Liz Ray has Mad Throttle

Getting rear-ended and other misadventures...

A Table For One

Last night, I headed over to Rittenhouse Square to people watch.  Actually, I had a $15 coupon for a restaurant, and the coupon was about to expire.  (Yes, I’m one of those people who believes I am “saving money” if I get $15 off a $30 entrée that I never would have gone out for in the first place, absent the coupon.  I did not major in economics.)  I walked up to the hostesses and I asked to be seated outside, at a table for one…

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Mad Dogsled

When the weather does not lend itself to riding a scooter, whatever is one to do?  How to get from Point A to Point B when it is freezing cold and the world is covered with snow?  Answer: Dogsled.  Uh oh, is Liz about to confess to hitching her two Chihuahuas to Rosebud and forcing them to drag her through town?  No.  Kiwi and Chloe, sadly, are not that strong.  Maybe if I had thirty Chihuahuas… Hmm… Idea forming…  BUT, anyway — let me suggest that I do now have first-hand empirical evidence that dogsleds do not handle like Lamborghinis on hairpin turns…

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Veritas: Or, How Harvard Looms

Today I received an email alerting me that my 20-year college reunion is coming up.  (Gee, thanks, random person from Class of 1997.)  The email included a cheerful, unsolicited update from someone who shared how her Harvard years had given her a career on Wall Street (which she traded in for a career in Milan) and a husband (also Class of 1997), a home in Greenwich, Connecticut (translation for the uninitiated: $$$$ — in case the Wall Street and the Milan didn’t clue you in), and three perfect children who are bound for Harvard’s Class of 20-something-or-other.  And there, all of a sudden, my day went from pretty-OK/nothing to complain about, to crappy.  Because I was reminded that there are things in this world that I’m theoretically supposed to compare myself to.  In response to her request to share with her how I am doing, I shared.  (Hey, she asked.)  After I told her about my Wall-Street-less, Milan-less, S.O.-less, Greenwich-less, kid-less (but, in all honesty, I’m relieved about that — if it can’t eat out of a bowl on the floor or poop in a box, I can’t be responsible for its well-being) existence, I admitted to “not being a Harvard success story.”  She actually wrote back (wasn’t sure I was expecting a response) and thanked me for the honesty.  And she shared that she had a couple sisters whose lives resembled mine.  And she acknowledged that Harvard is a thing that “looms” over the lives of those who went there, constantly challenging what it means to have “success” in life…

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Back To The Future

back to the futureToday’s post involves traveling back in time, through the miracle of microfiche.  So you know that it is going to be good.  Because anything that involves Liz Ray trying to find one very specific nuanced thing by combing through spools of microfiche at the public library is exactly the type of thing from which hilarity will inevitably ensue. Continue reading

Game of Scones

gameofsconesOn Saturday, I rode my scooter up to the Art Museum so that I could run the loop along the Schuylkill River.  What should have been a relaxing and mood-enhancing run was cut short by insurmountable pain, so I gimped on back to my ride parked at Lloyd Hall and evaluated what do to next.  As I could not modulate my serotonin levels through the application of endorphins, I would have to settle for the next best thing: Serotonin modulation via carbohydrate intake.  Thus began my crippled journey in search of bread.  (Sounds simple, doesn’t it?)  Continue reading

My Brush With Victory

First Person ArtsIn the spirit of self-congratulatory horn-tooting, I wanted to share that one of my scooter-related tales came within a hair’s breath of winning last night’s First Person Arts Story Slam.  (The theme was “En Route” — which virtually cried out for me to slam on something scooter-related.)  After a failed attempt to get picked to compete at a prior slam, this time my name was the last one to be pulled out of the hat, and I got to take the closing tenth-position slot in the competition.  At the end of the night, however, I had to accept second place.  My slam based on The Night of the Road Cone was not enough to beat the tale from the recently-come-out lesbian Peace Corp volunteer who adopted a homeless Macedonian street cat from the former Yugoslavia and then stayed awake during a 17-hour trans-Atlantic flight to keep the kitty (which was locked in a toilet paper closet by the airline) from crying.  But, in fairness, how can anything beat that?  I mean — impossible.  I guess if I have to lose, it’s OK to lose to her.  Still, for my first time on center stage, I think I second place is a good showing.  (If FPA posts a podcast of me, I will be sure to share it here and on the FB page.)  A special thank you and shout out to my friend Nancy, who first received word about last night’s slam and who came into my office saying, “Come on, with that blog of yours, you must have something that would be perfect for an en-route theme.”  There are eight story slams left for the season — so eight more chances to win the opportunity to compete in the “Grand Slam” in November.  And there is nothing I like more than a good competition (well, with the possible exception of my scooters and a well-made Manhattan).  As always, thanks for your support, blog-following-peeps.

Meanwhile, in New Jersey

washingtons_crossing_fischerLike George Washington, I don’t cross the Delaware that often, but when I do, it’s kind of a big deal.  And so today’s post is about my recent 150-mile trek through the Garden State (which is also a good movie, if you haven’t seen it, even though it’s starring Natalie Portman, rather than me — but she and I just missed overlapping at our college alma mater . . . and we had the same major . . . so whenever you see Natalie Portman, you really ought to think of me…).  But anyway, what can be more fun than putting 150 miles on your ride in an afternoon, while puttering around in New Jersey… Continue reading

Number One With a Bulleit

Bulleit whiskeyYou may be wondering whether this post’s title refers to the 1987 American police detective film (that not even I have seen, even though I’ve seen every 80s movie ever), or is perhaps a hat-tip to the lyric from AC/DC’s Back in Black, or whether I just can’t spell.  But fans of rye and bourbon (and folks who notice the picture of the bottle of Bulleit bourbon on the left over there) will realize that I’m going to blog about my “Beef and Bourbon” class at the Philadelphia Wine School.  And I rode there, just to gin up an excuse to write about it. Continue reading

If I Had a Million Dollars

BNL-if I had a millionIs Mad Throttle announcing that she won PowerBall? Sadly, no.  Is Mad Throttle soliciting donations?  No, but, I wouldn’t turn away your money or any in-kind contributions.  What I’m saying is that I rode out to the Mann on Saturday night to see the Canadian rock band: Barenaked Ladies.  And they were spectacular…  Continue reading

That’s Some Pig


Many of you may recognize the “Some Pig” reference from the touching children’s classic: Charlotte’s Web.  A beautiful tale of friendship between a word-smithing arachnid and her porcine acquaintance.  I, of course, am not referring to the heart-warming children’s classic, but instead to the Glenside Pig Roast, where I rode my scooter on Saturday — not to befriend a pig, but to enjoy one barbequed and consumed with beer… Continue reading

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