Monday, October 23, 2006


Ugh. I'm beat. It's Monday morning, almost 11am and I'm still in my jammies and just starting in on my first cup of coffee. What a slug am I! I should be getting ready to ride to work. But I'm not. Ugh.

This weekend was great, though. We volunteered at a "Beers of the World" event on Saturday night, pouring beer samples and doing some marketing for West Side Distributing. My friend Cathy and I were the bartenders at the "innovation" table. We had 6 different beers that were either new to the market or not quite on the market in the U.S. yet. We also had these little hotel mouthwash-bottle looking things that are being marketed as beer flavorings. They're 2 ounce bottles of 12% malt liquor in flavors like lime, melon, and chocolate that you add to your beer to make it tastier. And although we weren't supposed to, we did sample all of them. A lot. And they are nasty :( This is what the back of our pouring station looked like....

Sunday morning brought us a lot of rain and wind. And a KissCross race out at Cannonsburg Ski Area. As bad as the weather was, the turnout for the race was huge! The turnout for the first annual Log Pull, though, was less than huge. It could have been due to the rain and the wind and the 40 degree temperature and maybe the fact that the masochists that set up the race course made it so impossibly hard that we saw someone actually crying before the race start and another person quit after the first 100 yards. Oh well. We did have four guys who saw the beauty of the Log Pull and gave it their best. Here's the winner, who was able to manage a full pull.

I refuse to let the Log Pull dream die and I promise that next year's event will be bigger and better. And harder - this guy made it look way too easy!

Well, guess I'm off to work now. It's so great to not have that terrible feeling of dread before going into work. I can actually enjoy the whole weekend now without the depression that used to set in on Sunday afternoons. Hope you all have a great week!

Friday, October 20, 2006

60 Surly Miles

Ahhh.... just got home from my fourth commute of the week. It's so much more fun on a bike that can handle potholes and tar chips. I love my new bike - even though it's a beast, I have no choice but to get stronger when I ride it. My boss at Velocity is awesome and has offered me a free wheelset on the condition that I stop riding the crappy wheels that all of my bikes seem to have. At the moment, I'm thinking of eggplant-purple Deep V's with black guts. I'm hoping to learn how to build them next week.

My commute to work is so great! It's 15 miles round-trip with a few rolling hills. The roads are mostly residential, with a few hairy intersections and a few busy segments closer to downtown. With my hellish 12-5 schedule (!), I manage to miss most of the heavy traffic and have run into a few friends (on bikes and in cars) on occasion. I'm not sure that I can really say that I've truly adopted the One Less Car philosophy since I love my car, too, but it's a good feeling to know that I've only driven it once this week :) It's also good to know that I'm doing something to burn off all the candy corn I've been eating the last few weeks too.....

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

A Modest Post

I had my first calligraphy class tonight and let me just say one thing - I rocked the faces off all the other ladies in that class. Hands down. I'm actually pretty impressed with myself, not only because I'm a decent calligrapher but because I'm actually following through with something like taking a class for fun.

On another note, I'm sad to admit that I actually broke out the bike trainer today and rode for an hour this morning. Riding to work in the rain yesterday should partially redeem me but I still think I deserve a little bit of crap for riding indoors in October. Here's hoping that the rest of the week is dry!

Sunday, October 15, 2006

New Addition to the Family

Got a new bike. Love it. It's a Surly Cross Check - I've wanted one of these things for soooooo long. Steve and I took it for its maiden voyage today. Nothing too crazy - just a nice ride around Grand Rapids and beyond. Great way to spend such a beautiful fall day. Here she is on the 6th St. bridge, just sparkling in the sunshine.......

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Raison d'Etre

I've always wondered what this blogging thing would be like. I've read a few blogs of friends and strangers and found them to be such wonderfully mundane windows into the lives and souls of people who lead such wonderfully mundane lives. I love it when the smallest occasions get a special posting all to themselves - the moments that usually get swept up in the rest of the day get a chance to be shared and remembered. My days seem to be composed primarily of these moments so I thought I'd give this a shot.

I have to admit that I do have a little bit of an inferiority complex about this, though. It seems like all of the other posts I've read are so funny and clever and entertaining and brilliant that I don't stand a chance. It's been a long time since I've really written anything and even longer since I've written anything and allowed anyone else to read it. But as I'm going through a bit of a transformation lately, I guess it's the perfect time to start.

I've entitled this blog "A Big Year Ahead" because, well, I have a big year ahead of me.

Big Thing 1: A few months ago, I ended what I thought was going to be my life's career in the environmental industry. Long story short - I hated it and it hated me. There aren't many other choices in Michigan for a girl with a geology degree so I'm headed back to school in January to start my Respiratory Therapy degree.

Big Thing 2: My friend Jessica recently clued me into a program called Summit for Someone which is a partnership between Backpacker magazine and Big City Mountaineers, a mentoring program for inner city kids. Participants select a mountain they'd like to climb and, after raising money for the organization, are given a chance to summit the mountain as part of a guided expedition. So we applied. And we got accepted! We will be climbing Mt. Rainier next September.

Big Thing 3: Jackie, my best friend from high school, is getting married in June and has given me the honor of being her Matron (holy crap, how old am I?) of Honor. I'm so excited! The wedding will be in Montana and is sure to be absolutely gorgeous.

So that's the year in a very condensed nutshell. I'm looking forward to the opportunity to share it!