Tuesday, October 27, 2009

The next event.

One of my best buddies, Chris, sent me this pic today. It was taken at the Little 500, a few months ago. I love this picture. Bishop Peak is in the background, and it's just such a cool picture in its simplicity.
Up next on my radar? This weekend's 24, no, make that 25-hr. mt bike race. I'm heading up to the Santa Ynez valley to meet with my SLO crew for what's sure to be a wild race. Fifteen of my closest SLO friends will be there, divided up into 3 teams. My teammates and I have christened our crew the Tecates Not Trainers team. We won't be sitting on trainers in between laps trying to keep warm. I think you can figure out what we'll be doing in our downtime.
But Internet, the planning that is going into this race is so sophisticated. All of these e-mails about what Yukie, our team mom, should cook; whether we should rent a generator to power our speakers; how much beer will be sufficient; whether we should all don red body paint or just decorate our bikes with Tecate cans, etc.
I'll post after this weekend and let you know how team TNT fared.

Monday, October 19, 2009

What we become.

Lately, I've been looking at patterns in my behavior, in my personality, and I've been drawing all of these parallels to my childhood. It brings up the whole nature vs. nurture debate, among other questions. But I do wonder--how much of our personality is a result of birth order, parenting, and genetics?

I am the youngest: my brother is five years older, and my sister eight. Growing up, I spent a lot of time alone with my imagination. We didn't have a TV, so between the neighborhood kids, cow pond across the street, and my dolls, I had to figure out how to keep myself entertained. Which I was good at. I still have vivid memories of the various stories I would make up and try to live out through play. It was a great way to grow up.

I am 29 now, and I still need my alone, imaginative time. A lot of it, actually. Sometimes I wonder--had I not fallen last in the birth order, would I have a different sense of responsibility for others? Because I often have a hard time with that--feeling responsible for others. I'm very much a do-it-yourself and deal-with-it kind of personality. I've never had to look out for younger siblings or be concerned about anyone other than myself, so I would say that perhaps that facet of my personality has been very much engendered by birth order.

The more years I spend single and childless, the more deeply ingrained I become in my patterns of needing to be alone and wanting to dictate my own schedule and priorities. And I'm comfortable. I love that all I need on the weekend is my bike or running shoes and some trails--nothing more. Maybe a glass or two of wine and a good meal, of course, but I can be content by myself.

My need for my terms is an ingrained personality trait that can wreck havoc on relationships, among other things. I'm social, too, and I definitely have deep cravings for people and activities, but when I'm unsure, or trying to block out the world and adjust, I retreat into my more comfortable me-time and shun any other forms of interaction.

I'm not sure why I feel such a compelling need to analyze all of this publicly right now. I suppose to bring clarity for myself. I see some of my patterns, and I know, that for whatever reason--childhood, genetics, whatever--they're ingrained now. They're in. They've been in and don't want to check out. But I recognize that if I wish to move forward and develop deeper relationships, I need to let go of some of my tendencies that cling, white-knuckled, to my freedom, independence, and responsibility for myself, only.

I guess it's all a balance, right? I see a lot of women who are especially apt at complete self-sacrifice, until they find they have no identity outside of their homes, marriages, or children. So letting go of some independence in order to grasp love, while retaining that inner person, would be the ultimate balance. I suppose.

But it's hard to move forward when you're stuck in who you have become.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Kambucha buzzzzzzz

I have become a total and complete, $20/week Kombucha addict. Komb-what? You ask? I learned about Kombucha this summer, my first week after arriving back in California. A friend of me told me about it, and the same week, another friend was talking about it and showing me his home-brewed version. At first I wasn’t convinced. Kombucha is a Chinese-fermented tea that definitely has an acquired taste, but the health benefits are awesome. It took me a few bottles to get accustomed to it, but now, Internet, I’m hooked. Kombucha has a very slight alcohol level—they claim it’s only 0.5% on the bottle, but for some reason it goes straight to my head and gives me that nice, relaxed ahhhhh. It’s my preferred drink at the office.

Kombucha is made from a fermented culture—it’s a bit gross looking, actually, when you see it in action before it’s strained. But it’s filled with probiotics, B Vitamins, and antioxidants. Anecdotally , it cures cancer. I’ve found that the flavored versions mask the very strong culture flavor. My current favs are Mango and Cranberry.

Unfortunately, the stuff isn’t cheap. Another girl at work is a self-proclaimed addict, so every Monday, we head to the closest health food store and stock up for the week. At $3.50 a bottle, it adds up, so I’ve had to start calculating Kambucha into my weekly grocery bill as one of my must-have things. I figure,
A. instead of spending money on vitamins, I can just buy Kombucha, and
B. I don’t have to sneak a flask into the office to get my buzz.*