Hawaiian Style


Today I’m off to a work trip to Hawaii, and of course I am super excited.

I have two days of vacation on the front end, and I was contemplating taking a “Magnum, P.I.” tour in a replica helicopter from the show.

tc helicopter

At $500 an hour (per person!), though, it seemed a bit steep.

I had to laugh when the conference sent a link about “What to Wear in Hawaii.” Here’s a quote:

The traditional Hawaiian women’s dress is the muumuu, which hangs from the shoulders and fits loosely around the body. Women can wear them to most occasions and fit right in.

So, to recap, I will be dressing like this for the next week:








Second Graders and the $220 Meal

The New York Times Magazine sent a group of second graders to Daniel, a two-star Michelin restaurant in Manhattan, for a seven course prix fixe tasting menu that goes for $220 a person.

While paprika smoked cured hamachi with ossetra caviar wasn’t a huge hit with the under-8 crowd, the overall result was charming and hilarious.


P.S. These kids are also about a million times better behaved than my own. One more reason I will NOT be taking them to Daniel any time soon.


Big Sigh

A few weeks ago, I received a brochure in the mail for a conference being held today.

When it arrived I thought, hmm, this looks interesting.

The conference title vaguely rang a bell. A distant, distant bell.

The brochure sat on our counter for quite some time, but eventually I opened it up to see what was on the agenda.

That’s when I discovered that I was one of the featured speakers.

So, yes, the title rang a bell because I’d agreed to be a keynote speaker months ago, then promptly forgot.

I spent much of the past week getting my 75 minute presentation organized.

Two thoughts:

  1. At least I figured out that I needed to give a speech prior to the event, not after.
  2. When am I going to stop being like this?

The Magic 8 Ball would probably say “Never.”


[Big sigh for my life].



Field Trips

It was a Banner Week at Fancy Pants Ranch.

Both kids went on field trips (plural).

Trixie visited a pumpkin farm and a fire station. Best parts: corn maze and pole, respectively.

She was able to select a pumpkin and decorated it with a Sharpie:


It basically looks like Adam Levine’s arms to me.

MGM went to a cave (!) and the same fire station. Best parts: finding “diamonds” and the fact that the fire fighters had THREE refrigerators.

This was unbelievably sweet: MGM was so excited that they let the kids collect rocks at the cave, and he found several diamonds that he couldn’t wait to give to me.

Here they are:



Ten carats, for sure.




Random Car Conversation

Last night I had to pick up Trixie (5) from swimming.

Random conversation from the ride home:

Trixie: “Why are you even a doctor?”

Me (anticipating soulful response): “Well, I like to help people. And doctors get to help people. I think that’s a great job.”

Trixie: “I think being a doctor is a terrible job. Doctors have to be away from their families a lot of the time.”

Me: “That’s true. Doctors usually have to work pretty hard. And sometimes they have to help people when they want to be at home with their families.”

Trixie: “Well, I think it’s bad because you have to bring your own lunch to work every day. I thought you’d turn out to be something else.”

Me: “Hmm, that’s interesting, especially since I’ve been a doctor for over 13 years and you are only five. What did you think I should be?”

Trixie: “I’m not telling you to change your job or anything [Editorial note: this is a direct quote!], but I don’t want to be a doctor. I’m going to be a ballet teacher.”

Me: “That’s cool. It’s important to do what you want.”

Trixie (musing): “I wonder if there’s an opening for an acrobat….”


[End scene].

Marathon Recap

On Sunday, 8847 other runners and I finished the 2014 Medtronic Twin Cities marathon.



This was the fourth time I’ve done the course and my eighth marathon overall.

How did it go?

Overall, I’d say pretty good. I wasn’t thrilled with my time (4:34) and wished I’d been about 10 minutes faster.

But… I’m not beating myself up about it because I had a great day and a fun time along the way.

Leading up to the race, I was curiously numb about the experience. I didn’t tell many people about it until the final week or so. I think part of that was to give myself an out in case I decided that I wasn’t going to run after all.

Like always, I had so many doubts about my performance.

Did I train enough?

Did I taper too much? Too little?

Am I getting too old for this?

Why am I doing this in the first place?

(Spouse’s comment to that last rhetorical question: “But don’t you do this because you love to run?” Answer: Yes).

The 30 degree temps and high winds the day prior also sent my confidence reeling.

On Saturday, I had to check out the official marathon site for some information about bib number pick-up and came across some great advice for the week leading up to the marathon. 

I can’t find the link now, but there were also some coaches who posted advice and one piece in particular really hit a chord with me.

I’m paraphrasing here, but the gist of the message was this:

At the starting line, in the midst of all the chaos leading up to the gun firing, take a moment to be grateful.

Grateful that this race exists.

Grateful that you are here.

Grateful that you are able to run.

Grateful that you can share this moment with other like-minded people.

And that’s what I did.

I’ve posted in the past about feeling gratitude toward being able to run as well as the influence that my father had on my running.

On Sunday I channeled all of those emotions and it turned into a great race. Mentally, I’ve never felt better during a marathon.

I always think about my Dad when I run, even though he died more than a decade ago. Even though I am not a particularly spiritual person, I really felt a connection to him on Sunday. I could hear his voice in my head and would ask him to give me a push up the next hill, and I’ve never tackled hills better than this.

I also shamelessly got about 200 high-fives along the course from anyone who would dole one out. I love high-fives!

The last thing that really got me going was a surge of crowd support near the end.

In this particular race, there is a turn between miles 21 and 22 where you enter the appropriately-titled Summit Avenue, which takes you up a gradual 2-3 mile incline until the final turn to the finish line at the Minnesota State Capitol.

Since I’ve done the course before, I knew that turning onto Summit meant I was going to make it. 

When I rounded the corner, I felt like sobbing with gratitude but instead I grinned from ear to ear and pumped my arms overhead in victory. The crowd went nuts! There were at least a few hundred spectators at that turn and they all started to cheer.

It was the single most awesome moment I’ve ever had while running. That surge kept me cruising to the end.



P.S. Here’s another recap of the race.