the olympic games are over. in my household, where between 2 of us, we have 3 nationalities (american, which we share, and then respectively, hungarian and south african), watching the games and deciding who to root for has been a schizophrenic experience. the latter 2, though,  featured so little, that i suppose we had to root for them by default! though we will not discuss south africa’s medal count! uh-uh! not going there!

though, I definitely have a gold medal in olympic watching. or maybe i take silver seeing that gold goes to  lasz who surpassed even me. admittedly, he did warn me before the games that he’s an olympics junkie – and he wasn’t kidding! at least i have an excuse for being a sofa spud the last 2 weeks. seeing that i’ve been under par for the what feels like forever, i’ve spent days on the couch watching other people at the pinnacle of the various extremes to which the human body can push itself. i think i could feel my ass spreading, fusing with the couch as i watched  people with lithe, ripped bodies exceed and succeed. talking about lithe, ripped bodies and exceeding – need i mention usain bolt? yelena isinbayeva? pamela jelimo? and uhm, some geeky guy called michael phelps? and special mention to maria mutola who at 35 was running in her 5th olympic 800m final. at these games, world records were dominoes just waiting to be toppled.

my living room has been transformed into a screening room for the past few weeks, with a projector set-up which has been the envy of most of my friends. we’ve been able to watch the olympics almost life-size, which i have to admit, is THE way to do it. 

needless to say, i feel like the original sloth. i’ve just taken the dogs for a walk in the park and i need to go and take a nap (this from someone who 3 weeks ago was running 10k’s! – illness can be so debilitating!)  maybe now that i can no longer watch other people exert themselves 18 hours out of every day, i’ll get back to some exercise myself. that is, if my lungs will ever recover from this pharyngitis and upper respiratory infection which, 2 courses of antibiotics later, will not quit! maybe i’ll step out of the olympic rings and into a few of my own! 🙂

Hula Olympics pictures

image found here

ascending from hell

so after a week trapped in various permutations of hell, the weekend actually turned out to be pretty awesome. 

i went to a friend, deon maas‘s surprise birthday party.

deon needed a pic for some article, so i grabbed the camera and took this.

here in south africa he is as reviled as american idols’ simon cowell, but i’ve known him as a loyal friend for about 20 years since yeoville in the 80’s. (let me digress for a moment to say that that is still one of the happiest times of my life. living round the corner from rockey street, walking down the block to the deli, fruits and roots, scandalo’s mama’s pizza, elaine’s, popping into various friends’ houses and hanging out for hours. finally buying my own house in the early 90’s – turned out be a disaster, but that’s a story for another time).

partying with the gorgeous lara and amalanka

anyway, pauli, deon’s wife invited a lot of deon’s friends (mostly musicians, writers, actors, media folk) and we all show up early friday night to deon’s great surprise when he arrives. i have the best time i’ve had in way too long (but then the best parties always happen at deon’s house!). i eat spicy oyster shooters, drink WAY too much jaegermeister and have awesome conversations with some people i’ve met before, but really connect with for the first time. there’s live music from a few of the musicians and an awesome time is had by all. i hear afterwards that the last people left at 9a.m.

saturday we go to paputsi’s for breakfast, in the afternoon we watch the disastrous match between south africa and new zealand and in the evening we head over to montecasino for the madame zingara aphrodisia media night.

unfortunately i wake up sunday not feeling much better. we take the dogs to the park for an hour and a half and muzzling chai makes a huge difference. no more dog fights and we get to let him and zee run around and swim in the dam. it’s a real dog morning. when we get home we give them a much needed bath and i end up smelling like wet bitch! later i give my neglected garden some attention and then it’s back to the couch and the olympics. (though every time i watch athletics, it surprises me that sprinters seem to slow down BEFORE they cross the finish line, rather than maintain their speed all the way. i wonder why. and i’m bummed that my running icon from the local track, maria mutola, didn’t medal. she’s still awesome though, her 5th olympics at the age of 35. go maria!) 

anyway, all in all, my butt is still feeling some heat as the flames lick up from hades, but i think i’m going to be ok. it feels like i’m on the way up.

back on track….


literally. sort of. today, a post about running, the original catalyst for this blog, though one long superceded by other minutiae. or lately, some rather momentous events here on the southern-most  tip of africa.

went back to the track today after 2 weeks off. have really been taking people’s advice to heart (my heart!) about not exercising when suffering from respiratory illness, so i’ve avoided damage to my heart muscle.  my scale, on the other hand, might just have sustained some damage in the last 14 days!

anyway, i ran 10 laps, 4kms. could’ve gone for 5k’s, but i thought it would be better to start off easy. i can’t believe i’m saying this, but i actually enjoyed it, even though i must admit to procrastinating before-hand. i think i actually missed it! chatted to maria mutola who was also training on the wet track. she leaves for oregon tomorrow and soon for europe to prepare for the olympics.
new discovery; mesh top shoes make for wet feet when it’s been raining. not pleasant. and yes, it’s raining in johannesburg, way beyond the rainy season! climate change, anyone?



Mercury, Divine Messengerand for those of you who believe in it, as well as for those who don’t, be warned, mercury’s gone retrograde and will only return on july 4th. independence day! i’ve had people pshaw me when i’ve told them about mercury retrograde and how it can affect one. they soon changed their tune after some personal experience, though!

watch what you say and how you say it. expect travel delays, communication mishaps, electronic glitches, etc.

more info here.

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when i got my first email account in 1996 it was at aol and based on the first few letters of my name and last name plus the final letter combined. so i was sandschuz@aol.com

that lasted about a month before i moved over to earthlink and set up an account which i still have to this day, with a similar, but slightly modified spelling. 

now, on the other side of the world, i am having to set up a new account (not that i’m sure i’ll use it). i decided to stop being obscure and call a spade, well, a shoe… so, sandshoes@…..co.za, it is.

which brings me to my point. yes, yes, there is one, i promise.

sandshoes, when i was growing up, meant trainers. sneakers. plimsolls. according to the encarta dictionary: U.K. light canvas shoe: a light low-cut canvas shoe with a rubber sole

there were no nikes, reeboks, etc. you wore your sandshoes in order to run or exercise or if you were like me, you combined them with some slouchy socks and some or other funky outfit and you made a fashion statement a la cindy lauper or madonna. (god, am i aging myself here!)

then came the sneaker revolution – and countless ways to empty one’s bank account. decent running shoes, which are a necessity when you’re not just walking the treadmill once a week, cost a fortune, i’ve discovered. 

when i got to the track yesterday, 3 mozambican women i’ve seen working out at the track before, were warming up. i think i overheard one of them, who said her name is maria, mention to someone that she was training for the olympics. i stopped to talk to them about yes, you guessed it – sandshoes…

O.M.G.! i just, on a whim, googled MARIA RUNNER OLYMPICS – and discovered the following:  her name is MARIA de LURDES MUTOLA  and she is an OLYMPICS GOLD MEDAL WINNER! i am training on the same track as an olympic athlete! 

i’m not worthy! i’m not worthy!

anyway, to get back to my original point – like i said, yes, there is one! not having any idea who she was, i stopped and spoke to her and another runner about the fact that my feet and my lower legs have been hurting. they immediately pointed to my shoes. i’ve been running in nike shox’s and (i should have guessed she was someone of note when she said she was sponsored by nike!) she said that it was the shoes which were causing the pain. they suggested that i get nike pegasus running shoes, but when i went and tried them on at the store  that afternoon, they didn’t seem to be the shoe for me. the guy helping me eventually realized that he probably was not going to get a sale out of me and suggested that i go to a specialist running shop in randburg to get professionally fitted. so, i suppose a field trip is in order!

the run, b.t.w. sucked! i started out too fast i think and right from lap 1, all i could think about, was giving up. i could barely believe it when i made it to the end of lap 10, especially when i tried to speed up on that last lap, nearly ran out of steam about 1/3 into it and had to slog my way to the end. i managed to shave almost a minute off my last time, but it did not feel good. 

mind over matter. i mind. it matters. though hey, i’m JUST DOing IT anyway!