Saturday, August 23, 2008

Look what's happening at my house...

Doesn't look like much from the inside.

But kind of cool from the outside.

So the porch/french door project is finally underway after years and years of my talking about it. Hopefully it will be done while there is still a day or two of warm weather. James is doing a great job. Check out my new doors.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

The Seattle Tehran Poster Show

A year ago, my friend Dan Smith put on a show at Bumbershoot called the Seattle Havana poster show as a way to explore the artistic similarities between the two cities (countries) whose governments have been at odds for decades. This year, he upped the ante and is putting on The Seattle Tehran Poster Show. To do so, he traveled to Iran last December at a time and in an age when just about everyone (including himself) thought maybe he should have his head examined.

Our government has created an 'axis of evil' to keep us a little off balance and in support of a war that most of us no longer (if ever) supported. For many Americans, Iran, Iraq, North Korean are no longer countries with people trying to get by day to day, but entities actively trying to destroy democracy and our way of life. Not to speak for Dan, but I think one of the reasons he is putting on this show is to remind us that Iranians are just people. Perhaps they have a different religion than many of us. Perhaps they deal with different day to day challenges than we do. Perhaps they don't even believe in 'democracy' (do we really have one?) I will not speak to the government of Iran, but it's people are no part of the 'axis of evil', they are as interested and excited to learn about us and explore our country, as hopefully, most of us are to learn about them.

I know when Dan was in Iran there were some challenges with getting out and meeting everyday people. But in the end he went to 'swap meets', met with designers, and made some new friends, just as he would traveling to any country. I applaud his willingness to take the challenge of both going to Iran and the huge effort it has taken him to create this poster show. I recommend everyone go on down to Bumbershoot and see what it's all about. And check out

Saturday, August 16, 2008


Just starting, 95 degrees. Otto was already wiped out!

Lord it's hot, why are we working so hard!

Not my best look perhaps. The after photo was so bad I edited it out!

Thanks for digging me the dirt pile, now all it needs is some water.

Nothing like removing large amounts sod from your yard on the hottest day of the year with a stagnant air advisory. My 90 year old neighbor poked her head out and told me it was much to hot to be working! I think Otto was in her camp!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Get out the vote.....

Hey all you Washingtonians. Don't forget to vote in the primary on (or by if you're absentee) Tuesday, August 19.

If you need some help, check out the Municipal League's ratings ( Or for some help with all those pesky judges try Fuse ( Fuse also has some endorsements (

Or just call me, I'm happy to let my vote count 2, 3, 4 times!!!!

I Love Myspace.

My job allows me to regularly (and legitimately) cruise myspace. I am alternatively shocked and awed by some of the damage people allow to hang out in public - hanging one's undies on the line is nothing compared to some of the gems one finds on myspace.

I ran across this the other day


It was the display name for someone's profile. Clearly, she and some boy had a falling out and she needed the world to know, well, that she was much too much to be spending any time moping over his sorry ole ass.

I personally think it's a fine sentiment. There has definitely been a boy or two I could have shared just such a thought with this very year. Though, perhaps I would do so a little more privately and a little more subtly.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

North Cascades Ride 2008

Every year a group of my friends takes a bike trip over the North Cascades Highway in Washington. And every other year or so, I join them. This year was actually my second year in a row but, fresh off my trip to San Francisco, I figured this year would be cake walk.

The trip involves a 72 miles of riding, twice. On the way in, you ride up for 42 miles, down for 15, then flat for 15. On the way out, flat for 15, up for 15 , the down 42. My favorite stretch by far is the 15 uphill miles the second day of riding. The middle day of the trip used to involve an epic adventure of the mountain bike or inner tubing variety, but now it is more of a rest day. Typically it involves eating, sleeping, hanging around the campsite and the lake, then more of the same. I chose a more energetic day than usual, turning it into a multi sport event - bocci ball, lacrosse and miniature golf.

In honor of Best of Seattle, I thought I'd give you a few 'Best of the NCR 2008'.

Best excuse not to ride - 2 hours of solid rain on the drive from Seattle to Newhalem.

Best punk rock riding performance - Tracy for riding the entire way 5.5 months pregnant AND looking very stylish the entire time.

Best on the bike outfit - again Tracy for the red and white jersey with cycling skirt!

Best change of tradition - Seth and Holly's bringing pizza to the campsite.

Best water bottle - my new leach free plastic bottle, no plastic after taste!

Best 'out of shape' performance - Chris, who passed me so quickly on the uphill the first day I could barely see him.

Best grandmotherly duty - my mom for taking care of Otto and Daisy. (And perhaps I get the worst daughter award for bitching about her use of my best sheet for a dog blanket rather than a effusive thank you)

Best golf performance - Hahn for the hole in 1 on the 18th hole.

Best use of vegetable oil - James and his truck.

Cutest kid under 2 - Odessa.

Cutest kid age 2-3 - three way tie between Jaxson, Ethan and True, except True may nudge ahead because he was carrying around the truck I gave him all weekend (though he may not have remembered I gave it to him).

Best performance in a foreign language - it's between Chris (Russian), James (Spanish), and Megan (Japanese) but I think Megan wins because she's teaching herself Japanese in 8th grade.

Best sag (sagger?) - Jay.

Best amnesiac - Seth, who seemed to have forgotten multiple near death experiences in his past.

And I am sure there are many many more I am missing. If anyone is reading this, particularly anyone on the trip, feel free to add suggestions.

Friday, August 8, 2008


I woke up this morning to an NPR discussion of a man who had read the entire Oxford English Dictionary in one year. He and the commentator were discussing words. The first word I head as I opened my eyes was paracme. Paracme is - the point at which one is past one's prime. As a result, I spent much of the day wondering when that might be. I don't, for a moment, feel I have reached paracme. Sure my running has been at snail's pace lately, but I've never been very fast. Plus, four months or so ago (when I was actually pretending to train) my 800 times were as fast (slow?) as they were when I was training for marathons 12 years ago. And, hey I did as many pull ups yesterday as I used to do 'back in the day'. Not to mention, that I kicked the ass of a much much younger woman this very morning on my bike ride to work up 12th ave. (Okay, I barely beat her and she was wearing flip flops, a skirt and had NO idea there was a race going on, but I did beat her). So, there is no way I am paracme.

However, being early 40 something, I have been wondering about this lately. In the last couple years, I have started noticing a few little changes. And though it's hard to tell amongst the dye, I think my hair is starting to get some gray. I have always just expected my body to do what I ask - run as far, or as hard as I want, ride my bike wherever do yoga, lift weights, support it's self in pushups and pull ups. I guess I just keep expecting that. And maybe if I do, I will hold off paracme much longer than I might otherwise. Or maybe I keep expecting just as much and just throw a little extra rest in. How cool would it be to be doing pulls ups at 80?

Then there is Dara Torres - see above 41 year old Olympian. According to an article I read on her, "both elite and nonelite runners and swimmers could maintain personal bests until age 35, after which performance declined in a gradual, linear fashion until about age 50 to 60 for runners and 70 for swimmers. Deterioration was rapid from there."

Well, I think I'm going to join the Dara Torres camp, and maybe just pullups until 70!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Farmer's Markets

So, there is a farmer's market on the corner of MLK and Union (in the Groce Out parking lot) that I have been going to every friday for quite a while now. I always get just a little bit excited on Friday's, knowing I'm going to have some tasty veggies! Well, tonight for the first time I went to the Columbia City farmer's market. Wow, I had no idea what I was missing. So many more veggies, so much more fruit, so many more people and even ice cream!!!!

It kind of made me sad. I love my house. I love Beacon Hill, but Columbia City, they have restaurants and bars and bakeries and bike shops and a movie theater and this farmer's market to die for. Columbia City is the real deal.

My dream is that some day Beacon Hill achieves such levels (without getting too full of itself).

Now I'm off to eat my peaches....mmmmmmmmmmmm......

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Obsessed by Tomatoes

I have never grown vegetables before. Flowers seem easy, but for some reason vegetables intimidate me. Real gardeners grow vegetables. Well, this year, someone convinced me it was easy to grow tomatoes in pots. And that a South looking porch such as mine would be perfect. So one day, spur of the moment, I bought tomatoes from Madison Market.

Now, I needed to worry about how much to water. A google search about tomato care gave contradictory advice. Turns out one can easily over and under water tomatoes. So, for the last month or two I have very carefully tried to neither under or over water (having no idea what constituted either).

Everything was great, until about 2 weeks ago the leaves started turning yellow. I have a couple little tomatoes forming, but lots of flowers that are doing nothing and YELLOW LEAVES. And every day, more leaves turn yellow. A second google search of 'yellow tomato leaves' indicated that just about everything in the world can turn your leaves yellow - bugs, mold, diseases - it's amazing tomatoes have survived as a species. I really liked the post about nicotine and smoking turning the leaves yellow. I couldn't figure out if it was second hand smoke that was the issue or someone using their butts as fertilizer, but apparently the tomatoes didn't like it. But (not butts), of course, the biggest cause of yellow tomato leaves either under or over watering?!?!??!

So it seems I'm right back to where I started, obsessively either under or over watering. At least it gives me something to think about every time I hit the porch!

(Note the leaves on the side of the plant, there has been a suggestion that maybe removing the yellow helps the rest of the plant, not noticeably yet)

Sunday, August 3, 2008

To Blog or Not to Blog.

So, until a week ago I never considered writing a blog. For christ's sakes, who would want to read a blog of mine? It's not like I have cute kids that I can use to bribe a grandparent or two to check my posts. But here I am blogging??

The first person to blame is Heather. Heather just had twins and created a blog depicting the pregnancy experience and more recently (I believe they are 10 days old) the parenting experience. Well, I have gotten completely addicted to Heather's blog. I get so excited when there is a new post. And then it turns out my friend Tracy has a blog too
. Her's is harder to get excited about (not because of the content which is very entertaining, but because she doesn't post with much frequency), but fun none the less. So, that was part 1, "finding out how much fun blogs were".

Part 2, "does anyone in the world care if I have a blog?" was Curtis' fault. This summer I have sent out a couple emails describing events in my life: 1. a bike trip to San Francisco and 2. an adventure I had with a couple dogs. Curtis informed me that my emails were very entertaining and I should start a blog. Curtis teaches creative writing!!! If Curtis thinks I'm entertaining and worth reading, well it's probably time to change careers.

So, I'm blogging. Maybe someone will read every once in a while. Maybe I'll be entertaining every once in a while. Shoot, maybe I will even be enlightening or inspiring (don't get too excited for that) Or, maybe I won't even remember to write.

Tracy says the key is not too many words and pictures. I'll try to keep that advice....

Blogs two and three may be the above mentioned adventures. The bike trip to SF is LONG, but those who actually read the full thing, claim it was worth it.

Thanks for reading.