Monday, August 25, 2008

Dehydration isn't for wussies!!

Just after I filled my tank for the second time on my way to the Jack Johnson Concert, I decided that I needed to have a hike on the way home to make my travels worth while. My friend Betty was very helpful in finding information on gorge hikes and we had already discussed hiking up Dog Mt. We planned to meet at the trailhead around 12 noon. The 7 mile hike took about 4 hours round trip with an elevation gain of 2950'. The pic below was about 3/4 of the way up. Betty took a fabulous panoramic shot!This was the trail to the top. Not much longer to go!
From the top of the trail you could see THREE Mountains! I love the Northwest! Below looking North at Mt. Adams.Betty and Mt. Hood to the South. Lastly is Mt. St. Helens to the Northwest.

The view was spectacular and we took our time enjoying the scenery before heading back down.A huge highlight on the way back down was watching four of the cutest baby squirrels playing in a tree stump. They were so small and cute I wanted to take one home!
So this is where my dehydration story begins. Shortly after observing the baby squirrels I started to feel not so good. I tried to plan appropriately for this hike, but my beer drinking and popcorn eating at the concert the night before proved to be costly. I drank a 32 oz. of vitamin water before the hike and had a few protein bars. We also snacked on some Bing cherries I picked up at a farmers market in Goldendale. I don't usually eat Bing Cherries all because I saw The Witches of Eastwick when I was about 10 years old. Not sure how many of you have seen this movie, but there is an unfortunate scene involving cherries and projectile vomiting. That was enough for me. I haven't eaten many bing cherries since! Despite my PTSD, I decided to face my fears and enjoy cherries before they are no longer in season. The vitamin water, protein bars and cherries were not enough! My headache turned into a pounding brainache that resulted in nausea. Was I really getting that sick? I couldn't believe it as I scurried down the trail. After picking up some cold water and driving with my AC on icy cold high, I felt well enough to make the 60 min drive back to Portland to pick up my pumpkin from Heather's house (Thanks for Babysitting H!). The drive from Heather's to my apartment was brutal and I worried as I drove on roads with no shoulders. What would I do if I HAD to pull over? Well, luckily my Madre taught me breathing exercises to slow the process. I ended up making it home just in time to loose my cherries!!! I Could not believe that I lost my cherries just like in the Witches of Eastwick!!! Could have been worse though. I made it home in time, where my bed was waiting for me and I had great pics from high atop Dog Mt. You can bet that I will not do future hikes unprepared!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Listened to my boyfriend on Friday night....

Whoops, I meant listened to Jack Johnson......

Jadee bought tickets months ago and we finally got to see Jack play live at the amazing gorge in George, Washington. We met in Vantage on Friday afternoon and set up camp on the river before driving 12 miles to the amphitheater. I'm not usually a fan of big crowds, but it was absolutely worth it! We ran into fellow Cougs all night and it felt great to be back in the Washington boonies.

Once at the gorge, we had A LOT of time to kill. We did some serious people watching (ask me about the lady in the red bikini later) and we took several digital pictures- most of which were erased- thank god!Just a bit of information about my man Jack:
  • 33 years of age

  • he has a one year old cutie

  • is married to his long-time sweetheart

  • born and raised in Hawaii

  • has been professional surfer (see pic below)

  • and shares a birthday with yours truly (5/18)

  • 'stud muffin' as my Dad would say
If you haven't been to the Gorge for a concert, put it on your 'bucket list'. The amphitheater is the perfect place to watch the sunset, relax on the cool grass, watch the night stars glow, all while listening to great music. I do recommend eating and drinking before the show though. A domestic beer is $11.50 (yikes!).Jadee in one of the many lines.....
The sunset was preeetttty nice!
Jack was great. I can't wait to see him again!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

reconnecting with the right side....

Tonight I reconnected with the right side of my brain. I saved an Alzheimer's community flyer from a networking visit last year and was inspired to sketch the image in my sketchbook this evening. This is how it turned out:

I can remember exactly when I started doodling/sketching/drawing. Eleventh grade, sitting behind Gretchen Leary in Japanese class, trying not to be annoyed by Davis Sensei's piercing voice. The first drawing that had real meaning to me had a heart and a cross in the center and the rest of the lined notebook page was filled with MC Escher type three dimensional designs. At the time this art meant so much to me since religion and relationships dominated this period of my adolescent development. I continued to find peace in drawing and took a drawing class in college to get some background. Since then, it has been therapeutic and even spiritual for me when I have time to do it, or I need it.

I love to draw people. My obsession with artistic interpretations of people started in my college art history class, and I think it has helped me to appreciate the beauty of the human body and the power of the face.

About 6 years ago, my friend Jess and I went to Europe for 7 weeks. When we were in Venice, a handmade sketchbook found me and begged me to spend approximately 38 Euros on it. That was a pretty nice chunk of money, but when I saw it I knew we needed to be together. While we were travelling, I kept picking up postcards from museums of art that I had to take home with me. I started sketching them on our trip and have been slowly adding to the empty pages of my beloved sketchbook. Below are a few recreations....

Four years ago I was lucky enough to be back in Europe with more time to spend in the Louvre. Below, a sketch of a statue inside the Louvre. I love LOVE to sit in museums and sketch for hours. That was one of those days where you know you may leave that physical location, but you will have the memory forever. Just me, my sketchbook and my dixon ticonderoga. Great day.This was just what I needed today. I need to make more time for my artistic side. It makes me feel warm and fuzzy.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

just what I needed

Thank you Carrie!

Four months ago, my Sister sensed that I was just a little stressed about finishing my dissertation and she sent me a beautiful homemade card and something I love-- A free Massage!

I didn't have any time to use it before, so I used my free massage today to help soothe my sore muscles and it was blissful. I'm so relaxed I'm going to have to miss my Olympics tonight to catch up on sleep.

Thanks Sis!

Monday, August 18, 2008

Number Three

Another weekend in Seattle! On Sunday, Rita and I finished our third Danskin together. It was a blast!This year the registration period for the triathlon lasted only 11 hours! That meant that between Midnight and 11am, 5000 women registered to participate in this years event. I had talked up the danskin to several friends and I felt terrible when they had gone to the registration page on opening day only to find that the race had already closed! I will plan this better next year. One friend that did get registered was my friend Laurie. I met her through my research project and she really helped me get things going. She is an administrator at one of the research sites and she is also one of the funniest people I know. When we get together, Laughter is guaranteed. In the following pic, we are both looking a bit more serious. We were in route to the Swim/Race Start. It is weird how even after doing this race two times before I still get butterflies.
The swim portion and bike portion were great, but Laurie and I decided to spice up our run by wearing rockstar mullet wigs purchased from the party store the night before the race. I had no idea how much attention this would bring us! We were getting high fives and cheers from everybody. and at the finish line.... Let's just say we did a little dance and were so busy celebrating we stopped before the finish line. It was hilarious!
Megan rocked the wig. With poses like this, she really will continue to resemble her Auntie Beth.

Christian also came along to support the racers. As always, my Mom was there for moral support and this year she was joined by my friend Bree. Bree is the next unsuspecting participant of next years race, hehehe....

Below... Christian put on Megan's pink jacket. He's just too buff for his own good. What a stud!

We had a wonderful meal at the Pyramid Ale House downtown. I'm so predictable. The closest plate in this picture shows my favorite turkey burger. YUM YUM YUM. Also worth noting, Megan's plate. She ordered flank steak. She doesn't mess around.

This weekend started out rocky. On Friday I left my keys at work, which meant that I spent two and a half hours on the road on my motorcycle. Not sure how many of you are aware, but on Friday it was over 100 degrees in Portland. Motorcycles and 100 plus temperatures do not mix. So after getting to Laurie's very late, we were held up again for an hour because I-5 was closed due to a grass fire. Then on Saturday, we got a little lost on our way to the packet pick-up (props to Beth J. for her help on the cell!!) and then managed to get a $68 dollar parking ticket (along with a lot of other angry racers). I won't get into details because the parking lot was very poorly designed. What is important is that despite not really training for this event, there was no drowning and we actually did pretty well! So well I'm looking forward to next years race already. If you are interested, please email me so I can get you on my Danskin email list this spring. I will make sure interested friends and family do not miss the registration day.

Enough for now. I'm starving and about to make some Thai peanut crusted chicken. Delish!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Inka Puppy

Meet Heather's new Baby girl, Inka! Her name was inspired by our trip to Peru. She is 5 1/2 weeks old, border collie terrier mix. Heather moved into a pet friendly apartment complex with the intention of getting a border collie and this cute girl was waiting for her at her neighbor's place. SHE IS SO CUTE it was HARD TO LEAVE!!! YAY Mama HEATHER!!!

Posing for the camera!

Monday, August 11, 2008

random thoughts here....

Yesterday after a lap swim at the local pool, I went to Walmart for the first time in a very long time. I try to avoid shopping there for reasons I haven't really internalized yet. I just know that I like the idea of going local. Due to my recent finances, I really needed to save that extra couple of bucks on household cleaning supplies and pet food, so I made trip. The funny thing is that this trip to Walmart was almost a multicultural immersion for me. I thought I was in for a trip to a small town America superstore, but if you go to the store on 82nd in SE Portland you will see a virtual melting pot of various ethnicities. I heard at least 7 different languages on my trip. I also had the pleasure of sitting next to a group of adults with disabilities, likely cerebral palsy. I ate my soft pretzel with mustard (I was starving after swimming) and observed the warmest interactions between the caregivers and these particular individuals. It was a weird moment for me. I work with people with disabilities daily, yet in the Walmart it reminded me of how unfair the real world can be. As I chewed on my pretzel I continued to people watch. People of all shapes and sizes entered the Walmart, all with a mission and many with several kids. I was feeling especially curious and wondered what each person's story was as they walked past me. I saw several obese people, some people with many tattoos and leathered skin, and one woman who appeared to have an active addiction to meth. As I finished my pretzel, it occurred to me that the enormity of pain that people experience is at times overwhelming.

Stick with me here.....

After having this thought, I recalled the end of a movie I had watched earlier in the week.... War of the Worlds. (if you haven't seen this movie, I ignore the following babble) Is it just me or are there other people who are equally freaked out when they really let themselves think about life outside of our planet? I'm not talking about religious stuff, I'm talking about life in our universe. Okay, I know I'm getting a little outside of myself now, but I had this connection between life in the universe and our vulnerabilities as humans. We feel emotion and pain.... that is what makes us human. Do we as a collective group have the ability to know and digest the idea that other lifeforms exist in our universe? I went on to think about how discomforting it can be to think about our safe world being in jeopardy or even being a smaller part of something much larger, which I suspect we are. But our brains are not hardwired to think that way all the time. We have so much to swallow with our own adversities here on our planet. War... illness... death.. grief... I don't really have a special thought here, just that as I sat there eating my pretzel, I was reminded of how resilient humans are. I thought about the movie because in my mind, in order to live day to day with the knowledge of extraterrestrial life, we might become desensitized to human emotion.... emotion that ranges from from pain and grief to laughter or cooing over a baby's adorable face. I like being an emotive being... I'm going to stick with it. It will be especially easy since my friends are all having babies. YAY FRIENDS!!!!

Enough random thoughts for now.... I think I will pick up these thoughts again when I'm swimming in Lake Washington next Sunday.

Sunday, August 10, 2008


Lately it seems like my life evolves in circles. I know it is like this every summer because the weekends fill up fast with planned activities, but it seems like I'm especially attentive this summer since my transitional (partially unemployed) period causes me such discomfort. No new news on the jobfront. My dreamjob is non existent at this point and until something comes along, I need to be continuing on with my consulting stuff. This continues to be a scary thought for me, so I'm trying to enjoy the growth process.

I have developed a nice little schedule that has just recently included a little bit more working out. I have a triathlon next weekend and unfortunately training for this race has not been at the top of my priority list. In fact, I'm pretty sure it missed the list all together. Usually it is very motivational for me, but I have reasoned with myself that I have used up all my "go get 'em goal energy" on my dissertation. I feel empty with energy and I'm not adjusting well to that. I'm hoping the triathlon will ignite my hunger for cardio and hopefully I can back on the train. Until then, golf has become my favorite way to pass time. Unfortunately, golf is not the most active sport, but I can safely say it is the hardest sport I have ever played! I love the challenge. I had the opportunity to play 18 holes with a friend up north and it was GREAT!!! So, hitting a bucket of balls has become part of my weekly schedule.

A pic from golfing last weekend. How's the posture Dad?
On another note, my dear friend Heather(Peru Heather) is adopting a border collie mix puppy and I'm elated! Yes!!! my friends with dogs count keeps rising and I couldn't be happier. Because this pup is only 6 weeks old, I will absolutely post pics of her cuteness when I take them. Yay Heather!!!

Okay, jumping back into my Sunday morning schedule now. Vacuum, run, grocery... blah.... blah......

Thursday, August 7, 2008

My new toy!!!!

just kidding. It is my friend's motorcycle. Wishful thinking....

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Time to celebrate!

This past weekend I headed to Seattle for a wonderful family gathering in my honor. My Mom, Sister and Sister-in-law planned, prepared and hosted a barbecue in celebration of my newly acquired degree. We had my favorite.... Turkey Burgers! My sister also made her stellar potato salad and my Mom made strawberry spinach salad and of course my favorite broccoli slaw. I'm getting hungry just thinking about it! This gathering also gave us all a chance to see how big my nephew Mathew is getting. He is so cute and still to young to turn his head away from the 326 kisses I gave him. I love that Baby!
Bree and Steph came down from Ballard and I'm so glad they did. I have known these girls for over 8 years and they are the best. and I'm not even saying that because they gave me a gift card for REI. Thank you Ladies!
My Grandma Junette also came and got her fill of Mathew lap time. She is 90 years old, but doesn't look it!
Will, Mathew's older brother, enjoyed his hamburger. He is a busy guy and spent the entire afternoon running circles around us all.
My Sister Carrie and My Sister-in-law Angie were giggling over the photos we were taking. They both look great and I am thankful to them for the effort they put into this get together. Oh, and the invitations were lovingly prepared by my Sister. She's got skills! Mathew and I with the yummy Congratulations cake. I didn't know this, but I was sharing my cake and ice cream with him and it was his first big people food. He loved it!
How cute is my Mom? Jadee and My niece Megan in the kitchen.
After we were all sufficiently full, we headed out front for some ATV fun. With my skirt on, I gave my brother's ATV a test ride up the street..... it rocked! Will also showed the entire crew how he can spin out on his little guy ATV. He knows he is badass. You can see it in his face. My brother gleams with pride when this kid rides around.I have to post a picture of my ever maturing Nephew Christian. He is now WAY taller than I am and I'm adjusting. He was the first little one in the family and was born when I was in the 9th grade. Now he is close to driving legally.... I love this guy..... Jadee brought her friend Zack who fit right in with the Fam. This cute, outdoorsy guy has great international travel stories and works as an interpreter. He picked up Russian during travels. Holy Cow!
Bree looking good with the baby!!! Good practice I say!

After the family barbecue, a few of us kept the party going by spending some time in downtown Seattle. Old friends from WAZZU, Jamie and Andy drove up from Tacoma and we had a blast hitting all those cool little bars around Pike Place Market. It was great. Although I have to say that after living in Portland, Seattle felt large. The parking was a pain and everyone was dressed to the Nines.This particular Saturday was wonderful and I owe it to my family and friends for being so supportive. Thank you for all that you have done (including those of you who weren't present on Sat) to help me get to where I am today. Couldn't have done it without you.