Monday, September 30, 2013

On Names: Maine vs Oregon (and some other tidbits)

Pet peeves, checking in.

From my desk I overheard a phone conversation at another desk where an airline flight locator asked for specification in the following way:

Coworker: We're looking for a flight on [such and such date].
Locator: And where are they flying out of?
Coworker: Portland.
Locator: Portland, Maine?
Coworker: No, Portland, Oregon.

I mean, come now, Portland, Oregon has almost ten times the population and notoriety that Portland, Maine has. If you're going to ask for specification, at least have the courtesy to give precedence to the city that is clearly larger and more traveled.

The same can be said for Washington state and Washington, DC. At least in the circles that I've frequented, I have never met someone from Washington, DC that has referred to it as simply "Washington". I have only ever heard it referred to as "Washington" by people in films or shows. All people that I have actually met, across the states, who have been from there, have referred to it as DC. I will leave some small space for the possibility that some people very close to DC might refer to it as Washington, but I have yet to meet those people. And yet, in the hundreds of times that I told people I was from Washington, a good 90% of those people followed that response up with, "State or DC?" Good grief! If I'd meant DC, I'd have said DC. Washington state definitely should take automatic precedence, save perhaps for individuals who live within a two hour radius of Washington DC.

While we're sort of that subject, let me also inform the lot of you that Nevada and Colorado end with the "ah" as in apple. not the "ahh" sound that you make when you see something cute. And Oregon is not pronounced with a likeness of the word "gone" at the end. Think more "organ" with a hint of another vowel in the middle.

Honestly, studying linguistics greatly increased my flexibility with words and languages, no longer seeing many pronunciations as correct or incorrect. That being said, the same is not true with names. Names should be pronounced (within a single language) as close to the average of how the inhabitants of that location say it.

Update: Given the chatter on the radio/web this morning about the government shutdown, I'll amend that a possible reason for general people referring to Washington DC as Washington may result from the media referring to it as such.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Thursday Updates

Updated Tidbits:

There is frost on the mountains this morning. Not a thorough snowfall, but the beginning of one. Up near Timp there is a perpetual snow field (referred to by some as the "Glacier"), but this frosting of snow is the first I've seen of anything new for this upcoming winter. This whole week it has been rather chilly, even down here in the valley. I don't particularly mind. :) While the basement in the house (where my room is located) was surprisingly warm during the summer (I expected it to be cooler), the warmth has transitioned nicely over to these cooler days. It is still the warmest part of the house. I might be able to get away without my space heater this winter, but we'll see. I'll wait for it to be properly cold before I verify that statement.

Brandon and I went and saw the Lone Ranger at the dollar theater on Tuesday. Tickets to get in were very cheap, but we made the mistake of going for some popcorn and a drink and undid whatever we'd saved in the tickets. I think we'll stick to smuggling candy in. We had pretty low expectations for the movie, it having pretty low reviews on Rotten Tomatoes and looking rather silly. And while it was particularly silly and the writing wasn't amazing, I was still pleased we went and saw it. The level of absurdity was extremely high and the characters in the film at least had the decency to point this out (What is a horse doing on the roof, for example?). I'm not sure I need to see it again, or would recommend it as anything more than a passing amusement, but the I laughed a great deal and enjoyed Brandon's frequent chuckles of amusement at details throughout the entire thing. Another interesting point, it was probably the most suggestively violent Disney film I've ever seen. There wasn't much graphic violence, but there were a couple of particularly nasty things that happened just off camera. This is the wild west, but still.

We made dinner last night - a baked lemon pasta from our first date. It was still good, and I have the leftovers to verify that, but I think the flavor is still wanting has been good both time, but just isn't very interesting. Or perhaps my appetite was simply lacking last night.

We have few, if any, plans this weekend and I'll admit I'm pleased with that. We haven't been to Blues Dance down in Provo in a loooong time and West Coast has even suffered the last few months. We'll see if we can make it to either of those. My leg is still in about the same space, but as long as I don't go crazy dancing, I think it'll be alright. On second thought, there do seem to be a number other seemingly fun events afloat, so we'll see.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Maybe a Stress Fracture?

I had my doctor's appointment this morning. Pretty quick little deal. A nurse asked me a few questions, they x-rayed my leg and then a few minutes later the doctor came in, checked my leg for swelling, looked at the x-ray, and asked me a few more questions.

Based on the very specific description I had of the location of the pain, the type of pain, as well as the activity leading up to the pain, he agreed with me on my guess of it being a Stress Fracture. However, the x-ray came back looking pretty clean and this could be the case for a few reasons. It has only been about four days since the pain first started and it typically takes about a week for the repair work to show up on an x-ray (the fracture itself almost never shows - which is why you typically need a bone scan or MRI if there is more concern about the specific location of the fracture). The doctor mused that it would be interesting, in a purely academic sense, to have me come back in again in a week to see if we could see anything then. I doubt I'll be needing to do that.

In the meantime, as he did agree with me about it being something along the lines of a stress fracture, he recommended avoiding running for four to six weeks, but said that any non-impact exercises (biking, swimming, lifting weights) would be just fine. The only thing that was left slightly undone was the matter of whether I would need crutches as it does hurt to walk on it. I opted to take it easy and avoid being on my feet rather than needing crutches and he said he thought that'd be just fine as long as I really did take it easy.

So there you go. I still may or may not have a stress fracture, but from the sound of everything, it is likely I have a mild one. That being the case, I'll need to take things easy for a little while.

I suppose it's nice to have the confirmation of a professional, and the reassurance that there's nothing terrible wrong with my leg, but it mostly feels like I came out with the exact same knowledge that I went in with. Better safe than sorry, I guess.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Shin Splint or Stress Fracture?

So, after a solid day and then some of recovery, I've come to the conclusion that what I originally assumed was a shin splint is much more likely a stress fracture.

I've had shin splints before. About ten years ago they were the plague of my dance existence. I wore high socks for some added compression and did toe taps the whole way to and from dance until my shins burned with exhaustion. But they went away and (I thought until Saturday) stayed away. Shin splints are basically injuries where the muscle starts to rip a little from the shin bone. It hurts, but is fairly easily repaired through various exercises, rest, stretching, and massage. And they hurt almost exclusively when you're using them (or working on trying to fix them).

Now, after paying attention to it, I'm fairly certain that the pain in my lower left leg is not a shin splint, but in fact a stress fracture. On a whim I looked them up, as I wasn't very familiar withe them, and was surprised at how closely they described what I'm feeling. Stress fractures can result from a variety of things (malnutrition, osteoporosis) but one of the more common causes is overuse (Hey! That's me!). So, say a person ran a marathon and then hiked 15-16 miles up and down a mountain in the space of about a week, they might be in the susceptible bracket for a stress fracture unless their body was adapted to those kinds of uses.

Long story short, my leg still hurts a great deal, at rest or in motion, hasn't responded to massage or stretching at all, and the pain in fact doesn't even feel muscular at all.

Without actually going to a doctor and getting an MRI or a bone scan, there's no way to confirm that it is specifically a stress fracture, but I'll admit that I'm a little hesitant to go to the doctor at this moment because I don't see much of the benefits in this particular case of doing that. When you go to the doctor, they give you the various tests to confirm the stress fracture, and then usually prescribe you to several weeks of rest or certain types of exercise only (like swimming and biking). In some cases they prescribe compression boots and/or crutches to help you completely remove yourself from weight bearing on the injury. Now, I do think it would be nice to know, definitively, if I have a stress fracture, but aside from the boot and crutches, I think I can take the necessary precautions otherwise gained from visiting a doctor. Am I wrong in assuming that? Any anecdotal evidence to suggest I actually go to the doctor?

So, at least at the moment I'm planning on taking a break from running, which means I'll need to come up with an athletic equivalent soon, as I think I'll go crazy if I don't continue to get some good exercise in on a regular basis. I'm considering swimming and biking as alternatives. The first requires a gym membership, so that may loom in the near future.

Update: I've decided to go see a doctor. Only good things can result from doing that, right?

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Timp A Second Time

Starting Friday night around 12:40, we hiked all the way up to the summit of Mount Timponogos in time for sunrise and were back at the trailhead around 11:30. Brandon and I did this hike about a year ago with Zach and Grant but this year was definitely a little different.

Beginning the hike down. 

Last year when we hiked Timp, we came at it from the Aspen Grove trailhead. From Aspen Grove, the trail zig zags steeply up the southern side of the mountain, across the meadow, past Emerald Lake, across the shale spread, up a steep incline to the saddle, and then finally combines to go up the rest of the way. Due to a very slow pace, we barely made it to the saddle in time for sunrise, much less to the top. Even so, we were freezing at the saddle until the sun came up! Miserably cold. But the hike itself wasn't bad.

This year we attacked the mountain from the Timpooneke trailhead. We gathered at a local grocery store at 11:15, setting out at 11:30 and reaching the trailhead at around 12:30 or a little earlier. We paid for our parking, met up with another group member (making our group 12 people), and waited about ten more minutes for a few others we thought were coming. We waited about ten more minutes and then started up the trail. However, immediately after starting up the trail, there was a question of whether to go left or right and someone behind us told us to go left. So we did. After about five minutes of walking somehow we determined that we'd gone the wrong way and went back, finally taking the original right fork. So our actual start time was closer to 12:50.

(We found out later that the friend we'd been waiting for did show up late around 1:00 but passed us somewhere on the trail, summiting around 4:00 and landing back at the trailhead around 8:30 - amazing! We only wished we'd found each other on the trail so we could have hiked together)

The trail up was good. Much more gradual than the Aspen Grove trail. The sky was illuminated by the light of the full moon and we rarely needed our headlamps to guide us. At a steady pace with a few breaks, we reached the saddle around 4:30, much faster than I'd anticipated we'd do it, based on how long it had taken us the year before. Most of the group stopped there to rest and recover but Roman, Brandon, and I headed up to brave the last little bit of the mountain. Good heavens, the wind was terrible. At the saddle the wind was very strong, but it was easy to get behind ledges that helped to buffer you from the wind. Hiking up that last hour or so of Timp, the wind all but whipped you off the mountain. Never mind that we were already freezing, the addition on the wind just stole away all the warmth that we might have had left. We struggle up that last bit (actually a really cool part of the trail) and finally reached the little hut at the top filled with other people trying to cuddle to stay warm. In retrospect, if we'd just gone on the other side of the hut and camped on a ledge below it (on the opposite side from where the wind was coming), we'd probably have been much warmer. The hut, while a buffer from most of the wind, still leaked in cold and the cramped corners made it difficult to really get close to one another enough to lend each other heat. In other words, we could mostly sit side by side, but that wasn't enough to really warm each other.

At the top!

Resting at the saddle!

I have rarely been as cold as I was up at that hut. It was literally freezing, but without the moisture that usually accompanies it.  We shivered our way through the unexpected hour until sunrise. As with the previous time, once the sun had peaked over the mountains, the cold slowly began to dissipate. However, as we were still extremely high on the mountain, even with the warm sun on us, it wasn't until we were back at the saddle that I slowly began to feel all my fingers and toes again. A nice break at the saddle and then we headed back, uneventfully, to the trailhead.

There and back again!

Aside from a singular shin splint in my left shin, there were no lasting effects from the hike. However, I think I've effectively cooled my fervor and desire to climb Timp. Apparently this is the week for doing things I never need to do again (or at least not for a long while). Being up on top of the mountain is incredible. An incredible view and a pretty neat hike. However, having now done both trails and experiences some of the coldest mornings, regardless of the preparations made the second time, I think I'll pass on this the next time.

After a little break in the afternoon (small nap included), we headed down to Provo to see EviDance, the compilation dance performance from most of BYUs dance groups. I've been to a great number of dance performances and this was still one of my favorites. In the past there have usually been one or two dances that I wasn't overly taken with, the costumes have been somewhat lacking (or terrible in design), or the music hasn't been particularly inspiring. With the exception of one classical ballet number that, while well done, just wasn't very interesting, I thoroughly enjoyed the entire performance. Between the nostalgia of interacting with the dance groups here at BYU and the exhaustion from a serious lack of sleep, I was more moved by the performances than usual. One of my favorites was the last folk dance number where they showcased the five prominent types of percussion all at once, those being clogging, tap, Irish hardshoe, Welsh clogging, and French Canadian. It was really cool to see the different styles all together.

Afterward I got to say hello to my old dance director and a few old teammates before Brandon and I grabbed ice cream with a good friend from home (Thomas) and one of his friends. It's always fun to catch up. We did say goodbye a little early as the waves of exhaustion started to hit.

A fantastic 24 hours or so of interesting things.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Swords, Fishing Pole Racks, and Hiking!

Happy Thursday!

I've felt completely uninterested in blogging this week. Just catching up on Brandon-time, sleep, and food. I'm fairly certain I didn't consume enough calories in the hours after the race because, though my body has all but returned to 100%, I've just been tired off and on. I probably need to go running...

And hey, I think I'm only going to lose one little toe nail! :D I had a scattering of blisters on my left foot and one on my right and it took me a day or two to realize that the weird pressure in my second toe on my left foot wasn't a bruise, but in fact a blister under the toe nail. It doesn't hurt at all and isn't about to fall off, but I suspect that when the new toe nail starts growing in, this one will fall off.

My victory reward here in the office at work was presented to me yesterday. We now have a sword moving around the office, rewarded to whomever is deemed worthy until they should choose to bestow it upon someone else. It makes me smile to have a sword at my desk. :)

Sword of Victory!
I've been thinking in a rather crafty mode lately. One of the last tasks I had waiting in my room for me was to figure out where to put my little jewelry box so that it would be accessible to be used, but not in the way. It's just been hiding in the cupboard of my dresser for the last little while. But no more! I went to a little antique mall not to far from work on Tuesday and found an old fishing pole rack and an old cheese grater which I have slightly refashioned (the rack now has about twelve hooks on it) to hold my jewelry in a readily usable way. I'm excited to see how much use it gets. I'm not exactly a jewelry wearer (aside from earrings), but maybe seeing the necklaces and bracelets will inspire me to do more with them. I'll try to get a picture up before too long once I'm finished. As yet I still need to go through the many earrings that I never wear and decide which ones go in a little bag with the clip on earrings for costumes and which ones make their way to DI.

Brandon and I hike Timp with a group of friends tomorrow night! It will still be a full moon tomorrow night, so hopefully it will also be clear out so we can take full advantage of that. It's been about a year and two weeks since we last hiked it and those two weeks appear to make a difference in how cool it is outside! For certain, we will bundle up before we head up!

Monday, September 16, 2013

Oh, the English Language....

This was posted on reddit today and, given that I rather thoroughly enjoy the inconsistencies of the English language, I thought I'd share it.
You think English is easy?
1) The bandage was wound around the wound.
2) The farm was used to produce produce.
3) The dump was so full that it had to refuse more refuse.
4) We must polish the Polish furniture..
5) He could lead if he would get the lead out.
6) The soldier decided to desert his dessert in the desert..
7) Since there is no time like the present, he thought it was time to present the present.
8) A bass was painted on the head of the bass drum.
9) When shot at, the dove dove into the bushes.
10) I did not object to the object.
11) The insurance was invalid for the invalid.
12) There was a row among the oarsmen about how to row.
13) They were too close to the door to close it.
14) The buck does funny things when the does are present.
15) A seamstress and a sewer fell down into a sewer line.
16) To help with planting, the farmer taught his sow to sow.
17) The wind was too strong to wind the sail.
18) Upon seeing the tear in the painting I shed a tear..
19) I had to subject the subject to a series of tests.
20) How can I intimate this to my most intimate friend?  
Let's face it - English is a crazy language. There is no egg in eggplant, nor ham in hamburger; neither apple nor pine in pineapple. English muffins weren't invented in England or French fries in France . Sweetmeats are candies while sweetbreads, which aren't sweet, are meat. We take English for granted. But if we explore its paradoxes, we find that quicksand can work slowly, boxing rings are square and a guinea pig is neither from Guinea nor is it a pig.  
And why is it that writers write but fingers don't fing, grocers don't groce and hammers don't ham? If the plural of tooth is teeth, why isn't the plural of booth, beeth? One goose, 2 geese. So one moose, 2 meese? One index, 2 indices? Doesn't it seem crazy that you can make amends but not one amend? If you have a bunch of odds and ends and get rid of all but one of them, what do you call it? 
If teachers taught, why didn't preachers praught? If a vegetarian eats vegetables, what does a humanitarian eat? Sometimes I think all the English speakers should be committed to an asylum for the verbally insane. In what language do people recite at a play and play at a recital? Ship by truck and send cargo by ship? Have noses that run and feet that smell?  
How can a slim chance and a fat chance be the same, while a wise man and a wise guy are opposites? You have to marvel at the unique lunacy of a language in which your house can burn up as it burns down, in which you fill in a form by filling it out and in which, an alarm goes off by going on. 
English was invented by people, not computers, and it reflects the creativity of the human race, which, of course, is not a race at all. That is why, when the stars are out, they are visible, but when the lights are out, they are invisible.

I might add a few of my favorites, that we bake cookies and cook bacon, as well as drive on parkways and park in driveways. Lots of fun!

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Hey! I ran a Marathon!

People die at the end of these sometimes, you know? So it's kind of a big deal. ;)

So....let me tell you how it went.

Bright and early Brandon drove me to the bus pick up, dropping me off around 4:30. I caught the third bus leaving at that point (they'd been going up since 4:00 but most of the marathon runners were showing up in the latter part of the 4:00-5:00 pickup window) and we started the drive to the canyon and up. What felt like a long drive got us to the half marathon start and then on we went. As we pulled up to the corner of a switchback where we could see the three mile mark for the marathon, up ahead we could see a larger private bus that, in the act of turning the sharp corner up the next switchback, was blocking the road. Third bus in line, we stayed there for a few minutes and then all the buses pulled over to the side and the driver jumped out to see if he could help.

Turns out that the bus in the process of turning the corner was actually high centered with the front wheels and back tail of the bus on the ground and the rear wheels completely off the ground spinning. Tons of able bodied men (runners and bus drivers) hopped out and tried to stuff rocks under the rear tires and then push the bus, but in the half hour that we waited there, nothing budged the bus. The radio in the bus we were on was on and so we were able to enjoy the plethora of ideas from all of the drivers. Some of them wanted to take us back to the half marathon start (five miles back down the road) and some were suggesting that we just walk the three miles up to the start. Three miles up the steepest part of the entire route. thanks. And no to the half marathon start, as there were a lot of people who wanted to qualify for Boston through this race. We finally heard that the three buses that had made it up earlier, before the high centered bus had gotten stuck, were going to come back and turn around and the next corner switchback and shuttle us up from there. So the couple of buses near the front of the blocked line (there were between eight and ten buses waiting to go up, filled with runners) started emptying and we walked up the road to the switchback to meet the other buses. This worked well, but before too much longer they were somehow able to move that stuck bus and the buses began flowing again. So, where the race was supposed to start at 6:40, it only got pushed back about twenty minutes.

The top of the mountain was pretty chilly, but I'd gone up wearing pants and a jacket, in addition to my warm tea which I was slowly drinking. So until I finally took the pants and jacket off (leaving me with a long sleeve shirt, t-shirt, running capris, gloves, and a headband) and stuffed everything into the drop bag, I was feeling pretty good. By that time there was enough light and we were close enough to the start time that I didn't have to wait in the cold long.

There were a large number of port-a-potties ("Honey Buckets") at the top, but even so, as I waited near the start line, chatting with two ladies, one of them decided she needed to use the bathroom and didn't want to go back up to where the port-a-potties were. The problem with this was that to our left was a steep ledge down and to our right was a steep ledge up. No discreet bushes to squat behind. After a minute of indecision she asked if I'd hold up one of the flimsy emergency cold blankets that everyone had to shield her while she went....right there on the side of the road. However, she admitted to stage front and nothing came of it. She then joked (seriously) that if I happened to see anything trickling down her leg later as we ran, not to worry about it. Now, this was interesting to me, as only a few weeks earlier one of my roommates had asked me whether I just "used the bathroom" while I ran (like on the go, no stopping) or whether I would stop. This completely took me by surprise because, except for professional athletes where the time really really matters, I'd just assumed everyone stopped when they needed to use the bathroom. Because, excuse me, but ew, gross. This was my first run in with someone who was totally in that space but not a professional athlete. I would very much never like to be in a situation where that's the best option available to me. 

Misty trees in the mountains!

Anyway! 7:00 rolled around and the race finally started (twenty minutes late). Down we went to the most gorgeous run I've ever run. Beautiful misty mountains covered in pine trees. Breathtaking, really. And with the downhill and the cool temperature, the first several miles were easy. Here's the time layout for everything up until mile 24, as my phone died about then (approximations for the last three miles):

1: 7:30
2: 7:58
3: 8:01
4: 7:54
5: 8:01
6: 8:15
7: 8:59
8: 9:09
9: 8:40
10: 9:47
11: 9:33
12: 9:07
13: 9:06
14: 10:06
15: 10:25
16: 10:25
17: 9:59
18: 11:01
19: 11:42
20: 13:19
21: 15:27
22: 15:11
23: 14:42
24: Approximately 22:00
25: Approx. 22:00
26.2: Approx: 22:00

Mile 15!

It took my about five hours to do the whole thing. The first half was actually the fastest half marathon time I've ever had, coming in around 1:52, but the second half made up for that, taking about three hours. The first 17 were great, all of that being in the canyon, but where I'd been starting to hurt (particularly in my right hip and calves), once I hit the more flat parts of the course, I didn't even have gravity on my side any more. Around mile 20 I texted Brandon, finally coming to the conclusion that I wasn't having fun anymore. But on I plodded. At this point I was intermittently stopping to stretch, walking, and running. Around 23 miles I ran into Brandon, as he waited for me and then walked a half mile with me before heading back to his car. From there on out I walked a large percentage of what was left as my right hip just ached. It hurt when I simply walked, but was particularly aggravated when I ran. Thus the dreadfully slow times of those last few miles. 

Mile 23! Brandon came to cheer me on!

When I'd met up with Brandon I'd given him my long sleeve shirt, gloves, and headband and about a mile later a lady, cheering on the side of the road, asked me where my bib was. It was at that point I realized it was still on my long sleeve shirt that I'd given to Brandon. I thought to call him, to ask him to have it for me and the start of the finish, but my phone was dead and, due to the fact that I've never had to call him on anything other than a cell, I couldn't remember all of his number, so I could even borrow a phone to call. But whatever, I knew that my time wasn't a huge deal and that I could get it either from him before I crossed the finish line or I could go back over the finish line with it later.

Finally, finally, about an hour later (Brandon had been worried that I would beat him to the finish line due to traffic - yeah right!) I reached the finish line and ran right up to Brandon to see if he had my shirt. He didn't as it was in the car, so he ran back to the car as I waited in the runners area past the finish line. 

Done! I've rarely been so entirely pleased to be finished with something in my life. Physically exhausted and mentally drained. And in pain. Not terrible debilitating pain, but achy achy pain everywhere and deeper pain in those problem areas. 

Excited to be done. 
A massage and a hot bath later and I was still in a fair amount of pain, but off to a reception and then a Totinos pizza and a boba (tapioca pearls) smoothie as a dinner of champions. Delicious.

More than 24 hours later and I still ache quite a bit! I've had another hot bath and have walked around a fair amount and everything is still pretty stiff. Stairs are the worst. Going both up and down. But going down is by the hardest thing to do. Downhill anything reminds me of all the parts of my body that are less than pleased with me.

But hey! I did it! I ran a Marathon!

Given this experience, my take away is that I probably don't ever want to do it again. Not only because the last six miles of this were miserable (physically -  in all other ways I was still quite cheerful), but I really didn't enjoy the training process. Too many mandatory long runs that never seem to end.

However, I'm solidified in my love for half marathons, which remain both a wonderful distance to run and a wonderful distance to train for. Definitely want to do more of those!

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Getting ready for this weekend...

Brandon and I both appear to have come down with a slight cold - mostly a sore throat but with a side of stuffiness this morning for me. We've guessed that it originated with our thorough soaking this past Saturday at the Brazilian Festival. If only cream filled churros (not exactly Brazilian) hadn't been so tempting. And the line hadn't been so slow. But they were and it was. And the churro was the best I've ever had.

The weather here has turned decidedly fall-esque. Mostly just rainy, overcast, and a little chilly. This is normally one of my favorite types of weather, but I wouldn't mind if it were a little warmer coming up on the marathon this weekend.

I just checked the forecast for the Cottonwood Heights area (not even up in the mountains), and while we might be able to avoid the rain for the several hours I'll be running, the temperature looks to be around 60-70 degrees at the warmest. Probably much chillier up at the top of the canyon. So I will dress in layers until the race starts....and I might run in them too, depending on how things look. I've never taken full advantage of the little bags you can bring that will be waiting for you at the finish line, but I think I will this time.

Things I'll maybe want either just before or with me during the run:

-Hot tea in a thermos (throat coat!)
-Breakfast (bus pick up is between 4:00 and 5:00 to take us to the top of the mountain - plenty of time to eat breakfast rather than having to wake up extra early just to eat) (I'm thinking a banana with a bagel topped in peanut butter)
-An Umbrella
-Gloves (to wear before and run in)
-Extra pair of socks (or maybe knee high socks?)
-long sleeve shirt (to wear over a t-shirt and maybe run in)
-Hoodie (maybe to run in?)
-Scarf (I don't like running with scarves, but if I still have anything resembling a head cold...)
-Hat (to run in?)
-Corn bag?

Any other recommendations? I'll be wearing my running capris, so the long socks might be ok. In some of my earlier longer runs, I wore pants, and then shorts and long socks, but since I purchased those capris, it's hard to want to wear anything else....they're just so not fussy. And they have plenty of pockets.

Between now and then I just need to make myself feel better! Lots of rest and relaxation...I'm pretty sure I had about eight mugs of hot tea yesterday in addition to the plethora of water bottles. Let's just say I've been making plenty of trips to the restroom as a result, but I'm definitely hydrated! (Update from Friday: I had approximately 25 cups of water yesterday - crazy!)

Not running related, we're getting together with a couple Brandon knows from his work tomorrow evening and then going to a reception Saturday evening! It's seems a little strange to me that we have so many social events planned without evening trying! Assuming I get through this marathon without dying I'm sure it will all be lots of fun. :)

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Interesting Tidbits

Yesterday I went to a fabric store, just to explore and see what they had and, aside from having a nice variety of fabrics, they were playing classic rock and roll in the background, which I loved. I find the situation of a bunch of random middle age women listening to classic rock to be refreshing.

Pharaoh, the next door neighbor cat, paid me a visit yesterday evening as I was coming upstairs to make a quick dinner (another egg in a basket - I've got to use that fresh bread!). He appears to have mislaid his collar, but now that I've seen it, and his name, once, I didn't mind the lack. He was very friendly and enjoyed a little loving before wandering over to the front porch. I'm sure he wouldn't have minded if I'd have followed him to continue showing him affection, but I opted to make dinner instead.

The chocolate man came this morning. I haven't had cash much in the last several weeks, so I've had to decline buying any chocolate. He frequently has given me various chocolate items for $2-$3 even though I know that he'd prefer to get $4 for most of them. These are typically Toblerone that we're talking about, which are easily less expensive in the grocery store, but for whatever reason, I feel content buying them from him. I think the reason I don't mind paying twice as much on occasion for things like this is that when I pay $2 for it in the store, I don't know how much of that goes to the actual employees, but when I pay $5 for a chocolate bar from this man, I know that whatever the excess from how much he originally paid for it goes directly to him, and that's somehow satisfying.

Last night there was a mention of a company that has slowly been nose-diving in their profits and probably wouldn't exist in a year if they weren't being bought by another company. Along with the change of hands, a situation was presented, essentially that the executives of this company were saving about five million dollars of the buy out terms for themselves while simultaneously having to cut about sixty jobs in the deal. This makes no sense to me. Here you have a small handful of people who are already making waaaaaaay more than they deserve and, after they've screwed things up enough that the company can no longer exist, we're going to give them a huge bonus. And while we're at it, we're going to put sixty people out of work - people who are probably supporting families with their income and benefits. Disgusting.

In other news, I'm a little bit sick today. Slight cough and not feeling 100%. I actually considered calling in sick today, just to get a little more sleep, but there was one rush project that really needed to get out the door. Thus, I'm here at work. I'm planning on purchasing one of those Vitamin C bombs and some orange juice over lunch, though it may be too late for that to be overly beneficial. But I have the marathon this weekend, so I need to be healthy and well and I'll try anything to make that so!

Six Can Soup

A family favorite growing up - Six Can Soup, seems to be a recipe that I can never quite remember after a lapse in making it and I always seem to misplace hard copies of. So, hopefully I'll avoid this in the future with this post.

First of all, it really did originate with only six cans, but since then it has been slightly twisted to include my own preferred variations.


-Can of Tomato Soup
-Can of Diced Tomatoes with Green Chilies
-Can of Stewed Tomatoes (smashed into smaller chunks with hands)
-Can of Corn
-Can of Chili with Beans
-Can of Black Beans (drained)
-Bag of frozen Mixed Vegetables (try to avoid green beans for Brandon's sake) (thawed out some)
-Shredded Chedder Cheese (or whatever type of cheese you prefer)

Originally the recipe didn't call for black beans or the mixed vegetables, rather simply a can of vegetable soup, but I like the hardiness of the beans and larger vegetable chunks.

The fritos are on top in this picture because I had to reheat the soup the next day.

Essentially you just empty the content of the cans and vegetables into a large pot, heat it up, and you're ready! Obviously, following the small instructions for the few that need it. Stirring occasionally, once it's hot, you grab a bowl, dump a handful of fritos in the bowl, ladle some hot soup on top of the fritos, and garnish the lot with some delicious shredded cheese! That's it!

It has just come to my attention that, as long as your careful about the cans you buy, particularly where the tomato soup is concerned, this recipe is also gluten free. Who knew!

Monday, September 9, 2013

Weekend Update: Red Velvet Chocolate Chip Cookies

This weekend we made few plans in order to facilitate plenty of time to recuperate from the last two weeks of work. As a result, Friday night ended up being a movie night at Brandon's, complete with hot tamales (the candy) and a man-pedicure for Brandon. Oh! And I made beautiful, and fairly good, red velvet white chocolate chip cookies.

Red Velvet White Chocolate Chip Cookies!

Saturday included lots of sleep, a little running, and then a trip downtown for the Utah Brazilian Festival. It was raining pretty hard, but despite that we wandered the little festival and tried a variety of delicious Brazilian food while enjoying the loud band play the entire time, without any breaks at all. They had an enthusiastic crowd to cheer them on and dance while they played.

Thoroughly drenched we went back to Brandon's and turned his bathtub into a hot tub and enjoyed the latest episode of Newsroom and then watched Oceans Eleven with Brandon's roommate and friends.

Sunday morning I woke up and broke out my bread machine to start a loaf of bread. While it worked on itself I made muddy buddies and a chocolate chia seed pudding. Finished in about two hours, I finally made an egg in a basket using the fresh bread and it was quite delicious.

I also went for a walk in the evening and captured the beautiful sunset sky along with the house I run by regularly that makes me think of Gaudi.

Gaudi House
Sunset Sky

Thursday, September 5, 2013

On Modesty?

So I shared this article on facebook today. I'd read it a week or so ago when it was initially posted and I was struck then by how much I liked what it was saying, and then struck again when I noticed it posted on facebook by a few of my friends and read it again. It's not a flawless piece of writing, but I really like the couple of points it has to make.

After re-approaching the idea of modesty, really rethinking what it is to be modest, modesty being more about how one approaches ones self and others, how one lives and behaves, being humble and un-ostentation, the newish version of the definition of modesty, relating specifically to the cut of clothing, drives me crazy. I guess I simply believe, rather strongly, that "modesty" should be derived almost entirely from the self respect a person has for themselves, with a very very small amount left to be defined by society. A minuscule amount, really. Only enough to appease the most basic levels of decorum from society to society. And even with that minuscule amount, I still think I'm being entirely generous. There are many who will think I'm being too generous, actually.

I guess what really bothers me most are the cultural attachments to and the marketing and selling of the idea of "modesty." You can't sell modesty. Modesty is not about being covered from "here" to "here". It is not something to call people out on when they don't meet your definition of "modesty" or something to praise yourself about when you've met that definition. It should be something that seeps out from the deepest levels of your self understanding. While we've culturally attached a definition of modesty relating to level of dress, that idea does the word "modesty" a great disservice, degrading the good intentions and deep embodiment of what the word and idea can mean. And when we become so ingrained in thinking only certain things meet with being "modest" we unintentionally make modesty the most base and mundane version of what it should be, seeing only the most superficial level of it. It's more than that. So much more.

Ok. Rant over. I'm sure I'll continue to be fairly annoyed when I see sales pitches use the word "modest" in ridiculous ways, pandering to the superficial idea, but there's not much getting around that, other than working to remind people about what modesty is about.

In summary,

"Modesty is primarily about recognizing the dignity of the human spirit and acting accordingly."

Edit: Here's another post I've just come across that points out a lot of the issues currently tossed about with the idea of modesty - highlighting  ridiculous differences between the "rules" set for girls and boys.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

The Struggle - Cameron Gould

Back in May when we went down to Havasupai, the one responsible for the beautiful video that was created from our time down there was Cameron Gould (newly engaged to then girlfriend Emily!). I thought I'd shared some of his other work (their website), but looking back through several of my posts, I don't think I did. So, that being the case, here are two of his videos that I find fairly amusing. Enjoy! (And let me know if I've already posted either of these!) (Cam is the one in the video, and no, that's not how he normally talks.)

The first one:

(The Struggle: A Man Facing a Putpocketing Addiction)

And the second one:

(The Struggle: Part 2)

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Heads Up - Layout Change

Hey. just a heads up that you may see my layout change a number of times over the next few days. I really liked the interactive layout that I've had for the last while, but for the last few months it hasn't been working properly (the colors/font are off and I can't seem to access the comments section about 75% of the time). I'm not really sure what I want now, but we'll see if I find anything I really like!

A Brief Jaunt Up to the PNW!

Good morning from Salt Lake City!

This weekend in the Pacific Northwest was perfectly lovely, though definitely too short.

Late Friday evening after work we got a ride to the airport and caught our flight to Seattle. Once in Seattle we scrambled to the Light Rail Station and bought tickets and got on. A train was coming in when we were crossing the bridge to the station and we thought we'd need to hurry to catch it, but there was actually another train on the other side that was closer to leaving that we were able to get on. The light rail took about thirty minutes or so to reach the downtown and we scurried from there down the hill to the pier to see if we could catch the 10:05 ferry to Bainbridge Island. Unfortunately, we were about five to ten minutes too late for that so instead we enjoyed a surprisingly satisfying breakfast sandwich from Subway as we waited the thirty minutes or so until the next ferry. We were able to leisurely enjoy the half hour trip across the water and Jaime (with Scarlett and Tyler in tow) quickly arrived to pick us up once we were there. A short drive later and we'd arrived at their house and were ready for bed!

Bright and early I got up to get my long weekend run in (9 miles). The Pacific part of Washington is absolutely gorgeous and between the scenery and the sweet air, I quite enjoyed my run. The hills were occasionally taxing, but not too much to handle. Back at the house I showered and then, once everyone was awake and fed, we headed to the farmer's market (blueberries, zucchini, peaches, green beans, basil, and ice cream!) and then to the little science center in Poulsbo. Rob and Zachery met up with us there and we walked through town to grab lunch at a pizza place before stopping in at the bakery for some treats. Poulsbo felt a lot like Twisp and Winthrop, but slightly bigger and with the addition of all the boats and water.

We took it easy in the early afternoon and then went blackberry picking before Brandon and I headed back to the ferry to Seattle to meet up with some of his good friends from college. We'd originally planned on going to a homestyle Italian restaurant, but after grabbing a few chunks of delicious cheese from a nearby deli, we stopped by the place only to find it closed for the weekend. After deliberating a bit we ended up heading to the Skillet, a place that had a variety of Southern themed cuisine. Very enjoyable. Even better was the ice cream to follow at a place just a few blocks away. Amazingly delicious. We stopped by Kerry Park before they dropped us back at the ferry. We'd thought to catch the 10:55 ferry, like we had the day before, but when we arrived (around 10:20), there was a ferry at the pier unloading. Inside we asked when the next ferry was (the guy selling tickets said 11:15 for some reason), and eventually came to the conclusion that it was leaving at 10:40. Which, since we were there, we were quite happy with. Much better than arriving at 10:45 to realize the next ferry left in half an hour instead of ten minutes.

Sunday morning we got up for church and then came back and Jaime made delicious grilled cheese sandwiches before we all settled to take a nap and relax a bit. After naps we headed out to one of the beaches and walked around for awhile, watching the fishermen up to their waists in the water. Once we'd sated our need for sunshine and rock throwing we headed back to the house. The missionaries were just walking down into their neighborhood and they were quickly invited over for dinner. Which we began shortly thereafter! Home made macaroni and cheese, green beans, and watermelon! While all of that came along nicely, the blackberries, which we'd mushed a bit and let sit, planning to put into the ice cream as the main flavor later, appeared to have about a hundred tiny tiny worms in it. Bizarre! Our first thought was maybe we could sift the worms/fruit pieces out and just use the juice, but the worms went right through with the juice, so we tossed everything and decided to go with chocolate ice cream instead. Dinner and ice cream were both delicious and decidedly worm free.

Monday morning I got up again for a short run and then after showers and a slight breakfast, Brandon and I went to the bakery to pick up some donuts and treats for a more filling breakfast. Everyone was ready to go by the time we got back and we then headed to the beach closer to Bainbridge Island, originally planning on going to tide pools, but instead enjoying the variety of the beach we ended up on. We'd wanted to catch the 1:10 ferry back to Seattle to head to Pike Place Market, but when we finally all ended up in the car to leave, it was already 12:42 with an estimated time to the pier of 25 minutes. We scrambled to the pier and pretty much jumped out of the car, waving goodbye, before running up to the bridge to the ferry. And it was still there! We ran on and then sat down to catch our breath and the ferry pulled away within a minute of us getting on. It was a little close but we were on!

We walked down to Pike Place Market and walked through all the stalls and stores, finally getting some clam chowder and a hunk of aged chedder. A quick walk up to the light rail and we were headed back to the airport. It was much easier to enjoy the scenic nature of the ride during the day rather than the night (like our earlier ride). At the airport we were checked in and waiting at our gate before we knew and then on the flight headed back to Salt Lake! We passed Mount Rainier on our way Southeast and it was incredibly awesome. Even though I'd flown by it before, it was just an amazing sight. A lone mountain reaching high up into the sky all on its own.

It was wonderful getting to spend some time in the Pacific Northwest with Jaime, Rob, and the kids, wonderful to see the landscape and enjoy the atmosphere, as well as a few of the sights of Seattle. I just wish we could have stayed longer. :)