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

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Actually, I kind of WAS the Cat

"It's hot and I'm starving. Let's get out of here."

"But PLEASE can we go check my result? I think I see them posted over there. PLEASE?"

"Ugh. Why? They're going to be online tonight. Let's just look later."


This was me and Greg yesterday after the Scott Tinley's Triathlon and after the pro awards ceremony. Major excitement of the day was that Greg won the pro race, it was a strong field and he had a great day and won it decisively, by nearly two minutes!! SOO, verifying that I did indeed have a mediocre-slash-terrible swim leg at my first triathlon was arguably lower on the priority list than getting lunch and getting the 230 mile drive home over with.

HOWEVER, we compromised, I trotted over to the results board, saw that I actually won my age group, made Greg re-park the car, dug out a Ritchey hat, replaced my Target sunnies with my Rudy Project race glasses, and headed back over to awards in time to get a plaque, a podium presentation, and 3 french fries.

Anyway here is a sort of brief recap of the race, in case you are curious:

- Swimming in a big murky lake with a bunch of wetsuit-clad chicks is NOT THE SAME as swimming in a nice clean pool with lane lines and 2 other people in your lane. NOT the same AT ALL. I looked like the kitty...

- But after 15 minutes of pathetic breastroke/laying on my back trying to breathe, I managed to stop freaking out and start swimming. I even passed some people somehow. The one-mile swim took me 41 minutes to complete, when it should have been less than 30!

- Then I got on my bike and set out to at least have the fastest amateur female bike split, since I feared my swim put me out of contention for anything else. I did indeed have the fastest bike split, and I was apparently faster than half of the pro women as well. It's nice to know that my cycling hasn't gone completely down the tubes with all this other training!

- Then I ran a blessedly pain-free 10K, my longest run in nearly 2 months due to my knee injury. I passed several girls in my age group, the last one was the most tenacious, but I had no idea that this put me in first place!

O.K. As Martina said yesterday, I guess I am officially a triathlete now!

Labels: , , ,

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Not Me

I get entirely too much enjoyment out of this silly site. And then I foist links on others via chat, email, and blogs. Sorry... sort of. And p.s. if you want my other favourite cheezburger posts just let me know, I have some good ones.

Additionally I thought of tying this poor kitty in to me and my swimming and my race this weekend which will involve swimming skillfully, and me, and more about me. But I am kinda bored with the topic and ready to race instead of just talk. Plus, by talking about not talking about it I effectively just talked about it.

So back to the cat. I stumbled across a blog recently that shed some serious light on people and the dumb, mean, yet somehow funny things they do to cats:
But there's always the Cat Torture Corollary: shave a cat, paint it like a tiger, then put it in a cage driven around by a remote-controlled truck... and your pathetic little stunt just became awesome.
I confess that I enjoy grabbing JD's cat's tail. It makes me laugh because when you grab her tail she just sits there and stares at you like "I'm STUCK you have my TAIL" and it's hilarious. I am no better than an LSU fan.

Labels: ,

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Another Joke by JD

Apparently I have the honor of "best reaction to this joke ever." I love being a superlative.

JD: You want to hear a dirty joke?
Me: Not really but O.K.
JD: So this white horse jumps into a mud puddle.
Me: Ooo a horse! I like this one!
ttttThen what happens?
JD: That's it. That's the joke.
Me: OOHHH. The white horse gets dirty! I get it! That's awesome!

Labels: , ,


A Tour of America (updated link - now it has all the stages)?!?!

Call me a killjoy spoilsport skeptic, but it smacks of this.

Labels: ,

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Can't Think of Anything More Humiliating Than...

... High School P.E. at the Pool.

The local high school PE class comes to the pool several afternoons a week. I see them because they are right after lap swim.

This is a co-ed P.E. class.

All hormones, all downcast eyes, all nervous cowering body language, more cell phones and more sharpie-decorated items than you can shake a stick at, and no one wants to strip down to a suit, let alone swim.

Labels: , , ,

Monday, September 24, 2007

ME ME ME again

When I was 18, I asked my mom permission to get a tattoo for my 19th birthday. Um. She totally lost it. Worse than I had ever seen her flip out in my whole life, which is saying a lot because as I am sure you can imagine, I was not quite an "angelic" child. So I just waited until I was 22 and was supporting myself, and I got one of my drawings inked onto my shoulder. When she saw it she flipped out again.

By the time of the 4th one her reaction calmed down to just silent disapproving disgust. I'm not sure which is worse actually, the freakout or the glare.

Recently, my brother and my sister both told me they were thinking of getting tattooed and what did I think about their thoughts? Good idea or what?

I said I thought I'd get in big trouble all over again... But if it's something that you would want for life, that you'd be O.K. with loving sometimes and hating other times, go for it.

At that point my sister confessed that she was thinking of getting "something in Elvish" (this was when she was in New Zealand "working on organic farms" - both quotation mark items cracked me up). But don't worry, she is still ink free.

(photo credit: Stephen Weiss)

Labels: , ,

Bad News for Cheaters

The DEA's "Raw Deal" operation...

I am so naive. This story totally shocked me. Especially the bits about the house full of new flat-screens, and the kitchen sink.

Labels: ,

Sunday, September 23, 2007

My Swim Coach

Maybe for my next workout I'll ask my second-favourite swimsuit model...

Labels: , ,

Another reason to move?

I love riding up Tunnel road. HOWEVER, there are an alarmingly large number of cracks in the pavement just waiting for a quarter-inch of rain...

Labels: ,

Thursday, September 20, 2007


I am taking the liberty of transferring everyone's well-wishes from this weekend to next.

We* had a little "passport issue" here at the Brown-Remaly residence so Cancun is going to happen without us. Probably just as well, my likelihood of running 13.1 miles without knee pain was not high, plus as my mom and sister reminded me, my Spanish is horrible.

So instead I will race at Tinley's next weekend! Olympic distance race. Greg says he will lap me in the swim. I say I will exact revenge via Scrabble.

*NOTE: I am being very grown up and not placing blame on anyone specific

Labels: ,

More Motherly Snippets

"It would be CRUELTY to ANIMALS if you and Greg were to get a PET."


"Can I call you back sweetie?! I am busy fixing your brother's computer!"
To which I laughed.
Not very nice, I know, but my siblings laughed just as much.


As if to prove my point, when she called me back:

"Can you call your aunt and tell her I accidentally deleted the email she sent me, so can she please re-send it? I am too busy to call her myself."

Then I asked why she didn't just go to her trash folder and move the email back to her inbox.

"Oh," she said. "That's an idea. How do I do that?"

Labels: ,


There is a guy I see on my morning commute.

He is about my age I would guess. Rides an old cruiser-type bike, tends to wear hoodies and very patched up jeans. You know, your typical bay area hipster type guy who might take the Ugly-Is-Cool thing a bit too far, after all we are not talking about ugly babies here, but much bigger grown-ups, but I like to think of myself as the tolerant type and the more variety in my day, the better.

BUT, here's where I laugh.

He has been knitting this scarf for like 2 weeks.

It's brown and orange.

The cute part is he's pretty excited about it : "It's my first one!"

Labels: ,

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Might Get In Trouble - UPDATED!

My "inappropriate for the internet" filter always seems to be a little off - stuff I think is interesting, fine, funny, etc. will sometimes really backfire. So, we'll see how long this one lasts...


For all you fellow Alisha Lion fans who have been wondering what is going on with her and her website besides absolutely nothing (no updates since July!!), the USA Triathlon list of athletes competing in the upcoming Duathlon World Championships just went out. Alisha qualified for this event with her win in the Powerman Alabama duathlon this past April. However, her name was not on the list of athletes, and the accompanying USAT memo said that one female athlete had to withdraw due to injury and they were seeing about filling the vacant spot.

So I guess perhaps this means Alisha is injured? Very unfortunate, she is a talented athlete for sure. I hope she recovers quickly, and I hope someone starts updating her website. I have been using Nuun citrus tablets for like two and a half months now!


I have a double dose of good news! 1. Alisha is doing fine and 2. Her website is going to be updated soon!! So, be sure to check it out... I for one am glad to hear that this bike racer-turned-triathlete is still going strong.

Labels: , ,


We leave for Cancun on Friday.

I am fairly confident that I won't drown.

Other than that... It's anyone's guess as to how my "triathlon debut" (not entirely sure I want to build it up like that) goes. My main goal is that it goes well enough for me to want to buy a wetsuit and go gallivanting off to Silverman!

Labels: , ,

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

I could have told you that

Here's one big reason for moving.

I think there should be more and better carpool resources/incentives, expand BART, and double the bridge tolls. Even triple them. It's single-person cars that are behind the congestion - make it too expensive for people not to find alternatives.

Labels: ,

Anonymous Pro Cyclist Quote

"But I want to be single for Interbike!"

(This has to be my favourite ever...)

Labels: , ,

Well-contained Fires

(In case it's not imminently obvious: I made it myself!)

Labels: ,

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Smooth Move...

This weekend, I up and lost my previously-blogged-about Juicy Couture sunglasses. UGH. I am never again spending $250 on a pair of sunglasses that just serve as a glorified headband and always get dropped/sat on/LOST.

Sadly, the sunnies are just another item in a long list of losts...

-spare set of car keys (severely hoping they turn up in the move, spare sets are soo useful for people prone to losing things)

-protective case for Juicy sunglasses

-car charger for iPod (which I paranoidedly removed from the car so that if someone broke in, they wouldn't steal it. Clearly I do not need someone else's help to lose possession of my stuff)

-one Scrabble game (Greg broke my 10-game winning streak this weekend. UGH)

-overnight tooth guard (to prevent damage from tooth grinding during the night, incidentally grinding is a stress symptom)

-one earring each from approximately 16 pairs of earrings. I might have to start pulling a George Michael look.

-your standard amount of socks, arm warmers, gloves, and also one wind vest. (additionally, I melted a brand new chapstick in my load of dark laundry last Thursday, so I have 2 hoodies, a t-shirt, my favorite skirt, and 3 tank tops that now have wax spots on them)

-and perhaps a few readers since this post is kind of on the lamer end BUT STILL I am annoyed

Anyway, I am off to Target to replace some of this stuff. No more Lulu or Ambiance or designer nonsense for me, keeping track of expensive purchases is just too stressful.

Labels: ,

Saturday, September 15, 2007


The first time I visited Reno, I didn't have the most fantastic impression. To be fair, though, I was hanging out with Team Monex, not exactly known for their discriminating tastes in accommodations at bike races.

I have since changed my tune. I like Reno. I really like it, actually. Which is a good thing, because Greg and I have amended our moving plans, for various good logical and meteorological reasons... Plus I am a girl so it is always my prerogative to Change My Mind. Anyhow, instead of moving up to Incline Village just in time for winter, we are going to move to Reno for the winter and Incline for the summer. Not quite wintering in Palm Beach and summering in the Berkshires, but from a training perspective, we'll be maximizing opportunities on both sides. I was already sold on Incline, it's beautiful and the training is high quality and very convenient. Now I am just as excited about Reno - so many running trails, a pool at our apartment building, good flat rides for TT practice, and everything so close! And plenty of opportunities to hone my gambling skills.

Just kidding. The extent of my betting doesn't go beyond "$20 says that either the next breakaway will stick or it will end in a field sprint."

AND it looks like I will finally have an in-apartment dishwasher and washer drier!!! (There are definitely comfort benefits associated with moving to a renter's market in a minor metropolitan area.)(Also, the people are so friendly!)

Don't Mind Us.
We Think We've Changed Our Minds Again.

Back to Plan A: yay Incline Village!!

Labels: ,

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Thanks and Amusements

First off, THANK YOU very much to everyone who wished me a happy birthday last week. I really appreciated it. For those of you who missed it, belated wishes are always welcome and if you feel super guilty you can also send gifts ;) Just kidding. Really though, thank you.

Thanks also to those who shared their 9/11 stories. Our own version of "where were you when Kennedy got shot", it's different of course but still.

And on to the mundane...

Yesterday I sold a pair of Ksyrium SL wheels, via craigslist. The guy called me saying he was looking for a sweet pair of rims. His lingo was decidedly not the gearhead-speak to which I am accustomed, I actually found myself confirming that a. he was looking for an entire wheel, b. his componentry was shimano, and even c. his bike was for sure a road bike. But he insisted they were the ones he wanted, so I headed down to the 76 station on Lakeshore, and sold a blessedly enthusiastic guy a sweet pair of rims.

Yesterday I also had the ten trillionth conversation with my mom about how she sure hopes I am looking for a JOB in Tahoe so I can AFFORD all this RACING STUFF.

Speaking of yesterday and other people's overinterested concern for my finances... I let the dark-time-in-my-life-ex-boyfriend into my apartment to get something of his that I have had for forever but he finally decided he wanted it back. While he was tinkering with his loaned item I decided to be civil and talk to him.

Me: So yeah, I am finishing up work on October 12 and then moving.

Him: Finishing up?

Me: Yes, finishing. They needed a full-time person to do my job, I can't work full-time, we'd been wanting to move out of the bay area, so it all worked out.

Him: So what does that mean for you financially?

Groan. It means I am getting a job in my new town of residence, you nosy dumbass. Do all girls go through periods of loser-magnetism, and later on wonder what on earth they were thinking when they were with said loser?

P.S. For those of you who are concerned: I am not talking about Devon, who's pretty much my best friend. For those of you who are curious, the sole regret in my relationship portfolio has the first initial of R. End of topic, henceforth I am not discussing him.

Labels: , ,

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Tales from Down South

We went to L.A. for the weekend! Greg had a race there on Sunday, plus Friday was my birthday so of course that's the perfect excuse for a trip, and side bonus was the air quality in the bay area was crap thanks to some dumb schmoe whose illegal debris fire became a multi-day multi-acre monstrosity. See photo at right. Funny what makes L.A. seem clean and clear by comparison... but we were actually staying in the Santa Monica Canyon, which generally does have nice clean air.

I learned lots of cool things on this trip!

Thing 1: swimming "long course" is really really great. Long course means the lanes are 50 meters long, instead of 25 meters/yards or 33 1/3 yards (which is the length of the Temescal pool, where we swim here in Oakland). There is this really awesome outdoor pool at Santa Monica College that is set up long course at certain times and MAN was it nice. I didn't realize before how much a shorter pool breaks up one's rhythm.

Thing 2: puppies are also really really great.

Thing 3: but just because your boyfriend walks in with a puppy and it happens to be your birthday, it doesn't mean the puppy is a present for YOU! I truly did think for 2 seconds that Greg had gotten me a puppy, but in reality he belonged to our hosts. I had a great time sending photo text messages to my family telling them about "my new puppy i got for my birfday" and actually my brother believed it and told all his friends, which means I FINALLY got revenge for his little April Fool's joke...

Thing 4, last bit about puppies I swear: they can be endlessly entertained by their own tails. Chase and chase and chase in circles and then fall over in dizziness. Apparently, if you are a puppy, this is totally fun. If you are watching the puppy it's definitely fun.

Thing 5: despite whining and moaning (who me?! never!!) about the long ride I got sent on all by myself in the heat, uphill into headwinds, with no shade, in retrospect I actually had a good time and a great ride. But at the time I was making sourpuss faces at all the canyons I seemed to climb out of...

Thing 6: I saw hardly any chicks out riding, but tons of dudes. Brenda you'd better rally those LA women and get them on some nice Fuji bikes!

Thing 7: Yes I still suck at taking race photos. I wanted to get photos of Greg at the start and finish of the swim, additionally I wanted to ride down to the start at Venice Beach with him, I had no bike lock and no change of clothes and no backpack and at 6:40 a.m. I suddenly realized there was no way I was going to get my little spandexed road-cleated Serotta-saddled self down acres of sand to get photos at the ocean. So I snapped a shot or two of some random birds and the far-away start banner and left it at that. I missed the bike entirely for dumb reasons. I did manage a couple photos of Greg running, which was cool (and totally fortuitous, considering I armed myself with neither map nor compass nor sunscreen), except the photos were total-eclipse-of-Greg since I forgot about the whole sun-at-photographer's-back rule (incidentally, this "eclipse" photo turned out FAR BETTER than my lunar eclipse attempts). Nevertheless the spectating was tons of fun and he had a good race!

Thing 8: Beach time is great recovery time. We headed to the Santa Monica beach after the race and lazed until we felt too lazy. Neither of us is very good at true down time, but after losing a couple of Scrabble pieces to the puppy I stopped talking about earlier, we opted to play it safe and head to the ocean sans entertainment. I did, however, bring my phone...

Thing whatever-number-I-am-on-now: some things don't change, even 11 years after graduating from high school. Greg and I had lunch on Monday with my friends Paula and Tadia. We were all three great friends in school, and both of them currently are in LA doing entertainment industry stuff (don't ask me)(but they seem to be doing great). I see Paula once a year because she comes to my mom's for Christmas every year. Also Paula has a great blog, and I have a blog too, obviously.

Me and Paula: blah blah blah Blog blah blah blah Christmas

Tadia: UGH. If I hear the words "blog" or "christmas" one more time I am going to smack BOTH of you!

Greg: Um are you going to eat your corn bread?

It was fun. Also Paula teased me a lot, about legitimate topics such as my long-winded telling of how Greg and I met ("and then I emailed Jaffa, but the first time it bounced back, but then after that... etc."), and also about the fact that I have Juicy Couture sunglasses, a label that's TOTALLY not me but I swear they were the only ones that fit.

Anyway, after all this excitement, plus additional excitement but I think this is enough for one blog post, we drove home. The skies were beautiful and back to their normal mildly hazy selves.

Labels: , , , , ,

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

What were you doing 6 years ago today?

I walked into the post office a couple of minutes before 9 a.m., to mail a birthday card to my grandmother, and the Charlottesville post office had T.V.'s in it. There were two other customers there. The first plane had already crashed into the first tower, and as we were standing there gape-mouthedly staring at CNN, the second plane crashed.

I rushed to the radio station to help the dj before me with news updates and to get ready for my show. We were the only station in town who continued to play music that day, everyone else switched to news-only but a. we didn't have that capability and b. music is soothing in times of distress, so we continued to play music and we gave news updates every 20 minutes.

I think the first song I played on my show that day was Siouxsie and the Banshees' "Cities in Dust", in retrospect perhaps not the most sensitive choice but it's a great song.

Labels: , ,

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Girls Love Goggles

Greg got some photos taken for his website this past weekend, and last night he and I were looking through them trying to pick the best ones.

Me: I love this one!
Him: But I am wearing goggles. You can't even see my eyes!
Me: I don't care, I think it looks hot.
Him: I don't. You are just saying that because you are obsessed with goggles.
Me: But you look awesome in it!
Him: Ugh.
Me: This is like our conversations where I say I don't like my butt and you say you do.
Him: Yeah but all guys like butts to one degree or another.
Me: Well all girls like goggles!

I am totally right about this. See?

photo credit: Stephen Weiss

(but by the way we did decide he was right, and he chose other photos, I am just getting my own personal goggle photo to ogle)

(also further by the way, we weren't really arguing)(don't want two consecutive posts about boys' and girls' differences of opinion)

Labels: , , ,

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Further Observations on Topics About Which I am Now an Expert

This weekend, we watched live coverage of the ITU World Championship Triathlon on the internet. Actually we just watched the men's race because the women's race was on at 4 a.m. our time. Side note: I have noticed that in triathlon, women tend to be treated equally to the men regarding distance AND prize money. That's nice.

But my point in this post is to whine profusely about the commentary in this "live coverage". It totally sucked! Cyclists are sooo spoiled by Phil Liggett and Paul Sherwin! Ugh! We had to put the thing on mute, the commentary was so annoying.

"Well, Libby Burrell [WHY did the dude have to say his co-host's FULL NAME every single time?!] this is just literally the most literally exciting race of the year!"

Literally was this guy's favourite word. I didn't catch his name because, thankfully, Libby Burrell did not say it every 30 seconds, but she had her own irritating habits...

"Yes, Mr. Annoyingpants, this is truly shaping up to be an epic event. Javier Gomez is running to win. But no! Here comes Daniel Unger! Epic, this is epic!"

As it is, I HATE the overusage of the word "epic" with regards to sports. I mean, 80 miles in the pouring rain in Merced during March definitely sucks, especially since we usually pay to be out there racing, but it just doesn't quite hold up to Beowulf's and Aeneas' standards. Not Epic. The Tour can get away with using epic because the race is pretty insane, and because Phil and Paul recognize the value of only using "epic" for truly extreme circumstances.

Further: an olympic distance triathlon? This was a 1.5 K swim, 40 k bike, 10k run. The guys raced for like an hour and forty minutes! In weather-appropriate tank tops and little spandex shorts! Not not not not not epic, yes definitely hard, but not epic. I don't care if Unger collapsed from exhaustion/emotion/dramatic effect at the end. Which he did, but that just emphasizes the drama more than anything.

Anyway all this ranting aside, I enjoyed watching a bunch of incredible athletes trying to sort out who's best. After all, they didn't choose to have Libby Burrell and Whatsisface giving the play-by-play.

Oh, p.s., Cyclingnews.com's live coverage kicks ironmanlive.com in the tush. Royally, and completely.

Labels: , ,

Monday, September 03, 2007

How To Be Cool At Lap Swim

I have been swimming now for 2 months and therefore I am an expert.

My advice to everyone, regardless of skill level, is to swim in the "medium" lane. Avoid "slow" and "fast" at all costs because that's what everyone does.

I am sort of kidding about my advice, but not about this everyone-pile-up-in-medium phenomenon. I don't get it. Yesterday there were six people in each of the 2 medium lanes, and 1-3 in each of the slow and fast lanes.

It's like everyone is too cool for slow, but they don't want to stick their necks out to the whole rest of the swim population and be like "ooh hey look at me I think I am good because I am swimming in Fast!"


There is good people-watching at the pool. There is a handful of dark-tan-from-daily-noon-swim ladies who do this crazy looking reverse-rowboat stroke with floating noodles to hold them up and visors and sunglasses to protect their faces. (They appropriately go in slow.) There is also this dude who swims in total slow motion, with flippers, and I am pretty sure he goes to lap swim multiple times a day because a. he is tanner even than the rowboat ladies and b. I have seen him at morning swim and Greg has seen him at noon swim on the same day, anyway I have counted his strokes-per-minute and he seems to average about 10 or 12. Also there are the "straight swimmers", for whom there is no such thing as a set and no such thing as rest. There is also, apparently, for them, no such thing as logically yielding to a faster swimmer or to one swimming a set with flippers.

I have also recently learned that belly necklaces are "in" at the Temescal pool.

And, regarding me being an expert... As I got home from my run yesterday, I heard Greg talking on the phone to someone I correctly assumed was his mom.

Greg: Yeah, she's doing O.K. I mean, she's definitely gotten better.
Greg: Ooo I think she just got home. She's really swimming great!!
Me: I heard that.

Anyway Greg thinks I am now one of the good swimmers at lap swim, but he says that's not saying much so I shouldn't get too psyched.

Labels: , ,