Friday, May 27, 2005

Worst Night Ever

The day started out fine--another attorney in court approached me to ask if I really bike in "those shoes and clothes," meaning my skirtsuit and 3" spike heels. We then got into a discussion about biking around town--she currently bikes to work, but never bikes in 'good' clothes during the workday. I gushed about how quick and easy it is to get around downtown compared to walking, cabbing or CTAing and she said I inspired her to give it a shot. We work on the same file, so she has seen me in court several times with my helmet and apparently has been wondering about the biking for a while. Maybe she'll inspire someone else to start biking, too!

Then in the afternoon, a deposition that was supposed to take about one hour lasted for almost three hours. Opposing counsel's nickname is 'pitbull' and she is extremely abrasive and hard to deal with. Even so, compared to my client, she is an absolute treat. What a miserable experience.

When I got back to the office, I basically checked my messages and cut out of there. I had to deliver a mannequin torso to CBF for the weekend. Riding through downtown rush hour on the Julep with a naked mannequin tucked under my arm was challenging for me--but at least several pedestrians and drivers got a chuckle.

This is when things went weird. First, I stopped off at the bank to get money for the weekend and to buy t-shirts at the CBF office. The ATM said my account was $0.00 -- obviously not what I expected. Odd. Onward to the office I went. I didn't see the bike of a boy I didn't want to see, so I bounded up the stairs and knocked on the door--and the offending boy answered. Damnitt! We ended up having a conversation that seemed far too natural and odd at the same time. Overall, rather disturbing.

I biked home feeling slightly weirded out by him and by the bank account situation. Since we leave tomorrow for the Starved Rock bike-packing trip, I had lots of stuff to do. There was a message waiting for me from my credit card company saying that there was questionable activity on the account and to call them immediately. Going on-line I found that my bank account had a strange, unexpected transaction that overdrew my account, and that my completely unrelated credit card account couldn't be accessed, either. Fuck.

I still haven't learned anything, because the business that withdrew the funds isn't open, and I can't get through to the credit card company. Obviously some sort of identity theft is what I'm worried about. Not cool under any circumstances, but especially not cool when I'm planning on going away tomorrow.

I decide that there really isn't anything I can do, so I try to start preparing for the trip.

First step: Laundry--the washing machine is broke after eating my quarters. Breath.

Second step: Waterproofing my jacket, rainpants, paniers and tent -- the can of water repellant spray is missing the entire nozzle mechanism. Seriously--I don't know whether to laugh or cry. I opt to laugh because I ran all over the city last night looking for this spray--and now it is completely useless.

Third step: Bake cookies and buy snacks for the road--oops, No Fucking Money for snacks or ingredients.

This is absolutely ridiculous. Murphy's Law is obviously working pretty damn well--if tonight is any indication, I'm sure this weekend will be quite eventful. Before I was only worried about it raining and me being cold, wet and miserable--maybe with blisters or sunburn, too. After tonight though, I feel like the possibility of things going wrong has increased. Will it hail, snow or tornado instead of simply raining? Locusts, frogs or rivers of blood? Perhaps we will be attacked by bears or wolves or an escaped pack of circus midgets. Instead of flat tires, maybe my bike will spontaneously combust or melt. The possibilities of the calamities that might befall us are truly endless.

Anyway, hours later--my bags are packed and my gear is strapped to my bike. I found my sunscreen and remembered my swimsuit. I have both a sundress and woolen winter hat/mittens/socks to defend against various weather. Two spare tubes are packed, and I think I'll bring the one at work, too. My lights have new batteries and I finally got a water cage on my bike. My paycheck was deposited to my bank account, so as I write this I am not completely broke. My bike weighs a ton, and it looks like I am running away from home.

Tomorrow morning I have decided to NOT go swimming or work out before work, in favor of sleeping or running pre-trip errands. Before we leave I need to: stop at the bank for cash, buy snacks, buy CO2 cartridges and grab some toiletries and a sweater from the office. Oh yeah and I also need to bust out a motion to quash several subpoenas--My crystal ball fortells the motion being a big pile of horseshit. Too fucking bad--my mind is on the upcoming bike trip:
Friday--critical mass + 40 miles of nightime highway riding
Saturday--70-80 miles of riding to Starved Rock (the last three miles are apparently a pretty steep incline)
Sunday--hiking, camping, gorging on brunch, sneaking into the lodge's pool and sauna
Monday--110+ miles back to Chicago

Too fucking fun. As long as the weather isn't horrible (or tonights luck repeats), this should be a great trip!


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