Powered by Blogger.

the burrito challenge

There was a seemingly endless list of topics to choose from for tonight's post: How I'm pretty much hungry and/or sleepy all the time because of Vineman training. How I kind of love open water swimming now (I know, right?) and have a new strategy for the bike leg which will hopefully compensate for the fact that I am the world's worst cyclist. How the chicks -- officially a week old as of today -- are growing so fast that they actually have wing feathers and tiny tails. 

Then some guy friends invited me to Los Tres Chiles, and I found myself in the middle of this:

Josh -- who is also training for Vineman, by the way -- was about a fourth of the way into the challenge when I arrived at the restaurant.

Monstrous, isn't it? That's 7.5 lbs. -- like eating a baby. (Isn't that the visual you wanted? Mmm. Newborns.)

He powered through until about a fifth was left, with 20 minutes still on the clock.

And then he didn't look so great.

And I started to wonder if sitting across the table from him was a smart decision.

I became even more alarmed when he asked the waitstaff for a trashcan, and the waitstaff responded by telling a horrible story about another guy who attempted the challenge but ended up puking everywhere.

This triggered my already unnaturally heightened fear of vomit so much that I missed the dramatic finish to the burrito challenge because I literally ran out of the restaurant. 

But as soon I heard thunderous applause, I knew it was OK to return.

And there was Josh, a member of the clean plate club.

And $150 richer for it.

guess what?

Chicken butt!

In the free time I have between work, falling off of my bike and eating massive amounts of food (which I blame entirely on "training"), I go to war with bugs.

This involves waking up early every morning to smash squash bugs in the garden (an ongoing battle that deserves a post of its own -- I hate those damn things and it sicks me out that they are almost always glued together at the butt -- get a room!), scrape hundreds of tiny green eggs off of my artichokes (this also sicks me out) and hose spittle bugs off of my mint (not as gross, but still annoying).

I've decided I need more soldiers to help me fight the good (organic) fight.

Enter chickens.

I'm splitting an order of pullets (look at me and my flockster terminology!) with one of the vineyard managers at work. The girls are a mix of Brahmas (light, buff and dark) -- a gentle, docile breed known for being good foragers (kill the bugs!) that look like they are wearing pants (I can't tell you how happy this makes me) and Araucanas, a friendly, poofy-cheeked chicken that lays bluish-green eggs.

Anyway, this morning at about 4:15, I got a call from the post office telling me my chicks had arrived. It was all I could do to keep from jumping out of bed and rushing off to pick them up right then and there.

How funny that chicks are sent via snail mail, right? Even more awesome: The post office was filled with the sound of chirping -- apparently, I'm not the only one ordering chickens!

The girls are now all settled into their brooder. It didn't take them long to figure out the food and water -- a few of them ate themselves silly and then passed out beakdown in the shavings for a nap! (This is entirely normal, by the way. It looks funny, but it's normal.)

I can't wait to go home tonight and watch them. (And I don't know how I'm going to manage to give some of them away to the vineyard manager. They are just so darn cute.)

freak out!

This is what happens when you're a cat and you're confused about how things are supposed to work.

Clearly, Mari's DJ career is never really going to take off.

In other news, I just realized Vineman is two months away. Even more unsettling: I'm in the third-to-last wave, which means that if I don't get my act together, the course could close while my slow ass is still out there backstroking swimming. Also, if I do manage to finish the swim, I will likely be running in extreme heat. And you know how much I love heat.


So I've been hitting it hard this week -- bricked today, yesterday and the day before. (In fact, on Wednesday I did what resembled a reverse tri with very, very long transitions: Run in the morning before work, bike at lunch, swim after work. As you can imagine, I passed out sideways on the bed before 9 p.m. that night.)

I haven't been following a training plan at all over the past few months -- I've just kind of been winging it. At first, that seemed OK, but my Type A personality is getting the best of me, and I may actually have to start scheduling workouts. Right now, I'm aiming for something that involves swimming, biking and running three times a week each (and obviously, there will be bricks), with some Pilates, hot yoga and cross-training thrown in.

I also need to rein in my diet. No more grilled cheese orgies. No more growlers of Damnation. No more burritos four times a week.

And I need to sleep more.

Ack. Sometimes I seriously think I'm crazy for signing up for this thing.


So I turned a year older last Friday, and what a weekend it was. I can't decide if what I'm feeling is elation or exhaustion. Maybe it's a little of both.

First, there were birthday cocktails.

And then an amazing ramen surprise party that left me so blown away I cried in public.

There was a canoe race down the Russian River. (I don't have any photos from this because I didn't want my camera to fall in the water, but it was one of those I-feel-so-grateful-to-live-in-Northern-California moments. Halfway through the race -- which was more like a floating party with beer and costumes -- we stopped and went swimming and sat on the rocks and ate Kettle Chips. Have I mentioned how much I love Kettle Chips? Heaven.)

And there was an impromptu farm tour that involved picking snap peas off the vine, visiting with chickens and meeting newborn goats.

And then there were more birthday cocktails.

And VIP tent passes to Stage 1 of the Tour of California.

Which, for the record, really made me jealous -- why can't I have this car following me on all of my rides?

Look at all of those lovely Bianchis! (Just imagine the number of bikes I'd go through with my super cycling skills, though. Ha!)

Afterward, I went from fast to slow and baby-sat a turtle.

His name is Lyle, and he's kind of  a heavy breather. (Is this normal for turtles?)

Here's to another year of adventures!

rockin' the road rash

At this point, I'm starting to think I should just get a road rash tattoo.

Yes, folks, I know you are incredibly surprised, but the world's most coordinated cyclist crashed yet again during last Saturday's 100K.

It happened at about Mile 15. I was moving along, feeling pretty good and enjoying the gorgeous vineyard scenery, when I got stuck in one of those seams between two patches of uneven pavement and totally ate shit. Like hit-my-head-on-the-ground-and-freak-other-riders-out shit.

Luckily, the damage wasn't much more than road rash, bruising and a little whiplash (rolling over in bed the next morning was excruciating), and after a few minutes, I hopped back on my bike and kept going. (Yes, there was some why-do-I-suck-so-much drama and self-loathing, but that's to be expected, since I've fallen during three of my last four cycling events. Man, I really do suck.)

And I would've finished the ride, except my friend's back started seizing up, so we hopped on the SAG wagon at the 31.1-mile lunch stop at Lake Sonoma and called it a day.

So no 100K for me.

But at least I got to experience two of the aid stations. And as you can see, they were awesome.

in sum

Co-worker: Do you have any fun plans for the weekend?

Me: I'm doing a metric century tomorrow.

Co-worker: Don't crash.

10 answers

... to 10 questions you didn't ask:

1. This is a list because my brain is fried. And my brain is fried because I spent the day in a car driving to Philo (the town, not the dough) to see our new tasting room, and the roads were very twisty, so to avoid puking in front of my co-workers, I had to pop a Dramamine, which meant that instead of barfing in front of everyone, I passed out in the backseat. I was told later that my head lolled around a lot. At least I didn't drool.

2. The view from the new tasting room:

3. While in Philo, I ate at Libby's, which I believe is the only restaurant in the whole town. Dear Dramamine: Thank you for ensuring this burrito did not make an encore appearance during the drive back.

4. This is also the third burrito I've eaten in three days. Jesus. (That's with the Spanish pronunciation, FYI.)

5. Clearly I've fallen off of the gluten-free wagon. (Side note: What would such a wagon look like? Would it be constructed from rice flour? Teff? Or just carved from a giant head of lettuce?) Let's not forget the grilled cheese orgy I had with my friends last week.

6. My stomach hasn't been the same since. But the sacrifice was well worth it: Fontina, Serrano ham and quince paste. Peppercorn chèvre and red bell peppers. Colby, apples and honey (my personal favorite). Camembert and apricot sauce. (Also, we were trying to win Culture Magazine's grilled cheese contest. If you scroll through the Culture blog, you'll see more photos from our cheesefest, including a ridiculous shot of me manning the stove.)

7. I got my bike back today -- just in time for the Wine Country 100K, for which I am totally unprepared. (Um, see everything about my diet, as detailed above.) My goal for this event: Use it as a training ride for Vineman. And don't crash.

8. I think it's just a matter of time before Mari catches her first bird. If she gives it to me as a present, I'll be honored. I just hope she doesn't leave it on the bed.

9. And yes, that white object to the left of this photo is a refrigerator. And yes, it is on the back porch. That is just how small the house is.

10. Current obsessions: Burritos (duh), Apartment Therapy, the Swiffer (it's an amazing thing).