I don’t have a ton of time to make this eloquent, but overall the triathlon went well. The swim was probably my favorite part, save for the millions of legs that always got in the way. The bike ride was nice until I got tired of it. The switch to running was truly horrendous at first (my thighs were all, “GIRL WHAT ARE YOU DOING ARE YOU CRAZY!?!”), but got a little better, though not enough to actually make me go fast. My mom, dad, sister, and a friend came to see me which was awesome. So, DONE. Check that shit off the list.
I need to run around for a couple of hours doing last minute things, then I’ll get on a plane, where I just might regret doing all of this in one day. If that flight is delayed at all I’m gonna cry.
Also, I have some entries queued for when I’m gone! Just so you all don’t forget I exist. Have a good week!
p.s. Thanks again to Kaeti for the race registration!
The AV Club compiled a list of Songs of the 612, and I immediately wondered if this one was on the list. Well, not in the print version, but online, yes.
There wasn’t much local or particularly memorable about That Dog, a band of L.A. scenesters with a solid industry pedigree. … The group’s third and final LP, 1997’s Retreat From The Sun, includes this throwaway pop tune about a cute boy who may or may not be a member of the band Low. [Emphasis mine]
And then my heart broke a little bit. Retreat From The Sun is one of my favorite driving albums of all time, with tightly knit harmonies that are perfect for singing along. This is not to say that it’s a mind-blowingly amazing piece of work, but it’s stuck with me over many years. In fact, when I went through my “I’m going to learn guitar and be in a band” phase in college, this was one of the songs I learned. Throwaway pop tune? You will never be that to me.
Driving to Vancouver on Monday morning. (Don’t worry, I have a passport!)
Going back to work the morning after I get back from the whole trip.
Particularly the first one, where I really have no idea what I’m getting into. I think my new slogan for 2009 will be “getting comfortable with being slightly uncomfortable.”
Also, what you don’t know is that Kaeti IS in fact also completely bad-ass for running a 24 hour long relay, am I right? She’s actually competing in two events this weekend, though the triathlon will be completed by a slightly taller, curlier haired doppelganger (me). I hope not to disgrace her name.
Some insight into the deep inner workings of my brain
Or, how I decide what to wear.
I could wear that dress I made (specifically to wear to weddings) to that wedding tomorrow (in St. Paul) and also to that wedding (in Seattle) in two weeks. There will be no crossover of attendees, and no one will be the wiser! BUT WAIT! Weddings are highly photographed events! Can I really get away with wearing the same dress to two events in the same month? If any of these pictures get on facebook (which they always do), I will look like that girl who always wears the same thing. I could just wear that other dress from other weddings and my birthday… but people will be like, “Oh is that the dress you wore to _____?” BUT WAIT! Tomorrow’s wedding is more of a family event, and family people don’t put pictures on facebook so all pictures of me would hopefully be under my control. I could get away with wearing the dress twice. BUT WAIT! I am typing this all on tumblr so everyone knows I might wear the same dress twice! Also, what if I go out after the reception? My cover will be totally blown!
Uh, yeah. The jury’s still out on this one, folks.
I promised a few days ago that I would make a hand-drawn map of the Twin Cities from memory, and I have made a few…none of them really what I want. Part of my inspiration for this is a concept that I forgot the name of - but the idea is that if you get different people to draw maps of the same place, the results will be different based on their personal experiences. Well, obviously, right? Mostly I just think it’s fun to draw maps with no help and see how accurate or messed up they become.
(large version) Man, I was so over-confident at first, I even used permanent marker. That little squiggle by 94 and the river is the Grain Belt Premium sign. I realized that all the little landmarks wouldn’t fit given the scale I wanted. So I tried again.
(large version) This one isn’t SO bad, but after making it I was mad that I pretended that downtown St. Paul doesn’t even exist on this map, and that’s no way to represent my home. Also, I couldn’t figure out the curve of the Mississipp or 94, so I tried again.
(large version) Again, this isn’t AWFUL but in the middle of drawing it I realized that I really don’t know how the river flows through the cities, which was upsetting. After looking at a map I had to smack my foreheard as I remembered, oh yeah it does that dip thing. I’ll never forget now! My only reasoning for forgetting this is how I utilize the river - most of the time I am crossing over it, and maybe sometimes traveling next to it (generally on East River Road between Summit and Franklin) but I never actually traverse ON the river. This seems a bit wrong, given how long I’ve lived here.
Well, if this exercise has done nothing else, it’s given me an idea for my next biking excursion.
(Also, I’d so love it if this turned into a mini-dorky-tumblr meme. Show me your maps! No cheating!)
My friend Stephanie called me up this afternoon and asked me to go to Valleyfair, and at first I was thrown off by the all the things I planned to do today - totally boring things like go to the bank, maybe work on a skirt, and possibly see a movie premiere tonight. But after some quick thinking it was clear - when summer feels almost over and someone suggests riding rollercoasters all day, how is this even a question? You’re going.
Anyway. My favorite things:
When you’re going down the first huge hill of the Wild Thing and you start to scream and somewhere in the middle you lose your scream but by the end it starts to come back again.
When you’re going to the top of the Power Tower and you keep going higher and higher and oh god why aren’t we there yet? and oh god now we just have to sit here wondering when we’re going to fall and it’s going to happen soon why hasn’t it AHHHHHHHH. Okay, that wasn’t so bad.
Seeing people after they ride the Steel Venom, they’re either laughing and smiling or saying things like “I am never going on that again!”
Riding on the carousel with a bunch of women who are all at least 16, and laughing at the guy running it who has to watch a bunch of ladies trying to relive their childhood dreams all day long.
Screaming in general. Why is this so cathartic?
Good day. I am now very tired and I smell like sunscreen, sweat, the Thunder Canyon fishy water and grease (from Mickey’s Diner). Those are pretty much the four key ingredients to summer, I think.
I am not a huge fan of having a car, but I will say this: the car is one of the most optimal vessels for listening to music. Everything sounds better in there (even with a shoddy stereo), I can sing my lungs out without bothering anyone, and I can even dance as I drive (seriously, this really helps on long car trips).
When I’m driving by myself, I have serious radio ADD. I switch the stations quickly, always hoping that the perfect song will be playing on one of my programmed picks. Even when I do find a good song, I will start clicking over near the end just to make sure I’m not missing something better. When all of this hard work fails me, I’ll switch to the CD player for one song, and then repeat the cycle.
I will likely lose a lot of cred here, but from left to right, my programmed radio stations:
1. The Current - This is public radio’s answer to every other station that played “different” music being shut down. If I had to choose one station to listen to non-stop, it would probably be this one. But there’s a weird mix of too much stuff I don’t know and hey I’ve already heard this hit new song twice today.
2. MPR - I probably should listen to this more, but the scattering of news stories doesn’t fit in well with my need to find the perfect song NOW.
3. Cities 97 - “Music from then, music from now” is what the slogan says, but it might as well say “Music from U2 about half of the time.” Sometimes I’ll stop here because I want to sing along to Sarah McLachlan or something (hey shut up she’s really good for that).
4. Jack FM - The station that plays what they want, and honestly this is the one that most often has me pumping my fists in delight as they play 90s hits. Whether it’s “Bitch” by Meredith Brooks or the Proclaimers, I can count on them to surprise me with songs I haven’t heard in AGES and I couldn’t thank them enough for that. All they need is some more 90s alternative hits and less Nickleback and they’d be almost perfect.
5. Kool 108 - The oldies station used to be really annoying, but now oldies are reaching into the 70s and even the 80s. It’s a good karaoke practice station.
6. KDWB - The Top 40 station that I rarely listen to, but I have to at least pretend to keep up with the kiddies.
So, there you go. You now know much more about my secret in-car life.
Friends, when I die, please don’t write articles about how I was under or over-rated. Please don’t eulogize me in a 140 character tweet if we’ve never met. Please don’t dig up my old, password protected journals on the internet, taking quotes and analyzing them, saying that “at the age of 20 she spoke of wanting to be in a rock band.” Please don’t come to my funeral if you’re only coming to be seen, and please wear something awesome as if you’re only wearing it for others. (Or, for me and me alone. My spirit will appreciate it.) Oh, and don’t worry about that wearing black rule, you know I can’t have that.
Also, please don’t take this to hold any significance or as a sign that I’m planning to off myself - it’s just that I’ve just been hearing about death and reading about death a lot lately. Barring any unexpected events, I expect to live for a mighty long time.
Why do Americans drive everywhere? Because everything’s far apart. Why’s it far apart? Often because there’s so much parking in between! In the end, creating bright green cities will require undoing the damage created by mandating free parking. But it won’t be easy.
Six Feet Under - the TV series ending I never understood
Why I am typing this now, and not two years ago when I actually watched it, I’m not sure. But I always think of this one as an ending where the director is so in love with the American automobile that s/he can’t understand that it makes no sense.
You can watch the clip here, and it’s not really a spoiler to say that in the series finale Claire, an early 20-something, is moving to New York to pursue working in art and photography. The last scene shows beautiful sweeping views of Claire driving her brand new Toyota Prius across the great West, as Sia plays in the background and we see snapshots of how the main characters reach their deaths in the future. In many ways, the scene is incredibly well done and moving, and even watching it again I start to tear up.
On the other hand, can we use our brains for one second? Claire is in her 20s, and is driving to New York. The city, not the state. You’re telling me that a 20 year old artist without any job prospects is going to have a car in New York? I mean, sure, she’s got her trust fund unlocked, so Williamsburg is looking good. Maybe she could move her things and then sell the new Prius to some richie in Manhattan, but does anyone really buy that Claire is going to keep that car? So by that logic, why did she buy it in the first place? Oh right, so we can have the American dream auto scene. Moving trucks and those POD boxes are just not cinematically romantic.
Adam Platt calls out food bloggers, and then a comment war starts over who the real heroes are: bloggers, food critics, or cooks? What about farmers? WHAT ABOUT CHEF BOYARDEE? Anyway, fascinating stuff. Get your knives out, foodies!
(Also, I still have a copy of Julie and Julia sitting on my end table, unread, if anyone wants it.)
Summer is wedding season, and I have two to attend in August alone. Weddings are good for more than one thing, but my personal favorite is using them as an excuse to buy dresses. I went shopping and was disappointed. I went online and all the cute stuff was out of stock. Then I went to Anthropologie, the place I rarely go because I don’t like driving to Edina just so I can be sad.
I grabbed a bunch of stuff for the dressing room and kept coming back to this one. I fell in love with the print, the shape, and the pockets. It did, however, seem a bit short. I hemmed and hawed for a LONG time and decided to go for it. (Lesson - don’t shop alone.) I brought it over to a friend’s house and tried it on for some friends, where we decided that it was indeed too short. Here it is over jeans for modesty’s sake:
It’s really one of those “dresses” where they say it can be worn as a shirt or a dress! To which I say, NOT IF YOU’RE 5’10 BUT THANKS. But then my friend Lindsey said, “You could probably just copy that..” We inspected it, noticed that it’s basically just a sack (but a very cute sack) with an elastic waistband, and I had a new project.
I’ll just sum up the process: I finally found some silky fabric at JoAnn’s for $6.99 a yard. I copied the dress on pattern paper and spent a lot of time on the floor. Lindsey helped with the initial construction, and thank god because I would have been lost without her. We kept running into places and saying “wow, this would be so much easier with a serger” so I took a deep breath and bought one. Then I serged some things, fell in love with a machine, ironed out my hems ET VOILA!!!
I love how in my quest to make it a bit longer, it’s still a little bit shorter than I’d like. Oh well. Anyway, it’s done! And that is how you say, “I don’t need you, clothing stores that are so cute and expensive you bring me to tears! I will buy your stuff, copy it, and return it! HAHA!”
Except, um, I kind of want to keep the damn original a lot. What do you think? It has a rather large hem on the bottom that I might be able to tear apart to gain an extra inch or two…
I realized yesterday that this triathlon I keep saying I’m going to do is three weeks away. If you’re wondering what that involves, it’s like this:
1/2 mile swim (about 800-900 yards)
12.5 mile bike ride
3.1 mile run
Independently, none of these are a problem. It’s putting them together that is the hard part. But even that I’m not really worried about. I’m more worried about how to not look like an ass amongst a bunch of triathletes.
I’m learning that triathlons are incredibly gear heavy. I love running because I put on some shoes, I run out the door, and I go. But now I have two other sports to mix in! I’m mostly worried about the biking part. As some of you may already know, my bike isn’t exactly a race-ready masterpiece. I only use about half of the ten speeds because I’m not sure the other ones work, and I don’t really need them. Clipless pedals? Psssh. All I know is that I can still pass some people in spandex on the greenway, so I must be doing okay. Right? Here are some of my options:
Say SCREW IT, it’s only 12 miles, and I can bike 12 miles on any stupid bike since I’m only doing this to say I’ve done it.
Put some of those pedal cages on to increase efficiency by some unknown percentage.
Borrow a nice bike from a friend.
Rent a racing bike for the day, which would be somewhere between $45 and $100. (But also a pain since I’m flying out to Seattle that afternoon and I would like to minimize extra responsibilities.)
Say SCREW IT, and just buy myself a nice new bicycle! WHY NOT!
What do you think?
Also, I’m planning to do all my “training” rides by biking to far flung bakeries, bars, and cafes, so if you have any suggestions or want to meet me let me know.