Days 93 & 94.. Plus more thoughts on the New Year

Day Ninety-Three (nonagesimo terceiro dia)

Saturday (Sabado)

4 Janeiro 2014

No running, just gymming. John has a game on Sunday so he just wanted to ride the bike and foam roll. I did some sun salutations to warm up and then did core:

hanging leg raises, decline sit ups, and suitcases @10 x4 rounds. I finished with a 2:00 plank.

We headed to Pic-Nic, of course, where we saw Adam for the first time. He had come back from New Bedford on an overnight flight that was delayed because of all the snowstorms there. We walked home where I cleaned everything. I swept and mopped all the floors and wiped down every fixture in the kitchen and bathroom. We really didn’t have anything else going on.

There was a game on (Arsenal? Liverpool? Maybe it was one of those Manchester teams) and rather than watch it on my MacBook, I convinced John to go back to Pic-Nic. Majiid, Adam, and Filipe were there, too. I mostly burrowed in my computer. I went home before the game was over to make meatballs for meatball subs. I am getting a little too comfortable with the piri piri sauce, so they were kind of spicy but still totally delicious and we ate them with the fresh bread-van papos secos.

I am currently reading Jodi Picoult’s The Storyteller which is the second book about the Holocaust that I’ve read since we’ve been here (I also read The Book Thief, which was awesome). I read until I couldn’t keep my eyes open anymore.


Day Ninety-Four (nonagesimo quarto dia)

Sunday (Domingo)

5 Janeiro 2014

I had dedicated myself to long-run-Sunday and John had a game in Arrifes against Aguia. The weather was kind of crummy when I got up and John took Romeo for a walk. By the time I had a PR Bar and my tea the sun was coming out. I usually don’t eat before I run, but I’ve been reading a lot of those “16 Beauty Resolutions You’re Making Today” and “Eight Weight Loss Mistakes Runner Make” because they clog up my Twitter feed so I might as well. One of the things I read about running and weight loss (not that I’m trying to lose weight, but I certainly don’t want to gain any!) was about running on an empty stomach. I do this all the time. Everyday. I know a lot of people warn against it, but a lot of people get light-headed or nauseous, etc. and I don’t, so I figured it was OK to workout without eating, but this article says no. Rather than burn up excess fat sitting in your body (which I believed I was doing), your body first burns the glycogen in your muscles. Once you’ve burned all that, then you go on to burning fat but your energy plummets and your performance suffers. Shit. So, they say, if you’re going out for more than 30 minutes, you have to fuel-up at least an hour before so as to not burn the glycogen your body needs to keep going. Ok, this I can handle. I will get back to the Beauty Resolutions later. Which I #canthandle.

Today I was planning to do 8 miles, so I probably would have fueled up either way. I took Romeo for a little more than two, finished three down in the vila before I headed for the dreaded lombas. I saw Pedro picking up some kids in lomba do Alcaide. Usually when I see him and I’m running I just wave and blow kisses but I don’t stop. Well, today I was in the middle of a long hill so I stopped and took advantage. He thanked me again for the Benfica scarf we bought him for Christmas. He was so excited to tell me that Benfica has won twice since we gave it to him. I wished the boys in the car “Boa sorte!” and started to run again. A moment later the red car behind Pedro and the Mira Mar van stopped and the driver started talking to me. In Portuguese. “Falas Ingles? Falas Ingles?” “You speak English? You know that man?” he said, pointing to Pedro’s van. “Pedro! Yes, I know Pedro!” I replied, still thankful for the break this man was giving me. “Pedro is my nephew! My name is John!” I stuck out my hand as I said “My name is Liza” but then I remembered my Portuguese manners and gave him the kiss-kiss. “Keep running!” he bellowed as he pulled away.

I underestimated my loop a little bit, but once I topped the lombas it didn’t really matter. I still ran the tree-tunnel road and came down lomba de Loucao. I ended up doing 10.0. Bam.

When I got back, John was already on his way to Arrifes with Mira Mar. I showered and ate some leftover chili and finally headed down to Pic-Nic where I had my one galao and looked at jobs, cars, and car loan rates. I took Romeo for an extra long walk around the whole vila before we snuggled up in bed and waited for John to come home. Earlier, when I pulled chicken out of the freezer to make soup, John said “We can have soup, or we can have our weekly Pic-Nic burgers…. we haven’t had them this week yet,” and I heard: “You don’t have to cook if you don’t want to,” so I didn’t. I read The Storyteller and waited. And waited. Finally, I looked on Facebook to see if anyone had posted the result of the game. Marco had, because everything that happens to or around Marco he puts on Facebook. I saw that Aguia had won 3-1. Marco had written a whole long post and tagged two guys; one I was pretty sure was Mira Mar’s new goalie, and the other one I didn’t know.

I copy-pasted it into google translate and saw that Mira Mar had been up 1-0 but then the goalie had gotten a red card. What luck. Of course he got a red card. This is the goalie’s first game with Mira Mar; he was playing for a team in a better division (one that actually pays players) but told John and I the other day that he wanted to have time for his studies, and is from Povoacao and loves Mira Mar… and aren’t we so lucky? Because the man we call Bolacha (which means cookie) is not a good goalie. We finally got a good one (and he speaks English, and John said “he’s cool” so that can only help Mira Mar become more cohesive, right?). Because he got a straight-red (without a yellow card first) he could face up to a three-game suspension! Awesome. That’s awesome. Apparently, Marco questioned the ref about this call and the ref (who was the other person Marco tagged in his Facebook post) told him he “had to show some cards”.

Because Bolacha is already playing for another team, Cricket (the second string goalie) stepped in to play for the rest of the game. They took John out and Mira Mar fell 3-1. Marco, and at least five other Mira Mar players were awarded yellow cards. One Aguia player got a yellow card. Marco got his for yelling at another teammate and then told the ref if he gave him one more yellow card, he was going to kill him.

I met John at Pic Nic where we ate Pic Nic burgers. We went home and watched Enough Said with Julia Louis-Dreyfus, James Gandolfini, and Toni Collette. It was James Gandolfini’s last movie before he croaked and P!nk tweeted that she loved it. It was definitely enjoyable.

But back to the 16 Beauty Resolutions [I’m not] Making Today, which I found on The Huffington Post. Seriously, Huffington? I thought you were progressive, but this just goes to show how archaic thoughts and ideologies surrounding women and appearance are still circulating. “You will never leave the house with chipped nail polish.” Really? Never? Well, Huffington Post. Maybe I will.

When I read the first one, which is technically part of the headline, I was intrigued; “You will never ever go to sleep with your makeup on. No matter how sleepy and/or drunk you are.” Now, I am basically guilty of this daily. It is a combination of being lazy and creative. I am too lazy to wash it off and deal with makeup remover, and I don’t want to waste my pricey Mary Kay eye makeup remover on bedtime. I am also now able to wear eyeliner and mascara to the gym without actually putting makeup on. See?? I clean up the raccoon eye, but leave the makeup on for that casual no-I-don’t-wear-makeup-to-workout!-look. Pshhhh.

Now I will continue to not wash my face out of pure defiance. “You will exfoliate your body once a week.” Like, who is this article actually written for? I don’t even have a job or children and this list sounds exhausting. “You will start exfoliating your lips before wearing bright lipstick.” I’m more of a chapstick kinda-gal anyway, so I won’t be partaking in that particular resolution either.

You won’t wait until your toenails are in the worst shape possible to get a pedicure.” Ok, Huff. Two things here: right now I am my own pedicurist and I happen to do them often. When I was gainfully employed and residing in the US I frequented nail salons twice a month. At least. And two, I am a runner, so my toenails (which sometimes only amount to 8 or 9.. or 6) are constantly in the “worst shape possible”. So again, eff off.

You will actually attempt adventurous eye makeup.” Followed by a GIF of a girl wearing bright pink Las Vegas stage makeup. Again I say No Thank You.


Lastly, I give you this: “It’s officially the new year, and you’ve no doubt made plenty of promises to yourself already about what 2014 will hold. But did you forget to amp up your beauty regimen?”

Apparently, being female I am obliged, along with my resolution to be more patient, to also be more beautiful. I’m sorry, Huffington, but I am losing my patience. Now you’ve gone and messed up my real resolution. Damnit.


Day Thirty Eight… Mira Mar vs. Aguia

Day Thirty Eight (trigesimo oitavo dia)

Seis semana

I slept well after the traumatic-run-injury and many copos de vinho tinto (glasses of red wine!). I peaked at my clock around 6:00am and the next thing I knew it was 11:30am! I guess the stress and wine took more out of me than I realized.

Unfortunately while very well-rested, I woke up to a sticky knee. I gimped into the bathroom and took the pre-wrap off my hands and then attempted to remove the gauze from my knee. The antibiotic cream had dried and the gauze was literally stuck inside my scraped-up knee. Awesome. I ran the tub faucet and stood beneath its stream in a meek effort to not make it worse. After about 10 minutes of gently rubbing and tugging the gauze came free and I sighed with relief. I decided to leave my cuts out in the open today (because I now feared gauze and the Target bandaids don’t stick anyway). I was not going running. John and I got ready and headed to Pic-Nic; he was getting picked up for his game at 1:00pm. After our galaos, I left him and Ken and went home to walk Romeo. It was a little chilly out, but I couldn’t bear the thought of putting pants on. I opted for shorts and didn’t regret it. Lina, Ernes, their son Kevin, and Xana picked me up just after 2:00pm.

Aguia’s home field is in Arrifes, (a-heef-sh) just north of Ponta Delgada. This field also happens to be where New England Rush practiced in June when they were here (the first time Ken, Bobby, John, Majid and the other 15 American players were here). Two other guys came and went again before I got here: JJ and Valerio. Adam is a random and I’m not sure how he fits in, except that I heard a rumor he is Betinho’s (president of Mira Mar) nephew. He has dual citizenship in Portugal and grew up in New Bedford. Majid is Somalian but mostly grew up in Yemen, and moved to the US in high school. Ken is Swiss, but was born in NYC and also holds Japanese citizenship. John and Bobby (as well as myself) were born and bread in the USA. I’m pretty sure Valerio is Brazilian. JJ might be part Portuguese and he’s now playing in El Salvador. This is what I was talking about in the beginning when I said the “Americans” I refer to are not all really “American”.

We had some trouble finding the field, but after asking several pedestrians and physically passing the field a few times, I spotted the stadium lights and we found the hidden driveway. We parked on the street and walked in about 20 minutes into the first half. It was just starting to mist and there was only one small spot of seating that was covered, and about 50 spectators were already smushed there. Lina, Ernes, Kevin, and Xana sat in the first row and I sat in the back next to Pedro. He told me there was no score. Mira Mar was playing alright and they had beaten this team before (and tied once) so I was fairly hopeful. Mira Mar played better toward the end of the half. I finally said to Pedro that I thought they would finish the half with no score and Mira Mar would talk it out and come back to dominate the second half. Not a minute later, Adam scored! Ken got hit in the face with an elbow and went down, hard (I can sympathize). He is morally opposed to diving, so when he didn’t spring back up I knew he was hurt. Henrique ran to his aide and Ken continued to play. A few minutes later, the ref made a terrible call against Ken and Aguia tied it up on a penalty kick. Half over.

IMG_0803Johhny B himself!! On the far side of the field is Adam

I don’t need to get into the specifics of the second half, only so far as to say that my prediction was wrong. Adam’s goal would stand to be the only one scored by Mira Mar. I missed the first few minutes of the second half because I was in the ladies’ room. When I got back, Xana and Lina told me that Ken was not playing—he was injured, sitting in the box, with ice on his neck. What I didn’t know then was that Ken started the second half, went up for a header, and decided he was not fit to play another 45. Sometime before I came back from the bathroom, Aguia scored again. Another Mira Mar player, Marquis, went down hard several times and finally exited the game with a fat lip and I’m sure a concussion. Felipe had also taken himself out, and Mira Mar played down a man. Aguia scored two more times to make the final score 4-1. Ouch. While they were many, many, reckless and somewhat endangering fouls made (quite a few against poor Marquis, who probably should see a doctor) the only card given was to Adam: an Aguia player was blatantly grabbing him where it hurts, Adam threw the guy off him, and was promptly given a yellow card. When Adam and John protested the call the ref told them in English to “shut up”. Really?


As some point during the game, I was exclaiming about the ref’s poor calls (basically all of them). I thought I was screaming an abbreviated form of “Ay Car-rumba!” but it turns out I yelled the slang-word for male genitalia. I got some laughs and some looks, and I immediately followed it up with “Is that bad?” to Pedro who was in stitches. Xana looked at me wide-eyed and told me later. Oops.

We went to drop Xana off at Lina and Ernes’ place in the city but then took her to the mall so she could get some food. She needed a calculator for university, too, and after those errands were done we dropped her off and headed home. We stopped in Furnas and got bolos levedos from the place made famous by my hot springs post. I took a bite from a piece Kevin offered me, but I had ground beef thawing at home—I was going to make sauce after the game. John had beaten me home, and Lina and Ernes felt badly that I was going to cook so late (remember when I said how thoughtful they are? I can’t say it enough). We stopped at Toronto Nights and they gave me a ridiculous amount of leftovers from the dinner they held the night before. And almost an entire pumpkin (squash) pie. Lina told me to make my sauce the next day. As soon as I got home I texted John, who was at Pic-Nic with Ken waiting for me, to haul-ass back to the food. I was starving! It was just as delicious as the night before. John and Ken watched the Arsenal vs. Manchester United game they had missed (Arsenal lost, too. Sorry, Ken). We Skyped with my parents. We commiserated on the state of Mira Mar (not good). This game was a deciding match in what is basically the “Loser’s Cup”, because they were defeated in the Honor Cup. Mira Mar lost a loser’s competition. Does it get any worse?