Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Beef jerky knees and my ever-growing stupidity

Finals are next week and I should be building my study guides and then studying my face off but instead I'm eating cookies and banging around on the blog.

For you. This is all for you.

OK OK OK, it's also for me.

My brains need a break from ALL GROWING ALL THE TIME.

I mean, yes, I fucking love growing food and I love the garden and YAY I got a gig working in the school's greenhouses as a student assistant until I finish my degree so I'll be growing food there, too, but...um...what about let's not talk about growing stuff for a minute?

What about let's talk about me giving up one bone crushing activity and then taking up another?

Yeah - that's a fun exercise in "How is Finny being stupid today?".

So - I have, thanks to some strategic encouragement from Bubba, put my toe into the knee scraping, flesh ripping fun water of mountain biking.

Because I obviously don't do enough things to injure myself and I obviously also need to be learning new things and testing my body's abilities at all times because the stress of my daily life of WHAT THE HELL HAVE I DONE isn't enough.

Let's throw some near certain bodily injury and yet another expensive and time consuming hobby on top of that.

I should probably seek some sort of professional brain help, but instead I'm settling for the professional help of our bike mechanic.

They seem pretty profesh, anyway.

So, we'll see where that takes us. So far I've had one shin devoured by a flesh-eating pedal, a thumb stabbed by an errant pine cone, a back bruise resulting from a saddle stabbing, I've lost my virginity 3 more times thanks to the malicious advances of the Specialized Safire's rapey stock saddle and my right knee looks like beef jerky.

Spicy or teriyaki? I can't decide.

Rapist bike

The tasty Mojo. 

Otherwise, though, I'm no worse for wear and Bubba assures me that once he's back on his feet, we'll ride together and oh the wonderful places we'll go and shit, as soon as he doesn't have two broken ribs, a dislocated wrist (now relocated!) and a torn meniscus thanks to his own adventures in mountain biking.


I fear for us.

In other news - I've planted pumpkins and spaghetti squash in the front yard because I ran out of space in the garden and people who know me too well (hi neighbors!) dropped off some wayward plants that needed good homes and oh you don't want them to die do you?

Like I said - they know me too well. And also I ended up talking about growing food even though I said that I wasn't going to.

WHAT IS MY PROBLEM and goodnight.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Yeah, so about Crossfit...

Fuck Crossfit.

Yes, I realize that by saying that I'm putting myself opposite from some VERY fit people, but after hyper extending one big toe, resting off my feet (like, no running either which BLEW) for a month and then going back only to hyper extend the other big toe - fuck Crossfit.

I can't be going to a class where I'm to do a number of exercises that I have to modify to the point of uselessness lest I end up with a You're Going To Have To Sit Out For At Least A Month injury.

I'm over it. Even though I was seeing marked physical improvements (Why, is that an AB I see emerging?  YES IT IS WHOA.) and felt stronger by the day - I'm over it.

I mean, what's the use of having a few emerging abs and upper body strength if you're afraid of stepping off of a curb at an odd angle and accidentally bending your forefoot *just* a tad too far and triggering The Hell Pain and then crying in the street like a pussy girl?

There's no use and that would just look odd: an apparently able bodied woman mincing around shrinking from things like two step staircases and sidewalk curbs.

Also, no running which is No.

I need to run. Otherwise The Crazy happens.

But I was making progress on my pull-ups. Like, I was moving to a less resistant band and able to do more at a time and just basically not just hanging there all desperate and pathetic trying to yard my poor bod up toward the bar.

And my push-ups were getting stronger.

And my abs were starting to vaguely, in the right light and if I hadn't eaten anything yet and wasn't all bloated from a night of gin martinis with extra olives - look like abs. 

What about all of that? No more Crossfit meant probably no more of that stuff too and...sad.

But still, I decided after last month's Oh Fuck Now The Other Toe's Busted injury resulting from walking push ups (there's a gem exercise by the way no thank you) and two months spent favoring the other toe, that I was going to do an extreme Crossfit "modification".

I was going to do it at home.


Without the looming fear that I'd walk in to the prison gym and the day's workout was going to involve all manner of lungey toe-bendy movements. Hi, Mountain Climbers, Burpees and Olympic Lift Splits plus also walking lunges and lots of other too-much-toe-bendy-activities.

Instead, I was going to finally - and without injury hopefully - train myself to do a few things that I've never in my whole life been able to do or thought I'd ever be able to do but really want to do like a proper pull-up and a solid number of consistently top form guy push-ups. Plus, I feel like I should be able to dead hang without slipping weak-fingered and shouldered off the bar after 15 seconds.

This is what I was hoping to get out of Crossfit and I was sorta on my way to doing that when I managed to bust up both of my big toes doing a bunch of other shit that I don't care to work on. I mean, I can do a fucking lunge - I don't need to be doing them to my own detriment with a heavy bar over my head thankssomuch.

Another benefit of the home workout that we call HomePoop because Bubba called Crossfit, "CrossPoop", and now I'm at home doing it so you see how this happened, is that I get to use a bunch of equipment that was just hanging around not being used for its expressed purpose meanwhile taking up space in our not spacious garage.

So, now I go out to our rickety ass garage three mornings a week after running with the dog for a warm up and do a few reps of  bike sprints on the trainer-mounted Boss Lady, a boatload of sit ups on the Abmat and then either 60 pull-ups, push-ups or 3 minutes of dead hangs.

I guess now she's Boss Lady of the garage.

I'm sorta ashamed of myself for buying one of these things, but at least my back will be happy and maybe one day I will have an official ab to go with my mat. That'd be swell.

Our hangboard. One day I will be able to do a legit pull-up on this thing. I'm just not saying which day.

Because I've decided I'm a trainer of myself.

Which is probably a bad way to go since I'm no qualified professional personal trainer, but I figure if I managed to train my slow dead ass to run four half marathons, too many 10Ks and 5Ks to count, a few multisport events and I speedworked and fartleked my way to sub-60 10Ks and sub-30 5Ks, then surely I can train my body to do a single unassisted pull-up and a series of solid and real push-ups.

If nothing else, I can train my body to hang like a dead hog's carcass for a minute at a time.

Because that's actually a useful proficiency in the event that you're hanging off of a cliff or the rungs of a helicopter or whatever.

Seriously though - when I see movies where some dude is clinging with the last of his finger strength to the crumbling edge of the cliff and people are all, "Why doesn't he just pull himself up?" and shit, all I'm thinking is that I'd have fallen off ages ago because not only can I not *just pull myself up*, I can't even hang there like a useless mass long enough to cry for help with any chance of anyone coming to my rescue.


Here's to the small hope that one day I'll be able to cling to a cliff's edge long enough for someone to come rescue my ass because it's going to take me a long time to bag that first pull-up.

Thursday, May 02, 2013

Remember how I'm a garden psycho? Also - tell who sent this awesome thing.

I realize the irony.

I blab for a hundred years on this blog about the garden. Gardenblahblahblah I believe we started calling it, you and I.

And then I decide that - HEY! Let's make this garden bullshit all official and I quit my normal person job, start a garden type business, go back to school for a horticulture degree and then radio silence on the gardenblahblahblah.

Um? Hullooo? What's with the garden then?

Yeah - the garden, my garden, is totally IN for the summer. And I think you know, but I'll say it once for any new people here (HI NEW PEOPLE! Put your drinks on coasters, you fucking animals.) that when I say garden I mean the vegetable one.

The rest of the plants on my property, while they may be lovely and serve special purposes like making food on a perennial basis (artichokes, rhubarb, cherries, apples, lemons, limes, kumquats, etc forever) or bringing in beneficial insects or whatever - my real psychoness is the vegetable garden.

I fucking love to grow vegetables. That's true. Particularly the warm season ones.

And the warm season vegetable garden is SO IN.

BRING IT. Oh. It's here.

National Pickling cucumber because obviously. And all those spring greens in back that are, as we speak, burning to a crisp in the suddenly scorching May sun yay.

One of two Toma Verde tomatillos because you know.

Silver Cloud Cannellini beans because we eat a lot of them and also because WHAT IF I COULD GROW THEM MYSELF? 

The spring greens are really nice and also really on their way out. Sad.

A Small Shining Light watermelon for squaring because of our ongoing desire for food in square shapes
Just a volunteer cilantro doing what all cilantro does. BOLT. Jerk.

A Better Boy Tomato because ALWAYS.

A Jaune Flamme tomato because as of last year ALWAYS.

A Paul Robeson tomato because Love Apple Farms says it tastes fancy and I believe them so we'll just see about that.

Uh...have you see the random poppy field that sprung up in front of my beehive? Because it's awesome.

Right, OK - that last picture is not one of the I FUCKING LOVE IT warm season vegetable garden, but I will say that it for sure falls into the I FUCKING LOVE IT category because just look at this shit:

Hi! We're just going to be awesome over here. Hope you don't mind.

And when you sit at the beehive being all ARE THE BEES OK? YES. then you'll have this nice view.

Even when you're standing back there under the tree, the view is still pretty kickass.

And then the bees have this badass runway so they'll never forget where home is.

It's like a big badass banner that's all, "HEY BEES! Home is here. Come home. NO SWARMING."

So yeah, it's good times in the vegetable garden and in the bees' poppy field.

But because I've been so shitty about Gardenblahblahblahing, you get extra double lucky bonus garden love:


I remembered to sow sweet peas in the fall, so that's happening 24/7 now. 

I shall braid garlic this year. That is my solemn vow.


This probably doesn't seem all that impressive, but the kumquats are putting on a lot of new growth.

Future cocktails.

Sweet peas...

And sweet peas...

And sweet peas some more...

And sweet peas in the neighborly vases that my neighborly neighbor made and hung in the doorway of our neighborly dutch gate.

Artichoke forts are Jada's new favorite thing. Because of the sudden hotness and the super hugeness of the artichokes.

The ladybeetles are on the fucking CASE around here. Love that.

Rocket is in on the fort making. She's such a copycat. CAT HA GET IT YES SORRY.

Hops. Did I tell you I was growing hops? I am. We are hopheads. Make yer jokes.

More poppies. In the front yard meadow. Just because.
A shitastic photo of what are actually very pretty bush anemones. Or something like that.

There are so many artichokes OH MY GOD SAVE US ALL. Also, get butter and garlic.

Peas. They are going to die a quick scorchy death in the heat wave we're having, so I must eat them imediatemente.
So yeah. All of those photos are now out of date because it's been wicked blasting sunuvabitching hot already even though it's barely May and the plants have shot up another foot in the process. Which is cool with me because I haven't had a homegrown fresh tomato (or any other fresh tomato because who's eating that shitshow at the grocery store? Not I.) since 2012 and I'm ready to shove them in my face.

OH! And here's a random late-to-the-game plea:

Someone please tell me who sent this awesome time lapse camera that is, as we speak, documenting the seed to seed life of my favorite tomato.

It just showed up at my house last year and I don't know who sent it even though I've interrogated all of the likely subjects and they're not copping to it.

I swear - it's awesome. I won't hate you or call the cops for your stalking! Mostly I will thank you and then probably apologize that I'm using it for something as absurd as chronicling the life of a tomato instead of something more glamorous like chronicling the life of an Idontknowhat.

A kitten? I bet you'd want to see a kitten. Everyone fucking loves cats, which I don't get. Even though I have a cat. BUT WHATEVER - this is about the camera. If you sent it to me, I'm willing to overlook the fact that you super sleuthed my home address and that creeps me the fuck out and just say thank you and VIRTUAL HIGH FIVE and such.

Also, maybe I'll send you some canned tomatoes? Whatever. We'll work it out. Just come clean.