Man! The holidays, right??
Last week was the annual Beer Mile. Inexplicably, I was not last. Then again, I thought there was a PowderPuff division (2 beers only) again this year, but was mistaken. I actually got denied a high five. I made up for it at the pizza party after, though.
Because it requires the organizer to borrow a school track, the Beer Mile is typically the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, when school is out, everything is deserted, and nobody gets in trouble. This year the organizer responded to considerable grumbling from all those who had to travel elsewhere for the holiday and scheduled it the week following. It was held at a high school track where the organizer was able to persuade someone to both shut off the lights and leave the gate open so we could be appropriately secretive.
Ace was under the impression that this is a costume-wearing event. As the results will show, however, his understanding was not universal.
Clearly, some take the event more seriously than others. The winner, who drank 4 beers and ran 1600 meters in 6:42, was wearing track spikes.
As we were driving home, we spied, off the highway, through the trees, what looked like a regular Santa's Village - holiday lights and blinking sculptures. So we exited and drove around trying to find it. Finally, we found a Santa Clara Park District installation: Vasona Park's Fantasy of Lights! Entry fee was $10, but we were having such a good time, we didn't balk. As we were about to drive in, the guy in the ranger station handed us what looked like 3-D glasses.
"These are for the lights?" I asked.
Ace and I each gamely put on a pair, and sure enough, the glasses had what I can only describe as prismatic lenses that shattered each point of light into a halo of figures. Specifically, I saw circles of angels everywhere - thousands of them! And as you nod your head up and down, the angels flap their wings. It was strange and wonderful. (Note to self: keep 3-D angel glasses near deathbed.)
See if you can find the flaw in this reasoning:
Children love Christmas.
Children love dinosaurs.
Therefore, dinosaurs wear Santa hats.
Ace's glasses did not offer him visions of a multitude of heavenly hosts. He saw thousands of dinosaurs in Santa hats.
The next night was my firm's holiday party, held at what I can only describe as Jay Leno's garage. It was like a big warehouse where private owners store their classic cars, but which one can rent out for parties. I thought it was weird to pay for the privilege of looking at other people's stuff. I guess that's not so different from the Art Institute, though.
Then we were up early for the latter two thirds of the Stealthman. A friend in the triathlon community - Lorraine - celebrated his 40th birthday by doing an entire Ironman (2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike, 26.2 mile run), in Hawaii, solo. That is to say, he did it on his own time, self-supported, alone. And called it LorraineMan. (Except that Lorraine is obviously not his real name so it sounds better with his real name.)
So last year another triathlete friend celebrated turning 40 by having the Stealthman. He and a group of friends showed up at a local pool and swam 40 x 100m. Then they rode their bikes for 40 miles. Then I think they ran for 40k. Cities around here are very annoying about getting permits for organized events, charity bike rides and whatnot - hence, Stealthman.
Doughnuts also figure heavily in the event, though I believe there already is a Tour de Donut out there.
This year, because of the office party, Ace and I begged off on the 41 x 100 m swim at 6 am on Saturday, and instead joined the 40 k bike ride. I've ridden my bike once this year, on Bike to Work Day, and as Rad observed on Saturday, I was ready to sell my bike by about mile 12. I'll take his advice for next year: two pairs of padded shorts. Then I joined the more-reasonable run, that was 41 x 400 m, or 10.1 miles up and down Black Mountain. That part was really pleasant - Rancho San Antonio was beautiful, chilly and dry. I had three doughnuts.
We went to the house of friends who made bacon and turned it into a BLT salad event that was ingenious and also delicious; then we went to the housewarming of a new friend who lives in one of those gorgeous apartments at 101 Alma; then we went to the almost-midnight Christmas mass for students at Stanford, because Ace likes to hear the Brassworks quintet and sing carols at the end.
Our sleep schedule, so helpfully set to Chicago time last week, has relapsed to a late night habit that makes me feel bad every morning. Sometimes I wonder whether I should just give in.