Thursday, February 28, 2008


For the first time ever, I voted in a primary! Usually I've just waited to see who the two presidential nominees are and then made my decision between them. This time I actually care who the nominee is, and I feel like my vote will actually count. The race between Obama and Clinton (I've heard) will come down to Texas and Ohio, and they're close in both states. So I actually found an early voting site and went to cast my vote. I got the sticker and everything.

Just to be clear that this somehow didn't still count as a "presidential election," I also cast votes for Nelda Wells Spears (she seems to have been doing a pretty good job--she sent Alex new license plates last week) and Lloyd Doggett, as well as some guy named Gene Kelly (I know, I know, it's corny to vote for someone just because they share a name with you, and it's kind of destructive to the democratic process, but I don't care).

I feel quite citizen-ary!

Saturday, February 23, 2008

The Damn Loop

For those of you familiar with cycling routes in and around Austin, The Dam Loop is one that should be familiar. I had the pleasure of riding it for the first time this morning.

Let me just say that 85% of the ride is gorgeous and quite manageable--rolling hills, scenic vistas, and mansion upon mansion upon mansion! I got to ride across the Lake Travis dam for the first time (hence the name of the ride) as well as "The" bridge on 360. We went from Jack & Adam's (our local triathlon shop) down Mopac to 360, up to Bee Caves, out Bee Caves to 71, turned right to hit 620, (*note: up to this point I'm just fine and dandy), up 620 (tougher hill here just after the dam, but it's all good) to 2222. At this point, there is a monster of a hill...but we would have gone down it (note the operative phrase "would have"). Rather than subject our team to the thrilling/terrifying prospect of going 50 mph down a huge hill on a fairly busy road, we took a detour through River Place (also known as "hell" or "gives new meaning to 'the Hill Country'" or "what the f@*! did I just get myself into"). If you'd like a mental picture, imagine this terrain, but with roads. You think I jest, but River Place is like our own personal little corner of Vietnam. But with, you know, American-style houses and less of a rainy season.

I'm proud to say I made it up the three hills. Hills my car would have had a hard time making it up in anything other than 1st or 2nd gear. I think at one point a 85-year-old resident of River-nam may have passed me going up hill...walking...but still I made it without stopping and without falling over, a defiance of both the laws of physics and common sense. I don't remember the next 5-10 miles after that very clearly, other than my coach coming to my aid with a caramel Gu (sounds kinda nasty but it was like sweet mana at the time--note to self: protein bars do NOT equal energy bars/Gu! Go to the store!).

After finally making it back to home base, 50 miles, 2 water bottles, 1 protein bar, 1 gu pack, and one ba-gillion hills later, we had to go run 2-3 miles. Danggit.

Gotta love multi-sport.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

To Go or Not To Go?

Alex picked me up for lunch today with a gleam in his eye and an extra bounce in his car-dancing moves (thank you, 50-cent, for giving the man something to move to--the world would be a less entertaining place without Alex's groove!). It appears that Alex's bosses have finally agreed to give him what he was been after as long as I've known him--a trip to China! He'll spend the next three weeks setting up interviews and picking up essential phrases ("too expensive!" "bathroom?" "Do you have any triple-chocolate ice cream?") and then it's off to Shanghai, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Beijing for two weeks of fantabulous adventures (mixed in with a little work to keep the bosses happy).

What does this have to do with me, aside from me needing a little extra love and attention while the hubster is gone for two weeks? We're actually considering . . . (wait for it) . . . me going along!

With all that's happened financially in the last six months, a spur-of-the-moment trip to China hardly seems like the responsible, or even sane, thing to do. We've already ear-marked the extra freelance money and our yet-to-arrive rebate check for paying down medical bills. The smart thing would be for us to celebrate this amazing opportunity for him to finally go to China and make sure that we've worked out the time difference so that he can recount all his adventures to me while I listen whilst massaging my sore calves and quads. Sore because I'm training. For that little race in California. That I shouldn't be missing practices for. In fact, him going alone would be like them PAYING us while he's away b/c I wouldn't spend any money without him apart from what it takes for the gas to get to and from work.

And yet still, here we are, actually figuring out the logistics of the 30-hour flights, the 3-4 day stay (is it still worth it if total travel time is roughly equivalent to total time spent at the destination?), the hotels, the sightseeing goals. I know it's not the responsible thing to do. I can hear my dad's financially sound chastisements already. And he's right. We have other responsibilities right now. Life isn't all about what's "fun." We aren't playing our hand the safest way right now. We're not really hedging our bets. (Okay, enough poker metaphors.)

When it comes down to it, and I think about 5, 10, 25, 50 years from now, or even 2 years from now when we'll (hopefully) be knee deep in diapers and tears (from the baby and us...the tears, that is, not the diapers) and a little extra money in the bank or our pockets would come in MIGHTY nice, I know deep down that we won't be sitting around thinking that we would have traded the trip for an extra $1,000. Because really, you'll never have enough money, and you'll always have enough money.

If you're still not convinced, maybe your all-American deep-rooted respect for the sagacity of Mark Twain will move you to agree with me:

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do. So throw off the bowliness. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”

It's not a done deal yet, but it's looking good enough for us to get visas (the travel documents, not the plastic-rectangles-of-terror).

Stay tuned...