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

Friday, August 31, 2007

This Shouldn't be Funny, But it Is

Ms. Tennessee Gets Bitten By Rattlesnake, Saved By Ms. Iowa

(this tidbit courtesy of my sister, who is very busy over at Homeland Security)

Labels: ,

She's Learning

(on phone with my mom, Sal)

Us: blah blah blah blah blah

Me: O.K., Ma, I better let you go. Love you!

Sal: O.K.

Me: Hmm. Was that you saying bye, or were you employing 'later' in a formal adverb sort of way?

Sal: I was saying bye!

Good job, Sal, good job. Your kids are proud of you.

Labels: , ,

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Very Detailed Breaking News

Barring any unforeseen disasters, we are moving!
To Incline Village, in Tahoe.
It's going to be great.

Relief from all this traffic and overcrowdedness and nonsense... I have lived in the Bay Area for nearly 5 years, it's been wonderful and I wouldn't trade it for anything, but now it's time to try something else. I can't wait!

Labels: ,

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Total Eclipse of the Heart

This was my brother's favourite song when he was 4 and I was 5. No lie. Mine was Air Supply's "Making Love out of Nothing At All"... sweet jesus. I'm blaming it all on my mom.

Anyway last night I got up to see the lunar eclipse! It was gorgeous! I actually had to get up twice, for some reason I was like "OK so the full eclipse starts at 2:52 a.m. but I should probably get up a few minutes before that so I'll set my alarm for 1:40", which I did. Went trotting up to the roof at 1:45 in time to catch the very teensy beginning of the hour-long movement into the full eclipse.


So I went back downstairs till 3 a.m. and then ran back up to the roof for the real deal. Tried to take photos but they didn't turn out. Then I woke Greg up and made him look out the kitchen window at the moon (not as good as the roof but it sufficed - also not as cold as the roof)(plus he had to borrow my glasses since he lost his).

I didn't see anyone else in the neighborhood on their roof, and so far no one else at work got up to see it either.

I'm totally tired but it was totally worth it.

Labels: ,

Monday, August 27, 2007

The Inaugural Game

Major excitement of the weekend: we bought our very own Scrabble game! Scrabble is my favourite (it has been the topic of multiple posts now) and actually the next fish, which I haven't even picked out and bought yet, is already named Scrabble.

Here we are during our inaugural game:

No prizes for guessing who arranged their letters thusly... (ahem. it was i) BUT in honor of the inaugural game, I am posting my inaugural Blog Poll:

P.S. I won the game in case you are curious. No spectacular plays like 'requiem' but Greg had some good words, e.g. 'gout', which he then turned into 'dugout'.

Labels: ,

Friday, August 24, 2007

Blue flowers and Latin mottos and girls girls girls

I went to this all girls' high school near Baltimore, Maryland. It was a boarding school.

It was fine, I didn't hate it or anything, but whenever I am with people who wax rhapsodic about how fun high school was and how they did all this cool stuff, I definitely cannot relate. High school involved studying, participating in class since there were no boys around to call you the President of the Goody Goody Association of America (g-squared a-squared for short) if you were smart, hanging out in Paula's room building one lame physics project after another, cleaning my room, and more studying. That's about it. Also this is where I honed my gossiping skills because once homework was finished there was nothing else to do besides gossip and/or call home to check in with mom. Anyway, not exactly story-swapping material, or fond-googly-eye memory material either.

Last year I skipped out on my 10-year reunion in favor of the Tour of the Gila. I actually wish I had gone to the reunion, Gila was awful and my tooth broke while I was there.

Anyway, the point of this post... Pretty much the only time of the year when I think about high school is when the annual Alumnae Magazine arrives in the mail, which it did yesterday. I had forgotten to write our Class News Agent back with all my exciting updates but it's just as well - everyone who did write in had wedding or baby or geographical relocation news to report. Or I-finally-finished-law/med/elementary ed-school news to report (what is with girls and elementary ed??). I have none of these, and I am pretty sure no one would get it if I rambled on about bike racing, especially since sometimes I don't really get it either.

Right now I am just super irritated at the fact that I am irritated that I don't have a new last name and little one to report. Ugh. I don't even want kids, why am I staring at this magazine all jealous of everyone's Isabelles and Ethans and whatnots.


High school. Even at the age of almost-29 it still makes me feel lame and annoyed.

p.s. Here's Paula's reaction to the 2005 edition of the mag.

Labels: ,

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Fish are Cute and They Deserve To Live With Me!

I said this to my sister last week.

"What on earth did they do to deserve that?!" she said. Little brat.

Moving on... they are alive and well! Thus, they get names.

I was going to name them Siouxsie Sioux and the Banshee.

But little Siouxsie has an attitude problem and likes to ram into the Banshee whenever food is involved.

She's a beast. A black buggle-eyed beast.

On top of that I am not sure if she's a she or a he so I figured a non-gender-specific name might be better.

SOOOOO, it's Beastie and the Banshee!

I know, I know, this is the same photo I used before, I tried to get a different mediocre photo last night but this one still looks the best to me so there you go.

Labels: ,

Drinkin' and Dialin'

This incident occurred last week, and I would have blogged about it earlier but it has taken several days of intense research for me to even figure out what was going on.

It was one of my mom's famous Friday Nights (see Category #1).

The partyers called me at 12:36 a.m., twice, but I didn't answer either time and actually didn't get the messages until the clear light of Saturday.

The first message was unintelligible.

Then there was the second... "Courtenay! Hey! I'm glad we got you!-pause- Oh. I guess this is just your message. O.k., long story short, blah blah blah..." And it went on for a while. I finally deduced (and confirmed) that it was friend Adam calling to tell me that Sarah (my sister) and Sam (Adam's wife) were teasing him for channeling In Living Color and they were calling him Shaniqua all evening and my mom, the pop-culture moron (sorry Sal but it's so true), was reliably spectacularly clueless.

I guess about an hour or two into the Shaniqua shenanigans, my mom (who mind you had been LAUGHING and pretending to get the jokes) was finally like "Who is this Shanik person you guys keep talking about? Shanik was this, Shanik was that, but who's Shanik?"

This prompted gales of laughter and several phone calls to sober sleeping me.

Amusing side note: when I went back and listened to the message an additional 5 times to piece Adam's version of the story together, I noticed that my only other saved message is one from my brother, which he left at some ungodly hour last January, and which I can't bring myself to delete.

"Courtenay! I'm pressing Five! Because I am trying to Page You! But. I guess I should just leave a message. I'm in LA and in case you hadn't noticed I'm a little bit wasted. O.K. love ya bye!"

So bring on the drink-and-dials, they are hilarious!

Labels: , ,

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

He Got A Word In Edgewise

A few words actually... I went to JD's for my weekly massage last night, although we pretty quickly determined that this was the most systemically messed up my body has been so I'd better get another massage on Friday. And I was there for an hour and a half last night.

During this time, in the few moments when I was NOT yammering away about me and my life and all my many opinions about stuff, including what JD should do in his life, I learned that:

-going on a month-long vacation could mean that all his clients would get so messed up from lack of massage during that time that they would all need multiple massages a week for the first few weeks he is back, to catch up.

-however all his massage clients seemed to have been fine, with the notable exceptions of me and Greg.

-his cats like me now because I own dinner, NOT because I have pets and thus am a nice empathetic person for cats.

-there were some really funny local-pro-1-2-men's-race incidents at, amongst others, Cat's Hill, Santa Rosa, and Fremont, involving a pro dude who wears red and has an affinity for manpri's and whining.

-if JD were the type of guy to pick a guy that he wouldn't mind dating, it wouldn't be Karl Menzies. He actually went with Brad Pitt. BORING.

-since my knee is bothering me a bit due to everything else bothering me, I should use a pillow under my legs when I sleep, he explained this for a good 5 minutes and I didn't quite get it and made him explain again.

-this is how it goes: sleep on back = pillow under knees; sleep on side = pillow between legs; sleep on stomach = pillow under ankles; keep talking = pillow on face.

Labels: , , ,

Monday, August 20, 2007


Greg and I went for a ride/scouting mission in Fairfax this weekend.

The plan was to do 3+ hours at "half ironman pace", which of course I do not know yet from experience, but it didn't really matter because I was just supposed to sit on Greg's wheel and pedal pedal pedal.

We had a great first two hours, gorgeous scenery, perfect weather, right on our target wattage zones, etc. Then at 2:11 we experienced a drastic drop-off in pace at the front of our little two-bike train. Drastic. Energy level dipped down to sub-zero in less than two seconds.

Thankfully I am an over-packer in every sense of the word, and had brought 7 gels plus one big gel flask, so I had some sugar to spare for my poor bonking boyfriend. Two gels didn't really do the trick though, so I made us pull over at the [OVERPRICED] Nicasio general store.

I bought a big gatorade and a Nutz over Chocolate Luna bar, thinking we could share.


Plan changed when I got outside and had to feed him the Luna bar and the gatorade myself. Fierce Melon isn't my favourite flavor anyway, plus I still had 2 more gels. I dumped as many of the calories into Greg as I could, hoping we could just limp back to the car together rather than doing some recipe-for-disaster you-go-get-the-car routine.

Anyway all you athletes out there surely know this story - crawling along at barely 10 miles an hour, every bump or crack in the road feeling like a mountain or a chasm and elliciting some form of yelp or groan, every second on sunny pavement feeling like an eternity in hell, the chipper un-bonking friend (who in this case was Yours Truly) wondering which is more helpful, chipperness or quietness, etc etc etc. Neither fun nor funny.

BUT HERE IS THE FUNNY PART, which happened after we got off our bikes.

Me: So, you were probably undernourished, hence the bonk, right?

Greg: Yeah. That was it.

Me: What did you bring with you to eat?

Greg: Two water bottles with mix, and 5 prunes.

Me: What else?

Greg: That was it.

Me: What?!?!?!?!?!?! 5 prunes for a hard 3 hour ride?!?! HAHAHAHAHAHA! You are joking!

Greg: No... I am serious. I forgot other food and I wasn't hungry when we started and I guess I just wasn't thinking.

Me: HAHAHAHA! Prunes! Ha!

Greg: -

Me: O.K. now we are officially even for the time that I drank a bottle of endurox and two glasses of chocolate milk right before we went running.

Greg: Ha! That was hilarious.

(unecessary and obvious side note: the endurox/choc. milk incident was not pretty.)

Labels: , ,

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Today's Agenda

Friday, August 17, 2007

My Glasses Still Work Though

I painted for a bit this morning, before putting in the evil dizzifying contact lenses.

This one's got my name all over it, or at least my first initial anyway.

It's posted with all the others on my art blog.

Labels: ,

SORRY! Sorry Sorry Sorry, v. 2

The fish are alive and thriving!

I am not thriving as much.

I went to the eye doctor yesterday to get a new contact lens prescription because a. it's been over two years since my last one and b. I was down to one last pair after accidentally dumping the next-to-last pair down the drain on Tuesday.

The visit went fine, I really like my eye doctor and, unlike my trips to the dentist and the general practitioner, I didn't get any lectures about anything.

However I did get my pupils dilated. And for some reason it was SUNNY in San Francisco yesterday morning. And my office was a long and treacherous 6 block walk away... I even had to stop for a soy latte on the way, for shade purposes of course.

I also got new contacts, a different brand than before. Actually she gave me two different brands to try out, one for each eye.

My vision is SUCKING right now. There is this flashing rectangle off to the left that is giving me a headache and I can't really see my computer screen too well, I am relying on my mad I've-been-an-admin-for-5-years plus I-spend-quality-communication-time-on-chat typing skills to carry me through this post.


Sensical thing to do would be TAKE OUT THE DAMN LENSES but the rectangle has been progressively changing shapes and I am kinda mesmerized.

Labels: ,

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

They're Here!!

Everyone's happy so far, including myself of course. I was definitely the proud parent this afternoon, taking way too many mediocre photos. But I thought I was having fun. Thank you to the anonymous commenter who suggested I go to the Lucky Goldfish - what a great store! And thanks to Panda for steering me away from the pricey fish... Good idea.

Names for these two will be made official next week, pending their survival under my care.

Wish them luck!

Labels: ,

Sunday, August 12, 2007


I am feeling sorry for myself. Which is annoying because, when I feel sorry for myself, I tend to go buy stuff.

The gory details:

Today I got up way early and drove out to Esparto for an 18 mile TT. Unfortunately the race energy, aero equipment, and prize motivation weren't quite enough to chase away my accumulated tiredness. I gave it my all, but I had to sort of "adjust" my performance goal on the fly.

Oh well.

Also my trainer is the noisiest piece of crapola ever. Sorry to whoever was within hearing range (which I am guessing was about 300 yards), I'd totally forgotten how annoying its squeaking is. The last time I used it was at Cat's Hill!

Anyway, after my TT, I did my run workout along the same road as the course. I figured that driving all the way back to Oakland to run would feel pointless and retarded. This was a rare "good call" on my part... it was nice to do a flat run, it was definitely nice to chat with and wave to some cyclist friends before and during the run, and finishing my workouts for the week at 11:30 a.m. was awesome.

(this is turning into a play by play of my day... but I am leaving some stuff out so please let me know if you'd like further details such as everything I have eaten today and how many loads of laundry I currently have going)

After my run, my car and bike and fancy equipment and about-to-be-relegated-to-the-dumpster trainer and I all headed back to cooler Oakland temps.

I talked on the phone to Greg most of the time. He is in Boulder until Wednesday, he raced this morning and had to pull out during the run because of what seems fairly certainly to be a nerve injury, although he won't be able to confirm this until he gets home and can see a specialist. He sounded upbeat, and grateful to be on the right track towards diagnosing and dealing with a problem he's had for almost a year. For me though, this news just added to my own frustration with myself. I guess I was hoping he'd have good news about his race to counteract my mediocre news, which would then propel me into good-mood-land, which would hopefully last 3 more lonely days until he gets home.

In the long run I know his not-good news will turn into something good, because when the injury is treated and healed he will be back to his strong and speedy self, but today I wanted the short run smiles and congratulations.

Oh, additionally, all this phone yammering meant I missed the In-n-Out exit. I really wanted a milkshake.

SO, taking all of the above blahness into consideration, and combining with it the fact that my mom is on vacation and out of cell phone reach and thus unable to sixth-sense her way into figuring out I am about to do something about which she does NOT approve and thus she'd be unable to CALL me in the midst of said something to deter me from making what she views as a ginormous unfair mistake, anyway considering these things, when I got to Albany I ducked off the freeway, went to the aquarium store, and came home with $160.14 worth of glorious mood-improving STUFF.

It's all set up.

I washed the gravel in the bathtub, I rinsed it 10+ times but two hours later the water is still kinda cloudy.

I have to go back to buy the fish tomorrow or the next day, once the water temperature and the filtration system and the plants are all stabilized.

They had these cool little black and red sharks, and these eel-looking spotted fish, and only one blue betta which cost $20 and which I am really hoping someone buys before I go back so that I am not tempted to get him, he is really pretty.

I am also really hoping this does not turn out as badly as another occasion when my mom was unavailable and I gleefully went out and bought something... That time, though, it was a car.

Labels: , , , ,

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Ugh Groan Etc.

I have had about 13 or 14 telephone conversations with a friend about lodgings for Downer's Grove. It's all very highly complex, believe me...

Me: So, I am back to Plan A of staying with you at Breda's.
Him: Oh. Um. Oh. Well. OK.
Me: Wait, it's still OK with her, right?
Him: I think so. I emailed her last week and asked her but I haven't heard back.
Him: Well, I am pretty sure I asked her a while ago, and I think she said it was fine. She just hasn't written back. I'm sure it's fine.
Me: Ugh.
Him: What?
Me: Usually, if you ask someone if you can bring another person, and you DON'T hear back from them, it means it's NOT fine.
Him: Really?
Me: This is stressing me out. Maybe I just won't go to the race.
Him: You sound like [friend], he's all "I'm not racing any more this year, I'm tired, waa waa waa!"
Me: Yeah well at least he doesn't have Mr. Queen-of-NON-LOGISTICS telling him "Oh yeah I guess you can stay with me I dunno I forget"!!
Me: God.

As of now, everything is indeed going to be fine, but I am sure the total phone call tally on this topic will double by next weekend. So will the total "ugh" count.

Labels: ,

Friday, August 10, 2007

Just Say Yes

With regards to the post below...

Resident Swimming Expert slash Boyfriend Greg read it, and chuckled when he got to the part about the water in my ears.

Me: That's definitely a possibility right? That my swim technique has improved and thereby reduced the water in my ears right? That has to be it.

Him: Hmmm. Um, well, I guess-

Me: Just say yes.

Him: Hahahaha.

Me: Seriously just say yes, it is such an easy teeny little word, please just say yes I am getting better please?

Him: Yes.

I knew it! Yessss...

Labels: , ,

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Ignorance is Bliss, Pt. 2

At the risk of alienating/irritating/embarrassing all my bike racer friends... triathlon training is now in full swing for me. Basically this means I am even busier than ever, I'm even hungrier if that's possible, I'm taking at least two showers a day, and I'm carting around like three times as much stuff everywhere.

It also means I am riding my TT bike a lot, and prompting certain experts to slow down their cars and roll down their windows and prolongedly tease me for riding uphill in my aero bars. And it means I splurged on a disc wheel on ebay, then rode around the neighbourhood trying to get a photo with me and the wheel and the bike in it all at once. Best attempt is at right.

And, I am loving all the running. I even dug out my Charlottesville 10-Miler t-shirt from 7 years ago and started wearing it again. It has paint on it but I don't care.

My cycling tan lines are virtually gone.

I realized this morning that I am no longer getting gallons of water stuck in my ears every time I go to the pool. I interpreted this as a certain sign of improvement in my technique. This certain sign inspired me to get out my calculator... this morning I did 24 laps, it's a 33 1/3 yard pool. That's like totally far! I did almost a mile!


It took me 40 minutes including rest.

I had flippers on for, um, some of those laps.

And a half-ironman swim is equal to about 31 laps.

If you're good you do that distance in somewhere around a half an hour (for morale reasons I am not looking at any results for a little while so that estimate might be on the low side for the women but you get the idea).

AND you aren't allowed to race in flippers!

...5 weeks of swim training under my belt so far, 5 weeks to Cancun, 3 months to SilverMan. I should be O.K.!?

Labels: ,

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Advice Please

Massage-therapist JD had to go on VACATION for the past month (how selfish!) so I have resorted to (1) rolling around on a lacrosse ball on my living room floor to get out the knots, and (2) looking to other people for laughs.

(2) has gone a little better than (1)... See below.

One email response I got to my Vineman blog post, specifically the part about '...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...'

Anyway, the email:
exactly. this is why i hate tri. you forgot lake placid, germany, brasil, canada, and the infamous kona- the so-called 'world championships'. funny how the number of 'spots' for kona equals almost exactly the number of athletes willing to pay for and participate in 2-4 ironman events during the year in order to 'qualify'. it's a fucking scam. actually no, it's fucking genius. i only wish i'd thought of it first...

I find this hilarious. And yes I am still planning on throwing my money in the direction of Cancun and thus feeling like my own personal Winner etc...


A guy friend called me yesterday. He wanted advice.

Him: Court, how do I make a move on a girl without being retarded? Do I like, sidle up to her on the couch and just, you know, kiss her?


Him: Stop laughing at me! I am serious!

Me: Sorry. Um. Seriously? Well don't act like a turtle and spend 15 minutes inching closer to her by millimeters and then ask if you can kiss her or something.

Him: Really? I want to be smooth but I don't want to be an asshole. How do I do that?

Me: Well just act natural and confident! But by the way have you even asked her on a second date yet?! Start by calling and asking her out again and then call me back and we'll come up with a plan. I have to work.

I confirmed certain advice nuggets with my sister. If anyone has anything to add please let me know. I do think this is a worthwhile topic because some dudes are totally unsmooth and need help.


Driving back from the race on Saturday:

Greg:... so what do you think?
Me: Huh?
Greg: What do you think about those two options?
Me: Oh I don't know. I guess I was totally spaced out.
Greg: Hahahaha! You were! Ha! How cute, you were spaced out!
Me: Hmpf.
Greg: Hahahaha!
Me: Yeah well now I am ignoring you. And I am totally focused on it!

Labels: , ,

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Me Me Me

Blogging about broadly interesting topics (current events, for example) sure sets my comments section on fire. I think I like it. Expect synopses of New Yorker articles in the future.

In the meantime, however, I am going to brag about the fact that I won my duathlon race yesterday!

I had planned on winning. Which is presumptuous to say, considering the last time I did a running race was 7 years ago, but I planned on winning. I also dragged along my resident multi-sport professional (I am talking about Greg) for advice, cheerleading, photographing, etc. And yes, Lisa, he was the recipient of lots of "I'm hungry! What should I do!"'s...

The format was 3 mile run - 16 mile bike - 3 mile run. I felt great and I had a blast in all three legs. Side bonus: I didn't totally botch my transitions... I remembered to tie my shoes and put on/take off my helmet and everything! I started the race at the front and actually never saw another woman the entire time, so I was pretty much racing the men. My time was 1:27 and a little bit, almost 3 minutes faster than my goal. They haven't posted split times but I was somewhere in the range of 20:30, 42:10, and 20:00 for each leg, with a little over a couple minutes in each transition, and a couple of 6:20 miles. Not bad for my first effort, something to be proud of and something to improve upon.

Additionally I plan to improve upon my appearance when on the podium. I would like to upgrade from "goof" to "whoa look at that totally awesome gorgeous racer". Token Courtenay-as-Goof photo:

Anyway, this was just to get my feet wet (not literally) and see how I like multisport racing. I like it so far! So, next up on my multisport calendar is the Cancun 70.3, where I will get a whole lot more than just my feet wet...

Labels: , ,

Friday, August 03, 2007

I am curious about the Perm Count

The Duggar's had their 17th kid.

Their website is down, I am assuming because there are a ton of other sickly fascinated people besides myself trying to get on there and figure out WTF is going on in Michelle's and Jim Bob's heads/bed.

Anyway, the Chronicle listed some "fun facts" about the family, e.g. they have gone through 90,000 diapers and Michelle has been pregnant for 10.6 of her 40 years. As mentioned above, I am curious about how many perms the family has gotten.

Labels: ,

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Ma's Phone Calls: A Categorical Guide

Category #1: The "Hi Sweetie!!!!"

-Mostly attributable to phone calls on Friday evenings, when Sal tends have friends over and wine is consumed.

-Generally means that whatever topic I bring up is met with resounding approval.

-Thus is good for breaking news, e.g. "I have a new boyfriend! He is moving in! Yes into my same little apartment! It's going to be great!" (side note: I was/am right about that)

Category #2: The Lecture

-Typically these calls do NOT start with an enthusiastic "hi sweetie"

-Topics include: thank you notes I haven't written, cousin's new baby I haven't visited, other cousin who I should be nicer to, sister who I should be nicer to even though she is a little brat, races and training I shouldn't do since I always complain that I am tired, fig bars, living things I have NO BUSINESS being RESPONSIBLE for, etc.

-A favourite sub-category is the "Well. I'm sure glad you can AFFORD [insert any number of things here]."

-I do admit that generally her lectures are accurate AND that lectures are a mom's duty...

And Finally,
here is the baffling one...

Category #3: The I'm Too Busy call

-I will call Sal and leave a message.

-Regardless of whether I request a return call:

-She will call back to tell me she is driving/scandalously busy/about to greet guests at the front door at that very instant, so she CAN'T TALK.


E.g. yesterday, when I called to ask for advice about my stomach which has been hurting for a while. I left a message. I got a return call about a half hour later...

Sal: I can't talk but is your stomach still hurting?
Me: Yes.
Sal: Get some tums.
Me: I have tums. I was hoping you'd have recommendations for natural remedies like usual?
Sal: Go to Whole Foods and ask them. I am driving to Nancy Reed's so I can't talk.
Me: O.k. well --
Sal: Shoot! I think I just passed her driveway. Now I have to turn around! I have to drive now Courtenay. Bye. Love you.

Labels: ,

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

It's Official

This coming Saturday, I am doing my first ever race that requires changing-of-shoes during the actual event.

I get to change shoes twice, actually - I am doing a Duathlon, the format is: 3 mile run - 16 mile bike - 3 mile run.

I have a new outfit for it and everything! Wish me luck...

Labels: , ,