Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Back in the 801

By a miracle, the hubs and I made it back to the 801. We were supposed to go on a yurt trip to the Tetons, but by group decision, it was cancelled due to the avalanche danger. I guess I didn't realize how bummed I was about it because I had a dream about being in a backcountry ski hut last night. It wasn't a crazy Fritz dream where the snow was actually flowers that could talk or anything nutso like that...But I woke up SAD that the hubs and I wouldn't get to do some yurt hang time. Oh well.

Going home is always a trip. You spend so much time in a place (like your whole childhood and teenage years) and then you're gone for so long (like your whole adult life). On our last day, I went for a run around the Cobbs Hill Reservoir--that small act just brings back a flood of memories. How many hundreds of times had my legs pounded that route? How many Genny Lights had I consumed on that grassy slope? My street is still my street--and even though they've moved, the Curtins house is still the Curtins house. There were a bunch of kids playing on the street and on the snowbanks. Total memories of playing king of the hill on those snowbanks and playing tennis in the street.

Anyway, it was a great trip home. I watched so much TV. That's what HBO on demand will do to a person. When you think the first episode of Entourage is stupid, you'll watch 3 more episodes to make sure you're not being to rash in your judgment. And when you see how wrong first impressions can be, you'll stay up till 2am watching the whole 1st season. It was super relaxing and a lot of fun. Mom, the hubs and I also went to my favorite movie theater--the Little--to see "I've loved you so long" or something like that. Don't be deterred by the fact that its a french film (Sebastian! what are you doing?). It was really intense but VERY good. And I took a break from TV to read a couple books: all of which I recommend. Palace of Illusions by (can't remember); Loving Frank by Nancy Horan and the Witch of Portobello by Paulo Coehlo. I even ventured into nonfiction territory to read "In defense of Food" by the guy who wrote "Omnivore's Dilemma". I'm kind of more skimming through that one b/c some of it is tedious. But its still good though.

The hubs and motivated to go the gym a few times because that's what you do on the east coast in the winter. I did a couple of yoga classes and one day I got to lift with my little sister. She's a rugby whore (she tells me its a saying) and she totally kicked my ass. You think you're all cool because you can sort of ride a bike so that when your little sister is kicking your ass on the upper body exercises you don't worry because next comes the squats and leg presses. But I wasn't laughing when I had to take plates OFF after Mary was done instead of adding them. What can I say, it was pretty cool. I think I'm still sore actually.

So it was a great trip--but the hubs and I are psyched to be home. Hopefully we'll get a little New Year's pow to enjoy before heading to the Jowegawas Chinese New Year's party. 2009, holy crap.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Festivus in the 585

By some miracle, the hubs and I made it to good 'ol upstate NY on Christmas eve. Enjoyed ourselves some sushi in the Detroit airport. Yes, I too was skeptical---but everyone's digestive systems are doing just fine. We've had an awesome couple days. All the Pezzulo kids are home which is making for a full house--plus the fam has grown to include the various S.O.'s which is awesome. And let us not forget the little booballoo cutest niece-y-poohs in the world: Sophia and Isabella. They are the greatest, and of course its great to enjoy them with the ability to hand them over to their parents when they melt down.

The hubs, Glenn-bro and I got my mom a digital camera. My mom--bless her--has been a big fan of the disposable camera. All environmental waste concerns aside--the quality of the picture sucks. So to say this gift was all about her wouldn't be totally accurate. In addition, we knew she would dig the video. So anyway, I'll have pics to post of the cutest cuteys here pretty soon. Right now its all video and figuring out how to make those smaller is too much for me right now.

Anyway, here's a little recap of the past couple days...Arrive Christmas eve, met by dad and Glennbro at the airport. Come home for an off the hook seafood dinner (Italiano tradition as many of you know) prepared by super talented bro-in-law Jason. Some of you know the hubs and I have some quirky relations to those yummy aquatic treats. The hubs is very allergic to bony fish of the North Atlantic (that means Salmon) and I can't do shellfish. So while the true tradition is tons of shellfish, Jason made sure everyone could enjoy. The hubs got my share of scallops and I got his salmon. We both indulged in the sea bass with the mustard encrusted who knows what but it was GD good. Of course every self respecting Italiano household is flush with plates of cookies. Some made in house---many given by friends, neighbors and family. (Note to self: need to start doing that, I've thought about it--but jesus the time).
Also imbibed some vino at quality levels I only experience when I'm home. If the economy turns around, the hubs and I will be sure to invest in some Silver Oak for ourselves. Casa Pezzulo has its own wine cellar---so we are all ensuring the goodness of our blood (there's an Italian saying- Bevi il vino rosso per il buon sangue--drink red wine for good blood).

Glennbro brought home a bunch of great DVDs. So we caught up on some Office. Holy priceless.

Christmas morning Glennbro and I went for a little run around the Cobbs Hill Reservoir. Awesome. He kicked my ass. It was so great. My bro has really been embracing the cleanliving fitness lifestyle since he moved to Boulder and he is a lean mean sister-ass-kicking machine right now. Props to you bro! Get that guy on a bike is what I have to say.

Came home for YUMMIEST of the yummy bagels. The next town over has a very high Jewish population and along with that comes genius bagels. Please forgive any sort of political incorrectness in that statement because there are certainly far greater contributions to the world we enjoy as a result of this culture/ethnicity. But I have to say it is the one thing we sorely lack in the west. The real bagel. I'm missing them already.

Then proceeded to a gift opening extravaganza. I must've been good this year b/c Santa hooked me up! At what age will that stop? Niece Izzy "helped" me hand out the pressies. It is a lot of fun to do holidays with the rugrats around (as I said in measured doses).
Then all the "kids" and mom went to the JCC to work out in the afternoon before dinner. I love having all these family members to work out with. The best part is that Rocky IV was playing while I was on the stairmaster. There is nothing better to work out to than the Apollo-Rocky training montage. The only bummer was that there was no sound. Closed Captioning just doesn't really do the Dago Sly Stallone justice. What are you gonnna do (As Tony Soprano says)?

We had an awesome dinner with more good vino. Then I fell asleep during forgetting Sarah Marshall. I do remember hearing my bro laughing throughout the whole thing though.

We slept in like champs to wake up to the smell of cooking Pizzelles! My mom uses my Nonna's pizzelle maker (its like this thin waffle maker thing). The hubs and I are planning to head out into the snow (yes there's a bunch of SNOW not just gray grossness) to the gym nearby. Cross your fingers that Rocky will be on cardio theater.

I know its powing up back home. Hoping all my buds in SLC and CO had an awesome Chanumasivuszaa and are all enjoying the shit out of themselves in the white goodness!!! Missing all you guys! Know that tonight (and every night) we raise our glasses of vino we ourselves can't afford to all our friends, family and other great peeps of our lives in the hopes that you're all enjoying yourselves in your respective mountain, coastal and big city habitats! Salute!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Gnarley's on the Parley's

I spent all week in the various northern boondocks of this state. Fortunately, we got to stay in some awesome places! We stayed at these cabins at the Red Canyon Lodge on Tuesday and Wednesday which is right near Flaming Gorge. It was gorges! Yes Glennbro--I know I rip that off from Ithaca, NY.
My cabin (which I had to myself) had a woodburning stove and was right on this little lake. It would've been awesome to have cross country skis...but I just tromped around in my snowboots. The stars were off the hook the first night---then we started getting more snow.

Thursday we stayed at the Daniels Summit Lodge as we were working in Duchesne. That was also an awesome place to stay. Did a little sunrise walk up a snowmobile road on Friday morning before the storm really hit. It was totally beautiful up there. Note to self: Never backcountry ski in that area because it looks like everyone and their mother rides a snowmobile in that place. Lucky for me--I didn't see anyone but the flora and fauna on my little crackass of dawn jaunt.

On the way home on Friday, the roads were horrible. I-80 from Park City to Salt Lake was especially bad. It was pretty much a parking lot with lots of accidents. Awesome. The drive took forever and I was clenched the whole time. Luckily made it home ok and watched a good movie with the hubs called "Sea Inside". Its in eh-spanish so if you'd rather watch a movie than read it...it might not be for you. And its a bit on the heavy side---about a quadriplegic who wants to die---but still good, and not totally depressing despite the subject matter.

The hubs and I went to Alta (my tele-butt finally went away) for a hypothermeriffic day. Talk about extreme marriage moments. In spite of the conditions we had an AWESOME day! It was a lot of fun. It reminded me of days at Arapahoe Basin (Basin of the Asin) and Loveland in Colorado. Those places can do some cold conditions.
Anyway, it was a high attrition rate day. People were trying to rewarm frozen body parts in the lodge and so it was like no one was there. And of course with the crazy wind and blowing snow you couldn't see anyone anyway. After 4 runs we went inside to warm up. We were discussing whether to leave or not when Dr. Dan and Damiano strode by and convinced us to brave the elements for another run. We made it for 2 more and then sought warmer environs. Despite the brutal cold and elements--it was a really fun day up there! I busted out the Verdicts (my treasured skis) and I think I hit more rocks then I did last weekend. What are you gonna do?

Then we went to Takashi (one of the best sushi restaurants) to celebrate our good friend Wayne-o's obtaining his Anusara yoga certification. It sounds like it was harder than the bar exam to pass. Probably healthier though. We picked up the Woodies and the DB's and did much eating, drinking and merrymaking. After the bait shop, we took the celebration over the Woodies for some continued imbibing and discourse by the fire. All in all it was definitely a life affirming day.

We've got more weather coming. The hubs and I will probably make our way back to the resort today and then I might come down with a little somethin-somethin tomorrow morning if we get the dumpage we're supposed to! Afterall, everyone needs a mental health morning now and then.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

First Tracks in Memory Grove

I grew some balls and rode to work this morning in the pitch dark and dumping snow. I *heart* my cross bike. My commute is pretty mellow and it finishes with a little climb up this canyon that is closed to traffic. Hello freshies :))
Would've much preferred to be on skis and up a bit higher--but it was a pretty fun ride to work. I had on enough clothes to feel like the kid in the snowsuit from Christmas Story...But it was still awesome. With the serious pow action--it was almost like a blanket. Probably need to invest in some clear lenses though...

Its a good thing with this gnar weather I get to travel for work. Its an even better thing I get to go to the frozen tundra northern part of the state. Meeting winter head on. We are staying at a cool place near Flaming Gorge. It looks like there would be sweet trails to ride in the summer--but I'm going to bring snowshoes and a headlamp. Yes I know how certain people feel about the waste of time that is snowshoes :))) but when you are solo in the boonies, there aren't a lot of options. I guess I could probably rent a snowmobile in the spirit of "when in rome"....who loves the 2 stroke engine, yeah!

The super short window of daylight is a bummer--but all the white fluffiness is definitely improving the outlook!! Though it is sounding like it is going to be FRIJOLES in the mountains. I purchased an arcteryx down/goretex jacket that the hubs said would be too hot(and by too hot I think he meant to expensive). Though he has a point--I can definitely get a shfitz going, especially in the backcountry. But for those stormy super frio days at the resort--I think its going to be JUUUUUUUUST right!

For those who habitate the 801 or anywhere along this storm path--let me counsel you to come down with a powder flu in the next few days. I know I would if I didn't have to be out of town for work. Viva l'inverno!

Monday, December 15, 2008

First Day of Skiing and Not Taking Things for Granted

The hubs and I finally had our first ski day on Sunday at Alta! The snow started falling on Friday and into Sunday morning--so finally some of the rocks are getting covered (though you wouldn't know it from looking at the bottom of my skis). The hubs and I didn't get up to Alta until later in the day which was fine with me. I love Alta--but I wasn't ready for the agro/asshole energy from the powder starved. I understand that everyone has been jonesing---but I was happy to enjoy the morning's leftovers without the stress. We hooked up with Richie, Renee, the JGs, Sturgis, Damiano, Mike and Julie for some fun but COLD turns. I have full-on tele butt today. I remember when I first started telemark skiing and the hubs and other good tele skiers would talk about getting tele butt. For years I never got it because I simply couldn't link turns. Once I started hanging out with the hubs, (Caterina, Lizzie the woodies and all the other rippers), I was able to start linking turns and be able to participate in those beautiful stabbing pains in the buttcheeks. I don't purport to rip at the level of those who inspired me towards actual linking--I still wreck all the time--but I've definitely improved from the Summit County styles of deep knee bending turns where you stand up before making your next turn. I think that kind of skiing demands leather boots and wool sweaters too.

In more sobering news, while skiing at Alta, we learned that a 27 year old woman was buried at Snowbird while traversing underneath a steep slope. Such a serious tragedy! Might be worth it to start wearing a beacon at the resort. Skiing is an inherently dangerous sport no matter whether you're in the backcountry or skiing in bounds. We take our chances because we LOVE the activity. My heart goes out to this girl's friends and family--and whatever your belief in the after life--I'll choose to think that she is somewhere getting endless face shots and revelling in doing an activity she probably LOVED like crazy!

It's definitely a reminder for me. I stress about SO much stupid stuff. But when you get down to it--I'm so lucky--I have an awesome hubs, a great family, fantastico friends---and I live in an AWESOME place. Does the piddly shit even matter? Not when you think about the death of a 27 year old. Perspective.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Did I go too far?

Last week, a kid was getting into the passenger side of his mother's big obnoxious SUV. I was putting something in my trunk and I was parked next to the behemoth MO-bile. The kid swung open the door and it slammed into the side of my car. There was a chunk of paint taken out. The mom yelled at the kid and then said she would pay for it to be fixed, but she took a bunch of pictures b/c there were other scratches on the lower part of the car.

Anyway, the body of my car has a few scratches and I'm not really worried about it. I also definitely don't have time to deal with it right now. The "incident" happened in an area where cars are usually total a-holes to cyclists. So I left the woman a message and told her not to worry about the damage to my car, she could pay me back by paying attention to cyclists on the road, since I am on a bike more than in my car.

Hmmmm. Did I go too far? Was that totally patronizing and weird? Maybe. But its what I wanted to do.

I also saw on the news last night (while at the gym- since we don't have TV as you know) that the city is going full bore to try to make Salt Lake more bike friendly. The mayor admonished cyclists about running lights and stop signs but then noted his desire to get more bike lanes and improve existing trails (urban trails, not BST). That just makes me so psyched to hear!!

We also FINALLY got some snow, with more on the way! I rode into work yesterday, and the snow covered trees and blue sky in Memory Grove just made me happy! Negotiating the sketchy snow patches on a road bike was fun even for a skill-less roadie like me. I'm going to try to sneak away for a chilly flat lunch ride today too. This arriving and leaving work in the dark is getting to me. I just need a little Vitamin A.

I'm hoping to ski for the first time this weekend, maybe even at Alta.
But I'm genuflecting to the Norse god of flakes because I'm not interested in crap-ola conditions. Otherwise I'd live in Colorado. ooooooooohhhh

Monday, December 8, 2008

E-mail forwards give me road rage

Holy crap, three days in a ROW of riding road bikes. Shut up I'm serious. No ride longer than 3 hours--but base miles are starting to happen. I fell off my 30 day yoga wagon on the weekend too. Its going to be a weekday thing. That's when I need to alleviate stress the most anyway. Saltair was off the hook on Friday. Laid down a sick Wasatch on Saturday then did a confusing loop in Park City yesterday. (apologies for my poor attempts to spice up these boring rides). The hubs had his wisdom teeth removed so he wasn't feeling too great on the rides. He still managed to work me over though. Did some good hangs with Kimo and Sean on Sunday night. Had some sparkling grape juice that tasted like real vino (it wasn't because I had to drive--and I've got a car to sell you) and some GF focaccia (not bad).

A good friend once told me that people talking in movies is her road rage--and I think the analogy works pretty well for how I feel about e-mail forwards. Ok, so they don't make me homicidal--but let me tell you a little something about how I respond to e-mail forwards. That response can be summed up as follows: poorly.
And let me make this proclamation to the 5 people that might read this: I do not read e-mail forwards. I REALLY don't read e-mail forwards that say "Important, Please Read!" in the subject line.

Before you start forwarding the shit out of your address book, maybe you should send a prefatory e-mail querying people as to whether they're ok receiving forwards. But let me save you that step to tell you I will only read a forwarded e-mail under the following circumstances:
1. Its an e-mail that someone else wrote about me that I wasn't supposed to read.
2. Its an e-mail intended for me that wasn't originally sent to me.
3. I get tricked into thinking it was authored by the sender (Dave L- you know who you are)

Otherwise, I don't care how funny, how scary, how titillating the information is. I don't care how rich it will make me, how much luck it will bring me, how much bad luck, how many friends, how many recipes- WHATEVER. I WILL NOT READ FORWARDS unless they fit within an enumerated exception listed above.

Those 2 letters: "FW" just cause me instant tightness in the butt cheek region. You as a forward sender also begin to lose credibility. And don't forget the whole crying wolf phenomenon. There's a certain person (who I do love) who sends a ton of forwards. But now seeing that person's name in my inbox prompts a reflex delete. Maybe he/she had something important to tell me. Maybe I'm the one that loses out here.

But I don't care. I'm not saying this is a reasonable position. I'm just saying its how I am. I'm sure there's some study or something out there that talks about people with "issues" and how those manifest as control problems, lack of tolerance and inability to adapt. whatever. Send it to me in a forward and I'll be sure to delete it at my earliest convenience.

Its SNOWING here finally!!!! Woo hoo! I'm happy to ride indoors for the sake of pow accumulation. It is about time!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

New Team for 2009 and the month of yoga

Next year I will be racing with DFT p/b Treads Women's Elite Cycling Team. The team is based in Denver but has women from around the west. We will be riding Cannondale bikes. Along with Treads Bicycle Outfitters in Denver, we are also supported by Moriarty Leyendecker Erben, P.C., a Boulder, CO and Houston, TX law firm, which is pretty cool since there are two esquires on the team! The current plan is to use only latin or legal terms of art as our team's secret during race language. When you hear "Habeas Corpus" over the radio--you know it means you have to attack the break. "Quid pro quo" means only do as much work in the break as the person doing the least amount of work. And when you get shelled you can radio your teammates that your "motion to dismiss has been granted"...and the list goes on.

So Sunday will be my last race for PCIM, the bestest team in Utah. Thank goodness its the last race because I can't handle how fast all these new girls are getting. As these girls are getting more races in their legs they just keep getting speedier and speedier! And let's not even start with the talent working its way up the C and B ranks! I'm raising my glass to all you awesome ladies who've been putting in the hard yards all season. It has been awesome to behold!

My December goal is to do 30 days of yoga in a row. Not sure how that's going to turn out because I almost couldn't make it 2 days in a row. I know I know people will say you're missing the point if you're setting yourself up to fail by putting some arbitrary goal on something as fluid as yoga practice. Ok, it wouldn't be the first time I've missed the point. But MY point is to be focused on working on the core strength and flexibility while trying to get in some base miles. The miles are actually secondary. I'm actually trying to set up a base for my base this way. I'll let you know how that goes. I might have to start doing yoga to deal with the mental anguish of not meeting my yoga goals. I would really love to be able to do an unsupported head stand too. So there you have it.

The Yogurt on My Pretzels

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