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

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

The Plan A Express

So I am still on my little mini-vacation before rejoining the ranks of the Gainfully Employed. I must say, I am enjoying myself. PLUS, as it turns out, the 6500' altitude here is taking some getting used to, so I have been incredibly grateful to be able to sleep in until 9:30 every morning without ghastly consequences.

I've been doing artwork a bit more regularly, which has also been nice. For the past year and a half or so, I was lucky to get to work on a new piece once a month. Lately it's been more like a couple times a day, in between games of solitaire, playing with the cat, and of course the slightly-too-frequent killer swim workout.

This news of sleeping and doodling makes my mom ecstatic, which is pretty cool actually - how many people have moms that actually encourage them to goof off?

HOWEVER, I have not yet told her about the cat... Scared to! She has so vehemently warned/ordered/threatened me against the idea of a pet that I am dreading the moment she finds out almost as much as I dreaded her finding out about my tattoos. So when she calls me I only answer if I am outside of the house, paranoid about her hearing some random Charlie cat noise through the cell phone.

Greg laughs at me for this.

Can't say I blame him.

In other news: just a little over a week until SilverMan! I've been keeping mum about it because we weren't sure if we were headed to the Treasure Island Triathlon or the SilverMan Triathlon next weekend, but decisions have been made, tapers have commenced, and I am so excited! It's supposed to be a challenging course, and I can't wait.

Parting shot:

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Monday, October 29, 2007

Girls Love Fins

License to Luv Life

Since moving to Tahoe 10 days ago, I have seen approximately tons of fancy cars with license plates announcing the awesome great Tahoe mountain life loved and lived by the driver of said fancy car.

I think there's some be-jealous-of-me phenomenon going on here? Not that this attitude is exclusive to Tahoe at all, I guess it's pretty american, but still I am enjoying all the license plate manifestations of it tootling around the lake.

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Sunday, October 28, 2007

Lessons Learned/Re-Learned today

1. Try fiddling with fishtank heater's plug prior to declaring the heater broken and trotting off to buy a new one.

2. Look for trail maps prior to driving partway up the mountain to nice looking parking area that seems like a likely place for a trail head unless we are O.K. with gross boring hiking straight uphill for 20 minutes. I generally hate hiking but actually this trail was beautiful so it was O.K.


3. I actually really like baseball. Now it's football/basketball/hockey season. Sigh.

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Saturday, October 27, 2007

Cutie Pie

Here he is! We think he's half-ish persian? He came with the name 'Charlie' and it's basically sticking.

I also got a new fish today, because the stupidhead black fish keeps picking on little Sweetie so I figured a third goldfish might even out the dynamic. New little orange fishy is christened Pipsqueak. She's about 1/8th the size of Stupidhead so wish her luck! And yes I do indeed keep changing their names. They don't seem to mind.

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Truckee River

I did a great ride today, starting from Incline Village and going along the lake to Tahoe City, then following the Truckee River into Truckee, then going over Brockaway (only not-exactly-fun part...) back to the lake. It's been a bit cloudy and hazy for the past couple of days, I wonder if the fires in Southern California are the reason?

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Friday, October 26, 2007

Nevada Day and other randoms

Today, all the kids are off school and various businesses are closed so that people can watch parades and celebrate Nevada Day. I had never heard of such a thing, but then again I hadn't heard of Ski Week either prior to moving to San Francisco.

Back to me: today I did my run workout on the treadmill at the gym, so that I could do my core workout there afterwards. ("Doing Core At Home" is the biggest joke ever in my experience.) The gym has several TV's tuned to different channels. Here's what I got to watch today during my run:

-tail end of Dr. Phil, in subtitles. Most frequently used word was "gonna".

-Fox News. Headlines and stories included "Bomb Planner Released After Sucking Up to Yemeni President" (sucking up?! this is now a phrase for news headlines?!) and "$4000 worth of Underwear Stolen from Victoria's Secret" (this story took at least two minutes and featured gratuitous Vickie's runway shots, of course).

-1.5 episodes of Judge Judy. I find this show even more depressing than MTV in the revealing-America's-stupidity department.

-a 1-hour special on Travis Tritt, who apparently is a Country Music star who got married at 18, divorced at 20, married and divorced again, and I didn't catch what his status is now. Also he has hung out with Paris Hilton and he was good buddies with Ray Charles and Johnny Cash and he has a new album out. Also, (and this part is meant to be very interesting) he refuses to wear a cowboy hat.

I watched this last one the most. It was the least retarded.

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Thursday, October 25, 2007

City Girl Goes Trail Running for Real

(i also unpacked my scanner finally!)

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Unpacked the Camera

And yes, it's beautiful up here!

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Wednesday, October 24, 2007

I'm Back!

Yay we have internet now! I am so excited! Now I get to spend the day "researching diesel engines", "catching up on correspondence", "perusing job classifieds", "etc." (meaning: I get to spend the day shopping on line, facebooking people, looking at a week's worth of cats that I missed, blogging, and generally being sedentarily productive.)

Anyhow, I guess task numero primo is to drag this blog out of the boring ages.


1. I got a suspicious email from my mom, Sal, wherein she used the phrases "Howzit going?" and "Thanx!". Hmm. Who stole my grammar policemom and replaced her with a tweenager?

2. The recreation center here (which is actually the gym, pool, etc.) is HILARIOUS. For one thing, there are signs all over the women's locker room about current and upcoming group-fitness classes. My favourite is "Walk the Gym!" - apparently if you walk around the basketball courts 22 times you've gone a mile, and people get together from 6-8 am and keep track of their walking miles.

2.b. My favourite pool quote thus far, spoken by the local I.V. Ice Queen from the 90's (if you don't get it ask Martina): "This suit is just awful. It adds at least 5 seconds' worth of drag." My resident swim-expert tells me that you'd have to put a bucket on your back to get 5 seconds' worth of drag.

3. Greg and I have rekindled our love of solitaire. Yes, the card game. So far we have won at least 6 games.

Speaking of which... it's my turn to play.

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Thursday, October 18, 2007

Can I Run Too Please?!

Whoa. Moving is exhausting. We got here yesterday, "we" being me, Greg, the U-Haul full of more crap than I ever ever thought I could accumulate, and 2 living breathing swimming goldfish!!

I am approximately 17% finished with unpacking and attempting to dispose of a big chunk of my accumulated crap. Although sometimes pack-ratted stuff is fun - Greg happened upon an old journal of mine from my college years, and got a good 4 hours of entertainment out of it. Poor emotionally tormented little 20 year old Courtenay is good for lots of laughs now. And I finally located some weather-appropriate footwear! I'm wearing sneakers now, major improvement over the rainbows.

I'm applying for a job at the local Pet Network tomorrow. Wish me luck! I told my mom about it, she said "Well that sounds nice sweetie, as long as you don't come HOME with one of the PETS." But Greg and I kinda already picked one out.

As for the subject line: yesterday, when I was just as tired as I am today but a little more stressed since it was my first day here and I had no clue where anything was, I showed up at the local Rec. Center to swim and run. Remember, I was tired. Anyhow the lady at the front desk asked if she could help me because I walked in doing my best startled-deer impersonation and of course I burst into tears, mumbling about not having my proof of residency yet and not knowing where anything in this (admittedly NOT LARGE) town is and wanting to swim but feeling overwhelmed, blah blah blah, and the total sweetheart of a front desk lady, Barbara, came out and gave me a hug and said I should just go downstairs and swim and not worry about the fee for today, just go get in my swim and feel better.

Then I said "(sniffle sniffle) thank you (sniffle) can I run too please?"

Way to go Court, looking a gift horse in the mouth or whatever the saying is.

Greg says I am such a girl sometimes!

I say I blurt out the STUPIDEST things sometimes...

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Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Since when is a HEDGEHOG a household pet?!?!

I once again feel befuddled by the craigslist pet section.

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The Move Pt. 1

So, the long anticipated move-out-of-Oakland happened today!

Sort of.

Even though Oakland is a mere 207-ish miles from Incline Village, and even though we left at like 1 pm this afternoon, we had to get a hotel room (Motel 6 room actually) in Auburn, CA thanks to ominous "Snow Over Summit, Bring Chains" signs. It's pouring with rain here so obviously it's snowing at higher elevations and NO WAY are we braving that in a fully laden U-Haul and previously blogged about snow-machine Civic.

I am worried about the fish though. When we ate at In-n-Out earlier I made Greg help me keep them warm - they were each in their own mason jar, and so we each took a fish jar and held it between our legs to keep it warm. Now they are both in the same jar and I am changing out the water because the big beastly black one keeps pooping everywhere, I have no idea where she is getting food from but she is a pooping machine. I do have a favourite and it is not her.

Also, take a wild guess as to what my weather appropriate footwear is... Yup. Flipflops.

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Saturday, October 13, 2007

Photo of the day

thanks everyone for the laughs and fun times!

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Thursday, October 11, 2007

A few little things I WILL miss

Making tons of progress over here

I, the proverbial headless chicken for the duration of the week, have no business being on blogger or facebook or myspace. I have exactly one very small box packed, out of a foreseeable 15 boxes and 5 suitcases.

Packing is totally not fun.

I realized this morning that I have lived in my current apartment for longer than I have lived anywhere since I was 6 years old. This "long" time is only two years but still.

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Tuesday, October 09, 2007

I wonder if I will miss hearing sirens all the time...

I got home from my ride today to find 4 cop cars outside my building in Oakland. The officers all seemed pretty calm, it seemed they had already taken care of whatever had happened so I went ahead and rode to the front door like normal.

There was a crack pipe** on the stoop. And some crackhead in one of the cop cars. And one of the officers came up to me and made small talk about my bike and training and stuff for a few minutes, I guess to make wide-eyed little me feel a bit more comfortable or something.


I am NOT going to miss stuff like this. Especially since Greg is already in Tahoe so I am here alone and seeing phantom crackpipes and ghosts all over the apartment. Next thing I know I will be hearing an imaginary "oh shit" horror movie soundtrack.

**Funny thing is, I had no idea the little test-tube looking thing with steel wool in it was a crack pipe until the police officer identified it as such. And yes I have lived in Oakland for 2 years.

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Monday, October 08, 2007


Additional detail regarding the aforementioned chilly weekend necessitating a nice warm fire...

List Of Footwear I Took With Me To Tahoe Last Weekend:
-carbon-soled cleated cycling shoes, i.e. not for walking
-extra fancy running sneakers, also ideally not for walking and tootling around
-one pair rainbow flipflops
-one pair reef flipflops

So I walked and tootled in one or the other pair of flipflops. My feet froze... But I live in flipflops! What am I going to do?! Wear fuzzy boot flipflops? Ew.

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More Inanity Courtesy of Craigslist Pet Section

Here is the link to what I copied and pasted below. No tirade on this one, just laughs, because honestly: WTF?!

Looking for new Dog last dog Was shot last week

Reply to: comm-441263559@craigslist.org
Date: 2007-10-05, 5:14PM PDT

Hello I am Looking For a 6 to 8 week old Border collie or border collie mix. my puppy was shot in my yard last week she was a great dog and i am looking for a great new puppy if you could help me out let me know thank you

Location: washoe valley
it's NOT ok to contact this poster with services or other commercial interests

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Blind Leading the Blind

I spent the weekend in Incline with Greg (I am officially still an Oakland resident, until next week anyway), getting a little taste of cool things to come... awesome pool, great running trails, lake views, bear signs (how exciting!), and cool-to-cold temps.

Regarding that last item: good thing we have a fireplace!

However, I have spent a lifetime avoiding fire-building duty at my mom's. No tactic is too silly or too pathetic for me - claiming a mortal fear of fire (can't tend the fire from 10 feet away), displaying blatant stupidity (oh you mean if I pile up ten logs at a time and try to use one match to light a log it won't work [innocent face]?), using calm reasoning (well, considering that I just vacuumed and did the dishes and did a lot of cleaning, it would be silly for me to get all ashy and dirty at the fire place)(hahaha vacuuming and dishes?), and flat out whining (but PLEASE why can't someone ELSE do it I HATE fires they are GROSS!).

But I succeeded.

Fires are officially the realm of my brother/mom/sometimes sister/any male guest who happens to be at our house.

Yet somehow, I was the one teaching Greg to build fires this weekend. Making little newspaper torches, checking the flue, artfully arranging kindling, getting on my hands and knees to coax and blow the little fire into roaring, and then sitting back and gazing at my handiwork. I made a Fire!!

Don't tell my mom though, I don't want fire duty at Christmas....

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Thursday, October 04, 2007

Gimme some American Spirit

There is exactly one item of patriotic American baloney that I buy into, willingly and even gleefully. I'm not a Republican, military overspending really pisses me off, I think the war is retarded and so are the major people behind it, I do not feel proud when I see the U.S. flag, I have almost succeeded in forcing myself to forget the Pledge of Allegiance and Oh Beautiful For Spacious Skies, and I make a point of keeping on hat-type accessories whenever the national anthem gets played.

But I love the Blue Angels. Man those planes are awesome. They serve no practical transportative purpose, all they do is spend tons of taxpayer money traveling the country doing propaganda work, using tons of fossil fuels in the process, snarling traffic and interrupting everyone's busy important lives. But I don't care. I totally love them.

It's Fleet Week here in the Bay Area... :)

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Wednesday, October 03, 2007

I might be stupid too...


For some reason I am having one of those "everything sucks" weeks, even though I know full well that everything DOESN'T suck, I am just cranky because I'm here and Greg's not and that gives me way too much time to sit and stew.

So. My iPod shuffle is officially broken. My normal iPod only works when it feels like it, which is not often. The thought of a musicless world scares and depresses and tortures me, because lord knows where all my cd's are and portable cd player?!? Ha that's a good one.

My heart rate monitor is also broken. I took it to Sports Basement and they gave me a new one but the one they gave me was the display model so for some reason the new one doesn't work either, so I guess I will go back once again and bat my eyelashes or something. Bleh.

Further: there is this place in the city, near Fisherman's Wharf, called Aquatic Park. It's this little cove in the bay with a beach and an area for open water swimming. I was going to go there with my wetsuit to swim after work this week but I have finally GIVEN UP on the logistics. I'd have to ride my bike there with my backpack, but there is no secure place to lock up your stuff, and it's completely open to the public, so basically you have to drive there and lock all your clothes in your car, blah blah blah point is I am not going and I feel lame to be defeated by logistics but there is just no way.

AND there is a chance of snow in Tahoe on Friday, when I am supposedly driving up there for the weekend in my little Honda Civic that's front wheel drive and like 2 horsepower... I haven't driven in snow since the Blizzard of '99 or something like that. Better get used to it. Better yet, better go CAR SHOPPING!!!!!

That's all it took. Mere mention of shopping and I am all atwitter ;)

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People are Stupid

An Anonymous Friend's story:

people are stupid

so i'm out in the field about as far as i can get from my desk and i'm on the phone with the architect
and he tells me he sent me an email about this thing we were discussing earlier this morning
i tell him i'm out in the field about as far away from my desk as i can get and could he tell me what it says
so he says "maybe you should go back to your desk and read it."

so i hang up

come back to my desk and all it says is that we don't have to install this rigid insulation on the roof
way too fucking difficult to say over the godamn phone
what a sonofabitch

and he called me back just to check whether i hung up on him

Sorry, but: HAHAHAHA! With some sympathy too of course...

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Tuesday, October 02, 2007


There was an article in the San Francisco Chronicle about pet overpopulation and a guy who says that it's a myth.

I'll admit that I didn't read the article, and I probably won't read the guy's book.

HOWEVER, somewhat relatedly, I was just perusing the pet section of the Reno/Tahoe craigslist and found what appears to be some wacky menagerie in Dayton, wherever that is (Smithers is it on that river that goes through Minneapolis, I forget what it's called?)

a bronze turkey: WE have a lonely female bronze turkey whose mate died. She would love a new man in her life but we have been unable to locate one. They will have a wonderful home and will not be eaten. =) We are willing to buy him if reasonable, please contact kellybrvt@aol.com.

an unwanted nile monitor lizard:
Young Nile Monitor lizard and 90 gal tank and stand + 20 gal tank and supplies. Sacrifice for $150.00. We just dont have the time for it anymore. This is a large lizard and may get up to 7ft long. Eats fish, mice, crickets etc.

the kid's unwanted chinchilla:
Smoky Black colored Chinchilla male. "Cinder" Comes with cage and supplies for $60.00. He is very playful and tame but our son got a kitten and never plays with him anymore. He needs someone to spend lots of time playing with him. =)

the kid's ponies that need stuff: WE just aquired two Shetland ponies for our son that we would like to train to drive a small cart. We are looking for one secondhand for a reasonable price since the new ones seem to be anywhere from $800-$2000.

a sugar glider seemingly to replace the chinchilla? both are small and gray and soft and NOT SUPPOSED TO BE PETS: We would like a sugar glider or a pair of sugar gliders. Very experienced with exotics and their care. WE have a juvenile nile monitor and 90 gal tank and supplies to trade or we are willing to purchase them. Please contact.


And what's with the pervasive "WE"?

Although, I must say that I REALLY would have gone over the edge if they had also posted something about a "sweet 3ft burmese python baby that's a great pet but we can't keep her because of our kid!" Thankfully, they did not, at least not yet.

You see a lot of ignorant pet owners on craigslist, it's kind of alarming...

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Tinley's Race Photos

Out of the Water! Those are actually kids behind me, racing the kid's triathlon. The swim was not really my strong leg but the race wasn't over at all.

That's my "GAH!" face!

Now I am out for revenge on all those little swimmer-experts... In looking at this photo I am deciding to try to get a bike with 700 cc wheels, my cute little Elite looks too little! What do you think?

This part of the race was pretty fun. I do love running.

Here I think I am still loving running, but perhaps a bit less than in the previous photo? I am making that face again!

Thanks to Lorri for all the great photos! Oh, and finally, *sigh*, here is my favourite... Greg getting interviewed after his awesome win!

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Quick Update

Regarding The Move: we are officially residents of Incline Village, NV! We went back to plan A (or maybe it was plan G, I honestly can't keep up) after deciding against Reno for simplicity reasons.

I know, I know, I have been blogging about this move thing for at least a month now... SORRY!

Lesson learned: no blogging about big plans before said plans have come to fruition because CHANCES ARE things will change! E.g. our minds.

Anyhow we are both super excited about the place. Greg is there now, I will be moving in 2 weeks, in the meantime I am still in the Bay Area working and training and talking to the goldfish, as per usual.

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Monday, October 01, 2007


There were tons of national flags from all over the world surrounding the transition area at Tinley's this weekend: Japan, the United Kingdom, Sweden, South Korea, Brazil, Canada, and... Maryland?!

Not that I have a problem with Maryland's flag, I think it's one of the most beautiful and unique state flags, but still. Maryland?!

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