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Archive for the ‘women’ Category

Saint Paul Downtown Criterium

The 2010 Nature Valley Grand Prix got underway on Wednesday, June 16 in Saint Paul.

The morning Time Trial event started with nearly 300 men and women riders competing in “the race of truth.” That evening, the first criterium races were held in downtown Saint Paul.

While a new venue, downtown Saint Paul drew several thousand spectators and provided the pro bike racers with a longer, more challenging, course. The end result proved to be exciting with a sprint finish in the women’s race, with HTC Columbia rider Chloe Hosking grabbing the win. Theresa Cliff-Ryan (Colavita/Baci Pro Cycling) and Shelley Evans (Peanut Butter & Co Twenty12, finished second and third respectively.  The men’s race was dominated by Kelly Benefit Strategies for the first 37 laps. In a shake down during the last three laps, United Healthcare p/b MAXXIS grabbed the front. The international finish included Australian Hilton Clark and Kiwi rider Karl Menzies (riding for United Healthcare) finishing 1 and 2; and Italian Luca Damiani (Kenda Pro Cycling p/b GearGrinder) finishing in third.

Thursday night, the racers traveled to Cannon Falls where they met with unfavorable weather that included National Weather Service-issued tornado watches, hail and high winds reaching 60 miles per hour. The men’s race got started as planned at 5 p.m. Central time, but by 5:35, officials decided not to start the women riders on the 66-mile road course; and the men were called back in with the race being neutralized.

Friday night, the Uptown neighborhood of Minneapolis will once again get the Minneapolis Criterium along the popular sections of Hennepin Avenue and Lake Street. The one-mile-long course is pancake flat and includes plenty of turns where the anticipated crowd of 15,000 will be able to enjoy all the racing action.

Full race results are available here: http://www.naturevalleybicyclefestival.com/Grand-Prix/Results/2010-Results/St–Paul-Crit-Men.aspx

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In Shakespeare’s “Loves Labours Lost,” Don Adriano De Armado found himself wondering about the colors of love. Moth schools him on the nuances between women who display the obvious sea green of envy and those who hide between the white and red of fear and humility.

If she be made of white and red,

Her faults will ne’er be known,

For blushing cheeks by faults are bred

And fears by pale white shown:

Then if she fear, or be to blame,

By this you shall not know,

For still her cheeks possess the same

Which native she doth owe.

A dangerous rhyme, master, against the reason of white and red.

Whatever your color, show it. Be real.

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It’s heeeeeeeeeere: 2009. Well almost here. It’ll be here when we’re all kissing our sweethearts on New Year’s Eve and falling into bed at 12:06 a.m.

I’m not a resolution guy.  Perhaps it’s because resolutions like, “I will exercise more,” only focus on the “do” in our lives and not on the “be.”  And the “do” we do is done for all the wrong reasons. We “do” something so we can “have” something so we can “be” something else. When we fail on the “do,” the wheels of the plan come off entirely.

So instead of resolving to do something, I’m focusing on being.  It starts with  finding the one area of life you want to positively change, then selecting a word to guide you through the year. Pick a word to remind you to live life on the “be” level.  Instead of “get fit” (do), perhaps you choose the word “health” and focus on making healthy choices the entire year.

My word? Bold.

Short back story: Through the past couple of decades, I got rutted in letting life happen to me. In that time many positive and wonderful things did happen. But I didn’t necessarily play a hand in carving the path with my own machete. No, the path was mostly pre-paved leading to a glass that was just three-quarters full when it should be brimming. My word “bold” will enable me to top off the glass each day – living life intentionally at work, in relationships, at home, in my desire to be fit and happy et al.  With this in the forefront, I’ll change behavior, live more purposefully and take myself out of life on the periphery.

I’ve already practiced using my word in recent weeks. It’s presented me with challenges and  anxious moments resulting in sleepless nights, like any shift in life presents. Being bold has risks, but it’s a step in a direction I must take. Plus, it’s exhilarating to hear my own voice when I say out loud the things that would have previously gone unsaid or take action on something I would have only thought (mightily) about.

I’ll kick bold into full throttle in January and post on my successes and failures during the year.

In the meantime, I’ve picked this John Mayer cover of “Bold as Love” by Jimi Hendrix as my theme song. We all need anthems in life.

Happy New Year. Make it a bold one.

Lyrics

Anger he smiles, towering in shiny metallic purple armour
Queen jealousy, envy waits behind him
Her fiery green gown sneers at the grassy ground

Blue are the life-giving waters taken for granted
They quietly understand
The once happy turquoise armies lay opposite, ready
But wonder why the fight is on

But they’re all, they’re bold as love, yeah
They’re all, they’re bold as love, love, love
They’re all, they’re bold as love
Just ask the axis

My red is so confident, he flashes trophies of war
And ribbons of euphoria
Orange is young, full of daring
But it, it’s very unsteady for the first go round

My yellow in this case is not so mellow
In fact I’m trying to say it’s frightened like me
And all these emotions of mine keep holding me from
Giving my life to a rainbow like you

But I’m, I’m bold, I’m bold as love, yeah
I’m bold, I’m bold as love, love, love
I’m bold, I’m bold as love
Just ask the axis

He knows, he knows, he knows
He knows everything

I’m, I’m bold, I’m bold as love, yeah
I’m bold, I’m bold as love, ohh
Been talkin’ to ya
I’m bold, I’m bold as love, yeah.

P.S.  Be sure to wait an extra second on New Year’s Eve before planting that first kiss. A leap second has been added to the clock by the U.S. Naval Observatory. This will be the 24th leap second added since 1972. Thanks U.S. Naval Observatory clock watchers.

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Seven Imitable Skills

In all my glorious insomnia-filled thinking, I’ve IDed a passel of skills needed in order to co-exist in the world of relationships. Some more important than others, clearly, but the following appear relevant and necessary if one hopes to find and maintain a relationship with a member of the opposite sex.

  1. Confidence. (I repeat, confidence, not cockiness. Big difference.) It doesn’t have to ooze from every pore, but if you lack confidence you will find yourself keeping the bartender company. Women smell its antithesis from across the room – maybe from across the street.
  2. Smarts. Sports trivia and alcohol percentages of various beverages may roll off your tongue, but they’re just one leg of the three-legged stool of intelligence. To survive on the planet as a couple, not a single, make a legit attempt to read the headlines (at least) in Sections A, B, C, and E of the New York Times.
  3. Self-deprecation. Look it up in Webster’s. Find the ability from within to poke fun at yourself and laugh at your gaffes (because you will have your share). If the serious mask never comes off, you’ll sink like a brick of Velveeta on Late Night’s “Will It Float?”.
  4. Grooming. Toenails yellow? Elbows sloughing skin? Does your blackened front tooth, loosened during a pickup ball game last spring, remain your badge of honor? Fix yourself up, man! Try deoderant then work yourself toward, say, flossing. Seriously, groom EVERYWHERE, not just the obvious…ahem…locations.
  5. Rhythm. This might be a tough one for some. But take note, if you’re dating you will be required to dance at least once. It won’t be optional. Learn to keep to the beat. Do NOT feign a torn ACL mid-way through an R. Kelly song.
  6. Conversant. You can’t risk that the girl you’re with will be the talker. There will be times when you’re required to start and carry the conversation – or at least articulate your thoughts and insights. (Helpful Hint: Keep three or four timely “talking points” in your head to fall back on if the convo lulls awkwardly.)
  7. Aware. If your world centers squarely on you all the time, you may have stumbled on the root cause of all your short-term relationships. Take off the “me” blinders and pay attention to the words coming from her lips. Then graduate to discovering, through osmosis and the telepathy, the things she never says but really means.

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I’m a seemingly “nice” guy. At least that’s the feedback I receive from those who know me. Family members, friends, co-workers, and even fellow bloggers have described me as “nice.”

Gag! The Pilver likens me to the character, Paulie, from the popular movie “Juno.”

For a divorced dad who is nearly 43-years-old, being nice isn’t the worst thing I could be. However, in my rarified dating and post-divorce relationship experiences, the adjective nice doesn’t seem to make a lot of women swoon.

So I’m asking you, my female readers (all two of you…that’s an approximation), what adjectives do you prefer to think of when thinking of the man who is most likely to make you breathe a little shallower, feel a slightly dizzy when you catch his eye, or make you weak in the knees when he brushes up next to you in the proverbial checkout lane.

I really want to know. Enlighten this “nice” guy, won’t you?

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Serial Daters

I do not want to be a member of the Serial Dating Club (SDC).

Serial daters really never make progress in relationships. They’re too busy dating multiple people, thus giving those they’re dating the idea that they’re a player, or not able to commit, or secretly wishing that someone better may come along.

In the past 48 hours, I had three dates with three different women. Seriously, I needed my Sunday to relax and recover from being “on” from Friday night through late Saturday evening and it became clearly problematic when I found myself unable to remember what I had told to whom. Fortunately the stories are all the same, but I don’t want a woman to think I’m crazy when I start sounding like a broken record.  So I preface stories with the standard, “Stop me if I told you this already.”

The goal here is to keep it simple and not complicate the dating process. That’s proving to be a hard task to accomplish.

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Hips

Hip

He rested his cheek on her hip. The warmth of her soft skin radiated through his face, and with his eyes closed he could swear he heard her smile.

As he thought about how they met and how their relationship unfolded, quickly but not so dangerously fast that they’d lost their good sense, he realized something profound. Her hand touched his shoulder and she stirred, rolling slightly to her side.

She was not normal and that suited him just fine. The normal ones eventually focused on material things, bored easily…true colors exposed. They quickly transitioned their compliments into complaints once settled into a relationship. The similarities that first served as a connection became disorders of the highest order.

Not this time. For weeks that turned to months, she stayed herself just as she was when they were introduced. Steady. Uncompromising. Collected. Confident.

In her own subtle, exogenous way, lying there simply breathing, she embodied all he ever thought he’d require in life.

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Photo: “Hip” by imemgee.

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This WebMD article further substantiates my thoughts on the modern-day male being a contradiction in terms. We, as a gender, are truly rolling back the clock in an effort to simply accept ourselves (unibrows and untrimmed toenails included).

Here’s an excerpt:

…the authors of The Future of Men underscore an indisputable fact of life in the U.S. — the concept of masculinity is in flux, leaving many confused about what it means to be a man.

“It was clear that men were questioning the feminization of men,” said Salzman, explaining the origins of The Future of Men.

“We wrote the book to focus on the question, ‘what is the byproduct of 40 years of increased rights for women?’ The instability of the male role model has been a reaction to the rise of equal rights for women.”

This is not the first time in American history that notions of masculinity have shifted.

“It seems like every time the country is in a crisis there’s concern about masculinity,” said Sonya Michel, a history professor at the University of Maryland and the author, with Robyn Muncy, of Engendered America: A Documentary History, 1865 to the Present.

“For example, during industrialization, skilled artisans started losing their jobs and men started to feel they were losing control. Again, during World War II, when it became clear that the U.S. was going to enter the war, people were wondering if American men were up to the task.”

What’s it all mean? According to the book’s authors, it means women are IN DEED looking for men who are comfortable with who they are.

…many men have responded to feminism by repudiating traditional masculine traits — such as strength, assertiveness, and independence — because they fear feminists may find those traits offensive. In an effort to please women, they transform themselves into sensitive, emotionally responsive “nice guys.”

“They constantly ask themselves, ‘how do I make sure the woman is happy and doesn’t get upset with me?'” says Glover, author of No More Mr. Nice Guy.

This “nice guy syndrome,” as he calls it, causes men to hide their masculine nature. And this, according to Glover, often repels women.

“The man believes he’s doing everything right in terms of trying to make the woman happy, but her complaint is, ‘I can’t trust him,'” Glover says. “Men like this are not telling the truth about themselves because they don’t want to upset women, but women walk away feeling that their men have no integrity, no consistency. They say things like, ‘I don’t know what he’s really thinking.’ Women get very frustrated by males who are always seeking to please them.”

And ya’ll thought I was just being facetious!

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In the history of the male species, it’s gotta be the eighth wonder of the world that either the cro-magnon or modern-day male ever managed to secure a relationship with the opposite sex. Our collective grunting, ball-scratching, farting, burping, smelling selves are not an attractive bunch – no matter how much Hi Karate after shave we slather over our sagging pectorals, or how carefully we comb and part the back hair.

To that end, why are women so willing to accept their male counterparts for who we really are in all our filth and glory? Do they realize we prefer to internalize our feelings instead of talk them out? Do they understand that our success as hunter gatherer is only exceeded by our need to ogle and comment out loud about the cleavage we see on other females while trudging through the mall with our spouse or significant other (SO)? Do they really need the male penis or find it even remotely interesting (aside from the obvious primary requirement of having one in order to make a baby, which by the way, has already lost its exclusive rights in that department thanks to modern science)?

We’re a strange lot, we men. I’m often embarrassed by my brethren and the sheer acts of male stupidity that I’ve witnessed, heard about and even instigated. Our ability to show off at precisely the wrong time, say exactly the opposite thing that should be said, and turn away from our mates at just the moment when she needs us the most is…well, it’s innate! Built in. Pre-genetically coded.

What’s most interesting, though, is that even if men made drastic behavioral changes – be it becoming more in tune with their feelings or spending more than five minutes planning a special anniversary dinner – I’m dubious if our stead among women would change for the better.

For all the listening, understanding, comforting, complimenting, and thoughtful attributes a man may adopt, it would likely raise more eyebrows if by some lucky strike of lightning we managed to change our behavioral path. Because as much as men are swine, women are suspicious of behavioral change and have grown accustomed, even – dare I say – accepting, of who we are and all our foible-filled behavior. They will even *cough* fall in love with our endearing jerk-like qualities, because, in the end, they want someone who will protect them from the dangers of the world, someone who will jump in front of the stray bullet, someone who will cold cock a would be Hugh Hefner who comes on a bit too strong when it’s happy hour at the biker bar.

So, gents, go ahead and let one rip at the dining table in a intimate restaurant setting. Then blame it on the table next to you. You’ll not only impress the person sitting across from you, but you’ll likely get several thumbs up from the rest of the men doing their best to nod politely at their SOs.

Oh! The sweet smell of our success!

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A friend suggested I give a listen to this singer/songwriter from Australia. This song, “Don’t Ever,” is just one of many beautifully written and performed songs out there. I’ll be looking more up on iTunes soon.

Lyrics:

Let’s take a train to anywhere
I want to feel the wind in my hair with you
Let’s tell them all that soon they’ll know
How very wrong they were to think we’d never go

And if you tell me yours I’ll tell you mine
And we will clean the cobwebs out of one anothers’ minds
Don’t ever say you tried to leave me in this life
Don’t ever say you tried for the last time

We’ll get a house where the trees hang low
And pretty little flowers on our windowsill will grow
We’ll make friends with the milkman
And the butcher Mr. Timms will give us discounts when he can

And if you tell me yours I’ll tell you mine
And we will clean the cobwebs out of one anothers’ minds
Don’t ever say you tried to leave me in this life
Don’t ever say you tried for the last time

la di da di da la di da di da la di da di da di da di da

Don’t ever say you tried to leave me in this life
Don’t ever say you tried to leave me in this life
Don’t ever say you tried for the last time

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