Wednesday, February 15, 2006

A Tri-Athlete in a Twinkie Suit

Last year my wife and I wrote lists of things we would like to accomplish or see in our lifetime. As soon as we decided to do this I began writing furiously as the ideas and dreams flowed. Before long I had my list divided into 5 or 6 sub-lists of things to do. I have a section on foods I want to eat in different countries, I have people I want to meet, things I want to do, places I want to see, and specific experiences such as "Run with the bulls in Spain".

When I write a list like this I pretty much write it and then keep living life. When I see an opportunity to do one of the things on my list I will do it but I don't necessarily plan my life around my list. My wife, on the other hand is a bit more rigid when it comes to lists. If she writes something on a list a magical metamorphosis takes place and those ordinary words become a mandate from above. So if my wife writes something on her list, she begins organizing her life in a way that leads towards checking off the items on the list.

For example, my wife said she would like to complete a triathlon. So, she immediately found one to enter, bought books and magazines telling her how to prepare, and she trained hard all summer. Not only did she finish her triathlon, but she finished about an hour faster than she had hoped. A friend of ours who is a personal trainer came last year to watch and encourage her throughout the race and after the race she decided that she would compete in the triathlon this year. Then she began recruiting others and now has about 15 other people who said they will enter the race.

All of this has led me to add another thing on my "list for life". I now want to compete in a triathlon without ever training even one minute for it. At first I said I would compete and eat a box of Twinkies in the process... which I still might do. Then I said I wanted to run the final two legs of the race (Biking and running) in a Twinkie outfit. I don't even like Twinkies, I just think it would be hilarious to see a Twinkie passing up serious competitors as we approach the finish line. The problem with this idea is that it would only be funny if the Twinkie was one of the better athletes out there. I have daydreams of seeing a Twinkie happily running a joking with people as they agonize through the final stages. Or, maybe it would be funny if the Twinkie was crawling by the end all in an effort to finish the race. Either way, I think I will support my wife as a tri-athlete this year and join with her… and I’ll keep you posted of the Twinkie decision.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Happy Crossing Gaurd Lady

I just thought that I would let you know that Happy Crossing Gaurd Lady now blows me kisses each morning. As I said in Too Happy, this is how all scandalous relationships with 70 year olds begin.

Friday, February 03, 2006

Are We From Indiana?

Today was one of those perfect spring days when the sun seemed to come up extra early, the birds were outside the windows singing, and the chill from the night air vanished with the darkness. The forecast was for the temperatures to reach the 80's so I was pretty excited. It has been a brutal winter for us in Southern California. We have had 2.20 inches of rain since last July, the night time temperatures have been plunging into the lower 50's, and daytime temps have barely reach 70. As you can see, we are ready for the warmth of spring.

So today, we decided to take the family down to the beach to enjoy the day playing in the sand. During our grueling 8 mile journey towards the beach we began to realize that today would not work out as we had hoped. In the final 1/2 mile of the journey, the fog from the cold Pacific Ocean was so thick that we could barely see the water. But, we said we were going to the beach, so we journeyed ahead.

The beach was legitimately cold, the water was only 57 degrees, the wind was blowing, and the fog was dense. When I used to live in Washington state this would have been considered a fine summer day at the ocean, but I have long since been cleansed of that disillusion. The only people at the beach were surfers in their winter wet-suits, couples bundled in their winter coats enjoying a romantic walk, and my family in our board shorts and sandals. As my boys played in the sand and eventually in the frigid waves of the Pacific, I began to feel a little self-conscious. Days like these we usually only see tourists from places like Indiana playing in the water. You know, the people who traveled to California to go the beach and who were not going to let cold weather get in the way. These are also the people who think 60 degrees is warm for winter so why not play in the water.

Today we were the tourists. We were the ones that the locals were looking at and thinking, "they must be from Indiana". In fact, at one point a family dressed in winter coats, Disneyland hats (a tourist flag), and Virginia accents walked passed us with astonished looks in their eyes. Even the tourists thought we were nuts. Then I thought what the people from Indiana must think... having fun with family always trumps impressing the locals. It also didn't hurt that we did not see anyone we know.