Friday, August 19, 2011

Foto Friday: Let's Be Blunt

I am sitting here with my feet submerged in a bucket of ice water, ah...........Damn feet and ankles, I'm like a little old lady hobbling around in the morning.  I digress.....

These little gems are courtesy of You should check them our for a good laugh; I left some of the better ones behind in the interest of a semi-family friendly post (I know, why change now? Whatever.)

I had to do this last Halloween, greedy bastards (so far family friendly has failed).

Thursday and Saturday night usually....

...and the beer.  Oh, and that bottle of vodka in the freezer.

Not to belittle what happened, but I couldn't resist.  Reminds me of the Smiths song, "Panic in the streets of London..."

Not sure why, but this makes me laugh every time.


I'll be using this soon enough.

A NYC pastime.

23, to be exact (holy crap! That is now more than half my life.  How did that happen?)

I still complain.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Hair Raising

My last post was one of my more popular, go fig.  Who knew 70s & 80s fashion would draw so much attention (and laughter).  Ok, I knew, or at the very least, I guessed it would.  I received a lot of comments from people who had never been to my blog before, READ: non triathletes.  Someone came clean and told me from whence they came.  Turns out someone posted a link from a blog called Smart Bitches, Trashy Books.  Now, how can you not love a site called Smart Bitches?!  You cannot.  Especially when it comes with the byline, "All of the romance, none of the bullshit."  The author also Tweeted the link.  I have been tweeted!!  *Sniff*, excuse me while I compose myself, I am so happy!  However, credit where it is due; my mom sent me all those images that will be seared into your memory forever, for that, I apologize (yeah, not really).

Moving on.  Hair.  This one is for you, ladies.  I'm not talking bodily hair here (ew!).  I am talking race day hair, people.  I have long hair.  It is a pain in the ass to deal with when it comes to going from swim cap to bike helmet to visor.  All of you with lovely, thick hair look fantastic in braids or braid, singular.  I do not.  Why?  I have lots of hair, but it is thin.  My braids look like some kind of strangled creature that Darwin's theory of natural selection forgot to weed out.  It is hopeless.  I am forever adjusting that small tangled mass of hair from up on my crown to down on my nape for the bike helmet and never looking fabulous as we are want to do for our race day photos, am I wrong?

I have never been one to bother much with my hair.  All that braiding, plaiting, tying up of strands is all so bewildering to me.  It's like some strange enigma, the answer of which will always elude me.  Well, I have finally unraveled the mystery of the two strand fishbone braid, or whatever the hell it's called.  I'm a bit old for braids, but as you can tell, I generally don't give a crap anyway.  Age, smage.

Here is a photo of what it looks like when finished so you can see the detail.

Here is the video showing you how to do it.  Please, be kind, my malasma is kicking and I look like shit, be gentle, dear reader.  (I don't know why the video is always breaking up like this in the beginning when using PhotoBooth, anyone?  Give it a sec it will clear).

Friday, August 12, 2011

Foto Friday: For Men...Of A Certain Style

My mom saved the day today with these gems.  I was a kid to pre teen in the 70s so I kind of remember some of these styles.  The ones that follow though from the 80s?  Oh, I remember them really well, too well.  I'd like to think I was laughing at these fashion absurdities even then, but sadly, I doubt it.

I am ashamed to admit that my mom made my sisters and I very similar pjs as kids, minus the bonnet and booties; thank God for small miracles.

Read the red box: You couldn't find anyone better looking than the Manson brothers to make your point?

Ah Men?  More like Amen that this fashion statement's time in the sun is over.

"You know it's hard out here for a pimp..."

Star Trek called, they want their uniforms back.

Yeah, things happen.  Like women running away screaming in fear.

$95 for that coat?  Whatever the price it is too much.

Open mesh underwear, now why didn't I think of that?  Look how high on his waist the guy in yellow is wearing in boxers, he's gonna hurt himself.

Men In Belted Sweaters.  Sounds like some kind of exposé.

Your thinking the jumpsuit is the funny part, but no, read the print.  "Quick as a flick of her tongue", "She'll eat you alive in it", um, think again.  Who wrote this shit?
Let's take a trip to the 80s, shall we? 

Hello parachute pants, how I've missed you....not.

Surf Wear?  I'm guess my peeps in Hawaii would say, "no". 

Nothing need be said.

I love the fake 5 o'clock shadow. 

BA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Hello Mudder, Hello Fadder

No, this is not the post about camping in Central Park.  I know, you are so disappointed.  Patience Grasshopper.  Instead I'm just announcing that I, for better or worse (probably worse), have signed up for the Tough Mudder.  However, I am going to call it the Tough Mother, cuz I feel like a bad ass mom.  Note:  this race takes place exactly one week after the NYC Marathon.  Yeah, I know.  I have been dying to do one of these races for a while, so I am stoked.  I'm doing it with a team which is great, because I will need people (men) to push my ass over the wall.  Not in a sexy hey-you've-got a cute-ass-let-me-help-you-over-this-wall type of way, but more like a let's-get-her-fat-ass-over-that-wall-so-we-don't-come-in-last-place kind of way.  I think it is the one thing I am not going to be able to do under my own strength.  I'll be hitting the monkey bars at my kids playground and the rings down at the park.  Move over Ru Paul, there's a new bitch in town.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Race Report: NYC Tri Volunteer Perspective

I should be in Spain.....le sigh.  Instead, I find myself here, stateside, with and no race to run.  I knew this was going to be the case for a while, so with that in mind, I decided to volunteer for my favorite race, the New York City Triathlon.  Why is it my favorite?  For starters, it is 8 blocks from my apartment, I can walk to transition and there is nothing like running a race in your home town especially when it is NYC.  

My weekend started with a night of camping in Central Park.  Who does that?  I do!  There was a lottery held for that special privilege.  I decided to play the NY State lottery last night. I figured I have had good luck with them so far this year: the NYC Marathon, the camping thing.  Still have to check my numbers, fingers crossed.  I took my son camping with me since he had been asking to go.   I'll do a separate post on that little adventure (because I know you want to see a whole post dedicated to that), but I can tell you this, I did not sleep AT ALL.  Not an auspicious beginning to a very long weekend.  Especially with a 2:25 run on deck for the following morning.  My son?  Slept like a rock.  Figures.

When I signed up to volunteer I made the decision to be a Volunteer Captain (VTC).  This meant being put in charge of a group of volunteers in a specific area on the course.  I chose the Bike In/Out.  Our responsibility was to make sure the cyclists were corralled in the right direction onto the course, made aware of the sharp turn and hill at the entrance to the course, keep them from crashing in to the swimmers coming in the opposite direction and then making sure to point them in the right direction toward their transition area when they returned (there were two transition areas: yellow and red).

Let's make this part into a 'long story, short':


Camp out (no sleep....NO. SLEEP.)


6 AM wake up (who needs to wake up when you never went to sleep?) and pack up.
8 AM long run scheduled (so not happening)
8AM  1.5 hours of sleep.
11:30 AM meet volunteer group  and go over our jobs.
1-4 PM Nap Fail (why, oh why?)
8:30 PM bedtime (finally, sleep.....Son wakes with croup in the night)


3:45 AM wake up and head to transition.
4:30-5:30 AM we are doing lots of body marking in the rain.  Not an easy task.  People! No lotion of sunscreen before body marking!
5:30 AM get volunteers in place.
5:50 AM Race start, Pros!

Ok, that didn't happen.  Apparently there was a very bad accident on the highway in the wee hours (as in "we" are all up at this crazy hour?) that was on the bike course.  This had to be cleared before the race could start.  It was delayed until 6:20 or so.  Let's see....Saturday night, driving north, headed to Jersey....I'm guessing alcohol related crash? 

Finally things got underway.  I never get to see the pros for obvious reasons when I am racing.  They are damn fast.  When they came out of the water they were booking!  Holy crap.  Both the men and the women.  That was pretty cool to see.   And their bodies?  Holy hello goodness. They don't bother with the showers (to get the icky Hudson River off) or wetsuits, for that matter.  Did I mention that there was a fire at the water treatment plant a few weeks ago which spewed 200 million gallons of raw sewage into the Hudson?  No?  Never mind then.  (yes, they checked the water every day and there was a river race last weekend and well, no one asked you to swim in it, I'm just glad I was 'spectating' this year)

Shortly after the pros and elites came through all the women AGers, Ahtenas and men 55+ came in droves (all yellow transition).  It was somewhere in the middle of this swarm that the unthinkable happened.  Two people were pulled out of the water in cardiac arrest.  I was standing right where they were tending to them and we had to stop the flow of bikes and swimmers to let the EMTs through with both of them.  I have never in my life seen chest compressions being performed on a lifeless body; it was chilling, and disconcerting to see.  I hope never to see that again.  Sadly, the 64 year old man did not survive and the 40 year old woman is in critical condition.  Only once before has there been a death at this race.  You don't think about that as part of the risk of racing.  I am sad for their families and my thoughts are with them.

It is my understanding from a friend of mine who did the race, that the chop was pretty bad and a lot of people were hanging on kayaks and using noodles (I have NEVER seen that in this race) and the lifeguards were really busy.  My friend is an retired EMT, swimming with the first responders wave.  He said at first it seemed comical to see, but then it was quickly obvious that there were too many people in there having a hard time. 

After all the yellow transition people finished going through there was a 20 minute break and then the red transition started their race: paratriathletes, first responders, Clydesdale and the men AGers.  Meanwhile the pros started coming back in for the run.  Everyone was concerned about the folks we saw carried away, but no one knew their status at that time.  I think we all said a silent prayer for them.

It was really interesting to see the various people who came out to do this race.  I saw some of my friends go through, which was cool.  There were some awesome bikes, some not so awesome bikes (saw someone finish the course on a Dahon with clipless peddles,  I somehow admire that), great attitudes and not so great attitudes.  We got a lot of 'thank yous', which was nice.  My group of volunteers was fantastic!  Everyone was excited to be there and willing to do what was needed.

After everyone was out on the course, most of my volunteers were released,  but a few of us stuck around until the last rider was off the course.  I headed to the Yellow Bike-In chute.  It's a lonely stretch  with no one around.  I stood in the middle and cheered my ass off for the last of the yellow people coming off the course.  I managed to get a lot of smiles, some "I'm so glad to see you!", and "I finally made it!".  Of course there were some sour faces, but I think they were just in a place of hurt.  I then headed over to the Red Bike-In and stayed until their last guy came off the course. Even he had a smile on his face, nice!

I have volunteered at other races before, but it was nice to see my favorite race from the outside looking in.  I learned a lot about how it is run, met some great folks and had a great time.   A nice bonus it that by volunteering, I earned a guaranteed entry into the race next year.  Like the NYC marathon, this race has become a lottery event.  I am exhausted, but happily so.  Congrats to everyone who participated today and thanks to all the volunteers!!

**Sadly, I just found out the woman who was pulled from the water also died this morning.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Foto Friday: Milk Art

Thank you to everyone for your very kind feedback about the gray hair...either you think it really will look good or your parents just raised you to be polite, unlike my little urchin.  Either way, Grazie! 

I saw this video via the Curbly and Evie S. blogs.  Basically, it's milk, food coloring and dish soap.  Way cool.  I plan on showing this to my 5 year old.  The video is only 30 seconds, enjoy!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Super Fast Update

I promise this will be a quick update to yesterday's post.  Yesterday I told my son I was going to let my gray hair grow out (he is usually the first one to point out it needs coloring, thanks kid) and was met with something less than enthusiasm:

Me:  So I think I'm going to grow my gray hair out.
Son:  No!  That's going to look awful!
Me:  That's not very nice to say.
Son:  I'm just sayin'.  People are going to tell you it looks awful. (do I need to point out he is 5?)
**Nice kid I have, no?  Clearly I am a lousy parent, he would have been better off raised by wolves.

Because I have zero patience, I kind of need to know what I have to look forward to with regards to growing out those grays.  Some of you were like, "hell no! I wouldn't do it"  I get it.  When I was 37 I thought the same thing.  I've been coloring for the last 10 years (34-44), so I understand.  I'm just sick of it and it is gonna take some time to grow it out at this length.  I also want to buck the myth that gray haired women are old, useless and unattractive.  Men are lauded for their gray growth, looking debonair, sophisticated, experienced, blah, blah blah.  I'm tired of the double standard.  Anyway...I decided to photohop my hair to get a sense of what it will look like.  Of course it could have more or less gray, but based on what I know when I've been behind in my coloring......I can live with it.

before (obviously)

after (even more obvious)

Monday, August 1, 2011

Mental Housekeeping

A kind of random, get this off my chest, it's been on my mind kind of post, mostly about nothing.

*I am tired.  That happens when you are not sleeping well.  Hubby says I was talking in my sleep the other night.  I never talk in my sleep.

*Had the most amazing meal last week when I took my hubby out for his birthday: Mojitos (yum!), Dulce: fire roasted sweet corn empanada, goat cheese, vine ripe tomatoes, garlic mojo and for the main course, Baby back ribs with BBQ chipotle sauce, corn on the cob (Mexican style with Queso Fresco), sweet potato fries.  The main course was huge, but so yummy!  I took most of it room!

*While my long run on Saturday was better than the one I had last weekend in the fires of hell, it was still hard.  I also had tummy issues the night prior so only ate toast and grapes; not good fuel for a long run the next day.  I threw up breakfast on the run and acquired matching blisters in my normal pair of shoes, go fig.  Stellar!!

*Ever since I started doing triathlons I wake up with sore feet and ankles.  It is even more prevalent now that I am running more and running barefoot.  I hobble out of bed like an old woman, but then it goes away after I walk around for a couple of minutes.  I am now doing ankle rotations, flexing and extending my ankles before I get out of bed.  It helps some.  Anyone else on this?  Am i just old?
*Speaking of old.  I joke about my age all the time, but really, I have no hangups about being 44.  I am comfortable with it.  I am a very casual dresser and pretty laid back, I don't wear makeup, but wear sunscreen religiously.  So why am I still coloring my hair?  I've decided not to any more.  I'm going gray people.  It is going to be ugly as I don't plan on cutting it short.  I'm just sick of coloring it.  I may have to still do a little of that while it grows out to even out my skunk line, but eventually I'll be done.  I'm using Cindy Joseph's photo as my inspiration in case I start getting cold feet.  And yes, I will be sharing this journey with you all!!  Aren't you a bunch of lucky buggers?

This woman is 60!  Gah!  I am about 50% gray, probably much like this.
This was taken last summer, but my hair looks exactly the same now, maybe longer since I haven't cut it since October.  See, low maintenance gal.

PS:  My husband is not being very supportive, but it isn't for him to decide.  So I am soldiering on!!!

*Did my first complete run in VFFs on Friday.  I have been running barefoot (really bare. foot.) working my way up to a full run.  I did :40.  I am planning on doing :50 this afternoon.  Why I felt I needed to wear the VFFs is a mystery.  I haven't been running in them at all, only barefoot, yet I felt I should.  Interesting how the logic of the mind works......or doesn't work.

*I was recently asked to help contribute some thoughts or memories, etc. for current school age kids about growing up and going to school in the 80s (as if they care).  It is all a blur, but I do have one funny memory:
In 1980 I was in the 7th grade and I was just about to turn 13 at the end of the school year.  I had planned a birthday party in my parent’s basement, cuz that is what you did back in the day.  Not any of this ridiculous, expensive nonsense I see these day with clubs, and hired musicians, party planners. Sorry, got carried away. friends had asked me what I wanted for my birthday and I knew exactly what to request:  an album/record called “October” by a band called U2.  Who? They asked, Never heard of them.  Don’t worry, just look for it in the store, I am sure you will find it.

What makes this funny to me, is the fact that there was a time when U2 was barely known, even for very music conscious preteens.  Also, that they would have to go to a store and buy a record.  Today you don’t have to leave the comfort of your own home to acquire music, and as for it being a record....well, that predates even CDs.  Please tell me they know what a CD is?
On the heels of that, comes this:  Recently on a post by Jeff, he used a line from a Pearl Jam song as his post title and challenged his readers to guess where it was from.  Jon got it right and said something to the effect, "Wow, that really takes me back to 1997/1998 when I was 14/15 years old."  I really got a kick out of that.  Going waaaaaaay back, ha!  I mean, hell, he wasn't even born when I was requesting that U2 record!  Love it!

*The Chelsea Hotel closed it's doors to new reservations.  Only the existing tenants are able to stay.  It is going to go through some big changes, although the management denies this.  An end of an era.  A NYC institution comes to an end.  Manhattan is like a suburban strip mall these days.  There is no grittiness left here; it's a shame.  NYC just ain't what it used to be.

*I'm way behind in doing this, I always forget.  I wanted to congratulate Jon, Mandy  and Mary (who earned a Kona spot despite a body that wouldn't cooperate) all the other athletes who did IMLP last weekend.  I followed you all day.  I'm so happy and proud of you guys, I feel like a mother hen!  Seriously, well done guys!!