"It never gets any easier. You just go faster." ---Greg Lemond
"Don't buy upgrades. Ride up grades." --- Eddy Merckx
"You drive like shit." ---The Car Whisperer


5 Things

Five things I learned this weekend:

1. Chiropractors are not quacks. Apparently. At least the one I began seeing on Friday, when I found out that my insurance covers the treatment. I went in and had my neck - which has been stiff and painful since high school football, but much more so since the car-hit, and shoulders looked at. The numbness in my right hand hasn't entirely gone away, and I've aggravated the left shoulder pain by crashing head-over-heels during the Evanston Criterium last Sunday. He did all those "chiro-type" things - spine twisting, neck jerking, shoulder popping, pressure point massaging. Then followed that up with electro-stimulation and ice-pack therapy (the electro-stim was eerily cool - it felt as though my shoulder blade muscles were being scrubbed pleasantly with a wire brush, and they kinda spazzed out, contracting gently). And maybe it's just psychosomatic but my neck has more maneuverability than it has in years and the numbness is a little bit less. Maybe?

2. Sleep is a good thing. I don't know why I resist going to bed at a reasonable time. Actually, I do know why, and it's because I have to little time to myself during the day. I'm up and out the door to work by 8, and Sunday through Wednesday I'm in rehearsal until 10pm. Then Saturday and Sunday I am usually riding by 7am. So by time I get home from rehearsal, I need to wind down with a glass of wine and some TV. Do some stretching, catch up on emails, and wha?!...it's midnight. "D'oh!" This was a full-on rest week, however, as I was trying to heal up as best as possible from Sunday's crash. And even though I didn't make it to sleep before 1am either Friday or Saturday (more on that below), I did get to sleep in, and last night I made sure I was in bed at 10:30, drifting away to dreamland on the whispery tones of Harry Shearer's voice.

3. Ted Nugent is completely insane. Or a bigot. Or maybe he's just the most open minded person on the entire planet. In one performance at Ridgefest, the man played a song called "The Immigration Dance," sprinkled liberally with words like, "Mamacita" and "Aye aye aye!", told the audience he grew up in Detroit as a black kid, waved two machine guns in the air while screaming, "Guns for Kids!" "Kill and Grill Bambi!" "Fuck Mayor Daley!" and finished his set wearing a full Native American headdress and shot a flaming arrow into a fireworks rigged guitar after performing a song called, "Home of the Buffalo." But no matter. Just as Daniel Baremboim told Tel Aviv to get over it, your views on gun control or immigration should have no bearing on the realization that The Motor City Madman is one of the best musicians alive. That he could pull off a song as monumentally awful as one "Girl Scout Cookie" and then melt our faces off with "Stranglehold" (the solo was note for note off the album, I might add) and that we could love each equally is a testament to the man's conviction, character, and musicianship. And all this was in the setting of one of the bigger collections of white trash and biker culture South Chicagoland has to offer. We actually ended the night at a Midget Bar, for Christ's sake. The Nuge in Chicago Ridge, baby. It doesn't get any better.

4. The Simspons is still funny. On the way down to Ridgefest we stopped at the 7-Eleven "Kwik-E Mart" at 63rd and Harlem. I ate a pink donut with sprinkles and had a Buzz Cola. We saw the movie yesterday. It was kinda surreal, witnessing the penultimate moment of arguably one of the top cultural icons of the '90s. I've been watching that show since my junior year of high school. And people forget that at the time, it was pretty groundbreaking. I haven't watched many episodes in the last 3 years as the show has been sagging. But this movie brought out the best in it's creators and it was fully worth the wait.

5. That nothing is better than good friends. Went to a bar-b-q on Saturday night in Logan Square and was able to indulge like I haven't in months and months. And by indulge I mean more than just beer and spinach dip and pot. Floating from conversation to conversation, kissing JB on the cheek and saying "I love you!" and realizing how much all of your friendships have grown in the past year is far more fulfilling than any 6-pack of Old Style. Rudy and Loren (and Mat, and Loe, and Joe - who were not there but should've been): I will go to the end of the Earth with you two.

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