Em ơi! #317: Highlights From My First Triathlon

Sorry about the sketchiness/relative badness of the art on this one.  I have not had what could be referred to as “free time” lately.

So, the triathlon.  When I first started running, I was kind of overweight and not really very good at it.  In my first 5k, which I ran with my brother Daniel, his then-girlfriend Claire (I may have mentioned them once or twice), and a couple friends of theirs, I finished almost last.  Not just last in my division, but last.  It was great in some ways, because it was a lot of fun to run with everyone, but coming in so close to the end was a bit humiliating.  I didn’t run another race for about two years.

I’ve since got to be a much better runner and recently I’ve been placing in the top 20 in my division and much nearer to the top overall.  People who have met me AFTER a lot of weight loss and hardcore training seem to have this idea of me as a natural athlete, and that just isn’t the case.  I always remember where I used to be…and sometimes, I get to revisit those times.

All in all, I didn’t have a terrible race (except for the swim portion, which was terrifying).  I inhaled about half the lake, and coughed for the rest of the day.  Despite this, I did finish.  Will I do another?  I don’t know.  I might.  I’m off swimming for a while and just relaxing before I have to throw myself into marathon training in earnest.  Of course, the purpose of a race is not to win, and how I placed is largely unimportant compared to how I felt during the race.  But this was definitely a challenge.  I still have somewhat mixed feelings about it.  Glad I tried it though.

I should add that in panel 3, that orange pyramid is the buoy I’m supposed to be swimming toward.  Panel 5 did actually happen.  And I did actually shout “REALLY?”  The guy holding the flags to direct us all around the turns didn’t seem to get it.

Here are two photographs Bryan took of me, one before the race, one after the swim portion.  For two more fun photos, click the “photos” link at the top of this page and put in my number (1354).

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Daniel and Claire Get Married

This is (a somewhat crappy scan of) a painting I did for Daniel and Claire in honor of their wedding (which was last weekend, the 12th of June 2010 – I am a bit late getting this up) – for those who are new to the comic, Daniel is my younger brother.  Both he and Claire used to be comic regulars before they moved to Baltimore, so I thought it would be nice to do something in comic form for them.  In reality the comic is four panels wide by two down, but I thought this way I could make it a bit bigger so you could see the details.  It took me a long time to scan.

I’m taking an intensive Vietnamese course which is eating up not only my brain but all my ability to think.  I’m in third year (fifth semester) which will look great on my resume if it doesn’t kill me.

Here’s some of my vocab from the past week (hopefully the text will come out correctly):

  1. thủ thư – librarian
  2. ngoài ra – besides
  3. kinh tế – economy
  4. kế hoạch – to plan
  5. nổi tiếng – famous
  6. di cư to emigrate
  7. ấm – warm
  8. kết hôn – to get married
  9. ly dị – to get divorced
  10. chỉch – to inject (e.g. drugs)
  11. thám tử – detective
  12. hiếp – rape
  13. đao phủ – execution
  14. địn ngục – hell
  15. buồn cươi – funny
  16. tra tấn – torture
  17. bảo hiẻm y tế – health insurance
  18. mìn – mine (e.g. a landmine – mìn nước is a sea mine.)
  19. dân ca – folksongs
  20. khủng hoảng – crisis

The actual topics that I have been studying are left as an exercise for the reader.

So in other news I’m doing my first triathlon tomorrow.  It’s only a sprint, and I know I can do the individual parts (a 1/3 mi swim, 11 mi bike, 5k run) with no particular training…it’s just the transitions that I’m worrying about.  We’ll see how it goes – wish me luck!

This comic is filed under:

ND1460.W44 L86 2010


Painting — Special subjects of painting — Other subjects — Miscellaneous, A-Z — Weddings.

Very appropriate.

Em oi! #316: I Paid Good Money to Look this Dumb

To everyone who warned me that this would happen when I started using the clipless pedals: Thanks, you were right.  The bruise that still lingers on my hip tells the tale better than I could.

File this one under: HE5736 .L86 2010, for:

Transportation and communications — Bicycles — General works

Lentil, Chickpea, and Potato Curry

I’ve now closed all the tabs for the recipes that inspired this –  I think this may have been one, maybe this as well, and I spent a goodly time browsing the archives of Indian food blogs like One Hot Stove.  What came out, while not exactly an authentic dish, is delicious and healthy.  I suppose it could be called a channa dal (I think “channa” refers to chickpeas, “dal” to lentils).  Potatoes are aloo. So this should be aloo channa dal?

I served this with chappati, the technique for which I’m still perfecting.

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Em oi! #315: The View from Down Here

This one is dedicated to my buddy Ray, who is also kicking his novel around to agents, and has been doing so for far longer and with better humor and perseverance than I can imagine.  It’s also dedicated to all the agents who have to spend their days wading through the barely literate queries they receive – having done some freelance editing, I know firsthand how well most people write.  A lot of agencies will say, “If you don’t hear from us in 5 weeks, take it as a no.”  I don’t blame them – they must get an awful lot of crap.

But if you could get back to me about You Can’t Make it Better, But You Can Make it Different, that would be great.  Also, if you are, by some crazy random happenstance, an agent who is reading this comic and interested in a great literary mystery, drop me an email at ehlupton[AT]gmail[dot]com.

This comic is filed under:

PN163 .L86 2010

which is

Literature (General) — Authorship — Authorship as a profession.  Ethics.  Relations.  Social conditions of authors, etc. — Literary agents.