Category Archives: adventure

Wherein I Did Not Act Like a Lady at the Women’s Only Triathlon

Hey Ladies!
Hey Ladies!


If you are a single male, you missed a rare opportunity to find some hearty, woman-stock of child-bearing age at Tempe Town Lake on May 5.

More than 500 women gathered for the inaugural Esprit de She triathlon and duathlon. Depending on the race they entered, the ladies tallied up to 16 miles’ worth of swimming, biking and running … or running, biking and running … or if you’re me, swimming, biking, running and pissing people off.

Suffice it to say, these women have stamina – and after wearing themselves out (or working themselves into a lather) – they might have lowered their standards and perhaps would have been more amenable to your romantic entreaties. Or not.

Although I wasn’t amenable to (or eligible for) those romantic entreaties, I did survive the inaugural Esprit de She Triathlon in 1 hour, 55 minutes, 23 seconds with my dignity intact (more or less) along with my gangrenous toe. It was not a personal best, not by a long shot.

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The Son We Never Wanted

Family Portrait
Family Portrait

Two shakers of Tony Chachere’s Original Creole Seasoning (both open).

Three boxes of assorted teas. One dozen plastic go-cups from various Mardi Gras parades. An unopened jar of cayenne pepper. Half a container of Morton’s Sea Salt – Extra Coarse. A half a jar of creamy Jif peanut butter. A half-jar of Thrill Your Grill Pork Rub. An unopened bottle of Mrs. Dash Grilling Blends – Chicken (No MSG). Three sets of stainless steel barbecue skewers. A bottle of black pepper. A brand-new container of Weber brand New Orleans Cajun spice mix.

One bottle of Uncle Steve’s Pure Ribbon Cane Syrup “rich in nature’s flavors” and three-quarters’ full – this, in a box on the floor of the closet, right next to the hamper full of wet towels.

This is the legacy of the son we never wanted – the gifts that Ross left behind.

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Muse: Best. Concert. Ever. Period.

All I gotta say is: WOW. Adjectives, exaltations, exhortations, interjections and run-of-the-mill adverbs all fail to do justice to the show we saw last night: Muse at US Airways Center in Phoenix.

Here’s what I knew about Muse going into the show:

1) We had free tickets in the skybox seats directly across from the stage… with a full bar and semi-private restrooms, plus nice comfy armchairs and a fully catered meal.

2) Um, I think some of their songs are used in those commercials… and didn’t they have that song in that Tom Cruise movie? And aren’t they the theme song for the NCAA basketball tournament. Something madness? I was only passingly familiar with them since I spend the majority of my radio time with NPR (and it’s a news / jazz channel)

3) Muse is one of my nephew’s favorite bands, and in our efforts to reach out to the young people and try new things, I figured I should be adventurous and broaden my horizons.

For those keeping score at home: Muse 4,827 – Horizons, shattered.

Best concert I’ve ever seen – but more than seen: Experienced. They had lasers, people. Lasers.

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I Photo-Bombed a Supreme Court Justice (ret.)

I photo-bombed a Supreme Court Justice – and not just any member of the black-robed superstars of jurisprudence: The very first woman to hold the position of Supreme Court Justice of the United States – the Honorable Sandra Day O’Connor.

StoryCorps, the national initiative that invites people from all walks of life to interview one another and share the stories of their lives, has parked its humble Airstream in Phoenix this spring. The NPR member-station I represent, KJZZ 91.5 FM is hosting the visit. We invited Justice O’Connor to record an interview for the kick-off celebration and media day.

Now, if I were a ring announcer at a boxing match, I would have run out of superlatives to cast like rose petals at her feet long before this Icon of American Awesomeness ascended those three steps into the Airstream: The First Woman on the Supreme Court (FWOTSC), 2002 Inductee into the National Cowgirl Hall of Fame, the woman who managed to work all those years with Clarence Thomas and not punch him in the face, 2009 winner of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, living proof that Arizona exports more than gun-touting, grammar-challenged racists, decider, explorer, author, web developer, peacemaker, small in stature – huge in impact, giant among women and men, Retired Badass from the Court of Last Resort…

And I stood there looking like a dork in the background of an official station photo opportunity. See for yourself.

Looking like a complete doofus with FWOTSC

She arrived in a dusty Dodge Ram pickup truck. Her son Scott drove her. They arrived promptly at 1:30. He called her Mom.

He called her Mom! Not your Honor. Not your Majesty. Not your Supremacy. Just Mom. “Well, Mom and I…” and  “Mom does this ~” and “Mom does that ~” and “Mom blah-blah-blah ~”

Not like me who stood there slack-jawed and didn’t even managed to introduce myself, or throw myself at her feet, or offer up the grateful thanks of a nation for her service and fortitude. No, I pretty much committed the cardinal sin of radio: Dead air. Starstruck silence. Frozen awkwardness. Duuuuuhhhhhh.

Granted, I think my employers probably appreciated my lack of genuflection… until they posted the photos online and realized their salesperson was photo-bombing a Supreme Court Justice.

And now I have a large, black, antenna-festooned SUV parked indiscreetly on my cul de sac… and I may not have a job anymore.

Instead, I just have a painful photographic reminder of yet another brush with greatness.


One-Sixth Ironman, Part Deux

Sometime during Hour 4 of our epic 7-hour, 32-minute, 15-second Soma Half-Ironman on Sunday, my Mom asked me: “What’s the hardest of the three events in this race?”

From the shady confines of the Team Athena Riding Clydesdales Party Pavilion™, I took a long draw on my cold beer and gazed out upon the shimmering brown waters of Tempe Town Lake. I pondered my sweet husband Patrick, aka Clydesdale #1, riding his bicycle over 56 wind-whipped miles. I considered the coming suffering of Clydesdale #2, Jason Robert, running his 13.1-mile half-marathon under a blazing noonday sun. I breathed a sweet sigh of relief.

“Not the swim. Definitely not the swim. I mean, maybe if I was in the Arctic Ocean, during a tsunami, with sharks to the left of me and sea lions to the right, only then could the swim possibly be the hardest event – but on a day like today?” I clicked to the tracking app on the iPad to follow Pat’s progress – the breeze that cooled us in the Party Pavilion simultaneously punished him on Rio Salado Parkway. “On a day like today, I’m glad to be the swimmer.”

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