Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Guess who?

sticki: is he flying?

me: haha. no, driving.

sticki: seriously? is he crazy?

me: seriously? are you asking me that?

sticki: why is he driving up? does he not like to fly?

me: he only flies when he absolutely has to (i.e., going to canada). if you think about it, it makes perfect sense. he does not like rules, lines, security guards, or places that he can't bring a gun. airports/airplanes are definitely not high on his list of places to be.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Whatcha doin' on September 14th?

I'm planning a little post triathlon C-E-L-E-B-R-A-T-I-O-N with Betsie and Vicki, so for any of you blog-reading faithful who are going to be in the area, let me know if you want added to my Evite :D

Trying to head to bed early tonight. I'm planning go see Sex and the City tomorrow night (yes, I already saw it once), and so I'm getting up early to swim and run. By some sort of miracle (probably the Miracle of Laziness), I have yet to do a morning workout this entire training season - ah, that's a lie, there was that ONE morning that Betsie and I went running - but anyway, I figure I can handle one more before I re-enter official couch potato status on September 15th ;-)

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Heather From the Block?

For those of you who aren't quite as obsessive about celeb gossip...guess who else is training to complete a triathlon on September 14th?

Damn my clever blog title and it's subtle clues, because you probably guessed it.

Jennifer Lopez! Or as WWTDD likes to call her, Jenifaa Yopez.

Anyway, you can see the segment that she did on Good Morning America this week - talking about her triathlon aspirations here.



So her comment about fearing her ability to finish prompted a little bit of obsessive internet research to figure out just what kind of triathlon she's doing anyway. There are several standard race distances...and they range from the "pretty darn easy" level of effort to the "you must have lost your mind" level.

Anyway, turns out that the race that she's doing is some sort of in between type deal...longer than a Sprint, shorter than an Olympic. My race, for future reference, is an Olympic distance...and I'm toying with the idea of a 70.3 in '09. We'll see.

Anyway, just had to share...cause knowing that I'm gonna travel 10 more miles than JLo on Race Day is a little bit of extra motivation for the week!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Cracked me up

'Hills' watchers, I think you will enjoy this as much as I did. James Franco is brilliant in his parody of Justin Bobby. Watch this video for 00:25 if nothing else. Ha.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Olympic Ponderings

A few thoughts have been floating around my head that are (mildly) related to the 2008 Summer Olympic games. I don't quite have the energy to put them into a coherent form...so how about some consultant-y bullet thoughts?

  • Knowing the Olympics are on makes me miss having TV in my house. I gave up TV about six months ago, in an effort to live a healthier lifestyle. Try as I may, I can't seem to avoid the lure of Flava Flave and other VH1 characters when I have cable, and I really did want to read more, exercise more, and clean my house more :p I typically watch trashy tv in the gym (I guess the thought there is that the calories burned balances out the brain cells lost...don't ask me for details), and keep up with the news and my few fave programs (The Office, Grey's Anatomy, Lipstick Jungle) online. I can honestly say that this week is the first time that I have missed it. Olympic coverage just really isn't the same online, so I was happy to catch some sand volleyball and swimming tonight while running.

  • I'm an Olympian in my own mind. I'm training for my 2nd olympic distance triathlon right now (September 14th! Write it down!), and as that is only a month away, my training is peaking right now. That means my life feels like it's down to a simple little ritual of eating, sleeping, swimming, riding, and running. My favorite sport is swimming - hands down - and my absolute favorite days are the ones when I go to the pool and I just feel....fast. The reality is that I'm not actually fast, and I'm well aware of this, but somedays it just feels like my body is slicing through the water, like that's where I belong. Today was one of those days :D

  • Betcha $10 that the singer grows up to be way cuter than the lip-syncer. Poor Lin Miaoke...both she and Yang Peiyi probably have some awkward pre-teen years ahead of them, but I've got a feeling that YP is gonna come out on top when all is said and done. I mean having your fifteen minutes of fame at age seven as a direct result of being deemed cuter than another more talented kid...that just screams bad karma to me. Oh, and do you think headlines featuring the word "lip-sync" still make Milli Vanilli uncomfortable? I'll put another $10 on that.
  • Weather modification is fascinating. The current focus of my internet research is weather modification...inspired largely by all of the press that Chinese preparations for cloud seeding during the Olympics. I'm currently trying to wrap my brain around this:
"Weather modification is an important government department, employing almost
40,000 people, 3,000 of whom work with an arsenal of 7,000 cannon and 4,687
rocket launchers. They have a budget of €65 million, but money is no object when
it comes to controlling the Olympic weather. And the government has spent
billions developing a weather modification programme."

It's late, and I'm tired, so I think my official response to that is...whoa.

Side note: If you think this is interesting as well, and like fiction firmly anchored in the realm of conspiracy theoriesy, check out Category 7. I read it last Christmas - it was a fast, easy, compelling read, in the style of Michael Crichton or Robin Cook.

Okay, that's enough from me. G'nite.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Summer Vacay Part 2

Right, so after having rounded up these crazy characters, we basically planned to spend a week off from our real lives, hanging out in Vermont on the same lake as our camp. It gave us a perfect opportunity to go back and visit camp, see what had changed and what hadn't, and relax in the Vermont summer sun (and a little bit of rain :p).

Emma had brought a friend with her from England (Amy) who had never been to the US before, and we all felt a little guilty about her first trip to the US only consisting of Vermont, so I convinced Emma, Amy, and Ana to fly into DC instead of Boston, so we took a little detour to NYC on the way to Vermont. We stayed just long enough for Amy to some basic NYC activities:



Drinking cosmos...






Riding in a yellow cab...









And enjoying the bright lights of the big city.








Once that was done, we headed on to Vermont and our home for the week. The cabin slept six people, so it was perfect for our little group. It was located on the same lake as our camp, so it provided a perfect opportunity to go back and visit the camp.
I think Chris and I, the former waterfront instructors, enjoyed playing in the lake the most, though the others were good sports.

It seemed as thought no time had passed at all when we dressed up in our blues and whites and headed to camp for Sunday night campfire. Of course, that was when we realized that some of our campers were now on staff! This message was brought home when we were talking to one counselor, introducing ourselves and telling her what year(s) we had been there and what we had taught, and she looked at me and said, "Wait...were you Heather Hotdog?" Haha, yes indeed I was.


Side note: Our camp was very structured, and the campers signed up for classes every two weeks. During the first class, I would always play a name game with my class - say your name and a food that starts with the same letter - and we'd go around the circle and say hello to everyone. Well, my nickname, Heather Hotdog, really stuck. Not only did a lot of the campers call me that, but occasionally, some of them like to use my nickname as creative inspiration, and I was the recipient of many a well-meant Heather Hotdog drawing or craft.


The rest of the week was filled with Vermont-y adventures, like doing cartwheels on the Dartmouth green, visiting the Ben & Jerry's factory, and visiting Montpelier to tour the state capitol.

And...practicing our moves for our version of the NKOTB 'Summertime' video...we could obviously give any boy band a run for their money...

All told it was an awesome summer vacation! I'm so excited that we've already got the planning started on the next one :-)

P.S. I've been enjoying a little NKOTB-inspired 80's pop revival this morning while blogging. If anyone wants to share my NKOTB station on Pandora.com, let me know!

P.P.S. For all you lurkers who harass me about writing my blog, here you go. How about a comment?!

Summer Vacay Part 1

Ten years ago this spring, I was a confused college student trying to figure out 'what to do with my life.' All my friends were getting professional internships, most of which turned out to be of the photocopying and coffee making variety. I knew that the aerospace field wasn't for me, so that just seemed like a giant waste of time. One week, in the student employment office, I noticed a flyer for a summer camp that was looking to hire college students to be counselors. That little flyer piqued my interest and triggered several hours of internet research. Yes, I was obsessed with internet research as far back as 1998.

Anyway, I soon found a summer camp that seemed perfect for me - it was private, all girls, not affiliated with a particular church or religion, and in Vermont (approximately 1,317 miles from home!). It was going to be the farthest I had ever been from home for the longest I had ever been from home - and I was pumped at the thought! There was only one problem, as it turned out...at this camp, all the cabin counselors were also instructors in an activity or sport, and I wasn't actually qualified to teach anything! Long story short, the camp directors worked with me and sent me to a Red Cross Aquatics Camp in Cape Cod, MA at the beginning of the summer, where I became a certified canoeing instructor.

That summer was truly an amazing experience in my life. I was looking forward to the freedom, independence, and opportunity to enjoy nature over the summer. I received all of that, to be sure, but it was also one of the most stressful and growing experiences that I had had up to that point in my life. Our schedules were so intense, the demands on us were high, and the needs of the campers often had to come before your own. There were only few people who really could understand what the experience at this camp was like - the other counselors.

Lucky for me, I met a great group of girls who had the same day off as me, and so when we had that chance (12 hours twice a week) to leave camp and our responsiblities behind, we made the absolute most of it! Probably the greatest gift I received from that summer was the truly amazing friendships that have remained throughout the last 10 years.

Sooooooo.....since it had been 10 years since that fateful summer, we coordinated a reunion with the core group of us who were so tight during our Lochearn summers. I'm still so amazed that we pulled it off with people having jobs, families, and thousands of miles to travel, but we did it!


The main characters are:





Krista aka Nouf Nouf - Former beads and bracelets instructor, she's now the new mom of baby Harry, and still managed to be at our reunion for five days!



Chris aka Christy aka Nif Nif: Former diving instructor (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, divers don't take no jive...), she's is the proud mom of Ben and Ella, lives all the way in Indiana, and still managed to be at our reunion for two days! Plus she brought her van, so that she could drive us around - just like old times :-)








Emma aka Emma Dilemma: Former riding instructor and recipient of creepy crushes and awkward advances from every male who graced the grounds of camp while she was there, Em runs her own riding school in England, and I am SO glad that she made it over for a week!






Ana aka Jean Claude: Former tennis instructor and my co-conspirator for making this reunion happen - we actually dreamed up the idea during a trip we took to Canada last summer! A high powered European executive by day, this girl has some mad love for Abba and is my world-traveling hero!





And then of course, there's yours truly...H aka Naf Naf aka Heather Hotdog. Former canoeing instructor who has some trouble believing she isn't still 19...









Grr...picture posts are so annoying...gonna start over with pics from our week in Vermont.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Back in the blogosphere

As I thought might happen, this summer has been flying by. Literally, the month of July is just a crazy blur to me. Let's see if I can manage a quick recap tonight, and then we'll see about August.

4th of July - Hung out with good friends BEMer and KIMer who live in the District. It was the most unorthodox and anarchistic 4th of July I have ever experienced. Somehow, people are able to shoot off these mad, exploding, professional grade fireworks all over the city. I'm told that while it's not exactly 'legal', the police have a history of looking the other way, and so people spend THOUSANDS of dollars purchasing these things, and it even becomes competitive in some neighborhoods, with families trying to outdo other families. It was wild, and a little nervewracking, to watch fireworks going hundreds of feet into the air, knowing they were set off on a neighborhood street, just three feet from my car. A few of KIMer's margaritas calmed me down enough to watch for a while, but after about two hours of non-stop fireworks, I realized that this could (and probably would) go on all night, so I rescued my car and headed home.

Chincoteague Beach Weekend - This Florida girl is really missing the beach this summer, so my friend Margaret and I tried to do a beach getaway weekend at the beginning of the month. Unfortunately, the weather did not cooperate in the slightest, so we aborted the mission early and turned it into a weekend of experiencing Maryland culture. Exotic, I know. It took a bit of a hunt, but we were successful in trying two Smith Island cakes. A Smith Island cake is basically a massive, dense layer cake which is soon to be considered Maryland's official state dessert. More on that here. It was just as rich as the article indicates - and really yummy, so the weekend was a success after all!

Next came a trip to Vermont with some very dear friends. There are actually pictures to accompany that story (thanks to my friends and their digi cameras) but that's gonna have to wait for another night :p Posting pics in Blogger is a bit of a trial, and I'm not sure I'm up for it tonight.

P.S. Caught half an episode of this season's Project Runway tonight. Can I just say that if Blayne withers and dies from lack of tanning opportunities, I wouldn't be all that sad? And Suede. Just...stop. Yea, like she said.