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The Gold Cup quarterfinals will be played out this weekend. On Saturday, Mexico will confront Trinidad & Tobago. This could be a post about what to expect from the game, the key areas of success, possible line-ups and/or the future of Chepo.
But all that can take a back seat to what is really going to be on everyone’s mind — the ultimate question — What in the world will be going on with Efrain Velarde’s head?
On Sunday, when Mexico played its final group stage game against Martinique, Velarde and an opposing player both got hurt trying to head a ball. It was the Mexican, however, that came away with a blood-gushing wound.
After initial treatment, he looked like this …
Check out that hair!!!
But, a few minutes later, his bandage came flying off and blood poured out. Take two …
I. Can’t. Stop. Laughing.
Velarde’s head wound, if he dresses it at all, will require something much cooler than that. The docs should take inspiration from Julio Gomez, a 2011 FIFA U-17 World Cup player.
Pssst … and they won the cup.
¡Vivan los héroes que nos dieron oro! ¡Viva Peralta! ¡Viva Dos Santos! ¡Viva Corona! ¡Viva Fabián! ¡Vivan Chatón y Herrera! ¡Viva el orgullo nacional! ¡Viva el campeón olímpico! ¡Viva México! ¡Viva México! ¡Viva México!
If it’s not perfectly obvious yet, Mexico won Olympic gold — hell, an Olympic medal — for the first time. Congratulations to the team, staff and fans who never stopped believing. This is my version of El Grito de Dolores, our independence proclamation.
- Mexico shock Brazil to win gold (bbc.co.uk)
- Mexico Devastates Brazil In Historic 2-1 Olympic Soccer Final (wnyc.org)
Because I have a shirt that says so, Iker is my guy and I’m a Real Madrid fan. If you know the rules about CL play, then you know that though RM lost 2-1 to Bayern, they’re still in the hunt. If you don’t know the rules, then study up. Game 2 is next week. And the first game between Barcelona and Chelsea is today.
Let’s have some words about Cristiano Ronaldo. Did he forget something? Like playing well and scoring!! And given that Bayern was attacking like mad, a couple of goals would have been nice. (Thanks, Mesut!) Was there something wrong with Ronaldo’s mighty thighs? Did they not want to be in the spotlight??
As of late, Ronaldo’s taken to showing off his musculature after scoring a goal. (See photo above.) Maybe he had an unsightly bruise that he didn’t want to see the light of day…
And then, there’s my boy Iker who normally shows off ninja skills in front of the goal. Here’s a thought: He should show off his legs after each aerobatic save.
Now since I’m in that small camp that likes to see Barcelona play but is fed up with the Messi-anic dude (seriously, quit being so good.. it’s obnoxious and a tad boring), I’m going to root for another thigh in today’s game. Seriously, how funny would it be if Chelsea wins with a Torres goal? ha!
PHOTOS: Ronaldo showing off his thigh, Iker saving various shots including one during the World Cup final July 2010 and watching the winning shot go by in yesterday’s game; Torres not scoring a goal.
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.
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.
PHOTOS: One earring. Two earrings. Red earrings. Blue earrings.
It’s January, which means its not only the time to set in motion this year’s resolutions but also to take serious stock at how massive a failure last year’s resolutions were. My 2011 resolutions included:
- Run 500 miles: FAIL. Since I started keeping track on dailymile, I’ve run 272 miles, five of those in December.
- Read 30 books: Again FAIL. Even with children’s books, couldn’t make it past 20.
- Eat kosher: Oh please.
- Do a pull-up: I completely forgot I had this as a resolution. Even though I haven’t tried, I can say without a doubt that I didn’t complete this one.
- Get organized: …
I keep making the same resolutions year after year and keep thinking it’ll come to a different conclusion. That’s insanity, right? Oh well. Let’s brush these failures under a rug, pretend I never made them and start anew (albeit slightly tweaked). My 2012 resolutions include:
- Run 273 miles: If I vow to do better than last year, I’ll likely meet it and my elusive 500.
- Read (unread) books: I don’t know if it’s 30, 20, 10 or somewhere in between, but I’ve amassed a lot of books over the years that I’ve never had time to read. You know what doesn’t help? Massive, close-out sales at all those bookstores. It’s like I’m stockpiling for the armageddon and my panic room library.
- Eat clean: I’m not giving up cheese and I’m not giving up bacon. But if the majority of my diet is clean, unprocessed food, then I don’t give a damn.
- Do a pull-up: Now that I’ve remembered, might as well give it another go.
- Get organized: This is the one I’m most excited about. I even have a plan in place to break it down into manageable nuggets. I’ll write a separate entry dedicated to it shortly.
And we’re off!
ONLY A RUNNER thinks they don’t have to train for half-marathons.
ONLY A RUNNER would consider a marathon less than two months away when their last long run was two seasons ago.
ONLY A RUNNER drops benjamins on cool new gadgets and discount compression socks but not on woefully needed new shoes.
ONLY A RUNNER would wake up one morning — not having run, period, since before Thanksgiving — and go for a “light 10 miles.”
ONLY A RUNNER blames everything — the weather, the terrain, the drinking the night before — but their lack of training on a shitty run.
Yes, indeed. Runners be crazy (and slightly stupid).
This isn’t all runners, or even elite runners and those who know how the body works and what to do to avoid injury and get to peak performance. This is me. And I venture it’s more than just me. There are other people out there in my same camp — those who train poorly; know they train poorly and do it anyway.
My running career consists of three full marathons, between 5-8 half marathons, countless 10ks and not-worth-mentioning 5ks. I’ve survived each and kept improving time, endurance, etc. Sadly, this gave me a false air of invincibility.
I call it the Marathon Effect. Because you average more than 10 miles a week and should (with legitimate training programs) keep increasing mileage over the course of four to six months, it skews your reality. What you consider a “long run” or a “quick run” is not the same for the rest of society. Plus, you kinda come off as a dick because of it.
Someone will say, “Woohoo. I just tackled six miles! and I feel great!!”
You react, “That’s it? You mean six miles out and six miles back, right?”
Someone will say, “Man, I’m sore today. I ran a half marathon this weekend.”
You react, “Uhhh… congrats. Call me when you run the full 26.2.”
Someone will say, “I’m training for a 5k.”
You react, “People actually train for those???”
No, I don’t train for a half marathon. If I can run a full, I can run a half. It’s called muscle memory. I may feel like shit the following day, but I’ll be fine.
Yes, I considered running P.F. Chang’s Rock n Roll in January. Then, I pushed it back to Surf City in February, then LA Marathon in March. All, while I used my running shoes for Zumba instead of, well, running. (Slight glimpse of brain functioning: Ultimately decided against all these marathons — more out of laziness than anything else. Winter mornings are cold)
Yes, I’ve spent hundreds on heart rate monitors, compression socks and more cool stuff. I’ve also avoided buying new shoes. My knees are starting to hurt and my toes made a hole through the mesh of my Asics. But still I say to myself, Running shoes are expensive. Next month…
Yes, I’ve woken up and said, Today I’ll run 10 miles because I need to make up all the miles I’ve missed. Who cares if the last time I ran more than 8 miles was in September?
And yes, when I decide to walk in the last 2 miles of those 10, it’s because the rain messed up the dirt paths or because I didn’t eat breakfast or because I left my iPod at home or because my “ankle is acting up”. Never because of the worn-out shoes, the nonexistent training or the fact that I’m crazy (and slightly stupid).
PHOTO: The true face of a runner (via Guardian UK)
This morning I’m going to cross off the massage from my list of to-dos. I’ve never gotten one and the main reason is that I’m a wimp. Sure, my shoulders carry a lot of stress but just rubbing them out hurts so much. I squirm in massage chairs. I flinch every time my manicurist gives me a little arm massage.
Actually, she was the one who once said I was crazy. How would I be able handle full-body massage here? With a little liquid courage, maybe?? At 8 a.m.?
To be determined…
I’ve been burgled. Robbed. Violated, even.
My office key is not attached to the same keychain as my car and home keys. I like it that way. I don’t want to have to carry around a pound of keys whenever I leave on coffee breaks, or what have you. The convenience comes at a price, though. I lose it — a lot. Once, I went a month without my key until I finally found it in a jacket pocket shoved in the back of my trunk.
It’s a “big deal” to lose this key. So I’ve been told by one person, the entire office must be re-keyed. With eight individual offices, a conference room, four outside doors and dozens with access… it’s “big deal.” All out of my pocket… so I’ve been told.
Consider that necessary background for the following story.
I leave my office. Walk down the hall to the bathroom. There’s no one there. It’s morning. It’s summer. It’s slow on campus.
I place my key with a super cool Chuck high top keychain on a ledge near the mirror. Proceed into the stall. While in there, I hear someone else enter. (Sidenote: of all the empty stalls, why plant yourself next to me? sheesh. Well, that ended up being a blessing-in-disguise and I’ll tell you why later.)
Exit stall. Wash hands. Head for key… except. It’s not there! Shit! Ok, maybe I left it hanging in the stall. (I know, I know. That’s obviously not where I left it, but you think of all possibilities in these instances.) Nada. I check every nook and cranny in the near-empty bathroom for a good solid minute.
Then I think: Maybe this lady in the stall took it. Ok, I’ll ask. Except, wait, I definitely don’t want to have a conversation with her in there. I’ll wait.
I fix my hair, as I wait. I wash my hands again, as I wait. I’m done waiting.
Think: I’ll head to my office and grab her as she leaves. Luckily, one of the outer doors are open and I can spy from there. Luckily x2, this lady took the stall right next to me and I got a peek at her shoes.
I chill out, all stealth Continental Op-like. I’m chatting with a friend in the office and from my peripheral vision, I see the shoes. Then, I see the whole package — frizzy blonde hair, high-waisted shorts, leather-braided belt, blue polo shirt… UCLA employee.
Think: I’m set. She’s a UCLA facilities employee. She’ll do the right thing and head downstairs to turn it into Lost&Found. Even though it was never lost, but whatever.
Friend says: “Why don’t you just ask, ‘hey did you happen to see any keys in the bathroom?'”
I say: “Because that’s not my style. And I’m not going to be as nice as you. Trust me, it’s better to swoop in after and get my keys.”
A minute later, I head for Lost&Found. The guy tells me someone did drop off a bunch of keys.
Me: “any with a shoe keychain?”
Him: “No. Only one has a keychain. This it?” He holds up a ratty yellow-and-blue UCLA keychain. Honestly, the kind that they give out like candy aka worthless.
I see all the keys she dropped off — about eight and none with keychains. But they look like office keys. I tell him that mine was an office key and that maybe she dropped it off without a keychain. He checks my number against the ones there, and comes up empty. He suggests I go to the office down the hall, across from the bathroom. “Sometimes people drop stuff off there instead.”
Walk upstairs and down the hall and into the second office I go. Ask this guy if anyone’s dropped off some keys. Of course not, that would’ve been too easy.
Shit. I start thinking back at how mad this one person would be if I come back without keys. I’m ready to say that it wasn’t my fault. I was burgled, violated. I did not lose them. And just to make sure I had rock-solid evidence, I go back into the bathroom and do a quickie sweep.
Stalls — empty.
Sinks — empty
Mirrors — empty.
Towel dispensers — empty.
Trash bins — empty.
Ledge where I placed my keys to begin with — not empty. Three rolls of paper. I go through the motions of picking each one up just like the last time. Then, I see it.
A lone key. No keychain. Looking like it had always been there.
I quickly grab the key and head to my office because it could either:
A. Be my key without the keychain, or
B. Be someone else’s key in one of the stalls, and at which point I’d be doing the same to them that was done to me.
It’s my key, yes. It opens my office and the office suite. But where’s my keychain, huh?
This beeyotch stole my keychain!! And didn’t even bother to turn in my naked key with the rest. Now all those keys made sense. I’m dealing with a serial keychain-stealer. Hide your keychains, boys and girls. They are not safe. Unless, of course, they’re not that cute.
PHOTO: My fly Chuck high top keychain. How will I ever replace it?