Wednesday, October 29, 2008

bloc vote with jayne street

each year my roommates and i make a handy voter guide. this is edition number three.

year 1 was very a fairly simple email sent to our friends. due to our incredible research and wit in this first edition of the jayne st voter guide, we received very good feedback and demands to continue this in subsequent years. thus, we made this our civic duty for other elections.

year 2 we upped the ante a little bit and sent out a very impressive word document with three columns and a watermark that said: "jayne st voter guide". it looked pretty official.

and so, we are onto year 3. this year we also created our beautiful word document with watermark (that some of you might be lucky enough to get in an email), and we also decided to post our voter guide on "the" so our amazing guide could be accessible to a wider audience.

JAYNE ST. VOTER GUIDE - CLICK HERE! (also click to join our voting block!)

if you care about our process, we spend many nights reading about the different candidates, proposition, local measures, etc. this year we invited a couple of trust worthy jayne st allies to join our process. we research materials sent in the mail, endorsements, just about every other voter guide we can find, and articles written in the local papers. we then talk about each ballot measure/candidate and decide upon how we shall vote. we sometimes do not reach consensus, and in such cases we do not give an endorsement.

we find the most valuable part of our voter guide not necessarily the specific stances (up or down, so-in-so or so-in-so), but rather the reasons and considerations we give to certain broader political and societal issues. we send this out to people, not just to bloc vote with us (although that is cool if you do), but also to promote greater dialogue on issues. for instance, with proposition 5, although we support decriminalization and further rehabilitative services, we spent a very long time thinking about what it means to place drug rehabilitation programs under the department of corrections and the impacts this has on the prison industrial complex. although we did not reach consensus on this issue, it was a valuable discussion, and we hope that such considerations accompany your thought process when deciding how to vote.

thanks for reading and hope you vote tuesday, if you are able to vote and live in the U.S. (because i realize i do have an international readership! thank you- i am flattered really!) also, this guide is mostly relevant to california, and more specifically, bay area voters)

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

update 1: exercise

so i have been severely slacking on the blogging. sometimes i have these little internal blog posts that i think i write, but i guess they just exist in my head, because i do not see them in my archives. in general, i need to keep reality check, because in addition to fake writing of blog posts, i think a lot of things go in my happy place that are not so much grounded in my temporal existence.

so since nationals, let me give a few high points in life. [ i will avoid the low points because i do not need anyone emailing me my favorite "cry for help" category of someecards: "the small of fresh country air makes me want to jump off a cliff" or "i like playing cards with no one" or " i usually set aside sunday nights for debilitating self-pity." trust me, i've seen them all. ]

some people find the need to compulsively exercise and stay in shape. i am not one of them. in fact, good thing for my heart and overall health that i enjoy competitive sports, because otherwise i would be big, fat, out-of-shape, with congestive heart failure, diabetes, and hypertension. i missed exercising for approximately one day when i decided to go for a run. this was interesting. i did my standard 3 mile loop that i used to do regularly when i ran. it included going up the hill of death (jean ave, by the rose garden). i didn't go terribly fast, but still couldn't walk for the next three days. well, i could walk, but only in incredibly small steps like an old woman with a handbag stuffed with stolen sugar packets. you think i am kidding. i am sure i could have run again, but then i thought: why?

i don't enjoy it all that much any longer. i laughed as i was getting ready to go running. i put on my standard ratty old umbros from 8th grade and an old t-shirt. then i realized it might be cold, so i went through my closet to find some long pants. these were some kinda cute spandexy pants my friend had given me. then as i was rummaging through my closet, i ran across this cute nike tank top nike gave me when i was doing test product for them, which i had never worn, cause i don't run anymore. so i put it on, tied my shoes, and then as i was running VERY SLOW i realized i had become that woman that i always made fun of when i was an actual runner in high school and college: the slow woman in a cute outfit shuffling along at a slow clip. my track/xcountry friends and i would always laugh about these OLD women in these official getups going so slow. that was me. whatever. sometimes you sell out.

so i kinda sorta went running for less than 25 minutes one day. and i kinda sorta went on a mountain bike ride where i probably spent more time off the bike than on it. and on that same day i kinda sorta went on a really slow road ride where i represented like a true track rider with my incredible descending skills.

next piece of exercise were some goldsprints. for my new readers, these are some roller races with a fixed fork. my friend morgan wanted a track bike, so i was going to win her one. maybe i was a bit too cocky and sure of myself, figuring that of course i would win because i am undefeated and must be fast now that i took two full weeks off since track nationals. well, i lost. "cause, if you aren't first, your last." actually, i was second, with a poor time for myself. i felt bad for about 5 seconds that i lost cause i didn't win morgan that bike frame. but then i remembered two important things: 1) i lost to martina who is PRO. in fact, she should be embarrassed that she only beat me by a tenth of a second! 2) it would have cost mogan more to build that bike up than get a stock track bike from a store.

in review, we have:
1x 25min run
1x mtn bike ride/walk
1x 1.5hr rd ride where descending hill took longer than climbing hill
2x 22 sec gold sprints

of course i am ready for some racing at the track. ESPECIALLY, when the night before it is proceeded by a riveting game of big buck hunter. let me just say, i didn't feel so good getting up and getting to the track. then i had to find all my shit that i had just left sitting around the house since nationals. using a chainwhip hungover is almost as bad trying to do a race hungover. but, back to buckhunter. karla is my conspirator in this game. except i guess she wasn't as big as a lush as i was, although, she agreed that the HUGE hill up college ave toward broadway was WAY WORSE than any hill at the redlands classic.

so, anyway, the warmup was pretty awful. especially when hernando shook me from behind. that wasn't cool. before my race, i got my number pinned on by BJM. sure, other people were around and offered after they realized i had asked a superpro to pin on my number, but i told them i wanted a professional pin job. and now when i meet with michael ball about my keirin cut jeans, i am just going to say: "don't you know how important i am? ben jacque-mayne pins my number on." boom. who could argue with that logic.

so i signed up for the B scratch race. it hurt. i knew we were going slow, but anytime the pace got high and i had to get out of my saddle, well, that upward movement made me not feel good so i sat back down. that whole 12 minute race or whatever eternity it was, i just kept thinking: "you shot a doe!" and was hoping the video game would cut me off, but it it didn't. i kept getting dropped and thought i could get lapped, but then the stupid pack would keep slowing down so i would have to get back on. finally, i really gave up and got lapped. that was the best part of that day. then i changed clothes and opted out of the points race and instead ate a banana, a few apples, salad, and steered clear of that beer. yeah, i probably socialized a bit too, but i didn't feel much like talking.

well, i do have other pieces of news... but that will wait for another post, cause this one is already too long.

oh, but before i go-- check me out--

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

top reasons to go to hellyer on saturday afternoon

so saturday afternoon is shelley's second fundraiser for her world cups. before i go into some excellent reasons to attend, let me first give you the details:
who: you and all of your friends
what: ride the world cup fundraiser (scratch race & points racing, bbq, beer, raffle galore!)
where: hellyer park velodrome
when: 2 hr warmup at noon, 2pm races start
why: cause shelley needs some money to pay for international plane tickets and international cuisine delicacies.
alright, so now to the reasons why you should attend:
5. see shelley adorned in a brand new stars and stripes jersey before it gets all old and faded because she never takes it off

4. this is probably your best chance to get an exclusive rob evan action shot-- where he will make you look fast in the photo, even if you are off the back. then you can change your profile picture on facebook and feel all pro and badass, even though you aren't.

3. like advertised, these races are part fundraiser and part training for shelley. so even if you are totally a slow-ass like myself, if you show up and put in one balls to the wall effort you can logically take all the credit for shelley kicking butt at the world cups.

2. i looked at the cylcocross schedule and see that mcclaren park is the next day. RTWC provides an excellent opportunity for a either a quick tune up ride OR an opportunity to get completely wasted on the free beer being given out and giving yourself a total legit excuse why not to show up at that crazy mother f-ing hilly cross race the next day.

1. word on the street is adam duvendeck will be there and will be making out with everyone.
so, for further details, please check out the spiffy ride the world cups website. see you there!

Thursday, October 09, 2008

pro cyclists and beth

so like i said, i met lots of famous people in los angeles.

here is me and meg kickin' it with floyd landis.

and here is me kickin' it with taylor phinney. in fact, i was giving him a pump up talk right before that 1:03 kilo.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

the amusing parts of last week

first let me just say: root canal = peice of cake! i love my dentist. if you need a dentist in oakland, i highly suggest kenneth louie. the root canal was so awesome i fell asleep (i just had localized anesthetics) during it and think i woke myself up snoring as he was poking needles in my mouth. then my mouth was numb for a bit, but that was it.

so michiko and i had a date to make sure i got some donuts and beer. except it was actually chocolate cake and a cocktail, but same difference. i love it when she is unemployed!

so i realized i was big debbie downer in my nationals post and forgot to mention some of the funny highlights of the trip:
  • tuesday morning. car trip down = i sat awkwardly in the back seat because gio was PMSing.
  • tuesday afternoon. quick track workout, nothing of note.
  • ride to passedena from track. candy feed. dude eating big bag of candy in traffic. megan points out this phenomenon, gio rolls up to minivan, i roll down window and ask for some candy. we get some gumballs! don't ever say LA traffic sucks.
  • pete shows up tuesday night. 5 hours from marin. i drove with him to track almost everyday cause a) he has a race car, and b) he has awesome heated seats, which meant i didn't need to warmup as much before racing.
  • wednesday i go to track and watch some racing. (no races for me that day) coolest part? i saw taylor phinney doing tai chi right before his races. i don't know why it was so funny, but it just was.
  • then johnny the moto driver asked me how fast i wanted him to drive the moto during the keirin. it is always good to get in good with the moto driver.
  • then we spotted floyd landis sitting away from everyone. johnny said he'd introduce megan and me.
  • so we got our picture taken with floyd and a funny candid shot. i didn't care so much to ask floyd many questions about his life. if i really cared, i would have read his book. so instead i rattled on and on to him about my blog, measuring my quads, and my attempts to get michael ball to make keirin cut jeans. he was very nice and seemed amused and said he would check out my blog...yeah, i've heard that one before....
  • so that night we ate some lasagna i had made. gio really liked the lasagna. i mean, really liked it. so much so that pete, megan, and i were all very uncomfortable at the dinner table and wanted to excuse ourselves to leave him alone with the ricotta cheese. italians.
  • brian and steve showed up wednesday night. thus, i devised a friendly bet....brian and steve were shacking up, and megan and i were shacking up. (gio and pete were on the air mattresses). the bet was as follows: whoever did the best on the days events would win the bed for that night. highest place wins; partner freerides. this actually worked out well for me, cause megan is a badass and i was planning on free riding. pelaez was really into the bet, and we proceeded to shit talk about it before every race for the rest of the week. as steve said: "okay, whatever motivates you beth!"
  • thursday, like i said in my previous post i did some racing, 500m & scratch qualifiers. seeing shelley win the scratch race was the coolest thing ever. megan got second in team pursuit, so we won the bed. and so began the quoting of talladega nights. shake 'n bake!
  • friday we went to breakfast at pie 'n burger. gio and brian had pie. i did not, although it did look good.
  • at breakfast, pelaez told us about his lifting routine.... "i bench the bar... actually, just benching just the bar is actually harder... ya know, because of concentric muscle motion..." for awhile gio, pete, brian, and i just looked at him...wondering if he was serious. then we realized how full of it that dude is and proceeded to make fun of his weak "45 lb bar" self.
  • did a lot of racing friday night...keirins, scratch races. my first keirin round i ended up winning cause everyone pretty much crashed or got relegated. it was just like you-tube.
  • pete and i left the track together and pete told me how brian and steve are just like the odd couple. that night we had dinner and brian insisted on getting a pint of gelato so he could do well in the points race. megan got 5th in her pursuit, so we won the bed that night. podium=totally bed worthy.
  • saturday i found another reason to hate sarah palin. that bitch was speaking at the home depot soccer stadium, so we had to park far away and carry our shit far into the building. brian earned a few points in my book cause -- cause he totally flipped her off right as she was looking at him. apparently roman didn't think this was so appropriate, but that is totally why roman went to law school, and why brian is totally punk rock.
  • saturday was a short day for me with my 200m. i went to the stands to watch, cause you get a better view. megan wasn't racing and i definitely didn't win the bed for us, but steve was flying out that night, so they let us have it.
  • sunday we went back to pie 'n burger for breakfast, but no pie for me. maybe that was my problem. i met jennie reed and sarah hammer and got some autographs on a t-shirt with some cheesy quotes.
  • the car ride home was awesome. megan told some good jokes to some guys working at the rest stop. actually, she laughed at anything i said, even though it wasn't funny. that really boosted my self-esteem. then i realized we only had 1 hour left of our car trip, and i had neglected to play all of my awesome road trip CDs i had brought along... so i quickly did some DJing of some sweet en vogue & salt 'n pepper to conclude our trip.
there are likely other funny things i missed, but that was a quick re-cap. i think we should all take up tai chi.

oh, and for for my memory books, here are my pictures on cyclingnews. thanks rob for photoing me to make me feel important. and for taking pictures of me before i was off the back.

Monday, October 06, 2008

back from nats

so i made it back alive. i guess that counts for something.

the week was really up and down for me...i am typically pretty even-keeled and happy-go-lucky about things, so it was really rough and atypical. i was a total fucking lame ass and broke down in tears during two warm-ups before the racing even started, and a couple of times in the porta-potties, which, let's just be real-- is pretty fucking gross and pathetic. big thanks to matt martinez for saving my ass multiple times.

that all said, it was a bunch of fun hanging out with the people i traveled with. megan is just awesome (and not just because she laughs at all my jokes even when they aren't funny). brian peterson is most definitely the highest quality person i have met this past year: is so considerate, has so much integrity, and is both wise and funny, a rare combination. steve pelaez, let's be honest, steve is kind of a dead weight to travel with, but he is just so hilarious and entertaining, i don't even notice. pete billington, great guy and awesome to talk with. gio, well, never cook gio lasagna because he will make everyone very uncomfortable at the dinner table. we had six of us staying at stephanie's house, which she so graciously let us stay at, and it was awesome hanging out and getting to know each other. i felt very lucky and privileged to spend time with such awesome people this past week.

that all said, i went down there to race, not hang out, and with that, i was extremely disappointed in myself. i knew the mass start stuff would be more difficult because i had never been in that situation before. so i was focusing on my timed events because i knew that would be something concrete for my first year.

thursday i had the 500 and scratch qualifiers. my 500 was pretty much what i have been doing recently. i was very disappointed in myself, because this is what i was training for. i guess the scratch qualifier was my best race of the weekend, just because i held my position the last few laps and was able to make it into the final.

friday i had keirins and scratch final. the first keirin round was totally stacked with fast people. i figured i'd be going to the rep, but i ended up winning this heat because everyone else pretty much crashed or got relegated. i pulled the pole position. before the motor pulled off, there was movement behind me and two people went down. only three of us left in the heat, one of whom passed me, but she was relegated. i hope you are healing well jen! round 2 i was in okay position when the moto was on, but then the person in front of me went underneath and then i tried to catch a different wheel, and when someone came up on me...and then there was a bunch of wheel scraping in front of me, i totally backed off, and when you hesitate a moment, you're screwed. then i went in the 7-12 final and pulled the pole again, but totally got passed by everyone. it sucked and i just wasn't aggressive enough. scratch finals i was just out of my league riding...just not used to that level of aggressive riding and didn't have the guts to stay where i needed to be with a couple of laps to go, so i rolled in at the back of the pack.

saturday sucked more, as my 200m time fucking sucked. yeah, my ramp up maybe wasn't perfect, but i was about .4 off my goal time, and a different ramp up wouldn't have made that much of a difference. i was 9th, so i didn't make the tournament and was done for the day.

sunday was the team sprint with lynn from portland. i didn't want to get dropped on her, so i was pretty much on her wheel, but not right away... but my second lap was terrible and i was really disappointed with my speed.

i know i sound like a big debbie downer. i wasn't expecting amazing results or anything- my goals were very reachable and small, and i am just upset at myself. blah blah blah 'it was my first nationals'...'i've really improved a lot this year'...these are all things i know, but doesn't change the fact that i rode poorly. i don't really need or want any encouragement from anyone, i am just disappointed in myself and am venting.

all that bitching aside, as i said, i had a great time with the folks i was with. amazing folks and i feel very lucky to have spent time with them this week. it was awesome seeing shelley win the scratch race and i felt very privileged to see her excitement first hand after she has been working hard for so long. it was very awesome. i learned a bunch and am happy i had the experience. and it was also good to see some people from other tracks who i have met along the way. despite being upset at myself, i am very happy i went this week and would do it again in a heart beat.