22 February 2009

that guy–running up a mountain pass in your Speedo

So I'm watching the last stage of the Tour of California and for a change the weather is pretty nice. When you combine that with a long climbs the fans are suddenly able to get really close to the athletes. In cycling this is apparently an invitation for some loony behavior …

I think it all started with Didi Senft – the Devil of the Tour de France. This guy became famous for running alongside the racers in a devil costume brandishing a pitchfork. And not showering much from what I've heard… Now it seems everyone wants some camera face time at bike races.

Today I saw the following.

  • A dude in a Speedo and nothing else. Back to basics I guess.
  • Three dudes in Speedos with their helmets on backwards. Now that's just whacky.
  • The usual group with painted faces, although they did not run too far from their cooler.
  • All the flag waving fans that are always within inches of stuffing their flag in the spokes of some rider.
  • Hundreds of people with some sort of handheld bell… did they issue these or something?
  • Some guy with cycling shorts and tie. Need I say it? And nothing else.
  • A person wearing a (really bad) Roman Legionnaire costume complete with sword.
  • This character with a football jersey, matching shorts and enormous antlers on his football helmet. He has made more than one appearance this year. It says Montana on the jersey. And it probably says his mother smoked and drank during her pregnancy in some hospital filing cabinet.
  • Two guys in giant fat suites/sumo costumes. They were the best, totally hilarious.

Truth be told I guess it's not much different than a playoff game in hockey or football. I wonder if living vicariously through athletes produces as many endorphins/testosterone/whatever as it does for the athlete and since you are not actually doing anything physical you need to vent this energy in some other way? Or is there some hard-core sports fan club that I'm not aware of and to get in you have to endure some sort of initiation.

"Okay Bill, you have shown extreme dedication and loyalty to your team by organizing the tailgate party and the keg chug for kids during spring training but tomorrow you need to go all the way. We're going to need you to wear nothing but your high school gym shorts and some body paint at the game. We know it's going to be 28 degrees but we want to be sure you really want to be in the club…"

Oh man, I just saw the guys in the fat/sumo suits again – they rule.

12 February 2009

that guy-I take 30 minutes between sets at the gym

And more, Jesus.

So there is this guy at the gym I go to that I have always thought was kinda amusing but today I decided he's pretty ridiculous as well. No really, I just did that. :)

Anyone who has lifted weights at a gym knows who I'm talking about... he's the guy that takes forever to complete a set while the world is waiting. Never mind that he might be using the only machine of this kind, you need to wait. He has developed this finely-tuned routine and damn it nobody is going to mess with it or his mojo during the whole psyching up process he goes through for every single set.

What am I talking about? Here goes.

  • First of all this is one skinny dude. He obviously is doing something wrong because for the amount of time he goes to the gym he should be making serious gains. SERIOUS. What's the take-away from this people? Time in the gym does not gun show equal.
  • He wears this completely comical white, terry cloth sweatband on his head. When I see it all I can think of is Ben Stiller in Dodgeball. And he never actually breaks a sweat. Ironic? Maybe just ridiculous.
  • He's always sporting the full, gauntlet style weightlifting gloves complete with elastic Velcro band around the wrist. Why? To prevent the massive calluses his lengthy workouts might produce no doubt. I say might because for every hour this clown is at the gym he probably is actually lifting weights for about five minutes.
  • He ALWAYS shows up to the gym in this white, really low, scooped neck tank top. I'm not sure what the neckline is called but I've only seen it in women's clothing catalogs. On the rare occasion he might have a sweatshirt over the tank top but it's there underneath, trust me. I could not help noticing that it's yellowed under the arms. Pit stains...?! Hello, how much can these things cost, $2.99? I say stock up if it's a regular part of your wardrobe. Please, if not for you then for the rest of us.
  • Flexing, he's always flexing. If it's not a futile attempt to show off his his non-existent pecs then he's lifting his shirt to check out his own six pack in the mirror. And he'll do this from way across the gym when the mirror is not even close. I usually avert my eyes when this happens so I can't actually confirm the existence of said six pack but damn he does this a lot.
  • Time is obviously not a factor in this guy's life; he obviously has tons. There is no other explanation for how long it takes him to complete a set. One day I literally watched him complete three sets of an exercise in the 30 minutes I was doing cardio. THREE SETS. He started out by carefully placing the weights on the machine. Then he would adjust his sweatband, his gloves, pace around a bit (channeling something or someone no doubt) and finally sit down. Then he had to close his eyes and rally his resources for the massive effort he about to undertake. After finally finishing one set, he would repeat this routine with the additions of walking to the other side of the gym and back (you gotta get your rest of course) and LINING UP THE HANDLES ON ALL THE WEIGHTS.) For the second and third set he took it to a whole new level. This chest press machine has a seatbelt. Not sure why you would fly off the seat while pushing on weights that force you down into it but it's there. And this guy has to use it. And adjust it. And tighten it. And adjust it some more. And tighten it some more. Oh my god, it makes me crazy just writing about this... And when he's done with his three mighty sets, does he put anything away? Of course not.

Of course the bigger question might be why Martin feels compelled to watch this guy and memorize all the details of his comical routine - I feel like it has been burned into my brain! Why can't I just do my thing and go home? Good question. But it's not the point here; I want to vent.

Okay, therapy session is over, I feel better now.

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10 February 2009

itchy butt

I know, catchy little title for this post isn't it?

So last week I finally succumbed to the overwhelming weight that is SAD and went tanning at my gym. Not such a big deal, right? Well... not if you do it right and don't boil your booty so to speak.

Eight minutes the first day felt fine. 10 minutes the second day felt okay too. After 10 minutes on day three I needed moisturizer pretty much everywhere.

So I took the weekend off and did 10 more minutes today. Bad move.

Today I can NOT sit still. My ass (which is probably covered more than any other part of my body) is all prickly and tingly. I have to consciously tell myself not to scratch myself as I walk down the hall and I'm constantly shifting in my chair. It's like one of those slow tortures that isn't really going to hurt you, it's just going to drive you insane and break your spirit.

If I were an intelligent person, there might be a few take-aways from this experience.

  • Deal with it. By the time SAD starts to kick in the sun is already out significantly longer than in the dead of winter. Daylight Saving Time is just around the corner! Well, two months is a pretty long corner but you get my drift.
  • Cover your ass dummy! Unless you are a nudist it's probably okay to be pasty in that region.
  • Take it easy! How about starting out with tanning every other day or even every third day? What's the big rush when it's only February? Besides, this time of year there is only one person in Martin's life that will see this tan.
  • Hello...! Ever heard of skin cancer? Melanoma? 'Nuf said.

Of course knowing me once I recover from this agony the pain and discomfort will fade all too quickly and I will just end up repeating this mistake next winter or later this year even. If not under the radiation of indoor cookers then outdoors on a towel. Sigh...

On the bright side the itch is just in the back. :|

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09 February 2009

Guinness cupcake

Wow... Shelley and her friend Kari were hanging out today and you the know the expression, idle hands and all that. So they went to the store and made some Guinness cupcakes:


Yes, it contains real Guinness beer! And the cheesecake frosting? Need you really ask?

This was just a hurried photo taken with my phone, getting my camera and posing the cupcake would have meant too much waiting around and I needed to shove this into my mouth pronto. God was it good. It had a dense flavor and cohesive quality that all those 'pudding in the mix' cupcakes and brownies just can't match. Made from scratch and to die for.

I made the mistake of walking upstairs and seeing that there were about 15 more on the cooling rack. Give me strength!

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