Wednesday, March 29, 2006

It's official (pretty much)

I'm doing the Danskin triathlon in August. I've committed to a training group, and my registration is pending. And since I'm now typing about it here, it will be so.

So next steps are figuring out my training schedule. I'm going to do 2 of 3 components for each workout. Since I usually swim about 1700 for a workout, I'm going to concentrate that into a vigorous 1200 (the race is 800), and then bike or run for the other 1/2 of my workout. I'm really worried about the running part, as I have NEVER been a good runner. Ever. Even when I was playing lacrosse I still preferred sprints and loathed distance running. My training buddies suggested working up to 3 miles (3 miles is a lot for me!) using intervals...1 minute run, 1 minute walk...2 minute run, 1 minute walk, and so on. That seems doable. And I also need to get my bike tuned up and get some road tires.

The only other experience I have with triathlon is when I did the swimming portion for a team a few years ago. Like everyone else, I had my race number written in big black pen on my calves the day before. Then I went to a baby shower. I'm concerned that I ruined some nice lady's furniture with black pen smudges, try as I might to not let my legs touch anything. Bloody inconsiderate if true, eh.

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Blogs make world smaller

I just looked at Santino Rice's blog and found out I could've gone to his yard sale this weekend in L.A...if I lived anywhere near L.A. of course. I'm willing to bet he did pretty well.

Before and after

Monday, March 20, 2006

Spring break

It's spring break this week. I'm done with both work and school, and given my last week I deserve to indulge a bit. But just a bit. By end of day Sunday, I will have:

1. Finished the front yard...all beds cleaned, new plants planted, all spiffed up.
2. Swam 5 times.
3. Watched at least 5 new movies...this could be a challenge, but I'm up for it.
4. Kept the stack of clothes on the dresser below 4".
5. Sat at Le Panier with coffee and paper on one morning.
6. Readied my office area for next quarter.
7. Done something nice for Ray besides #4.

(You know, I have to acknowledge how spoiled I really am to have a list like this. I know more than a few dynamo moms who would consider giving their left arm for such a week.)

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

In Memory of Ramon Guillermo de Cazando el Gatito Favorito

Ramon was born in 1989 or 1990 and lived a full life until he left this world on March 13, 2006 after complications of leg tumor cancer. Adopted in November 1992, Ramon made friends easily and always looked for opportunities to be held and carried. He enjoyed naps and meals with his family, friends and neighbors. Favorite activities included talking, yelling, eating potatoes, eating turkey, hugging, sleeping with his head on the pillow and body under the covers, ripping paper and paper bags, being carried around the house, playing with his favorite stuffed toy (once resembling a bird), covert naps with Sammy, antagonizing T-Ko, biting out of affection, biting out of boredom, spraying bags and clothes on the floor, being let in and out every few minutes, stealing food off of active dinner plates and lobbying for cereal bowls in use.

Ramon -- also known as Mony, Mon-ster, The Mons, Mon Guillermo, Pure Evil, Diablito, Bones, Bone-sy, Butt Wind and Bubba -- is survived by his mother, Ray, Andy, favorite aunt Sheila, Grammy, Sammy, and all those who cherished being bit on the head or elbow while sleeping. We will miss you Mony. You were the best and softest gray cat ever.

Please feel free to sign the memorial guestbook, located in comments.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Seeking permission to un-PDA

I've had a handheld Palm device for several years now, mostly to keep track of my calendar, address book, and now as a MP3 player. The only thing is...I still miss my paper calendar. I've missed it since the day I got my first pda 3 or 4 years ago. But how could I? The Palm does everything...repeats regular meetings, syncs with online calendars, and it's all compact and efficient and...I should love it. But, truth is, I don't...and I've stuck with it because rationally I am clearly a silly fluff head for thinking that paper calendars are preferrable when I already own the future of calendaring as we know it.

Durn it all, I don't care. I am going to buy a new, spiral bound calendar and just forget the one that requires that semi-funny alphabet and a stylus. I want to flip pages to see the entire year, and use a real pen to track my appointments and activities, jot down people's phone numbers, and write out good quotes and to do lists. I am justifying this radical move by planning for a cell phone that can serve as my address book and MP3 player. Since Verizon is "giving" me a new phone in a few months, I will just upgrade to the one with the extras, and feel that much better about my regression to a paper calendar.

Gawd, it's just ridiculous to have to psyche myself up to buy something so simple. It reminds me of the 4 years it took me to buy myself a salt shaker/pepper grinder combo.

Uh oh...what if the phone can't sync to my laptop contact database. Maybe this isn't such a good idea after all.

Thursday, March 2, 2006


It's the second day of Lent, and giving up refined sugar has already been an illuminating experience. I didn't realize how often I use sugar as a energy crutch or to ward off boredom. This whole Lent thing is pretty cool.

But why oh why is it a Catholic holiday? Actually, what I mean to say is, why is a religious holiday the only time that we have a structured opportunity to go without something. I'm not Catholic in the slightest (except for liking music played in a cathedral), but Lent is the best opportunity to experience something being gone, especially since others are participating as well.

As the most wealthy and indulgent nation in the world, I think America really needs (more than Hummer's new H3) to experience going without. We've got lots of holidays, but all seem to have not so subtle consumption components.

Valentine's Day: Love is good. Eat chocolate.
St. Patrick's Day: The Irish are cool. Drink beer.
Easter: God'n'Jesus'n'stuff AND/OR cute bunnies and chicks. Eat chocolate.
Cinco de Mayo: Eat Mexican food. Drink Mexican beer.
Solstice: Ride naked in the parade (HEY...there we go! Going without!)
Fourth of July: America rocks. Eat from the grill.
Halloween: Scary is fun. Eat candy. Eat more candy.
Thanksgiving: I'll have seconds, thanks.
Christmas: Baby Jesus, gimme a Nintendo DS.

So other than Summer Solstice (in Fremont, for a few people), we're all about consuming for our holidays. Yes, true, food is the universal shared experience and all that, but could we have just one holiday for giving up food or something equally basic? Even if it's just a day of fasting, or a week of no soda pop or car.

Maybe we could officially copy Lent from the Catholics, and call it something else, like Lant. And can you imagine what kind of conversations this would yield. If everyone gave up something for Lant, something simple but significant, it would fuel interesting conversations at work, raise awareness about the many who go without all the time, help the fat and unhealthy jump start better consumption habits. And, on top of all that, give corporate America a swift kick in the tush. Aw yeah!

I think I'd like to incorporate Lant into my annual calendar. I'm so curious to see how I feel about sugar on April 16, especially since I hear sugar-free chocolate bunnies are quite nasty.