Skinny chicks

I’m so tired of skinny girls who don’t eat. Before any of you jump in to say that I’m a skinny girl, I’ve got some photographic evidence to support my claim that I’m not skinny at all.

Exhibit 1:

Exhibit 2:

So what started this rant is when I walked into the office kitchen yesterday to clean my dishes after finishing my meal of a salad, three beer pretzels, and a zero fat Yoplait yogurt–which I consider eating healthy. The skinniest girl in the office was making her lunch of a tiny cup of instant oatmeal. First of all, when I eat instant oatmeal (usually for breakfast), I always use a pack and a half because one pack is not enough food. Secondly, when I eat instant oatmeal, I’m always hungry again about an hour later. I could never eat it for lunch and not go crazy with hunger by 2pm.

Immediately, I’m feeling defensive. God, I think, these girls must think I’m a total pig. They must be looking at me, thinking, “I can’t believe she rides her bike so much and still carries all that weight.”

The second event that roused my anti-skinny girl anger was on a ride last night when one of my fellow female riders stated that she needed to ride up Everett Road to work off the lunch she ate because she rarely eats lunch (in other words, she was feeling guilty for having ate lunch). Immediately, I’m thinking about how I always eat lunch. In fact, call me a traditionalist, but I eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner. I have to. If I don’t eat, my mind turns to mush and the world spins out of control. I’m very bad at starving myself. In fact, despite the apple I ate before last night’s ride, my stomach was punching me with hunger pains as we rode the last stretch of our 23 mile route down Major Road. I was mentally kicking myself for not having grabbed a granola bar on my way out of the office.

I used to starve myself. In fact, just a few years ago, I was at an all-time low of 130lbs and I was working on getting down to 125. That was before I moved back here from Colorado. I fit into clothes that hadn’t fit me in years and though I still had a fat roll, I was looking a lot more trim, so much so that people were complimenting me on how great I looked. What was I doing? Well, first of all, I lost a lot of weight over the year after my husband died because I just couldn’t eat–the smell of food made me retch for weeks. So I probably lost a lot of weight there. By the time I started eating normally again, my stomach had probably shrunk a little.

During the period of time that I lived in Colorado, I always skipped breakfast. Or, rather, my breakfast consisted of a cup of coffee and a granola bar. For awhile, I used to just eat a bag of popcorn for lunch. I would eat a bowel of some vegetable for dinner. Eventually I moved back up to eating real food, but it was usually half the portion of whatever I ate, no matter how big or small that portion was. I rode the edge of hunger all the time, eating just enough to get the hunger pains to stop, but going no further. I suppose that’s the way you’re supposed to eat, but after awhile the feeling of being constantly hungry really wears me out.

I suspect that I put on the bulk of my weight in 2006 (after moving back to Ohio) when I worked for a company where I spent a lot of time in bars drinking with my co-workers after hours. I don’t think I’ve ever drank as much and as regularly as I did when I worked for that company. Before working at that company, I was pretty consistently exercising and I only splurged on eating once a week on Fridays when I would have pizza and beer at my cousin’s house for sci-fi night. But then I started going out of town every other week for work. Evenings were spent eating at restaurants and, of course, more drinking. I also went through the course of a relationship with a guy who smoked, which got me back into that habit. So I wasn’t at my healthiest.

I’m not sure I can blame all of the weight on that job, though, since it’s been two years and I think I’ve managed to gain even a little more weight despite all the miles I do on my bike. I’m probably maintaining my weight. I wouldn’t say that I eat a lot of bad food. Despite what I say about beer and wine drinking, I really don’t drink all that much. So I don’t understand what’s happening to my metabolism. But I do know that I have to eat three meals a day.

It’s hard to not feel jealous when I see some skinny chick with better self-control. I guess I wish I could eat tiny morsels of food and feel fulfilled. I’d love to be a skinny chick too. I marvel at skinny chicks who eat like I do or worse–eating normal meals and then eating cookies and ice cream on a whim. These skinny chicks I have no problem with, other than a slight jealousy that their metabolism allows them to eat at will without suffering consequences. That’s a lucky strike of genetics. I can grok that.

I rarely let myself eat ice cream, despite the fact that I love ice cream. The dessert I allow myself to have regularly is half a square off a chocolate bar, and I only allow myself to do that once or twice a week. I have whole candy bars given to me at Christmas still sitting my freezer. I have a bag of white chocolate Reese’s cups–my favorite–sitting in my cupboard at home, left overs from Halloween. It takes me a year to get through a bag like that. I have ice cream in my freezer left over from a party from last summer. I like having these things around to remind me of what I’m not eating. But it sucks when I’m having a sugar craving because I can’t stop myself from indulging.

I figure it’s genetics. None of the women in my family are skinny chicks. We’re all big-boned with pillow bellies (and I’m skinny among them maybe). I guess I should be happy that we don’t have huge butts–all our fat goes to our mid-section–but it sucks that I could never wear a bikini on a beach with pride. (I do, in fact, where two piece swimsuits, but I always wear a towel when out of the water–I don’t want to subject the grossness to the women who I know are looking at my blubbered belly and judging.)

I keep trying to just accept my body for the way it is. I’m not fat, I know that. But I’m not skinny either. And being skinny requires a level of deprivation that I just can no longer maintain if I want to function like a human being. At the same time, I can’t help but want to slap the skinny chicks who eat tiny pieces of food as their entire meal and wear size 0-7 jeans (I wear 10 or 12) and then tell me, while my mouth is full of a piece of cake from an office party, that they can’t have any because they are on a diet. Or they tell me they are too fat. No sympathy!

I know. I should probably count calories and see where I’m messing up. That seems like so much work and I suspect it would only encourage me to become more obsessive about food. Guys don’t seem to obsess about food (well, except my dad who has amazing will-power and looks great–he’s lighter than me, I’m sure). I guess I should just try to be more like a guy. Though, that sure doesn’t help attract guys. You can’t win to lose. Guys like women who eat normally, but they want to date women who look like super-models. It’s hard to compete in that world. If I want to get that kind of attention, I need to start eating oatmeal in a small styrophome cup for lunch, I guess.

After a day of skinny girl frustration, I ended up ordering the half-chicken dinner special at The Winking Lizard after the ride. But I only ate half of it and brought the rest home. So at least I’m making the effort to reduce my intake. Though, I did wash the meal down with one 22 oz Commodore Perry IPA beer…

Polls suck

Honestly, I don’t know why you people even read my blog at all when I look at the responses to my polls. I don’t know if you’re just fooling with me or what, but my feelings are seriously hurt. I’m not joking. I can’t believe I’d get anyone answering an “emphatic no” to my cute new title and description picture. You guys suck. It seriously makes me think I should just quit writing this blog. Also, I guess my creativity skills SUCK in comparison to your obviously more ingenious ideas. Fine, start your own frakking blogs. I seriously thought my picture would get a warmer reception. I hate you haters. Seriously. Fine. You obviously just read this to mock me. I hope you are happy that my feelings are hurt and I’m now going to spend the rest of my day down on myself about how bad my writing skills are and how lousy my sense of humor is that it doesn’t touch any one else.

Blog plastic surgery

Please excuse me, folks, as I play vigorously with the appearance of my blog. I had the most ingenious idea this morning about my title and description picture and I just had to put it into action (having some time on my hands). I know I can’t please everyone so I don’t know why I bothered with the poll. But now I think I got it the way I like it so I don’t care how you vote. :P Still, feel free to and your opinion will be duly noted. Although, far as this blog goes, in the words of our bumbling ex-president: I’m the decider. Get your own blog if you don’t like it. ;) Word to your mutha.

Why Boston Mills highly annoys me

So I think I figured out why I don’t like skiing at Boston Mills. It’s not so much that the slopes aren’t challenging or that the runs are too short, but more the fact I enjoy the aesthetic qualities of skiing–the sensation of moving quickly along a slope with the sound of snow sliding off my skis, the aroma of trees and the metallic odor of snow, flakes falling gently around me, the blood bumping through my veins quickly. You just can’t experience this sensation fully at a place like Boston Mills. I guess it is because the runs are so short, the fact that you can see the bottom of the slope from the top. You can see the bottom of some slopes at good resorts like Seven Springs and Holiday Valley; however, the runs are still longer so I can experience some of the other sensations that make skiing to me so gratifying.

It’s weird, but I think the experience of the moment is also what I love about cycling. I enjoy looking at the world on a summer’s day, feeling alive with the blood pumping through my veins as I push myself forward. For me, cycling and skiing has never been about being the fastest or the best, it’s been solely about the experience of feeling that charge of the moment, the thrill of experiencing the world in 3D. You can do the same thing in a car, but you’re caged in. Besides, the natural world is better appreciated when you have to work to see it. Which is also why I love hiking. Or rafting (which I haven’t gotten to do a lot of in my life yet). Put me outside and I’m happy.

At a place like Boston Mills, all I can do is work on improving my skiing form or else I get bored. I just don’t feel that excitement part of skiing that pushes me onward when I’m at a place like Holiday Valley or, even better, a ski resort in Colorado (or anywhere out west, but I’ve never gone to any other place yet). Last night, I spent all my time trying to work on speed and handling bumps. Not that I didn’t have fun in another way, but I just didn’t get that glowing-happy sensation I feel while I am skiing. It was a lot like working on my cycling on my trainer–more work, less pleasure.

Something that really pisses me off about Boston Mills is that none of the skiers seem to understand the skier’s responsibility code. In my first run last night, I almost got hit by two snowboarders (snowboarders tend to be “look out for me” in attitude everywhere you go). The concept of being the uphill skier and needing to look out for the downhill skier seems to be lost on them. Dudes, if I can feel the air from your wake on my face, you were too frakking close to me! One snowboarder nearly crashed into me head on and had the audacity to think it was my fault when he came up from behind me. Whatever.

The kids at Boston Mills are punks. Without parents watching, it’s like an unmonitored playground. Little punks were line-jumping all over the place and they mouth off at you if you point out they are line-jumping. They all seem like they are so entitled to be there and you’re just in the way. Several idiots rolled right over my skis while in line which really peeves me off. I just bought these skis last year, I don’t need to have them all scuffed up. If this is a common occurrence in ski lines, then someone needs to explain to me why people rarely bump my skis at the more upscale resorts. Maybe it’s because people have more control over themselves at the better resorts?

There’s a lot of really amateur skiing going on out there. Yes, I’m an amateur, but I’m a careful amateur. Some of these kids, because the runs are so short, just bomb uncontrollably straight down them and you can plainly see they are out of control. To top it off, these punks who bomb out of control down the runs, never making turns, think they are skiing quite well.

The antics that take place at Boston Mills would never be tolerated at a better resort. The ski patrol or courtesy patrol elsewhere would have taken their lift ticket, especially for line-jumping. The thing that separates Boston Mills from other resorts is that rules are enforced and followed, which makes for a much more polite ski environment. Some of the people at Boston Mills have never skied anywhere else which, I think, gives them a really skewed view of what skiing is all about. I learned to ski at Holimont–a private resort in Ellicotville, NY–so when I learned I was taught properly about how to be a polite and safe skier. Maybe the fact that I was taught at a good resort has really skewed my view of skiing and made it impossible for me to really enjoy Boston Mills.

I also noticed that the ski patrol there aren’t necessarily the best skiers. Last night, I saw a girl in a ski patrol jacket who looked like she was new to skiing! She was making slow, deliberate turns and even I felt like I was a better skier. These are the people who are supposed to help haul you off the slope–any slope, no matter what skill level–if you are injured. At bigger resorts, the ski patrol are expert skiers because they have to go down anything–double black diamond runs, included–and not only that, but they have to figure out how to ski you off what ever hill you crashed your ass on. So I’m wondering if Boston Mills trains and hires their own ski patrol who are not nationally certified… And that worries me slightly. If I injure myself and can’t ski down, and the person who has to help me get off the slope is a worse skier than me, I’m a bit worried. Of course, at Boston Mills, it’s not that far to the lodge, so if you weren’t knocked unconscious, you could probably just walk down the rest of the slope. I guess then you don’t need to have great skiers on the ski patrol.

I know a lot of good skiers who use Boston Mills to practice… And so that’s why I keep trying to make the place work for me because I don’t want to be a ski snob. Until last night, I was tempted to get a season pass there next year to keep my skiing skills going throughout the winter so that when I go somewhere good, I don’t spend the first several hours trying to warm up instead of going straight into good skiing. However, I was so frustrated by the rudeness and the near-collisions I experienced last night that I’m not sure if the little bit of fun I had is enough to make me feel compelled to keep going there. Maybe I am a total ski snob, totally spoiled by learning at a good resort and one winter spent as a resident of Colorado.

My legs feel a little stiff this morning so that means I really did do a good workout on the skis (which is also not something that happens often for me at Boston Mills). I did get a little adventuresome with practicing speed. I purposely took air on some of the bumps (which is effectively like jumping) and didn’t lose balance so it was helping me improve my skiing. I just don’t know if I can motivate myself to ski there enough to pay out the worth of a season pass, though. So I don’t know. Sure wish I lived next to a resort like Holiday Valley! (Or, dare I say it, those AWESOME resorts in that state you all know I love too much… Never bitched about skiing once when I lived there…)

Don’t get me wrong. I’m definitely not an expert-level skier. I’m probably more like “upper intermediate”–given the right day and confidence level and I can ski really well. Other times my skiing is a little unsure and sloppy. I’m improving, but I know I still have a ways to go in some respects. At least I can stay upright most of the time (only fell once so far this year, at Holiday Valley). Most importantly, though, is that I enjoy the sport even though I’m not an expert level skier. I’ve had to tell myself that that might be all I ever am–intermediate–and to be happy with that. I’m an intermediate cyclist, too. I guess I’m just one of those people who will always be intermediate when it comes to sports. But, then, I’m not too competitive with this stuff; I just do it because I enjoy it.

Oh well. It’s Thursday and I’m tired. I had to shovel my driveway again this morning. My driveway looks like a flat toboggan chute. I’m really starting to think about getting a snow blower. Except the physical workout of shoveling replaced having to be on my trainer this morning. It’s a toss up over which is more fun.

Week of mechanical breakdown

Maybe it’s a good thing I didn’t go to Vail with Michael this week. Lots of things I own are breaking down. I discovered on Saturday that my DVD player–only about five years old–completely ceased to function. All the lights are off on the face. I rechecked the plug–even moved it to a new plug–and pushing power did no good. I guess maybe it got zapped in an electrical surge? Though, none of the other equipment running on the same power strip are having problems. I’d be pissed if my TV stopped working, for I got it just a few months before the DVD player and they are both JVC. Which is supposed to be good equipment. What do I know? That’s what consumer reports had said at the time I was looking at TVs and DVD players…

Disk 1 of season 3 of Roswell was stuck in the machine. I’d been watching the series, which I recently got for Christmas, to distract me while I’m exercising on the trainer when nothing interesting is on TV. Unlike computer CD/DVD devices, there’s no override trigger you can push by sticking an unbent paperclip into a hole. I had to take apart the top cover and face plate to get the damn thing outta there. In the process, I may have broken the DVD player more. I tried not to touch the components. I am certainly no electronics wizard. I couldn’t tell you what all those little colored, bumpy electronics boards do. It certainly looks like the inside of a computer in the DVD player… Vaguely interesting, but scary.

I was going to try to take the player to Best Buy or something to see if it can be repaired, but I’m not too hopeful there. I guess I’m going to have to buy another one. A year ago, my VCR finally gave out. It’s okay–it had permission since it was probably over 10 years old–but now I’m stuck in a media-less world. How depressing!! It’s a good thing I didn’t ask Joanna if I could borrow a few seasons of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, like I was tempted to do when we visited Columbus last week. (I didn’t ask because I figured that she might miss the series, or forget where they are, since we see each other so infrequently. Besides, I still have my friend Penitz’s Babylon 5 season 5 DVDs. As my library record clearly shows, I’m not good at returning things in a timely manner.)

Anyway, you would think that’s bad because, as I’ve stated before, I wanted to use my tax return money for an iPod nano (the purple ones!). Now it looks like I’m going to have to get a new DVD player.

To make matters worse, I feel like a complete idiot. As I was driving into work this morning, I underestimated the distance between the side of my car and an orange barrel on Snowville Road. I ended up side-swiping the barrel and breaking my passenger side mirror. Actually, I’m totally relieved that that is all I did–the rest of side of the car is unmarked. Fortunately, the mirror holder has give and it moved to become parallel with the side of my car, but it didn’t come completely off. The mirror is cracked. And the mirror’s holder is not as secure as it once was.

I’m such a horrible, stupid driver. I’m constantly backing into things when I’m in reverse. I’ve dented my back bumper twice and the second time, I just gave up on getting it fixed. Derrick at Century Cycles always has to resist the urge to pound the bumper back into place (the side hangs out on the passenger side). I told him it’s fruitless to fix it because I’ll just pop it back out of place again, which is why it’s hanging in the first place. I’d had someone bang it into place before, but, of course, I backed into something again and it fell back out.

A few years ago, same car, I dented the front passenger side while driving forward into my garage. Yeah, even managed to ding the entry way of my garage, real brilliant. Everyone was baffled as to how I managed to dent my car while going forward. I never admitted, until now, that it happened because my attention got distracted by looking at package I thought I saw on the other side of the garage. I had continued to drive forward while not looking forward. I’m such an ass.

In my first real accident in college, I rear-ended another car when I was looking down to clean up coffee I’d spilled on my passenger seat. I was in stop-and-go traffic in Macedonia, on my way to Wadsworth to meet up with Gary to see the re-issue of the first Star Wars movie. The light turned green; the coffee sitting on the passenger seat tipped; I looked down for just a second to try to wipe it up; the next thing I knew, my car was crunched up against the car in front of me. The silly side note to this story is that when I got my first car after college, my dad installed a cup holder in it first thing because it didn’t have one.

The poor car I own now–an Acura RSX–has also been through one accident and repair in addition to the many little scuffs I’ve put on it. Another rear-ending incident, though not my fault, really, because I was in the middle of a line of traffic entering I-71 in downtown Cleveland from E. 9th when the stupid dippy girl at the very front of the line stopped suddenly. And this wasn’t rush hour, the highway was completely free of traffic. I realize, yes, it was my fault since I guess I was too close to the car in front of me. But I wasn’t the only one who got caught up in that accident chain, though my car was damaged the worst.

So, anyway, I think my next car is going to be something much cheaper and less flashy because I don’t feel I deserve to drive nice vehicles since I clearly cannot take care of them well enough. I am just a crappy driver all around. Even when I’m paying attention fully to my driving–as I was this morning!–I still manage to cause damage to my car.

I’m just feeling financially crunched this week after paying my bills on Sunday. I guess it’s probably good that I didn’t go to Vail anyway. I’ve got stuff I need to buy for the house too. I guess all this stress gives me an excuse to use the coupon for the free (up to $12) Build-a-Bear stuffed animal I got in the email yesterday.

My cat, Cleo, is having medical problems… When it rains, it pours, I guess. It seems like the Fates don’t want me to enjoy my own music on an iPod… I’m not going to get the mirror on my car fixed–it’s pointless. But I will probably need to buy a new DVD player. Not that I’m addicted to TV. Okay, I am. I think it’s okay, though, because I don’t watch meaningless entertainment; I watch literature in the visual format. Besides, if I don’t have access to my media library, I will never get on my trainer when there’s nothing–which is most of the time–on TV.


Indians in chaos

Okay, maybe the Indians are not so much in chaos. But to me, the world is crumbling. My beloved Casey Blake is about to sign a three-year contract with the Dodgers (he crossed to the Natinoal League–what betrayal!!) and C.C. Sabathia is about to sign a deal with mortal enemy, the Yankees. Of course, we are interested in another closer (we’re always taking on closers) named Kerry Wood. I don’t know much about this guy, but I hope he’s better than the closers we currently have. Now, I wish we could score a few really good pitchers and some sluggers. Let’s trade Haffner–he’s been stinking for the last two years.

I don’t know. After last season, my disposition is pessimistic. I wonder, sometimes, why I continue to love this downtrodden team who never seems to deliver the enchanted dream I have of them. Just one World Series would tickle me pink. I’d never ask for another Cleveland team to win anything again.

It’s just depressing that good players never want to stay in Cleveland because we can’t deliver on the dreams of the players for the World Series and we don’t have the money to keep players interested. We’re a great rookie team every few years. We take on the new up-and-comings, we ween them into the Major League, and when they become really, really good, they take off for more money and bigger fame elsewhere. Who can blame them, really? We’re just a po-dunk city with a depressing economy and the bad reputation we can’t shake of the “mistake by the lake.”

It’s no wonder I always say the name of my hometown to out-of-staters with a little bit of guilt mixed in with defensiveness.

“Yeah, I’m from Cleveland,” I say a little depressedly, already anticipating the grunts and groans and snickers. Some joke always follows. Unless the people I’m talking about live in a more oppressed and less metropolitian area.

Yep. We Clevelanders are a pessimistic lot.

What is the price for zoning out?

$147, apparently. I just got off the phone with the Village of Peninsula’s Mayor’s Court. I tried not to cringe too much when the nice lady on the other end of the phone said, “Okay, 53 in a 35…”

I said, “Oh, ugh, don’t remind me.”

She says, “Well, at least it wasn’t in a 25.”

I agreed heartily. I forgot to mention in my last blog that I’ve had a ticket in Peninsula before–10 years ago when I was dating Mike and still lived at my parents’ house. You see, it was 2am and I was driving home for the night. Forget the fact that I was 23 years old and should have been able to just stay over night at my boyfriend’s house without questions. No, no, not in my house. My younger brother apparently could go out drinking with friends and stay out all night without calling home to tell my mom that he was staying out and my mom wouldn’t bat an eye. However, if their oldest daughter decides to spend the night quietly at her nice boyfriend’s house, it was a national crisis (which, at that point in evening, I was already going to get a lecture for).

But, anyway, so, here I was very tired at 2am trying to get home so that I could feign the innocence my parents wanted to believe I had and, of course, I was totally zoning. Especially since I knew I’d already stretched the limits of my mom’s patience by coming home so late. So I was driving like 61mph and I came around the bend that led to Peninsula and for some reason I thought it was still further down the road. Nope. I’d missed the 45 mile sign that warned of the approaching town. The next thing I knew, I was in town, in the 25 zone, going 61 with flashing blue and red lights behind me. Whoops. (Side note: I was actually speeding for all the zones prior to Peninsula; the highest marked speed on that road is 55.)

I was such a nervous weirdo. When the cop asked my why I was going so fast, I stated that I was trying to avoid deer. Um? What? I seem to always manage to make myself look like a complete airhead in front of cops.

Well, 61 in a 25 means you have to go to mayor’s court; there’s no paying the ticket and getting it over with. On my husband’s coaching, I practiced my best, “I’m sorry, Mr. Mayor, sir, I’ll never do it again” act which included batting my eyes and laying the feminine wiles on thickly. Fortunately, it worked and he waved my court costs. I still had to pay $100, but I think for the speed I was doing, I got off really lucky. He may have had the power to lay some major points on my license and he only gave me the requisite 2.

I’m not looking for sympathy here. I know I have a lead foot problem. I know that I’m an impatient driver and that driving to me is just something you have to boringly endure to get to where you’re trying to go… And on any drive, my mind wanders to about fifty things I need to get done or I’m thriving on the anticipation of what is going to happen when I get to where I’m going (as I was alternately thinking of a nice hot shower on my way back from FFFF on Saturday and picking up the book I reserved at the Brecksville library). My boredom while driving leads to many risky behaviors, such as reading email on my phone, texting friends, or using the time to call people I haven’t talked to in awhile (for that I use an ear bud, though). I keep telling myself I need to stop doing this and pay more attention to the road. But even if I’m not fiddling with crap, I totally zone out, my attention only partially on the driving. I get so deep in thought sometimes that I’m sure my attention to the environment around me is pretty minimal.

It’s the completely opposite of how I ride my bike. On my bike, I’m constantly aware of my surroundings, as I have to anticipate the moves of all the vehicles around me to ensure my safety. I would never answer my phone on my bike or attempt to talk on my phone while cycling. I certainly wouldn’t attempt to read my email or do other than watch the road ahead of me. Besides the obvious road dangers while cycling, I think that the activity of cycling keeps me occupied because of the level of exercise. I’m much more in the moment when cycling because I want to enjoy all scenery and smells and concentrate on overcoming the pain of difficult climbs. I’m working out hard and my thoughts rarely wander. Sometimes I think about poetry I could write, as I do in the car, but my thoughts don’t wander too absently to the stuff awaiting me at home to do. In other words, cycling is not boring–driving a car is.

The thing is, I should be more aware of my surroundings while driving because that activity is actually more dangerous than my cycling. Chances are if I toss it on my bike, I won’t die. I mean, I can die, but the likelihood is much lower due to the fact that I usually can’t attain the high speeds of a car (forget the fact that Michael and I hit over 50mph on the tandem a few weeks back). A car is deceptively dangerous: you feel safe because you are surrounded by four walls. However, a car and the speeds it attains are much more deadly.

And let’s not forget the fact that I was going 53 in a 35 zone, unaware of my surroundings, in a community that is heavily used by my fellow cyclists. Fortunately, cyclists generally don’t ride on that area of 303 that I was on and if they do, they only use it for short stints to the next less busy road. Still. I was in the area where a cyclist might go because it was a speed zone.

Over the last couple of months, I’ve been trying really hard to stop speeding so much. I’d been using my cruise control more, setting it to five above the posted limit. I was still reeling from the $140 I paid to the City of Lyndhurst in December when I got ticketed at 35 in the 25 zone on the road where my last job was at. I paid that much for the pair of skis I bought last year. Yeah. It’s frakking depressing.

The problem with cruise control is that it makes driving even easier which does not help me any with the zoning out problem I have. I feel like I need to physically push the gas pedal to be aware. Using cruise control is like putting your car in autopilot. If I use it while on a long trip (of a few hours or more), I find that I become incredibly bored, instead of my just regular bored. Yet the problem with me pushing the gas pedal myself is that I tend to push it just a little higher than I should, and then a little more, and then the next thing I know it, I’m pushing 80mph on the freeway. 80 seems to be my favorite speed. I usually don’t drive anymore than than that because I can feel the instability in my car. 80 always seems perfect. I guess I should move to the Nebraska plains where the speed limit is 75 because then I’m in that 5mph safety factor that cops usually give you. I’d never push 90 or 100, so I’d be perfect.

I’m aware of my problem. I know I’m a speed demon and I know I’m too A.D.D. to drive. I guess, really, those cops who let me off the speeding tickets I should have gotten from 2001 to 2006 were doing me no favors because I seemed to start to assume I’d always be able to bat my baby browns and hike up my skirt to get off with a warning. (By the way, I never deliberately batted my baby browns or hiked up my skirt… I just happened to be wearing the shortest skirt I own when I got pulled over once in Colorado… and I got off with a warning and the young state trooper gave me his business card… and I did nothing to encourage that, I swear; it’s just a funny story to tell now.)

Because I didn’t pay for my unsafe indulgences, I just didn’t feel the need to adjust my ways. Now, I guess, I’m trying harder because I can’t afford to pay $140 every six months to whatever town I’ve sped through. Besides that, I’m sure I’m up to six points now on my license. I’m getting dangerous close to the 12 point limit where your license gets suspended. My insurance is sure to go up if they notice my lead footing problem.

I have to figure out some way to stay engaged in my driving so that I’m watching my speed. I remember on Saturday when I hit the 35 zone, I noted it in my head at that moment and I thought I slowed down. If I did in fact slow down, but I did not check my speedometer, I must have been going faster than I thought I was before I got to the 35. So who knows what I was doing, which is kind of scary to me. Especially since the cop remarked that I was going uphill at 53 miles an hour! What??

It’s ironic, too, that on my bike, I’m always aware of my speed. My eyes are always glancing down at the computer to see what I’m doing. I know how fast I’m going uphills, downhills, and on straight-aways. I’m just a much better cyclist than I am driver. Maybe I need to just give up on the car and switch to using my bike… it’s too bad everything I need to get to isn’t within a 20 mile radius of my house… and getting groceries would be a hassle. Can someone please invent a pedal car? ;)

Anyway, the lady at the mayor’s court in Peninsula was very nice. We chit-chatted about insurance coverage and how it works. (Since, also, I didn’t have my insurance card on me when the cop pulled me over because I didn’t have my purse on the ride. I always carry my license and medical insurance card when I’m riding so that if I’m unconscious on the road, whoever finds me can figure out who I am and give the hospital proof that I can pay for any help they can give.) She told me she’s the only one who works the desk so if I need to make arrangements with her to stick around and wait for me at lunch time or on my way home from work, she’s willing to do that. Peninsula only takes cash, cashier’s check, or money order. So at lunch today, I’m going to pick up my damned library book (the source of my Saturday zoning out) and go to the ATM in Brecksville to withdraw the required amount. Then, one of the days this week I’ll hit the police station on my way home to make the payment. And try to maintain my dignity. And not cry too much over wasted money.

But, again, I deserve it. I know I was in the wrong. I think I’ll profusely apologize to this nice lady when I turn in the money. I love the Village of Peninsula and, though I always joke that I’d like to be ticketed for speeding on my bike (which I really don’t), I don’t really want to make the officers of this fine village have a reason to hate me. I respect their quiet little town. I actually feel kind of bad for breaking the speed limit there (whereas I feel less bad in the other towns) because I have a personal connection to and respect for that village. It’s almost as if I’d insulted a beloved relative.

Radical musings

*indicating new Bush countdown widget* Well, I said I wouldn’t talk about politics anymore; subtle and not-so-subtle articles, widgets, signs, and programs do not count.

In baseball news, I’m mighty glad to see that THE TRAITOR and the Chicago White Sox were wiped out of the division series now. Yay!! Take that, Chicago!!

Happily, the Dodgers, featuring my forever Amish love, Casey Blake, have advanced to the national league championship series. I’m rooting for them, even though I had to trade my soul in because Manny Ramierez now plays for the Dodgers. Ah well. I’m behind Casey all the way. Blakes’ Babes won’t be shut down just because he’s no longer on the Cleveland Indians’ roster.

Now… I’m pleading for the Devil Rays to knock out the Boston Red Sox. Sorry, Sox, you can’t go winning another World Series when there are other teams who still don’t own a major league baseball pennant. I’d like to see the Devil Rays v. the Dodgers.

Funny how when Joe Torre gets fired from the Yanks and moves to the Dodgers, the Dodgers now make it to the play-offs. Maybe it isn’t all about the player. So what does that say about Eric Wedge?


*And suddenly the die-hard liberal feminist UU loses hope in the Obama campaign stealing the ticket as clearly the better debater takes the show with her cute earrings, bangs-in-eyes hair (much like a beloved professor from Hiram), and holding her Down-Syndrome Baby…*

We were bettered, folks. Her cuteness overcame our old guy.

It’s going to be another four years of Republican theocracy. I mean, dictatorship.

I’m selling my womb to Republican women who can’t have babies. Since someone else is going to eventually own my womb anyway.

And I’m praying for all my gay friends. I know God will at least take care of them, even if their own fellow human beings won’t.

ADDED LATER: Let me clarify. I think that though she avoided certain questions (which is actually a debating tactic) and pushed the points she wanted to talk about, she became America’s sweetie over night with her cute little Fargo accent. She didn’t come off stupid, as she did in those Katie Couric interviews. She held her own and she was pretty damn, admirably strong. A lot of people think she won the debate with her charm… and as my fellow blogger, PeaceBang, wrote in a subsequent comment to her own entry, “It was an historic moment: seeing a woman flaunt her reproductive accomplishments as though being a mother is an important qualification for one of the highest offices in the land.”

I don’t know. I maintain that she’s completely fulfilling her role as the Republican male’s vision of a feminist: sexy, a mother, pro-life (which is so anti-feminist at its very core, but conservative men don’t understand that a true feminist is pro-choice even if she wouldn’t choose it for herself because she believes her body belongs to her, not some body of government). A career women who wears pant suits (which Hillary constantly got lambasted for) without children and not quite as cute is less attractive to the conservative male. They like their happy little home maker women; the lipstick beauty who does everything but also has time to come home and pop out children.

And, yes, I’m really starting to see some of my feminist friends’ points about Palin knocking feminism back a few decades. But, hey, I have to admit that she pulls it off well. Almost makes me want to move to Alaska, marry a frat boy husband (never trust a man named Todd), and have a Downs Syndrome baby and a pregnant teen girl.

What’s so hard about remembering Heidi?

In the last twenty-four hours, I’ve been called everything, but Heidi (Mars Girl’s real first name).

The foreman of our jury kept calling me “Hailey” repeatedly. What? Do I look like I’m in the “Hailey” generation? (I guess it didn’t help that the Plaintiff’s niece’s daughter’s name was Hailey, but I think that was only really brought up once several days ago as the granddaughter of the decedent).

After the grueling head-banging session of jury deliberations, I ran into a guy I attended hospice training with at the Panera Bread near my house. Right after I reminded him of my name, he proceeded to call me “Holly.” I get Holly all the time. Which really confused the heck out of people in my tour groups both time I went to Europe as I traveled with my friend Holly. It kind of sounds like the lead characters in a porno flick, doesn’t it? (Holly and Heidi do Germany.)

I can’t blame people for getting our names all mixed up in that case. Though, I don’t recall Holly ever saying that people have messed up her name by calling her Heidi (other than when she was traveling with me). However, I have met other Heidis who have had the problem with being called Holly consistently about five minutes after introducing themselves to anyone. I used to get Heather all the time, but not so much anymore.

I had a teacher in high school call me Emily for a whole semester. I was too shy to correct him, as I often am about correcting people, so I just let it go. I believe he thought I was Emily because my last name begins with “Em” and, I imagine, he knew my name ended with some kind of “ey” sound.

A lot of people seem to have trouble spelling my name. I’ve gotten it all: Hiedi, Hiede, Hidy, Hiedy, Heidy, Heide… It mostly seems to end up with a confusion of how to end it. Yeah, I guess I can expect people to be confused with the whole “ie” issue. If you’re German, you realize my name follows pronunciation rules perfectly with “ei” having a long “i” sound. I guess if you’re speaking English, you just get confused with that whole “i” before “e” except after… rule.

I shouldn’t complain. It’s just that I wish people would take the time to listen harder, as I take the time to try to learn the proper pronunciation of people’s last names. It just seems kind of lazy to hear something close to what I said. Not that I claim to be the best listener in the world (and, in fact, I’m horrible at remembering someone’s name until I’ve seen them a few times, but usually, I forget the whole name which includes the general sound of it).

At least they keep me to the right gender. My poor brother, whose name is Christian–a major world religion so you’d think people would remember it right?–has constantly had to suffer with people calling him “Kristen” or “Christine.” A lot of times this would happen right to his face when clearly a male was standing before them. How stupid is that? People announce all the time that they are a Christian but as soon as they have to apply it to a person standing in front of them, they get all tongue-tied. Maybe they feel it’s sacrilege to name a person Christian. Might suggest you think he’s Christ-like or something.

I’ll never get people.