Friday, August 28, 2009

We Are Not Your Fucking Cure

I met Jen through my friend Lisa, who introduced us via email after I was first diagnosed, since Jen had BC as well. When shit like this happens, friends and family try to be helpful, say the right things, but that’s hard to do because you don’t know what that person is thinking or feeling unless you’ve been there. Jen knew, she had been there, and still was. She was first diagnosed in 2005, and the breast cancer then metastasized to her liver in 2007. In June of this year, one day out of the blue her vision was blurry – yep, it had spread to her brain. But Lisa and I stopped by to see her about a month ago, and she was FINE. Or seemed fine. Sitting in her living room, you’d never know she was sick.

Lisa and I are going to her wake today.

She died because, contrary to popular belief, there is no cure for breast cancer. You can be in remission (NED = No Evidence of Disease) for many years, but it sure does a pretty good job of coming back. We could ask Kristine about that – also from Chicago – who told a friend that when she first found out that the cancer was back after 9 years of NED, she ran down the street in her pajamas and bare feet, screaming “I don’t want to die!” Except that we can’t ask her, because she died last week too.

Which brings me to my point – my point other than the one about how shitty it is that Jen is gone – which is that Komen and its fundraising and its Race for the Cure and all the rest of it, is doing a great disservice to women with breast cancer. Especially young women. Yes, surprise surprise – there are MANY of us out here who do not like the Komen organization. Why? Well, here’s one woman's opinion:

“Komen can suck my big toe for the "I am the cure" campaign. I am not the fucking cure and neither is anyone else because we don't have a fucking cure and if they doubt that I can take them on a tour of a few cemeteries and point it out to them real fucking clearly. For an organization founded by/around young BC they sure as hell don't do much for the younger crowd.”

Because they perpetuate the myth that there IS a cure, so you wind up with people telling you asinine things along the lines of “oh, breast cancer, these days that’s like getting the flu” or saying that BC is the “popular” or “trendy” cancer to have. Right. Maybe it is, but that’s sure not helping us much, now is it? Especially since it’s not clear what the fuck all Komen and these other groups do with ALL THAT MONEY. But people see how much money is raised, and they either resent it, or think it’s done more than it has.

What I don’t get is how an organization that was founded because Susan Komen died at the age of 36 from BC, doesn’t spend more of that money for research on younger women. Oh sure, they’ve made progress. They know that breast cancer is more aggressive in younger women – but they don’t know why. They have drugs to help treat certain kinds of tumors – oops, but a recent study suggests that that drug may increase your chance of getting the OTHER kind of breast cancer tumor (though that study seems to have been done on post-menopausal women – shocking! Pretty much all of them are.). And let’s see, the first line of attack is still to suggest lopping off your boobs then poisoning your body with chemo and then blasting you with radiation for good measure – hmm, pretty much the same stuff they did 20 years ago. Slash and burn all the way, baby. But hey, they’ve really got those advances in reconstruction coming along like hotcakes, so yay for the boobs!

Though I’m pretty sure if you asked, most women would say screw the boobs, save my fucking life already. But maybe that’s just me.

So needless to say, I will not be participating in any Komen activities this year. I get why people do participate, and why friends and families want to, to feel like they’re doing something supportive. And just that part, that support, is awesome and amazing, and I’m very grateful and thankful for the wonderful friends who came out to the Race last year to support me. They all rock. But this “I am the cure!” slogan that Komen has? That’s nauseating, quite frankly. Where’s the fucking cure? Did we all miss it somehow? Overlooked it on the way to getting our fantastic new boobs?

Maybe someone who’s figured it out can let me know. In the meantime, I have a wake to go to. Rest in peace, Jen. You deserved a hell of a lot more.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

It's all about the teacakes

Friday the 14th

The WWDD (Wisconsin Weekend Dairyland Dare) started off with an odd sense of déjà vu, which, given how last year unfolded, wasn’t really a good thing. First, after having practiced ALL WEEK my My Cousin Vinny lines appropriate to use in a small town courthouse (“dat yoot over there”), I was dismayed to receive a call from the DA’s office on Thursday, telling me that we had gotten a waiver for this first preliminary hearing. Damn! I have hopes for the future, though, that Perp will plead not guilty and so we’ll get future opportunities to shine in the Eagle, WI courthouse.

Then I wound up taking Kona to the same dogsitter from last year. You know, the ones who had him for a few extra days as I was in the neuro ward in Madison and probably not remembering I had a dog, even as I was insisting that I had an Ironman to do in 3 weeks, while I was wildly gesticulating with my broken collarbone side. This according to my friends, since I don’t remember a damn thing.

Then, just like last year, Deanna and I set off for Dodgeville, where we picked up our packets and I noted that this year on the maps they had marked the stretches of road that really sucked and where a bunch of us crashed last year. My particular stretch? Had “bump” and “BUMP!” written all over it. Hmm, not that this was sounding ominous or anything like that.......

After the requisite WI fish fry dinner, we turned in at the same Springside Cottage place we stayed at last year. That is, after Deanna mixed up her powder packets and numerous bottles with Infinit and Gatorade, and I threw some peanut butter M&Ms in a jersey pocket. Hey, is it my fault I’m not training for anything? This is a beautiful thing, in case I haven’t made that clear enough.

Saturday, the Big Day

Again, in Groundhog Day-esque fashion, we go to the Quality Bakery of Dodgeville at 5AM, so that I can get my teacakes. Then Deanna sets off for her ride at 6AM sharp, while I putter around, fueling up with coffee and a teacake. Ride food of champions, in other words. Finally, onward, and I have to say......when the hell did they add all the HILLS to this ride?? I mean, I know I have a brain injury and all, but I don’t recall things being quite so bad right from the start. Okay, not Spud bad, but still pretty damn hilly. Oh well. That’s what’s nice about being a “tourist”, i.e. just doing your own thing, no agenda, no training miles that need to be done. I can take my sweet time out here, oh yes.

Okay, so maybe spending 45 minutes at the first rest stop was a bit much. But I was chatting with people, and then Annette came along so I waited for her to refuel and fill her water bottles, and the next thing you know, oops! A shitload of time had gone by! Hate it when that happens.

Annette and I decide to ride together for a while, even though she’s planning for the 100K and I’m doing the TashaAdapted 200K. What does this mean? This means that when they attempt to make us do the torture that is Roberts Road with its 22% grades not once but TWICE, I’m having none of it. As I always say, my momma didn’t raise many foolish children. Of course, this causes a slight problem when I signal to Annette that we’re taking a bypass route, and when I look behind me as we go past the turnoff, I see a whole slew of CuteBoy cyclists who have clearly been so focused on following my Triathlon Goddess self that they’ve totally overlooked the big yellow arrow indicating a turn. After much yelling and waving of arms, I finally convince them that they can NOT be my usual entourage today, that I’m marching to the beat of a different drummer: the Not Crazy Person.

Of course, this theory is soon tested, as is always the case. After the Tower Hill rest stop, at which we’re served brats and hot dogs (have I mentioned yet how much I LOVE this ride??), Annette decides to head back via County Road Z, because it’s about 90 degrees and blazing hot and the sun is beating down on us and she’s way more intelligent than me, while I forge ahead towards Clyde – basically because I want to see where I crashed, even though the last thing I remember is thinking “okay, just a few more miles to Clyde.” So I don’t know where I actually crashed, but surely there’ll be a plaque or something marking the spot? You know, like they do with other famous people: “This is where Samuel Adams once rested his weary head in slumber.” Stuff like that.

But since there are about 20 miles between rest stops, I have a ways before I get to Clyde – and in the meantime, there are more hills to contend with. Yes, long climbs up, and there are downhills with gravel or otherwise crappy roads that I’m excessively cautious on – but then there are the smooth paved roads, and on a few of these I find myself hurtling down so fast that I don’t dare look at my Garmin to see just how fast I’m going. Whee, fun! This thought then pops into my head, unbidden:

“Just how much of a fucking idiot am I??”

Because I’m sure that LAST year, I was probably doing something similar, speeding down a hill, having a blast, when I hit an unseen bump which is kind of hard to avoid when you’re going 40 mph. And since my sole goal for the ride this year is to Not Crash......I brake a little. Not to slow down necessarily, but so that I don’t speed up any more, which was where I was headed.

The rest of the way I ride with a bit of sanity, all the while looking for the patch of poison ivy into which I was carefully placed, as well as for the plaque. Hmm. No plaque? I’m sure they’re still having it made or something. I also realize just why I crashed last year – not because the road sucks, which it does – though it’s marked very well this year – but because the HILLS on the last few miles are a PAIN! I’m sure I somehow intuited what was coming up, and said to myself, fuck it, I’ll take the hospital over more of these hills. Maybe?

Anyway, I ride into Clyde, victorious, and then press on, gasping my way to the last stop, Pleasant Ridge. All. Uphill. Why again do I sign up for this ride every year?? Just wondering. And while I’d love to just finish up at this point, ride back to Dodgeville, noooo, I have to do a home visit for IDR, the Doberman rescue group I volunteer for. You see, there had been a debate within the group about a couple from Spring Green who had applied, about their dog door, and about just how “remote” their acreage was. At which point I piped up and said hey, that’s close to basically nowhere, but I’ll happen to be in the area this weekend and can do the HV, check things out. Which was how I happened to wind up going “off the grid” yet again, toodling along to this home not too far from the route. If that’s not efficiency, I don’t know what is.

So while my ride time for that last stretch may look like I average about 2 miles an hour, that’s because there was an hour and a half HV thrown in there, with these lovely people with a beautiful home and a clear love of animals and so much land that I told them that Kona and I would be showing up soon, just to wander on their vast acreage. They seemed to accept that.

I finally make it back to Dodgeville, having completed my Adapted200K consisting of about 110 miles and no bike crashes, and find Deanna, who’s all giddy about how great her ride was. Which is excellent, until we wind up having the following conversation:

Me: Yeah, I finally looked at my Garmin, and my max speed was 45 mph, which felt crazy fast. That was the point at which I started braking.
Deanna, bragging: I didn’t touch the brakes even ONCE the entire time!
Me: What was your highest speed?
Deanna: I don’t know, my computer wasn’t working. But I’m awesome at descending. You need some lessons in descending.

This was the point at which I reached over, snapped Deanna’s head off, and stuck it on a carbon-fiber pike right there for all to see, as a warning to anyone who would even think about denigrating my bike handling skills.

Okay, maybe not. But I did shriek something to the effect of “I know how to fucking DESCEND! I was going 45 mph without a problem, but maybe I just didn’t want to CRASH again!”

And then I felt the need to explain the laws of physics to Deanna, with lessons on velocity, weight, accelerated motion, all to make the point that there is no way that her tiny wee self could pick up as much speed as my own fat-assed self on a downhill, so maybe she should see what 45 mph feels like before commenting again. Duh.

As a final highlight to the day, I go into the pavilion to hand in my timing chip, and they have a big gumball machine whereby we all get a chance to win something. If you turn the knob and get something other than an orange gumball, you win. Mine? Green!! I picked out one of the few things left, a gift certificate for Road ID – something you can never have too many of. Boy, you know, it’s stuff like this that makes me think I really need to get a shirt that speaks to my life:

The next day dawns to pouring rain, so we head back to Chicago without too much dallying. I have the Kone to pick up – I’m sure he’ll be traumatized as usual, at being away from me for several days. Indeed, when I go to pick him up, he hurtles himself at me, gives me hugs and kisses, and then in what I view as a clear sign that the trauma runs deep, he grabs a toy and runs back up the stairs of the house he’s staying at, acting as if he wants to stay and play some more but clearly hurting inside. Then the dogsitter comments:

“You know, everyone who met him said that he’s the most well-trained and well-behaved big dog they’ve ever met. You must have done a LOT of intensive training with him, huh?”

I think my laughter is still echoing through the man’s backyard.....

Monday, August 17, 2009

Dear Chicago Blackhawks: WTF??

Tickets for the Chicago Blackhawks were going on sale this morning, and since Deanna and I were shut out of getting some kind of ticket package, we decided we’d take our chances on the open market – meaning we’d try to get tickets through BloodsuckerTicketmaster rather than paying scalpers. All of which has me shaking my head anyway, wanting to pummel all the Johnny-come-lately wannabes who are only NOW deciding they like hockey. Where were they all those years when you could hear crickets at the UC? When I could easily pick out my friend “Stan” sitting in a separate section from me and wave to him....because he was the ONLY ONE in that entire section? Literally, the only one. On the 200-level, no less.

So we weren’t sure which games we wanted to go to, but we did know that we wanted to go again this year to the Fuck Cancer game they have in October. Oh sure, that’s not what they call it exactly – last year’s slogan for the Hawks was “Hockey Fights Cancer Awareness!” – though it’s close enough. But I had no idea which game that was going to be, and it wasn’t on their website – so I did the foolish thing. Yes, I emailed one of their ticket guys. Response? Nada. Since time was a wastin’, I went to their website and picked out 6 other people to email, all in marketing, community relations, ticket-related stuff, etc.

Now mind you, I wasn’t asking for free tickets or anything, or to be hosted in their executive suite, like the Hated Redwings did for their local breast cancer contingent last year. (Though I did have a brilliant idea – that if the Hawks did that this year, their new slogan could be “Hockey Welcomes Cancer!”) No sirree, I just wanted to know which damn game it would be – is that so fricking hard? I didn’t even mention that October would be (hopefully) post-Rackotomy time, so I’d be sporting the new cleavage and oh, by the way, would be more than happy to whack a puck for the Sisterhood in the Kid, the Geek, the Bimbo shoot-the-puck game that they do between the 2nd and 3rd periods. Nope, didn’t mention that at ALL.

(Okay, so maybe I did mention that this year the MLB had a contest whereby women with breast cancer could apply to be a bat girl for one game, which I know about because a couple of women from YSC won and had a great time, and maybe I did mention that I'd make a great stick-taper or water-bottle-filler or whatever the equivalent would be. But that's all.)

And granted, it’s not like the Hawks last year actually did anything for this game, not like the Hated Redwings, who in addition to hosting my people, also had a lottery for people who came to the game wearing pink, and a prize for the best pink outfit. For the Hawks game, Deanna, Jillian and I were pretty much on our own, so we smuggled in pink-foiled candy, drank somewhat-pink mai tais, and yelled “Detroit sucks!” a lot even though I think they were playing Edmonton. Pretty much the usual, in other words.

AND, you’d think that the Hawks would be at least slightly trying to suck up to their fan base, what with all the dumbass things they’ve managed to do lately. From unceremoniously dumping the beloved Dale Tallon, to almost screwing up the contracts, to thinking the Hossa injury wouldn’t get out (note to Hawks: you might want to check out that thing called “The Internet” sometime soon – yeah, nothing’s a secret anymore, ever), to jacking up ticket prices. I won’t get into the whole Patrick Kane thing, because he’s always seemed like a nice kid, and if a cab driver had locked ME in his cab, I so would have gone ballistic on his sorry ass, so who am I to judge? But anyway - maaaybe you’d want to at least pretend to give a shit about fans who have been loyal for years? Maybe?

Or maybe not. Because I didn’t hear from any one of the Hawks people. Nothing. Not even the courtesy of an email reply noting that they don't know yet what game that is, or that all the tickets are already gone because they've been comped to the WWF (which makes no sense, until I tell you that for last year's shootout, they had WWF people!), or simply a cheery missive telling me to fuck off, that they're currently at their quota of fans and can accept no more. So Deanna and I got tickets for a bunch of games this morning, willy-nilly (with the accompanying “screw you” by Ticketmaster, which charges $10 PER TICKET in service fees – POS bastards!), and I did get a game in October so I think I’ll just make that my own personal Fuck Cancer game. You know, wearing the F&ck Awareness, Find a Cure t-shirt, and making Deanna wear my pink “Survivor” hat from last year’s Race for the Cure (Not), which is the ugliest thing in creation, but she seems to like it. So that’s all well and good, but it does make me wonder about the Blackhawks and why they never responded to me, CancerGirl (picture me here making the Sad Cancer Face). Are they FOR cancer? Is that it? Et tu, Blackhawks, et tu?

Sunday, August 16, 2009

It's all about the cream puffs

“So, Tasha, what huge epic thing are you training for now, continuing to blaze brightly as you embrace triathlon glory far and near?”

As you can imagine, I get that question a LOT. And lately I’ve had my work cut out for me, as I’ve trained for a monumental undertaking, one that truly tests one’s mettle, fortitude, and so on. It’s required hours of hardcore training, along the lines of practicing balance, strength, focus along with a host of other skills.

I’m talking of course about getting ready to go to the Wisconsin State Fair. This has meant long stretches of holding 2 plates, to practice balancing various foodstuffs and a beer, as well as keeping my elbows firmly akimbo as I walk along in any surroundings, to make sure that I’m able to carve out enough space for myself in my quest for food-on-a-stick. It’s been grueling.

However, I’m proud to report that all the training paid off, and this past Monday, my trip to the Wisconsin State Fair was an unqualified success. I was able to balance a brat AND beer as well as cream puffs, and we managed to stake out a table in the cream puff emporium thanks to my general speediness in getting to an empty table first. Hey, those elderly folks just LOOK frail – they’ve spent their whole lives on a farm, so who are they kidding??

But my true crowning achievement came when we found the shoot-the-puck hockey game. There was no one there when my friend Keith (who prefers to be anonymous, so henceforth he’ll be referred to as “Stan”) and I walked up, but soon a crowd gathered to watch this duel of titans from the hockey world. Umm, that would be us, in case it wasn’t clear.

So Keith, I mean Stan, goes first, and in his practice round, he gets 10 in; it’s basically a see-how-many-pucks-you-get-past-the-fake-goalie-in-13-seconds kind of game. Then it’s time to start in earnest, so I go first. 3 in. Clearly I was holding back, so as to not embarrass the man. Then Stan goes, this time for real. The pressure is obviously getting to him, as he gets 1....then another....then he’s up to 3. Zounds! This calls for immediate action.

Me: “Oh, you’re not going to let the girl with CANCER beat you, are you now?”

There are people watching us play, at this point, and they’re not sure if they should laugh or be horrified, so the look on their faces is a combination of both.

Me: “Come on, you call that shooting? Good lord, even CancerChick could get that many in!”

Luckily, my tactic works, as Stan is laughing so hard that precious seconds tick off on the clock while he’s unable to shoot, and he winds up with just 3 goals and I claim my righteous victory, in that ties always go to the person with cancer. So today’s word to the wise is this: while you don’t want to play the cancer card too often (i.e more than once a day), if you’re dealing with something really really important like the random shoot-the-puck game at a state fair where the only prize if you do win is a garden-variety hockey puck that retails for about ten cents, then by all means, do what you have to do.

After my glorious victory - and so that I can bask in the adoration of the public - we wander over to the carnival section of the fair, to perhaps play some games and otherwise get waaaay too close (i.e. more than 7 feet) to a band of people known as "carnies." I suppose it's fortunate that the games - and in particular the one I excel at, namely the water-shooting game - are $5. Yes, $5! Hmph. That meant we didn't linger needlessly, as once I saw the signs for the Giant Nuclear Radiation Beetle and Other Wonders of the World, I knew we were lucky indeed to escape with our lives.

We end the day by seeking out more food on a stick, in this case the chocolate-covered-bacon-on-a-stick, and the fried pb&j sandwich on a stick. I’m a little unsure about the bacon, but it begs trying. Which is something I soon regret, as it’s beyond heinous. If we had been talking crispy bacon freshly dipped in chocolate – maybe. That whole sweet and salty thing. But this was bacon cooked to a perfect state of flabbiness, then dipped in chocolate, then refrigerated. So my first taste was of cold, chocolate-laden bacon fat. Yuck. I grab the fried pb&j to remove the awful taste from my mouth – and then, in the interest of expository science and an adoring public who needs to be warned about such things, I take another bite of the bacon, making sure I’m trying a meaty part this time. Meh. Not quite as heinous, but still pretty bad. So in case you were thinking of whipping up some chocolate-covered-bacon for your next parties, I’m here to tell you: no. That is all,

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Being a good citizen = Overrated

So being the responsible citizen that I am – and, okay, someone who likes to write – after the Incident in Eagle, WI I tracked down the police chief’s email and asked him if he needed statements from us as witnesses. After all, we were the only ones who saw the whole thing from start to finish – and the only ones who almost got flattened by a runaway truck. This led to two things:

1. My amazement at discovering that small town Wisconsin is a veritable hotbed of criminal and otherwise nefarious activity. Seriously – looking through WI police department websites to find the Chief’s contact info was eye-opening. Note to self: find a more peaceable state to ride in. Iowa maybe?

2. Chief Ehlers thanking me for getting in touch, noting that they had enough information for now but that he’d contact me if that turned out to not be the case.

Nice guy, that Chief Ehlers – a notion that was reinforced last week when I got several calls on my cell phone and then an email from him wanting me to call them immediately. You see, apparently the Powers That Be (or the Perp’s lawyers) somehow convinced a judge that Perp wasn’t a danger to anyone – in spite of taking over a bar, letting a pickup go careening down the street driverless before it slammed into a crossing gate, etc. All in a day’s work I suppose. So in order to keep Perp in jail, the police needed a statement from me explaining how he put innocent bystanders’ lives at risk (duh!), and they needed it before the hearing at 11AM.

It was 10:40 at the time.

Now, I know what you’re all thinking: “But Tasha, you’ve had years of practice blathering on and on in your blog, emails, outraged letters to the newspaper, etc., so this should be a piece of cake for you!” And so it was –really, if they needed someone to write things up succinctly and quickly, they couldn’t have found a better person. Lucky them, no? I also gave them Deanna’s contact info, but they couldn’t reach her in time. We still had no idea what this guy had done in the first place to be running from the police, but whatever it was, it was clear that the police were VERY invested in keeping him locked up.

So I sent off the statement, not sure if that was enough to keep him locked up but figuring there wasn’t much more I could do, though I did tell them that if they needed me to come out there for anything, I’d be happy to. Okay, maybe not “happy” per se, but I like to do my part to keep Wisconsin and its stores of cheese safe. If nothing else, someday people will be able to say this about me: “Okay, so her blog postings were generally waaaay too long, but in the end, she did manage to help keep Wisconsin safe for the cheese-loving populace.” So there is that.

That was last week. Deanna and I yucked it up about the whole thing, kind of, what with her threatening to pummel me for contacting the Eagle police in the first place, and me trying to placate her by offering to buy her lunch at Knuckleheads the next time we passed through Eagle. Ha, so funny!

Today came the subpoena.

Yes, a summons to appear in court to testify next Friday, August 14th at the bright and shiny hour of 8AM. Next weekend is also the Dairyland Dare, so basically we’re looking at three days of all things Wisconsin. Kicking events off with a courtroom appearance, proceeding to a bike ride where I crashed last year and broke my collarbone and my head, then finishing off with what will apparently be kegs of beer at the ride’s end. Gee, what could possibly go wrong?

(As a side note, to astute reader T-Odd, who noted that my last picture looked like scones and not teacakes, those are NOT sco.....okay, so they are. But that’s because I don’t have an actual picture of the delectable, scone-like-but-way-better teacakes. Yet. This will be forthcoming, in between pictures of the Eagle, WI courtroom.)

So I actually don’t mind having to go up to Eagle to do my part to keep the world safe from people trying to “take care of business” in very odd ways:

(from a news article about The Incident)

“(Name removed), 38, of XXXX., was also charged with misdemeanor counts of obstructing an officer, carrying a concealed weapon, disorderly conduct, and resisting an officer. He is being held in Waukesha County Jail on $25,000 cash bail.

According to the criminal complaint, (NR) took his father's knife and said he was "going to take care of business." (NR’s) mother, Gail, told police her son then held her hostage and told her to take him to Eagle.”

Especially when those people are clearly dangerous:

“... saw (NR) get out of the truck ... and the truck continued to roll, forcing two bicyclists to avoid it. The truck crashed into a railroad crossing standard, causing it to fall onto the highway, the complaint said.

Meanwhile (NR) then ran into Knucklehead Pub, 100 South St. When the officer entered the bar, he saw (NR) sitting at the bar with his back to the door. The officer pointed his gun at (NR) and told him to drop the knives and show his hands. (He) then took a buck knife and threw it backward toward the officer; the knife landed about five feet from the officer, the complaint said.
(NR) then got up, told the officer to shoot him and despite numerous orders by the officer to get on the ground, (NR) went behind the bar and asked the bartenders for a couple of drinks, the complaint said.

Other officers arrived and (NR) was eventually hit twice by Tasers. Police were able to get (NR) outside, but he resisted, throwing himself against a truck, trying to get away, and attempting to bite officers.”

Now, knowing all this, I don’t blame the Eagle police department for wanting to keep this guy locked up. Biting? Throwing knives? Potentially disrupting the sanctity of the Ice Cream Social to take place later that afternoon? Puh! I too would have none of that in my peaceful little town. As I’ve said many times before, I am a BIG proponent of sniper fire, judiciously used. Just saying.

I’m just sorry I dragged Deanna into this. Okay, so it was her idea to go riding up in Kettle in the first place – but yes, even after almost getting killed, we could have gone on our anonymous little ways, letting this douchebag continue to wreak havoc, had I not contacted Chief Ehlers. So I take full blame for this unexpected additional detour on our Dairyland Dare Grand Adventure.

So, umm, Deanna......lunch at Knuckleheads on me next Friday?

And wait, what was that I said about not letting my life degenerate into a version of My Cousin Vinny? Hmm....

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Twelve days to teacakes

Okay, okay, so I have the countdown to the Dairyland Dare on my watch, so sue me. It's just that after having some kind of countdown on the Watch of Doom for so long, when it reverted back to Running Man, I couldn't handle it. It was like the world had suddenly tilted on its axis, like gravity had shifted, like there was no fixed point on the horizon, like Slowtwitch had become a kinder, gentler place. In other words - totally wrong and bizarre.

So not only am I thisclose to teacakes from the eponymous Dodgeville bakery, but today we also received an update from the DD man himself, Stu Schilling, who puts on this fine event. To wit:

Here are a few updates:

  • Bruegger's bagels of Madison will be providing this year's Bagels, cookies, brownies and rice crispy bars. Yum!
  • Klement's will be providing hot dogs that we'll be grilling up at the Tower Hill rest stop.
  • The Pleasant Ridge rest stop is back in my front yard (ala 2006 & 2007). We might have oven fresh pizza. (fingers crossed)
  • The post ride meal will be RP's fresh pasta with a choice of tomato marinara or diced romas, fresh basil, shredded parmesan and olive oil. Add sauteed portabellas and/or meatballs to either.
  • Five half barrels of Furthermore Proper are on reserve for post ride enjoyment
  • Smoothies are back (but we'll have adults making them :)
  • We have hundreds of door prizes from Trek, Hammer, Terry, Planet Bike, RoadID and others.
  • We've purchased 70 18" road cones to help warn you of poor road conditions.
  • Free tent camping at Governor Dodge State Park - Please contact me to reserve your spot.


My key takeaways from this are as follows:

- Stu - "Okay, dumbasses, please note that we'll have a shitload of BRIGHT ORANGE CONES out there for your morons who can't ride your bikes without crashing!"

- My ride will basically consist of making it to Tower Hill, maybe Pleasant Ridge, and then back to home base. Though I might also make a stop at that cool bar on CR-Z that I discovered last year while doing a group ride with the girls. Well, except that they foolishly decided to do the long route in the 40mph winds, while I astutely took an alternate one that involved a frosty beverage with the locals.

So to sum: start - Tower Hill - Pleasant Ridge - bar - finish. I think that's a total of what, 30 or so miles? That should do it. Not sure what "it" is exactly, but it certainly doesn't involve needless overtraining, no sirree. Besides, in looking at Stu's list, I think to myself - beer? Door prizes? Smoothies?? Where the hell was all this stuff LAST year? Then I remember that oh, I never finished the ride, wound up being carted to the Dodgeville Hospital instead. Therefore, if you all see me puttering along at a slow pace, being a cycling tourist so to speak, just remember - I'm making up for lost time. Teacakes anyone?