Sunday, December 30, 2007

It's Working...

"So...would it be remotely possible to team up for the 24 hours of Conyers?" my dad asks. For Christmas, I gave him the 24 Hour Solo DVD... for inspiration.

Happy Birthday Rob

my baby brother
Birthday gig at Spence
just a good picture of Andy
Me & his Wife, Renee
My little brother turned twenty-nine yesterday.
What we have in common:
Unruly hair
Unruly bicuspids (except mine were remedied with braces)
A love for all things Star Wars
Good taste in music instilled by our dad pretty much from birth
A creative & artistic spirit
A history of shared prank calls and (mostly) harmless mischief
A preponderance for taking over the DJ at pretty much any family event and even sometimes weddings
Nostalgia for the Gunks, Grandmom Erma's White Pizza, and Wednesday Nights in the Basement
My brother has drooled on me (on purpose, in front of potential middle-school boyfriends),
locked me into various bathrooms, sent friends running scared or grossed out from our home,
lit firecrackers in my first house, and slept with the space heater under his blanket in the house we grew up in together...
He broke the shower, shattered it actually...over an argument one morning before school...
He has punched more than one hole in a wall when I would not get off the phone...
He has pulled my hair, scratched my arms, and given me more charlie horses than one sister should ever have to endure...
He once spilled an entire can of chicken broth on yet another potential boyfriend for fun (who ended up marrying me anyway)
He drew a picture of me on his bedroom wall and proceeded to hammer it...
I witnessed a Patagonian Guinea Pig blatantly, purposefully pee on him at a Wildlife Sanctuary near Disney World.
He is a kick ass guitar player with a dangerously honest sense of humor and he is becoming such a cute dad...
Damn, he's TWENTY-NINE...
Love him!

Saturday, December 29, 2007

My Own Fault

So, finally reassembled my cross bike at work last night (anticipating that inevitable road ride today)...took it for a spin around the parking lot and immediately felt like something was off... way off. Back inside, upon closer inspection (actually it was glaringly obvious) i discovered the bars were bent. Wayyy bent. Completely f***ed. In my haste, I packed the bike half-assed in the parking lot of Holiday Inn know, the race to the airport following the cross race itself. Ugh. No ride for me today. Trails are surely sloppy, jeans fit just fine, and it's a good day to hang with the boys.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Still In My Pajamas

My dad is twisting my arm to join a group (road) ride tomorrow... the words alone fill me with dread. I've said it rides (road, again) confound me. Creep down the hills with trepidation...blow myself up trying to get back to the group... I haven't even looked at the weather, I don't even know what the trails are like...if that's even an option. The road miles are inevitable. I am avoiding the inevitable... My cross bike is still boxed up (shame, shame) this afternoon, I will put the Mudhoney back together, clean the Kansas City muck, borrow a set of road wheels from BP and face the unavoidable... It's good for me. Oh...but, the woods... On a completely different note, I am soooo bad at pool. Last night I convinced my cousin to join me at Rex's to see my brother play...usually I only stay for a set, but it is so rare that we get together without our kids, so I was in no rush to leave. Many old friends were there (Brendan is getting married...Jeff is getting married...the pilot is married...Annie looks amazing & healthy) and somehow I got suckered into teaming up with Joe the Funky Drummer for a few rounds of pool. Ugh...I used to have some semblance of skill (my brother taught me well & with great patience). Not anymore. It's just a game...good company, okay beer (you know, one and a half pints is truly about all I can handle these days), good music. I will need a nap today.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Clementines & Cookie Dough

More cookie dough than any two people should ever consume (certainly in one sitting)...

I had to put the bowl in the sink & pour dish soap all over it just to stop the madness.

Ummmmm...I am not even ashamed.

Suki came over my house today...we sat at the kitchen table and drank green tea. I am sure caffeine is just what the doctor ordered for my insomnia.

She looks nineteen.

My son hid from her in the closet, but wanted to know when she is coming back to see him.

She is tiny (and I watched her eat her weight in cookie dough...she asked for a plate. I knew she wasn't kidding...which is precisely why I am not surprised I want her to be my friend).

This afternoon I felt like I was at home on Christmas vacation, baking cookies & hanging out...

all that was missing was Goonies on HBO.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas!

Final preparations before bed...
One cool pop-up book Pez. On a plate. I am not even kidding...
Focus & determination
Just so damn cute...
My brother's Christmas finery
Prosecco breakfast...Cheers!

Monday, December 24, 2007


"Mommm!!!" "Go to sleep..." "MOMMMM!" "Yes?" "Did the reindeer and Santa eat the food?" "Not yet." "Okay. Good night."

Christmas Eve

(Yes indeed this tree is artificial...several years ago we had an infestation of countless jumping baby spiders in our real tree...I am not over it yet!)
Cookies for Santa (and the crew at Beans):
I think I've nailed my not-so-secret oatmeal cookie recipe after 3 batches.
Batch #1 went to Reston, Virginia (experimental ingredient was pumpkin pie spice...unremarkable results, but yummy enough to satisfy a post-race sweet tooth).
Batch #2 was baked with my best friend while my husband was at his work Christmas party...we were giddy after a few libations & the cookies were awesome (followed the recipe to a T).
Batch #3...whole wheat flour & semi-sweet chocolate chips...this may be my standby next year!
Now I just need some carrots for the reindeer.
Maybe they'll settle for apples...

Sunday, December 23, 2007


After two sleepless nights in a row, I was unsure how I would handle riding a bike. Yesterday, I sadly bailed on a ride with Nikki & Kristin...miss them terribly, but my Boy needed me. This morning I woke at seven (after finally falling asleep around, oh...3:30?), fully expecting my dad to cancel our ride...instead he was like, "Well, we could ride the road or go to French Creek." My cross bike remains in the box. Mountain bike on the road in the rain? No thanks. "Okay," I said, "French Creek." With the exception of five billion downed trees and limbs, conditions were great...a little slippery, but otherwise great. Once the fog cleared from my sleepy head, I found a nice flowy rhythm following my dad & just truly enjoyed being in the woods. Dodging eye-level sticks & hoisting my bike over huge pine trees was the perfect distraction from self-imposed (well, not entirely...let's be fair) holiday stress. Now I just want to put on cozy pajamas, eat a second soft pretzel & watch Emmett Otter's Jugband Christmas with my kid.

Goody Goody

Insomnia returns with a vengeance.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Good Day for Toast, Pedialyte & Backyardigans

I need to police my vocabulary... "Puking sucks," sounded kind of cute coming from the pathetic little troll hunched over the potty (yeah, I just called it a potty and yeah, I just called my kid a was a long night), but I don't think it will carry the same charm at playgroup or preschool. I guess we brought home a little something more than a pair of stickers from the doctor's on Thursday. Went in for an exceptionally smooth 3 year check we are couch-bound.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Sake Moms

Dinner at Kooma last night with the original "Mom's Group"...
except we no longer refer to ourselves as the Mom's Group, as we are simply friends.
I brought a package of homemade peppermint bark for each of them...Heather was a no-show, leaving me no choice but to eat her share on my way home.
About that peppermint bark:
First, obliterate a package of candy canes (I like to unwrap them, place them in a gallon size baggie & hammer the hell out of them with a mallet or a wooden rolling will destroy the kitchen table if you don't lay a dishtowel under the candy canes...actually, you'll destroy it anyway. Maybe the counter top is a better choice, but I happen to like the "We live here & enjoy bashing hard candy with a hammer" look).
In a pyrex bowl (or something microwave safe), empty a bag of white Wilton candy melts & microwave for 1 minute 30 secs.
Stir, microwave another 15-30 secs until completely melted.
Pour the melted "chocolate" onto a cookie sheet & sprinkle the crushed candy canes over it...refrigerate until set (doesn't take long).
Break up the candy (yes, more gratuitous breaking...indeed, a very stress-relieving activity),
Last year I tried to get fancy & "marbled" red candy melts & white candy melts...the results looked like a cross between busted up wax lips & the red wax from Gouda cheese. Stick with white candy melts...yummy & classy.
Want some?

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Not Handling It Well

Made a batch of oatmeal cookies. For dinner. Washed it down with a Duvel. Made my son watch the Beacon DVD with me. What's next?

Friday, December 14, 2007

Kansas City, Baby...Cyclocross Nationals 2007

All the king's horses & all the king's men couldn't put Kimmy's bike together again...
Relax...the plane won't go down with Kelly Cline on it.
Why am I always in a windowseat on the wing? Always. Welcome to Kansas City Beautiful to look at...sketchy to ride or walk under Surreal
"Excuse me, ladies, while you are walking the course, run for cover if you hear any limbs cracking." Tree limbs, right?
"What do you want to do tonight?"
"I know, I know!! Pin numbers!!" Yippee!!
62 million pins later...
The next morning...not much had changed.
It's official...we are here at Nationals
Crushed ice left me craving Bombay & Heed
I Heart My Natz-Mates!
( Kristin is singing a song so horrible it's good)
B 30-39 (we were kind enough to muddy the course up for them)
Post-race thaw (nothing beats bad champagne!)
Was it worth it?
Absolutely (and I think my travelling companions would agree wholeheartedly).
Want a race report?
Nahhh, I didn't think so...what more can I possibly say than Ice,, I can't even go there.
Slippery, crushed, hard like concrete, slicky ruts, mucky mud (though, we could have used a little more mud, a lot less ice)...The pictures don't even do it justice.
Truth be told, it was harder (and disheartening) to walk the course the day before the race...Race day brought us the pleasantly surprising realization that we would actually be riding everything.
I know Nikki was disappointed with her result (battled a chest cold & suffered more than her share of nasty up-close encounters with the ice), but rode an inspiring race, nonetheless. It was an honor to travel with (in my opinion) the True MAC Champ.
Kristin quite possibly rode her strongest race this season...she has an awesome attitude and I feel lucky to have gotten my ass kicked by her (again). We will definitely have fun duking it out next season, no doubt!
As for me, hearing Richard Fries announce with one lap to go, "Kim Dubeck of West Chester PA racing for the Beans Squad...sitting in the top fifteen..." not bad. Not bad at all.
What I brought home from KC:
A jellyfish shaped swollen bruise on my entire left outer thigh & hip thanks to wiping out on an icy (imagine that) left turn swooping around a popsicle of a tree.
A Flying Monkey tee-shirt and Kansas City cowbell for my son.
A really, really bad song (that I think I may actually like now) stuck in my head.
More safety pins than I'll ever need.
Gratitude for experiencing the most ideal dynamic between me & my travelling companions...I think I can safely say we all had a blast.
Bewilderment at the fact that we traveled halfway across the country to see the same familiar faces (and places, for that matter...having made no less than 2 trips to Target in a span of maybe 6 hours)...anything for cross, huh?
A rekindled love for the guiltiest of pleasures...Cinnabon.
Lastly...a little bit of sadness that the season, the horrifically fun & hard season, is over.
(okay, more than a little bit of sadness)
Thanks to my husband for being my Natz Sugar Daddy.
Thanks to Nikki for agreeing to this crazy adventure in the first place (I am waiting for my tee shirt, by the way)...
Thanks to Kristin for the cheap champagne & awesome soundtrack (Kristin also deserves special mention for her unwavering positive attitude when her bike failed to arrive in KC...I need to take a page from her book, as I would have been a bitchy, bratty, miserable wreck).
Thanks to Fatmarc for the pre-game pep talk.
Thanks to the fellas at the shop for walking me through Novice/Hopeless Bike Mechanic 101.
Thanks to BP for the vote of confidence & support...we all agreed he was the missing link at Nationals.
Thanks to my mom for making lunch for Tough Guy when I was struggling to keep it together amidst weather reports & flight cancellations.
Thanks to Kelly Cline for settling the pre-race jitters & for cheering on the Mid-Atlantic women.
Thanks to Catherine Powers for sharing the "I Belong Here Because I am Fast" affirmation with me.
Thanks to the man at Cinnabon for hooking us up with the freshies.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Cue Up Track #11, We Made It Home

2 delays, 1 tiny plane later and we have safely made it back from Natz. Holy Shit, what an experience... Photos and highlights to follow (after I get my head out of the clouds & crash back into the end-of-season real world tomorrow)... To those of you out there now (or en route): Best of luck, give it hell, and hope ya like ice cubes & mud...cause there's plenty of both.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Did I Mention...

My fear of flying? Even in perfect conditions.


Nikki just texted me, "We could drive." Yeah, I suppose we could. I don't know how I feel about venturing out for a seventeen hour drive...we would have to leave tonight & I am way unprepared. I slept poorly last night. I worked this morning when I should have been packing. I skipped my ride this afternoon because I didn't have the heart to remind my mom she agreed to babysit. Truth be told, I am in no mood to ride. (which, perhaps, is all the more reason why I should) Other than my bike, nothing is packed or remotely ready. No lists, no piles. Just incessantly checking the weather, the flight delays/cancellations... Anxious, anxious, anxious.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Little By Little

Garish silver it! Until my mother-in-law gives up her nesting Sherlock Holmes dolls, these will suffice.
To:Kimberly Love, Grandpop 1983

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Wonderland Cross (PA States)

Waiting in line for registration this morning, Janice turns to me & says, "You're actually thinking about doing this?!" "I'm not thinking about it...I am doing this." She gestures towards the slop, the slush, the snow... I shrug, like, what? I bite my nice, be nice. I'm sure she doesn't want to hear, "This is cross." "'ll be fine," I say. There are only 6 women. Six. We start with the C men, on their tails, in their is actually one of the most relaxing starts ever. The strategy is to needle my way through the guys, put more more more guys between me and the women. Two girls are breathing down my neck...I get passed. Passed again. No no no... The course is a slippy mucky mess...snow, a little ice, lots of greasy mud, sloppy ruts, and wet pavement. Awesome. I push myself into the lead, with Catherine ready to pounce. She passes again and holds it until we come into the first turn of the second lap...she dismounts for the rutted, muddy off-camber, while I carve a neat line between her and the tape...nice! Then it is just steady, steady, steady, stay upright... I can't see her when I make the next two turns, which means she is close behind me. Down the swoopy, long descent to the stream, I slide out down down down on my right shoulder dragging my bike along...wheeeeeee, sledding! Back up, brakes? Yes. Shift? Yes. Go go go...the gap is growing... Shifting is becoming sketchy, carrying lots of snow and mud...find a gear, stay clean...hard to clip in...everyone is kicking their heels on their pedals and chainstays, trying to free up the junk...giddyup! Last time over the final set of barriers (there were 4?!), I hear my dad & Gary shouting for me... Then I hear the announcer's voice, "Kim Dubeck of West Chester PA...the winner..." It all fades for a second as I have just won a cross thoughts are quiet, I am smiling like crazy...a muddy, wet lunatic. PA State Champ? Well, the only one that showed up, I'll take it. A hollow victory? I don't think so. There were six of us out there...conditions were tricky & I had to race smart. It's no secret that things would have turned out dramatically differently, had a few other names been thrown into the mix today...but, today it was mine. Nikki texted me on my way home, "How did it go?" To which I replied, "I won..." Because I did. We need a Christmas tree.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

The Little Sagittarius

We don't have a baby any more. We have a kid. A raucous, energetic, testing-the-boundaries-his-every-waking-moment Kid. I see more traits in him that remind me of my little brother than I care to admit...the sweet tooth, the penchant for turning everything from an empty paper towel roll to a size 11 Croc into a weapon, the obsession with Star Wars, the stubborn hardheaded will (which I am confident will serve him well someday)...If this kid ever has a sibling, God bless them. I am paying for the easy pregnancy & the quick delivery. Loving (nearly) every minute of it. Where has the past three years gone?

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Fun, But Happy to be Done

Let me sing the praises of my new Toko gloves ...can you even put a price on dry, toasty hands on a day like this? Worth every penny ($64.99 retail). Gone was that initial chill as I headed out into the need to repeat to myself over & over, "I will feel my hands again soon..." Started warm, stayed warm...comfy, dry, and grippy all the way from home to the Downingtown trails and back. First snow ride of the year was a pleasure and a welcome change of scenery.
Frozen eyelashes, sketchy brakes, falling snow, and warm hands...
Next up:
Hot Chocolate with billions of marshmallows

Sunday, December 2, 2007


This is a little demand I secretly made of myself this morning en route to Reston: Grab a wheel, any wheel...stay with the group no matter what...finish with the group Sounds simple...but, it is a struggle for me. Every race, that is my stumbling block. Why? Am I afraid of not sticking? Am I afraid of blowing up or getting spit out the back? Tangled up in a huffing, heaving mess? Yep. Pretty much. We were almost staged by bib numbers (which would have served me fine, but Jill Waggett would've been nearly last row) until the squeaky wheel in me piped up, "How about the top 5 for the series lines up first?...It's the final race, please show some respect..." (face reddening). The promoter replies, "Let me go check." Time to roll out... "These ladies will come to the line first, then the rest of you will follow." Yes! From GO, I glued (yes, glued) myself to Kristin Gavin... Three quarters into the first lap, the top 3 inevitably broke away (Elizabeth, Nikki, Jill)...I stayed in a group of five or six, then 3 of us pulled ahead. The battle was on for 4th until the final flat section in the grass...dropped Lynda, Kristin moved ahead and we sprinted to the line. Kristin took 4th and I was overjoyed to wrap up my first top five result in the MAC. So... It took an entire series to tap into that little piece of me that has been holding back. Today was definitely a breakthrough of sorts...I raced more confidently and aggressively than I thought possible (at this point) and I didn't take any unnecessary risks. Natural talent on the bike is something I honestly lack...I happen to love riding & racing. The quantity of my training is largely dictated by the fact that I am a mom first. Support has been greatly limited by the fact that my husband has been on a ridiculous stretch of overtime (which is blessedly coming to an end)...Securing one solid practice a week has been tricky, but we made it work. Anything beyond that was a bonus (a bonus I am incredibly thankful for). My goal was top ten overall...a lofty goal, perhaps (I mean, have you seen all the women out there this year?!), but it gave me a reason to dig a little deeper each race and suit up on the lousiest of days to practice. I believe I ended up 4th... I'm sure it gets better than this (and someday hopefully I will get there), but I am really, really happy about my '07 MAC experience. I watched my badass dad race an impressive season. I met some of the coolest people. Ever. All because of a bike.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Carlisle Cross

Confronted by a huge red tinsel bear at the gates, I knew it would be a fun race. Fun if you don't mind being caught in the wind between two groups...all alone, just me and the old school Christmas displays...paved, grass, paved, grass, hill, grass, hill, grass, barriers (oops...something about landing with my weight on that freaking toe is hardly pretty)... Weak start, chase chase chase, make some moves after the first climb, on my own, chase chase chase more more more...pick off a Squadra Coppi girl, sit on a guy's wheel, huff puff huff puff...last time around the pavilion, flat smooth...two girls dead more swoop around the grass to the paved flat finish...two wheel lengths ahead of me? a whole bike? I don't know because I am digging digging...mash mash...nope. Not today. Maybe tomorrow! Windy? Yes. No hiding from it anywhere... Cold? Yes...feeling returned to my fingers after two solid warmup laps. Dressing the part was all about survival today...overheating was not a concern. Full tights and a cozy wool jersey kept me toasty & comfortable... I am tempted to pack pretty much every piece of clothing I own for Reston...the forecast keeps changing. Had all the girls cheering for my dad today, but as he crossed the finish line (last in his group...just one of those days), he apologized for disappointing his "fans." Nonsense. I hope, I really sincerely hope, I inherited whatever it is that makes him want to go out there week after week after week and just kill it (in my opinion) doesn't come easy at my age (no matter how much I love it), what does 55 feel like??? Damn! Oh...did you know the Rutgers crew has their own van?? Their cross team travels in style, Pro a Rutgers Van. Sadly, I did not stick around to see the band (well, I had to get home and bake cookies for tomorrow and sit on my ass for a few hours while my kid naps)...hopefully my brother fared better than me & my dad at Carlisle (no, he wasn't racing...but, I can't imagine playing guitar outside on a day like today). He's tough (like his big sister).

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Hub-Deep In Crunchy Leaves

Cross practice was weird tonight...kind of mellow, low intensity... With back-to-back races looming, the sentiment was less is more. Following some quiet tempo through the fields, we ducked into the singletrack just for fun. Sun went down, lights came on, temps dropped, dropped, dropped. Probably one more week of official training after the MAC finals...then what? Nationals? Then... Catch up on neglected "chores" (first item on the list: take down the Halloween skeletons that are still hanging on the front porch...yes, I am officially that neighbor). Then... Back on the mountain bike, back on the hardpack...bust out the booties & the balaclava.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007


I did it... I looked at the series standings. I looked at the "confirmed riders"... I always insist that I like surprises. I do. Apparently, I also like to torture myself. In a surprising twist, the New Kings are playing at

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Holiday Weekend

Thanksgiving (morning): Awesome hike in the woods, unbelievably beautiful day
Thanksgiving (dinner): Too sick to eat. What is the matter with me?? Flu? Lyme? Wednesday's Hurt Fest Cross Practice (thanks, Dr. Pain)?
Friday: Feelin better. Date with Jeff (first since August)...what should I wear?? Hmmm...jeans, twin six tee, zip-up sweater...Fancy, fancy date (Christmas shopping, late dinner)
Saturday: Feelin better still...
Rockin party at The Bowling Palace...I still suck at bowling.
"Lite" cross workout with BP...the toe feels weird. You know when you crack your knuckles by pulling them and it feels like your finger is kinda grossly hanging there? That is what my poor toe felt like with every rotation of my pedal. And for the record...I am not a knuckle-cracker, but I do have a little brother who used to torture me like that.
Saturday night: Dinner at new favorite thing to eat? Kitsune Udon. Yum yum yum.
A dangerously hot bowl of strangely delicious broth, hideously thick udon noodles, fried tofu triangles and heaps of veggies I cannot identify.
More, please.
Sunday: Red & White...French Creek...crossed the road for a little bonus loop (cut short by an endless stream of runners participating in the annual 15K Dirty Bird)...many friendly (and fast) faces on the trails (Bike Line "nemeses" Donna, Chris, John Williams, Elizabeth on her sparkling new Trek...fellow Beaners Ickes & Henderson)...Miller's Point was the place to be today.

Thursday, November 22, 2007


hmmm...apparently someone else likes to practice here
nice sweater

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Giving Thanks

Tomorrow: Go for a walk or a hike or a ride or a run...or stay in bed and watch the parade. Make something to share with someone you love. Eat, drink, be merry... Happy Thanksgiving.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Mercer Cup...or "Cross...It Never Sucks"

Nikki & her podium that is classy & sassy
Just another autumn day in the park...stick around & you may see some skinsuit-clad lunatics battle it out and chase each other through a sandpit...maybe even clamber up a set of stairs and fly down an AstroTurf ramp...crazy shit!
"Well, one thing's for sure. I don't ever have to move up," my dad says, "55 plus is it!"
So that's a fly-over...
Fearless Leader payin his dues...
These are my cross family/friends...if you want to see the pros, check out Dennis or Michael Kirk.
I watched 4 inspiring races today: my dad's race (he finished a very respectable 5th in the company of National Champ Fred Wittwer & Richard Sachs...pretty cool lineup for him today), Lauri Webber mixing it up with the master men, Fatmarc (8th place...woohoo) and the Elite Women's Race (I was in awe).
The course: Demanding & fast.
My race: Aggressive and ten minutes too was weird racing only 30 minutes. Another lap easily could have bought me a spot or cost me a spot. Where else do you tear yourself apart & sprint for eleventh place?
Jessica Kates apologized for sucking my wheel (and subsequently kicking my ass) and I just cracked up..."Are you kidding me?! You had a great race, don't be so polite!"
New faces made for some interesting racing, that's for sure...
I realized something today while desperately trying to warm up on the windy open road...cross never sucks.
Pinning your number on your kit with freezing, numb hands sucks.
Warming up, solo, trying to get the heart rate up...trying to get the legs to fire, sucks.
Trouncing awkwardly through the sand on a warm-up lap with a stupid broken toe sucks.
Forcing down a Luna Bar or Sport Beans or Orange Gatorade at 8:30 in the morning sucks.
Shedding layers at the start grid sucks.
But, once the gun/whistle/shout commands you to go, everything magically stops sucking.
The legs fire, the body is warm, the gut is settled, the toe is fine...ahhhhh, I love that part.