Monday, April 23, 2007

Yeah, Exercise!

In all my reckless insanity I competed in my first triathlon this past sunday. It was a beautiful sunny day at lake anna, air temps well into the 70s, but the water was a chilly 56 degrees.

I was one of the few people that found the water temp refreshing. This is primarily because i'm an awful swimmer and it is a lot of work for me, which results in me getting hot and bothered. Then my hot and bothered self enjoys the chilly water splashing on my face. I even once pulled down the neck of my wetsuit to let it fill with some chilling water. I finished very slowly (at least 12 mins behind most of my age group), but at least i finished, which is saying something since i've only been training for 3 months or so.

The bike was much more fun, and i was more in my element. I was disappointed that no matter how hard i tried, i was constantly being passed by a steady stream of people (to the point that i began to wonder if i was going to be the last to finish). I was amazed at how friendly the other racers were, constantly offering encouragement and support as they zoomed past. The encouragement was especially helpful on the run, which started with a quarter-mile long uphill (the initial 20ft a very discouraging and steep start). Since the run was an out and back course the people just starting out on the run were constantly encouraged by the people nearing their finish. I found this all surprising and thought people would be too focused on their individual performance to care about anything else, but i guess that only applies to the people who finished more than an hour before i did.

Overall, it was a fantastic experience and i'll probably sign up for one or two other short sprint tris before the summer is over, if i can fit training into my busy vacation schedule that is...

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Flowers on Trees

Of course, the day after I go off on a tourist rant i end up taking a half day at work to go check out the cherry blossoms. So this past monday i decided to take a little bike ride to avoid traffic (car and metro) and get some exercise at the same time. I took a leasiurely route, as you can see by this map. I took the bike trail down to the river. I had never before been out on Rosevelt island, so i took a side trip out there, and did a little jogging around the island. It is so cool to see such landscaping free area of land in the heart of the city, great views of Georgetown from the ped bridge. It is so cool that the large stone monument on the island is only accessed via dirt paths and wilderness trails. I then rode the bike down to the tidal basin and locked it up while i walked around and observed the tourists almost as much as the trees. It is amazing to just watch every person who walks down a path stopping to take the exact same picture over and over. I discovered that the FDR memorial isn't nearly as spectacular during the day as at night. So in closing i recommend that everyone check out Rosevelt Island by day and FDR memorial by night. The Jefferson monument is, of course, as spectacular and crowded as it always it.

In hindsight i'm very glad i took in monday afternoon and its 80 degree temp when the temperature was down in the thirties with snow by the weekend...

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Argh! Tourist season!

All the trouble begins with a few flowers on a few trees. The type of thing you can see in most cities around spring time. However DC apparently has magical cherry trees unlike anything, anywhere, ever! They have the magical power to make people stop in the middle of the sidewalk and stare aimlessly. They have the power to make a Saturday afternoon on the metro seem like the orange line during rush hour after a train malfunction. They can even make people think that they can just park their gigantic stroller right in front of the train door and not aggravate everyone trying to get on and off. These trees are amazing in their power, they can pull in bumpkins and classy foreign tourists alike. Of course, even i cant resist their power for ever, i may have escaped the kite festival this year, but i am sure my camera and i will be down there eventually taking the same pictures i take every year, those trees are just too darn pretty...

Ad Perversion? you decide...

This was a billboard from my Seattle trip. You may feel it is just an innocent thing, but between the phrase and the imagery i just feel dirty for some reason. At the very least it should provide all with a new catch phrase when describing meals.

Proper usage example: " then i opened my snack hole and had a delightful time..."

It will be the lingo sweeping the nation!

Noah takes a photo of himself every day for 6 years.

while i'm on a youTube kick i thought i should share one of my all time favorite vids for anyone who doesn't spend enought time goofing on the internet :-)

Snow Show, Saint, Stroll

I started the weekend with a journey into the upper reaches of NW into the land of American University. As always, the traffic was horrible since it was a Friday night, and it took twice as long to get there as it should have. I was so glad i wasn't driving for a change.

Once we found the campus we had to find the Bender "Arena". Unfortunately this "arena" would be more accurately described as a gymnasium. I've seen high schools with bigger gyms. We were there for the Snow Patrol concert (with guests OK Go and Silversun Pickups). Nothing like the cozy club atmosphere i had for the last Snow Patrol concert i went to (two years ago). Instead it was in a gym with pull out bleachers, and lazy bums sitting down for the entire show. The only concessions were the Poweraid and Snickers bars being sold by the crew team. In the future i may pass on concerts at this venue.
All that aside, it was still a decent show. OK Go didn't get up on treadmills or anything, but i thought they had some really interesting slo-mo type videos during some of their songs. Snow Patrol seemed to play better this time (probably because they couldn't get drunk before this show). They even had audience participation for their song "set fire to the third bar" since the duet singer, Martha Wainwright, was busy on her own album and couldn't tour with them. They invited some girl up from the audience to do the song with them, and she did such an awesome job i wondered if she was a plant. Its a pretty good song, and i should have a posting of the youtube video by the time you read this.

After the show, we called it a night. Saturday night then involved a trip out to one of my favorite U St. haunts, cafe St. Ex. I had a total blast, even though i succumbed to the temptation of the SoCo and Lime shots and drank/spent way more than i had originally intended (the story of most of my weekends...).

I woke up early on sunday and was fired up to enjoy the beautiful weather, and retrieve my credit card from the bar (i had to leave in a hurry the night before or may not have been able to share my cab home). The manager was as thankful for my bill as i was to get my card back, never a good sign. I then decided to be ambitious and walk home enjoying the beautiful weather. I even did a little shopping in Georgetown and got my first sunburn of the season. My triathlete peer pressure group had a cookout that night and it was overall about as laid back and relaxing a sunday as one could hope for.

Video that made OK Go famous

Set Fire to the Third Bar by Snow Patrol