29 June 2010

9 hours, 33 minutes, and 55 seconds

The mountain to sound relay, a.k.a. 100 miles in one day. Amos' idea. I'm not that much of a masochist.  |  Brilz on the mountain bike, finishing the first 18. See his helmet? It's from Fred Meyer, bought when he realized he forgot his while en route to the race.  |  Me on the road bike, beginning the next 50.  |  The crew waiting at the park for me to finish my leg. There is a LOT of waiting in a 9+ hour race |  Brilz & Gil getting the kayak going. Gil's third time EVER in a kayak.  |  Photo of my sorry state after I boinked... I tried to keep up with old men bikers going 21 mph on rolling hills. I got my ass handed to me. |  Gil. Paddling.  | Reaching the end of Lake Washington and handing off to Amos, our half-marathoner.  |  Man, I only wish there was a skateboard leg of this relay!  |  Waiting for Amos.  |  Megs really, really waiting for Amos. It's hard to have to guess when people will finish.  |  Here he comes. This is right before he passed me and I chased after him taking pictures. Those didn't turn out so well. Obvs.  |  And Meg's is off. Shortly after this, she took a wrong turn, due to a poorly marked course, and does a very nice 7 mile run instead of the expected 5.3  |  Finishing up at Golden Gardens, where I am running in with her for moral support. Man, do my arms look funny when I run. It's like I'm marching. WTF?  |  9 hours, 33 minutes, and 50 seconds later, we are Done. Beer and victory hotdogs for all.

25 June 2010

PAM failed me.

See that mess above? It's half of my kale & cheddar frittata, stuck to the pan, which is disappointing because I used that nonstick spray. Lots of it. In the end, however, it was a hot mess. Which is sad, because it was looking all sorts of promising before it imploded. It ended up looking like a doughnut. I mean, I ate it anyway, but it wasn't pretty.

Maybe if someone talks about the importance of an anodized aluminum pan as much as my dear Orangette does, I should listen to her and not substitute in my cheap skillet from Ross. Just a thought this lovely Friday morning, as I eat my leftover kale-heavy, looks like scrambled eggs frittata.

24 June 2010

GOAL! and SUN!

Gaw, what a fucking fantastic way to start your morning. Add that to the sunshine that has finally descended on Seattle, and I'm happy. Darn that Seasonal Affective Disorder -- get's me every damn time.

 {picture of a blindingly bright Seattle sun. I can feel my vitamin D levels rising as we speak}

22 June 2010

NSFW: naked bike parade

The past weekend was drizzly. And gray. Even for Seattle standards, this whole It's-late-June-but-really-feels-like-late-October shiznit is getting old. To quote Dan Savage:


Luckily, in the midst of all the suicide-inspiring weather, we were treated the the festivities of the Solstice Parade... otherwise known as the Fremont Fair... otherwise known as the Naked Bike Parade.

Uh-huh, you know you would get out of bed and stand in the drizzle for that. And by stand in the drizzle, I mean stand in the drizzle in a beer garden. [Note: If people are riding their bikes buck-naked and painted like a giraffe, it is totally acceptable to be drinking a beer at the same time, even if that time is 11:30 in the morning.]

I had never made it to the Solstice, even though I had long wanted to see the debauchery & creative spirit that embodies my little adopted city. Amos and I dragged our sorry bums out of bed and biked over there, riding behind a couple of people who would be participating in the parade [Note: we were enthusiastic spectators... NOT enthusiastic participants. Just to clarify.] I saw waaay more buttocks on the Burke-Gilman trail than I usually do. What a way to start your morning. I giggled the entire way there.



We met up with friends, who brought their friends, then ran into more friends, and soon had a whole cohort of people standing on tables in the beer garden, drinking too-large-of-beers to be socially acceptable before noon, and whistling at the bikers. And you know what... they are inspirational. For reals. The paint jobs were professional caliber. I have now decided that, if you live a good life, you are reincarnated as a person with enough kahones to ride naked down a street.

It also was beautiful, wonderful, reassuring, and joyous to see REAL bodies. None of that photoshopped shit. No emaciated models. Real bodies, painted up, riding bikes down the street in a non-sponsored, non-motorized parade. Makes a girl happy. Take that Kate Moss. Take that.

But please, Seattle, if you're not going to have another Solstice Parade next weekend, I may need some sunshine to cheer me up.

16 June 2010

what's the shorthand for teeter-totter... the totter or the teeter?

Do you remember being a little kid at the teeter-totters? They were one of the coolest things on the playground, waaay above the monkey bars, which always hurt my hands something fierce. Unfortunately, they are one of those things that does not age well. When you're young, you're always on the lighter side of the teeter, so someone sits down and -- BAM -- you spring up and your butt does a little hop when you get to the top. Remember? It was awesome. But as you get older, turns out you get bigger, and now, by default, you are not the lightest one. Now you're bumping someone else up. I'm a bit sad because it was always more fun to be bumped than to bump on the ol' teeter-totter. I'm selfish like that.

So where was I...? Right, I meant to have teeter-totters lead me into Balance. You can ignore that little tangent up there. I'm blogging early this morning, and I'm only a couple sips into my coffee, sitting with my hair still dripping wet at my kitchen table. Any-hoo. Balance is something that is making me pause this morning. It's not that I feel unbalanced, or that life it out of control, but it stuck me this morning -- and this was the first time I could put it into words -- that balance is constantly changing. You never are in balance. You are in the process of balancing. Always. Who knew, right?

 My balance has shifted a bit, and - don't fret kiddos - it will shift back. I've had to spend more time at work, for a couple reasons (one being the fiscal year end, which always brings with it a certain kind of crazy, and the other being a recent move from working-from-home to working-from-an-office, which has added a commute to my daily routine). It's not a bad thing, and I'm not complaining. It just is. I've also been more focused on my family, especially given my grandmother's frail health. At the end of the day, it's made blogging more difficult. Some of you other writers have maybe noticed that I haven't posted any comments since before I went to Missouri. I'm so disappointed about that, and I promise I will be back one of these days. Anyone who reads (which I can assume is all of you) has noticed that I'm down to posting 2 times a week. It just works better for me, honestly. I write better posts and I love to put time into what I write and make them witty and enjoyable and bits of my life. And... well... to write about my life I have to have time to go live it. Who knew, right?

So I'm here. Balancing priorities: my friends, family, Amos, writing, blogging, working, and being 25 and all the fun things that go with it. Because it can't all be about work. I mean, I was going to blog last night, but then I was invited to play kickball. Um... easy choice (not sorry). Then I was going to come home and write when I was invited to go have some PBR with a player who is leaving for Afghanistan tomorrow. Um... suuuuuper easy choice (and patriotic duty.)

I'll be back. The posts will continue, sometimes a lot and sometimes a little. Right now, just as in every other day, my life is trying to find balance, and I just want you all to know that I'm thinking of you.

See you next week.


15 June 2010

donde esta Nan?

I'm sorry to be a whiner. I really am. But... it's been 12 1/2 weeks since I ordered my custom portrait for me and this boy I like. I meant it as a gift for our 753rd anniversary, and I was mucho-excited about it. After you've been together eons like we have, it's nice to pull of a great surprise, you know?

Well, I didn't pull anything off. Our anniversary came and went a month ago. I got a lovely, hippie bracelet from Amos and I gave him a really nice... hug. I know, super pathetic, but my back was up against the wall. I had no plan B. With delightful prints such as yours, why would a girl need to come up with a backup plan? I now realize the error of my ways.

Then, about 3 weeks ago, my draft came. Dearest Nan, I forgot any ill will. I loved the print. It's freaking fantastic. So fantastic I showed it to all my friend and family with an email written in all caps, just to make sure they understood my excitement. It went something like this: CHECK OUT MY SUPER RAD AWESOME GIFT TO AMOS FOR OUR ANNIVERSARY!!!!! WON'T HE LOVE IT?!?!?!?! AREN'T I THE BEST GIRLFRIEND IN THE ENTIRE, HUGE, WHOLE WORD?!?! AH YEAAAAAAAA.

As I said above, that was 3 weeks ago. I asked for one small revision -- for you to add the bracelet in, if you had time and it wasn't too much trouble -- but that's the last I've heard from you. Nan... what gives? First of all, I need to pay you. I have concrete evidence of your sketching genius and I think that should be rewarded. Secondly, I would really like my print. I'm not good at waiting, you see, and the last 12 weeks have been very difficult on me. I had a spot picked out in the apartment and everything. I was going to write a blog post about how awesome it was. I was planning to use it as my facebook profile picture. Waiting these past 87 days has been hard.

I emailed cutes-y, pleasent emails like "Nan, do you have an ETA on when my poster will arrive? I cannot wait for it to come - it's so great! Anxiously Awaiting!" Nothing. No email to explain your slammed and it'll be until November. At least I would know, you know?

This weekend I finally broke down and showed Amos the draft, just to defend my honor that I am a girlfriend who plans and puts thought and time into gifts. He liked it, and that makes me happy. For the record, once it arrives and I frame it, I will be wrapping it up so he can open it... because that is how I roll. Gifts need to be wrapped, even if you know what it is and I'm wrapping it in Trader Joe paper bags. Wrapping is just one of my Life Rules.

Dear Nan, where are you? Where is my poster? Could I have a bit of communication, just to calm my frazzled nerves? It's hard to be in love this much and have it be so unrequited. 

Anxiously Awaiting... still.


10 June 2010

when my mother says "generic," she really means "genetic."

After spending the last 5 days with family, I’ve realized that some things are genetic. I’m not just talking about the run-of-the-mill hypertension or thick calves, but the other things, the intangible things, the quirks that really label you as part of your familial unit.

To share (since that’s what I do here on Jackson Riley), to be part of my mother’s family, you need:
  • The ability to leave your keys in the front door several days in a row. Srsly, the only people to do this at my apartment are me, my mother, and my cousin Andrew. (See this post for more complete picture.)
  • An uncanny knack for multitasking. Everything. At once. It doesn’t have to be particularly successful multitasking, but it’s the constant effort that separates us. Microwaving water, grabbing your cell phone, and brushing your teeth. Talking on the phone, writing a note, and straightening up the dining room table. Drinking coffee, checking into your flight, and participating in a discussion on the best way to the airport. (And this was just me this morning.) We are tenacious in our multi-tasking. We relentlessly pursue efficiency. To quote my cousin Andee, “It usually doesn’t work, but when it does, you can look around and realize it’s completely amazing how much you just got done.”
  • A perfected decoy smile that means “I heard what you just said, I am nodding my head as if I am listening and agreeing with you, but in reality, I am going to turn around and do this my way because my way is the best way.” This is why Grandma Wanda kept nodding when I told her we needed to keep our hearing aids in and why I kept finding them on the table 3 minutes later. Let’s recap:
“Grams, we need to put in our hearing aids.”
A convincingly confused look in my direction.
This may also be the reason why I told my mom I only needed to be to the airport an hour early and I ended up there with an hour and fifty-five minutes to spare. I’m telling you … we only hone our skills with age.
  • The belief that we, alone, are the only ones who know how to do things correctly. My family has 32 Chiefs and precisely 0 Indians. Hence the above.
  • An obsessive need to organize. Anything on a countertop it adjusted by everyone who comes in. Gram’s kitchen table looks like a complicated Tetris game: everything is exactly square to everything else. This trait may have something to do with #1, but I’m waiting on further scientific evidence.
  • Lastly, the ability to laugh quickly and easily. Which is why awkwardfamilyphotos.com made us laugh for hours (um... literally hours), why we are the one giggling in the hallways of the hospital because we’re remembering when my mom straight-up lied about being a lawyer to bust my gramps out of extended care, and why we are – I’m going on record here – absolutely the life of the dining room at my grandmother’s retirement community. It’s tough being us, but somebody’s got to do it.
And that, ladies and gentle-folk, is what I picked up from my adventure to the Midwest. Now please excuse me, I need to go obsessively rearrange my kitchen cabinets after I told Amos I didn’t care which way the dishes were put away. I can’t help it. It’s genetic.

08 June 2010

Sorry, I've been looking for my keys.

Sorry to get up and disappear on you like that. It wasn't because I was traveling (which I am) or because I was moving from my home office to a "real" one (which I was last week) but because I looking for my gosh darn keys. But I didn't say gosh-darn at the time. I said the F word. A LOT.

It was all starting on Friday morning when I was running late to catch the bus to the airport. I realized that I needed to leave my house at 8:10, not 8:30 like I had originally thought, and that lost 20 minutes was killing me. I was having to make uber-impossible decisions like "do I grab my iPod or get dressed or brush my teeth?" Let's just say my iPod is still sitting on it's charger and I was desperately seeking an Altoid from the bottom on my purse.

At 8:08, I pushed my suitcase out in the hallway and it looked like I was going to make it. I reached up to grab my keys from the key rack, and immediately had a panicked pause. There were no keys. What?! See, I have trained myself to put my keys on the rack, as I have a natural tendency to lose them (or anything really) with impressive speed. I have gotten much better and, besides the rare occasion that I leave them in the front door lock or underneath a pile of clothes or put away with clean dishes, I always put them on the rack.

Yet, with 2 minutes to spare, they weren't there. I ran all around the house, all the while thinking I-HAVE-TO-LEAVE-RIGHT-NOW-OR-I'LL-MISS-THE-BUS-AND-THEN-I'LL-MISS-MY-PLANE-AND-I'LL-JUST-HAVE-TO-FIND-THEM-WHEN-I-GET-HOME.

I ran downstairs, left the door unlocked, ran to the bus, and called Amos, frantic HI-I-LOST-MY-KEYS-SOMEWHERE-I'M-ON-THE-BUS-I-CAN'T-FIND-THEM-AND-THEY-ARE-SO-EXPENSIVE-AND-WHAT-IF-I-NEVER-FIND-THEM-AND-SOMEONE-STEALS-MY-CAR? Calm and cool as ever, Amos replied "It's okay, Sar. I'll take a look around. I'm sure they're there."

When I hung up the phone, I couldn't stop my mind from racing. In the interest of full disclosure, I bought this car, my first car, about 6 months ago, after 3 years of car-less dependence on mass transportation and the ol' bike. This car is a big deal. It's fancy. And pretty. And has astonishingly high-tech keys. Keys that cost $400 to replace. I know. $400. It's fucking madness. I almost didn't buy the car because of it. However, I am a sucker for pretty, high-tech things, so here I am, with a pretty car and missing high-tech keys.

The last time I remembered having them was Thursday evening, when I unlocked the door while simultaneously balancing my heavy CSA box and work bag. While it was an impressive display of multitasking, I clearly remember putting my keys in the lock but have no recollection of taking said keys out. I wondered if I had left them there? Would one of my neighbors grab them? Would a stranger walk up, grab them, and steal my keys and then identify my car and steal it?

Let's just say my 3 1/2 hour flight did not go by quickly. Obvs. I was obsessing.

I did one of the few things I could do while halfway across the country: I updated my facebook status. Sarah's keys are missing somewhere in The Shannon, probably left in the backdoor yesterday evening. Have any of my lovely neighbors seen them? It's a turtle keychain with a big Volvo key. It gave me a reason to check my facebook status every 30 seconds for the rest of the day, which made it feel like I was able to do something to look for them.

Over the next 48 hours I wracked my brain to figure out where they could be. My mom and I went through a play-by-play: If they were in the back door, maybe my neighbors grabbed them. I texted Amos: can you put up signs or ask neighbors? After I brought the box upstairs, I grabbed plastic bags from under the sink for the vegetables. I sent another text: can you pls look under sink? they might be by the plastic bags. I was putting away the groceries, could they have been mistakenly placed there? My mom once found her keys in the crisper (I'm thinking this losing key thing may be genetic...). Another: check in the fridge under all the veggies? Lesson learned: I have one of the loveliest boyfriends in the world. And I may have caused him to exceed his monthly allowance for texting. So sorry, Amos.

By the end of the weekend, I had resigned myself to that my super-duper-expensive keys were lost. I made peace with the fact that I'd be shelling out mas dinero to the Volvo dealership, and I'd be making a mega-culpa to my boss ("You know those office keys you gave me on Wednesday? I lost them on Thursday. Can I get another copy? And is now a good time to ask for a raise? I feel I have been really demonstrating my responsibility and dependability lately.")

As I was packing my suitcase, I heard a jingle. A jingle that sounded deliriously like keys. I had already searched my suitcase, but I hurriedly emptied it again and gave it a hard shake. This was more than a zipper jingle. Nothing in the main compartment, or, at first glance, the pockets. Wait a sec... in the smallest pocket, if I jammed my hand in, I felt them. MOTHER FUCKING BINGO! I had my keys. I felt a weight lift off my shoulders. I felt a ray of sunshine fall upon my face. I felt the presence of higher power...(okay, that's a touch dramatic, but you get the picture. Super happy).

I called Amos, sheepishly. "Hi there.... yes, found the keys... in my suitcase..." For all his hard looking and all my incessant text messaging, all he said was "I thought they might have been with you." Note to self: I should remember this moment when I want to tell someone "Told You So."

All in all, I have my keys, $400 back in my pocket, and only a couple more gray hairs on my head. One day, I'll learn to keep better track of my things, but until that day, I think I'm going to start carrying around one of the stretchy wrist keyholders -- my grandmother happens to have several. I'm sure she'd be willing to share.

02 June 2010

how to be Awesome.

now, my friends, many of you are probably at your computer right now, thinking, "Man, this Sarah girl is awesome. I wish I could be as awesome as her." Well, don't worry, mis amigos! I am here to tell you that, in fact, following a few simple steps, you can indeed be as awesome as me.

First of all, please make an apointment to cut you-self some bangs. Not light bangs, mind you, but some serious, heavy-duty / Zooey-Deschanel-esque / haven't-rocked-them-like-this-since-you-were-6-years-old-Bangs. Like So:

Now that you have some bangs, try and pull yourself away from the mirror (trust me, you look Awesome) and head to an Estate Sale. Now, you may think to yourself that no one cool goes to an estate sale, and you would be wrong. Trendsetters go to Estate Sales, where we swoop in and grab retro-hip glassware. Bring your game face... you may have to elbow an old woman or two to get those 1960s champagne coupes marked down to $5 for 8. But it will be worth it in the end. Your champagne coupes will be the envy of the Indie Scene (though you'll pretend not to notice how hip you are). Pair them with those crystal bowls you picked up for $4. MAN, you are one classy beast. Think of the dinner parties you can host, whipping up all sorts of delicious fare (read: probably something from Orangette).

Now, returning to your old bungalow apartment, prop your feet up on the coffee table, open up a Sessions dark lager, pause to call your Mom to chat, and then toast yourself for a day well done being Awesome, or as I like to call it, my last Friday night.*

*these types of blog posts are what I come up with when I backpack 21 miles in a weekend with too much time to think and get a kick out of how freaking funny I am.

the day after.

it rained in the rain forest. i prepared for that. i did not, however, prepare for the sheer amount of mud. everywhere. now there are muddy clothes to be washed, a muddy tent that needs to be dried out, a soppy down jacket to be cleaned, and a muddy pile of cookware in the sink. and that's just the stuff we've unloaded from the car. oh, and i have to go into an office today. yup - big day.

so posting will resume tomorrow. i hope you all had a wonderful memorial day weekend, and until you get a good solid read tomorrow, please content yourself with some lovely, random photos. because i'm not going to leave you stuck at work on a Tuesday morning with nothing to look at. (Remember, I got your back, my cubicle buddies.)

i wonder if i would even notice their little faces before i popped them in my mouth?

you know those pictures that capture a mood not a scene? this is one of them.

i really, really, really hate the phrase lol. i will type out "that made me laugh out loud" all because i hate it so much.

what a clever cover. i have yet to see the movie or the book, but this makes me want to read it.

bikes doing it. always funny.

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