Wednesday, August 4, 2010

How the heck did THAT happen?

I know that for many of you, summer is still in full swing, but for many members of the Herd, as well as for my kids and for me, summer is winding down and school is starting up within the next week or so (in fact, I think Betty was back at school today, but she is an administrator, so maybe that doesn't count). I report back to work on August 16, so I have one more week off. My kids start school on Wednesday (DramaGirl's FIRST DAY OF HIGH SCHOOL) AND Thursday (I'm not sure why the middle school is starting on a Thursday. I guess they're easing their way back into it, so that's when Turbo will be back at it.)

So, even though it feels like the middle of summer (although to be honest, the weather here was so lousy for so long that it doesn't even really feel like it's started yet), I'm going to take a moment to look back and reflect on these past few months. They've been quite full of fun, family, and friends.

So, here's my list of things I've learned so far this summer....
  • Do NOT mess with flight attendants. True Story... I can't believe I neglected to tell it earlier. On the way UP to the SF 1/2 Marathon, Elsie, Mik and I had a front row seat for watching a belligerent guy be escorted off the plane because he wouldn't stow his carryon items completely underneath the seat in front of him. I don't know if he thought this was some kind of NEW RULE or what, but he decided to be just a complete a-hole about it. We'd pulled away from the gate when he started getting all mouthy with our FA about her repeated request to push his bag under the seat, and then in a moment of complete idiocy, he raised his hand as if he was going to strike her. Like a blackjack dealer at the end of her shift, our FA wiped her hands of him and said she was DONE... Shortly thereafter, the pilot returned the plane to the gate and the guy was escorted off... People clapped.
  • A corollary to #1 is "Never mess with a black woman with her hair swept over one eye!"  This is what our flight attendant, who had an AMAZING voice and who had EFFING SUNG the FA drill (you know the oxygen-masks-dropping-from-the-overhead-panels, and help-the-children-first, and your-seat-cover-may-be-used-as-a-flotation-device-in-the-unlikely-event-of-a-water-evacuation thing that you never listen to...) told us after B.A.D (belligerent a-hole dude) had been escorted off the plane. I don't know if this is going to translate well but after B.A.D was escorted off, those of us sitting around his empty seat were a little unnerved. He caused a scene! He was beligerent. I felt REALLY bad for the two women who were sitting on either side of him. Our FA made light of it and in addition to singing, she was hysterically funny and did a whole comedy routine about never messing with her...LOVED IT!
This was NOT our FA, but it was her hair-style.
  • The coldest winter is a summer in San Francisco. Although this quote (or something like it) is often attributed to Mark Twain, it isn't his. I know because I looked it up once...anyway, I have spent 4 of the last 10 days in the Bay Area and neither time have I packed appropriately for it. I shoulda packed a winter coat, both times. GAH!
  • A race in SF is going to be far more hilly than I think it will be. I thought I'd done SOME hill training in prep for SF, but it was nowhere near enough. My legs are still recovering from the hills.
  • Plantar Fascitiis never heals completely. It always needs to be managed. I spent most of last summer trying to deal with some pretty major PF issues...and due to the hills, they're back, not as bad as last summer, but i REALLY need to get back to stretching and strength training, or else... 
  • It is vitally important to take time to recover after a race. Part of the PF problem I'm now having is that I've run three times since returning from SF. I probably should have taken the whole week off, but I didn't. Then earlier in the week, Walter and I ran five miles in our "hood," which, in retrospect would have been a really good thing to do BEFORE running SF due to the fact that we live around some pretty wretched hills. The next day, my heel said "OUCH GIRL! WTF?"
  • A good limo driver know his size and exactly how much room he has to fit in there. 
An amazing parking job...what were YOU thinking?
  • Never bet on horse races based solely on the horse's name and expect to win. Walter and I really do need to go to the track more often with Mona and her husband Darryl. First of all, they are Ken and Barbie adorable, but we shouldn't hold that against them. Last weekend, I lost money on horse-races at Friday's Twilight racing (first post is at 4pm instead of 1pm), but had a GREAT time anyway, enjoying margaritas and dancing to Common Sense. I also made a new friend in Leah (Mona's friend from OC...who told me the SADDEST running story about how she was walking to the start of the San Diego RNR 1/2 Marathon in June, tripped on a crack in the wretched sidewalks downtown, blew out her ankle, and couldn't race!). This is something I fear before every race, that I'm going to trip over the sidewalk and hurt myself. Leah is living proof that it CAN happen.
Me, Leah, and Mona at the "after race" concert last Friday. Our mantra for the evening was "I LOVE TODAY!"
  • A one hour flight from Oakland to San Diego is really NOT enough time for me to complete a  an entire post...I started this one as I was flying home from Oakland.
  • Pre-flight preparation...perhaps this slowed me down? Nahhhhhh
  • I really need to figure out a way to say "no" to extra projects during the summer. All those extra projects have really cut into my blogging and running and family time. I cannot believe it's August and I have not been to the beach once! On the other hand, it was the coolest July on record in SoCal, so even if I'd had the time, I probably would have skipped the beach anyway.
I took this during my flight home from Oakland last night. That's the Sweetwater Reservoir in the foreground and the ocean (and this summer's ever present) fog bank in the distance
  • I am still a runner. After last summer, I wasn't so sure this was going to be true, and I'll be honest, I always have a certain amount of anxiety before I start running - every single time - that I won't be able to. That it will be as difficult and painful as the first time I ran more than four years ago. And to this day, every time I start running, and I find it enjoyable, I'm a little bit surprised and very relieved.
  • I agree with Meg, it's really not about drinking and running, or running and drinking. It's about hanging with the girls, our friendships, how we support each other and make each other laugh. I don't know if there's a book about the adventures of the herd or not, (but thanks Meg for thinking it would be fun to read, or that I could write it!). I do know that I would have never caught the running bug if it hadn't been for the herd. I am pretty sure that I would continue running if they all decided to quit, but I know I wouldn't have nearly as much fun. The other thing I know is that apparently word about the fun The Herd is having has spread. I received a text message from a group of younger-than-the-herd teachers who gathered this past weekend in Palm Springs. They're calling themselves The Udders. I wonder if they have Udder-names yet?
Presenting "The Udders....
Anyway, the summer isn't entirely over yet. There's still a few events on the horizon including the End of Summer Fire Run on August 29. And even though my calendar has many more empty days in August than July did, I know that things will happen and I'll book up!


  1. School just seems to start earlier and earlier each year.

    My son is going to school at Cal Berkeley starting this fall. He's in for a big surprise with the weather!

  2. This is the time of year that I get some (very little) revenge on you teachers for making jealous around the May-June time frame. Oh, my son goes in that category too.

    Love the things you learned and thanks for sharing. I'm also glad you caught the running bug, and the blogging bug too.

    Enjoy that last week.

  3. You are awesome as a writer, friend and runner because you do it with a passion.

  4. As you can see in all my SF photos, I have the same dark pink hoodie on in every... single... picture, a last minute grab on the way out the door to catch my flight. Without that jacket, I would have froze to death. Not sure what I was thinking other thatn 60 degrees sounded so nice compared to the 100 Denver was having at the time.

    My twin boys are starting high school this year, too :). I go back to work two days next week for a meeting then back permanently on the 16th. Unlike. I've done very little of what I wanted to this summer either. And I have no real excuse other than I just didn't get to it.

    Enjoy the rest of your few remaining days of summer!!

  5. Go to the beach. GO TO THE BEACH! This is coming from someone who lives in the middle of the English countryside MILES from the beach which is HORRIBLE anyway so please go and enjoy your lovely beach for me. Oh and your nice weather because it's STILL freezing here. Go now!

    Oh. And you are SO a runner!

  6. I love the picture from inside the plane-those kinds of pics, no matter what they are taken of, always remind me of just how small the world really is!
    I'm very ready for summer to be over with. Tired of the heat/humidity/mosquitos/grass cutting/weed wacking/blah, blah, blah!!!

  7. That flight attendant deserves a massive raise and promotion.

  8. My kids don't go back to school for a while. Since I'm a guy I don't even know exactly when but I think the month ends in "ber," "beer," or something like that.

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  10. Wow, you guys go back to school early, that is just so sad!!

    As a former Flight Attendant all I can say is *good for her*!!! We (they) aren't there to entertain, they are there for safety first. Glad the Jackhole was escorted off the flight....

    Try to enjoy what little is left of your summer vacay...

  11. Betty says -
    Thank you Alice for these written memories of all the fun! We do laugh a lot and I know that I love hanging out with your gals!

    Even better is that there are some UDDERs around! First the HAGS, then the HEFFERS, now the UDDERs! Friendships at work make work a wonderful place to be! Eventually, it becomes just friendships that last a lifetime!

  12. OMGSH this blog is hilarious. And, you simply MUST run the Udder Run next summer with me!!! Great flight attendant kickass story...Glad Glenn pointed me your way!

  13. Ha ha ha! Great post Alice! I think that as bad as flying is, Southwest is great. They always seem to leave on time, always get to the destination on time, and they have fun enroute. Wish I could say the same about the BIG airline that I normally fly.

    I can't believe that school is already starting for you. It's August. The corn isn't ready for harvest yet!

    See you in a few weeks. Shelter Island *and* bust!