have started climbing 15% grade inclines with a 60 pound pack. I am who I am and I love who I am... today I even love how my body looks and I especially love how my legs look in spandex.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

College Books

So this is my last semester before I get my bachelors degree. I graduate in two months and I am counting the days down to the second it seems. I need to vent a second about the absurdity that is the industry of college books. I just had to pay $11.30 for a lab access code to be mailed to me. This is a code that is 15 digits that I was required to buy online, so why the fuck couldn't the code be emailed to me?? This complaint goes right in line with the cost of college books. I took a chemistry course a few years ago where the book was a special edition book for the school I was attending and it was a required book that was new. There were no used copies available yet. This book cost almost $180.00. After I finished the semester I went to sell my book back to the university and I got $30.00 for it. The industry that is college books can eat a big fat cock in my very humble opinion. College students are notoriously poor and the fact that this industry changes books every two years and is on the 89,687 edition of the latest math book is bullshit. There have been no huge changes in mathematics in a long time. There have not been any new theories introduced that would greatly alter a calculus class and yet the 89,687 edition of the math book is out and students are being charged $576,287 dollars for this book. I am pretty sure that the spawn of satan runs the college book industry and I am pretty sure that if we ever have a chance meeting I am going to show that greedy bastard how ruthless I am. So because these books are mandatory and I had to just pay $11.30 for a printed code to be shipped to my house, I am going to vent my frustrations in this blog and seriously consider mailing gorilla poop to them from this site:

I hope you are all enjoying your night, I am not... I feel like I was just brutally ass-raped with no lube by the college book industry. I am going to go hide in the corner in shame and try to cut away the pain I feel.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Rolling Thunder

So I went to Rolling Thunder today, it was nuts how many bikes were there and I didn't even make it around to all of the parking lots, we only made it to three of them. I have heard varying numbers ranging from 350,000 to 900,000 bikes, all I know is it was nuts how many were there. We met up at my work at 7:45, which is absolutely ridiculous considering I can't even make it to work by this time... yet I was on time. We ended up leaving late so we got near the Pentagon around 9:00 and had to wait in line because the parking lots were already filling up... mind you this ride didn't even leave the Pentagon until 1:00pm. There were 8 bikes in our group, 6 Harleys, my Yami, and another guys Kawasaki... which was pretty representative of the bikes there. I think my bike was 1 of maybe 90-100 sport bikes that were there, it was mostly Harleys and other various types of cruisers. While waiting in this long ass mother effing line of bikes, the Nam Knights MC got a VIP pass to jump ahead of everyone... 20 minutes later after their 1500 bikes jumped into the procession we were moving again... well crawling again. We get there, get lined up, and discover that we are going to be one of the last groups to get into the procession that afternoon. Ugghhh... they were talking 3pm so we walked around for a while looking at bikes, we laid in the grass, we played in the sprinklers, we scooped up goose poop to save for later, we ate food, I pondered why most women who ride either look trashy or like butch lesbians. I am not a lesbian, nor do I look trashy so I don't really know where I fall... I feel so weird without a label defining how I should behave, I am free to do anything then?? Anyways, we actually ended up leaving before the procession because the ride was only 11 minutes and it was a beautiful day so we decided to not waste it sitting in a parking lot waiting 2 hours to pee in a port-o-john. Four of us left and rode to Annapolis through some of the most treacherous roads in DC. I felt like we were off-roading on dirt bikes.

Is it weird that I am *almost* bothered when people ask me or think that I rode on the back of a bike with a man? I don't know why because statistically it is a logical assumption, but it gets very close to bothering me when people assume that... it could be my inner feminist screaming that we are equals and anything a man can do I can do and can probably do it better, with more grace, and definitely more beauty... I am still perfecting the standing while I pee thing, it is tough when you aren't working with the same equipment. I have not dared to try it other than when I am in the shower for fear that I will pee on myself and make an ass out of myself... hmmm, wait a minute, that sounds like a very familiar scenario that I do believe I have done once or twice. Anyways, back on topic... I am definitely not a back of the bike kind of woman. I have rode on the back, but I didn't like it as much as I like riding on my own. Overall it was a pretty boring experience.

This is me, Zack, Randy, and Paul in our tough pose, I guess we aren't really looking too tough. We will work on that for our next group ride. 

If you do not know what Rolling Thunder is, check out this site. It is a great organization helping fight for veterans rights and remembering the POW-MIA who still have not returned home. I am not all patriotic and shit (and I was super irritated that Sarah Palin decided to push her politics at this rally instead of focusing on the cause which was way more important than her fame-mongering self), but I am a veteran and veterans rights are important to me. Remembering those who were not as fortunate as I was to complete my tour successfully should be something that all Americans should do whether you believe in war or not, these people are just like you and I. They went in for the same reasons I went in or any other kid who didn't have money to go to college, didn't know what they wanted to do, or just wanted to see the world. It could have been you or someone you know very easily who didn't return home. If you want to read more on this great organization, here is there link:

Saturday, May 28, 2011

And so it begins...

I know a lot of people who have blogs and I truly enjoy reading them... some crack me up, some have made me cry, some completely suck, and others are just mediocre. I'm hoping mine falls in the mediocre category at least and not the suck category. Anyways, so recently someone called me an asshole for expressing my opinion about a pretty important topic... this person got me thinking about my life and about the importance of expressing myself and lucky for me I live in an information age where I can easily do this and share it among the masses, this is the result.

Read if you want, but I will warn you... I am a very opinionated woman, I do not back down on my moral principles, and I generally think that a good majority of people are stupid animals that do not know the meaning of life or how to live a good one. So why a blog? I don't know, maybe I am a self-important asshole? Maybe I like to read the words I have typed.? I would like to think that it will be a way for me to remember myself when I have fallen off a mountainside somewhere and end up as a vegetable, maybe my friends and family will read it back to me to help spark some sort of memory in me of who I am.

So this person recently likened me to an asshole. She felt that I was an asshole because I had an opinion that I was pushing on others and that I should have kept my mouth shut on the topic.... hmmm, well that isn't going to happen. So it made me start to think if maybe I am an asshole and it made me wonder if I have been an asshole up until this point of my life. High school, yes, I was an asshole. Most of us were, there were a few people I still remember who were not and I wish I would have had the courage back then to not be, but alas I did not. Since I have reached my early twenties though I would like to think that I have not been a jerk. One thing that people often take as an act of being a jerk is HONESTY! Sometimes people don't want to hear the truth, sometimes they are happier in ignorance.

So a few paragraphs later, this is going to be a blog about everything. It will be my opinion on politics, mountain climbing, cycling, riding a motorcycle, eating cheese, running, reading, traveling, alienating people, relishing awkward situations, tragedies that are part of life, my dog's ability to clear a room with her gas, vegetarian life for me, being a socialist, being a liberal, being an adventurer, and not being afraid to express myself on any of it. If you know one thing about me... know that I am pretty close to fearless about my pursuit of fun. Blame my mother, she was a "bad-ass bitch with no muzzle" who wasn't afraid of anything and she always knew how to have fun.