Sunday, November 30, 2008


Looking better than I feel, mile 20. Of course I probably
would have been faster not wearing 10 pounds of sweaty
cotton shirt. Good sunglasses though!

Looking exactly like I feel, mile 21. (Devastated family members not in picture)

Tracy, Suzanne, and Mom cheering at the finish.

Nice form for the sprint!

Mom and Suzanne demonstrate the fine art of cheering at the Portland Marathon.

Mile 22 on a much better day!

What is it about watching marathons that makes me all teary-eyed. Otto and I walked down to Lake Washington Blvd to watch the Seattle Marathon. Mount Baker marks the 9th mile for people heading out and mile 17 for people on their way back to downtown. So in my hour of marathon watching I got to see the full spectrum of racers, from 1st place to last place. Really it's only the people near the end who make me all teary-eyed. The people in the front do not look like they are pouring their very heart and soul into the race. Some of the people at the end are giving all they have got (and more).

Some highlights/thoughts: Mr. First Place (I'm sure he's won by now, but I don't know who he was) cruised by mile 17 at about 9:55? That would mean he was running about a 5 1/2 minute mile. He was well in front of number two and three proceeded by a motorcycle and a couple cars. He did not look too tired. Ms. Last place, she walked past mile 8.5 at about 10:25, which would put her at about a 16.5 minute mile. She didn't look super tired either, with all the walking. She was followed by 5 very very very slow moving cars. That I am guessing have to follow her for the full 26.2 miles. That's a long time in a slow moving car.

When I ran my first marathon (pictures above are marathons 1 and 2). My family (having slept in and eaten a nice breakfast) was waiting for me at mile 20 or so. I was not having a good race (though I did finish in 4 hours, a 9 minute mile pace - not too shabby really). My sister said that they kept thinking they'd missed me because I looked so much more fit that lots of people in front of me. And it was interesting watching today's race. People running the same pace look so different. Some people running 7.5 minute miles look like they could run all day. Some look like they've taken their last step. Some are all hurky jerky. Some are so smooth they are barely moving.

I think you could put my friend Owen in the super smooth category. He ran by mile 16.5 at about 10:25 looking like he didn't have a care in the world and was out for an easy jog. Owen ran a 100 mile race with 20,000 feet of climbing in August (that's about 36 hours of racing). So for him I'm pretty sure a marathon is a walk in the park. Though he says they are hard because he has to run fast.

#2 was not having his best day (#2 as in #2 on his jersey and not the second in the race). #2 was probably wearing #2 not because he registered second, but because he came in second at some point, maybe last year. He looked like a real runner. Okay, they are all real runners, but some make their living off of it, and he looked like he could fit that category. He was walking at mile 16.5 wearing full sweats. I am guessing he did not start the race planning to do much walking. He seemed to be taking it pretty well though. I smiled at him when he went by and he smiled back. I was not sure what to say - 'good job', 'looking good', 'keep it up'? None really seemed to fit.

And a word about cheering. Cheering at marathons suck. The good people come up with phrase and keep it up. One guy standing by me kept saying, 'mile 17, you're in single digits' over and over again. Of course the marathoners don't know that. They find it encouraging. Me, I feel stupid doing that so I end up clapping with a little smile on my face saying 'good job' 'looking good' (see picture of mom and Suzanne demonstrating that technique). 'Almost there' isn't really fitting for mile 9 or 17 so you can't say that. Some said '#1507 looking great' or 'way to go 8592', personalizing it. That's probably a good thing to do. The runners aren't very helpful. Some would smile or get excited if you cheered for them. But most just run on and don't even look at you. Now, having run a marathon, I know it helps if people cheer, even when you don't acknowledge it. But it's might tough to keep cheering when you get no love back!

And finally, watching a marathon almost made me want to run one. Of course, watching those people also made my IT bands clench and ache. I'm really not so sure there are anymore marathons in my future. Though I may hit the Mercer Island Half Marathon this spring.

Oh, and Otto wants me to add that watching marathons is about as much fun as watching paint dry!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Highway Robbery

So that gas that I paid $1.99 for yesterday (see yesterday's blog). Today, it's $1.89. I was robbed!!!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

I'm confused

If you haven't noticed. This weekend seems to be a tough one for my brain. There are currently two issues plaguing me and I thought I'd share.

1. I just paid $1.99 per gallon for gas. How is this possible? I keep hearing it's the reduction in demand?!??! Okay, I will accept some reduction in demand, but enough for gas to be 60% lower in price than it was 2 months ago. I just don't believe that. There has to be something else going on. Equal perplexing are the price of groceries (I just paid $65 for a very small bag ). Perhaps those are going to start going down now that gas is inexplicably $1.99 per gallon. Or how about the fact that my company's stock - which was at $60 per share a couple years ago, is now less than $7 per share. We are still profitable (a bit less perhaps) but still $7 per share for a profitable company? To state the obvious, something is completely out of whack with our economy.

2. And perhaps something completely out of whack with my brain. This is the second mystery of the weekend (after the phone call). So I got home from my grocery/gas buying spree and found the house filled with smoke. I walked into the kitchen to discover that the burner under my kettle was on. Now, this morning I walked the dog and then returned home only to grab my grocery bag and water bottles and head out to the store. I would not have turned on the burner. Daisy jumps on the stove, but it was a front burner with a kettle on it. I don't see how she could have gotten the angle right to turn on the burner. She would have to jump right into the kettle to hit the knob. Plus, she would have to turn it all the way down to light the burner. It's more likely she would have just jarred it and gas would have leaked into the house.

God, I hope this blog isn't the harbinger of some type of early dementia.........

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Losing my mind

So the question for the day is, am I losing my mind? So I picked up my phone and hit a button that shows all the calls I have made and received. On 11/20 my phone is telling me that I called someone named Todd with a 415 area code. I CALLED HIM. Not only that, but he is in my contact list, him and his 415 area code.

Who the hell is Todd? How could I have called someone named Todd two days ago and have zero memory of the event. The only Todd I can think that I know is Todd Davis and I am not sure I have his phone number and I really don't think it could be a 415 area code phone. And if I put him in my contact list it would be as Todd Davis, duh.

So, am I losing my mind. Or is it possible that there is some spam phone calling place that not only calls you to sell you something terrible, but adds the phone number to your address book and makes it look like you called the person instead of them calling you. That's not possible right?

So I guess at 6.30 on Thursday night I called some guy named Todd in San Francisco........ Hmmmmmm. Any one have any clues to this mystery? Todd are you reading this?

(PS I just tried to call the number and some guy answered the phone and said 'this is Todd' and I was too scared to say anything. I probably need to call back.)

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Days Off

Taking a weekday off work for no reason is truly one of the best things ever! And happens to be what I am doing today. It started with a hair appointment. My new 'stylist' (fancy, huh?) is terribly popular. So three weeks ago when I tried to make an appointment for Sunday she was booked and I had to make it for a Wednesday. Me being me (and employed in a loss reduction area) I was feeling guilty about taking some time off work just to get my hair done (for some reason my work doesn't let us take 1/2 day vacations when we're on salary). Anyhow, then it turned out that since we are not selling anything right now we need to take all our vacation days for the year. So I am on my 'Wednesday, for absolutely no reason' vacation! And it rocks.

I know everyone is dying to hear how I have spent my day. It started with a little sleeping in. At my house, that's 7. The animals just do not understand why anyone would want to continue sleeping when it's light outside (forget the fact that they actually sleep all day). Then I had a little breakfast and took the dog for a walk before I headed downtown for my hair appointment. Yes, I look fabulously beautiful!

After the hair appointment I decided to go jean shopping. Yes, jean shopping sucks, but when you're not eating wheat, sugar ,or dairy it is oh so much easier - see previous blog. The real issue is whether or not the jeans will fit properly when I start eating like a normal person again. I got straight leg jeans. I went back to straight leg jeans a couple years ago when they became popular again and I think I'm back to stay. I played around with the bootleg/wide leg thing for a while when it was popular in the late 1990s early 2000s. But, I think straight let is the way to go. Though I was informed today that the newest game in jeans are 'boyfriend' jeans. These jeans are a bit baggy, rolled up, and come with their own holes and fraying. The idea of course is that they are the jeans that you borrow from your boyfriend on weekends when you're kicking back at home. They are actually super comfy, and for the first time in forever the style is actually on the bigger as opposed to skin tight side. (The ones I tried on were extra cute and had they not been $200 I might now own them). Anyhow, I couldn't decide which jeans to get and bought two pairs. Now I need to try them on about 10,000 times and decide which two very similar jeans are better.

Back to the perfect day. I swung by the store for a few soup makings. Headed home for a little lunch and (much to the dismay of the dog) a nap. Now I'm making soup, trying on jeans, blogging, thinking about dog walking, deciding if I should crossfit at 5 or 6. It's a tough life really. What could be better! I could be at work right now. Yuck! Doing nothing is absolutely underrated and should be undertaken by everyone much more than it is!!!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

The Table

So I thought I'd post a final table picture and put the table serial to rest. It's done. It's super cool. I am very happy with it.

The end.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Crossfit Update

So it's been a month and a half or so and maybe it's time for a little crossfit update. I just reviewed my crossfit blog and while I haven't actually achieved (and probably not even tested) any of the goals I have set, I have certainly improved.

When I first started my classes were extraordinarily painful. Painful muscularly. Painful cardiovascularly. And even painful egoly (okay that's probably not a word). I felt like I was working so hard, and really not achieving much. Fortunately, for my ego and various other body parts. The improvement curve has been quick and steady. Now, a month in, I feel like a crossfit expert (I am not actually an expert - far from it, but at least I go to class and feel comfortable and fairly competent. When I first started I felt far from competent.)

A couple crossfit milestones. My first or second class I did a work out that involved doing 5 pull ups, 10 pushups and 15 squats - as many rounds as you can in 20 minutes. I think that time around I did 15 or 16 rounds and I was toast. My upper body (mostly from the push ups) was more sore than it had ever been. When I finished class I could barely wash my hands or hold a glass. Essentially I had no muscular control of my arms. We did the same workout last week. I did 18 rounds, plus one extra set up pulls ups. Yes, I was very sore (yoga the following day was a joke), but I could actually wash my hands when I finished. And I think I did more rounds than anyone else in the class (though I think the most rounds was 21 in a previous class.)

Second milestone. In crossfit there is a workout called Helen. (Most of the crossfit workouts have women's names. I believe the one above is Cindy.) In Helen you run a 400 (once around a track), do 21 kettlebell swings, and then 12 pull ups. You do that three times as fast as you can. The first time i did it, maybe my third class, it took me 11.28 minutes assisted (assisted means I am using a belt to 'reduce my body weight' and assist with my pull ups). YESTERDAY I did it in 9.50 minutes! With the same amount of assistance. Yes, I will congratulate myself for all of you. Now, the goal is to do it under 10 minutes without assistance. THEN I get a t-shirt! First, I need to learn kipping pull ups. Those are so far eluding me to the point I am beginning to lose faith I will ever figure them out. Unfortunately (or fortunately), there are many things that aren't possible without a kipping pull up. So there is no way I can quit.

So there is my current crossfit status. Yippee!!! Don't worry, I'll keep you updated.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Street View

The fleet.

So I don't know if any of you have explored Google 'street view', but if you haven't, you should. It's extra cool. AND Google has just published the Seattle version (I know there is a Chicago version too). Basically Google is driving around the world in a bunch of cars taking pictures of everything. And they they are attaching it to Google maps.

So, go to Google maps. Type in an address. Click 'street view'. At this point you'll get lots of blue boxes and a person. The person is at your address. Double click the person and you'll see your address. You can swing the picture around with your mouse and see a 360 degree view. You can zoom in and essentially see up on a porch. You can click the arrows on the street and drive down the street. It's really crazy.

My house isn't super interesting because they didn't make it all the way down the dead end so it's kind of distant view. My bosses wife was sitting on the porch of their house with their cat when Google zoomed by and she's there, with the cat for the world to see.

I guess there have been some complaints. Some guy was filmed coming out of an adult book store. Some woman was captured in her underwear and so far Google has removed those images. I guess they are somehow obscuring faces and license plates at well.

Google seems to be determined for everything to be downloaded and available on the web. I know they are copying books ,driving the world. I even read something about a person who is trying and experiment where every minute (maybe not by minute) of his life is being captured in pictures to be placed on the web. I am not sure how I feel about all of this. There is such a thing as too much information. But, I think Google 'street view' is pretty cool. And helpful with my job too.

Oh, and for homeowners. Check out

Friday, November 7, 2008


Check out my once basketball court and future table!!!!

So Pretty.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Eben Barnett Carlson

Me and my dad. (I was 14 months and too cute for words).

Maybe 1996ish?

Self portrait during his dead fly and rotted cantelope phase. This picture only included an apple.

I dreamt about my dad last night. I love dreaming about dad and I wish it happened much more frequently. When I dream about my dad I have him back, maybe for only a bit, but he's there I can see him and talk to him. And, of course, in real life I can't do that. When I wake up after these dreams I feel a mixture of happy and kind of melancholy.

A couple of my friends have had parents die in the last month. I will be going to my second funeral in a month this week. Maybe that is why I have been thinking about my dad. I have not been to any funerals since my dad died. Actually, I did not really goto a funeral when my dad died. My family or my dad's family doesn't really do funerals. My dad actually wrote in his will that he did not want a funeral of any kind. In the end we threw a party for him then later had a much smaller get together of family when we 'buried' his ashes. We all thought, even given the interdiction, my dad would have been tickled pink about the party and the stories.

I don't think about my dad all the time, but when I do, I really just want to be able to talk to him. There are so many things about my life I would like to share with him. Otto, he would love Otto. When I was growing up I had a dog named Nellie. When I went to college Nellie kind of became my dad's dog. Nellie adored my dad. She went every where with him - even walking him to the bus stop every morning (which involved crossing a really really busy street by herself on the way home). I would love to discuss my work with my dad. My dad was an attorney and would probably have some good insight into the world of investigations. My dad always told me not to become any attorney, but he might like investigations. What would he think about Obama? The Iraq war - the only time my dad and I ever disagreed on politics was about the first Iraq war, he thought Sadam was evil, like a Hitler and needed to be removed.

My dad was super crazy smart (he spent his friday evenings discussing physics for fun), funny, lazy (that's where I get my ability to sit around and read a book rather than cleaning a really messy house), a bit of a slob (ditto), kind, terrible with his own finances, a scratch golfer, a great photographer (he took the picture of himself), and a great friend. He may not have been great sharing his feelings, but I know he loved me and my brother and sister more than he could ever express. I saw it sometimes. He died 9 year ago on November 9th. He was 61 when he died, one year older than he ever thought he'd be.

I love you dad!