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.