So people have always laughed at me because I often mention that I used to do what I called RAGCRAI every year. I called it my Regular Annual Great Car Ride Across Iowa, because let’s face it, I’m not much of a biker. In fact, I’m not a biker at all! I fully admit I cannot, nor want to, ride a bike! Does it change my feelings about RAGBRAI? Not in the least! I am all about RAGBRAI* as long as nobody expects me to take part in the 2-wheel portion of it!
So you’re laughing, right? Why would I like RAGBRAI if I don’t even ride a bike? It’s simple. I love that people come to Iowa to party. Seriously! Sorry. Let me restate that: I love that people come to Iowa to test their physical endurance… lol. First of all, I’m thrilled that people in Iowa take part and that others actually come to our state to participate. Secondly, I’m glad that Iowa shows we do know how to have fun and that we can make a week out of it! I love that it even involves exercise! But mostly, I love that it involves a bunch of towns gearing up for a big event and putting on a good time. That makes me happy! I can see the good! And I hear lots… and I do mean LOTS…of stories!
You hear stories all the time about people stopping to help someone with a tire, giving them a water, offering their barn for a nap, or their bathroom in the middle of nowhere. I love that those stories come out of Iowa because that’s who we are. We want to be the good guys. I still remember when RAGBRAI came through Oakland a million years ago and the church did a food-stand. I got to help my mom make signs and we did Burmashave signs that lined the road saying things like 3.14 ahead for homemade pie. I was pretty damn proud of my signs and if I’m not mistaken, they sold out of food! 🙂
Of course, another favorite story was my trip to Muscatine. As many of you know, my best friend from my cattle showing days lived there and RAGBRAI was scheduled to hit the river one afternoon when I was there so we ended up taking her parents’ boat out and watching as the bikers came in to dip their tires and end the night with a fireworks display. It was so freaking cool to watch these people celebrate making it across Iowa – tears, laughs, personal victories, beers…
Sure, there are much crazier stories as we all well know, and good for them! Live it up, my friends! Just keep me out of the pictures! 🙂 But whether the story is one of accomplishing all the miles or the naked mud slide, there’s no way you can’t find a little good on the road!
So Happy RAGBRAI, everyone! Tip the stein or dip the tire for me!
*Footnote: For you out-of-staters, RAGBRAI stands for the Register’s Annual Great Bike Ride Across Iowa. Thousands of locals and out-of-staters bring their campers and buses and bikes to bike across Iowa for a 7-day bike ride/party. They ride by day and drink by night! I kid you not! And the route changes every year, but they start on the Missouri River and bike to the Mississippi River so sooner or later everyone gets included.
*Further disclosure: Just call me Schultz off Hogan’s Heroes: I know NOTHING!
*Final footnote: for you in-staters, don’t forget that means extra State Troopers on the road if you’re traveling. 🙂
Have a RAGBRAI story? Let’s hear it! Out-of-state and curious? What do you want to know?
Do you ever wonder how other people just “don’t get it?” And by “it,” I don’t mean that kind of it! I mean do you ever look around the room and wonder if you’re the only one present whose elevator actually goes to the brain-storing penthouse? Or if you’re surrounded in a store by people who have hamsters that haven’t figured out how to make their wheel go round? I am often baffled by the cluelessness of people I run into or that I see in the news. For instance, Zac Efron. Dude, you are a multi-millionaire, people think you’re gorgeous, you are clearly talented, and so you said to yourself, “Boy, I bet cocaine will make me even more popular.” Wow! You might want to rethink that one, buddy. And what’s with all the talented female singers thinking they obviously look their best in unitards? Trust me, that’s not the case, (cough, cough) Madonna.
For the life of me, I wonder what some people are thinking. I have to think you guys are with me on this one. I’m sure you’ve said WTH? plenty of times. So I’ve concluded there are a few things I’d like to stamp on the forehead of some that shall remain nameless. These are just some general truths I feel like I need to put out there into the world so us normal people can get on with our lives.
*First off, money does not replenish itself. It’s not like starfish. It doesn’t regenerate. At some point, you do have to pay. (How do people not get this???)
*Secondly, it’s not okay to drive in the fast lane to detain fast cars, to get a better view, or to flash the college boys in the convertible next you. (Okay, maybe the last one is if you’re in college, too. None of us are above it.)
*Third, here’s a novel concept: Amazingly enough, if you want to keep your spouse, you need to be nice to them, at least once in a while.
*Fourth, you will get older. You will turn into your mother or father. And if you try too hard not to, we’re going to talk about how you’re trying too hard with your teeny-bopper clothing and inflated lips. Just sayin’.
*Fifth, in the adult world, decent trumps pretty. You can be perfectly beautiful, but if you’re a raging bitch, people will avoid you, or at the very least, complain about you behind your back.
*Sixth, I know you can’t prove it by our magazines, our gyms, or our facebook posts, but there really is more to life than being skinny.
*Seventh, you can’t be a lying, cheating bastard and not have people find out. It’s called a cell phone. We can track you, numbnuts!
*Eighth, if you really like them, then by all means, feel free to continue wearing your thongs, but we can see those lines, too.
*Ninth, somebody loves you. They may wonder why, they may be stupid for it, they might even pay for it, but they love you. Quit pushing them away and appreciate it, damn it!
*Finally. Number 10: If you don’t want to raise an asshat, don’t be an asshat example or encourage asshattedness. (It makes sense, right?)
There. What do you think? You on board with me? Did I miss some you’d like to put out there? Throw ‘em in the comment section. You know they’re welcome.
I hate to say it, but my summer is gone. No more can I lounge outside at 1:30 in the afternoon and eat meals when I feel like it. My world has been rocked back into submission. However, unlike most summers as of late, I kinda feel like I had a real summer. “Real” meaning I took trips elsewhere, and I have plenty of stories for the Christmas letter. Now that is the mark of a good summer.
If you think about it, can you quickly tell me 5 things you did this summer? I can. I can tell you a lot more than 5, even though my memory is sketchy at best now that I am back on the work schedule. I judged things. I went to Minnesota twice. I have the pleasure of saying I’ve been to Shell Knob, Missouri (Yeah, how would you like to have to say you were from Shell Knob and listen to all those giggles every time?). I boated. I made RAGCRAI – my Regular Annual Great Car Ride Across Iowa to see my college bffs in Galena, IL. I found my new fave TV show, Camp. I played a bajillion games of Scramble with Friends. And I didn’t feel bad about it!
Sometimes, I think I forget that summer is supposed to be fun. I’m so busy getting the to-do list done that I can’t complete during the school year and trying to write books that I will probably never sell, that sometimes I don’t enjoy life. I’ve had enough of that. It was an epiphany this summer that maybe I am more a blogger than a full-fledged author so here I am devoted to you and devoted to summers off! lol.
As my summer comes to a close, so does my tan, my ability to go to the post office when it’s open, and pissing when I actually need to, but at least this year, I can say I did some cool crap with lots of funny moments and lots of wonderful people. OMG! – I actually went on a vacation with my husband for the first time in 10 YEARS! And if that wasn’t enough, I saw a dog riding in the sunroof of a crappy car with aviator goggles on,I rode on a trolley, and I took a picture of King Kong’s butt. These are exciting times, people!
So now that I’ve blathered on about my summer, what was your highlight of summer? I’m waiting impatiently ready to hear!
Okay, I’ll say it: goals suck! Sure, I know how to write them. I did plenty of it in 9 years of 4-H (of course, I wrote them after I finished the project lol), and even now, my boss requires them, but you know what? I still hate them!
I’m not trying to be negative, but I am a fairly self-motivated person. Catch me on a Sunday afternoon and you might think otherwise, but in the big scheme of things, I think I am. And you know what happens when I set goals? I become completely discontented. My mind will tease me with what I haven’t accomplished until I’ve reached the goal, given up completely, or failed miserably. And when I fail at reaching my goals, I suddenly don’t like myself a whole lot. So goals are a vicious circle in my world.
But supposedly we’re better people, more accomplished, and more motivated when we set them…
We’re better people when we quit thinking about ourselves, help others, do things that make us happy in turn making others happy to be around us, and doing the right thing.
Now, I won’t sit here and be all high and mighty or judgmental. Goals are probably good. They just aren’t good for me because I set the bar too high. Think I’m wrong? You be the judge:
Goal 1 – be a successful writer bringing in substantial $ so I can make sure money is no object, or at least no concern, to any of my family members
Goal 2 – be confident in myself
Goal 3 – be all things to all people
I could go on, but I think you can see in a matter of 3 goals, I am completely unrealistic and in over my head. I really don’t like admitting that to you or anybody else, but I know we all feel like that sometimes. Sure, I could set those “attainable” goals about numbers of blog followers and facebook page likes, but at the end of the day, it’s not the numbers that matter. It’s what I believe that matters. And some days I believe I’m making progress, some days I feel like I should probably not go outside of my house, and some days I’m just happy being me sitting on my ass on my couch knowing I made people laugh.
So today, today, I’m making goals that I like, that won’t make me bitter and might make you wanna join in:
Goal #1 – Eat more DQ ice cream cones when I’m feeling down
Goa l#2 – Car dance to more songs on my way to work
Goal #3 – Smile more when I’m really ready to chuck a flying object at someone’s head
There. Those are mine. What are yours?
On Mondays, I’m pretty sure all of us are looking for Fridays. At the beginning of the week, we can’t wait for the end of the work week. Then we hit the weekend and at the beginning of the weekend, we are making plans and having some adult beverages. But then Sunday comes around and we’re dreading the end of the weekend. So what does that mean?
Don’t know about you, but it pretty much means I have a love-hate relationship with beginnings.
The thing about beginnings is that they always lead to endings sooner or later. Sometimes, I’m happy about that…and sometimes, I’m not.
More cases in point:
Beginning: Every summer vacation when I can be on my own schedule, I am super pumped, but my to-do list makes me freak out!
Ending: Going back to work sucks. The end. There’s no better way to say it.
Beginning: Falling in love where you don’t sleep and your stomach quivers thinking about it so much that you don’t even feel the urge to shovel food in your face. Woo-hoo to that!
Ending: I better be the first to go. That’s all I have to say.
Beginning: Rydell High. Danny Zuko was at the beach all summer? Oh, yeah, I love it.
Ending: Do your hand jive. And just try to sing louder than me. Just don’t expect me to put on any hot pants. (Dear God. Nobody wants that!) Love the end almost as much as the beginning. It’s the middle with beauty school drop-out I could do without.
Beginning: The first drink with a plate of cheesy bread in front of me. Um, yeah, I’m in.
Ending: Wow. I might be too old for this…
Ending: Are we ever going to get there? Are we home yet? It’s going to take me a month to do laundry.
Beginning: Sure, I can do a blogger challenge! I’m all about it! I need to write more!
Ending: Holy cow! I never realized I was so busy all the time. No wonder I never get anything written…
Beginning: Jan. 2013 – Woo-hoo! The year I finally become successful! Resolution #1…
Ending: Dec. 2013 – What the hell did I do all year? Maybe next year’s resolution should be to put shit in my smartphone so I have a record of it…
Okay, so you get the point. I could do this all day. Beginnings are often fun, but often an anxious time for me, too. I’m always nervous about something new and different and I’m always tired at the end of something. Then again, sometimes, I’m damn happy about things being done, too.
Most of the time, at least in my life, I can’t really control beginnings or endings. They just have to play out. Sometimes, it goes okay. Sometimes, I think I’m at the 3rd level of Hell, but life goes on. Whether you Robert Frost it or John Cougar Mellancamp it, it happens. Best wishes on finding a happy appreciation for it…
Every once in awhile, those mushy moments hit when somebody says the right words at the right moment and it makes you feel a little less like a pile of shit in a world of superstars. I’ve had 2 of those epiphanies myself this week. One happened when I read one of those fab ecards that everybody posts on their Pinterest and Facebook accounts: Quit comparing your behind-the-scenes to everybody else’s highlight reels. No shit. Brilliant thought. Will I follow it? Highly unlikely. Too logical and too good for my self-esteem I suppose. Lol. Will I try to follow it? Certainly. Should you follow it? Yes…unless you’re one of those cocky sumbitches that comes up with songs like Don’t you Wish your Girlfriend was Hot like Me? In which case, to quote Happy Days: Put a sock in it!
Anyway, I can’t help but think that we all need those moments. Those thoughts that make us feel a little bit better in a crazy world where we try to keep up with the Jones or out-do the Christian PTA lawyer mom wearing high heels and toting five boys to the soccer field or the Armani-suited CEO carrying flowers for his wife. Listen, it ain’t easy to believe the best in ourselves or feel loved and wanted. There are too many people in this world that don’t have time for us. Everybody’s too busy shuffling their kids to practice, working 2 extra hours at work, or running a marathon to stay healthy. Sometimes, it’s hard to remember to send some love to the people around us who need it and sometimes, we’re those same people who need to feel the love.
As I said earlier, I had 2 moments this week. The second came when an important person in my life made the comment that she knew I had always known I was different, I had just made the mistake of assuming it was a bad thing instead of a good thing. In 30-some years, that thought had never occurred to me, but you know what? In some back-asswards way, it made me feel a helluva lot better that day. So since I’m feeling the love this week, you should, too.
Ten little wishes I wish for you this gorgeous weekend:
10. I wish you cold beers (or wine if you’re one of those sophisticated types) and good conversations on a low-stress night.
9. I wish you the ability to see your success and people that don’t take you for granted.
8. I wish you Reese’s peanut butter cup cupcakes and milk.
7. I wish you the chance at your own form of Olympic victories.
6. I wish you fabulous date nights and full nights of sleep with the windows open.
5. I wish you ladies’ or guys’ nights out with talk of old times that make you smile.
4. I wish you great hair days or lookin’-trim-in the mirror feelings.
3. I wish you outings that make you notice the perfect weather, a warm glow, and a soak-in-the-atmosphere view.
2. I wish you some Christian Gray-kind-of action scenes.
1. And most of all, I wish you non-shitty situations!
So there, I said it… My sappy little piece of wishing you well… Go off and be happy, damn it! Oh, and I’ll see ya next week. Same time. Same bat-shit crazy channel.
So I’ve been told that I am always counting down to something. Damn right, I am! Yeah, I was the zit-faced, chunky-monkey kid with a cross-out-the-days calendar in my locker. So what? Anticipation is part of the enjoyment. It’s like when you’ve listened to the songs on your ipod so many times, you start singing the next song in your head before it comes on. It’s what keeps us revved up. Someone might dare to call it foreplay.
Maybe you’re looking forward to taking your kids to Disneyland for the first time. Maybe you’re seeing your sister for the 1st time in 3 years. Maybe you’re going on vacay to Jamaica, mon. Maybe you’re drinking and whoring on Saturday night (it’s really none of my business what brings you pleasure). Maybe you have tickets for the season opener Chiefs game (God help me, they have to win sooner or later!). Maybe you’re looking forward to retirement. Or perhaps the plan is just to go home and take a hot bath with a long book. Still, shouldn’t everybody have something to look forward to?
You can love your job, but nobody love loves their job. My theory is that no matter how much you love your job, you love a day off away from your job more. And if you don’t, um, well, maybe you should rethink your life choices. Maybe it’s time to get a new family, a new set of friends, a new hobby, a better husband/wife, or a secret hide-out! Not trying to be harsh, just simply suggesting that all work and no play makes you the crazy guy staring out the window tracing his cat’s paws on the other side of the pane.
See, the thing is: you can go to work and have an awesome day. You can get a compliment on your new shoes that you scored on the end-of-summer sale for $4. You can unexpectedly run into Brett Favre. You can find a cheese and cracker tray in the workroom lounge area (shout-out to my LF crowd there). You can get a promotion, or the cubicle-mate from Hell can “decide to move on” after listening to your subliminal mix cds. You could even have somebody tell you “what a difference you made in his/her life” (blah, blah, blah).
But really, none of that holds a candle to getting up late, laying around in your pj pants, checking out facebook and the movie channel, having a late lunch of chips, pop, and chocolate cake, and getting in a nap around 3. If someone comes home for an afternoon delight post-nap, sure, go for it, but don’t tell me you’d rather be working.
I’m just saying, yes, it’s okay to countdown and celebrate life’s little, or big, happinesses. People may judge, but feel free to take that victory lap around the office waving your tie in the air like a lasso, shouting “I’m free! I’m free! Woo-hoo!” as you vacate the premises for your 10 day celebrity cruise to Puerto Viarta.
I’ll be jealous, but I’ll be cheering for ya…