Monday, February 27, 2006

Abstract (possibly more later)

Phil quit. I’m scared of how crazy work will become.

Frozen Snot 2006 happened this weekend. Paul and I arrived in Milwaukee around 3:30pm. Tailwinds galore. Totally different than last year. The only bad part of it was my saddle. I haven’t ridden the Bianchi since about October or November...somehow the most comfortable saddle metamorphized into a torture device. Not to be too gross, but my genitals were pained, swollen and red upon arrival in Milwaukee. If anyone else but me had done this, they could have been charged with criminal sexual abuse or sexual torture. On the way back to Chicago I stood up out of the saddle to avoid the worst of the jarring bumps, and fared much better.

The Julep’s seat felt like a dream to ride in comparison – although she kicked me several times for leaving her at home.

The next morning we did Stage Five of the Tour. My legs didn’t have it in them to stay with the pack. At the end, John G. lead our tiny group unneccesarily into the Underworld. Fuckin’ Scary. Once again, getting lost is not good in a race.

I had planned on NOT doing the final Tour, the Stair master, because it sounds like a huge, horrible clusterfuck of all the things I don’t enjoy about the races. Everyone else is strongly pressuring me to do this ride. Inge suggested we do it together in completely ridiculous 1980's party dresses, so now I’m considering it.

Visiting Frick in California this Friday.


Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Next Stop: The Looney Bin

My boss is getting progressively crazier – and in his ADD duck, duck, goose mind set, has chosen me to be his travel companion on this journey. Based on the amount of projects that he has picked me to work closely with him, I’ve got a tenured position as favorite employee. Normally this would be a sweet spot to hold in the workplace, high-level craziness really diminishes the benefits.

Besides having to deal with his craziness, I am increasingly becoming concerned that it might be contagious. While I often have a low tolerance for stupid, annoying or ridiculous people and situations....I currently feel like I am desperately hanging onto the end of my patience.
Work is one of the first things I think of when I wake up – and I immediately get angry. Anger is my visceral reaction to any thought of work. I can actually feel my blood heat as I contemplate the day ahead of me. I can’t think of work without reviewing the thoughts of my boss’s latest escapades or trying to foresee what still lies ahead of me.

At work there are times that I am overcome with desire to just start screaming.....sometimes I imagine just pumping out shrill, piercing screams, while other times I imagine letting loose with a scathing, ranting monologue to and about my crazy boss. Like Flanders, I definitely am enticed by the, "kicking and screaming, please" option.

There are times when I feel that my anger and anxiety are proof of my sanity – for what sane person could tolerate living in an irrational world without a negative reaction? Yet at other times I objectively note that I mutter to myself and entertain violent fantasies far more often than a healthy mind would indicate.

Oh yeah, to add to the fun of my job – our building, which has always sucked ass, sucks even more today. Why....well first off all, some pipes burst over the weekend, resulting in flooding of parts of the building. We therefore have ONE working elevator for 22 floors, the water supply has been shut down, and the office is freezing. The building has recently been sold to a developer who is going to gut-rehab the place in a year. Every penny he spends on services and upkeep is wasted money. So this super-crappy building is getting crappier and crappier by the day. Joy.

The second-in-command boss has been increasingly stressed out by the craziness level and I suspect he is leaving the firm. Yesterday he came in late, wearing jeans and had a talk about ‘personal issues’ with the main, crazy boss. Afterwards we received a message that we are having an ‘all-staff’ meeting this afternoon. Has the eagerly awaited, anticipated and expected implosion arrived? Will I soon be able to suck off of the unemployment insurance teat as the warmth of Spring arrives?

Cross your fingers. Or am I insane for wishing for this?

Monday, February 13, 2006

Meanie, Yoga, State's Attorney, Stage 4, Smooth as Butter

Life has been very busy. We've got some new clients and I have had many days of frantically working a lot before speeding off to either sleep, or have fun with friends. Plus my internet access has been blogging was on the back burner.

So on to the recap babble.

Mean Streak:

One night I had to hustle up to the Steppenwolf Theatre for a women's legal mentoring event (I'm the mentor! crazy but true...). This entails a ride through the horrible, cab, tourist & yuppie infested River North area. Some bitch in a fancy car was beeping at me to get out of her way so she could ride the bumber of the car right in front of me. At a red light we had a little "conversation." It was the usual BS about me needing to ride on the sidewalk because I am a menace (i.e. smaller than her and seemingly in her way).

My mean streak reared its head and my last words to her were along the lines of, "maybe if you spent less time in your car you'd lose your bad attitude and your fat ass." I then made sure to keep pace with her in traffic for about the next four blocks. Eventually our ways parted.

On the way home, riding under the highway going west on North Avenue to Wicker Park, another dude was honking as he buzzed me really closely to get to a red light. I asked him if it was him who was honking or the asshole behind him. He told me that he was beeping at the asshole next to him who wasn't making enough room for him to safely pass me. I suggested that he just stay behind bikes when there isn't room to pass. He asked why I wasn't driving and I told him I don't want a car. Then he suggested that I get a job so I can afford one. I glanced at his car dismissively and said, "I'm a lawyer. I don't want a stupid car -- but trust me, I have enough money in my checking account right now to buy what you're driving."

Then the light turned green at Ashland and I floated past the double-parked cars that slowed him and the other cars down. I think the haughtiness that I tried to portray was probably ruined by the fact that my skirt rode so high that I was obviously flashing my underpants during the whole of the conversation.

Still, two super-bitchy remarks in one night!?! Certainly this isn't being the best biking advocate.

For one of my cases I was appointed a Special State's Attorney. Sounds cooler than it is. But I'll shamelessly slap it on my resume, nonetheless.


Inge invited me to yoga at her house, and this Saturday morning I finally made it. (Last Saturday, Paul and I took a long/fast bike ride with his ex-girlfriend since it was an off week for racing, and we didn't get back in time for me to make yoga.) I knew that I would be ridiculously inflexible, but Damn -- I completely forgot how many ways there are to be inflexible. The 1.5 hours of yoga were quite a workout for me.

Later in the day I went on the Chocolate Ride, a slow-paced social bike ride. I realized that my body wasn't doing very well, because my muscles felt completely cashed out. They completely lacked energy and were starting to feel sore. I had worries about the next morning's race.

Sure enough, when I woke up on Sunday morning my body was sore all over. I mentioned bailing from the race, but Paul guilted me into doing it. He was eager to ride his new fixed gear that is geared much lower than he is used to -- and he isn't used to spinning. We originally figured that he would ride as fast as he could maintain, but still quickly get dropped by the group, including me. However, he convinced me to go and we agreed that we would ride together at whatever pace our handicaps allowed for. Knowing that we'd lose the pack, he plotted a route that didn't involve Western Ave.

Once the race started, I actually didn't feel too bad and considered sticking with the pack instead of following Paul. He and the other people we rode with were going slower than I wanted to, both against the wind up to Evanston, and with the wind on our backs. Even though we weren't really being competitive, it was still frustrating going slower than I wanted to and knowing that we'd score horribly. The ride back was only about 17-18mph, which was easy with the wind on our backs and didn't even cause deep breathing or much sweating. It didn't at all feel like a race.

On one of the last corners I hit my pedal as I leaned and the Julep jarred upright beneath me, along with my heart in my throat. It was more unexpected than scary, because it was over before I really recognized what happened. This is the first time I scraped a pedal on a fixed gear at speed -- it feels a lot different than on a bike with a freewheel.

I don't know what the scores for the race were yet, but I undoubtedly sucked. There was a dart-throwing component and I got a 2. One of the organizers of the race commented as our group lined up for darts on how 'cute the girls are.' He wasn't talking about our appearance, but instead was remarking that we were each offering to let the other girl go ahead because we didn't want to cut in line.

After the race our group of friends went to Pete's house for customary post-race pancakes and mimosas. During breakfast the soreness of yoga re-appeared with a vengeance. Muscles everywhere hurt -- especially my upper abs, side muscles and rib muscles. Laughing hurt -- and everything was funny. I felt like an old woman.

My lock seized up on Saturday afternoon. I spent a lot of time on Sunday trying to coax that damn thing to open up. I had let too much salt, dirt and water get inside it. I tried oil and bathed its innards with WD40 at Paul's house, but nothing worked. Back at my place I tried some more and used the only spray oil I have -- Crisco butter-flavored non-stick cooking spray. At first it didn't work, but then after sitting for an hour it miraculously popped open easily. The WD40 had marinated the lock with no noticeable result for over eight hours. Crisco works better, though.

I thouroughly cleaned my lock once it was open -- and then slathered it with more Crisco. So now my lock opens as smooth as butter -- and smells like butter, too!

Reminder -- the Frozen Snot is less than 2 weeks away! Stage 5 is the following morning. Saddle up!

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