Wednesday, May 29

IR stoopid

Let's say, for the sake of things, that somebody we know went for a walk in mont royal park in Montreal on a Saturday morning. Let's further say that said person also took her street walking shooz for the walk, instead of her more suitable running shooz.

Let's also say that she may have at some point decided to go off route in the park, while descending and in a rush to get down. She may have also suddenly realized that she was going to be late for a breakfast (this was 6 am after all).

What would normal people do? I'm not really so sure, but I guess what they wouldn't do is break into a sprint, downhill, on what is obviously a single track downhill slope, while wearing their beautiful, city, green shooz.

Sigh. Anyway, as I was running downhill through the woods I looked at my feet and, just as I was thinking to myself that maybe these shooz were not good for running in the woods, my foot slipped. I did half a 360 (what I guess is conventionally called falling flat on my face) and grabbed a tree right before kissing the ground.

I tried to get up but could not stand on my right foot. I had stoopidly sprained my ankle again. Of course, young academics are invincible, so I dried my tears, sucked it up (?!!) and started to run again - after a while the pain got bearable, which also allowed me to see where I was running (always a plus in the woods). I got to the meeting on time, only to realize I had gotten the day wrong and the breakfast was on the next day.

Now I can barely walk without an ankle guard and running is painful (although for some reason I still do it). I am seriously considering going to the doctor (voluntarily: i know, I'm softening up!! Must be the Australian relaxe lifestyle!! It's not broken so I shouldn't go!) to get an MRI. I think I may have fucked it up some more, which does not spell anything good for my future plans. Damn it!

Oh and also, climbing didn't make it to the Olympics. Fuck that!

Tuesday, May 28

One picture Tuesday

I'm back and I'm seriously jet-lagged. Like zzzzzzzzz . Will post photos from Montreal as soon as possible, but until then, Dachshund UN! I bumped into this while roaming the streets of Montreal. Dachshunds galore! Dachshunds for parliament!

Tuesday, May 21

One picture Tuesday

The McGill campus is right there at the top of the list for the "Best campuses ever!" together with Cambridge and Harvard. I guess I'm a sucker for old buildings. Anyway, no photos of the campus yet as I'm preparing for my talk, but here is what was at the entrance of the campus:

There's more to this statue than shown there and I'll post up more later. But wait! Tulips!

Monday, May 20

Life is better with squirrels and tulips

Because there's nothing like spring. I went running today in Parc Mont Royal. I met 12 squirrels on the way. Life is just good with squirrels.

Saturday, May 18

in a daze

arrived in montreal after 25 hours of flight, excluding connection times. Achievement of the day(s?!): 50 minutes transfer time in LAX because FUCK YOU that's why I wear my running shoes. My head feels heavy and dizzy and people have to repeat things to me. I tried speaking French and nobody was killed so I guess there's still something left in me. The hotel is beautiful and there was a platter of fruit waiting for me that I polished faster than you could say "WAIT!". The hotel is beautiful except for one thing: the lift beeps loudly (like bomb tick loudly - the movie ones that is, not the ones that really kill you) at every floor, which would be allright if my room wasn't on the 28th floor. I start praying for my life about 6 floors before my destination and dash out of it as soon as it stops. I went walking for ten minutes before the crash started unfolding. Montreal seems beautiful, with lots and lots of people on the street: that's because it's still Friday! I found a Starfucks (boo!) and a H&M (yay!) and there's a very very steep hill right opposite the hotel, which i'll explore on Sunday. 

Wednesday, May 15

Geeks R Us

My anniversary present:

His anniversary present:

* Ultra compact size with full metal enclosure
* Quad core ARM Cortex-A9 MPCore
* 10/100Mbps Ethernet with RJ-45 LAN Jack
* 2 x High speed USB2.0 Host port
* Audio codec with headphone jack on board
* Android 4.x & Ubuntu 12.10
* Community-driven projects & supports

Beware of geeks. They R eberywhere.

Tuesday, May 14

One picture Tuesday

Two years ago M. and I got married. But most importantly, two years ago all four of us went backpacking around Europe for a bit. I have many many dear photos of our time there. This one is one of them:

Notice how high the dodo bird can fly.

Monday, May 13

My sekret plan ...

... to get Sandra to visit Adelaide is to randomly show her photos of how awesome Adelaide and its surroundings are. I forget to do that sometimes, in that I always end up taking the crappy phone instead of the good camera, but here you have it, McLaren Vale:

Friday, May 10

Life is better with stationery

Because it is, really. Say hi to my new paper reading diary, because I'm old school lidat. My old paper reading diary is right under it. Check out the sticker as well (I went crazy in Hamburg in a sticker shop - I kid you not, there's a shop in Hamburg that sells stickers and cool t-shirts).

Life is better with stationery but LIFE IS AWESOME with a rock climbing backpack! Say hello to Mammut Neon 45 litre climbing bucket (google its awesome features as I am too tired to list them)!!!! And my nasty office carpet.

Wednesday, May 8

What do we say to the God of Death?

Not today!

It was a weekend of firsts this weekend in Arapiles. My first 14 multipitch (my first 14 Arapiles trad for that matter) - D-Minor (14) (which is a French 4c by the way, I am advancing in grades!). The first time someone rappelled of my anchors (whew!). The first time someone fell on my anchors (whew!). The first time I trad lead with two seconds! D.'s first multipitch. D.'s first rappel.

We started the weekend with Serpent (11) on Mitre Rock. The cold and wind killed us, so we moved to the other side, in the sun!

Exodus (6) could have been the first trad lead as well for some but in the end it wasn't meant to be.

We bouldered for a bit after this: we ended up doing almost everything on Rabbit Boulder (pictured). Everything but the hard V5 that is.

The next day we did D-minor. It was a beautiful, beautiful day, with lots of climbers around.

Marian fell on my anchors AND THEY HELD!! Of course, I freaked out  a bit :) but soon recovered. I love my anchors, especially when they hold.

Tuesday, May 7


It feels like it's Monday, 5:45 am. When in fact it's Tuesday. 4:51 pm. Things are not going well chez Claudia.

  • Yesterday I almost got into a marathon running challenge. By the end of the day the marathon was ON! and I had already mapped out a training plan, and had already crossed the finish line (in my mind!) with a sub-four result, crushing my competitor and bathing in glory. I realized today that I won't be able to run said marathon because I will be in Singapore.  
  • Today I came to work in my running clothes only to realize as I was entering the building that I had left my work clothes at home. Had to go to Target to buy clothes I really really hate. 
  • Today I realized that the work I had been putting in mentoring a student was for nothing. To some extent, if people do not want to change, you cannot will them into change.
  • Later in the day I found out that one of my uncles has died. He used to call me "Fifi", mainly because he knew that it pissed me off. I only found out ten hourd later because I cannot be trusted with my phone. Instructed Mom to call Marian from now on. The funeral is on Thursday and there's no way I can get there. 
  • And then I found that one of my students had found an old CV of mine (fuck you, interwebs!)  - oh why why why did I put my birthday on it? Anyway, said student is now doomed to write me a happy birthday email every year till the end of time. And then said student asked if I will always have my current email address. 
  • And now I'm thinking. Will I? What's the point, really? Why not go back home and be mediocre there? (climbwise and teachingwise I mean). I mean, limestone is much better than sandstone/granite... The scenery is beautiful! The food is delicious! Hell, the limestone is delicious! Winters are cold but beautiful! Hm.
And here's the Tuesday picture as well: Piatra Craiului in winter.

Wednesday, May 1

Projecting boulder problems

I wanted to write a very insightful post about projecting. About how it's important to get all the moves wired on a particular problem. How it's important to save your energy and not give it 200 attempts EVERY TIME you try it, but give it 20, and commit 100% to each and every one of them. About how it's important to really want it, and I mean really really want it, but not want it so much that it clouds your focus.

And then I realized that I can't write this post. Not after giving Master Bates 250 attempts* over the weekend (really, I only did one other problem and tried another one).  In these 250 attempts, I got very close to the end (within millimetres!!) exactly five (FIVE) times.

- the first time I got to the second last hold and had forgotten what to do
- the second time I had a plan but it was the wrong one: I cannot power through the sequence at this point as my power endurance is shit.
- the other three times I just could not step high enough. Once it just hurt too much - my wrist joint detached itself (hallelujah for the tape!) and it just hurt too much. Another time I got distracted by my spotters (they were superiorly excited!).

I also realized that I probably cannot focus correctly. That wanting the send makes me so anxious that I start shaking (only mentally thank fuck because otherwise I would have to use the core to control the bodily shakes as well!) and loose all the mental juju. And then I start to think about my spotters. How they're so excited and cool that I must send it for them! I also must send it such that they stop spotting and move to greener pastures! For me to move to greener pastures!

I also cannot rest between attempts. I CHARGE!! ROAR!! at the project and it flicks me off its shoulder like a stoopid little fly that I am (if only I had wings though!, zzz). My best attempt is the first one but I do not seem to be able to give up if I fail, even after the 50th attempt, and not even after my performance degrades significantly.   Because I am tired, the attempt is half assed and does not win me anything except more frustration. But, true to form, I do not quit.

Thinking back at my previous projecting experience, it was only after giving up all expectations of myself that I could actually do it. Hm. I probably am my worst enemy. That, and too fat, too old, and too weak for this sport. PFfft.

* Or what seemed like 250 attempts - I did not count them - I wish I had enough skin to give it so much.