H-E-L-L Ohhhhh

11.10 Bicycle Hell (from "Puck")
Source: Library of Congress
Format: RGB tiffAGMA’s going to hell.

I’ve made that declaration in the past, but now I’m sure of it…

All thanks to that once a year sporting event that to me, is like catnip to a cat. Like an empty New Jersey public beach to Chris Christie on the 4th of July. Like a Mar a Lago chocolate cake to tRump.

In other words…totally irresistible no matter how fat you are.

I’m speaking, of course, of my totally inexplicable obsession with men’s elite cycling, espeically the Tour de France.

This year, AGMA has three TdF fantasy teams. I spent hours pouring over rider data on procyclingstats.com.

I agonized over whether I should have more GC riders than sprinters. Or more sprinters than punchy Classics riders. Or visa versa? Should I have a time trial specialist? Should I look for a ‘dark horse’ rider to emerge out of the peloton to do great things?

It was harrowing.

But the real trouble started when I shelled out $39.99 for NBC Sports Gold Cycling coverage. Live streaming coverage to your phone, laptop or tablet, unlimited replays, special features and over 30 hours of extra coverage. And the live streaming includes both commercial free coverage with some Thunder from Down Under commentators or the NBCSN coverage with commercials.

“Why would anybody choose the streaming coverage with commercials over commercial free?”, you ask?

Oh dear ones, you have so much to learn…

Because TdF announcing royalty, the Harry Caray and Vin Scully of cycling, Phil Liggett (73) and Paul Sherwen (61) are announcing on NBCSN. They do the commercial world wide English language coverage (except in Australia I guess) and are cycling announcing icons.

Plus you get to hear the NBC team of Bobke Roll, Christian Vande Velde, Steve Porino, Steve Schlanger and, my favorite retired cyclist of all time, Jens Voigt.

Be still my heart.

Numerous times in the past several weeks, AGMA’s had my cell phone propped up on the outside of our glass shower enclosure while the bluetooth speaker blasts Phil and Paul (and all of the commercials.)  I did this today as a matter of fact. God forbid I miss any of the action while I’m showering.

But this is a huge improvement over past years when I tried to shower and get ready in the morning during the commercial breaks.

We’ve never, ever had a TV in our bedroom so I would have to run up and down the stairs during the commercials. Round about 4 days into the race, AGMA moved my toiletries and hairdryer down to our 1st floor powder room so I could finish getting ready within ear shot of the race call.

But no more.

AGMA’s free to go where I want to do what I want and not miss a minute of the action as long as I have my phone.  I love technology!

I had a MRI scheduled a few weeks ago. I checked in, then settled into a comfy seat in the waiting room with my phone and earbuds. Based on past experience, I thought I had a good 20 minute wait at least before they called me back.  They called AGMA back 5 minutes later.


But the worst, and the reason I’m pretty sure I’m doomed, is that I’ve been watching the Tour in church. During mass.


I have my muted phone on the bench beside me sort of covered up with my sweater. But I only glance over a few times to see where things stand. As I told a friend, “I only watch during the Psalm singing and the offering hymn. Nothing’s really happening then anyway.” He burst out laughing.


But as Luther Ingram sang, “If loving you is wrong, I don’t want to be right.” And I DO love my boys in spandex!

Sadly, my fantasy teams are not doing well. A combination of riders dropping out of the Tour for various reasons and just plain stupid team selections have got me in the middle of the pack in most of my leagues. Not bad, but not the top 5% finish AGMA had last year in the Velogames league.

First world problem.

Stage 16 went off today. Australian Michael “Bling” Matthews won with a brilliant Team Sunweb plan and fabulous team support. He’s also very close to taking the Green Jersey away from German Marcel Kittel.

I can hear you now.


But, mercifully for you, it’s all over soon.

Sunday is Stage 21. They finish on the Champs Elysees in Paris. It’ll be so exciting! It always is.

Then Monday. Monday. Monday starts PTDFM (post-Tour de France malaise)

Back to the present. Back to the news. Back to reality.

And back down the rabbit hole with the Family Von Trump.


The lulumumu


A couple of months ago an article somebody shared on Facebook screamed “Read me!” Who was I to argue with the vast knowledge and sage wisdom of Facebook?  But I’m glad I read it.  I discovered that the latest casual fashion trend for women is wearing workout-type clothes to do shopping, run errands, and general “stuff”.


Finally the rest of the world is coming around to my notion of fashion where the stretchy waistband is king!  Long live Spandex!

Then I read the rest of the article.  You know there had to be a “rest of the article”.  It’s just not any workout-type clothes that women are tooling around in.  It’s high fashion, high price tag-type designer workout clothes.  Your lululemons, Alo Yogas, Bia Brazils…

Major buzz kill.

I like casual clothing.  Ever since I quit my hamster-wheel corporate job nearly ten years ago, I’ve worn pretty much nothing but casual clothes.  Loose fitting, stretchy, comfy clothing.  They give everything a chance to “breathe”, if you know what I mean. It’s healthier.  Tight stuff just doesn’t get enough oxygen to the areas of your body that need it.  Tight stuff can cause issues.  I’m pretty sure there’s no scientific evidence for that.  Let’s just say I have anecdotal evidence.  TMI.

But as much as I love really comfortable, loose clothing,  as God as my witness,  I will never, ever again wear a mumu.  Das ist verboten.  I have bad flashback episodes of women in their 50‘s & 60’s wearing mumu’s when I was growing up in the 1960’s.  It was pretty traumatizing for a young girl.

I sewed a mumu for myself for a tropical themed school dance when I was in 8th grade. In the name of all that’s holy, what was I thinking?  I looked like Shrek covered with a large orange floral tablecloth.  My date was enchanted I’m sure.  Oh – we never went out again…

For those of you who don’t know or don’t remember, a mumu is basically yards and yards and yards of usually large floral print fabric with sleeves and a collar.  You can either wear a mumu or go camping with it and use it as a tent.  Think of them as anti-lululemon outfits.

But then again, retro is in style again.  Maybe they could come out with a lulumumu. Slap that little curly-q horseshoe on it and I bet it would sell for big $$.  I hear designers are stealing people’s ideas from Pintrest.  Hmmmm…  If you see the lulumumu in the stores in six months, just remember you heard it on AGMA first.

But I do have a lot of athletic-type clothes because I run.  Will I start wearing them just around for the heck of it?  Probably not.  I’d look pretty goofy.  Every woman pictured wearing the gear on the websites of the designer workout clothing is incredibly fit, young, skinny, relatively flat-chested and looks tall.

To say that this does not fit the AGMA profile would be a gross understatement.  I possess none of these attributes.

But I have a good personality and a cute little donkey, so I got that going for me…