Friday, June 25, 2010

portugal the man

portugal the man/photo found on web

i stumbled upon this band while doing my normal cd safari at the library. they had passed thru eugene not long ago so i checked them out. and i really liked what i heard!
after listening to them for a few months i saw that they would be playing in portland... and tickets were super cheap.
so, i drove to portland that weekend trying to have low expectations to avoid being disappointed but secretly i kept hoping that it was going to be super awesome.
my sister in law was able to join me which was a lot of fun. the show was at the roseland theater. i had never been before and though it looks a little rough it is actually a decent venue. we chose the balcony which is 21 and over plus it provides short people like me a better viewing opportunity. don't get me wrong, standing on the floor looking at the someone's back while stuck in someone else's armpit can be a ton of fun...yes, i'm being sarcastic :)
we missed the first opener but the second opener was stellar! the builders and the butchers. i had never heard of them but they totally owned the stage. the entire audience was engaged. the lead singer is visibly passionate and his voice sounded like it had been smoothed with bits of sandpaper. i really enjoyed it.
knowing the recorded style of portugal the man i was actually a bit worried as to how they would keep the energy of the crowd alive. there is nothing wrong with sedated shows but it just seemed drastically different than what the opener presented.
so...we waited for the stage to be set up, ordered another drink (remember many of these places ONLY take cash at their bar)
the smoke rolling onto the stage cued the crowd to realize Portugal the Man was about to reveal themselves...but there was such a cloudy haze, i couldn't see the band, but their light show started with beams of magenta and blue and yellows shining thru.
and then the music began. while this may not seem like a very mature expression, i was like holy cow!
not so much a holy cow this is awesome...nor was it a holy cow this is terrible.
perhaps it was more of a "holy cow this is totally unexpected!!"
they were jammin'
and i realized quickly that while the entire time i was afraid they would be too lethargic for a show...they were actually quite opposite...and i wasn't prepared for that. 
don't get me wrong, they were good...and their light show was superb but it seemed like they were trying too hard to be the rockers that they probably are but not what they have conveyed thru their recordings.
they are a local portland band and maybe i'm just out of the loop and this really is more of their style than i am aware of. who knows. 
at any rate, it was a great show and i would certainly see them again...what is most exciting is that their opener was great...which i've blogged about before...when you get an opener that can almost surpass the main act, i feel like i totally got my money's worth and then some. 

Saturday, June 19, 2010

how great thou art...

i recently attended the funeral of someone i met once on my 24th birthday. she was a sweet sweet, she wanted to meet her granddaughter's friends before we went out. 
during the service, i was reminded of when my grandma brent passed away.
my grandma brent was elegant and classy. equal parts sass and love. she and my grandpa traveled the world. there was a map in their basement of the world. little pin heads denoted where they had been. it always amazed me how many little dots there were. i wanted a dot covered map. she was a beautician and had a lot of wigs...some of which i gave 'haircuts' to. and as naughty as that was in the first place, i remember being afraid to fess up and told a white lie when asked if i was to blame (even naughtier). she handled it like a pro and interviewed me as a person of interest. she was intelligent in her approach and i quickly spilled the beans on how i "trimmed" the wig. she delivered a fair punishment of 'disappointment' but reminded me that i was a good kid and that the truth was worth more than silver and gold. secretly, i think she was a little flattered... i mean, i was imitating her.
i remember she wore a perfume that was delightful. it smelled like it was from paris...or what i imagine paris to smell like, well,  maybe the people in paris.
the woman who sang at the service had a beautiful voice. the last song she sang was How Geat Thou Art.
my grandma used to sit at her organ, with all of the grand kiddos surrounding her and sing...she sang this song many times; when i envision her sitting there, she is wearing a polyester robin egg blue dress...her hair beautifully done...
she was the center of attention and rightfully so. 
i'm not usually into songs like this one...but the way she sang it made me want to join in. it made me want to be just like her. 
as the woman sang out the words, it was a moment of feeling connected again. like i could almost smell my grandma's perfume and see her sitting there, dressed in blue with her fingers dancing on the keys. singing out straight from her heart. 

how great thou art...

O Lord my God, When I in awesome wonder,
Consider all the worlds Thy Hands have made;
I see the stars, I hear the rolling thunder,
Thy power throughout the universe displayed.

Then sings my soul, My Saviour God, to Thee,
How great Thou art, How great Thou art.           (chorus)
Then sings my soul, My Saviour God, to Thee,
How great Thou art, How great Thou art!
When through the woods, and forest glades I wander,
And hear the birds sing sweetly in the trees.
When I look down, from lofty mountain grandeur
And see the brook, and feel the gentle breeze.
And when I think, that God, His Son not sparing;
Sent Him to die, I scarce can take it in;
That on the Cross, my burden gladly bearing,
He bled and died to take away my sin.

Friday, June 18, 2010

dirdy (super muddy) birdy 2010

my sister in law biz and i after the run!
my sister in law sent a link to my brother about an event called the dirdy birdy 5k. an interesting name for an interesting event. given that i am planning a 5k--- i have wanted to volunteer or partake in as many events as possible to get exposure on how to organize it.
hmmm, what did i take from this event? simply put...have fun!!
actually...make that super crazy, muddy, beer drinking fun while wearing costumes...this is what i'm talking about.
there wasn't much that seemed official. well, we officially started and there was an official finish but there were no chips and didn't even seem like there were many runners. not as in there weren't many people there--rather the people that were there seemed to be better at drinking beer, costume design, and having fun. we didn't drink before the event. it seemed unwise given my inherent clumsiness and the fact that my foot was only freshly healed and its surrounding muscles weak and rusty. instead of drinking i duct taped my shoe and ankle for both support and to help keep my shoe on.
there was a 1k event for the little ones first. it was adorable and inspiring to watch them...many also adorned in boas and costumes. they really went for it. an almost 5 year old girl took 4th place overall. i asked a little boy for some pointers; he was hesitant at first...but soon became animated and told me not to be scared.
there was a delayed start time. something about traffic...people didn't seem to mind.more pre-party! ha
my niece verbena was with and although she was super tired, she didn't seem to get tired of people watching. i mean, even a 9 month old recognized that this event was not like most 5k's.
before it started, they had to wet down the track one more time. my sister in law and i stood adorned in plastic grass skirts, goggles, and stomachs filled with nervous thunder.
and suddenly we were free to run...right into the mud. honestly, this is a motocross track with giant jumps that are like mountains and the bottom of the jumps--like valleys--which are capable of holding some serious slop.
at first it was just everyone trying to fend for themselves...some guy grabbed at me going up the first climb and managed to rip off my skirt...thankfully i was clothed beneath...i'm even more grateful i'm not rapunzel!
i had been nervous in general--the whole experience was new...but i was most nervous about my foot and the rest of my body that had not been exposed to anything like this (ever) let alone after an injury...but it held up well. half the course was hog heaven while the other part was dry like the desert--and then we would come back around to the mud...there was a slip and slide that would have been one of the funnest things this 30 year old has ever done, if it wasn't laying atop earth sprinkled with shards of tiny gravel. 
the little boy had warned me of this...thankfully i only slid about 4 inches and was able to get back up to slide down on my feet. i may sound like a wimp but i'd rather go to a professional when dealing with exfoliation.ha!

we had to complete 3 laps and by the end...the track was destroyed. there wasn't a sign of traction on any climb and i had to resort to the rope a few times. nearing the end, a guy dressed in a wrestling singlet number, wait, a thong/speedo singlet with a fat suit on told some little boy that i didn't look muddy enough-- so he should fling mud at me. of course, being a little boy, 'nuf said, threw a mud glob right at my butt. nice aim exclaims fred flinstone Chippendale...( he sort of looked like that)
i wasn't as muddy on my upper body because despite my brother thinking i would fall...i never did. granted, i kind of wish i would have-- at least intentionally fallen...because that what the event is about...mud. besides, doesn't mud have healing properties?
at any rate when i finally finished i was super happy and proud that we did it. during the run i started thinking about my costume for next thing is for certain...i will wear shorts instead of pants. the mud weighs everything down. my pants probably weighed 10 lbs by the end of the event.
i realized how much i want to partake in more this...not because i am trying to get my best 5k time, although that would be awesome...but because it reminded me to have fun. not take it all so can exercise and have fun...and meet some crazy people too and some super considerate ones like guy who helped his girlfriend and then my sister-in-law get up the hill.
it would have been easy to stay home and watch tv or just let another ordinary night happen...but why not try something new? something that helps inner city kids as well as our own inner child? 

Thursday, June 17, 2010

active release therapy

i had never heard of active release therapy until i went to a crossfit endurance certification. the way it was explained made me realize that i needed to try it. 
shortly after starting crossfit i began having trouble with my right shoulder/shoulder blade area...obviously if i didn't treat it, my crossfit career would be limited. so i did a search for active release therapists in eugene. my search was over as quickly as it started. there was 1 practitioner according to google. usually when that happens, i feel uneasy about trying it...simply because i like options. i like the ability to compare. but i needed relief...
so i called and made an appointment. when i first met brian gervais i could tell by his accent that he wasn't from the northwest. he sounded like my neighbors to the north while growing up... he is in fact from minnesota... his handshake was firm (always a good sign)and he asked what brought me in.
i informed him of crossfit and the shoulder issues i was having. he immediately went to work and started to manipulate my shoulder. it's mobility was severely limited. he asked what i did for a living...
hmmm, just sit on my butt all day and look at a computer. he laughed and said it was obvious. my posture was poor..
he worked super hard. i had NO clue that my range of motion was so limited. this of course was an eye opening experience. i was ignorant as to how labor intensive it is for an active release therapist to treat people. it was impressive to see how dedicated he was to getting my body to work properly even though it drained him physically.
the great thing about brian and the office he works at is that they don't want to see you more than they need to...not because they are anti social and not because they don't like's because it's their's brian's goal--- to serve the greater purpose--get you well--
and after that...maintenance instead of promoting a reliance on this method. he doesn't seem insecure or that he is dependent on your business in order to pay the bills. and he will tell you if active release isn't for takes a person who believes in what they do-- to be willing to admit...hey, i'm not the right guy...or hey, emilee, i think you are good to go...i remember when he told me that he didn't think it would be necessary to come back in.

i had been rehabilitated and was ready to be thrown back into the wild crossfit kingdom. and honestly, my upper body movements improved a lot!!
when people ask me what it is about active release therapy that i like the most...i respond almost as i do when asked that question regarding crossfit....i say...because i had a great experience...was treated by a knowledgeable staff and because it gets me in tune with my body. soo many people seem afraid to get to know their body and the amazing things it can do...and they truly do not understand how TAXING on your body it can be to do....NOTHING
and then i meet people who have made it their own a gym or become an active release therapist so that people can have a place to go to live their know their body...and i am so grateful to know these people...
even when i broke my foot brian was able to administer an electrical treatment to it that seemed to really help improve circulation to the area...
if you have had a nagging issue with some part of your body or don't feel like you are functioning the way you should...i would totally recommend checking it out. i truly believe it will be of value to you...

**** definition taken from a website i found
ART is a patented, non-invasive, soft tissue treatment process that identifies and removes scar tissue and adhesions that have been known to cause pain, stiffness, muscle weakness, numbness and biomechanical dysfunctions associated with repetitive strains and injuries. Active Release Techniques is classified as a multidisciplinary procedure which is practiced by numerous healthcare professions including Chiropractors, Physiotherapists, Massage Therapists and Sports Physicians.

laughter quotes

to continue today's laughter theme, here are some quotes that i found that i really like:

A good laugh and a long sleep are the best cures in the doctor's book.  ~Irish Proverb

Laughter gives us distance.  It allows us to step back from an event, deal with it and then move on.  ~Bob Newhart

You can't deny laughter; when it comes, it plops down in your favorite chair and stays as long as it wants.  ~Stephen King, Hearts in Atlantis

Perhaps I know best why it is man alone who laughs; he alone suffers so deeply that he had to invent laughter.  ~Friedrich Nietzsche 

laughing out loud

 belly laugh Buddha/image found on the web

have you ever had a moment when you actually hear yourself laughing…straight from the depths of your stomach…the sound of it uncoiling carries a vibration. a vibration of fuzzy delight.
this is a precious sound and now…even the sound of my own laughter can make me laugh harder. 

it hasn’t always been this way. 

there were years of masking my depression by making other people laugh…and i became very good at making fun of myself…this too, usually made others this continued, my own laughter felt tainted with sadness...and then one day it seemed to vanish

i’m not sure if it disappeared because the universe knew i needed to make a change. perhaps something bigger than me knew that i needed to learn the difference between laughter that hides the pain and laughter that reconnects me with my natural born innocence. the innocence that is immune to judgment…the innocence that is our birth given right.

recently, i have listened to my laughter. and it sounds it's infused with happiness. the best part of laughing is you can laugh alone or in a group. with my nieces or a stranger in line at the grocery store. it knows no age or race... it's a universal language of sorts.

most of the time i am not even sure what is just is. today, at work, a few of us started talking and i said something and someone started laughing, and then another chimed in…and then i heard myself start to laugh…my adult self wanted to stop me as it seemed inappropriate for the work environment and then i reminded myself…we don’t get recess anymore…we don’t get the summers off and we very seldom get to act like little kids…giggling at something simple...but giggling nonetheless...
seriously. we should never grow out of our imaginations…and we are certainly never too old to laugh out loud. it’s the cheapest medicine out there.

Monday, June 14, 2010

do what you love

things at work changed drastically again...and i'm a little is better than it was, but ultimately it's still not a Cinderella fit that turns a simple job into a meaningful career...i found this quote and took it as a sign...or at least a quote that fit my current if only i could find a bone that is equal parts of crossfit coach/designer/marketing guru/art therapist/travel writer...then i would certainly be gnawing at it and burying it...digging it up just to gnaw it again...

"Do what you love. Know your own bone; gnaw at it, bury it, unearth it, and gnaw it still."
Henry David Thoreau

photo by shannon hunt

Sunday, June 13, 2010


such a happy feeling image/found on the web

Could a greater miracle take place than for us to look through each other's eyes for an instant?
Henry David Thoreau

stale as a loaf of sunday

it's sunday. for some reason i struggle with sundays. not sure why exactly...although i could come up with a few theories. it's mostly mental at this point. how do we truly know what day it is anyway? for me, if i have to go to could be monday or friday...and everything in between. saturdays are usually identified by a trip to the gym and running fun and random errands.
sunday...hmmm, i wake up and get this weird feeling...the streets are vacant. everything is slow paced. infomercials invade the tv **ok, seriously that must be part of it.
so turn off the tv, right? easy enough...but that feeling is still there. it's stale and suffocating. for the past few sundays i have tried to busy myself with trips to the coast or library...keeping my mind off identifying the day or placing any meaning on it...
more than likely it also has something to do with the fact that the day after is monday. and although i feel blessed at the chance of a new day...i have to go to work.
it isn't work that i's the lack of purpose i feel there. honestly, what is keeping me from doing the things i was meant to do? what prevents me from tapping into my creative potential?
another dream of mine is to help people be healthier....not just at a fitness level, but all around. i want to help people feel better. about themselves and about the life they live.
perhaps the dilemma with that right now is that i'm only sort of there myself. yes, i have an awesome life and i can't lose sight of HOW FAR i have come...oh my goodness!!!!
but i am just now getting my head out of the depressed cave it was in...seeing the sun for the first time in awhile (like everyone else)
my body doesn't feel right. it feels fuller and awkward shaped. my clothes remind me of this daily. this is a real challenge for me. it's time i get back to where i was--no! better than i was...i have to remember how good it felt to be fit and strong and lean and full or energy.
maybe it's also that sundays make me feel lonely. i am reminded of relationships and the lack of. i don't mean to be or want to be so greatly affected by relationships that don't work out. it's pretty common, right? (i think it's just that i look forward to having someone to do stuff with. i'm an indepent girl and love doing things on my own...but a lot of things are best when shared with someone special)
 it's certainly not the end of the world and hell, it often doesn't even have anything to do with's pretty simple really. my damn ego is what gets in the way. the damn ego who likes to tell me it is always about me. i'm the reason it didn't work. not pretty, funny, or smart enough....bull crap! for once in my life, i only want to take on what is mine in regards to this area. we all have stuff...
sundays are in my pile of stuff.
ok, so now that i've vented about sundays....i need to find a better feeling story about them....

tick tock
(jeopardy theme song playing)

ok, here we go.
i am currently watching my brother and sister in law's house and they have a wonderful backyard. just yesterday i spent most of my day outside--in the sun. my goal was to read my book. instead, i just let my body do what it needed to do...dozing off while soaking up some vitamin d.
the ducks and dogs joined me and we listened to music.
i drank iced lemon water and literally just sat there in the moment...i realized then how much i do want my own place with a sweet little backyard....where i can host an afternoon party for 1(me) or a wafflepalooza fest for my friends....
last night, i toasted dusk with a chilled glass of red wine-it was fabulous!
i am not sure where this place will be....i'm in portland far more than i'm in eugene. my roots are MW bound and i left most of my heart in new zealand.
the question will not be solved in a day as we all know...rome was not built in one either. i will figure it out...
so i will not worry about today feeling stale. i will instead sit out in the sun and continue working on 5k plans as well as some creative projects i hope to produce. i will be thankful for this opportunity that has allowed me to further clarify what i want!
phew, i feel better already

Thursday, June 10, 2010

see ya later broken foot gator

i can't believe i haven't shared the good news...this was a picture taken exactly one week after i broke my foot. i was supposed to be competing at sectionals but instead i was cheering everyone on...losing my voice. it was hard not to get down but i
couldn't have been more proud of our athletes and was totally inspired by their efforts. i told myself...when my foot heals, i will remember this feeling and how badly i want to prove that i can...
having an injury brings forth soo many emotions. suddenly, one of my coping mechanisms was compromised, so i resorted to older vices...which are not healthy...and since healthy is something i strive for--i often felt like a giant contradiction.
the roller coaster of up and down...the wonderful support of friends and family...the deep desire to get back to the gym, yet completely intimidated by my own lack of stamina...
i've managed to do more than the dr. recommended throughout the last few months--but i have managed to avoid the gym for the last 2 months as well. and i can tell...
but as my better feeling story reads:
i went to the dr on monday---wearing a small heel. everyone cheered and exclaimed "the heel" test!!! 
well, of course i thought, i went for an accidental 10 mile hike after she told me to start out with 10 minute walking increments to see how the foot felt without the boot...
the best part of the appointment was seeing my x-ray. to the untrained eye, one would never have known i broke my foot...and luckily no where on the x-ray does it say HOW i broke it. ha ha!
she was uber impressed with my progress. it had been nearly 3 months to the day. i asked if i could start lifting and she said...yes, but ease into it...
i smiled. she has obviously never done crossfit. 
now i just need to get my head back in the game and not lose sight of my goals and what i'm capable of...i have a long way to go in regards to getting my strength and endurance back...but tonight, i just feel soo blessed to be healthy and spiral fracture-less!!!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

i'm trying...

i've been struggling for awhile trying to figure out where i'm supposed to be.
oregon is wonderful. can't ask for more geographical amenities. wonderful micro brews. good wine.
i love all the green. it literally drips off of everything.
and rain...we have plenty. my little brother, his wife, and my adorable niece live in portland and it's great they are fairly close...
i've made a few amazing friends and have found a gym that i love...not to mention the people that frequent there. they have become a family of sorts. but like with my current family, just because i enjoy them doesn't mean we get to hang out all that much.
i went to the midwest recently...home...well, my home away from home...away from home.
omaha is where i spend most of my time. my sister, her husband, and my two awesome nieces live there.
it has been soo uplifting and fun the last couple of visits because it is really obvious how much personal growth i've gone through. i laugh and converse and participate and just feel connected.
yes, people seem to be more conservative than me. and sometimes it feels so flat i get a bit claustrophobic. there isn't an ocean an hour away. the mountains don't offer their peaks to climb...but the sunsets are pretty impressive. they go for miles and miles. and it just seems like there is a strong sense of community. neighbors helping neighbors... i like that!
lately, i've been feeling like a misfit in both areas. i love it here--seriously being in nature is like going to church-only better. and the funky coffee shops and bike paths, orchards, vineyards, and mountains, high deserts, and the colorful houses all make me smile. 
but i love the awkward comfort i feel back in the midwest as well... family is priceless--no matter how much you may struggle with them-- there is an undeniable love that is soo deeply rooted, i sometimes have to fall over to realize i'm still grounded. i love the chocolate chip cookie-ness of it---that after school special feeling...even though we tend to go back into our roles...getting to become friends with my sister and see her be a mom, or getting to see my mom in a different light as we both have evolved...these are the little things that add up, (like my bill at many times have i gone in there for 1 thing that costs $5 and left with a $40+ receipt? yikes!)
at any minute i ponder the flat horizon and brilliant sunset being the backdrop of my life again...but then the mighty Pacific ocean's waves wash the thought away and i am reminded of the summers in oregon and all the places i have yet to explore. all the hiking and camping and greeeeeeeeeen!
truthfully, the one place i  felt at home was new zealand. yes, i was only there for six months but i never missed home...not as in i didn't miss my family but i didn't miss 'home'...i felt content.
granted, i was out exploring, sleeping on picnic tables and the beach--in my car and hostels too...i was meeting locals and fellow americans...south africans, canadians...
i met the whole world there.
more than anything it was the perfect combo for me. the geography was ridiculously beautiful and the people too. being in a "no worries" environment felt more like an felt protective and assisted me in my attempt to "trust the journey". i chilled out so much that when i got back people were like...what happened to emilee???
my energy wasn't confused . i was still my fiesty self, full of spunk but it was exhausted by days end. not to mention, looking back, i felt truly SAFE. safe with being me. and i didn't even know it. maybe i am more aware now and can remember that feeling (even though i didn't know that i was feeling it) and am ready to live in that know it while i'm experiencing it. i've been going thru some changes and i have to say they are all awesome for the most part (though not easy) 
and i'm ready to have a place i call home that i can nest in...feel safe in...and that i can be a part of and feel like i'm supposed to be there...

Monday, June 7, 2010

bean and the bunny bike helmet

bean's dad (my brother) and i rode 103 miles on bikes last fall when she was only 2 weeks old. during the ride we would see female cyclists with really long legs and think wow, i bet verbena will look like that someday...
her legs were nearly as long as mine when she was born...
i was in portland recently and bean was sweet enough to sport her bike helmet for me. she literally changes every day and each time i see her i realize that before i know it...she will probably be joining her dad on those crazy long bike rides...i only wonder if she will still like bunnies on her helmet--too cute!