Irritating

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Like many contact lens wearers, I’m acutely aware of my eyes. So, on Wednesday when my eye was a little dry and irritated, I blamed my contact lens. I worked at home on Thursday, wore my glasses and it felt completely fine. Just to be safe, I switched to a new pair on Friday and wore them without a problem. So, when I woke up Saturday morning to a red eye that was screaming in pain, I was a little surprised (and upset about it.)

T and I briefly discussed calling the 24-hour consulting nurse hotline that Group Health offers, but with all of the cooking activities we both forgot about it. So on Sunday, when it was a little better pain-wise but I realized that the weird smudge I kept trying to wipe off my glasses was in fact on my eye, we decided to call. The nurse advised we go to urgent care, which is never my favorite thing, but I didn’t want to mess around with my eyesight.

I’ve only been to urgent care one other time – on New Years Eve day in 1997, when a terrible flu necessitated a trip to a horrible hospital in Oakland (Highland Hospital for any Bay Area folks out there) where we shared the waiting area with a very dangerous convict who was strapped to a gurney Hannibal Lechter style. This, needless to say, was much more pleasant and the only other folks in the waiting area were a few elderly couples and one poor mom with a baby, who had the most terrible cough I’ve ever heard.

The nice urgent care doctor looked at my poor eye under many bright lights to make sure there wasn’t anything in there/it wasn’t scratched, etc. He diagnosed me with conjunctivitis (aka pink eye) which didn’t seem like what I had, but I assumed there were different strains, so I took the eye drops and went home.

Two days later, the drops not only didn’t have any effect but when I woke up this morning, the smudge had become worse. Luckily, eye doctors are open on Tuesday so I was able to make an appointment and get a much more plausible diagnosis: iritus. (Isn’t that the most made-up sounding disease you’ve ever heard of?) So, armed with another batch of drops, I believe I’m on the mend. The nice thing about iritus is that it isn’t contagious, so I don’t have to worry about spreading it to the boy and my friends. Plus the drops they’ve given me seem to be working, so hopefully it will be all cleared up soon.

So, the jury is still out on 2011…

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Gross!

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We recently replaced our 13 year old vacuum (it still had bags for god’s sake!) with a refurbished Dyson. (No way I’m paying full-price for one of those babies… ) I’d been hearing hype about Dyson vacuums for years, especially how much dirt and what-not it pulls out of the carpet compared to your old vacuum. Since I knew our old vacuum wasn’t doing a very good job, I was pretty sure I was prepared for the difference between them.

Boy was I wrong! That Dyson pulled sooooooo much more dirt, hair, dust, Jimmy Hoffa’s remains and who knows what else out of our carpet that it was traumatizing. We filled three canisters from about 800 square feet of carpet. Definitely a good investment.

What is wrong with people?

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I’ve always maintained that people in their cars act differently than they do face to face. For example, if someone tried to cut in line in the supermarket like they frequently do when a lane is ending on the freeway, the reaction would be much more immediate and “in your face.” (Except here in Seattle, where passive aggressive is an artform, but I digress… ) But the more I ride my bike, the more I’m starting to question my hypothesis. Today, I was going to take T on my Log Boom Park to Marymoor park ride and decided to ride solo to Log Boom to get a little more mileage in. (I’d forgotten that the Beat the Bridge run and the Urban Assault ride were going on today or I might have thought otherwise.)

Now, any time I choose to ride on the Burke Gilman I know that I’m signing up to dodge people strolling along, rollerbladers, all kinds of crazy bike riding, small children, dogs, etc. I understand that the price of riding on a car-free path means that I have to deal with all of these obstacles. Sometimes it sucks, but that’s the deal. Today however, I was treated to huge oncoming packs of riders participating in the Urban Assault ride who truly didn’t give a crap about anyone except themselves. The highlight of this was navigating a huge oncoming pack riding four abreast, then hearing a pair of riders also coming toward me discussing the “poor little girl who got crashed into and lost her training wheel.” I barely had time to process this sentence before seeing the little girl in question, crying on the side of the road, while her mother tried to figure out how to fix her bicycle. I don’t care what kind of race you are in, there is NO excuse for that.

It was a very discouraging sight. And I spent the next ten miles mentally composing sarcastic sayings for bike jerseys addressing the various forms of cluelessness I saw around me. Really it all boils down to paying attention to your surroundings and/or thinking of someone other than yourself. This isn’t asking too much, is it?

Dear jerkwads, an open letter to the folks on the Burke Gilman

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Hey you! Yeah, you. Idiot who’s riding right down the middle of the path, or worse, on my side of the path. What’s with that? I realize that it’s 8:00 am on a Sunday morning and there’s hardly anybody out, but do you really have to take up the whole freakin’ lane? And there isn’t just one of you, there are dozens! And don’t think I didn’t notice you, pack of group riders riding three abreast. And the most vexing part? That it wasn’t just the newbies, roadies, oblivious ladies chattering away. No. It was all of you. Apparently idiocy is an equal opportunity affliction.

Maybe I need to go get myself some football pads and mount a cowcatcher to the front of my bike and let the chips fall where they may. Consider yourselves warned, a$$hats.

Jingle Bell, jingle bell, jingle bell run…

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This morning T and I got up bright and early to freeze our butts off with thousands of our friends at the 24th annual Jingle Bell 5k I knew the race was popular, but I was surprised by exactly how popular, especially since it had snowed the night before and the temperatures were in the 20’s. But this was the scene that greeted us:

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We were stupidly in the second wave, which was I’d read was supposed to be for folks who run between an 8 minute – 9:30 minute mile. In reality, it’s for people who are too stupid to read a website… Sigh. Here’s T freezing before the start:

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And as we lined up here’s what we were looking at:

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So, here’s my abbreviated race report. Walked or jogged slowly enough that I might as well have walked for the first half mile or so, went into the scary express lanes tunnel that I hate DRIVING through (though I must confess everyone singing Jingle Bells as we entered the tunnel was pretty fun) and then tons of dodging, weaving and trying not to curse out loud. (Inside my head was a whole other matter… ) It was just way too crowded and I didn’t really enjoy it. Should I ever do this race again, I would definitely line up in the first wave where I could hopefully at least run the damn thing… Oh well, live and learn!

Turkey trot

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Thanksgiving morning started with a fun 5k race in my neighborhood, the Seattle Turkey Trot. This is the second year for a very low-key race that had 30 people last year. No timing chips, race numbers or even street closures, just show up and run. This year they had over 150, so I’m excited to see the turnout next year. They did however, have very cute t-shirts…

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(the rest of the 20 dollar entry fee went to the Ballard Food Bank, which was cool.) A view of the starting line:

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M & I getting ready to throw down:

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After a few pre-race announcements we were off! As usual, everyone took off and surged away from us (including a very amusing Weimaraner that would have won the race if not for his pesky human… ) but M & I tried to take it out at a reasonable pace. Sure enough, soon we were passing those people that went out too fast. The route was really gorgeous, winding through some neighborhoods down to the beach. There were views of the olympics in the distance and it was all slightly downhill or flat.

Toward the end, we were still passing people, but both of us were definitely flagging. For the last mile, M and I kept each other going, even though both of us wanted to die. Finally, the finish line was in sight and it was over. I looked at my watch – 30 minutes and 21 seconds! A definite PR for me, at least on the West Coast… (That’s 9:48 minutes per mile, which is pretty speedy for me.) Here’s a self-taken shot of the PR girls:

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And a few more of the finish-line fun:

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I love the chalk turkey…

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And I’m proud to say we beat the girl in the turkey hat and the boa…

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Afterward, I took advantage of the nearby ocean for a little lower leg ice bath:

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Meanwhile, M took beautiful pictures of the scenery:

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It was such a fun morning, even without the PR. The course was beautiful, our fellow racers were nice and we raised money for a good cause. Thanks to M for keeping me going and for being an awesome race partner!

What are they thinking?

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I came across this sign as I was walking to work this morning and was so entertained by it I went back at lunch to take a picture. My favorite part of it is that as I approached I was reading it as “Herb & the Rapies” and when I got close enough to see that it is a day spa, it just got even funnier.

I know that I’m a snobby designer type and as such am more critical than your average passer-by, but I can’t be the only person that has problems with this. The fact that “herban” is not a word I’ve ever heard before and the size of the r in therapies makes it damn near impossible to read this sign as it’s intended. Even once I figured it out, I’m still left with “is herban really a word?”

So, if I really am just being a snobby designer and y’all think the sign is totally fine, then I hope you enjoyed the pleasant diversion of my boring you with my design rants as opposed to pictures of food I’ve eaten, stories about triathlon training and cute pictures of my pets. 😀