June 8, 2011 in family
After the race on Sunday, I drove up to New Hampshire to visit my sister. She is graduating from college this coming weekend.
My aim for the trip was two-fold. First, see Sarah (Scare) at college. Second, beat my brother.
Nathaniel (Than) and his girlfriend drove up to New Hampshire from Maryland to visit Scare two weeks ago. They were there from 5 p.m. to 10:15 a.m. When they got home to my mom’s they regaled us with a giant slideshow, “Trip to Dartmouth”. It had 150 photos! But exactly 1 of them included Dartmouth and the child who actually goes there. In it, she was looking askance at Than as he tried to fix a doorknob in her apartment.
Here are 12 photos of Dartmouth and/or the child who actually goes there. And, I was with her from 7:30 p.m. to 1:15 p.m. I may not have won anything on Sunday, but I sure did on Monday!
I did gymnastics in third and fourth grade, when we lived in Manila. I loved it and made my mom come and watch me practice, which must have been deathly boring considering my best move was the penny drop off the uneven bars, with loads of assistance from the teacher. I was terrible.
Here is a family photo from Manila that one of my seven half/step/awesome sisters recently posted on facebook. It’s from her 14th birthday. My mom was taking the photo, so she’s not in it. The first thing I noticed was that cake – totally not the work of my artsy craftsy mom, who in that same era made Transformer birthday cakes and lemon meringue pies with the meringue whipped into the shape of a horse. No, this cake had to be my handiwork, why else would a 9 year old be that excited on someone else’s birthday right?
Right, sorry, I forgot, I started this post with the intent of describing my CURRENT balancing act. Poli Sci has probably enhanced my verbosity, who knew that was even possible (my same sister recently reminisced with me over how my mom used to say that I “talked to hear my head rattle”).
Whatever. I’m balancing! It’s awesome! Mondays and Tuesdays I am at school for FOREVER, from 7:30 to 5:30, omg it’s like working FULL TIME or something terrible and shudder-worthy. On the plus side, the rec center at school has Woodway treadmills, and my office at school has a pretty view and fellow students who are always good for a laugh or insult.
For example yesterday, I wore some makeup, because when I teach I try to look like I take myself seriously. But during the snowy 4 degree 1 mile walk to school my mascara got wet and then frozen and it was an unattractive pain. My program is mostly guys, and Matt was the lucky officemate I got to complain to about my non-waterproof mascara. He said he thought his girlfriend’s mascara was non-waterproof as well.
“Yea,” he said, “hers definitely runs.”
Matt! Do you make your girlfriend cry?!
“God dammit.” Busted
OK back to work… this time next week I’ll be in Costa Rica! I’m super excited for Team Trakkers/REV3 Camp and for my first race of the season, and I’m trying to get most of my schoolwork done ahead of time so that I can hang out and play with my new teammates and all the athletes who will be there. I will also integrate some learning… Costa Rica is probably Latin America’s most stable democracy. Pretty cool!
There are a few nice things about having a “minimalist family Christmas”, which I know is soo two months ago now that it’s February, but bear with me. There are a few nice things:
- we get to sleep in on Christmas because there’s not much to open
- family togetherness! Which results in me text-messaging my brother across the table during Settlers to ask him why my sister, on the other side of the table, is being The Worst.
- only have a couple thank-you notes to write (still finishing the second one…)
- JANUARY/FEBRUARY FEEL LIKE REAL CHRISTMAS!!!!!!!
Sorry, family, but the hat and sweatshirt and non-cheesy earrings (good job Ma!) have been upstaged. For example, I arrived home yesterday to find a shipment from TYR. I knew they were providing wetsuits for Team Trakkers/REV3, but the luggage was an amazing surprise. I desperately needed new luggage and I can’t wait to use it on my forthcoming passport-stamping adventure.
That little pouch at the bottom is the rucksack, a total gem. It rolls out into a backpack! Here is the rest of the bag collection. I know I haven’t actually used it yet, I will be sure to report back once I do, but so far I’m really impressed with the design, construction, and aesthetic of the entire collection.
Sorry for the paucity of blog updates, I can explain it as “quality over quantity” but in reality it’s “school over internet”.
Well, it’s December 31, and for the first time in ages I have a legitimate New Year’s Resolution! Beyond the usual “be nicer” and “swim more” ho-hum.
I’m saving money.
Yesterday it snowed 8 inches. Today my 12-year-old 136k-mile Honda Civic and I tootled around Boulder in search of an indoor pool and, after one measly mile in single-digit temperatures, a treadmill. The car and I are not too terrible in the snow thanks to a year in Tahoe with way more than 8 inches, but, I tend to “drive like a scared rabbit”* and snow+2 wheel drive=not helpful. Furthermore, as of tomorrow the car will be teen-aged.
So I think it’s safe to assume that I’ll need a new car in the next few years, and for that I’ll need to save.
Also, I kind of hate winter right now, and maybe it’s the car’s fault. So my new car will need a “winter package” to warm my bum and all-wheel drive to cart me and Shaz up to the mountains to skate ski when it’s too miserable to ride our bikes.
With the help of mint.com I’ve determined that I only need to save a bazillion dollars a month** in order to afford my new car by September 2012! That’s practically tomorrow! So I’ve already started scouring local listings, and of course devising weekly cook-at-home (le ugh) meal plans centered around variations of “rice and beans”. Actually, curbing my almost-daily coffeeshop habit will probably be sufficient.
I’m not getting a Subaru, btw. Everyone here has them and I’d never find my car in the parking lot.
*this according to my little sister, who drives like a NOTHING because she refuses to drive, so, who died and named her the driving expert? Still, I’m not the greatest behind the wheel.
**actually, $254. Totally doable.
I wore my Skins on the plane yesterday and a woman asked me that. I wanted to say, “if by ‘triathlete’ you mean some expensive doohickey that is fairly ineffectual and obnoxiously athletic-looking, then yes, these are triathlete pants!” But I just told her they are my compression tights, and yes, I am a triathlete, how did she guess.
Honestly though, I’m not sure they are very effectual. I think I need some regular medical compression tights. The Skins don’t have feet on them, even though I pull them over my heels and ankles, I still get really fat toes and feet at the end of a travel day.
So anyway, yesterday I left the east coast and now I am in Bend, OR! It was a typical Courtenay Brown Keep-Life-Interesting Travel Day, i.e. 12+ hours with at least one delay, dire need of antiperspirant, and a few instances of getting lost. I got up at 4 a.m. (!?), my mom drove us to the airport because she had a flight to Montana that left an hour after mine, but on the way she wanted to stop at the barn and check the rain gauge, then she wanted to drive cautiously, then we got to gossiping, then I almost missed my flight. I didn’t though. I sat next to a nice teen-aged girl from Kenya who was on her way back to her home in the U.S. after graduating from her Kenyan high school.
Then on the next flight there we sat on the runway waiting for thunderstorms to pass, so I got an extra hour to sit next to Mr. Portland Super Hipster. He mostly watched old movies on his iPad but he also did some graphic design work on his MacBook Pro (17″), received a jillion text messages on his iPhone (while we were on the tarmac of course), and took handwritten notes about something on his teeny lime-green graph-paper notebook with a fancy pen. I accidentally spilled apple juice on his leather boots and tight jeans, LE OOPS! but his well-coiffed hair and logo-less gray T-shirt went unscathed, as did his full-sleeve tattoos.
When I got to Bend, first order of business was to sort out my sunglass situation. My Specialized glasses were stolen last weekend! I was so bummed, I loved those glasses, and I didn’t bring any others with me. So. I bought my first pair of Oakley’s!! Pricey, I know, but they are super cute. Option b. was to get a $40 pair of Tifosi’s that I would race in this weekend and never want to wear again. Good sunglasses are kind of important. I don’t have a sunglass sponsor, so, might as well buy them in a state that doesn’t have sales tax!
Second order of business was to chill with my cousin and his family – the kids are 11 and 8 years old, and they are excellent unicyclists! It’s pretty adorable to watch. Colin is confident that I too will be very good at unicycling, because I am “such a good athlete” (his words, not mine). I think I’ll wait to test his theory until after Pacific Crest on Saturday.