Friday, May 30, 2008

tri for reals

An update on a few stories I'm working on ... watch for one on CSAs (community-supported agriculture--a super cool idea) in the Bay Area, one on the campaigners for Obama who are traveling far and wide to influence the vote, one on meat (and how I love it like crazy--wait, did I say that?), and then one on this whole phenomenon of boot camp athletics. Let's talk about THAT for a sec.

Boot camp athletics. Have you not heard of this? Oh, your innocence. Tens of thousands of people are doing it: paying a sculpted, gorgeous superhuman to push us around using an agenda based on a kind of excessive knowledge of fancy stuff like kinesthetics, neuromuscular programming, and why god-awful oatmeal and bananas are the real breakfast of champions, not Wheaties after all. The goal can be simply to get in shape, or it can be training toward a set event--like the 2008 Santa Barbara Long Course Triathlon, for example.

What better way for me to conduct research for this article, inquires my workout support network (WSN, also incidentally the same characters who make up my doughnut-eating association, the DEA), than for me to participate in one? Okay then.

Enter personal trainer Rachel (kind of scary in a good way) Rodriguez. For two months (starting oh so soon), I will bow to Rachel's directives, climbing on a bicycle, diving into frigid waters, dropping for push-ups, reaching for pull-ups, essentially behaving like an obedient extra on the Ben Hur set. I'm totally psyched. Let's do this.

Watch for news of training. The triathlon is August 23rd. My father will be visiting and so he will have the misfortune of missing a morning of jazz performances to sit on the sidelines in utter bewilderment as the daughter he thought he raised to be sensible runs around, inexplicably cycling, swimming, and running as if my life depended on it. Note: Doughnuts and coffee to follow.

Behold Rachel, USAT Level II coach and my superhuman of choice:

that's 31 flowers, folks

Solar flare dendrobium out of control!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

may 8th: did you know?

I can't believe I missed USA National Doodle Day. Seeing as every day is doodle day here at the Kennedy depot, particularly when we're "writing," missing this feels something like forgetting my very own birthday.

going to see blindness

Jose Saramago is a gifted, important writer whose stuff we all should be reading. All of it. And so it is with giddy, anxious ardency I await the screen adaptation of his book Blindness. The cast: Gael Garcia Bernal, Mark Ruffalo, Danny Glover, Sandra Oh, and a blond Julianne Moore. Slated for September 2008.

Monday, May 12, 2008

zen gems

Receive a guest with the same attitude you have when alone. When alone, maintain the same attitude you have in receiving guests.

Watch what you say, and whatever you say, practice it.

When an opportunity comes do not let it pass you by, yet always think twice before acting.

Do not regret the past. Look to the future.

Have the fearless attitude of a hero and the loving heart of a child.

Upon retiring, sleep as if you had entered your last sleep. Upon awakening, leave your bed behind you instantly as if you had cast away a pair of old shoes.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

even better than feetie pajamas

Believe it or not, I am still reading and writing. But in between, I am lusting after items such as this.

Saturday, May 03, 2008

talent show

My brother and his wife visited from Denver this weekend. Between the animated exchanges with our two waitersone with a French accent, the other Mexicanat the best old-school Italian place in the City (no, not in North Beach), we shared stories with everyone of our childhood summers. I remembered spending most of my sunbleached youth harassing peacocks in Floridian yards, fighting over Fruit Loops, and running around model homes marveling at the water from the conical little dispenser cups.

And it dawned on me once again that, as Edna St. Vincent Millay said, childhood is the kingdom where nobody dies. And childhood is the kingdom where any goddamned thing goes. Here, as I discussed with my tablemates tonight, are the two tremendous children from whom we can learn a great deal about really, really meaning it:

Thursday, May 01, 2008


So the neighbor with the Mazda SE-5 does not quite have parallel parking down yet. Steer clear of him.