Friday, December 29, 2006
Wednesday, December 27, 2006
At 6:52am I finally got my wish. I woke Ron up and he was a fantastic caretaker. He bounced out of bed and immediately threw our queen-sized airbed in the bathroom and began inflating it. I hurled 6 more times while sitting on my own rubber raft. Hurl is the right word - my whole body would seize up and attempt to throw me into the toilet. Not comfortable. Ron brought me the TV & DVD player so I could watch shows to distract me from the pain, he sat with me, held my hair back when I was hurling, offered to read to me, and just laid next to me to comfort me. I felt very loved.
By noon I was finished expelling poison. I began the slow trek to wellness via gatorade. Thankfully when I moved into my apartment (3.5 years ago) my mom and I had purchased a 64 oz. gatorade for just such a time as this. Clear, watermelon gatorade. It's amazing how fast you can be reduced to sincere excitement about consuming "a whole saltine in less than an hour!"
4pm, we got in the car to make the trek to Seattle. We were determined not to let this ruin Christmas. Sitting on a yellow raincoat (in case of unstoppable surprises), bowl, gatorade and saltines in hand, Ron drove through ceaselessly pouring rain.
7:52pm, we arrived at my Uncle Scott's house. Just in time for dessert. You've got to understand, this side of the family is 100% Danish. We do dessert. Like two separate rooms with tables full. There's the sugar cookies, the fudge, the creme de menthe brownies, the molasses parallelograms (fluff up bars), the rum balls, the pecan bars, the spritz. Not to mention the apple, pumpkin, pecan pies and the queen of all desserts - marzipan cake. For the first time in my life, I could not imagine eating dessert.
10:16pm we left the party and headed to my parents house. Ron & my dad headed to candlelight service and I was thrilled to lay flat on my back on a heating pad. Stomach & back muscles had the workout of their life earlier in the day.
1:05pm my brother & his wife had arrived, Ron & dad were home from church and I was ready for bed. We were standing in the kitchen and I turned to Ron and said, "I think I'm going to pass out." He said, "No, you're not." And then I did.
Ron caught me, so I didn't hurt my head. Next thing I know, I'm on the floor, propped up between my dad and Ron. Apparently I turned quite the cornucopia of colors - from white to green to red. Just getting in the Christmas spirit.
The lesson is, when you're dehydrated, hypoglycemic and lay on a heating pad for a few hours with a bathrobe, new fleece and down comforter - you pass out. At least if you're Trina.
I woke up the next morning feeling brand new.
All in all an unusual Christmas, but I experienced the love of my family in large doses. Plus, I didn't have to worry about eating too much at the holidays!
Wednesday, December 20, 2006
"Thanks Trina! You were honestly a wonderful teacher. They should get you back as often as possible. Great job for your first college class! Have a great holiday."
"You did an amazing job; it was by far my favorite class. I was worried at first on how I was going to motivate myself to come to such a late class, but I didn't have to motivate myself because the class was so interesting. You are a natural at teaching. You should come back in the fall and teach again."
Tuesday, December 19, 2006
I absolutely, wholeheartedly loved teaching this marketing class. I had fantastic students. I worked extremely hard to make the course interesting and relevant and I loved watching the students progress. At the beginning I was dang nervous. It's intimidating, feeling solely responsible for their education in this area. Now, to be at the end looking back is wonderful and strange. I would love the opportunity to do this again. I think the reason I liked it was the way it honored my strengths - I love to learn, not just knowing things, but the process of learning is fascinating and enjoyable to me...so the preparation/research that went into each class was a plus for me. I love to communicate (as most of you out there can attest to =). Not just talking, but taking on the challenge of how to most effectively transmit an idea, concept or example to another person...to give them the wonder-filled experience of learning.
A couple of memorable classes:
Market Research - Rather than hearing about all the virtues/vices of surveys & focus groups, I wanted them to interact with the concepts. So, they came in the room and the board read, "Thank you for agreeing to participate in today's product survey for my client. Please sample each of the beverages up front, fill out a survey and take your seat silently." Up front we had "Spicy Cinnamon Apple" "Sour Green Apple" and "Golden Delicious." After we collected the surveys a subset of the class aggregate the data, drew conclusions and determined what needed clarifying. Then we sent all the remaining men into the hallway. I moderated a focus group with the data folks "behind the one-way mirror" observing our study participants. Then, the women left and the men entered. Same questions, same observers - startlingly different responses. At the end, the observers reported to the class the conclusions. I conducted the entire thing without breaking character...right up until the end when I announced, "by the way, it's all the same stuff." It's amazing what food coloring and a name can do to people's perceptions. So, we all learned some important lessons. (Credit to my Dad for the origin of this idea)
Creativity Day - You walk in. All the desks are moved aside. The floor is covered with six different colored plastic tablecloths, each with a bag of candy, a list of names and an art medium in the middle. Music is playing - fun music, the kind of music that gets people dancing at wedding receptions. The goal was on the board - in the next 45 minutes, use your medium to communicate this message "Convince people to stop smoking." They had play-doh to scuplt or fingerpaints or props to create a play. The room is quickly filled with a lot of noise - laughter, yelling out ideas, etc. One of my goals for the semester was to convince the students that they are creative, whether majoring in finance, international relations, interior design, fashion merchandising, graphic design, etc. they are capable of and responsible for the rest of their lives to exercise creativity. Something about fingerpaints gets people less inhibited. It all seemed so silly. They produced some fantastic ideas.
Ok, now I'm just waxing nostalgic. I'm ridiculous. But, it was a ton of fun. Something I hope to do again in the future.
I hate keeping secrets. It feels like a punishment. So, you can imagine Christmastime is a little rough on me. These are happy secrets...but, there are SO MANY of them. I get so excited about the various presents I've picked out or am creating for my loved ones...and there's stories that come from these adventures...and I have to keep them all bottled up inside. I might explode. Plus, by the time it is Christmas, I won't remember ALL of the stories. They'll be lost forever.
Oh, I wish I could just tell you what I'm getting Ron for Christmas...but! wait! I can't. On the random chance he might read the blog and/or post, he'll see it. And that will ruin it. I'll just have to let you know later. And, my parents and Ron's parents. And my grandparents. Ugh! I'll just go home, wrap and tell myself all about the presents I picked.
Saturday, December 16, 2006
Ron came to the rescue. We spent the rest of the day in a series of blindfolded car trips (surprises just make everything more fun!) to various Christmas spots.
First stop, picking up one of my presents. Before he went in he said, "I'll come to your window and knock 9 times, so you'll know it is me and to unlock the door." While waiting in the car blindfolded, Mele Kalikimaka came on the radio...if any of you have met my Grandma Mom, you can imagine what came next...I had to dance. I was seatbelted in...but I managed to sing, do some wild hand motions and bounce my head. Long about now, Ron starts knocking on the window. But it's hard to hear knocks when you're absorbed in singing and dancing. I finally noticed something, but wasn't sure I'd heard NINE knocks. So, I asked him to repeat himself, and give me the password (I'm blindfolded & vulnerable, shouldn't be opening the door to just anyone). When Ron (finally) got in the car he was cracking up - he'd apparently parked us in a highly visible spot - there were many people enjoying my song/dance =).
Next stop, the Nordstrom Cafe (see I love turkey post) with a view of decorated downtown. Then, onto Powells for what turned into a few hours. Another blindfolded drive to Peacock Lane to see Christmas lights, followed by dinner at the Montage. We finished off the night reading the latest chapter in Brothers Karamazov and eating ice cream. It was a good day.
Thursday, December 14, 2006
Scout: General Custer, I've scouted out the Indian forces and I came up with a rough estimate of 3000, nearly 5 times our own force.
Custer: Yeah, ok thanks, get me some coffee.
Narrator: One week later...
Custer: My scout has reporeted on our opposition's strength and they only have, um...about 300 men, we outnumber them 4 to 1. Let's go win us a battle.
Narrator: We all know how that turned out. If only General Custer would have used a SnipSnap to record all his important information, the massacre at Little Big Horn would never have happened. Don't make the same mistake Custer did. You can find the SnipSnap at your local electronics retail store, or visit snipsnapelectronics.com. It remembers so you don't have to
My name is Steve and this is my story. One day my girlfriend wanted to go bungy jumping in an attempt to fly like a bird, to be free from the mundane worries of life. So, being the good boyfriend that I am, I took her to the bridge. The only problem was, to ensure complete freedom, I cut the bungy cord. Ensuring her freedom resultedi n the loss of mine as I am living out a life sentence for bungy manslaughter in the state penitentiary. I have learned my lesson: freedom from cords is only a good thing in the context of electronics. That is why I use WavePower to wirelessly recharge devices such as my electronic toothbrush shank...visit wavepower.com for details.
Death is bad. Hence, people ask the question: Will wireless electronic charging fry my brain like an omelette? No. But the real question is: how safe are your current cords? Let's ponder: You need your laptop. You forgot to plug it in. Getting down on your hands and knees, you crawl under your desk. You lean forward to plug in the cord. But, Oh no! You lose your balance and plugne headlong into a tangled mass of wires! Gasping for air, being strangled to death by your printer/copier/fax cable, you'll wish you'd invested in a WavePower system of wireless charging. WavePower, the next step in wireless freedom and an excellent way to avoid strangulation.
If only I had a SnipSnap...I could have remembered what my boss told me and kept my job. My ex-wife would not have yelled at me as much. I could have been popular, hanging out with Bob Barker, and other famous people. Instead, I am homeless, living with the cows and llamas, trying to get sleep as people in their cars pass by playing loud gangster rap. If only I had a SnipSnap. It recoreds waht you say so that you can remember important things that will change your life. The SnipSnap.
(In dramatic voice:) Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to unwind. First, locate your current pair of earbuds. Stretch the cord out as long and as straight as possible. Now, prepare a small wooden box, one able to encase said earbuds. Dig a hole in the yard, window box, gaden or sandbox slightly larger than newly constructed box. Next, take a sharp pair of scissors and cut the cord to said earbuds. Place earbuds in box and bury said boxi n newly created hole. Your last instruction is to get the new Chio wireless earbuds...and unwind.
From their event write-ups (had to attend a professional event during the semester)
"I would liken the experience to a high school dance. It's fun when you get to dance with someone, but the rest of the time you are just standing there feeling weird..." (regarding a networking event)
(These are the property of the author. All rights are reserved. Please do not use without express written permission).
Saturday, December 09, 2006
Sunday, November 26, 2006
Friday, November 24, 2006
Thursday, November 23, 2006
Needless to say, I like Thanksgiving. We spent Thanksgiving with Ron's family. It was great - but the best was leaving Thursday evening for a relaxing three nights at the Moore's Fishhawk Lake cabin. It was so wonderful. I ate leftover turkey in sandwiches for every meal (including breakfast) until Sunday morning (when we ran out). Rick, Ann and Ron were truly amazed at my capacity...I was truly in paradise...weekend at a cabin with people I love and all the turkey I could eat. Yum.
Monday, November 06, 2006
My Dad is loving, thoughtful, kind, gentle, strong, and all those fatherly things, plus he is REALLY fun. I think I experienced more than my share of his fun, because I was always game.
I learned early to smile for the camera and play the Vanna role. Below, you can see our first fire in the "new" fireplace.
Then there's our experiment, seeing how many balloons it takes for me to fly.
I'd like you to pay particular attention to the Halloween picture - Uncle Scott & Aunt Laurel are bunnies, Lisa is a princess, Jossie's a clown and I am OSCAR THE GROUCH in a GARBAGE CAN . Having fun comes at a price. You don't get to wear all those girly-princessy-"beautiful" costumes. You have to go out on a limb. And sometimes they're a bust. Take for instance, when I was an awkward 13 year old and Dad dressed me up as Ross Perot. Sure, it was 3 days before the election, he'd found some 6 inch tall ears, a bald cap, a silver tie and made me a GIANT campaign sign to tote around, but I have to say that one was a little rough. But, he's taken his lumps too (see Dad as Cop photo below).
There are so many things I could say about my Dad, but the inspiration for this post is his birthday, November 6th. He happened to be in town the weekend before. We were to meet him at Starbucks at 10am on Saturday morning.
I woke up from a dead sleep at 7am with a burst of inspiration. Using the battery powered lights from Ron's Halloween costume, and some posterboard from a class project, I created a birthday costume for my trusty Dad. I WISH I'd brought my camera that day, but let me try and paint a picture in your mind. A bright blue baseball cap with a full string of LED lights safety pinned to it in a zig-zag pattern. A two-sided sandwich board (attached with leftover tinsel garland) that reads in large, black letters, "IT'S MY BIRTHDAY!". 12 present ornaments attached to the sandwich board. When we met them at Starbucks I told my dad I had a special present for him before we went in. He got out of the car, closed his eyes and I helped him don his birthday outfit. When we walked into (packed) Starbucks, he was a hit! Hundreds of people wishing him a happy day and a spontaneous round of "Happy Birthday to You" broke out in Starbucks. Everywhere we paraded him that day, people couldn't help but break into a smile when they saw him coming (he was hard to miss). When we were buying tickets at the theater, the lady said, "Sir, my manager asked that you please turn off the lights on your head before entering the theater." My personal favorite was watching the little kids sitting at a table nearby creep up and finger the small presents attached to his sign, trying to stealthily open them. It is great to grow up. Now this "being game" thing goes both ways =). My Dad demonstrated my favorite lesson he taught me growing up - You be you. He loved me exactly as I was and taught me that if the world had a problem with any single thing about me, it was their problem. I love you so much Dad.
Sunday, October 29, 2006
I have to tell you...we had SO MUCH FUN making our costumes. We spent all day long working on them. You can't see really well in the photo, but Ron had a full string of battery powered LED lights on, along with over 150 feet of garland (plus tinsel and countless ornaments). My present was hand-crafted from a Home Depot moving box, some Dollar Tree wrapping paper and some strategic thinking. It even had a break-away panel in the back, so I could sit down.
Our costumes were a huge hit. When we entered both parties, people stopped and applauded.
Our Christmas season started early this year!
Sunday, October 15, 2006
of beauty." It was a wonderful lecture.
Friday evening we saw one of our groomsmen, Cory (not going to attempt the last name!). He just moved from Alaska to a suburb of Hood River to work at Mt. Hood Meadows. It's been great being able to see him more often. Saturday we went to a housewarming party for Jessica (Howard) & Matt Gassaway. (They have completely updated this house and it looks incredible). Then we headed home to make dinner for Amanda & Scott (Ron's sister & boyfriend). We ate Ron's new specialty, Grilled Stuffed Burritos (don't be fooled by the ripped off Taco Bell name...they're much better than that!). Then we partook in these new Chocolate Lava cakes from Trader Joes - highly recommend them.
Not many weekends do I like Sunday better than Saturday...but this was one of those weekends. We started at Trinity Episcopal and the service was so rich. We came home, took a nap, and leisured our way through the afternoon. We went to dinner at the Ram for our favorite French Dip sandwiches.
All in all a very relaxing weekend.
Friday, October 06, 2006
This story has two stories to it. I will tell my story, and then hopefully Trina will tell hers. The drugs involved meant I was silly and can't remember most of what I did that was so entertaining to her. Have no fear, here I am!
My version, though, goes like this. I was met with some unfortunate symptoms, involving a notable amount of blood. It was one of the few times in my adult life where I've been truly afraid. After much assurance from my medical professional friends and family, I decided my death was not imminent. Still, I needed to get "checked out", something I wasn't looking forward to. After a visit with the doctor, she said what I really needed was from a Gastroenterologist...a flex sig. I met with said specialist, and she suggested a full colonsocopy, which is unusual and alarming at 26. True.
Ironically, one of my favorite coworkers, who is exactly twice my age, had one scheduled for the same day as me. Different locations...
First I started out by having to cut seeds and red dye from my diet. Harder than you think, especially with my job. Don't really think about tomatoes having seeds, do you? Needless to say, I had to call the doctor multiple times and see if I could still do the procedure on the scheduled date. He means multiple multiple times. Thankfully, the gastroenterologist was the forgiving type.
Next I had to move to a clear liquid diet. That was fun to do while working. Then that coworker and I traded Jello and Gatorade during our sales meeting. What fun. I was SO hungry. Like kill-a-squirrel-for-meat hungry...when he arrived home I was finishing my dinner - I feared for my sandwich and my hand. I went home and drank fleet phospho soda. Boy did that take care of the rest. It cleaned me right out. No cramps or spasms. All in all a pretty comfortable, if not strange (water coming from the wrong place!) experience. I brough our almost never used TV into the bathroom and watched Remember the Titans...while I went to the gym. We decided for all parties involved, it would be best for this to be a solo experience.
Anyway, got to sleep in the next morning and then did the laxative thing again. Regarding the actual procedure...
Mostly, I just remember asking for a significant dose of the drugs, and I have a vague memory of seeing a picture of my small intestine.
Amnesiac anesthesia loosens the tongue. The nurse brought me into the recovery "room" (curtained off area), where I found Ron groggy and chatty. As soon as I arrived he began talking absolutely nonstop. I'll admit I derived some entertainment from the content. He began with a story about how much anesthetic they gave him. About 3/4 of the way into the story, he started his story again. I couldn't resist finishing the story on the fifth time through. Eventually, Ron explains that his doctor "didn't really look like a doctor," "he wasn't wearing doctor clothes" and that he "had dark skin...I'd say he was half Italian, half 'Mediterranian'". After the doctor walked in our curtain room and gave Ron a clean bill of health, we were getting him dressed.
Next thing I know I'm arguing with my wife--I wanted to put on my shoes before my underwear and pants--so I wouldn't slip and fall since I was drugged. I thought I was being quite rational and circumspect, and I didn't care for her condescension. I've got to work on my patronizing, bullying streak.
On the way home, he explained how "I can remember every detail of the procedure, I don't know why they said I need someone to drive me, I mean I can remember every detail of the procedure, I don't know why I need someone to drive me, because I can remember every detail..." She took me home and fed me (oh did I love food!). One problem--they pump you full of air so the camera can move around. They tell you not to be shy about passing it. I am certainly not shy. But I actually couldn't. So we called the doctor and they taught me a funny little move where you get on all fours and sort of stretch out and then clamp your body in toward itself (knees to chest) and OUT it came! Trina and I were quite entertained.
After the air explosion, Ron fell fast asleep in a chair in the living room. I had to run to the store to get a few ingredients for dinner...I didn't want to wake him, so I wrote a note instructing him not to drive...and then I took all the sets of keys with me to the store =). He was quite insulted when he realized this, because he was "perfectly okay." I'll admit that post-nap he was a lot more himself. But, for the duration of the weekend, we'd still come upon "new" stories he was sure he'd never told me.
All in all, I perfectly clean bill of health, and no worse for the wear. Hopefully it will be another few decades before I have to do all that again.
Sunday, October 01, 2006
Well, last weekend (10/1 to be exact), Ron ran the Portland Marathon! He finished in 3hrs, 24min, 49sec (3:24:49), running an average of 7min, 49sec miles. Absolutely incredible. While not quite making the Boston goal (3:10:59), he improved on his time and has been recovering at record speed.
....interrupted by Ron.
We decided I should write about this, and since I haven't written in a while, I owe it to my friends out there in the blogosphere. So here goes.
The marathon was the usual adrenal high, albeit a little bit less so, since the novelty is all but gone. Still, starting out was a hoot, and the bands, crowds, and cheerleading squards were a shot in the arm. Unfortunately, although heavy clouds were predicted, it was brilliantly sunny. Sounds nice, I know, but not for 26 miles. So, at mile seven I was squinting, sweating, and feeling a little numb in my head. Not a good sign!
Nevertheless, endurance is my gig, and so I pressed on through the pain, with a very quick first half, and a not-entirely-detrimentally-slow second half. I didn't get to that psychological hell-point, where every step is an excruciating decision, until about mile 22 (last year it was mile 19). So I guess that was a good thing. Finishing was the usual relief, tears in my eyes since I could finally psychologically relax--and the usual cramps, fatigue and uncomfortably cold feeling. To see me at the finish line, click here.
I have to be honest, most of my photos this year weren't as flattering as usual. Usually the camera catches me on a better "bounce".
It was a lot of fun, and and yet, I'm very glad it is over.
Saturday, September 23, 2006
I wasn't close to Jacob, but this still saddens me. His heart was big, and his fidelity to his beliefs were pure. I actually know his mother quite well, and I think I feel saddest for her. Jacob moved to a place of serenity and surrender as his short life drew to a close.
Jacob loved children, and particularly loved doing mission work with indigenous groups, providing them with much needed love and other services. Because of his debilitating condition, he had to remain home this last year, and so he worked at an assisted living center where he was a source of light and hope to many.
Jacob, an unassuming person, touched many with his life--his memorial drew hundreds of people from all parts of his life, and other memorials were being held in other countries in his honor.
We enjoyed the celebration of life as a massive reunion, and a chance to reflect on a life lived as it should have been. That's not to downplay the pain of his family, nor the tragedy of his passing.
Wednesday, September 20, 2006
Wednesday, September 13, 2006
Today is your lucky day. The ICA is hosting an online tradeshow...and you too can visit. Just go to http://carcarecentral.com/expoHome.html , register and enter the show. Be sure to stop by the ISI booth and we can chat. It's a pretty cool idea, the whole online tradeshow thing. While you're there you can learn all about the latest towel technology, using a spot-free rinse and pump system mechanics. Don't miss Wonder Wafers' booth - The World's Most Perfect Air Freshener; So Good, They're Patented.
Wednesday, September 06, 2006
Teaching went really well. I started the class by putting a different candy bar on everyone's desk. When they came in, there was a slide up that said, "Whoever can sell me their candy bar first, wins $5." It got the students interacting with me right away. They predictably started in with, "mine has peanuts" or "melts in your mouth, not in your hand"...but when the girl said "What do you like?", the $5 was won. You see, ultimately, Marketing starts with the customer...not the company. It was a good object lesson...and then they were all sugar-highed and started with a good impression of the class =).
I've been impressed with the students. Primarily juniors, all business, communication or graphic design majors...they have chosen to be there. Most are intrigued by the topic. I've gone to great lengths to avoid the typical lecture format. We start the class by clarifying that we're running this as a meeting, not a class. We sit in a large circle, not in rows. They're to show up on time and prepared to report to the class on the given reading/discussion at a moment's notice. For this first section of class, I inevitably have to do some lecturing...communicating concepts, vocabulary, etc. We'll move onto strategy next...then to execution. During the execution stage they'll be actually trying their hand at creating ads, sales pitches, press releases, etc. It should be pretty fun.
Honestly, as a topic, Marketing isn't hard. A lot of it stems from common sense. They're definitely retaining the things I'm saying (we did a brief review yesterday), but it's not like I've delivered any really huge news yet.
Probably the hardest part for me is trying to balance the challenge and support. I've done a lot to try and encourage their creativity and participation. Now I've got to start helping them hone some skills. It's great that you're willing to speak up in class...now I've got to get you to say more intelligent things =). Or at least say them more quickly!
All in all I am enjoying myself and it seems that they are too. I'll keep you updated.
Sunday, September 03, 2006
Saturday morning, we woke up and wanted to spend the sunny day in the great outdoors. After perusing our book, we selected a 6 mile route on Sauvie Island. I've never been there, and was quite excited to go. The island is beautiful, containing not just unending agriculture fields, but also beautiful beaches. We'd seen a few folks parking and walking with sand chairs and beach towels. So we pulled over to walk out on the beach ourselves. Turns out there are some "clothing optional" beaches on Sauvie Island. I'll admit we did see the clothing optional sign as we were walking up, but at that point, we were sort of in disbelief about it. Sure enough, clothing was definitely optional. Old people, little kids, both genders. Playing volleyball, walking on the beach, laying out in the sun. It was an experience. A brief experience. There's something kind of cool about people being so secure and free. And, honestly something a little weird about it. We got back in our car and drove to the trailhead. According to the book, "you may have to dodge some stray blackberry vines the first 1/4 mile of this trail..." And by some "stray vines," they meant a solid wall of vines that was taller than me. We didn't want to give up, so we ventured down to another section of beach to try and avoid the first 1/4 mile of the trail and then meet back up with it. As we were looking to meet back up with it, we found a small herd of cattle on the beach. So, basically, this is a strange stretch of beach. We ended up walking on the beach for about 2 miles (never did find the trail), and then turning back because the sun was going down and I was getting hungry. Definitely an adventure-filled day.
The next day we did the hike I was very excited about - a hike around Henry Hagg lake - Forest Grove/Gaston area. Ron had initially thought I was too ambitious, since the hike is 14.1 miles and I haven't really hiked since I went to New Zealand (in 2002). But, I've run a marathon, and the book said it was an easy hike, completed in 5 hours or less...so I figured I could obviously hike 14 miles. This hike started off better - we found the trail, for instance. Beautiful scenery, great weather, all visitors were wearing clothes. It was great. The first thing we noted was the elevation. Pretty much the entire trail was hiking up/away from the lake, or down/towards the lake. Very very little flat ground. About 3 miles into our hike, our trail came to an abrupt end. Have you seen the cover of that Shel Silverstein book, Where the Sidewalk Ends ? It was about like that. So, we logically decided the only thing to do was to crawl down the embankment and ford the stream (climb every mountain, ford every stream!). This is a good time to mention the section of the book Ron wishes he didn't read aloud over breakfast. "While hiking, you'll see a variety of wildlife including a bunch of birds and possibly bobcats..." Yes, BOBCATS. As you might imagine, I was on bobcat-patrol the entire hike. So, we're fording the stream only to find what we thought looked like a trail, was actually a clearing...the home of someone/thing. (Definitely a bobcat, says Trina). So we forded back through the stream, hiked back up the embankment and traced the trail out to the road. There's a road that circles the lake, so we thought if we followed it, we might be able to see the trail again. Sure enough, we found it. A mile or so later...it spit us back out onto the road. Down the road, another trail. At this point, the book definitely is getting an F. No continous trail that loops the lake here. But, we're enjoying ourselves. Just as we start to get concerned about running out of water, we found this boat launch area that had a drinking fountain. Perfect. We happened to ask a boat launcher for the time. 6:10pm. Not perfect. We were about 9 or so miles into the hike at this point. We remembered the sign at the parking area - "Gate locked at sunset." Hmmm. So, we started jogging. Yes, jogging, in hiking books, on an uphill/downhill trail in the fading light. Less than comfortable, I'll admit. The last 3 miles we opted for the road rather than the trail. It was getting really dark in the woods and hard to run in the dark on a trail. We did get back before the gate locked. A grand total of 5 hrs 40 min...having RUN about 1/4 of the trail. Easy, 5 hour hike, huh? Either we're weinies, or the general public is remarkably more fit than we're aware. We raced home to shower and then deservedly headed to the Cheesecake Factory. I highly recommend the chocolate oreo cheesecake.
Let's just say the next morning I was less than comfortable. So, on Labor Day, we ate and read. We lounged in Washington Park on a blanket, reading our current book out loud to each other, The Brothers Karamazov. Definitely a different experience from the Chronicles of Narnia series and A Wrinkle in Time, our last selections. But, we're enjoying the Brothers. The names are the most difficult part...but we give them nicknames...and reading with another person allows for helpful post-chapter clarification, "So that was the guy that liked the girl, who his brother likes, but he doesn't know, right?"
That evening, we celebrated Rick's (Ron's dad) birthday with BBQ-ed steak, corn on the cob and a small german chocolate cake. Yum.
And with that, our weekend ended.
Thursday, August 24, 2006
Monday, August 21, 2006
One of the longest-running Broadway musicals ever...it won a Pulitzer Prize in drama, multiple Tonys and the list goes on.
And the songs get stuck in your head. For days.
"Five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred minutes..."
Thursday, August 17, 2006
Probably about half my class was there (which is only about 12 people!). Maybe a few less. There were spouses, significant others, and kids.
I didn't really want to go. I figured I usually see the people I want to see, and that would be good. But as I thought about individuals, I figured I'd probably actually enjoy it. I did like most of them at the end of high school. Plus Trina made me.
It turned about to be incredibly worth it. Getting truly comfortable in my own skin happened after (much to my chagrin) high school, and I figured that the way social interaction would work, we'd settle into old roles. I didn't mind my high school roles, as I got to be the boss a lot, but I still thought it would 'smell' like days when insecurity was a real part of life.
And, as many of you know, I've had frustration with some cultural aspects of my evangelical roots, and I wondered how that would play out in coversation.
It didn't smell like insecurity, and the conversations were great.
I'm glad I went.
Thanks Emily for planning it. And thanks Trina for making me go.
My first marathon was run in 4 hours and 20 minutes. My second in 3 hours, 28 minutes and 55 seconds (but who's counting?). So you would think that the 3 hours, 10 minutes and 59 seconds or less that I need would be in reach.
Unfortunately, the effort required for speed increases at this point appears to be exponential.
So, I've been doing speed (training!). It's helpful, but there seems to be a threshold for me around 7.5 minute miles (my last time was right under 8 minute miles).
I guess I want you to feel sorry for me, knowing I am beating my knees into submission, running twenty miles at a time, only to continue to be slow.
At this point, I am trying to qualify. But I've decided that if I am going to fall short, that shouldn't keep me from running a particular marathon I want to run--and it should keep me from trying to qualify when I can't (and inducing pain and injury). So on I go.
I am a winner.
I've been at Chicago Title for just under 11 months. It's been tremendous fun, and I've immersed myself wholly in talking loan officers into sending us their business.
In that time, I've learned I'm good at something new. Apparently I can talk people into things. And eat. I'm good at persuading, and eating.
Now, those of you who know me will cleverly interject--"you've always been a good eater--look at most pictures of your adolescence." And the like. Feel free not to comment at this point.
What I've learned is that I can take these skills, and make some money. Kind of a lot of money. And I enjoy it. Not a bad combination.
So, just to brag a bit, I'm pulling in record sales in a market on a preciptous downturn, getting paid well to do it, and enjoying it. How cool is that?
I am blessed. And they said majoring in history and philosophy meant I wasn't employable.
She sometimes forgets that she is smart, and so she worries. Before her last test, she was unsure if she was really prepared. She got a 99. Then there was extra credit. Then there was a curve. Think like 130%. Since she's had a perfect score on every quiz, and a perfect score on her presentation, and averaged about 95 on her other tests, she may actually finish this class with more than 100% as her score.
And I get to hear all about staph, ebola, flesh eating bacteria, and the like. Mmmm.
Monday, August 14, 2006
Saturday night we watched a feel-good, over-the-top cheesy musical. Given that this is a Disney Channel Original Movie, it was darn good. I particularly like the finale when all the "bad" characters have a change of heart and burst into "We're All In This Together" - a catchy tune that's been in my head ever since =). My co-worker recommended it to me - she has the soundtrack here at work - and I was intrigued. Given that my husband is a sucker for cheesy musicals, I thought it would go over better than the latest romatic comedy. It was definitely bubble-gum music...but all in all enjoyable.
On Sunday evening, we met up with Aaron (Ron's best friend) to eat sushi and watch An Inconvenient Truth. The sushi was good and the movie was excellent. I'll admit I was expecting some sensational, dramatic, doomsday kind of movie. But, I'd describe it with words like academic, well-informed...even verging on boring at moments. Al Gore really cares about this topic. He reminded me more of a professor than an activist. The studies and information he quoted was nearly all from hard science journals - Science, Nature, etc. That impressed me. He also didn't seem to have much to gain, other than my respect. It's a compelling case. Disgusting how much we as a country consume - especially when contrasted with the rest of the world. He addressed the economic impact of some of these topics - it isn't easy. But ignoring it doesn't seem a very viable option. I think the title is perfectly apt - it is inconvenient - requiring effort and energy for no tangible (financial) reward. But, it is also truth. Whether you agree or not, I'd highly recommend the movie. It's a good education.
Sunday, August 13, 2006
Friday, August 11, 2006
Keep in mind, this time of the month I might trade my left arm for a brownie.
We used a mix we bought a while ago called No Pudge Fudge Brownies with Mint. Why we originally thought brownies without fat would be good...I do not know. When I added solely plain nonfat yogurt to the mix the smell was...less than alluring. The batter tasted like a cross between licking my steering wheel and rinsing my mouth with Scope. At this point, I was losing hope, but decided to bake them anyways, just in case the cooking process fundamentally changed something. The aroma that filled our apartment led me to believe I'd put a soccer ball in the oven. At this point, we had to laugh...it was either laugh or cry.
We dared each other to swallow a bite. Have you ever eaten plastic?
Fortunately, all was not lost. You see, necessity is the mother of invention. We found two bags of Milano cookies (Orange & Mint). We melted some of that Trader Joe's Dark Chocolate and dipped cookies. It was very good. Craving satisfied. Happy Trina = Happy Ron.
Tonight, we're making real brownies.
Friday, August 04, 2006
Thursday, August 03, 2006
Click here and look at Fall 2006, Undergraduate, Business Administration. The course that says "Staff" right now...yeah, that is me =).
Wednesday, July 26, 2006
Eating an uncontrolled volume of blueberries has consequences. Pay particular attention to the "unnoticed" volume consumed (for instance, the berries eaten while picking). Note: The consequences may not be immediately noticeable.
Playing a sport you have not played in a year or more (for instance, racquetball) for 90 min is not advised as you may experience excessive pain the next morning. Simple tasks like showering, typing and holding a pencil may become extremely difficult.
Friday, July 21, 2006
I attended the Wizard Academy for a class on Communications. It is such a cool place. I attended an Ad Writing class there last year. It is an unconventional, holistic approach to communications. They draw on the latest scientific research from the fields of neuroscience, physics and math. We study art, music and architecture. The place has the world's largest collection of Don Quixote related art. They own an original Picasso. Its a cool place. The head teacher wrote a NY Times bestselling book a few years ago called "The Wizard of Ads." His courses have attracted a wide range of students - everyone from the chief engineer on the space shuttle at NASA to head of marketing at Proctor & Gamble. We had a few famous folks in my class. A guy named Martin Rapaport - the guy who writes the price sheets each week that determine the worldwide value of diamonds. De Beers hangs on this guy's every word. Then there was the president of PRWeb one of the world's largest online newswires. On and on. Then there were some "normal" people like me.
The architecture of the place is breathtaking. Look at the onsite wedding chapel. And the photos of Tuscan Hall where our classes were held. Seriously, look at these pictures, they're worth a click. (Photo with the guy & original Picasso is Martin).
Our graduating class had 34 students...one of the larger groups to come through. We bonded and had a ton of fun. And, of course, learned a lot.
Saturday, July 15, 2006
Because of our east coast trip, we could only afford a 3 day weekend at Black Butte...but it was worth it. Hanging around with my cousins, brother/wife, mom/dad, aunt/uncle playing games, lounging by one of the four pools, taking long walks through the meadow, eating all our favorite junk food late into the night, having the ability to declare it "G&T hour" on a moment's notice. It was good. Hard to leave. Can't wait to go back.
Saturday, July 08, 2006
Wednesday, July 05, 2006
We swam at the Lake Oswego swim park - which is very cool. Quite literally - its an area of the lake that has been cordoned off for swimming. And they actually pump the water =)...only in Lake Oswego. Anyways, it has a little dock enclosing it, a lawn for picnicking, lounge chairs, inflatable rafts, etc. These "LO" residents are utterly ridiculous, but it sure is fun to benefit from their lavish excess.
Then we BBQed steak. We went to Rick/Ann's neighborhood for the annual Oak Hills fireworks display. Then we decided that to polish off the day we should eat as much dessert as we had dinner. Phillip made his "Kim's Heavenlies" cookies, we bought a cheesecake and (to satisfy a random craving) we bought Oreos. We ate a disgusting amount of all of them. But we had fun together.
Monday, June 26, 2006
Our intent was to discern whether we could imagine living life in these cities, should we apply to graduate school in the time and manner we hope to. Of course, we also wanted a fun vacation, and a chance to see some people that matter and places that fascinate. We were successful on all counts.
We began our adventure with an early flight to Philadelphia (we slept for most of it). With only 24 hours to canvass the city, we hit the ground running. We were instantly thankful for the seamless transportation system; we just hopped the subway from the airport, right into university village. We walked a few blocks to our hotel, discovered that it was much nicer than we had expected, and settled in.
We explored the area thoroughly, and were pleasantly surprised to see that we liked Philadelphia. We weren’t thrilled with it, but we liked it. In the morning we scoured the historic area, including Penn’s landing and Independence Hall, and then we walked through downtown on our way back to pick up our stuff. We jumped a train in the cavernous Corinthian train station, and after a transfer in New York City, disembarked in Poughkeepsie, NY.
There we were the recipients of the Angell family’s overwhelming hospitality. Sarah Angell, oldest of 8 siblings, and dear friend of Trina’s, grew up on Bentley Farm. She and her siblings showed us much love, and her parents provided a wonderful place to stay, engaging conversation, and lots of food. One of the many highlights of our time on and near the farm, was a relaxing afternoon lounging down by the Hudson River, at the bottom of a large grassy hill that rolled down from some rich industrialist’s sprawling mansion.
After too little time with Sarah and her family, we headed for the antithesis of Bentley Farm, New York City. Serenity, seasonality and homogeneity (the acorn doesn’t fall far) were replaced by the adrenal, nonstop and diverse districts of the Big Apple.
We dove in headfirst. We stayed in an Embassy Suites with a beautiful bay view, and spent our first two days scouring the business district and its surroundings. We payed our respects to those who died in the terrorist bombings of the World Trade center, as well as grieving the proliferation of violence caused by the outrage over the terrorist act. We walked across the Brooklyn Bridge for a breathtaking view of the altered skyline; we watched multitudes and their multitudinous personas as they crowded in around us.
We also spent a couple nights overlooking Times Square, with a direct and expansive view of the jumbotron billboard sort of signs you see as the quintessence of Times Square. At night they were so bright that they literally fully lit the air around, including our room (good thing there were multiple layers of thick curtains).
All in all we saw New York University (and fell in love with Greenwich Village—pronounced Grenich, go figure), Columbia, and Fordham, and their surrounding areas. We spent time in, and ate in, Little Italy, and we enjoyed walking through Chinatown, Soho, Central Park, up and down Fifth Avenue, Park Avenue, Madision Avenue, and all the surrounding areas. We toured NBC, the UN, and several beautiful churches (we attended part of a Mass in St. Patrick’s Cathedral), and we saw the Lion King and Stomp. Very fun, and very different. We did wander into an area in the Bronx that was pretty rough, and onto a subway at night that we probably would have thought twice about had we had the choice, but we were no worse for the wear. We also (after two previous attempts) saw the city from the top of the Empire State Building at night.
We were struck by, contrary to popular belief (and our previous experience) how friendly the city was. People in general were polite, and helpful, often offering to help us find places, and suggesting eateries and the like. The only exception (and this extended to all the east coast cities) was the food service people. I (Ron) was also struck by how closely the people sat next to each other in the parks—people who weren’t there together. And of course, the architecture.
By the end, we were very tired. But we had much to do.
Our next stop was New Haven, which we expected to be a dive. And, although it wasn’t the most compelling city we’ve ever seen, it wasn’t bad. Around Yale, it’s had about 350 years to become a college town, and so it has. New Haven boasts an internationally acclaimed arts community, drawing over 2 million people a year to its shows (and there are only about 130,000 residents). Yale was pee your pants exciting, a sort of sprawling gothic castle, with enclosed courtyards and the like. Obviously it’s an intellectual powerhouse as well, and it offers some of the most compelling programs that exist. One highlight was a conversation that Trina had with the head administrator of a program she’d like to be a part of. He spent 45 minutes assuring her that she is, in fact, a compelling candidate (duh) and giving her advice, etc.
After only about five hours in New Haven, we headed to Hartford, Connecticut, where we were picked up by my Grandma Marta (Dad’s step mom, although very much my grandma) and her adult son Greg. Marta moved to old Sturbridge Village (western Massachusetts) just a few years ago, and we have missed her very much. We spent the evening (after an incredible lightning storm) with Marta, at Greg’s exquisite restaurant (Bin 479), where we were treated with first class service, and lots of wonderful wine. Greg is a sommelier, and he did an excellent job of bringing joy to our palette’s and laughter to our conversation (wine will do that). It was a short, but very valuable time we spent with Marta. She has built quite the life in her famously cute town, made many friends, volunteers, is involved in a grandmother’s prayer group, etc. She seems to be doing very well, and it’s a great way for her to be with some of her grandchildren.
Greg’s new restaurant is also quite the success, and after indulging in the cuisine and the ambiance, it was no surprise.
After too little time, Marta and Greg took us to a train station where we hopped a 90 minute commuter rail into Boston. By now, the pace of our trip was starting to catch up with Trina, and she was clearly getting sick. We were worried that would spoil her experience, but it did not.
We started by hopping the subway to Harvard Square, where Ron again peed his pants. What an incredible place, so full of history, meaning and admittedly, power and elitism. No wonder he (I) loved it! We also explored the area around Harvard (which is actually in Cambridge, across the river from Boston), which was very much the kind of place one would like to live. We also saw MIT and Boston University, which were very different from each other or anywhere else we had been, and both of which were compelling institutions.
Eventually, we met up with our good friends Matt and Marilee Mickleson (or Mickleson-Jolin, or Micklesolin, or Joleson, or whatever). We had dinner and then went back to their house, for a long and fun catch up conversation. We also met their dog, who has become quite the important family member, and we greeted with many loving dog kisses. I am a bit more used to that than Trina is.
Since Trina was getting sick, it was pouring down rain and since it was her 25th birthday (Happy Birthday Trina!) we took it easy the next day, despite the fact that that was to be our tour day. Matt and Marilee made Matt’s family’s traditional crepes for Trina, and we took our time getting out and about. Eventually, we found our way around Boston’s freedom trail, which includes the Old North Church, Old Ironsides and Bunker Hill. We saw many historical sites, but it was rainy, so we saw them quickly.
We did take time to see Northeastern, where Marilee will begin her Sociology Ph.D. in the fall. Matt will be at MIT. They provided a good example of what kind of living situation we are imagining ourselves in.
We met up with Tim Williams, another George Fox friend, and saw his apartment on Beacon Hill. His neighbors include John Kerry, who has a 15+ million dollar dwelling there. Harder to feel sorry for him about the big loss! We had dinner at Cheers, the bar that inspired the classic show, and did a little more touring, and then went ‘home’ and stayed up late again, talking into the night with Matt and Marilee. We slept and awoke the following morning, took as much time as we could, and then headed to the airport, for a fairly pleasant ride home.
Monday, June 19, 2006
Thursday, May 25, 2006
Tuesday, May 23, 2006
We started the festivities with a bachelor and bachelorette party on Thursday night, followed by a bachelorette brunch on Friday morning. Then a whirlwind day of preparations and rehearsal and dinner. The wedding was beautiful. All the details came together. The wedding was at Esperance Baptist Church in Edmonds and they ended up with a beautiful day (forecast was for rain), so we took many photos outside in the gardens. The reception was at the Nile Country Club a few miles away and it too was great. Emily had told us ahead of time, "my dream would be that the reception would last for three hours, many people would dance and we wouldn't leave until 7:30pm." She got her wish. The dance floor was full and they pulled out at 7:31pm with at least 250 people wishing them goodbye.
All of us party hosts headed to Auntie Linda & Uncle Todd's for some post-wedding RELAXATION. They had quite the selection of beverages to help us wind down, along with a specially created "burger dog" to satisfy my craving for an Uncle Todd-BBQed burger. (We had only hot dog buns, so we made burgers in the shape of hot dogs...it was very good actually). It was so nice to be with family and just revel in the end of the day.
Phillip and Emily went to the Bellevue Hyatt for their first night and then headed up north to Whistler, BC for a week. We'll all be excited to see them when they get back.
We were so busy throwing this party that we didn't have time for many pictures...between my parents, Ron & I, we got one picture of the bride & groom. Here it is.
Sunday, May 14, 2006
We drove back from the beach late Saturday night to be back in town for mother's day with our two wonderful moms. We started the day with my parents. We had them over to our apt and attempted to recreate her favorite meal out - the Kruse Burger from Stanfords made with a gardenburger patty. They actually turned out pretty well, if I do say so myself. We followed it up with a walk and this incredible carrot cake at The Ram down on the water. Then my parents left to drive back up to Seattle.
At which point we drove to the Davis' in Beaverton. We attempted to make this wonderful recipe we first tried at Melinda & Junior's house (parents of cute baby Melia). Junior makes really incredible food. It took us about two hours longer than we thought it would to duplicate his efforts...but it all turned out really well. We made pork that was simmered in this green chile sauce we created from tomatillos. We stayed there until late at night telling stories about Ron & Amanda as kids and laughing together.
All in all, a great day.
Saturday, May 13, 2006
Saturday, May 06, 2006
Bekah Oakley was my childhood best friend. We started playing together when we were 2 years old. Her dad was a renowned neurosurgeon, a man who made it his mission to alleviate the pain of others. He was a widely sought after lecturer and teacher. He loved to fly. On April 17th he was flying from his home in Billings, Montana to an engagement in Utah. His plane went down in whiteout conditions. They found John & his plane the next day. Today was the memorial service held in his honor in Seattle.
Wednesday, May 03, 2006
Monday, May 01, 2006
We had a fantastic weekend. Unfortunately, we left our camera in the trunk, so you'll have to picture these things in your mind. One of my two best friends was here this weekend! Kristiane's brother was graduating from George Fox, along with Ron's sister Amanda. Most of our weekend revolved around the GFU graduation activities. The man who married us (Irv Brendlinger) was the speaker at Baccalaureate (a fun surprise). We spent a good part of the afternoon visiting old professors and walking through campus. Then Kristiane & I were tasked with getting there early to "save seats." Her family had 14 people, ours had between 9 and 14 people...do you have any idea how hard it is to save 28 seats when you are two age-16 looking nice girls? It's tough. But we were tough...and we prevailed.
I taught a "Freshman Seminar class" my senior year in college - and this was the year that most of them were graduating. Talk about full circle - I knew them for their first six weeks of college and then was here watching them graduate. One other thing about graduations - I don't think it should be this way, but you can almost predict what someone majored in by looking at them. Isn't that weird? The fashion design and marketing majors have a certain "look," the science or math majors have their own look, the art majors, lit majors, psych majors...I'm serious, you have a picture in your head as I say each one, don't you!? I was also thinking about how I majored in business, but love science...and I look like a cross between the business and the science majors. Coincidence?! Ok, enough of that.
The point of all of this is that Amanda graduated WITH HONORS with her BA in Psychology. Whoo-hoo!
Saturday night we saw this movie - American Dreamz. Go see it. It was really funny. I thought it was an American Idol kind of show and was NOT planning on seeing it...but we ran into a friend outside the movie theater on our way in who had just seen it and he convinced us. Its a satire of pop culture and politics. I laughed hard. (So did Ron).
Sunday was the first birthday party of Melia (Melinda & Junior's baby). What a cutie. I'm going to have to scan in a photo of her. It was held at a park outside...it has been so nice lately. Then we forced Aaron (Ron's best friend who was in the Peace Corps in Bolivia) into hanging out with us (I think we're much more interesting than laundry & email...but it took Aaron a while to decide). We walked along the waterfront and enjoyed the day. Capped it off with happy hour at Stanfords for a cheap dinner.
Ok, one more thing. So I ran the marathon last year and my knee was injured during training and sort of hasn't been the same since. I went to the Dr. last week who referred me to a physical therapist who is convinced that if I do my exercises...I can be running again (distance running!) in no time. That's very exciting.
That's all for today. Enjoy your day.
(I found this picture of Kristiane & I, with our third roommate and best friend Sarah, on our GFU graduation day - Kristiane on the left, Sarah on the right). (Then I found this picture of Amanda and Ann from Christmas...its the most recent one on my computer...Congratulations Amanda!)
Tuesday, April 25, 2006
Friday, April 21, 2006
Tuesday, March 21, 2006
Tuesday, February 21, 2006
All I remember about February is working…a lot. I know there was Valentine’s Day and I’m sure we celebrated it…but it was smack dab in the middle of what I call my “busy season.” Both Ron & I worked our brains out. Mine because the two major tradeshows were mid March and early April. Ron because he is determined to impact the title world like no one ever before. Actually, here’s a great place to brag – Ron is a fantastic sales rep. His numbers are incredible – by far the top performer every month. And you gotta know Ron just gets off on winning. So it works out well for him and for Chicago Title. And here's a picture of the wash product I was working so hard to launch at the show.
Saturday, January 21, 2006
The good news about January is that it contained our anniversary and a trip to Leavenworth. It truly was a winter wonderland. Our third day there we got 13” of snow. We cross country skied for 5 hours on day two. We stayed at a magical place called the Alpenrose Inn. I’d highly recommend it – hot breakfast in the morning, rich desserts every night. It was a romantic getaway.