Saturday (Day 72) I mainly helped H with our new “plaza” area – sanding in between the stones, then putting down the river stones. It really looks great. I also started soaking the venison for the venison stew that I would be making Sunday. I’m not exactly sure what else I did – laundry? – but I know that in the Superhero Challenge I’m doing (21 days) it had a big Movement (partner WOD) workout and I bailed. No point for that LOL. It looked like fun, but I really do take the weekend off.

I need to start hiking to the top of the hill across the way and back though during the weekend, at least ONE time. I need to break the hiking boots in more, or uncover if they are just not really “right.” I think I mentioned that they are fabulous for climbing boulders, going up, etc. but when I go down my big toe hits the front. H re-laced them, so maybe they’re better. I just need to get that going on my “list” as it were.

Oh – listened to the Earworms Greek when I was doing the stones – I REALLY LIKE the way that they do it. It’s fun. I can still remember a few things because of the way that they give you “mind pictures” for some things – e.g. wine is “grassy” (I don’t know how to really spell this because of course it’s audio) – picture a piece of grass in a wine glass – also 2 is “Theo” (imagine people worshipping a big 2…”The…Oh….2….”) and 4 is “Deserre” (Imagine 4 Desert Rats – “Dess-er-ay”). I wasn’t really paying attention but I do remember those 3 things, which is at least something :-) Gee if we’re in Greece on TAR I can order 4, or 2, glasses of wine LOL!

Sunday (Day 73) I was cooking basically all day. I put the photos on my Facebook page and Instagram – which was fun actually, taking photos as I went. I made venison stew, and then feta-stuffed baby watermelons for salad/dessert. It turned out FANTASTIC. One thing I did wrong though (stupid…) was I crisped up the sweet potatoes for the stew then put them all in. As H pointed out that’s fine for the first “eating” but today for example, they will turn to mush on re-heating, so all the crisping was in “vain.” Dang! Not sure why I didn’t “get that” but so it goes.

H had put all the sort of “side cuts” and “tough cuts” into a white butcher paper packet which was marked “stew meat” but in there were some beautiful cuts that are more what I would call “kabobs.” Today I’m going to have to get the extra stew (OMG a lot of it!) packaged up – some for now, some into the freezer – then I think I will make the little kabobs tonight for dinner. I might make a cabbage something to go with them, I have a green and a red cabbage from the Farmer’s Market.

Monday (Day 74) – today – Veteran’s Day – the WOD is one of the “Hero” WODS:

For time
50 pull up
400M run
21 thruster 43/30
800M run
21 thruster 43/30kg
400m run
50 pull up

I am not sure why I keep forgetting what a thruster is. Probably my mind blanks it out on purpose LOL. There have been a LOT of people in the morning WOD – I mean a LOT. I’d like to try the pull ups the way that I was able to one time which was putting a box next to me and the black band, step from the box into the band. The problem is the band is so strong I can’t get into the band from the floor. But that means I am taking two “spots” on the bar – the box in one, the band and “me” in the other. I don’t think I can do that, which means I am doing the “box pullups” and I don’t like them as well in that they’re harder – not harder as in harder, but harder as in the movement sucks. You stand on a box, where, if you were standing up, the bar comes to about your elbows. So to do the pullup, you crouch down until your arms are straight, then push up using your legs, to do the pullup. The problem is that this isn’t really a “pullup” as much as the one is when you have the band assisting you (you put the band under a foot, then cross your other leg over that leg, the band assists you to the tune of how many pounds that band is – I use the black band which I think is 75 pounds, something like that). Using the band you’re really “in pull up position” – just helped by the band. But like I said, I can’t get “into” the band from the floor, so that’s a non-starter. Frustrating, but so it goes. I could do that in the p.m. WOD (T and Th) because there is usually only like MAX 6 of us there. And I mean MAX. But not in the morning, it’s gotten quite crowded in there – especially as you have folks like Jimmy, Karen, Ashley, Traci, Margo, Sherri, Rich, etc. all doing the Rx and more, and then all the rest of us Michael (because he’s injured), MarFur, the 3 new gals with blonde hair (one the nurse), Karen, Kara, the gal from Hong Kong with the new Australia shepherd puppy Ty, the gal from Venezuela, the new gal with thick dark hair (lordie – see, that’s just who I can remember!) all doing scaling of some sort. That is a LOT of people for our box!

HERE is what a thruster is. Oh yeah….yeah I remember. LOL. Last time I did this, because the coach was reminding me to keep the bar IN (not lift it “forward” of my body) and ending with my arms locked out and the weight behind my head, I drove up and RIGHT into my lip. And it was the day that Moddie and I were doing our video! Oh yeah baby, I REMEMBER thrusters….LOL!

SO on The Amazing Race yesterday, I thought the Baseball Bunnies were going to be eliminated (my favorite team left – I like the ER doctors too but the Bunnies are my favs) and though they came in last it was a NON-ELIMINATION round! Whoot Whoot!

They flew from Vienna to Abu Dhabi, and had to go to a huge mosque to get their first clue. It was beautiful – the women had to wear full black “coverups” (though their eyes weren’t covered). I think that one of the key things to have in the backpack is at least a sarong – I know that in Thailand, Israel, etc. you have to have your “crotch line” covered – so if you’re wearing pants, as a woman, you have to wear a sarong. You also need another one to put over your head and around your arms, because you can’t have basically a tank top or short-sleeved shirt. I got to wondering if one of the black coverups would be a better thing to carry – these ones were super light – I’m quite sure that they have them (just like in Thailand and Israel) for the visitors who don’t come “correctly attired” to wear. The Afghanimals were very much playing on the fact that they are “brothers” with the folks there – meaning, that they had some of the words (Salaam Alecheim….Alecheim Salaam), and were trying to tell the taxi driver, etc. “hey, you want us to win, we’re blood” basically. Hmmm. (I really don’t care for them.)

The teams had to then go and either build a fishing “trap” or arrange dates on a tray. The dates was VERY hard because it was a LOT of dates. And the fishing rig one was hard because it was out in the sun. I actually would have chosen the dates, I think, and I think that would have been the harder choice. It was VERY involved, as the tray was like the size of the top of a round coffee table, ALL dates, but all different kinds. I’d be curious what Moddie would have done – I think that in retrospect the fishing one was the better choice, though I’m not sure that it would have been obvious (as I said) from the outset.

Another thing (just not sure exactly what the order was right now) that the teams had to do was to get on a yacht and it took them to a destination. A high-speed yacht – really gorgeous. The Afghanimals got on the yacht themselves, as did (I think) the ER doctors. Then pinkie and the ex, and the ice girls, were on another yacht, and the baseball bunnies were RUNNING down the dock and they were all “CAST OFF! CAST OFF!” Which meant the baseball bunnies missed it by LITERALLY like 2 seconds, and then had to wait 5 minutes.

I happen to really like the bunnies. I think if I had been on that yacht (alone) I would have made the yacht wait. If it was the Afghanimals or pinkie and the ex running to us, of course, I’m not sure I would do that, but it was just mean-spirited in my opinion. I think anything mean-spirited pisses me off.

As an example, when the Afghanimals turned the Chico Boys around, if I had had the “extra express pass” at that point, I would have wanted to just tuck it into the top of the U-Turn so they wouldn’t have to go back. I know, not exactly the smartest move, but I felt SO BAD for them. It was just immensely unfair and mean-spirited. I guess I’m not the best tactical person on this thing, but I know what’s mean-spirited and what’s not.

Like I said, not quite sure what order all these things were, but the final task was actually being let out on a cable above a 300′ or so drop, and then you had to pull a lever to “drop” yourself and rappel down to the Formula One racetrack. It’s been interesting in that in the case of the fiance couple (oh, I forgot them in the above list – I like them too), he said “I’ll do it” but then he also said “I’m not sure why I keep always being the one to do the heights things, I hate heights.” So there’s something going on here that we don’t know. Do they have to take turns? This has been an issue on the TAR blogs – I think that basically by the end you have to have each done the same amount of single-person events, but I’m not quite sure, then, why it is that he would have “chosen” to do the heights thing. She did the singing (the last single-person event) – so it seems that they are going her, him, her, him…is that a rule that we don’t know? Because again, if he “hates heights” as he said on camera, why did he take this one then? It’s a puzzler.

Anyway, this event was doing the drop, then unhooking, getting into a Formula One racecar, and being driven around the track. I’m not exactly sure what the clue was, because it wasn’t explained very well. The cars drove past signs that had race car drivers’ names on them, and their times for the track. There were about 6 signs. I THINK that what they had to do was figure out who was the one who had the best time, and then repeat the name and the time.

When the Ice Princess did it, she couldn’t remember what the clue said. (Her teammate had it in her hand – because of course she had rappelled down to the car). That’s a toughie! So that’s a learning – perhaps reading through the entire clue and if it says something like “remember the times” or something, be sure that you put a paper and pencil into your pocket?? I’m not sure that would have helped, but it might have. Because she couldn’t remember what she was supposed to do. I’m not sure how she got the clue – her teammate was standing right there (sort of “pit crew” as it were) and so perhaps she screamed out “what am I supposed to do” after she came in and didn’t know anything and drove back off, and her teammate was able to tell her.

This was where the Bunnies almost caught up – because the Ice Princess had to go around a LOT of times – she didn’t know what she was doing the first round, then she did but didn’t remember the name or got the wrong name, then the wrong time, etc. Again, I wonder if in reading the clue all the way through, having a pencil and paper might have helped? Of course you’re in a Formula One race suit, big gloves etc – maybe not!

I SUCK at that sort of thing – super fast remembering of stuff – I wonder how Moddie is at it?

Anyway – so time to get off to Crossfit. But that was my thoughts on TAR. LEARNINGS:
1. READ THE CLUE ALL THE WAY THROUGH. How many times have I written this as a learning?!?! I think taking a second and a breath to READ THE CLUE ALL THE WAY THROUGH is huge.

2.  Perhaps bring a black outfit like the ones that they were given, so that you already have it? Definitely a sarong. I keep wondering back at the Norway/fish two-person one, where the Bunnies and the Oklahoma boys were carrying dried fish down off a rack – it looked like they couldn’t let the fish “touch the ground” but I wonder if the clue said you HAD to hang it on your teammate? If not, a sarong would have been a HUGE boon because then the teammate wouldn’t have been standing there with icky heavy scratchy fish around her neck. Just curious about that one. Also, whether it said that only one of you could climb up. If it said that the “fish after coming off the rack can’t touch the ground” and you had a sarong, if it didn’t say only one could climb, then BOTH could climb, and put the fish on a sarong.

3.  Don’t do something that’s just mean. I know that sounds silly, and who knows, it might have gotten me eliminated (I have to ask Moddie what she would do in the same situation), but I would have made the yacht wait for the Bunnies. Seriously. That was SO mean-spirited. If there were other teams on the same yacht and they didn’t want to wait, I would have gone out on the deck and hollered for them to hurry up they won’t let us wait the boat. Again – like my coming back to the idea of immediately giving the ER doctors the Pass because they read the clue wrong, or putting the pass into the top of the U-Turn for the Chico boys, it’s not very “game” to do that, but it just seems like the right thing to do. Need to get Moddie’s perspective on this – I know that Robbie would absolutely NOT have given the pass to the ER doctors right at the beginning because she said that they were obviously in it to win it, and it would be a serious liability immediately to have just given it up, instead, her thought was to give it to a team that could LEAST use it well like the Oklahoma Boys or the Chico Boys – which has some merit because, as you can see, they are already eliminated! I just am not sure that feels good to me.

4. I had a dream (this is so funny!) that Moddie and I got our thumbs shellac-manicured with the TAR flag on it (yellow with a red stripe) to REMEMBER to check for the TAR flag on anything we were doing (e.g., to avoid what happened to the Bingo boys when they picked a shoeshine guy who was NOT part of the game – OMG that poor guy! – or when Pinkie and the Ex were trying to put their fish on the rack and kept not picking a rack with the TAR flag on the end of it. I also remember back a couple seasons ago, when the “clue” to start was in I want to say Times Square in New York, and you had to see it on a billboard that was rolling through with different ads, but one of the ads had the TAR flag colors down the side, and if you actually read it instead of glossing over when you saw it that it was an ad, it was the clue.)

I think we did the best we could with that video. I have looked at a lot of videos on YouTube now and WOW they got a lot of info into 3 minutes. HOLY COW. We would have had more info had we done the video that we sent to my video editor, it had so much more about our backgrounds, because we had a TON and I mean a TON of more photos that we did narrations over, both single “backstory” ones and then of us together, and then we had the video of us together at the end. But I also wonder if this one almost isn’t better – I mean, it REALLY is the truth, talk about born out of adversity!!! It took me all day to come up with the “emergency script, ” and the photos we would cull to go into it, then Moddie put them together into the “collage” and then when she came over, I was trying to figure out how to hold the computer up to the cell phone video (which is what we did the video on) so we could narrate over it, she came up (GENIUS!) with doing the narration separately, then she actually figured out (she is so good at that stuff) how to put the video “front end” and “back end” in on top. OMG. She did that whole thing while I was making dinner for the 3 of us. I’m so impressed, she’s so great at that stuff. It also meant that we could do the “pre-photo-narration” and “post-photo-narration” in two clips, and she put them on the front and back of the “photos with the narration on top” – I had thought we’d have to do the whole 3 minutes all in one go because we were videotaping with a cell phone, I mean, come on! She totally saved our bacon.

We are a good team – I cancelled that day to come up with the Emergency Script and how to make it work (though she had been at work trying to make our video that we had send to the editor work – it just wasn’t going to work because it was already too long and I was going to have to have him cut bits out to get to the 3 minutes – it timed to 3’40”) – then we just got it done. She hadn’t even read through what we had to do until she got to my house, and then we worked on it feverishly, she realized she could do an “overdub” if I had a certain software that comes with Windows (I didn’t even know I had it!) – we watched the photos and put them on 4 seconds per photo and then again and again and AGAIN did the narration to get it to fit (it was a tiny bit off, but not much), then we literally did the front and back videos in one go.

Oops, gotta go to Crossfit. I was just so impressed with how that worked. I’m not sure they will call us – but they should. ;-)