Thursday, July 23, 2009


Last week, my roommate and I went to see the band Coldplay in a little town north of Sacramento. Outside of Sacramento, the drive to Wheatland reminded me a bit of the North Dakota-cross-state treks I used to make for work back in college. No trees, only grasses, the ocassional house, and herd. The venue was a fabulous outdoor stadium, which now that I think of it, may have been the town! We had really great seats. It was a beautiful night, the stars shining; we had so much fun singing and dancing and watching Chris Martin (the lead singer) run all over the stage.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Origins of Lawn Games...

In case you were curious about the origins of favorite lawn games, I found an article!

Taken from The Surprising Origins of 4 Popular Lawn Games:


Sir Flinders Petrie, a well-known British archeologist, reportedly unearthed the tomb of an Egyptian child and discovered various rounded objects, which he assumed had been used in a primitive game of lawn bowling that we commonly know now as bocce.

Lawn bowling was reportedly so popular in the Middle Ages that many kings, from Edward III in 1361 to Henry VIII in 1541, specifically prohibited “artificers, laborers, apprentices, husbandmen, servants or serving-men, and other ‘low-born’ people” from participating in lawn bowling. The peasants, he feared, were wasting too much time playing in the grass.


The modern sport of croquet came to America by way of France and England.

Originally called “pall mall,” this target game was eventually called croquet after the French word for crooked stick. A Brit, Walter Jones Whitmore, is credited with standardizing rules. His countrymen embraced the game with such passion they formed the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club in 1877. Today, we know the site better as Wimbledon, home of the world’s most prestigious tennis championship.


A baker named William Russell Frisbie, who ran a shop at 363 Kossuth Street in Bridgeport, Ct., embedded his name in the bottom of his pie tins. Students at nearby Yale University took to tossing the metal tins though the air — hollering out “frisbie” as they threw. In the early 1950s, when the Whamo toy company released their “flying saucer,” they borrowed the baker’s name, with only a slight modification in spelling.

Whiffle Ball & Bat

In Shelton, Conn., David N. Mullany, a former semi-professional baseball pitcher, had a problem: his 12-year-old son was constantly in trouble for damaging school property with errant baseballs. David Jr. tried swapping hard balls for tennis balls and small plastic golf balls with no avail. So David Sr. glued plastic half-balls (used by a friend for makeup cases) together and cut slotted holes on one side. The new creation, a ball that easily made batters “whiff,” slang of the day for striking out.

I feel a little bit like Paul Harvey right now...

Sunday, July 12, 2009


This afternoon, I went to a free outdoor opera downtown. The show consisted of 1-2 acts from several well known operas. This was a part of a summer series, in which concerts and operas are provided free to the public. And likely, this program gives those folks (like myself), who could not afford or would otherwise not attend, a chance to do so. My friend Laura is an amazing violinist (and a triathlete!!) and plays in the orchestra for the SF Opera. She always clues me into which operas I should attend (mostly based on popularity, I think) and when the shows are outdoors/free.

A few weeks back, my roommate and I went to the Giants Stadium (baseball) where a live stream of the opera--La Tosca--was being played on the Jumbotron screen. Laura and her colleagues were playing downtown at the Opera House while we got to sit in the stadium under the full moon and eat ballpark food! So, I still know next to nothing about operas, except it seems, every story consists of a love story (perhaps two men fighting over one woman or forbidden love) and in the end, either one or both of the men and the woman are killed...

The opera orchestra (center, back)

I [heart] the Farmer's Market!

Saturday morning, my roommate Tracy and I went to the farmer's market at the Ferry Building. A trip to the farmer's market is like an instant mood-booster for me! If I ever ask myself what would make me happy on any given day, a trip to the farmer's market would likely be included on the list!

I love to see all of the amazing produce, beautiful flowers, and musicians. This particular Market is huge and occurs every Saturday morning; I try to get there as often as possible. The produce is fresh (you get lots of samples!) and local, there are always unique products like jalapeno infused olive oil, and fresh kimchi, cheese, and bread.

Beautiful flowers

Onions, apricots, mint, horseradish root, lamb's quarter, garlic.
Oh my!

One of the farms! Love the name!!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Wildflower Triathlon

So, again it has been a while! The longer I go without writing, the more overwhelming writing (and catching up) seems. So, here goes.

I started the summer with a triathlon at Lake San Antonio. It was my first Olympic tri--1.5K swim, 56K bike, and 10k run. Like many things in life, actually doing the race proved to be the best way to understand the distance. I had read numerous articles, scoured over training plans, gone to Q&A sessions about the race, but race day was the best education! This is one of the largest triathlons in the state of California (and perhaps the country), and most of the competitors, friends, and fans camp for the weekend. All kinds of people do this race--are pros (Andy Potts the Olympian won his race), serious competitors, and normal athletes like me. Some teams create elaborate camps with tents, campers, grills, music. And some folks bring (or rent) their "pimped out" campers, which likely have better appliances and mattresses then the ones I own! Each to their own, right! Like I said this tri is huge, with around 7,000+ competitors taking part in one of three races--Olympic, long (1/2 Ironman), and sprint mountain bike. The atmosphere of the weekend was upbeat, competitive, and friendly. The volunteers stood out in the sun all weekend--amazing--handing out water, food, gels, etc. and even offered a "naked water stop," where they passed out water....yes, naked. It is a tradition, I guess, and maybe there is some beer involved too!!

Andrea, Laura, Areil, Rebecca, Adam after the race!

Start of the race on the left side; exit the water & run up the ramp on the right side.


I had a good race; and since this was my first at this distance, I did not have a way to gauge. I did learn a lot about my training and what I need to improve upon for the next one. The weather the entire weekend was amazing (a tiny bit of rain on the ride down & during camp set-up). The group I went with was incredibly funny and chill and totally a blast to hang out with! All of the mouthfuls of water (salty, fresh, & chlorinated), the minor spills on my bike (don't ask!), the spin classes where I swore my instructor was crazy, the runs through the fog/mist in the months leading up to the race were totally worth it!