Tuesday, February 28, 2006


What a good night! My Girl Scout cookies were delivered by my friendly Irish neighborhood scout. I am disappointed although not surprised to find that both Thin Mints and Caramel deLites contain harmful partially hydrogenated oils. A completely unnecessary ingredient, since in my cupboard, their shelf life will be frighteningly short anyways!
Num num num num num num num num num num num num num num!!!!

Wednesday, February 22, 2006


I can't believe I haven't written in a week. Time just feels like it's flying. I feel detached from my life right now, like I'm watching it all happen from afar.

I made it through another Wednesday sufferfest workout. I am so exhausted now. The past week hasn't been too pleasant on the bike. I rode FOUR+ ridiculous hours in the arctic temps and gusty wind on Saturday, and my feet are still cold from it. They've now got this permanent purplish tint to them. I'm losing my appetite for riding in the frigid weather. Last year I said it, and this year I'll say it again: I SHOULD GO AWAY SOMEWHERE WARM TO RIDE DURING MY FEBRUARY VACATION. That's it. Next year, I'm gone. I should've just dropped the hat, thrown my bike in the car, and headed south yesterday. Oh well.

Let's see, other highlights I've seen in my existence this week...

NEBRA banquet. Diane was there, and she looked good! The IF gals were there, a couple teammates, some other acquaintances - good to see them again. Gave me a fleeting shot of motivation. Let's hope the NEBRA folks get a new DJ for next year...
Worth the price of admission: seeing Tom dressed up in a black jacket and collared shirt with his shoulder-length curly locks down. (Yes, news flash to those who could barely catch a glimpse of him as he darted around at Nats, the ponytail is history. And shit, I hope he doesn't read this. ;-)

Saw a MOVIE. Yes, I actually sat still (well, still except for eating a candy bar and hot chocolate - I can't possibly be expected not to eat during the entire length of a feature film) for the whole thing. Capote had me riveted. I'm hardly qualified to be a film critic, but the emotional tension I felt watching the last part of the movie - it moved me, for lack of better words. It was actually a bit emotionally exhausting! Awesome acting by the guy who played Capote, whoever he was. (See how in touch I am with movies and tv?)

Fixed up the fixed. Yup, the fixed gear is back in commission. Ready for commuting to my evening class at New England Conservatory starting next week.

Read. Almost done with Snow Falling on Cedars. I'm kind of on a Japanese-theme kick after loving Memoirs of a Geshia. I found a novel by Elliot Perlman at Porter Sq Books called Seven Types of Ambiguity. (Not Japanese.) The book's divided into 7 sections and in each part the story has a different narrator, altering the story by casting it from a new perspective. I can't wait to start it, but must finish one before starting another. I'm trying to break myself of my unfocused habit of starting 100 projects and never seeing most to completion.

Ok, I can hardly recall anything else of note that I've observed myself doing from a distance.
Happy riding. :)

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

She wants to know how to fly

Here's my favorite song to pound the pedals to:
"Mary Pretends" by Fuel. I know every chord of screaming guitar and drum kick on this metal-influenced alternative-rock album from hours of suffering in the saddle. But I like this tune best. I cranked it up tonight to get some of my heavy training in tonight. Here are the lyrics:

Fuel - Mary Pretends Lyrics
Mary pretends she's so insane, so insane, so insane
Mary pretends she's so insane, so insane, so insane
She just sits back and laughs at the pain
Laughs at the pain, laughs at the pain
Mary pretends she's so insane, so insane, so insane
Falling down of her mind
Gives her everything she's wanted from the world
Close her eyes, drift inside, so alive
She wants to know what it feels like
She wants to know how to fly
She wants to know what it feels like to die
Okay, so they're not exactly cerebral lyrics, but they just smack of self-induced suffering... (ok, yeah, um, drug addicion, too). Gotta put this tune on your iPod! :)

So after bike commuting in the awesome weather today, I put in another hard hour on the trainer tonight. Then I cooked an awesome dinner. I am experimenting with creating a spinach/chickpea/tofu curry dish, something vegetarian packed with vitamins and protein and lots of deep spice. I've gotta keep working on it . When I'm happy with it, I'll share the recipe.

Damn! Can't get the song out of my head!!
"laugh at the pain, laugh at the pain..." Ahh. My Training anthem.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Cacao-induced Insomnia

I spend copious amounts of time at the chocolate table near the cheese and olive section of Whole Foods, choosing a large block of some imported bittersweet chocolate, preferably 70% cacao or more. And I take it home and just eat it. Let it melt on my tongue. Let my tongue swim in it. One of my favorite things.
I was exhausted last night. But while writing my blog entry, I indulged my chocolate passion. Now I don't drink caffeine, but I never worried much about caffeine in chocolate. Last night, exhausted, I laid awake in bed with my heart pounding and mind racing, and I decided, sadly, that there must be large amounts of caffeine in chocolate. I supposed that would also explain all the unbelievably strange bad dreams I've been having lately. So I googled caffeine and chocolate, and came up with this article. (I don't know about the article's validity, though, after all, I just found it on the web.)
Wow. No caffeine, but another stimulant with a similar compositional structure. Interesting - particularly if you're a bit of a nerd like me and also happen to adore chocolate. =D

Monday, February 13, 2006


The heavenly gift of the snow day bestowed upon me and my schoolhouse brethren allowed the opportunity to worship those soft, white flakes of frozen hexagonal ice crystals. But where to find my mountain of worship? This storm was a travesty. 26" of snow fell in NY's Central Park, but the mountainous playgrounds of NH and VT got negligable amounts. So I ended up at none other than little Wachusett Mountain, which boasted 20 fresh inches. Certainly nothing specatular, but its location allowed me to sleep in and still get some solid runs in on my snowboard. The first run I was rigid with trepidation, having been away from the board for 2 years. (Well, I did go once last March.) But I narrowed my stance on the board, loosened up, and then felt comfortable carving turns the rest of the day. What a fun gift today.

Yesterday I spent some time on the trainer, and then went out for a nice romp in the snowshoes. This winter's weather has been crazy, but I have to admit, although I have longed to cross country ski, the Sunday mountain bike rides, hikes, long road rides, and dinners with friends have really been wonderful.

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Strength, Beauty

If there's a sport (other than cycling, of course) that exhibits fludity, beauty, and strength, it's got to be speedskating. What beauty! I am in awe.
I love to admire the amazing athleticism of the skaters, skiers, and lugers in the Winter Olympics. So Thrilling and beautiful.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Persistent Pestilent Pathogen

This virus is kicking my ass. Everyone's sick at school. 13 teachers were out on Tuesday, and I think that number has held for just about every day this week. Everyone seems to have the same thing. I've been fighting this for 8 days now! I haven't ridden since the weekend, and that's really starting to put me in a foul mood. I got some antibiotics - which of course will do me no good if this is in fact a virus - and I thought that today I was starting to feel better. I even thought I might ride this afternoon. But my body is just not right. I've felt very weak. I blacked out today, and almost fainted in front of my students. Caught myself and held my head down for a few moments and regained my vision, but the pressure in my head remained all day. Boy, that'd be a blast - fainting in front of 27 11-year-olds. Luckily it didn't happen.
Tomorrow. Tomorrow I will feel well again. Tomorrow I will ride again.
Saturday, I will ride for hours...

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

I'm bAAaak

Welcome back to my dedicated readership... sorry to leave you hanging for so long. ;)

I'm psyched to be in the midst of training again!! I hope this crazy weather has meant tons of good riding for all. My training plan has started off much more intense than last year, and I can't wait to watch myself get fitter and stronger with each base. I'll be willing to bet that our N.E. spring season will be just about the fastest ever.

With that said... now all I have to do is kick off this festering illness I've been fighting for the past week. The problem is, even when I'm supposed to be resting, I can't sit still. I'm always doing something - even if it's just experimenting in the kitchen (and DAMN have I made some yummy grub lately!) or cleaning. I was sick enough not to go to work yesterday. Mild fever, congestion and nasal nastiness, aches, swollen glands, general malaise. I laid in bed dozing until 11 am, read until 2, then just couldn't sit still any longer so I rearranged all my bike gear, parts, and tools into a storage unit, got all the knitting into under-the-bed storage, did a bunch of laundry, and made baingan bharta (Indian spicy roasted eggplant dish) for dinner. Not bad for feeling so sick. But I didn't ride - despite how nice it looked out - so it still amounted to a restful day for me.

I'm trying to plan out which races will be top goals for me this season. What I can manage in terms of travel (financially as well as balance with my job and coursework) falls far short of my enthusiasm for competition. I laid down some ambitious plans and hope to see much of it come to fruition.

In the news...

Damn, check out Ivan's hot legs!!

And Jan's hair!! (Yes, I have a secret crush on Jan... oops, I guess it's not secret anymore!) This Fat Cyclist column made me crack up today. Cnn Matt should love it, too, since he broke the story on Eki's mullet. :)

The biggest story must be the unveiling of the United Pro Cycling Team. Wow. I hope they can acquire the amount of revenue they need with this new business model to make it a success. I'm looking forward to seeing how this pans out. Could this be a whole new world for domestic pro cycling? Is there a large enough fan base to sustain multiple teams (and bike companies) if United survives? Will middle-aged men on weekend club rides all be riding Viagra frames one day??? (stiffest frames on the market...)