Friday, June 13, 2008

Mad Catch-up

Hi hi hi.. hello! Yes, still here, just busy with life and whatnot. Thanks to everyone who shared condolences about my dad. He's ok. Really - he's doing fine. He's considering his options and is now leaning towards surgery. Whatever treatment he chooses I'm confident the outcome will be good. I just feel it.

Last weekend was my dragonboat race and what a fun weekend experience it was! My team, the Tsunami Sisters, did really well. The first day, Saturday, you race for time. We raced in two heats and achieved times that were really fast for us, beating plenty of teams who race competitively year 'round. Despite that, we were placed in the "B" division, which pissed me off, frankly, but oh well. On Sunday, amid rumors of intentionally thrown races by one or two year round teams, we raced again. This time, you need to place 1st or 2nd in your race or you're done. Our first race was a huge win - first place by more than a boat length. THAT was invigorating! Second race was also a big win by just under a boat length. We were now racing in the finals. 4 teams in the final race - 2 year round teams (1 of which were the rumored cheaters) and 2 "seasonal" teams that only do dragonboats for Rose Festival (my team). Oh boy, the race was close! We thought we had it for a bit, but lost by a close margin to a year round team and beat the pants off the suspected cheaters. 2nd in our division - not bad! Especially when you consider that half the paddlers on our team were first-timers like me. Strong women, all, and it was a fun experience. :)

The same weekend was Nicholas' ballet recital. That kid was scheduled to perform 4 TIMES in 2 days, which is a LOT for a kid that age. And he did beautifully, I'm told! Sadly, I wasn't able to see him perform, but I got to peek during the dress rehearsal so I had a good idea what it was like. SO CUTE!

My crazy mother-in-law flew in for the weekend, and man, is THAT a story for another post. Let's just say she's still nuts and I was happy to spend the majority of 2 whole days down at the waterfront, leaving Mr. Chick to deal with her. We made it through, and that's saying a lot.

The last day of school for Nicholas was yesterday - officially a 2nd grader now. Wow - time flies. And so summer begins.... and between swimming lessons, gymnastics, and a couple of half-day summer camps it seems we'll have plenty to do, and yet have plenty of "down" time left intentionally open for play and even boredom. Because that's what summer is all about, right? I'm kicking off summer by starting my training for Hood To Coast, the 197-mile relay I'll be running with Mr. Chick at the end of August. I need to improve both my speed and endurance as I'm only able to go about 3-4 miles now at a mid-9 minute mile pace. I want to be in the 8 min. mile range and able to go 6 miles. I have a couple of months to get there.

So now I'll return to getting ready to host Bunco tonight. Silly, I know - Bunco. But it's a good excuse to get some friends together and it's my turn to host. So I've spent my morning going a little crazy making earrings. I started to make a single pair as the gift to give the person holding the fuzzy dice at the end of the game, but I got on a roll, as I tend to do when it comes to crafts, and made 5 pairs of earrings - all different - for each of the category winners. why not? I just raided my "stash" and had all the materials on hand. No biggie, and it's fun for me to make them. Even if each pair is only worn once, good enough in my book! Next up: making the hot archichoke and bacon dip for snacks, and finishing the frozen peanut butter pie I made last night (just need to "embellish" it with shaved chocolate and crushed nuts). And oh yeah, finish tidying up the house. THAT job never ends, does it?!

Now you're caught up!

"intentionally thrown races" and "rumored cheaters"? Really? Do you sink to that?
I would never let my kids pull that...
Not quite sure what you mean by asking if I "sink to that"... MY team didn't cheat, but it was rumored another team might have. Not sure, of course, but it was the scuttlebutt of the day - not just by our team, but by many. (shrugs). No way to prove it one way or the other. And no difference, either, because we beat them!

This was my first year dragonboating so I have no history to pull from, but what the more veteran, seasoned paddlers tell me is that in past years - last year, even - teams were know to pull lots of stunts on race weekend. Like switching out "weaker" paddlers for "ringers" on race day - people that aren't usually on your team. In fact, this year we all had to submit photo ID to the governing body and after each race we weren't allowed off the pier/dock until we'd lined up and had our ID's checked to insure that all racers are, in fact, on the team legitimately. They take this stuff quite seriously. So rumors of teams throwing races are quite titilating, as you can imagine. Plus, I was told that year-round, competitive teams like to show "wins" on their record, and placing, even in a B division, looks god for the team. So if they didn't think they could win/place in the A division they might try to purposely get themselves into the B division to better their chances of a win. That was the rumor.

So, again, it was a big deal to those of us racing, but I was careful not to come right out and accuse anyone of cheating. I don't know whether they did or not, but it was certainly suspected. And I'm so competitive that I like my performance to stand for itself, which is why I was upset we didn't get placed in the A division despite our heat times suggesting we should have been (we beat at least one year-round team on time alone, but they were place in A and we were placed in B. They got a nod to their year-round status, I guess, and we're a team for Rose Festival only. So we took 2nd in B and would have probably come in last or nearly last in A, but dammit, we qualified! I don't care about winning a medal/trophy, I care about doing the best I possibly can.)

Hope this helps clear things up....
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