Friday, May 25, 2012

Oh What a Night~! & Checking In…

Photo- My bike in the dark.
As the song goes--“…late December back in 63 …” Only last night wasn’t one of those special nights as sung by Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons.  But I will say it was an interesting night.

It all started when I tried starting my car outside my work.  It was right after work as I sprinting across the parking lot.  You know that little boost of freedom as you are leaving work for the day.   It’s kind of like a kid being released from school for the day. There I was all set in my cycling clothes and anticipating a bike ride with a friend.  With happy thoughts, I put the key in the ignition and zilch!  Nada! Argh!

Thinking it might be a dead battery and I can always call AAA after I go on a bike ride.  I text my friend and tell her I’ll be a few minutes late; and I’m riding my bike to the meeting spot.  I was maybe 7 minutes late total to meet my friend.  Now I’m warmed up for our ride, having ridden from the flat South Salt Lake up to the Sugarhouse neighborhood. 

We head out taking a left on to a street and shortly afterwards a guy in a beige car is honking at us.  There’s no bike lane though there’s a white area that’s painted but its surrounding an island area and ¾ of it is what I would consider a gutter.  We are riding single file and a few inches into the car lane side of the white line; perfectly, within our right. 

The guy is still honking and yelling (through closed windows).  We come to a stop light and stop.  The front passenger side of his car is almost touching my leg.  He doesn’t want to give any of the car lane up.  My friend yells that we can’t hear him and he rolls down a window and yells that we should be in the bike lane.  Christine says,” Sir this is not a bike lane here.”  I yell that we are allowed by law up to 3 feet of the car lane by law.  “No you are not!” He yells back.  “Yes, according to the law sir.  Perhaps, you need to be more aware of your car driving laws.” Christine says nicely. 

The light changes and he tromps on the gas going widely around us.  In his rush he almost hits car in on coming traffic.  We kind of shrug him off and continue on our way.  Shortly there after we come to a stop sign, where we did a “California” stop; which was not a complete stop but a slow down and look around.

Next thing we know we are being asked to pull over by a motorcycle cop.  “Do you know why I pulled you over?” he says.  We stated that it was because we didn’t stop like we should have at the stop sign.  He asked for our driver’s lisc. Which I think he was surprised that both of us had.  Then he mentioned about another driver that had complained about us.  We nicely stated our position on that and he even went as far as stating that we could have been two abreast along that same area.  He finally just warned us and wished us a safe ride.  The whole rest of the ride we made sure we were stopping for those stop signs. 

After the ride with Christine, I rode my bike back to my car sitting outside my work. I tried turning the key but nothing.  This time I did notice that it was like the ignition was loose.  I called AAA and told them that I thought it just needed a jump start.  I was told me 25 to 30 minutes.  About 25 minutes later a driver shows up but not in a tow truck.  He’s got jumper cables and after two minutes of playing with the key in the ignition.  He tells me that my ignition needs to be replaced.  He gives me the option of calling a lock smith or a tow truck.  But the lock smith is after hours and might not have the right parts.  I opt to have it towed.

So out goes the call for the tow truck.  30 minutes later this lanky talk your head off guy shows up in a tow truck.  He spends almost the next hour trying to get my car into reverse so that he can get it backed up to hook it up to his truck.  The whole time he was going on and on; and I guess I reminded him of one of his favorite sisters of which he had 5 of  all of whom were older  than him. 

Meanwhile, I’m thinking if I was his older sister I would have been locking him up in a closet to get a moment of silence. Eventually, the car was backed up with the help of a co-worker that showed up out of the blue to pick up something from the office.  I left shortly after that in the dark with my lights on my bicycle and rode home.  It was about 10PM when I finally managed to get my bicycle up to my 3rd floor apartment, and I had yet to have dinner.  Oh What a Night! What an unusual night it was indeed.

Checking In…
Weight up 1 lb. and stats for the week are rather down…

Cycling—70 miles
Running—3.25 miles
Elliptical—14 minutes
One Pilates class

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

A Shake for Dinner...

So yesterday, I made a very expensive visit to the dentist office.  Almost a couple of weeks ago, I had an old cavity filling break.  I went in shortly after that and had them file down the rough spots. 

"Your Chariot Awaits";
Watercolor on 10" x 14" paper that I
painted last week.

This last Sunday night the old cavity filling broke off some more.  I couldn’t hold it off any longer; try as I might for next year’s dental starts on June 1st.  So I called in the morning and managed to get in during the afternoon on Monday.  I skipped my lunch and went straight to the dentist instead.

 Almost 2 hours later, I come out with almost my entire right side of my face numb and starving for a lunch.  Did I mention that they have to use something stronger than Novocain?  Yeah, Novocain doesn’t work but a half hour on me and that’s if the dentist is lucky.  I swing by a fast food place and get some chicken wraps figuring they would be soft and easy to eat on one side of my mouth.  I try to eat at my desk when I get back to work.  I say “try” because I couldn’t feel my entire bottom lip at all.  Next thing, I discover is that I’ve bitten my lower lip and it’s bleeding.  What’s really sad is that a co-worker had to point it out to me.  I was rather oblivious and felt like I was walking around in a stupor.

Another two hours later, I still can’t talk right and another co-worker is answering phones in stead of me.  It’s time to go home and still half of my face is numb.  I swing by my last Spanish class and tell the teacher that tonight isn’t a good idea about practicing speaking Spanish.  After all, I’m struggling with just speaking understandable English. 

So I head home instead but I’m still starving because I could barely manage one chicken wrap.  Then it hits me!  Ice cream!  I can have a shake for dinner and I won’t bit my lips or the inside of my cheek.  Great!  So I swing by and get a peanut butter cup shake for dinner.  Hey!  Peanut butter has protein in it, right?  That’s kind of healthy but well, maybe not SO good for the diet... Oh, well!

Friday, May 18, 2012

A Quick Friday Check In....

With a great deal going on with a bike art show (the GalleryRoll) going on tonight, I thought I would just do a quick check in here.  After surviving another Jump Board Pilates class this morning.  That Laura is one sweet talking sadistic chick but she’s whipping me into shape.  Thanks girl!  I got on the scale this morning and happily discovered I’m down another pound.  Yahoo!  Now I’ve got 6 lbs. to go until my goal weight.  I’m getting closer and that certainly feels good.
STATS this week…

119 miles cycling
2 miles running
12 minutes on elliptical
one 55 minute Pilates class!

And check this out....

Yep!  I'm wearing "PINK".  Did I ever tell you that I have "pink" issues?  I don't consider myself a pink girlie girl.  But the sandals were on sale and they are comfortable and they go with the outfit that I'm wearing tonight.  So for the night, I think I can manage to put my "pink" issues aside for at least a few hours.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Wishing Inspiration Would Rub Off On Me...

My friend Bee broke her ankle about 9 weeks ago.  Last week she arrived at the weekly Emigration Canyon ride on an old mountain bike with flat pedals wearing an ankle boot.  She managed 12 miles of the usual 24.  The trooper she is she turned up again on her mountain bike last night and managed to do 19 of the 24 miles.  She’s such an inspiration! 
Photo: My Friend Bee and her husband Peter.
It was funny because not more than 4 weeks prior I went with her to the opera and she was going around on crutches.  At that time she was telling me how much she was missing going on the Emigration Canyon rides and was really hoping the doctor would release her for bike riding soon.  The real funny part is that as we were all cycling over to the canyon as a group, she was telling all of us how it was easier to cycle than it was to walk.  I had to laugh and I could help but think – “Now THAT’s a hard core bicyclist!”   You GO GIRL!

 I wish I could have some of that “You GO GIRL” from Bee would rub off on me.  I’m fine with the evening bike riding and a little running here & there.  But the early mornings, I can’t seem to get up and motivated at all.  It especially seems true of Monday mornings.  I only barely am managing to get to work on time on Monday’s. 

 It’s strange because last year I was getting up early 5 days a week.  Last year if I wasn’t doing the early Monday, Wednesday, or Friday wake up ride of 11 miles; you would find me running 3 to 4.5 miles at a local park.  This year, I’m not managing Mondays at all.  Running in the early mornings of Tuesday & Thursday’s is a FORGET-A-BOUD-IT!  Wednesday is a drag myself to the Early Morning Wake Up bike ride and Thursday’s I figure I’m riding that night so why run in the morning.  Fridays now I am signed up for Jump Board Pilates classes so I NEED to go.  I’m putting good money out for these classes so I force myself to get up and get going.

""Psychedelically Cranked"; Poured Watercolor on Paper by me that is in the Gallery Roll"
 I always considered myself an early morning and late night person.  Mid afternoon is always my low period of the whole day but lately it seems like early mornings have been becoming not so good.  Maybe I just need a break or something?  So Saturday morning, I’m planning on sleeping in.  Though, I don’t think that will be a problem because the night before I have an art show (I’ve got three pieces in the SLC Gallery Roll- Click here for more info.) and then I’m supposed to meet up with the “girls” afterwards for drinks.

Friday, May 11, 2012

"Official" Climb Start? & Checking In...

This week on the Emigration Canyon climb a funny story occurred to a new riding friend.  I had caught up with her about ½ through the canyon after making sure all of the riders of into the canyon, and she told me this story…

 About 2 miles into climbing the canyon this guy pulls up along side her on a bike and asked her where the climb starts.  She says that it depends on where you start from but she tells him she’s been climbing since she left Sugarhouse Park where the BCC ride started.  No, he says where does the “official” climb begin?  She said he was saying it with a totally straight face when I asked if he was pulling her leg. She said he was totally serious and he didn’t seem happy with her answers.  We kind of laughed about it as we climbed the rest of the canyon.
"Petals on Petals"; Watercolor on 10" x 10" Paper that I painted this last week. 
You can see more of my bike artwork click here.

 At the top of the canyon, she pointed out which guy it was.  I guess he was running a bit late to join us to start from Sugarhouse and he was visiting from back east; at least that was what I overheard as he talked to another club member at the top where the riders regroup before going down.

It was about ½ mile down as we were heading out of the canyon that I pulled up next to her and while coasting along I said,” Excuse me but where does the “official” downhill start?  Are we there yet?”  We were laughing most of the way down the canyon.

It was later after the ride as a group of us were talking with this guy us, that I found out he was visiting for a library convention for the week.  The first day he arrived with his nice bike in tow, he had climbed Big Cottonwood and Little Cottonwood Canyons.  Those 2 canyons, one of which has been compared similar to a section Tour de France’s climbing, are serious climbs.  AND he did both in of those in one day!?!!  After a day like that of climbing, Emigration Canyon probably seems like a hiccup.  No wonder he was wondering when the “official” climb was starting!

But now the joke between my friend and myself is… where’s the official climb start.  She says that some mornings that just getting out of bed!

Checking in…
Good news, I am down another pound!  Yahoo!  I FEEELLLL GOOOD!  I now have 7 lbs. to go till my goal weight, and I’m feeling pretty good as I'm sure you've gathered.  I did do a great deal of activities for the week and here are my stats for the week…

105 miles cycling
5.10 miles running
36 minutes on the elliptical
And 1 class of Jump board Pilates!

 Yep, I’m back to the pilates and boy am I feeling it in the abs this afternoon!  Thank you Laura!  The fabulous pilates teacher that teaches the Jump Board Pilates Class early on Friday mornings.  The pilates place had a summer special and I thought it might help to get a more full body workout to help me along.  So I bought a group special of 10 and that should take me into July just before I leave for RAGBRAI.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Spanish Vs. Modern Opera?

Last night I opted to use my last opera season ticket instead of going to my Monday night beginning Spanish class.  It was a toss up!  It was a choice between a modern opera or strangling the Spanish language.  I went to the modern opera.  If it weren’t for the companions that went with me to the opera and that I ended up selling some bike art note cards to two of them, I think I would have come out ahead with the strangling Spanish.

 Modern Opera, I think it’s one of those acquired taste things; you know, like anchovies.  Well, maybe not that acquired but you get the gist.  I feel like something is lost when there’s no true classical music melodies that ties it all together and everything is sung in English.  Yes, it was sung in English.  I was still surprised that they were showing the English subtitles above the stage.  English singing with English subtitles?  Was that for the deaf in the audience?  Or maybe, it must have been for all those Italian immigrants that came to Utah?  Though, wouldn’t it have made more sense to have the subtitles in Italian then?  Hmmmm… 

I found myself out of shear boredom comparing the differences between the English subtitles and what was actually being sung.  There were whole lines that never got sung.  It makes me wonder how much I miss when it all sung in Italian and subtitles.  I mean I could be really missing out on quite a bit and understanding a whole other story line.  Gee, I could have thought I was watching a tragedy and it might have been a true comedy!  Naw, maybe not!

The modern opera that I watched was “Of Mice & Men”.  I’ve read it, seen it on film and on live theater stage and finally last night got to see it as a modern opera.  And it’s not that the singers weren’t talented or that the sets were ugly; which the set design was wonderful.  It’s just some things shouldn’t be translated into a modern opera?  Or maybe, I just don’t have enough of a cultivated acquired taste for a modern opera, hmmm?  But the good news is... I might be able to write off the parking on my taxes by selling the bike art cards.  I'm keeping THAT receipt!

Friday, May 4, 2012

Cinco de Mayo, Merchandise & Checking in

Happy Cinco de Mayo!  
Yep, that’s tomorrow.  I had a co-worker wish it to me as she was leaving the office.  She asked if I had any plans and I said,” Yeah!  Hopefully not slaughtering the Spanish language!”  I’m still struggling with the speaking part of Spanish.  I keep on trying to break that habit of using the French vowels.  Last Saturday afternoon, shortly after running with the bulls (see prior blog entry) I took an hour and half and just practiced speaking.  I got these two different CD with books from the library and went over the first few lessons repeating over and over and over again the words out loud till I actually kind of sounded like the voice speaking the language correctly.  This last Monday, the teacher did comment that I did sound better; like I was starting to catch on.  So this Cinco de Mayo, I may be working on practicing via CD’s on my laptop some more.

Example of "Allgood Amish Triangle" T-shirt
available at Zazzle.

Example of "Cycle of Red, Yellow & Tyedyed"
T-shirt available through Zazzle.

I got into RAGBRAI, this I found out on the first of May.  Between that and getting ready for a bike art booth of my artwork for Little Red Riding Hood, I’ve managed to get more things/ideas lined up for doing a little merchandising of my own art work.  I’ve set up t-shirts, key chains, and a messenger bag on the Zazzle website; at my store called AllgoodArt.  There's a couple of the t-shirts available above but click here to visit and see more.  Only had my store up a couple of days and I've already sold one shirt.  Cool!   I even sent out some emails to friends and people that have purchased my art and suggested some of these items would make a great Mother's Day gifts. 
Example of a Two-Tone Tote Bag I ordered some of.
I’ve also gone on to various other sites and designed/ordered various items such as; totes, bumper stickers, and magnets.  I’m hoping that by doing all of this I’ll be able to recoup some of the fees and other costs involved in RAGBRAI.  But worse, come to worse, I figure I can always see about peddling some of these items during RAGBRAI.  Why not a double opportunity of selling bike artwork to bicyclists?  It sounds like a win-win situation to me.

Checking In…
The Good News is…I was at the same weight this morning as last Friday morning.  I guess I’m okay with that; I would much rather have it the same than showing that it’s gone up.  I think I did pretty well and I logged in some good workout stats during the week- such as; 7.5 miles running, 87 miles cycling, and 13 minutes on the elliptical machine. 

More good news is…I’ve noticed that the usual Friday morning donuts; didn’t look as appealing as they usually do.  This morning, I cut the apple fritter in half and took it with coffee back to my desk.  I nursed the apple fritter along for a couple of hours and was tempted to throw the last bit away.  Sugar is losing its appeal which is always a good thing.  Now if I can just work on those late night munchies I think I would have it made.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

May Day's, Running Bulls, & Month End...

Happy May Day!  Awww… the first of May and hopefully, those April rain showers will simmer down.  May flowers bring them on! 

This last Saturday I opted to go for a run outside than a bike ride.  While I was running along over to my favorite park, I turned a corner and I was in the midst of 100 other runners.  I felt really bad because all of them were passing me like I was standing still.  I was going an easy pace because I was planning on going at least 5 to 6 miles.  They were ladies pushing strollers that were going faster.  I almost felt like I was in the middle of the running of the bulls and I was waiting to get pulverized into mincemeat. 

I ended up going up on to the sidewalk just to feel a little more at ease.  A local running store was holding a free training run.  About a block away from my favorite park there was a water stop with a van advertising the shop.  Shortly, after the water stop they had the run turning around in the street and I was glad I was on the sidewalk.  I continued on and did a lap around the park where a bunch of Army ROTC kids were stretching out before they started running laps around the park.  I did the one lap and it was like I had the whole wide sidewalk to myself; plenty room to breathe.  As I headed back home from the park, the running shop was clearing away the water station and I was going along nicely at my own pace on a quiet street.  Awwwww… that was nice.  I managed 5.5 miles for the day.  It felt good.

Later Saturday, I was having a late lunch/early dinner and had thought I had broken my tooth.  I freaked a bit and couldn’t remember my dentist name, couldn’t find the number and was just freaking out.  That’s strange for me.  Then I calmed down and got to looking and thought it might have been a crown I had swallowed.  Waited and went to the dentist on Monday afternoon to discover that it was a broken filling and I would now need a crown.  Darn; another expensive crown that doesn’t go on top of my head!

Month in review…

1.)    Saving Money?  I’m at my goal pace plus an extra 4% more.  I haven’t sold any more paintings and I’ve been trying to build up a stock of paintings, cards, and etc. for the booth I’ll have in the Little Red Riding Hood Bike Ride. 

2.)    Uncluttering my life?  Well, almost a quarter of my bedroom is stacked with donations that I need to take to the Good Will.  I need to see about taking a trip on some Saturday afternoon to drop it off.  But I still want to go through some more of my summer clothes before I do.

3.)    Reaching my goal weight?  As of last Friday morning, I was within 8 lbs. of my goal weight.  I’m feeling pretty happy with that.

4.)    Cutting down on eating out?  Nope! Sorry!  I’m SOL here!  I’m really failing at this one of late.  I’m beginning to wonder if I should throw this goal out and start from scratch!  Of course, it would help if I got my act together and cooked at home.  But I just haven't been in the mood to do that of late.

5.)    Do 1 Century Bike Ride?  Yep, got this off the list!  I found out this morning I did win the lottery for RAGBRAI.  So I’ll need to start upping my average mileage to prepare for 472 miles in one week.  In other words, I may have to plan to ride my bike every where by the beginning of July.  

Stats for the Month of April…

368 miles Cycling
19 miles Running
30 minutes on the elliptical
I’m now up to 21 books read for the year!