winning the lotto

As a diehard believer in the power of postcards, I love getting real mail. For me, it's one of the best parts of Christmas; I am guaranteed a few real cards, complete with paper stamps and postmarks. Handwritten letters on real paper are the key to my heart. Call me materialistic, but packages will always be better than emails, texts, or even gchat. They are signs that someone cared enough about you to put something in a box, tape and address it, and then carry it to a post office. Even if you paid an Amazon employee to do all of the above.
I understand that this revelation of mine is nothing extraordinary. It's a happy event that occurs quite regularly in daily life. Sometimes, when you know mail is headed your way, it becomes something to look forward to, other than 5:01pm on Fridays. I could write a billion words about how real mail makes me feel, and you'd get it. Most people would.
There are no words, though, to accurately describe the feeling of complete, unconditional happiness when your favorite UCI WORLD TOUR PRO CYCLIST sends you something [priority!] in the mail.

A package from the Czech Republic, courtesy of the most amazing Adam Hansen, arrived last Thursday. I've had a stupid grin permanently on my face, since.
"What's your favorite color?" Adam had asked a few weeks ago, "I'll send you a t-shirt."
But what came with the perfectly fitting Hanseeno t-shirt, were Lotto socks, a Lotto cap, Lotto neckwarmer, and a Lotto jersey. I was sweating so much I had to shower 10 minutes after opening the package.

I didn't want to take the shirt or the jersey out of their plastic sleeves at first, but I eventually caved. Unfolded, the t-shirt has these great little details [the logo on the sleeve, and the "Hanseeno" down the side]. The geek in me loves the plastic toy-inspired design [what are those called, exactly?]. It's become my new favorite t-shirt.

As for the jersey, I'd secretly lusted after it on the Lotto-Belisol e-shop and had to take a better look. It's incredibly thin and light but super soft at the same time. It feels dead fucking sexy. [I have the sleeves tucked in here.]

And then I flipped it over, and noticed...

I almost screamed and passed out at the same time.
"Does it fit?" Adam later asked.
"I don't know, I'm going to frame it," I replied.
"No, wear it! I should send you an aero one...those are tiny!" He joked.

Yeah, I still haven't come to terms with the fact that this actually happened. But the jersey's still in my room so...I think it did.

......So, um, does the Universe make any more of these? Preferably very single and totally in love with me? Because I'm calling fucking dibs.
Adam, I owe you major hugz.

polo madness

Did I really write a half-sentimental, verging on fuzzy-wuzzy post on bike polo yesterday?
Yeah, yeah I did.
Wow. That's kind of embarrassing. I mean, sure everyone who plays in Boston is incredibly laid-back, but the reality of playing polo is more "Fight Club" than "Sister Act." More "Kill Bill" than "Snow White."
It involves squeaky skidding, the loud thud of the ball bouncing off wheel covers and the clatter of the door hatch as players tap out. The occasional heckle and the cheers when bikes tangle and crash, players get shoved aside, or make kamikaze-like sacrifices.


Because when the best from around the country [plus Canada!] get together in possibly the biggest polo event, ever [35 teams showed!], things get fast, bloody, and broken. I arrived at the Allston court in the early afternoon and got to watch some of the best players in the country unleashed upon each other for the 4th East Side Polo Invitational.


I knew it was going to a complete sausage party [aren't all bike events?] but I was unprepared for the frothing-at-the-mouth-testosterone-fueled competitiveness. With Boston locals clearly in the minority, it was like stepping into a different world. I actually stood in the middle of the crowd for about a full minute, searching for familiar faces, rummaging in my bag like I would somehow find my friends in there.



Not that these strangers didn't look interesting. There were enough mallets, tats, tight jeans, and bikes to make me swoon. Fortunately, being dressed in spandex and knee highs and arriving on my vanity track bike made the situation sufficiently awkward so that swooning would have been out of the question. Fortunately, I shoved aside the awkwardness for a few hours to watch some amazing games. And, fortunately, the players I did end up meeting didn't seem nearly as crazy off the court.



Although, once mounted on bikes with mallets ready, all the teams were fueled by something more than just the desire to win those Volume frames. Pride is on the line, and apparently that makes for some spectacular games. I snapped pictures furiously, leaning over the door, watching the game through the small screen of my digital camera.
Impending final exams [and the need to study for them] forced me to leave early. But ESPI finals are today. You know where to find me.
[Pictures from yesterday here.]
[Edit: and more pictures by Croth from Saturday and Sunday.]