Thursday, November 29, 2007

T looking awfully relaxed the day after Thanksgiving...

Sisters...Giant Hachi photos from October Reunion weekend:
Looking over the top of the fence...

Playing with Bob...

Two smiles (sort of)...

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Thanksgiving in NM with T and Ra

I started to write about Thanksgiving, but realized I couldn't really delve into the why's and wherefores.

So, instead, I just want to say that my sister flew in this past Tuesday and stayed through Saturday. She telecommutes, so she spent her first day working from the back area of Flying Star cafe until her 2 pm cut off time and then did some casual window shopping at Nob Hill. That evening we went to an actual movie theatre and saw Into the Wild, which was shot beautifully and much better than I thought it would be, but could really only be as good as the actual story iself (true tale that it is).

For the rest of her stay, T took a hiatus from studying and we tramped around for 3 days. We potlucked an "orphan" Thanksgiving dinner with a co-worker who lost everything in Katrina, her mother visiting from Biloxi, Mississippi, and a friend, also new to the area.

After watching a CRAZY movie, called "Crazy Love," we opened our curtains to a white world, as the first snow of the year fell, blanketing everything.

The next day we drove up to the Ojo Caliente hot springs for a few hours of soaking, had dinner at Rancho de Chimayo, and stopped in Santa Fe for an acrobatic circus a la (junior) Cirque du Soleil.

Ojo was nice, but I realized it really wasn't for me when my favorite part was the large, clear, cool temperatured pool that you could actually swim in. Sitting and soaking in murky, alkaloid, iron, and arsenic waters, with the possibility of bacterrhea (sic), didn't really appeal to me. The lithium spring tasted BAD, and Ra and I spit for a long time afterwards.

Rancho De Chimayo is cute, affordable, big on New Mexican atmosphere, and the food is good, but could use a little more seasoning /spice/chile to add panache the to the New Mexican mexican menu.

The circus started slow, but took off with fun and high flying acrobatics on trapeze, bicycles, curtains, and ropes. It was whimsical and athletic. Parts were absolutely astonishing. If you've seen Cirque du Soleil, than this is where those performers start out.

Our final day was spent breakfasting at The Grove, then scanning a lifetime of our childhood photos onto CD, so that Ra could take them back with her.

The trip was too short, too fast.

I've been lucky enough to see my sister this past August (Barb's race), October (high school reunion), and now in November. Plans are to meet up in January (southern California or Baja), but it never seems to be enough. As T says, we never stop talking. I think if we lived near each other, we'd have nothing but fun. Still, it's nice to show each other a different part of the world.

She's been a part of my whole life, except for the first year and 4 months. She is a remarkable, outspoken, smart, funny, and beautiful person, and I am truly lucky to have her in my life.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Snow Under a Full Moon

Holy Potato--(that’s Muffin’s eruditism that I’ve pirated as mine) –it is cold out there!

Mr. T – ostensibly attracted by the siren seduction of a possible cash prize, but secretly probably just jonesing for the novelty –raced cyclocross this evening.
That’s right—
As in night
After the sun goes down
And the light of day turns into the depths of night,
And the temperature turns itself upside down
And NO LIVING CREATURE should be stirring about.

The event was called the KHS Night Cross New Mexico.

It was held in Tijeras, a scenic little town that is at 6300’ ELEVATION (colder temps), inside a NARROW ROCKY CANYON (even colder temps), with SNOW on the ground (coldest temps of all).

Combine this with a recent cold front --28 degrees at 5:00 pm, plummeting to 16 degrees at 7:00 pm.

The race started at 6:20 pm.

Crazy-Crosser-Man-With-Gonads-Of-Pure-Ice drove out to the race before me so he would have time to “warm up.”

I got myself dressed, stepped outside, and immediately returned indoors to put on more clothes.

I layered doubley well. The whole kit and kaboodle. Wool socks, extra long underwear, sweater, fleece top and bottom, down jacket, gloves, hat, boots.

And I STILL FROZE everywhere.

The full moon, however, was not to be missed.
Nor the flat blackness of the rocks silhouetted high against the moon-lit black sky.
The crispness of the clean, still air.
The absence of light-pollution from the nearby city.
Trees lit only by moonlight.
The brightness of the snow.

Neither was the race, but I’ll let Crazy-Crosser-Man-With-Gonads-Of-Pure-Ice tell you about that.

It was amazing to see how much community support an atypical event like this could generate: 10,000 watts of flood lights donated by a local construction company, the venue donated by Los Vecinos Community Center, KHS New Mexico designed and implemented the course as well as provided a warm, heated tent, and a surprising number of spectators provided enthusiastic encouragement complete with cowbells and cameras. Cash prizes went 20 deep for the “A” race. Once the race was over, local cyclists donated plenty of hot eats: hot chocolate, hot cider, coffee, brownies, cookies and chile.

The first ten minutes of spectating were fun.

The rest was just hanging in there, while the pain of intense cold seeped into various body parts.

Still, just to be there,
Under a black sky,
Deep shadows among trees garnished with snow,
The bright light of a full moon
Set square between the tops of the canyon walls,

And to breath.

Monday, November 12, 2007


Southwest Challenge Triathlon & Duathlon Series Age Group Champion here.


At least I think I am.

I worked hard enough for it.

I even got into the water more than once a week.

Now, that’s a biggie.

I can’t seem to access the Southwest Challenge points page, so going on my (somewhat biased) recollection, here goes:

OVERALL FEMALE WIN (I’m proud of this one)(Plus I got shwag—or whatever you call it)
Stealth Duathlon (Fastest female bike!! –what I live for)

SECOND OVERALL FEMALE (Proud of these, too)
John Stermer Duathlon (Fastest female bike – yup, I’m livin’ large!!)
Sully Super Sprint A.K.A. Alpine Triathlon

AGE GROUP WINS (First, first, first among women my age!)
Stealth Duathlon
Alpine Triathlon
F1 Triathlon (swim-swim-bike-run-bike-run)
Cotton Country Triathlon

SECOND PLACE AGE GROUP (Drat—there really are people better than me…)
Polar Bear Triathlon
John Stermer Duathlon
Atomic Duathlon—the FAT BOY (l-o-o-o-g version) (pg. 2)
Gallup Triathlon (inaugural)
Bottomless Triathlon

MISC FINISHES (OK, I know, I know, I really do need to work harder…)
Mesilla Valley Track Club Triathlon – 4th AG
Jay Benson Triathlon—6th AG
Grady Williams Memorial Triathlon (Olympic) – 3rd AG

PLUS, TWO HALF IRONMAN RACES (travel, friends, and good fun endurance--love this stuff):
Ford 70.3 Half Ironman Honu—June 3rd, Hapuna Beach, Big Island, Hawaii
Barbs Race – August 4th, Guerneville, California (flat tire, 5th AG)


I've finally progressed past the 8-Day training program I used to use just prior to a race event in 2003, my year of Tri-Team Southwest training where I got left behind a lot in 2004, my very haphazard training program in 2005 (just do what feels good, and be grumpy when you don't get results), and my "off year" of next to no training in 2006 (try doing a Half Ironman off the couch...ooh, my knees...).

Along the way I shed a job that was taking Way, WAY, WAY too much of my time.

I had a great training year in 2007, bettered myself, and earned the trophy.

Looking forward to unknowns and betterment next year.

See y'all at the races.

Now-- Back to the off season





Sunday, November 11, 2007

Flying In From Dallas-Fort Worth, TX

Waiting for the airline to find my lost luggage.

So far it hasn't been "located."

It was a direct flight. We checked in an hour and a half early.
We had time to do all kinds of good airport things:
  • eat french fries
  • peruse entertainment/gossip/relationship magazines
  • discuss clothing
  • dissect our current relationships in good girlfriend fashion
  • tell old dating stories (now that was funny)
We were good airport people.

And BOTH of our bags got lost.

How in the world am I going to get around the house at night without my (Magoo) glasses?
Or my favorite pajama top?
My too cute Zoot capri workout leggings?
Or my all important electric toothbrush?

"24 hours" the website says.

Well, I hope so.

I guess I'll just have to wait and see.

Thursday, November 1, 2007


At class tonight, I danced solo.

Not only that, but I had to improvise, AND "work the stage."

Imagine doing this to a Tahitian beat, when you've only participated 4 times, and at the back of the class, which consists mostly of 20-somethings, who have been dancing since they were small children, and who move really well, are more flexible and sway a whole lot better.

I on the other hand barely hang in, can't hear the count,
lose the "bump" over and over again, and have shadowed thoughts of joint damage.

Hip circles at high speed are hard.

Hip circles at high speed while traveling by yourself around the room with an audience that is LOOKing at you, is really hard.

The hula solo went a whole lot better, although I did get a little nervous, distracted by the eyes of the audience, and lost the movement by "thinking too hard."

Since I tend to panic in public, hyperventilate or get flushed at just the thought of speaking up in front of a group, this could have been a really stressful evening.

Instead I didn't panic, and only felt mildly foolish.

Mostly, I was surprised at just how comfortable I felt, and how, in this environment, there was no judgement of quality or performance.

Just a wide eyed expectation that you loved the dance as much as they.

In this cement floored garage, tinged with the stink of cigarette smoke, flanked by a vehicle in repair and shelves of miscellaneous storage boxes, Auntie R and Auntie T passing the culture to the next generation, appreciation of dance and movement, a family collective to make it better for all, no competition or rating scale, 'ohana and hula in a high-desert, land-locked state, truly blessed to be there, I found that I did.

My only real concern? I may get sick more often this cold season--I must get, and give, 10 hula-sister and hula-bro hugs every night I go to dance.

Photo #1: Tahitian dancers
Photo #2: Keiki (child) hula
Photo #3: Kahiko (ancient) hula
Photo #4: Auana (modern hula) grace at sunset