Friday, January 30, 2009

Getting ready to hit it!

Tires pumped, jerseys washed, warming balm found - and systems a go for a weekend of biking.

My teammates are going to kick my ass!

Perfect. Just what the doctor ordered.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

There's a crow, sitting about 10 feet away from me, outside my window at work, who's taking a nap. He's precariously perched on a tree branch, with its head turned nearly 180 degrees, tucked carefully into this right wing. If he breaths too hard, he almost falls off the branch. I've tried jumping jacks, moving around, cawing at him - nothing wakes him up.

I guess its just evidence that everyone needs to nap every now and then.

I think I'll name him Edgar.


By August Strindberg

The last furniture van had left; the tenant, a young man with
a crape band round his hat, walked for the last time through the
empty rooms to make sure that nothing had been left behind. No,
nothing had been forgotten, nothing at all. He went out into the
front hall, firmly determined never to think again of all that
had happened to him in these rooms. And all at once his eyes fell
on half a sheet of foolscap, which somehow had got wedged between
the wall and the telephone; the paper was covered with writing,
evidently the writing of more persons than one. Some of the
entries were written quite legibly with pen and ink, while others
were scribbled with a lead-pencil; here and there even a red pencil
had been used. It was a record of everything that had happened to
him in the short period of two years; all these things, which he
had made up his mind to forget, were noted down. It was a slice of
a human life on half a sheet of foolscap.

He detached the paper; it was a piece of scribbling paper, yellow
and shining like the sun. He put it on the mantelpiece in the
drawing-room and glanced at it. Heading the list was a woman's name:
"Alice," the most beautiful name in the world, as it had seemed
to him then, for it was the name of his fianc�e. Next to the name
was a number, "15,11." It looked like the number of a hymn, on the
hymn-board. Underneath was written "Bank." That was where his work
lay, his sacred work to which he owed bread, home, and wife--the
foundations of life. But a pen had been drawn through the word, for
the Bank had failed, and although he had eventually found another
berth, it was not until after a short period of anxiety and

The next entries were: "Flower-shop and livery-stable." They related
to his betrothal, when he had plenty of money in his pockets.

Then came "furniture dealer and paper-hanger "--they were furnishing
their house. "Forwarding agents"--they were moving into it. The
"Box-office of the Opera-house, No. 50,50"--they were newly married,
and went to the opera on Sunday evenings; the most enjoyable hours
of their lives were spent there, for they had to sit quite still,
while their souls met in the beauty and harmony of the fairyland
on the other side of the curtain.

Then followed the name of a man, crossed out. He had been a friend
of his youth, a man who had risen high in the social scale, but
who fell, spoilt by success, fell irremediably, and had to leave
the country.

So unstable was fortune!

Now, something new entered the lives of husband and wife. The next
entry was in a lady's hand: "Nurse." What nurse? Well, of course,
the kindly woman with the big cloak and the sympathetic face, who
walked with a soft footfall, and never went into the drawing-room,
but walked straight down the passage to the bedroom.

Underneath her name was written "Dr. L."

And now, for the first time, a relative appeared on the list:
"Mama." That was his mother-in-law, who had kept away discreetly,
so as not to disturb their newly found happiness, but was glad to
come now, when she was needed.

A great number of entries in red and blue pencil followed: "Servants'
Registry Office"--the maid had left and a new one had to be engaged.
"The chemist's"--hm! life was growing dark. "The dairy"--milk had
been ordered--sterilised milk!

"Butcher, grocer, etc." The affairs of the house were being conducted
by telephone; it argued that the mistress was not at her post. No,
she wasn't, for she was laid up.

He could not read what followed, for it grew dark before his eyes;
he might have been a drowning man trying to see through salt water.
And yet, there it was written, plainly enough: "undertaker--a large
coffin and a small one." And the word "dust" was added in parenthesis.

It was the last word of the whole record. It ended with "dust"!
and that is exactly what happens in life.

He took the yellow paper, kissed it, folded it carefully, and put
it in his pocket.

In two minutes he had lived again through two years of his life.

But he was not bowed down as he left the house. On the contrary,
he carried his head high, like a happy and proud man, for he knew
that the best things life has to bestow had been given to him. And
he pitied all those from whom they are withheld.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Where oh where did you go?

I feel like I've lost my passion. It's been more pronounced lately - with the quickly approaching race season a short month away. I just don't have that drive that I used to. The thing that wakes me up in the morning, that gets me on the bike despite the weather. That keeps me eager for each day - knowing that time put into the saddle then will translate to being faster in the future.

It's lost. I go through the motions - but I can't help but feel empty when doing so.

Ryan was a constant daily reminder to live my passion. Follow something with my heart and soul. Live each moment, each heart beat by heart beat - and strive to be the best. He was so inspiring just by being him. And I'm having a hard time finding that same drive now that he's gone.

As I was driving over the Fremont bridge into work this morning, I couldn't help but ask myself, what's my passion? What keeps me excited each day? Cycling used to be my fire. But some how that's changed. And now I feel lost without having something to strive for. Being driven by passions is a curse and a blessing all at the same time.

I can only hope that one day it comes back regardless of its shape or form.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

One more reason to move to the mountains as soon as possible - before all the trees are gone...

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

How cool!

How freaking cool is it to say President Obama? And how even more cool is it to say former president bush?

So cool.
Last time I attempted to upload photos from my trip to the cabin over New Years I was denied.... so here's a short recap. This was taken on the drive over - traveling up Goat Creek Road. Seeing those views was somewhat emotional - I haven't been back to the Methow since last September. It was nice seeing it in another season though and with such good company.

On the last morning we were there, I woke up feeling Ryan's presence surrounding me and glimpsed out the cabin to see the sun kissing the mountains.

We woke up one morning to 17" of new pow pow - and skied our buns off. But later that same trip, temps dipped into the -8.... even Makiah was cold!

Fast forward two weeks later to President's weekend. Chris and I dreamed up new pancake combinations and he worked on making the perfect cake.

Ah the simple life. No hair dryers, no combs, and most importantly no mirrors. But somebody got a hold of my camera and documented my morning hair. No worries though - as I documented somebody's crazy outfits....

Our first skate ski venture took us to Sun Mountain. Neither of us had been there before - so we skied up to Thompson Road Pass via the Meadowbrook trail. There, between the steady stream of sweat and masked between the trees - a rare species was seen. Clad in jeans, stars and bars hat, downhill gloves, etc - was a sight to be seen... spandex wearing skaters take note!

I don't know if my outfit can even compare to Mr. Fashionista. But I'll work on it - that's for sure.

The following day we decided to redeem ourselves by the sloth up Sun Mountain that we returned to do some easy routes around the resort and have lunch up at the top. The trails are great - rolling with lots of fun terrain to skate through. The soup at the lodge was excellent - looking forward to going back already!

Since we had gained some confidence at Sun Mountain, the next day we decided to ski up to Rendezvous Pass. Little did we know what a steady burn it was - 15km of a constant grind up to the top. We stopped half way to get some shots.... and several attempts later got a group shot of the two of us.

We had a couple of people offer to take our photo - but Chris was determined to make the timer work.

All of our efforts were rewarded with stunning views of the Cascades. I'd love to rent this hut for a skiing adventure!

I soaked in the sun, the views and the fresh air. I can't wait to go back.

I think Chris liked it too. :)

What goes up must come down. After climbing in the sun, over heating and taking our extra clothing off on the uphill - you have a chilly descent back to the car. So chilly in fact, you could freeze some body parts. This is definitely a pain face.

Our final day we cooked up some mean pancakes - which Chris has perfected. Look at that proud display of the perfect pancake!

After closing up the cabin and turning off the power, propane, locking up the outhouse, etc - we hit a dog friendly trail on the way out of town. It was another picture perfect blue bird day - my last glimpse of sun before heading back to the Wet, I mean West side.

We really skated well that day - cruising through the forest on a 12k loop. We got back to the car around 3 - and started the venture home. A short stop at the Twisp bakery and we were Seattle bound!

So the question is - when am I moving? Soon.


On the blog updation.... hopefully trip report will follow soon.....

Thursday, January 15, 2009

The Wrecking Ball

If your life was hit by a wrecking ball, what would you do?

In the same turn, if your life was blessed with amazing relationships, love and peace - what would you do?

If you finally grasped that we are only given one life to live, one chance to explore, laugh and live - what would you do?

So why aren't you doing it? :)

Come a long way

This morning I woke to a sad song set being played on KEXP. I recall hearing that John from the Morning show is going through a divorce. And as a result, he is only playing really sad, mournful REM songs. One after another. After another.

Sensing his sadness, I emailed him.

I've been there. Cold Play was my REM. I would listen to it just to embrace the sadness. It felt as though I was stuck in perpetual gloom. But as time passed, my heart started to heal. I didn't have to listen to Cold Play constantly. I started listening to up beat music. And my mood changed. I wasn't as sad all the time. I actually started to feel some happiness.

Hearing someone else go through grief made me realize how far I've come in such a short time - and that I still have more to go. I've learned so many valuable lessons - which is such a gift in itself. And I will continue to learn lessons - with each relationship I encounter and upkeep.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Today I feel like an athlete.

The sun was shining this morning - the first glimmer of longer, sunnier days to come in a long time.

Things have certainly changed in my life.

But for now - the sun is tucked away again.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Straight up

ass kicking is what I was just served.

Not being on the bike for a while HURTS. BAD.

My legs hurt. My shoulders are hunched. I'm starving out of my mind.

And yet I'm still giddy to get back out there and do it again. Two weeks, that's all I need. Two weeks.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

My windshield wipers haven't stopped working double time since Sunday evening.

Rain runs in steady, strong currents down the streets of downtown Seattle.

Seasoned locals wear sturdy rain coats - transplants are still trying to function with umbrellas. They looked shocked when you smile at them, drenched from head to toe, but know that your core is still warm and dry.

Just remember those few days in summer that make you realize why you put up with this shit.

A sign

I think somebody is trying to tell me something. I just tried uploading some photos of Mazama from the weekend and got denied multiple times. Sorry peeps - it's just not meant to be.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Monday, January 05, 2009

Ushering in a New Year

Wow. I did it. I survived 2008. The ups, the downs - the sideways and inside outs. Done. Finished. History.

Thank God.

On Christmas Eve, Chris John's, Makiah and I headed east to 98833. I felt it was necessary to be there over the New Years - as a symbolic gesture to say good bye to 2008 and usher in 2009. Turns out this was a very smart decision, not only for the amazing skiing, but also for my heart and soul.

I'm glad I went - and glad for the company and support of a dear friend to help me through what was a difficult time. I had a little more closure with Ryan's passing - seeing Goat Wall for the first time since last September, feeling his presence in the cabin, laughing at the little things that he did to cabin that final week. Seeing a sun kissed mountain the final morning - and skiing my brains out. Not to mention having some belly laughs.

We had some good talks and thought of Ryan every time the cd player would start skipping or Makiah would start whining. Then oddly enough, when Wilco was played, the last cd he had listened to, it played in its entirety for the length of the album. I hear you loud and clear, babe.

I feel relieved that 2008 is over. And relieved the holidays are done. And more than anything I'm looking forward to what laughs and lessons 2009 has in store. It's off to a really good start...
I've discovered that I over use exclamation points!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

And I can't stop using them, in every sentence!

It's not that I'm yelling, its that I'm super stoked!!!!

Or something like that.

Don't try this at home.

wingsuit base jumping from Ali on Vimeo.