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.


(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


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


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