The Euro Mullet

You’ve thought about it. You’ve dreamt the great dream. You’ve looked at pictures on Google Images, imagining what you’d look like with a thick, curly main accentuating the back of your neck; flowing down towards your back as some would call a ‘sex waterfall.’ You’ve run your fingers through your hair, himming and hawing about the barren idea of the now streamlined sides of your head, left short for breathing room and the no-nonsense proficiency of hearing that comes with keeping your hair out of the way of your ears. Buzzed close to the skin, cool, aerodynamic even. And of course the front. Ahhh, yes. The front. There are many ways to present the front (and top) of one’s head to the world with this style of hair. The fo-hawk, spiked or left messy with mouse and pomade, tastefully curled or flat topped. There’s a time and place for all these artistic expressions. And let me tell you this, friends, the time is now, the place is here. Welcome to the new age, the dawn of…the Euro Mullet of the 2000’s.

It was once believed that the Euro Mullet was a thing of the past. Ugly, loud, trashy, and low-class. And it’s because of these characteristics that the Euro Mullet is coming back. Society is growing tired of men’s modern day, boring, blah haircuts. For middle and high schoolers, this means longish and shaggyish–but not too long and shaggy, that would cause alarm. For young adults, current protocol is shortish, nothing fancy, sideburns medium. For middle aged people, more of the same, except a bit shorter and balder. For old men–bald or very short. It is because of these low standards and boring “don’t look at me but also don’t NOT look at me” mentality that current US affairs have gotten so out of control. By overly and obsessively controlling our appearances to calm and uninspire, we’ve had to project our “shock and awe” emotions elsewhere. And this has only caused trouble. Luckily, a team of East German scientists have re-discovered the cause of this pent up aggression, termed Candiru Syndrome after the Candiru fish of the Amazon Basin–a small fish that appears normal and harmless, but is in fact capable of worming its way into its unknowing victim’s genitalia, opening up its umbrella-like aray of spines, and sucking the blood of the now very well aware victim.

The team of East German scientists called upon the work of Dr. Bernard Van Huvenhavekkensteinsburgenfurter, who conducted his research during his country’s dark days of WWII. According to the well renowned Van Huvenhavekkensteinsburgenfurter, the sole reason Nazism and the quest for world domination arose in 1930’s Germany, was due to the boring, clean-cut, cookie-cutter hairstyle of the German society. Look at the Hittler Youth as an example. After the Germans were defeated in 1959, Dr. Huvenhavekkensteinsburgenfurter prescribed a new hairstyle for his German brethren to keep them out of further genocidal tendencies. And thus the Euro Mullet was birthed. Soon after, stillborn cousins of the Euro Mullet appeared across the globe as other, inferior nations attempted to re-create the Euro Mullet. But all failed, including the traditional mullet of the Southern US, the rat tail, and the Euro Mullet’s skinny brother, the mohawk. These hairstyles weren’t quite enough to keep a nation’s interest for more than a decade and a half, and when their their brief-lives ended, so did our country’s short period of (relative) peace between the end of the Vietnam War and the beginning of the first Iraq War (1971-1989).

Thankfully, current research done by the East Germans has shown that the Euro Mullet has kept peace in their country for over half a century. The East German research paper came out in late November, and already, US lawmakers have set aside federal funding for Euro Mullet workshops, infomercials, newsletters and other reading material to be distributed across the nation in workplaces, restaurants, malls, homes, and schools. The new policy has been met with some resistance as certain groups have claimed that Euro Mullet propaganda is infringing on the free will of thought and action that is believed to exist in our nation. Some have called it socialist, but they will certainly be silenced for good when the Euro Mullet is expected to become law in February 2010 when it passes onto the desk of pro-Euro-Mullet-life, President Obama.

So let your hair grow out for the next three months. Let those locks curl up and glimmer with copious amounts of hair spray and gel. Remember, when growing a Euro Mullet, do as the Europeans do and avoid washing your hair or attempting to de-tangle it with a comb. For best results, apply massive amounts of hair product, sweat, and repeat. If you’re a cyclist like myself, you’ll find comfort in knowing that the back of your neck will no longer get sunburnt, when you take your helmet off, your mullet will look as good as new (assuming it’s accumulated the required amount of hair grease). Because the Euro Mullet was designed around hats and helmets–it’s the only haircut other than a buzzed head, that conforms perfectly with a bike helmet or cycling cap. Next time you’re riding, there’s no need to worry about hair getting in your eyes. No need to worry about the heat, because the Euro Mullet is cool on the sides. And just check out your sweet new duck tail sticking out from your helmet the next time you see your bike-riding shadow on the ground. Pretty satisfying, huh? I always take pride in seeing my shadow’s progress. Yep, the Euro Mullet has got it all. Style, charisma, practicality, and plain old fashioned good looks that girls simply dig. Mine’s coming along nicely, how about yours? Too bad it has to go come race season… And yes, when I do a new post I do just start writing without any plan whatsoever and type out whatever comes to my head at that exact moment. Just in case you were wondering.

quinoa vs quinoa

Baked dish: Quinoa, brown rice, celery, carrots, ham, soy sauce, eggs.

vs

Stir fried dish: Quinoa, brown rice, ham, mushrooms, onion, bell pepper, hot chilli sauce, Mr. Yoshida’s sauce.

Basically this is what we eat every day after riding for dinner #1. Pre-cooked that morning.

Fish vs yogurt

I felt there was unfair bias in the last food-off pole. So this time the creators will remain anonymous. Here we have sardines in hot sauce with pita chips VS. yogurt and granola. Voting starts now.

Warrior Board

*REMINDER* I’m about to make this blog private so only people I know will have access to it. That means you need to sign up for a wordpress account (sorry) and send me your username and full name, so I can add you to the list of people who can continue reading this junk. Either by email, kennettp@comcast.net, or comment.

As you can see, the warrior board was quite an ordeal to create. A lot of arguing went into its design, but we did manage to score the perfect poster board. Its purpose is to determine the most warrior-like cyclist, a competition between Chris and I while we train in Arizona this winter. Right now I’m in the lead with a week and a half of training counted (this week hasn’t been updated yet since there are still three more days to go).

Here’s how the Warrior Board works:

Kilometer Competition:
10 points are awarded to the warrior with the most kilometers ridden for the week.
100 will be awarded to the warrior for the GC competition after 12.5 weeks are up.
You cannot adjust your riding schedule to win Warrior Points, ie. ride a flat day to get more kilometers when you should be doing a hill day, or riding longer when you should be resting.
Recovery weeks will not be included in the Warrior Competition (every fourth week).

Warrior Rest Competition:
-2 points will be awarded to each warrior who doesn’t have his lights out by 10:31PM
+1 point will be awarded to a warrior for waking the other warrior up if he sleeps 15 minutes past the designated wake up time of 8:30. (So 8:45).

There are two other areas of competition, which haven’t been filled out yet. These will included other feats not related to cycling. So far we’ve thought of shooting my friend, TJ’s, gun out in the desert, and having a cook-off. We have room for about 10 other competitions if you have any ideas.

Here’s the cook-off competition. We need judges to determine who made the best breakfast this morning. Me:

3 eggs, 3 pieces of bacon, a lot of mushrooms, bell pepper, onion, toast, and hot sauce.

Or Chris:

3 eggs, 1 and a half Bob’s Red Mill 7-grain pancakes (I had the other half), 3 pieces of bacon, butter, maples syrup.

We need you to judge. We’ll have a total of five dishes over the next week that I’ll post here for you to judge. The overall winner of this competition gets 7 points.

And here’s something ridiculous. The quantity of food we seem to be hoarding here at the house. Just in case there’s another Y2K or something. This is what 5,000-6,000 calories a day every day looks like.

Pineapples were a buck a piece at the store.

Keep in mind that we do live with the guy who owns the house, so some of the food isn’t ours, like 5%.

Beet soup. Looks the same going in as coming out.

Blog Privatization

I’m making this blog private, so if you want to continue reading it (I will continue writing in it) then I think you have to get a wordpress account. Give me your username when you sign up and you will have access to this blog somehow. You can email your username to me or leave it as a reply. kennettp@comcast.net

Also, please let me know who you are if your username doesn’t reveal it. This will take effect in a couple days. Or you can just be content to read my race/training blog which is very entertaining.

Sonoran Hot Dog

AKA Mexican Hot Dogs. Supposedly, this is the best MHD stand in Tucson (and the entire world since they only make these bad boys in Tucson).

Some friends took us to the secret location.

Ingredients: hot dog fried in bacon grease, rapped in bacon. Fried onions, raw onions, beans, melted cheese, tomatoes, habenero hot sauce, mustard, mayonnaise.

And of course you have to add on as many extra condiments that will fit. Such as fake guacamole sauce, mushrooms, more hot sauce, and jalapenos.

Me and our landlord/roommate Jon.

My opinion, this wasn’t as good as the place down the street from where I lived last year. Mainly because the salsa bar was much larger at the other place.

Dog House

We arrived at Kelly’s house at 11:00 PM, ready to hit the sack. But that wasn’t going to happen for a while.

A few hours earlier, while we were passing through Phoenix and our last Chipotle stop for the day, I realized I had forgotten to tell Chris that Kelly had somewhere between 8 and 10 dogs, all untrained and rescued from the pound. Chris hates dogs. The conversation went like this, only with a lot more swearing:

Me: Oh, by the way, Kelly has a bunch of dogs. Like…eight or more.”
Chris: “Are you f—ing kidding me?”
Me: “No. I forgot to tell you. Kelly only told me two days ago.”
Chris: “I thought you said she had a bunch of cats.”
Me: “I just assumed that when she said ‘pets’ she meant cats. But last time I talked to her she said she had eight dogs. They’re all from the pound.”
Chris: “Kennett, I hate you. I really hate you.”
Me: “Maybe they’re all outside dogs. Small outside dogs.”
Chris: “I don’t want to hear it, Kennett.”

When we finally pulled up in her driveway after 15 and a half hours of driving, we stepped outside into the cool air under a bright sky of stars. And a pit-bull in Kelly’s back yard jumped a six-foot fence, ran at Chris, barking, and jumped on him.

It was a nice dog though, and only wanted to jump on us, forgoing tearing into our flesh like one would expect of a pit-bull who just jumped a fence and is running at you. I could tell Chris was being a little girl about the whole dog situation already, as he cursed the dog and tried to push it off him. Kelly opened the front door, no doorbell was needed because the other eight dogs in the backyard were barking up a storm at our arrival. She welcomed us in, showed us around the house and to our rooms, which both had beds made. Everything looked nice and Kelly was friendly and looking forward to having us in her house. All of her sons had moved out and she was happy to have some more boys in the house. It was the part of the movie where everything looks like it’s going to turn out OK, right before the axe murderer in the horror movie chops the first head off, or the crazy neighbor family in the romantic comedy moves next door and ruins a newly married couple’s peace. In our case, the antagonist took the form of 9 dogs, somewhere between 3 and 5 cats, and a squirrel living in the bathroom. Yes, there was a squirrel living in the bathroom.

Before going to sleep, I had gone into the backyard circus of the 9 barking dogs and chased them around the yard for a few minutes. In those few minutes, I had completely covered the bottoms and sides of my shoes in dog feces. I didn’t realize it though, because Chris had just taken one of the worst smelling craps in history in the bathroom across from my room. So I thought the terrible smell in my room was the toilet fumes seeping under my closed door. After five or ten minutes I couldn’t believe how bad my room was still smelling, so I started examining some strange red blotches on my floor. Under close inspection, I saw that the five or six red spots were smashed ticks, red with the blood of the dogs and only somewhat dried on the tile floor. I also saw that there was dog crap all over the floor, and covering my shoes. I put the shoes in the hall and wiped up the largest smashed tick and dog poop so I didn’t step on them in the morning, then went to sleep. Or tired to go to sleep for about 45 minutes while one of the dogs ran up and down the hall, running into doors and barking. While I was trying to sleep, Chris was sweeping his floor, which had been covered in dirt and dog hair since I think it had been designated as the dog’s hang out room, also judging by the smell.

I woke up then next morning feeling very good, and was looking forward to eating a bowl of oats, going shopping for food, and riding in the 70 degree weather. First we had to unpack the van.

While I was trying to go to sleep the night before, as the dog rammed its head into my door over and over again, I began to have second thoughts about living there. So the next morning, right before we started unpacking all of our stuff, I told Chris there was another house that we could go look at if we wanted to live somewhere else. A guy named Jon had called me about us living with him at his place. Same price as Kelly’s and one of the rooms was the master bedroom and had its own bathroom. But it was sunny while we discussed this while standing in the driveway, and the warm rays skewed our decision-making capabilities and we decided to just lie in the sun on the pavement for fifteen minutes. When we got up, we decided that Kelly’s place was fine, and unpacked.

Kelly left part way through our unpacking to go do some errands for a few hours. She told us to leave the cat door closed, which lead from the garage to the rest of the house. The cats weren’t allowed outside and would try to escape while we were going in and out of the front door while we unloaded all our stuff. But she wanted us to open the cat door when we were finished unpacking. So after we unloaded everything and closed the front door, I unlocked the cat door. The cats never came out though, and Chris was wondering why.

I was setting up the altitude tent when Chris opened the garage door to see the cats. I heard him gasp for breath as he swore with his hand over his mouth.
“Holly s—t! F***. Kennett, you’ve got to come smell this.”

I’m never one to turn down such an offer, so I walked over to smell what new terrible odor we were dealing with, and saw that the garage where the cats were being held, was not the garage at all, but a small closet about three feet deep and the width of the door frame. There were a bunch of cats in little cubbies arranged on a narrow shelf. You could almost see the green fumes rising from the overflowing litter box. I gasped for breath and fought back vomit for the next five minutes. It smelled like a dirty litter box…times 50.

Now I’m not saying that Chris or I smelled great ourselves. It was Friday and neither of us had showered since Monday, but the smell of the house, which was of dog crap, cat crap, squirrel crap, Chris’ nasty crap left over from the night before since the toilet was super low-flow, and the smell of the fridge (which smelled like really old pizza—because that’s what was in there)–all of that completely overpowered any stench that was coming from the two of us. Which, by the way, is a pretty large feat.

By now we were regretting the fact that we had just unloaded all of our stuff. I went into the kitchen for some water and found out that the sink faucet was about to break apart. And all of the drawers were broken and barely opened as I searched for a spoon. Then I put some oats in the microwave and found this:

The microwave smelled like rotting sauce. All kinds.

That was the last draw. I ate the oats and we called Jon to go see his house. While backing out of the driveway, Chris ran over a large cactus. We got out to inspect the damage to the van and the cactus. Luckily the only damage to Chris’ van was minor, and in the same place that he apparently had already backed up into something else. But more importantly, the cactus, which was about three feet tall and weighed well over 100 lbs, was now leaning over at a 45-degree angle. We tipped it back upright and drove to Jon’s with the bad omen lurking on our minds. Within 4 seconds, decided Jon’s house was about 100 times nicer than Kelly’s, drove back and packed all of our stuff again. Kelly was still out doing errands so I called her to tell her the news but she didn’t pick up and her inbox was full. So I left some Post-it notes on her front door explaining what we had decided. When Chris backed up again out of the driveway, he made sure to give the cactus plenty of space, but in doing so drove into a bush on the other side of the car. His backing up skills are obviously lacking.

We got to Jon’s, unpacked all of our stuff again, and then finally got to ride our bikes right before it got dark. And the riding’s been great ever since. I’ve seen Lance and the Radioshack guys, but they’re going far too slow for me to get a decent workout.

Chris, repacking some empty water bottles and a bag of beans. That’s basically all he brought, just a lot of it.

The drive down to Tucson

My teammate, Chris Daifuku, drove down from Seattle Tuesday night and we packed up my stuff in his van.

You can see all his stuff on the left. And all of my stuff (the altitude tent) on the right.

I let out a breath of air as I took this picture and you can see how cold it was that night, from the fog.

The next morning. Standing on our frozen pond in the backyard.

Chris chopping a hole in the pond for the birds.

Thomas. Not minding the 10 degree morning at all.

Thomas’ ice water in the garage.

Goodbye Oregon.

A little ways outside of Eugene after we stopped at Life Cycle on the way down for supplies.

That night we stayed at my friend, Kristen’s, house in Sacramento. It was in the high 30’s there and it felt warm compared to Portland. This is the next morning filling up at a gas station.

The weather getting better.

And warmer

The mountains before getting into southern CA.

The compression tights got lots of stares in all the Chipotles and rest areas we stopped at.

Chris stretching.

We each spent a small fortune at all the Chipotles we stopped at, trying to satisfy our 4,000 calories per day minimum.

Terrible traffic outside of LA.

If only there were more of these. And they were in working condition. And there were power lines connecting them to the city…

..then maybe we wouldn’t need so many of these. By the way, the red and white tank is in case we decide to attack a purely red and white city.

This sad tank has ED.

Coming into Phoenix.

Finally! We got to the house we’re renting at 11:00. Kelly, the woman we’ll be living with, let us in and our trip was done. This is the view from the front yard the next morning, at about 70 degrees. 60 degrees warmer than Oregon the day we left.

Cyclist recieves excellent hair cut. Other 999,999 hairs become jealous.

There are some very important events that took place in the past couple of days.  I know nothing of them because I don’t follow any news outlet.  And even if I did, I doubt I would have heard about them.  So instead, I will tell of some very important events that I took part in over the past couple days.

Thursday was an important day.  Thursday the 3rd, I believe, was the day that I took residence in Europe.  Eastern Europe to be exact.  For I am now the proud owner of my very own Euro mullet.  If I’m gonna be pro, I might as well look the part.  My plan is to buy a team jersey and sneak up on the Radioshack team ride next week in Tucson–I’m leaving for Tucson on Wednesday.  I’ll mostly keep my mouth shut when I ride up on them, except for a few exclamations about how the pace line needs to be “a vittle mowa orderly and much much more functional.” (Playing the role of a typical Eastern German).  With my Euro mullet and Radioshack team kit as my disguise, no one will even say a thing, and I’ll be on the team.

The next big event of the week was spaghetti dinner tonight with French bread and chocolate chip cookies.  By the way, I’m not going in chronological order, I’m using the importance order.  Because, as I learned in many journalism classes, people reading the newspaper want to hear about the most important things first.  Even if they’re out of order and don’t really provide any information that leads to the whole picture of what happened.  For instance:

13 motorists die while texting ;-) JK!! no, srsly they died…

Los Angeles, CA.  Sunday–Thirteen people died in a 13-car collision on Main st. Thursday morning.  Northbound traffic was delayed two hours as paramedics scrubbed the blood off the pavement.  Police say the accident occurred when all 13 drivers were simultaneously texting behind the wheel with their heads down,  grinning at a cute picture message of a cat in a ballerina outfit sent by a friend who was also driving.  Estimated damage to South Side Elementary school that all 13 cars drove into is upwards of $410.  The school, facing financial issues from years of cutbacks, will be closed for repair until January, 2029.

Pictures of the cat can be found at www.cutecatballet.com

The order of importance goes like this–Number of people dead.  Number of people injured.  Delays or inconveniences to you, the reader.  Cause of the accident/problem.  Other.

The reason for this is that most people will only read the header.  Then, if you’re lucky, they’ll read the first couple lines.  Almost no one reads to the end of the article.  So you put the exciting stuff first.  The blood and guts.  The rest after that?  Who cares? People don’t want to read about the cumbling crumbs of an education system that’s somehow falling apart in the richest country in the world.  They don’t want to hear any commentary against texting while driving.  They want to hear the death toll.  And the higher the better.

What the order of importance should be like is this:

Two cyclists eat a lot of food over the weekend

Willamette Valley, Ore.  Saturday and Sunday–Two cyclists consumed approximately 13 crap-tons of food over the weekend while they rode from Portland to Eugene and back (almost).  Food that they ate after reaching Eugene included one hot dog and root beer each from the hot dog restaurant next to Paul’s Bicycle Way of Life.  The hot dogs were might fine, and were adorned with plenty of sauces and other condiments.  Kennett ate pasta with sausage, ground beef, and mushrooms Sunday night.  Other food the two cyclists ate earlier on Saturday night included five homemade pizzas, fruit salad, chocolate ice cream, and other.  Earlier today, after reaching Corvallis and deciding to end the ride there because of the massive headwind, Kennett and Quinn ate Qdoba burritos with Kennett’s brother and dad.  During the ride on Saturday and Sunday, the two riders ate bars, sandwiches, and other.  Much steel cut oats and eggs were consumed during both breakfasts of the weekend, along with almost everything else in Quinn’s friend’s refrigerator, including what they hope was some hemp protein mix, but might have been something much much worse.  Kennett ate one Snickers bar today after Junction City.  The cyclists saw over 22 dead animals on the side of the road.  Quinn found one pack of unopened gum.  Kennett whinnied at three horses.

The order of importance here is: description of the most important food eaten (chronological order is not used).  Road kill sightings.  Ground prizes collected.  Horses whinnied at.

This is what I believe is important, and I think newspapers should start adopting this style of journalism.