25 June 2011

I stopped at McDonald's partway through my training walk today, as I typically do if I'm going to be out for more than a couple of hours. It's a decent place to take a short break, they have a/c, clean restrooms, and $1 large drinks with unlimited refills.

Saturdays it's usually pretty busy so I cram myself into the smallest spot, a tiny table at a long booth seat that runs nearly across the room. There are other tables along the bench seat, but I make sure I take the small one, because hell, I'm by myself and don't need an entire booth. I sit there and glare at the lone customers staking claim to the booths that are essentially 6-tops.

Today, though, it wasn't crowded at all, though I still sat at the tiny table. I must have looked like hell, because more than one person glanced at me and damn near recoiled...dripping sweat, coated in a thick layer of sunscreen, and redfaced, I'm sure I was absolutely beautiful and they just couldn't help themselves avoid my stunning self.

Or maybe they were worried I was going to keep over dead, and they didn't want to be near me when it happened.

As I sat there and sucked down my cheap drink, I noticed a little girl, maybe 5 years old, at a nearby table; while her dad finished his lunch, she played quietly with her knock-off Barbie doll, making it spin and dance across the table top. She did it quietly, and I entertained the idea that Daddy had told her to be quiet while he ate, but he didn't look like he'd spent the day being irritated by a loud little kid, so I also entertained the idea that she was just making her doll dance to the music in her head.

It was certainly energetic music. That doll spun quickly, did dips and splits and backbends over fries and a half-eaten burger, and flew effortlessly over Dad's drink.

She was lost in her own little world, and happy as hell about it.

Dad finished his burger and she was still making her doll dance; I braced myself for the 5 year old whining that was likely to happen when he said it was time to go, put the doll away and clean the table up. But instead of being done and ready to go, Dad turned in his seat and leaned forward, elbows on knees, looked right at the doll and said, "You're a very good dancer. Are you a professional?"

His daughter didn't miss a beat, and in a pretend-falsetto replied, "No, I just love to dance! Do you want to help me dance?"

He reached out and took the doll from his little girl, and guided it--although not as gracefully--across the table, over the unfinished burger and fries, until she reached out in a fit of giggles and grabbed it from him.

It occurred to me in one of those odd flashes: this was nothing out of the ordinary for them. He wasn't weekend dad trying too hard to turn an I-can't-cook-for-crap visit to McD's into something fun. It was all too familiar to him, routine, comfortable, and something he loved.

To his little girl it was just Daddy being Daddy. Nothing all that special.

For now, anyway.

When they left, I watched them go; she was poking at his leg with the doll's feet and laughing as if it was the funniest thing she had ever thought of doing, and his hand was resting comfortably, protectively, on her head as he guided her toward the car. I got up to refill my drink and then head outside to change my socks and check for blisters, and I wondered if she would ever remember those moments, if twenty years from now she would have a flash of Daddy making her doll dance, and how absolutely wonderful and extraordinary that really was...all the moreso because it didn't seem to be special at all.


21 June 2011

I have had some freaky dreams lately. About a week ago I dreamed that we got rid of Buddah to make Max happy, and then got a dog because Max wanted one...but then we realized what a mistake that was and had a spastic freak out trying to get him back. We found him in a cage with about 50 other black cats that all looked so much alike that in order to figure out which one he was I kept picking them up and holding them close, stroking the length of their tails.

Buddah has a really long tail, which is how I finally found him. And when I did, he grabbed onto me like a toddler and just wailed. It was sad and mournful and a horrible, horrible cry that still makes me feel guilty just thinking about it.

For the record, Max can be as pissy about Buddah as he wants. Buddah stays.

Last night I had another cat dream, but this time I wasn't getting ride of either of them...I was taking custody of cats from the cat blogosphere. It was a house trashing party extraordinaire, but I could not grasp why these kitties what are such good friends online didn't seem to get along very well when thrown together. I kept shouting  "But you LIKE each other?" over the din of hissing and growling, and remained upset and confused until some of the cats who have long since left for the Bridge showed up to calm everyone down.

There was no mistake...those kitties were judging me. I still don't know why I took custody of so many cats, or why I expected them to all actually get along, but the Bridge Kitties made it pretty clear: I'm a moron.

I'm almost afraid of what my brain will cough up next...


17 June 2011

Oddz N Enz #64.3.1923-a

  • I belong to several different online message boards. I recently joined a new one, and before you can post images or send private messages, you have to have made 15 posts. Fine. I get that. But if someone else sends you a PM, you still can't respond to it.
  • I got a PM from someone on said board; he followed links from my profile to my blog and saw that I was walking the SGK 3 Day. He wanted me to know that there's already a cure for breast cancer, but because the SGK makes so much money off these events, the public isn't going to get it.
  • I cannot send a PM response, so I'll do it here: You cannot be fucking serious... I hope you are not serious. Holy crap, you cannot be serious...
  • Originally, I had something far less polite to say.
  • Oh yeah, I won't be going back there. It's a motorcycle forum, and there are so many more, less restrictive places I can play and get real information about bikes and the like.
  • Tomorrow's training walk = 11 miles. Last year I freaked about that distance. Now? As long as it's not too hot, it's no big deal. 
  • I am not, however, looking forward to the days when I have to walk 15 or 18, especially followed by 12 and 13.
  • Those distances on teh actual walk? Don't seem like much, really.
  • It's supposed to be really hot the middle of this coming week, the high 90s. 
  • My Tuesday training walk shall be done in San Francisco, where the high is supposed to be about 70.
  • Damn, I love living this close to the city.
  • If my 15 and 18 miles days hit on hot days, I may take myself into SF and walk.
  • Ooh. get a room and stay the night!
  • I did not work out today. I intended to, but slept really late, and figured if I was that tired, I needed a day off before tomorrow's 11.
  • That's not an excuse, it's a reason. 'Cause I really wanted to swim.
  • Max's 10th birthday is in 3 days.
  • I won't buy his present until Monday. So it won't go bad.
  • That is all


16 June 2011

We joined a gym.

Well, yeah, we've done that before, but this time we totally mean it! Like, we'll actually go there and do sweaty stuff. It's a brand new gym, has only been open for 16 days, and we've gone, hmmm, 7 or 8 times. That might be more than all the times we went to our last gym gym combined.

The problem with the last gym was that it was very, very small. It seemed cozy and adequate at first, but when you have people sweating in a space not much bigger than my family room and living room combined, it starts to smell. And the worst odoriferous offenders seem to be the guys who act like they own the gym, and they don't seem to like sharing the equipment with the out of shape people. 

Sure, that gym was close by--3 miles--but if you're uncomfortable, you don't go no matter how close it is.

The new's huge. I suspect at its busiest there will always be cardio equipment available, and it won't take long to get onto the weight machines. The only downfall--but it's what made me want to join this gym--is the pool. There are only 3 lanes for lap swimming and walking. There's a rec area for nonswimmers to play in, but getting them to stay in that area is already problematic.

Yo, if you think you're gonna share MY lane, think again!
I haven't yet been there when I haven't had to tell some kid to get out of my lane and to stop darting out in front of me. I get it, the kids don't really know any better, but someone--probably me--is gonna get hurt sooner or later. So I have to be the wicked witch of the water and bitch these kids out, because their parents either don't care or aren't there.

Mostly, the parents aren't there. The offenders are usually 13-14 years old, ideally old enough to be in a pool without constant supervision

Even without the kids there, it would be nice if there were 5 more lanes to accommodate all the people who want to swim. I'd forgotten how much I like to swim. I'm pretty freaking slow, though...did about a mile today and it took half an hour. I can walk a mile and a half in that time frame.

In any case, we're back at a gym. I'm hoping that between the walking and the gym I can get into good enough shape that two Walks this year won't kill me. Because it would really suck if I got to the end of day three of the second walk and just up and croaked.


12 June 2011

All righty... I'm going to Atlanta October 21-23rd to do a second SGK Walk.
(Yes I'm nuts...but I wanna go play with my friends...)


Yep. All da monies.

From here until the end of August, 100% of my book royalties will go towards this endeavor. Got a Kindle? They're cheap. Don't got a Kinde? They're not as cheap and I actually get a whole lot less on the print books.

Srsly. A lot less. Plus, I get paid for Kindle books sooner.

I luvs me the eBook Revolution.

Either way...Click here to get to my Amazon author page.


10 June 2011

I started out with good intentions today. The goal was to gear up and ride my bike to the gym, warm up on the treadmill and then hit the circuit, and ride around a little bit more.

Then I got to the gym and realized I didn't have my running shoes with me. And walking on a treadmill in boots seemed kind of sucky. Now, I could have gone home for the shoes, but it seemed like a cosmic sign that I should take the Day Before Ten Miles and just ride.

So I did.

I zoomed around town and the outskirts of town, and right at about 50 miles I stopped at a McD's about 10 miles from home to make use of the facilities and get a drink.

All right, I know bike gear is not attractive and not flattering. I was wearing a hi-viz armored jacket and silver armored pants with clunky boots. I have fairly short hair. I've gotten the comments before, usually they roll off me, sometimes amuse me, but when I came out of the stall and was confronted by an Asian woman yelling NO FOR WOMEN repeatedly while she whacked me with her purse, I damn near lost my shit.

And thank you for that turn of phrase, Murf, because it fits.

I did manage to tell her to back off or I would ^$&# her up, and as soon as she heard my voice she realized her mistake...and she promptly ran into the handicapped stall to hide.

An apology would have been nice.

If she was scared, she had a reason to be, because at that moment I was embarrassed and angry, and I probably would have done some serious damage with one swing of a fist.

I could have waited her out, but it didn't seem worth it. I washed my hands and got the hell out of there; I got my drink and sat on the far side of the McD's where she could slip out without having to face me, and I stewed. I didn't dare get back on the bike as ticked off as I was.

Yeah, this time, it was humiliating. There was no shrugging it off, no sarcastic amusement over the way people judge without knowing. This was just...wrong.

I had intended to ride for another house or so, but figured I'd better just head home. If I'm not focused, I don't ride. So I put my jacket back on and headed for the parking lot, and as I was putting my helmet on I heard a little boy asked someone, "Is that a girl's bike? It's pretty."

And the response from his dad? "No, it's not a girl's bike. It's just an awesome one. But a girl is riding it."


The took just enough of the irritation away to get me to refocus...but I still headed home.

The kinda-sorta longish way.


9 June 2011

Nothing does your ego as much good as being on a treadmill next to an 80 year old woman who is going at nearly twice your pace and barely breaking a sweat while you sop it out of your eyes and gasp for air...


3 June 2011

Last week I joined a gym that hadn't even opened, sight unseen. The list of amenities was nice--cardio theater, free weight room, resistence equipment area, dedicated circuit training, pool and hot tub, racquetball courts, spinning classes--but what did it for me was the availability of Yoga.

I keep thinking that'll be good for my back, and the class times are ideal: M-W-F at 11 a.m. I can walk before hand, hit the gym for the class, play in the pool, and then have the afternoon for whatever.

It seemed like a plan.

Two days ago it opened, but today was the first time I stepped inside, and holyeeee carp. This place is HUGE. It doesn't just have cardio equipment, it has CARDIO. You could fit the gym we used to belong to in the resistance equipment area twice, maybe even three times. The free weight room is big, too, and in the back corner where the muscle-heads can play without us normal people getting in their way. The pool isn't huge, only 3 lanes, but unlike the only other gym around here with an indoor pool, it's brightly lit.

There's an upstairs, but I have no idea what's up there. By the time I got done in the circuit area, I really didn't feel like climbing teh stairs. I just felt like going into the locker room and changing.

Did I mention the locker room? It's big and it's CLEAN. 'Course, it's new, but it's CLEAN.

When I wandered trough the front door and stood there with my mouth hanging open because I had just entered gym nirvana, wondering where the locker room was, a very helpful but I-hate-you-slender kid bopped over from behind the counter to help me and point out the areas I was interested in. She was able to answer the one question I had forgotten to ask before signing a year of my workout life away: can I drop off my stuff in a locker, leave the gym to go walk for a few hours, then come back and hit the pool?

I was worried I might not be able to use the locker while not actually in the gym. problem. I can ride my bike there, dump my gear in a locker and take off for training walks, and then hit the pool or hot tub and shower if I want. But mostly, I can store my gear! That means this year I can both ride a lot and walk a lot.

This may be the summer I turn into a gym rat.

I have pink spandex to fit into, you know.

Hot pink spandex...


1 June 2011

Wanna win an iPad? Or a Kindle? Or an iPod Nano?

In just a hair over 3 months, I'm--again--walking in the Susan G. Komen Walk for the Cure. 3 Days, 60 Miles. All to raise money for breast cancer research and treatment.

I need donations, folks. I am way behind where I need to be in order to reach my $2300 goal in time.

But...I'll get there. And thanks to a generous donor and digging a little into my own pocket, I have some AWESOME prizes this year.

Donate $5, and you have a shot at one--or even all--of these:

A 16 GB iPod Nano...that'll hold a metric ton of songs.

An Amazon Kindle 3, with free 3G and Wi-Fi

An Apple's a first generation model, but it's the 64 GB w/3G version.

The winners will be chosen using a random number generator on August 26, 2011 at around 9 p.m. Pacific Time and will be notified via email ASAP. Be sure to use a real email address when you donate, as well as your correct mailing address.

Thank you so much.