Monday, December 31, 2007

Happy New Year!

The sky is the limit next year friends!

Make it spectacular.
May you all be healthy and happy tonight and for the next 365 days.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007


A few years ago I decided to make a new Christmas tradition. My family had not had any big ones when i was growing up....other than having dinner together at some family members house....but that seems pretty normal to me.

Other families have train sets they set up every year around the tree.(My teammate Natalie Golda and her fiance Eric, liked this tradition. They bought a kick ass train that generates real steam this year.) Or some folks always go and cut down their own Christmas tree. (That would be real festive if you lived in a wintery, cold forest type land.....which Southern California is not....Target sold me a sweet tree. Who knew?)

But I was looking for something that my family and best friend's family could do together. Instead of sit at home and eat more and more and more.

So began our annual Christmas trip to the movies. In our pajamas. Yup....I said pj's. They are comfortable and cozy and great for watching movies in at home. Why not out in public? At first it was just me and my best friend Jamie braving the world in our sleepy time outfits. But then, I guess when we didn't get stoned to death or banned from public places for sporting fleece oversized pants striped like candy canes with white snowflakes, the trend caught on. My mom went out and bought special pajamas just to wear out last year. I am not going to lie....I am always on the look out for great festive pj's to wear, whenever I shop. Our first movie together was Harry Potter(the first one) and last year was DreamGirls. What about this year?

WE BROKE TRADITION!!!!! Sadly this year there was no movie. Logistically this year was a hard one. My mom had to work until 4pm. My best friend's sister had to catch a flight to San Diego at 5pm. People would be coming and going. Eating would end up being a little more potluck style and less formal sitdown style, leaving everyone on the move and unable to be in the same place at the same time.

But we had to do something together! So I got Cranium! The spectacular boardgame with a little of everything. Word puzzles, factual questions,acting, drawing, and sculpting with playdough(my favorite!). So all was not lost in terms of the real root of why I started this movie tradition in the first place....I just wanted everyone to do something together. We did and it was fun. :) Only we are really bad at spelling words backwards in groups. We will need to work on that if we play again next year. Brandon and Sus (and the growing niece/nephew) were missed as they stayed in Seattle this year. They would have been a great help on the Petri Cranium Team. :)

So next or Cranium????

Monday, December 24, 2007

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!

The holiday season has arrived. Just after Thanksgiving Mom, Dad, Betsey and I went to Target....yes, you read that right....Target to get a tree. They were the only folks selling trees the day after Turkey Day!!!

We picked out a 6 ft. beauty and took it home. Let the decorating begin!!! I went crazy and purchased a million things for our lil apartment to make the atmosphere nice and festive. I wanted to get it all done because we left for Canada two days we can come home to a cozy place. Lets just hope the tree doesn't die while we are gone. :)

We got to Montreal on Tuesday. Canada, Russia and Australia are the other teams here and we will play five games before heading back home for our own tournament, the Holiday Cup, next week. Brenda has been giving regular updates about the games on her blog if you want to check that out. She is far better at recapping the games than I am! :)

How is Canada you ask? COLD!!!! It is snowing up here! Today it was -20 degrees C. We take the metro to the pool complex and it requires a little walking outside. Which means I wear all of the clothes that I brought with me to and from the pool. But despite the way the frigid air numbs your face it is rather refreshing to be out in the fresh air when you spend the rest of your time inside an indoor pool complex or a hotel.

Speaking of hotel rooms...Betsey is my roommate on this trip and we have embraced this winter wonderland. No....we do not go out and have snowball fights or make snow angels. Instead, we keep the curtins in our room wide open so we can watch the snow flakes floating down to cover all the buildings outside. And have a constant flow of Christmas tunes emitting from one of our computers, while we play Text Twist on the internet. Much warmer than the alternative plus we should conserve energey for our games. :)

Oh the life of a water polo player! I love my job.

NOTE: If you don't know what Text Twist is.....well it is a great way to pass time, procrastinate, or learn to spell, in my case. It is addicting! TRY IT! Just google it. It is a Yahoo game.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Our pet.

Meet Bangkok. He is our beta. We acquired him after attending the wedding of our goalie Jamie. Her center pieces were beautiful glass vases with orchids and river rocks. And fish! Swimmin around while we ate and celebrated the night away. When we were leaving we were able to take the fish as little momentos. Brenda got Bangkok into a plastic bag, put the bag in the little bowl you see, and put him in my trunk. Then forgot to tell me! So the next morning when i was packing the trunk to go home I found him. He was alive and probably hungry and really wanted to be out of that bag. But we got him home and he has been quite happy on our book shelf.
Until recently. He has moved from his very tiny living space into a much bigger vase. Just like the one that we first met him in. Ever since we put him in this upgrade of a tank he has been quite agitated. Betas by nature are fighters. When they see other male Betas they puff out their gills and if they were in the same tanks they would fight till the death. Bangkok has never puffed up for us.....until today. We put him in his new home last night and when I came to feed him this morning he made a menacing shark-like swirl around the bowl and then faced me.....and PUFF. Out came his gills and he undulated backwards, in what I am sure he thought was a very intimadating fashion. When I fed him he snapped so fiercely at the food pellets it almost launched him out of the bowl. Dang....what aggression. Where the heck did it come from???

Do Betas hate space? Maybe he liked his teeny-tiny original bowl? This is a whole new persona our fish has adopted. I am thinking I liked the old one better. Geez.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Halloween lasts 24 whole hours.

Just needed a little strech after the Dodgeball, 3000m swim, and some 6x5.
Aids in digestion. We ate breakfast at our favorite place in Long Beach. The Potholder Cafe. The waitresses are just as crazy as we are. They were Thing 1 and Thing 2 from Dr. Seuss. Some people had never heard of them. Where did those people grow up???

Costumes in Action!!!!!

I LOVE Halloween. Spectacular holiday. You can be or wear anything you want. And you shouldn't feel stupid about it because it is a requirement of the day. I think that more places of business should look positively upon the wearing of promotes the act of smiling and that produces endorphins.....which make you feel good. So you would work better right?

Good thing I work where I do. :) We started our day off playing dodge ball. In costume. I was a ballerina. Was I ever one in real life? Maybe for a split second back in the eighties.... before i was seduced by the chlorine fumes, and my ballet teachers told me i was never going to be flexible if i kept up that swimming stuff. Well fine to the pool I went, and out the window went my opportunities to wear a tu-tu. Until Today. I made it out of an abundance of pink tulle, elastic sequins, and a lil ribbon. Thanks to Ali G's sweet old school sewing machine, my adult tu-tu is spectacular and will be around for years to come. Nat got her fantastic costume right off the back of the guy working at the Halloween store for only $10.

I got pegged in the tu-tu during the game....the dirt adds a little character to my costume. :) It was a sight to behold. All of us running around in costume. Bets demonstrated excelent technigue when battling for the ball. Squishing it away from the opponent works perfectly!

100% participation!!!

I am very proud of our team and coaching staff!!! EVERYONE dressed up today for practice.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

You be the judge.

Does this look more like a skeletal vertebrae and ribs or a spider web?


Bought the pumpkins.
Carved em.

Ready for "Trick or Treat"er's!!!

Friday, October 19, 2007

Citius. Altius. Fortius.

The team spent the past week at the Colorado Olympic Training Center. A week of training, fitness tests, team building, and a few efforts to improve our program in the future by making teaching tools for younger athletes. Very productive!

Friday, October 12, 2007


My roommate Brenda just texted me this saying....she saw it somewhere and thought I would like it.

And I do! It is very true.

"Life isn't about how to survive the storm, but how to dance in the rain."

Get out there and DANCE!

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Working Hard

It is back to the grind. Weights. Run. Core Work. Agility Exercises. Swimming. Drills. More Drills. More Swimming.

Week three and we are starting to become brain dead, sore in places we never knew had muscles, and plagued by extreme muscle fatigue.

We still have over 300 days till the Olympics.....that equals many, many more hours of practice. What gets you through this???

Here is an example for ya......

Thursday, September 13, 2007

The End.

A few reasons I know that my vacation is definitely over:

1. I had forgotten in my post major tournament haze what it felt like to be sore/out of shape. My leg muscles are now reminding me every time I try to walk up stairs, get out of the car, sit down on the couch, go to the bathroom.....that they do not like what I am doing to them. This is only day three! More advil please.

2. The clean clothes I made sure to have ready for the beginning of training are still sitting in piles on my floor. It will take way to much energy to put them in the closet.

3. The last time I bought milk was almost 2 months ago. I need to go to the store now that I will be staying in my apartment for longer than 36 hours at a time. Which was about the maximum time I spent in Long Beach between all my crazy adventures.

4. It is back to acting like the rest of the world that wakes up around the same time every morning to go to work. Alarm at 6:30? No likey.

Back to work for now....but I'm already dreaming up the next vacation spot to hit. :)

Monday, August 20, 2007


We have won the Pan American Gold Medal!

Which means we have qualified for a spot in the 2008 Bejing Olympics! China here we come!!!

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Our Venue.

Our venue here in Brazil is in the Maracana Sports Complex. Which has the large soccer stadium (from opening ceremonies), an arena (for volleyball) and our outdoor pool.

This was a picture of it the first day we got here. They had not finished decorating the pool deck and you can not see the huge stadium of seats that is behind me.

It seats about 2,700 people. In our game against Brazil last night 2000 people came to cheer on the home team.
They did not exactly look like this.....

(That was the opening ceremonies crowd)

But they were loud non the less......until we started beating the Brazilians. Then is was the quietest I have ever heard it at the pool. I love Brazilian sports fans. They are passionate and boisterous, waving flags and dancing around. Whether they are cheering or jeering. It doesn't matter. They make a super crowd. !!!!

Fun in the pool.

I was trying to recall the last time I got in the pool to just fool around. Like.... no zipper suit. No whistles. No drills. No polo balls or goals.

Yesterday morning, instead of taking the hour long drive to the venue for practice, we made up our own circuit of dry-land exercises and then got in the pool to stretch out our legs and get the feel for the water since we had a game later in the day. This pool is right out in front of our apartment building.

Here is us having fun.

This is why we win.

You want to mess with us?

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Opening Ceremonies: Pan Am 2007

Opening Ceremonies was held in the Maracana soccer stadium. It is the famed stadium that Brazilian soccer star Pele scored his 1000 goal. It holds more that 100,000 people and there was not an empty seat in the house. Holding true to the theme of the whole ceremony, "Viva essa Energia!" or "Share the Energy!", the brazilian people did not disappoint!

We got all did up in our USA delegation attire. (Remember that sweet outfit from a few posts back?) I have to admit once we were all wearing them in one huge pack. We didn't look so special. Golf shorts on. Brand new white shoes beaming. We were ready to march.

Our Team dominated the US procession line. Being the first athletes behind the flag bearer. First to bust out of the tunnel into the stadium and shake it with the thousands of people playing drums and dancing along the path to our seats in the stadium. We tried to focus on the crazy positive energy that surrounded down amongst the other athletes and volunteers. Yet a lot of what we heard was "Boo!". We all pretended that they were cheering like crazy for us. Smile and wave. Smile and wave. Dance a little somewhere in there too.

Unlike other Opening Ceremonies I have been to, the athletes were allowed to sit in the stands and watch the rest of the show instead of being corralled together in the middle of the field while the festivities go on around you. As our team did in the athlete procession, we dominated the seating too and sat in the front row! Go polo girls!

To conclude the ceremony they had some very important Brazilian sports teams and athletes carry the Pan American torch around the stadium. Then they lit a huge metal orb on fire which happened to be sitting just to the left of us. It was an amazing thing to see. Olympic caliber.


We have been in Brazil for almost a week. It feels like I have not stopped moving since we got here. So many things to take in. The village, other athletes, the venue. Bus rides to and from places have given us a glimpse of what life is like outside our Pan American bubble. We have yet to see the beach or the famous Redeemer statue, cuz right now all the focus is on the games at hand. Maybe there will be time for that later.

We are 3 for 3. Beating Venezuela, Cuba, and Canada so far.

Here is a look at our village. It is set up as a series of high rise buildings. Situated in a cirle around a man made lagoon. There is grass and lots of tropical plants and flowers. There are even infinity pools placed between every other building. The organizing committee did a great job constructing this village and everything runs quite smoothly.

We have not had any major problems either. Four years ago 1 of 2 toilets broken in an apartment with 13 girls, the ceiling caved in and there was NO way to cool off. Here we have wireless internet in the lobby, 3 AC units and 3 bathrooms per apartment. (There are 6/7 girls per apartment) I think the biggest issue right now is avoiding the dreaded mosquitos! Ali G seems to have the sweetest blood. Right now you could either diagnose her with chicken pox OR a zillion bites on her face.

Right now we are just......

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Escape to the district.

We had a day off before we left for Brazil. So we all escaped the dorms we were staying in and found our way into the heart of DC. It was Giggles first metro ride.

We popped out of the metro right behind the White House. It was rapidly approaching 100 degrees so on the walk around the gated Nation's capitol I decided to run through the sprinklers....I dried completely before we took this picture....and it had only been 4 min.

As we were talking this glorious picture thunder and lightning crashed above us. Yet looking up at the freak clouds above there seemed to be no impending rain ahead.....I mean it was hotter than blazes, it was just an electrical storm right? WRONG!!!!

We began to wonder through "The Mall" of monuments laid out in front of the capitol when we realized a torrential downpour was chasing us. We thought we could outrun it and stay just ahead of the water. We were too slow. Just at the beginning of The Reflecting Pool, the storm caught us and had its way with us. There was no shelter to be found from there to the Lincoln Memorial so all just looked at each other, laughed and began a very wet trek to see Lincoln.

One of the things I wanted to do one day in my life was to sit next to Lincoln way up there on that huge throne of his and take a picture. I mean....I would probably get arrested but good ol Mr. Bush would let a nice patriotic Olympic Athlete out of the slammer. Don't you think???

My plans were foiled. :(
I settled for this nice and legal pose.

While we were inside hanging out with Lincoln the sun came out right above us. The clouds parted and tried to help dry us off. But out in the distance another crazy storm was charging up the reflection pool towards us. (You can see the disturbance in the water of the pool) Luckily those clouds unleashed all the water they could hold before they reached us and we stayed damp instead of getting drenched all over again. :) Great day in DC!!!!

Saturday, July 14, 2007

For More Information....

Hey all you polo fans! And or friends and family. The USA Water Polo website is kind of struggling so in an effort to get more information about our women's team we have started an official team blog. If you want to check it out go to:

Someone will try and update it regularly with the details of our games.

Otherwise I will try to get more personal style happenings up as soon as I can....and if you want a different flavor of my random adventures....go to the box at the right, under "People you want to know" and look at #1(Betsey-our goalie:she is quite insightful) and Stars and Stripes Polo (Brenda- Ol Capitan: with the play by play).

Happy reading!!!!

ready, set, go

Before going to Pan American Games we stopped in Virginia for processing. This is where the entire American Delegation of athletes meets up and goes through a series of informational sessions to prepare for the Games. We got the overview on the Brazilian culture, the village (where we all stay), security, and maybe the best part....outfitting!

I think I have told some people about this before but if not it goes like walk into a large room where they hand you a laundry basket and a clipboard with a list of things on it. Then you go around to the stations and they hand you all the gear. Shirts, hats, shoes....basically it is kinda like Christmas! Having done something like this once or twice before, while the experience is really cool the key is to try things on and make sure they fit.....instead of just standing there eyes big as saucers holding your basket out waiting for more. Cuz if you don't most likely you are going to get things home and something will definitely NOT fit. Plus for some unknown reason.....with all the thousands of designers in our country the organizing committee ALWAYS manages to put us in the most unflattering of outfits. Here are some previews of our sweet clothes.

Wangs is sporting the Opening Ceremonies Outfit. Its "golf" meets "I borrowed my little sister's t-shirt" sheik.
Jess is rocking the shorts with built in chones. Why we got those lovely built in do-hickeys i have no idea. But the men's version that our coaches got did not have them.....and they are the ones that need a little support. Go figure.

So we are lookin hot and ready to go kick some ass in Brazil. :)

Sunday, July 8, 2007

Giggles last day in Montreal

Our goal in coming to the Super Final here in Montreal was to prepare for Pan American Games in Brazil next week. But also to improve as a team, play some good games.....and kick some butt. Which we accomplished!!! :)
We beat Australia today in the final 8-4.

The venue in Montreal is on an island. It is where they held the World Championships in 2005, only we got to use the permanent pool that was used for the swimming events two years ago. Our pool for that event was temporary and was built behind this pool in a field. Giggles watched us do a few swim sets while we were here. She made sure we kept to our ultimate goal of qualifying for the Olympics and so we continued working on our conditioning throughout the tournament.

What else have we been doing here in Montreal besides eating, sleeping, practicing and playing games????

Walked by the Notre Dame Cathedral of Montreal, rode the metro a few times, and ate sushi. (Which may have made Moriah sick....but there is a bug going around and I prefer to think the sushi wasn't tainted!!!)

Saturday, July 7, 2007


If you are not watching the Live Earth Concerts: SOS - A Climate In Crisis , YOU SHOULD BE!!!! It is an incredible thing to see so many people come together for a cause live this. Do your part to be good to our planet!!!

If you want to learn more go to:

The theme for Live Earth was done by Madonna. The video is powerful. Check it out.