Thursday, January 1, 2009

If This Is a Sign of Things to Come, Its Gonna Be A Helluva Year

How much would you pay to feel ten years younger?

Last night, I paid $20. And it was worth every penny.

I hadn't planned on going out for New Year's Eve this year. Rather, I had hoped to find someplace to drink beer and watch movies in my pajamas. No expectations, no pressure. Just some fun and maybe some unintentional hilarity.

I definitely got the unintentional hilarity, but in an unexpected venue. On Tuesday, Kristin posted on facebook that one of my new favorite acts, Ladytron, was supposed to be at a venue in North Portland for New Year's Eve. It sounded too good to be true, but it was only $20. Cheaper than alternative entertainment, more potential for awesome drunken melee than sitting home alone.

The first order of business yesterday was getting my hair cut and colored. I was long overdue for the haircut and nothing says "fresh start" like a new look. Here is result:

Still short, so not much change there. The bigger change was the color. I had already decided that I wanted to go darker and redder. My stylist has been waiting a while to do something fun and this is what we decided on:
Cell phone color leaves a bit to be desired, but its a dark reddish brown with black "highlights" to add depth. I absolutely love it.

With my saucy new look, I met Kristen and her boyfriend Alex at Henry's for pre-funk rounds 1 and 2. For me, two Ninkasi Believers. A Double Red. A little bit of beer heaven in a glass.

Round two: Mint. One Manhattan, two "816"s (citrus vodka, harlequin, lemon lime juice and passion fruit puree) and one maker's rocks. Feeling pretty sassy at this point.

Then we strolled over to the evening's main event and quickly realized that we were the likely victims of questionable marketing and a bait and switch. This was not going to be a Ladytron show. This was a rave.

I can spot a rave at fifty paces, as I spent a lot of weekend nights in my 20th year attending such events. Hello Kitty backbacks are an immediate giveaway, but there are subtler signs if one knows what to look for. Blow-pops, anime themed hoodies, empty bottles of Sunny D littering the sidewalk. And don't mistake those little clear tubes for honey or ball point pens. A glow stick is a glow stick is a glow stick.

The scene hasn't changed a whole lot in the last ten years. Lots of glitter, platform boots, costumes and creepy little men asking who is dealing.

And lots of bass. Pulsating, rocking, addictive bass. The type that you can feel radiate in through your hands and into your soul before you even hit the dance floor. I fucking love it. That hadn't changed, either.

What has changed is that I'm now ten years older. And not high. But for two and a half excellent hours, I was 20 again, a total sexy free dancing fool. I lasted until about 12:15 and knew it was time to put my sassy old ass to bed.

I woke up at 7:30 to a pounding skull and the sound of wind and pounding, pissing rain on my bedroom window. On a scale of 1 to 10, my desire to ride was about-3. But I got up and made coffee anyways. Once the coffee was brewing, I felt almost un-undead and decided to get ready to ride. Maybe I'd get lucky and we'd mutiny to spin indoors.

No such luck. 25 or so of us rolled out at about 9:45AM, not to return until almost 2. It was the most epic 45-mile ride of my life. The first ten miles were out Marine Drive. In a sideways monsoon. Dave and I, the drunks, brought up the rear.

Once we got into Camas, I was feeling a lot better. But then the chaos started. There were several flats and the group got split up as people would keep riding to stay warm and several wrong turns were made. By mile 35, every time we stopped at a light, I could squeeze water out of my gloves simply by making a fist. But thanks to bar mitts and neoprene booties, I managed to stay warm, if not a bit pruny in the hands. All in all, it pretty unmiserable until the last two miles, when I was out of gas and trying to find a spray-free wheel in the vicious headwind.

In the end, we all know what makes rides like this worth it: Beer and pizza and butt rock at Old Town Pizza with your teammates afterwards. There are six ladies on my new team and five of us made it out for the ride today. All really strong riders and, even better, awesome and funny as all hell. This is going to be a fun year.

Hell, it has already been a fun year. And we're only 18 hours in.

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