The Worst Valentine’s Day Ever

We’ve all done crazy things for love. Some turn out great, some notsomuch. With Valentines Day right around the corner, I thought it would be fun to take a look at some crazy things we do for love. Are you in?

Have you ever met a man so beautiful that he takes your breath away?

I have.

He was single.

And straight.

And dreamy.

And straight.

And oblivious.

And did I say straight?

Steven sat next to me for three classes that semester in college. We were in the same accounting clubs and we also did runway modeling for the local mall. Unfortunately we’d fallen into the “buds” category, which today translates to “he’s just not into you.” I know that today, but I didn’t know that when I was 19. To say that I made a complete and total blithering idiot out of myself, bringing him coffee every morning, staring at the back of his head during class, sighing every time he spoke, would be an understatement. Yeh, I had it bad.

The thing about Steven is he was shy and he had no idea how dreamy he really was.

At least he didn’t seem to.

Valentines Day was just around the corner and I decided it was time to be bold.

You know what I did?

I took out an ad in the local paper.

Oh no she didn’t.

Oh yes, I did. I took out an ad with the only four French phrases I knew:

Steven D***** (oh wouldn’t you love to know his full name. Ain’t happening.)

Mon Cher

Mon Ami

Je T’aime e vous


Give a girl props for courage.

Take away props for forgetting to sign the stupid thing.

He comes rushing into Econ 201 on cloud 9, waving this paper around, runs up to me – his female BFF and asks if I can read French. He wants to know what is says. Score! – except that, I get so flustered that I spill coffee over both of us. The teacher calls class to order and that is the end of that conversation. That’s okay, I’ll tell him at rehearsal.

Did I tell him at rehearsal?


You know why not.

Because I heard the A-line (the diamond and fur girls) talk about how “some loser is all ga ga over Steve.”

Now, I’ve seen photos of me at 19 — uhm, I was cute. I just didn’t know it. You know? I was a size 6, which is death to a model. Diamond and Fur girls had to be a 4 or smaller. Even as a bulimic, I couldn’t get smaller than a six and I felt like a failure.

So.. I didn’t fess up that night either.

And you know what happened.

Mr Wonderful, encouraged by the anonymous note in the paper asked out Miss Blonde Size Two with the fake boobs.

She was a size 2 with at least a 36 C cup, of course they were fake.

And they live happily ever after.

So fearless readers, what is the stupidest thing you ever did in the name of love?

Who needs RDJ when you’re already married to the sexiest man alive.

I am dating the sexiest man alive and I love it!

Move over Robert Downey Junior. Sherlock Holmes and Iron Man, might look cool on the big screen but they pale in real life, they are after all, fictitious characters. While I joke a lot about my crush on Robert Downey Junior, I also know my hubs has the same kinda crush on Meg Ryan. I’ve known this since we met. No worries. We’re cool with that and comfortable enough with each other (and ourselves) to own it out loud if we think someone is hot.

But seriously — I actually think my husband is hotter than Robert Downey Jr.

For starters he’s a lead guitar player in a band – with a respectable day job. So he’s an artist who eats.

He’s a brilliant business man.

He’s a poet/songwriter.

He can cook.

He’s a great dad.

He gives back to the community without needing his name in the paper. — LOVE that.

He can tear up the water on a tube.

He’s an avid fisherman and a good one.

An excellent soccer coach back when he coached.

He likes U2 almost as much as I do. Almost.

He’s got a wicked sense of humor and is a great source of inspiration for a lot of my stories and jokes.

And when I tried to go blonde to surprise him last winter, he tried really hard not to laugh when the results weren’t quite what I expected. (Think atomic carrot with flames. yes it was that bad.)

We are polar opposites as well. He’s an extrovert and I’m an introvert. He likes classic rock, I like country. I love to travel, he’d rather just fish.  He’s a White Sox Fan and I love the Cubs. He likes action flicks, I like romantic comedies. And yet it works.

This is the man I get to date again after 21 years of raising kids. I’m kinda diggin that if you really want to know.

If you are married, I highly suggest dating your mate.

It’s a lot of fun.




Friday Funny: A Cyclist Says What?

DISCLAIMER: Loyal readers, you KNOW I like to poke fun of just about everything. I mean I once wrote a humorist rant about sedation gynecology (still think it’s a good idea if for no other reason it keeps me from saying something stupid to my doctor like “Oh that’s so gonna cost you a roofie.”) so you KNOW nothing is off-limits for my warped mind.  I love my new bike, I love the adventure. And like everything else I love, I love to poke fun.Most of my cycling rants are very much tongue in cheek – if by some small chance a REAL cyclist reads my blog – cut me some slack kay? TY

A local cycling enthusiast posted this on Twitter today for levity sake I’m sure. The first time I watched it, my brain started to freeze up. That’s a lot of new words. The second time I watched it, I laughed. Dear Readers: Please promise that if I become like the guys in this video you will slap me, kay?

I’ve learned four words in the last two months. I know Carbon, Kit, Toe Clips, and trainer (Which isn’t a bra by the way). Those are the only cycling related words I know right now. I’m happy with those words. Carbon means a really light frame, a kit is what I need if I get a flat (unlike my car, my bike doesn’t come with AAA), Toe Clips are the sadomasochistic buggers attached to the pedals that tried to kill me, and the trainer is a metal contraption used to lock your bike in place while riding indoors – kind of like Madonna’s bras back in the 80’s?

A lot of cyclers do speak about “Spin Classes” and somehow I don’t think it has anything to do with yarn. One guy twittered about doing 20 miles in an hour at a spin class with his wife. I’m an ADD redhead, I have been spinning at 90 to nothing my whole life. 20 miles does not sound impressive. I’m kidding. Okay so I understand FIVE words. Yeah me!

I have only two a few questions:

  1. Is fartlicking anything like what the boys learned how to do that one late night while at church camp?
  2. Does it involve bic lighters and a dark room?
  3. Is “peaking too early” really a phrase guys want to be using in public?
  4. What is”Bonking?” It sounds like one of those words you don’t want your mother to know, you know?
If you don’t ride or do triathlons you won’t understand these words either, but enjoy the video anyway kay?  Have a great weekend y’all!

2011 in review per WordPress

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2011 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 9,700 times in 2011. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 4 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

Happiness is a choice.

Kirstie Alley wrote it. Melissa Gilbert retweeted it and so did I.  – “What does it feel like to be happy?” It feels swell..I highly recommend it…takes LOTS of work..;)”

I am in the process of making my very first quilt ever. I’m not doing it alone. I’m working side by side with several other women who are doing the same thing. All of them are older than I. It occurred to me yesterday while I sitting at the sewing machine working on yet another chain, I felt happy.

Never in my wildest imagination did I expect to feel happy about sewing. I don’t think it’s the sewing. Honestly I think the happiness feeling is about learning something new, working to complete it, and being willing to stay in community while I do it.

I’ve heard this message in various forms all week, whether it is from blogs, from books, or from Twitter:

Happiness is a choice.

It isn’t easy.

It takes work.

Choose to be honest.

Dare to live in Community.

Just my thoughts for today. I tend to know more about what happiness isn’t due to my life experiences most of which I’m not willing to put in writing. (smile) It can’t be chased, only earned.

No one can hand you happiness on a silver platter – not even if it’s in a champagne glass. It’s not about money as I’ve been wealthy and I’ve been poor. It’s not about achievements really — I’m in the Who’s Who of National Female Executives. It’s not about sex. Well you know what I mean– anyway, I’ll embarrass myself if I go too far with that.

Happiness isn’t a passive gift.

Happiness involves living breathing risk taking gut level honesty in community. It isn’t safe in the simplistic meaning of “safe”

It is not in the false community we build up for ourselves on the internet. There is no real risk in long distance relationships. I can present which ever mask I want online.

Happiness – is in the moment of day-to-day sweat, truth, and courage.

It isn’t easy.

It’s work.

It’s good work.

Oh the Humility! This isn’t your Mama’s Schwinn.

When it comes to learning new things, I am like a two-year-old with a “me do it myself” attitude, only with better resources. Blame it on my DNA if you must, or the fact that I was raised by a boomer to be independent. Who knows. Either way, I’m a book nerd through and through, and have spent most of my 46 years believing if I can’t find it in a book – fake it. Pulling my nose out of the books and interacting with – gasp – humans while I learn, stumble, fall, and learn some more is a HUGE growing experience. The whole everything is better in community stuff. Getting over the whole I-hate-to-look-stupid mindset is a trip and a half down a dark alley. Fortunately my close friends know this about me and love me anyway.

I’m learning a lot of things right now. All of them on purpose. Most of these new adventures do not affect my ego really. Not much anyway. I used to design ss7 switching protocol for a living, complete with electronic and geographic diversity for a major player in telecommunications. (SS7 is, or perhaps was, to telecom what the central nervous system is to the human body.) While that isn’t exactly rocket science, it isn’t easy either. I remind myself of this fact rather frequently these days while I stumble through my new adventures.

Jo is teaching me how to ride horses –– We practiced jumping this week and while I fell off Cowboy during a jump last week, I didn’t die and we were right back at it the following week. We literally raised the bar and the speed and I am having a blast. I’ve known Jo for almost ten years. Having her teach me how to ride, race, and jump does not bother me. This is my escape from the testosterone around me. Nothing against the guys, but being the lone female in a house full of men can get overwhelming sometimes and I need a break. There is a coolness factor involved here to be sure. There is no way I could simply saddle up a horse and start jumping all on my own. I needed someone to step me through it.

Ruth is teaching me how to make a quilt. I cannot presently sew to save my life. I was raised by a woman’s rights baby boomer. My never learning how to sew is no big deal. My mother wanted more for my life than to be domestic slave. I mean housewife. – I am a housewife today. This kills her. That status is changing ever so rapidly, but I digress. I’m learning how to quilt because my grandmother was a blue ribbon quilter. She cut small squares, pieced everything by hand, and even quilted by hand. That’s a strong legacy. My mother also quilts, but uses a sewing machine. My mother is dying and does not have the time left to finish all of the quilts she had in mind. Mom gave me two boxes of material when I was home last summer. I’m learning how to quilt as a way to honor both her and my grandmother. Ruth is taking our small class through every baby step imaginable. This too is fun and does not bother me.

Soccer Mom meets Hipsters and Racers – oh yeah this one bothers me a little. – Broomfield this is for you. Riding bikes with the kids on our Mom bikes is NOT the same thing as wanting to go the distance with adults. I’m just sayin. There is a learning curve so curvy that it makes Dolly Parton look like an A-Cup. 

My Bicycle evolution: (do not be fooled by the photos, owning bikes and knowing what to do with them – are not the same thing.)

An example of my Very First Bike -- I got a banana seat Schwinn for Christmas when I was 10. It was totally decked out with streamers and a flowered basket. Being the only girl on the block I raced the boys up and down hills and destroyed it in no time. But I still loved it.
I got my first and only 10 speed when I was 13. Oddly I never had to change a tire or anything major. I owned this bike until I was almost 30. My husband and I used to ride the trail systems of Chicago back in the day.
Example of the "pretty" 5-speed from Wally World. I HATED this bike. Nuff Said.
My new 18 speed Giant. My very first true road bike purchased just last fall.

I bought a new bike last fall because I wanted to get back in shape – easy peasy. It’s just a new bike, how much is there to know? Apparently a lot.  I learned this week that leaving the sporting goods store behind and going to a local bike shop is fun, exciting, and scary. Scary because I’m a soccer mom. They are well, not soccer mom’s. They are mostly grown men (save for one nice gal that helped me pick out my bike) who get to work on gears, chains, frames etc in what I will call an oversized garage – only much cooler looking. — If I could pick a dream job for my youngest son, it would be this. They also race and I hear there is beer involved at the end of the day. — Testosterone heaven, minus the pin up calendar.

For some strange reason, I find myself slightly intimidated at this point. I love this store and I really like the staff. Yet walking in with my questions, I feel like Velma from Scooby Doo walking in to a surf shop wanting a boogie board. I could swear there were moments when I could see the backs of people’s heads through their eyeballs. — My first attempt at picking out a new bike last fall met with some quiet smirks and a few giggles. It seems I picked out a rather expensive trick bike that was primarily for “hipsters.” I wanted to know what a hipster was, but decided it was one of those words that if you don’t know, don’t ask. We landed on a just my size Giant and I’m very happy with it.

Not a whole lot of humility has been required at this point. I order a bike, I pick it up. I notice the tires are thin and bald, but I don’t ask why. It doesn’t have a kick stand either but I don’t notice that until I get home. — I later learn that street bikes come that way. OH! — I try my new bike out for two months and keep falling over because of the death straps on the pedals. I get a post card in the mail reminding me the shop will tune up the bike for free after 30 days and to bring it in. They lure me with the promise of 15% off any one accessory.
I get to accessorize? OOH! I’m there.

I wasn’t feeling intimidated when I dropped off my bike for its check up, I did however feel intimidated when I had to pick it up. Dropping off was easy, the store was empty. Picking it up, the store was full — of pros. Racers et al. Some nice fellow puts my bike back on the rack because whoever worked on it forgot to remove the death grips. While talking about those little buggers that want to kill me, I did learn that they are called “toe clips.” OH! — I can hang any hope for cool points out the window. This is Walmart meets Lance Armstrong all the way. Part of me was secretly wishing for my soccer van back.

Watching him work on my bike, I am suddenly transported back to Chicago, 1987. My car is in the shop, running badly, and the mechanic is little lady this, little lady that – trying to convince me that my sweet pinto is on it’s deathbed but for $500 he can hook it up to machines and bring it back ala Frankenstein. I grab my keys, turn the motor, and the car shakes like crazy so I pop the hood. I jiggle the spark plugs, reconnect the loose wire that wasn’t loose when I dropped it off for the oil change, and viola my car is resurrected from the soon to be dead. hmm. Jerkface was trying to rip me off.

Truth is, I knew more about cars at 22 than I know about bikes at 46. I also paid more for this street bike than I did for my first three cars. I am completely at the mercy of these guys. These men who probably have other jobs, but maybe not. Who race, sweat, get covered in grime, wipe out, drink beer and live to ride another day. If you really want to know, I’m not a mercy rule kind of gal, unless I am the one dealing the mercy cards anyway.  I’m more often than not the two-year old who insists “I do it myself.” sigh.

Thankfully, none of them laughed at my questions – at least not to my face. I needed a “kit” and helmet. Having no clue what either entailed I had to rely on the guys. The kit I learned is made up of an inner tube, tire repair kit, bag that fits under the seat, some blue plastic sticks and a CO2 Cartridge. The look on the guys face when I asked what the sticks were for was priceless. Yes I’m sure I saw the back of his head through that one. He then walked over to the bike on the rack and mimed how one would use them to pry off a flat tire. That was nice of him. A real mountain biker walked in at that point and needed his expertise and so Mr Mechanic dude took over after that.

He seemed far more well, amused? Empathetic? Tolerant? Closer to my age – yes that would be it right there.  He got me a CO2 kit that was “idiot proof, no offense.” none taken I assured him, put the kit bag together, double checked everything on my bike, and helped me size my first helmet. A simple grey deal which I consider my starter helmet.

Being helped to pick out a helmet that fits by a total stranger, that kinda bugged me. Dear lord, you’d think he helped me pick out a training bra or something.  I’ve never worn a helmet in all my 46 years, there is no way I would instinctively know anything about sizing, so why it bugged me I don’t know. Must be my EGO pure and simple. It’s not like I put my first pick on backwards or anything, I just happened to pick up a kids helmet. Yep – I needed help with sizing. It only killed me a little bit. You know?

So now I have my re-tuned bike, a road kit, and a helmet. I’m ready to step up the challenge and learn to ride with a group. Maybe. That is my eventual goal I know. Can’t ride the MS150 by myself. I’m thinking I should try the trails on my own first, maybe?  That way I know them and I”m not learning group etiquette and geography all at the same time. Baby steps and all that jazz.

I know I said I was going to post miles each week, but I can’t figure out how to gauge that. Probably another toy or something. I’ll figure it out eventually that or I’ll ask someone. Just not today.

Have a great weekend you guys.



Fisher’s Of Men – or – How I Met My Husband.

I am 22 when my boyfriend decides to dump with the classic line of “It’s not me, it’s you.”

I am crushed.

Inconsolable even.

Drunk on Hagen Daz ice cream and dreams of what could have been (AKA self-pity in over drive), I am a horrible mess. In a moment of what I can only call pure desperation, I reach for my Bible and start talking to God.

He Dumped me! Can you believe he dumped me? I’ll never get married. My life is ruined. What am I going to do God?

Flip, Flip, Point.

I looked down to see where my finger had landed.

“Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.” (Matthew 4:19 for you purists)

Fishers of Men? Really God?I’m in! Yeah!

I put down my bible drive to the mall and buy myself the BEST fishing wardrobe minimum wage can buy. You know, little black dress, red lipstick and fish net stockings. Shortly after that I pack up my little bag of sorrows, leave Redford and moved to Chicago where I spend the next few years participating in the catch-and-release program.

Not to be confused with the prison release program, which is something entirely different.

Okay, if I’m counting the guy I met in front of the Sears Tower that one Spring, not really.

But there you are.

One day I meet this really cute guy at work who gets me to go out with him by hawking the fact he plays guitar in a rock band. We’d only gone out a couple of times when he calls to tell me he wants to take me to church on our next date.

I thought he was speaking figuratively and dressed accordingly.

Do you know he took me to church?

For real?

Wow, am I popular. I even meet the woman’s auxiliary. They call themselves “The Church Basement Ladies.” I am not making that up. I ask them what they do and they tell me they mostly sew quilts and cook supper for Jesus.

Now I was not raised in the church but even I know it’s been at least 2,000 years since Jesus walked the earth so either these ladies were pulling my leg, or they’ve held up remarkably well.