Tuesday, May 30, 2006

ALA Breathe Easy Bike ride a success!!

After 100s of training miles, the American Lung Association's Breathe Easy 65-mile bike ride was a huge success! Team Salty Dawgs raised nearly $15,000 for lung disease research & prevention! (and with a few last second donations still coming in, I think we'll make $15,000 before the week is up). The ride was incredible - it was windy, but not too bad. It was so beautiful! I've finally mastered the art of drafting, so with my friend Richard's help, I was able to complete the ride without destroying my body this time. It took me 6 hours and 13 minutes this time, but the ride was actually 66-miles this year - so that's a slight time improvement over last year.

I hope to get pictures from my teammates soon & I'll let you know when they are up on bubb.org (my woefully out of date website).

We spent the weekend at the Larson Family Winery's Captain's Cabin - wow, what a treat! The home is beautifully decorated, and no modern convenience was overlooked. The wines, which we were able to taste across the path from the "cabin", were wonderful as well. I would have to say the Wingo White & the Pinot were my favorites. This is a family run winery, and it truly shows. We were all treated like family while we stayed, chatting with folks in the tasting room - even singing showtunes with Bob. The family dogs were ever present and incredibly friendly.

Monday, May 22, 2006

65-mile bike ride, here I come!

It's just days now until the American Lung Association's 2 Rock Breathe Easy 65-mile bike ride. I haven't been able to get in nearly as many or as long of training rides as I did last year, and fundraising has been a lot more challenging. Take yesterday, for example, I was planning a nice 45 mile ride in Hecker Pass wine country - but it poured rain most of the day! This isn't why I moved to California! Well, I guess we can't always have perfect weather :-)

Rode my bike into work today, for probably the last time before the big event on May 27. I hope to get one more mountain bike ride in tomorrow, then I'll be resting up. I'll have to have a word with my cat about letting me actually sleep through the night! (really, I *don't* need my armpit kneaded at 4AM!)

Wish me luck, and if you can, sponsor me!

All money raised is tax deductible & goes to fund research for lung cancer, emphysema and asthma - 3 lung diseases that very intimiately affect my family.

In addition to all this training, I managed to squeeze in an audition for Saratoga Drama Group's season auditions last night. I screwed up my song a bit, but turned it around at the end. When I finished singing, I was asked if I could tap dance. I replied, "No, but I can fake it - I smile so big you won't know what my feet are doing!" Well, I got a call back to the tap dance auditions. Ummmm... now, can I learn to tap dance in just a few hours? we'll see.... ;-)

Friday, May 5, 2006

Spring is finally here!

The rain has finally stopped here in the SF Bay Area, and I've been able to ride my bike in on a much more regular basis. Flowers are blooming along the bay shore trail like crazy - it's beautiful! Shoreline park is a bird sanctuary, so it's cool to see lots of different species hanging out in the very large park. Today, I saw some pheasants and tons of geese. The geese today were quite puffed up and were hissing as we approached, because they have lots of baby goslings! Last week I saw an egret that had caught a rodent, and a pair of burrow owls just hanging out. I knew the burrow owls the moment I saw them, after years of listening to the Dead Milkmen's "Stuart".

With the dry weather I was also finally able to get out on my mountain bike this week. WOW! Mountain biking is much harder than road biking. I went down to Los Gatos with a few other mountain bikers & road up St Joeseph's hill. It was so hard, with my heart rate constantly spiking into the high 180s, but I did it! Now I can't wait to get out on my mountain bike again - soon!

At this point, though, I just want to make sure I am in shape to do the American Lung Association's ride at the end of this month. I know I *can* do it, but I want to do it without hurting myself again!

Wednesday, May 3, 2006

Murder Myster Solved by locals!

I got to do something very cool for the first time this weekend - perform in a murder mystery!  I was hired by Mystery By Design to perform an exciting golf related murder mystery at the  Hollister Ridemark Country Club.  It was a blast!  I've done interactive theater before, but never anything quite like this.  The method to the acting is completely different than stage acting, so I was very fortunate to have some great coaches & fellow actors to help me transition from the stage to the floor.  The biggest difference from stage acting is  that you need to always try to keep two  tables distance between you & the other actors you're interacting with.  This was awkward rehearsals, but once you're there with an  audience it seemed the only natural way to include them in the fun.  The audience was incredible - hanging on nearly every word, interacting with all of the characters and  excited about figuring out.  The only, well, strange thing that happened was a  woman in the audience decided to reach up and tickle my arm pit while I was pointing at someone and delivering a line. It was a bit distracting!  The audience was wonderful and the  country club treated us really well.  I do hope I'll get another opportunity to work with this group, since it was such a thrill to perform again.