Saturday, July 25, 2009

Spin Macaroni Mountain

I really meant to go dancing last night, but I didn't. What happened? Work dragged, I dragged, my brief attempt at working out dragged, and I dragged my butt around the apartment instead. There was a clear point where I thought to myself, "I can still get there by 10:30. Or not." Not.

So instead I read a bit. Brainstormed a bit. And turned on the Tour de France. I was hoping to be inspired by the mountaintop finish at Mont Ventoux, but realized early in my watching of Stage 19, that it was Stage 20 which finishes at Mont Ventoux. Darn. But I played the flat stage in the background anyway as I puttered around.

Lance Armstrong made a comeback to professional cycling this year after a last competing in 2005, and is seriously kicking butt. Well, if you were rooting for him to win (as I've been doing), he's a bit of a disappointment, but if you're a realist, as I've become, you can find his claw back to 3rd place going into Stage 19 extremely inspiring (did he really decide to return last October?!). In first place is his Astana teammate, Alberto Contador, who won the Tour for Lance's Team Discovery in 2007. 4 minutes back is Team Saxo Bank's Andy Schleck, widely regarded as the best climber in the Tour before Contador proved otherwise in the Alps. Armstrong is just over a minute behind Schleck, but has Bradley Wiggins and Astana teammate Andreas Kloden within 20 seconds of his spot. And right behind them is Andy Schleck's older brother, Frank. With inspired performances during Stage 20, Astana could conceivably hold all the podium places. On the other hand, 2nd place and 6th place are separated by just 1:40. Contador has a huge lead in the General Classification, unless he has a terrible day, but Andy and Frank might be working to get Frank in front of Kloden, Wiggens, and Armstrong into third place and onto the podium.

Stage 20 of the Tour de France is a mountaintop finish at Mont Ventoux, a 20 km Hors Category (beyond category, the hardest category) climb which takes an hour to ride. Badass. It isn't crazy to see an inspired climber make up 20 seconds per kilometer on the mountain. Though maybe not on the General Classification contenders.

Then it struck me: I should go to spin class Saturday morning. Yeah! I've been wanting to ride again, but haven't because of the prep-time (and I need to get that bike tuned up again). So why not substitute in a spin class?

The plan that formed in my mind was to get to bed, take the 8:30 spin class, shop at Sprouts for the macaroni salad I planned to take to Saturday evening's BBQ (I still don't have details on that!), make the salad, then eat my post-spin meal while watching the extended coverage of Stage 20.

Thus inspired, I crashed out.

Woke at 7:30 and puttered a bit. At 8am, I called and asked if they had spots left for the 8:30 class. One left. I'd better hurry. Started my oatmeal in the microwave and pulled up my spin class checklist and my "go bag" for spin and hugged myself; I'd left everything I needed right in the bag. Transferred the oatmeal to a paper bowl and ran out the door.

2 minute drive to 24 Hour Fitness, and got to the front desk. "You'll be the first on the waiting list." D'oh. But one of the five paid reservations was bound to no-show right? Right. I haven't taken a class since ... November 25, 2008, eight months. Yikes. I'm feeling a little trepidation as I take my pass over to the spin room. The instructor hasn't arrived yet, so I take the time to switch to my SPDs (don't spin without them) and turn on my heart rate monitor (don't spin without it). Recognize a former neighbor from Placentia. I must have talked her into finally taking a spin class. She's always been in great shape, but she's seriously lean now.

Decided to sit in the back, as it's been too long since I dragged my fat ass here (that's some serious negative talk going on there). Then realized too late that the reason I sat in front wasn't because felt like a badass, but because staring at hot cycling butts is distracting. But soon enough the sweat starts to pour and my consciousness retreats to the tip of my nose and my reflected grimace in the mirror.

My body remembers. My mind remembers. I'm in rhythm, and suddenly remember that I used to evaluate music by whether it would be good to spin to instead of whether it would be good to swing dance to. Funny memory.

I have to check my HRM constantly as I'm out of shape and competitive at the same time. I spend too much time with my heart rate over 160 beats per minute, and way too much time at 170-172 (well, about sixty seconds, but that's way to long). I have to remember to ease back into this kind of work out.

That's right, ease back into it. As in do it regularly again.

Looking around, I realize that most people still equate low, straining cadence with good effort, not realizing that high cadence is it's own discipline. When the instructor throws a high cadence song at us, most of them just sit at a lower cadence looking blank probably not able to maintain the pace even in the saddle with low resistance. But I've still got it. Well, kind of. High cadence spinning out of the saddle is what has me my heart at 170+ bpm. Don't do that.

After class, as I gulp down more water, and make my way over to Sprouts (like Henry's but close!) to shop for my macaroni salad. Home to put the salad together, protein shake, and sit down to watch the Tour.

Go Lance!

Thursday, July 23, 2009


Since I'm now hanging out with someone who's sensitive to swearing, I got to thinking about the role of swearing and humor or emphasis.  And I had an interesting conversation where I realized that I'm comfortable using "fuck" in almost any context (given the right audience) except when referring to the sex act.  I actually tried saying it out loud and had to sub-vocalize!

However, I was able to watch this Onion parody video of the moon landing and laugh out loud:

Or this written article.

Previous posts on swearing:

Look At Those Peppers!
Is There An Oscar For Best Swearing?

Monday, July 20, 2009


Jofflyn's been dragging us (ok, I go willingly) to Little Tokyo's Orochon for spicy miso ramen,  And I've yet to get this particular group to Santouka in the Mitsuwa market for shio (salt broth) ramen.

That's ok.  Shotgunned invites out for late Sunday afternoon, got a hit, and had the special #9 with an egg.  That's a large bowl of shio ramen with the black pork belly and vegetables served on the side (self-assembly).  Amaaaazing!  Props to John Remy for turning me on to the special.  The regular pork is delicious, but the black pork...  Game over.   Melt-in-your-mouth soft.  Indescribably complex flavor.  Wow.

And the broth...  The broth...  Oh god.  At Orochan, the broth is tasty but the noodles are featured.  At Santaouka, I make sure to finish the broth at the expense of the noodles, if necessary.

I kept texting Joff to make him feel bad for canceling out:
I want to bathe in the Santouka broth!

And later:
I want to sleep in a waterbed filled with the Santouka broth!

And later:
Instead of cleaning my apartment I'll pour broth on everything!

I want to wash my car with shio broth!
Computer acting up?  Have you tried pouring shio broth on it?
Achy shoulder?  Shio broth!
Household plants looking a little wilted?  Shio broth!

True statements.  True story.

Quote of the Night

Yeah, 'cause penguin milk is awesome! - Walter
Eating at The Hat after rehearsal with Walter, Samber, Bamber, Sarah, Garret, and Dana.  Topics ranged from how amazing the Nintendo Wii is to, SYTYCD, to the history of nicknames, to Michael Jackson, to injuries.

And pastrami.

Friday, July 17, 2009

The Mentalist

Why didn't anyone tell me about The Mentalist? Seriously. Cool show.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

A Little More Knowledge

It's been a while, but I found a new example of the language mistake I
mentioned in A Little Bit Of Knowledge.

The recent trade has made this speculation a mute point...

I don't remember whether I've posted this before, but a lot of these things have to do with hearing something not-quite-correctly and incorporating that into written language. In this case, figuring that the speaker said the word "mute" instead of the non-word "moot" would seem to make sense on the surface.

Do you have examples of this you come across?

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

White Corn Revelation

White corn is awesome raw. No reason to cook it at all. Why have I
been wasting my time cooking it?!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Memories Steam Bath

At Memories to meet up with SS (sorry for flaking last week).  Walked in the door at about 10:30 to find that there was no air conditioning, bringing on jungle conditions.  I don't know if I'm sweating this much or it's condensation.  Thought about changing my shirt but I sweated through the first one on the first song I danced.  No one will tell me if this is normal now or if its a one time thing.  Lots of shrugs.

RT says she's saving money by dancing here instead of @ Atomic Tuesdays.  I never thought I'd dream of Atomic air conditioning...  Worth $4 extra?  Hell yeah!

Friday, July 10, 2009


John Remy asks:
How did I get through the last decade and a half w/o listening to NIN (well, beyond Closer)? There are times when Hurt could be my anthem...

Good question. Nine Inch Nails's Pretty Hate Machine was one of my angst soundtracks in high school (girls) and some of college (general stress and hate).

Aforementioned Hurt (NIN Live performance):

There are some notable covers, namely Johnn's Cash's Hurt:

Oh, and Sad Kermit's cover of Johnny's Cash's cover of Hurt:

From the album Broken, which came out when I was in college, NIN Wish:

(by the way, a comment had this right, the dead silence at 0:42 is amaaaazing).

From Pretty Hate Machine, Head Like a Hole:

Down In It:

Something I Can Never Have:

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Drinking on the Fourth

It's odd that some people think that holidays are reduced to themed
drinking days (My college friends are all scratching their heads right
now and thinking, "Dude, aren't you one of those people?").

"Hey it's Arbor Day! Let's get blasted at the Arboretum!"

Saturday, July 4, 2009

What The?!

Sarah Palin resigned?  I'm not sure how I feel about that.  She was so good for my sense of outrage...

Just Let Me Go Home

On my way home from Atomic Ballroom.  As I get on the freeway, four Highway Patrol cruisers jump on ahead of me.  And they shut down the freeway ahead of me to arrest someone in a car.  Helicopter spotlight.  Hands up, backing away from the car.  The works.  Wow.

And now more cruisers pull up.  Cars edge up to block my view.  I'm happy to give way.

And now on my way.


Friday, July 3, 2009

On Bleu Cheese Dressing

Note to self: Bob's Lite Bleu Cheese Dip/Dressing tastes like ranch
dressing with a blue cheese afterthought. I'm not sure why I'm
surprised when they can't correctly spell "light" and "blue."

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Dancing Lows

I've been told today that my dancing is carefully devoid of styling to the point of being sterile, and I make people cry by correcting them on the social floor.

And I'm really tired.