Monthly Archives: January 2012

The Clean Space-Clean Mind Project: January

Hello. My name is Claudia and I’m a borderline hoarder.

I’m not about to get my own TLC special, but there are definitely days when I feel I’m being overrun by the sheer amount of crap I’ve amassed over the years. I’ll tip-toe through my clothes, books, magazines, shoes in a carefully choreographed motion to get from my door to my bed. I’ve moved a lot in my life and I wonder why I never just threw my hands up and got rid of so much stuff instead of schelpping from place to place like a tweaking pack rat.

You’d laugh if you saw my living conditions, but I actually do believe in the “clean space, clean mind” adage. Consistency is my nemesis. I’ll tear through my stuff on a crack-obsessed bender and clean like the dickens. Then, surely and (not so) slowly, the crap inches back in. Why for all that effort to clean, I ask. Instead of staying with it, I let stuff accumulate until the weekend, until next week, until next month, until next year…

Really? Yes, really.

My evidence: Last year, I resolved to purge my life of all this excess stuff. I wanted to get organized and live with the essentials and then some. (Dude, I’m no monk). Needless to say, I put that off ALL the way until this year. I think I failed because I didn’t have a plan. This year, I’m attacking it one area at a time.

Each month, I WILL purge and organize one specific area — Clothing, Shoes, Jewelry, Accessories, Make-Up and Personal Items, Home Goods, Paper Goods, Storage, and so forth.

January was the Clothing Month.

I donated more than 50 items—pants, sweaters, shirts, skirts, shorts —still my clothes spill out into two closets and two dressers. I think it merits a repeat purge later this year.

Up next month: Paper (mail, documents, magazines, books, etc…)

I leave with this German philosopher…

As the biggest library, if it is in disorder is not as useful as a small but well-arranged one, so you may accumulate a vast amount of knowledge but it will be of far less value to you than a much smaller amount if you have not thought it over for yourself.
— Arthur Schopenhauer (1788-1860)

PHOTO: Still from Clueless. Cher and all her clothes.

 

 

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Week 4 Update: Funky divas in 3D

During my last update, I had nothing to report. This one is much more positive. I ran my 7 miles. I picked a hilly route around my house and attacked it with my new shoes and new soundtrack.

I was feeling some ’90s R&B girl power. Who better than my chicas from En Vogue? Luckily, “The Very Best of…” was just long enough to get me through the distance. That and it gave me the extra kick I needed around mile 6. Made me channel my inner funky diva.

I know “Free your mind” talks about prejudice. But damnit if it isn’t also good advice on a run: Free your mind, the rest will follow.

Ooh, also occurred this week: I signed up for the LA Marathon as part of a two-person relay team. More on that later…

PHOTO:  The album cover that’s becoming my new running soundtrack.

A case for the nail-biters

Here’s a provocative question: What do you consider more exciting? To see your team dominate from the beginning and never let go or to see them work themselves back from a deficit to win the game?

This occurred to me yesterday as I watched the friendly between Mexico and Venezuela. After a scoreless first half, Venezuela came out and made the first blow. Shiiiiiiit.

Just when you think all is lost and you’re calling your team a bunch of pendejos who can’t even beat Venezuela, it happens. A goal. A tie. A sigh of relief.

It’s what happened in the last 20 minutes that made me want to write this post. It’s why you never rule out Mexico, why you don’t leave the stands early and why you don’t change the channel to the Laker game just yet. They have an annoying* tendency to score back-from-behind goals — not just enough to tie, but to take over leads and even add some insurance. (*Annoying because you can feel yourself getting greys from watching.)

Here’s a tale of two Gold Cups to prove my point. In 2009, Mexico beat USA 5-0. Fast and furious right out the gate (Apparently, it was operatic-level exciting). In 2011, Mexico rallied to beat USA 4-2 (Cardiac-level exciting).

Back to present-day. This highlight video rocks! Do yourself a favor and watch it. There’s priceless running commentary. (P.S. dude, Barcelona won. Any surprise there?)

Oh captain, my captain

image

Thanks to HD and ability to pause live TV, I bring you this evidence. Look who’s wearing the captain’s armband…

 

Been too long: Mexico national soccer finally back

Mexico begins its 2012 season and its road to the World Cup 2014 tonight with a friendly against Venezuela in Houston. Since 1938, Mexico has never lost to Venezuela (7 wins, 2 ties). But, the winds are changing in South America and Venezuela should not be taken lightly. Chepo, take note. When a dominant team enters a competition with swagger galore, the team that’s most-written-off is the one that’s out to prove itself. They’re the Cinderellas. They inspire motion pictures. March madddness, anyone?

Enough of sports crossover analogies. Back to my footy obsession.

Mexico called up a completely domestic team to kick off the new year. There’s no Chicharito, no Gio, no Memo, no Rafa (note: There actually is a Rafa Marquez but he’s not The Rafa Marquez). All the players currently play in Mexico’s league and are mostly a bunch of young’uns.

And guess who that includes??? A personal favorite and Hot Goalie member — Chuy Corona. You know, head-butting dude.

“I feel great joy and pride. Now, I know you have to maintain a good level… it’s a big responsibility to wear the team jersey,” Corona said (Read more at Univision or via Google Translate).

Here’s some game info for those interested in seeing it. (Keep me in the loop since I’ll probably be watching the Laker v. Clipper action tonight. Just kidding… I’ll flip channels)
UNIVISION 6 p.m. PST

PHOTO (from top): Taken by me during World Cup 2010 in South Africa; Chuy Corona standing proud pre-head-butting.

Week 3 update: Zero forward motion

It was only a matter of time before I went back to my old routine, meaning no routine. This time around it occurred in Week 3.

I ran a whopping ZERO miles this past week.

Just to recap, I was meant to run 7 miles on the weekend plus some short maintenance runs during the week. When I said zero, I meant ZERO. I didn’t run 7 miles. I didn’t run 2 miles. I didn’t even go out for a 30-minute walk. I racked up a total one hour of cardio — but from Zumba, not running. Oops.

It’s time to re-jigger the ol’ training schedule. I’m supposed to run 9 miles sometime this weekend. Scrap that. I’m going to plan for my 7 miles and catch up with my schedule in two weeks for the 10-miler.

All’s good 😉

Week 2 update: Training in style

Racing day is nearing already. According to my calculations, it’s 36 days from now. In that case, it’s a damn good thing I kept up with my training this week.

Yep, yay me! Two successful back-to-back weeks. I ran 5 miles (and change) on Sunday and another 2 miles during the week. The 2 miles were on a treadmill and they sucked. I need new shoes.

Oh, wait. I got new shoes. They’re the latest Asics GT-2000 series. They’re blindingly white with bright blue striping and neon yellow details. In short, they’re sick. They’ll go great with my lime green compression socks. Even in sport, the shoes make the outfit.

Now I need to avoid dirt trails. Then again, at one point, my dirt grey kicks did look a lot like these.

Oooh

Aah

Whatup, awesome shoe?

PHOTOS: Me getting to know my new running shoes — the Asics GT-2170s

Damn these Cats

It was only a matter of time, right?

This past weekend, a Monterrey goalie was arrested for his involvement in a kidnapping ring. Since he’s a soccer player and walked around in the 1 percent circles, his role seems to have been to identify possible targets—la crema de sociedad.

I know what the normal reaction should be to something like this — shock, dismay, horror, outrage, a call to indict each and every member with power who could have had a hand in stemming this plague on Mexican society.

Yeah, not really my reaction. You tell me what should surprise me more:

The fact that I wasn’t fazed because kidnappings are so routine in Mexico that I no longer blink when it’s on the nightly news.

-or-

The fact that as I watched the news conference parading those arrested, I said to myself, Damn, he’s hot. Then, I said outloud to my mother, ¡que guapo El pinche Gato!

Mom laughed, laughed and laughed some more. Then, stopped laughing long enough to catch her breath and agree with me.

And that’s all the consensus I needed. So without further ado, here’s another entry into the Hot Mexican Goalie List (with an asterisk for his naughty behavior).

Omar “El Gato” Ortiz*


PHOTOS: Omar “El Gato” Ortiz in the Mexican perp walk and on the field.

Good Jewelry Joo Joo

Late last week, I walked past the UCLA inverted fountain on my way to work. I found myself looking down at the fanned cobblestone, and it must’ve been at the exact right second because my peripheral vision caught sight of a shiny, bluish item. It was a small hoop earring with turquoise embellishments.

In the seconds that followed, I had the most bizarre inner monologue.

Oooh, that’s a pretty earring. I should pick it up. But, wait, what am I going to do with one earring? That’s stupid. I’ll just leave it. On the other hand, I can try to make a pair for it. No, I’m not going to do that. I know some people who could do that, though. Ok, I’ll pick it up. But that’s a lot more work than this one earring is worth. It’s settled. I’ll leave it. Besides, somebody may circle back here retracing her steps looking for it. And why wouldn’t they? It’s not like they’re expecting someone to pick up ONE earring. That’d be a dick move. Ok, I’ll leave it… as a Good Samaritan. Hmmmm, I wonder if it’s real turquoise…

I made it to the office and to the meeting. Afterwards, as I talked to my colleague, I noticed her earring. It was a small hoop with turquoise embellishments. SHUT THE GATES OF HELL. She hadn’t noticed that the other fell. I told her and mentioned that I saw it nearby and that I was THIS close to picking it up but (long-windedly) talked myself out of it.

She went out looking for it but came back empty-handed. Now, I feel like a dick. I could have gone with my first instinct, picked up the blasted thing, and saved the day. I tell myself:  Next time I have a dumb desire to pick up an earring, just do it. There’s probably a good reason.

Many hours later, I’m wrapping up and leaving the office with other colleagues. We walk by the fountain and I instinctively start scanning the ground. And guess what! Yep, I found it… AGAIN. Right where I left it the first time was that small hoop earring with turquoise embellishments. I told my awe-inspiring story of destiny to the guys… somehow they weren’t that impressed. They couldn’t grasp just how EPIC and KARMIC it all was.

Yeah yeah, it’s just a freaking earring, but still, you can never have enough good jewelry joo joo. And just to prove the point further—I have already been repaid. Last night, I got a pair of earrings as a gift from a friend.

Is there a moral here? Who cares? All I know is the turquoise earring is on its way back to its rightful owner. And I’ve added some little red hoops to my collection. All is right in the world!

PHOTOS: One earring. Two earrings. Red earrings. Blue earrings.

The simplest things are the hardest to follow

Against my better judgment, I’ve started to train for a half marathon. The race is in 43 days, which for me means that I have practically an eternity to train. Here’s hoping I don’t get bored, call it quits and decide to run cold on race day. Hey, it’s happened before.

In an effort to keep myself to the training program, I’m sharing my schedule. It’s nothing fancy and completely doable. That’s its Achilles heel—if it’s too simple, I won’t do it. I’ll check in weekly to offer myself kudos or slap my hands if I haven’t stuck to it.

First KUDOS of the year! I did my light runs for Week 1

WEEK 1
Jan 1: Run 3 miles
Also, run 20 to 30 minutes at least twice a week.

WEEK 2
Jan. 7: Run 5 miles

WEEK 3
Jan. 14: Run 7 miles

WEEK 4
Jan. 21: Run 9 miles

WEEK 5
Jan. 28: Run 10 miles

WEEK 6
Feb. 4: Run 12 miles

WEEK 7
Feb. 11: Run 7 miles

WEEK 8
Feb. 19: Race Day