Saturday, September 27, 2008

Papa turns 60

He may have been irritated about having to wear the "Hello my name is Stud...and I'm 60" shirt, but he sure did have a great time.

I was in MN last weekend for my dad's 60th's birthday party. His actual birthday, however, was September 14. "You know, this is the year of the trifecta" he explained one day over the phone -my dad turning 60, me turning 30 and his grandson (my nephew) also turning 3, all within weeks of each other. Very important.

After the party when all of the food was cleaned up and the tallies counted, turns out there were nearly 70 people who turned out for the big day. Not surprising. My dad is the first person to help out or give someone a hand when they need it. I don't think anyone wanted to miss a chance at wishing him well on such an important day.

In classic Franzen form there was a bonfire, beer and way too much food. But no one complains.

Usually, great toys for the kiddies. This includes giant tractor-like toys.

I had a great time and actually felt like I was able to have some real conversations with family and friends. People brought pictures and told stories of my dad over the years. I only hope my dad was able to stand back and feel a sense of happy accomplishment for a life well-done. Cheers papa. Love you.

My Mom and Dad and my dad's sibs + significant others.

A blog shout-out to Ann, Bryan and Tim for making it out to the farm also. Smooch.

Thursday, September 25, 2008


A few weeks back Tyson and had no idea what we had signed ourselves up for. We entered into a table tennis tourney thinking it was likely there'd be some great players, but also average players like us. Nope. Number 5 in the state was there. Number 10 in the state was there. And overall I think Tyson and I each won one game (note: not a match, a game) over the course of the four-hour event. You see, in the "real world", I would consider us to be pretty good table tennis players. We both play a lot and really enjoy it. But there, under the fluorescent gym lights, the sound of balls hitting tables all around us, we were the bottom of the barrel. We had a blast though and met some really good players.

We'll be back for less intense $2 Tuesdays where people just play and prize money isn't at stake.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Black Diamond Sprint triathlon.

.5 mile Swim. 12 mile Bike. 2.8 mile Run.

We hit the highway early on Sunday. 6am. The car was packed and the bikes were on top. I was nervous!

Oh the lake. All pretty and calm. Just looking at it made my stomach flop.

Buckey and Tyson, pre-race stretching:

I love that they mark your age on your calf. That way, when a 65 year-old woman is in front of you the entire time during the race, you feel good about yourself. Or something. At least for three more weeks I'm still in the same division as Tyson.

I was most nervous for the swim. Tyson's group started five minutes before mine and I watched him in the water as they counted down from ten; I became even more nervous. The first five minutes I couldn't get a rhythm and I think in general I was having some anxiety in the water. But once I rounded the first turn I think subconsciously I felt a sense of accomplishment and relaxed enough to get a stride going. In the end the swim was my favorite leg of the race.

During the bike I found that 65 year-old woman to follow - yes, I said follow - who challenged me. I would pass her, then she would pass me and all the while she pushed my limits. And as I left the transition area into the run I saw her in front of me. For :30. And she was gone. I checked her time last night and she beat me by two minutes overall. That's so incredible!

My race results:

Franzen, Andrea 29 F
1:28:27 finish time
0:18:54 swim time
4:49 swim to bike transition time (holy cow!, probably can cut that a bit)
0:38:52 bike time
1:42 bike to run transition time
0:24:09 run time

Tyson beat me by nine minutes. I was able to run with him for a little bit though and we both had a blast. It was great to do it with friends too. At one point during the swim I heard Buckley talking to a guy in the wave before us as she passed by him saying, "This sucks, doesn't it?" Hilarious. I definitely want to do another one. Olympic distance.

Buckley's mom brought sandwiches and cookies for all of us afterward. Thanks, Joanne.

Saturday, September 13, 2008


Isn't it strange how you can hear a song and literally teleport yourself back in time to an exact moment in your memory. Sometimes more than just a moment, ...literally right there, back to a tiny millisecond of a feeling of a moment. Your nervousness. Your sadness. Your excitement. Your impatience. Your stomach dropping. Your fear. Your doubt.

See, I have a little Counting Crows weakness. Pete W. is about the only person in my life who I feel as understood by based on an obsession with lyrics, musical inspiration, and sometimes, what can only seem to be a submission to a song and a moment with that song that can define our lives. I had one of those moments tonight.

I realize that the Counting Crows aren't current. They probably aren't cool or cutting edge or even inspiring to most. But, for some reason the Counting Crows have seemed to help define and/or be a soundtrack to just about every single important moment in my life. I haven't even listened to them in years! And I put that CD in tonight as I returned home from a few beers with friends and instantly reflected upon 20, maybe 30 past moments I've relied on them to provide insight, comfort, or just a tune to sing along to.

I remember road-tripping across the country to Woodstock 1999 JUST to see Counting Crows, but experiencing so much more along the way. Driving back from SJU in my red Jeep listening to High Life and wondering why I continued to try in a relationship where I loved someone who wasn't giving me what I needed. Mrs. Potter's Lullaby. Have You Seen Me Lately (Live: Across The Wire version only). Chelsea. Holiday in Spain.

My best friends in Seattle are getting a divorce. I can't belive it, and I'm incredibly, unbelievably sad. I took out my engagement ring recently and placed it on the ole "ring finger". I was transformed. Right back to that moment. To the days following where it was difficult to focus at work because I would happen to catch a glimpse of my ring as I typed away at my desk and suddenly all focus was lost as I fell into deep excitement. I was engaged.

I guess things change and people change. And I've tried really hard to understand what is happening with my friends. With the world. With myself. Ultimately I can't really understand considering each and every person and relationship is different.

And now, I'm just excited to have a fantastic person in my life who I feel so lucky to hug and share my days with. And I turned up Counting Crows really loud in the car to celebrate that tonight. Another moment defined. Wherever I go I'll probably remember these feelings in ten years when I listen to that very song.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Mt. Si and Fall camping.

Last weekend...
Currently tired, so just a few words.

Creatures along the way.

Our climb up the final "haystack".

Tyson's sister, Tracy, and her husband, Scott.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Lauren visits from Aspen.

A few weekends ago Tyson's friend, Lauren, visited here from Aspen. She had never been to Seattle, but expressed a long-time love and curiousity even as a high school student when she purchased a bag from Eddie Bauer with a picture of Seattle on it. Lucky for Tyson and I, she had more Seattle hook-ups than us!

Her cousin, Adam, lives here also. Adam has both an aunt and uncle with a houseboat on Lake Union as well as a great friend who owns a sailboat docked in Lake Union. Tourist info: Lake Union is where the Sleepless in Seattle houseboat is located also. We were able to spend all day Saturday sailing the lake, tipping back some brews and even learned a few things about the sport. That evening we headed back to the houseboat and continued to eat, drink and be merry until we all jumped off the roof and into the lake. As Labor day loomed, it seemed the perfect way to release Summer to Fall.
I'm so glad Lauren was finally able to visit and fullfill her high school dreams. It was great to get to know someone who I know Tyson considers a great friend also. Now I can't wait to visit Aspen, AND Lauren this year, for another snowboarding trip! President's weekend, here we come

Monday, September 8, 2008

new hair and new sweatpants.

I've been trying to tell Tyson for a year that frankly, sweatpants on guys are just plain snuggly. Last Sunday I found the perfect pair. Yep, snuggly.
Tyson chopped his long locks on Sunday as well. I present the new Tyson in new sweatpants.
(I made him pose)

lots of posts to come!

My camera is back. Or rather, the old one is scrapped, and I have a new one. Thanks to purchasing the $79 service plan, I have the next generation Canon SD1100. Whoot!

5 posts. Coming. Promise.