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

Friday, November 30, 2007

I Stink

So, it turns out that Charlie had some sort of skin fungus (prolly ringworm...) when we adopted him. It showed up 2 weeks after he came to live with us. We got a topical antifungal from the adoption center and we were treating it with that, but in the past couple of days the infestation got way worse and the poor cat looked miserable. It was heartbreaking. So we went to the vet this morning, he shaved off the hair and scabs (majorly gross)(good thing I ignored my mom's wish that I attend vet school because guess who borderline passed out), and gave us this sulfur-lyme dip to bathe Charlie with every 5-7 days for the next two months.

The bathing process was amusing, we wound up mixing the dip in a cooler and dunking the cat in it out in the porch, and then we relocated him to the bathroom (no carpet or fabric and there is an air vent) to let him dry off. He's got one of those head cone things on to prevent him from licking the sulfur and getting sick.

The bizarrely adorable part of the whole thing is that little Charlie actually purred through about 90% of the ordeal, including the bathing part. Even the vet commented on what an incredibly good-natured cat he is! And none of us got clawed. I was pretty shocked.

Next we have to wash basically everything in the house, and locate a functional vacuum so we can clean the carpets. Ugh. (At the moment, though, Greg and I are at the library checking emails and writing blogs and whatnot. Other patrons are keeping a healthy distance - we stink!)

I got to thinking about the whole rescue phenomenon... The Pet Network actually informed us before we adopted him that he'd had an outbreak of ringworm, but they assured us that he was cured. For some reason we took their word for it and didn't do any research of our own, which in retrospect was kind of retarded. He was so cute and so sweet and he had been there for a while and we got totally swept into the idea of rescuing him, of being Superman and Superwoman and earning the undying gratitude and love of a big-eyed fuzzball. Reality hit us over the past few days, I mean what a presumptuous and stupid idea - we have carpet and fabric everywhere, the apartment is the perfect breeding ground for the fungus, and spores live for 2-3 years. We were almost going to take him back, we felt so overwhelmed by his misery and by the facts of the fungus. But, the vet was realistic and encouraging, and honestly his chances of getting cured by a shelter and then getting re-adopted to a "forever home" are slim to none, so there is no question now about giving up.

Rescuing is hard. It's not a caped crusader kind of thing, we aren't effortlessly giving a healthly happy cat the perfect home. But right now, hearing him purr and seeing his spirits lifted already make the sulfur, the cleaning, and the vet bill all disappear from my mind. And nose. Wish us luck.

Oh and guess what?!!? I got invited to join a BOOK CLUB!! With real-live people and FRIENDS!

Labels: ,

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Be My Friend

No I am not talking about Myspace or Friendster Facebook. I can't ever get on those sites anymore anyway and according to Jandy, who is probably right, I won't be able to get on them for a long while.

I am talking about REAL LIVE IN-PERSON FRIENDSHIPS. I realized today that my closest friend here in Incline Village is my boss's wife. I met her 3 days ago. She's super cool but a. I have talked to her for approx. 10 minutes total and b. see prior comment regarding length of friendship.

How does one meet people?!

Why do I even need to ask that? I have been the new kid countless times in my life. My dad was in the Navy, I went to 7 schools by the time I was 14, I up and moved to San Francisco without knowing a soul and left with tons of friends, so why am I having a hard time here?

I have (probably unfairly) decided that it's because 65% of the Incline Village population is either 55+ or in middle school. I can't relate to either group. Nor can I relate to the 20% who are babymamas and babydaddies with strollers and stuff, or the 20% who are high school students or Sierra Nevada College students (YES I am an east coast snob and I am having a hard time viewing that as a real school even though it's supposedly great and the students love their professors and etc. etc.), and 5% are about my age. Greg and I comprise at least 50% of that 5%.

Yeah so my math skills smack of overgeneralization and so do my social profiling ones. I need to stop whining and just get out there and smile at people. Look out Local Starbucks, look out Local Library, look out [wherever else there is to hang out], here comes the New Girl.

Labels: ,

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Day 17 with No Laptop...

I have the Apple recorded voice message memorized. "The repair of your product is currently on hold awaiting a needed part. We receive parts every day..." Hmf. Why can't you please receive MY part sometime before eternity gets here.

But P.S. GUESS who has a JOB?!!!

Labels: ,

Monday, November 26, 2007

Mom vs. Ebay... Battle # 1

It's Christmas season, actually it's been Christmas season now for months thanks to this whole oh-my-god-consumers-aren't-buying-enough-crap freakout, and according to my mom Christmas season starts in early summer, when she starts calling and asking "Have you bought your AIRLINE TICKETS for CHRISTMAS YET?!?! You'd better hurry, good seats don't last FOREVER you know!"

Then we move on to the five million scheduling calls, wherein she asks each of her children what we want to do or something. Multiple times. Honestly I lose track of what she's asking and what we are all answering. I think that's actually why we have so many of the same conversations - all of us, including my mom, are like "so what? It's Christmas! We all have fun together anyway so who cares what the plan is?"

Next come her presents questions. Should we even give presents or just enjoy each other's presence? To which the answer is always "it's a whole lot funner to enjoy each other's presence when presents are involved." Should we do dollar limits? Should everyone get everyone else something or everyone gets one present? What does everybody even WANT?! Etc.

So I sent my mom an email saying I would enjoy socks, an orange iPod shuffle, and maybe a pony please.

Ensuing emails:

Sal: what is an ipod shuffle? :-)

Me: this is a shuffle: http://www.apple.com/ipodshuffle/

Sal: So, I went to eBay for the first time in my life and looked at iPod
Shuffles - orange, new, and of course got really confused. I can't
figure out why the top of the list is $61.00, has 21 bids on it while
further down there is one priced at $9.99 with one bid one it. HELP!

This is quite probably my favourite email I have gotten from her. How cute! My mom ventured onto EBAY for ME!! She must love me.

Labels: ,

Saturday, November 24, 2007


Why am I in tears while living in one of the most beautiful places in the world?

Why did I so readily leave my sweet setup in the Bay Area?

Job-seeking sucks. Especially when seeking a job with tons of asterisks, such as "need lots of time off so I can go race AND go on vacation", "need part-time hours so I can go train", "need to not be on my feet so I can recover", "need to not work for an idiot/bunch of idiots so I don't do and say things we all regret", "need to make enough money to pay the bills", etc.

Also, why did I not opt for the 3-day in-store repair for my Mac, instead choosing the up-to-3-week mail-in repair that cost $40 less?

And why is that when you go online to investigate the "Laptops for $799!" offer, you get directed to this "Customize Your New Laptop!" page that is like "Do you want Your New Laptop to work? Add $150!" and "Do you want to be able to see the screen on Your New Laptop? Add $200!"?!?!?!

Anyway I am still without a computer.

It's severely affecting my blogging, my proofreading, my job-applicationing, my e-baying, my whole freaking life. The frustrating thing is I have hardly even been able to channel my free time into my artwork, partly because I feel uninspired but largely because I used my laptop for my art projects, even the paintings. So basically I am just playing solitaire and watching dog shows and open water swimming on T.V. and (gasp) looking up information in Real Live Books rather than the internet.

Labels: , ,

Friday, November 23, 2007

Did You Know...

...at the Carson City Wal-Mart, one can purchase goldfish, Zimectrin horse de-wormer, and a mani-pedi. Your one stop shop.

...the winner of the 2007 WSOP (World Series of Poker) (which by the way claims to have the biggest winner's purse in all of "sports" at $8.5 million), anyway this year's winner Jerry Yang is a devout Christian. As the dealer was turning over the community cards on an important hand near the finale, Yang and his wife were both chanting "Make me a believer, Lord, in the name of your son Jesus Christ, make me a believer and LET ME WIN." He won. So now kids and aficionados everywhere know that God is the key to an $8.5 million paycheck?

...Wesley Snipes wears a Colnago cycling cap for much of the 1992 film White Men Can't Jump.

...today, despite my best efforts at buying new tires for Greg's uncooperative beast car, paying a tailor to alter a jacket, and buying my Christmas card materials, I was actually foiled on all counts and managed NOT to purchase anything on Black Friday! And further, I am actually tempted to put "hugs and kisses" on my gift wish-list in place of the standard iPod, clothes, and pony.

O.K. that's about it for now. I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving with appropriate amounts of pie, wine, whining, and football!

Labels: ,

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Mountaintop Rescue!

(and by the way I am still laptop-less so no photos for a few more days... sorry!)

Anyhow this morning, as I was poring over Joy of Cooking wondering which was less likely to be disastrous, Pumpkin Pie or Pumpkin Cheesecake, I got a phone call from my very own pumpkin who had left about 15 minutes earlier to drive to Reno for work. He was halfway up Mt. Rose with a flat tire and no changing tools.

I leaped to action - my trusty Honda Civic and I were off to save him and his not-very trusty Honda Accord which I hate with increasing vengeance.

And by the way, 8:30 a.m. in late November at 7500' of elevation outside is NOT THE TIME to be wearing only velour pants, a t-shirt, and a $10 hoodie from Target. The good news is I have finally traded in my flipflops for solid footwear so at least my toes weren't freezing.

As per usual with my stories, I am providing an excess of detail for a nonexistent punch line. We changed the tire. Greg took my car to Reno and I am stuck with his temperamental relic from the dark ages all day. Good thing my only errands are within walking distance (and the 76 station is right across the street from our house! how fortunate!).

Now I am going to get back to my pie decision.

Labels: , ,

Monday, November 19, 2007

Back on the Wagon

After an interminable week of no training, I broke down this morning and went for a swim. It felt great to be back in the water, although I am somehow already slower than I was before Silverman... ah well I have time to get back up to speed! I am going to start my weightlifting program tomorrow, assuming I can find some record of what I did last year embedded in my email. I spent forever looking for the notebook where I wrote everything down, but apparently I threw it out in one of my all-too-frequent-and-MADDENLY-NONSENSICAL-AND-HAPHAZARD cleaning frenzies.


Separate topic: Yesterday, at the height of my no-workout boredom and inspired by all the Real Housewives of Orange County "pampering" I have been seeing on TV, I trotted off to the Lake Tahoe Hyatt's Stillwater Spa, armed with a $200 gift card AND a local's discount card (good for 25% off!), thinking that I'd be able to get a full day's worth of pampering... it was actually used up after 2 hours but it was a pretty nice two hours. I got a massage (nice but definitely inferior to JD's massages) and then a facial (a first for me - it was awesome! But it did remind me of high school and all those cucumber/avocado/peach whatever masks we smeared all over ourselves to actually disastrous affects, although the cucumber one was super fun because it peeled off like a big patch of elmer's glue).

I don't think I could go back though. For one thing, I wouldn't ask for another gift of a spa treatment there, I find the bang-for-the-buck factor to be severely lacking. And for another thing, the excessive "you deserve it!" pampering feels way too ridiculous and indicative of what really bugs me about our society today. Everyone is special, everyone is a princess, everyone deserves to have all kinds of money and products and rose-smelling crap slathered all over them, and the slathering is totally essential to being beautiful. Major groan.

Apocalyptic whining aside: man the facial was nice!

Labels: , ,

Friday, November 16, 2007

Back to humdrum ho-hums

Life's basically back to normal after our Vegas jaunt. I'm doing laundry, talking to the cat, talking to the fish, playing solitaire (with my NEW Silverman playing cards that came in my schwag bag!), and trying to convince people that they want to give me stuff because I am cool and smart and cute and otherwise worthy.


1. This morning I spent 30 minutes convincing the local parks and recreation department that they want to give me the job! (meaning: I had a job interview...) I wore a button-down shirt and heels and earrings and everything! They said they'd get back to me.

2. Yesterday I started working on a resume to send to some sneaker companies in an effort to woo a shoe sponsor. This is challenging without photoshop so I am procrastinating till next week.

3. I am "letting" Greg do his own dishes and laundry, which in turn means he will probably "let" me make my own oatmeal (which always tastes terrible) and dinner (yay salad every night?). This is a terrible tactic for getting what I want but I guess boredom is driving me to new lows.

I am also watching too much TV, all of which I find tiresome EXCEPT for The Real Housewives of Orange County. Has anyone else seen this show? It's brilliant! Fake boobs, countless collagen injections, grown women freaking out about all kinds of stuff, kids who are spoiled rotten but still somehow likeable, and days filled to the brim with party planning and self-pampering. Oh and no one can get their me's and I's straight to save their lives. I LOVE this show. And I never in a trillion years want to switch places with any of the characters.

Labels: ,

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Silverman Photos!

Looking confused heading towards transition - they had volunteers helping people pull off their wetsuits.
I put on my VAC jersey for the bike leg - wanted pockets to carry all my snacks!
After 70 relentless miles of hills, I won! As Dave Scott said, even the swim was hilly thanks to all that wind.

By the way, the word on my laptop is: BROKE. I need to replace the hard drive, and everything on the broken hard drive is lost and gone forever. The good news is that after a mere $325, the machine should be good for another 3 years! And the other good news is I still have tech friends who are willing to hook me up with all the totally legitimately acquired programs I lost.

(um, "artist" and "athlete" are my professions, like i can afford to buy that stuff!)

Labels: , ,

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Silverman Half Race Report

I am currently in the Apple Store in Reno, waiting for my genius appointment, monopolizing one of their display laptops, and fending off dirty looks... So, perfect time to post my Highly Detailed and Fascinating Race Report!

Silverman was an incredible race. It is the only half-iron distance race I have ever done, so I have nothing to compare it to, but it really felt like a true test that pushed racers to their limits while taking them through some amazing scenery. I am already planning to return next year, and break my course record ;)

Which should be a reasonable expectation, considering that my swim should be much better by this time next year. I expected to have a slowish swim because it was only my second ever open water swim, and they started everyone together rather than separating out the women, but due to high winds that caused a big swell, my swim was downright Slow. No "ish" about it. Good news was I didn't have any freakout panic attacks like at Tinley's, and I gained a lot of confidence by the end. I exited the water with 152 racers ahead of me, but at least transition was pretty clear and it was easy to locate my stuff!

I started passing people as soon as I got on the bike. The course started out with rolling hills but relatively favourable winds. There was an out and back portion with a turnaround point at mile 23 (so, 33 miles to go after that), and this allowed me to count how many women were ahead of me. I reached the turnaround with 12 women to catch, one of whom was 10 minutes ahead. I slowly but surely reeled all but 2 of them in, and I was incredibly grateful to have this motivation in my head through the second half of the course because it was brutal. Steep hills, headwind, and 10 miles of this narrow headwindy and STEEP PITCHED bike path that felt worse than the Ridgecrest portion of Alpine Dam, for you Bay Area cyclists. Additionally, focusing on catching these girls also enabled me to NOT think about the fact that I'd have to run an inconceivable 13.1 miles after getting off my bike. This was a very good thing!

So, I got off my bike and started running and actually felt not too bad. Greg ran with me, because his back had seized up during his bike leg so he opted not to start the run, then he stretched and waited for me (for a long time I think...) and did his run at my side. We ran a pretty reasonable pace at first, this was a hilly course and I had no idea how full or empty my tank was, so I wanted to start out conservatively. I caught the first of the two girls at mile 2, the second at the turnaround at mile 8, and as I headed back towards the finish I saw that there were a few girls within 5 minutes of me, and they were running fast. But no way was I going to surrender my lead, so with five miles to go I started really running and that was that!

It was great. It really was.

There were so many volunteers out there - we had an aid station at pretty much every half mile of the run! I got lots of coke and gatorade all over my face, I will have to work on my aid station skills for next year. There were also tons of policemen making sure the course was safe, which was so nice - never for one moment did I feel like I didn't have room or like I was about to get squished by a motorist. And, for the last 5 miles, it was so incredible to hear all these women cheering for me. Even women who were racing! Up until that point I had been calling out encouragement to other racers, but at the end I was reaching my limit and then I started really appreciating other people's encouragement.

And one final bit of trivia regarding me and my horn-tooting race performance: after the swim, I passed 140 racers, and not a single person passed me. Man or woman. So that was cool.

Now it's time to buckle down and get ready for Oceanside 70.3 at the end of March!

Labels: ,

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

The best of times and the worst of times...

I am feeling highly melodramatic, and for that I apologize, additionally I apologize for my long break from blogger, BUT:

1. I won Silverman! I won I won I won! It was awesome! Half-marathons sure are hard, especially after a few hours in the water and on the bike, but somehow even though I am still in pain from the race, I am still even MORE excited about how cool it was. I can't wait for next year.

2. Right now though it's back to the mundane...

3. I am actually sitting at a public computer at the Incline Village rec center

4. BECAUSE my stupid laptop finally up and died this weekend.

5. So did my camera.

6. Anyhow, thankfully (or not), I am still jobless so I have all the time in the world to trot down to the Apple store in Reno tomorrow and beg them to pretty please fix my laptop for me.

7. I'll put together an honest-to-goodness race report here pretty soon, for those of you who are interested in all the gory Silverman details!

Labels: , , ,

Friday, November 09, 2007

Vegas Virgin

This is my first time in Vegas. Going from this:

through this:

to this:

...was a somewhat eye-opening progression. Or a depressing one, I guess. This country has such beautiful, beautiful things, and Vegas is not one of them. For one thing, the light pollution at night was visible from 170 miles away. I knew that the city was huge, excessive, and grossly American, but seeing it in person for the first time was still shocking.

But enough rambling about the obvious and the boring.

I am very excited about the race on Sunday. It takes place mostly to the southeast of the city, where it's hilly and the air is pretty clear. Conditions are supposed to be perfect. I feel fortunate to have opted against the Treasure Island Triathlon this weekend, because of the oil tanker disaster from earlier in the week. The swim portion of that race is likely to be canceled, making the event a duathlon (bike and run only) - this would cater to my strengths for sure but it would not give me the open-water race-situation swim practice that I desperately want heading into next season.

Amusingly: the check-in lady at the hotel asked if we were here to get married and whether we needed a wedding chapel or something. We were both like "ew gross".

Labels: , , ,

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

I guess O'Neill's a fatty?!

Nathan O'Neill gets busted for prescription diet drug Phentermine..

Why does he have a prescription for an appetite suppressant in the first place? He gets too celebratory at Krispy Kreme after all his stage race wins or something? I am curious to hear how this gets spun.

Labels: , ,

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Wish it were Mine

(the cartoon, that is) (our greg's cat already does this)

Tomorrow I will be back to my own creations.

Labels: , ,

Monday, November 05, 2007

NYC Marathon Yesterday

Yesterday turned out to be a perfect day to declare myself "sick" and stay inside in front of the TV all day.

It started out with the NYC Marathon highlights. Paula Radcliffe took off at 1 mile, shadowed by Gete Wami, and they ran 1-2 the entire way. With a half mile to go it looked like Wami was going to pimp Radcliffe for the win... I found a grainy cell-phone video on YouTube, it's not the best quality but it was still an amazing race to watch!

Then it was time for the Patriots-Colts game. At this time, my resident sports expert informed me that "Randy Moss is like the most talented athlete out there. He is 6'5" and he runs a 4.1 40!" (*sigh* etc.) (and yes I had to ask what that meant). As evidenced by the following clip, which both Resident Expert and TV Experts called pretty much the best catch they'd ever seen:

Plus the Patriots won, and we were rooting for them (for different reasons... mine had to do with Tom Brady being cuter than Peyton Manning, Resident Expert's had to do with tactics and fundamentals and whatnots).

As if that weren't enough goodness coming from the TV, during the other-game-highlights show I saw what is now MY FAVOURITE football moment EVER, courtesy of the Detroit Lions' Shaun Rogers:

I am now totally a football fan.

Labels: , , ,

Sunday, November 04, 2007

And P.S. No Whale Jokes

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Finding Me on the Internet

I have a sitemeter on my blog. It's a good stalking tool sometimes, and a good time-wasting tool a lot of times. I like to see how people are referred to my blog - the vast majority are via Vanderhoot, but the interesting ones are the hits that come via google searches. Sitemeter tells you what the search terms were when someone hits your blog off of a search engine.

I've been keeping tabs on these for a little while, but this topic didn't become blog-worthy until today... Just read the whole list:

- grabbing cat's tail
- latin school motto
- the one time I got a word in
- party flashers
- what does 'belated wishes' mean
- humiliating
- jamiel danesh
- johnny sundt charlottesville (?!)(is he from there?!)
- girls with goggles
- travis tritt blogspot
AND, i am not even joking on this one:
- "kat carroll" porn (even bigger bonus, my blog comes up first!)

Kat Carroll the [outstanding] bike racer is one of my links to the left. As for Kat the porn star... I have no idea!

Labels: ,

Does this question really help Toyota at ALL?

Courtesy of a post-race participant survey from a race with Toyota as the primary sponsor:

When you purchase your next vehicle, how likely are you to consider a vehicle with Hybrid Synergy Drive?
- Probably Consider
- Possibly Consider
- Might Consider
- Probably Won't Consider

I'm sorry, but since when does totally wussified survey language offer anyone any insight to what consumer's might think? "Possibly Consider"?? Yeah. I'll consider it. Sure, why not. Maybe I'd consider buying it too, if the price weren't high, if the engine still didn't need fossil fuels, and if the Prius weren't a. so damn ugly and b. the latest symbol of "look! i care about the environment! i don't recycle and i can't live without air conditioning but i drive a Prius!".

I guess the wishy-washy questioning is par for the course. At least they're giving money to my sport, so I should probably can it...

Labels: ,

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Lucky Duck

and, because my favourite positivity-espousing teammate succeeding in having a positive effect on me, here's version 2:

Labels: , ,

Note About Combining Drink Mix Brands in One Bottle

Last scoop of Gatorade Endurance plus 1/2 scoop HEED = MAJORLY DISGUSTING

and altering proportions will have no improving effect on the taste WHATSOEVER

this is one part of fall/winter training that's not usually fun, the nutrition-drawer scrounging...

Labels: , ,