Wednesday, July 26, 2006

10 K

My friend, colleague, and fellow running enthusiast J.C. (no, not Jesus Christ) conned me into running the Deseret News/KJZZ Pioneer Day 10K. It (sort of ) fit in with my new Half-Marathon training schedule so I agreed.
Then J.C. somehow injured herself running (that doesn't bode well for the story, does it?), and I was left to run the 10K by myself. Well, by myself with about 200 people.
When my alarm went of at 4:45 a.m. (yes, IN THE MORNING), I thought, I can just lay here. No one will know if I don't run the race. Problem was, I already had a full tank of adrenaline and nerves. What was I going to do with that?
So I finally left the house at 5:40. Race time was 6. So I got even more nervy driving up to Research Park. I wasn't the only one arriving just in time.
The race started at 6:05. It took several minutes for all of us to file over the starting line.
I knew that I had started too fast. I was tired and my mouth was dry. I just kept running fast, though, because I wanted water. The first aid station wasn't until Mile 3. By that time, I was halfway done. Why slow down? The faster I ran, my logic dictated, the faster I would be done.
I finished the race in 54:39. My goal had been to average 9:30 or 9:15 miles. My unofficial average was 8:48. (Remember, my half-marathon average was 10:06).
So I'm pretty proud of myself. My new training regimen is working!

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Out with the Old: In With The New

This is an installation currently showing in our living room. We call it "Refrigerator, circa 2006." The refrigerator, of course, is much older. But see how its ironic placement in the living room of a contemporary dwelling calls attention to its status as a practical rather than an aesthetic object. Look for further objects in this series, including "Garbage Can with Cantaloupe and Shell Sink" and "Bathroom Storage: An Inquiry."
This is the object that shall henceforth be referred to as "The Thousand Dollar Fridge" as in (imagine this in Middlebrow's voice), "Hey honey, would you grab me a light beer from The Thousand Dollar Fridge?"
See, at first MB didn't understand the allure of the adjustable shelves. Not just adjustable, but adjustable half shelves. And the door that can store, like, five jars of unnecessary olives and pickles. And, as you can see, chocolate syrup, three bottle of sesame oil (??), and so many different kinds of salad dressing it boggles the mind.
MB now understands the allure of this particular fridge. "Hey!" he said. "You could fit a whole case of beer in here." Of course. When one wants to convince the husband to buy an overly expensive appliance, think of your audience. Shouldn't I know this? Don't I teach this to my students?

Here, then, is how we spent the afternoon: moving the acceptable food items from the old, sad, white fridge to the new, gleaming stainless steel fridge.

We've almost joined the world of grown ups. Almost.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Giving Up vs. Surrender

The word surrender has a nice ring to it. Like giving in to something pleasurable or inevitable. Giving up sounds like you've thrown in the towel, you're a wimp, you just don't have the stamina. But, ultimately, don't both mean the same? You're ceasing to do one thing in favor of something else.

I only bring this up because I feel I'm on the verge of giving up on writing for the summer. I've lost my will. Or am I merely surrendering to more pressing responsibilities like playing Clue, Jr. and Superman Uno with Son?

This was supposed to be the week I really cranked up the heat on my novel. But instead, (due to a bad day camp situation), I'm spending all my time with Son and some really demanding cats. And Mother Nature is cranking up the heat on me, and others. As a result we're having some quality indoor time.

Which has caused me to ponder, does the world really need my novel? (no) Can it wait until a time when Son needs me less? (yes) And is it possible to be a good mother and a good person AND finish a novel? (unknown, so far, no)

Is it necessary to be an arrogant bastard who believes the world needs his/her novel in order to just finish the damn thing? (possibly)

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Signs of Summer

Fresh laundry on the line (the line I finally put up. Hey, it's only July).

Middlebrow using his brand new jigsaw to finish remodeling the bathroom and save our marriage. Let's hear it for Middlebrow!

The building of, and nightly sleeping in, the bedroom fort, using, of course, a sleeping bag.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Karaoke: SLC style

Assertively Unhip organized a night out for Karaoke at Ego's on State Street. Middlebrow and I arranged for Son to sleep over at a friends. We went out for a light dinner at Z-Tejas. Then we did some shopping at the Gap (let's hear it for the Sale Rack!). Then we met up with Assertively Uhip and Beau, High Touch and The Historian at Ego's.

Assertively Unhip readies herself with some stellar pool playing.

Assertively Unhip and Beau warm up the crowd with a stunning rendition of Jennifer Warner and Joe Cocker's "Love Lift Us Up Where We Belong." I believe AU is gesturing in an attempt to convey to Beau that the lyrics in pink are hers. But to no avail. He sang all the lyrics, gave 1000%, and was therefore out of comission for the rest of the karaoke adventure.
Here, AU and I are doing our interpretation of "Copacabana." I don't think you can see it, but our hand motion and dance moves are amazing. Amazing!
The beautiful High Touch does "Roam" thereby putting my own vocals to shame. "Roam if you want to, Roam around the world!"
Middlebrow stuns us all with his version of Cake's "Short Skirt, Long Jacket." As AU said, he enunciated very well.

All in all, a great evening. I mixed my liquors and beer to no ill effect. Had a good breakfast at Eggs in the City. All in all, a fabulous 24 hours.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Please Clean Out Your Basement

Middlebrow and I, in a fit of new ladder bookcase induced cleaning, pulled all the shit out of the storage closet in our basement. What did we find there?
  1. Vinyl, real vinyl, including Captain and Tennille (look for a favorite from this, "Love Will Keep Us Together" on karaoke night!) (I did keep the "Grease" Soundtrack though)
  2. A crib we haven't used in how many years?
  3. Cloth diapers (we never used!!) and diaper covers we haven't used since, well, since you know when
  4. Baby shirts and blankets I was saving why?
  5. Baby bath toys that needed to be incinerated
  6. Swinging ranch-style doors (from previous owner!)
  7. Large piece of block print fabric of unknown origin and purpose
  8. Maternity clothing (why was I saving this?)
  9. Extra-large t-shirts that were not maternity, but that I wore before I was pregnant and during, but that now look strangely like cotton mumus
  10. Nursing bras and breast pads

I only mention this because what I am issuing here is a plea to clean out your own basements. I know you have stuff down there that you don't need and haven't seen since Clinton was in office. Someone needs your old stuff more than you do. Trust me. I was brought to tears by the list of Needed Items. I feel like a criminal for keeping all that shit in my basement while other people, people without homes, go without basics like clothing.

I'll get off my soap box, but I now feel better about my own (very recent) release of the hoarding instinct. Please join me in purging your house of stuff. Your conscience and your housemates will thank you.

Friday, July 07, 2006

Fourth of July: No Wounds or Loss of Eyes! Success!

How many children are in this photo? Yes, they are all holding sparklers.

Here is Son and Son of Thirty-One (Nephew of Otter Butt). Adorable. And look, they love to light things on fire. They are Proud to Be Americans, where at least we can light things on fire once a year (twice if you live in Utah), and celebrate our love of all things explosive and flammable.

Note, of course, that no one got hurt, burned, or lost an eye. Success!

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Our First NEW Couch

Look at the sad Old Couch. It is sad, being left out on the curb, such as it is, to be rejected, even by the garbage scroungers. Our next door neighbor will come out, the next day, to save the couch cover. But the couch, alas, is too far gone for redemption.

Here is the New Couch, purchased at Form + Function. They delivered it today. It is smaller, and so makes our living room, such as it is, appear larger. This is just the first in many future purchases to make our small home into a viable living space. Next, contemporary shelving, a mod chair, a secretary, some art, a coat of paint, and a rug from We may join the 21st century yet!

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Reunited: Part 1

We just returned home from our jaunt up north to my 20th High School Reunion.
Night One consisted of me travelling alone to Senor Iguanas, a restaurant owned by a guy I went to grade school with. It was weird from the moment I got there. I kept saying, "Oh my god! Oh my god!"
This is Blake Roberts, Peter Pappas & Johnny Papapavolis. Johnny and I went to grade school and junior high together. He's an actor in LA. You may recognize him from his roles as an extra in "The Island" and "Coach Carter." Peter is his boyfriend, a casting agent for "Two and a Half Men."
Blake and I went to junior high together. I regaled him with the story about how I had a huge crush on him and how he ignored me. Then I gave up on him. The next Friday at the Sock Hop he asked me to dance. It was too late. The song? "Stairway to Heaven." I thought it would never end. What's worse than dancing with someone you no longer have a crush on for ten minutes? Hearing about it at your 20th reunion.

The first "oh my god!" was brought about by the sighting of Eva and Mary, friends from Franklin Junior High who went to The Other High School. I had just been thinking about them and how we used to get together at Mary's house to watch "Dynasty." Proving, of course, that I have always loved bad TV.
Mary most fondly remembers working on projects that involved poster board and colored pencils. Oh junior high!

This is the next night at the Holiday Inn. The "mixer" was held in a lounge by the pool. It was hot and humid inside. In this photo I have just finished an extremely icy Jack and Ginger.
Those are my friends Andrea (AJ), Doug, and Denise surrounding me.
I haven't seen Doug since high school. We went to Junior Prom together. Andrea, Denise and I have stayed in touch. Andrea and I share a birthday, though she is a year older. Denise lives in Pocatello, though she left for a while. Her husband has been in Iraq for more than a year, and is coming home in August. She was the first friend that I was "ugly friend" to, meaning, she had the boyfriends and always tried to fix me up with their friends. It never worked.

The oddest thing to me was recognizing people I never really talked to in high school. They smiled and remembered my name. I saw all the guys I ever had crushes on. They looked okay, but not amazing. In general, and factoring for the fact that all 80s hair was bad hair, the women looked the same, and generally better than the men.
My favorite moment of the night was when a male friend from high school said, "Lynn, you are blowing our minds." He may have been drunk.