Friday, Aug. 11, 2006
Dear Diary:

Richard Gere was hanging out on my road for a few days this week. Yep, the star of "Pretty Woman", "An Officer and a Gentleman" not to mention "American Gigolo" was here.

On my tiny little isolated dirt road many miles from anywhere.

Richard Gere.

Many of my friends actually got to see him. They mentioned that he's very tall, fit and even more handsome in person than on the screen. Several of them got to talk to him and found him friendly, down to earth and very self-deprecating.

One of them had her picture taken with him and he actually SMOOCHED her.

Did I get a genuine Richard Gere smooch?

No, no, I did not.

How about a picture?

No, no, I did not.

Did I get to talk to him?

No, no, I did not.

How about an actual glimpse of Richard Gere on the times I had to cross the railroad tracks on which they were shooting the movie?

No, not even a glimpse.

It is so very hard not to be bitter.

So when the movie about Bob Dylan starring Richard Gere comes out next year and there's a scene where he jumps into a box car with two young black kids? That's the scene I didn't see him shoot.

Unlike some folks.

Me, I don't get to have brushes with fame. No, the universe being what it is, I get to hear about every one else's brushes with fame.

Oh, wait. That's not exactly true. I do have a semi-brush with fame to report. Miss Vermont has joined my gym as part of her training for the Miss America Pageant. She is so ridiculously cute and perky that every time I see her I want to hug her until her eyes pop out and squishy stuff gushes out of her ears.

However, such behaviour is frowned upon, so I refrain. See? When you attain my august years you do learn a certain amount of self-control.

My favourite moments in the gym come when I see her on a treadmill running beside B-Ball Girl. B-Ball Girl is a running machine and has muscles in her calves which are bigger than Miss Vermont's thighs. They are an interesting contrast.

If you had asked me five years ago who was the most beautiful woman, I would have picked Miss Vermont without a second's hesitation. Ask me that today, and my vote would go to B-Ball Girl. I look at her powerful shoulders, her sculpted back, her rippling arms, her powerhouse legs and I think to myself, "Who do I have to kill to look like that?"

And the answer is, of course, myself. Those muscles aren't a gift. They're the result of unbelievable discipline leavened with great genes.

When B-Ball girl first joined the gym I alarmed her somewhat with my persistent questioning about her diet, her routine, her workout form. Gradually she came to realize that although I'm extremely weird, I'm a harmless sort of weird and now she allows me to be her fangirl. My heart will be broken when she returns to university the end of the month and I don't have her for inspiration.

Because of her, I've gone on a muscle building regime for the next two months in the hopes that I can pack on more pretty little gym muscles. She has profoundly altered my notions of what a woman can do. Plus, by half killing myself in the free weights section I get to burn off whatever stress accumulates through the week. Win win.

Things are in flux at my gym. My trainer, who lost a baby this spring, is pregnant again and due in February. I know this is a wonderful and joyous thing. Here's the fly in the ointment from my perspective: she's decided to take at least the first year of her child's life off from work, to be a full time mom.

This means that I will lose a person who's profoundly changed my life over the last three years. I'm trying not to be selfish about this, to bask in her happiness, but I can't help but feel a little sad. I adore her and I will miss her terribly. I can get other trainers to set up programs for me, of course, but the other trainers at my gym are all guys. There won't be the same element of friendship there. Plus, I'm not confident that they understand the different limits that women face, our physical vulnerabilities�especially in the shoulder area�as well as other women do.

Oh, and let's not forget that I am older than dirt. I know that at least one of the trainers has no empathy with older women, so I can see challenges ahead.


Oh well. Change is good. Right? RIGHT?

Things are still crazy here time-wise because of my mom-in-law's continuing health problems. She's been making slow but sure progress from her bowel cancer surgery but this week was hit with the whammy that one of her 14 lymph nodes in the region came up positive for cancer.

She's decided to take chemo, much to the amazement of the doctors at the hospital. Apparently most folks her age opt to just let nature take its course, but my mom-in-law is a fighter. Because she's in her early 80's, and the cancer hasn't progressed much, they've opted for low dose once a week chemo that will last six to eight months.

So now on top of organizing meals, getting her grocery shopping done, bills paid and keeping the house and grounds up, the family has to organize chemo transportation. It's quite a lot of work, even split between three households.

What do seriously ill people do who don't have families help them through this? Man, I don't want to think about that.

I do have garden pictures. And I sweartogawd that one day I will absolutely positively post them, once I have time to pull them out of my camera and resize them for the web.

I will get better organized. Really. I mean it.


Mileage on the Marnometer: 500.93 miles. 10 per cent rubber duck10 per cent rubber duck10 per cent rubber duck10 per cent rubber duck
Oh, man, but I am having a hard time building back stamina. Ouch.

Goal for 2006: 1,250 miles - 2000 kilometers

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