Thursday, June 26, 2008

Peaks and Valleys

Sweet. A blog post about a dream I had last night. Snore, right?

But seriously. We were on a balcony of a very, very tall high-rise building. Actually, we thought were were on the balcony, but later realized we were actually hovering near it in a basket trailing from a helicopter. For a girl with a moderate fear of heights, this was a nervous-making thing. After what seemed like forever in that state, the helicopter finally took off, soaring away from the building, carrying only me now in its basket, and then lowered gracefully so that my basket was gliding over the clearest Caribbean-looking ocean imaginable, where the sea was the faintest shade of blue, but mostly only showed right through to the sand below. It was heavenly. I was getting ready to drop in for a swim.

...and then a private caller woke me up at 6 a.m. for the second time this week. I will get you if I find you.

I'm sure this dreaming of heights, of soaring, of potentially plummeting, has something to do with the Grand Canyon trek, kicking off in T minus two days now. Two!

Temperature range: forecast at 39 to 108 degrees. Approximate percent grade for much of the way up: 15. Friends crazy enough to attempt: Nine, including me.

Subject line of today's pre-hike thread: "Just to add to your anxiety..."

Notable graf contained therein: "Apparently there is also a slight chance of showers this weekend. Which sounds kind of wonderful in 105-degree heat, but I have no idea what that means in terms of lightening killing us on the trail. Never fear... it's not likely, statistically, to kill more than one of us. That's only a one in nine chance you'll be fried."

Whew! Cake.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Beware of Women Who Make Lists

That was the punch line of some comic strip ADG and I read in college. And we found it perplexing and not funny. Because we know that women who make lists are the best kinds.

With the big Grand Canyon hike near on the horizon, by now I'd be knee deep in lists, and many of the items on those would be crossed off already. But I got distracted (not my style, but "life comes at you fast," as the commercials say). So it's T minus eight days until departure and I'm... listless.

You see, there is a lot to think about when packing for the Grand Canyon hike. The temperature at the top rim is supposed to be something like 30 degrees cooler than the temperature at the bottom. At the top, we'll be car camping and can bring luxuries like air mattresses and real pillows. For the bottom, it's whatever you can cram in your pack and carry first all the way down and then all the way up without dying. It's supposed to be like 9 million degrees, or really, above 100. So even if my booty is in shape for this (and even that is questionable), my lists lag woefully behind.

But there's time. I bought a new pack with a solid frame and a camping pad from REI, plus some mysterious dehydrated food packages that become lasagna when you reconstitute them. Just this week I've bought six Clif bars and replaced the battery in my trusty Polar heart rate monitor, which I am counting on to tell me among many other things that I burned 10,000 calories over the two-day trek. Coupled with the info on LP's pedometer, I should be able to sate my voracious appetite for information. I need data. I'm like a data vampire.

Next up, I think I'll buy a dependable visor or hat (the desperate need for sun protection is as much about vanity as anything else, but hey, at least I know myself) and maybe a new tank top with built-in sports bra that will have to be up to a serious task.

List making aside, one benefit of recent distractions is that I have not been devouring every blog ever written on hiking the Grand Canyon by way of the Bright Angel trail. (This so-called preparation did not help me before Half Dome last year.) In the only one I read several months ago, some lesbians faced serious complications from heat exhaustion and vomited uncontrollably. Or something like that; I kind of blocked it out.

Anyway, regular readers of this blog will appreciate the great symbol it will be if I manage to claw myself out of a giant hole in the earth. And you know what, y'all? It's on.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Ode to a Butt Whooping

I must be on the come-up because no impaired woman could endure the rigors of Beautiful Booty class followed immediately by Cardio Kickboxing (nor do I think most sane women would even attempt it on a normal day). I totally enjoyed it too.

Put "she lived and died by her jump squats" on my epitaph if I collapse. And I mean that in the most loving way.


For jump squats: "Start in a deep squat position with your arms folded out in front of your body. From this position, explosively jump up as high as you can and reach for the ceiling with your hands as you jump. Repeat this until failure."

What Has Helped and What Hasn't

Don't Mess With the Zohan (surprisingly)
Game 5

The company of friends
The Fowler Museum
Getting my house cleaned by other people who aren't me
Working out (Man, that is sick. Slash healthy.)

The sadistic Facebook broken-heart icon
Game 4
Rejiggering vacation plans
Paying $4.67 at the gas station this morning for regular unleaded
Trying to get perspective by conjuring Darfur

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Lucky Girl

"Whatever you need, girl, we're here for you."

"I dedicated my yoga practice to you. Did you feel the strength and the peace?"

"We all think it would be a good idea to see your girls if you can muster the strength. Would it help to talk? Or would it help to listen to others' trivial problems? Or would it help to tell fart jokes all evening? Just say the word."

"I will continue to pray that you find love and joy of a more permanent sort and peace in the meantime. Om."

"Since you're probably feeling fatigued anyway, why not perk up your bathroom a little with new paint? I will send out feelers to the girls and work on a painting-party spreadsheet. Nothing makes me feel good like a) making a fabulous list, and b) getting stuff on it accomplished."

"In the end, you discover that you are a wiser, richer, fuller person for the experience. In the meantime, we have friends, family, and vacation! Not to mention shopping, countless hours at the gym, and martinis with the girls. I love you endlessly."

"I have Xanax."

"Take the day off! We'll go to the beach, shop for 'kinis, drink beer at the beach bars, and lick our wounds."

"We are women and don't have the option to dither forever on whether we want a family or not. It's important that you are faithful to your future self and your dreams of having a family. Love your broken heart, because your heart is what makes you so special. It brings pain, but it also brings you so much joy."

"I'll treat you to a private Pilates lesson."

"I love you lots! Call me whenever you are ready. Or I will harass you."

"Should we meet at someone's house instead of a public space? You know, for maximum huggability? Just hugging and being hugged releases good drugs in the brain. It'll help."

"I know it hurts now, but when you find the right person, you will have joy for the rest of your life. I love you with all my heart. You are so strong. This is a new beginning, a new adventure."

Tuesday, June 10, 2008


Me: mom was kind of a star yesterday because she asked me a million times
if i would like something to eat
and i cried over the questions a million times
and shook my head no
no i will not eat
then she put the matzah ball soup in front of me
and i ate it
and i was nourished

ED: cute
that's like a poem
sort of like a cross between shel silverstein
and a psalm

Monday, June 02, 2008

Everything in Moderation

I covered a party last night that featured an M.I.A. performance that began at 11:30 p.m. This was a) pretty good, since I'm totally obsessed with M.I.A. since the blue-eyed boy brought her CD on our Yucatan trip and we logged 1,100 kilometers in the Tsuru listening to it, and since I rocked out to her at Coachella with the girls. But also it was b) pretty lousy because I had an 8:30 a.m. meeting this morning. So today I dragged. And dragged. And...zzz..zzz..z. Wait, what? I'm up.

After work, I went to the gym intending to make my own workout, probably 60 to 65 minutes on the elliptical with three-pound hand weights for light but sustained upper-body work, while watching some trashy reality show along the lines of Tila Tequila: Shot at Love. And then, instead, I guilted myself into taking the super-hard Body Design class. The instructor is great but instead of saying stuff like, "You can modify this one if you need to," he says things like, "You must keep up or you must leave. What's the point if you do it wrong?"

I felt every excruciating moment of that hour, but as I was leaving, I was feeling really smug, really proud of myself for undertaking the challenge when I could have fully justifiably gone easier on myself. I was busily making sweeping proclamations in my head about how important it is to continually take oneself out of one's comfort zone to gain rewards....

...when, as I was putting my weights away after class, my gymfriend said to me, "So, Alice, you staying for Ab Lab?" No. Shoot.

Damn. And the girl thought she had an angle.