Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Team work

Tonight I trained with my Hood To Coast team for the first time. The team is sponsored by the company Clark works for and every person on the team but me works for that company. This week though Clark is working in Ashland so I went down to the YMCA track by myself and walked up to groups of people with a hazy eye for faces until I found the right group. They were the first group I walked up to.

We ran through the wooded slopes of SW Portland, across the OHSU campus in the rain and back down from those lofty heights to earth. Approx 5.75 miles. I like it when someone takes the lead and just tells me where to run and how fast because I don't feel any pain and I don't know how the seconds tick. I look at their back and I follow, running. I just do what I am told and I am very good at it.

But I am primarily a lone runner. Every week I set up Clarks training schedule but I rarely (rarely) run with him. I so rarely run with anyone because when I am alone I feel every second if it brushes past, breezes by or violently collides with me. I like to feel my own pain. It leave me euphoric for hours.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Friday, May 18, 2007


I am up in only a few short hours. It is already raining. I am drinking valarian tea stronger then cat piss and hoping I can sleep through the night. My dad is watching the History channel. Both dogs are sleeping soundly. My sweat pants are packed but my tightass bike shorts are not. They are laying next to the bed. I will leap with ferociousity from the bed at 5 o'clock in the morning and will not stop to consider discomfort until I am on the sand a hundred miles away.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Oh Darlings!

I am just about sunk under with all the this and the that, the work hours and the homework hours, trying to ward off death with magic beans and vicious kicks and dog pills snuck in peanut butter.

There are a thousand wedding details like points of interest on the map insert? and the secret booty shaking emergency dance mix I have to send off to the DJ and what kind of font looks best on the invitations? Should they have rounded corners? Ummm..... will there be a God in the ceremony? Only a little g-god. But you wouldn't know anyway would you? Fanning yourself in the sun waiting for the I DOs so you can hurry up and hit the bar.

There are sunflowers to be thinned coming up in fistfuls per square inch and soon zinnias to be transplanted. I have banking to-dos but work banker hours, and marathon training runs after dark, two months late to apply for graduation, and one half of one half of one incomplete class left. I have to call in to get my dental insurance going but I work dental insurer hours and today I mailed out bills by the pound, deadheaded my pansy pots and ran 6.2 miles.

My Dad will be here on Friday with my cancer-ridden dog Cairo. We'll be on the road for Reach The Beach in about 79.5 hours, and no later then 87 hours from now I will be hosed off, fed and drinking a beer in the sand.

Cairo and Edison can compare tumors and maybe he'll pull back his ears and show her his hallow cheeks and she will say I KNOW! DUDE, CHECK OUT MY HIPS because in cancer there is deep camaraderie. Below his coat of fancy feathers he is just bones. Backbones and skull bones and rib bones and his big thumping ridiculous heart. My god, what a fool dog.

Sunday, May 06, 2007


When I was 18 years old I moved into an apartment in downtown Ashland with my best friend Sarah. We lived in teenage squallor above Garo's Coffee, now called Evo's.

We were living there for only a few weeks when two homeless youth passing through town set up camp out in the bushes off the back parking lot.

They had a puppy with them, a little brown pup they kept in a cat carrier and tried to sell her to us for $40. WELL, we reasoned, ITS DANGEROUS FOR TWO GIRLS TO BE LIVING ALONE. WE CERTAINLY DO NEED A DOG. We talked them down to $20.

She wasn't their dog to sell. They'd kidnapped her from someones yard who had recently bought her from the pet store out on Hwy 99 for $250. But the owners wouldn't pay the ransom and they were stuck. I didn't know any of this at the time, till years later actually.

They called her Chocolate but I immediately changed her name to Cairo. I mean, Chocolate? Please.

Cairo was the undisciplined dog of an undisciplined child. She was a holy terror and was uninvited practically everywhere. I dumped her on my mother when the mood struck me to go elsewhere, and snatched her back when I felt like it.

I shored up and settled down a little bit when she was about 4 years old and I found a place she could live with me in Portland, later the coast then Portland again. I was back in school, working late hours in a bar and living in a small 1 bedroom apartment. There wasn't any consistency and there wasnt any space. I took her to live with my dad.

She has been there with him for the last three years and she is well cared for. He adores her, thinks her spoiled rotten behavior is cute. Cute! She is now 14 years old and mostly deaf. Last year she was diagnosed with Cushings Syndrome and has responded well to treatment.

This last month she was given a probable diagnosis of cancer. This is kind of a lot to deal with right now. I mean, she is 14 and its not like I have any naive notions that she'll live forever. My dad is pretty upset, he is a lot more attached to her then I am recently.

This dog saw me through a lot of bad times and I lovelovelove her to death. But she was always, and is still the product of a disrespectful and bratty teenager. I am not proud to admit its been easier having her there with my dad.

Anyway, I guess we'll be doing the death thing all together, right? How convenient, like a half off sale on grieving. Agh.

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Seven years of bad luck?

I have an old hand mirror that was my mothers. A few weeks ago it slipped in slow motion from the shelf, hit the side of the tub and landed face down on the bathmat. 'That was a lucky fall' I thought but I turned it over and even though the glass did not shatter it was cracked through and through.


It isn't a particularly nice mirror, doesn't flatter me on bad days and isn't aging gracefully but I cant bring myself to throw it out. There are discolorations like liver spots on the back, jewels missing, the corner is smashed.

Why are you keeping this around? I say

But I have no reason to hang onto the past. My attachments are fast and loose. This mirror, I have been taking care of it a long time and all it does for me is reflect back the things I like least and it isnt even doing that anymore. Is this thing from the past going to ruin the incredible future I am posed on for seven awful years?

This mirror should have belonged to someone who wasn't going to smash it on a tub, someone perhaps in a small sunny apartment above a coffee shop somewhere who spent their days painting and caring for the few things they owned who never wasted years of their life raising children with destructive tendencies who cared little for the past. IT SHOULDN'T BE CLUTTERING UP MY LIFE WITH ITS IMPERFECTIONS!

Maybe I'll throw it away next week. Maybe I'll ask about getting it remirrored. Is that even possible? Can this thing possibly be fixed?

Friday, May 04, 2007

At long last

I ran tonight for the first time in over a week. I shouldn't go these lengths but I was sick and sick and sick and every night I thought 'this will be the night I'll go stretch my legs' but found every night I could not.

So tonight I went out and it was very very good. I ran 4.13 miles on a route when seen from the sky resembles loosely an armada of ships at war. My heart beats strong still and my legs feel a little skinny after a week off but I am probably imagining that the week without running was a month long. The anguish!

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Will I really Reach The Beach?

I'd better. After all, people have paid good money to get me there and if I ever develop cancer years after years of smoking cigarettes I will be glad that I did. And that you did.

(by the way i fixed the link)

There are a couple of people who donated anonymously, who were identified by name to me through the RTB website. I either don't know you by your real name and/or haven't heard from you yet. Either way, I will scream it to the world THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU.

Nina is officially the first person on this blue planet Earth who has paid me to write. In a manner. The money goes directly to the RTB/American Lung Association. Still. Still....

...its like i'm a real writer!

I was thinking I'd either write a wordy and voluptuous post about the ride itself, or maybe something more absurd and idiosyncratic like... ... Vedic scriptures and how I almost got married off at the age of nine. We'll see.

Anyway, thank you again for everyone who did and does contribute. I'll ride my ass off for you!

Edison Update

Edison has been on prednisone for almost a month now. He responded well and was almost immediately springier, though hardly himself. After two weeks we lowered his dose and he began to languish, trembled and labored, got shadowy.

I consulted the vet and we decided to bump him back up. The goal is to find the lowest therapeutic dose to keep him as comfortable as possible. Right now that seems to be a pretty high dose. He is much better again, thrashing his favorite puppet and wagging about. He has gained about four pounds and usually eats most of what we feed him: rice cooked with chicken broth, eggs, bread, a little bit of hamburger.

In two more weeks we will try to lower the dose again and see how he does.


About Me