Wednesday, December 31, 2008

add one more burrito

We went in to the maternity clinic today thinking we'd find out the sex of the baby but it turns out that the ultrasound is not actually done at the clinic. They are scheduled by referral to an ultrasound lab place, which someone forgot to do. Arg, are you kidding me? I already didn't sleep last night; the added delay is almost unbearable. With my best urgent voice I managed to get an appointment for Friday morning. I was hoping to roll into 2009 with a pronoun for It, the little unit kicking me in the bladder who burps like a sailor.

Anyhoo...

It is New Years Eve! How crazy is that? At midnight tonight I will open the front door for 2009 and rush to the back door to let 2008 go out. 2008 was not a bad year, but it was a hard working, no-frills year.

I had no speeding or parking tickets, and only one bicycle flat on a downward trend for two years now.

Got a pup and cleaned up poop from all over the house.

Dreamed about bears. A lot.

Rode the Worst Day, ran the Shamrock, the Pear Blossom, rode Reach The Beach, and ran the Marathon, all together covering 1026 foot miles and pathetically few bike miles.

I went camping only 4 nights, canoed 43 miles, did not fly by plane, and stayed in a hotel room only once. My candidate won, I killed only one frog, attended one wedding and no funerals, rode not one roller coaster, and not one Ferris wheel, lost zero hubcaps, coffee consumption, as well as burrito consumption was low.

We painted the trim on the house and paid down thousands of dollars in debt.

Like I said, 2008 was a working stiff of a year but 2008 got me knocked up and I spent the last five months of the year pregnant drowning myself in lemonade. Grow lemons, grow!

Happy New Year! Much love and appreciation to everyone who reads and comments here. I hope 2009 is full of tall tales and heart swells and much needed improvements.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Snow!



17 bazillion inches of snow fell over Portland for 12 straight days before Christmas, the most snow since ever. Honestly, snow has never fallen on earth like it did here, in my yard.



My car broke through one chain, then the other and after several days of grinding the motor over icy ridges and ooofing through snowdrifts, I parked and left the car at home. I still have about 40,000 more miles to the moon, depending, of course, where she is in her elliptical orbit when I touch down, and I can't burn up all the ju-ju left in that car during one plucky commute.



The day after Christmas I tromped through the filthy slush and rode the filthy bus downtown in the company of all mankind for my first appointment with a therapist. On the 9th floor overlooking downtown and east, she asked my why I'd come. WELL, I WAS STARTING TO FEEL REALLY ANXIOUS AND IT WORRIES ME THAT I AM A HOSTILE ENVIRONMENT FOR MY BABY. I THINK I'VE GOT A PAYLOAD OF STRESS.

I have been through a cluster of major life events in the last two years. Generally, my response to astronomical levels of stress is to sort of evaporate and drift into the ether. But this time, before the eupepsia and renascent fettle of the second trimester, I felt dreadfully rooted, and dull like my brain had swollen in my skull. Being speechless and short of breath are two things that absolutely will kill me.

But that was then and I am here now, even though I am quite not unhappy. I came still because life cannot be trusted, because I am a god damned Ouroboros, because what threads one day to the next is an eternal recurrence. Wherever I think I am going, I will never fucking get there. It trips me up, again and again and again.

She asked me a million questions:
Do you hear or see things that are not there?
-no

Do you have thoughts of suicide?
-no

Do you ever experience periods of days or weeks where you can function with little or no sleep, build rocket ships and cure cancer?
-no

----------------

Two days later. I totally forgot where I was going with this, something about how she is really short and wants me to come back to talk about my mother. Who doesn't? It is a very entertaining story.

Now the snow is gone, there were no long filthy goodbyes. Tonight I ran down the Springwater Trail with Owen, in the dark and rain alongside Johnson Creek. The water is high, and light malty, rushing with the melted snow.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Can I just feel bad enough to feel good?

I couldn't sleep for a gap last night because I kept floating to the surface with a love poem about lasagna. This is how I live, breaking the surface. I have emerged from the first trimester, fully human. I feel so damn good in fact that I spent the last week fearing for my pregnancy - after all, for three months I wanted little more then a parapet from which to fling myself.



During that fog, in the darkest night, what I concluded about pregnancy was that pregnant women fall down stairs and are frequently menaced by bears. Stairs, my stairs, the ones I follow down and up in the dead of night again and again (and again) to the bathroom are almost magnetic in their head-long pull. It is all I can do with hand-rails and foresight to steady my descent. And the bears! They lumber magnificently toward me with an air of inevitability. What is inevitable? How is one to know. If they reach me, will I not wake up?

Feeling so unaccountably normal leads me to suspect that perhaps something is terribly wrong. How can I walk around glowing if I am only NOT a graveyard because I JUST DON'T KNOW IT YET. I lay around on the couch with my hands on my belly feeling for a kick. Quicken baby, quicken!

17 weeks

We spoke to a genetic counselor two days ago about the results of a quad screen blood test, which were overwhelmingly in our favor. The odds, as I average them (inaccurately) for convenience, are about 1 in 7646 for any one of the four chromosome abnormalities that the test screens for.

BUT, I cry, A MERE FOUR? WHY, THERE ARE AN UNTOLD INFINITY OF THINGS THAT COULD GO WRONG...

And if something goes wrong it wont be a mere one/seven-thousandth wrong, it will be 100 percent wrong and it will be me upon whom the probabilities have collapsed. Being that I suddenly feel so fully human in a condition that all my four months of experience have unerringly proven, thus far, to be inhumane... under those circumstances, symptomatically feeling well, I might think there was more to be known then that there is an (average) .007646 percent chance that one of four over infinity things could go wrong. Is there any test, an equation or a drop of my blood that can be divined for more gestalt results?

Is there any promise that could be made to me that would not be spurious, or illusive? I mean, after all whatever is wrong is already wrong, right? Wont this baby someday lie to my face? Will this baby never, even for a moment, consider suicide? Will this baby crash on a bicycle, get food poisoning, then someday die? I imagine PROBABILITY swirling, gossamer, around me like the individual strains of the instruments in a symphony. Infinite!

There is no security! I KNOW! RIGHT! How many times has this been said since people started saying things? I should have started cultivating an OKAYNESS about it a long time ago... I mean, with mixed results, I have. But this is the first time I have been personally responsible for inflicting a literal world full of hurt on someone else and I just want, more then anything, for them to stick around for it. In the best of health.

It is a simple wish, really.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Cowlick!

Cowlick

All my cowlicks are acting up. I have so many cowlicks on my head it is supernatural. You can divine fortunes by the vagaries of my scalp. When I was a kid, and unselfconscious, it was no big deal that I ran around with a lock of hair jutting vertically from my forehead. In sixth grade I made an ill-advised hair management decision and chopped one particularly offending sproing of hair right off my head, at the base. THAT WILL TEACH YOU TO DEFY ME.

The result was a patch of hair about an inch square, just above my left eyebrow that grew in like a crew cut, surrounded by longer flowing locks. Awesome. The follicles seemed invigorated by the weightlessness and as the hair grew back it grew more resiliently vertical. I battled this particular cowlick with scissors, a comb-over and hairspray for over a year before I finally let it grow in. I am not sure it ever occurred to me, till now, that punishing a cowlick was so futile it bordered on asinine.

These days my cowlicks are acting up all over again. For most of my life my hair has been long enough to weight them down, but lately the crown of my head looks like a bed knot ALL THE TIME. No matter that I know how to use a comb, that I try to look professional, that I bother to put on clean clothes because my hair leaves the impression that I woke up in the yard after an all-night, keg-stand and beer-bong bacchanalia. At least I take the time to pull the leaves and twigs out of my fancy do, right?

You can understand why I was so taken the first time I saw Owen, when Clark handed me this writhing, squiggly puppy with a huge cowlick right between his eyes. Like me, it isn't just the obvious deviance of one major cowlick. Like mine on the crown of my head, he has zig-zags running up one side of his body where the hair grows as it wants. On first sight we were kindred and were obviously meant to become family.



Almost every superstition I can find about cowlicks concurs that one cowlick is fine but two cowlicks mean you will be a headstrong rascal, a stubborn, mischievous, but comely troublemaker who is variably lucky and unlucky and is prone to early death.... not a terribly divergent fate then that of left-handedness, from which I also suffer.

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Oh baby!

bebeh

We heard the baby's heartbeat this week! It sounded like koosha-koohsa-koosha-koosha at 160 beats per minute and I have it stuck in my head like my favorite song.

The sonogram is from our first prenatal visit about a month ago. As twins are a not-isolated occurrence on Clark's side of the family (I have twin mother-in-laws), my first question was if there might be another one somewhere in there, but the midwife assured me there is nowhere to hide.

I am feeling much better lately, but still, by 4pm most days you can knock me over with a feather. The exhaustion is stultifying. I try to take care to not over use myself but whatever that means, it is a moving target. Some days picking up my socks is enough... or maybe the exhaustion is from acting the part so Clark will pick them up for me.

Oof.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Shopping list

Popped trunk

I never was able to recover from the smell of cat pee in my car. It did fade, and blend into the foam and fabric of the back seat but it did not go away. Like an olfactory PTSD, I found it impossible to undetect the smell. My car was haunted by that smell, and the ghost of the smell, and its poltergeist offspring as molecules of urine and the effluvia of the living blended, entwined and gave rise to new, more complex and foul aromas. That is an unholy marriage and I cry ASSULT!

My car has driven over 207,000 miles, and if we assume those miles were driven at a generous average of 50mph, that means I've been just sitting there, breathing and sweating and shedding cells for over 5000 hours (adjusted randomly for idling time at red lights and traffic jams) or about 208.3333 days. AGH! It's pungent from here!

But see, now that I am starting to rebound from the first trimester I found I was able to muster the strength to negotiate a business transaction with a local car detailing shop and, several gazillion bucks and one business day later, my car interior has been atomized and reconstructed more to my liking.

VERDICT: Smells like turpentine, should fade, but driving with all the window down in the meantime is, um, bracing. WORTH EVERY PENNY.



Owen chewed a hole in the floor. Nothing a few thousand hundred thousand million dollars cant fix. Thank god I work 34 hours a day and can obviously afford the lavish indulgence of a house-sized chew toy. I thought about prying up one of the boards and smacking him with it but only because I am human. It was obviously enough punishment to force him to pose next to his new and creative disaster. He couldn't bring himself to sit upright, and instead slunk over on his belly. Being a sadist I made him stay there while taking his picture from unflattering angles. ASSULT!



And finally, I bought myself some belly pants for pregnant ladies. I have run out of patience with ingenuity and make-do pluck. I have never felt sooo happy to put on a new pair of pants. WORTH EVERY PENNY.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Rather pleased with myself

Yesterday I ran my 1000th mile of 2008. It has been my goal to pass that mile mark for several years, but so far, I have never gotten there. One thousand miles is, unimpressively, only about 20 miles a week over the span of one calendar year. The real difficulty lies in making those distances consistently, through heat waves and downpours, injury, broken bones, sickness, weddings, travel, school, work, and occasionally, extreme and prolonged discomfort.

Lately I have found running quite impossible as the last few months have been perhaps the most profoundly uncomfortable months of my life.

Marathon #5
Sick, sick, very sick

They call it 'morning sickness' but I think 'unceasing wretched agony' is more accurate. I have hardly run since the marathon, but I think about it every single day. I just CANNOT(period) barely do it. I cannot, almost not overcome the lethargy. I am etiolated and panting from exhaustion, spring tears at the sight of an unfold pair of pants or the audacious smell of someone breathing across the room....

(seriously, do they have to do that?)

...and quite frankly, I will never do this 'knocked up' thing again. I think I should just have the baby now and then Clark and I can take turns sitting on it, avian style. In fact, I am ready for my epidural, please.

But I got my 1000th mile and my whole family ran with me (Clark and Owen and I (running for two!)*), and through all that, all 800,000 foot falls over the last year, I haven't learned at all how to be stoic about a touch of (air quotes) "morning sickness." I am such a wimp.



*Of course Willie didn't run. Duh. I count her there in spirit.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Disordered sleep

Maybe it only happens about once a year, but I have these dreams sometimes that just completely undo me and I surface gasping and cry myself awake. For a half an hour last night I was inconsolable and cried until I was undone; shuddering, hiccuping and dehydrated in the dark next to my bewildered, sleepy husband.

DO YOU WANT TO TELL ME ABOUT IT? No, I don't know how. I can put my finger on and trace it as far as my arm can reach but it goes even farther. This goes back before I was born. There must be an infinity of sadness in me.

Sometimes things are best explained with graphs. I drew this today based on a few calculations I made as I fell back asleep.

Infinite sadness

Do I = f(x)? ...but I didn't draw anything on the Y axis? Does the X axis represent capacity for sorrow? I am aware that this demonstrates an absurd and wildly inaccurate grasp of mathematics but it was dark and my head was swollen. Still, there is truth here.

Barefoot in the kitchen

Tonight, with bare feet, I made hot spicy hot Pad Thai from scratch and it was restorative.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Veterinary adventures

The pets in this house have cost me a million dollars this month. Owen, with a weepy eye, was discovered to be harboring not only a barbed grass seed under his inside eyelid but a mild infection in both ears.

eye barb
(poke)

I thought we might be going in for a couple eye drops and a condescending pat on the back and instead, walked out hours later with a grocery bag full of medications.

no big deal

It was a good thing I had my whole vacation to sacrifice because this required the administration of eye drops every single hour of the first day, and every two hours for the next four days, as well as two pills in the morning and two in the evening, ointment twice a day, ear wash every other day and ear drops every single day.

Still, I managed to fuck it up because one bottle of pills said "1-2 every 8-12 hours" and the other bottle said "1/2 every 8-12 hours" and being a total insensitive jerk was unable to distinguish between the two and for the first three days overdosed the poor dog on ramadyl until we were back in the vet office for an $96,000 follow-up appointment and I was like UM, DID YOU JUST SAY HALF?

I wore my hair shirt all weekend, and even though he suffered no ill effect I let him pick what we watch on the rare occasion I wander into the basement to watch TV.

animal planet
(tigers, tigers, tigers)

Willie cost me a few hundred thousand dollars more with her feline leukemia vaccine shot and to show her displeasure with the whole experience, including a conversation she overheard about her weight, peed in her carrier on the way home.

Of course I rushed her into the house wrapped in an old towel and bathed her, forgetting about the car. Just enough urine soaked into the seat and baked in the sun to make me feel queasy every time I start looking for my keys. Since my daily commute makes me want to hurl my lunch, her and I will be loosing weight together.

Willie
(raawr)

Yes, she is on a diet again and this time I am not going to back down. I already spent $18,000 for a fist-sized bag of Science Diet diet food and feed her with a portion cup. I think that makes us even.

remote hog
(tigers, tigers, tigers)

Inflation is killing me.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Interlobal communication



The part of my brain that reflects intellectually on the state of my affairs seems to have its own emotional reality. For example, today I was sat down and forced to watch a power point training presentation about software upgrades at work (boooring!) and every time the word INTERPRETER came up, as in, YOU, THE INTERPRETER, WILL NOTICE... my heart skipped a beat and I started scanning the room. WHO? WHAT? WHERE ARE THE EXITS? Because while interpreting is something I do, and do well (I am an interpreting goddess), it has never registered in the mental database that formally recognizes proper noun statements-of-fact.

THE DOING IS SO VASTLY DIFFERENT FROM THE BEING!


(and you will notice my tomatoes are coming right along)

If I say to myself I AM A WOMAN, natch! There is generally no change in blood pressure unless of course I am feeling righteous and then I might fist-pump and get up in your grill. But if I say to myself I AM AN INTERPRETER my throat would constrict just a bit, and my palms would get clammy and all those bio-chemical changes kick in that mean I would most definitely not pass a lie-detector test.

But! Being that I am voice-activated, start talking and watch me go. No problem-o!

And I don't mean it in a universal I'll-be-exposed-as-a-fraud kind of fear. Actually I do. But I also mean it like, it was so profoundly difficult to become an interpreter, so scarring and with such a dismal prospect for success that I can't seem to get beyond having convinced myself that the odds were vanishingly small so there must be a mistake. Of course, the chance wasn't so remote and while it was miserable, misery and recall tend to create positive feedback loop so that, in hindsight the whole enterprise was a nausea-inducing brush with death.



Memory is famously unreliable. In fact, I am pretty sure there is evidence to suggest that the experiences we think we recall with the most clarity, the formative moments of our lives, are the least reliable because we re-synthesize the proteins every time we remember and every time we remember we have an agenda, and a mood and a bias. Plucking those years out of the vault becomes more shudder-inducing with each de novo reminiscence. And of course, more infinitesimal and the more infinitesimal the more likely Occam's Razor cut will suggest that this was all a mistake.

Of course, this line of thinking leads me to the conclusion that dwelling on the past is a Sisyphean endeavor, like I have always said. The past sucks. Onward goddamnit.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

This week in pictures

The summer so far has been busy. Not really surprising because it is summer and summer is always busy. Anita left a week ago but not before my orchid bloomed a bacchanalia of tiny fireworks to celebrate her awesomeness.

Orchid blooming

My brother John, who drove from Missoula to pick her up, stayed long enough to eat breakfast at my kitchen table.

Toad in the hole

How was that breakfast John?

Toad in the hole!

Good bye John and Anita! *sniff*

John and Anita and me

The next day my dad arrived and we all drove off to my husbands family's annual camping trip in the Gifford-Pinchot National Forest.



All together we were twenty-eight people and eight dogs, including my old friend Ruben to whom I fed the crunchy spines of lettuce leaves (which he considers a delicacy) and with whom I shared half my scrambled eggs.

Me and Ruben

The day my Dad left (Bye Dad *sniff*) we began tearing out all the carpeting. There are only two rooms left, then the refinishing begins.



Last night I decided to not run for one more day and instead laid out starward to watch the meteor shower. Between the two of us we did not see a single one and as a result, I discovered I was not able to run farther then a block tonight before I was forced to turn home. That damned pie moon lit up every wisp of cloud in the sky and, nolens volens, my wishes were not made.

Back to the ice pack.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Gruffaluffagus



Two days? That was optimistic! The second day of rest I trotted across a four lane street to catch a bus and was nearly crippled from the calf up. Walking was without consequence, though running clearly was not, so I forsook any leggy activity for the remainder of the week. Why cant someone just invent a protein patch to slap on injured muscles? Like, a meat-ointment or something.

Miles high trail

That forsaking business is a bit of a lie. I did go on a vertical calf-flexing hike over the weekend wearing very fashionable but not exactly comfortable shoes and the pain of my blistering heels drown out the symphony of straining leg muscle pain. The views however were well worth the effort. And I looked good, did I mention that? The shoes really were cute.



Finally yesterday I went running a short four miles in a few long minutes, a big toe in the waters. I felt some discomfort but enough to just stay home and eat juice pops instead? The sooner I get back on the road the better for everyone. It is no secret I have to run my personality into submission.

Mountian Lake

Anyway I have just enough time for a quick Owen update. This is a little video of our morning routine. Sometimes all you have to do is leave the room and come back speaking in a high pitched voice and it starts all over again. It is a good way to start the day.

Sunday, August 03, 2008

legs legs damn legs

I was a little queasy and uneasy about this weekends 20 mile run; queasy because I don't like to eat breakfast at certain hours of the day, and the unease I've been feeling about this run for the last two weeks is because, among other things, some of the muscles in my legs are exhausted by the training schedule.

My right hamstring recovered fully (WHEW) during our river trip so, of course, the first day back I ran ill-advised intervals between every fifth telephone pole: 12345FAST... 12345SLOW... The next day the mutiny began.

Or course, I have my secret weapons: ice, massage, and icemassage and using them, with occasional heat, I somehow managed to turn the corner and begin healing while still on the road, running everyday. But 20 miles while recovering is not the same as being ready to run 20 miles. One is stupid, the other is just senseless in a meaningful way.

Anyway, I was so focused on this 20 miler I went into the 15 miles I ran last Saturday feeling rather cavalier, sandwiched between the more daunting 18 and 20 as it was. I did become exhausted, and chastened to remember that 15 miles is still a rather far distance and should be undertaken with a bit more respect. Just when my spirits were sagging still two mile from home my angel-faced sister-in-law came running down the road toward me, having found my route on the computer and back-tracked to find me kicking rocks and scuffing soles. She ran back home all the way with me... oh my what a darling, restorative girl! I will miss her terribly when she leaves next week.

This week I left to run my 20 miles queasy, a feeling that stuck with me through at least the first hour on the road. I felt my strongest at mile 10, well-heeled and determined but the weakness in my calf crept in just a few miles later. More then weakness, the muscle began to tear. At 18 and a half miles I felt a fiber pop like in the movies when your hero is hanging over a cliff by a rope and one coil of the rope snaps and but he is kept barely there by the remaining twines... THAT WAS TOTALLY ME! It happened in my left calf muscle just above my achilles tendon and when it actually popped (at least that is what it reallyreally felt like) I stopped and broke down in tears which is hard to do when you are panting and you heart is beating 146 beats a minute and suddenly this silly function hijacks all the action.

I limpwalked for half a block, to almost exactly where Anita met me the week before, then decided that more then a calf muscle, I wanted my 20 miles so I limpran the rest of the way which involved keeping the lower left leg precisely taut with neither a flex nor a stretch and I rolled home alone. Dry tear tracks on my face.

I crossed my finish line exhausted and trying to hold off, yet sustain my emotional breakdown to share with Clark. I was limping along my cooldown when I heard him yell HERE SHE COMES and as I looked up, he dash away. A moment later he came out the door, across the yard and halfway down the block sprinting toward me with a towel and a tall glass of cold water. He ushered me into the house, pointing out that it had been cleaned toptobottom, pulled me a chair, untied my shoes, peeled off my socks, fed me grapes and protien shakes, plied me with icepacks and kisses. I have more secret weapons then I ever let on.

So now I am going to take two days off. Two full days off because even though the guilt and recriminations will haunt me, my legs will thank me. I've got nothing else to stand on.

/insert reputation joke here

Monday, July 28, 2008

aentropic

My marriage as I write this is exactly one year and one week old... almost to the minute, but I would have to check the time signature on the pictures to be sure... and I have finally, if only for a minute, found myself floating on the tranquil and serene waters of life. Life is so good, so sweet, and so gentle that my dreams have stilled and become boring. Take this vignette; back home after three days on the river, which I will tell you about (maybe) and asleep before the next work day I dreamed nonstop about interpreters floating in canoes interpreting into the air.



I understand, on the surface it might seem interesting, it was even a little ghostly, but the dream was merely an intersection of my two days, a day after canoeing to be followed by a day back at work, and nothing more. ...not even (excuse the pun) an interpretation of events. Each interpreter sat in their own canoe indifferent to the current drifting their craft about. It was a traitorous overlap, two transparent days spinning like an eddy in my brain. It was eerie, I mean, who the fuck were they interpreting to? but it was not eerie enough to keep from tossing awake with boredom. All night.

Last night I dreamt I was looking at a list. That's all. I was looking at a list, and I was supposed to pack the things on the list because out the door behind me were dragons and lollipop trees but I kept reading the list, reading the list, insomnolent with impatience. Where are my dreams? If my life is milk and honey will my dreams wither away into mediocrity?



Of course, you can bet you can't count on being content. Eventually someone, perhaps even me, somehow, will start up with their suffering and I will be miffed that I'd been lulled into a false sense of security in a dangerously tentative world. The existential abyss will yawn open and I will swoon on its precipice.



Meanwhile, life, since it is not busy unraveling, is good. Yesterday Clark and I went to a friends wedding out in Hood River and since there doesn't seem to be and danger on the horizon I was convinced by both Clark and Anita to wear an scandalous dress. YOU WON'T LOOK LIKE THAT WHEN YOU ARE 80, BUT YOU WILL BE WISHING YOU HAD WORN THE DRESS IF YOU DON'T, AND IF YOU DO, YOU WONT BE SITTING AROUND REGRETTING THAT YOU DID.

So I did.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Hooray the family

We were in Seattle and that was fun. My favorite part was sleeping and my other favorite part was throwing sticks for Owen in Lake Washington just a few steep blocks from my uncle's house, and my other favorite part was making pesto from the basil growing in my yard. Oh, and of course, the family.

We came home to a rushed week, a hugely active week and I feel guilty for sitting down if I do nothing more while sitting then breathe. Sunday night my sister-in-law Anita moved in for a few weeks. My mom and Lee stayed the night over. Monday Owen went to the vet and came home neutered. He was so so drugged up on pain medication ...which is a $24 option, wtf? it should be illegal to perform surgery on an animal and opt to not give them pain medication...(what was I saying?) oh! so drugged that even propped on his feet his forehead dragged on the ground. The next morning he was his normal springy self, no less a man I told him.

Now it is mid-week and after two days off from my running schedule to massage a pulling, tearing, wretched hamstring I was on my feet at 4am to run 18 miles, that hamstring willing I was home to kiss my husband as he left for work, and tomorrow we'll both be up at 3am to be on the road at 4am to make our way to the John Day river to spend our first anniversary in the river canyon for four days.

The best part is always the sleep.

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Know-it-all

My neighborhood is dark and well-treed. There are almost no lights through these streets and the sidewalks are, in places, buckled with old roots. I don't know these out-croppings; though I run these streets, my knowledge is not anatomical. But I can't NOT think these dreamy thoughts: how I am asleep and dreaming upright on my legs because I know the ground is jutting, warped and yawning under me in the dark and I have no expectations of where then my feet will find me...

...not like when you slam down on the landing because you thought there was an extra stair left... the opposite of that like you float along without needing to know where the ground will be and therefor the ground is where it always was and then you too are where you are meant to be and, AHA it is like that running dream, you know?

Out of the neighborhood now I am running along better lit streets with sidewalks as flat and smooth as glass. I have left the dark streets behind confident that I KNOW EVERYTHING THERE IS TO KNOW ABOUT RUNNING BLINDLY. The very moment I tuck the thought away my foot catches on the opened umbrella of a dandelion seed JUST LAYING IN THE MIDDLE OF THE SIDEWALK and suddenly, after years and years and years of running down dark rutted streets, I trip. I fall and I die.

No, just kidding. I fall, like really fall, hard skittering and roll like a burrito (that is to say, efficiently) so that I am surprised to sit upright and disappointed that there is only a few small droplets of blood on my elbow... and then I run. I run because everytime I think I know everything, or anything even, I realize on the skid that I don't know anything at all. In all my years of running, leaping boulders and curbs, I've never ever fallen till I thought I thought I knew. I'll say imprecisely, I don't know a damn thing. And this is a hard lesson for a girl whose first words were a defiant scream: I KNOW!

So I get up and I run like blood is flowing like the Rubicon and I run as if anger would be irrelevant and I run and I run while in my mind the blood gushing down my arm and down my leg washes away every moment that passes in its torrents.

And it works for me while, really, the tiny droplet of blood on my elbow is already coagulated, scabbed and healed by the time I get home.

Saturday, July 05, 2008

1000 dollar water bill

I ran my requisite miles for today, which was fifteen but just to get home I rounded up a quarter mile or so. It was cool out compared to last week when I ran 13.38 with the sun shining down 167 degrees. Lucky for me, that day Clark rode his bicycle along side carrying a riding crop, several bottles of water and concentrated electrolytes tasting like pure sweat. Eventually the water got so hot in its bottle, worsening, if possible, the taste of the electrolyte concentrate that I just stopped drinking and started talking about the West Virginian path I found myself now on, 1977 mid-fall. It was clearly autumn because I was not sweating any longer, my skin chill. It occurred to me I should ask Clark if I was still making sense and he thrust the hot icky bottle of yucky water at me. Last week I survived, recovered panting in Owen's tiny 4' kiddy-pool. This week I survived in much, much better condition, even without an escort.

I am closing in on one whole year of matrimony. I still have not posted except briefly about my wedding and honeymoon, and I guess now I never will. The -1 year calendar has been on my mind a lot lately, passing as it does day by day, a year ago. Memory, I want to pocket those memories but they are most poignant where they are, where I find them. I just stare and stare at this years volunteer sunflowers. I once heard a stand-up comedian say he kept his extensive collection of seashells on beaches around the world and I was like YEAH! Some days when I flip through my checkbook, or drive across the river north I feel electrocuted and seven-dimensional. Time is wild and ravenous. The tunnel west still kills me. A scrub brush hollow under the arch of its branches, the color of brick, ozone, tin, queen anne's lace. I love my scars so much. Next time someone cooks me the best meal I have ever eaten I am going to thrust my hand into the fire so it will be written on my body.

This year (through today) I have run 645.48 miles and I plan to run at least another 600 miles between now and October before the marathon. I should be running with both photo ID, because I am proven neither wise or safe about running in the heat, and a pocket full of seashells and sunflower seeds to scatter as I go.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Guess what?



I passed my certification test and am now a "candidate for (moremoremore) certification"!

Yay!

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Reach the Beach 2008

I have to study for my certification test which is why I figured out how to download songs saved on my computer to my phone as ring tones. This is so LIBERATING! If you call me and I don't answer till the tenth ring it is because I am enjoying a Finnish Polka.

Reach The Beach 2008

So I have to study which is why for the blog post too. Kara over at Between The Miles tagged me with 8 Things You Might Want To Know and I can't think of a better time to tell you.

1. I hatehatehate having hot water on my face.
2. I have elegant toes.
3. When I was a teenager I thought my friend John and I had the same dream, like we'd astral-projected into the ethers and hung out together there, but now I think he was just fucking with me.

Sister-in-law

4. Sometimes I suspect that I could just slip between molecules, but get too excited to do it because I can't quite fathom, but do sense, the quantum possibilities. Other time I am, like, WHATEVER! CRAZY YOU.
5. My Dad is downstairs watching the news with my husband. They like each other a lot.
6. My Dad is here now, and has been here (in a more general sense) for 12 years, before which he was gone for more than 17 years, but before that we hung up pretty much ever day for like, 6 years. Then later I sued about the whole explosive fiasco for 400 million but only won a few million and only got a thousand bucks, to be paid twice yearly for four years. The checks are always late.
7. No, I didn't sue my dad, and no, it wasn't about the money.

Little brother

8. I don't really burn, I tan slowly. I rode a hundred and two miles to the beach yesterday with my brother, my sister-in-law, my dad, my aunt and my uncle. It was hot but I didn't die at all like I have been known to almost do and that was pretty lucky.

I have a blueprint for my family that won't be realized for, like, fifty years in which I am a Grand Dame and benevolent matriarch of a well loved clan and all the extended loved ones. I am taking lessons in part from Clark's twin auntmother, and in part from my desire to have a running team. Me and my team, we will run 1000 mile relay races living in vans. I will be 90 and wear shortshort running shorts and tell everyone how loved they are. AND YES THERE IS ROOM FOR EVERYONE

This weekend is evidence that my plans are well underway. However, if I don't pass my certification test this Wednesday, all is lost. I best go study.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Mothers Day run

mothers day run

There isn't much I do with my time lately but work, run and study for my certification test. If I am not actually doing one of those things then I am thinking about, getting ready to, or taking a break between doing one of those things before I do another one of those things. For everything else I do my best to be accommodating. So, my run today is my Mothers Day salutation to you, Mom, writ large on the earth where I live doing what I love best.

I love you and promise I will do my best to not ever step on a crack again.

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Call me Sam



I got a new job quantum leaping round the United States opening and closing windows into peoples lives in a manner that is totally out of my control. Do you remember that show? I go to work and it is like, 1989 again and I am a nerd again fantasizing about amazing inventions of the future like a hair product that will finally make people like me and phones where you can see each other and because that isn't cool enough the phone would have a button you can push and out pops both ice cream and pizza or a pony. And there is a guy with a remote control that doesn't quite work but he uses it as best he can to tell you about what it might be that you are supposed to do... remember that??? That is totally my new job.

That is all I can tell you about my new job, other then the fact that I don't have the experience or the certification for this job and should save everybody the trouble and just go home ....but for that I have been daydreaming about this day since fourth grade.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Maybe this is what I deserve

My husband's parents are in Turkey for three and a half weeks so we are taking care of their dog, Sunny, who is a bit of a bumpkin lacking the cosmopolitan sophistication Owen displays when we are dragging around on leashes and when we are meeting new dogs and when we are deciding which delicious things on the floor to chew on.



Saturday last week he came over and by Monday he started with the diarrhea so, again, we were cleaning the floor on our hands and knees; Monday after work, up in the middle of the night, 6 in the morning, after work again, and again and again.

By Thursday we are back at the vet and nothing is wrong. Again. MAYBE IT IS JUST STRESS, AFTER ALL HIS MOMMY AND DADDY ARE GONE. TRY THIS REALLY EXPENSIVE BAG OF Low-Intestinal-Residue PupFood AND SOME HERE ARE SOME PILLS JUST TO BE SURE.

Maybe its because when I took a second to roll my eyes heavenward he cleaned out the kitty litter box, chewed the siding off the house, ate a foam mattress, swallowed his weight in mud and ravaged my seedlings starts.

By now maybe you have the impression that I am not a very good pack leader and am a lousy tender of puppies, and I can't blame you. But you would be wrong and you dont have to believe me till you are here, on your hands and knees pulling barbed wire and live possum out of these pup gullets. Then you'd get it, by gum.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Pear Blossom 2008

Weed!

Last weekend was hot and sunshiny, more like summer really then anything springlike. I spent seventy-two of those forty-eight hours in the car driving to Medford and back. Between south/northagain I spent one hour, twenty-two minutes and nine seconds running ten miles after only five hours and fourteen and a half minutes sleeping. I don't sleep well before races. In fact sleeping well only happens on the back end, that is, if I finally get there and am allowed to stay there, sleeping. Which I rarely am.

ANYWAY, We drove down to Medford for the Pear Blossom run which is something of a tradition (2008, 2007, 2006, 2005, 2004); the ritual part being me bitching about Medford, the drive and the fact that the race is on Saturday, then leaving later then planned after not enough time stayed. Oh, and I usually wander around the RR tracks in Ashland with John for awhile somewhere in the time between.

There were improvements over last year... I didn't have to make the drive alone, the libraries are open again, no one stole my parking spot and I didn't drown in the rain. We arrived at the start line late for my Dad's 5k and despite starting at the very back of the pack he still shaved a couple minutes off his time.

A half an hour before my race started, Clark and his daughter and I ran the Mayor One Mile in a swarm of impressively enthusiastic, if somewhat untrained, children. It was like The Tortoise And The Hare every few seconds. CHARGE! pant pant CHARGE! pant pant CHARGE! We ran an eleven minute mile and got red ribbons. It was awesome.

My race started just a few minutes later. I edged closer to the front of the pack then I normally do and started slow, at least mentally. This race, this year was the most perfectly executed race I have ever run, and not at all because I set a PR for the course. What that means isn't worth explaining because research shows that nobody has even read this far because there are a lot of words and they are all about me.

I have a sort of distorted and you might say EXTREMELY NEGATIVE view of the past and think even the ME of a month ago an unsophisticated boob so I was a little disappointed to compare my times from this year to my race times from last year and find that not only were they close, I would have been my own fierce competitor if I had been there to race me. Surely, after a full year of evolving I would leave that little twit in the dust! NO! I would have been panting down my neck. Rude! Yet... formidable!

Anyway, I forget what I was saying. It was hot, it was lots of driving, I ate noodles and tried to knit my first-ever scarf on the thus-far hottest day of the year. Brilliant! Tomorrow it is supposed to snow so if I hurry up, knitknitknit, I might be on the cutting edge of fashion for just the tiniest fraction of my lifetime.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Taxes and budgets and bills and boxes-in-piles and dirty clothes and hunger and pestilence and software and the future and

If I could invent a new word for how overwhelmed I feel right now I would say it OUTLOUD and the air would smell like a car accident and the sky would arch away. Gazing that far upward you would wobble and cease to be at all comforted.

My head starts hurting every time my phone rings and when I pull in front of my house I sit there hanging onto every word of radio news because I can't yet go inside where all those things need doing, maybe better to take my foot off the brake and roll quietly away before engaging the clutch.

But I didn't again today. I came back into the house and shuffled through the rooms in a stupor muttering my new word, doing none of those things at all but wishing it was time to go to bed in the way where sleep is a metaphor for death.

Monday, April 07, 2008

Boy is my head sore FROM BANGING IT AGAINST THE WALL ALL WEEK LONG

Owen got sick again and while we were away one afternoon broke through the baby gate so he could poop extra stinky diarrhea all over the carpet instead of on that pesky slick old linoleum floor we keep in the kitchen. So we went off to the vet again, and paid $50 to have them look at his poop again, and it came back negative for parasites, again. In the meantime he puked a few times here and there just to make a point.

My poor baby!

That didn't solve the diarrhea problem but the vet did refuse to give him his shots that day and instead rescheduled him for another appointment two expensive days later. His eyes started gooping up with yellow snot and he refused to eat more then a few bites of food. We took turns waking up and running him outside every couple hours through the night and I fretted loud and often about possible dehydration. I left messages with the doctor and she never called back.

Meanwhile, Owen otherwise didn't act terribly sick. Being in quarantine from other dogs he took to harassing the cat as if she were also a frustrated, desperate-to-play 4 month old puppy... that is, hopping up and landing with both paws pinning her down then thrashing her about. Willie doesn't seem to be terribly concerned and does little more than slap clawlessly at his face and hiss once and awhile (she certainly isn't bothered enough to get up on her feet and walk away because that would be exercise and Willie does not do exercise). But I am concerned because I keep ASKING HIM TO BE GENTLE, AND OH BY THE WAY NEXT TIME POOP/BARF OVER HERE but nothing in my power seems to have any impact on anything, ever, at all, whatso-uselessly-ever. ARGH!

For a whole week I simply failed to exist.

Finally, after some research I decided maybemaybe it was his food that was too cheap and dirty and was the source of his health problems. We took him off IAMS which is an ex-good brand now total crap and switched him to Orijen and overnight, literally the next morning he was pooping normally and his eyes cleared up.

Finally fully vaccinated and restored, yesterday we took him to the dog park for the first time. After two blissful hours of being charged and mowed down by packs of full grown dogs running at top speed, rolled in mud and grit and covered in slobber we brought him home and he slept the entire night through.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Home Sweet Home

Owen is nearly four months old and is now bigger then Willie, but nothing phases her. Here in this short movie, made at 7 o'clock this morning, they recreate a scene from our marriage on the days I am forced to get our of bed before noon.



Thank god that I am so friggin lovable.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Easter Sunday afternoon


I couldn't stay awake this afternoon and in futility lay where I fell near the heater dreaming of zombies. In a world where it just comes down to you and a few hold outs against an army of zombies there are no happy endings. Even if you set a boobie-trap and explode every single zombie there is nothing left to do but sit around playing cards on a pile of stinking zombie corpses. Even if you win you lose. There is nobody to run the coffee shops, ride city buses, or mow lawns. You can be a zombie or dance a lonely lonely victory dance surrounded forever by death and stink and lonliness and disease. And even when it starts snowing in the kitchen, in the kitchen!, even if the snow is so beautiful school wont be canceled because there is nobody to teach. I tried so hard to see where the snow was coming from and in the end all my looking efforts to see just woke me up, and I was still laying where I fell staring instead at the carpet, depressed.

So I went back to sleep.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Shamrockin'

Today is St. Patrick's Day and I didn't wear a stitch of green because I am grouchy and obstreperous, gearing up nicely for old age. JUST YOU COME AND TRY AND PINCH ME YOU CHEEKY BASTARDS. I am going to bed in a minute here, no green beers or kissing Irishmen even if one were here saying I have nice looking potatoes with his seductive Irish accent. I'm into Swedes these days.

The race yesterday went nicely because first of all it didn't rain but stayed awesomely overcast for the duration.

Second because even though I had to abandon the potty line when I was within a quarter-mile, not going to the bathroom never bothered me. Still, every single race I run until I die you will find me in a panic waiting to pee while the seconds tick down to the starting gun. If I happen to make it to the restroom in time I run back to the end of the line and start waiting in a new panic because I am sure I have to pee, again.

Third, my lungs were mostly clear and even when I did cough up some pearly junk it did not choke me, was discreet and did not land on the leg of any other runner, thick as we were.

Fourth, fifth and sixth: the freeken hills!, the finish line kick, and my chip time. I finished 15k (9.3 miles) in 1:18:48 = 8:27/mile (7.22 mph) which is faster then I need to run for my marathon goal this year. Theoretically I would need to pick up my skirts and keep running 16.9 more miles at the same pace after the finish line to hit my hopeful 3:45 marathon mark so it isn't time to take it easy just because yesterday went alright, but its a nice pat on the back.

Seventh and eighth: I finished 54/264 in my division, and 258/1218 in my gender. Generally finishing in the triple digits isn't really that impressive but being in the top 20-25 percentile isn't so bad. It is all how you math it.

I could do, if I wanted to, high kicks today with no muscular complaints except a faint sassy twang in my left hamstring but old bitches don't to high kicks. They go to bed early.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Ready, set, go...

I started running again on Sunday after I took a week off for being sick. My right lung feels clear, if a little tender, but I swear I have grown a membrane across the entire opening into my left lung as if to seal it up for the safe cultivation of tiny mucus pearls at each bronchial juncture. I can feel them and I can not dislodge them. I promise I would not even notice if it were not for the near perfect gas exchange transpiring in the right lung. It is the asymmetry thats killing me.



My heart rate seems higher then usual this week and I feel slower then normal except for those first joyful blocks of dreamy gazelle-like bounding before I settle myself into a pace. The Shamrock Run is on Sunday and I am not entirely sure I'll be ready. Underpreparedness is unlikely to stop me.

The last mile

Underpreparedness is how I live my life actually, in a constant state of near panic at my inability to become prepared. I dont even know what it means to be prepared and only once or twice in the last year did I actually catch a breeze in which it sublimely occurred to me there really was nothing I needed to be doing but exactly what I was doing. And I love this rare moment so much till it occurs to me that am still lousy at cultivating my Buddha seed because I planted it into the weed-infested garden bed that is my soul and maybe I should just chug round-up or light this stack of papers on fire and the moment is no longer being lived in and I am off and running again. Unprepared.

So will I let that stop me from running 15K in just a few days from now? Hell no.

Saturday, March 08, 2008

Spring fever

Will cry for food
-.2 (point two) pounds

Last night, without any forethought, I walked into the bathroom, pulled my hair back into a ponytail then cut it off. I felt so totally uncorked I danced a little.


-7 inches

It was a devastating moment for Clark this morning and he sulked so I wore somber black for him and tried to not twirl my hair or flip it from side to side.

I might go shorter still but don't say anything.

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