Saturday, April 25, 2009

A night of surprises!

Three surprises to be exact. Last night the artist and the flogger invited a couple of friends and i over to their house to play pictionary. I asked them if they really wanted to invite this person to their house, but the artist has only been beat at pictionary once, after which he moped for a week, so they are always happy to give someone a pictionary smack down. Beating the artist and the flogger was not one of the surprises, however. They soundly beat KD-did and i at both games we played. In fact, as you will see in surprise no. 3, it was even a little humiliating for us. But i digress. Onto the surprises.

Surprise no. 1:

Not more than three minutes into the game KD-did turned to me and exclaimed, "i think they're [this word has been removed because it violates the terms of the C.C. BFFFE agreement] cheating, they're just making up rules as they go." Yes, in fact they were making up rules as we played, but what KD-did didn't realize is the rules they were making up were for our benefit. Had they not changed the rules, the artist and the flogger would have soundly beat us in just one turn. But hold on! that's not the surprise yet, just the precursor. Not long after it was my turn to draw and KD-did's turn to guess. Now a quick bit of background information: before the game had started KD-did and i established a few helpful tools and tricks to help us with our game. For example, if one of us said "running" and the word was "run" we agreed that the person drawing would draw a quick outline of a knife so that the other person would know to cut the word down, i.e. "running" to "run." So i drew a card from the box and saw my word: "Miss America." i started out by drawing the outline of the U.S. KD-did quickly saw what it was and shouted out, "United States of America." Great, she's on the right track, i thought, and i drew the knife to indicate to her to cut that down to just "america."

Before i go on, you have to understand that the artist and the flogger have four beautiful, innocent daughters. You also have to understand that i have never, ever heard the flogger swear, ever.

Ok, with that established, i drew an outline of the U.S. KD-did correctly identified it and shouted out, "United States of America." The game was getting exciting and the artist and the flogger's four beautiful daughters crowded around the table to take it all in. I drew a knife to indicate to KD-did to cut down "united states of america" to just "america," but she was moving on to her next guess and shouted out "country." At the same time she said "country" she saw the knife and well, you can figure probably figure it out (just break the word "country" into two syllables, and no, neither "try" nor "tree" was the word she shouted out). I know right now you are shaking your head thinking, "No! she didn't! She didn't actually shout out that word right in the artist and the flogger's kitchen! And in the presence of those children, those mere babies! {gasp}!" But, she did indeed shout out that word.

After we all regained our composure and the flogger had sent the girls to an early bedtime, the artist best summed it up when he said, "you can take the girl out of New York, but you can't take the New York out of the girl."

Surprise no. 2:

The flogger is an incredible cook and has a beautiful flog. If you haven't visited her flog and you like cooking and food you should most certainly check it out. One of the reasons the
flogger and her husband invited us over was because they wanted to try out a new ice cream recipe she had heard about. They know i like to put chile in everything i cook, so when the flogger heard this recipe she knew i was the one to invite over for it's debut.

Looks tasty, right? Cookies, raspberry-chocolate muffins, and pistachio ice cream. Well, it looks like pistachio ice cream, but in actuality it is avocado jalapeƱo ice cream. And it was tasty. Of course, i am partial to spicy food, but on all accounts it was a delicious, and an interesting surprise.

Surprise no. 3

When the artist and the flogger invited us over to play pictionary, at first KD-did was really excited. Then she remember that the artist makes his living drawing pictures, so in an effort to establish a more level playing field she proposed a few rules, one of which was that the artist could not use his right had to draw (unless of course he is left-handed in which case he could not use his left hand). What she did not realize is that the artist is ambidextrous. Being a good sport, however, the artist agreed not to use any hands on the game-winning "all play."

I guess this one is really not that much of a surprise: we did not win. Even drawing with the pencil in his mouth the artist and the flogger soundly trounced us. The artist was so pleased with his performance he laughed himself to tears (he may, of course, still have been crying about the new word KD-did taught his daughters). We did, however, put up a good fight and for a brief moment gave them a little run for their creative creds.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Attention cyclists: incredible new breakthrough in endurance sports performance!

Endurance athletes are all familiar with the "bonk!" Some call it "hitting the wall," or even "crashing," but regardless of the term you use to denote this phenomenon, you are no doubt familiar with the symptoms and resulting condition: light-head, diziness, total fatigue and exhaustion, you feel like you just want to lie down wherever you are and fall into a deep, deep sleep. And if you do lie down, no doubt you will soon be slumbering as your body tries to recoup. I remember one particular day i went out to ride with a group that was much faster than me. i hadn't eaten enough before the ride and worked harder than i usually do to keep up. After about three hours of riding i was done, could barely turn the pedals. I dragged myself home, set my bike against the house, and sat down in a bench in the backyard. Forty-five minutes later i woke up, still in my helmet and bike shoes sitting there on the bench. I was that tired!
Well, "what is this new breakthough?" you are probably wondering. Cyclists and other endurance athletes have often attributed bonking to a couple of different causes, most notably, not eating enough to sustain the level of sustained energy output. Simply put, if you're not eating and drinking your body won't have any fuel to keep the muscles moving and will soon enough shut down, resulting in the dreaded bonk. Any sustained efforts without food will bring the athlete to "the wall."

New evidence, however, suggests that this may not actually be the cause of bonking. Dr. L.A. (i have not revealed her name because the results of her research have not been peer-reviewed yet, and i don't want to cause too much commotion before the research has been fully vetted, but she is a Dr.—nevermind that her doctorate has nothing to do with the medical fields, let alone exercise physiology, she is a Dr.) has conducted a number of studies in which she has determined that the cause of bonking is: wait for it, wait for it . . .

air in the ears.

Yes, while not eating may exacerbate the problem, the real casue for bonking is if wind blows in your ears. Dr. L.A. knows this because last week she went for a bike ride and after the ride she felt dizzy and light headed and had to take a little nap. She's sure it was because of the air in her ears (there are a few things i have to clarify about her study, because for as long as i've known her she always puts something in her ears when she rides, so it is a tiny bit suspicious that she would have gone for a ride without cotton or headphones in the first place, so i'm wondering how she got air in her ears in the first place).
But anyway, she is looking for research subjects who would be willing to go downhill on a bike to test her hypothesis. She will be seeking both cyclists who will wear something to protect their ears from the wind, and a control group who will go downhill fast without anything in their ears (until this hypothesis can be verified, the author of this blog strongly discourages anyone from riding downhill fast without proper ear protection because of the potential health risks, which are too great to quantify).

Dr. L.A., whose identity has been concealed because of the potential brilliance of her ideas, illustrating one form of protecting ears from the potentially destructive and crippling effects of wind.

On another note, a new commrade has joined the ranks of latex-clad green lantern SUPER HEROES. Dr. Q and Dr. DB got new bikes this weekend.

Showing off the sparkly new rides.

Dr. Q started out his first day on a bike with not one, but two ascents of city creek canyon. He couldn't get enough of his new superdope ride.

Notice the technique for eating. Although cyclists have long attributed "bonking" to a lack of food, for which Dr. Q is taking preventive steps here, new fascinating research suggests that the causes of hitting the wall may actually be something else.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

That time of year again

I love you like a stack of freshman writing papers,
thick and deep and so full of excitement.

I long for the moment you turn yourself in,
put yourself in my hands,
and give yourself over to me for a thorough reading.

You keep me up all night.
enthralled by your insight & wisdom
I can barely put you down.

I flip through your pages,
your heady aroma of bleached paper and ink toner
making me dizzy with desire.

without you i have no purpose,
no comma splice to conjunct,
no dangling modifier to modify.

I am awash in an empty house of loneliness and sorrow
until you come again next semester in all your
smug, wretched glory to tease my heart again.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Hell of the North

Here in Utah we have a little bike race called Hell of the North that is supposed to be our equivalent of the spring-time European Paris Roubaix, one of the spring classics, which also goes by the moniker Hell of the North. The race is notoriously muddy or dusty. Although the real Hell of the North in Europe isn't until next week, our local version lived up to it's name this weekend. With temps in the low 30s, wind-driven snow, and a muddy section of freshly grated dirt road, it was—well—messy, wet, cold, and fun. The real Hell of the North crosses between 25-30 cobblestone sections (depending on the year), some precariously narrow for a group of charging cyclists.

Since we don't have much cobblestone here in Utah, except maybe the road up to LaCaille, we just do laps on a 5 mile course with a 1.75 mile section of dirt road. Beyond the cold, the biggest challenge of the race was visibility. After one lap through the dirt i couldn't see. i took off my glasses, but then i just had to contend with the dirt and mud going directly into my eyes. As a team we did a good job pushing the pace and breaking the group up, but kind of blew it at the end. The artist did a good job and pulled out a fourth place despite having cx bike gearing. I was really stupid and let a couple guys catch me at the line for 7th, and DC and "the robot" came in 8th and 10th. KP got caught cleaning his glasses when we attacked and missed the break.

That is a fine film of dirt on the artist's face, and that was after the rain/snow had washed a lot of it away
I was still trying to get all the dirt out of my ears and eyelashes hours after the race.

T-dub won her race, outsprinting the only other girl who stuck with her at the line. They lapped most of the rest of the field. Time for an upgrade.

Can you tell who took the pull through the dirt section each lap?