Thursday, November 15, 2007
Hummingbirds, Noisy Neighbors, Fellowship, and Fighting Inertia
Death by Hummingbirds:
We used to have a bird feeder on our balcony. Soon we had a balcony full of delightful little house finches. They were adoreable but they shit everywhere and made a mess. So I put up a hummingbird feeder. At first, there were no customers. Just as the feeder was about to go out of business, a few hummingbirds started showing up. This morning, about 6-8 little guys were chasing each other around, fighting for a spot. I love hummingbirds. They are beautiful, colorful, amazing little birds. But they sure have fiesty personalities! First of all, they're loud! I heard this god-awful screeching noise and looked at the branch outside our window--that noise was coming from the throat of a cute, little adoreable hummingbird! Second of all, they're mean. It's like the neighborhood hummingbird gang outside the window. They chase everything else away, no matter what size! Jason doesn't believe me but every morning when I go out to the closet on the balcony to get the bunny hay, it's an adventure. I hear a loud whirring and chirping, and I look up, and have to duck and cover my head because one is coming straight for me! They freak me out! Jason thinks it's funny that I'm scared by these tiny fellows but they're divebombing me like fighter planes! However, they ARE cleaner so I guess they're hear to stay. (Just be forewarned--I may be discovered, lying prone on the balcony with a hummingbird beak sticking out of my forehead).
Jason and I have had it with our neighbors--bratty college students that are INCREDIBLY noisy. Either that, or we live next to a pack of hyenas in heat. They have loud parties every night, and security, management, nor the police have been effective in controlling the noise. After sleeping on the couch (quieter) twice last week, the only thing that prevented me from grabbing the baseball bat, running over to #121 (and 228--we have multiple culprits here) and starting to swing, was the hope of moving. I clung to that thought desperately to prevent me from doing something that would land me in jail. Still, mid-December I may just get a bullhorn and stand out on our balcony one Sunday at 4:00 am (can we say stucco=echo=reverberate?) and yell: "WELCOME TO FINALS WEEK!!! ARE YOU READY FOR: CALCULUS, PHYSICS, ENGLISH LIT, AND ORGANIC CHEMISTRY? LET'S DO THIS THING!!! CAN I GET A WHA, WHA?" Payback's a bitch. Anyway, for 2 years, we've put up with a small apartment, a lot of noise, and high rent. Moving sucks so much, we thought we could stick it out until we found a place to buy. Then we woke up and realized we were living in San Diego; it's going to be awhile before we buy anything. So, we're finally moving. We put a deposit down on a new place today in a much better, quieter neighborhood. I can't wait to move. (Like I need another project).
Lab has been crazy busy. Out of control. I'm writing a postdoctoral fellowship for the American Heart Association (AHA), and this it's kicking my ass. (My ass is very sore.) Needless to say, lab has become very stressful as I pull teeth trying to write this thing. Based on the time and effort I've been spending on this beast, it's going to be the BEST fellowship EVER! Actually, the research is pretty cool. I'm investigating the connection between inflammatory pathways and coronary artery disease. However, I can't wait until I turn the f#*&ing thing in and can actually do the work I'm proposing.
Ironman Training & Recovery Month (Fighting Inertia):
On top of it all, I'm constantly reminded of IMAZ. I have a training plan but am in the process of revising (too much right now--currently it's a suicide plan). I signed on with a nutritionist (KB Nutrition) who specializes in Ironman nutrition (gotta love San Diego), and I am trying to decide which track and masters workouts to choose from. I know it has to be convenient or I won't do it--I'm sticking with UCSD Masters swimming (has been working great for me) and am signing up for UCSD Masters running (UCSD Masters).
Still recovering from Tour de Julian last weekend. That ride totally kicked my butt. After recovering from the Soma Half Ironman, I'm trying to slowly reintroduce myself into regular workouts again--sort of a Pre-Prep phase. Let's just say it's been much more challenging to force myself back into a regular schedule than I imagined. It's amazing how quickly inertia sets in. Laying on the couch at night and sleeping in on the mornings feels SO good! But, after 2 weeks, too much rest has made me irritable and depressed so I'm getting my ass into gear. This week has been tough but I did manage to do slightly more than last week--every week I'll ease into a little more.
Good Bike of the Week:
I've been having a hard time getting the workouts in. Made it out for a bike today. It felt so good. I started pedaling like mad, working out the angst. Glanced down at my computer--25 mph. Jeez! That thing must be broken. But when I slowed down, so did the computer. At first, as I soared downhill at 35 mph, I thought, "Boy, I've gained a lot of weight!" But the speed kept up on the flats, stroking my fragile ego. I got tricked into thinking my Julian ride last weekend had been such a "breakthrough" workout that I had been transformed into this amazing, super speedy rider. My confidence soard. "I rock! Look at how fast I am! I am AWESOME. Speedster! Like a rocket! I can take anyone. Bring it!" Then, I turned around and discovered, alas, that all that confidence had been riding on a strong tailwind. I had to fight my way home at a snail's pace, tail between my legs (no, I don't really have a tail). Humbled, as always, back at the start, I still felt better than before I had started. No matter how hard or tough, I can always rely on a workout leaving me in a better place afterwards then before I started out.