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

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Hung Over in Telluride

So I find out this morning that one drink in Telluride is equal to two drinks at sea level. Last night might have been a better time to find that out, but on the other hand I can't tell you the last time I did pretty much nothing all day but watch bad TV, get my nails done, and eat! And it's not like I was the only one... there were lots of "whoa, that [ginormous piece of furniture] was NOT there a second ago"'s and "is it o.k. if I skip out on hiking I feel like crap"'s today.

Quotes of the weekend thus far:

"Good for you for wearing heels in Telluride! I mean, you look great! And, heels!"
-local lady to me last night. I didn't realize I was committing a local fashion faux pas when I got dressed.

"Is this scratch and sniff? Mine is!"
-another local lady to me, late last night, whilst scratching and sniffing my left shoulder. We were at a reggae show, which might have had something to do with it.

"Man. I just love the way [wife] looks in those boots and that skirt..."
-amusing TMI

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Thursday, July 26, 2007

No Snacks!!

I am sitting in Telluride, in my hotel room, having just gotten back from dinner that involved all kinds of chips-and-dip platters, some wine, salad with nuts AND avocado AND feta, ahi tuna entree, some margarita, and fried ice cream.


As usual, me being picky about my food intake is totally backfiring because now I am hungrily crabby AND:

There is nothing to eat in here except the two boxes of truffles that were in my room when I got in this afternoon and the Jolly Ranchers I swiped from the Philly host hotel back in June which I just found in my purse.

Where oh where is my well stocked fridge and why oh why didn't I bring any snacks!

Backing up to earlier today, I totally nerded out on the cloud formations as we were flying in to Montrose and then driving to Telluride. I took 43 pretty identical-looking photos of the landscape and surrounding storm clouds, until my desperate need to expel all the water and coffee I had consumed all morning kind of necessitated a re-focus inward and some sort of zen-self controlness that went on and on way too long thanks to roadwork traffic jams. So the photographing fell by the wayside and miserable leg jiggling and road-bumpiness wincing took over.

I am having trouble with comestibles today. Sigh. Good thing I have no complaints about the scenery, company, etc.

P.S. Of the categories listed in my post below, I guess this falls under #2? "Detailed details of me and myself".

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Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Vacation Time

I am off to Telluride tomorrow for a long weekend.

Technically since this is a Work function, it is a taboo blog topic, but I will try to sneak in some harmless photos and stories that of course have no mention or inclusion of my top-secret co-workers.

Or I could fill the blog time with other fascinating topics, such as:

1. Detailed progression of my training... e.g. took BART to Orinda yesterday and did intervals on my TT bike on San Pablo Dam Road and then I rode home on Wildcat but I am pretty certain that next time I will drive to the other side of the hills rather than BART because blah blah blah... Boring.

2. Detailed details of various bodily ailments... e.g. my neck still hurts from crashing two weeks ago, I still have a lump on my inner right thigh from the mysterious insect bite I got at NVGP, I have these ridges on both thumb nails, and I keep having nightmares that my teeth are falling out... but this might be a little too revealing of my psychoses and inanities.

3. I could call my mom and post transcripts of our conversations. E.g.:

Me: Hi Ma.
Sal: Hi Sweetie!!!
Me: I want to adopt a kitty.
Sal: No! I forbid you!
Me: Why? You live 3000 miles away.
Sal: You have NO BUSINESS being responsible for ANY LIVING THING. Your life is TOO SELF CENTERED. It would be UN FAIR to the KITTY.

We have had this conversation a ton of times. You can also replace "kitty" with "puppy", "bunny", "snake", "tree", and "goldfish", and the rest of the conversation will remain the same.

4. I could opine about the state of bike racing and dopers. NO THANKS I am sick of this topic.

#3 is thus far looking pretty good...

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Monday, July 23, 2007


So I went with Greg to the Vineman half ironman triathlon up in Sonoma this weekend, to watch him race, get in some good training of my own, and generally take in the sights.

It being a 70.3 monstrosity, run by the Ironman corporation which as far as I can tell is the Clear Channel of the sports world that has created a huge machine to take people's money whilst making them feel like Winners because they get to spend all sorts of money and get finishing medals in exotic locales such as Santa Rosa and Cancun, (btw this is mainly the amateur stuff I am overgeneralizing about here)... anyway due to these facts there was LOTS of blog fodder. It was great fun.

I do however have utmost respect for those who race the race.

Weekend snippets:

It's 4:55 a.m. and we are driving from our homestay to the race start. I am sipping the weakest ever coffee, and Greg is answering my question about how his stuff is supposed to get from one place to another (opting not to bore you with all the logistics here)...

Greg: ...so I'll put that stuff in that plastic bag that has my number in it, the one they gave me at registration, and then the race staff brings everyone's bags to the finish.
Me: Oh. It wasn't the clear one on the floor that I threw away this morning was it?
Greg: Haha. You are funny.
Me: No seriously that's one of the things that was in the trash pile I threw away.
Greg: Stop kidding.
Me: I'm not... so then how is your stuff going to get from one place to the other without getting lost?
Greg: ...
Me: I was being helpful!
Greg: ...
Me: Sorry!

Now that I write it, it seems silly, but at the time I felt awful for being "helpful" to the point of overefficiency. We did successfully get his stuff though.


I am riding along on the bike course, going opposite of the direction of the race so I can see everyone esp. Greg who of course was going through an aid station when I passed so he did not in fact see me waving frantically with both arms but that's O.K., anyway later on I was riding and some dude drops his gel flask on the ground. I decide to continue my helpful streak and I pull over to pick it up for him.

Dude: Stop! That's Mine! I Need That! It's Mine!
Me: I was going to pick it up so I could hand it to you. Sheesh.

I pedal off leaving Mr. Freakout's flask on the ground. As if I would steal someone else's nasty saliva-smothered goop... Come on.


After my ride I went over to the finish to see Greg. I got there a little early, and was standing there talking to the announcers for a while. Then I saw Greg running down the finishing chute and of course could not stop clapping (since it was my being-helpful day and everything).

Over the loudspeakers: "And here comes Greg Remaly! Hey Greg, there's a cute girl on a bicycle clapping for you!"

Like I said I lazed on the photo front but here's a photo from Greg's Alcatraz finish, imagine this with sunny-sky colours:

You'd clap too.

O.K. that's it for now. More tomorrow...

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Friday, July 20, 2007

Speaking of The Little Brat

Talking to my mom about the new kitty led to me talking to my sister about my mom, and then about other things.

The little brat is doing well. Her life is still a boyless dismality, she says, and the new kitty is very cute, and no Sal is NOT going to call it Nueve, definitely NOT.

And, she even got herself a real live summer job in D.C.!

Me: how's work?

Scare: um
I'm not dead
which is a plus

Me: whoa
why would you be dead?

Scare: I work in Homeland Security
why wouldn't I be dead?
also there is the boredom factor.

I suggested she play minesweeper and plan cute outfits to wear this weekend while going into Annapolis by herself (since she doesn't know anyone) to buy the new Harry Potter, and additionally she could take up yoga because that's where she could meet some nice sensitive dudes. I was met with several "ugh"s and a fairly prompt peace-out.

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Conversation with Mom #8

I have been so busy lately doing really important things the details of which I forget that I have kind of slacked on calling my mom. Last week I get this email from her, and mind you she is not usually the most openly affectionate-towards-her-kids person ever (examples), anyway she writes me this email filling me in on the latest news and at the end she says "I miss talking to you."

Oops. I am a terrible daughter. But I am working on making up for it thanks to Cingular.

Sal: ...and we have a new cat!

Me: Another one? Where did you get it?

Sal: WELL, it showed up in Maggie's front yard last week and she called me saying could I take it since she couldn't keep it because her cat would kill it, and I said why didn't she take it to the SPCA, and she said oh no it's so cute and precious she just couldn't do that and wouldn't I please take it, and I said I would only take it if it was gray and a girl, and damned if the thing isn't a gray girl kitty. So now she's mine.

Me: Well what's her name?

Sal: We haven't named her yet. I am taking suggestions.

Me: What are you up to in Spanish numbers? (side note: there are a bunch of cats on my mom's property, when the 7th showed up she decided she'd run out of names and she called that one Siete, then Ocho arrived...)

Sal: Nueve. This one is the 9th. But your sister said I can't call it Nueve, and she said if I do she's going to move out, so I can't call it Nueve.


Sal: Maybe I will call it Nueve.

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Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Lists of Things

(title happens to be the name of this random album by this random band named Polaris Mine, I recall the album kind of not being good)

On to the List:

1. Yesterday morning on the bike shuttle I pissed off another regular rider because I took the bike slot he wanted and then I ignored him when he started ranting and raving. But dude I got there first.

2. I rode my Serotta to work because I was going to go to Marin after work so that's why I stole the good spot that enables you to block other bikes from ramming into yours.

3. Mid-morning I heard some big pop coming from the direction of the server room.

4. I keep my bike in the server room.

5. When I went to leave work for my Chiropractor appointment in Marin, totally on time mind you, I found a flat front tire in the server room.

6. It was a brand new tire. Which in retrospect I had problems putting on, and ruined two tubes in the process, but this fact did not strike me as odd until item #8 below.

7. Skipping forward a half hour... dead-and-broken tally includes: 2 additional tubes, 2 CO2 cartridges, one CO2 cartridge dispenser (my own stupid fault for trying to use it while talking on the phone and thus while forgetting to unscrew the valve cap on the tube), and the eardrums of 3 people including myself.

8. With the assistance of boys who actually know a thing or two, I figured out that the tire bead was faulty.

9. P.S. Despite what you might infer from this and previous posts, I AM INDEED CAPABLE OF FIXING A FLAT. The circumstances just need to be totally right, or something.

10. As if to ice the cake, later when I went to the pool, I got all the way there and locked up my bike and everything and realized that I had all necessary swim items except for my swimsuit.

11. So I pedalled home and got it.

12. Using other people's photos due to lack of picture-motivation on my part. I think I am going through one of those rare and unusual I-don't-like-my-reflection-OR-my-shadow-for-that-matter chick phases that is so alluring and appealing to dudes.

13. This morning my capslock key was broken. As in permanently-on. Somehow I fixed it - but I almost blogged in shout-mode! And I am wearing all black today and everyone keeps calling me Johnny Cash.

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Tuesday, July 17, 2007


Favourite post of the day (aside from my own bunny photo below)(which I ganked from someone else)(so I guess it doesn't really count then)

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News from the Dark Side

O.K. kids well guess what. I am not going to Altoona. I made the mistake of keeping my head down and pushing through all warning signs of burnout and exhaustion for the past couple of months, and now it's too late to go back.

Which is actually fine with me.

I will keep riding and get ready for Downer's Grove, but I also want to go running, and in other news after 6 sessions in the pool I upgraded myself from the "slow" lane to the "medium" lane, so anyway I am doing what any clever Economics major would do: diversifying.

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Monday, July 16, 2007

Partied til 10 PM

I have lived in the same building in Oakland now for almost two years. The location could hardly be more convenient, the price is better than right, and the apartment has a lot of charm, but the area is not the safest and has encouraged habits and attitudes in myself that I don't necessarily like.

Such as: refusing to park anywhere more than 25 feet from the front door esp. at night (a habit which has resulted in a parking ticket), taking different circuitous routes home from training rides so as to foil would-be stalkers, keeping all windows shut and locked regardless of nearly double-digit-Fahrenheit temperatures outside so that no one can clamber up the walls and into the apartment (btw like with most apartments in the area, there is no a/c), hiding laptop and evidence of it and any other nice electronic equipment in various sneaky and clever places just in case if someone were to get inside...

So I have maintained a solid on-line relationship with craigslist since pretty much day one, looking for the ideal apartment that must exist somewhere. Momentum of such has really heated up lately, because the landlord said no kitties allowed and because the apartment is definitely on the smallish side for two people, bearable and endearing but smallish nonetheless, plus my I-want-a-safe-community-feel impulses have persisted.

Meanwhile, three of my neighbors (the building has 12 units, and there are a couple apartments across the street with the same owner and they use our laundry room so they were invited too) decided to have a meet-your-neighbor party this weekend downstairs in the communal garage/patio. Greg and I went. So did almost everyone else.

Here's what we learned and decided:

-Claudia has lived in the building for like 8 years and it turns out she is from Maryland just like me (we found this out at the airport last Christmas when I was in line behind her and we recognized each other from the mailbox or laundry area)(we were on the same flight). She was a swimmer in school and we are going to go to the pool together sometime.

-Joe is our next-door neighbor and he is the oldest of almost everyone and he was born in the house across the street. He rides a bmx bike that is really cool but weighs forty pounds and is missing some spokes from too much carousing. I see him all over the place in the East Bay, we wave, but until Saturday we didn't know each other's names.

-Oronde is cool. He did a triathlon one time and he bike commutes frequently. And his friend brought this delicious salad with purple carrots, blueberries, homemade croutons, and some sort of sesame vinaigrette. There was also arugula in there which really put it over the top.

-Jade and I moved in on the same weekend two years ago and we are both still there.

-Elizabeth is quite the gardener and she even beautified the little parched square of nature on the sidewalk outside the front door. There is one plant amongst all hers that is dead, it turns out the dead one is Claudia's.

-I have met Ben from #1 five times over the past two years - each time, he says "do you live here? I'm Ben!" and the past three times I have said "I have met you (however many it is at that point) times! We keep having the same conversation!" Fifth time was on Saturday at the party, this time though I was amused rather than offended, because I have gotten used to it. I wonder if we will have a round #6 on this one.

-Apparently there are 4 liquor stores within 2 blocks of our building. I did not even know there were any nearby.

-It was totally fun.

-Now we are not moving any more.

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Friday, July 13, 2007

At Least I Don't Spend My Days Tootling Around Looking For Questionably Parked Cars to Cite

I have decided I need a new category in my annual personal budget. I have "Rent", "Teeth and Health", "Food", "Bike Crap", "Beautification Crap", "Oh Yeah the Car Too", etc. and btw this is in order of importance.

New category is "Miscellaneous Stupidity Costs".

e.g.: Parking the car in a red zone that is red for NO REASON but is red nonetheless. Total Cost: $70

Further e.g.: Getting suckered into signing up for AT&T DSL which sucks and missing the send-it-back window. Total Cost: ~ $250

Also e.g.: Throwing water bottles during a stage race when at the back of the peloton with full hands/pockets. Total Cost: $50

(just to name a few)


All totally stupid, yet all avoidable, which makes the waste-of-money even more annoying.

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Thursday, July 12, 2007

(Updated) Possible Reasons Why I Tripped And Fell And Subsequently Needed Tegaderm

1. Made sneering sorts of comments about high school girls who were running on the trail and who you can smell a mile away because of the high-school-girl super-aromas of bonne bell and body shop and whatever else they buy after school and slather on themselves.

Bitter old lady never wins.

2. Spent all this time and money on getting back and neck sorted out on Tuesday, subsequently blogged about it, but my wtf blogging about Minneapolis' 100,000 chiropractor offices seems to have gotten back around to me. Meaning: tripping and falling put me back at square-negative-ten in terms of how my back and neck feel. Good thing I already have an appointment for next week!

Kharma likes to slap me in the face sometimes.

3. A couple weeks ago when Greg and I were running together and he did the same trip-and-fall thing in pretty much the same place (although with slightly less skin and blood involved, I must say), a string of I-am-so-coordinated-and-antelope-like-since-I-did-not-trip thoughts went through my head pretty darn fast.

See above comment about kharma.

4. What a klutz. I can't believe I crashed while running. Ha. The last time this happened was the winter of 2000, in Charlottesville, when I didn't let a silly ice storm stop me from training.

5. I took photos of all my wounds when I got home (Greg is at a race and apparently I have nothing better to do than pose for my own camera!), but since the apartment's neutron-bomb-explosion-state-of-"cleanliness" (I have been slacking) seemed to overshadow the blood and dirt and skinlessness of my elbow and hand and leg, I am not posting them.

6. Comments from the peanut gallery regarding running being for nerds, multisport being for total nerds or worse, emails with links to Bento Boxes, etc. etc. are expected... Bring it.



I just got their "Welcome!" email in my inbox.


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Wednesday, July 11, 2007

More Wisdom

Yesterday I went to the Chiropractor AND I went to get a massage. Poor Me for sure.

Warning: ringing product/service endorsement and gratuitous caps-lock ensue:

And by the way if anyone needs a good chiropractor, Chappy Wood is excellent, AND he is a cyclist so not only do you get good adjustments and therapies, but you also get to talk bike parts and rehash the latest bike-world goings-on, PLUS as if that weren't enough, they have Cycle Sport Magazine in the waiting room!!

I would like to further ringingly endorse JD, who is an excellent Massage Therapist AND excellent entertainer (see previous posts with his jokes et c., sorry to laze-out on you and not hyperlink but if you look in quotables you'll find them).

For recent example:

Me: So JD, if I were a guy, would you massage my chestal area differently-slash-more?
JD: No. I mostly massage the attachments in the chest. It doesn't make a difference if you are a boy or a girl for those.
Me: So boobs don't get in the way?
JD: No.
Me: Oh.
JD: Really I am just not into touching dudes' nipples.
I laugh for a long time
JD: It's not that funny!


For another example:

JD: blah blah blah trip to Maui blah blah my friend's wedding blah blah and I am going to be his best man.
Me: Cool. What's his fiance like?
JD: He's kind of, well, difficult.
Me: He? Wait are they gay?
JD: Yeah. It's technically a commitment ceremony, not a wedding.
Me: Nice. Tell me more.
JD: He wants to wear this white linen pantsuit thing.
Me: Ha. What are YOU wearing?!
JD: Um. They got us these Hawaiian shirts. Not the best look for me.
Me: What about pants? Are you wearing pants?
JD: We don't know yet. There are only two guys in the actual wedding.
Me: Oh.
JD: But guess how many chicks? FOURTEEN! They each have 7 in their, you know, bridal party!


And he is also good at putting me in my place:

Me: I started swimming!
JD: Oh really.
Me: I am a natural!
JD: Yeah you definitely have natural buoyancy here. I bet that helps a lot. (snicker snicker).

The bummer is that JD is off to Superweek and then Maui (see above) so I will have to call a back-up massage therapist. Anyway wish JD luck - if you are going to be there too, it's JD Bergman, and he wears this baby blue kit (team is called Squadra)(I give permission to tease him) and he will be in the P/1-2 races!

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Sunday, July 08, 2007

Stuff of the Weekend


"This is the Parking Lot Criterium World Championships. Whoever wins gets tire mark stripes around their sleeves."
-unnamed hypothetical racer who is not me, regarding unnamed hypothetical race that may have happened this weekend

"You need to tell that boyfriend of yours to grow some compassion."
-boy advice

"Yes that is flirting. It doesn't matter if you told him you aren't into him. He has made it very clear that he wants to get in your panties so as long as you keep texting him, that means you're interested, and it means that your just-be-friends talk is typical girl coyness, and it means that yes you are most definitely flirting. Ice the loser."
-more boy advice

"I had this dream she was trying to convince me to be lesbians with her."
-in the "co-optable phrases" category


I was showing off my tan on my stomach and accidentally showed off my boob too. Oops. Good thing there is not too much there to show.


I have been at not-my-finest for a little while now, hence the lack of blogging. Sorry.

I rode my bike for a grand total of two hours this week, enough time to get totally confused by the new SRM, get a flat tire, and see a couple goats eating fire-prone vegetation on Tunnel Road (shall spare you the mediocre photos). Yet not quite enough time to feel not tired, although Coach says that will come this week. I can't wait.

Quote-unquote raced yesterday morning at Infineon, fought the this-is-pointless-and-what-is-WITH-this-ugly-venue demons for the entire 60 minutes and rolled across the line in inglorious 30 somethingth place.

Then raced for real at San Rafael last night - something about the fun course, the crowds, the music, the nice weather, and the boyfriend who came to watch made me actually excited to race my bike. Aside from/maybe because of the usual amount of head-shaking, drooling, scowling, and asking Lisa for food please because I am STARVING and we still have 30 minutes left, I had fun with Martina and Hannah, and we came away with 3rd and 6th place plus a lot of face time at and off the front. We weren't passengers by any stretch.

But that was apparently it for my race mojo this weekend. This morning was the Infineon Circuit Race. I woke up sniveling and coughing and feeling decidedly on the wrong side of the sick bed. Then the continental breakfast was out of OJ and water and it had a nonexistent selection of whole grain items so that put me in a bad mood. There were only 2 good comics in the paper and someone had already taken the Sunday magazine so that put me in a worse mood. There was no soymilk for coffee so that was borderline cataclysmic. Then I drove off to the race accidentally leaving my race number in the hotel room. Then I started to cry (poor Lisa, I cry like all the time).

Then I called it a morning and came home before even putting on my spandex. So the bike is getting the day off today. I'm sitting here drinking day-old coffee (supposedly to help my mood?) making a detailed day plan involving chilling out and working on my tan some more.

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Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Back in the Game

It's been too long. The last couple of months have been one big cycling whirlwind, without even enough time for recovery, let alone such a luxury as painting.

But today provided a blissful window of true downtime, and here is the product:

I like this one. Image is recalled from a road trip with my mother, her behind the wheel, me manning the stereo (Sal is not to be trusted with such things) and staring at endless hay fields.

More art here.

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As Requested

Here is before's after.

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Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Poor Little Me

Another list of Five. This time, though, it's a list of why you should feel terribly sorry for me.

1. My Mac is on the fritz. It's three years old and I swear computer people put little chips in computers that make the computers start to go nuts after 3 years so that you have to buy a new one for the bargain price of a million dollars (my work 'puter is the same age and is also increasingly uncooperative). The thought of purchasing a new laptop is mildly fun and massively financially frightening.

2. I am still really tired, despite 3 days entirely off the bike and over a week since NVGP, and my resting HR is still too high.

Freakout has Commenced.

3. Yesterday while I was getting a filling, I overheard my dentist telling another patient that the average life span for a crown is 5 years. Which means for me that I can expect to spend approx. $2,000 per year (or future equivalent, inflation-adjusted) at the dentist's on crown-replacement alone, for the rest of my life. Even if I were to brush and floss 10x per day and never get another cavity or crown (ha), I still will always have a bunch of crowns to replace.

4. Further on the my-body-is-doomed tangent: Three years ago I was informed by an unnamed Chiropractor that my neck is straight where it should be curved and thus I can expect bone spurs and a neck fusion when I get older. Then he tried to parlay that into 3x week visits at $50 a visit ad infinitum, which of course pissed me off so I stopped going. Meanwhile I did nothing about the straight neck and endured the discomfort and numb hands. Well shock and surprise the straight neck is still there, as is the possibility of bone spurs, so I need to face the music or whatever and call the one Chiropractor in the whole world (of the approx. 6 who I have seen over the course of my life) who has not pissed me off and I will start to deal with this.

Isn't the age of 28 still technically supposed to be my youth, a time of immortality and endless corporal flexibility and resilience? I guess not.

5. Last reason to feel sorry for me is that I am such a whiner, a glass half-emptier who doesn't recognize her good fortune with regards to athletic opportunity, paradisical geographic placement, amazing support network, access to medical experts, etc. etc. Just kidding, I do recognize my charmed life in the grand scheme of things, but this foggy tired morning doesn't feel super charmed to me. Maybe it will once I finish this coffee?

Thanks for listening.

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Monday, July 02, 2007

Top 5 Things I Learned This Weekend

5. If you are in a car, in a foreign country, and you are lost, and if you then ask someone for directions and they tell you to "go two blocks and turn left at the robot", first of all you are in South Africa, and second of all this "robot" they are talking about is the traffic light.

4. In Bay Area Target stores this weekend, the only sizes left of the cute clothes seem to be XL and double XL. However in Minneapolis Target stores last week, there was an overabundance of S and XS but few remaining big sizes.

3. Surefire way to improve moods after forces-beyond-someone's-control end someone's race prematurely is to start an argument regarding centimeters. Add a few "hmph's" and mid-sentence walk-aways for extra efficacy.

2. Despite the individualized format of their races, it is indeed possible for triathletes to crash their bikes during a triathlon. Into each other, or out on their very own.

(p.s. Sharon I did that thing you hate, the one with the gasping and the pointing and the giggling)(they were fine)

1. To swim!

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