Sunday, April 28, 2013

Sunny with a chance of self-pity

I worked for five and a half hours straight this morning to get the giant book project for Dopey to a place where I still have a reasonable shot at making the deadline. And now…only 1,000 pages to go.


But then I legitimately got outside and enjoyed the sunshine a little and went to yoga, so I'm all refreshed and raring to finish Bashful's giant document now. On a Sunday night, mind you. At least the windows are open for the first time all year. I'm kind of excited about that.

So…I had already been working for three or four hours this morning when Dex wandered out of bed, grabbed some breakfast, took a shower, and got picked up by a friend for an impromptu day of hiking and climbing. I'm not sure if I'm jealous because he's young and has no responsibilities or if I'm jealous because he's way smarter than I am.

But listen. We decided that this summer, with no school and two adults who set their own work schedules, we have NO EXCUSE not to get up to the mountains at least every other week or so. We live in Montana, for goodness' sake, and after the winter we've just endured, I can't think of any other reason TO live in Montana than easy, fortnightly access to mountains.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

The avalanche

I took it easy the first part of last week—reveling in my triathlon success and lack of paid employment—and worked on M.H.'s book instead. (It's going to be so good! I can't wait to get it out into the wild.) But then the avalanche came, and now the cycle of insanity begins again. The avalanche is a mixed blessing. I do need and appreciate the work, of course, but it's daunting when you've just finished editing "Part I" and still have 1,421 pages to go. My coping strategy is to flip my mental switch into all-I-do-is-work mode, and to get up every 25 pages to take "some sort of break," which is all-I-do-is-work mode code for "some sort of housework, or maybe feed the children." Semantics.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

"Get Inside and Tri" race report

The triathlon today was a lot more fun than I was expecting.

I would have been pretty happy with any overall result, because I reached my main goals of winning the swim and running over two miles, plus Mik and I had a blast, talking and joking the whole way. (Well, not on the swim. We were all business in the pool, because we had heard how far our competition had already gone, and we both really, really wanted to win that leg.)

But then I found out that I not only placed in the top three for women, but actually won the thing. I'm honestly torn somewhere between "No big deal to win a casual, tiny race with weird rules" and "This is the seventh-most exciting day of my entire life!!!!!!"

I'm too giddy to write much else—having never, ever, even once been in the middle of the pack, let alone the front—and anyway, stationary exercise equipment doesn't make for a very exciting race report, so I'll just share the results:

Julie (first overall out of ten women):
Swim (10 minutes): 26 lengths (first place; second place was 25 lengths)
Bike (30 minutes): 13.5 miles (first place; second place was 12.9 miles)
Run (20 minutes): 2.04 miles (third place; first was 2.21 miles, and second was 2.08 miles)

Mik (tie for second out of three men on points but awarded third when distance was used as a tiebreaker):
Swim: 27 lengths (first place; second place was 26 lengths, third was 23)
Bike: 12.1 miles (third place; first was 19.7 miles, can't remember what second was)
Run: 1.76 miles (third place; first was 3 miles, and second was 2.7)

P.S. I won a month of free membership at the gym (which more than reimbursed our entry fees—sweet), and Mik won a smoothie and a pint glass that says "Run to Live Lager." So in eight and a half years he can celebrate his swimming domination with a cold one.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Ode to vegetables

A year ago I never thought I'd be saying such a thing, but how amazing are vegetables? Vegetables! Vegetables are hereby awarded the TheBombDotMom seal of approval. Here's why:
  1. No matter what philosophy of nutrition you adhere to, vegetables are the superstar of it. There is literally no one on earth who will argue with you about whether they are healthy. (And don't even say "fruititarian," because that's just ludicrous.)
  2. Vegetables are so stinking delicious I can hardly stand it.
If you don't agree with the second point, then I'm afraid you might be cooking them wrong. Roasting is really the way to go. I roast vegetables so often that they got their own exciting acronym—"RVOD," for "roasted vegetable of the day"—and then the acronym became obsolete because I started roasting multiple pans of vegetables every day.

Basically, the recipe is the same for all of them. Wash, break, chop, slice, or whatever the vegetable in question. Put it in shallow layer in a glass baking dish. Mix it up with olive oil, butter, or ghee (enough to coat all the pieces); salt; pepper; and garlic powder. Put it in a 400-degree oven until the vegetable is very brown but not black. (Very brown, you hear me? That's called caramelization, and it's not always pretty, but you want it.) This works for carrots, cauliflower, kale, potatoes, brussels sprouts (OMG), parsnips, broccoli, asparagus, and lots of others I haven't tried yet.

I cannot stress enough how much learning this simple technique has improved my life. We try to always have some sort of roasted vegetable on hand in the fridge to reheat for breakfast, but we have trouble keeping them in the house that long, and I am not even exaggerating about that.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Swim with Mik

The kids had a day off from school, so I brought Mik along with me to swimming this morning. I thought it would be fun for him to swim with me for a change, and to be the fastest person in the pool. He's really competitive, as you may have gathered by this time, and we tend to encourage it because (a) it's adorable and (b) it makes him work really hard at things. Then he told me he was planning to wear his Sectionals cap "to intimidate the other swimmers," "so they know what they're up against," and I suddenly realized I may have created a monster, but it's pretty much too late to raise him differently now.

Anyway, he was certainly faster than the other swimmers, and he came home talking trash at me and doing his signature happy dance, so I guess we don't have to worry about his self-esteem for, like, ever.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

The budding triathlete vs. the wilting triathlete*

This indoor triathlon is only 10 days away, so I thought it would be good to take Mik to the gym tonight and let him get a feel for the bikes we'll be using and learn what all the treadmill buttons do and stuff like that. On our way in, we checked the sign-up list, and it appears that he's the only male even signed up to do the thing. I'd say one of us is well on his way to that top-three finish.

Mik still has me to race against, but I couldn't begin to predict which one of us will do better overall. Let me put it this way: One of us is younger, faster, and stronger than the other. But the other one of us has the patience to actually stay on a stationary bike for 30 minutes and pedal the whole time. Who's your money on?

* I'm suddenly overcome by the desire to make us coordinating T-shirts.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

This is what I get for focusing

I woke up feeling more focused and responsible, and as it occurred to me that I've been around a lot of sick people lately, so maybe all that restless rambling was the effects of a virus and not a midlife crisis after all.

Good, because it's been really nice outside, I have quite a bit of work to catch up on, the kids need attention, M.H.'s book ain't gonna edit itself, we have to cook if we want to eat Paleo, and I'd really like to get back into the swing of going to the gym every day. But this morning I decided to swim with the GATORS and this happened:


The story: Okay, so there's a new guy who doesn't circle swim in a way (to phrase it as accurately as possible) that's predictable to me. We were swimming a timed 500, and I was determined to break 7:30. About halfway through—with too much focus now, I suppose—I tried to pass him rather aggressively on a turn and instead got a chest full of fingernail. Fortunately, it didn't hurt either of us (mine looks worse than it feels). And I had time to apologize profusely and still swim a 7:22, so that was good.

Next goal: Break 7 minutes without trying to kill my friendly lanemates.

Note to self: Dig out some higher-neckline shirts so M.H. doesn't have to think about whether other people are thinking about whether I am a victim of spousal abuse.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013


I've been trying to pin down this restless feeling I've had lately. At first I thought maybe I was getting so doggone healthy that I was becoming fundamentally dissatisfied with my sedentary job and needed to make more time to go to yoga and start a garden and ride my bike and buy that flute already. But even though it's true that I am having trouble getting much work done at my sedentary job, I am not having trouble doing other sedentary things, like sit around and play cards, or sit around and look at Facebook, or sit around and watch reruns of "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" on Netfix with Dex. So I don't think it's that.

It's late morning, and prime time to do SOMETHING. I feel like that something could just as easily be go back to bed or go for a long, hard run, except I don't really want to do either of those things. And it would take a supreme act of willpower to get back to work, which is what I really should do, if I'm honest with myself. Gahhh! Spring fever? Midlife crisis? What is making me so aimlessly restless?