Monday, March 31, 2008
The plot is pretty stupid, you have to let it go if you're going to enjoy the movie. Simon Pegg plays an unambitious loser incapable of finishing anything he starts (almost identical to his character in 'Shaun of the Dead'). He leaves his pregnant bride at the alter and several years later decides he wants her back after she's acquired a smarmy rich American boyfriend who's intent on marrying her. Smarmy boyfriend also runs marathons so Simon decides to run a marathon to prove to his former girlfriend that he's just as good and can finish something that he starts, or something. This is where the plot gets stupid, using a marathon to win back the girl. To its credit the movie does acknowledge the stupidity of this but it's not until late in the movie that the reasoning starts to seem even slightly plausible. Oh and by the way the marathon is in 3 weeks and the main character is an out of shape junk food eating smoker who can barely run a block without stopping to wheeze. For those unfamiliar, marathons are 26.2 miles long and typical training programs for beginners are 18 weeks plus several months of base building before starting the 18 week training program. Typically at 3 weeks from the marathon you are starting to taper. If there's anyone out there reading this who's an out of shape smoker with no fitness base whatsoever who has completed a marathon on 3 weeks of training I'd love to hear your story.
One other bit of ickiness was the over the top hyping of Nike which is a company that already reminds me way too much of big brother. The London Marathon wouldn't give them permission to use their race in the movie so they came up with a fake (I think, anyone know if this race is real?) marathon sponsored by Nike and the name & logo were everywhere during the marathon scenes.
But if you can put aside the absurdness of the plot and not let your head explode at the idea of running a marathon on 3 weeks training there are lots of funny bits that make the movie better than it sounds. Look at it more as a series of funny little skits and it's worth putting in your Netflix queue when it goes to DVD which probably won't be all that long from now.
I did manage to get out of the house a bit on Sunday morning to attend the pre-opening of an agility friend's new cafe. The cafe is out on the plains in a small town on the outskirts of Boulder so it's a bit of a drive but it's right on one of my cycling routes so I'm sure once I'm on my bike again I'll be stopping by there. The cafe looked fantastic, they'd done a really nice job rehabbing it. Between being on a major cycling route and being one of the only businesses in the area I'm sure they'll do well. Also, what a great excuse for us to go out to breakfast on a Sunday. O.k., we typically don't need an excuse to go out to breakfast on a Sunday but still it will be nice to have the option of another place to go plus support our friends.
Joy was back from Florida and showed up at the cafe with a brand new Sheltie puppy. Oh so cute! I love puppy fuzz. Especially when said fuzz goes home with someone else. Another agility friend had her 6 month Norwegian Elkhound puppy and the 2 looked so funny together. Such nice sweet puppies saying hi and being all friendly to each other then my carful of rabble rousers spotted them and commenced to loud barking fits. Sigh. We took them out to the reservoir again for more running and recall practice. No photos this time and such a shame since I had my purple fleece hat, leopard mittens and Michelin Man purple puffy coat, certainly a few pegs up on the Crazy Dog Lady meter from yesterday. It was too cold though and I didn't want to take my hands out of my mittens to mess with the camera.
Here's what I need:
1. Examples of dreams you have about your dog while you are sleeping
2. Tips, advice, strategies on how to pay for your agility training, travel, trials, equipment, etc. Do you cut expenses elsewhere? Do you take on extra or side work to make additional money? Etc. If you're willing to include rough totals of how much you spend and what that includes, that'd be great.
You can follow this link to her blog for more info. if you're interested.
Saturday, March 29, 2008
I finally felt confident enough with my foot to take the dogs out for a romp at the Rez. Jonny came with of course so it wasn't just me with the 3 crazies. This Crazy Dog Lady outfit isn't too bad compared to some that I've come up with. It's the dorky red puffy vest that's too big for me that's the cornerstone of this ensemble plus there's the mismatched shoes (a bright blue butt ugly Keen sandal on one foot, black surgical shoe on the other) that you can't see. Everything else isn't too bad, trust me it gets a lot worse. I got the vest on sale and despite being red and too big for me it's very toasty and incredibly light weight. Normally GoLite stuff is very expensive super lightweight technical wear but I got it for a song at their semiannual warehouse sale. This is the trouble with most of my wardrobe, bought on sale or gifts that I would never in a million years buy for myself.
The dogs had a great time running on the beach though I didn't want to walk all the way down to the water so no swimming today. Strummy's recall has vaporized so Jonny & I decided to go a distance apart from each other and recall the dogs back and forth between us. I only had kibble on me for rewards but the dogs love to run and race each other so the game itself was plenty rewarding though tomorrow we're going to do it again and I'll bring better treats.
Lola hamming it up:
The doctor has moved me from the crazy thick soled surgical shoe to a more normal height surgical shoe and I'm finally able to start walking sorta kinda like a normal person. I can't go very fast or very far and I may have overdone it a bit on Tues./Weds. when I went back to work but I think I'm starting to work out how much I can handle and it feels good to be able to move about a bit. Next week I'm allowed to move out of the surgical shoe into a stiff soled regular shoe (ie, my dorky Dansko clogs) and take a walk around the block with a dog.
The x-rays on Weds. looked good and the doctor is still confident that I'll be able to handle the trials in May so I sent in my entry for one and got a hotel reservation for the other. The first trial is May 10-11 and I only entered 3 classes on Sat. and 2 on Sun. I didn't enter pairs just in case I felt like I needed to scratch. I decided to give Speed Jumping and Jumpers a miss for both trials. Speed Jumping is the most strenuous event for the dogs and both dogs have their Jumpers titles plus it's last event of the trial so I decided I'd skip it and hit the road early. There's a DOCNA trial the next weekend but sadly I think I'll skip it. Maybe I'll decide to go for just one day but trialling 3 weeks in a row is exhausting enough (never mind the $$$) when I'm 100%, I don't think it's a great idea just now. Plus the club uses a slatless dogwalk which means Cody can't go and it's a nearly 2 hour drive. Maybe next year if they do it again.
I'm allowed to go on the bike trainer but I'm afraid it will hurt too much right now plus I hate the trainer so I'm sticking with swimming and weight lifting for at least another week. Gonna try to go to masters on Monday, I'm sick of swimming on my own and I think I'm finally up for it. I'm up to 2200 yards but I can't put in that kind of yardage every day so I'm going every other day or cutting down on yardage if I go 2 days in a row. The chlorine & other pool chemicals were driving me crazy every single day. Supposedly it takes 24 hours for them to leave your system so if you swim every day your body never gets a break. I can't wait for the Rez to open in May, no more horrible chlorine. In the meantime I suppose I better get my ass off the couch and get to the pool before I drift off to sleep.
Monday, March 24, 2008
There is one advantage to being laid up and that's all the goodies people have been sending me. My friend in Chicago sent a big tin of amazing home baked chocolate chip cookies. My mom sent some truly orgasmic chocolate, probably hand made by somebody she knows. Today a package arrived from Scotland from Jonny's mom-a variety of chocolatey wonderfulness from the local bakery. Teacakes, snowballs, chocolate wafer bars, it's a wonder I can still fit in my swimsuit. Good thing I finally got the turntable thing sorted out (took me several hours of unbelievable hassle today but I'll spare you all the gory details) so I can keep up with my sit-ups. Of course now that I've got the turntable working I can't find my Prince record. It got lost somewhere in the shuffle of disassembling the stereo components way more times than I'd like to discuss.
BTW, here's a tip for those who shop online. Maybe this is obvious to everyone but me but I'll put it out there anyway. I found out that some manufacturer's (in my case Denon) will not honor their warranties if you buy from an unauthorized dealer. Denon requires a minimum price be charged by their dealers so you can't get a deal on their stuff on the internet unless you're willing to live without a warranty. I'm sure there must be other companies out there that do this so be careful of that bargain when ordering online. The online companies that were offering heavily discounted Denon products were not up front about the lack of a warranty either. The only reason I figured this out is that I did some research into the companies before ordering because it seemed fishy that they were so much cheaper than the majority of places and I found some consumer complaints.
Tomorrow ends my life of leisure as I'm going to try to go back to work, at least for half the day. Jonny snapped a rare photo of me over the weekend. It's not that I have a hang up about my picture getting taken, it's just that I'm usually the one with the camera. Plus I'm terrible at pictures. Ask me to smile pretty for the camera and I'll give you a big fakey unphotogenic toothy grin. Oh well. Strummy's cuteness makes up for it.
Sunday, March 23, 2008
Do you know where you can buy a direct drive fully automatic turntable? Nowhere, that’s where. Well, that’s not entirely true, you can get one on ebay that’s almost 30 years old. The good news is that the highest bid is $1.56. The bad news is that shipping is $22 and did I mention that it’s almost 30 years old? You can also buy 30 year old direct drive fully automatic turntables at vintage audio websites. The good news is that they are refurbished and there is some guarantee that they will work. The bad news is there is no guarantee for how long they will work and also they cost $150 plus who knows what for shipping and this is what a brand spankin’ new belt drive fully automatic turntable costs. I hate belt drive turntables because the belt goes all wonky and the turntable turns the wrong speed so the song sounds funny and not funny ha ha. Direct drives are way better in my opinion but the trouble is this is the type of turntable the DJ’s use and even the lowest end direct drive turntable these days is geared towards DJ’s who don’t need or want the automatic features that a regular person doing sit ups in their living room wants. In other words I can’t get a direct drive turntable that will return the tonearm to it’s resting place when the record is done, instead the needle will ‘snick snick snick’ at the end of the record until I move it back myself. I’m pretty sure that’s bad for the needle which is expensive to replace. And here’s the thing, there will be plenty of times that I’ll turn the turntable on and before the side is over I’ll smell whatever I’m burning in the kitchen or Strummer will get into something or maybe I’ll decide it’s time to go in the yard and work on Strum’s weaves and by the time I figure out how to use the fire extinguisher or get my custom orthotics out of Strummer’s mouth or get through 20 sets of weaves the needle will be long worn away. Plus it’s so much nicer to push a button and the tonearm goes to just the right place at the start of the record. Who knows how many irreplaceable out of print records I will scratch trying to set the needle myself what with my old lady eyes and ever failing hand eye coordination that was not so great to start out with. Jonny is not at all down with a manual turntable either, he does not care belt or direct drive but he must have automated features. I briefly try to convince him that we could have DJ night, learn to skratch (all the cool kids spell it with a ‘k’), get 2 turntables with battle setup (see, I’m learning the lingo) and Saturday nights in our house could take on a whole new meaning. I cannot sell him on this and since he’s already agreed to 2 more dogs than he really wants and has been busting his butt taking care of said dogs while I’ve been grounded and puts up with all of my other nonsense I decide not to push the point.
So I decide that it’s worth it to see if maybe it is just the needle that’s broken on my fully automatic direct drive turntable which is 19 years old but still newer than anything on ebay or at the vintage places. I call the mega expensive, if you have to ask you can’t afford it, audiophile stereo place in Boulder to see if they will let me return the needle ($80-$90) if in fact my turntable is fried. They ask me some questions about the turntable’s problems and say why don’t you bring it in and we’ll see if we can figure out what’s wrong. As it turns out there are many things wrong. First off the turntable really is fried. They take us into a fancy listening room with speakers that the salesmen says probably cost more than my car but omigod the sound of them and hook up my vintage turntable to the zillion dollar stereo system and a horrible, sad, your turntable is fried noise comes out of the zillion dollar speakers. Crap. The other problem is that the kid at the stereo place where we bought the receiver was wrong about it being able to play music from our turntable. It turns out you need a special output in a receiver for your turntable or you need to buy an external preamp thingy or you need to make sure the new turntable you buy has a preamp. Our old turntable has no preamp because there was no need for one back in the day since receivers were designed for turntables and came with said preamp. Oh the simple days of yore. The very helpful salesmen who is younger than me but older than my turntable tells us we need a different receiver and a new turntable and gives us prices for the cheapest models he has. $600 for the receiver and $329 for the turntable (automatic belt drive). I try not to burst out laughing. I’m very grateful to him for diagnosing my turntable problems but not $929 plus tax worth of grateful. We excuse ourselves from the store before I start to cry. On the way home I wonder if we’ll be stuck buying a $600 receiver. Maybe this really is the cheapest kind you can get anymore with a phono output? Why is this all so freakin’ complicated? All so I can listen to Prince and maybe some loud noisy punk rock that sounds like it was (and probably was) recorded in a toilet?
We return the other receiver to the other store that is more for normal people with budgets and explain that contrary to what the salesmen told us it will not work with our turntable. They are oh so sorry and send out a salesmen who is maybe just a wee bit older than my turntable but he does know what we need and he has just the thing for only $250. Yay!!! He even has another one for $400, twice the wattage and you can plug in your Ipod dock. I tell him I have no Ipod let alone a dock and I’m old and constantly turning the volume down so I don’t need the extra wattage. We can use the $150 we save to buy a turntable. Are any of you still awake reading about this crap?
So now I’m thinking maybe I’ll take the turntable back to the super mega expensive place and see how much it will cost to fix my precious 19 year old turntable. Maybe it will even cost money to find out how much it will cost to fix but if it isn’t too unreasonable I may just pay it. One less piece of crap in the landfill and maybe I will get my dream turntable that is now a unicorn of turntables. Or maybe I’ll say to hey with it, my head hurts and I’ll pony up the $150 for the cheapo crappo belt drive turntable that will probably go wonky after 2 years and be done with it and I can finally play that damn Prince record. Is it obvious I’m still stuck on the couch with nothing better to worry about?
Friday, March 21, 2008
I also discovered the Family Locker Room. The regular Women's Locker Room is a nightmare. It was tiny and cramped and then they did a major renovation and made it even more tiny and cramped. Part of the reason was so that they could make room for the huge Family Locker Room. I don't have a family so I've never bothered to go in there. Until the other day. I was in the regular locker room and couldn't get near a single locker. There were mothers with kids taking up every single inch of square space, crap sprawled everywhere, no possible way to reach a locker. Even if you were lucky enough to get a locker on your way in is no guarantee that you will have access to your locker on your way out. Believe me, I tried. There are kids and their crap blocking my locker. The kids are dressed, just standing there in my way, the mother could care less. I'm gimpy remember, hopping along on my crutches and still she doesn't care. I'm on one foot reaching for my locker from across a bench, 'Excuse me, Excuse Me, EXCUSE ME'. My pleas are loud but her sense of entitlement is great and she will not budge nor will her equally overentitled brood. Finally I just move her crap myself and try to open my locker and her kid moves only enough for me to barely get into it. Remember I'm on one foot and still leaning over a bench because she & her kids won't let me in. Finally she says something but it's more irritation at me for moving her crap. 4 benches in the little locker bay and she and her 2 kids are taking up all of them. All that space and it's all for her. Noone else allowed, even if you are gimpy and need to sit down to put on your pants. That's all I want really, enough space to open my locker and sit down to put on my pants without leaning over a bench on one foot.
So finally I figured well if the parents won't share the regular locker room and they won't use the family locker room then I will. I go in there and I can't believe it. You get a whole room with a shower, bench, sink, toilet all to yourself. All that space and it's all for you. I am crying from the beauty of it. And noone else is in there. There are 3 of these huge rooms and one of them even has a seat in the shower and twice the bench space, excellent amenities if you are gimpy and on one leg. I can't believe this, it is positively decadent. Why won't the parents go in here? One woman confessed to me that she won't go in because men use the locker room like a hallway and it gives her the creeps. But the thing is you change in your room, not in the public locker part so so what if there are men there I'll tell you what's creepy, it's the parents that let their 10 year old boys in the women's locker room even though there are posted age limits of like 5-6 years or something. Those boys alternate between staring and looking away, seriously uncomfortable. So now I am showering in style in my own private room that is bigger and fancier than my bathroom at home plus gimp friendly so I suppose everyone's happy.
I've finished all of my work and there is no more for me today so I'm spoiling myself. An early morning swim-1900 yards/38 minutes then a stop at Amante, my favorite coffee shop, for breakfast and some high speed internet. And wow, it's nearly lunch time and I'm still here. This place has been packed all morning and it feels weird hanging out with all the people who don't work. But it's a nice view of the mountains and comfortable furniture plus the high speed internet and what else have I got to do? I could get used to this except for the fact that unlike these people I do not have a wealthy benefactor. Plus I don't think I'd like it, living off of someone else. At least that's what I tell myself. We'll see how I feel about that when I'm back at work full time and having one of those days. Maybe I've spent enough time supporting myself that I could get used to the idea of a life of leisure. Ah I can live and dream.
On an almost completely unrelated note I'm ready to move to Norway after watching an 'extra' on the Sicko DVD. The murderers in prison in Norway have a better life than many Americans. Plus all the free health care they can shake a stick at.
Monday, March 17, 2008
After a considerable bit of pain I'm on my to the pool with a much more flexible foot and as I pass the roads leading to the hospital I see yellow tape blocking off all the roads and big black vans and riot squads and cops cops and more cops. And I hightail it out of there because I don't want to be around if something goes 'boom'. Then I start wondering just how far away I have to be to be safe? Obviously it depends on the type of explosives but hmmm I wonder. The pool is maybe not even 1/2 a mile away and my house is maybe 2 1/4-2 1/2 miles away. I decide to live on the edge and risk having a swim. I'm happy to report that nothing went boom and the swim was fabulous, I'm up to 1400 yards/30 minutes (800 yards swimming, 600 yards pulling). It's frustrating getting out of the water after such a short workout but I'm trying to be good and increase gradually.
Sunday, March 16, 2008
Yes, I said ‘record’ and yes I said ‘Prince’. ‘Purple Rain’, what a classic and perfect music for my little living room non-weight bearing workout routine-a little yoga/stretching, some sit-ups, legs lifts, old fashioned bicycle pedaling in the air while laying on my back. It isn’t much but it helps keep me sane and maybe one day I’ll have abs of steel instead of abs of Pillsbury Doughboy. Well, maybe abs of cardboard. Anyway, the dreaded day has finally come and my 19 year old turntable has finally died. Do they still make them? That’s always been my panic, will there come a day when I can no longer enjoy my vinyl? As it happens they do still make them and I can buy one in downtown Boulder less than 10 minutes from my house for $150 which I’m sure is less than what I paid for the old turntable. But ‘Purple Rain’ will have to wait because I’m not going out tonight in the snowstorm. Or more precisely I’m not going out again in the snowstorm. In a fit of wishful thinking I was hoping it was the receiver that was toast and not my beloved turntable. It’s an ancient P.O.S. receiver that Jonny bought used from a friend to do the friend a favor. We could have afforded a nice new one but instead I have been putting up with this crappy receiver for maybe 10 years, maybe more. I know that sounds spoiled. It’s not like I wanted a super fancy thing, just something that wasn’t a complete P.O.S. To add insult to injury the friend bought a super fancy mega receiver. Anyway when music stopped coming out when the turntable was playing I was more than happy to blame the receiver. So we plugged the turntable into the other outlets and it still didn’t work. But suddenly the tape deck (yes, I said tape deck) wasn’t working either. The only thing working was the CD player and the radio. So we busted out our old receiver and the turntable and tape deck didn’t play on that either and the CD player did play but that receiver was partially broken and neither of us could remember in what way it was broken so the crappy receiver was not off the hook and I decided we should go out in the snowstorm at 4:00 on a Sunday to get a new receiver so I can get my abs of cardboard while listening to Prince next week.
I’m pretty much out of the loop when it comes to fancy pants electronics equipment. I’m probably the only person in Boulder with an old school t.v. and my stereo equipment is older than the salesmen that work at the electronics store. It seems like that stuff is designed to break so I usually go for the cheapest thing and it usually works just fine. Too many features just confuse me. Unfortunately I can’t tell if the receiver I want will work with my old fashioned equipment as the box says it’s for a home entertainment system and I’m not even sure what that is. When we finally hunt down a salesman to help us it’s clear that he’s almost certainly never seen a turntable in person in his life except maybe at a club. I ask him anyway, will this receiver thingy work with my turntable? He’s not sure and asks me if it has some specific kind of wire but he uses number & letters to describe it. Um, yeah, I explain to him I have no idea and he asks if it has a red plug and a white plug. Yes, thank you, why couldn’t he just say that in the first place? I notice that the receiver box says ‘XM ready’ and finally I’m excited about technology. But it turns out I have to buy a transmitter ($30 and they’re out of stock) and a dock for the transmitter (another $30-if I need them both for it to work why not sell them together?) plus the subscription I have for my car won’t work in the house, I need to pay for another half a subscription. Uhhh, never mind. Can I plug my computer into the receiver and run XM from there? Well, I could but I instead I could buy this other thingy that will wirelessly transmit the XM to the receiver, it’s only $200. Umm, how much is the cord to connect the computer to the receiver? $7? We’ll go with that.
$307 plus tax and lots of wrestling with wires later and good news is the tape deck finally works but bad news is still no Prince coming from the speakers. And because my components are so out of date I have to write down a key so I know what to set the receiver to (DVR=Tape Deck, etc.). But it sounds so much nicer than the old receiver and when the snow melts in a couple of days we’ll get our turntable and finally there will be Prince and maybe some not so flabby abs.
Oh and here’s a tip for installing new electronic equipment-put the border collies in another room because one of them will want to help, one of them will find a stash of long lost balls behind the sofa that was moved and toss them at you repeatedly at the most inopportune moments and the third will decide that she really needs her head scritched like right now, again at the most inopportune moment.
Thursday, March 13, 2008
PT went o.k. The therapist moved my foot and toes around a lot more and a lot longer than last time. She said my range of motion was looking good. I asked her if there was anything she could suggest for exercise for my legs and she said I could go on the bike trainer as long as I pedal with my heel on my bad foot. I was ecstatic to hear that and normally the trainer is . My legs are turning to mush and worse my bad knee feels like it's seizing up with the lack of activity. Of course it's the same leg as my bad foot. She also told me I could walk around the house without my crutches full time as long as I keep my weight on my heel and wear my surgical shoe. She was thinking I could do away with the crutches in just a few days but the doctor's timetable has me off them in 2 1/2 more weeks so she's going to ask him about that.
Words can't describe how good it felt to be back in the pool. I was nervous about my foot at first but after a few laps I was fine, not kicking with a lot of force but not holding back too much either. I swam for 500 yards then pulled with the pull buoy and paddles for another 500 yds. The 1000 yards/20 minutes went all too fast but the therapist suggested that as a starting point and I thought it made sense. It felt like nothing but I didn't want to overdue it and my arms were sore using the crutches on the way back to the car so it was good that I stopped. I have to be careful not to fatigue my arms too badly while I'm still on crutches or I won't be able to get around.
Driving short distances at low speeds (max 35 mph) is no problem but driving to work involves 50 mph speeds and a 20 minute drive so I won't be going back for a bit but they're finally sending me something to work on at home so I'll have some work for tomorrow.
Spent yesterday afternoon watching 'End of the Century' which is a Ramones documentary. I loved seeing the live footage of the concerts, esp. the early stuff at CBGB's but ugh I hate sitting through the stuff about their personal lives. Rock stars are boring. And parents, here's a tip for keeping your kid off heroin-just hang a picture of Dee Dee Ramone circa the end of his life on your kid's wall. If that isn't enough to scare the little nipper straight I don't know what is. Best part of the show aside from the concert footage was a video of Dee Dee's attempt at a solo career as a rapper. High-larious. How did I ever miss that?
Joe Strummer's most recent biography, 'The Future Is Unwritten', was better in that Joe Strummer had a far more interesting life but the film itself was kind of scattered and confusing especially at the start. It got better as the film progressed but overall it lacked cohesion. Also it didn't show the name or significance of the person being interviewed which was especially confusing since the rock and roll set is not exactly known for aging well so even if you might have known who the person was you couldn't possibly recognize them in their current state. Still it was worth it for the live footage and the opportunity to hear London Calling on the big screen and through fancy pants theater speakers. We hauled our butts out on a Wednesday night to see it in the theater and it was well worth it.
Kind of freaky that both men died so young (Joey Ramone was 49, Joe Strummer was 50) from medical causes (Joey had a brain tumor, Joe had an undiagnosed heart condition) and not from say a heroin overdose (that was Dee Dee). Very sad. Still, I suppose if you've got Bono, John Cusak, Jonny Depp, Matt Dillon, Flea, Steve Buscemi and a bunch of stoned old hippies sitting around a campfire telling the story of your life I'd say you led a pretty full life even if it was way too short and you still had a lot of great music left in you.
Wednesday, March 12, 2008
I opened the mailbox this morning and found a brand spanking new fuzzy green tennis ball at the very back of the box. This can only mean that Lola has a secret admirer since the way to Lola's heart surely involves brand spanking new fuzzy green tennis balls.
In other weirdness, a few weeks ago I received a ribbon in the mail from USDAA. It was a qualifying ribbon for the Perf. Grand Prix. I don't usually take ribbons anymore unless it's a big fancy rosette for one of the Tournament classes or a title ribbon for a special title (ie Cody's Perf. MAD) or we're at an out of state trial and I want to take a couple as souvenirs, I'm sure I wouldn't have taken the little strip ribbons for the Grand Prix Q. Did they figure it out and make me take one anyway? Or maybe the club didn't have any and they mailed them out after the fact to everybody. But why did they come from USDAA and not the club? And why did they fold it? If they think I want my ribbon so badly why would they ruin it by folding it?
In a separate envelope on the same day I received a bunch of USDAA title certificates that also had me scratching my head. First off was 'Performance Dog III' for Cody. What the heck is that for? I know there are a bunch of titles at the masters level that I have no idea about and can't keep straight but which one is this? Finally I figure out that it’s his ‘MAD’ only they don’t call it ‘MAD’ in Performance, it’s that other stupid and confusing name which doesn’t sound nearly as cool. I’m tempted to make up my own certificate suitable for framing for him but, eh, that’s too much work. I also got certificates for both dogs for P3 Jumpers titles but, um, Cody’s still a leg shy of his title. I keep impeccable records, I couldn’t possibly be wrong. So I went to the USDAA site to see about paying for the access to my records except they want 30 dollars. 30 dollars!!! I’m sorry, but that’s beyond outrageous. They want me to pay $30 just so I can make sure they’re doing their job and keeping track of my points, yeah, I don’t think so. So I pulled out my record book and oops it looks like Cody did earn all the legs, I simply wasn’t keeping mental track of it all. I should check my records before a trial to see if we have any titles on the line but, eh, I don’t care all that much now that I’m in masters. It mattered more at the lower levels where the titles meant moving up but now the titles don’t mean all that much I guess since there’s nowhere else to move up to. Just another piece of paper for me to have to keep track of.
Tuesday, March 11, 2008
The vertical cyan line is where they cut off the bunion. The diagonal magenta cut was so that they could shift that whole part of my foot over to the right so everything lines up the way it should and the sesmoids will sit where they're supposed to rather than grinding away at some poor innocent part of my foot. Then they grind all the mismatched bones so they're nice and smooth. The horizontal yellow cut is where they cut off my big toe so they could move it over so it lined up properly. I'm not sure why they needed to do that but whatever. They reattached everything with 3 pins, one of which may be working it's way loose at the moment but let's hope that's a false alarm. I'm not going to post an 'after' photo just yet. The incisions are still a bit gruesome and I'm squeamish and don't want to look at them unless absolutely necessary.
I went to my first physical therapy session yesterday and it was fairly painful. The therapist moved the joint under my big toe back and forth, back and forth and it wasn't pleasant but it felt so much better when she was done and I have a much better range of motion. She showed me how to do it myself and instructed me to do it 3 times a day for 3 minutes or so. The only problem is that I can't quite bring myself to inflict that level of pain on myself and I'm worried about doing it wrong and putting too much pressure somewhere I'm not supposed to and working the screws loose so I'm not sure how much good I'm doing. I've been trying to make up for it by wiggling my toes as much as possible. Swimming is supposed to help a lot but the incision isn't closed up enough yet for me to go to the pool. I was hoping to go today but no dice. Maybe by tomorrow it will be o.k. but I have to be sure it's absolutely closed because I don't want pool water leaking in or the incision busting open in the pool-infection city. I go back for more therapy torture on Thursday. The good news is that I can handle the 8 minute drive to Boulder Center for Sports Medicine for my therapy and the pool is a few minutes closer so Jonny doesn't need to skip work to chauffeur me around.
One thing the therapist noticed is that the surgical shoe I have to wear has a way higher heel than the shoe I was wearing on my other foot so my walking was really unbalanced. I'm only walking a wee bit right now, just going a few steps between rooms when I need to carry something, but over the next few weeks I'll be walking more so it's important my gait isn't too screwy or I'll mess up my knees, back and who knows what else. So she suggested some higher heeled clog type shoes. She was wearing a pair about my size and she let me try them and wow what a difference it made. It's hard enough to walk in the surgical shoe, being so off balance doesn't help. Here's a picture of the goofy surgical shoe:
I started my search for big ugly clogs at the Boulder Running Company because it's a short drive from my house and I have a 10% (or is it 15?) discount with my master's swimming membership and the therapist warned me that these shoes are not cheap. They had big ugly clogs but not the same brand as the therapist had (Dansko) but supposedly made by the same maker. The good news was they had some cool ass ugly shoes-zebra striped clogs or leopard spots to match my pimped out crutches. The bad news is that I need shoes I can also wear to work and I'm already pushing the boundary of acceptable office wear, even for Boulder, so I have to pass up the leopard spots for the sensible black. But these clogs all seem narrower than the one's the therapist had and while they fit my good foot I'm afraid they won't fit my bad foot once it's healed. Did I mention how much I hate shoe shopping on a good day? So it was off to the Pedestrian Shop, land of comfy uglyshoes, just around the corner where they had the Dansko's. No cool colors but they did have black and they did feel a bit wider. Of course I can't decide between 2 pairs-one is a proper clog with nothing at the back that is wide but a bit awkward to walk in, the other has a back to it, looks more like a regular shoe and feels more secure walking but also feels narrower. After much debate I decided on the clog without the heel reasoning that wider was better if I wanted the best chance of them fitting my other foot. They are dork city but hey now I can walk a whole lot better:
Then I discovered the fancy little strap at the front is not just a fashion thingy, it is also useful to gimpy people:
This is probably a major clog fashion faux paux and I will look like even more of a geek in my big cloggy dork shoes but right now I'm more worried about breaking my neck and let's be honest here my shoes are the least of my fashion worries.
Saturday, March 08, 2008
The lattes at Amante in North Boulder are a work of art:
This area of North Boulder used to be considered the shady, wild, disreputable part of town. The homeless shelter and Boulder's only strip club (well, one just opened downtown but now that the city officials have found out they've either shut it down or are in the process of finding a way) are just a few blocks down the street. But the area is being yuppified which means ugly boxy brightly colored condos but also means I get a coffee shop to hang out in with a nice view of the foothills:
Yeah, I know the sign says 'Boulder Ho'. I'm so childish. Though if you did want a Boulder ho I imagine this
neighborhood would be a reasonable place to start looking.
This coffee shop is a popular meeting place for cyclists (as is the strip club) because it’s on the edge of town. Go one way down the road and in a mile or so you’re out on the plains with endless miles of road riding and no traffic lights. Go the other way and you’re at Lee Hill/Olde Stage road which will take you up a steep 17% grade vomit inducing climb that eventually leads to Left Hand Canyon which you can climb for hours until you reach the mountain town of Ward and Peak to Peak Highway which goes all the way to Rocky Mountain National Park/Estes Park if you’re game. As an aside, if you’re looking for a house just a wee bit up in the foothills but still within easy reach of town Olde Stage road is particularly tempting. However make sure you don’t buy on the east side of the road on the south side of the summit or likewise on the west side of the road north of the summit because you are guaranteed to have cyclists puking in your driveway from the steepness of the hill. You know it’s spring when you see the first cyclist of the season puking on Olde Stage Road. This is also the most challenging section of the bike course of the Boulder Peak Triathlon and yes I’ve seen racers stopping to puke as well.
After lunch we took Strummer out to the Boulder Rez so he could run around a bit. Jonny played with him while I hung out on the tailgate enjoying the sun and watching him run. Man can that dog move. My masters swimming group has workouts here twice a week in the early mornings during the summer. Those workouts were one of the highlights of last summer, what a relaxing way to start the day.
Next we went for a little drive on the dirt backroads of eastern Boulder County. These are the roads I often ride when it’s too cold or snowy to go on trails. First we went to check out the buffalo field. Today I finally had a lesson in the limitations of my camera lens. It sure would have been nice to have a telephoto lens for these shots.
This is not a wild herd and in fact here’s the farmer’s warning to anybody who might decide to enter his field.
We continued on our way through more backroads looking for bald eagle nests in a place they frequent but today there were none. Here’s some nice scenery anyway:
And a picture of Long’s Peak, the one 14er (peak over 14,000 feet) in the area:
Finally we reached our final destination, the cowboy:
And if you’re into roadside architecture you might want to check out the ‘Agility Nut’ link in my sidebar. Once at the website click on ‘roadside architecture’ to check out her library of roadside oddities, all carefully cataloged. And/or you can click on ‘blog’ where she posts photos and a travel diary. She’s on the road right now heading from the east coast to California via Tennessee, Arkansas and Texas so far. Also, if you’re interested in the origins of the cowboy statue and his brethren check out this site: muffler men . I want one of the Uniroyal Girls so SO badly for my front yard but at $15-20,000 for a muffler man and the Uniroyal Girls being even rarer and probably pricier if you can even find someone willing to sell, well, dream on.
Thus ended our journey and we took the paved roads home. Still very scenic but we didn’t stop to snap any more photos.
Thursday, March 06, 2008
It seems that neither Jonny nor I can get a mobility limiting injury without the other following suit. Last night Jonny had a freak accident that I won’t go into right now and his left arm is injured to the point where he can’t use it at all for the next couple of days. Luckily we had friends over at the time and they were able to drive him to the ER. Luckily we live just a few miles from Boulder Community Hospital. Unluckily Boulder Community Hospital is a horrible place to go if you need medical attention. They nearly sent me home with an undiagnosed fractured pelvis and I don’t know a single person who’s ever been there who doesn’t have some kind of horror story or bad experience. Anyway Jonny is home with me fighting for the couch and the computer for the next 2 days. Ice is a hotly contested `commodity in our house. We have to do things tag team, ie I do things that require 2 hands and he does things that require carrying. Of course today was my post op. doctor’s appointment and Jonny had agreed to drive me. A friend offered to come get me and take me but she lives so far away. Jonny was o.k. driving in the end albeit with one hand. I almost had to help him with the steering wheel on some of the turns though. Thankfully we didn’t have to go far.
I have to ask this though, why are boys such drama queens when they get sick or injured? Seriously, he’s done more moaning in one day than I’ve done in nearly 2 weeks of being couch bound. It’s always the same too, I hear swearing then ‘ow ow ooowwwww’ coming from the other room. I ask ‘Are you o.k.? Do you need help?’ The reply is always, ‘No no, I’m o.k.’ in a martyred tone of voice. I’m seriously thinking of slipping him some leftover Vicodin.
Meanwhile Cody is in serious need of some Valium. He’s turning into a nervous wreck with me at home all the time and something obviously wrong with me. He follows me into every room, lies tight up next to me on the couch, won’t let me out of his sight, throws a fit whenever anybody comes to the door or walks past the window. He refuses to go with the mid-day dog walker. I have to fool him by pretending I’m going along then closing the door behind him at the last minute.
The good news for the day though is that the post op appointment went really well. The doc took my stitches out and the x-rays look good, everything lined up just right. I’ve got 3 pins in my foot and it looks pretty impressive on the x-rays. I guess it’s no more MRI’s for me. Not that I want any more but it is a handy diagnostic tool if you need it. I can start very slowly weaning myself off the crutches over a period of 3 weeks. I’m also excited that I’ll most likely be able to do the 2 USDAA trials in May. There’s a DOCNA trial in May too that I’d like to do but I think that might be pushing it. I don’t want to get my hopes up too high though until I start seeing the physical therapist. They always seem to have a much better idea about recovery and rehab than the doctors do but at least there’s some hope that I won’t be on the couch forever. I called work today to see if there were any projects I could get started on and my boss said he’d see what he could put together for me, probably nothing until Monday but at least that will be something to keep me from developing the voices in my head. I’m going to work from home for a week or two or maybe more depending on how things go. Best thing though is that I get to take a shower on Saturday. I’ve been able to wash my hair and a good part of my body from the waist up with the nozzle/hose thingy I use to wash the dogs but it’s just not the same as a real shower. Overall it sounds like my rehab might not be as bad as the doctor initially led me to believe. He likes to give people the worst case scenario to start with but my case seems to be going well so far so he’s not putting as many restrictions on me as he said there would be. It’s still 6 months to total recovery but at least I can start doing some of the fun stuff sooner than I thought.
Tuesday, March 04, 2008
Happy Army Day! March 4th, Army Day, yeah I know, lame joke. It was from my 6th grade English teacher and why I’ve retained it all these years is anyone’s guess. The one good thing about it is that I get Jonny with it every year. 17 years we’ve been married and I’ll bet you anything that when I wish him Happy Army Day tonight he’ll look at me like I’ve been back into the Vicodin. I get him every April Fool’s Day too. One of the advantages of having a Scottish husband, he never remembers the holiday.
Speaking of 6th grade, I found an old diary from 1983 in my nightstand drawer. I think it was there because that was the year I ran my first marathon and at some point I must have been looking up something about it and never put the diary back with all the rest from high school/college. This discovery prompted me to dig out my 1982 diary which presumably would have the thought process behind why I decided to enter my first marathon. It’s not a particularly obvious decision to make for a college freshman and though I have my memory about the decision I thought it would be interesting to go back and see if my memory matched reality.
The only trouble with this is that oh my gawd, after reading about 6-7 pages I’m ready to stick hot pokers into my eyes. On September 28, 1982 I bought a pair of yellow flip flops for $4.39 from Discount Den. On September 29 I got 21/28, good enough for an A-, on my Chemistry exam. Go me. Sept. 30 gets a little juicy, I had Nancy Adams (name changed to protect the guilty) for a lab partner in Chemistry. ‘She was pretty good and I was civil to her’. Oooh, rawrrr, cat fight, who was this Nancy and why did I have it in for her? I have absolutely no idea. We were synthesizing nylon and ‘the stuff we worked with was dangerous and the fumes were noxious so I didn’t enjoy it very much’. Huh, you think? Oh those wild and wacky college years. October 2 was the weekend so I kicked loose a bit. In the morning I ran a 10k in ’53:31 or 54:41’ (why the ambiguity? I can’t even guess. Sad thing is this is probably my PR for the 10k), got a medal for 3rd place in my age group and went to watch a horse show. It goes on and on and on like this. How could 18 year old me possibly think that 43 year old me would find this the least bit interesting? It appears I was an even bigger geek than I remember.
Wait though, the following weekend I, gasp, overslept and missed the ‘Illini Pride Stride’ which I’m guessing was another race. What crazy wild antics was I up to the night before that caused me to oversleep? A hayride with my boyfriend’s fraternity that involved an overnight stay at a farm. The truly horrifying part is that apparently I enjoyed the stupid thing according to all the gushing in my diary. Now my present memory of that night is not so generous. As I remember it I got mint juleps and hay tangled in my hair and was contemplating violence against just about every single frat boy on the trip. I was dismayed when my boyfriend joined the frat (he only did so because his mother paid him to) but did my best to go along with it.
It almost seems like I wrote this diary with the fear that somehow someday it would fall into the hands of the people I was writing about and I didn’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings. Or maybe I thought that when I was dead after being rich & famous people would be reading my diaries so they could write my biography and I didn’t want them to think I was a mean person. There is no dirt, gossip, back stabbing or use of the word ‘bitch’ even once. As evidence I present my October 13 entry. ‘Bob’ took me to see Rush and I had nothing but nice things to say about the experience. Now I know we tend to distort our memories but I’m sorry folks there is no possible way that that evening as ‘an interesting experience’. We were in the third row, my ears were bleeding from the volume level and oh yeah I hate Rush with the burning heat of a million billion suns. Unfortunately I didn’t realize this until I was in the third row of a Rush concert surrounded by a million zillion screaming, stoned out their minds Rush fans.
But waaait a minute, what am I doing out with ‘Bob’ at a Rush concert just 4 days after the hayride with my boyfriend? Hmmm, maybe I’m not such a goody goody after all. I do remember breaking up with my boyfriend sometime during those months but maybe we had only agreed to see other people as well as still see each other. Here’s the thing though, I do remember Bob driving me home to Chicago one weekend and my boyfriend also going home that weekend and the 2 of them being about 3 seconds away from a fist fight in my grandmother’s driveway over who was going to drive me back to school but there is not a single mention of it in the diary, just some chipper drivel about a whole big pile of nothing that had gone on earlier in the day. All I can think is that I was too horrified and embarrassed by the whole incident that I didn’t want to write about it. So I’m not trusting this diary. Who did the 18 year old me think she was fooling? Why did I leave all the interesting stuff out and prattle on about only the mundane?
And in 20 years what am I going to think about my current blog? Will I look back at some of those posts about my agility trials and wonder what I was smoking that I thought this stuff was the least bit interesting? And where is all the scandal and gossip? I suppose that’s a little unfair since anyone has access to this. I do come home from trials with plenty of gossip but I’m not going to share it here for obvious reasons. And listening to people rant all the time about every little thing that pisses them off gets old pretty quick. But sheesh am I still sugar coating everything? Apologizing for whining about being laid up with foot surgery? What the hell is my problem?
Oh and things did get more interesting in college. There were funny haircuts/colors and clothes, road trips to St. Louis during finals to see the Ramones, punk rock concerts in my living room that got shut down by the cops and oh so much more. But I’ll bet if I pulled out my diaries from that time period they would put you right to sleep. Heck, I think I'm gonna pitch them all. When I grow up to be rich & famous I don't want the people writing my biography to find them and think I was a pukey little Pollyanna.
Sunday, March 02, 2008
Strummer needs some pants in that last shot. The size & prominence of that dog's genitalia is ridiculous. If there was such a thing as doggie porn stars I could retire on his earnings.