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Wed, Jun. 22nd, 2011, 10:47 am
Life is Good

Sorry for the hiatus. Things have been crazy with moving and painting
my new place. I'm finally moved in and basically settled. Thanks to
Dad, every inch of the place has been painted. Yes, I just spent about
$500 painting walls I'll never see. Hey, just because I can't see it
doesn't mean I don't want the place to reflect my style. I described
what I wanted to my BFF, Lou, and she helped me pick out the colors.
Based on feedback I'm getting from sighted visitors, it sounds like
she did a great job. Most of the place is a nice neutral tan that
looks really cool with the white trim. I wanted my office to be some
kind of blue that looks like the ocean so Lou picked out a nice light
blue that everyone who's seen it has raved about. I have a yellow
bathroom that we picked out to match a really cool shower curtain that
I already had and the other bathroom is some kind of light teal /
turquoise color that matches some bathroom accessories that I had and
really liked. I really like knowing that there's some color in the
place. I can't stand white walls. That's entirely too boring for my
taste. Dad did a great job on the painting. He had to take down some
ugly wallpaper in the 2 bathrooms and in the kitchen which meant he
had to do some texturing before he could paint. Of course he did an
awesome job and most people seem to like his texturing better than the
texture that was already in the rest of the house. It was complete
chaos while all the work was going on, but now that it's done and I'm
basically settled, I'm thrilled that we went through the hassle and
got it done. I'm loving the new place and doing quite well at getting
back into practice with cooking, etc. I haven't chopped off any
fingers or burned the place down or anything. Go figure. I even made a
kick ass pot roast wit carrots and potatoes. It was something I had
never tried before, but it turned out great and I chowed on the
leftovers for several days. Living alone kicks ass! I seriously could
not be happier right now.

Yes, I still devote most of my free time to rowing. The Vipers are
struggling a bit this year. We've had several experienced crew members
who've dropped out for health or family reasons so we're trying to
break in some newbies. It's been challenging to say the least. We
don't have enough experienced rowers to fill an 8 with all blind
rowers this year, so when we race on Saturday, we'll be using 4 blind
rowers and 4 of our awesome volunteers. We're having to jump up to the
intermediate class this year because of all the experience coming into
the boat with volunteers so we're definitely just racing for fun. I
don't think we have much of a chance of being competitive, but who
knows what will happen on race day. I'm looking forward to it anyway.
Racing is a blast.

As for rowing in the novice masters program, it's going pretty well.
I've met some awesome people and am making lots of friends which is
really cool. I'm a little frustrated with the coach because he doesn't
really seem like he wants to coach and I don't feel like I'm getting
much feedback. I'm also one of the better rowers in the class so the
bulk of the coaching attention goes to the people who need it more. I
really want to move up to intermediate where I'll be with better
rowers and have a chance to learn more. I've rowed with the
intermediate class a couple of times and am sure I can handle it. It's
just a matter of convincing the boathouse peeps that I'm ready. I'm
working on it.

I actually had a chance to row with the advanced class a few weeks
ago. I was the only novice rower to show up one Saturday morning. It's
not like I can just jump in a single, so they put me in a quad with
the advanced class that was there at the same time. It was a really
intense workout and I was exhausted when it was over, but I did pretty
well. It took me a minute or two to relax and get used to the stroke,
but once I settled in, I did pretty good at staying together. We only
had to stop once because I got out of sync and it was late in practice
when I was rowing on fumes and my concentration was slipping. True, I
was the weakest rower in the boat, but I held my own much better than
I or anyone else expected. It was a good learning experience and I had
a good time. I did overdo it a bit that day though. After doing a
really tough workout in the morning, I went back in the afternoon to
row with the Vipers. We ended up taking out a quad that day with me
and George plus 2 volunteers. Since we had plenty of experience in
the boat, we did a pretty tough workout there as well. It wasn't as
intense as what I had done with the advanced class, but it was quite a
bit more than we usually do in Vipers practices. By the end of the
day, my right wrist was killing me. By the next day, my forearm was
swollen and I couldn't lift a thing. It was a little scary but it
turned out to just be tendonitis caused by poor technique on my part.
I had to keep it splinted for a week or so and sat out of rowing for
about 2 weeks but I'm all good now. I'm paying more attention to my
oar handling now so I don't have a repeat of that injury. Not rowing
for 2 weeks made me really cranky.

Nothing much else is going on. I'm headed to Orlando in a little over
a week for NFB 2011. Some of us from the Central Oklahoma Chapter are
staying an extra day so we can go to the Wizarding World of Harry
Potter theme park at Universal Studios. I am completely geeked out
about this. They have butter beer and pumpkin juice and lots of the
shops and taverns from the books. Plus, there is, of course, a
Hogwarts Castle and lots of HP themed rides. I can't wait. I'm such a
dork. I'm so glad we have a good group of dorks in the Chapter who
want to go do this. My goal is to find myself a "Property of
Gryffindor Quidditch" t-shirt, or something similar. I am such a spaz.
And, yes, between this trip plus the final HP movie that comes out on
July 15, I am yet again reading the series again to get myself all
geared up. I just Finished "Half Blood Prince". That is a fantastic
book. The first time through the series, it was my least favorite, but
after reading it a few times, it has become my favorite by far. The
back story on Voldermort is fascinating plus there's just so much
drama and action going on. There seems to be more character and plot
development in HBP than in any of the other books. It just really
stands out from the rest of the series and is a great read.

In sports related news, I feel good about the Thunder's season. The
way they blew a couple of those games in the Western Conference Finals
was unbearably heart breaking, but after taking a couple of days to
put everything in perspective, I feel like it was a successful season.
It was a necessary step in becoming a championship team and I'm sure
the guys learned from the experience. I'm keeping my fingers crossed
that the NBA will work out its labor dispute so I can enjoy another
exciting season next year.

The Red Sox have bounced back amazingly well since their disastrous
start to the season. They're just mowing everybody down now and
looking like the powerhouse everyone predicted them to be. I'm excited
and thrilled. I purchased the MLB At Bat app for my iPod so I could
listen to Red Sox radio broadcasts. I love it. That was a very well
spent $15. In fact, I'm enjoying it so much, that I've been in my new
house for about a month and haven't even hooked up any kind of TV
service yet. Between Red Sox games, Podcasts and music available to me
from the iPod, I haven't even missed TV. That's pretty odd when you
consider I used to be a TV junkie and had trouble keeping up with
everything I was recording on the Tivo. I'll probably get something
hooked up eventually, but it's pretty low on the priority list these
days. I pretty much live at the boathouse anyway so I barely have time
to watch TV at the moment. Of course, this will all change over the
winter, but for now, screw TV.

I'm starting to get really excited for TU football to get underway.
The new coaching staff seems to be having great success with
recruiting so far. I'm anxious to see how they do managing games. It's
going to be a tough season. TU's first 3 games are against OU, Boise
State and OSU. That's a brutal way to start the season and we're
likely looking at an 0-3 start. But, if we accidentally win even 1 of
those, I'll consider it a success. Even with going 0-3, we'll still be
in good shape for another bowl trip as long as we take care of
business in conference. I can't wait to see how things play out.
Whatever happens, you all know I'm true blue and solid gold, win or
lose. Go TU!

That's enough rambling for now. I'll check back in before I leave for
Orlando so I can give a report on the regatta this weekend. I'm
officially in stroke seat for the race. This will be my first race at
stroke. I really like it there. There's an extra mental challenge to
setting the pace for the boat that I find enjoyable. Toodles for now.