Friday, May 26, 2006

New in Bike Couture: Jen Nelson for mopundow

I got scooped on this one, but here it is, our official bike team jersey for 2006!

This is ONE of the reasons for my long break from blogging earlier this Spring. Certainly something this "groundbreaking" is sure to have folks abuzz, so here's some answers to the inevitable questions:

1. Why such shocking colors? Yes, it IS bright. To paraphrase a popular line "This whole camouflage thing doesn't work very well. It's like wearing stripes and plaid. When biking on the path, CLASH!"

2. Why mopundow? Turn your head or monitor upside down. Why yes, it DOES read the same way now doesn't it? ;)

3. No sleeves? Isn't that chilly? Yea, ask that of anyone on the ride last year...and be prepared to duck when they take a swing at you!

4. Why'd you crop your head in the photo? I'm that rare breed of fashion designer that doesn't like my face shown. I did take a small byline on the back, I'm not going to give up all the glamour!

5. When's your next line coming out? Don't worry Calvin, Tommy and Giorgio...I'm sticking to jerseys and will not poke my head back into the fashion realm again until 2007!

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Coagulating, Clotting and Congealing....Oh My!

No, I’ve not gone on extended blog leave again, and have I got a doozie of a reason for not blogging yesterday:

While biking home on Sunday I was hit by a car door.

Before anyone starts having a panic attack, let me assure you that all body parts are approximately where they should be and while it may have lost a few points in the Kelly Blue Book, my bike also appears to have survived. So, what happened?

I had been out biking, attempting to do my requisite 30 training miles. Conditions were not exactly ideal, but with a little over a month left to go to the MS150, the time to be choosy is over. The first half of the ride was slightly chilly and a smidge on the breezy side, but I toughed it out to the bottom of the bike path at 71st Street. Turning around to view the city, I saw huge ghostly fingers of fog creeping in off the lake....kinda cool looking, but it meant the wind was shifting off the lake and I was in for a VERY cold ride home. Not disappointed, I arrived at the exit to my house 15 miles later half frozen and looking forward to a nice warm shower.

Heading off the bike path, I turned on to a one-way street just South of my house, as is now necessary due to $100 tickets being handed out to bicyclers who aren’t following traffic laws to the letter. This detour requires me to then turn North onto a very narrow and busy street to go one block and then arrive at my abode. Within sight of my turn, I heard a loud WHOOSH quickly followed by a loud CRACK and THUMP, looking up I had a very sideways view of Broadway Ave. It took a few moments to figure out what exactly had happened, someone had flung their door open and I was very much hurt, bleeding and in the middle of oncoming traffic. The lady who performed this despicable act was somewhat apologetic and called at me from the safe distance of the sidewalk “Oh, I’m so sorry, Are you ok?” much as one might if they had tipped a glass of water over on you at dinner.

Struggling to my feet, beginning to feel my injuries and bewildered that she wasn’t over there trying to help me up or trying to recruit people to my aid, I lost it. Sobbing and screaming a string of profanity my mother would be thoroughly unpleased with, I said I was NOT %^$#$#@ --*%$#@ OK, WHY DIDN’T SHE *&$#@!@ *&^%$ LOOK before opening a car door on a busy street and don’t bother to try and &^%$#@ help me now, I was going *&^%$#$@ home. Sadly, I don’t believe I was that coherent. Hobbling about a block further to my house I really starting crying and was on the edge of hysterically sobbing when the elevator opened on the 5th Floor to a very surprised Asian he’ll be a little more on guard for overwrought and bleeding tenants the next time he uses the elevator!

After getting my door open and crawling onto the couch I immediately thought to call good, he was in Waukegan, IL with friends. Mighty Dave took the first phone call and I’m sure he can attest to my bewailing that barely resembled speech. But, I soon found out he was at work. Minnesota niceness and fear of putting someone out kicked in...”Oh, it’s probably ok, no don’t leave work to come over, I think I see scabs forming already.” After assuring him that I didn’t believe I had a concussion and would stay awake, he finally let me hang up to call Bosco. In between phone calls I had floundered to the fridge to grab some ice packs, placing these gently on both knees, I assessed the first part of the damage which looked a lot worse covered in dirt. More bawling ensued and Bosco answered the phone to: AWHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH... CAR..... AWWWWWW..... HITBIKE....... AHHHHHWWWWW......HELPPLEASEAWWWWWWW...IT HURTS!

Ridiculously calm, he assured me he was headed back on the next train and would rally troops and to sit tight. A very long hour later, he showed up to a somewhat sedated, but pitiful looking patient....when you don’t have full mobility, you work with what you have, and I was a mess of blankets and icepacks and a tipped over bottle of Motrin.

Many kudos to Mr. Bosco, he cleaned things up, provided proper ice-packs and blankets, a home cooked meal (ok, it was soup from a can...but he did make it!) and assured me everything would heal just fine...I had not looked at my face yet, so this was quite good news.

My finally injury count totals: Contusions on Palms, Knuckles, both Knees, Right Calf, strains in both Wrists, 3 medium-sized lacerations on Right Knee and one large one on Chin. I don’t have details on how the car door fared.

The most amazing thing? While I will throw it out as one is supposed to after an accident, my helmet is in PERFECT condition. No scratches, no dings, no breakage of any sort. A HUGE shout out to the good people at Bell Helmets, you are fabulous folks and probably saved me a concussion or minor head trauma. Should I decide to get on a bike again, I will most certainly go out and get the exactly same Arc model I had before.

And lastly, as this has been a long-winded entry and not too kind on my wrists, a plea to anyone out there who doesn’t wear a helmet or only wears one sometimes.....there is one sound that I will never forget; the *CRACK* of my helmet hitting the pavement which you can feel and hear in your entire skull as it resonates. That would have been MY skull cracking instead of the helmet’s. I know everyone thinks things happen slow enough that you can dodge and miss them. But, as my injuries indicate, the door was flung on me (into my calf) as I was half past the car, there was no way I could have seen this (looking forward/peripherally, not directly sideways) and avoided a crash. Please? Be safe out there!

Friday, May 12, 2006

When it Rains, it Pours....

My fellow Chicagoans will quickly acknowledge the streak of cold, crappy, windy and generally as un-Springlike weather as possible we've been having...and it looks like we've got at least 5 days more headed our way.

Or about the amount of time I will still be employed.

It was revealed to me through the "king" of my CreativeLand that the evil dragon "Moneymuncher" disconnected the hose that the gravy feeding my train ran through.

The "tale" above documents how good at paraphrasing I've gotten in my correspondance after being warned by a fellow co-worker that they like to scan company email for words like "job" "fired" "boss" "suck-ass" and the like!

Needless to say, I WAS granted a brief stay of execution late in the day yesterday (today was to be my last day of this glorious 8-month ride). It appears the "king" has a bucket of gravy that will last about a week, and has begged me to stay and do one last fabulous testament to creativite inspiration.

Into every life a little rain must fall, and me without my umbrella.

Friday, May 05, 2006

We eat ham and jam and Spam a lot!

Last night as part of his birthday extravaganza, I took Bosco to see Spamalot.


Hearing all the hype and being naturally cynical about other "AMAZING, INCREDIBLE, I LAUGHED, CRIED ETC!" performances, I went in to the show rather reserved. This was certainly not the case here! Although any Python fan will recognize the majority of the plot and characters from The Holy Grail, the good fellows, Mr. Idle and Mr. Nichols, also treated this as a musical entity on its own, and were quick to add in plenty of gags poking fun at the genre of musical theatre itself.

WARNING: Slight spoiler, read on with caution!

And, in one particular moment of hilarity regarding the rather large amount of Jewish folk in and amongst the production of Broadway shows, a gigantic 15ft blinking Star of David is lowered from the rafters....I thought Bosco was going to pee himself with glee! This was quickly followed by one of my favorite quips in regards to King Arthur not knowing one of his companions was Jewish "Well, it's not the sort of thing you mention to a heavily-armed Christian!"

My only gripe (and it's small!) is the character of The Lady of the Lake's name. She gives Arthur the sword Excalibur, helps him to the throne of England etc, etc. This is all very true to most versions of the British legend, however, at the end of the show when asked what her "true" name is, The Lady of the Lake responds "Guinevere". This would not be correct. Most versions agree that the Lady is the half human/half fairy "Morgainne". Ok. Done now. Geek flag is down, folded and put away!

But overall, it's a grand evening of belly-laughs! If you have a chance and enjoy slightly raunchy, devilish schoolboy humor, check this one out!

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Happy Birthday to Bosco!

Today, this lovely human being turns another notch on that great ferris wheel of life. Many happy wishes to him!
> Listed on