Friday, February 27, 2009

Creature of Culture

Wow, that was fast, Friday is here again and I find myself incredibly swamped with work but not quite motivated enough to do any of it due to this cursed afternoon of supposed relaxation. 

So to celebrate the beginning of this weekend I have decided to dig into the "Slater Special Reserve" list. The list is comprised of the utmost finest wines from only the most sought after collections throughout the world. Past bottles that have made the list include such timeless classics as the 2006 Yellowtail Rose, 2008 Foxhorn Merlot, 2005 Three Little Penguins reserve blends and of course California's own Nathanson Creek. 

This afternoon I have chosen to open a bottle of 2006 Gru; an Italian red that unapologetically refuses to let itself be categorized, blend or otherwise. It's advertised as being a montepulciano grape spiced red, but it's flavor lends itself to an exquisite taste that I feel is best embodied in the Dave Chapelle skit "Purple Drank." Wherein instead of describing one's drink as grape juice it is solely categorized as the product of water/sugar/purple. Gru does indeed lend itself to the same palette pleasing incarnation of drank but in an even more delightful mixture: water/booze/red. 

Now you may be asking why I have broken out such classy accoutrements seeing as it is a relatively droll afternoon, but I have big plans this evening... Tonight is the opening night of the Universities production of "How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying" and I managed to score tickets to this sold out production. It's billed as being aimed at the same audience as the A&E channels "Mad Men" but I have a hard time believing anything done in musical form can take on the brazen, booze brandishing, womanizing, idyllic era that every male wishes they could pilot a time-machine to (at least for a day or two), but I'll give anything a shot. 

So here's to private reserve lists, black comedians and university theatre.  

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Race Season Ruminations

I have absolutely no pictures that pertain to this post so I will leave you with three of my recent favorites.

XOXO Jesus

Damn it! It happened again. Completely without intention I have gotten myself into another season of racing bicycles. I was rather adamant about not racing or competing this year after suffering mega burnout from chasing a decent road season and then somehow stumbling straight out of that season and into last year’s list of blunders. But… it is almost March 1st, my name is on three rather epic start lists and I plan on suffering through a six hour solo attempt at Chris Locke's Bonebender in two weeks.

Waller, kitchen tongs, bar...

While on my second lap on the river today I realized that there must be something hard-wired into my brain that makes me do this to myself every spring. Maybe it isn’t specific to bicycles but something in my head definitely starts screaming at me to get back in shape around the beginning of February every year, so inevitably I do.

Kels making an attempt to send "Corner to Corner"

On the downside:
- I am in the least of form to be a threat to any podium spots in an xc race. Since I have completely ditched road riding my top end and climbing form has essentially disappeared.
- I have absolutely no time to train this season. 18 hours of class and the job have left me pretty much m.i.a. between the hours of 7 and 7. Today was my first day on the bike in almost 2 weeks.

On the upside:
- I feel I am in the most well-rounded form of anything I can remember from years past.
- I am between 15 and 20 lbs up on my old race weight due to actually putting in some core work and spending 4 nights a week at the rock climbing gym (this is a good thing, 130lbs at 5’11” has to be unhealthy).
- My cardio feels immaculate due to the combination of flushing my body of all tobacco, beating the sun out of bed to get a run in before work on the weekdays, and quitting that awesome habit of drinking my dinner that I was so fond of.

As an aside, this will be my tenth year racing mountain bikes. So here’s to another year of sticking it in the big ring, climbing into the pain box and not coming out until cross nats are done and over.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Gear Review #1 Evolv Bandits

Nothing makes me giddier than new gear. Although this year I have been relatively light on the stuff purchases (partly because I am broke and partly because I own at least two of most things anyone could want or need to play outside), I scored these for a song and after one size swap back to the vendor they returned to my doorstep today.

I'll keep the review short since I'm assuming at least half of the people who read this could care less about rock climbing, while the other half is wondering why I posted a picture of ballerina shoes.

In short these things are rad. I sized them more aggressively than my La Sport Mythos and compared to the rest of the Evolv and Mad Rock families they fit my heel to perfection. They aren't the best for standing around in all day but I don't think I am going to be spending hours hanging off North American in them anytime soon. The down-turned sole is pretty stiff and kept me pinned to some nubbins that were pretty squrimy on my old shoes. Overall I'm impressed with the Trax rubber and the way the shoes seem to lend themselves to the skinny footed, high arches, long second toed weirdos of the world.

Here's to hoping that first impressions are lasting impressions.