Namo amitabha Buddhaya, y'all.
This here's a religious establishment. Act respectable.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

So How Goes The Swimming, You Ask.

Well, you didn't ask, but I'm going to tell you anyway.  The swimming is, uh, going swimmingly.  I'm 17 point something miles into this thing, with only 6.5 miles to go.  That's 9500 meters, in case you were wondering.  I have tomorrow and Thursday, and the Big Swim on Friday, Saturday, Monday and Tuesday to knock them out.  That's a little more than 1500 meters a day, and I'm pretty sure I can do it.  The swim club gathered for a RedEye Breakfast last Saturday, where the Swim for Distance t-shirts were passed out.  I got mine, but I'm not wearing it until Friday, and I'm only wearing it Friday because, well, Friday's the Big Swim.  You gotta have something to celebrate the Big Swim.  Especially if it means you can get away with wearing a T-shirt to work.

What's the Big Swim?  Well, it's 2000 meters, or about a mile and a quarter.  We do this every year toward the end of July.  There are actually three Big Swims; you can also choose to go 5,000 meters (3 1/4 miles) or join in the 10k relay (2,500 meters each).  Technically it's a race, but I don't think of it as a race because I know I'm gonna be dead last and that's just fine.  It takes me just about an hour to swim 2,000 meters.  Last year it took me 57 minutes, and if it took me 56 minutes and 15 seconds this year, I'd be thrilled to bits.

It's just my (bad) luck that the Big Swim falls early on a Friday evening this year.  As in, when the sun's still up.  I have an ongoing battle with the big orange day ball.  It doesn't like me, I don't like it, and every time we argue I lose.  Ordinarily, when the sun is in the sky and I'm in a bathing suit, I'm also wearing a burqini.  That's a Muslim swim garment, incidentally, designed to cover everything for religious reasons, but it works just fine as sun protector, too.  Here's a photo:

Unfortunately, I don't look near as cute in mine as this lady in the photo.  One of these days, when I'm suitably drunk--oh, wait, I don't drink anymore; okay, suitably tired and silly--I'll post a photo of me in my burqini.  I look pretty ridiculous.  But dammit, I'm safe from the sun.  To say nothing of the fact that nobody's looking at my ass because they can't find it.  But, I will not be doing the Big Swim in the burqini.  It slows me down too much.  I'll be doing the Big Swim in (shudder) sunscreen.

What, pray tell, is wrong with sunscreen?  Well, nothing, except I seem to be allergic to three-quarters of every brand made. The higher I go in waterproof SPF guaranteed to work technology, the better the odds that I'll be breaking out in hives and scratching my skin off the next day. That, or the stuff just flat out don't work.  It may be that there isn't a sunscreen out there that can cope with the Texas sun--or, more realistically, the Texas sun and then the unbelievable glare of said Texas sun off the water.  Ask Joan about the many times she's slathered sunscreen all over my back, then slathered lotion all over my back when I come back from the pool a few hours later with a nice pink burn all over my shoulders.

Alas, this is what happens to Scandinavians when they leave Scandinavia.  I should have stayed in Iceland, where the volcanoes rumble and the ice is thick and the spaceships land in search of higher forms of human life.  Oh, wait, that was just in Prometheus.

Well, anyway, wish me luck.  It should be an interesting swim.  And Talk Thursday should resume later this week.  I hope.

(Okay, okay.  If I make better time this year by more than 30 seconds I'll post the pic of me in the burqini.  But you have been warned, it's not a sight for the faint of heart nor the hairless of tail.)

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