Monday, September 11, 2006

5 Years Ago Today

I was thinking how different my life is today on September 11th, 2006 compared to 5 years ago when the world changed. I'm not talking about the big stuff like when we flinched everytime we saw plane a little too close to a building or being at Giants Stadium and feeling weird about how the view of the skyline from the parking lot was completely different than anything we had ever seen.

Work: I had just taken my first non front desk hotel job and now find myself as the Assistant Department head for a downtown hotel. Back them, I was lucky to not get laid off after the industry pretty much slowed to a crawl. Now I've got my eye on what will happen if/when my current hotel is sold. Since then, I've gone from the Parker House to a couple of different hotels with the Four Seasons.

Living: I was living north of Boston in Beverly in a place that was far enough away from the 'rents to prevent a pop-in, but close enough that it wouldn't be an overnight trip. I now am in a really cool condo with a view of the lake by Wrigley Field in Chicago. In between, there have been 3 other places. One in Maryland and 2 right here in Chicago.

Personal: Back in 2001, I had just gotten engaged. The wedding wouldn't be for another 2 years and the marriage would last just shy of 3 weeks. Today I find myself with someone going on nearly two years. In between, not a whole lot to report. There were girls, but nothing of any substance. One was even a Steelers fan ughh!!!

Speaking of sports, when the towers fell, the Red Sox were still cursed and the Patriots had never won a Superbowl. The Yankees were defending World Champions and the NHL was still quite popular. In the time since then, the Red Sox have won a World Series and the Yankees haven't. The Patriots have won 3 Superbowls and the NHL cancelled an entire season and nearly buried itself in its own stupidity.

I guess most of this came to me when I was at Joe's yesterday. I couldn't wear my old Pats jersey since the player made like Judas and bolted to the Colts. The jersey I wore was an old Bledsoe jersey with an American flag sewn on the back. We had done that 5 years ago when we attended the Patriots home opener. It had been delayed when the NFL put the season on hold for 2 weeks. This was the first game after the attacks and we wanted to look extra Patriotic, no pun intended. I thought it was fitting that I would choose that jersey for yesterday's game.

By the way...Bledsoe got hurt in that game and was replaced by a 2nd year player who started the preseason as the #4 QB. His name? Tom Brady.

Bledsoe would never start for us again. Thank you Mo Lewis!!!

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Two Jews Walk Into Fenway

Sadly, I didn't catch this live since NESN is not available out here even with a dish. The Sox may have lost the game, but they definitely win the most Anti-Mel commentary of the evening. Check out this gem...

Monday, July 31, 2006

Happy 25th!



25 years ago, the rocket lifted off and the Buggles came on the screen letting us know of the demise of the radio star. It's scary that I'm really good friends with someone that has been around less time than MTV. I remember they used to play videos and then at least had VH1 played some videos. Now with such lovely fare as Fresh Meat on the original and The Surreal Life on junior, you pretty much need digital cable for a chance to catch a video with either the deuce or VH1 Classic.

Tonight they are rebroadcasting the 1st day from 25 years ago starting at 11PM. Yes, I am recording it. I know this makes me a dork, but "I want my MTV!"

Long Live the Moon Man!


Wednesday, July 26, 2006

I Knew It!!!

You Are 82% Evil

You're the most evil person you know.
The devil is even a little scared of you!

Sunday, July 16, 2006

The bikes come out at night


Well I did my first post-MS Ride last night/this morning. I remember last year's L.A.T.E. Ride being a nightmare due to being packed in so tightly that I could barely move. This year I was near the front of the pack and as soon as they let us start, Liz and I took off. We wound up passing the pace car a couple times and got to a deserted rest stop for part II of Peanut Butter Jelly Time.

We wound up finishing the 25 mile ride in just under 2 hours. Not bad when you factor in the 25 minutes we spent eating Uncrustables and granola bars. The worst part was getting back at 3:30 and having to wait for the sun to rise. I'm just glad we weren't in the other group of friends that were there. They thought it would be a good idea to stop at a bar on the way. Precisely the reason we didn't ride with them.

After the ride, we headed to Jen's to drop off bikes and have a mini-mopundow breakfast. Liz was supposed to meet us there, but her body betrayed her and she fell asleep. I got home and took a nap and now I'm just staying out of the 100 degree heat we have outside.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Don't F--- with....Rayvn?


I'm not sure why...nobody I've talked to can come up with any good reason for this. It seems the lovely folks over at Disney have decided to remake a classic. The only babysitter worth a damn was Elisabeth Shue. She may have to live down being part of the debacle that was Back To the Future Part II, but she warned us not to fuck with the babysitter!

Monday, June 26, 2006

137.23 Miles!



Well we did it, sort of. Our final mileage was 137.23 miles, easily my longest 2 day total of my cycling career. It was a busy but fun weekend.

Friday

Blew through my work to get the hell out of dodge by 11. In doing so, I missed a call from Performance that my new pedals were in. Looks like I'll be doing the ride without toe clips. Oh well. How bad can it be? At least Jen and Liz will be able to keep up with me now. I got picked up by Mike and we spent about 30 minutes figuring out how to get the bike rack on his car. Getting mine and Liz's bike on was easy compared to Jen's tiny bike. It involved her riding with her rear tire in the back seat.

We arrived at the hotel without incident. Dave got there early and wasn't able to get a room on our floor. We had a few beers and watched Homer & Co. before heading out to dinner at Luigi's. Dinner took quite a long time and after a minor billing dispute(no way a bowl of pasta and coke was going to be 30 bucks), we headed back to the hotel for a final team meeting and plan for the morning. Dave and I finally came in the room after what seemed an eternity to certain people, but it was worth the wait. We came in with a fully lit up birthday cake in honor of the Mighty One's day of the birth. This was followed by presenting our resident youngin' with training wheels on her bike. Both surprises were well received and we retired for the night. Well until 3AM anyway.

Saturday

3AM - Alarm goes off. It's waffle time! We woke up to inhale a waffle and go back to sleep. Gotta have energy for when we wake up for real!

4:30 AM- The real alarm goes off and it's time to run around like crazy people and load the cars to head over to Kaneland. Of course, this had all the organization of a bunch of 7 year olds running to the ice cream man. We got the cars and bikes loaded and jumped in the car to follow Dave over. Whoops...Dave took off without us. The directions proved less than crappy and after much map mulling, we headed out and got over to the school.


6:50 AM - We line up for our team photo. Only an hour late! We still got it and most of us were in it for the 1st take. Larry finally made it over for the second shot and it was time to do some biking.

7:00ish - We hit the start line and are just itchin' to go. Dave passes me and I think about going at his pace for about 20 seconds. Even with Old Yeller, I decide to go at a pace that will let me finish. I was at a major equipment disadvantage with my bike. I catch up with his brother and ride with him into the 1st rest stop. My 1st experience with Gu and also Peanut Butter Jelly Time. Thanks to Liz for keeping that in my head the entire weekend.

LOTS OF CORN, FARMHOUSES AND SOYBEAN CROPS

10:30 - We pull into the lunch stop in Sandwich. Yes...I had a sammie in sandwich, but only 1/2 of a sammie. I am lucky to learn from the mistakes made by last year's riders. As we were leaving the rest stop, Liz saw someone who didn't heed that advice. She got to see this poor girl hurl on the side of the road. The cops in Sandwich also had a rather large insect in their rectum for the MS Ride and we were warned several times to ride single file for fear of being ticketed. I'm not sure why I was worried. I have a Maryland license that was about 3-4 moves ago. Let them mail the ticket there. We escaped the clutches of the Sandwich law with no moving violations and headed towards Rollo. Snowcones here we come!!!!

11:30ish - We pull into Rollo after declaring "8 miles to snowcones!" upon leaving the previous stop. Long story short...no snowcones. We weren't the first to ask about them, but alas no cones of snow for me. This is where we needed to make a command decision about the rest of the day. Do we head back and be happy with 75 miles or head to Earlville for our century patch?

WE ARE OFF TO EARLVILLE! Century patch...you shall be mine!

Time is no longer something I am keeping track of...

I pull out ahead of the good ladies and get to Earlville first. "Watch the gravel!!!!" I hear about 5 times. The last time I heard it was as I hit the gravel and down I go. Of course I pop right up. I'm fine!!! My arm just stings a bit. I just need to shake it off. I look down to a rather nasty cut filled with the previously mentioned gravel.

Jen and Liz pull up to see me being doted about 2 grandmotherly types attending to your hero. They cleaned out my cut and made sure I got my century patch. A few embarrassing pictures and I'm ready to go. Time to head back to Rollo and get the hell off the bikes!

We get back to the worst stocked rest stop we've seen. No food, no Powerade and very little water. I don't know what the people behind us were going to have, but we suck it up and keep on keeping on. From this point, things get a bit fuzzy and I feel the effects of having no Powerade and just water. The trail to the next rest stop includes some hills that made me very unhappy. We decided to make the next rest stop the last one and just get back since the course closes at 6 and there was no way in hell we were being SAG'ed in.

Out on the horizon it appeared to me before my unbelieving eye...NIU!!!! I can see it. Now I have something to focus on. I hooked up with a couple other riders and followed them to the finish. Of course, in our excitement we all missed the finish line. Tired or not, I'm crossing the finish line. Much to my delight, Mike and Elizabeth were there to cheer us in. I high fived them and headed to the campsite to get off the bike and grab a beer.

The rest of the night consisted of eating, showering and being teased about my road rash. It didn't matter. I did my first century and nobody can take that away.

Uh oh...it looks like it may rain. I hope we can still ride tomorrow...

Sunday

We wake up at 5:30 and the sky is ug-lee. It looks like it may just open up and come down very quickly. Not even 15 minutes later, we were literally carrying tents to a nearby tarp so we could take them down in relative dryness.


The rain was so heavy that they had to close the start line for awhile. By the time the rain had stopped, we had everything just about packed up and gotten our dripping wet bikes from the bike check are I was attempting to squeeze as much water from my seat which had turned into a nice sponge.

The rain stopped, but it looked like it could start up at anytime and they announced that the route was open, but they strongely suggest everybody consider the 35 mile option. Since most of the ride is out in the open, we didn't need to be told twice to do 35 miles. Just about everybody did the 35 and got to ride straight into a headwind leftover from the storm. I crossed the finish line being flanked by Jen and Liz, got my medal and hit the BBQ. The final tally for Sunday...35 miles, 2 burgers, 1 chicken sandwich, 2 plates of potato salad, 1 sausage and 1 can of soda. I guess I was hungry.

I headed home with Mike and waited for the ladies to arrive at my place with the bikes. Jen stuck around, we had some pasta and deservedly fell asleep early.

After this weekend, the L.A.T.E. Ride should be a snap. I think I can handle a nice, leisurely ride. Of course, I'll be sporting my Team mopundow colors.


Century riders showing off their patches