Monday, February 26, 2007

Chills! Hills! Thrills! No Spills! (which puts us one up on last year)

The Notorious Toe Jam Hill -- where many an ego goes to die.

So yesterday, BF Toasty and I did the Chilly Hilly bike ride. It's a 33 mile bike ride around Bainbridge Island, with a total elevation gain of 2,675 ft. (or so it says on my t-shirt). That's, like, a fifth of the way up Mt. Rainier! OK, so it doesn't sound that impressive when put that way, but it was the steep bit, right at the very top, that's what. Seriously, when I go up inclines like that, I'm usually wearing a rope.
There was some variety of precipitation (not including the 'air hankies,' which made parts of the ride like a Mucus Slalom) nearly the entire way, and I think the temp. topped out around the mid-40s, so the ride definitely lived up to its name. It also lived up to the name Wet Bloody Misery Ye Gods Not Another F&%#ing Hill, which is what I dubbed it at about mile 11.

Last year, the day before the Chilly Hilly, BF Toasty managed to break his wrist. Conveeeeeeeeenient. I think he might have sacrificed another bone or two, had he known how very very long the CH was. At one point, topping out on infamous Toe Jam Hill, he rode past me and wheezed, "Soul . . . Crushed" which had several panting riders snorting out their noses, myself included. The ferry ride back was a festival of hot chocolate and trail mix and cookies and brownies, hundreds of riders on board wearing sugar-encrusted smiles and dribbling crumbs down their jerseys. The few passengers on the ferry that weren't decked out in spandex and Gore-tex and didn't make that little clicking sound as they walked were undoubtedly thrilled to have damp, sweaty, chili-fed riders everywhere, desperate for seats big enough to put their entire bottoms on.

There is a cheery camaraderie in sharing a semi-miserable experience with others. I had several breathless conversations with strangers, all of us lamenting the witlessness of not only doing this silly thing we were doing, but of having paid for the privelege. I watched (and was the beneficiary of) lots of really strong riders cheering on the less strong as we wrestled our bikes up the hills. I saw riders stop in the cold and wet and help others change tires or fix chains. One particularly jovial team alternated their calls of "On your left" with "Up your ass!" which was funnier and much less offensive than it sounds here. The people in cars, who had ample reason to be cranky about waiting and waiting and waiting to be allowed to use their streets, were cooperative and cautious.

So, as I pop another dose of Ibuprofen and try to decide where I'll wear my new Chilly Hilly t-shirt for maximum exposure and bragging rights, the question inevitably arises: Will I do this ride again?

Yeah, no.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

0.6 of a Good Deed

Just a reminder to everyone to hit The Animal Rescue Site every day. By clicking on the button, you provide some wee critter in a shelter somewhere with 0.6 of a bowl of food. And it's free. You just have to pretend to glance at the advertising.

OK, these people failed to hire me to work for them (, but we're talking Animals In Need here, so I'm willing to put our differences aside. Also, you can, like, feed people and help fight breast cancer and teach kids to read and blah blah blah whatnot, but don't forget the critters! Puppies! Kitties! Hungry and wee ones! Just hit the %$#@*&! button and don't argue with me.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Paws for Reflection

<---------- Note very large dictionary in background; quiet
symbol of the terribly literary.

So, half-a-dozen chapters into Compass Jones, I'm thinking it's time to, you know, stop, take stock, try to figure out if this story has an actual plot, or if that's just an optimistic rumor. The smart money's on rumor.
I've been asked a few (OK, a couple of) times now, "What's in the box?" (Compass Jones, Chapter 5). To be honest, I don't know yet. I'm just hoping it's not a puppy. But I'm soliciting guesses (read: ideas) from my audience, so both of you, get crackin'! Let's hear what you think is in the box, and then I'll tell you why you're wrong. Or I'll steal your idea, delete your comment, and take all the credit for it myself. Hey, fiction isn't pretty.

Friday, February 09, 2007

Soggy Moggy

I hate towel-washing day. I wander around the house, dripping, because I have nothing to wipe my wet hands on. Then I remember that I have cats.

Friday, February 02, 2007

My Car is an Academic Underachiever

My car failed its emissions test the other day, and I felt incredibly embarrassed when the guy passed me the sheet with the word "fail" in at least six places on it. (It failed not because it emits anything more noxious than any other American car, but because the speedometer doesn't work which makes the "check engine" light go on, which makes for a fail.) We stayed up all night studying, and today my car passed. I was stupidly proud of her for passing this time and wished that my new tabs had wee little gold stars on them.