Sunday, November 19, 2006

Time to start packing...

New luggage is never broken in until a cat has slept in it.

That's not trick photography, by the way. She is that evil.

Tuesday morning, we leave for Rome... so much to do, so much to do!

I will try and put together some sort of pre-trip post, but I am way to excited and busy right now, so this may be it for now kids.


Saturday, November 11, 2006

The State Of Things In Ferndale

I voted.

Did you?

If not, it's too late, so never mind.

Most everything I wanted went my way on the ballot this time, so it was a nice change from previous elections. While I don't want to delve too much into the political realm, I wanted to babble on about a couple things.

Where I vote, there are two precincts that have their polls in the same room. They each have their separate tables to sign in and voting booths. This is fine, or it would be, except that nobody in one precinct appears to vote, and everybody in the other one does. Unfortunately, mine is the one where everyone is more politically active. This is a good thing for the democratic process, but in my personal realm, it translates into me standing in a long line waiting to vote, while on the other side of the room are a half-dozen empty booths that are reserved for the other precinct.

Also, isn't it somewhat important to know what you're voting on before you get to the polls? By this, I am referring to the people that sat in the voting booth for 20-30 minutes while I waited. Was it the first time they had seen a ballot? Had they never heard the issues before? Were they teaching themselves to read? I don't know, but I do know it took me like 60-90 seconds to vote.

Here in Ferndale, where I live, we had a local ordinance on the ballot that passed. I am very happy about this. It's a human rights ordinance that basically makes it illegal to harass people in the city based on their sexual orientation.

I don't know that I've said much about Ferndale here, but if you don't know where Ferndale is, we're a smaller city on the other side of Eight Mile from Detroit. And we're a city with a large gay population. It's surprising that this act took three times to pass here, but now that it has passed, it's a good sign that Ferndale will continue to be the open, diverse community we saw when we moved here. Plus, maybe my inbred, white-trash neighbors will finally move (Segue, my neighbors could give yours a run for their money)!

The nice thing about living it that city that's known for having a large gay population is that it means interesting people move into your neighborhood. Ferndale attracts musicians, artists and cool independent businesses and restaurants. It's a great place to be... again, aside from my neighbors, but that's neither here nor there.

Yarr... More Rum...

I think last year I had mentioned that I didn't want Halloween to end. I have an idea that could help. At least once a month, I propose going to a bar dressed as a pirate. You don't see enough pirates in bars these days...

Friday, November 10, 2006

Ice Man and work, work, work...

I'm still dealing with the newness of the new job, but I'm loving it! It does bite into my blogging, though, and forces me to post less frequently, with multiple posts at a time...

Another Ice Man has come and gone...

It was the coldest one I've ridden yet, but once again, we all finished. Barely. Nicole limped (can you limp on a bike?) across the finish line with a sprained knee, cracked rib, dented helmet, minorly concussed melon, a leg that had been transformed into one giant bruise and a pair of racing tights that were stiff with dried blood.

She hit some sand and endoed straight into a faceplant five miles into the trail. For those of you playing along at home, that means that once she climbed back on, she had a 23-mile death march to endure in order to finish. Finish she did. That is (and pardon my Italian, but I am practicing for my trip) fucking hardcore.

We sucked down a couple beers at the finish line, then went back to the hotel for a soak in the hot tub, where we were greeted by a twelver of Bell's Oberon, the official beer of summer for the whole world (and if you live in a part of the world without Oberon, that means you live in a part of the world without summer and it really sucks to be you), courtesy of Writer Mom and Zilla. They weren't there, and thus missed out, because had they been there when I found that cold happiness waiting, they would have both gotten a kiss - full on the lips. As it was, they only got hugs when I met them the next day.

All the Angry Monkeys were pretty beat down that night, especially our cheering crew, who'd been enduring the grueling challenge of standing and cheering us on while nursing hangovers. It kept the revelry to a dull chaos, and there were no needs to call Zilla for bail money as she had offered. We barely made it away from the hotel, although we did wander far enough out for a certain member of the Angry Monkeys to kick a stray pumpkin in a rather aggressive manner. You know who you are...

We didn't even manage to get thrown out of a restaurant or bar, although it was touch and go at our pre-race carbload the night before. Apparently not everyone who goes to nice restaurants considers graphic descriptions of various items that will not be repeated here to be appropriate dinner conversation, especially when it's being done loudly by a large boisterous group of people already gaining the effects of pre-race adrenaline. Oh well, I just don't get people sometimes.

The morning after the race consisted of breakfast with Zilla and brief meeting with Writer Mom, Dr. Tom (Dental Dad, but Dr. Tom is so official-sounding!), and the legendary Jack and Pickles. Forget what you read, everyone is better in person than their respective sites would have you believe, and we are making plans for a more extended meeting. Zilla has even offered up a place for couch surfing.

As this season draws to a close, I want to congratulate all of the Angry Monkeys who put in the miles this year, and thank out support team for cheering us on, and making sure that the beer and warm dry clothes were there for us. There was no better feeling than dropping over the hill that leads to the 17-mile checkpoint and seeing your screaming faces holding the Angry Monkey banner, and seeing your grinning mugs at the finish line as you simultaneously peeled me off my bike and handed me a beer.

You guys rock.


Next year, I'm thinking about riding Iceman on one of these.