Monthly Archives: June 2012

Five Minutes

I’m lounging in the front seat of a Metra train car on a time consuming journey to celebrate the summer solstice. My oldest son sits in the seat facing me. When I warned him about the time of this trip he didn’t believe me. You need to have a certain mindset to commute. I knew we were in for an even seemingly longer trip when he began to ask how long we’d been on the train at just five minutes into motion. He asked again five minutes after that.

Five minutes ago, my son caught me staring at my phone and wanted to know what I was doing. I forgot to bring my book so I was entertaining myself by reading a blog.

“What are you doing?”
“Reading a blog.”
“What kind of a blog?”
“A running blog.”
“You’re always reading running blogs.”
“Well, I like to run so I can relate to what these people are writing.”
“Is it someone you know?”

That discussion quickly morphed into Mik making up and singing running anthems to me.

“We wish you a happy running day. We wish you a happy running day. We wish…” He sang it for about five minutes.

Ok, so maybe this trip will be a lot more entertaining than I thought, although, I might hit my limit on Pokemon evolution and strategy discussion if that lasts any more than five minutes.

Following the commute into Chicago, we needed to walk to Union Station to catch the 352 Wolverine. I had planned a lackidasical hour for adventure, discovery, and PotBelly’s. Five minutes into the walk, I heard, “When are we going to sit down and eat?” Lucky for him, I’m a flexible person. The whole trip was his idea to begin with so, why force the kid to hike around Chicago with a 15 pound backpack to make him miserable. The only problem is that we sat down for lunch at 10:25 am. We pretended that we were already in Michigan time. Time zone changes make everything good. Aren’t people always saying it’s 5 o’clock somewhere?

It’s hard to walk past the Sears tower without taking a moment to strain your neck to look at the top. I had no intention of paying the fee to go to the Sky Deck. That is for another day when the Hubs and K-Man are with us. However, we took about five minutes to look around the lobby and ogle. It never gets old to walk past the Sears tower. You can tell the nearby buildings know they have an architectural standard to uphold. It’s a clique of dapper looking buildings.

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Bedside Water

Are you the type to have a cup of water next to your bed every night? I am sort of hit and miss on this. Yet, I find it’s a great way to get a jump on my daily water intake. When your aiming for an excess of 64 oz of water per day, every sip helps. On these nights/mornings, I can finish 16 oz before breakfast.

Lately, I’ve been trying to remember to have a bottle of water by the bed more so because I’m waking up with a dry throat as a result of allergy related snoring. (My husband is so lucky) I prefer to use a water bottle with a lid and straw as opposed to an open glass. The first reason is that a lid will debar spilling or dribbling down my front. Also, I like the safety of a lid for preventing flies, moths, or no-see-ums that snuck in through an open door or hole in a screen from landing and drowning in my water over night.

It’s a win-win situation. I get comfort and progress all from my bedside water bottle. As a matter of fact, just the other day, I stumbled out of bed at the insistence of my alarm. Smacked my parched lips around the straw of my water bottle and took a nice long pull. With this setup, you don’t even need to wake up fully or even turn on the light to see what you are doing.

My kids love to “eat” those super cheap freeze pops. I haven’t met a kid who didn’t want to down six of those in five minutes. People give my kids freeze pops wherever they go. Of course, it doesn’t matter how many times I’ve shown them how to open them, they always bring them to me. I put it in my mouth, bite the edge, grasp the top with my teeth and rip it right off. Then I spit out the gagged plastic piece rolling around in my mouth into the proper receptacle, of course.

Back to the other morning and my water bottle, in my semi-conscious state, the image a gagged edged freeze pop popped into my mind right as I sucked in that water. Realizing that image was conjured from the feeling of something in my mouth very much not water caused me to spew the water and the mystery thing toward but mostly missing the sink. Then I frantically swat at my mouth, face, and front of my shirt just to be assured the thing was well away from me. I flipped on the light switch desperate and fearful of what I would see.

I saw this in the sink:

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Photo credit to Animal Planet

Earwigs like dark, moist places…like a straw in a water bottle at night.

Yeah, I’ve been doing the Ew-Creepy-Gross shudder dance ever since and have developed a slight phobia of drinking through a straw. Sure, I’m burning a few extra calories with each shudder but my water intake is at an all time low. I have to admit, I think I’d rather swallow a bunch of no-see-ums because they are more like no-feel-ums when they’ve drowned in your water unlike the jagged, hard-shelled, still alive earwig. At least, with no-see-ums, I’d be sipping in ignorant bliss.

SHUDDER

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Meet Granny

Spring of 1992, I was just finishing my first clueless year at Western Michigan University. My sister and I moved back home after living a fantastical year in our Grandma Ruthie’s cottage.

We had moved into Grandma Ruthie’s cottage just before I graduated from high school. That year, my first year out of high school was just like Kid Rock’s song All Summer Long. I was young and naive but thought I knew everything.

So, that spring of 1992, when we moved home and Grandma Ruthie’s cottage was sold, my dad rescued her vintage bicycle. Still being a teenager, I did what teenagers do. I ostracized that bike declaring I’d never ride anything as dorky as an old fashioned bike.

You know, it would take me decades to learn to never say never. I’m not sure if it was marriage or children that taught me that lesson. Maybe it was a bike…

Meet Granny.

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My dad had the wisdom to know that this bike should not be tossed away. He hung it on a hook in the garage for the day when I would embrace the vintage look. It was a brilliant move. My husband spent a short amount of time fixing the Bandex brake, polishing the chrome, washing the frame, and disguising the stains on the seat. It is just about the best looking 1969 Huffy Ladies bike in original paint you can find on the Internet.

Granny rides like a 1960’s Cadillac. She pedals and coasts easy, but don’t count on stopping quickly, and after an hour in the seat, you realize that the springs just aren’t what they used to be.

Still, I’m ready to go for some ice cream. Anyone want to join Granny and me?

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Mosey’s Mellow

I took a delightful barefooted walk this morning. I’m not sure what it was but I just felt like walking. I couldn’t even convince myself to walk rapidly. It was more like a mosey.

I said hello and waved to everyone I met. I’ve been known to be envious of others who are out running. But, not this morning. I just returned a pleasant, sincere greeting.

I’m not going to get all bent out of shape because I didn’t run. I still worked my body through 3.2 miles. Instead of a runner’s high, I’ve got a mosey’s mellow.

I think I’ll run again someday. Maybe tomorrow. I’m not too worried about it. Ya know, whatever will be will be.

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Ron’s Pork Shack

I’ll admit that I drove here tonight to get a slice of Mama’s pizza. But, when I walked in the door a friendly lady inquired,

“Are you here for Mama’s or Ron’s?”

The ladies entering ahead of me bee-lined for the pizza. I felt a little guilty dosing out more rejection so I redirected my belly. Usually, we have Mama’s delivered, so, I hadn’t realized the two restaurants share a building. Pretty frugally smart if you ask me.

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The food:
Cole slaw – good, looks homemade and if it isn’t then they’ve got a good source for it. I particularly liked the big, crunchy pieces of cabbage.
Pulled pork on a bun, easy on the mild sauce – the meat was juicy, tender, and flavorful. The sauce was very easy but you don’t need sauce on meat like this.
You know how McD and B-K use their buns to cover up the taste of their meat? Ron’s pork doesn’t NEED a bun.

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See? It’s all gone.

The Service:
Jimmy Johns has some competition. Since I didn’t order fries it was blindingly fast. I didn’t even finish catching up on my texts.

The Atmosphere:
This is the only downfall. Pizza business in our town is about delivery so it makes sense that this “restaurant” makes a run-down greasy spoon look high class. However , being located at the entrance of South Island Park makes it a great place to pick up something for an impromptu picnic with the best scenery in town.

Final result, I can’t wait to bring the hubs here when we’re looking for a fast meal that doesn’t leave us feeling like we’ve been coated in grease from the inside out. This meal is definitely worth getting it to go.

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100 Miles of Nowhere V. 5.0

Did I learn nothing from the first time I competed in the 100 Miles of Nowhere? Sure, I won my division last time but, once again, not even a full mile into the 100 MoN the chain falls off because I’m trying to down shift from one of the two remaining gears on my twenty-one speed mountain bike. It was just like last time. Now, I’ll be stuck peddling in one gear for the remaining 99 miles.

I think 100 Miles of Nowhere is a little like giving birth. The first time you do it you struggle through the pain and anguish. At the height of the “shear vehemence of suckage” (An appropriate depiction by Noodle) you declare that you will never, ever do this again. A year goes by, you read other reports on 100 Miles of Nowhere but you grab the previous year’s T-shirt, hug and kiss it and thank the stars that you didn’t ride Nowhere again. Then somehow, the following year, you find yourself on the Twin Six website ordering your 100 MoN kit V 5.0.

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You’ve developed selective memory or you hit your head on a rock during your last trail ride. Whatever the cause or lack of sanity, when you click on that pay button, you are down-right giddy with anticipation for 100 MoN to start. When your kit arrives, you tear it open to revel in this year’s 100 MoN design. Putting on the shirt makes you begin to fantasize about how the two of you will ride a hundred of miles together. Oh, the places you won’t go!

Then that fateful day arrives, Race Day. This is the day, when you are on lap 15 of 256, riding in 16 mph sustained winds that batter you from all sides of the 0.39 mile circle loop you chose for your race course, when you begin to recall the suckage of 100 Miles of Nowhere and wonder what in the world were you thinking when you signed up.

You want to throw in the towel. You want to tuck your tail between your legs but you took one of the only five hundred slots for 100 MoN. The race sold out in two hours. People were disappointed. People that wanted to ride 100 miles in place, up hills, or in circles. You took their spot, their T-shirt. You owe it to them to finish, at least, 10 miles.

100 Miles of Nowhere is a day when you wish you could get Nowhere fast. However, you are just a recreational bicyclist, the saddle sores develop faster than the miles. Like a pregnant woman in her ninth month, you think that this will never end. Counting the laps helps until you remember that you have to peddle 205 more laps through this neighborhood.

Once it a while your mind manages to drift away as you toil on the cranks. Maybe you were distracted by a bunny hopping by. Or a robin startled you with a sudden swoop mere inches in front of your tire. You wonder where will it wonder off to? Will he get that worm? You enjoy a few minutes of bliss at being mentally in another place. But, there is payback . When your mind wakes back up in back in the 100 Miles of Nowhere race, you look at your fingers in horror. You don’t remember anything. How long were you gone? 1 lap? 2 laps? How many fingers did you even have up? Or, are you really just so miserable that you only THINK you completed more than one lap during your mental vacation. What if you’re wrong and it causes you to only bike 99.45 miles instead of 100 miles!

So now you are asking me why I would do something so hideously stupid as to ride my bike 100 Miles to go Nowhere? Because nothing makes a better story than anguish, conflict, and final triumph. Truthfully, all this pain is kind of fun. It’s the one and only time that I will included in the circle of Fatty’s closest 500 friends. Lastly, Fatty has this gift for asking people for things. You just can’t say No to Fatty.

This year Fatty’s 100 Miles of Nowhere raised money for Camp Kesem for children whose parents have or had cancer. Because no child deserves the experience of losing their parent to cancer.

If you’d like to donate to the cause, to help kids cope with their parent’s cancer, please click here.

All in all, 100 Miles of Nowhere is very fun in a sick and twisted way. In the end, I’m going to finish my miles by commuting to work by bike. I probably won’t ride it next year but I bet I’ll forget and come back in two years or so. By the way, I won my division this year too! It was the Recreational Bicyclist Who Prefers To Pedal Only When There Is Ice Cream Involved Division!

Proof I’m not the only one:

http://www.theday.com/article/20120601/SPORT01/306019939

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Grizzly Adam 100 MoN report

Noodle’s original 100 MoN

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