Monthly Archives: February 2012

Set your DVRs: It’s the return of Chicharito

Boy Wonder Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez will be back with the Mexican national team this evening in its second friendly of the year. It’s been too long!

But wait, there’s more. Memo Ochoa is back. Rafa is back. Gio and his brother Jonathan are back. Personal favorite Chuy Corona is back.

Even with so much strong Mexican talent coming together, El Tri aren’t favored to win. Colombia has a lot of talent too and a new coach (meaning players are going to be showing off their talents).

For those of us on the West Coast, the game starts at 5 p.m., which means I’ll be stuck in traffic and missing the first half. But that’s alright… I’ve taken precautionary measures. Here’s the info you’ll need to set those DVRs:

5 p.m. PST, UNIVISION

Team Rosters

I went through and highlighted the players I was excited to see for personal and professional reasons. Of course, there’s more on the Mex team, mainly because I’m more aware of them.

COLOMBIA

Goalkeepers: David Ospina (Niza/FRA); Luis Martínez (Once Caldas/COL).

Defenders: Mario Alberto Yepes (Milán/ITA); Pablo Armero (Udinese/ITA); Camilo Zúñiga (Nápoli/ITA); Luis Amaranto Perea (Atlético de Madrid/SPA); Cristian Zapata (Villareal/SPA); Bernardo Espinosa (Racing de Santander/SPA); Aquivaldo Mosquera (América/MEX)

Midfielders: Carlos Sánchez (Valenciennes/FRA); Abel Aguilar (Hércules/SPA); James Rodríguez (FC Porto/POR); Juan Guillermo Cuadrado (Lecce /ITA); Elkin Soto (Mainz 05/GER); Giovanni Moreno (Racing de Avellaneda/ARG); Aldo Leao Ramírez (Morelia/MEX); Gustavo Bolívar (Deportes Tolima/COL)

Forwards: Radamel Falcao García (Atlético de Madrid/SPA); Jakson Martínez (Jaguares/MEX); Teófilo Gutiérrez (Racing de Avellaneda/ARG); Dayro Moreno (Once Caldas/COL); Dorlan Pabón (Atlético Nacional/COL)

MEXICO

Goalkeepers: Guillermo Ochoa (AC Ajaccio/FRA); Jesús Corona (Cruz Azul/MEX)

Defenders: Rafa Márquez (New York Red Bulls/USA), Héctor Moreno (RCD Espanyol de Barcelona/SPA), Francisco Javier Rodríguez (Club VfB Stuttgart/GER), Enrique Pérez (Morelia/MEX), Efraín Juárez (Celtic/ESC), Hugo Ayala (Tigres/MEX), Carlos Salcido (Tigres/MEX)

Midfielders: Andrés Guardado (Deportivo La Coruña/SPA), Jonathan Dos Santos (FC Barcelona/SPA); Pablo Barrera (Real Zaragoza/SPA), Jorge Torres Nilo (Tigres/MEX), Jesús Zavala (Monterrey/MEX), Gerardo Lugo (Morelia/MEX), Damián Álvarez (Tigres/MEX)

Forwards: Javier “Chicharito” Hernández (Manchester United/ENG), Giovani dos Santos (Tottenham Hotspur FC/ENG), Oribe Peralta (Santos/MEX), Miguel Sabah (Morelia/MEX)

PHOTO: Players I’m most excited to see include Chicharito, Rafa, Gio, Jonathan, Chuy y Memo.

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My accidental vegetarian dinner party

Sunday night I hosted a dinner party for a friend. It was her birthday a few weeks ago and since I bailed on her earlier shindig, I chose to throw a little fête at my pad… 12 hours after running a half marathon. Super smart planning.

I realized, when it was all said and done, that it was completely vegetarian. I hadn’t set out to do this, but it’s a happy coincidence.

Blame it on running delirium or being awake for 20 hours, but I didn’t take any photos of my party food or preparations. What follows is a menu, a collection of photos from friends and the internet.

~Cocktail Hour~

I made a pineapple sangria with Pisco and Sauvignon Blanc. It steeped for more than 13 hours. No photo available, but here’s a nice looking sangria. Just picture cubed pineapples. (PHOTO: random internet)

~Appetizers~

We had a lentil spread with walnuts and mustard, some sliced vegetables and crackers. Also, courtesy of by brother, Garlic Knots from Fresh Brothers pizza (the only item I didn’t make). Again, no photos and my spread looked nothing like this… but, what are you going to do? (PHOTOS: Scavenged from internet)

~Salad~

Roasted Brussels sprouts and beets on a bed of mixed greens and baby arugula, sprinkled with pepitas. This photo IS from my dinner. (PHOTO courtesy: Birthday Girl)

~Entrée~

Spinach and mushroom lasagna made with cottage cheese and goat cheese. (PHOTO: from the internet with nice lighting)

~Dessert~

The “I Can’t Believe You Made That” cake. Not only did I make it, but that is it’s formal name. Lazying around watching my favorite Cooking Channel shows, I saw Chef Lorraine make this on hers, Simply Baking. Instead of chocolate cigarillos, I lined my chocolate cake with alternating dark chocolate and almond wafers. Topped with a heaping mound of raspberries. (PHOTO courtesy: Dinner guest Nikki D-M)

Running socks. Why again?

I’ve been out of the blogging loop for awhile, and for that, I apologize.
So here comes a jab-jab-uppercut series of blogs to get us all up to speed.

I ran the Pasadena RocknRoll Half Marathon this weekend. I need to be reminded why I choose to do these things because right now, it seems like a fool’s errand. It socked. Or sucked. Whichever.

For the following reasons:

  1. Failed to eat dinner the night before. I spent Saturday night prepping for dinner party I was hosting after the race. I thought it was genius on my part to plan a meal that didn’t require a lot of actually work the day of, so I set aside many things to do the night before. I gave myself a three-hour window, but more than doubled it. By the time I ended, I was too tired to eat.
  2. Didn’t rest properly. See above. I made it to bed past midnight and woke up four hours later. The organizers made a big deal about being in the parking lot no later than 6:30 a.m. Having been to the Rose Bowl during sold-out events, the last thing I wanted was to be stuck in the residential streets and timed out of my parking spot. I woke up and left my house earlier than I ever would have. Totally not necessary! Parked 40 minutes later.
  3. Nausea. I’m going to chalk this one up to a combination of No. 1 and No. 2, and a hastily eaten pre-race breakfast. Either way, not a normal morning for me.
  4. New running socks. Knee-high compression socks, which are meant to speed up my healing process, made my feet numb. I couldn’t feel my toes beginning with mile 3.
  5. Shoddy training. I’ll fall on this sword, no problem. I didn’t do such a bang-up job  and it came back to bite me in the ass with a vengeance. I got to 10 miles in training. On race day, as if on cue, my body falls apart after mile 10. It took an extra 5 minutes to run another mile, and like 20 minutes for the others.
  6. Pasadena. Yes, Pasadena is a reason in itself. It has hills (big ones) and when it doesn’t have hills, it has flat ground. EXCEPT IT’S NOT REALLY FLAT There’s always some little incline… Curse you, Pasadena.

I could say I’ve learned my lesson but only time will tell if that’s the case. Next up, LA 26 days from now. I think I won’t plan to host a party the day of… that’ll be a start.

PHOTO: We did get to run around the bridge, seen in the finisher’s medal, so that was a positive note.

Related items:

Week 6 update: I need a spatula
Week 5 update: Preparing to fail
Week 4 update: Funky divas in 3D
Week 3 update: Zero forward motion
Week 2 update: Training in style
The simplest things are the hardest to follow

Week 6 update: I need a spatula

There are two schools of thought in race training. The first is  you work hard and consistently so you can rest the week before the race. No long runs. No hills. Pure maintenance. The second is you work inconsistently all the way to race day because planning is not your strength. No rest the week before. You do long runs. You do hills. You get sideswiped by a kid on a bike. You almost fall into a storm drain.

One guess where I lie…  Yes, almost in a storm drain.

The half marathon is next weekend and I have no clue what the course will look like. I know it’s in Pasadena, which of course means hills. Here’s the rub:  I didn’t really train for hills. Oops

This weekend, when I should be well-trained and well-rested, I ran 10 miles full of hills. It began and ended with mammoth inclines. I didn’t calculate slopes, but I wouldn’t be surprised if they were around 75 percent. This shit was steep. Like too-steep-to-drive steep.

As can be expected, it sucked. Big time. I was running so slow up the hill I should have just walked and saved my energy. What I was missing was my own assistant coach with a spatula.

Anyone ever see David Schwimmer’s masterpiece Run, Fatboy, Run? It’s classic Simon Pegg as an out-of-shape security officer who decides to run the London Marathon as a way to show up the sexy douche (Hank Azaria) who’s dating his ex-baby mama. Anyway, part of Pegg’s team includes his landlord Mr. G who encourages with more of a stick (aka spatula) than carrot. I feel I could respond to that.

If you see me dying on the course, please feel free to give me a little shove. 

PHOTO: Dennis (Pegg) running and Mr. G. close behind with spatula.

Related posts:

Small wonder I get any work done

I’m in month #2 of the yearlong quest to organize my life. It’s dubbed The Clean Space-Clean Mind Project, or The Great Purge or The Get Your Shit Together Enterprise. Like I mentioned earlier, February is all about paper. Papers, files, documents, magazines, books, pamphlets, office-type stuff…

Today was a huge day in The Great Purge. My desk was getting out of hand. I spent the last hour and a half making sense of it. Threw out stuff. Recycled stuff. Filed stuff (The filing cabinet is next on the to-do. It’s getting incredibly full) This is what I have to show for it.

Nice and neat, right? You can even see the Animal Butt series painted by a truly avant-garde and underappreciated artist. (Hells yes, I’m talking about me! I’ll be happy to sell replicas — elephant, lion, giraffe)

Just for comparison’s sake, this is how I started out the day…

Right?! Small wonder, indeed!

Related Items

Week 5 update: Preparing to fail

Coach Wooden is everywhere at UCLA. And rightly so! But I’ve had him ringing in my ears all week. More precisely, this little truism…

‘FAILING TO PREPARE IS PREPARING TO FAIL’

Alright, Coach! You got me. I’ve been slacking on my training. The half marathon is 16 days away and I still haven’t run 10 miles. I did no running this week (again). I could blame it on the wind or the freak Achilles’ heel pain. But really? Would you believe that?

I hereby pledge to run 10 miles this weekend, come hell or high winds or sporting events. Furthermore, I pledge to conscientiously put on my socks (no wrinkles) and look deep within for my own personal Pyramid of Success.

I am a Bruin, damn it. It’s in our stock. I will not fail.

PHOTO: Wooden wears the net after winning the 1975 NCAA championship.