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25 & 26 MARCH 2007 :: THE RING OF SHAME
So this afternoon after a 5 hour drive from Tahoe to Monterey, I finally cracked and brought a doughnut shaped pillow. Thankfully I found one at a drug store on my own, without having to actually ask for one. Although this did nothing to lessen the embarrassment while paying at the checkout.

As I'm still coming to terms with "the ring of shame" I decided not to take it out to dinner with me. This embarrassment is something I'll have to get over fairly quickly. The 12 hour flight back to London is not something I'll get through without my pillow.

While the pillow seems to be working perfectly the embarrassment factor does not seem to be letting up. HJ and I took a stunning drive along Big Sur to Hearst Castle (pics are here). We stopped for lunch at what I can only describe as a biker/red neck bar, complete with a live rockabilly band! I've got to tell you, there was absolutely no way I was going to walk into this place with the ring of shame tucked under my arm!

While I think of it, I can't say I'm looking forward to walking into the office with it either.

23 MARCH 2007 :: TAHOE
I'm having a lot of trouble trying to write something from Tahoe. It's really not been a bad trip at all, it's just been nothing to write home about. Although I guess I'm very spoilt when it comes to travel!

The car and I have officially bonded, we had a stunning drive up through the mountains on Wednesday, plus we went and watched the sunset on Thursday. I realise that taking my chick mobile to watch the sunset means what's left of my masculinity is fading fast. I have tried to balance this out, believe me. I got loaded in a casino the other night and watched the Rangers game. See, I'm butch, you know I am.

Interestingly I could not find a sports bar to watch the hockey in. It seems like a huge opportunity to me. I could see myself running a sports bar in the mountains. I'll have to keep that one in the back of my mind.

I'll be leaving Tahoe this year in a much better state then last year. Although a much more embarrassing one, unfortunately I can't say I've escaped unscathed. While it would be extremely melodramatic to suggest I've broken my coccyx, it hurts to sit down, a lot, and has done for days now.

I'm pleased to say It's not stopped me boarding. If I was going to stop boarding because "my arse hurt" then I really would deserve to pick up one of those embarrassing doughnut shaped pillows and drive off in my girls car!

17 MARCH 2007 :: CANYONERO
Well it goes real slow with the hammer down,
It's the country-fried truck endorsed by a clown!
12 yards long, 2 lanes wide,
65 tons of American pride!
Canyonero!

I can't help but feel I was shafted while picking up a car at SFO. I'd booked a compact car but while picking it up the desk assistant told me I'd need a 4WD to go to Tahoe. I explained to him it was 65 degrees and I'd need boardshorts before I needed a 4WD. "You won't fit your board in a compact car" he insisted. I tried explaining the concept of split fold rear seats to him but I'm not sure he grasped it.

I was trying to shake off the effects of 12 hours on a plane with 2 sleeping pills and a vodka soda. I really was in no state to argue about the merits of a small car vs a 4WD for driving into the mountains. My rental agreement was printed for a 4WD and I was charged $180 for the "upgrade". With a long drive ahead of me I really just wanted to get on the road so I rolled over and accepted it.

When I first walked over to the car I thought to myself it's actually kinda cool. But, the longer I spent driving in it the harder it was to ignore a blatantly obvious fact. It's a girls car. It's one of those middle class yummy mummy 4WD's! There's nothing cool about it, it's not even a big butch truck :(

Perhaps I'm being too hard on the car, it's alright I guess. Unless you try and go up hills, or around corners, or overtake, or park, or it's windy.

17 MARCH 2007 :: HOW WILL PEOPLE KNOW?
Oh dear :( four and a half months and not a single update! I guess it's fairly safe to say that spending several days recreating your website, making it infinitely easier to update on a regular basis, does not do anything at all to overcome the whole inertia towards actually doing it.

I have had every intention of updating it for some time now. It's not as though nothing interesting has happened! New jobs, new year, holidays, parties, sad farewells, sporting triumph, just to list a few things off the top of my head. Curiously, while none of that seemed to get me to sit town in front of the laptop and write, a thought I had on the way to work last week seems to have spurred me into action.

If I'm not out here ranting and raving in the blogsphere, how will people know what to get pissed off about? It was a disturbing thought, I've got to tell you. For months people have not had any idea about the things that have been pissing me off! What have you all done with yourselves?

What's even stranger though is that I'm writing this from an airport departure lounge. Airports being one of my most loathed places I really should be overflowing with grumpyness. But I'm not, I'm actually reading this again thinking I'm being too harsh, It's not all grrrrrrrrr on the bear essentials. What about all the stuff that lets people laugh with, er ok, at me? Since I'm waiting for a flight to California where I'll take revenge on the snowboard park that crippled me last year, I'm sure there'll be ample opportunity for both :)

Everybody was doing it... I just wanted to be popular.
Bender