Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Five Things

I try to keep up on a few friends' blogs...the ones listed in the right margin here, and others that I've been too darned lazy to add to my "Rockin' Blogs" list, but will someday. Anyhoo, one of my faves is Meredith's, one of the best moms ever who married one of my friends from grad school, Matt, and thus became my friend, too. I wanted to be her friend earlier, you know....

In her latest entry, she "tagged" her readers do this "Five Things" list, so here goes.

1. Name five things in your purse:

My expired bicycle racing license, a rock from Passo Stelvio in the Italian Dolomites (rode my bike there, you know), a really cute "Cowgirl" tampon case (a girl's got to be prepared...), a "little pink book" of addresses, and a couple condoms (a girl's got to be prepared...). Sorry to all you G-rated readers out there if I've just burst some bubbles.

2. Name five things in your work room:

My Vaio laptop, an amazing big beautifully-framed photo of the Sawtooth with storm clouds overhead in Bridgeport, a shadow box that sis-in-law Missy made for me of my trip to Dubai and Italy, a pic of Denise and me in front of the Eiffel Tower on our Tour de France trip, and a balance ball for workouts. No condoms here.

3. Name five things you have always wanted to do:

Go to Scotland, be able to read for hours on end without time passing, be a famous writer, find someone who adores me as much as I adore him, and have a body that screams "athlete!"

4. Name five things you're interested in:

The real lives of successful authors, what it's like for the Obamas -- especially their daughters -- to live in the White House, all things bike, world travel, and good healthy cooking.

5. Five Blogs to pass this on to:

I like Meredith's approach: "Consider yourself tagged, blogs or not. You can put your five things in the comment section too if you're blogless!"

Monday, January 26, 2009

First Day of Class

First day (late afternoon, really -- 4:00) of class today...so far, so good. Stay tuned.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

A Little Handyman Humor

A little commercial humor from Pat....who I won't mention lives in Texas.

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Friday, January 23, 2009

Bella Camp '09

Velo Bella Training Camp 2009 was last weekend in San Luis Obispo, and it was fun, fun, fun! I had been hesitant to go, as I'm only just getting back on a decent training schedule after a year of barely training, but am glad that Denise twisted my arm to go. Four Fresno Bellas went -- Denise, my training-partner-of-old, and two young whipper snappers, new to racing, both named Brittney. We lovingly dubbed them Brittney 1 and Brittney 2 over the weekend, reminiscent of Thing 1 and Thing 2.

Most of the team stayed in a hotel, but Denise and I saved a little cash by staying in Casa Ramirez, Denise's motor home. Lovely surroundings, aye?I didn't take too many photos of the riding, but this is at the top of our first hill on the first day. The weather was AMAZING, and such a nice change from the fog in Fresno...temps were in the high 70s all three days, I think.
Still on top of that first climb, this is Suzie, a Bella from the Bay Area. I know a lot of Bella names from our listserv, but it's always great to go to camp and put faces (and bikes!) to the names.
Day 2, we gathered outside the hotel, and then rode about 40 minutes to an industrial park for crit drills.
Suzie was wearing socks that complimented our kits perfectly.
And Michael, Queen Bella Sabine's boy-toy, led us through a "slow drill" before the crit practice. Note his Bella shorts...gotta love a man so confident in his masculinity and comfortable with his feminine side...
The reward for our skills practice? Mexican food for dinner! Here, three of the four Fresno Bellas: Brittney 2, me, and Denise. Brittney 1 was with her parents, who live in SLO.
When we walked back to the hotel, Denise noticed this sign....I'm pretty sure they meant to write "Reid's Hard Body."
The final day, we did a fabulous ride out PCH to Cayucas. The only bad part of it is that, while doing a double paceline on PCH near the beginning of the ride, Suzie hit a rock and went down really hard. Cracked her collarbone and some ribs, but will surely mend quickly, as she's tough as nails. I was on her wheel when it happened, and she is such a good bike handler that she stayed up long enough to give us time to avoid hitting her or also going down. Send her some healing Bella beams when you get a chance!

Here, all four Fresno Bellas pose with Barrett, a former Fresno Bella Fella who lives in SLO now.
This is Sue-nami soaking in some sun at the beach. I met Sue two years ago -- the hard way. We were in the cat 3-4 Merced/Mercko road race, and it was just about my best race ever. I had not only stayed with the group, but had been aware enough to try some attacks (ill-planned ones, but attacks nonetheless!) and really feel like I was part of the race with about 7 teammates. In the last 500 yards or so, a bunch of us were sprinting, and a men's field came up behind us (in a lot of road races, the men's and women's fields are out on the course at the same time) and some of them just kept hammering through us, startling some of the women in our field. Next thing I knew, there was a blue Bella bike flying across the road toward me, and a Bella flying the other direction -- bike-less. I had to ride off the left side of the road to avoid the bike skidding toward me, and had enough momentum that I crossed the finish line once I got back on the road. But, with one of my Bellas down, I frantically tried to get unclipped so I could go back to see who it was and how she was. I'd been having trouble with my cleats, and one of my shoes wouldn't come unclipped, so I got pissed and quickly worked my way out of the shoe that was still attached to my pedal, took off the other shoe, and ran back in my pretty Bella socks to find the rider...it was Sue. She was all bloodied up and pissed, as someone had gotten startled by the guys coming through and ran right into her, making her flip off her bike. She is so frickin' tough, though, that I think she did another race the next day....Sue-nami.
Catherine, another Bella new to me and from Atlanta originally but living in North Carolina, and Queen Bella, Sabine, strike their beach pose.
Laura, the other Queen Bella, and Sue-Nami..."No matter which way they arrive, we'll be ready for them." I'm so glad they're on my team.



And on Monday afternoon, as Denise and I turned Casa Ramirez back toward the Fresno fog, the spare tire cover on the back of our Bella Camp '09 home said it all...

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Bad Blogger!

Ok, this pic of Lacey-Bug has absolutely nothing to do with anything current, or anything I should be catching up on in this blog -- like Bella camp, the start of the semester, etc., etc. But dag-nabbit, I don't have time to do a real post! So you'll just have to enjoy her cuteness, courtesy of my stay on her parents' couch last summer!!!I'm bound to do some catching up soon. Yup.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Going Away to Camp

It's that time of year again...spring training camp! Velo Bella 3-day race clinic this weekend in San Luis Obispo -- ciao, Bella! My goal?....to avoid coughing up a lung as I try to keep up with all the 20-year-olds, and to keep ALL of my skin intact this time around. I'm shootin' for the moon, baby!
So, I'll be back here more regularly sometime next week (I've been doing good, huh, Gary?!), and if, in the meantime, you need to kill some time...rent this movie. Yes, it's about a guy who falls in love with a sex doll, but it's absolutely not what you think. A very touching story, actually, about mental illness -- of course, it's funny, too...how could it not be? But surprisingly thought-provoking and sweet.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

We've Come a Long Way, Baby

Carla (who lives in Nevada, but apparently I don't think I get brownie points for being friends with someone in Nevada, as it never dawns on me to mention that, as I do with Pat in Texas...) sent me an e-mail yesterday with these retro adverts...there simply are no words.





Speechless. I'm struck speechless.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Do Bears Sh** in the Woods?

Ok, this is a little hard to read, but please try, as it's an important warning sent by a very dedicated outdoorsman, lovingly nicknamed "Sperm" by his dearest friends and fellow fishermen.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

My Big Brother's Gonna Kill Me....

...and Peter Awful might come after me, as well, but I just couldn't resist posting this little "Boys will be Boys" video from New Year's in the desert. Enjoy. And if you don't hear from me after this, give the police Jim and Peter's names...
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Tuesday, January 6, 2009

2008 Wrap-Up

Wanna giggle at some of the major headlines from 2008? Watch this, a link my friend Pat in Texas sent me. (Why do I do that, by the way?...say that Pat is in Texas everytime I mention her? Do I think I get brownie points for having friends in Texas or something?....)

Monday, January 5, 2009

My Latest Piece on VeloNews.com

It's about a few junior racers who showed their real character at Nationals in August, including 11-year-old Nathan Goldberg.

Check it our here.

And hopefully by the time you try the link, my editor will have fixed my type-o...I suddenly start referring to Nathan as Jason near the end of his section...BAD JOURNALIST!!!

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Go Rent It

Regular readers of my blog (Gary, you know who you are...) know that my movie reviews and/or recommendations are few and far between, so when they appear, it's worth noting. Just watched "Death at a Funeral," a Netflix offering and a film from across the pond, and it's f***ing hilarious!!!
And there's a naked dude on a roof. It's a win-win.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

A Redneck New Year's

I guess one of my New Year's resolutions should be to quit neglecting my blog in favor of Facebook, so I'll start by posting some pics from New Year's. Certainly not your typically champagne-bubbly-black-tie-little-red-dress-affair, but too much fun was had with big brother, Jim, his family, and a bunch of friends in the Cali desert.

Lacey did her first solo ATV ride, and here she is getting all geared up.Of course, gotta protect that beautiful melon.
Mom Missy rode a bit with her at first to help her get the hang of it, and she and Dad Jim tagged along right at the handlebars as she rode. I'm sure it'll be no time before she's darting around completely on her own!
Friend Peter Awful showed off some of his best desert fashion.
Friend Michelle took the girls (aka Denise in passenger seat, Missy, and me) out for an afternoon ride in her "Rhino," and it was quite the adventure. Safely harnessed into the back seat, Missy and I quickly got into a good rhythm of knowing exactly when to hang our Seagrams coolers out the side of the vehicle in order to avoid spillage. It's all about avoiding spillage, you know.
Michelle's mom, Linda, followed us on a 4-wheeler, and because we ended up in a wash for a large portion of the outing, there were a few points where we had to get out to do some scouting to make sure we weren't going to get stuck on any rocks.
Back at the camp in the evenings, we roasted these gi-normous marshmellows. Of course, I was the one who read the nutrition information on the bag, and the darned things were 95 calories and 16 grams of sugar each!!!

Amanda, daughter of friends Garth and Denise, LOVED the giant marshmellows, and was quite heartbroken when she realized she'd stepped on one!
I left camp to return home on Friday, and it was pretty tough leaving because everyone else was there until Sunday morning. It about ripped my guts out to leave Lacey waving from the camper window!

HAPPY 2009, Y'ALL!!!