Saturday, March 31, 2007


  • Cigarette Smoke
  • the whole casino scene (kind of disturbing, kind of gross, kind of an odd & interesting picture of a lifestyle waaaay unfamiliar to me)
  • Cigar Smoke
  • Gambling
  • Hangovers


  • Luxe accomodations
  • Prosecco
  • Green Tea Mud Wrap spa treatment
  • Huge, grand, ridiculous soaking tub
  • Crisp billion thread-count sheets
  • Impulsive haircut (the best kind)
  • Sleeping late
  • People-watching
  • King-size bed
  • fluffy Robe
  • Relaxed, unhurried, excellent dinner/date at swank wine bar
  • Getting dressed up!!
  • Did I mention the huge, grand, ridiculous tub??

Our first night away together since Before Kid...for no special reason, other than we were long overdue.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Stronger, Yet Clumsy

D-Town, me and Deborah...trails were perfect, weather was perfect, my skills were... less than perfect! That's okay, they're comin back. Felt like one of my earlier rides there, back when I was learning this whole crazy mountain bike game. Conclusions: I want my old fork back (no problem), I really love our local trails, and it's time to devote my miles to the dirt (conditions permitting, of course).

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Play Outside

Tomorrow we ride! I don't know what to expect...other than my SS romp in the woods, I haven't been on trails since Valentines Weekend (FC). Sold three more tickets for the benefit & clever Heather donated a handmade princess ensemble for a raffle item...yeah, I don't think Wild Thing needs a tutu or fairy wings.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Pack up the Sweaters

Read: Doctor Dan The Bandage Man (classic golden book), Moo Moo Brown Cow, Big Little, and Jamberry Ate: Puffins Cinnamon cereal, Chocolate Underground Yogurt, Power Bagel w/ Scrambled Egg, Veggie Burger & Rita's Water Ice (coconut cream...they knew I was coming!) Heard: Red Hot Chili Pepper's By the Way (to and from work) Purchased: Epsom salts (for soaking) Sold: One ticket to the Stephen Del Grande Memorial Benefit (still loads of work to do, plenty of tickets to sell, but I believe it is going to be a success)

Monday, March 26, 2007

In the Woods In the Woods In the Woods!!

Dirt! Logs! Roots! Rocks! Yay!!!! My intention was to ride a few laps & run a few laps up in the woods (basically a short short-track in our backyard) purely to blow off some steam, maybe raise the heart rate a little...Once I hit the trail, I couldn't stop.
Felt amazing to be on hardpack (conditions up there were supreme, maybe just a little greasy on the little downhill)...the loop wasn't even boring and I was just eating it up, lap after lap after lap.
Finally, I parked the Kona at the Monolith (BP's old climbing wall...still standing, still ripe for climbing except for a few loose holds), hopped into my running shoes and off I went. Again, lap after lap after lap...Smiling, smiling, grimacing up the little power climb by the owl tree, smiling, smiling...Grabbed the Kona, headed down the hill. Satisfied!
Dinner tonight: Falafel, wheat pitas, fresh tabbouli & hummus...and maybe a weeknight Belgie just because.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Better Day

Slept in, ate pancakes for breakfast, and headed to Valley Garden...great idea, Jeff! We used to take Hazel there (rest in peace, best buddy)'s always been one of my favorite Delaware stops. Tough Guy was all over the place; climbing rocks, chasing frogs, running in the woods...such a beautiful day. I'm over yesterday's race...
trails are drying out and I'll be back where I belong in no time!

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Strasburg Road Race

I expected better of fact, I'm slightly embarrassed. What I learned at my first road race: -When the pack jumps, be ready -When the pack makes a move, pay attention -Don't let go of the wheel in front of you (I knew this already, but now I really know it) -When you get dropped, it is nearly impossible to claw your way back (OK, it was impossible for me to claw my way back) shame. No shame in trying and finishing...clearly I was out of my element. Clearly, I didn't expect to dazzle myself...truly, I did not expect to be last. Is this a reflection of my fitness? Probably not. Was I under-geared with my cross bike? Maybe, but I should have been able to hang on. On the bright side: -Deborah placed 6th (!) and it was her first road race -I tried something new -I rode 22 fast, hard miles -It didn't rain -the course was enjoyable -No crash, no mechanical -Made it home in time to read "Curious George Rides" to my son before his nap

Friday, March 23, 2007

Rain, Rain Go Away...Seriously

Resting my legs today for the race (heh) tomorrow. Actually, the race starts now: -Locate Beans Jersey for Deborah (snails unite at the back of the pack!) -Sort enormous mountain of laundry (you want me to put it away, too?) -Get supplies for pre-race (heh heh) dinner/half-ass grocery shopping (when isn't it half-assed these days??) -Organize Toy Room (wait, that's the dining room, right?)...I love little Mr.Independent putting all his stuff away, but once a week Mommy gets a little crazed about the choo-choos mixed up with Geo Trax mixed up with the animals mixed up with the blocks mixed up with the... -Assemble race (hee hee) bag -Make a cd for the drive -Get ready for date night (not gonna happen) -Get to sleep at a decent hour (ummm...midnight?) Last night I slept poorly...Went to bed shortly after midnight, woke at 5, went back to sleep for a bit (the usual, weird noises, creaky duct work). Will forgo caffeine for the remainder of the day after I enjoy this cup of Yerba Mate. Aside from the heh heh's and hee-hee's, I am indeed serious about tomorrow...if I say I'm taking it lightly, I'm full of shit. The notion of actually "racing"? Honestly, I just want to learn something from the girls who know what they're doing out there, I want to stay upright, and I want to finish. And so it begins...

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Just Me & My Dad

All about the ride today...BP said, "If you're going to be grumpy like this on our ride, I'm gonna drop you." I assured him the grumpiness would end as soon as we hit the street and it did.
Beautiful weather, nice loop, perfect own little demons were less...demonic (?) today. 322 wasn't as hairy, Allerton was a pleasure, and staying tight on BP's wheel wasn't nearly as aggravating. Big Mac didn't feel so big...we were at the top before I even thought about wanting to get out of the saddle. Just rollin along...
*photo by Dennis Smith
*lower photo by Me

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Dry Spell

Today we enjoyed an outing to the Please Touch Museum...the Wild Thing had an absolute blast. Not once did I utter, "No, no..." or "that's not for climbing" or "hands off..." My favorite "exhibit" was the life-size Maurice Sendak storybook (scenes from "Where the Wild Things Are" & "In The Night Kitchen"). My Wild Thing wasn't really into his namesake's boat, but he couldn't get enough of the water-play area or the Super Market (he was all over the espresso machine...yes!). Lunch was a picnic of sorts by the lovely Schuykill River w/ a sweeping view of Philly's skyline (& daddy's work...above left). I had every intention of getting out for a ride this afternoon, but found myself in a bit of a nap coma while my son slept...oops. The thought of pavement, pavement, road, road is just sucking my motivation. Craving dirt, missing the woods. The wrong bike is collecting dust.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007


What do you mean today is not the first day of Spring??? Oops. Little Lamb is in fact on his of luck to Rob & Kristin. The Wild Thing was in full color's amazing what a tiny Nestle chocolate egg can do. Last Easter, we thought it would be funny to see how the little guy reacted to a Cadbury Egg. I'll tell you how he reacted...hives, welts, itchy throat. We have since discovered he is highly sensitive & likely allergic to peanuts/peanut products. Now we are armed with Epi-Pens & Benadryl...yep, I have that kid. I am stepping waaaay out of my comfort zone this weekend. I'm not sure I even want to divulge any details... F*** it, I registered for the Strasburg Road Race. Somehow, my dad convinced me it would be "good training, if nothing else." Did I mention I sold my road bike last year?? I fully expect to get spanked. I will be the fool getting dropped immediately, on my cross bike with a borrowed road cassette & borrowed wheels (badass wheels, but still...). Nervous doesn't begin to describe how I feel about it.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Spring...Mere Hours Away!

rest day, unintentionally. was going to venture out on the road just for a little spin, but husband is working late ("crane pick"...sounds fun). Woke up sore from yesterday's effort...the Dreadmill really humbled me. Have I really been running lately? What have I been doing when I suit up and "go for a run"? I think I am just joggin wonder I always have a smile on my face.
Pancakes for breakfast this morning...usually I make the small batch and limit my intake to a couple "silver dollars" (at home, of course...Nudy's Cafe is another story a word, Gingerbread Pancakes), Wild Thing gets the rest of the pile. Not today.
Wild Thing requested oatmeal (and I'm sad that he says it so clearly now, as just a few weeks ago it was more like, "Oapblumm"). So I made the small batch, a short stack if you will, and enjoyed them all (except one, which my son snatched and proclaimed "pancake taco" as he filled it with syrup & folded it in half).
Skiied after lunch (on our feet, down my parents un-shoveled driveway...BP rebuilt the newly powdercoated Bontrager in favor of shovelling Saturday). Someday I will probably have to endure "real skiing" again if Wild Thing shows any interest (my "skills" on the slope are anything but). Wait, that's what Peirce Middle School Ski Club is for!
Tomorrow is the first day of Spring, fittingly the day little Lamb is due to enter the world...don't keep us waiting, little guy! Your mama needs to get back on her bike!

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Erma's Back & She's Driving a Buick

This morning I was invited down to Delaware to partake in some intense indoor training w/ the Brits at their very posh, very well-appointed health/Squash club...How come it only feels like work when it's indoors?? Still, sweating buckets and feeding off the energy of those around me was more fun than going it alone. We did intervals of 12 minutes on the bike followed by 12 minutes on the treads (, run, run). Deborah tried to encourage me to do a 7 minute mile, but I had to slow it down a bit by set 2. After 72 minutes, we cooled down and headed home. Stopped for a Green Tea Latte (skim milk, what a tastes exactly the same)...the best treat I've had all weekend. I saw my Grandmom stopped at a red light in the lane next to me...she had on Gucci shades and a black fur coat, sassy leather driving gloves (oh yeah, Grandmom passed away almost 5 years ago and she never had a driver's license). I wish she could see me in action, chasing my son around or chasing someone up a mean climb...I wish she could've seen my pathetic attempt at Pizzelles this Christmas. How did she get hers to look so perfect (oh, that's right...practice)?? Well, it was nice to see her enjoying a Sunday drive (and looking pretty fine to boot).

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Shamrock Shake

family day...slept in, shoveled, napped, shoveled, watched "Ant Bully" (movie night)... tomorrow brings hardcore training session with the Brits...hoping to get pummeled!!

Friday, March 16, 2007

Today's Secret Word Is..."Delirium!"

See, shovelling snow is fun!
Shovel Playlist:
Girl- Beck
3 More Days- ray LaMontagne
Tell Me Baby- Chili Peppers
Stray Cat Strut- Stray Cats
Portions for Foxes- Rilo Kiley
North American Scum- LCD Soundsystem
Cherchez LaGhost- Ghostface Killah
Bad Bad Whiskey- Charles Brown
Always Love- Nada Surf
Coldsweat- Sugarcubes
Desecration Smile- Chili Peppers

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Crappy Weather is Awesome

Snow. Sleet. Rain.
It's the "Big Story" tonight...Okaaaay, so the trails can wait. And wait.
that's what playdoh, fingerpaints, banana muffins, cross bikes and back roads are for...nothing can stop my fun!!
Speaking of Fun...these were the Fun parts of my day:
-Making break & bake sugar cookies (dipped them in cinnamon sugar prior to baking for a faux-Snickerdoodle effect)...ah ha Lazydoodles!
-Walking down the street in the rain with my kid & his two buddies
-Eating all the M&Ms at Kate's house
-catching up with my husband, who has been working like a dog (because dogs build elevators?)
Followed by the parts of my day that were not fun:
ummm...that's good, I can't come up with anything.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Just for Fun

This should not be missed... necessary & eye-opening.
Enjoyed a solo ride on the road this afternoon...usually I am reluctant to ride alone (just a by-product of my many anxieties). Couldn't pass this up and it's the best thing I've done for myself in a while. Doubled up Ravine Road just to have a taste...strangely, the hill seems waaay longer on the descent. Toured the old neighborhood on my way back home...didn't feel overly sentimental about our first house (bathrooms were downright scary, neighbors even scarier).
I love the extra sunlight.
Love it.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007


Little brother/Uncle Rocka has been hosting a Tuesday night jam at Spence...I would like to check it out one of these days. Back in the day, my brother tolerated my short-lived drummer aspirations. Back in the day (like waaay back) he even let me sit in on "Rapper's Delight" at the D-Town Farmer's Market...back in the day my hair was long enough to be in a ponytail.
I've had this short haircut for nearly eleven years...I've unsuccessfully tried growing it out 3 times. The first two times I chopped it upon race season...the last time was Natalie Portman's fault. Believe me, I know I'm in a completely different universe than Natalie Portman, but when she appeared on the cover of Vogue w/ my haircut (post-V for Vendetta), I had to reclaim what was mine. Chop chop...well, she is growing hers out much more gracefully than I. Duh.
My head is pounding, belly roiling (yes, roiling)...thanks, kid.

Monday, March 12, 2007


Long, long day...I'm taking a fifteen minute break from Puke Duty. Son is finally grabbing some much-needed shuteye following a hellish afternoon of puke-sip-repeat. Doc said, "No food, expect this to last nine to twelve hours...he can sip room temp water or Pedialyte."
He doesn't like Pedialyte...I tasted it and he's right, "It just gross..." So we watched "A Bug's Life" and read all the faves tonight, with a big empty bowl at the ready. He is sacked out and I am all set to camp on the floor (out of range of course).
A ride was out of the question, so I stole 40 minutes for a very brisk run when Jeff got home...a matter of convenience. Dinner (lentils and rice) was eaten on the sly, as we had to deny the poor kid any food ("Mama, need cereal." "No, sorry." "Applesauce?" "Nope.")...
Day started out beautifully...we played outside all morning and the Wild Thing has mastered his "Cheetah Bike."
Uh oh...back to PD.

Sunday, March 11, 2007


awesome loop today...started at Victory, rode out to (and through) Hibernia, came back down to 282 via Springton Manor/Springton Road. Dropped off a bit on dad slowed up, but I insisted I was fine and really enjoying that stretch of road. Perfect rollers, just what I needed to just pedal, pedal, pedal...I caught up when we reached D-Town, then we were headed home. The road is growing on me and I'm sure these miles will only fuel the fire even more. Beautiful bulky gloves, no shoe covers, no balaclava. Even smelled like spring (and I don't mean the gross wormy smell)...I mean the sweet farmy-hay smell. Ahhhh... Now husband, dad, & bro are at the movies ("the 300"), son is napping, mom is down the street making lasagna and angel food cake...Me? I'll be visiting Naptown.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Uncle Rocka

My brother is joining us for dinner tonight...we will be having pasta with fresh herbs, sundried tomatoes and roasted chicken. He will be having plain pasta with butter and garlic...and maybe a chicken leg.
Should be attacking the laundry or the neglected bathroom...instead drink tea, contemplate.
Arrived home from grocery shopping (one chore down) to muddy son playing in front yard w/ two "big kids" (what are they? 3 and 5?)...these are two of the three boys who recently lost their daddy to cancer. So there they are, making mud soup in the front yard, commiserating about a movie they all saw ("Barnyard"...pass), throwing ice chunks in the storm drain...boy stuff. Tough guy was soaked up to his knees, huge smile on his face. Nap time came and went, snacks were passed out, mud was flung everywhere. Very matter-of-factly, Michael informed me that his dad is dead. Kids are so hardy, so's amazing. Having a child truly informs your own mortality. For a long time, disaster and tragedy lurked around every corner...crisis and harm loomed over me or my child. It's a crappy way to live and a waste of energy. I've slowly learned to enjoy more and fear less. Still learning, actually.
It's Saturday...tomorrow is ride day (fi-na-lly) and good things happened this week:
Kate and I made up (I suck at friendship...especially girls...I hate talking on the phone, I waffle on plans, I just suck...I am brutally honest and sometimes I put the superiority hat on...who do I think I am?!)
I found Louis
I finally purchased running shoes that actually fit properly
My brother & his wife had their first ultrasound and saw the little peanut's heartbeat
My son's devil horns shrank a little bit

Friday, March 9, 2007

Left My Wallet in El Segundo

I haven't seen my wallet since Monday. Following my appointment (complete waste of time, utterly frustrating on every level), stopped at Starbuck's for Green Tea Latte fix...did I leave my wallet there? Did it fall out of my ride? Is my Banana card maxed out yet? Ugh. Ran while husband and child napped...time well spent. The Playlist: Headhunter Vol.I- Front 242 Going to Pasalacqua- Greenday Dakota- Stereophonics Brother Lee- Citizen Cope Be Yourself- Audioslave Wolf Like Me- TV on the Radio The Honey Dripper- Charles Brown Peter Piper- Run DMC I Against I- Bad Brains that's as far as I ran... Louis, I'm not giving up on you. I know you're out there somewhere.

Thursday, March 8, 2007

I Can Show You How to Get to Sesame Street

It only took me thirty-one years to get here! A great time was had by was exciting to watch the look on Tough Guy's face. Have to admit, I got goosebumps when Ernie busted out, "I'd Like To Visit the Moon." I think my son has a thing for Prairie Dawn. Complimented my husband last night on the fact that although he has to wake up in the middle of the night to work in the freezing cold, he never once complains. He explained that he's tired whether the alarm goes off at 3:30am or is work. Wish I could adopt that attitude more often. Some fun rides planned for the weekend (cross bikes on's become pretty clear my new fork won't be broken in before the first race). Now it's time to catch up on "Lost"...the show I love to hate.

Wednesday, March 7, 2007


wow...the winter funk is looming larger than ever. that's OK, because next week is daylight savings and spring is imminent.
walking down our street this evening in the darkness at 7pm was a matter of weeks, there will be plenty of action and the neighborhood will come back to life.
Half of this morning was spent bundling up, half of this morning was spent playing in the snow. I considered scoping out the trails, but there were huge patches of ice hidden under the snow. I know I should ride indoors (ride? really?), but that is no fun. I ride because it's fun and I guess I am just too stubborn to take the fun out of it. Yes, I'll pay in a couple months as I haul my ass over the finish line DFL...

Tuesday, March 6, 2007


so my stubborn best friend & I made amends...we're both stubborn, actually. Now I'm guaranteed an invite to the Easter cookie decorating party!! It's only Tuesday, but training has taken a backseat to a sore throat, taxes, work and insomnia...conditions are supreme up in our woods. Of course it's going to snow tomorrow. Of course. two more days til Super Grover Live!! Tomorrow: be more patient w/ Wild Thing get my ass on a bike (even if it has to be indoors), move my lazy legs eat some veggies smile

Monday, March 5, 2007

Sunday, March 4, 2007


Before my ride this morning, I had to wrap my entire mid-section in saran wrap...I felt like passing out, so I poked some holes in the front. On went the bibs, the tights, the best base layer in the world (my Smart Wool long-sleeve), a wind jacket and a borrowed Beans vest...the plastic wrap left me feeling like a Lean Cuisine. All for a noble cause...protecting my brand new beautiful ink! Yay, I love it so!! Will post a pic as soon as the ick factor disappears. Loved the shop (thanks Justin)...the staff was super friendly and there was awesome artwork to admire everywhere I looked.
Pre-tattoo, enjoyed a somewhat healthy meal at Bella Trattoria (bowl of homemade Italian Wedding soup and shared a garlicky Margharita pizza w/ sister-in-law).
So, here I am pummeled from several hours in the wind...after-ride treat/recovery: Strawberry Quik & a slice of toast w/ macadamia cashew butter.
My dad likened our ride to a visit to the spa, "Invigorating!" Well, I've been to a spa, he hasn't...

Saturday, March 3, 2007

It's Saturday It's Saturday It's Saturday It's Saturday

I am not in love with our new memory foam mattress topper...My sleep is worse (didn't think that was possible), last night I woke up from a nasty dream of exploding fiery helicopters in the sky...the sleep marks/wrinkles/lines on my face are even more apparent in the morning. Tomorrow I get to rock the Piz's ksyriums on my cross bike (sold that silly road bike last year to someone who will appreciate it even less than I ever did)...tomorrow starts my renewed spirit for training. ha. We'll see. For dessert last night, I had two chocolate dipped strawberries. That is, truly, the first fruit I've eaten this year. My vegetable quota? Not much better. I don't think the dehydrated carrots and bell peppers in my Uncle Ben's Ready Rice count as real veggies. I am trying to convince my sister-in-law to join me for a field trip here tonight...

Friday, March 2, 2007

Jamaican Jerk Tilapia & Coconut Rice

I have more freedom now staying home with my son (though we hardly just stay home) than I did BK (Before Kid)...we have mellow mornings and take our time starting the day, we play, we have cool adventures, we have great conversation over grilled cheese and soup...we nap!! It's not unlike being a kid again. I am a lucky chick to be afforded the opportunity to stay home and not work. I know it. My brother & his wife will be starting a family's been a long time coming and we are all so psyched! I figure I am guaranteed full-time Grammy through mountain bike season and the beginning of cross...then we'll have to share. People often ask, "When's your next one?" Next child? Well, I'm blessed to have a healthy one and I am in no hurry to go through newborn Boot Camp again any time soon. That is the hardest thing. Ever. I won't be on my bike again until's just been that kind of week & surprisingly, I'm not freaking out about it. It's March...I need to get serious. I will. I hope our dinner tastes as yummy as it sounds.

Thursday, March 1, 2007

Ice Cream...It's What's For Dinner

Dinner was a complete failure...I can't in good faith recommend Trader Joe's Brown Rice Pasta (maybe in an application other than w/ marinara it would be OK...let me know). I proclaimed dinner inedible, so we went to Maggie Moo's. Jeff had a Cookies & Cream Shake, Son chose Very Yellow Marshmallow with Gummy Bears ("bear gums"), and I had Cinnamoo in a cone. Yum. First ice cream of '07...and that's it til the season starts and I earn it!