|QUOTE OF THE DAY (OR MORE): "No, no. You don't understand. This is an '89 Calico. I'm pretty sure that exceeds the Kelly Blue Book value. The cat's totaled." --A comedian whose name I forget talking about a vet who presents a $3,000 bill for a 12-year-old cat|
Sunday, July 26, 2009
Saturday, July 25, 2009
Thursday, July 23, 2009
I'm digressing already, though. sheesh.
My type A personality extends into the realm of driving, yes. I typically a drive a bit more quickly than your average driver, and I am always aware of what's around me (except when I'm crackberrying while driving... kidding!) Some driver habits just irritate the bejeezes out of me... here's what I don't understand:
1. WHY do people do this: ??
Why oh why oh WHY do people pull out in front of me when there is no one behind me? I can understand, if there is a lot of traffic, pulling out with any opportunity you can... I can also understand if you're a really fast driver and you don't want to be behind someone slow.... but WHY pull out, when there is no one behind me, and then drive 10 mph under the speed limit?!!!! Argh!
2. You're sitting in the left-hand turn lane at a traffic light behind a column of vehicles. The left turn arrow isn't quite long enough to allow everyone through in one cycle, making traffic build up a bit. You're allowed to pull about 1/4 to halfway into the intersection to get ready for your left turn; indeed, the laws of geometry tell us that it's a shorter time period to complete the turn if you've already pulled up AND you have the right of way to make the left turn when the light turns yellow (right of way over the oncoming traffic when the light turns yellow). Look:
See? WHY do people sit behind the line and wait for the light to turn red and then a green arrow again? I wish cars came with a special horn that just said, in a gentle, friendly tone, "beep... um. I would have turned THERE..."
3. In a merge situation, why don't folks let you in? Do they really need to be to their destination a millisecond earlier? (exception - people who drive down the shoulder and then try to "butt" in at the last second....because as well all know, they're more important than everyone else...)
4. Have we all left our blinker on by accident at some point in our driving careers? Yes? Me too. K. So we can't really bust too much on the people driving down the highway for miles and miles with their left blinker on, cuz we've all likely been there. If not, good on ya! (as they say down under)
5. You don't see those "baby on board" signs as much anymore, but I've always found them kinda humorous. I feel like putting a "13-year-old on board" sign in my car. As if you're driving with your husband behind a car with a baby on board sign and your husband's tailgating (not that mine EVER does... ahem) and you say: "oh, honey. Don't tailgate. There's a baby on board." Moments later, you excuse the tailgating habit because the husband is only tailing a teenager, farther down on the totem pole of humanity.
6. Speaking of signs, how about bumper stickers? Isn't it funny that bumper stickers are meant as a sort of communicative mechanism to talk about your interests and yourself while you're driving? I can think of no other situation in which it is more difficult to begin a conversation with someone else than as two strangers in a car going 75 mph, unable to see or hear each other. Instead, shouldn't bumper stickers be on our foreheads or shirts or something? Or maybe it's necessary to brag about how smart your kid is "My child is an honor student at blah blah elementary school" in a situation in which no one can argue with you to the contrary? I love the bumper stickers that say: "my dog is smarter than your honor student." I'm not knocking bumper stickers -I get a kick out of 'em (Much to the husband's chagrin, I, myself, have 3 bumper stickers on the truck: "26.2," "Run," and "Runner Girl."); it's just funny to me that they evolved in the first place. Ya know those stickers that say: "save the ta tas"? I just saw one that said: "save 2nd base." lol!
7. How about the folks that are superabundantly proud of their car's make? I'm talking about the prodigious H O N D A plastered across the back window. Hmmm. why?
8. Here's a classic and it DRIVES me nuts (ha ha. get it? DRIVES me? hee hee)... A highway with 2 lanes in each direction. 3 cars traveling in one direction. 2 cars driving side by side, with the car in the ... um... PASSING lane... NOT passing. The third car is me, chronically stuck behind the non passer. ARGH!! (insert casual acceptance of hypocritical nature about earlier comment about getting there milliseconds sooner....). It took me a looong time to draw the above diagrams, so use your imagination on this one! ;)
9. Not slowing down or moving for a runner or biker. Or worse - HONKING at a runner or biker out of frustration. C'mon, people.... I can't run around in my neighborhood in circles for a 24-mile run... at some point I must use a busier road... A horn makes me jump outta my skin!
10. Speaking of horns, honking in stand-still traffic. Uh.... why?
whew. I feel better now. Wanna vent?
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
So while 10-almost-11-year-old son is plotting what he wants for his birthday (see 2 posts down), 13-year-old-sometimes-smart-alecky-but-most-of-the-time-still-sweet-son is bonding with his dog... I can't help it. Watching my favorite canine girl and my favorite 13-year-old play together makes me chuckle, especially since she is more agile and athletic than he:
[please ignore the oven timer buzzing in the background...sorry. At least it's proof that I actually cook sometimes!..the frozen pizza... I mean baked Mahi Mahi... was done!]
Meanwhile, behind me, indoor-Katie-cat attempts her escape. She's had it with the indoor world of being chased by the dog. She's throwing her paws into the air and chancing it on the outside world (with no claws). Goodbye, cold, cruel, indoor world where my poop and tinkle are scooped for me, my food is provided, I nap the whole day long, and I try to eat the big goofy animal's dinner... no, it's out to the adventurous outdoors for me...
Sadly for her, Katie's escape is attempt is cruelly thwarted in a matter of minutes. It's back to the drawing board for her. Will she slip out a different door? Slowly dig a tunnel? What will she think of next?
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
Apparently he is not above begging or bribery....
Monday, July 20, 2009
Saturday, July 18, 2009
Friday, July 10, 2009
Yeah. I still haven't gotten it down.
I was a late bloomer, but even so - I have over (doing the math in my head here...) 24 years' experience with the monthly visitor - that's 288 months ... well, minus 22 months of pregnancy. The point is, I should have this down by now.
but no. nope. not at all.
Comes as a complete surprise every time. What the!.... ohhhhhh. So THAT'S why I was such a bitch yesterday...
Thursday, July 9, 2009
Wednesday, July 8, 2009
“By the way,” she said as a postscript to the telephone conversation, “the photographer will be contacting you soon to get some shots.”
Sure enough, the photographer contacted me.
“I wanna get some shots of you training,” he specified.
“Oh…uh. Okay. Well I um. I run,” I pointed out the obvious.
I mean I cross train a bit and do some resistance workouts, but mostly I run and I run and I run. Uphill, downhill, no hills (ahh), faster some days, more slowly on scheduled recovery days. But I definitely run a lot. It's what I do.
I relayed my training schedule to him for this week, and he planned to meet me at the beginning of a long bike ride (cross training) with my friends yesterday to snap some photos, and also at my track workout this morning. He mentioned that he’s a runner, too, so he guesses that’s why he got this assignment.
I was 11 minutes late to the meeting place for the bike ride through every fault of my own, my two buddies and the photographer all waiting for me. It turns out the photographer is a 20-year-old college student doing this as a summer job. My two triathlete friends are ready to go and look the part. They have suave adult bike helmets with mirrors, biking gloves, cool shoes, and slick road bikes. Me, on the other hand, I’m not a regular cycler, so I clumsily pulled my 13-year-old’s mountain bike out of the car (my 18-year-old mountain bike goes “CLANK…. CLANK… CLANK… CLANK.” I took it to the bike shop for a tune-up and the owner chuckled. “Um…. Not worth it,” he gently informed me) and strapped on my son's red bike helmet, feeling a bit awkward. No road bike. No mirror. No cool cycling sunglasses. No cool gloves or shoes. Just me. In my kid's Schwinn helmet on his Schwinn mountain bike. Okie dokie, Mr. photographer. Snap away! I sure am proud! At the end of the photo op I encouraged him, his being a fellow runner and all, to join me for some of my run the next day at the track. “Cool,” he responded; “maybe I will.”
This morning I was a bit more in my element at the track. I was wearing my black running shorts, my sleeveless white running top, some sunglasses and a visor with hair sticking out of the top in a lovely way. I’d rather look silly in a picture than acquire even more freckles. My scheduled workout was a mile and a half warm-up, 12 repeats of 400 m at about a 6:30/7:00 pace (with a 2 minute “active recovery” between, connoting a slow jog), and a mile and half cool-down. My canine running partner and I started the warm-up before the photographer arrived, and after a mile or so I noticed him dutifully trudging across the field, camera in hand.
We exchanged good mornings and, as Sophie and I rounded the track each lap, he snapped photos of us from all angles. I don’t think I’ve had so many photos taken of me since my wedding. It was a bit unnerving, so, smart-ass that I am, after a few laps I yelled, as I passed, “this would be a lot more fun if you would stop snapping and start running…”
After a plethora more shots, he fell in next to me during a 2-minute recovery lap.
It turns out this kid is really fast and runs for his college cross country team. Oy.
38-year-old-female-me: “So,” I queried, “what are your events?”
Thin 20-year-old-male: “I mostly do the 5-mile.”
38-year-old-female-me: “Cool. What does your coach have you do for speedwork?”
Thin 20-year-old-male: “Oh, we do mile repeats and sometimes 400m repeats.”
[At this point we accelerate to a faster pace for the 400m repeat – I’m not able to talk until we finish and go into a recovery jog].
38-year-old-female-me: “Ah… I HATE mile repeats,” I whined. “I do those Fridays. What kind of pace do you do for your mile repeats?”
Thin 20-year-old-male: “Oh, about 5:20s.”
Insert wide eyes and gasp. Jaw falls to the ground.
38-year-old-female-me: “HOLY COW!” (I do about 7s for my mile repeats. I don’t even think I could do one mile in 5:20. Keep in mind for a mile repeat, one must do a fast-paced mile, jog a bit, and then REPEAT the fast-paced mile a minimum of 3-5 cycles).
Thin 20-year-old-male: [chuckles goodnaturedly]
38-year-old-female-me: “Geez! What kind of recovery time do you get?”
Thin 20-year-old-male: “oh, about 1 minute.”
As we did a few cycles of fast-paced 400m and then jogging recoveries, it did not escape my attention that he was barely breaking a sweat, nor was he breathing heavily, notwithstanding that he was running in a lane farther outside than I (and therefore running even farther/faster).
It turns out that his best 5K (3.1 miles) is 16-something. Wow! Those are 5-something-minute miles….
38-year-old-female-me: “Golly!” I manage to sputter in between breaths on a fast-paced lap, “this is a cakewalk for you; you’re not even breathing heavily. What’s your regular base pace?”
Thin 20-year-old-male: [quite casually] “What’s the pace right now?”
38-year-old-female-me: “About 6:35.”
Thin 20-year-old-male: “About this,” he answers without a hint of condescension.
38-year-old female me: [chuckles as much as is possible while out of breath]
In the meantime, the energetic Sophie is lying down in the shade on one side of the track, intelligently staying put while watching us go round and round with great interest, probably thinking to her canine self: “you people aren’t very bright, are you?”
It was a bit humbling running with a college cross country racer, yes… but at least he’s never done a marathon… and he was very polite about running my pace…and I felt myself pick up the pace a bit in the final few repeats to save my pride… and I consoled myself (audibly) with the facts that I am almost 20 years older and female…
I don’t know what Soph’s excuse was. I guess chasing the stray cat across the entire field at full speed did her in.