Saturday, May 26, 2012

The Banya Archive

I'm heading off to southern Mexico in about 30 minutes after a very frantic weekend of trying to pull a million things together all at once. I just got back from a wedding of one of my very best friends of all time, Annette, who left me immediately after law school to pursue the dream in our nation's capital. Congrats, Annette. Love you and all of your ridiculousness to death.

I was hoping to write about some of this week's happenings before taking off to the great unknown where I will likely be murdered eat 1,000 tortillas, but alas, I have run out of time. So instead I'm leaving you with an older, archived post from my days in Moscow Russia in 2009. Below is one of the strangest stories I have from my life, and is one most of you probably have not read.

Have a great week everyone!

(This post was from May 31, 2009, and is about my attempt to visit a Russian Banya (bath house) without really understanding what it was)

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Strangest Foods

On Friday I asked you to share on the Facebook page the strangest food you've ever been encouraged to eat (not literally share--but tell us about it). You people have had some terrible life experiences. This reminded me of a summer I spent in Moscow Russia in 2009 when I went on a very brave food testing kick and first met Lohan (my parasite). I lost 18 pounds that summer. 18 pounds I really couldn't afford to lose. Here's an old post about the 10 worst food experiences I had that summer. Lohan could have come from any of them.

Anyway, here are some of your responses:

Sunday, May 20, 2012

A Horrific Birthday Surprise

I have the best of friends; I have the worst of friends.

It was my birthday on Friday. I turned 275. Things I remember from my life:

1. When my friends told me about "email" when I was 16 and we each got Hotmail accounts so we could go home from school every day and spend the afternoon emailing each other. Email's foolproof system of archiving messages for time and all eternity, even back in 1999, is the number one reason why I can never run for office.

2. When my family got an answering machine when I was 6 and I thought we were like the Jetsons.

3. The Great Depression.

4. Planning out my last 7 years of life in 1993 because my sister told me that the Bible predicted the end of the world in the year 2000.

5. Talking about "the year 2000."

6. When it used to be ok to leave your kids in the car.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Ironman St. George Videos

Daniel and I recorded 7 short videos in St. George in the days leading up to the Ironman, shortly after our disqualifications, and the day after, discussing our experience and attempting to show parts of the course. In two of the videos there are parts with quite a bit of wind or other noise that make it difficult to hear. I apologize for that. In those sections, rest assured that we are talking about The Queen of Colors and The First Eye. I hope you otherwise find them entertaining.

~It Just Gets Stranger

Monday, May 14, 2012

Ironman St. George, Part III

I pulled into the next aid station, having gone a while without seeing any spectators or support staff since we were now somewhere on the back side of a very windy canyon. The small crowd was a welcome sight. I got off my bike and tried laying on my back in the gravel and dirt. As if the ongoing terrible stomach ache wasn't enough to worry about, I was now feeling quite a bit of lower back pain, probably mostly from sitting/standing on the bike in awkward positions to try to ease the discomfort from the stomach pains. I also felt pretty drained of energy and a little dehydrated at this point, having been unable to eat or drink much now for about 7 hours of intense racing.

This was not the highlight of my life.

Or day, even.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Ironman St. George, Part II

The man sitting next to me in the changing tent was probably 60 years old. His face was completely white and he didn't respond to me when I turned to him and commented on the water. He stared at me, with his mouth partly open, looking shocked and devastated. Just then a volunteer came over with a thermal blanket, wrapped it around the man, got on his knees, and started asking him questions about how he was feeling. I wondered if the man was one of the several hundred that had been rescued by the boats.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Ironman St. George, Part I

Well it happened. The much anticipated Ironman St. George came and went this weekend, taking a part of my soul and happiness with it. The race and event proved to be every bit as dramatic and strange as any of us thought it might be. And alas, I'm here with a story to tell. So sit back and enjoy.


We arrived Thursday afternoon, checked in, and darted off to the lake to check out conditions and take a quick swim. This lake is the same one that we swam in a few months ago, but this time our blood wasn't frozen solid the moment we entered. So in comparison it felt like a hot tub. But a really cold one that still made us scream when we stepped into it in our full wet suits.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Ironman Final Thoughts

Dear strangers, I write this now on the eve of our Ironman departure. In a few short hours we will head south, Paul Cyclemon and Larry in tow, off to war.

I'm freaked out.

Like, really freaked out.

Over seven months ago I registered for this Ironman. I thought then that going from being able to swim two laps  to having to swim over 2 miles seemed like a stretch. And I had never set foot on a road bike and thus could not even imagine what 112 miles on one might feel like. Especially after that 2.4 mile swim in probably shark infested open water. Oh yeah, and then there's a marathon at the end.

Like, really, seriously, freaked out.