Sunday, December 27, 2009

Project Hedge

Project Hedge.

I have a very very long laurel hedge that acts as a barrier between the green space and my house. I think it's holding the hill up, and as result I'm quite fond of my hedge except when it begins to encroach on my view. After a few years of attempting to trim it myself, a little over a year ago I spent many hundreds of dollars and got it professionally trimmed. My thought was that I would have them take a big chunk off the top of the hedge, and then I could go a couple years and not worry about it. Unfortunately, the hedge folks definition of 'a foot or so off' and my definition of 'a foot or so off' was, well, about a foot off. They essentially cleaned up the hedge. Now, it certainly needed cleaning up. When I trim the hedge, there is this row along the back that I can't reach that stays long, kind of a hedge mo-hawk - hedgehawk. The pros took off the hawk and left it all neat and even, but they didn't really take anything off the top. So, for the last year, the hedge as been slowly rising over the level of the windows.

This year thanks to project back porch, I don't have multiple hundreds of dollars to spent on the hedge. And the thought of trimming it myself is over welming, it's a long hedge! A couple of months ago, I began hatching a plan. Maybe I could do the hedge myself if I just took it in bite sized pieces. Maybe if I do six - 10 feet or so a weekend, I can do the whole thing. And maybe if I take it really low, maybe, just maybe, I'll be able to reach all the way back and trim the whole thing - without falling off the ladder and killing myself.

So today is a beautiful warm sunny day in Seattle and I decided I have been procrastinating way too many projects for much too long. Project Hedge seemed a good place to start. Now, a couple hours later it felt like I expended a huge amount of energy on a tiny fraction of the hedge. But it's possible I can finish by springtime (in time, of course, for the hedge to start a huge growth spurt). It's also possible, Project Hedge will convince me to buy a condo! Or, even more possible, that it will be pouring the rest of the winter and Project Hedge is about to go on hiatus.

I'm thinking ladder height is good.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Oh what to blog

I was going to blog today. I had what I thought was a fairly brilliant blog, but it turns out I had a fact or two wrong. As a result, the wit of the blog dissipated instantly. Leaving me with no blog. I'm not sure how this blog creative process works. There will be nothing nothing nothing, then suddenly a brilliant blog pops into my head. Okay, frequently it's not brilliant, merely mildly entertaining. But, it can't be forced. I'm not quite sure how professional columnists do it. Daily they have to come up with something people will want to read. Something good enough that someone will pay them to write. What happens when they have nothing to write about?

So, what can I write about today. There is the handmade sign I have been thinking about lately, I pass it daily as I walk my dog. 'Happy 2009th, Jesus'. It kind of makes me stop and think for some reason, such a strange way of saying Merry Christmas, though really in technical language exactly the same with an age connotation added. This particular blog fragment would be aided with a picture, but alas, I am 43 days from my new iphone. I still have the 2006 ebay blackberry with no picture taking capabilities.

I could talk about my new hair style. That I might even be able illustrate. I think it's kind of cute and sassy and works quite well when crossfitting! People have exclaimed twice that I look 'cute'. I don't get 'cute' much (except maybe from my mother), so it's rather exciting.

Dead cute!

But, I may not have much else to discuss. So I'll leave you with a few pictures.

Here's what you do when you decide the imac lens makes you look old and fish eyed.

Me and Daisy with a kinder photo booth effect.

Me and Daisy, XRAY version!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Riding the Wave, part 2

So while I'm in update blog mode, I'll keep going and discuss my ongoing relationship with Sound Transit. When we left off, I'd had my first ride, it was 1/2 good (ie good one way) and I had decided never to use the Lander street tunnel again. Well, these days I am all about the Lander street tunnel exit and entrance. See, it turns out that if you go from Lander street to downtown it's only $1.75 instead of $2.00 from the Mount Baker station - BARGAIN. In addition, there is the stress factor. As I walk to the Mount Baker station I can see/hear the train. So while I'm buying my ticket I might hear the train approach. And I usually don't have time to finish the ticket buying and make it up the escalator in time to get on the train. I usually do have time to make it inches from the top of the escalator in time to watch the train take off. At the Lander station though, the train is underground. I have no idea if it is coming or not, even while I am buying my ticket, so no stress!

And there is more good news. Since that first ride, I have only had one bad riding experience. It turns out that if a bus breaks down in the tunnel on the Sound Transit tracks, that's it. The entire system shuts down indefinitely. But, that only happened once. Otherwise my trips have been quick and uneventful. I have used it to go out downtown on a night when 5,000 carolers decided they needed to hit Westlake mall for 'Figgy Pudding Night'. It was a quick stress free trip. Imagine fighting caroler traffic and looking for parking on an extra busy downtown night!

And it has other bonuses. I can throw my bike right on the train. Last week it was 20 degrees in the morning. The two days I rode my fingers about froze off. But with sound transit I just ride to the station, hop on the train with my bike and I'm at work lickety split. Then I can ride home when it warms up. I could do this with the bus. But with the bus you can't take your bike off or on downtown. AND, the bus is slow! Much slower than riding. And much slower than Sound Transit - which has the right of way over traffic.

Then there are the days when you just need to rest. My legs are really sore from crossfit and today is cold and wet. So I just took Sound Transit home. It's easy and fast. It allows me to give myself a break when I need it. I'd would say I'm now 100% a fan of the wave.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Eating Like My Ancestors

So, looking back on the blog, it looks like haven't filled you on my current eating status in quite a while. At the beginning of September, I once again made a serious change to my diet and this one felt so severe, that I was almost embarrassed to admit I was doing it. It felt a bit like I was going over the edge food wise. But now, 3.5 months in, it feels so normal, that I can probably 'fess up.

First, let's review, October (I think it was October) 2008 I gave up wheat, dairy and most sugar. Then in December I gave up soy. Then in January (after 20 years of being a vegetarian) I started eating meat. Then finally, in September, I fully embraced the my crossfit obsession and became 'Paleo'. This essentially means eating as the cave men ate - on the theory that our bodies evolved eating a certain way and to be optimally healthy, strong etc we should eat this way. So essentially, I eat meat, vegetables, eggs, oils (mostly olive and flax seed) and nuts. And that's really about it. Oh, and I eat butter, just because it tastes good. Oh, and sometimes I eat real organic chocolate, again, because it tastes good and only if it has no corn syrup. And a couple times a week I have some alcohol (I'm pretty sure our ancestors drank fermented beverages, it was the only way to keep stuff from spoiling.) I eat no grains. I eat no beans or peanuts (legumes = evil). I eat no potatoes (for some reason the crossfit gods have decided our ancestors shunned potatoes - I think it's because they have a high glycemic index which spikes insulin levels in your blood). I don't eat corn or soy (and after watching food inc, I'm very glad I don't). I eat almost no procesed food (the occasional lara bar). And all of this sounds completely holier than thou. But, I feel awesome. My workouts are great. I'm strong. I haven't lost any weight, but I could probably tone down the nuts and I'd lose a pound or two. (By the way, I make almond flour bread and it rocks!). I have a nice sustained energy levels - no major highs or lows. I thought this would be something I'd try for a month to see if it worked, but I have no interest in going back. Being a vegetarian feels so completely foreign to me right now. It's amazing how much I've changed my thought process in the last year.

And sometimes I feel guilty, not because of any moral qualms that we shouldn't eat meat, I think humans are meant to eat meat and I always have. But because of the environmental impacts of eating meat are pretty extreme. It take something like 12,000 gallons of water to produce a pound of beef. It's much less for chicken, but still high. As a result, I end up spending top dollar on my meat, to be sure it has the lowest possible impact. And I have the luxury of doing that, I know others don't. It's a shame that the cost of our food doesn't take into account all the costs - environmental as well as pure costs. Oh, and it would be nice if the costs of our food didn't include huge government subsidies for things like the overproduction of corn.

But, as usual, I digress. One of my favorite paleo obsessions, is figuring out what I 'can' and 'can't' eat. The 'paleo community' has very specific and varying ideas of what is and is not acceptably paleo. If you google 'paleo' and 'bananas' you can view long discussions on whether bananas are truly something a paleo person can eat or if, because they were only grown in certain portions of the world, most of our ancestors didn't eat them so to be truly paleo you shouldn't. Just a little paleo humor!

Anyhow, I am happy with all the changes I have made and though I still occasionally get bloated and tending to be a little snuffly, I am so much better than I was this time last year!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Once Bitten Twice Shy

So all of you know, either by living it or hearing about it endlessly, that last year Seattle had a bit of a smattering of snow. In fact, enough of a smattering that our city was virtually shut down for about 10 long cold days. Now, Seattlelites were a bit freaky when it comes to snow even before last year - please refer to previous blog 'Seattlelites and Snow parts 1 and 2' for some entertaining re-reading as well as a full description of us northwesterners and all our snow phobias. But, since last year, we've gone a bit overboard.

This weekend I went up to our cabin on Hood Canal. ( Some how an angelic version of myself took control of my body causing me to head up to the canal twice in three weeks to take care of issues for my mom. We're all waiting for the real me to return). It was cold. Cold and windy. But on Saturday night with the heat on and a fire crackling it didn't seem to bad. So, imagine my surprise when out of the blue someone decided we needed to head to The Udder Room. Now, when I am at the cabin there really isn't any going out and socializing. Belfair is not exactly a hopping night spot. So, heading out to The Udder Room in 25 degree weather wasn't really my first choice, but off we headed.

The Udder Room is an unfortunately named dive bar attached to a diner/antique store just outside of Belfair. And, it seems that they have a singer song writer night the first Saturday of every month. And, guess what, it's even semi entertaining. We arrived to hear the last couple songs by two blond women who reminded me of the Dixie Chicks - probably for no other reason than they were blond. And they were pretty good. Then we heard an older rather craggly gentleman with lots of gray hair and dark glasses. Not bad either. Next up was rumored to be craggly man's daughter. She was very smiley with lots of nice teeth - rather at odds with the heart break of which she sang.

So here we were enjoying the music, rubbing elbows with the Belfair elite, when suddenly someone walked in and said 'it's snowing'. Before you could say 'Udder Room' half the bar patrons were gone. Literally, I turned around and the place was half empty. But a few of us hardy soles persevered. I went out to check the snow and there were some flakes flying around, but it wasn't really snowing. Then about 15 minutes later the same guy came in and said 'it's snowing and it's sticking'. Well, that was more than anyone could take. Not only did the entire bar clear out, the owner shut the place down - saying everyone had better get home while they could.

Now, I'm the biggest snow freak of them all. I don't drive in the snow. I get really worried if it might possibly snow and I have to be somewhere. But, this was not snow. I could drive in this. There was nothing on the roads and only a fraction of an inch of snow on the dirt. But as Great White would say .....'Said my my my, I'm once bitten twice shy babe'.

One of the Dixie Chicks with very cool handle bar mustache man in the background.

Back of craggly man's head.

A rare toothless picture of smiley lady.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Happy Animals

Happy cow.

In the last week I have watched two very disturbing movies about food in the United States. I highly recommend the movie Food, Inc and recommend (though less highly) the movie King Corn. Food Inc is about the control corporations have over our food supply and the effects this has on our health, food choices, animals, and the environment. I consider myself fairly knowledgeable about this type of thing, and I found the movie shocking. King Corn is about the over abundance of corn produced in our country - the whys of this as well as the consequences. Again, this effects our health, food choices, animals and environment. There is so much corn in this country right now, that it becomes what the majority of americans eat the majority of the time. And it's not because we're eating corn on the cob. It's because our animals are now fed primarily corn and because we're shoveling nasty high fructose corn syrup in every possible grocery item (even some not so possible ones).

But, I digress...... One of the things both movies discussed in detail was the fact that our livestock are now fed primarily corn because we have too darn much of it and because it's super cheap. Oh, and because it fattens them up quickly. The problem is that our animals weren't actually meant to live off corn. Cows don't eat corn, they eat grasses. Corn messes them up. Both movies had cows who have holes in their stomachs because the corn produces so much crud someone has to stick their hands in and clean it out. When we feed cows corn they get fat more quickly but they are more unhealthy and require more antibiotics. Food Inc also discussed the quality of life for these animals. They are crammed really closely together in very small quarters - the less they move the fatter they get. Again, it causes many health problems for the animals. And not only that, but corporation chickens can't move anyhow. They now are bred to have huge breasts - so huge their legs no longer support them.

Holey cow.

I could go on and on about all the points made in the movie (and have several times to several friends), but I'll spare you. The point here is that the movie made me feel the need to go search out happy animals. Happy animals that are allowed to roam and develop real muscles and graze on grasses as their ancestors did. Happy animals that don't have to live smashed together trompling on their own feces developing any manner of diseases for the convenience of us humans. Shoot, one doesn't even need to think about this from the point of view of the animals. Animals that are fed properly given adequate space produce healthier meat. They need less antibiotics and their meat contains more vitamins and healthier fats.

I have been buying chicken at Trader Joes. I get the expensive 'organic' 'free range' kind. But trader joes is a huge corporation. How happy are their chicken really? So, I've been searching the web for happy farms and ways to get my meat straight from the farmer. It's a little tough for me because I'm not really inclined to buy 1/2 a cow - which is how most farmers seem to want to sell me their meat. I did go to the farmer's market on Sunday and got some very happy lamb that was pretty tasty. And my current goal is to figure out how to cook a whole chicken so I can quit buying my trader joe breasts and buy a whole happy chicken with reasonably sized breasts. And what I really want to do, is get little chickens for my back yard. (No, I'm not going to kill them, for the eggs).

So that' s my current obsession. Eating happy animals! And you probably thought this blog was going to be about Otto!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009


Camouflage? Or am I blind?

About two weeks ago I got home from walking my dog and realized that my keys were missing. Fortunately, the walk had been fairly short. I quickly surmised that I had probably dropped them while wrestling the dog poop bag from my pocket (pre poop, of course - no bag in pocket post poop). I walked to the dog poop location and sure enough. There were my keys, waiting for me.

Now, in my 34 years of dog ownership, I think perhaps that's the first time I have lost my keys on a dog walk. I have certainly lost them innumerable times inside my house (including a set that have now been lost for 3 months), but never on the dog walk. So, imagine my consternation when I returned home from a walk Monday evening to find no keys in my pocket once again.

Unfortunately, this second walk was a long walk - over an hour - and it was about 8 pm and I was tired. There was no way I was rewalking. So, looked around my house and street, then went with the dog poop theory. I drove to the jefferson golf course (poop location) and searched around there. It was, of course, dark. So I took a flash light and spent probably 30 minutes rewalking areas. I had had an ipod in my pocket that I had taken out a lot in the second half of the trip, so I figured those areas (if I could remember them) were likely locations. No luck.

The next night, I redid the entire walk. For an hour, I kept my eyes glued to the ground. Through out I was thinking that if I found keys I would helpfully place them up somewhere noticeable. I worried that if someone did that with my keys, I would miss them with my eyes on the ground. But, there was nothing I could do about that. And after an hour plus, no keys anywhere.

Then this morning I headed out of the house to walk the dog. I walked down the stairs and there, right in front of my car, were MY KEYS. Now, here's the frustrating part. this was the first time it had been light out since I lost my keys (winter being a time of perpetual darkness except when one is at work). BUT, Monday night I had gone down to my car to get my umbrella before going on the dog walk. So, I had scoured the area around my car about 10 times or so - with a flashlight. One wonders how I could have missed them when they were sitting right there. A frustrating story, but with a happy ending.

Now, after finishing this you are probably wondering why on earth I am telling you about my lost and found keys. Well, if you're really wanting to know about 'a day in the life' of me, this just about sums it up!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Bike Work


My bike = Saturday night fun.

One of my very least favorite things to do is clean my bike. This becomes especially true in the middle of winter, when rain, rain and more rain leaves the entire bike covered with a layer of black grime and every crevice of the chain filled with black slimy sticky goo. In fact, cleaning bikes is one of the things that I am perfectly happy being sexist about and saying - boys should clean bikes. At least, I'm happy to let them clean my bike. The one catch in that scenario is that I haven't actually had a boy in my life willing to clean my bike in more than 10 years (oops, maybe I should chose more wisely). So, it's something I put off. But, along with creating extra dirt, the grime of the rainy season also acts as sand paper on brake pads. So if there is no bike cleaning boy around and one wants to make it through the rainy season in one piece, it's wise to at least do some brake pad changing - if not full on bike cleaning.

I knew my brake pads were in need of some love, so, my goal this weekend was to get them changed. What I did not realize was that my exciting Saturday night plans would involve bike cleaning, but I am feeling a bit smug to have it done long before late Sunday afternoon. I actually had real Saturday night plans, but a bout of what I am sure must be swine flu canceled them (I am sure it must have been swine flu because I can't imagine anyone canceling coveted Saturday night plans with me for anything less than swine flu).

So, I just spent an hour or so cleaning my bike. This involves much dirt. Slimy grease. Frequent swearing. And some mental anguish when it's time to adjust the brakes. And even worse, it involves a good 20 minutes or so of post cleaning clean up. Especially when it's dark, pouring rain, and 40 or so degrees outside - meaning the cleaning is happening inside. I think I washed my hands about 10 times afterwards - by the end I think I took much of the skin off with the grease. Then I had to wash my feet and the floor where grease spots had been tracked through out the house (this despite the fact that I had been very very careful and changed my footwear post cleaning and pre clean up). It even involved cleaning my computer mouse, as at some point mid cleaning I had to change music.

But now, my bike is somewhat clean and I have brand new shiny brake pads. Unfortunately, the kicker in all of this is that now it is 100% guaranteed to rain every day next week. This is a 100% certainty. Shoot, I might even say a 200% certainty that the first time you ride a bike after cleaning it, it will rain! Sigh.

Happy Saturday night! S-A-T-U-R-D-A-Y NIGHT. I bet you're all jealous. Hmm, what fun is in store next?

Thursday, November 19, 2009

5 Blocks

I started riding my bike to work in 1989. Since then, with the exception of 1.5 years of unemployment, a 9 month stint working at Southcenter, and the occasional bus ride, I have been riding to work every day. Even when I worked at Southcenter I rode about 2 times per week. So, it's not something I think about. I don't have to make myself ride, I just ride. Of course, in the winter it gets a little tougher. Riding in the rain when it's cold kind of sucks (ok really sucks). And with crossfit it can be a challenge because my quads are frequently fried. But again, I know I'm going to ride so I don't think about it. Plus, now there isn't any way for me to get to crossfit if I don't ride.

My current ride includes uphills and downhills on both the way home and to work. For the most part the hills are either short or not very steep. But, there are 5 blocks, 5 blocks on the way home that I hate! These 5 blocks are almost home - they get me up Beacon Hill. And I dread them. Every day I dread them. And while I'm in the middle of them I can't wait until they're done. The funny thing is the Pine Street hills at the beginning of my ride are probably equally steep and long but they don't produce any mental anguish.

I usually count. The first one I can kind of coast the first half - so not so bad. Two and three are the worst. They're the steepest and there is still over half way to go. Then 4 and 5 (which is actually one REALLY long block) are pretty easy but tedious.

And then I'm home. And the work day is done. Just 5 blocks to tackle every day.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Happy Anniversary!!

Otto and me today, true love!

***Warning, for those of you who find Otto blogs tedious, you may want to skip this one, as it will be all about Otto....****

BECAUSE , today is our anniversary. Four years ago today I brought home a crazy little puppy dog who was scared of, well maybe not his own shadow, but certainly everyone else's. Otto was an internet hook up. I decided that I wanted a German Shepherd, so I was cruising for shepherds online. Then, as some point, after reading about health issues with pure bred shepherds, I nixed that idea and decided on a cute little dog named Berit (now Otto because one friend said the name Berit just made him think of Grin and Bear it).

For Otto and I, it was not love at first site. I decided to get him after our first meeting, but thought he was too small and really a little timid. He was missing a certain 'joie de vivre'. And naming him was a challenge, the poor guy remained nameless for several weeks, probably wondering about this crazy woman who called him something different every 24 hours or so. I'd say for the first 6 months to a year were a bit tough. Otto had a few quirks. He pretty much refused to leave the front room of the house except occasionally to venture to the kitchen to eat. Even then he frequently refused to eat his food or would run away with his tail down at the slightly provication. He peed a lot, and not always in the appropriate places - grass skirts, gym bags lying on playing fields, the Erbeck's Christmas tree, pet food stores, just to name a few. Occasionally he would take off. I'd put him out in the backyard and he'd jump the fence and wander for a few hours. Or I'd take out the recycling and he'd just run, usually with me running after him in my sock feet. And then there was the fact that he threw up every time he went for a ride in the car. One day we took a day trip to Whidbey Island and I swear the poor guy threw up all day long!

But, gradually he got better and more comfortable. And gradually I decided he had a personally and he was the perfect size. Slowly (or really it wasn't that slowly), we fell madly in love! Now I think he's the best dog ever!

And now an excuse for some Otto pictures. Here's some early photos:

Day One, not so sure.

Why does my life suck so bad! Toys and a cosy dog bed, YUCK, Scary!

Look how bad the back room use to look compared to now!!

That first year for Halloween, I tried to get Otto to go as a mummy, we settled for devil instead.

Happier days!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

NYC Culture, part 2

Prospect Park Rocks!

Before I discuss my second NYC cultural experience, I'd like to mention that this is my 100th blog!!! Happy 100 blog to me!!!! And thanks to all my fans for getting me to where I am today.

Anyhow, when I was in New York, I decided I needed to go to the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens. I'm not so sure why I developed this burning need. I think maybe I read a book in which one of the characters worked at the gardens and it sounded pretty darn cool. So I decided the BBG was my Friday adventure. My day started out a bit like the adventure the day before. For some reason, I didn't think that it might be a good idea to get a Brooklyn map. I used to Subway map and decided that I could take a different train than the BBG site advised and I'd still be pretty close to the gardens. And I wasn't that far when I got off the subway (about a 1 mile or two) but I wasn't quite sure where the BBG were. (And people in Brooklyn weren't quite as helpful in giving directions as people in NYC seem to be.)

After some random walking about, I found Prospect Park. I knew the gardens were on some edge of the park, so I knew I was close. And I'll take a minute here to say that Prospect Park is super cool. It's huge and filled with runners and bikers and dog walkers and cute little lakes with ducks. I liked Prospect Park. In fact I liked PP so well, that I decided if I ever were to move to New York, I'd live in Brooklyn next to PP and the BBG!

A long fairly direct walk through the park lead me to the BBG! After waking up the ticket seller who looked like she had done some major partying the evening before AND stopping by the cafe for some not so good food (trying to be less grouchy than the day before). I set out to explore. And my recommendation is that if you're ever in New York - especially in the late spring - go to the gardens. Super extra cool...... Super extra cool even with every single Brooklyn child dressed in a Halloween costume visiting the park. There are rose gardens, cherry tree gardens, rock gardens, orchids, water gardens, tropical gardens and EVEN cute little bonzai trees. I think liked the gardens better than MOMA. Hmmm.

Please enjoy the pictures

Kids and Bonsais

The bonsais were awesome. There were even ones that looked like baby maple trees!

Kids, kids and more kids.

Water lilies as beautiful as Monet's.

These little eggplant like things were called easter egg something.

Dahlias rock as much as prospect park!

Beautiful little delicate things.

Friday, November 13, 2009

NYC Culture, part 1

I spent a couple days in NYC a few weeks ago and committed myself to two cultural experiences. I hate to admit this, as it makes me sound rather uncultured, but I'm not a big art museum person. I like history museums and thing museums. Art museums I like, but in small doses. After that my eyes kind of glaze over. And my NYC art experience wasn't very successful. I decided to go to MOMA. My first mistake was going right at opening. I figured I'd get there early, and no one would be there. Uhm, no. You get there early and wait in a really long line of every tourist in New York who wants to get to MOMA right as it opens.

So, I waited in line and right as I got to the front of the line my phone rang. It was Otto's dog boarding place. I came close to just ignoring the call, but that seemed rather irresponsible. First, they wanted to know when I was going to drop off Otto. I explained I was in New York and a friend was dropping him off and I had no idea what time(and isn't it really early in Seattle?). About a minute later, they called back. It seems I hadn't signed the contract. Now mind you Otto has stayed there 3 times with this same unsigned contract. But suddenly they know it's not signed and they won't take Otto without it - literally my friend cannot drop him off. So my next hour was spent wandering NY looking for a fax place,waiting for a fax, sending fax etc.

Now, some how it has gotten to be 11.30 and some how I haven't eaten any food and maybe had had a drink or two the night before, so I'm verging on grouchy (verging might be an understatement).

So after dealing with the crisis, my ticket and I head back to MOMA. That's when I realize that if you show up at 11.30 rather than at opening there is NO LINE.

So, I went into my MOMA cultural experience tired, hungry and grouchy. It's probably not a huge surprise I didn't fully appreciate it. There was a very cool photography exhibit - though while I really liked the older pictures, I'm not sure I got the more modern, less realistic photos. I saw a bunch of Monet water lilies (not as good as the water lilies the next day - stay tuned). And I saw a drawing exhibit. And at that point, tired of fighting tourists, I ended my cultural growth for the day. I found out when I got back that there was another museum with Madeline Albright's pins. Had I known......

Stay tuned for cultural blog entry #2.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009


It's been mighty gray in Seattle the last couple of days - maybe the last week? And I feel like a black cloud has settled over my head. I've never felt like one of the S.A.D. (seasonal affected disorder) types. I always felt like I have taken Seattle weather in stride. But this last week has been tough. Day Light Savings just ended and it's just dark. Dark when I leave for work. And dark once again when I head on home. The other day, riding home in the pouring (torrential downpour pouring) rain, I swear I almost got hit by lightening. I was riding along, blocks from home - dreaming of my nice dry home. When suddenly there was a flash of light over my head, instantly followed by BOOM! Then all the car alarms around me started going off. I swear I saw my life flash before my eyes.

However, don't worry, I'm not going to leave you with this darkness. I was just looking at some pictures I took a mere two weeks ago - of beautiful fall leaves and sunshine streaming through my windows. And I was happy...........

Early morning fall view out the window of the 'new' (and very warm!) porch.

Sun patches, happy dogs, and fall colors through the window!

The day I got back from NYC, Otto Daisy and I spent quality time on the couch
recovering from the trauma of the previous week.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Clothing Mishaps

I have been riding my bike to work for years now. Really so many years it's embarrassing to admit (20, could I really be that old?). And for those 20 years, work clothing has been a bit hit or miss. Every morning I will chose an outfit - without trying it on - put it in my bag and head to work. Usually I just wear the same thing I've worn many times before, so while I might not be dressed for success, I certainly look presentable.

Well, now that I go to crossfit in the morning, it's an entirely new ballgame. Now, I decide what I am going to wear the night before. This causes several problems. First of all, when morning comes along I am certain all that is required of me is to throw the pile of work clothing into my bike bag and head off. This 'I've taken care of it the night before' philosophy seems to completely block from my brain things like shoes, which aren't actually on the clothing pile. So, for example, for the last two days I have gotten to work and realized the only shoes I had to wear were the dirty ratty wet (because it had been raining both days) extra grubby clogs that I use ONLY for riding to work.

Then there is the problem of the outfit itself. For some reason I'm more 'adventurous' when I put out clothes the night before. So rather than choosing an outfit I've worn many times before, I tend to think outside the box. Unfortunately, thinking outside the box rarely involves trying on. I seem to keep selecting rather unfortunate outfits. And then just feeling uncomfortable and unattractive all day.

Then there is the issue of details. When I was selecting clothes for the same day, I was usually already wearing things like a bra, or socks, OR a t-shirt to go under my sweater. In my new life, there have definitely been days of unfortunate under garments. Or, the very worst, was the day I didn't bring a t-shirt and the only one I had was the one I had just worked out in. I didn't last very long until, overwhelmed by eau de moi, I was off to J. Crew to buy a new shirt.

Anyhow, I'm off to select tomorrow's ensemble. Wish me luck!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Millions of Pieces

Close to a million, if you count!

People don't really believe me when I say my phone is in a million pieces. And that may be a bit of an exaggeration, but, it turns out when your phone is run over by at least 3 cars and an Associated bus, it's never going to work again. In addition, it exudes a crazy chemical smell that is probably really bad for both people and the environment.

It's very strange not having a phone. I realize how present it is in my mind. At work it sits right by my keyboard. After I work out, the first thing I do is check my phone. When I leave my house, it's always with me, and if it isn't I feel a little lost. Sometimes I pull it out to see if I missed an 'event', just in case. It tells me the time or if I'm late. It's rather comforting really.

Now, maybe I should take this time to mention that no one calls me. And never does anyone text me. Not that I don't have any friends, but all my friends email me. I get invited to things via email or facebook. I communicate with people through email. I chat via email. I occasionally firm up plans on the phone. And there are a couple out of town folk I touch base with every week or so, but all those times I'm checking my phone there is rarely anything there. And when there is, it's usually emailing my gmail account asking me to 'take action'. (My gmail account is the one no one uses and the only one my phone will accept.) Never ever does anything interesting happen on my phone while I'm at work. Okay, well maybe every once in a blue moon. But maybe once in a blue moon is enough. There are probably some psychological experiments that show that if just ever so rarely we are rewarded for constantly checking out messages/texts/emails, we will continue to check them regularly. And worry when we can't!!

The other strange thing about not having my phone, is that all my contacts are gone. Back in the day, I knew every one's phone numbers. But now that I have a cell phone. I know nothing. At this moment, I can call my mom and one friend. Those are the only current numbers my little brain has memorized. That is, the only numbers I care about. I could call all kinds of people at work (no programs for those numbers). I could call the house I grew up in (329-0824 or maybe I should say EA9-0824 -that's how we rolled back in the day). But if anyone has that number it's not my old house. I could call my friend Jen from back in the day (329-1315). But again, that would do me no good - she's in LA. And I think the days of directory assistance are gone. Now that everyone has a cell phone, the only way for me to get someones number is for them to give it to me.

Now that the initial shock/panic has dissipated a bit, it is a bit freeing. But, Monday, when my newly refurbished blackberry arrives in the mail. I will be jumping right back on the bandwagon. Salivating like a regular Pavlovian dog!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Fight Gone Bad

Pre (notice beige office park background).

I know I have blogged about Fight Gone Bad in the past. It's a fairly hardcore crossfit workout - three rounds of five exercises. Each exercise performed for a minute each. There is a minute rest between the five minute sets. Usually the first minute is pretty easy, but the next 16 (including the rest minutes) are pure pain. This was kind of a Fight Gone Bad event. Various crossfit affiliates around the country were having big FGB workouts to raise money for various causes. So I went to the eastside and experienced the pain with others in a beige industrial park . I thought you might enjoy some pictures of my pain. I do realize this is possible more pictures of my pain than anyone really wants, but whatever, my blog!

I guess the real question that one might ponder is 'why is this fun'? The entire 24 hours (maybe 48) before this event I was stressed out and couldn't sleep. Clearly, I was in pain the entire time. Yet when I finished, I was ready to go again. Hmm? In fact the motto for Crossfit Eastside is 'get some, go again', so clearly I'm not alone........

About to start the first round, looking very confident and serene.

Third exercise, first round.

Maybe the pain wasn't too bad at this point?

2nd or third round - too much arm, not enough hip.

It's easier with your eyes closed.

Usually I can box jump, that day I had no legs.

Somewhere deep in round two my shoelace came untied and left me very distracted!

The hard part with FGB is that you know if you rest, the time will
keep going and you'll have to do less work, but, of course, that's not the point.

Third round, god I look miserable.

This bar was not that heavy!