[code"> [/code"> Courtenay Brown: April 2007

Monday, April 30, 2007

Quotes of the Weekend

"I single-handedly brought down the dress code at that place. When I left, we were one step away from flip-flops!"
-Mack, regarding his instrumental fashion-for-dorky-landscape-architects legacy at his former place of employment

"Great racing out there girls, you really animated that race! Way to be aggressive! -pause- Wait, there were only TWO of you?! Not your whole team?!"
- Aaron's director Carmen, complimenting Taitt's and my Skills after Roswell

And then at the airport ticketing line at bright and cheery 6 a.m. today:

Me: We aren't sitting together.
Taitt: Right! Two rows apart. We are definitely not sitting together.
United Lady: You girls had a long trip?

Actually, our reasoning/excuse was that we both wanted window seats!

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Athens! And Roswell!

I called the Athens Twilight Criterium a paradise for bike racers in a blog post a couple of months ago.

Well. It totally is - and as a matter of fact, the Nalley Roswell Criterium on the following day is pretty darn cool, too. Taitt and I had a great time! Here are some highlights:

-actually this is sort of a lowlight, funny now but not at the time: somehow 4 people at the Athens reg booth, 3 of whom had laptops, checked in racers one at a time, making sure to spend at LEAST 5 minutes per racer. Thus the reg line was enormous, and thus we got a 15 minute warmup! But it seemed to work for me so from now on, 15 minute warmup max ;)

-back to the highlights: I set out to be a Prime Machine at Athens. Technically I think that title should go to Kat Carroll who won a million primes and the race itself, but anyway I would say I came in second place in the unofficial Prime Machine competition, I won two primes! At Athens! It took a lot of restraint not to fist-pump after each of them...

-speaking of Kat, her call-up on Sunday was kind of funny: "and now, Kat Carroll, the winner of last night's Athens Criterium, a once-in-a-lifetime experience!" Funny because Kat is 26, she's incredibly talented, and surely that was not a one-off occurrence! It was her first NRC win, though, which was really cool.

-after lots of scientific taste testing, we determined that the Dreyers Slow Churned Ice Cream Bars are way better than the Breyers ones.

-an anonymous friend who is from Georgia and is on the Arete team nearly got arrested after his race for accepting an open beer from a fan as he crossed the finish line. Fortunately it was his "lucky night", he got off with just a ticket (memo field said "16 oz. Pabst Blue Ribbon"). Ha!

And now it's photo time. BTW sorry if this post is lame, and I won't bore you with my weekend sleep-statistics-excuse...

Anyway here I am after the twilight race with one of the many bulldogs standing on the streets of Athens, home of the University of Georgia Bulldogs. This one is the Downtown Dog.

No rest for the weary... on our way home from the airport today, we popped into San Francisco, found some random alley, and hauled all our stuff out of Dan's car so we could really quick put Taitt's bike together so she could go to work. I meanwhile came home and frittered away the day in refreshingly slackard ways... Anyway here's Taitt on her awesome commuter bike, equipped with an SRM and everything!

And finally, in case you forgot, the South is Bible Land:

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Thursday, April 26, 2007

Latest Reasons why my Living Situation is Lame

1. I just went downstairs to wash my bike for the races this weekend, and someone took away the hose! Gah! My already cursory bike-washing regimen has now been reduced to total half-assedness...

2. I opened my mailbox to find an envelope addressed from the landlady. Shit, I thought, before even opening it, is my rent that overdue?! Or OMG am I being kicked out so her daughter can move in or something? What am I going to DO?!

But this is not what the letter was about.

Instead, it was a memo (sent to each tenant of the 10-unit building) saying that we should "please be advised that there may have been 'Evidence' of Drug Activity in the Building."

Duh. Obviously. I mean, it's Oakland for crying out loud. People smoke pot in their apartments, I said to myself.

But there was a bit more:

"I will not tolerate anyone 'using' or 'selling' drugs. Immediate 'Eviction' and possible reporting to the authorities will prevail."

O.K., intermittent capitalizations and usage of random quotations without specifically defining the contents of said quotations aside... Selling?!?! There is drug dealing going on in my building?!

I know, I know, I should heed my own "come on it's Oakland for crying out loud" words, but still. I am not exactly psyched at the thought of your stereotypical drug-dealing miscreants and whatnots shuffling through the hallway past my bike-filled apartment.

I am reminded of the time in my junior year of high school when there was this big "drug bust" at my little all girls' boarding school. Apparently some girls had been smoking pot and a couple were kicked out. I was completely flabbergasted and disillusioned and scared at the news. Oh my god I am at a school where people do DRUGS?!?!

Which further reminds me of this one time when I had this teabag - oh wait. I probably shouldn't tell this story ;)

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Wednesday, April 25, 2007

New New New

My ROC anti-aging night cream must be working already...

I have a newly tweaked bike fit and some new pieces of equipment which should oh-so-hopefully eliminate the cramping problems I have had at every road race so far this year! I am also feeling like a spring chicken thanks to new developments regarding verboten blog topics (anything big and important, e.g. work, future plans that are as yet up in the air, the nitty-gritty of my Supa Happenin' Social Life, basically anything that is not a race report, a play-by-play account of the mundane, or a conversation of some sort!).

And, best of all, I got a new haircut! Whilst coaxing my hair into Sunday's 'do (which I purposely did not document digitally) I realized that it hadn't been cut in a year and was in need of serious choppage courtesy of Onika at On Mars, on Fillmore St. Today was the day. Of course I wore my glasses today, not my contacts, and you have to take your glasses off when they cut your hair, so all I really knew during the whole process was that she wasn't giving me a buzzcut. Everything else was a mystery. I sat in what felt like total blindness for an hour, very aware that a. I am blind, b. all I ever really talk about is bike racing and bike racers , c. it's kinda hard to talk about bike racing with probably 99% of all hairdressers, including Onika, so d. this is another reason why it's a really good thing I re-signed-up for Netflix last month because at least I am somewhat proficient in pop-culture-talk!

Anyway I put my glasses back on after she was finished and was so pleased! She did a great job! No more pyramid-hair! I felt totally guilty that I had to put my helmet on top of my freshly styled head, so here's a snapshot of me pre-helmet, sorry it's zoomed in so much but you kinda get the idea:

I wonder: if it were actually 1997, not 2007, would my haircut be called The Rachel? But I don't really want to know...

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Monday, April 23, 2007

Dream Come True

I got tall!

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Sunday, April 22, 2007

Quotes of the Weekend

Halfway through my cup of coffee at Cole this morning at 9 a.m.-ish, I decided to call Tracie to see if she wanted to join me and Holly on our Sunday ride. Her phone did not go straight to voicemail so that meant calling was fair game in my book.

Me: Hey Tracie!! What's up?!?!

: You, apparently.

: OMG were you aSLEEP?! Sorry! Holly and I want you to come ride with us!!

: Um, OK. That would be cool actually.

: What are you supposed to do for a workout today?

: The Wente Crit.

: Oh. Well then how is it that you are going to ride with us if you are RACING at 12:30?!?

: You asked what I am supposed to do, remember? But I am not going to go race.

: Ohhhhhh. So can you meet us in Lafayette in an hour and a half?!? We can dilly-dally if that would help!!

: Please do dilly-dally. I'm still in bed...


Then tonight, after a day in the saddle with the girls and not enough time to nap, I went to a benefit gala in the city for the American Conservatory Theater (A.C.T.). It was cool, I wore a dress AND makeup AND I successfully followed the instructions in Allure magazine for putting my hair in a snazzy updo! The food was good and so was the company at my table. Oh, and the dress was strapless. After the event, as I waited for my car in the valet area, another gala attendee came up to me:

High-Society Lady: Excuse me, are you the one with the horses all over your back?

Me, doing my best impersonation of a Polite Girl Whose Mother Taught Her Well Excepting the Ink on her Back/Arms
: Why yes, I do have horses on my back.

: Why?

I was, believe it or not, speechless. I have never received such a one-word interrogation from a stranger before. Oh well - I had looked around the ballroom at the gala and noticed not a single other drop of ink anywhere so I guess I stood out! But maybe I was also speechless because I had just witnessed my friend call his Oldsmobile sedan, which I successfully guessed was inherited from his Grandmother, the "Silver Stallion." And I thought this was just the stuff of movies!

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Saturday, April 21, 2007

Today was Great

Yes caffeine is still rampaging through my system and producing this somewhat uncharacteristic positivity... sorry!

Anyway. Today was the Wente Road Race. I woke up way too early for my tastes (5:15! ew!), but 3 facts made the early morning totally super:

1. The new Piedmont Ave. Peet's is 6 blocks from my house AND it opens at 6 a.m. on Saturdays!

2. It wasn't raining!

3. The sunrise this morning was lovely...

As for the race itself - it was great too. I will spare you the boring/gory details but bottom line is I felt great about my improvement since last year, when I was OTB by the time we were halfway up the climb on the first lap. This year I stayed with the main group for the entire race. AND I have confirmation from a racer with an SRM that this year was in fact harder up the climb than last year! Mt. Hood here I come... I was also really pleased for Jill McLaughlin and Stacy Marple, who were off the front for over half the race. They are both really strong and impressive racers.

Anyway, other reasons why Today was Great:

4. Roman won the men's race!

James Mattis finished 3rd but he missed the podium because he went out to ride even more after the race ended.

5. Sarah said our Team VAC kits look awesome! She is totally right.

6. Tons of cool fun people were at the race. Too many to name them all, but having almost all of my favourite people in one place really made my day! I love the racing community.

7. I went shopping and found a new favourite shirt at Old Navy whilst simultaneously talking about current favourite subject (racer boyfriends) on the phone with Tracie. Here's the shirt - it's got sparkly ponies on it! I bought two so I could "have one to give to my sister" (yes, the checkout girl did ask) but really I got 2 because I am concerned that I will need a backup favourite shirt, in the likely event that I lose/mess up the original.

That's it for now. Still waiting on a Quote of the Weekend to post, maybe that will present itself tomorrow.

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Thursday, April 19, 2007

Old Old Old

OK, time to move all the tech phone stuff down and get back to making fun of how retarded I am...

Does anyone happen to randomly have a VAC windvest that is not theirs that is a size small and that has the initals CB in the tag?

I lost mine over the weekend somehow.

I am hoping it is the same sort of thing as when I lost my debit card at CVC back in March and then last week found it in my wallet in this weird little random pocket, the existence of which I was previously unaware.

Or that it's the same sort of thing as my Special Place filing/organizing system - put everything into a special place and you will eventually find it. For example, Special Place for car keys is in the key hole that opens the trunk. Special place for dirty laundry is the floor. But I have no recollection of what the Special Place for my vest is (I checked the floor already, and the car, and the whole apartment).

I am only 28 yet my memory seems to be gone. Sharon says it's a sign that I have too much going on, but I am taking some anti-aging precautions just in case. I bought the April issue of Allure Magazine the other day, and on my way to work today I did the little memory test in the magazine and then I went to Walgreens and bought all these anti-aging-cream-renewal products they recommended, plus a couple of lipsticks and a hair thing. But of course, since I am getting old and forgetful, I forgot a couple items and I have to go BACK to Walgreens on my way home...

Anyway I got this ROC night cream that's "proven" to reduce lines and wrinkles. So, expect another Professional Extensive Product Review in the near future. Provided that I remember to actually use the stuff every night.

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Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Professional Extensive Product Review of Sony Ericsson w810i

So, the new phone is actually pretty cool.

Interface is good. Text messaging is WAY easier than on previous device, where I had to hit 5 buttons to get it to type in lower case. Datebook and alarm settings are good too (it even has snooze! what luxury!), the ringtone sounds great, and it came with a nice set of headphones. AND the camera is easy to use with cycling gloves on and takes very decent photos!

My complaint: all this Sony Walkman music application business is not compatible with my laptop since it's a (gasp) Mac. Not that I need the music features, but it would be nice to have the option. Oh well.

P.S. ADDED BONUS: I can hear what people are saying! AND they can hear me! How exciting! Now I just have to make sure that, going forward, we are travelling to races in areas that actually have cell coverage...

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Good Old Fashioned Cell Phone

Yesterday, after dealing with one crapassy phone that completely crapped out and one that only let me hear 75% of what people said, I decided it was time to suck it up and sign on for another 2 years with Cingular in exchange for a "reasonable" price on a new phone.

I wanted something that would:
a. work
b. take pictures
c. work
d. be able to have email during periods of time when I am at my mom's, where the only internet is dial-up through 85-year-old phone lines
e. work
f. not be a flip phone
g. work

I got online to do some research but that was taking way too long, so I solicited advice from various guy friends. Guys know a lot about technology, right? So they should be able to point me in the right wireless device direction.

Me: So I need to get a new phone. What should I get?
Mack: I love my Treo. You should totally get one.
Me: Does it take good photos? I want a camera phone.
Mack: They are OK, not the greatest.
Me: Can I take photos and post them on my blog?
Mack: It's kinda slow with the internet thing.
Me: Oh. It doesn't sound like it's what I want. I really want a camera phone and something with email but not something huge and I don't need all those dumb PDA features.
Mack: Well you should totally get a Treo. It's really cool and you can organize everything in it and it's the best PDA. You should get one.
Me: Um were you listening? I don't need a PDA!!

Me: So I need to get a new phone. What should I get?
Brian the IT Guy: The Blackberry Pearl is awesome. You should totally get one.
Me: Does it take good photos? How many megapixels?
Brian: They are OK. 1.3 megapixels.
Me: Oh. And isn't that the one with the little trackball thing? I would break it for sure.
Brian: So what. It's the coolest PDA out there. You should definitely get one.
Me: But I don't need a PDA. I need a camera phone.
Brian: Yeah but the Pearl is the coolest. You should get one.
Me: -groan-

Me: So I need to get a new phone. What should I get?
Devon: You should get an iPhone!
Me: Um, it's not out till June and it doesn't have a camera. AND it's huge.
Devon: So what! That thing is sick! Your phone you have now works, just wait till June!
Me: You were the one who said you couldn't hear a word I was saying and you had to call me on my land line. My phone doesn't work. I need a new one. And I don't need an iPod in my phone, I already have an iPod! And I want a camera phone!
Devon: I still think you should wait for the iPhone.

Everyone was trying to live vicariously through me... thankfully, the Cingular sales guy was not.

Me: So, I need a new phone, and I have kinda narrowed it down to the Blackberry Pearl and the Sony Ericcson w810i. The Pearl camera has a flash but I am worried that it's more device than I need.
Salesguy: Will you be needing the organizer and outlook and other microsoft features?
Me: I really just want a cameraphone that can also do email.
Salesguy: Then you should get the Sony. You don't need a PDA. And the Sony camera is 2 megapixels.
Me: Will you marry me?

Just kidding, just kidding, he was totally not my type, but I really appreciated the fact that he did not foist his techdorkness on me.

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Monday, April 16, 2007

More Race Seriousness

OK here I am taking the race slightly more seriously than I was in that other photo...

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Quotes from the Weekend

"Sorry Ladies, we didn't get any lap cards for you so you're just going to have to pay attention."
-Officials on the start line at Sea Otter, as large rain drops are starting to fall. Greeeeaaaat. Glad you take us so seriously...

"These certainly weren't the 'scattered showers' that were advertised."
-Hannah, after cancellation of the Sea Otter circuit race due to sub-50 degree hail/windstormness.

"Roman, what kind of jeans are those? Are they Sevens? Are they women's Sevens?!"
-Devon, to Roman, not realizing that we had all already teased him about his fashion jeanwear.

"Hey, I'm fighting for Women's Rights!"
-Felicia to the women's peloton, on the start line of the Santa Cruz Criterium, after the officials announced that the race had been lengthened to 30 laps at her request. Actually I thought it was a good call.

"Girls, I want you coming back to the cars IMMEDIATELY after the race. I mean immediately! No running around all over the place FLIRTING! We have a schedule to follow!"
-Director Lisa, at Sea Otter, to all of us...

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Sunday, April 15, 2007

Strike a Pose

After today's race, a bunch of us went to Jamiel's rented beach house for his birthday barbecue and an hour or so of playtime at the beach.
Team VAC, minus Sharon who went home to Denver already :(

Token Beach/Sunset/Sky Photo

And here is my PERSONAL FAVOURITE EVER beach shenanigans photo. Health Net's own Roman Kilun displays his inner Madonna as he photographs himself in front of the ocean.

He even has rhinestones (aka bedazzlement) on the butt of his jeans...

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I take my bike racing Very Seriously.

Photo of me at today's Santa Cruz Criterium courtesy of Steven Woo's flickr account.

I was indeed waving, during the bike race, at Tracie and Holly!

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Rain or Shine. Or Hail.

Sea Otter.

Always a massive effort in many ways. Driving to the event through one of two many-mile entrances with 6 thousand other bike-laden cars, parking, getting from parking through the vendor area over the bridge dodging the mountain bikers through the mud onto the racetrack, then the race itself where you go round and round and up and down 300 feet every 7 minutes, then scraping together some sort of cool down before changing clothes and schmoozing and gossiping with sponsors in the vendor area, all the while trying to stay with your teammates, then remembering where the car is and schlepping all the way back out of the event, oh yeah don't forget to give back your expensive timing chip ankle bracelet thing that supposedly keeps track of you during your race...

I definitely love the action and the fanfare. It's one reason why I always go back. But man, Sea Otter is no joke and definitely no place for the tired or the moody. Not that I am ever either of those things, I am just saying.

Anyway, this year, on top of all the hectic crapola, please add a good dose of nutball weather. Serious nutball weather.

Look how gorgeous the weather was (and also us girls of course, me, Hannah, Taitt, and Martina, L-R) before the start:

Then the skies turned ominous approximately 1 minute before we rolled off the start line.

The wind picked up.

Then it started to rain during the second (I think) of 22 laps.

Then it REALLY started to rain.

Meanwhile the temperature plummeted from 70-ish to 45-ish.

Then it started to hail.


Then there was mad scattering off of the track and into cars and out of spandex and into something, anything, warm and dry. The latter was quite hard to come by. We did 11 laps (again: I think), but due to the rather immediate call-off of the race there was no sprint and there were no results. A wash, literally and figuratively.

After thawing out as best we could, us Team VAC-ers headed into the vendor area to visit our lovely sponsors, buy several warm Ritchey hoodies, drink lots of hot cocoa, and make fun of Sharon's outfit:

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Friday, April 13, 2007

Goof Part 2

Here I am being a moron in front of a camera again:

The good news is Smartts seems to have joined me in moron-photo-land!

Anyway, yesterday was Team Photo Day in the Marin Headlands. I was amazed that it came together - everyone made it there on time, no one forgot their helmets or bikes or clothes (although apparently we did have some requests to do a nude photo shoot)(boys. typical.), everyone remembered their lip gloss, and the sun came out.

Afterwards we went to Sushi in the city, to a place I have been many times and always liked but NO MORE. Godzila was TERRIBLE to us last night! I am sure my outfit didn't help, I was freezing after the shoot so I kept my longsleeve on and so did Taitt, whereas all the other customers in there were in their perfumed $500-jeans Pac Heights finery, but still it was totally lame. We occuppied one of the 5 tables in the whole place for over an hour with no food, shoulders slumped over the table in full I'm a Starving Athlete Who Needs to Eat Constantly mode, waiting for our dinner, drooling as plate after plate of sushi got delivered to not-our-table, but instead to tables that ordered WAY AFTER we did... anyway it was awful.

And to top it all off we all somehow under-ordered, so when we finally got our food and inhaled it in 4 minutes and thirty seconds (including all the pickled ginger flakes and random rice kernels), we were of course still hungry. Not sure what everyone else did but I was on my couch eating a spinach salad with tofu and mushrooms at 9:45 p.m. I ran out of Ben & Jerry's.

But hey, we saved about $15 total because we left a zero-dollar tip. Don't mess with a former waitress, I know that it's not that hard to smile or to provide customer service.

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Thursday, April 12, 2007

A Death

My mom told me that a childhood friend committed suicide last Tuesday, leaving behind his wife, two young children, parents, and a sister who was supposed to be getting married in a month but now might be postponing the wedding.

He spent the day working on a construction site with his dad, then went home and put a gun to his head. The funeral was on Saturday.

Poor Carter, to have felt so miserable and to have seen no other way out.

I was stuck in my own misery of trivialities last week, now I don't even remember all the details of all the world's transgressions against me but for some reason everything just felt so terrible (no it was NOT pms). I had a feeling some real tragedy might come along to snap me out of my silly wallowing. Then I heard about Carter.

I remember a similar thing back in 2001. On September 7 of that year, I turned 23. It was a Friday night. I went out celebrating with a ton of friends (here I am on that night with my friend Ginny), and at the end of the night wound up toppling to the ground on Charlottesville's Downtown Mall, an outdoor pedestrian mall paved with bricks. My friend Alex fell on top of me. I cracked my head open, bled all over the place, had a huge circle of late-night concerned onlookers around me, and then went to the emergency room in an ambulance to get 5 staples in my head. I cried and cried, wondering how to tell my mom that The Good Child got drunk and fell spectacularly. I spent three days at home depressed in my apartment. On the fourth day, I went to the post office before going to work, stood in line behind one of my former coffee-shop customers watching the TV above the counter, and both of us wondered aloud if the plane flying into the building was some sort of hoax.

It was not.

I leapt out of my pool of self-pity pretty darn fast.

This photo was taken in October of that year, when Jessica, Brian, and I (L-R) went to New York for the CMJ Music Conference, which had been postponed from Sept. 14 to Oct. 13. Andy's old photo of himself inspired me to look through my archives...

I have no analysis or final word on tragedy. I do hope to have compassion and at least a small sense of perspective. E.g. if it rains and is generally meteorologically miserable at Sea Otter this weekend, I don't think I'll burst into tears and claim it's the end of the world. It's just bike racing. Just a small part of life, and one that's there to make us happy.

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Wednesday, April 11, 2007

How do I file for an extension?

This is the third night in a row that I realize at almost-bedtime that I completely forgot about my taxes again. I have actually been productive today - trained, did laundry, cleaned up (why is this always on my to do list?!), packed stuff and cleaned bike for tomorrow's team photo shoot, had super important correspondence and conversation with super important friends about super important topics like boys and clothes and bike parts - I just spaced on the taxes part.

And, I guess I picked a slightly inopportune time to re-sign-up for Netflix. Season 1 Disc 1 of Weeds arrived this afternoon and I am already on episode 4... Excuse for this one is I do lots of quality stretching whilst watching DVDs.

Hey did anyone else almost get blown off their bike this afternoon? I felt like Dorothy or Mary Poppins or something. Not good for my vertigo. And I saw more than a few birds hovering in the same place midair for minutes on end. I found myself wondering how they aren't afraid of heights. I want their secret.

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Tuesday, April 10, 2007


Last Friday, after painting and lazing about all morning, I took myself and 3 of my bikes and a bunch of wheels and crap to the Freewheel so I could use their stands and tools and actually get some mechanic stuff done (with a little help secured via eyelash-batting and general Courtenay charm such as "Travis, do you have any special scissors that actually work back there?!"...).

Anyway, as I was sitting there fiddling with a seatpost, my cell phone rang, and for some reason even though it was an unknown number AND I was totally busy AND in a public place, I answered it.

It was a reporter from the San Jose Mercury News calling to ask me some questions about Sea Otter and women's bike racing in the U.S. We chatted for a while about both topics. (And I put my saddle and seatpost on totally wrong during this time).

The article ran today, you can read it here. I thought it was a good article, and I was actually glad to see that none of my words were used. I don't see myself on the same level as the Webcor women or the Colavita women. Not yet, anyway, not yet... My relative newness to the sport, combined with my background in economics, means that I actually have a pretty positive take on the state of women's racing in the U.S. I have more of an "all things considered the situation is pretty good" sort of outlook.

I must be getting soft in my old age - I think there is room for various opinions on this one.

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Monday, April 09, 2007

Rare Words from a Real Live Teenager

My 19-year-old sister Sarah just got to New Zealand. One week ago she was in Bogota, Colombia, and in the interim week she was at home in Maryland doing a whole lot of nothing. I got lots of calls from my Mom, Sal, during this week... "Sweetie will you please call your sister and encourage her to clean her room and get organized? She is upstairs ignoring me, the little brat."

I can totally picture it...

Sal issuing orders:

Sarah being oblivious/unresponsive:

Anyway, I checked in with The Little Brat yesterday, went through the usual round of mutual teasing and her calling me a loser before we got to the real gem of the conversation.

Sarah says: Little Sal... I really miss her when I am far away!

This is becoming family one-liners week.

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"I Want to Hit Him!"

This is the Latest Quote from my little 2 year old cousin Nadja regarding her newborn baby brother.

(No I never had such sentiments about my own little baby brother...)

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Sunday, April 08, 2007

Stop the Q-tip when you meet resistance!

Or in this case: stop the activity that is causing gross blood blisters!

But I love running. And it was such a beautiful day for it.

After years of brain-poking via diligent Q-tipping, how much common sense can I really expect in myself?

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Saturday, April 07, 2007


How do you parents do it?

I just spent 4 hours at my cousin's house with her, her husband, her 2 1/2 year old, and her 1 week old.

I am exhausted.**

It was super fun, Mika and Wolfie are very cool parents and their little people are so cute, but whoa. We read, climbed in and out of chairs, nursed the baby, held the baby, went potty, put on and took off lots of clothes, made raviolis, ate raviolis, made other dinner, put a bed together, gossiped, read another book, played with rubber stamps, ate chocolates, took photos of me holding the baby to show my mom who loves babies but as yet has no grandchildren (Ma don't count on me to help you out with that), played in a swing, and discussed the many merits of being a big sister. Yikes! Left to my own devices I would have spent the evening with my feet propped up doing not much. Nevertheless, I had enough fun to want to go back later in the week, after some recovery and napping on my part...

Also: I am getting Nadja on the Team VAC bandwagon early. She's the Team Toddler/soigneur-in-training!

**(Although perhaps 4 drizzly hours in the saddle today with some Strawberry boys, a Kelly Strategist, a Health Nut, and a teammate had a small something to do with my tiredness. All of us have spent the last 6 or so weekends racing, rather than riding together, so we had more than the usual amount of shenanigans. Thankfully, however, there was less than the usual amount of bodily-function talk and innuendoed insulting.)

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Friday, April 06, 2007


I decided to get all religious today since it's Good Friday and the markets are closed. I stayed home and slept in (until the trash trucks came at 6:30 anyway) and talked on the phone and pushed some paint around a canvas and generally worshiped my bed and my flipflops and pj's and other day-off sorts of things.

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Time Warp

Apparently I have been telling myself for two and a half weeks that I still have a month to do my taxes, not realizing that with each day that passes that's one less day left to do them. Yesterday it finally hit me that I indeed have much much less than a month left.

Ahh math.

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Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Rte. 5

A few weeks ago I drove to Visalia (alone!). When I turned off of I-5 onto 198, I looked in my rearview mirror for almost a solid 15 minutes, it was so beautiful.

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I come by it honestly

I called my mom on her cell phone yesterday. It went to voicemail, I started leaving her a message, then she started calling me so I answered.

Me: Ma?

Sal: Sorry sweetie! I have to change this stupid ring on my cell phone but I have to wait until your sister gets home tomorrow so she can show me how.

Me: Why, what happened?

Sal: Well, Glenn came over yesterday and she and Sarah started talking about awful cell phone rings and they said mine was one of them, which it is, but there aren't any better options on the phone, but they changed it anyway.

Me: To what?

Sal: A meow! Now my phone sounds like a cat! So every time it rings I walk around looking for the cat that's making all that racket. When you called just now I was in the garden and there were 4 cats around me and so I just figured it was one of them until I remembered my phone was in my pocket!

Poor Sal. She is also still complaining about some option my brother set on her computer two Christmases ago, it makes something disappear when you hit something else or something, anyway she can't figure out how to change it back and I clearly don't even know what she is talking about so I am no help either.

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Tuesday, April 03, 2007


I accidentally left my pedals 15 miles down the road yesterday, so instead of riding today I went for a run.

I took my camera.

A nice gentleman offered to take the photo after watching me take a couple of unsuccessful arm-outstretched shots.

But why am I standing like a kindergartener with, um, pants issues?

I need so much help. Cameras turn me into a moron.

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Plastic Bag Ban in S.F.

Oh my god there is HOPE!! Maybe we are not on a rapid bobsled-ride to world destruction after all. Maybe we have slowed to a sled-ride pace.

Climate metaphors aside, this ordinance makes me really happy. It won't affect me directly, because right now I don't live in San Francisco, but I am hoping it inspires other cities and regions to start implementing similar waste-reduction measures.

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Monday, April 02, 2007


I have been doing a lot of it lately. The messy sneezes where you have to wash your hands and your keyboard/steering wheel/handlebars/clean dishes you just washed. O.K. that last one's hypothetical, I last did dishes on Saturday morning pre-sneezing attacks, but you get the idea.

Ooooh I just came up with a new good excuse not to do dishes!!

Anyway, so yeah, I am kinda sick and it's annoying. I should be going to sleep right now but as usual, 9:30 hit and I was suddenly wide awake. Frustrating.

Another frustrating thing is that I have really wanted to post photos but all my picture attempts have been crap lately. So I am really sorry about all this boring text with no imagery diversion, but be grateful for my quality standards.

In other random news:

-I won my first-ever NRC prime yesterday in Ojai

-Current favourite post from new favourite website

-I realized today that there is another middle-of-the-road hazard that is possibly even more dangerous than the cart-toting bum. It's the high-heeled-lady-jaywalking-on-cell-with-head-looking-opposite-way-of-oncoming-traffic, who seems to think that a revealing outfit is a more effective vehicle-stopper than a traffic light. I encountered like 3 today in one five-block stretch of Sansome Street. Didn't physically encounter them mind you, I resisted the urge...

-I hope Tom Boonen wins Paris Roubaix. I like him. Kim Anderson is my other favourite but she is not on the start list for some strange reason (joke).

-Speaking of jokes, whoever does the Toyota-United photo page seems to have an interesting sense of humour... In the Ojai photo captions, there is a reference to a move that was "broke back with three laps remaining." Ha! Brokeback references are so 2006! Then, in the photos from the Central Valley Classic road race, there is a shot of poor Henk looking miserable, and the caption says he is "still riding himself into shape." I am such a nerd. Words crack me up. After Visalia, the local newspaper called Dominguez the "Cuban Defector." I guess no one told them it was "Cuban Missile." I found it hilarious.

O.K., kids, you are in luck, I am tired and therefore bringing this collection of mediocrity to a close...

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Sunday, April 01, 2007

Conversation with my Brother #2

Little Brother: Hey sis whatup?

Big Sister: Hey! Nothing! I am driving home from a race!

LB: Oh. You're driving? Maybe I should wait till later to tell you this.

BS: Huh? Tell me what? Oh my god what HAPPENED?! Are you O.K.?

LB: Well, I got a girl pregnant.

BS: You WHAT? Oh my god WHO? Do I KNOW her?!

LB: Some random hookup. You don't know her.

BS: Oh my god what are you going to DO?!

LB: I don't know. I tried to tell Ma earlier but I was on the phone and I just couldn't do it.

BS: Oh my god I am so SORRY! Are you O.K.?! I mean, what are you guys going to DO?!

LB: Well. April Fool's.

BS: GAH!!!!

I am like the easiest person to fool ever. I am so gullible.

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Martina's Quote of the Weekend

...spoken in downtown Ojai, whilst navigating the bike-laden car through farmer's market foot traffic, after being booted out of a sweet parking spot by a teenage boy who reminded me an awful lot of the brother in Little Miss Sunshine

sorry for all the stage-setting

on to the quote...

Come on, pedestrians, walk in a clump for crying out loud!

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