Fight for Air Climb 2012

 
Alek participated in the Utah Fight for Air Climb last Saturday. 
“The Fight For Air Climb is a unique race event where participants race up the stairs of the Wells Fargo Center. They start at different times, so it is not a mad dash up the stairs. Each climber is given a timing chip and timed as they ascend the 598 steps.”
There are two types of climbers: 1. sane people in running shorts and tanktops and 2. firefighters decked out in full turnouts, boots, helmets and airpacks – adding an additional 50-60 lbs of gear, give or take.  There is much good-natured sh*t-talking that occurs amongst the various departments and this was the first year that West Valley had a team. 
Alek did his usual make-you-want-to-puke workouts to prepare for the event…except that he did them twice a day. 
In all seriousness, he worked really hard and ended up finishing the climb in 6:07.  The team finished in 6th place (out of 17 departments) which was phenomenal given that only the top 4 finishers were included in the team average, and West Valley only had 4 runners total. 
Needless to say, the guys are already plotting out strategies for next year.
I may or may not have promised a sexy picture of Alek in turnout gear to anyone who contributed to his run. This generated a surprising amount of donations and both of us are extremely grateful to our generous friends and family who supported Alek and a great cause. 

Thank God for Poets

Remember when I was talking about how I felt about marriage now? My friend Chelsea found this poem and it is oh, so eloquent and describes what I am trying to say so perfectly.

I’m so happy there are poets in the world! And so happy that Chelsea is in the world too.

“To Love is Not to Possess” 

To love is not to possess,
To own or imprison,
Nor to lose one’s self in another.
Love is to join and separate,
To walk alone and together,
To find a laughing freedom
That lonely isolation does not permit.
It is finally to be able
To be who we really are
No longer clinging in childish dependency
Nor docilely living separate lives in silence,
It is to be perfectly one’s self
And perfectly joined in permanent commitment
To another–and to one’s inner self.
Love only endures when it moves like waves,
Receding and returning gently or passionately,
Or moving lovingly like the tide
In the moon’s own predictable harmony,
Because finally, despite a child’s scars
Or an adult’s deepest wounds,
They are openly free to be
Who they really are–and always secretly were,
In the very core of their being
Where true and lasting love can alone abide. 

                                                              — James Kavanaugh

Lovely

I love the Oscars. LOVE. THEM. I’m not going to apologize for it. Not even a little bit.

Every year there is one acceptance speech that gets me all sorts of misty. This year it was Meryl Streep. Her speech was just lovely. The men had gone downstairs to watch Dirty Harry so I let the tears flow.

“…first I’m going to thank Don. Because when you thank your husband at the end of the speech they play him out with the music and I want him to know that everything I value most in our lives, you’ve given me…and — because I really understand I’ll never be up here again — I really want to thank all my colleagues, all my friends. 

I look out here and I see my life before my eyes, my old friends, my new friends, and really this is such a great honor, but the thing that counts most with me is the friendships and the love and the sheer joy we have shared making movies together, my friends. Thank you, all of you, departed and here for this inexplicably wonderful career.”

Better together.

When we’re not wearing them, we keep our wedding rings in this milk glass dish that Alek’s grandma gave me after learning of my obsession with milk glass. (Sidebar, she gave me this dish after crushing me by saying “Oh my! You wouldn’t BELIEVE how much milk glass I’ve given to the thrift stores over the years!)

ANYWAYS, every time I see our rings in the dish, it makes me smile.

I’ve had quite a few people ask me lately why I wanted to get married again. I’ve given it a lot of thought and boiled it down to this:

After I learned what a happy, healthy relationship looked like, I decided that I wanted a partner. Not a husband, a partner.

To me, this is an important distinction because we’ve created so many gender stereotypes around what a husband should be and what a wife should be and what a corn-fed-two-kids-and-a-minivan-American-marriage should look like.

One of the many things that I have learned from Karen (a.k.a. the hard way) – and that I firmly believe – is that each person in a relationship should be able to stand alone. Each person should have their own thoughts, their own beliefs, their own opinions, their own interests, their own work, their own play, their own friends, their own family. And, it is each individual’s responsibility to cultivate their own lives.

I don’t want to be completely lost in another person, wandering around comfortably numb, ever again.

I DO want a PARTNER. Someone who I can SHARE my life with. Someone who loves ME truly, madly, deeply. Someone who can SUPPORT me and help me ACHIEVE things that are just not possible on my own. Someone who AMPLIFIES my world. Someone who turns my life into a movie. Someone who makes my days brighter, my food taste better, my chores less taxing, my laughs more deeply felt.

And that’s the thing. My life is great. Alek’s life is great. And we’re BOTH better together.

Kind of like chocolate and peanut butter, except way more awesome.

Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson

The Chad started a book club at the office, and the team’s first pick was Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson. I think this pleased The Chad since he always smiles when we have a team meeting and he looks around and sees every single person on his team on a MacBook with an iPhone nearby.

I was pleased that we chose this book, since I’d already bought it. Look, to be totally honest, the thing is, well, I buy a lot of books with the absolute BEST of intentions to read them…someday. I probably would have never actually read this book, or maybe gotten around to it during my retirement years. (Look, to be totally honest, the thing is, well, at the rate I’m going I’ll probably never retire either…but I digress.)

THE POINT IS, this book is incredibly good. It is fascinating. It is riveting. It is compelling. And if you currently work or have ever worked in corporate America, if you have ever used a personal computer, if you have ever bought an Apple product or watched a Pixar movie, you should read it. And if you have been around me for the last two weeks you know that I can’t shut up about it. Read this book already so we can talk!!

Steve Jobs is not all roses. Not by a long shot. (One person at the office summed-up the book with “Smelly hippie gets lucky.”) But the fact is: I’m not all roses either. Not by a long shot.

Roses, thorns – (Wait, was that the cheesiest metaphor ever or what?? Man, I am reeeeeally sorry.) – in the end it doesn’t matter. Steve Jobs makes me want to take more risks. Makes me want to work harder, to do better work, to care deeply about my customers, to create things that are beautiful and to never settle for mediocrity. Steve Jobs reminds me that the measure of a person’s life is not the length, but the depth of which it is lived. Steve Jobs makes me want to think different…and think bigger…and think harder than I have ever thought before.

As I finished the book I wondered what he could have done for the digital home, the medical industry, education, the list goes on and on. The question really is, now that he has set the bar, who will rise up to meet it?

To Steve Jobs: Thank you for living such a deep life. Here’s to you…

“…to the crazy ones, the misfits, the rebels, the troublemakers, the round pegs in the square holes… the ones who see things differently — they’re not fond of rules… You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them, but the only thing you can’t do is ignore them because they change things… they push the human race forward, and while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius, because the ones who are crazy enough to think that they can change the world, are the ones who do.”

I am CA-RAZY about this song. CA-RAZY!!

I have been hearing this song EVERYWHERE.EVERYWHERE. Last night I heard it at the Salt Lake Airport. Today, at a restaurant in Newport Beach. Normally this post would fall under the category of Shazam!, but the problem is, Shazam can’t pick it up because I  always hear it while I’m in a crowded restaurant or a bar. Luckily Tiff knew what it was and now this song is mine, all mine to listen to whenever I want!! Mwahahahahaha!!!

I am running a half-marathon tomorrow that I’m ill prepared for (shocker!). One of my coping strategies for ill-preparedness is to start a race with a new power song. Tomorrow, this is it.

Even barely heard above the din of a crowded place this song just ACHES. And the lyric. I mean, that chorus! Isn’t it just incredible??

Tomorrow. Pacific Coast Highway. Sun, beach, sand, surfers, a little morning jog and this CRANKED UP on the Skull Candy.

Perfection.

Give me a second I
I need to get my story straight
My friends are in the bathroom
Getting higher than the Empire State
My lover she’s waiting for me
Just across the bar
My seats been taken by some sunglasses
Asking ’bout a scar
And I know I gave it to you months ago
I know you’re trying to forget
But between the drinks and subtle things
The holes in my apologies
You know I’m trying hard to take it back
So if by the time the bar closes
And you feel like falling down
I’ll carry you home

Tonight
We are young
So let’s set the world on fire
We can burn brighter
Than the sun

Tonight
We are young
So let’s set the world on fire
We can burn brighter
Than the sun

Now I know that I’m not
All that you got
I guess that I
I just thought maybe we could find new ways to fall apart
But our friends are back
So let’s raise a cup
Cause I found someone to carry me home

Tonight
We are young
So let’s the set the world on fire
We can burn brighter
Than the sun

Tonight
We are young
So let’s set the world on fire
We can burn brighter
Than the sun

Carry me home tonight
Just carry me home tonight
Carry me home tonight
Just carry me home tonight

The world is on my side
I have no reason to run
So will someone come and carry me home tonight
The angels never arrived
But I can hear the choir
So will someone come and carry me home

Tonight
We are young
So let’s set the world on fire
We can burn brighter
Than the sun

Tonight
We are young
So let’s set the world on fire
We can burn brighter
Than the sun

So if by the time the bar closes
And you feel like falling down
I’ll carry you home tonight

I.Love.Excedrin.

Alek worked last weekend so I took the opportunity to not put on any make-up and take some quality time to finally go through the giant stack of mail that was sitting on our desk, taunting me. (Our desk is so out of control right now that I’ve started referring to it as “The Situation.” But I digress…)

There was a letter from Costco with a product recall for Excedrin. This caused me a little bit of concern because, well, I.LOVE.EXCEDRIN. I love it. I do experience the occasional migraine and Excedrin is the only thing that does the trick. Oh yes, I’ve tried them all, blue, yellow, different, but Excedrin is the only one for me. Headache? Yes. Hangover? Yes. Just need a little kick first thing in the morning? Why not? And if I have sore muscles, say after every single half marathon that I run but never train for? A couple of Excedrin and an 800mg Ibuprofen? MONEY!

Now this isn’t just me, this is the whole Fam Damily. Fact: if you were at my Mom’s house for Sunday dinner and asked if anyone had an Excedrin you would find some in my computer bag, my purse, Mom’s purse, Janaan’s purse, Janaan’s diaper bag, Tina’s purse, Alek’s computer bag, in the kitchen medicine cabinet, in the end tables in the master bedroom, in the master bathroom and in my parent’s offices. I also have a back-up in my desk at work and in my car. I am never too far away from an Excedrin.

So, the recall. Basically it was for any bottle of Excedrin purchased between January 2009 and January 2011 with an expiration date before December 2014. Apparently there were some broken pills and other pills getting mixed in with those batches. No issues reported, they were just being super cautious. Aww. Thanks Costco. The letter included the lot #’s for the bottles that I had purchased at Costco during that time period.

There were five bottles on the list.

Five.

That’s 1,500 Excedrin in two years. And those are just the Excedrin that I’ve bought at Costco.

Holy hell.

I took out the one (yes, one) gigantar bottle from Costco that I currently have. I poured out the remaining 50-ish pills and carefully inspected them. All whole. All with perfectly stamped little E’s on them.

I recommitted myself to starting better sleep habits.

And then, I’m not gonna lie, I put the rest of the pills back in the container, recycled the letter and that was that. Then I called my Mom and Dad. They got a letter too. So did Janaan. We all laughed and laughed. Did Costco really think those bottles would stick around for two years?

Not in this family.

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