Sunday, July 31, 2005

Seafair Torchlight 8k Run

I ran my second Torchlight race last night. The 8k course started at Seahawk Stadium, took us up 99 North through the Battery Tunnel, right around the Hostess Bakery (the smell of powdered doughnuts was intoxicating), on Dexter past KEXP up to Denny to Wall, left at Uptown Espresso and along Fourth, all the way back to Seahawk Stadium.

The highlights of the race include the beautiful, albeit roasting hot (it was 90 degrees) view of Elliott Bay as we raced along 99; seeing Pa and Na perched on the sidewalk in front of Uptown Espresso--approximately halfway through the race; and running along the Torchlight Parade route on Fourth where thousands of people cheered the runners.

There were several things that kept me from passing out from the heat: my Camelback (which Pa froze the night before); being outrun by a giant Jamba Juice banana; and the songs on my MP3 player:

We Used to Be Friends - The Dandy Warhols
Taste the Summer - Duran Duran
Godless - The Dandy Warhols
Mr. Brightside - The Killers
Somebody Told Me - The Killers
(Reach up for the) Sunrise - Duran Duran
Bedroom Toys - Duran Duran
Midnight Show - The Killers
Point of No Return - Duran Duran
Nietzche - The Dandy Warhols
Jenny Was a Friend of Mine - The Killers
Every Day Should Be a Holiday - The Dandy Warhols

Of all the races I run every year, the Torchlight is my favorite!

Friday, July 29, 2005

Observation of the day

The only difference between a Starbucks Green Tea Frappuccino and a McDonald's Shamrock Shake is about $1.79.

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Vintage Tears for Fears at Chateau Ste. Michelle

Here’s me as the ultimate skeptic: The night before the concert I dreamt that the title of this entry would be “Sour Grapes: Tears for Fears at Chateau Ste. Michelle”; but I have my husband to thank for the optimistic choice, despite the fact that he doesn’t really like the band. But hey, that’s the beauty of our marriage--I drag him to concerts like Bauhaus or The The, and he drags me to, oh, something like The Cowboy Junkies or Tori Amos and it works out just fine. So, with Na and Pa and dinner in tow, we picnicked on the grass while I, at least, enjoyed the show. Pa got to watch Na run around like a free-range chicken.

The show was pretty decent—though, I’ll admit the aforementioned skepticism comes from really hating their latest release, Everybody Loves A Happy Ending. After listening to the album, I likened the much-anticipated reunion of Roland Orzabal and Curt Smith to what my parents would have been like if, after thirty years of name-calling and screwing each other out of thousands of dollars, they remarried and moved into a trailer park. After all, the decade-long Orzabal/Smith feud spawned some really great songs like “Fish out of Water.” So I guess I figured that if it took them four years to come up with such sub-par material like Everybody…, then they’d suck live. Still, I didn’t want to miss the chance to see them. Call me conflicted.

Though I have loved Tears for Fears since I first saw the “Pale Shelter” video on MTV, the first concert I saw was a decade later, during the Elemental tour, when Orzabal—sans Smith--couldn’t keep his mouth shut about how much he despised his former musical partner. I guess time and aging heals most wounds and whatever caused Smith to walk away during the Sowing the Seeds tour in 1990 simply evaporated (though as a woman, I find that incredibly hard to believe), but having seen them live last night, it seemed they’ve resolved whatever it was that needed resolving because there was a lot of chemistry on stage.

I cringed when they opened with songs from Everybody… but I think they only played two or three songs at the most from that awful album before launching into some good stuff including “God’s Mistake” and then of course, they dove into songs from The Hurting, though they were somewhat apologetic about having written that material when they “were very young.”

I’ll admit, it felt kind of weird having my three year-old son on my shoulders while I danced to “Pale Shelter” (or swayed, rather, since I’ve never really seen anyone “dance” to “Pale Shelter”) because truly if “How Soon is Now?” was the rhetorical question of my adolescence, “Pale Shelter” was the answer to everything and every one; but looking around, I noticed the crowd was predominantly middle aged and pared with kids and/or non-enthused significant others, and if they, too, were former Becky Goths*, one would never know.

*for a definition of "Becky Goths" read Sarah Vowell's Take the Cannoli.

Yes, Mr. Na--it is a Mad World

Sunday, July 17, 2005

It was a picture perfect day in Seattle today--the sun was bright but the temperature rested at 80 degrees--not too hot coupled with a little bit of a breeze.

I get swept up in beautiful days like today--where I want to be playing outside and so I hitched Mr. Na's Bell bicycle trailer up to my bike and rode the Burke Gilman trail to UW, made a right at Husky Stadium, watched as Mr. Na shrieked with delight at the Montlake Bridge opening and closing, and rode and rode and rode, hugging Lake Washington until we made our way down to Mt. Baker Beach. Mt. Rainier was visible in all her glory to the south and the top third of Mt. Baker could be seen above the crest of the Cascades.

We turned back and went to North Leschi Beach for our picnic lunch and for a little playtime in the sapphire blue waters of Lake Washington.

Heading back home was a bit of a challenge as I chugged and wheezed my way up Madison but we stopped at the market back in Montlake to share some Cracker Jacks (and Gatorade for Ma!)

And so, four hours and 20 miles later, Na and I crawled into our respective beds for a snooze. I have a feeling that I won't be getting out of bed too easily tomorrow morning! Not only did I drag a 40 pound bike trailer for 20 miles today, I ran 7 around Greenlake YESTERDAY.

Could you imagine if it was sunny here all the time?

Saturday, July 16, 2005

Take the toddlers bowling, take them bowling...

What better way to spend a Friday night than to go to the "bowling alley" in the basement of Pa's office. I use the term loosely, since the "bowling alley" comprises only two lanes. Still, it's free, making it cheap entertainment for the entire family!

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Editing, Shmediting...

Been working on my manuscript consistently now for a few weeks and it feels great. One thing I need to remind myself about though, is to eat BEFORE going to a coffeehouse to work. I had no choice today because I headed out to my editing session after a trip to the dentist (thankfully, today I didn't get my teeth cleaned by the Bitch of Buchenwald...but that's another story...). So, needless to say, I had to grab my lunch at Starbucks--which limited me to a selection of uber fattening pastries or the one and only sandwich choice: turkey with Monterey Jack cheese and some sort of pobleno-type mayo.

Despite my smallish frame, I'm still a weight when I see a sandwich that's 520 calories and 20 grams of fat and NO FIBER, I get a little nervous; but I figured the sandwich would be the better option over the Top Pot Doughnuts or the black bottom cupcakes. Hell, I figured I was being "good" by getting a Mocha Light Frappuccino, so I ate the sandwich with only the slightest hesitation (and the comfort of knowing I couldn't look up my Weight Watcher points online until after the deed--or feed, as it were--was done). In the end, I'm down 12 points for the day...just enough for dinner but no dessert, which is going to be a bit tough given that my darling husband just announced he wanted to join me this evening in another work session at Zoka, which offers a selection of scrumptious delights.

Good thing I did an hour of plyometrics today!

Anyway, so while I was plugging away on my laptop, a guy sat down in a chair across from me and he said, "Hey, you work out at xxx gym, don't you?"
"I used to," I said. "I switched to a gym that has daycare."
Looking up, I immediately identified him as the man in my old gym that dresses like Spiderman (blue spandex pants/tight red spandex shirt).
"Yeah, you also live right by me too," he said. "You live in (neighborhood)?"
I nodded in assent and learned he lives only one block away from me.
"You have a great house," he said.
"Thanks," I smiled.
And that was that. Spidey and I introduced ourselves formally, swapped bathroom remodel stories and then he left me to go back to my edits. He's a really nice guy, but he'll forever be known to me as Spiderman.

Speaking of my new gym...I loathe it. I hate the fact that I have to drive 8 miles to my gym (when I could walk to my old one in minutes), but my new one has daycare and that enables me to work out for two hours a day--something I was really missing since we brought Mr. Na home. Jazzercise was doing nothing for me, although I still go once a week because Na made some really great friends there and I like the people too.

But I can tell that my new gym is the only one around that has daycare because of the sea of minivans parked in the lot (I will NEVER succumb to a minivan...EVER). Their daycare facility is tremendous, which is a huge plus--but the moms who go there to work out act like they're in high school, complete with the huge clique. Incidentally, these are the same women who took their kids to Na's first soccer class last year. They all went through prenatal yoga together and so their kids are all the same age and so they do EVERYTHING together...from soccer to swimming to working out and now, I seriously think, they vacation together because NONE of them were at the gym today. Most of the time, when I do see them there, they aren't working out. Instead, they're talking on their cell phones or just standing there (or better yet just SITTING on the equipment) chatting with one another. It's quite the scene.

At first glance, the women's locker room is pretty swank. "Spa Music" is piped in overhead and the showers have nice pressure...but almost a little too nice. The other day, as I was putting on my makeup in front of the mirrors, I heard a woman in the shower directly behind me moan a little bit. The first couple of times, I didn't really think too much about it...but as her moans grew a little louder (even rising above the whir of my blow dryer...I shit you not) and more frequent, I got pretty grossed out. Look, I'm all for getting yourself off in the shower, if that's what floats your boat...BUT DO IT IN YOUR OWN GODDAMNED SHOWER, AND NOT IN THE WOMEN'S LOCKER ROOM WHICH, BY THE WAY, ALLOWS MOTHERS TO BRING IN CHILDREN UNDER FIVE.

Of course, she had this big goofy grin on her face when she opened the shower curtain. Funny thing is...she had her bathing suit on...

Anyway, I guess these are small prices to pay for having daycare at my gym. If anything, it's writing fodder, hey?

Saturday, July 09, 2005

All Hail the Fremont Troll!

According to today's Seattle Times, it looks like our beloved Fremont troll may be getting his very own street! Apparently, the tiny two-block street, which is named "Aurora Avenue North" often gets confused by emergency vehicles with the Aurora Bridge, directly above that street.

Photo by Mike Siegel/Seattle Times

I think Troll Avenue North is much more fitting, don't you?

Friday, July 08, 2005

Special Delivery

To celebrate's 10th anniversary, the company has enlisted celebrities to make random deliveries across the country.

So far, Anna Kournakova delievered a pair of Adidas tennis shoes to someone and Chris Noth brought an unsuspecting customer her box set order of Sex in the City.

Hmmm...I wonder if I should order Pearl Jam's rearviewmirror...

Thursday, July 07, 2005

My heart goes out to all Londoners today--particularly those who fell victim to today's terrorist attack in the Underground and on a doubledecker bus. Last time I was in London, I stayed near the King's Cross station and so I know how incredibly busy it is during rush hour. I'm simply amazed there weren't more fatalities; though any life lost, of course, is one too many.

According to this story in the Guardian, "within hours of the attacks 30,000 abusive and threatening e-mails were sent to the Muslim Council of Britain's website." Why? Because terrorism, sadly, has a mistaken identity. The assumption is that any person practicing the Muslim faith is a potential terrorist. And this assumption couldn't be further from the truth and is about as dangerous as an act of terrorism itself.

Ironically, I caught an episode of Morgan Spurlock's new show, 30 Days last night. The episode was about David Stacy, a white Christian from West Virginia who, knowing very little about the Muslim faith, chose to spend 30 days with a host family in the largest Muslim community in America, Dearborn, Michigan. Stacy spent the entire 30 days immersed in Muslim culture, including attending prayer five times a day, abstaining from alcohol, wearing traditional Muslim attire, growing a beard and learning the teachings of the Qur'an. This was all very hard for him because as a devout Christian, Stacy had a difficult time participating in prayer--largely because of his lack of understanding but also because he didn't want to betray "his" God; but I felt he really made an effort to try and learn and open his mind as much as he could. After 30 days, it seemed that, despite his returning to his own life--he might have come away with some enlightenment. At the very least, he learned that Muslims are peace-loving people who by no means live to wage Jihad against western civilization.

There was a point in the show, when Stacy went on an interview at a local radio station, where callers phoned with questions. Some asked whether he saw any "sleeper cells" in the community; others exclaimed that the Muslim community had yet to apologize about 9/11, to which, initially, Stacy agreed.

And that, my friends, is what I mean when I say that general assumptions about Muslims as terrorists must change.

During the show, an attorney for the Muslim community in Dearborn later confronted Stacy, explaining why the Muslim community had no reason to apologize about 9/11 or any other terrorist attacks and Stacy, I believe, finally got it by drawing this parallel: to say that Muslims have to apologize for 9/11 is like saying that Christians must apologize for Eric Robert Rudolph.

Does the name ring a bell for you? It didn't for me or my husband--and so, after looking up his name on Wikipedia, I learned that not only was he the person solely responsible for the bombing in Atlanta during the 1996 Olympics, he also bombed a gay and lesbian club in Atlanta as well as an abortion clinic in Birmingham, Alabama, killing one. It's been alleged that he was tied to the Christian Identity, who "asserts that the white Aryan race is God's chosen race and that whites comprise the ten lost tribes of Israel." Not only that but a "relatively new tenet gaining popularity among Christian Identity believers justifies the use of violence if it is perpetrated in order to punish violators of God's law, as found in the Bible and interpreted by Christian Identity ministers and adherents. This includes killing interracial couples, abortionists, prostitutes and homosexuals, burning pornography stores, and robbing banks and perpetrating frauds to undermine the 'usury system.'"

As someone who grew up learning Jesus's teachings, that doesn't sound very "Christian-like". And I'm certain that's how Muslims feel about militant Islamists.