Monday, August 31, 2009

lines running through my head today

My heart is like the ocean.
It gets in the way.
So close to touching freedom,
Then I hear the guards call my name.

-Tori Amos

Saturday, August 29, 2009

race pictures

Warning: viewer discretion advised. There's nothing scandalous, but if you look closely at my running photos, please promise me that you won't make fun of me. Sure, go ahead and laugh, but make sure I can't hear you. I already know how bad and weak and like death I look. They took these snaps the first mile of the run when my upper legs enjoyed a royal time cramping up. Don't say I didn't warn you.

Friday, August 28, 2009

happy friday

I've almost made it through my first full week of school. Hurray for me. Happy moments of this week have included:
  • Soft rain falling on me the last third of my ride to school Tuesday. If I wouldn't have been on my bike, I wouldn't have enjoyed the smell or feel.
  • Seeing Shanna and Crystal and baby Marlee.
  • Swimming outside with Ma and Lisa yesterday. So peaceful.
  • Running 10 with Lisa Wednesday. I haven't gone longer than a 6 since I did my half marathon.
  • Huge slip and slide Monday night.
  • Finishing I Am the Messenger (for the second time, yes, it's just that good, to me).
  • Students saying thank you at the end of class. I still don't know what merits their thanks, but it's grand to have kind and thoughtful students.
  • This Andrew Bird collection that Jess posted on her blog. I cannot stop listening to it.
Happy almost weekend!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

how could i forget?

Now I don't want to jinx the future, but Neil Young has been a part of my last two races. Back in May I started the Ogden half marathon with a live band jamming out "Long May You Run."

And I can't believe I failed to mention that there was a band at the finish of my triathlon Saturday. As I was on the last quarter mile or so of my run, what did I happen to hear? Sweet strains of "Heart of Gold."

They pump me up so much, those songs of Neil. Sigh.

I doubt there will be a live band at the Yuba triathlon as there wasn't one last year, but here's to hoping that when I next race to the tune of a live band, they'll be playing one of Shakey's songs.

Monday, August 24, 2009

regina's coming

November 6. In the Venue.

Margie's already bought me my birthday present (a ticket)!!!

Cannot wait.

I have the best friends ever.

Bonus: the fact that the concert's on a Friday night and I don't have to feel guilty about staying up late on a school night. Concert going nightly and teaching daily don't mix very well.

Deanna, I teach English to sophomores and juniors.

Tamber, try SBR sports (4th North in Orem). You could even try mine on if you'd like to borrow it.

Leslie, hey! And I think you'd rock at triathlons. Just put a wetsuit on, then you'll float!

results, but no photos

14th out of women. (Out of 76.)
3rd in my age group. (Out of 16.)
65th out of everyone. (Out of 203.)

My transitions are pretty quick I must say. As for my bike, I need to improve there. I envy those who zoom by me wearing their speedy helmets and cruising on their tri bikes, but I'll make do with what I have. Running also could use a boost. My cramping upper legs didn't help out the first mile. But I'm still happy. I think I did alright.

I gave my dad my camera, but didn't really expect him to take any pictures because I'd much rather have him cheering me on. As soon as the fancy Zazoosh place puts up their pictures, I'll post a link, so we can have a gander.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

speaking of wetsuits

I raced the Jordanelle triathlon yesterday. I'm not sure I want to bore anyone with the details, but it was fabulous and fun. I finished third in my age group. I don't know my splits because they weren't posted. Sad. But I was about two minutes off my Yuba time from last September. Not bad for taking of a luxurious month in Europe. Then again, I don't quite know how much I can compare the two races because the courses differ. I guess we'll see, though, because I'm doing Yuba in three weeks.

Happy new week!

PS: School's going well. My students behaved themselves quite well the first two days. We shall see how this week goes. Happy Monday!

one thing i love about my closet:

My wetsuit hangs right next to my temple dress.

A few moments ago I put my wetsuit away and its juxtaposition next to my dress made me smile. And then I wondered, is it really a juxtaposition?

Maybe not. It's just a reflection of me. I guess I'm a juxtaposition.

And now I've far overused the word juxtaposition.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

writer's notebook cover 2009-10

It is a strange thing:
The world.

It blurs the line
From cold blood to warm.

Where do we go next?
The planet?
The beach?
The future?
The wild?
Back from the brink?

I have no reply except that
People are moving
Deep into our minds and hearts.

People of heaven learn to fly
From birth to burial.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

family, faith, and friends

These three things will make the good times sweeter and the hard times bearable.

--A thought from JoAnn Hickman at Ray Hillam's funeral yesterday.

I'm full of the spirit of yesterday's celebration of Ray's life. Perhaps I'll write more later. Perhaps not. I can't write much at this time as Sunday calls my name this way and that. In any case, what a grand man. He certainly touched my life for good.

Thank you, Ray.

Friday, August 14, 2009

alpine loop

Yesterday I went on a bike ride.

But it wasn't just any bike ride.

This is what I'd term an epic bike ride.

I texted my friend, Jeff, last week to see if he wanted to ride one last time before school swallows me whole (next week!). He called me a few days later and said he wanted to do "a really hard ride." I'd never heard him sound so serious about riding. I mean, we race sometimes, and generally do rides that aren't super easy, but I didn't know what to expect considering his seriousness.

So Thursday afternoon rolled around and I prepared not just one water bottle, but two; I had no idea where our pedaling legs would take us. We met up, and Jeff proposed his two ideas:
  1. Ride up Squaw Peak road AND then ride all the way up South Fork.
  2. Ride up Hobble Creek.
I wasn't really in the mood for the first because those are the rides I usually do and Hobble Creek just didn't appeal for whatever reason.

Then Jeff said, well, there's always the Alpine Loop. I don't know why, but I said, alright. Let's do it.

Mentally I was thinking I'd be lucky enough just to make it up the grade to Sundance. But somehow we just kept spinning up the mountain. We were out of water by the time we reached Aspen Grove because of the hot blazing sun and the steep road. But we filled up at the lodge's water fountain, hopped back on our bikes and continued.

Most of the fun for me stemmed from the fact that we really didn't know how far away we were from the summit. My legs finally stopped burning after Aspen Grove and we got into a nice rhythm. We reached the summit in about two hours (from Will's Pit Stop...on University). It took us about 22 minutes to zoom down to the mouth of AF canyon.

Pure exhiliration.

I'm not sure of the exact mileage, but it took us just over three hours, roundtrip. The only thing that would have made it a bit better was some fuel other than water. Next time I'll be sure to pack an energy bar.

But other than that, epic.

Feeling ready to race next Saturday: Jordanelle, here I come.


This morning I stopped by the neighborhood grocery store to grab meself a pint of chocolate milk after my swim. I happened to run into my high school AP English teacher.

I haven't seen her for a couple years and it was nice to chat with her. I asked her what the happiest thing of her summer had been. She replied, without any hesitation, "Two grandchildren." She further affirmed my inquiry as to if they were born this summer.

We parted ways, but my mind rested on her response. I've been asking myself the same question these past few days and my answer is not the grand travels I've been able to enjoy. I certainly had fun, don't get me wrong. But playing with and holding my cousin Elijah has been the happiest thing of my summer. Along with that happiness is the time spent with my immediate and extended family. It doesn't matter if we're playing soccer in west Provo or eating dinner just off the beach of Payette lake. Just being with them matters more than enough.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

please don't kill me

Such is the phrase running through my head as I ride my bike down busy streets. I don't have too many fears, but one fear creeps up as I see cars rolling through their red lights to turn right--possibly right in front of me.

I fear getting struck by the car, flying through the air, scraping up my arms and legs with some nasty road rash, and hitting my head hard enough against the asphalt to pop off my helmet.

I know. Not a very pleasant image. That's why I incessantly repeat my mantra along busy roads. Please don't kill me. I will cars to see me and my speed, so they'll back off and come to their complete stop to wait for me to pass them by.

It's my green light.

I said please.


Monday, August 10, 2009

too much fun for pictures


Coming home isn't always the best part of a trip.

Last week was right lovely.

And now I'm home.

I just uploaded my pictures from our trip to McCall and was rather shocked to realize I'd only taken 42 pictures. Holy moly. Usually I take heaps more. But I guess I was having too grand of a time to pull out my trusty recording device. Good thing I have a heart and head full of memories, no?

So a few pictures and then a little summation of happy happenings:

Fed this messy monkey several times.

Morning attempt at climbing. Rain thwarted our plans.
Sad face but happy face because of the gorgeous scenery.

Butterfly and flower tattoos. Even Gramma had one!

Huckleberry picking, sand castle building, swimming, running, huckleberry pancake eating, scum playing, scrabble playing, biking, climbing, cliff jumping, laughing, talking, skinny-dipping, beach sitting, soccer, whiffle ball, huckleberry pie eating, playing, playing, playing. Being with the best famdamily in the world. So swell.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

tinker toys

Pictures of yesterday's adventures:


I hope this trend of going to bed past midnight and not being able to sleep past 5:07 in the morning doesn't continue. I don't know why I haven't been able to sleep longer (today and yesterday). Oh well, it just happens sometimes, so there's not much I can do about it. No complaints.
I thought I'd share a picture of one of my most recent colorings. I've been giving away The Book Thief for people's birthdays of late. I usually watercolor a bookmark and write a note on the other side to stick inside the book.The above's a little example of what one of those bookmarks might look like. Most of them are a little more abstract than this house on a hill. I'm no pro at it, but it's rather relaxing.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

august's first day in 51

  1. 5:30 a.m.
  2. what? mind's racing and there's no falling back asleep
  3. guess it's time for a run
  4. 6 miles
  5. before the sun
  6. pink morning clouds
  7. oatmeal and raisins
  8. yum
  9. load up backpack with climbing gear
  10. hop on bike
  11. ride up to Rock Canyon
  12. say good mornings to the cousin and his wifey
  13. hike a bit
  14. watch cousin set the line
  15. climb
  16. belay
  17. rest
  18. climb
  19. belay
  20. rest
  21. etc.
  22. etc.
  23. such pure fun
  24. no one else in sight until two climbs left
  25. perfecto
  26. climber's high
  27. sail downhill home
  28. cut up veggies
  29. cook veggies and some pasta
  30. eat
  31. yum
  32. small power(ful) nap
  33. shower
  34. laundry
  35. Margie
  36. Border's
  37. journals obscenely on sale
  38. grocery store for batteries and snacks
  39. present to lovely Mermaid
  40. playtime with Marge
  41. see old friends
  42. talk
  43. play volleyball
  44. talk
  45. eat
  46. scurry to soccer game
  47. play and sweat
  48. victory
  49. ride home with windows down and Regina blasting
  50. soon to bed
  51. love it