Tuesday, November 28, 2006


This morning wasn't like every other morning.
On every other morning, I get up at 5:40am to bike.
This morning I got up at 5:40am.

But, this morning wasn't like every other morning.
On every other morning, I put on every damn windproof garment I've got.
This morning I put on every damn windproof garment.

But this morning wasn't like every other morning.
This morning it was 36 degrees when I left the house at 5:55am and still 36 degrees when I returned at 7:35am.
This morning I wore ski clothes.
This morning it magically seemed to stay dark, damn dark, much longer than usual.

As I left the house I wondered why I had moved to California from Chicago, since it felt just as cold as a Chicago morning.

But then, while biking past the Richmond Marina, I realized one of the many differences between a November morning in Chicago and a November morning in California:

Friday, November 24, 2006

Thanksgiving Top Ten


10) USC's football team isn't as good as everyone thinks.
9) Getting into college is really hard nowadays as 30,000 people are applying for 1000 spots because of the common application.
8) Berkeley is just like Evanston, IL, minus the lake.
7) Career choices are often made in middle school.
6) You can't use Cello sheet music to play the viola.
5) Although it's known for its blues, Chicago has great Jazz.
4) It's possible to hear Jazz Sitar and Jazz Accordion in the same show.
3) Gianni is everywhere!
2) Sweet potatoes aren't nearly as healthy as 2 bikers might think when you learn that they were blended with one part sweet potato to one part vanilla Hagen Daz ice cream.
1) Thanksgiving ALWAYS makes for great stories!!

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!!

Have Fun, Eat Joyfully, Share Your Gratitude!

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Losing our Cross Virginity

We came. We saw. We didn't sign up.
Well, we didn't intend to, not today at least. Yesterday's 5 hour epic ride of too, too many intervals on Diablo left us craving a spandex-free breakfast. We rolled out of bed, headed to Home Plate in SF for eggs benedict, bacon frittata, and scones and then scooted over to GG Park to catch the start of the masters Bs.

We had a fantastic time and walked away eager for RR season to begin. In the midst of it, we heard some of the Bs complaining about how the juniors shouldn't be racing with them since, "They're not really racing and they just get in our way and make it dangerous."

Ok, if it's dangerous to have them in your field, then let's talk about a separate start time. I can understand that. BUT...to say that they're not really racing (and to say it loud enough that a group of juniors 1ft. away from you can clearly hear you as you're POINTING to them) is so damn rude. There were plenty of juniors who kept their heart in the race far, far longer than a lot of the masters.

Speaking of which, my student, the 7th grader, raced his second cross race and was a star. Any thoughts on which juniors team he should join? I know nothing.

Onto the entertainment: This kid was mezmorized with Clover. I mean, most folks are mesmerized with our 'little bear,' but this kid took the cake. Clover, on the other hand, was mesmerized with the race, enough-so that a few times her tail almost took some riders out.
The action:

See Gianni Jump!

See Jeff Run!

See Ali and Mike having a lazy afternoon napping, building wheels, eating ice cream, and reading the Sunday paper after a hard morning of cross (imaginations required).

Phew...what a rough day!

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Coach M

So I tried my hand at coaching this fall and learned a few things along the way. I've played many sports in my life and had dozens of coaches along the way. Their personalities and styles ran the gamut from goofy new college grad to brow beating drill sergeant (complete with bulging forehead veins). Each of them, good and bad, has had a hand in shaping my feelings about sports, competition and life.

Maybe it sounds a bit dramatic but for many of these kids I would be their first coach and I wanted it to be a fun and constructive experience. So each week before practice I thought a lot about my 'weekly message'. What was the best way to spend my 90 minutes with twelve 9 year olds? What skills should we practice? What drills would be most effective? And, perhaps most importantly, what should we talk about. As the season progressed I found that I repeatedly wanted/needed to talk about responsibility, respect, fun and fair play. In a word: Sportsmanship.

Most of you who read this blog have a great understanding and appreciation of sportsmanship, but do you remember where you learned it? Where did you learn the value of hard work and practice, how to handle disappointment, accepting what is and playing on and appreciating the skills of your competitors (at the same time he is kicking your butt)? I learned it from the basketball coach who ran us ragged, the track judge who took exception to foul language and the swim coach who could throw a kickboard more accurately than most ultimate players throw Frisbees. While the basic values that underlie sportsmanship are taught at home, I now believe that a true appreciation only comes from regular participation in sports.

Today I felt a tinge of satisfaction as I watched twelve 9 year olds play their hearts out for 50 minutes. I saw them suffer, struggle and scrap. They cheered for their teammates, appreciated their competitors and persisted even when they thought they couldn’t play any longer. In the end they knew they had played hard and were proud. So, even if next week we return to gazing at jet contrails, I know that it’s getting through…a little at a time.

Thursday, November 02, 2006


Ok, so I haven't made time for CX (yet), but I have big news. Two of my students are going to try CX racing for the first time this weekend at McClaren Park.

If you see two 12 year olds, one short and one tall, both with scraggly hair, ask them if they go to Willard (in Berkeley) and have Ms. Krasnow as their math teacher. They will feel famous if one of you CX folks discovers them!

So very cool! And they are both star pre-algebra students. I love it!

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

It Happened One Day...

It happened one day
on Bend-your-view Street.
I was walking along and
who should I meet

But the Mathmagician
just wisking along
reciting some proof
in the form of a song.

She was headed
off to New Digitopolis
(I assure you it's nothing
like the Old Megalopolis).

To dispense to her subjects
some super magic math knowledge
in hopes that some day
they all make it to college.

(PS I see the Mathmagician every day and often in Superhero Spandex but this is the first time I've seen her in her official robe!)