Monday, June 27, 2011

Texas Forever

Christopher and I were exchanging shirts at the finish line on Saturday and when I looked over at him I almost fell over-Coach Taylor anyone??


Sunday, June 26, 2011


For almost as many years as this blog has been alive, I'm made a June trek to Utah to do the Wasatch Back Relay with my family, my dear friend Corey and an assortment of other friends that changes slightly every year.

The race has grown exponentially every year and what felt sort of small and unique in 2007 is now a giant event full of noise and garbage and jerks who drive too fast up a dirt road THAT PEOPLE ARE RUNNING ON thank you very much. But every year I come home with a camera full of hysterical moments, a catch phrase or two I spend the week trying not to overuse on my coworkers, a sense of accomplishment and excitement about the next year. It's a little bittersweet this time because the race is the weekend before I have to start processing athletes for London and I have a feeling that starting two and a half months of a Gamestime schedule already tired is not my very best idea. My family is getting marrieder and parentier and I usually leave Salt Lake wondering when our gravy train of easy togetherness is going to end. It was actually sort of awful to watch Christopher and Tasha load up their little ones and drive to St. George on Sunday night. I don't begrudge any of my siblings the adventure time they need, time I have clearly taken over the last ten years, but they are spreading out all over the place and the odds of getting them all in one dose are diminishing. I was glad to spend a few extra days there before heading to the event in Eugene to see people and places that are dear to me.

This year there was one moment that stood out. I felt exceptionally healthy on all my legs this year-the advantage of coming down from the extreme altitude of Colorado to the more moderate Utah. Even so, the last leg is always sketchy. We'd slept only a few hours on wrestling mats in a high school gym and I had eaten a power bar, a couple of shot blocks and a Red Bull for breakfast. I was standing over near the start chute, waiting for my cute sister-in-law Kristen to come up over the ridge at the end of her particularly long and uphill climb. Suddenly I heard my brother's voice through the mega-phone we had brought along (note to anyone running this race-MEGAPHONES ARE SO AWESOME) saying, "hey everyone, my wife Kristen is just about to come in. She got her thyroid taken out three weeks ago and she was really worried about being able to do this race. Can you all help me welcome her in?" She came up over the hill and everyone started cheering like crazy. She looked a little confused at all the people yelling her name and I was trying to fight back tears as I took the slap bracelet from her and headed off on my run. Right as I put my headphones on, "Seasons of Love" from Rent came on and I rounded a corner and had a dazzling view of my four mile descent into Heber. The whole sequence was so overwhelming I started to cry. From my little brother's sweet gesture (we sure have some good husbands in my family) to Kristen running with us because her thyroid cancer was 100% treatable, to the heart-stopping beauty of where I was running-I just felt this overwhelming gratitude for the many, many blessings that I enjoy. There are things I'm struggling with and things I wish were different, just like everyone else. But gratitude diminishes selfishness and encourages reaching out and I want more of that in my life.

I had tears in my eyes most of the way down the hill. The van stopped about two miles later and they all did the little dance we'd made up in unison and I was sort of glad they were across the street and couldn't tell how totally cheesy emotional the whole thing made me.

There were hot showers and comfy beds later that day and I was grateful for those as well, but that moment is still one that is making my heart feel warm even a week after.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Turn Down the Lights

Finally home. June has been a terrific and productive month but also a physically and emotionally exhausting one. I"m happy to be back in my little apartment, sleeping in my own little bed, without any travel on the immediate horizon.

I have some posts I'm eager to write this weekend, but tonight I am digesting the new Bon Iver album while I sort of unpack. My early verdict is that it's quite wonderful. I also found this while I was reading some reviews and I might listen to it to death. It's a medley by Justin Vernon of two of my favorite Bonnie Raitt songs. Perfection for this dark, quiet Saturday night.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Gone Fishin'

Another Ragnar on the books. Great weekend, still a few friends in SLC to see this afternoon and tonight and then I head to Eugene, OR for a Track and Field event. And hopefully some blogging, my brain and heart are full these days.

Cute family eh?

Monday, June 13, 2011

Called Out

I was at happy hour tonight, talking to my friend Amanda, when the Chief of Communications for our company came over and said he was going to embarrass me a little. I informed him that was nearly impossible but go for it. He proceeds to explain that he was reading a Twitter conversation between the aforementioned Amanda and me last night and noticed she posted a link to my blog. He puts his hand on my shoulder and says, "I'm sorry he's married."

Mission accomplished!!! I think I turned eight shades of red. It did not help when his second in command piped up with, "oh yeah I read that one too."

It's a good thing I grew up in a family with three brothers whose mission in life in to tease, so good-natured ribbing is like electrolytes for me. And I really feel like my insightful posts about the length of my hair and two hour bike rides at lunch will really lend some weight to my credibility the next time I meet with them.

The internet-it's no joke kids.

Neither are The Black Keys. I can't stop listening to this album tonight while I get ready to pack for a hundred days tomorrow.

Sunday, June 12, 2011


Well thank you very much internet for all your super kind words about that last post. I got all kinds of nice texts and emails which confirms my theory that really, the point of all this www to connect us in our regular lives.

Last week was super busy, I was in New York meeting with pretty much all the sponsors who give items to the athletes so that was exciting and productive. And now this week I have 2.5 days in the office before I take off to run the Wasatch Back for the fifth year, hang out with some friends and the fly to Eugene for the US Track and Field Nationals. I'm actually already tired thinking about it. But summer is off to a really good start and I'm excited to spend some warm days in Utah. I love and miss that place quite a bit.

I've been listening to quiet music tonight while I catch up on a few things. This new Bon Iver song is lovely and I'll be listening to it with my ridiculously huge headphones tonight to fall asleep.

Monday, June 06, 2011


Alright friends, I don't write about dudes on this blog very much. I think in five years I've only posted one photo of someone I was seeing and as I was taking it down I vowed I wouldn't do it again. I spend too much time here to have to go back and edit out things I don't want to have to see. However, I am a single lady and darn it if single people don't spend an inordinate amount of time thinking and talking and worrying and trying not to think and talk and worry about relationships. I can only imagine that married people find themselves with a lot of free time not having to do all the thinking and talking and worrying. So I'm blogging about a boy tonight, sorta, but don't get excited because this is not a love story.

I got an email I was dreading today. The one that said, "I'm married." I read it as I was leaving work and I thought, "ok, good, there it is. Done." I packed up my stuff and I went to the car and started driving to the Incline. And when I got in my car I just lost it. Big heaving sobs that I couldn't control. I was so disappointed in myself. I knew this was coming, I've had loads of time to get used to it. I worked like crazy the last year to get to a point where I could hear his name and feel so over it I was practically under it. You know, when you don't even have to sing along to Adele songs and pretend you are fine. Really and truly over it. So these tears? What business did they have sneaking up on me like this? I'm better than this. I texted my mother who said the right thing that was the wrong thing for gaining any sort of control over my emotions. I drove to the Incline. I turned on my iPod. Weird stuff that should have made me feel better made me feel worse. I spent the first 20 minutes trying to stay ahed of the kids behind me so they wouldn't wonder why that lady was crying on the trail. I was pulling out all the stops-remember this jerky thing he did and remember how he said this and remember how you are better than this?

And then in the middle of berating myself for all these nonsense tears something clicked and I was suddenly incredibly grateful for the depth of sadness I was feeling.

In a world full of love songs and romantic comedies and vampire novels and being raised in a culture where people feel the need to remind you that you ought to be married by now, you simply cannot reach the age of 34 still single and not be just a bit cynical about the whole thing. Because all you know is that sooner or later "you are so awesome!" fades into "you are so awesome, but". When well over half the people you know were married before they could legally rent a car, you have got to turn off the piece of yourself that would let your self worth get wrapped up in your relationship status. It does take some work and it's work I'll gladly do because no one wants to be the bitter man hater who can't appreciate how rich and satisfying her life is. I am genuinely happy for all the wonderful things that happen to the people I love. But it does come at a cost, and that is that after awhile, I simply have to put MY happiness eggs in other baskets. I can't want the fairy tale anymore. A very sweet boy once whispered to me, "you are so guarded," and when he was explaining to me not too much longer after that all the reasons this was not going to work, I couldn't help but say, "this is why I am guarded. Because I see this moment from that one." And again, I work my tail off to stay open and vulnerable and to not let the next guy take the heat from the last one. To hit the gym after a heartbreak instead of the freezer section. To meet new girlfriends and to send baby presents. But the walls go up a little higher, I feel like they have to. And I have to set other goals, ones I can actually control.

So. When someone I tried really hard to shut out, someone I wouldn't even speak to for an entire year and who I thought I had cleared out completely can blindside me and make me sob like I haven't in ages, it is in every way a huge relief that I have not managed to beat my heart into submission. It's still going to take charge and make me feel something that I couldn't control. Because guys, even at 34 and with more than a few scars, I still want the fairy tale. I've had too many tastes of it to think I'm dumb for believing it can happen. It's a fairy tale anchored in the reality that you marry a human and humans are messy and complicated. But I know the opposite of what I felt today exists and I appreciated the reminder that I'll keep putting myself through THIS for ten or twenty more years if I have to. And in the meantime, I will get on planes and I will make new friends and I will dance until the wee hours and I will flirt shamelessly with strangers and I will drag myself on blind dates. And I will not lecture myself or be disappointed when I have the audacity to be hurt.

I have always loved this old Steve Earle song and I listened to it about a dozen times in a row tonight. One fearless heart please.

Sunday, June 05, 2011


I think if you read my blog for about three consecutive posts, you realize that music is one of my favorite things. I've been lucky since I moved to Colorado to find some similarly minded friends who are willing to do things like go to last minute shows in Boulder on a Thursday night, or meet up in Denver mid-week to see someone great. My dear friend Heather who writes the super fabulous Fuel Friends blog has given me opportunities to sit in tiny spaces and and let excellent artists fill up my whole soul. It's been a solid almost 2 years of high quality musical experiences.

So I hope you will see the gravity of my claim that I may have had the best music weekend in a long, long time the last few days.

Last summer I was on a plane to New York, catching up on KCRW Song of the Day podcasts when a song by Fitz and the Tantrums exploded into my brain. I wanted to plug my iPod into the overhead speakers so the whole plane could hear what I was experiencing. At the time, they only had an EP out which I downloaded and memorized immediately.

So when my new friend Amanda told me last week that they were playing in Denver, we got tickets and I proceeded to act like Christmas was coming. The album is so high energy and the clips of shows I had seen on YouTube made me think we were in for a treat. We later found out that there were coming to Colorado Springs the next night but we figured the Denver show would be bigger anyway and it's always fun to go out up there.

We hit the Bluebird early on Friday night and carved out a little spot right up front. And from the MOMENT they hit the stage until the last note of the encore, they did not stop moving and dancing and whipping a very eclectic crowd into a complete frenzy. Michael Fitzpatrick might be one of the sexiest guys alive and he prances and struts and dances like a complete diva. And then Noelle Skaggs, who they call a backup singer but feels more like a second lead singer is a firecracker onstage. She flat out demands that you move. As in, she'll point and call you out if you don't. And then they have this rhythm section that is just ridiculous.

Amanda and I were having a hard time wiping the grins off our faces at the end when we managed to score a set list and a drumstick. We had been planning to get tickets to another show up in Denver Saturday night but she suggested we hit the FATT show again in the Springs. We drove home and got on the computer and bought tickets that night.

Our friend Devyn joined us last night and the three of us planted ourselves up front again. It was a much smaller venue and I wasn't really sure if this crowd could match the energy of a theater three times the size. I shouldn't have worried, again, they step out on stage and it's like they are throwing speed out into the audience or something. People were losing their minds. Three cute girls on the front row dancing their faces off never fails to draw attention and each of us got our little moment of teasing from the stage which is always a fun bonus.

This band doesn't just come out and play their songs, they create an experience. I have been to a million shows where a band comes out, plays their record, shuffles off, plays and encore and we go home. And because live is live I go, and I enjoy sharing something I love with a room full of people-I'm cool with that arrangement. But I really, really appreciated going to a SHOW. The energy was high, the music is tight, the band is clearly very passionate about what they are doing and they were so sincerely appreciative of the opportunity to perform. If I had my way in life, I would always be dancing. Always. I just can't hear a beat and not dance so when they ordered us to lose our minds during "Moneygrabber", I really did think my little heart was going to burst right open from sheer joy.

The whole band also comes out after the show to sign stuff and take photos so we hung around to get our show posters signed. With six band members it took awhile and with Devyn and I pausing for dance breaks every few minutes we ended up being some of the last people in the venue. We got to chat with all of them for awhile (and maybe swoon just a little bit, that Fitz is one handsome devil) and they were just as nice and sincere as they seemed onstage. The keyboardist was a bit taken with my friend Amanda and since they were leaving at 3 for Aspen and, we took him over to a nearby bar and had a couple of drinks (Diet Coke for me guys!). It was just one of those grateful to be alive kind of nights.

And here is one of my favorite Fitz and the Tantrums songs, playing on a web series called "Live from Daryl's House" which just went on my list of reasons I'm thankful for the internet.

Saturday, June 04, 2011

Walk the Plank

Our trip to Aspen was really fun and involved good food and lots of time in the hot tub. And a gassy dog but that's another story. It also involved giving that weird Australian photo craze a try. Here are our attempts at planking. I think Amanda wins, really glad she didn't get run over.

(sidenote-HOW AWESOME IS ASPEN??? I am never leaving Colorado)

Thursday, June 02, 2011

Tweet Tweet

In case you are still not sold on Twitter, this is one reason it is awesome.I sent a tweet from the Yeasayer show last night and they responded!

@Yeasayer replied to you:
@replikate Judd, Emilio, AMH, Ally or Molly???
Jun 02, 2:46 AM via TweetDeck
In reply to…
replikate Bass player looks like he straight fell out of Breakfast Club and it's pretty hot...@yeasayer
Jun 01, 11:45 PM via Mobile Web

I just really like the idea that you can talk to anyone you want on Twitter. It's making the world infinitely smaller. Another highlight of the evening? Turned out the kid dancing behind us was a fella I had talked to for a few hours after the David Bazan house show a few months ago. We had an oddly intense conversation about life and religion that night and it was super fun to run into him again.