Jackpot

February 25, 2008

Training was not particularly exciting today I had a two hour ride that dragged on for ages but I did get to watch 3 (count ’em THREE) episodes of Friday Night Lights.  I cried through two of them which is pretty funny considering I was riding at the time.  I’m feeling pretty tired from training this week and even braved an ice bath in hopes of some relief for my legs.  Fortunately tomorrow is the beginning of a rest week.

For those who may be concerned, the dogs seem to have survived their exploits with a loaf of bread.  Finn was sick in the night (I was somehow blissfully oblivious to this since GB took care of the mess), and Jack had some unusually pungent gas today, but the worst of it seems to be over.  They were feeling very sorry for themselves this morning and weren’t even excited for their walk.  Too bad they can’t make the connections between illegal snacking and upset tummies!

Well, Beth hit the jackpot with her exciting mail deliveries last week, but I guess tonight was my night.  I went to my cycling/tri club party.  I arrived late and just as I was squeezing my way through the crowd I heard them announce my name.  So I went over to the announcer who congratulated me and handed me a check.  Since this is pretty normal for me when I arrive at a party, I didn’t think much of it.  Until I looked at the check.  My goodness, what a nice surprise!  I knew I had won the points award for the most points earned in races last season, but I didn’t realize quite how much that was worth!  I figure this check will cover most of my race entries this year and am VERY excited about this development in my financial life.  Oh, the possibilities….

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Pants

February 20, 2008

fly.jpg 

I could blog about my 90 minute run in last night’s blizzard.  I could blog about having my eyebrows and eyelashes caked in snow.  But it is evident from the resounding cries of tribloggers everywhere that we probably don’t need another blog about the miseries of winter training. 

So I will write about a different problem: my pants.  I forget to do them up.  Like ALL the time.  I go to the bathroom, I pull my pants up, I do up the button, I wash my hands, and I WALK OUT OF THE BATHROOM WITH MY FLY AND BELT UNDONE!!!  Regularly.  Maybe half the time.  THAT IS A LOT OF WALKING AROUND WITH MY PANTS UNDONE!  I think in the beginning of our relationship GB took this to mean I was always ready for any romantic action that might be lurking around the corner.  But recently we had a sit-down about this problem.  It is serious.  GB is worried.  I routinely come out of the bathroom in this semi-dressed state to see GB staring at me and trying not to laugh.  “YOUR PANTS!!!!  AGAIN!!!”. 

Sometimes it’s not that serious.  Sometimes I remember to do up my belt.  But then there’s still the fly – this combination seems to happen most often at work.  And here’s the kicker: NO ONE ever tells me about it (except GB).  I usually notice well after the fact because of a certain winter draft blowing through my pants.  Come on people!!  Help me out here!!  It happens in front of important people, during meetings, at the grocery store, at home, in airports, pretty much everywhere.  Most of the world has seen my underwear at this point.  Which makes me wonder why I bother with the pants at all.  Except that it’s winter and it’s cold.  Maybe I need velcro pants. 

Or a big sign that hangs in front of my face and says: “do up your damn pants”.

Party in My Pants

February 11, 2008

Well, Mom Camp 2008 is over (almost).  My mother left last night and GB’s is here until tomorrow.  We all survived.  I am utterly exhausted but in good ways.  As we thought, GB’s mom and my mom are practically each other’s BFF now.  They had their share of heart-to-heart talks and everyone still seems happy about the whole marriage thing (ours…they are not getting married, we are – they are already married – to our fathers), so that is good.

The first night was a bit stressy since GB was at work and I was acquainting the mothers with each other.  I was grateful for my training which gave me something like 5 hours of me-time this weekend to digest and recover. 

By the time I had returned from my run on Saturday morning the two moms were yukking it up in the kitchen while GB made breakfast so things were pretty much downhill from there.  We did some wedding planning, a few short hikes, a little coffee shop time, and played some card games.  On Saturday when I arrived at the coffee shop after my swim, I was certain that both moms had been crying and they both had that guilty “sorry, we are moms and we cry and we can’t help it” look.  They have denied the shedding of tears.  I do not believe it.  They are trying to conceal their new BFF status.  Either that or they had it out with each other in the coffee shop.  Hard to tell from the look I got from the guy at the next table which said “are you responsible for these women?  you have no idea what I have just had to endure for the last 90 minutes while I was trying to study and these two were yammering on!”

A definite highlight of the weekend was when my mother told a story about a bee crawling up her pants leg and stinging her while she was golfing.  Turns out she was wearing pants covered in little cartoon bees and in her words [spoken in her strong British accent]: “I guess the bee wanted to join the party in my pants!!!”.  We were in a restaurant when she told this story and I laughed wildly and loudly for an inappropriately long time which was evident when I wiped my teary eyes and saw Looks of Mom from both sides.  If only GB had been there for that moment I  think we would have been thrown out of the restaurant for laughing so hard.  I am still laughing about it.

Anyway, the weekend is over.  It’s back to work time.  GB has taken the day off for the final stretch of Mom Camp.  I am tired and thrilled and a whole lot of grateful that we have these two amazing women in our lives. 

Matriarchs

February 7, 2008

If your house needs cleaning, I recommend scheduling a visit from your mom.  If you have a significant other, and you both have moms, I recommend scheduling a visit from both at the same time.  In fact, I would go one further and if your mother has not visited you in EIGHT years, schedule a visit NOW.  If you don’t have moms at your disposal, try someone important – maybe the Queen of England if she’s available.  I hear things are quiet up there in London these days.

The moms are arriving tomorrow.  We are having a cleaning frenzy.  Cobwebs that may otherwise have laid dormant (at least until the expiration of our lease) are being banished.  Light fixtures are being installed.  Surfaces are being uncovered.  This is very serious, folks.  Not one, but two moms are going to be inspecting and judging our dwelling in the way that only mothers do.  And if it turns out that these 2 mothers LIKE each other (which we suspect they will) and that they GET ALONG, well, we may be in some serious trouble.  Because when they go back to their little country B & B at the end of the day, they might conspire, and who knows? maybe gang up on us.  And even though there are two of them and two of us, we are not foolish enough to think we are evenly matched with the matriarchs.

I suppose an even worse possibility is that they will NOT like each other.  And where does that leave us?  With a clean house, and an awkward weekend of wishing we had invited the Queen instead.

Blur

January 28, 2008

We are back in our cozy home again.  Ski Camp 2008 is behind me and the last 24 hours are mostly a blur.  I skiied a few kilometers with the gang on Saturday morning, had lunch with them, and then went for my run.  After running I went out again for a last ski by myself and ended up meeting up with the others on the trail.

I was sad to leave Maine.  I think we all were.  GB and I did a really great job of not talking about the “w” word (work) while we were away, and there was a definite sinking feeling associated with coming back.  January is such a hard time at work anyway, nevermind after a vacation high.

It was good to be back at the homestead and to have the dogs together again.  They are having a weird rivalry thing now that they have been separated for a week.  Lots of jealousy which we are trying to counter with copious amounts of love.

I have a rest week this week, for which my body is eternally grateful.  That’s pretty much all the news for now.  Getting settled back into work and life.

Grace

January 12, 2008

I had a great conversation with a teenager today. Great conversations with teenagers frequently catch me off-guard. They’re such bizarre beings those teenagers. Like adults, only not. Like kids, only not. Anyway, its seems like eons since I was one and I tend to be more at ease with your average 3-year old than with your average teenager, but that is beside the point.
This particular teenager has recently undergone some significant changes in his life and behaviors. After several years of making poor choices, he has had reason to turn his life around, and has done so successfully and admirably. And somehow, his family has given him a completely clean slate. They are so proud of his turnaround and so willing to welcome back the new (or the old, I suppose) him. The whole thing brings me to tears.
And do you know what keeps this kid up at night now? That he doesn’t deserve their forgiveness. That he could never earn it. As I was talking with him, I started thinking about the concept of grace. It’s a concept from Christianity that basically translates to “undeserved forgiveness” or “undeserved goodness”. I am not a religious person by any stretch, but I have always been fascinated by the concept of grace. And religious or not, grace shows up in my life all over the place. I am constantly being given opportunities or forgiven for things I do not deserve. I don’t, for example deserve to have a job that pays me well enough to live in a house and have dogs and a yard and a bike and running shoes and access to a master’s swim program. But I do. And that, my friends, is grace. And sure, I earned my college degrees, I worked hard to get promoted, but I did not deserve or earn the opportunities that initially presented themselves so I could achieve these things.
So I was fumbling around with my words trying to explain to this non-adult-non-kid that he really didn’t deserve his family’s forgiveness. But they chose to give it to him anyway because they love him unconditionally. And that since he had it, he might as well do the best he could with it. His reflection of this, which was far more articulate than mine was: “so, like, I didn’t earn it, but like, I should do everything I can to maintain it”. Like, bingo teenager. Like, nail on the head, buddy.
Anyway, it all got me thinking about how it is often just as easy to feel guilty for the things we have as it is to take them for granted. And somewhere between the feeling guilty and the taking-for-granted lies a peaceful place where we appreciate all that we have, accepting it as a gift, and do our darndest to use it for the greater good.

New Space

December 12, 2007

 fi·nesse      [fi-ness] Pronunciation KeyShow IPA Pronunciation noun, verb, -nessed, -ness·ing.

–noun

1. extreme delicacy or subtlety in action, performance, skill, discrimination, taste, etc.
2. skill in handling a difficult or highly sensitive situation; adroit and artful management: exceptional diplomatic finesse.

After much deliberation, I have decided on Finness as a place to hang my blogging hat.  It works for me for a few reasons:

1) My dog’s name is Finn and mine is Ness

2) It challenges me to mess with the English language in ways that usually make me squirm (ie. incorrect spelling)

3) It is ironic because neither I nor my dog have much if any finesse.  In combination, we are possibly the anti-finesse.

 Since I have this fabulous new space, I will no longer be updating my old blog site at Sponsorhouse.