Tuesday, February 23, 2010

I’m Clever at Skiing

IMG_2471 Those are the words Piper said to me after her very first and quite amazing run this past weekend ‘daddy, I’m clever at skiing’.  She’s 4 but for those who know the ‘Viking Baby’ as she referrers to herself – it’s not surprising.  For weeks we’ve been telling her she is going skiing to which she usually replied that she wasn’t because she was sick.  So either her first day was going to be an epic fight complete with tears, screaming and spilt blood or the amazing birth of America’s 2030 Winter Games Downhill and Super G ‘It’ Girl. 

Thankfully it was the latter.

Some things to note:

she doesn’t know her right from her left – somewhat important when you’re being taught how to ski

she is amazingly competitive – think Cain vs Able, she competes to put her jammies on or to get out of the tub first. 

she’s got no sense and a sense of fear that would perplex everyone but the insane, even a few of them would probably chose quiet time over an activity with Piper.

she’s part Viking via Denmark, they’re Vikings, just sort of Jr Varsity sized but equally capable of going bezerker. 

So she skis on a harness, which is like skiing with a 45lb lead plate in front of you – neither have control and are basically built to go downhill very straight.  Mostly I can steer her like a horse – even stop her but when the horse doesn’t turn and there is a steal pole for the chair lift in front – the horse with no sense would of course hit it.  This is why she wears a helmet. 

I steered her smack into a lift pole. I did say ‘left’ and she fell over pushing on her left ski.

She didn’t care. 

By the 4th time up, she was able to get off the chairlift by herself and ski down the ramp even making a left or right turn by herself.  Without falling.

For fun I wanted to see how fast she could go in a straight line before she screamed to slow down or got wobbly.  She did neither and said she wanted to ‘do it again’. 

And yea, I also took her down a blue run (or intermediate) with little management of her and she was a champ – flying down the hill past kids beefing it all over the place (she likes to point and laugh, I told her just laugh but don’t point).  Again, this was day 1 for her.  She ended the day about the point I was at around 10 years of age. 

We had to leave and she cried.  She just wanted to ski.  I think I almost cried.  She was amazing. 

She watches the Olympics with me and says “I’m not scared of that” and insists on skiing again soon.  Like today and tomorrow. 

So there. 

She’s skiing tomorrow.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

The Triple Lutz

Yeah, this is about the Olympics. 

IMG_2449 I’m trying to watch all of the coverage each day – I have so far, until I found out that coverage is not just on NBC, but also MSNBC, CNBC and probably other channels that I haven’t found yet.  I’ve become a fan of the Biathlon and even Sada wouldn’t let me fast forward any part of the men’s and women’s pursuits – both great races, not too long and a good amount of drama – like NASCAR with healthy people, Europeans and the athletes don’t freak out and shoot each other and the German women look good.

I don’t understand why sports with judges can actually be sports.  I understand figure skating is probably the exception but there should be deductions for the costumes the men wear.  They’re just not very masculine and I expect to see a purse on the ice sometime in the next few days and of course, it will have sequins and a fleur de lis somewhere in the mix.  I’m all for removing Ice Dancing though.  Regular dancing isn’t a Summer Olympic sport, so remove it. 

Even ski jumping has a judged component – style points!  I think they should have jumps that are measured and that’s your score.  Maybe I don’t know the history but for anyone who goes 80+kph off the end of a jump and down a hill should not have to worry about style.  Same with the moguls.  You get down fast and you’re done.  Just make it longer or put a single spectacular jump at the end.  With fire, fringe-covered pants, and sequins please. 

The luge was a debacle.  I know, some poor kid died.  Fast and dangerous sports kill people.  In most racing you have to know your limits and slow down if you cannot manage the speed.  Change it to a lunch tray race or give them saucers but don’t change the race because it’s dangerous.  If the sequined warriors I noted above fall and crack their heads open, will they make them wear helmets?  No. Not unless they can put sequins on them. 

I’m not training because I’ve got some insane sinus infection and have antibiotics and steroids to fight it.  I was getting near-migraines and my hair hurt and I was choking so I figured I should get it fixed up.  Ugh.  Until then, I’m still skiing and trying to build a kid who is an amazing skier – next weekend I’m starting Piper which should be about as much fun as wearing a sequined skin-suit and purse to Camp Lejeune yelling ‘who wants a piece of this’.  It’s not that she can’t ski – it’s that she doesn’t know she can.  She assumes everything new will kill her and therefore fights as if it were.  So this will be fun.  Especially since we just threw about $500 into this single day experiment.  There will be video and probably McDonalds. 

So that’s it. 

Here’s Piper with her ski stuff.  We’ll probably have her wear her ski clothing rather than her ballet outfit:


Tuesday, February 9, 2010

My Cat Died

Our cat had leukemia and as a result about 3,000 other things went wrong for her.  She was fine last week, slept a bunch over the weekend and could barely move today.  Ugh.  She was good.  She was a connoisseur of heat vents and sunshine patches.  She hated the outdoors but enjoyed warm days with good smells and could hear a can of tuna or a package of turkey being opened over 2 miles away I think.  She would only meow for tuna and because she never said anything we called it her space meow because I don’t think she could meow right and it sounded funny.  At night she liked to sleep on my rear end and could surf the sheets and stay in the same spot despite the effort I made to get her off.  Fellini will be missed.  She was named after the cat in Breaking Away – even though that cat’s name was Jake, the italian word for cat was fellini.  So there. 


Thursday, February 4, 2010

3 Short Stories, 2 are Crappy

I’ve been sick, so I took a lesson I learned from last year – heal up >90% before getting back to working out.  I lost basically 2 months of good training because I wouldn’t take a week to 10 days off to heal.  So I’m doing just that. 

In lieu of that, here are 3 stories

When I worked for a company in San Francisco the building was home of about 3-4 smaller companies.  We all shared a common men’s room (well, the men did).  After a few weeks, there was a non-trivial amount of water on the floor right in front of the men’s ‘wall toilet’ as I call them.  This isn’t anything new to anyone who has been to a public restroom or for anyone who works in high-tech – certain people simply pee all over things and don’t wash their hands.  Ick.  So collectively, I guess everyone assumed that this daily cup of water on the floor was from a developer at one of these companies (they’re easiest to blame) and you simply thought it was gross. 

The problem was that over a few weeks, the cup of water (or rather ‘pee’) grew to greater amounts.  People started making signs – first post it notes, then full blow hand written and even more fuller blown (yup, that’s a real term in my house) properly crafted signs using Word.  They were nice at first like ‘watch your aim please’ and then got nastier – like ‘quit peeing on the floor you pig’. 

Soon, you needed waders to get in and out of the wall toilet area. 

Then one day, I was in early and used the men’s room.  As I flushed and turned around – I caught out of the corner of my eye, a part of the toilet that when in flush mode, was spraying clean water out of the top onto the floor. 

Case closed.  Everyone was nicer to each other.  I then indicated to people I knew who it was. 

Rewind a few years….

I was taking this class on Power Point presentations –it’s where I learned to make awesome charts in Excel.  In fact, it was so good that over the years lots of people have given me data for presentations and said, can you make it nice? 

At the time, the Mrs and I both worked for Microsoft – she conveniently took this same class with me, I think she even sat in the seat right next to mine.  So cute.  In classroom settings I think many people return to their classroom behavior they learned in school.  So of course, I was more of a smarty pants and snickered a lot.  I’m good at snickering if you haven’t noticed.  There was this girl, I vaguely remember that she was cute or even pretty.  Except she was all ‘my poop doesn’t stink’ and wasn’t friendly at all.  She probably was just jealous of the mrs because I’m pretty sure I was looking awesome.  Anyhow… this whole class, she makes faces and rolls her eyes and acts all ‘I’m too fancy for this crap’. So there’s this mid-morning break.  Of course this is a good time to have a quick pee and check mail.  So Greta goes to the ladies room as does this woman.  A minute or two or eleven pass and the mrs comes back with a super smirk on and tells me that miss fancy pants went in and let the longest fart she’s ever heard rip.  So there.  Smirk justified.

Fast forward to last night….

The girls love the movie Mama Mia. We thought Abba + any movie concept can’t be too bad. Except I think it’s PG 13.  Our kids combined ages are only 10.  Greta loses a parental point here because during our skiing Sada said ‘dog testicles’ a few times when she had trouble with a turn or spot on the mountain.  I didn’t know she said this – until she said it very clearly next to me.  I told her you can’t really say that.  She then went on to explain the concept of Mama Mia.  She said it’s about 3 things and then she says: “the first thing, it’s about a wedding – the girl is getting married and the second is about the girl finding her real dad and third was that she wanted to find herself but I don’t know why she’d want to do that”.  So there. Compelling insight from a 6 year old.   

Monday, February 1, 2010

And There Was This Guy

Who was new at a company I worked for – a sales guy.  If you know sales guys, they’re sort of the same.  They smile and laugh a lot and say nice things and then push you off a cliff if they see a dollar under your shoe.  I’m not in sales you know.

So we’re at this dinner because my job at one point got moved under sales because I told the CEO my boss had no idea what he was doing.  He didn’t and now I had a new boss and a free dinner.  It was the beginning of a new quarter and the CEO wanted to give us some new goals and said that if the sales team of which I was a part of now met or exceeded their goals we’d get an extra $1,000 or something like that.  Maybe it was $3,000.  It could have been $20,000 but anytime I saw my bonus tied to that sales team, I knew I wasn’t getting anything so I stopped listening and looked at the menu for something that would compliment my run in the morning. 

So as the conversation goes around the table, it sort of got to this new guy whose boss, the head of sales, I’m sitting next to.  I actually like this woman a lot, despite the fact that she’s in sales and even with her best effort she isn’t going to meet her sales goal because it’s based on someone’s gut feel and not data so it’s going to be mostly off by 1000%.  At some point during the dinner, she’s accused of being Mormon because she doesn’t drink to excess nor does she swear.  She also doesn’t have a tan and for someone in the summer in CA to not have a tan, you must either be Mormon or you work a lot. I didn’t get the pale comparison to being Mormon but I’ll just assume the owner of that comment is simply retarded.

He went on to tell some story about how only a few weeks ago in a softball game he gets pegged in the face with the ball. 

So he whips out his Blackberry that has pictures of him in the hospital with a black and blue face.  Mind you this is his 2nd day or so.

He passes the phone around to show the photo. 

Then the phone comes to the head of sales, his boss, the Mormon lady next to me.  She takes the phone and we both look at it.  She scrolls to the next photo which we expect to be of his eye except it isn’t.  It’s of his penis. 

And that was before the appetizer arrived.