Friday, July 31, 2009

New Home…

Due to Blog.Com’s constant changing of formats, platforms, etc….I was forced to pack up, move out, move on…

You can find my new home at:

http://baggagechick.blogspot.com/

Posted by peacemel in 15:03:30 | Permalink | Comments Off

Monday, July 13, 2009

Pinch Me–I Need to Wake Up…

I wish I could describe in ACCURATE detail my weekend filled withpoor deal finding, my low-sodium diet, bike rides and animal rescue. Truthfully you cannot fathom linking all of these things together and yet, in the course of 48-hours, I did. I think this weekend might have been a dream.

My neighborhood hosted a city-wide yard sale bright and early Saturday morning. Please note by “city-wide”, they mean 6th class city with approximately 10 streets, tons of nosy neighbors, lose animals and a lot of junk piled high in drive-ways for would be deal finders. There were no deals on junk that I could use. Tons of baby stuff littered lawns including bouncing swings, christening gowns, play pens, and mobiles. Ideally you could have outfitted your nursery for under $100 and still acquire that Pottery Barn, “my child is a future Princeton grad” style. I did not need baby furniture, so I pressed on with the day avoiding smoked ribs, slow cooked baked beans, and cheese dip at a friend’s cookout. Apparently, my friends are IN LOVE with salt. Meanwhile, I partook in some salad greens and lots of water but also ate one to two cups of vanilla buttercream creamcheese icing—no salt added! Sugar is the NEW salt.

Most of Louisville spent time at Forecastle, a festival of hippie music strolled about on the waterfront of the Ohio River. I refused the $140 ticket price so my true excitement of the weekend was to be a leisurely Southern Indiana bike ride with four roadies. The ride is rolling hills, farm dotted roads that seem to distract us from the beaming sun and heat. The pace was generous and some friendly sprints tested my ever strengthening leg muscles. Then disaster struck, not us, but some poor possum. Her head was wedged into the ground as part of a motor vehicle murder with no car in sight to identify the murder weapon. I then learn that my friend is an AVID animal lover as she spun her bike around to save some squirming babies that we caught out of the corner of our eyes. Each of the babies (yes, possum babies) were plucked from the mothers underside and in our spandex, bike shoes, coordinating helmets and Terry jerseys, we stood there holding hairless, toothless, not quite yet destructible possum babies. The rescue interrupted the bike ride and made me crave hand sanitizer by the Sam’s Club bucket size. A friend says to me, “I will share this story 20-years from now….”

Once home, I finally napped with fresh odd tan lines and decontaminated my body from sweat and possum disease. But my dreams were interrupted with a neighbor knocking on my door to explain to me that a buzzard had landed atop my car, actually on my bike still mounted on the roof rack. No joke….there was a large uglier than life raptor on my handle bars. I will assume that my flannel plaid napping pants, bare feet and disheveled hair startled him because he finally flew away.

I closed down Sunday falling asleep to “Daisy of Love”, a reality show about a chick who really is not famous but apparently wants to find love in six weeks. Her selection of punk, hardrock suitors is not impressive, nor was her over the top bleached hair and faux breasts. Like most reality shows it is best to take them at face value and avoid the sarcastic criticism in your own head. It’s just too easy.  

I have an overwhelming desire to read my horoscope and see if there is some imbalance I am unaware of. Of course my last horoscope ready….”Don’t run to crazy…run far from it”….well, what if it finds me first?

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Friday, July 10, 2009

Hollywood

Look out Hollywood! Melinda is coming to a theater near you! Wait! I need a stage name…hmmm, I will hire my agent to do that task for me. They need to earn their thousands anyway. Where is my stylist? Can I get some quality headshots? WHERE is my latte?

 

Okay, NO, I am not going to Hollywood (yet). During the Memorial Day holiday weekend, I was approached by some improv mates to do a unscripted film following the lives of “roommates.” Now, I know you are going to say, “like the Real World on MTV?” and yes, kind of like the Real World minus the perfect, beautiful people and plot to get drunk and wild every opportunity given. The script or idea was simple….5 roommates would do scenes to make up an entire week…Sunday to Sunday–No scripts, no initial plots. Everything would flow into 10-minute scenes to finally create a 70+ minute film. The end result would be a movie that could be sent to various festivals.

 

We taped everything in six hours or less. There was a high level of comfort with everyone since we have now known each other for over 4 years. This might have bled through into the scenes as they did not feel like work yet imagining the end result of our takes and retakes was NEARLY impossible. Now, I am told, the film is edited, cut, and complete (outtakes and unedited scenes included). Today, I received stills from the movie which quickly brought back the memories of the afternoon. It is BEYOND impossible to watch myself on film for many reasons:

 

1.    Like most women, I am not happy with my bodily flaws

2.    I am my own worst critic

3.    I have no desires to ever be famous

4.    We do silly s*%t on camera

 

I love doing sketch comedy but if fame every came knocking on my life’s door, I think I would have to turn out the lights and pretend not to be home. This is not because I am afraid I would become a self-centered, narcissistic, drug dependent, sex crazed idiot. I simply enjoy my life without fame, gossip, or drama. I guess I might be boring.

 

So now, a group of people have a movie, put together, showcasing a rare awkwardness that we have always possessed, and transcribing it into something normal that the masses can watch. It is 70-minutes of your life you will never get back but there are worst things. I would share the title but I am not sure that has been decided yet. No worries, Blockbuster and Redbox are not going to carry it anyway but I feel it may pop-up on You Tube near you. Oh dear.

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Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Dating 101

Recently, several friends have dove into the world of internet dating . I feel I would need arm floaties to do this successfully. I admire their strength to put themselves out there in a 2-dimentional format. Their stories have varied from weird, to sweet, to awkward, sometimes within one date.

The challenge with internet dating is you have to make yourself appealing by WRITING about yourself. You want to attract someone with ONLY words. Let’s face it, most of us do NOT see ourselves as OTHERS see us. So….let me try this.

Let’s not pretend and see what we come up with….

Divorced 30-somehting female seeking non-clingy, emotionally together, financially sound, and attractive male. Cannot be intimidated by a tom-boy who likes the outdoors, loves the arts, and has a bit of an independent sarcastic streak running through her at all times. If you want to fix me….keep moving on. I am fixed and yet, still a work in progress. My favorite night may be on the couch eating whatever watching a zombie movie. I do not wear a lot of make-up, padded bras and I have never had a professional pedicure. I do not DO drama. I am a mother to a cat (a fat bloated cat)—that’s it. I have not decided if I want children but PLEASE do not start picking out nursery furniture on our first date. Do not doodle our names together and DO NOT order for me in a restaurant. I like sci-fi, I like some weird reality crap, I like magazines in my bathroom. I play poker, I read a lot, and I ride my bike a lot. It will not hurt to hold my hand in public, take a few risks, and experience life. Park boring somewhere else, and do not bring baby momma drama, ex-girlfriend grief, or an asshole attitude to the party. They are NOT invited. My friends are my family. They know what I love, they know how I feel, and if you do not like them, we have a problem. The bottom line is…I had to grow up early. I have been on my own for a while. I do not need someone to guide me through life, but it would be great to have a partner to walk with.

For whatever reasons, many guys I know like the psycho genre of women. Recent ex-stories that I have heard have lead me to believe that THESE girls would have some interesting profiles. Maybe something like this….

Kinda single girl seeks guy to completely take care of her. He must be into popular pop music or off the wall indie music. I like sex 1-2 times a week but with 4-5 different guys. I want kids and a house but my waitress job does not pay for that stuff. I take a long time in the bathroom. I use a lot of hair product and spend 20% of my annual income on make-up. I want fake boobs. I want liposuction. I cry at everything. I only like the outdoors if the weather is perfect. I do not camp but I like to lay by the pool and soak in the sun. I am a vegetarian at least 20% of my time but the remaining time, I eat meat. I like to cause drama, lots of drama, at all times and I expect you to fix it. I look great in a bikini. I am a mess when I drink. I want to be around you 24/7. In fact, you should devote YOUR life to me. I would never change my name if married. I have thought about my perfect wedding day since I was 5. I become a drooling idiot if I drink too much. I like to argue about useless points. It’s fun! My parents give me money all the time. I am pretty immature but I will be a great wife someday.

The above paragraph sums up about 5 relationships I have heard about briefly. I have rolled them into ONE profile. It’s kinda fun.

Again, I have never used the calculus courses I took in college. However, I think if they taught dating, I would USE those skills. Once again, our educational system has failed. No single person left behind.

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Monday, July 6, 2009

Life Changes

My thirties have been like what I wanted my twenties to be (for the most part). I am surrounded by wonderful family and friends. I am more active now than I thought I could be and generally I have been handed some peace in my life. I have a well established, well rounded routine. Then while I am sitting in a greenish paper gown reading recipes from Southern Living—the doctor tells me, “you have high blood pressure.”  I knew this last year and I have been taking medicines for it. I want to tell you accurately but yeah, I miss days. I eat occasional greasy burger. I sometimes enjoy soy sauce. Why? Well, I am in my thirties, and the thought of high blood pressure is for those older types.

Right? Not ME!

So he interrupts my magazine reading again to tell me, “the medication is not working….you need a new MORE serious regimen” My eyes were fixated for a moment and I precociously asked, “and if I do not want to take these drugs?”. He looks back at me already half filled the single sheet of prescription pad and says, “then you cannot cycle, because I will not sign the waiver.”

Now he had my attention. With the best dignity I could muster in a crinkling gown, I said, “what next?” and he then told me about the 3-4 drugs I would need to take on a daily basis for the REST OF MY LIFE. Now, I know that people are diagnosed daily with an assortment of illnesses, some being terminal. Honestly, however, I thought I could beat these odds. I exercise….I eat pretty well (yes, I eat French Fries…smack me!) and I drink 8-10 glasses of water a day. Why am I the unhealthy one?

Unfortunately my country bumpkin family did not keep very good health records. Most of grandparents and great-grandparents were born at home….and they never visited a doctor usually unless death was looming. In which case, a doctor visit was NOT very beneficial. However, I like to go for annual physicals, exams, etc. I follow the rules and I am the one who ends up with a pill counter in my purse and an obsession with the sodium content in my groceries (FYI….just buy vegetables and fruit…everything ELSE is BAD!).

After a battle with the insurance company, several trips to the local pharmacy, some cursing, more cursing, a few more phone calls to insurance companies, doctors and finally MOM….I have a regimen I can live with (we think). Thankfully, my lifestyle prevented the doctor from a lengthy discussion about weight and exercise…he simply said, “Keep doing that stuff…”

The one bit of good news…most of the fattening sugary foods I love like a marshmallow sundae from Graeters or a double chocolate cupcake from the Cupcake Shoppe are EXEMPT from this NEW lifestyle. My body can handle sugar….for now….maybe that will change in my fourties.

Piss.  

Posted by peacemel in 20:53:09 | Permalink | Comments Off

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Where are the Skirts?

It’s a recovery ride.” This is how the Monday night skirt ride was described to me. Having done a longer, more challenging ride on Sunday morning that included dead bloated animals, thigh scorching hills, and a massive rain storm, I thought a “recovery” ride sounded perfect. As my friends and I rolled up, we thought we anticipated a few casual laps through the local park, maybe take on some crass men whistling at anything in spandex with breasts, dodge some dog crap, and finish off the evening with some downhill sprints (followed by a casual dinner).

This is NOT what happened. The girl leading the bike ride is a pro-athlete….meaning she gets REALLY cool gear but can barely make enough money to eat or live off of. But, again, she has nice gear including a fully decorated kit (no skirt to be seen, or skort, or leggings), awesome Italian leather shoes and a bike that you and I cannot buy off the floor or any bike store. As noted above, this also means that she is AN ATHLETE. She does not sit at a desk from 9AM-5PM and deal with the usual office gossip, daily misgivings and concerns about her 401(K). NO! She is an athlete and she is on the bike ALL THE TIME. This is an important note to remember because as mentioned, she leads the Monday night skirt rides.

We left our quaint park behind in a cloud of dust quickly and rode up one of the most hill dotted streets in Louisville, only to be dumped into the ghetto during rush hour, finally spat out at Iroquois Park where a treacherous hill climb awaited. After this triage-style riding of huffing, puffing, and bargaining our souls to the underworld, we had to turn around and do it all in reverse, sans one water bottle, one sleeve of blocks, and sanity. Sweat poured out of my body like a fire hydrant and pulling up the rear at 19-21mph was a challenge. Children could have stood under me soaking their bodies in my own salt spewing wetness. The end was not eventful but more of a time to be thankful to see my car rack, familiar streets, and less hooting and hollering from the peanut gallery on their front porches.

In our post ride exhaustion, we began picking the brain of the PRO athlete who provided all sorts of useful tips including some different body butters to try for chaffing. Training for a century, I have been told, SOMETHING will chaff on my body, at sometime. Like runners anticipating black toe nails, I check every crease on my body for a sign of saddle sores….NOTHING yet! She recommended quality shoes, saddle, and shorts. They are your best friends out there. We also heard of a Thursday night ride but this is a REAL ride and I can only imagine what their REAL rides are like considering the “recovery” ride made finishing sentences difficult. The good news is, I know my place in the pack…in the back.

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Monday, June 15, 2009

Post Ride Eats-A Lesson in Digestion

The road rides are getting longer and slightly faster, which means walkers can no longer pass me. I am learning how to shift more accurately and I am trying not to white knuckle steep downhills. But road rides are taxiing on the body in a different way than the mountain bike.

Having cooked myself for a couple of hours on Sunday, I found I was ravenous for food. Gu gels, blocks, and beans can only provide so much faux flavored nutrients! My body was craving REAL food. A friend suggested Cumberland Brews for their happy hour Sunday. Although I was not feeling the need for beer, I usually find the grilled cheese sandwich* there to be like heaven.

In the minutes of severe caloric deprivation, I found myself gazing (almost drooling) at the menu board which read, “BEER BATTERED MUSHROOMS” and honestly I could not resist. Take any vegetable, batter it, fry it, and give it a spicy sauce….I AM HAPPY! A few minutes later, a bowl of tempting fungus was placed before me and I descended on these things like it was my last meal not leaving any crumbs behind (seriously, not a crumb). I washed down the mushrooms with a bowl of sweet potato fries and two huge glasses of lemon water. I never ordered the grilled cheese and this proved to be wise.

In the 10-minute ride home, I felt a stomach cramp unlike any other. Quite frankly, it felt like Chuck Norris punched me in the stomach. I assumed my body needed a nap and time to digest. However, what my body REALLY needed was to purge the mushrooms. The lesson learned some six hours later was post ride food (at least for myself) cannot be greasy. In fact, my post ride caloric intake needs to be bland void of flavor, batter, or fat. Zesta Saltines may become my new best friend. But there is a bright side to this…..I did not drink any beer and I feel had I, the situation would have been MUCH worse.

*Special Note: I have a few foods I love greatly including grilled cheese and coconut shrimp. I seek these dishes out anywhere I can. Should you find yourself in Louisville craving a grilled cheese, I am the girl you call. I have them ranked all over the city.

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Monday, June 8, 2009

On the Road Again

The first few road rides have actually been training rides in the art of being in KINDERGARTEN again. I have to learn to shift, and when, and how– all over again. I swear it is a second language garbled by my slow understanding to the most basic mechanical things. Terms learned this weekend include: “cross chaining” and “hill jacking.” Upon the understanding of these terms, I had to attempt to respond accordingly and “uncross” my chain position and attempt “hill jacking” on another cyclist, neither of which I did very well.

My wardrobe has to change on the road bike, apparently. The mountain bike is meant for scabs and sweat but the road bike is meant for coordination and smooth fluid lines. I do not have “formal” sleeveless cycling jersey’s and the ones I have seen in stores are simply trying too hard to define my gender (Hint: jerseys do NOT need flowers on them, nor do they all need to be PINK). I do not own a pair of road shoes yet. The counterpart to my mountain bike shoe is being discontinued and locating my European size is has become an alarming task which may force me to abandon my Pearl Izumi loyalty.  Even my scratched, dropped, taped up water bottle needs to be made over into something that will coordinate with Vanilla Shake and Charcoal (think, cool color palette).

There are differences on a road bike.. One, on the road bike, you can talk to your cycling partner sometimes about intimate areas of their lives all the while whizzing past dog walkers who rarely make direct eye contact unless they are looking at your unzipped short sleeve Fall jersey (windstopper not necessary when it is 90 degrees out). Second, downhills are scary in a whole new way. Now, my position is such that I hover above the front wheel and I find myself counting pebbles hoping that they do not cause me to dismount and slide across the freshly coated asphalt road. Third, people insist on telling you their road stories including how many feet they slid and what happened to their bike on their FIRST REAL wreck. My facial wincing does not seem to stop their details.

For now, I am content, whipping around the park in my 2-year old Pearl Izumi shorts, mismatched sweat stained tee, headbuff, and skull socks. Before I set sail on a course for disaster with an impending 100-mile ride, I want to first master “drinking-water-while-being-clipped-in-and-going-downhill-while-talking-about-the-next-chapter-in-my-life”. Once this is accomplished, then I will be ready for the big leagues (as long as I can pull up the rear).

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Thursday, May 28, 2009

Um– Instructions Not Included

Though you can purchase a road bike frame…customized to your size…you still need all the other parts to truly build a bike. Parts are expensive (well, the parts I prefer) and like money, they do not grow on trees. So literally my bike is being built piece-by-piece with painful sticker almost weekly. However, to accelerate the potential need for second mortgage, finish the bike construction, I have started looking and lusting after the Old Kentucky Home Bike Tour in mid September.

Perhaps the second best season in Kentucky is the fall (Spring is first class). This tour (not like Tour De France but more like….biking in Kentucky) is a nice winding backside country tour that so many people have mentioned to me as THE ride to do. Finally, pricked with enough curiosity, I have begun to formulate a plan, an idea. Thankfully, I do not need to convert to a FULL FLEDGE ROADIE because the training program I was reviewing earlier this week packs in prescribed rest days, interval and cross training. All of this is to say, I have to set a goal. The course is broken into three thigh burning mileage options…50, 72 and a century ride—you choose your fate by checking a box on the registration form. My original thought is to push it to the limits…the full century ride. The reward is a cookie pit stop on the second day (that’s right, TWO days of riding) that hopefully will yield bulging chunky, chocolately, oat covered, raisin filled dough balls. Consuming these delicacies I am also hoping will ward off severe lactic acid burn, thigh cramping, saddle sores, general cycling regret and bruised egos.

But not only do I have to build a bike, learn interval training, pedal drills and overcome a minor fear of cars….I also have to do this in approximately three months. I am told this task can be accomplished, although from where I sit right now, all I see is a frame and some thighs that need to be toned. It obviously is going to take some work and cash. I considered selling a duplicate organ for the two reasons. One….it would make me lighter on the bike which is already FEATHER light (seriously the frame weighs nothing) and Two….organs bring in cash. But I am told that I cannot put my kidney on Ebay, which I guess I understand the moral issues there. So the next option is to stock up on some rice, beans and fruit. I am certain about one thing….with the prescribed training, I will have a stealth body…one that will not need elongated bike shorts to cover up the unsightly areas. 

Posted by peacemel in 20:32:57 | Permalink | Comments Off

Friday, May 22, 2009

You Are Not a White Castle….GET OVER IT!

Die hard Louisvillians often like to pretend they do not like White Castle’s in public but I am here to tell you, I enjoy them. I do not like them often but when the hankering strikes, I enjoy 2 cheeseburgers and a French fry or onion ring all washed down with a 20 ounce Big Red soda. I do not NEED a nutritionist to explain to me the amount of unhealthy sodium, fat, and grease I am consuming. I fully know and understand the cardiac risks I incur when these cravings strike. The point is….there is a fan club for the White Castle burger. It is truly a unique acquired taste not loved by all. I was not even aware that any restaurant would ATTEMPT to mimic such a distinctive taste until I headed south and met Krystal.

I was filling up the gas tank haphazardly thinking about dinner when it occurred to me that Krystal shared the building with a BP. I contemplated potato chips and cupcakes for dinner but realized that kind of diet was not going to help me on the trails the next day. So I opted for the Krystal experience, which also is probably not advisable before a trail ride but when in Rome. I had no idea they were the rip off Milli Vanilli of the small slider burger world. Peering at the menu…I could not help but notice a similar shape, similar box, and smell to the White Castle. The draw of the White Castle is their fully cooked burgers marinating in onions on a griddle. Krystal opts out of the onions but still applies the pickles and MUSTARD to their square shaped creations. Their ketch is mustard….yellow mustard with pickle. I added cheese because I am a sucker for cheese on anything (seriously anything)…and partook in my first Krystal experience.

Guess what? Krystal cannot hold a candle or even a flickering flashlight to the White Castle cheeseburger. Where was that bursting greasy taste? Where was the distinct, nearly pungent after taste? Instead a “fluffier” bun and mustard was my consolation prize. I cannot believe people could even try to compare the two. I cannot believe that people WOULD even accept this poor substitute. If I am going to eat bad food….I expect it to be noticeably bad, proportionally bad to the amount of fat and calories consumed. Grilled onions, beef, cheese and pickle are usually a guaranteed combination for debauchery on the digestive system. Krystal is missing the boat on bad flavors and mustard can only do so much. The other “draw” of the White Castle is the digestive after effects which were not noticeable after consuming three Krystals.

I learned “food loyalty” from this experience. Perhaps this is not even a REAL term but let’s just say, I will continue to pledge my horrible, disgusting, few and far between food cravings to a restaurant that can actually deliver on its reputation.

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