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30 July 2008
28 July 2008
July 25, 2008
Opening Night of "Yes, This Really Happened to Me"
Admittedly, I'm slightly biased about this show since I wrote one of the pieces in it. Also admittedly, I'm slightly biased because I love it when I write a story and hand it off to amazing humans and they make it way better. I'm a huge proponent of sucking up other people's amazingness in order to make myself look good.
Opening Night was great. There was a full house, so we won the poker game. Ha. Actually, "full house" in performy language means, "the set didn't fall down." So that was good. And the audience laughed. And cried. And screamed for more. And then we went to Danny's.
What's the best thing to do when you go out to a bar after a successful Opening Night? Hang out in the alley, of course. And take 21 pictures on your camera, all of which will be accidentally deleted by dancing zombies with bad breath and a deep prejudice against expertly-taken photos.
However, because I have learned to use words to paint pictures, I would now like to show you the photo album from Opening Night:
1. First, we went out to the alley because that just seemed to make a lot of sense. The alley looked like an alley. This description, Alert Power Love Reader, is called "dynamism in language."
2. Next, someone mentioned "pictures."
3. Then, I pulled out my camera.
4. Then, we had a succession of band shots because what do you do when you're a group of actors and directors and writers and you have just enjoyed a successful Opening Night? You start a band, duh.
5. First, we were a 90s boy band. We crossed our arms and looked petulantly at the camera; we looked off into the distance, contemplating complex dance moves.
6. Then George, Keith, and Josh decided to be rappers. Or bad asses. Or something that required them to lean against a brick wall and snarl at the camera.
7. Then someone said, "Awkward prom pictures."
8. Then, I had 19 pictures on my camera that were all eerily similar to awkward prom pictures.
9. Then we had a contest for most awkward picture and George and I won because this is my blog and the evidence has been destroyed by zombies. But you should trust me on this one.
10. Then, I decided that there was no way in hell I could live without these people, so I formed an alt-rock, country-pop, death metal band and called it Awkward Prom Pictures and we are currently on tour and coming to a VFW hall near you!
To recap, go see Yes, This Really Happened to Me. It is excellent.
Three things to know about "The Dark Knight":
1. Batman has a bitch ass cool motorcycle
2. The Joker has mental problems
3. Chicago is heartbreakingly beautiful
24 July 2008
THIS WAS A REAL BIKE RACE (and awesome vacation experience #6789)
Yesterday I raced the first bike race I have raced in about 2 years. This was a momentous event for me, mostly because I finally accepted the irrationality of paying someone in order to experience pain. Really, when you think about it, it's like taxes, but with cooler terrain. This bike race took place in beautiful Hales Corners, Wisconsin, around a garden of botanicality, which was really, really pretty.
My goals for this race were as follows:
1. Stay with the field, preferably to the end.
2. Climb at your own pace (may or may not be a direct contradiction of #1).
3. Do. Not. Give. Up.
To be sure, I was nervous as hell for this one. This was a Superweek Race, which means people from New Zealand show up, and it also means that really, half the field should be racing in a higher category and they're really in this particular race to toy with those of us who cry really easily when faced with hill repetitions. But lo! At the start, I had a realization: it was sunny and 75 degrees outside, I was about to ride my bicycle around a really pretty park, and I have a blood clot in my left knee and a blood disorder that encourages it and I am not dead. From that perspective, a 30-mile bike race looks pretty awesome.
The starter official guy was laid back and in his laconic speech cadence he said, "Ok, when you're ready, go." And so we did. Quick left, snaky S-curves that you could cut the apex on and take as a straight line, slight downhill, left turn, down some more, slight right, slight kicker hill that somehow pitched a bit more right in the middle, plateau, little kicker hill, down, curve left, uphill that was easy as long as you took it with momentum, curve left, some more stuff that I could take easily so you know the rest of the field probably filed their nails during this part, curve right, then the course narrowed significantly and we rolled through a slew of intense potholes that were not patched but conveniently marked with bright orange circles and which I soon learned to take on the way left side, sprint out of that mess to the left, then a sloping curve to the right, bit of a down slope, 90-degree turn, immediate bitch ass tough climb but short, little flat respite after, but not much because then a very tiny kicker hill which was excruciating after 13 reps, then curve to the right and sprint to finish line. Easy, right?
Attacks went off at 8 to go, 7 to go, 5 to go, and 1 to go. The 1 to go attack stuck. I referred myself to Goal #1 and did whatever I could to stay with the field--this meant a lot of mumbling to myself, which was articulated in my head as, "Um, OK, like, you are going to have to suck it up right now because these people are pushing the pace right now," but which I think actually came out of my mouth as, "#$#&%$#^%$#^%#^%$#%$#^%#^%. Shit." There were two particularly difficult accelerations that I thought were gonna crack me, but I referred to Goal #3 and #4, and did the aforementioned sucking up and voila! I caught back on to the field. In all honesty, I can't believe I was able to do that. I think maybe the field wasn't pushing it too hard because I have a hard time believing I stayed with a field of that quality.
And then that 5 to go attack happened, which I think was a result of the beautiful Pascale getting her groove on, and I thought to myself, "Well, if I make it halfway through this race, that's respectable." And then I heard a car horn behind me and there it was--the sweeper car. Coming up behind me. And you know what? I don't like the sweeper car. It's a sad day to see that thing and while I know the tapped horn honk was a "I'm just letting you know I'm here" honk, in my head it was really a loud gonging bell that was saying, "WHERE ARE YOUR GUTS, MORRIS?" And so I turned back around, eyeballed the field, and cranked my ass right back up to them, where I stayed for the rest of the race.
With one to go, I was very aware of the fact that I was in a group of women who were On The Hunt, which is kinda scary, and not in a I'm-at-a-meat-market-bar kinda way, more like a Tigers-Protecting-Their-Young scary. I tried as hard as I could to make it up that hill for the 13th time and guess what? I did it. And I tried as hard as I could to sprint to the line and guess what? I couldn't get out of the saddle. I just didn't have it in me. As it turned out, I finished 23 out of 39, which may seem to you to be resoundingly mediocre, but to me, it's exactly what I was going for and you know what? I'll take medicore for now, because exactly one year ago this week I sat in a hemotologist's office and I listened as this petite woman with high cheekbones put her tiny hand on my wrist and said, calmly and condescendingly, "Honey, you're not going to be able to race your bike anymore."
She was wrong.
Awesome Vacation Experience #4567
1. Go to Violet.
This is Violet, outside. It's really pretty.
It's chicken! It's a lollipop! Or, really, it's a chicken puffy pastry thing with a bone in it that looks like an upside down lollipop. I strongly suggest you do not pick it up and wave it around like a real lollipop, though, because the puffy pastry thing is a bit top heavy and therefore falls to the ground very quickly if you wave it around like you would with a Tootsie Roll tootsie pop--you know, like when you're trying to make a point and so you use your lollipop to punctuate your sentences and you feel vaguely like Telly Savalas and then you realize you should start being a very suave, very tough private investigator who can make a lollipop seem tough and then you realize you have no interest in solving crimes because that's a segment of society that perhaps you'd prefer not to associate with, though it would be really cool to have a 70s muscle car, but did Kojak have a muscle car? And that, friends, is what the Google is for.
3. Take a picture of yourself in the bathroom of said awesome restaurant and make sure to get that artwork!
Oh, wait, can't see that cool artwork? Yeah, that's because someone needs a haircut, but kinda I don't want to get one because soon my hair will be able to double as a rug and you may be laughing at it now, but wait until winter when I am all warm and cozy with my rug hair. WE'LL SEE WHO'S LAUGHING THEN!
21 July 2008
The best thing about going on vacation is: IT'S VACATION. For example, did you know there's something called "sleeping in"? It's true. This is a state by which you awaken in the morning WITHOUT AN ALARM CLOCK. It's amazing. Also on vacation, THERE IS NO BROWN LINE. This, too, is amazing.
Team Power Love's official summer vacation is taking place in the balmy locale of Chicago, Illinois. It was a scheduling nightmare to get into this ritzy resort, but because we are world famous and very, very rich, we had only to drop a few names, and VOILA! Access.
The goal for this vacation (one must always have goals, even on vacation) is to do only things one wouldn't do in a typical week. That means, I'm currently training for a hot dog eating contest. Which I think should possibly be hyphenated, but since I'm on vacation, I'm not going to consult The Chicago Manual of Style. However, if someone else wants to do that and let me know, that would be cool because no doubt that will bug me until I know the answer.
BUT NO! We are all about relaxing this fine week, SO WHO CARES ABOUT GRAMMATICAL ERRORS? (Me.) Onward:
Awesome Vacation Experience #1: Bike Ri-ace.
As every serious cycler knows, a bike ri-ace is a combination bike ride/bike race. It's a phenomenon in which I race and the others around me ride and wonder why I'm breathing so heavily. It's great. As every serious cycler also knows, it takes much skill and cunning to plan a strategy to win a bike ri-ace. For example, here we see Brian discussing our strategy to attack the peloton, two minutes into the 60-mile ri-ace.
According to my plan, I was going to whip out a trampoline, Brian was going to roll on to it on his bike, and then pounce off, jettisoning himself over the peloton and across the finish line.
The only problem with this strategy was that there was no finish line. Also, I didn't have a trampoline. Instead, Brian rolled up to the front of the group and, as you see here, a win! Alert Power Love reader, do you see how clever and intricately woven my tactical racing plans truly are? I am telling you--it is pure genius.
As decreed by the gods, bike riding is the awesomest thing ever in all of everland. There are many amazing things about riding a bicycle, the top two of which are:
1. Flying down a hill on a bicycle
2. Riding with friends
In addition, it does not hurt to be able to ride with friends who just so happen to have legs so gorgeous they could be works of art.
I love vacation.
We rode to Lake Geneva, Wisconsin. Did you know they have STORES in Wisconsin? THEY DO! The stores have food and hydration. This is always a good thing when you are strategizing bike ri-aces.
Food of the gods.
A giraffe made out of Legos. I don't know why.
17 July 2008
OK, hey! So—I wrote this story about getting high in an alley when I was a messenger, which is HIGHLY (ha!) fictionalized (not really), OF COURSE, because who would be so silly to get high in an alley? Right? Right? As it turns out, the cops don’t like it when you do this. But anyway, that’s not the point of this post. The point is, I wrote this story and then Margot the Marvelous and Cassy the Classy, directors extraordinaire, put my story into a large, jewel-encrusted bag with some other stories and cool actors and VOILA! A play! This play will open July 25 and run for a very short time, so I strongly suggest you go get yourself some tickets and then actually go to the play, because it is really well done, my felonious exploits notwithstanding. More information and tix here.
11 July 2008
HOW TO KNOW WHEN YOU'RE REALLY TOO TIRED TO RIDE YOUR BIKE
1. When you go to take a drink from your water bottle, the one with Gatorade in it, instead of squirting it in your mouth, you end up soaking your right arm instead, which is awesome because Gatorade is really sugary and attracts bees.
2. Instead of freaking out about the swarm of bees around your recently-Gatoraded arm, you are instead amazed at the bees' ability to maintain a 28 mph pace with you.
3. You're delusional to the point where you think you're actually maintaining a 28 mph pace.
4. When you see a green light at the next intersection, you put a voodoo hex on all green lights, even the metaphorical ones.
5. You mistake the pancake-flat road in front of you for a mountain and you curse your team for not being there to pull you up it, until you realize there is no team and you blame this on the Federal Reserve because if they would've just done something earlier about this current recession, you'd have a team to protect you as you climbed this massive mountain.
08 July 2008
AS THE BOTTOM BRACKET CREAKS, Episode 2
True story: Just this morning, I was thinking how awesome it’d be if I didn’t have to go to work and had a ton of money—at the time I was arguing with my alarm (arguing=smashing it) who, at 5:30am, will not shut up, and who, if I had a ton of money, would get its ass beat because I would pay a very large goon with a very strong right hook to kick its ass—and then at lunch, I heard Pink Floyd’s, “Money,” blaring out of a restaurant’s speakers, on repeat, and it was, in fact, a ton of money. See how the Universe is working with me, Alert Power Love Reader? It’s uncanny.
But today’s post has nothing to do with that. Today’s post is, as promised and deliciously anticipated, all about:
BIKE RACE #1 OF 2008
This race was held in the gorgeous, unpeopled countryside of Plainfield, Illinois, and was hosted by the Joliet Bicycle Club. Start time for Elite Level Beginning Women Category 62 was 8am. Since no start list was posted on the interwebnets, I was unable to scout my competition. That is no matter because I have recently completed a block of training that serious cyclers call The Bat Shit Crazy Superhero Phase of Training, so really, I was ready for anything.
First, please take a moment to ogle the new Team Power Love team van. Basically, it’s a motorized chaise lounge for Her Majesty of Cannondale. Although, it does fit me and the voices in my head. So it’s very cozy. I would now like to pay respects to Goldie Hawnda for being a top-notch transportation device for lo these many years and may you have luck and love wherever that charity I donated you to sends you, Goldie Hawnda. Also, may you find that fourth wheel.
Back to the races!
Race #1 was odd in that the start had no official, no official giving rules to the field (rules: no chopping off people’s heads in the last corner where no one can see you; no eating pizza during the sprint; no doing handstands on your bars if you get in the break), and no official start gun. I’m a big fan of the start gun. Nothing says racing like a heart attack. Apparently, things have changed since I was last in The Game, and now we just ride off into the sun without any rhyme or reason. Because I am as flexible as a steel rod, this left me undeterred.
This was a 62-mile road race, with rest stops every 15 miles. I have never known a race to have rest stops, so again, I was confused. But there were sugar cookies at the rest stops, so I didn’t ask questions. Because I am as flexible as a steel rod and as quick as a sleeping slug, I quickly realized that I was not doing a 62-mile road race, I was really doing 4, 15-mile intervals.
This is the peloton. They look normal, until you get out onto the open road with them. See this one in the blue kit to the left? That’s GMo. She’s very lovely, until you get out in the open road with her. Then she will tear your legs off. See this one on the right? Mario, he likes to call himself. This one likes to say, “My legs are tired.” By that he means, “I will eat you for an appetizer and wonder what’s for dinner.”
This one on the right? Neil “I Don’t Like Pacelines” Van Halen. Or, as I like to call him, Mr. motor to the front and then drill it and crush everyone. Luckily, I brought my lasso. Like having a spare set of wheels in the pit, a lasso always comes in handy in emergency situations during bike races. The downside of a lasso is that you need to know how to use it in order for it to be effective, so my plan to rein in the speedy horse aliens I was riding with didn’t actually come to fruition.
At the end of the race, there was no finish line. Now, things may have changed greatly since I last raced, but I think a finish line is always a necessary part of any successful race situation, if only for the pretty flags that generally hang about and give the course a celebratory ambience.
As it turned out, there wasn’t a finish line because I wasn’t actually in a race. I was on the 4th of July ride. There were no cheering fans at the finish, no photographers snapping that last minute sprint at the end, no puking your guts out all over your bike and realizing that cleaning vomit from your derailleur is a big, fat pain in the ass. No, instead there were hot dogs. And chips. And watermelon. And this is where I really shined, because that is my milieu, if you will, and I rock at it.
02 July 2008