Thursday, October 31, 2013

Halloween 2013

Storm clouds on the horizon as Meg & Liam started their BVMS Chamber performance at Dallard's this afternoon. Halloween night and everyone gathers for some light string music. 

Cindy & Kim. Nana. Jason, Morgan & Sara. And, just passing through, Work Wife Greg all made appearances.

Due to their musical placement in the chamber, it was a bit of a strain to get one picture with them both in it. Meg is a violinist, on the far left. Liam on the double bass. Far right. Liam's back in my skeleton pullover. Meg in an homage to My Little Pony. Clicking the image will enlarge it. They're circled. But barely in focus.

Afterwards, Meg & Cindy went to Gigi's for Trick Or Treating. Liam & I went home. He had to write a paper for Journalism and I had to wait on the one knock at our door. 

But the highlight of our night was the Chamber performance with two Young McDougals. Proud of them both. Each beautiful. And unique. Two separate, incredible kids. Rapidly approaching adulthood. Different paces. Different paths. Different pieces of me. Of their mother. And we're all blessed to have them in our lives. Even on Halloween.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Crossfit Portside - Day One

Up at 0500. New sweatshop at 0600.But if I'm going to have a serious 2014 season, I have to seriously improve. And get well outside of my comfort zone. So, I have a new trainer: Sara Carter. Certified Crossfit Trainer. Former collegiate women's basketball coach. And now: IronNerd Coach.

Fantastic workout. Just awkward techniques, on my part. Not used to jutting my ass out. Not used to landing on my heels. Or keeping such a rigid stance. Sara kept repeating the instructions. I kept trying. Sometimes I'd get it almost right. Most of the time I got it wrong. But we both kept at it.

My first session started with some interesting warmups: K. Farris Jumping Jacks, wall spiders, PNF squat stretches, and Burgener Warm-Ups. Then (don't laugh) snatch drills. Followed by the main event, As Many Rounds As Possible (AMRAP) supersets of: 3 power cleans, 6 burpees, and 9 air squats inside of three minutes. Five times. With one minute rest between each go.

Pushed through 11 total supersets. 33 power cleans, 66 burpees, and 99 air squats. In 19 minutes. Wish I had snapped a picture of the puddle of sweat.

Didn't feel it, until after lunch. Interested to see how I do in the morning. And then there is next time.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013


Another graduating class at work today. Yearly event. 50 brave souls getting doused in Diversity. I asked to give an introduction to the commencement speaker. Brought my own broken board. From 2010. Told them the bad news: their euphoria eventually wears off, they could eventually slip back into their old manners and roles and moods. But there's good news: they could break more boards. Different ones. At work. In their community. At home. With friends. With family. Or just personal boards. I showed them my latest one: an Ironman Finisher's Medal. And I challenged them to come back one day,to show me their own broken board.

I hope they do it. I hope they challenge themselves. Expand their horizons and try to help reconnect the frayed threads of this crazy world of ours. I barely recognize Jon From 2010. Would he recognize me?

And the distance keeps on growing. Hopefully it grows for them. For all of us. Diverse. But united. Out of many, one.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

All The Nothing

Nearly Friday. Cindy playing Taxi Cab Mom for Meg's second day of performances. "It's getting easier," says Red. Meanwhile, Liam's voice cracking. The fine blonde hair on his legs turning dark. And course. He had a rough day at school, he says. I didn't pry for details. Bank account dipped into the red unexpectedly. Four lives on mostly one check extracts a hard toll. Hard not to get mad. But it is what it is.Lifted at the gym to compensate. Still trying to find a Crossfit coach. Still trying to find a running coach.  Planning 2014. And 2015.

 I could burn a week of vacation and still not tie up all my loose ends.

"There's never enough time  to do all the nothing you want." -Bill Watterson

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Mid way through

Mid way through the week and there's no sign of applying the brakes.

  • My feet have got to be bruised. Somewhere. On some level. When I rub my toes, on the bottom, the bones ache. And despite multiple showers on Saturday and showers each night, my feet still look dirty. As if they're tattooed with mud.
  • Biked another 20 miles. Felt good.Ramping up for a 72 mile ride in two weeks.
  • Liam read his English paper for his class. His guy friends talking about the appearance of his moustache. How long before he shaves for the first time?
  • Meg finally has a day off. Poor Red. Her only day off this week.
  • Cindy's picture with Kris finally shows up. Hands to yourself, Whistler!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

An Unvacation Day

Meg's play (Godspell) technically opened today. I chauffeured her around from the performing arts school (where they performed their first show before a live audience) to the Long Beach Middle School (where they did their first road show.) And that construed most of my vacation day.

Some other highlights of my unvaction.

  • First day without Ibuprofen. Probably because I ran out? Main complaint today: my back.
  • Quick nap on the sofa resulted in a gnarly cramp in my neck.
  • Visited my parents and proceeded to watch their computer fail to boot up for almost an hour. We had the system for nearly two months without any problems. Once my parents get their hands on it, it cannot make it two weeks without getting crapped up and/or dying.
  • Trailed Uncle Earl to a car repair shopped that he didn't end up using.
  • Liam's English teacher asked him about writing a paper to get a grant from MS Power.
  • I should add "plumber" to my resume since I apparently have toilet-repair skills.
  • I need another day off just to do the things I didn't do today.
And it is back to the office tomorrow...

Monday, October 21, 2013

On A Monday

Here's how my day goes down:

  • Wake up to the most amazing series of cramps, in my hands and forearms. Still walking funny. More Ibuprofen for breakfast.
  • Driving through the neighborhood, on the way to work, and a squirrel blurs at the edge of my vision. Something goes crunch under a tire. Young couple on their morning walk. The girl covers her mouth. In my rear view mirror, a half crushed smear of brown. Its front legs twitching. As if trying to crawl.
  • Get to the office. One of my PCs is black. Eight years old, anyway. Windows XP. Not really NEEDED to do my job. But very helpful. When it isn't dead. Later it will turn out to be a bad power supply.
  • Fire up the other system: 488 emails. And the day is just starting. Another hundred or two hundred emails will climb on top of the mound. Almost faster than I can clear them out. Takes nearly six hours before I whittle it down closer to one hundred. That's what passes as manageable these days.
  • After hours, a trip to the gym. 19 miles on the bike. 45 minutes and 48 seconds. Lots of sweat. Reminds me: I'm alive.
And a quiet house lulls me to sleep.