Friday, April 30, 2010

Dreams and Reality.... and Kilts

Do you remember that time in your life, young, naive and innocent, when you were struck with the realization of where you were meant to be and what you were meant to do? For me, it was the first time I watched my favorite movie, Out of Africa. The sun filters through the dusty African highlands, the trees spread out, giraffe glide along and you hear- "I had a farm in Africa, at the foot of the Ngong Hills..." Yup, that was me. My dream was realized. I want to be her- brave, adventurous, traveling to Africa. Yadda yadda. Well, this did not happen. I am not the re-incarnated Karen Blixen. I did not marry a baron, I don't grow coffee and I have yet to make it to Africa. And I'm ok with all this. After all, her husband gave her syphilis, her coffee plantation failed and she chronically struggled with anorexia and had to move back to Denmark. So, when a movie is made of my life, it will start out like this.... The rustle of animals running through the trees, grey clouds with blue sky peeking out, nothing green, the toes of Xtra-toughs walking through the mud of break-up and a voice... "I had a bus in Alaska, on the back 40 acres...." Her name is Maude. I'm looking for another one, Harold, to keep her company. If you want a true Chris McCandless-esque experience, she's for rent. And you don't even have to ford a river to get there. Actually, I've been told that you aren't a true Alaska land owner unless you have a bus on your property. Lucky me. Just watch out for the killer wolf in the lower right hand corner. He looks hungry. I signed up for the Loch Ness Marathon today. It's in the beginning of October which means I'll be in Scotland around that time for a couple of weeks. I've had some people ask me Why Scotland? I've told some the truth, made up a couple of lies or said "because". So for everybody else, I'll give a few multiple choice options and leave it at that: a. because castles are cool b. I hope to find a portal to the past that will drop me sometime into the world of kilts, swords and pagan worship (witches are a must, as well as a Jamie Fraser-like character) c. hiking and running the highland trails looks fun d. Gerard and I have secretly agreed to meet and run the marathon together e. Scotland reminds me of Alaska in many ways so why not go somewhere that looks exactly the same as where I live now? f. Kilts g. Wool sweaters h. I feel I've mastered the skill of driving in America and I love it so much that I'm ready to try the other side i. I have an intense love of Celtic (hard 'C', right Paula?) music, especially if made to sound like an 80's rock band and played continuously for 3-4 months non-stop (this one's for you, Dennis, heehee) j. Kilts And in other news, zee rrrrhubarb is up. Asparagus still MIA. Oh and Yvonne and I did THREE Hatcher Pass Hills today. yowza. AND had our best time so far on the second. Take that, Palmer-side hillers.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Birthday, Righteous Babes and Baseball

Six years ago to the day, I looked out my kitchen window in Big Lake because Agate wouldn't stop barking at Jenna in her house. I opened the window and before I could tell Agate to stop, I heard the cry of a newborn puppy. And the Trees had sprouted- Ash, Willow, Cedar, Maple, Spruce, Oak and Aspen. Happy birthday to three of my monsters-Ash, Wills and Cedar, sleeping peacefully now after two long walks, extra cookies and hotdogs with dinner. It a special thing, to have known your dogs from the day they were born. Next up-Mr. Chum and Mr. Red on 7/31. Below, Ash Willow and Cedar, pretending to be working on our last run this spring a few weeks ago (notice how stylish Cedar is with his booties- it was all the rage this year):
On to kick-ass guitar babes Thao and Erin Mckeown. Brandy, Nancy, Darren and I met at Vagabond Blues to see Erin. We saw her on her last trip up 3 years ago. She may have a new album and a different hairstyle but she plays the guitar the same- better than most guys I've seen. Amazing to watch. What a great show. She brought her friend, Thao (solo last night but usually plays with her band, the Get Down Stay Down). I had never heard her before, but she was incredible, too. Looking forward to listening to both more.
V. Blues was perfect for the show, as always. We could have picked their noses (if we wanted to). And we had a chance to get a couple of pics. Below is Brandy with Erin after the show. Unfortunately, it doesn't due justice to a. how cute Erin actually is, b. how much Brandy is quivering with excitement and c. how well they have executed the side-hug (any arousal? I think not...).
Thanks, Erin and Thao.
And lastly, baseball, because I said I would. Ahhh.... baseball. I start to get a bit antsy up here with the lingering snow because I know I would normally be sweating it out on the field already in Missouri, otherwise known as Cardinal-land. I've had Bull Durham in the DVD player non-stop and my Cardinals partner in crime, Jon, at work (he's from Hannibal, go figure). Field of Dreams is next but my VHS is getting pretty worn out. Gord, my coach called today. First practice next week! Baseball and softball always make me think of Dad- going to his games, playing ball with him, sharing a glove because we're both Southpaws. And he always know the answers to my baseball questions. Thanks, Dad!
From Bull Durham: "This is a simple game. You throw the ball, you hit the ball, you catch the ball. Got it?" If only life had three simple rules like that.
From Crash Davis, the Yogi Berra of the Durham Bulls-
"...I believe there should be a Constitutional amendment outlawing astroturf and the designated hitter..."
"..Relax, don't try to strike everybody out. Strike outs are boring. besides that, they're fascist. Throw ground balls. It's more democratic. "
And from Field of Dreams:
"What do you want?"
"I want to be left alone, I want people to stop looking to me for answers."
"No, what do you want?"
"Oh, brat and beer, please."
heh, heh. love that part...
So, If these quotes don't make sense, get your sentimental baseball hearts out to the movie store and rent Field of Dreams and Bull Durham. They'll remind you why you love the game and help you forget all the million dollar contracts and steroid scandals. Also, Shoeless Joe by J.P. Kinsella, is the book that inspired Field of Dreams. It's great.
Play ball!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

The Princess is Pissed (not LuLu)

So I asked my human leader why I haven't made it on the blog yet, front and center. I realize she has a lot on her mind, but come on. I told her if she wants people to come back for more, she better start posting some pics of some real babes. And I threatened to convene the Spanish Inquisition. Viola- she handed over the password pronto. Who says negative re-enforcement doesn't work? No, No. Here's my good side: Sweet dreams, boys.

Crikey! Delay the barbie!

Yeah. It snowed most of the day today. Yup, April 22nd. There was an audible collective groan heard 'round southcentral. What's that song- Breaking Up is Hard To Do? Well that's certainly the case for break-up around here. Wet and sloppy. Normally, I would just want to fast forward to mid-May, but I think it might still be snowing. Crikey! So, I did NOT make the lottery for Mt. Marathon on July 4th. I have to admit I'm a bit relieved that the final step of a stupid endeavor was taken out of my hands. I was a bit concerned about crippling myself on the downhill due to a. my inability to handle downhilling well due to a fear of killing myself and b. my complete lack of grace (me on X-country skis- scary). Maybe next year... Here are my friends, David Johnston and Lil Davey at Fenway in Boston last week: So, Dave claims that he runs Boston every year but I think he and Lil D just go on a vacation, he finds a stunt double for the race(how hard can that be, 3:15 BM finisher with long blond ponytail and perennial smile on his face?) and they bum around Beantown seeing the sights. Any truth to that, Dave? Yea, yea. Congrats on the finish! Best time in 3 years (I stopped looking after 2008). Must be those triple Lazys. How 'bout those fans? Any heckling this year? Rough crowd. So everybody says that Dave's the happiest runner they know but I think he's the smartest. He makes sure he sends pics to all of his friends with blogs so they can blog his life for him. Gives him more time for running while we're hunched over, finger-pecking at the keyboard. I'm going to tell Evan to boycott all Dave pics unless he has a grimace on his face. Dave is one of a few expected repeat offenders and frequent mentions on this blog (Yvonne is another). Dave and I tentatively agreed (it was tentative, right?) to adventurously (stupidly?) plan on running the ITI 350 in 2012. I warned him of my tendency to whine, bitch and fall into a variety of funks. He said he doesn't really hear very well. And he promised me all of his peanut butter cups. So I think we'll be fine. And lastly, in honor of the snow/freezing rain: "the sun is a prodigal one that seems bent upon giving itself a bad name.... I hope for your sake I've changed and I hope for my sake I've managed to remain the same..." -Josh Ritter, Rainslicker I'm off to dream about green grass (next issue- "this is a simple game...")

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Little Su 50K Halfway

And here we are, Sleeping Lady (Mt. Susitna) in the background:

Here we go....

After 8 years in Alaska, I've decided to jot a few things down about life up here. I told myself if Mom and Dad can get online, I can show them what's going on. Leo, my right hand man, and boss of the house, is helping me get started, as you can see. Less typos that way...
First the title- from the Seth Avett song "This Night Here", lyrics at the beginning. Why? I'll let you delve into the deeper meanings...but really, I just like the song.
Spring was halfway sprung a week or so ago, then we got a dump of snow that set us back and turned my driveway into the Pit of Despair. Poor Yvonne has to park her little Yaris at the end of the driveway lest she lose it in a sink hole.
Free runs only with my partners in crime now, as the sled has been hung up for the short summer months. They don't mind, they like the lollygagger lifestyle. They've earned it. Hope to get pens up soon, if the grass ever appears. We'll start biking Shirleytown and Lynx Lake soon.
Day off running today. Yvonne and I met up with some runners in Talkeetna yesterday (there are others!) for their Saturday long run- 12 miles after the 1/2 Standard breakfast at the Roadhouse is NOT recommended. It was worth the drive and I got to see Nils, Diana and Lizzie Hahn, a family I originally met in Nome.
Other running news- Dave Johnston, coach extraordinaire, is running the Boston Marathon tomorrow, with Little Davey along as the greatest fan in the world. Good Luck, D! Hope you guys were able to catch a Sox game and a Guinness.
Might as well post my running goals for the summer so I can't go back on them- Twilight 12K beginning of June, Mt. Marathon (announcement for lottery coming out April 21st) July 4th, Crow Pass Crossing July 17th, Resurrection 50 July 31st, then the Loch Ness Marathon October 3rdish. The best laid plans....
I'll leave you with a photo of Yv and I at the halfway point of the Little Su 50K this past February. We look happy, don't we?