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Last Thursday I gave a little cough and rubbed my chest. I'd felt dizzy since I'd woken up and I said, "Man, I think I'm getting a little cold." Ron said, "Oh, no. This is a terrible time to get a cold."

I thought No, this is a great time to get sick. Rob and Eddie's wedding is next week. My 30th birthday is on the 6th, and we don't go to San Felipe until Memorial Day. We don't have anything going on.

Ron glared at me until the wheels of cognition caught traction and I said, "Oh, crap! We've got the Rosarito-to-Ensenada bicycle ride this weekend. I can't get sick now."

"Yes, that ride," Ron said. "The one we've been planning on for six months."

The ride that is on my "List of Things to do Before I Turn 30." The ride that I bought a new bike for.

Friday I felt things get worse. I'd become dizzy and could feel the burbling glop in my lungs percolate when I breathed deeply. With resignation I dragged my warbling, coughing ass to the drug store for Tylenol and orange juice. I called a list of friends who had connections to the medical industry or had been sick recently and cobbled together a rock soup of remedies.

In my kitchen I mixed the cocktail of pills: a few big white oval capsules, a few small blue circles, a red and a brown. I washed it down with a mouthful of orange juice and called Ron, "I've just taken a wad of dope that could kill a dinosaur, and I'm going to do it again tomorrow morning to see if I can ride the race."

In the morning I treated my mouth like a medical disposal canister again, swirled the candy-colored pills down my gullet with half a gallon of OJ, and called Ron, "I'm in. I'm doing it."

It wasn't until I was at Mile 42 that I thought I could actually finish the race. Over the whole course I couldn't breathe deeply, and if you can imagine a bicycle ride that spans over 50 miles and climbs from sea level to over 800 feet, you can imagine that one would need to breathe deeply to traverse it. But, I did okay. Over the hill I coughed. Down to the sea I wheezed. When my ass would burn on the seat, I'd stand up until my legs hurt and then I'd sit down until my ass burnt again.

Here I am, in bed, with an ice pack on my goonch and a hot towel over my face. Oh, 30. Here I come to you. Coughing, wheezing, with a crotch of fire, body aches, and sore knees. Oh, 30, here I come!

What I Will And Won't Watch This Week

Thursday, April 27

The Ultimate Fighter

SPIKE 10:00 p.m. Sure, dodge ball has had its day, and it's a fine sport, but what I'd like to see is more pillow fighting. Specifically, I'd like to see a Lingerie Model Pillow Fighting Championship. And, I'd like to be drunk. With a plate of tacos.

Aquí y Ahora

KBNTCA 10:00 p.m. If you want to attach a broom to the bottom of that flag, I'll actually encourage you to protest.

Friday, April 28

The 33rd Annual Daytime Emmy Awards

ABC 8:00 p.m. I've got an awards show for ABC. It's called the 29th Annual Nobody Gives a Damn and That's Why People Watch Cable.

Saturday, April 29

Mrs. Doubtfire (1993)

FAM 12:00 p.m. Now, I'm not one for violence against the elderly, but dammit, lady. The card goes in, you punch a few buttons, and money comes out the front. You've been standing there poking keys with that befuddled look on your face so long I could've established a satellite uplink to an account in Switzerland by now. If you don't get away from this ATM and back in your PT Cruiser to continue selling overpriced condos to hipster couples, I will slap and pull your old damn ears off.

All the President's Men (1976)

PBS 9:00 p.m. Before my rise to the position of Emperor of the United States of America, the Senate will try to quell my ascension by dispatching assassins to my safe house. Through the clever use of body doubles in matching garb, I'll be safely hustled onto a freight train and packed in by my loyalist guards for the long trip to Washington, D.C.

Sunday, April 30

Murder in New Hampshire: The Pamela Smart Story (1991)

COURT 12:00 p.m. New Hampshire is one of those states they use to show how dumb Americans are. Can you find New Hampshire on a map of the United States? No. And do you want to know why? Because nobody gives a crap about New Hampshire and nobody ever will.

Monday, May 1

Jamie's School Lunch Project

TLC 7:00 p.m. Here's good television. An hour dedicated to a "nutritious, affordable school lunch that students will eat." I'd rather strain Tijuana tap water through a bum's underpants and drink it out of a fake leg.

Tuesday, May 2

So NoTORIous

VH1 10:00 p.m. Tori used to be mine. We sat in lazy fields beneath the shade of sycamore trees. She grazed next to cool mountains streams, and I rode her to the peak of Mt. Elsinore to watch the sun go down over the pine trees. Her hearing is sharp, and when she'd spook I'd say, "What is it, girl? Bandits on the trail? Easy, girl, easy," and I'd brush down her long mane with my gloved hand.

Wednesday, May 3

Meet the Fockers

HBO 8:00 p.m. Meet the Ragingly Literal and Short on Subtlety Demise of Dustin Hoffman's Career and the Death of a Little Piece of America's Soul. Starring Ben Stiller.

Thursday, May 4

50 Most Shocking Celebrity Confessions

E! 8:00 p.m. Because we don't know enough about Britney Spears. Even though we've all seen a statue of her bent over, naked, gripping a bear's head (?) and apparently giving birth -- in what I assumed was purely a conceptual position until I saw the sculpture. Yeah. That's not enough. I need a show with more of her confessions and shocking truths and crap. Super.

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