Hey, Yo, Go Over Here Now

I updated all my social media to reflect my last name change (which, by the way, should not be as complicated as Wells Fargo made it) and decided to revise the rest of my ‘online brand’ — that one was just for you Jessica.

This site is now just my professional site more or less. And, I launched a new tumblr blog, As Good as a TV Show, because it’s easier to update with my fancy new phone and will be a place for my brilliant insight and awesome personality.

So, go over there now: As Good as a TV Show.

Couldn’t Make This Up

My mousepad on my laptop started acting up and doing stuff on it’s own, moving around, opening and closing programs, etc. When I plugged in an external mouse I could still use my computer, even though it was sort of challenging and annoying because the mousepad continued to do stuff on its own.

So, I had my laptop sitting on my desk open and untouched, and the mouse — ON ITS OWN — deleted my entire work email inbox. That’s some crazy shit.

Yes, I can find the emails in my trash. But, there’s also thousands of other emails in my trash that I’ve deleted. There’s no way to tell which 40 or so were in my inbox and needed to be responded to or dealt with or referenced. At first, obviously, I freaked out. Then, when I realized there was nothing really to do about it, I figured new year, new start. Eh.

Happy Holidays.

I was telling Steve about the economic problems in Spain (40% unemployment for people my age?!) and he said that if I keep talking about stuff like this to people, they’re going to think I don’t have enough to do.

But, without training seriously or coaching high school cross-country, I have a solid 40 or so more hours a week and what else is there to do but keep abreast of problems in Europe. (Not that work isn’t expanding to fill that time, like those fish.) And, there’s only so much facebook-stalking and plotting my media takeover one can do.

Fortunately, I took on a number of new volunteer projects, because actually sleeping was getting too boring.

Mountain Biking Sucks and It is Stupid

I fell yesterday. It wasn’t a big deal.

The trail got really steep downhill and I was slowing, slowing, slowing down, but it was too rocky and there was a ditch/crevass/rut and I was going too slow. I knew I wasn’t going fast enough to clear it. I knew. I even tried to speed back up and hit it at the right angle.

And, I did an ok job. But, I started wobbling after my back wheel clipped the rut and lost control. I knew that was coming too. I knew. I unclipped and started to roll and it seemed like I was just going to fall down on my side. No big deal.

But, it was so steep I bounced and slipped for ten feet or so.

I sat up and did the check over. No cuts. No broken bones. Didn’t hit my head. Felt fine. Everything was fine.

Then, I passed out.

If you know me, you know this happens. I’m prone to passing out. It hasn’t happened for a few years and it only happens after provoked by something: altitude sickness, falling, bloody nose — something that changes pressure or heart rate or rush of blood to the head. I have had other heart rate episodes during races and after races and during hard workouts. I’ve been through all the tests (and, clearly, we’re about to go through some more) and I always get the ‘a-ok, you’re totally healthy, except for the predisposition towards passing out.’

So, I came to and sat up and did another check over: nope, still ok. I checked over my helmet: no dents, no cracks. No bumps anywhere on my head. No symptoms of serious concussion: I could remember everything, carry on coherent conversation (ask the woman I ended up yelling at), no blurriness of vision or nausea. I had no symptoms of any internal injuries. I had no external injuries. I wasn’t even hurt, except for some bruises and one big bump on my arm where I hit a rock.

I know from experience there’s nothing an emergency room can do in this situation.

There’s nothing to do for a minor possible concussion and you passed out. All you can do is wait and watch out and rest, lots of rest. And was it really going to be that restful to get strapped down and carted off to an ER and jabbed with needles — all still in my bike clothes and freezing? No. And, in the end, they were going to say: oh, wow, you have no symptoms of a serious concussion and there’s nothing an ER can do to solve the passing out problem (that takes a lot of tests, tests, tests – trust me, I have another doctor appointment tomorrow), so you just have to wait and watch out and rest.

It would have been an expensive and incredibly stressful waste.

The last time I had a similar problem — a fall, sat up and felt ok, then passed out — I let them strap me down to a board and stick me in a room for awhile and ‘rest.’ It was the WORST hospital experience I’ve ever had. (Steve’s broken leg was definitely worse.)

So, mom, grandma, Steve’s mom, go ahead and re-read those last four paragraphs before you stress out about me not going to the ER for no reason.

That meant the only thing to do was walk the 400y or so to the bottom of the trail, call someone to come pick me up, and go home. I probably could have biked home, but not a great idea, so I was standing and calling people to find someone to come get me when this soccer mom came over to me.

Her: Are you ok?

Me: (I have this tendency to not just say yeah, sure, but answer half-truthfully) No, not really, but I’m fine, thanks.

Her: Do you need anything?

Me: Uh, a ride? But, it’s fine, someone’s coming. Thanks. I’m fine.

(I really did appreciate the offer, and was thinking about how to get home, but it’s like a 35-40 minute drive from where I was at that time of day with traffic.)

Her: Are you sure?

Me: Yeah, I’m fine. Thanks. It’s fine.

Her: Are you sure your phone works?

Me: Yeah, it’s fine. It just worked. I’m fine.

Her: Well, there’s a security guard up there, if you need anything.

Me: OK, thanks, thanks.

Her: Just walk up there if you need anything.

Me: OK, thanks.

Her: Are you hurt?

Me: No, I’m fine, thanks.

Her: Are you sure?

Me: Yeah, I’m fine, thanks.

Her: Did you fall?

Me: Yeah, but I’m fine. It’s ok. Thanks

Her: Are you just scared then?

Me: (I don’t know. I got annoyed at this point.) No, I’m not just scared. I passed out. But, I’m fine, it’s fine, ok, I’m fine.

Her: You passed out?! We need to call an ambulance then! You need to see a doctor.

Me: No, I’m fine. I just need to make a call.

Her: No, no, you need a doctor. We need to call 9-1-1.

(And, at that point, I just lost it and started yelling at her. I really was appreciative of her offer of help. It was perfectly nice. But, now, I needed to make some calls and deal with this. And not with her.)

Me: NO, I’m FINE. I’m perfectly ok! OK? I just NEED TO MAKE A PHONE CALL. Will you leave me alone now? I’m FINE!

So, yes, there was a wedding

Here’s some pretty pictures from the wedding – cause obviously, that was the whole point.

And, yes, we did exchange ‘bling.’ And, no, it wasn’t Steve’s idea – it was mine and it was brilliant.

I don’t like wedding cake, so there was a brownie sundae bar. Which, I hear, was good. I couldn’t figure out why I didn’t really want any, but then I realized I had had like five 16-ounce pint glasses of margarita.

And, a pinata.

And dancing.

And there was more dancing, which resulted in the best picture of the night after Steve changed clothes and was wearing a headband, but apparently, he didn’t put that one on the facebook.

It was good times and fun and everything people told me wouldn’t work out beforehand did work out.

But, honestly, the whole thing made me feel more alone. Because, I can not be the only female on the planet who doesn’t enjoy the ‘ooooohhhh, are you like SOOOO excited’ and ‘just remember, it’s your special day’ and ‘you must be sooooo stressed out. well, just remember, there’s nothing you can do on that day, so whatever happens, I’m sure it’ll be MAGICAL’

OH MY GOD, are you so excited? Are you ready? I’m sure everything will come together. Don’t stress about it; you must be so stressed. Whatever happens, it’ll be a magical day, I’m sure it’ll all come together. You must be so excited. Do have enough cups? Where is everyone going to sit? It’ll be soooo nice. Don’t forget, it’s all about you guys. What should I wear? Do you think this dress is ok? What about this one? What are other people wearing? Ohhh, are you like soo stressed out? How do you feeeeeel?

Even just writing these sentences is making me make an angry face at my computer and want to go punch somebody.

So, the closer and closer we got to the wedding, the more and more I felt like a totally separate and unique species standing on an island by myself.

It’s not like I’ve never lived with girls and can’t participate in some good girl talk. I lived with four girls and we watched Sex and the City and facebook stalked boys and sat in the bathroom gossiping while one of us did her hair. And, it was all perfectly fun, but in an fun-ironic kind of way — no one takes Cosmo seriously or actually thinks Carrie is a role model. Right.

Right? Right???

Steve thought I was exaggerating, but I was with him a couple of times the subject of the wedding came up and this is what guys said to him, with no further questions and no weird baby voices:

– Really? That’s great, congratulations man.

– Oh, cool, when is it?

– Ho, did she break your leg. Guess you can’t get away now, huh, huh. Guess you can’t escape with a broken leg. Hah.

OK, that last one was also annoying. But, not one person went ‘oooooohhhhh, are you like sooooooo excited.’

And, the more this came up (people were actually banned from asking me questions at one point), the more it was like ‘oh, Kelly’s just so crazy, she just hates people.’ Which brings us back to the original point: I am apparently inhabiting a universe entirely by myself.

It’s like this one time I was wearing an empire-waist white blouse at this party and this middle-aged woman came up to me and rubbed my stomach and said, “Ohhh, when are you due?” And then she promptly realized she was a moron and started apologizing.

But, the thing is she thought I was mad because she was calling me fat or something, but that wasn’t why I was mad because 1. I’m not fat and 2. in the universe I inhabit – and of which I am becoming increasingly concerned I am the only inhabitant – it is NOT ok to rub a total stranger’s stomach under any circumstances unless maybe you’re performing CPR or something and even then, let’s not be creepy.

And, everyone I tell this story to thinks it’s funny. But, NO ONE thinks it’s appalling.


The Problem with a Wedding

People keep being like ‘ohh, you’re getting married next weekend, you must be really stressed out.’

I even went to the doctor because I was pretty sick and she wrote it off as “wedding stress.”

And, I am. Sure. But, it’s not cause like my florist isn’t coordinating with my hair dresser. It’s because we have no food and lots of non-wedding things to do. No exaggeration: we’ve got chairs, tables, customized M&M’s and college kids to drive shuttles – which will hopefully be their minivans they drive themselves, because we don’t got actual shuttles.

Oh, and I’ve got Steve, who still can’t pick anything up – unless you put it in a backpack for him to carrying around on his crutches.

So, yeah, I’m stressed out. But it’s more of the life variety and less of the bouquets and stupid wedding jokes kind.

So. Steve Had an Accident

Yes, that is a picture of Steve on crutches at an ice cream store. Why is Steve on crutches?

Because a week and a half ago, we were biking to the ice cream store on beater commuter bikes at about 10 mph (Steve was on the kind of bike you find in the garage and wonder if the rust will hold it together long enough to get there), when he was looking back at our friends, hit some hole in the road, and slipped. Probably because of the shittyness of the bike, the handlebars swerved and he fell. It was the sort of fall where you should just get scraped up and feel like a dumbass.

But, he didn’t get scraped up at all. Instead, he went straight down and fell just right and at such an angle to break his femur. I don’t know if you could do that if you tried.

The whole thing went quickly from oh shit, a fall, to oh shit, the emergency room, to oh shit, surgery, to oh shit, a week in the hospital.

We’re back at home now and Steve is on crutches — clearly. And, he’ll be on crutches for six weeks. And, he’s fine. And, everything’s going to be fine. And, please don’t make that voice when you ask, ‘ooooooh, how ARE you?’

But, last week was not super fine. I’ve been to a number of hospitals before, so I know that they’re operated in such a way it’s surprising anyone ever gets better from anything, but this one was worse than usual. Nurses came in and out, saying different things each time. Yes, you can eat that; No, you can’t. We need to get you prepped for surgery — oh, are you sure you already had surgery? Every person that came in at all hours had an opinion about everything, whether or not they were qualified to and all those people rarely spoke to each other.

If you had followed every instruction given, you’d probably be dead, because every possibly instruction was given.

So, as the week went on I got increasingly tired. Friday afternoon, after Steve was finally discharged and we got home and got everything settled, I started to drive off the side of a cliff.

No, that’s not a metaphor.

I had to go to my team’s cross-country meet Friday afternoon and I had to park in a dirt pull-off on the side of the road on a hill facing downhill. Because there were so many other people parking, I tried to fit into the very front edge of the dirt pull-off — meaning my wheels were on the edge of the side of this hill with no barrier or trees in between me and the ravine; a good rain would have washed my car away.

I got out and decided that there was more room behind me and I was right on the line. So I redid my parking job. I moved about an inch. I got out again and decided that everyone else had their wheels curbed the opposite direction I did. My wheels were curbed as though there was an actual curb facing down the hill, but there wasn’t, so if my parking brake went out my car would just go right over the side of the hill and into the ravine. So, I redid my wheels.

Except that when I turned the car on I didn’t turn it on all the way, but I didn’t realize that only the music was on and it was in neutral. My wheels wouldn’t turn because the car wasn’t all the way on, but I didn’t realize that. I tried to put it in reverse and go backwards, but the car wasn’t on, so instead it started rolling forward — and which way were my wheels facing? Over the side of the hill.

I tried again, but the car still wasn’t on, so I kept rolling over the side. I was freaking out by then, so I tried to just drive forward and out of the dirt pull-off.

BUT, here’s the kicker — the car still wasn’t all the way on.

Completely losing my shit at this point, because I was genuinely about to drive over the side of a hill into a ravine. My front corner wheel was starting to slip at that edge point. It was going to be a sad way to go: And, then, from a dead stop she drove off a cliff. Was she committing suicide? No, we think she was just tired — or stupid.

Eventually, I yanked the wheels back the right direction and coasted back onto the road. Then, I figured out what was going on and did one of those forced park things in the middle of the road and restarted the car and parked and went to the meet.

Later that night, I was driving home from hosting/moderating/asking questions at a council debate and I had to stop at a DUI checkpoint. The cop who asked me to roll down my window happened to be the same cop who pulled me over for something small a month or two ago. At that time two months ago, I was tired and stressed, been busy, and I lost it, started crying, he offered me life advice, I cried more.

So, at this DUI checkpoint, I roll down my window and the same officer said, “Oh, you look at a lot better today. Glad you’re having a better day. You definitely look a lot calmer. Good it’s been a good week for you.”

Which was so unequivocally, statistically untrue – under no measure was last week a good week or even a better day than whatever had been wrong that previous day – that there was really nothing to say to that besides, “Thanks.”

Go Forth

I know it’s a total sell-out — ‘the revolution will be televised’ — but the new Levi’s ads make me want to go out and like throw a burning bottle at something or jump in a lake or maybe buy a pair of jeans.

your life is your life
don’t let it be clubbed into dank submission.
be on the watch.
there are ways out.
there is a light somewhere.
it may not be much light but
it beats darkness.
be on the watch.
the gods offer you chances.
know them.
take them.
you can’t beat death but
you can beat death in life, sometimes.
and the more often you learn to do it,
the more light there will be.
your life is your life.
know life is your life.
know it while you have it.
you are marvelous.
the gods wait to delight
in you.

The Laughing Heart, Charles Bukowski

What Kind of Police Are You?

The other day I was talking to a guy who owns one of those fake policing companies — ok, private security — and apparently they actually have the authority to do stuff.

Their authority to detain people, etc, rests on the same code that allows citizens’ arrests essentially. Those fake security people are actually allowed to arrest you and take you in to the police station.

So, I said, well, you’re not the police, right? So, I have the right to resist you “arresting” me.

Yeah, well, people have tried that and they use force or even pepper spray to detain people and bring them in for a variety of offenses – namely of the disorderly conduct, public intoxication variety.

I swear to god, you try to “arrest” me and I will resist my ass off, because who the fuck are you, in your creepy pseudo-cop uniform. No, I’m not going with you. How do I know you’re not just trying to kidnap me or something worse? And if you pepper spray me, I will 1. probably kick you in the groin and 2. sue your ass.

The Last Week

This is what the last week was like (without pictures, because I’m not a picture person).

Monday: Work, pack, pack, work. If we don’t leave until 3 p.m., then we might as well wait until after traffic. We don’t leave until 3 p.m. It’s a long drive up to Tahoe. Followed by a short, short run.

Tuesday: Something about the noise in the room and the heat wakes both of us up really early, not that either of up slept a solid 6 hours anyway. I get up, on a call. Do more work. Pack up the whole room to change rooms, because of the noise. Go for a ride. Work more. Mess up a story — though I don’t learn I messed it up until the next day. Swim in Tahoe Lake, without freaking out too much. Work until just after 9 p.m. and then drink.

Wednesday: Almost slept six hours, though new construction wakes both of us up early again. First real vacation day! Get massive altitude sickness dragging myself on a run around Donner Lake. Had no, no idea it was going to be a disaster until I was halfway around the lake and spinning, stumbling and sticking my head under public bathroom fountains. Finally, eventually, after finding out about the story I messed up while wanting to throw up next to my car, made it back to the hotel. Laid in the bed moaning for hours. Ventured out long enough in the evening to get chewed up by mosquitoes.

Thursday: Slept solidly. Packed up the whole room to change hotels. Drove to new hotel, threw on bike clothes, rushed to meet Steve Kukta for a ride around Tahoe Lake. The ride around the lake was pretty awesome. And 95 miles.

Friday: Hardly get any sleep – tossing and turning all night and freaking out about all the work I have to do. Packed up the whole room again to check out. Swim without a wetsuit and freeze my ass off (though, it was gorgeous), shivering and shaking. Drive four hours over the mountain pass to Gold Country and my legs ache. Exhausted, drag, drag, drag my feet. Help Steve get all his stuff ready for his race the next morning.

Saturday: Up at 5:30 a.m. Steve races. I barely coast through an hour bike ride. Lay back down on the bed and sleep, sleep, sleep.

Sunday: Up at 4:50 a.m. Steve races. I drive. And sit. And then drive more. We get home and I lay down more and then work, work, work.

Monday: Have a hysterical fit in the car.

It’s been a good week.