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Monday, October 26, 2009

If you're a Crier,

Like me, don't watch this.

On second thought, watch it but maybe in the privacy of your own home and not at work. The tears make things a little messy.

Then, if you haven't had enough, this will really cap things off.


Sunday, October 18, 2009

Size Matters

I bought this dress in a size 8 dress for a wedding I’m in on March 27th, 2010:

Here’s how the conversation in my head went:
Slamming dress if I don’t get fat.
The holidays are here.
I’m gonna get fat.


Wednesday, October 14, 2009

A Saturday for the History Books:

The starting line was a balmy 35 degrees and when you’re dressed head to toe in spandex it might as well be standing in the artic circle. Now hop in the saddle going 17-22 mph and you might as well go for a swim in Siberia in the dead of winter. That might be slightly dramatic but one thing for sure was that it was really effing cold to be dressed in very little and going very fast. Thus began the Harvest Century ride just outside Portland, Oregon last Saturday.

The ride coursed through the country of the most breath-taking farmlands and snapshot moments of fall. Recently plowed fields, pumpkins patches, smooth roads with minimal rolling hills and the bluest sky painted the landscape. Pastures, tattered and weather-warn barns, sweeping turns and hillsides were simply awe-inspiring. The first 40 miles were probably the best 40 miles I’ve ever ridden. Fast, flat and gorgeous. At the first rest stop my couldn’t feel my toes but by the time we pulled into the lunch rest stop I had warmed up but my hip flexors were screaming at me thanks to my clips in use for the second time.

Little did I know that the next 15 miles were going to be the closest thing to an excruciating painful death I could imagine (mild exaggeration). Brook and Jen had taken off at the first climb which I was glad to hang back. The first climb was pretty killer, and by that I mean I granny geared the whole thing up and thought I was going to puke. After cresting at the top I look about 100 yards and there is another hill that I only assumed had an end but you can’t tell because it kind of turns and you can’t really see the top. For the first time in my riding “career” I dismounted and just stared. It was serious pep talk time. The pep talk went something like this: “You’re still 35 miles from the finish. How much longer you going to stand here?” Lots of cussing and swearing ensued and then I realized I was standing in the middle of Oregon, by myself and no way out except that hill. So I went for it. Painfully and slowly.

After reaching the top I thought for sure it would have to even out. For sure this is the countryside where cattle graze, crops grow and children run through fields of wheat. I was wrong. The course then turned to a seemingly endless climb of switchbacks only to culminate with an epic hill that rivals the STP Puyallup hill. I dismounted my bike about ½ up with no more gusto in me. A man rides by and says, “When the going gets tough, the tough gear down.” As if that thought hadn’t crossed my mind. Oh, these fancy little buttons here, that's what they do? Gear down? Thank you kind sir for totally rubbing it in my face that I was a complete and total althetic failure.

I walked the bike to the top and thought sure, this had to be it of the hills. I crested over the top of the hill, clipped back in and took off. I’d never been so happy to ride a down hill than at that moment. It was long, smooth and gradual. A good 2 miles of speed, worth every moment of the uphill to feel like you’re flying (while also being clipped into a frame with 2 wheels, but whatevs). But such as in real life, whenever there are awesome downhills, often times the up hills aren’t too far behind.

More rolling hills continued but I also received great encouragement from complete strangers. At one point a man caught up to me and told me the only reason why he could keep pedaling was because he saw me doing it. He said, “You are my inspiration.” I wanted to cry because I felt so alone out there but to know that someone else was inspired really warmed my heart. Just proves that others are watching and your actions really do matter.

The end of the ride was glorious. After the 15 miles of rolling hills I really just wanted to be done but there was another 20 to go. But much like the first half, the last quarter miles were simply beautiful. I was in my own mind, seeing the autumnal beauty of the country side, trying to capture mental snapshots of my surrounding because I knew no picture could do it justice. I crossed the finish line so grateful to be done. I rode straight to the car to pack up and headed back to the staging area to hunt down Brook and Jen. I feasted on pumpkin pie, worth every tasty calorie. I felt a slightly validated when I told them that at any given point I wanted to cry, puke or die. To which they responded, “Oh, we passed a girl puking on the side of the road.” Thank heavens it wasn’t only me, I was just able to keep it down.

It is now just past 4:00 pm. I have ridden the most challenging 75 miles I’ve ever ridden and I’m in pretty heaping amounts of pain. My hip flexors are just screaming at me. My rear hurts, my hamstrings hurt and I’ve teaked my right shoulder just enough to not be able to lift it even 45 degrees from my side. More or less: I’ve felt better.

Here’s the kicker: I have tickets to the UW vs. Arizona game on the 40 yard line about 50 rows up and kick off is at 7:00 pm. Now I have to shower, get cleaned up, fill the tank and get from Portland to Husky Stadium in less than 3 hours. So I head back to the hotel, shower, and get on the road, clocking a good 85 mph a good percentage of the way. Seat warmers at full blast and catching up on phone calls to pass the time thinking that this is going to be a very expensive trip if I get pulled over going 85 mps WHILE talking on the cell phone. But, so be it, I’m a Husky and I’ve got to get to that game.

Make it to the stadium just before half time and take my seat next to my boss between him and one of his clients. Husky are ahead but after half time, Arizona comes back with a vengeance running the same outside passing plays and just clobbering the Dawgs.

Until, a miracle happened. The Huskies scored a touchdown but were still down by a touchdown. Time was running out and we still need to come up with 5 points to tie and 8 to point them in field goal tying (not victory) rage. After the first touch down I turned to my boss and whispered, “I have a really good feeling about this.” I really did and I’m generally not a very superstitious person but I just had a feeling.

Then this happened:

The Huskies intercepted the ball of the Arizona player’s foot to return it for a TOUCHDOWN. The stadium goes apeshit, erupting in cheers of excitement and disbelief. Adrenaline was the only thing keeping me on my feet cheering in disbelief. The Huskies now needed the 2 point conversion. Equally miraculous, they nailed the 2 point conversion! In 5 minutes, the Huskies had scored 13 points to beat Arizona. ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!?! Locker downed the ball with 28 seconds to go sealing their victory. We exited the stadium amoug swarms of elated fans and I hobbled back to my car quite certain my hip flexor muscle was detached from where it is suppose to be attached to but so elated that I didn’t care.

In the past 24 hours I had driven to Portland, rode 75 of the toughest most beautiful miles, drove back home just in time to witness one of the most amazing football comebacks in Husky history. I was exhausted, I was spent, I was so so lucky.

And it wasn’t even Sunday yet. It only got better. Stay tuned.

Friday, October 9, 2009

A Case Study

The other night a man showed up on my door step with an bouquet of irises, an excessive amount of enormous apple turnovers and Tofutti Marry Me Ice Cream bars. Unfortunately, it was not my future husband, but rather an old friend who I have the pleasure of seeing approximately once a year.

I had made dinner which we ate on the living room floor like old times. Back in the day it was white rice and canned chili at 10:00 at night but tonight is was sweet potato fries and roasted chicken sandwiches with melted mozzarella, avocado and balsamic vinegar at the reasonable dinner hour of 7:30.

Our friendship could be a case study of something, I don’t know what, but something. But after 7 years we have remained in touch chatting weekly and often on a daily basis. Despite 3000 miles for the last 5 years, lots of name calling, jabs, mocking, periods of silence and bitter arguments that could destroy marriages I think we would call each other friends.

I had three deductions from the night:

1.) I realized I might actually be ready for my next relationship. It was nice to have a guy around to change the light bulb that had been burned out for far too long, help decide how to hang pictures and to share dessert with (and by share, he had 2 bites…perfect partner in dessert). It was nice to have someone there wanting to be helpful, calling my bullshit and listening to what I had to say (I only presume he was doing the latter).
2.) Our friendship is truly rare for better and for worse and I place value in that. As we were chatting about the higher things in life, what does it mean to live, work, relationships, family, etc. it dawned on me that this person knew me back in the day, understands all the men in my life and crumbled relationships that fell from them. I have never called anyone an a-hole to their face so many times and meant it. It was nice to just be myself and have no airs because not only does nothing get by him, he calls me out on my shit. He knows more about me than I probably care to admit.
3.) We are so categorically different. He has romanticized notions of work/career and practical approaches to relationship. I have practical approaches to work/career and romanticized notions of relationships. He’s a big picture scientist, I am a methodically planning idealist. He’s a workaholic with a future is discovering something really big for the good of mankind. I’m a playaholic with a future in really great times and discovering how to live life to the fullest every day. These difference are awesome and I wouldn’t want it any other way.

I’m holding back a little bit and choosing my words carefully, because I know he reads this eagerly awaiting for my next post, but I guess what I really want to say is that it’s been an interesting 7 years of forced growth and I’m curious to see what our friendship holds in the future. No doubt it will change, but if the past has been any indication of where we are going, it will certainly be interesting.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Polaroid Picture

I feel like my generation misses out on the Polaroid’s ability to instantly capture people in the most candid states. How many times have you wished you could bust out your conveniently sized Polaroid camera and capture your family and friends with the retro nostalgia of a time gone by? Countless. These photos are of my parents 5 years exactly before the day I was born. They had been married just shy of 5 years.

Things to note:
1.) My parents have matching haircuts…but it was 1977 so I guess anything goes then.
2.) My dad’s stash is ridiculous. At least now he knows how to keep it trimmed up so as to not mortify his children.
3.) They are the age I am now. Bright eyed, wrinkle free, and smiling. I hope I am those things for quite some time.

Five Reasons

Top 5 Reasons I love this Photo (click on it to see larger):

5. Check out the baby blue Mary Janes. You can see my taste for adorable shoes started young. Put that on the list of things to blame my parents for.

4. My dad’s cowboy boots you can’t really see. But, I have vivid memories of sitting on his feet with these boots stomping down the hall. Or hearing them in the around the house, or running my finger along the stitching. I love those boots.

3. Notice the bird...and I don't mean the one that flies.

2. Hello fat cheeks. Cute when you're a kid, not when you're 27.

1. The band aids on BOTH my knees. I was a chronic klutz and always landed on my knees, so much so my knees were smooth from scaring. But as in life, whenever you fall down, you got to get back up and go after the other kid’s toy. Or so I'm told.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Pitter-Patter went Her Heart

We all have a laminated List. If you don’t you should make one. He’s #1 on my list. I stopped dead in my tracks and fell over as my heart came to a screeching halt when I saw this.

Yes, Clive Owen, I will marry you.

Small Favors

1. Yesterday I did a little autumnal shopping to prepare for the upcoming season. I broke out of my black/white/red color palette and sprung for an argyle stitching mustard colored cardigan and a navy blue thigh-length cardigan. I haven’t quite decided if the mustard cardigan is ugly so I’m going to give it a couple tries. Fingers crossed I can pull it off.

2. If one could have a favorite adjective, mine would be “autumnal”. In every sense of the word.

3. The past couple days I’ve have some serious bouts with anxiety. So much so that I've been struggling to eat and keep food in. That or I am on verge of the flu. Not sure. Had the shakes and hot flashes this morning and nothing is settling in my stomach. The kicker is that I have no idea what I am anxious about. If I knew what it was I probably wouldn't be anxious.

4. After 2.5 years in my apartment I’m getting internet. Watch out world.

5. My monthly facial is tonight. Thank the good Lord for small favors.