Out on Lake Minnetonka in Excelsior last weekend, Hollywood helped design a killa new ice race course. It was the second year for this event, and it was HANDS-DOWN the best one yet!
With a couple inches of snow fall the night before the race, Hollywood, the Chucker, and I went to the lake a couple hours early with shovels to make sure it was perfect come race time. Chris McCormick and his team of helpers puttin' on the race were there with shovels in hand and we attacked the course right away, shoveling right down to glare ice for almost the entire course. Three sections were left with 10" deep worth of snow to navigate through, making it a sweet, tail-floating addition.
The Hardcore race went first, and twenty-some tough MN-mutha's toed the line, under layers and layers of thermal gear. As Jay pointed out when we first met, I must be part 'Dude', because I was the only chica to take on the Hardcore race. Forget the easy win... it dialed it up to 11, making it that much harder since now I was out to beat the men!
Hollywood, the Chucker, and I went balls out for the holeshot once the race began, and we went through the first turn together in 1st, 2nd, and 4th (DeathRider snuck in front of me for third). I pushed my lungs to the limit, trying to maintain contact with Hwood & Chucker, holding on to a top five position for longer than I thought I could.
The studs in my tires grabbed the ice and never let up, allowing me to fly through the course without touching my brakes. Hollywood and Chucker were takin' it to DeathRider and the rest of the ice-hungry racers, tearing away off the front of the race. I held my position well, maintaining a top-ten placing throughout the race (eighth place maybe?). Coming up to the finish on our last lap, Hollywood had the hammer down in first, Chucker was giving it to DeathRider by holding the 2nd place finish just outside of his reach and Caveman was riding out an impressive 5th place!
At the final turn, Hollywood came up on me and we rolled the finish line together with arms held high! After 200+ races, this was our first win ever on the same day - and we got to finish together! It was awesome! ... by the way, if anyone has a photo of it, please let me know - I would love to see it....
What a perfect day - great weather, awesome course, tough competition, spectacular win! We got into warm clothes as fast as we could and watched the beginners take on the course. After the finish of their race, we all retreated to the basement of Jake O'connor's for some tasty brews and awards.
Friday, I took the day off of work to hang out with Jay at the shop for a bit and then get a mid-day tattoo from Charlie Forbes of Twilight Tattoo. As I gathered up drawings and prepped to leave that morning, I froze in utter shock and horror, gasping loud enough to draw Jay into the bathroom with me..... He was speechless as I held out my wedding ring in silence, an empty hole where the stone once was.... Tears filled my eyes as the weight of it came down on me and I cried as I knew we had no time to search.
With my lower lip quivering, I tried to breathe and set aside my nagging desire to rip the entire house apart in search of the diamond Jay once presented on bended knee... still in my jammies, I grabbed my makeup, put on my boots, and reluctantly left the house as Jay held my hand and comforted me as we walked to the car.
After the cold air filled my lungs, I tried to put it all into perspective. I still had the ring. Crying wouldn't find the stone. Worrying wouldn't help Jay make it to his appointment on time. It truly wasn't the end of the world. Sure, I was in a fog for the next hour, slowing dismantling my makeup bag, pockets, purse... but I was calm.
We grabbed some lunch and headed over to Twilight for my noon appointment, slightly nervous, but very excited. I knew it would be a hole chunk of my day that I wasn't going to think of my ring. I was getting a collection of stars and anticipated being on the table for maybe an hour or so.
It's interesting how the pain of a tattoo ebbs and flows, finding myself zoned out and unattached for a moment to cursing like a sailor as pain shot to all ends of my body. Lucky for me, though, Charlie's the best and has the lightest touch. I hadn't really thought that my tattoo would spread on to my ribs, but was blown away by the amount of pain those skinny bones felt! Damn intercostal muscles and their nerve bundles....
So, to keep my wits about me, I like to talk, talk, talk... and that's just what we did. About half way through we'd covered everything from family, dogs, sports, good and bad tattoos, and somehow wound up on college. Charlie and I found we'd both attended college in Duluth for our first couple years.... we stayed in the same dorm.... go figure, we were there at the same time!! WTF?!
Then, after enough widdling, we realized that we hung out together 12 years ago and didn't even know it for the last couple years! It was awesome reminiscing about all the freshman dorm antics we could remember. And I do mean ANTICS - we're talking holes in walls, rooms flooded by discharged fire extinguishers, beer, parties, more beer... What a small friggin' world - Hwood and I are STILL stopping every now and then, floored at the surprise of finding out that someone I knew way back when had been a new friend for years.
When I finally got off the table, I looked up at the clock and noticed that it had been over 3 hours under the gun! I've got two others that took less than an hour each - this was a wicked cool accomplishment. And the best part was that my tattoo was lightyears better than I could have ever imagined! Charlie, you are best! Can't wait for my next one.
So, how did we keep the fun going? With an opening in Charlie's schedule, Jay jumped in the chair to get a tattoo of his own. I'd given him a lil gift certificate for a tat for Christmas with pictures of tattoos Charlie's done on us before, so he decided it was the perfect time to cash it in. Jay got a rockin' Supersuckers crest on his arm - much less squirmy than I was and was more subdued.
It was fun to watch the two of them collaborate and improvise as they went. With the both of their artistic eyes making changes on the fly, it turned out so much more amazing than they originally had drawn.
Seven hours after we arrived at Twilight, we were two happy, tattooed kids. Thanks again for gettin' us in, Charlie!
The Winter Carnival finally got the cajones to really throw down and host a killer ice race! Sat. January 29th at Lake Phalen - get your studded tires on and take the ride of your life. Who'll win... store-bought or homemade studs? Guys or gals?
Put on by none other than my favorite bike shop in the world, Hollywood Cycles!!! Also sponsored by Olivier at the Bikery (you ROCK!) and SISU. Preregister and save some $$.
We kicked off the Christmas celebrations with a Very Gas Station Christmas with Teri, Randy, and the crue. Not only did we all doll ourselves up as mechanics and gas station employees, we entertained ourselves with a sweet gas station Christmas exchange.
Ya never know what you're gonna get when 25 adults are instructed to buy $10 worth of stuff from a gas station to give in the gift exchange....
Al, our resident fitness expert, scored HUGE with some cigarettes, lighter, energy drink, and condoms. Jay got a Heggie's pizza that he later traded for a lighter, some energy drinks, and other random stuff. Randy and Teri randomly got a snake statue and stuffed bunny.
Lhea's first find was a hit - a bobble head Devil that Hwood picked up for the party. Sadly, it was stolen by Izzy later in the exchange. St. Coach surprised us all by giving a stolen window washing brush from the gas station and a $10.... later that night, though, the dark side faded and he asked to have the brush back to return to the store. :O)
Lottery tickets were a huge hit, along with a lot of 3.2 beer, energy drinks, snacks.... but surprisingly no nudie mags. WTF? ha! It was an awesome time! I can't wait til next year! Heck, even the dogs had fun... Smokey & Huma played and posed for a great set of pictures by Coach.
Huma & Smokey by the fire
Smokey smiling all pie-eyed
We kept the holiday season warm and fuzzy by spending time with our families, too. Battling a blizzard to see Jay's mom was hair-raising, but we had a great couple days of relaxing.
I made ornaments with pics of Bob for Dorothy & Jay
Jay got a kick out of his new insulated bib's accessibility features
Jay surprised me with a framed memorial to my Short Fat awesomeness in 2010
One of the best gifts we got this year, though, was Megan's all-clear PET scan! After 4 months of intensive chemo treatments, all of the preceding months' pressures and fears dissipated as we learned the tumors and cancer was 100% gone.
On the other end, it was a bitter sweet Christmas, celebrating some wonderful successes, and yet morning our losses. There was an empty seat at every table this year - Yang Yang wasn't at Dad's house..... Bob's presence was extremely missed in Dorothy's home...... and my lil brother, Zach, was super missed at dinner last night at Mom's house as he's off at Air Force Basic Training. Luckily, though, he was able to call us and wish us a Merry Christmas, and his graduation is right around the corner, so this little ache won't be there forever.
So, how to you send off a temperamental year like 2010? Head up to the Iron Range for some Surly Jones New Years fun! Hwood and I drove up early to beat yet ANOTHER friggin' winter storm (c'mon already Mother Nature!), and tried to get some skiing in before we rocked out all night. Skiing, though, was a no-go since every trail we could find was covered in an annoying layer of ice. Bah humbug!
Instead, we headed to the hotel early for some hot-tubbin' and a nap. We strolled into the bar at 10:00 and readied ourselves for fun. Teri, Al, Lhea, Barb, Kim, Dave & his girl, Izzy and Dan were all there, too, so we had a blast! 2010 wasn't done with me yet, though, and managed to kill off BOTH of Hwood and my cameras so we didn't get a single damn picture! Urgh.... yeah, they were each 4 years old and have taken 10's of thousands of pictures... but C'MON!
Surly Jones played til after 3:00am, but Jay and I planned ahead and started drinking water once 2011 began. The rest of the crue woke with killer hangovers, but we were checked-out of the hotel and checked-in to a diner before the got too far along. We headed south to my mom's place for a warm family dinner of homemade Hungarian goulash and laughs over wine and warm cookies. It was a blast - Mom, I love giggling with you over simple things like trip-planning... you're a hoot!
Today, we've decided to begin the year right with sleeping in and vegging out on the couch. Smokey's sleeping in my lap, Hwood is dozing as he waits for football to begin, and I'm catching up on some much-needed blogging, and designing my upcoming tattoo! Bitch, please! What a day.
"I'd get pregnant for $400 million" - my dad........ "A party isn't a party until Geno drinks a butt" - Hollywood.........a sub 12 yr. old kid was asked how he felt after finishing a 25mi. road race - his answer was "Like John Lennon going through heroine withdrawls" - was Lennon hooked on the H? ........ "My hair smells like beer. You can suck on it later." - Leslie, on top of Brits Pub......"Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy" - Benjamin Franklin