In Search of the Holy Grail.. pain free kick ass shoes

heelsI have a secret. I have the feet of a Hobbit. Scrawny, knobbly, bent and twisted. Not quite the ragged hairy nubbins of Frodo, but my feet do seem to have channeled Shrek. Lets just say my bi weekly pedicures are necessary for the sake of humanity, and those attending my yoga class.

After 4 years working from home, my hobbit feet had become accustomed to the comforts of home. Clogs, Tevas, Ascis and Frye boots litter my closet. Wool socks formed the basis of most outfits.

I did wear heels .. but only on dates with tall guys or when I needed to feel particularly girlie.

So basically once or twice a year. And mainly for sitting down.

Then I moved to CA, moved back to working in an office environment and tried to reintroduce my feet to footwear that didn’t resemble something available with a prescription or worn exclusively by retirees.

The result, unsurprisingly, was pain. Lots of pain. Pain that radiated from my toes all the way up my legs and at one point through my eyeballs. Trying to walk into a meeting with aplomb was akin to firewalking. Best achieved at high-speed and with quick intakes of breath. I managed to make it to my car with a combination of tip toeing and waddling.. anything to avoid the feeling of nails being driven through my toes and heels simultaneously.

Why bother you might be thinking? Why no just sling on some flats and be comfortable?

I tried flats. I really did. But several comments about my ‘little girl’ height and jokes about me not seeming like my usual confident self made me question what heels did for me. Heels gave me authority. Heels enabled me to look people in the eye instead of the nipple. Heels enabled me to wear pants without paying $25 per pair in alterations.

Hey, I’m cheap.

Of course I could straighten my spine and walk tall (5 ft 2 isn’t quite midget status), but honestly I’d rather look my boss in the eye and who can resist looking more authoritative, slimmer and just a little sexy? After all, I am single, I work with senior execs all day and hell..if I have to dress up for work, I’d rather not be the poster girl for lesbian chic. I left that look back in Colorado. There has to be some version of heels which doesn’t result in sobbing …right? I mean people have been rocking these things for 50 years.

I started with a few requirements…..

  • The ability to walk at high-speed without losing them. My job involves running across conference halls/ airports/ hallways on a regular basis and I have left at least 2 shoes in the middle of a cross walk before now. Straps or laces, however it works.. but ‘firm fit’ is key.
  • Able to fit my weirdly skinny ankles and bizarrely shaped toes without causing nail loss. I don’t rule out square toes, but I’d prefer if my heels didn’t resemble something from the early 90s.
  • Suitability for a hetero 30-40 something woman who wears skirts, dresses and pants. i.e. Huge platform soles and knee-length lacing are out.. along with anything with the name ‘comfort’ in the title.

But since I’m wearing them all day every day, I figured.. money no object. At least for one pair.  No problem right?

WRONG.

A Facebook request to friends led me to Franco Sarto, Cole Haan and Nine West. A gift certificate led me to Macys. After exhausting everything from kitten heels to wedges, Sam Edelson to Prada and an entire weekend I came to several conclusions.

  • It doesn’t matter how much you spend.. boots win out every time for comfort, fit and style. Bummer because I now live in CA. Where its warm. All year.
  • Elastic or leather with stretch are your friends.
  • Most shoes will fit your heels or your toes.. but rarely both.
  • Fancy straps, chains, buckles or slingbacks generally result in blisters about 30 mins after you wear them for the first time. Wear them around the house for a few hours – vacuum, clean, cook, do laundry. By the time your clothes are in the dryer, you’ll know. (plus if you live with someone, kinda kinky).
  • Expensive ($250+) does generally get more comfortable and more long-lasting but you’re going to be spending a minimum of $250, $400 or $1000. Which to most single chicas who aren’t Meg Whitman means an annual treat if that.
  • Comfort and style don’t mix. I’ve tried all of the ‘so called’ solutions and the closest I came was a $550 spanish brand that still resembled something you’d wear to perform a stompy fiesta dance with a tambourine. Fine if I were living in Spain, or about to head out for the evening, but a tough mix with my all black, formal wear, wardrobe.

So in the end I wound up settling for slightly uncomfortable, slightly more than I could afford, and perfectly office appropriate. I’ve already taken them out for a test run up and down the halls a few times, and I can stand in them for about 6 hours. Not perfect, but hey.. at least I can make it to the car without walking like a constipated duck, no-one is making comments about ‘the single chick with comfortable shoes’ and I’ve not broken out a single band-aid yet. Yay for Donald J. Pilner.

But in the meantime I’ll continue my search. I figure anyone who finds that ‘style and comfort’ solution for women’s heels will make millions.

If I find them first, I’m buying stock.

 

Posted in advice, female role models, How to be a woman, new challenges, shopping | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

I am not an elephant! I am not an animal! I am a human being! I am a woman!

elephant manThe elephant (wo)man. Or that’s how the last few days have felt at least. Yes, I’m a drama queen but seriously, one facial burn and suddenly I’m having all kinds of empathy for Joseph Merrick.

I’m used to people looking confused when I talk to them, but that’s typically due to my bizarre hybrid accent. This is something totally different. This is women who talk to my ear, checkout counter ladies who gaze off to the next customer while addressing me, the dude at Rite aid just stood with his mouth open and at Whole Foods, a women had an entire conversation with my shoes.

NOTE TO SELF: Wear awesome shoes for the next week until facial abnormality heals.

There’s no awesome, kick ass story to accompany my current ‘bag on the head’ status. Just some wax, a chick in a salon and my upper lip. You know that space ladies.. the one from your nose to your upper lip. Where, in my case, down grows abundantly. And since I’m heading off to a huge conference with media, press, 3,000 customers and hundreds of executives, I decided to smarten myself up a bit. Defeat the down.

1 bad decision and 2 minutes later, 3 Korean ladies were jabbering madly to each other (I mention Korean because I had no idea what they were saying) and rubbing neosporin on my face in a frenzy. The lady with the wax just looked at her feet (something I’m now seeing as a trend) while the salon owner poked me with her finger and accused me of using Retin A.

‘You Retin A?’

Ummm… yes?’ (but not on my upper lip?)

‘You not wax with Retin A’

‘Ummm. Ok (but I’ve been doing it for years??? And not on my upper lip. Do you KNOW how much Retin A costs?)

‘You put spoon in freezer when you get home. Spoon on lip. All night’

At which point I was thinking this is a slight overreaction and glanced in the mirror. To see a massive red welt across my upper lip. Glowing furiously. Not only is it a huge stripe across the middle of my face, I also look as though I’m auditioning for the part of ‘angry Hitler’. Its practically carved into my skin.

3 days later. Hundreds of Google searches. Aloe, frozen spoons, bags of peas, Neosporin (on my second tube) and even Saran wrap. The best I can say is that my Hitler mustache is now brown. What’s worse is the scar has healed into a hard plastic-like shell that sits atop my lip like a large tan fake mustache that hurts to move. Dour is the best I can manage.

But its my colleagues I feel bad for. My work mates have oh -so-politely rushed over from a distance ‘oh my god…what’s wrong?’ and then seeing my scar, retreated to ‘Oh you looked stressed’ before scurrying off to debate what happened to my face. My boss has my eternal gratitude for being the only person in 3 days to look me in the eye… which I can only put down to his military background or extreme short sightedness.   Either way, I could have hugged him for ignoring my Nazi impersonation.

On the plus side, no one has ever taken more notice of my shoes. And I have a whole new empathy for anyone who’s not 100% average looking.

To those skin condition suffers, large mole wearers and strawberry birthmarkers.. I commend you for holding your head up and ploughing through life while people talk to your ear , your shoulder or your shoes.

Me.. I can only hope that my conference has dim lighting.

Posted in body, Embarrassing admissions | Tagged , | 1 Comment

Dear Mr. Bike Ride Reviewer….

mtb failI am new to the area and therefore might not be quite as familiar with local vernacular as some, but I was compelled to write to you to point out some inaccuracies in your review of ‘Henry Coe (Middle Ridge Loop)’ mountain bike trail.

While I consider myself a fairly intermediate rider (I don’t like big drop offs but I can navigate a rock garden), I considered this trail option as a “good fit” based on your rating of 6/ 10 for aerobic difficulty and 7/10 for technical difficulty. You also rated it a 7 on the ‘fun’ scale though with a ‘5’ on the scenic views.. I wasn’t expecting much beyond a good afternoon bumping around a mountain and getting my heart rate into the aerobic zone.

Where do I start?

I’m not sure what you consider a ‘most merciful climb’ but based on my experience on this route, I assume  you ride the Tour De France every July and spend the off-season in Napal. With inclines that quite literally threw me backwards off my bike (despite crouching as far forward and down as possible without conducting a self hysterectomy), I can only assume that perhaps Californians consider anything less than 20% a simple ‘slope’.

Now I did notice that you mentioned ‘extra steep dips and climbs ‘ but I assumed, like any humanoid who’s ridden a bike’ that these wouldn’t include 90 degree vertical descents or ascents which required me to lift my bike over my head and use my hands to pull myself up. This, sir, is called mountain climbing. Not mountain biking.  Maybe its the 29 inch tires that I was riding that limited my ability to remain attached to my bike when cresting the 60% descent;I can but assume that the only way to safely descend some of your ‘extra steep dips’ would be slide down them on my back… as I did.. while attached to my bike. Next time, I shall wear my motorcycle leathers, not lycra. That, you did not mention in your write up of this trail.

Next up, lets refer to your mention of ‘narrow singletrack’. Caution indeed sir. At several points, my tire was wider than the trail, and with a vertical drop off to my left, I would consider this less ‘singletrack’ and more ‘half track’. Those not accustomed to certain vertigo should be warned. Yes, the scenery was a nice distraction (a perfect 10 in certain places), but surely one should not be distracted at such a time. A recommendation for blinders and skinny tires would have been more welcome.

Your summary of Creekside Trail was laughable though you did mention potential for ‘wet shoes’, and ‘tricky navigation’. With water running up to my crotch, navigating the “trail” did at least erase most of the blood from my knees and thighs, though how much I rode my bike does bring into question the notion of it being a ‘trail’. More of a ‘bike portage’ or better yet ‘advanced wading’. Still my back and upper arms did get a nice workout when I had to cling to a rock to avoid being pulled downstream along with my bike. A new technical skill perhaps?

And finally sir, I cannot rest without questioning your use of ‘least a couple of short but steep stretches’ on the return. My understanding of the term ‘couple’ would indicate 2, maybe 3 stretches during which I might have to stand in granny gear and sweat it out.  In reality, this ‘short stretch’ was 3.1 miles long and had nothing less than a 10% incline at any point in time. You did mention that my ‘pedals won’t stop turning’ but in fact Sir they did. Totally. I was forced to walk my bike the entire distance as hikers were passing me. Even they were pausing every few steps for a breather.  One guy had to lie down.

So while I may not be California bike ready, or quite as good at interpreting a ride review as I thought, I do point a finger at you Sir, for your understated interpretation of what constitutes steep, crossable or rideble. I would also revisit your ‘fun’ scale based on what normal humans constitute ‘a good time’. Fearing death for 3 hours did not rank as fun at any point though I did laugh slightly when I endo’d for the 2nd time. I put that down to hysteria rather than fun.

The bill for my stitches, torn clothing and brake repair is in the mail.

Posted in adventure, cycling | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

California – 3 months in

FroggerMy move to this weird and wackadoo state has been nothing if not eye-opening. I thought after 18+ years in the US, living in multiple states, I was accustomed to the ways and means of the American and its environs.  Apparently no-one told California it’s part of ‘Merica.

California is a state where people still throw things from car windows with abandon, but will scowl if you so much as inch towards letting your dog off leash. Where people will walk a 1/2 mile from the nearest house, office, mall, building etc.. to ensure their cigarette smoke doesn’t offend anyone, but will gaily drive across pedestrian crossings at 40mph while you’re in mid transit with a smile on their face.

I’m still learning the social norms of the place – and since I’m mid way between Googleville (aka San Francisco) and Hemptown (aka Santa Cruz), I’m constantly torn between what’s socially acceptable and what’s completely verboten.

For example, it’s totally fine to wear your work out gear 100% of the time in Santa Cruz… but in San Francisco, workout wear is strictly from 9-11am on a Sat or Sunday morning and only to coffee, (NOT brunch). Oh, and it MUST be black.

Santa Cruz is a ‘whatever’ town. San Francisco cares too deeply about everything to even comprehend that phrase. Living mid way between, my shoulders are basically partially shrugged at all times.

But I have picked up some new skills from this weird place.

– Frogger Driving. With 6-7 lanes, no one obeying any normal rules and even the CA motoring code says ‘pick the lane appropriate for your speed’, getting from A to B is like one big video game of ‘accelerate, signal, dodge, accelerate’. As long as you put aside certain death and anyone with an out-of-state license plate.. its kinda fun.

– Cheap milk location. With organic skim at $7.99 per gallon (yes, a gallon), milk is double the price of gas. Hence, I’ve turned into the person who will actually drive across town JUST to buy my gallons from that weird ‘Rotten Robbies’ store to save $2. Yes it’s called Rotten Robbies. And its a liquor store. But hey, they’re open 24 hrs and their organic skim is $5.99. Crushing it.

– Mountain Bike Trail exhibitionist. Apparently everyone is too busy polishing their Telsa’s or wine tasting because the trails here are EMPTY. Beautiful, single track, shady and as technical as you so desire.. they are boundless and silent. I’ve ridden alongside the ocean, through thick forests and across acres of empty fields. Up 30% grade ridges and down some way gnarly rock gardens. But with no-one around to hear me yelping or whooping, panting as I creep ever-so-slowly-up-22%-grade or shrieking as I pop a squat on some poison ivy.. my riding has become completely lacking in inhibition. I yelp, I squeal, I swear extremely loudly and I sound most of the time like a 90 yr old smoker trying to climb Everest. Except for the lack of chica friends …it’s really never been better. After all, if noone is there to see you suck, do you really actually suck? Nope. In my head I’m now a most excellent mountain biker. Even if I still fall off a lot.

So 3 months into CA and its been a whirlwind, weird and wonderful experience. I still haven’t found my peeps, but I have picked up some new skills, found some amazing places, gathered some stories and heck, I haven’t even started dating yet.

Can’t wait to see what the next 3 months brings…

 

 

 

Posted in Life after 40, life lessons, living alone, This is 40 | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Next up.. a plague of locusts

FloodSo the move to CA hasn’t exactly been what one could term ‘smooth’. Not unless smooth comes with pointy sharp bits, lots of water, electrical shockage and way too much time spent at Walgreens. On the plus side, they’re clearly putting crack in the water because I AM LOVING IT.

Read on.

I arrived after 19 hours of stare-it-tude (lord, Nevada looks like one long post-apocalyptic aftermath) and not a small amount of rain. Surprising since my research on South bay indicated low rainfall and extreme sun at all times. In fact, it was one of the reasons I decided to make the move. Lots of lovely dry warm sun.

Ha.

It’s not stopped since I arrived.

But I digress. My first night, I unrolled my air mattress, my sleeping bag, brewed up some tea and toasted my new citizenship with a disgruntled and somewhat damp dog at my feet.

‘Tomorrow, we’ll take a long walk, get in some food, chill out and just be mellow’. The dog looked at me sadly,  clearly hoping that non of the above involved any more driving.

We woke to more rain, but hey, being outside and not freezing my butt off was awesome. An hour later, we headed home for a big breakfast and to get a start on the day.

As I turned the corner of my apartment I heard rushing water and thought ‘oh how lovely, they have a water feature’.. Which they did. It was my apartment.

Due to a faulty mains pipe, while I’d been out with the dog wallowing in a balmy 58 degrees, the pipe had burst and my possessions were currently floating around in 6 inches of water. As I opened my door, my air mattress, now serving as water float, carried my sleeping bag onto the sidewalk. I watched my prescription bottles bobbing around, along with last nights underwear and my balled up pjs. Quelle horror.

My neighbors were similar afflicted. Dodging the large chunks of ceiling that were now raining down on our heads, we ran in and out of each others apartments, grabbing anything not ruined or waterlogged in hope of saving anything. Thankfully my laptop, my gun and one pair of underwear were dry. What more could one need?

My neighbor was crying at the loss of her wedding pictures while all I could think was ‘what a GREAT way to meet your neighbors’. Glass half full…? Or maybe just good medication? Needless to say, after a few nips of Oban whiskey (survived unscathed), she seemed less fazed by the whole thing too.

Within a day we were relocated to new apartments, slightly PTSD scarred and on high alert for anything sounding like running water. Which is when CA decided to really give some fun.

Day 1 – Apartment floods

Day 2 – Dishwasher decides that it no longer needs water to operate and commences cleaning via just heat. Handyman fixes dishwasher. Dishwasher then floods the new apartment. Everything recently dry near the floor, now wet again.

Day 3 – Fridge making sounds like the Tardis. Handyman turns off fridge for the day. All food ruined. Handyman finds a piece of tape in fan… source of noise… and turns fridge back on with joy. I dine on Shotbloks for the second night in a row as I’m not sure whether I can manage to eat 4lbs of unfrozen fish. Start drying out process again.

Day 4 – Washing machine decides it does not need water to operate but instead generates burning odor. Handyman fixes washing machine. Machine then floods the apartment. I receive electrical shock from new Rocku which I daringly left sitting on the ground. I develop slight tick at the sound of any running water.

Day 4b – Nothing floods. Take CA driving test and motorcycle test. Pass first time and only spend 45 mins in the DMV – SCORE!!!!!!

So as you can see I’m not yet a week in to my move and its been quite the experience. On one hand, everything I own is slightly damp (my work colleagues have been very understanding of my new unique style) but on the other hand it’s NOT SNOWING and I ROCKED my driving test.

I love California.

See… clearly crack in the water.

Posted in adventure, Life after 40, life lessons, living alone, This is 40 | 1 Comment

Not better, just different

sfContrary to popular opinion, I am still alive. I am also not incarcerated, incinerated or incapacitated. Sadly I have not been held captive by a silver fox off the coast of Belize and no, I did not win the lottery.

I’ve just been rearranging my life.

In the last month I found a new job, planned a cross-country move, completed my Christmas shopping AND grew my hair an inch.

NOTE: Growing the hair was the toughest. This mother will just.not.grow.  I am doomed to a shaggy pixie for the remainder of my days.

After the best summer ever drew to a close I realized that it was now or never. Things were good. Work was …okay. My little life was pleasurable and harmonious. Nothing too exciting and something too stressful. I could quite happily continue to live out my days in gorgeous Colorado, riding my bike with awesome chicas, spending my Thursdays on an ever-increasing spiral of bad dates and doing a bit of work to pay the rent..OR I could change things.

Why change things when life is good? When you’ve found friends who actually ‘get’ you and an apartment where you can leave the door unlocked. Where life has a rhythm and cadence that is soothing and predictable. Where you give Uncle Fester a second date because.. well .. he wasn’t that awful. Why risk ‘good’ for ‘different’? Especially when different comes at twice the cost, double the traffic and the need to wear actual outfits to an office on a daily basis?

I can’t exactly explain it except that I knew something needed to change when my neighbor asked why I was doing my laundry on a Friday night instead of my usual Saturday morning. When another neighbor said ‘I knew it was you walking your dog because of your pajamas’ and I found myself counting down the hours one Saturday night until I could reasonably climb into bed with my book. It was 7.30pm.

I’m 42. Not dead.

Life can be too good. Too comfortable. Too ‘nice’. Life without edges can make you sloppy and your brain fuzzy. You settle into routines that your grandmother would find boring. And when you realize you’re waiting out the days.. until…well..something different happens. Yes,  something needs to change.

So I decided to make a change.

In a few weeks, 19 years after I arrived, I’m leaving the rocky mountain state for the west coast. Back to water and Democratic majorities, GMO-hating hippies and Silicon Valley geekdom. I’m excited to use my brain again (the dust bunnies up there are something else), to explore a whole new state, to find new friends and spend a winter without thermals covering every square inch of my body.

Sure it’s going to suck. Its going to be exhausting and my expectations aren’t for some miraculous life change. Just something different. New roads, new trails, new weather, new vistas. Not better, just different. I’m 42 and we only get one time around. Going to bed at 7.30pm on a Saturday night out of boredom isn’t how I want to remember my 40s. That isn’t living.. it’s just passing time. So instead I choose change. I choose different.

I’ll keep you posted.

Posted in Getting older, Life after 40, new challenges, significant moments, the future | Tagged , | 3 Comments

The fishing is kind of ..swampy…

swampNow that I’ve changed the options on my dating profile to include leftovers dudes up to 55, I have to admit, my options seem to have increase 10 fold. The number of winks, likes, emails and stalkers is currently up into triple digits and while I’m going to wait a while until I venture out with another 50 something for a first date (I need to recoup some dignity after being ignored for a Pirates game), here’s a choice select of the options currently rotating through my ‘Viewed Me’ list. Got to say, the pool might be bigger.. but it’s certainly filled with ‘interesting’ fish.

Urbansoldier77

Now lets not judge. I am sure Urbansoldier77  is more than just a gun-toting NRA member. Sure, his 23 photos do feature him in various hunting attire, armed with multiple firearms (including something that looks like a prop from The Expendables) And yes, he does seem very proud to showcase his dead animal collection, but I think there’s more to this guy. I mean I’m a little nervous about the snake tattoo that wraps from his wrist up to his neck, complete with dagger and dripping blood, but maybe its a Asian art thing? His arms do look a little  ‘roidish’ but he claims that if ‘you can’t stand the pathetic sight of your boyfriend squirming and straining to get the jar open’ he’s the guy for me. Now I’ve been chief jar opener in my house for the last ummm 28 years, so I’m thinking ‘no’ but ‘thanks’. He likes to adventure down a trail, kayak, workout (clearly) and …play wheelchair rugby?. ….. oh. So I guess that explains the arms then. Suddenly all that gun-toting and hunting takes on a whole new element. How does one hunt in a wheelchair? I mean… I am seriously impressed and depressed. You really must want to kill things to get yourself up at 3am and wheel yourself down a deer trail to kill Bambi. I’m not sure that’s a passion I really can’t get my head around.

Doss std

Now I don’t think that ‘Doss’ really checked out his profile name, but putting aside the venereal disease associations, I decided anyone with such a ballsy name had to have something going for them. After all he gave me several likes and sent me an email. Lets have a look. So Dos is 54 and a widower, (awesome – someone loved him once), loves gardening (don’t we all), carries a few extra pounds…(not ideal but…), is 5 ft 0″ (wowser) and “is 75% handicapped”. Oh.  WTF with the handicapped dudes and my profile??? Do they NOT see the cycling photos? The backpacking photos? My expressed love of hiking? I’m sorry Dos.. you might be awesome (even though you state that you have ‘few friends’), but you didn’t even promise to open my jars. I think I’m leaning towards Urbansoldier on this one.

Rexclambake

Rex, I have to say, is a good looking dude. In a sort of rugged, beardy, “I’m off to hike the Himalayas next week” way. He’s 47 and never been married (hmmm issues?), but he is 6 ft 5 and no wheelchair in any photos. Now apparently he ‘makes a fantastic pea soup’ which makes me a little nervous .. does Rex considers soup a big attractor for woman? If that’s his big ‘in’ then I’m gonna have to go with ‘pass’. I mean, I make a pretty good pea soup myself. But hey, lets give the guy a chance. ‘I like to get lost in new cities’ (don’t you have Google, Rex?), and ‘can wander for days’ (seriously dude, Google maps…). Rex is also… oh.. ‘a Fire Captain with the Antarctic Fire Department’. So not so much ‘based in Denver’ as ‘checking out Denver from 13,000 miles away. Now Rex, I’m thrilled that you think I’m a winner, but even I have my limits on long distance relationships. And 13,000 miles might be it.

Paganbeast57

I am not kidding. A man decided to call himself Pagan beast online and email me a note saying ‘What do you think?’. O-kaaaaay. Lets see what’s on offer. No photo (bummer) but his headline is ‘Sunset surprises and full moon fantasties (sp)’ Seems Pagan beast is making up for his lack of spelling with some lunar driven imagination. Why I’m suddenly thinking about hairy men and bonfires is beside the point.. maybe there’s something else? Except there isn’t. Pagan beast’s entire profile is this:

.And.

Wowser. That’s some Buddhist shit right there. It’s so everything and nothing. All encompassing and yet telling me absolutely nothing about him. WTF dude? Who responds to this shit????? Sorry Pagan Beast. You might eclipse (geddit?) all other men, but I can’t realistically respond to “.And.”

So you’ve dipped your toe into my over 50 dating pool. The water’s kind of funky no? 2 guys in wheelchairs, a dude in the Antarctic and a Pagan weirdo. I think I’m gonna wait around a while until the scum clears and I can actually see some kind of fish before heading out on date #2 of the fall. Until then all I’m reeling in is tin cans.

Posted in Dating, Life after 40, match.com, Meeting men, observations, online dating, singledom | Tagged | 1 Comment

Only Commonwealth countries and Detroiters may now apply

flagLast night my dating pool hit a new low.

Following some insanely rational advice from a girlfriend, I decided to relax some of my ‘not that tight’ rules, and go on a date with a 50 yr old dude. Yes, I know I’m not a spring chicken and 50 ain’t that old.. but for me, 50 is 10 years from 60 which is .. well. OLD. And old means yellow teeth, gout and a weird funky smell from parts unknown.

But, as my friend pointed out, everyone my age is still in the midst of divorce drama, dealing with 5 years olds, custody adjustments or freakishly single (‘still waiting for ‘the one”), so I’m left with no choice. Go old or young, or go home.

Now I tried ‘younger’ this summer and while the eye candy was delicious, I did feel a little, well, ‘pervy’, on a date with a thirty something. Something about the lack of crows feet and totally optimistic outlook made me feel old and a little too weathered for his peachy ass. So I guess ‘older’ was inevitable really.

Tucking any thoughts of geriatric shoes and yellow teeth into my mental lockbox, I headed out on my first ’50-ish’ date. I was promised ‘no drama’ ‘maturity’ and ‘got it togetherness’. Plus the dude was a cute baldy and he was rocking those jeans in his photos. Who knows.. maybe this is where I’d been going wrong? Maybe 50 was the new 40?

Well…  maybe not just yet. Yes he was cute, but from the moment I entered the bar, he seemed more interested in watching the baseball that meeting his date.

Seriously dude? Hot chick in low-cut top, who smells delicious and is rocking her size 4 jeans is sitting by your side and you can’t drag yourself away from the tv screen to find out whether you might like her?? It wasn’t even a good team!!! (sorry San Francisco).

When I did manage to break his concentration (I think an advert was running), his conversation was right up there with the nutter dude you try to avoid at Whole Foods. I mentioned spending the weekend with friends and their 3-year-old then received a lecture on the eco-poison that is diapers.  I gently reminded him that I didn’t have kids, and at 40 something, it was highly unlikely that I would be buying diapers OR cloth nappies, at which point the game resumed, and his eyes slide off towards the screen. Wow.. diapers. That was the sum total of his conversational menu. Not so much ‘together’ as ‘past it’. Zero effort. Zero interest.

Now maybe it was my bad martini (how do you fuck up a dry martini?), my high expectations (‘dudes over 50 have it all together!’) or just bad luck, but from now on I’m only dating dudes from Commonwealth countries or Detroit.

If I’ve got to compete with a televised sport on my dates, let it at least be rugby or hockey.

 

Posted in bad dates, first date, first dates, Getting older, Life after 40, match.com, Meeting men | Tagged | 2 Comments

Waiting for the short bus

 

 

Short-Short-BusI got a concussion this past weekend so please excuse the clarity of my writing.. I’m still not quite myself.

It’s not my first – I seem to have landed on my head a fair amount over the last 42 years – but it was definitely one of my worst.

While mountain biking alongside spectacular scenery, a whole 3 hours of blue sky and single track in front of me, I noticed a lady walking her dogs off leash some ways in front of me. No big deal.

Except it became a big deal when she belatedly called the dogs to her, right in front of my front wheel without an inch to spare. To avoid running over the dog (I’m a pet lover even at 13mph), I braked sharply and flew over the handlebars, landing gracefully on the back of my head.

Thankfully I was wearing a helmet, but pain ricocheted alongside the side of my head and I embarrassingly found myself in tears.. right as the lady – now christened ‘Stupid Bitch’ via my inner dialogue rushed over to pronounce me ‘fine’.  Since I’ve not really been “fine” since birth, how she determined my complete health status within seconds was truly remarkable. That she grabbed hold of the back of my neck and proceeded to start massaging it, also surprised me… but at this point, anything SB did wasn’t really ranking high on my ‘logic’ scale.

Long story short, my friends took care of the situation and I tried to hold my brain in place and 3 hours, one ambulance ride, CT scan and the frightening loss of a few facts.. I’m concussed but completely fine.

Or so I thought. When I finally got around to reading my discharge notes -24 hours later- I realized that a concussion is actually a ‘thing’. And that driving to Whole Foods in order to stand around blankly, forgetting the name of a friend who was standing in front of me and trying to put gas in the car (without taking off the gas cap).. weren’t signs of a brain really functioning all that well.  Apparently its all normal and I can expect my spelling, memory and ability to recall the names of people will all return within 24 hours – 6 MONTHS.

Yikes.

I have a friend who suffered a traumatic brain injury (TBI) from an ultimate frisbee incident and she’s not fully recovered after 2 YEARS. And while my injury was nothing akin to hers – I can still get my words out in the correct order – I am now having a whole other level of empathy for those folks who suffer with TBIs. It also got me wondering how many people around me might also have hit their head recently? Potential candidates may include;

  • The news this morning that Tom Ready questions whether the Sandy Hook massacre actually took place or whether it was a hoax to advance gun control measures by the government. Got to love a paranoid Colorado Republican
  • That guy who I went on an awesome date with in July but who has since forgotten my name, number, how awesome a time we had and that date we were going on the following weekend. Clearly he’s wandering around Whole Foods somewhere wondering why he’s there and who that person smiling at him is.
  • The man who yelled at me this morning for letting my dog pee on his sidewalk. While I do pick up after my dog religiously, clearly he was under the misapprehension that I also carry paper towels on my dog walk in order to pick up my dog’s liquid excretions.
  • That fella who contacted me about my motorcycle being for sale and offered me $2000 under listed price OR his grandmother’s 1983 Cadillac as part of the deal. Sweet offer dude.
  • That lady who couldn’t find the appropriate phrasing for ‘vibrator’ on an urgent work call (don’t ask, it’s complicated), and came up with ‘ladies implement’. I don’t know about you, but that could be anything from my eyebrow tweezers to my hairdryer, but now all I can think of is her notion of being ‘impaled’ by something.

The short bus awaits us all. Helmets will be provided.

Posted in body, cycling, health | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Thoughts Everyone Has While Driving

Rachael Thomas:

Because my brain isn’t working right.. ‘Abby Has Issues’ driving.

Originally posted on Abby Has Issues:

Most adults have some experience with driving a motorized vehicle, and whether you’re a road rager or a calm commuter, you’ve probably had a few of the same thoughts while navigating the roads.

I don’t care if my mirrors are perfectly adjusted, I’m still going to turn around and look while I back out of the driveway.

Sigh…more like, “Warning: Objects in the mirror may appear older and more haggard than you would like them to appear.”

Where is the street that I have to drive down? Maybe turning down the radio will help.

What?! I just got gas five days ago!

Crap. What side of the car is the gas tank on?

(Singing to radio) I should be a singer.

(Dancing while signing to the radio) I should also be a dancer.

OH MY GOD I HAVE TO SNEEZE THIS IS THE SCARIEST THING EVER!

The number of red…

View original 481 more words

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Signs summer has left the building

fallSeptember in Colorado is typically a glorious month of blue skies, chilled evenings and crisp, dewy mornings followed by blazing mid day sun. It’s like August but with less wilting and a little more snap. You enjoy the 85 degree heat because you know the evening will be chilled, and every time you pull on a pair of shorts, you laugh at the notion of jeans. The aspens are bright yellow and damn, it just feels good to be alive.

This year however, we seem to be going for more of a Seattle thing. This morning I woke up to the cold,grey drizzle that made Kurt Cobain perpetually depressed and my Pac Northwest friends, permanently over caffeinated and/or drunk.

But it’s not just the weather that signaled summer has packed her bags and buggered off to Arizona… the signs are everywhere.

1. You’ve suddenly thought about footwear for the first time in 3 months. No matter that you’ve been slopping around in flipflops, Chacos, sandals or Teva’s 7 days a week since June.. suddenly you’re thinking about boots. And shoes. Rich dark leather footwear. Socks seem appealing and you’re wondering if your snowboots have another year in them.  Yep, it might only be early September but those slides are suddenly looking tired and dammit, those wool socks are just crying out to be worn.

2. You’re thinking about turning on the oven. For the last 3-4 months you’ve avoided anything that involved turning on any heat source inside your home, with the result that you’ve found imaginative ways to prepare everything on your grill (scrambled egg anyone?), but suddenly you’re thinking about roasting something. Hell maybe you might even break out a recipe. Give it a few weeks and you’ll even be considering making soup.

3. You could really go for a slice of toast right now. Maybe with some tea or a great cup of coffee. Sure, you’ve spent the summer eating everything chilled or grilled, but damn… butter sliding down a slice of hot toast, dripping onto your fingers sounds positively pornographic right now. You know you want some…

4. You’re thinking about joining a gym. Or starting Crossfit. All summer you’ve been running, riding, hiking and generally zooming around, but you know in a few weeks you’ll be stuck inside, icy roads and wind chill of -16. Sure you can boot up for some skiing and boarding at the weekend, but what about Wednesdays? And Monday evenings? Fuuuuuck. Time to pull out that bike trainer or find a gym. Exercising indoors sucks.. but not as much as watching your fitness leak away as you curl up for another hour of ‘must see tv’.

5. Someone just told you how many days until Christmas.  The next time someone tells me how long it is until Christmas, I simply remind them the average age of death in the US is 76. I find it gives them something to think about and hey, share the love. It might be fall but its not fucking Christmas.

 

Posted in observations | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

Announcing the newest iCrap accessories

iwatchCUT_2497756bFrom the company that bought you the phone that can give you directions, the watch that can program your tv and glasses that frankly we’re still laughing at, we’re proud to announce  the very latest in technology driven accessories for the time crunched yuppie. Our goal is to provide you with the best ergonomic, automatically obsolete crap you don’t need, but soon won’t be able to live without and we’re delighted with these latest additions to our range of overpriced must haves, for the person who already has more shit than they need.

1. The iKnow

No longer will you need to guess whether you can get another day out of those dress pants, subtly try to sniff your own armpits or spray your feet with perfume in the hope of disguising that 90 degree foot funk. Introducing ‘iKnow’, the world first aroma detector. Powered by insanely complicated technology that you don’t need to understand, the iKnow provides you with the security and comfort of confirmation that ‘no.. you don’t smell bad’.  The iKnow comes in black, white and nude to coordinate with your outfit, and can be worn discreetly around your wrist or neck. The iKnow buzzes gently when your aroma slips into ‘slight pong’ territory, with vibration frequency increasing as your personal stench expands past ‘bit whiffy’ into the ‘who died?’ arena. Should your hygiene slip into ‘what-the-fuck’ territory, the iKnow will automatically ignite all clothing and douse your flaming corpse in Calvin Klein One. Only $5,999.99.

2. The iShower

Since hygiene does play an important role in the ongoing health of our species, here at iCrap, we’ve found ways to really improve your productivity while going about that tedious task of washing yourself. The iShower, (available in both High Powered American and Dribbly European versions), not only washes, soaps, rinses and waxes you without any manual  intervention, its host of features ensures that ‘your day doesn’t delay while you’re waiting for the suds to disperse. Equipped with voice activated  internet capability, the iShower can fulfill all of the functions previously found on your iPhone, iTV and iMac (rendering them defunct), but through our new relationship with Whole Foods, can deliver breakfast via your nearest shopping drone. NOTE: iCrap cannot be held responsible for any burning or scarring that may occur as a result of drone inaccuracy. Version 1.1.3 will correct for any accidental toilet deliveries. Starts at $199,999.99 (dependent on model)

3. The iShoe

Here at iCrap, we take your time very seriously. After all, we were the company that enabled you to watch TV, text and check email at the same time. But we know you need more time back in your day. Take that time you could be spending checking Facebook instead of walking down the stairs? How about that long walk back to your car when you could be swiping hotties on Tinder? Well welcome those precious minutes back into your day world.. introducing the iShoe. Simply slide into a pair of iShoes (sold separately), and you’ll no longer have to endure the tedium of moving your feet, looking up from your media to avoid hitting people or watching for steps and potholes. Through its use of small jets implanted in their soles, the iShoe propels you about your day, automatically correcting direction, trajectory and height when facing obstacles, uneven pavement, steps or people in your path. Don’t worry about slipping off that curb or bumping into someone while you’re busy posting to Instagram, just slip on, stand up and let your iShoes take care of getting you where you need to go without interrupting your precious Amazon time. Comes in black, tan, navy and red (as worn by Bono).

Here at iCrap, we’re passionate about designing stuff you don’t need that takes up more of your day that you ever imagined and which you now can’t live without. With the iKnow, iShower and iShoe, we hope we’ve brought a sense of anxiety, frustration and laziness back into your empty vapid lives.  You’re welcome.

 

Posted in humor, the future | Tagged , , , | 4 Comments

Dating retirement

RetirementThere seems to be a worrying trend I’m noticing among my single chicas and dudes. Worrying because I seem to be part of it without actually checking a box or deciding.

Dating Retirement.

Warning signs include declaring ‘I can’t be fucked’ when someone asks you about whether you’re seeing someone, watching your match.com subscription finally expire with relief and spending your Saturday nights reordering your Netflix queue without embarrassment.

I mentioned to a guy friend that it had ‘been a while’ (I think my exact phrase was ‘100 days without sex, I am officially a virgin again’) and was met with sympathy and as much horror as one can convey via text. A few months later, I asked him how his love was going and was somewhat to amused to hear he too had adopted a monastic existence. I poked him about how that was working out and was met with the phrase ‘serene’.

Shit.. this trend is REAL.

When your girlfriend who only dates sporadically hasn’t had a date for the entire summer that’s one thing. When the dude you’ve known as ‘that guy’ who only dates hot 30-somethings (“I get older, they stay the same age”)… well damn. I guess we’re all giving up.

I know a few single people at work, and had taken their ‘non dating’ status as an overt and ridiculous commitment to work, but now I’m just wondering why it took me so long and why I didn’t pay more attention to them earlier. Clearly they’re not insane (though they do all work too much), but enlightened

Apparently the path to a joyful and harmonious existence isn’t from finding your soul mate, your ‘other half’, that one person who’s got your back.. but instead finding it buried in that German Chocolate Cake sorbet, or on that epic downhill, or hearing the world wake up from inside your tent. Joy and pleasure seems to come whether there’s someone in your life or not… and I have to say, after it being ‘not’ for a long 7 years, I’m really thrilled to realize that ‘not’ being part of a couple isn’t all half bad. Accepting the inanity of chasing rainbows in the hope that one of them might be attractive, sexy, humorous and svelte enough to not need one of those seat belt extenders on a plane just seems smart. After all, people who don’t date don’t spend their time hoping, being let down or wasting $39.99 on monthly subscriptions to ‘whatsleft.com’.

Is it lonely in retirement? I have to admit – not really. I was far more lonely in my dying relationship that I’ve ever been in the last 7 years… and if I feel the need for company, it’s certainly a lot more accessible than it was from within a crappy marriage. Now of course, non of those friends are accessible for sex, romance or late night flirting, (yikes), but if I seem to recall, there wasn’t that much of that in a romantic relationship after a year or two anyway.

So bring on the plaid pants people. I’m officially hanging up my garter belt and first date chit-chat. Saying ‘ta-ta’ to awkward cups of coffee at 3pm in the afternoon and judgy looks from 50 something chubsters. I’m moving on to the next phase of life.

Retirement. It’s not just for old people.

Posted in Dating advice, first date, friends, Getting older, Life after 40, living alone | Tagged | 3 Comments

Raging

angry womanI’ve removed the shackles of work this week and am currently flitting around Colorado with the mountain bike, dog and enough turkey jerky to survive the apocalypse. My main contact to the world has been via the BBC World Service and the occasional radio report which I’ve listened to while driving from one trail to the next.

Sounds idyllic?

Well it was until I found myself raging at a stop light in the middle of nowhere.

Why? Here’s the current list – from this week’s news- making my eyes bulge…

1. Michael Sam: I don’t follow football (hate it in fact), but why Michael Sam can’t find a team ‘because him being gay is too much of a distraction‘ makes me seethe. Does football now feature players copulating on the field? Does the NFL think Michael won’t be able to restrain himself from having a tug on a teammates wang mid play? Since when does a players sexual orientation ‘distract’ from a game.. which is, essentially, dudes throwing a ball around? There are gay rugby players. Gay soccer players. Gay basketball players. They manage to keep their sexual orientation off the court/field. Apparently the NFL thinks that Michael is gonna get too aroused by those heavily padded, brightly colored uniforms and next thing you know its going to get all Sodom and Gomorrah out there. Fuck you NFL.

2. Obama. I know every hardworking individual deserves a vacation. And as leader of ‘Merica, no one deserves a few days off from the current shit show we’re enjoying more than you. And of course, bad things aren’t going to stop just because it’s the end of August and the golf green is booked. But dude, there were riots in Missouri, journalists getting their heads chopped off, Ukraine boiling over, Gaza can’t hold a ceasefire for love nor money and for gods sake, someone has given Lindsay Lohan an acting job. Photos of you laughing and smiling, putter in hand is a great advertisement for the joys of a week beside the seaside, but we need you back at work. Stat.

3. Kids with guns. ‘Merica. The rest of the world is shaking their head in disbelief at you. No, not envy at our ‘freedoms’ but horror. Firstly that we think its ok for kids to attend shooting ranges and handle military weaponry for fun (isn’t that a ISIS thing?), but second that after the kid shoots the instructor in the head, no charges are issued. Its deemed ‘an industrial accident’. The shooting range where this particular accident happened last week, also hosts kids parties. Minimum age? 8. So parents, if you’re wondering what to do for little Sadie for her 8th birthday party, why not head on down to ‘Bullets and Burgers’ (I kid you not), for some Uzi action and potentially a little homicide. Don’t worry, no charges as long as you ‘pray for his recovery’. (little hope of that when he’s been shot in the head at close range by a Uzi).

And what makes me madder than hell about each of these things, is the tone with which they’re reported. No big deal. No rage. No questioning of the morality involved. No journalistic interest in whether this is a ‘good thing’. Nope.. nothing to see here. Just ‘Merica going about her day.

So if people are wondering who that weirdo is screaming at her radio and punching the steering wheel in the middle of nowhere… just drive on by. Nothing to see here. Just an angry 40ish chick wondering why she’s the only angry person in Colorado.

Posted in America, equality, gay, observations, worrying | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

Trusting the fall

rubberAlong with 99% of the Western populace, fall (autumn to my UK homies), is my favorite season. Warm days, cool nights, blue skies and that smell of decaying leaves. Or maybe that’s the smell of decaying dates who stood me up? Same difference..shit is dying.

Fall always reminds me of back to school. New shoes from Clarks (loud protests), new school uniform (louder protests), and the joy of a buying myself new pencil-case. New beginnings and a new ‘me’ all for $4.99. Yes, my sole opportunity for self-expression during my childhood was my choice pencil-case. What of it?

These days I still yen for new shoes (not from Clarks), and I’m less excited about stationary, but it does always seem to be a season of change for me. Screw spring, fall is where the shit goes down. New jobs, new men, new haircuts, new houses.. all fall events for me.  Fall just seems so inevitable… whether it’s a long drawn out slow decline, or sunburn to snow “wham.bam.thankyou ma’am” couple of weeks. Either way, I know change is heading my way.

As an impatient person my instinct is to try to speed things up. Mentally urging whatever is coming my way to ‘arrive, goddamit’ so I get underway with dealing, enjoying or simply enduring but no matter, it doesn’t make a jot of difference. I just have to trust that fall will, well, ‘fall’ and with it new adventures, new challenges and (lord help me please), new sources of joy.

Meanwhile I guess I’ll make another cup of tea and go sniff my new eraser. Damn, that smell never gets old.

Posted in observations | Tagged , | 3 Comments

Love Disconnection

Rachael Thomas:

A fabulous post from my favorite ‘Sips of Jen and Tonic’ on internet dating…

Originally posted on Sips of Jen and Tonic:

Bugs crawling into my ears at night.  Getting pregnant with triplets. Being forced to drink Pabst Blue Ribbon. There is only one thing scarier than all of those things, and it’s internet dating.

It should come as no surprise that I’m not the best at dating. I can certainly hike up my breasts until they’re at cruising altitude, and I always refrain from using my shirt collar as a napkin until we’re in the “I accidentally farted on you” stage of our relationship. The thing I don’t have on my side is the ability to pretend I like stupid people who waste my time.

Internet dating has its benefits, but the relative anonymity of it coupled with the ease of access to thousands of potential mates has created a problem for those interested in a serious relationship. Gone are the days of daters trying to pretend they’re halfway normal, and…

View original 603 more words

Posted in bad dates, Dating advice, first date, online dating | 2 Comments

I would do anything… but I don’t do that

smileyI was recently contacted by a head hunter for an exciting opportunity working for ‘the worlds largest employer’. Wowser.. sooooo exciting! The job description was completely aligned with my skills and experience, the level was a jump from my current position (yay, more pay) and damn.. how fun to work for a really huge company

Then I realized who that was…(clue:rhymes with ‘ballpart’).

Now putting aside their history of poor treatment for part-time (‘zero hours’) employees, utilization of Chinese sweat shops, manipulation of suppliers and contributing to the death of the small town ‘down town’ local retailer, I did have to think of reasons why I might have to pass up this fabulous opportunity. After all,

I’ve never been one to shy from a challenge, but I have to admit that this one has me taking a rather large step back. After all, I would do anything for a challenge…. but ‘ballpart’… nope, even I won’t do that.

Posted in America, career | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

Bring on the next stage of life.. and no I don’t mean menopause

7 stagesIts been a quiet summer here at Chez Chien. I’ve ridden a lot, developed some really pretty callus’s on my ass while my arms have withered to pipe-cleaners; I’ve barely drank, adopted shaved Brussel sprouts and fish as a daily obsession, and weirdly, not dated

Its been 7 years to the day since I was divorced, an anniversary I don’t remember until I do, and if you believe in the ‘7 year cycle‘ theory, ages 35-42 should have been all about ‘re-assessing the results of what we are doing externally in our life. Our relationships, careers, habits and the ways we interact are all put under scrutiny and modified or changed. It’s a time of facing up to what does and what doesn’t satisfy us.’

Which I think means figuring out exactly who you are. And here I just thought it was 7 years of crappy dates.

But re-reading Steiner’s theory, I do have to agree with some of his ideas. I have in the last 7 years experimented with all kinds of ‘selves’ and discovered so much more about myself that I thought. For instance;

  • I’ve moved from being a home bound introvert to someone who now regularly shows up for stuff without knowing a soul and can chat about anything without dying (as long as you’re not an attractive single dude. Jury’s out on that still).
  • I’ve grown out quite the mane of hair and discovered I’ll never be a comfortable girlie girl, no matter what guys like, so cut it off and have already been called “sonny” twice. Still have big tits…still not girlie.
  • I’ve ridden my motorcycle across the Utah desert and discovered that I prefer the unbridled joy of downhilling on pedals sans motor. Time to sell the Guzzi and admit that I’m not the greaser I thought I was.
  • I’ve vacationed in 5 star hotels, camped alone and with others across the US and overseas.. but found out that my best times have been pitched on someone’s sofa after a home cooked meal in a house filled with love. So much for the allure of the Ritz.
  • I’ve enjoyed hours of being tattood and can admit I liked the pain more than the result. Ah well, live and learn.
  • I’ve discovered that anxiety can be quelled with yoga, meditation and trust.. not so much with wine. So I’ve done away with the notion that I’ll always be the one with the big bottle of Xanax in her purse
  • I’ve discovered that while I love men, I’m not so desperate to date one if it means he’s a hoarder, extremely angry, emotionally retarded, fiscally irresponsible, mentally challenged, hung like a puppy or socially limited. I love sex, but FWB, texting and ‘lets hang out’ can kiss my ass.. I’m a grown up for gods sake.
  • I now know that my priorities in life aren’t the same as everyone elses. And thats ok. I’m no longer ashamed that my bikes are the most valuable thing I own and that I rent rather than own. Everyone has different things they care about.  That includes houses, cars, jobs, friends and yes, even how much you walk your dog.
  • And finally, the biggest lesson. You are not your parents. You may have elements of your parents, but they are not you, and you are not them. You can love them to death but you are not bound to become them. And that little insight only took 7 years of therapy to realize.

So if that 7 year cycle is now over.. what do I have coming next?

According to Steiner ‘ It is as if one takes all of one’s life experience up till this age and begins to digest it, and extract from it new ideals and a new direction in life. There is often tremendous unrest in this period and that following it. The unlived aspects of life cry out to be recognised and allowed. The desire to make a mark in life if it has not already been achieved presses for action here’

Oooo. Now that sounds interesting. Rock climbing and visiting China for sure.

 

 

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An ode to yoga

yogaAfter 11 years of downward dogging, my doctor measured me on Tuesday and pronounced me 3/4 inch taller than my last physical. Now any exercise that stops my ass from sliding further down my legs AND  apparently makes me taller is my kind of exercise…even if it has taken 11 years.

So in response, here is my ‘Ode to Yoga’. The only exercise where crotch sweat is ok and lying down with your eyes closed is considered an important part of it.

 

Dearest Yoga I bow to thee

You make me bend fantastically

swan diving over gracefully

While farting so discretely

 

Wobbling with delicacy

1 leg outstretched, bent at the knee

with arms spread wide so joyfully

Falling slowly sideways, yes that’s me.

 

Warrior pose number 3

Clearly an impossibility

Camel just makes me want to pee

Eagle pose, I disagree

 

Oh how I would love to be

A LuLumon devotee

But in leggings and a cropped t

I resemble a manatee

 

11 years on and I fail to see

how yoga made me 5ft 3

but downward dog, plank and tree

calmed my mind and set me free

 

If hippy chants improve my chi

and help me think more clearly

Add abs and buns of steel then oui

Yoga I remain, your devotee.

 

Posted in finding balance, Getting older, health, humor | Tagged , | 4 Comments

How to ride the 2015 Tour de France

APTOPIX Cycling Tour De FranceWell my 3 weeks of spending 4 hours a day in front of Lycra clad skinny men with pipe-cleaner arms is over. The Tour De France concluded this Sunday with a solid gold 8 minute advantage win by Vincenzo Nibali (or as I like to call him.. Nibble-on-me.. please). With French riders winning both 2nd and 3rd, it was a Euro domination unlike any we’ve seen for years. Not only was the podium strange but this years Tour was unlike any I’ve seen in the 20 years I’ve been watching it.

The first week involved more people crashing into each other than a 5 year old’s sugar fueled birthday party; by week 2, every single ‘GC One to Watch’ was on the bus home with broken limbs and by week 3, it seemed that the only people left were those over 40 (carefully preserving their bodies as only the aged do), those so slow that they’d missed the major crashed by virtue of being 10 minutes behind everyone else and the lucky 7 or 8 who managed to ride ahead of the peloton before the carnage started. Oh and Nibali. Surrounded by his crew of domestique who essentially glowered any challengers away from their man through the first 100 miles of every stage, Nibali was able to conserve energy and dance to victory again and again.

So based on the lessons learned from 2014, I present ‘How to Ride Better in the 2015 Tour De France’

1. Surround yourself with a pack of glowering Russians. It worked for Nibali and it can work for you. After all, who’s going to fuck with you when you’ve got 550lbs of non English speaking, poker faced cyclo-mo-tons surrounding your every move. I think someone did try to exchange a word with Nabali on stage 7 but we’ve not heard or seen that guy since. I have a feeling he’s now located in a shallow grave just outside Epernay.

2. Ride with bigger tires. I know this might seem obvious, but with those skinny minny ‘wafer-thin mint’ tires with essentially no tread (in fact, some look practically polished) you’re asking for trouble. A spot of rain, a small bug in the road, a sharp comment from a competitors team and those suckers are flatter than Chris Horner’s ass. Sure bigger tires might slow you down some, but you’ll spend far less time that you currently do standing on the side of the French countryside being ‘selfied’ by 100,000 people while waiting for your team car to come give you some air.

3. Don’t ride in the rain. Again, this seems like of obvious. Rain plus skinny tires with no tread = mass pile up. Lets just say if Phil Liggett and Paul Sherwin are sounding excited, you might want to skip it. These guys love some blood on the road and unless you have the ability to ride downhill at 50 mph while balanced on an oily ice-skate .. stay in bed.

4. Don’t ride so close together. I understand that you can conserve energy by riding in a pack (or ‘peleton’) but really guys…? It does seem to always end up in disaster. Dave gets distracted by the naked guy running down the road while carrying a pitchfork, or the fat Borat wannabe and suddenly you and 19 of your closest friends are Jenga’d in the middle of the road. Leave a little more space, maybe? If not, be prepared to literally ride over your friends as you hit that next oily corner.

5. Wear more sturdy clothing. Like Kevlar. Every guy who went over this year (which was everyone except Nibali and his Russian protection squad), wound up looking as though he’d just jumped out of a burning building. Jerseys we’re shredded, shorts suddenly developed  new venting systems and on several occasions shoes were even ripped off as riders hit the floor. I know that it gets hot; I know that you want to be ‘aero-dynamic’ but I really think your clothing should have a bit more heft to it than a Victorias Secret fantasy bra. I don’t know how you think that wafer thin jersey, spun from the web of the endangered Nepalise ‘Livestrong’ silkworm is protecting you when you hit the road at 45 mph, but I think you’ll agree, its not really doing the job. How about a lightweight leather onesy? A skinsuit of kevlar? At the very least some ripstop nylon would avoid us having to watch the blood oozing out of your hip for the next 3.5 hours.

6. Allow tows up those big hills. If you’ve got your Russian goons, you might as damn well use them. I know you’re not allowed to push yourself off the team car, but I don’t recall anyone saying anything about tows from your actual team mates? Simply fasten some sturdy nylon from your stem to your Russian goons seat post and sit on back. Keep those legs spinning (I mean you need to ‘seem’ like you’re making the effort), and maybe wipe some sweat every couple of miles.. but hey… if it’s not in the rules….

7. Slow down at the corners. I saw this mistake time and time again. The peloton gets all carried away in its fastness and then hits a corner. Cue one poor sod, careening straight towards that field ahead of him (taking out a couple of spectators on the way) while another heads straight into the crash barrier. Cue 19 guys falling on top of him.  Slow down dudes… If you’re leaning at a 45 degree angle at 45 mph shit is going to happen. Add in some rain, those silly tires and fuck.. its amazing any of you made it around any corner at all.

8. Lose some weight. Like 50-60lbs or so. One thing consistent among all Tour riders is their distinct lack of weight. The only area allowed for any constituting ‘mass’ is the thighs and only, ONLY if you’re a sprinter. Arms should literally be strong enough to hold into the bars and brakes, but nothing more. Your head should wobble on your stringy neck and if your calf muscles are wider than your wrist.. forget about it. Tour winners need to be thin. Very thin. So thin that they can ride over that ladybug, leaving him with little more than a vague headache. So thin that when they are flying down the backside of a Col.. they are literally ‘flying’.. as in leaving the ground. If you weigh somewhere in the 110lbs region, you’re right on the money. Anything more than that you need to be German, a sprinter or a race official.

9. Take more drugs. Better drugs. I hate to break it to you but every single rider on the Tour was taking drugs this year.  And last year.. and every year before that since the inception of drugs, and mountains. Looking at the facts – how else can a guy ride over 2,276 miles during 3 weeks (with 2 days off), up and down France’s biggest mountains/ glaciers, on little more than calories and determination? Sorry .. but if you think drugs aren’t involved you are DELUDING yourself.  And this year, no exception. When the fastest man finishes 8 minutes ahead of his nearest opponents (who include Olympic winners and every National champion).. well guess who had the best drugs? So next year I highly suggest you contact every underground lab in the ex Soviet republic or China and see what’s got the rats running ultra-marathons lately. It’s bound to give you a boost and you can always claim it was ‘herbal remedy’ you took in case your pee comes up radioactive.

So there you have it guys and girls.. my guide to riding a better Tour De France in 2015.

And if all else fails, wrap yourself in bubble wrap, buy yourself a motorized scooter and find yourself some new Russian friends with chronic drug problems. You’ll be podium bound in no time.

 

 

 

 

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