Tuesday, January 31, 2006

training weirdness

Ever have those weeks that you've planned the whole week with workouts etc, then you post some chain mail thing about priorities and the week just blows to Oscar. Monday was supposed to be a swim, but I was called in to work, so it's home to bike instead. 2 hours spin time, 1 hour at a time. Today was supposed to be a 3200 swim-but one sick kid calling to be picked up at school and 30 cantakerous active older adults in the pool with the swim team combined with year end payroll crimey nixed my swim. My bro in law was cross training, so I joined him for 20 minutes, and wrapped up with 30 mins on the treadmill and some stretching. I have to re cert in CPR/AED tomorrow, so I see a late night swim in the works.

In the process of taxes and payroll, I learned that I can "hire" each of my kids and pay them up to $4860.00, owing no FICA and they owe no tax because they don't reach the individual filer limit. Who thinks of this stuff?

Guess what kids? Time to raise your allowance!

Monday, January 30, 2006

A mayonaise jar and 2 cups of coffee

When things in your life seem almost too much to handle, when 24 hours in a day are not enough, remember the mayonnaise jar and the 2 cups of coffee.

A professor stood before his philosophy class and had some items in front of him. When the class began, he wordlessly picked up a very large and empty mayonnaise jar and proceeded to fill it with golf balls. He then asked the students if the jar was full. They agreed that it was.

The professor then picked up a box of pebbles and poured them into the jar. He shook the jar lightly. The pebbles rolled into the open areas between the golf balls. He then asked the students again if the jar was full. They agreed it was.

The professor next picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar. Of course, the sand filled up everything else. He asked once more if the jar was full. The students responded with an unanimous "yes."

The professor then produced two cups of coffee from under the table and poured the entire contents into the jar effectively filling the empty space between the sand. The students laughed.

"Now," said the professor as the laughter subsided, "I want you to recognize that this jar represents your life. The golf balls are the important things---God, your family, your children, your health, your friends and your favorite passions---and if everything else was lost and only they remained , your life would still be full.

The pebbles are the other things that matter like, your job, your house and your car.

The sand is everything else---the small stuff. "If you put the sand into the jar first," he continued, "there is no room for the pebbles or the golf balls. The same goes for life. If you spend all your time and energy on the small stuff you will never have room for the things that are important to you.

"Pay attention to the things that are critical to your happiness. Play with your children. Spend time with your parents. Visit with grandparents. Take time to get medical checkups. Take your spouse out to dinner. Play another 18. There will always be time to clean the house and fix the disposal. Take care of the golf balls first---the things that really matter. Set your priorities. The rest is just sand."

One of the students raised her hand and inquired what the coffee represented. The professor smiled. "I'm glad you asked.

It just goes to show you that no matter how full your life may seem, there's always room for a couple of cups of coffee with a friend."

Please share this with someone you care about.. I JUST DID.

Thursday, January 26, 2006


Then get up off your assets and Just do it!

Add this baby to your podcast!

And on the I -just- worked -4 -hours -of -house- cleaning- and- 10 -hours- of- painting -because- there - are- more-races-and -stuff to buy- than -money- and now I've had two beers and it's the middle of the cycle-and painting 10 hours is boring-but good mental training note:

Best sexed up riffs of all time - feel free to add:

U2- Elevation
AC/DC Shook me all night long

Dang, now I'm stuck-which is good because I need a shower (definitely not cold-trihubby is waiting)

but I need more music for the Shuffle- so, ideas anyone?

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Oh, how we sacrifice

Saturday night we were at a "game night" party with a group of tri/running/wine friends. A great combination guaranteed to make you laugh harder than you've laughed in a really long time. We were talking about spinning sessions and how we occupied our time.

Thanks to some cable channel we can all watch some of the worst of the worst tv programming of the '70's and '80's. Anyone remember The A Team? I do, it was the show that came before "Remmington, the man I'm going to marry someday, Steele". The A Team occupied the first hour of my spin time Sunday.

Ok, fess up, what do you watch while spinning?

And I don't want to hear any smart ass answers like "I watch the ocean go by, and the birds flying" blah blah blah


Ok, returning to calm, centered, self.

James Wood was a great Hades-especially with the controlled vent

Time to run and lift.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

When self doubt is good.

I hit the pool Friday for 3250 yards.

300 warm up
12X25 focus on technique-count strokes working to reduce # per 25 (19 in 19 seconds best-and yes my lats still hurt)
10X75 increase on 1-5 sprint 6,8 and 10 slow 7,9 ri 1:00
850 pull buoy-mod to fast to mod to fast etc (I feel like I can swim forever with the buoy-which is good because it's a little like a wet suit)
200 kick with fins-work breathing
100 warm down

Part way through the first 750 set I began to contemplate how much trouble I was in, thinking I could actually swim in the ocean. I've never swam in the ocean, unless you count an afternoon snorkeling. I stroked along thinking about being eaten by sharks, swept out to sea, drowned by jelly fish, being dragged so horribly off course that the swim becomes a 4 mile nightmare and I don't make the cutoff time. Swimming isn't biking or running. If you bonk in the swim there is no walking. There is no sliding off to the side and resting a bit (ok, you can always grab a kayak) but you get the picture.

I was alone with my thoughts in the pool and they were dragging me down to the black line.

What are you made of Trimama?


When I was in 7th grade I went to exactly one day of basketball practice and decided I couldn't play. I felt awkward with the ball, I didn't really know how to dribble, I was out. I really liked basketball, and I had an older sister who had played. Older sisters pretty much exist to set a standard for you to exceed. At least that was my mindset. I got a ball and spent the next year dribbling up and down the 200 yards of driveway. Left hand, right hand, etc. Went out for the team and things worked out just fine.

Back to the pool....

Left arm, right arm. Doubt is good for one thing-so you have someone to prove wrong. Even if it's just yourself.

Each one of those sprints reduces your brain to a screaming pansy-but better to scream now then to cry later. Each one of those sprints makes my arms a little tougher, a little stronger and little more likely to swim the distance on course and on time.

Overcoming doubts by nuturing confidence....priceless.

Today was long spin on the bike day. 2:32-grinding hills through commercials, ramping rpm's during the shows.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

It's all down hill from here.

Or uphill I guess, depending on your vantage point.

Either way you gotta keep moving to take in all the scenery.

It was one year ago this week that I followed the little itch in my brain to start training for a triathlon. I didn't have a clue what I was doing. I wandered into my local bike shop and posed a few questions to the extremely nice sales guy. He was upbeat and positive, so I thought I might as well pursue this a little further. I met up with a friend to try swimming-neither of us could travel more than 3 or 4 lengths without stopping-I had no idea how to breathe and had to do one length of backstroke for each 25 freestyle. To my credit I sought help from the mom of one of Buck Naked Boy's friends. She swam for Standford's NCAA championship teams and was able to teach me how to relax and feel confident in the water. By the end of February I was swimming 12-15 lengths at a time without stopping.

We took The Tribe to Florida's Gulf coast in February, not terribly far from the staging grounds for Ironman. At the time the idea of completing a sprint tri was daunting, little did I know what road lay before me. My profile pic was taken with Hyphen Girl as we watched the sunset on the beach. Someday I'll get around to changing the pic, but for now it inspires me.

"You're crazy."

Was my hubby's response as he watched the Ebay and Performance Bike packages arrive in the mail. They knew I'd totally lost it when my wet suit arrived and I tried it on for Hubby and Hyphen Girl to see. No one I knew could say for certain what a triathlon was, much less that you needed to buy a wet suit. I still didn't know what I was doing, but, I read everything I could in trying to train well. What truly baffles me is that from the beginning I planned to have a triathlon season. I spent hours researching races and settled on competing in one race each month of the summer, starting in May. The May tri had a pool swim, so that sounded like the perfect intro to the sport. All through the spring I was doing bricks at the Y. You can imagine the looks I'd encounter as I transitioned in the locker room (got it down to 2:15-my fastest to date) and biked away on a stationary, still dripping from the pool.

I had my hybrid mountain bike fully rigged with clipless pedals and aero bars, thanks to my local bike shop, and I was ready to ride. Then Hubby surprised me on my birthday with a new bike. To demonstrate what novices we were, we dinked around with whether to go mountain or road bike for tri's. Of course you can ride a mountain bike in a tri race, but if you want to make a hobby of it, you're eventually going to go road/tri bike. It's just too frustrating getting passed by the 80 year old on the road bike while you are pedalling furiously on a mountain bike. And, it's easier to think about training seriously when you've invested in the part.

Needless to say that first tri hooked us both.

By this time we had discovered TriGeekDreams and therefore all of you wonderful people, and there was just no turning back. The enthusiasm of the blogosphere and amongst our fellow athletes was simply too contagious.

So, the training goes on, and now thanks to some inspiration provided by your training schedules and The Nancinator I purchased a full year wall calender today at the office supply store. I brought it home and nailed it to the wall leading to our lower level. Black is for my training schedule. Red is single event races like running a 10K race. Blue is for my pending tri races this year.

Liberty Tri 06.10.06.........70.3
Pigman Tri.08.20.06........70.3
Florida Tri 11.04.06.......140.6

That's it. That's really all I should afford both in time and money.

That makes #7 Ironman.

In the immortal words of Waylon Jennings

"I've always been crazy, but it's kept me from going insane"

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Congratulations, you smoked a fatty!

A rather large, in the linebacker sense of the word, guy in the starting corral had that scrawled across the back of his t shirt. I love self deprecating humor.

The tree has absolutely nothing to do with the race, but I liked the pic, it's my desktop right now.

But on to Chang's

First to say, if you ever have the opportunity, or can make the opportunity to race in another city, in particular a nice warm city in the middle of winter, make it or take it. Phoenix/Scottsdale/Tempe/Chandler/Mesa/Flagstaff are quite beautiful. I touched or walked on every patch of green grass I could find, sat under citrus trees, gazed at palms and just in general enjoyed the hills and mountains of the desert.

Note to fire marshall of Sedona at mile 9 that has lived in Arizona 25 years and never been to Grand Canyon and really doesn't think much of the red rocks:


You live in one of the most beautiful states in the lower 48, if you no longer see that aaaaaaaaggggghhhhh! I feel sorry for you. Enjoyed chatting with you. (more about him later)

Around August last summer I was staring at the calender and contemplating our 15th wedding anniversary. What to do, what to do? The e-vite to Chang's was in my email; question answered. I had just run a sluggish (or so it felt) 1:55 half, so I optimistically wrote in a 1:50 finish time for the flat, non humid Chang's course. That is how Trihubby and I found ourselves in corral #4 of like 20 in the half marathon. Posers in the midst of some serious runners, but there were other posers as well. The race was very well organized, particularly for only being in it's 4th year and hosting 33,000 runners. I imagine there were some marathoners who didn't feel so inclined while they sat on shuttle buses at 7:10 with a 25 minute ride to the start of a 7:30 race. Even less so the ones sitting in the mile crawl of traffic just waiting to arrive in the parking lots, only to join thousands in lines for the shuttle. But hey, the info brochure strongly encouraged runners to arrive early aka 6:30. If I was sitting in that traffic it would have immediately taken care of all pre race "issues" as I would have been sh#*ing bricks. Marathons are tough mental business, I can't imagine arriving that late to the start. But that is another story.

We had met up with Trihubby's sister who was running the half as her first race-ever! She brought two of her seven kids, the 12 and 15 year old boys. I had talked my sis in law into the race and I was thrilled that the boys came along for the ride. They had trained together and were ready to run.

"Hey Trimama!"

I heard as we made our way to the corral. Someone else knows I'm here. Duh, hi Comm. How cool to run into each other in the sea of athletes. Good luck and all that. Now, I'm working on my competitive issues, so keep that in mind here. At dinner the night before we were talking about the race and what we hoped for finish times. Best case for me 1:52-about 8:30 miles. I was pretty serious about breaking the 2 hour point in the least.

Commodore: "oh I don't know 2:20, something like that, it depends how I'm running. Sometimes 8:30's work, sometimes 10's are all I've got."

Competitive chip kicks in. If he runs 2:20, I could have bragging rights to finishing before everyone I know in the race. Competitive chip is completely incompatible with common sense. Hello? four of the other runners have never passed the 8 mile mark. In case you are wondering, Trihubby and I do race in our tri's-it's fun, and it makes us go faster. Commodore has raced for a long time, but it's not exactly fair to compete against someone when they don't even know you are in a race. Since we were assigned to different corrals, we couldn't run together anyhow-but I bet we could have both pr'd if we had.

That is my problem with road racing these days (please give me wide berth here), I don't have a focus for the races. This kills me, because I love running. Allow me to explain. I ran the marathon last fall with some vague sense of what I wanted to accomplish, which for the most part was a finish so that I could sign up for IMFL. I had a goal time based on training times, but when the day came down, I just didn't care enough to compete with myself to achieve my goal. I finished the race and for the most part enjoyed all the atmosphere parts. But it haunts me to know I had a lot more in me that I just couldn't summon on that day. The accomplishment is just a little dampened because I didn't take the challenge seriously on that day. Now, I consider it a feat to finish in spite of my own counter productive thinking. I also happen to think that running that day mentally exhausted from one of the most hellish weeks I'd had in a long time is great training in the bank. Suffice to say, I'd like another crack at a marathon to see if I can do what I train to do. Someday. This might help explain the following split times and what I think about them.

While standing in the corral I was conflicted. Yea, yea yea for us, we are running today and it is a great day! I'm ready to run and enjoy all the scenery. The gun sounds and we are off. Actually, the gun malfunctioned, so the guy just yelled Go!

mile 1 8:20 whoo feeling good, fun band
mile 2 17:05 still feeling good-warming up bye trihubby who had a head cold
5k 27:10 not too bad at all, particularly because I stripped down and redressed in the middle of the mile to get the long sleeve shirt off-I seem to be doing that in races lately
mile 4 This is the rock and roll marathon, but the bands can only be heard for about 3 total blocks. I wish I had my ipod
mile 5 43:00 water stop time for hammer gel-nope, let's just walk through and do powerade/endurolyte-it was well mixed
10K 55:18 getting to half way-and


That is just so not helpful

But there is no music. There was supposed to be music and crowds. both were a little sparse.

Ok, you are in the long stretch, just run to the next stop light, and the next.

Mile 7 64:05 The alphabet game, I can play the alphabet game

Mile 8 1:13:45 "M" money order, "N" no checks

Mile 9 1:24:XX yea water and gu packs

Gu packs in every variety. Gu packs that 15 year old nephew consumed X 6 or 7-he couldn't remember. No water-just Gu.

I took 2 squishes from 1 pack, with lots more powerade.

Mile 10 1:32:12 screw the PR, 27 minutes to break 2 hour mark. 3.1 in 27 minutes. I could do that. Who cares if I do? I don't care. I think I'll just walk here and ruin all chances-no pressure then.

"Oh, don't stop now, you're almost there. Let's go."

Hi Sedona Firemarshall. we talked for a quarter mile. Then I surged on ahead.

So, here is this guy who I've never met encouraging me in my race. What a selfish poo I've been. This is not why I train, or race or tri. No more looking at watch. No more pouty, I'm done running. There are cheerleaders to hi-five, and runners to encourage. It's amazing what you see in a race when you stop looking at your feet.

Mile 11 ran a quarter mile with Mike, a guy who is 3 years past cancer. Way to go Mike. ran alongside older couple-that's awesome. Ran behind guy with 6ft log on his shoulder running for his commrades in arms who had fallen for our country. Almost caught up with girl running in memory of a fallen soldier.

Mile 12 Ran across the bridge that looked really cool with it's lights in the morning.

Hello Sundevil Stadium.

Mile 13 Ok, almost there........good grief how far is .1 mile? But lot's of people cheering now.

Finish 2:03:55

Savor, medal, blanket, water, stuff, sandals,

BEER- 2 beers for each finisher. Good, cold beer. Only at ASU would they give you beer-oh and maybe Madison


I didn't break the 2 hour mark, but in retrospect, I hadn't really trained for that either. And I ran without my ipod-excellent race training. I enjoyed some new acquaintances. My sis in law and nephews finished with pride. Trihubby ran his first 1/2 marathon-whoo hoo and I got to hang out with a bunch of really great people.

Final breakdown

18,536 finishers 4833 overall

11,678 women 1992 gender

1891 division 349 place

2 minutes behind Commodore-

There's always Florida :)

Sunday, January 15, 2006

My blind date with Commodore

Best blind date I've ever had. Trihubby and I got a chance to meet up with
Commodore and the beautiful, gracious Mistress last night. Extra bonus, the Mighty Mo came along, an adorable teddy bear with a giggle that made my heart long for home. We had fun chatting, and in the end, I realized this is a great couple I'd love to hang out with more, one more reason to move to Arizona.

I'm waiting for the final times to post the race report. Suffice to say, it was a fun race. (of course, had I known that I was racing Comm, I'd have run with a little more motivation :)

We're off to see "Collective Soul" in the outdoor stadium- Date night!

Saturday, January 14, 2006

My date with The Kahuna

Oh, my gosh, you're Jessie Stensland. blahhhhhh, blah,

I'm an idiot-a babbling idiot. Jessie Stensland has reduced me to a babbling idiot.

"and who are you? What do you do?

I'm Trimama of course.

If only. What I actually babbled forth was something like ....Tri Geek Dreams...blah blah blah...Kahuna

"Oh is that him?" she gushed, pointing to Trihubby. "I met him at the end of a race this summer"

You mean that sexy, shaved head, stud? No, that would be my husband.


She couldn't hide her disappointment.


But you're Jessie Stensland! You're awesome!

Would you like a GNC power bar sample? (scanning for security)

No....Jessie was actually quite gracious and as I recovered myself, I remembered to introduce my sister in law, nephew and the non Kahuna Trihubby. We chatted about tri's for a bit. I blundered slightly in asking if she had raced IMFL, I thought I had seen her name on the athlete list a few years back. Turns out it was the other pro triathlete I met this summer, Beth Hibbarb. Jessie focuses her 4-6 hours of training a day on kicking international distance boot-a.

Did I mention that Arizona is awesome?!

My northern kin will understand this:

We were driving The 202 yesterday afternoon with the top down, listening to the tunes when I glanced at the clock-4:32.

That would make it 5:32 back home.

5:32, dark, cold (15 degrees), and snowing.

I hear the moving vans revving up-maybe Commodore (the nicest guy I've never met-which is completely my dope headed fault because I waited to call him until after the expo as we were driving away-and of course he was there-then-hope to catch up Saturday) can suggest a few real estate options-

What I can dream can't I?

Friday, January 13, 2006

A Grand start to the year

The year began with a jump into an icy lake, and now continues with an amazing climb in the Grand Canyon! I am simply in awe of the beauty of Arizona. To be so small in such a vast expanse is somewhat refreshing-no, downright spiritual.

If you've never made the journey, I highly reccomend it. We drove down through Sedona and caught the red rocks at sunset-just so happened that the moon was rising simulataneously-and it was full.

I think I'm moving to Arizona. Being in Flagstaff reminded me of all that I loved about growing up in the Rockies.

Tomorrow we go to the expo/packet pick up-I can't wait to run down palm and orange tree lined streets!

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Nothing wrong with that picture

No pics to show, but BNB managed to slip this weekend and land entirely on his face. I thought at first that he put his tooth through his lip, but as it turned out, he only managed the biggest fat lip I've seen since "The Iceman" Liddell dropped his last opponent.

He cried for awhile, then worn from the trauma and the day, he fell asleep sucking his ice cube. When he awoke later, both lips were ballooned and crusted with dried blood.

"Mom, I don't think I'll ever be able to do that one thing again. You know when your mouth does that thing like this (making a circle motion)..."

You mean smile?

"Yea, I'm never going to be able to smile again."

Oh the pain if that were true.

It took a couple days, but he got his smile back.


Monday, January 09, 2006

Now that's gutsy!

The Nancinator (thanks for the name Bolder) has just completed a half marathon, a 5K and a full marathon in two days. Stop by and whoop it up for her. As I commented on her site, other than the amazing physical challenge, I think the mental stamina this demonstrates is astounding.

I went for my final 10 mile run in training for Chang's, it was an even 30 degrees and the paths were mostly clear. The sunset was beautiful.

All things being clothed equally, I did have to wonder why my fanny was freezing-it was even facing the sun as it set. Then it occured to me that the fabric of choice at the Shopping-is-a-contact-sport-Victoria's Secret-Semi-annual-sale was cotton. Ah yes the comfort of cotton, unless it happens to be holding sweat, which albeit salt water, does seem to freeze at 32 degrees, and therefore transforms wonderful cotton into icy booty.

Little hint for the other Trimama's: if you want a night out with your girlfriends mention the VS semi annual sale. I believe the actual words out of Trihubby's mouth were "There is a God! Here's the credit card, have a great time!

He enjoyed the Trimama fashion show immensely.

As usual, on the run, there were the other enthusiast out and about, and we all saluted one another with a wave and smile and "it's great to be alive and running/walking" look.

While it might be a bit awkward for Trihubby, I want a beard. A full face beard. Well at least while I am out running in the cold. That just looks so comfortable to me. Is Chia face in my future? Oh, wait. Those are plants, they would die and then I'd spend my run with droopy dead plant on my face. I suppose I could always get a running scarf.

This is the first winter that I have run outside. Before triathlon, I worked out. I went to the Y three times a week and ran for 30-40 minutes. If I was feeling really crazy I might row for 5 minutes. Then 20 minutes of weight lifting and done. Every so often I'd throw in a 5K or maybe 10K challenge. There was no need to run outside, and I don't like ice. More succintly, my backside and knees don't like ice-they suffer if I go down. We live in the land of winter ice and tundra, so why would I risk my ability to work out just to run outside?

Why risk anything for that matter.

But to follow a dream, you have to risk.

I realized last spring that I was prone to distraction in my workouts. Radio wires in the way, stop and fix them. Sweat in eyes, stop and adjust. Every little thing could throw me off my game. I knew to complete a tri I'd have to apply some mental toughness. So, I started to train mentally. I pushed through those little annoyances, learned to fix them without stopping. Learned to go just a little farther than I "thought" I could each time.

Running outside is part of that training. It is a mental toughness playground. Because I had such a short workout schedule, I would go at it with great intensity. Training requires intensity, but it is more a mental intensity. You have to be thinking to get from point A to point B, and that takes training.

Which brings me to my final thought. With a mere 37 years under my belt, I see my life as an echo, a small shadow of what it is to become. There are years and eternity to contemplate with each decision I make. I try to weigh the big decisions thoughtfully, eg: should I do an Ironman? My current contemplation regards this mental training.

Phil just returned to the boxing ring for training-what an incredible workout. I know if I "got into the ring" so to speak, with kickboxing, I can stir up a level of testosterone laden competitive fervor. As a former basketball and soccer player, I know you can train at that level, and I could compete at a higher level.

The problem: that training tends to turn Trimama into a hard ass. I don't like hard ass Trimama-at all. HA Trimama is easy to create. I just have to summon all the anger and angst, bitterness and bite of life-release the Titans and prepare to lay siege. However, once the uprising commenses, it is difficult to contain. Trimama becomes a Tsunami of unrequited wrath. That Trimama lives life in survivor-think-of-no-one-else-mode, modified slightly for day to day, but awakened easily. Simply no good. No good at loving, no good at role modeling, no good at friendship, no good at life. And, there is no enjoyment there because everything is sampled through the bitter taste of hate. Hate is simple and hate is deadly. I don't think I was redeemed from the shadows of hell to live a life in the dark confines of hate.

So, the icy New Year's day plunge was a baptism of sorts. It was a mental challenge undertaken with no HA Trimama involved. How do I know? I was slightly terrified to take that pluge. HA Trimama fears nothing. It's a fearlessness that comes partnered with a deathwish mentality. I sort of knew that if I could stand at that dark hole slightly terrified, and jump anyhow, that a mentally tougher Trimama would climb out the other side.

And she did.

This year training is about growing mentally tougher step by step. No easy HA Trimama shortcuts. We're doing this one the hard way.

And what a great run it will be!

Friday, January 06, 2006

"I don't know what I was thinking."

"My little brother is a pest"

And so Hyphen Girl discovered a whole new level of provocation for younger brother as we made our way through Target's apparel area last night.

Most parents know that older siblings sneak into the bedrooms of sleeping younger siblings and install buttons into younger siblings psyche-surely this is why they know exactly which ones to push. I'm tempted to say Standing Long Jump has a thousand buttons, but really it boils down to one, and her name is Hyphen Girl.

"Look at this one" shoving tight little tweener tee into brother's face. "I could wear this one"

"Mommmmmm!" while simultaneously slugging older sister.

"Standing Long Jump hit me"

"Of course he did, you were provoking him and he reacted like 7 year old boys react."

I'm not sure there is a better training ground for humanity than sibling rivalry.

"SLJ, do you hit girls?"


"Even when HG is being mean?"


"Hyphen Girl do you want to spend the remainder of the evening as his personal servant-doing anything and everything he asks?"


"Your choice, be kind to him now, or serve him for the rest of the night."

Of course SLJ was just hoping for HG to slip up, what greater power than indentured servitude of an older sister.

All parents seem intent on understanding their kids and what make them tick; if we understand them we can devise the perfect parenting strategy, or least avoid total psychological destruction. While at one time I confused SLJ's fairly consistent, silent contemplation, with a depth of person, the more I get to know him the simpler he seems to me.

For example, at a recent dinner SLJ was delighted to see that I had added a bowl of applesauce to the table.

"Wow, we have four things on our plate tonight. Usually we only have three. Four things is like being a king"

If I'd only known sooner that applesauce would confer royalty upon my son.

We're basically back to the three item paradigm, I didn't want to let it go to his head, that and I always forget applesauce while at the store. It's in one of those seldom perused aisles. I don't even recall how it arrived home with us on that one occasion, and I like applesauce. Dinner is a simple meal in our home, leaves more room for conversation when you don't spend the entire meal coaxing the kids to eat. Not that they don't try new things, but we generally save that for weekends and school vacations. I prefer to let the kids chat about their days and talk with dad.

I think SLJ is going to be a hard working, simple man, who loves his family and his friends, I pray daily that he finds a good woman who appreciates him.

Every so often I coincidentally gain insight into my kids through another event. This morning as I gathered firewood, my winter loving dog was racing around the wood pile looking for a stick to fetch. Naturally every stick I picked up for my bundle was "the stick" Sorry Leila, I just don't think you can really get your jaws around that log. Finally I found one suited to the game and flung it across the yard. She was off in a spray of snow and came running back happily, stick in mouth,

-programming pause, I have to build a train-

One train and one phone call later....

"Throw it again, throw it again....." wag, wag "Psych!" (HT to Eddie Murphy... I've got some ice cream...)

You know the drill. Just as you reach for the stick, the dog grabs it up and runs off, and you are supposed to chase her. Makes for pretty good cross training in the summer when you aren't holding 50 pounds of fire wood on hard packed snow. But here comes my "what were you thinking, t-shirt, moment"

I grew up in a hunting family and all hunting families have dogs. Retrieving dogs to be precise. Our retrievers were black labs, to which countless hours of training were devoted. Throw training dummy in air, make shotgun sound, "sit....mark....Spot" and Spot would run like crazy scoop up training dummy and return at the sound of the whistle. Ironic how a whimsied summer game of chase the dog around the yard with a sock in his mouth could render all those training hours useless. Or, so I was told after the first hunt of the year. Apparently running amok with duck in mouth trying to induce a game of tag is not what a retrieving dog is supposed to do.


No doubt there will be many more "what were you thinking moments" with The Tribe, and while amusing, I don't need a Target tee to promote that fact.

Finally, I went for a swim last night. Actually, I made an attempt a swim workout last night. There was open swim time at the pool so the tribe went along and had fun while I took over a lap lane. You have no idea how hard it is to concentrate on laps when every arrival at the deep end is greeted with one of the tribe at the bottom of your lane waving up at you smiling and goofy and impressed with themselves, (they were taking turns) and every return to the shallow end was marked with a check in with Buck Naked who neither wanted to swim, nor go to the kids gym but rather preferred drawing pictures while on the pool deck. Buck Naked can't swim, but I also assumed he couldn't drown in the 20 seconds it took to return from the deep end. So, back to the deep end, Oh, look Trihubby's joined the bottom of the pool lane. If only they could rent some scuba equipment for Florida. It'd bring spectating to a whole new level. You could even sell tours....

What was I thinking

Thursday, January 05, 2006


Yea Texas!!!!!!

Sorry to all my blog friends who aren't a fan of football, just know that since the 2002 Ohio State championship game, there hasn't been this exciting a college championship game.

I was cheering for the 'Horns while I put in some bike time, because next to Colorado, I'd move to the great state of Texas in an instant.

The countdown to Chang's has been initiated. T-10 days and counting. We leave early next week, assuming Northwest doesn't file bankruptcy and shut the airline down. I am formatting a back up plan because it doesn't sound so good. Maybe Trihubby and I will Bonnie and Clyde the convertible we are renting and drive home. Since it probably won't be the Ford Mustang advertised, we will return it and our life savings to the car rental agency when we arrive.

I turn 40 in two and a half years and I've told Trihubby a thousand times that I want a '68 Ford Mustang, preferably convertible, for my birthday.

Any leads?


That's ok, we've got some time :)

Monday, January 02, 2006

Happy New Year!

There are things that you dream about and you scheme about when you are a 20 year old looking for adventure and excitement. Then life comes along and sends you some detours and 17 years later you find yourself standing at the edge of a dark, gaping hole. And as you stare into the inky abyss, flecked with shards of ice you feel the weight of a thousand eyes, and what was once a dream begins to ebb towards nightmare domain. All bad dreams have spectators, a mob keenly intent on seeing you make a fool of yourself. The truly heinous ones capture the moment for the world to behold. So, you take a moment to contemplate life and you ask, what the hell am I doing here?

And, as with all things potentially cataclysmic, it is good to run and sort through the loose ends of your life. So you embark off on the snow packed path and encounter the white rabbit, an idol of snow that might lend some wisdom to your plight, except that said rabbit has been encrouched upon by an army of canines which threaten to reduce the icon to a pile of lemon slushie. So you run on, but all the while you feel the pull of the black hole beckoning you to return. And since the brand upon your arm is the mark of the guppy, the lowest position of social hierarchy, you are beholden to return.
But to your amazement and delight, while you were running a large enclave of fellow guppies have gathered, all drawn to the abyss, intent on virginal sacrifice. All join the queue that will return you to the hole. The mass jitters and twitters quietly, each one contemplating his rise in social standing if the hole can be conquered. Plunge, swim, under the flag, 12 meters, pole, ladder, graduation! As you stand in line watching your fellow guppies take the plunge surrounded by those sharks and barracudas who have paved the way, you barely notice the gusting wind as it buffets your naked legs and arms making all future shaving obsolete. Your turn approaches, all eyes are on you now, leaving only one thing left to say,

C A N N O N B A L L !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Holy expletive Trihubby! The brief unconcious moment underwater notwithstanding, that was the damndest thing I've ever done. Will I do it again? Of course, there's a social order to climb and no one wants to be a minnow for the rest of their life.

Happy New Year!