Wednesday, December 15, 2004

When a friend of mine recently became ill with cancer and required surgery and extensive rest, a bunch of us from work got together and took up a collection. We used the money to pay for things like a housekeeper and a window washer, etc. We also bought her a month's worth of dinners from Supper Solutions. They have a list of entrees available, and you choose either 6 (for about $90) or 12 (for about $175). Then you go to their store, and all of the ingredients are there for you, along with a step-by-step list of instructions for preparing each entree. They go into zippered freezer bags, and get labels with the cooking instructions (all are for the oven or stove-top). Then you take them home, stick them in the freezer, and use them as you need them. Since each entree serves a family of four, it works out to be about $2.50/person for each meal. Plus, they'll let you divide up the entree into a few packages (for those of us only feeding two people at a time) at no extra charge.

My friend Tara and I are going over tonight after work to put together some entrees for our families - my mother and I are splitting 6 of them to try it out. So basically, for $45, I'm getting dinner for A and I for about a week. The choices look pretty good - orange chicken, a pork loin with orange marmalade, and stuffed pork chops. Yummm.

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

tuesday is chooseday
    Would you rather be:
  1. A garbage collector OR a fry cook at a greasy spoon restaurant?

    fry cook - i would like to shout "order up" all day long

  2. The person who repairs downed power lines OR the person who cleans the shark tanks (while they're still in it) at aquariums?

    clean the shark tanks - i've met those power guys, that's not a fun job

  3. The person who does makeup on dead people for open casket services OR the person who who has to scoop the ashes of a dead person into an urn?

    makeup on a dead person. i think you just get used to it.

  4. A beat cop in new york OR a navy SEAL on a covert mission?

    beat cop. it's not all bad out there.

Monday, December 13, 2004

What's the worst possible thing that can happen to your diet? A "Cookie Exchange" at work. Good lord, I didn't even know there were that many varieties of cookies. While the meringues with chocolate chips kind of freaked me out (they were pink and green), there was peanut butter & chocolate fudge....and that was it for me. Goodbye good habits, hello one-size-up-in-my-jeans.

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

I know that the holidays are a busy time for most everyone, but I really don't remember my own time being quite so jam-packed in recent years. I was supposed to go to Canada this weekend to see Vic, but I just can't do it - I'm exhausted, and the thought of heading to the airport and going up there, even to visit my dearest friend, just wears me out. So I called Vic and we talked and decided that now was not a great time for either of us, and we'll do it after the new year, when we've both had a chance to rest up from the holidays.

My project at work launched on Monday, to virtually zero problems. I can hardly believe it. While I did put in an enormous effort, I really think that's not the reason it went so smoothly - I truly think I just got lucky, because I sure didn't feel particularly well organized or prepared last week. Anyway, the site looks great, hundreds of customers hit it on Monday with no difficulty, so for all of that, I'm thankful.

Wednesday, December 01, 2004

Today is World AIDS Day. Each year on December 1, nations around the world participate in awareness campaigns and activism in support of AIDS research and education.

As some of you know, this hits particulary close to home for me - it's been 12 years since I lost my dear dad to AIDS. I want to tell each of you that this disease is every bit as painful and hideous as the worst stories that you've heard but didn't want to believe. My dad died at 45, and he looked 90. He was blind and suffered from hallucinations that made him claw at his own skin. He had to be tied to his bed in the end to keep him from hurting himself.

I think that activism in any form says that we're glad to be here, and we're willing to fight for the things that matter to us personally. I wish that I had 10 times as much time and energy as I currently possess, because there are so many causes that are near and dear to my heart, and it makes me feel fulfilled as a person to give my time (and sometimes my money) to help validate the work being done to fight this disease, or support that cause.

It's been a long time since I gave any money for AIDS research, perhaps because it always felt like such a drop in the ocean in terms of what was actually needed. For me, it's about setting the little examples whenever I can - volunteer work, campaigning, fundraising, and just being willing to talk to people about why I do what I do. That's the difference that I can make. It's one of my greatest sources of pride in myself.

UNAIDS: The Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS

World AIDS Day website

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

tuesday is chooseday

    Would you rather:
  1. have every driver but you be a "student driver" OR have every driver but you be over 75 years old?

    oooh, tough one - i'll take students - they're slow, too, but at least they're predictable

  2. be dating someone who insists that every electric device in both of your homes be controlled by those "clap on, clap off" devices OR that every piece of furniture have plastic covers?

    i'd rather be not dating them

  3. have regular encounters with aliens and not have any proof OR have your best friend be invisible?

    i kind of like the idea of an invisible best friend

  4. stick your hand into a sealed box of rattlesnakes OR stick your hand into a box filled with unknown contents that are making a mechanical buzzing sound?

    given my tremendous fear of snakes, i'll take the scary mechanical box

Best laugh I've had in a while - The Lion Sleeps Tonight

Via Beancounter

Monday, November 22, 2004

Glorious peace and quiet in the office today. Of the 25 people in my department, there are about 9 of us here this week. I was going to take the three days off, but then I figured, why burn up the vacation days when I can come to work and leave when I like and get tons of stuff done? I'm sitting here, getting caught up on paperwork from my vacation, listening to "Morning Becomes Eclectic" on KCRW, via the Internet. I also learned this week that I can listen to the iTunes folder of anyone at work, if they're logged onto the network. Unfortunately, some of the music that my coworkers listen to is not exactly my taste - none of them have Crystal Method or Outkast or Beyonce or Lyle Lovett or U2 or any of the stuff I like to listen to during the day...

Friday, November 19, 2004

There's a project at work that I'm on, which is the specification and implementation of a new document management system - online, password-protected, etc. We've had one piece of software that my company has used for years, but it's clunky and not user-friendly, plus the 150+ seat licenses have become incredibly expensive. We're replacing it with an open-source (read: no documentation, do-it-all-yourself) solution, so I've been asked to help administer the new site, and learn the software and programming language behind it. Yikes. It's proving to be a brand-new, full-time job, for which I receive exactly $0. I'm trying to angle for a new job next year where I do this exclusively, but my company is of the mind that you have to actually do the two jobs for a year before they let you have just the better one. There's not even any guarantee that they'll let me move to the new role, because it would be considered a promotion, and you have to be on the "promotion track" with all of the appropriate approvals, etc. already in place. Totally screwy. Ah well, who cares. It's Friday, and next week I'll be pretty much the only person in my department who actually comes in to the office - plenty of time to myself to work on new projects and test new toys.

Thursday, November 18, 2004

Birthday cube
It's hard to be back at work!! All I want to do is go home, sit with my dog, and knit. Luckily, there's just today and tomorrow until the weekend, and then next week will only be a couple of days. I walked into this office today to find my cube covered with birthday streamers, balloons, confetti - my friend Tara has been a busy girl! I haven't stopped laughing all day.

While I didn't get to do everything that I had planned for Chicago (missed the Sears tower, Trader Joe's and the knitting store), I did take a trip with A to a little jeweler in the Water Tower...and picked out an engagement ring! Oh my gosh, I can hardly believe it. We're talking about a date next summer, when my niece and nephew will be visiting, and it'll be a little easier to try and corral both sets of family.

As soon as I can get my camera to focus on my hand, I'll post a picture.

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Greetings from Chi-town. It's my birthday, and we're celebrating with dinner at a tapas bar downtown. The trip has been great. I went to the Art Institute and shopped at Filene's Basement and H&M (the best store in the whole world, by the way). I've just returned from the hotel gym, and am getting cleaned up and headed back downtown again - have to pick up my birthday present by 6pm. More on that later.

Thursday, November 11, 2004

Apologies to the world, from those who didn't vote for Shrub:

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

And now, for a bit of outrage....

I am sickened that I live in a country where ELEVEN states voted for constitutional amendments banning gay marriage. I am angry that there are millions of people in my own country who think it is their right, much less their business, to tell anyone whom they can love. I am ashamed that more than 20 years after we first began to worry about AIDS, it's still a taboo subject, money for research is still scarce, and people of all races and both sexes continue to die.

I am the daughter of a gay man. My dad was a really good guy. He had a smile that made me feel like I was the center of his world. He was easy going, liked his scotch and listening to opera, and watching college football. He loved animals. He was kind to everyone. He lived happily with another man for the last 12 years of his life. I had the privilege of being part of their lives, and witnessing how much they cared for each other, how much kindness they showed each other. We should all be so lucky.

My dad has been gone for 12 years. My heart aches as I write those words. Twelve years, and not much closer to recognizing the good, loving family that he had made for himself.

My sister and my brother and I are all straight. My brother is engaged, my sister was married, and I am in a long-term, committed relationship with a man who fears marriage, otherwise we would have already done it. We all have principles and morals and values that we got from both of our parents, and from the other people that they brought to our lives. We didn't turn out warped. We weren't tainted by our exposure to a home inhabited by two gay men.

So I guess my question is, to those who would vote for such a hideous intrusion into another person's private life, what are you so afraid of? Are your own values and principles so shaky? Do you honestly think that you are making the world a better place? Are you really instilling in your children the values that you think will earn you the e-ticket to Heaven?
"Ding dong, the witch is dead..." (well, one of them at least)

Ashcroft Quits Top Justice Post...

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

tuesday is chooseday

    Would you rather:
  1. join a band of rebel fighters in some south american country for three months OR a tibetan monastery for a year?
    quiet, peaceful Buddhist leanings

  2. wake up and find your name tattooed on your bicep OR find all your body hair shaved?
    yikes. shaved i think, at least it'll grow back

  3. find a time machine that only goes back to ancient egypt OR only goes back to 1920?
    take me to the Roaring Twenties

  4. have the ability to smell as well as a dog does OR see as good as an eagle does?
    i think there are some things i don't want to smell any better than i already can. definitely the sight

Sunday, November 07, 2004

I have lots of dogs again this weekend - Thor and Daisy are wrestling on the floor next to me, a normal early-morning ritual, according to my mother. They've been really good, not too clingy. Daisy still has to bring me every toy that she finds, and keeps swatting my legs with her enormous paw to get my attention. She's such a happy dog, so easy to look after. Thor is a little bit more work, he's pretty depressed when my mom leaves (especially after losing his master this year). Thor follows me everywhere. He would come into the shower with me, if I let him. Ruby doesn't quite know what to make of it all, but she gets insanely jealous if the other dogs are close to me - she'll race over, hurtle herself into my lap, and start growling at the others.

This is what happens when two fat dogs come to stay with my little sprinter of a Ruby...they get worn out.


I'm babysitting Kasey this afternoon while Tara goes to get a massage (lucky girl). We'll see how Kasey likes football and three crazy dogs.

Saturday, November 06, 2004

A and I needed a nice meal out tonight, so we went to DaGabi Cucina in north Boulder - a little hole-in-the-wall place that is Boulder's best kept secret. We got there at 6:40, were seated immediately, and had a lovely meal. Unfortunately, I ordered the salad special, which was supposed to be spinach, strawberries, slivered almonds and gorgonzola. What I got was a huge plate of spinach, one strawberry (thinly sliced), one small pinch of almond slivers, and two pieces of gorgonzola. Grrr. Should have ordered the penne with grilled chicken and spinach. However, my squash soup was divine, and I had a nice glass of wine. For the two of us to have a nice, quiet meal in a nice restaurant and still be within Boulder city limits, you can't beat a $34 dollar tab.

Then we came home and found dogs where dogs are not meant to be...

What kids do when Mom's away

Oooohhh, their mom will be mad when she sees this...
The dogs woke me at 6am, needing to pee. The light in my bedroom was red - at first I thought there must be a fire close by, but then I saw the sky...


Friday, November 05, 2004

Three days post-election, my heart is healing and I feel like there is still reason to have hope that things can improve. I've read several great letters, stories, commentaries in the past two days, and I'll post them slowly. This one is from, by my hero, Anne Lamott, in response to the question "What Do We Do Now?":

I don't have a clue what we're going to do, outside of what we always do when we are crushed -- when, say, a close friend dies suddenly, which is sort of how this leaves me feeling. We'll feel like shit for a while, together. We'll let some time pass, together. We'll take care of each other.

Read more

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

I'm so heartbroken, and so angry today. The following article made me feel a little bit better -

Wallow In Chaos, And Laugh
A pro-Bush outcome and one enormous bitter pill and you without your vodka

By Mark Morford, SF Gate Columnist

Oh dear God please not again.

Oh dear God please don't let it be all convoluted and depressing and messy and stupid and please don't let it all embarrass us on an international level all over again even more than it already has and even more than it already is and even more than we've endured lo these past four debilitating and soul-crushing years. Hello? Please? Is it already too late?

Why yes, yes it is.

Read more

Via a comment on Squoogy.

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

tuesday is chooseday

    Would you rather:
  1. find out you had your fly unzipped all day OR sat in wet paint which left a mark on your butt?
    wet paint on my butt, because it's happened before

  2. assuming you could get all the nutrients you need, eat nothing but canned cat food OR nothing but spam?
    ewwww. i guess SPAM wins

  3. sweat green liquid OR pee blue?
    i'd be slightly less afraid of blue pee

  4. walk in on a couple engaging in sexual relations in a public bathroom OR walk in on your doctor masturbating?
    strangers having sex!

Friday, October 29, 2004

On my way to plastered...taken at the office holiday party last year.

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

tuesday is chooseday

    Would you rather:
  1. get a wedgie OR get a swirlie?
  2. oh, I think the wedgie wins that contest

  3. have to kiss ryan seacrest OR simon cowell?
  4. I have to choose Ryan, because I wouldn't be able to resist the urge to slap Simon

  5. have an ingrown toenail OR a carbuncle?
  6. umm, definitely the toenail

  7. vote for john kerry OR george w bush?
  8. Up with Kerry, down with Shrub

Via Amber.
I'm once again in the position of more homework than I can complete in the amount of time available. Last week I made it, by the skin of my teeth. I still don't know how well I did, but dammit, at least I turned it in on time.

I'm looking forward to having some down time for the next couple of weeks - light training schedule with the squad, no house guests, no races or other travel. Would like to do some knitting, some reading, go to the movies with Joni, go up to the mountains and see what's left of the fall foliage. It's getting cold now, frost on the car the last two mornings.

As some of you know, I recently began a love affair with my new camera, a Nikon D70. I have been taking a ton of photos lately, and will eventually create an area of this site to post them. Prepare yourselves for lots of pictures of a small red dog with one eye.

Sunday, October 24, 2004

It has been a Feast of Food all weekend. I can't remember when I ate so well. Lunch at the Med on Saturday was divine, as usual. Dinner at my mother's tonight was even better. My mothers Sunday dinner menu this week was:

    - Grilled pork loin, marinated in soy sauce and honey
    - Sweet potato biscuits (made w/ yams)
    - Hoisin salad (cabbage, red bell peppers, bean spouts, mushrooms, caraway seeds)
    - Homemade applesauce (with apples from the tree in the yard)
    - Apple and cranberry cobbler w/ whipped cream

Oh my.

Saturday, October 23, 2004

A and his father have had a really nice visit, hanging out around Boulder and taking a road trip up to Coeur d'Alene to look at properties. We headed for the airport this afternoon after a lovely lunch at The Med. Unfortunately, we took a new route, missed the airport exit, and missed the cutoff for checking luggage on American (who knew they stopped taking luggage an hour before the flight?). Anyway, A's dad missed the flight, so we were all able to spend another night together. We vegged out in front of the TV and watched the World Series. We'll be heading to the airport before dawn tomorrow to make sure he makes this flight.

Friday, October 22, 2004

How 'bout those SOX?

More later.

Thursday, October 21, 2004

I saw this meme today, and while I like it, it's awfully long - the idea is, there is a list of 200 things (complete list here), and you're supposed to highlight the things that you've done. Since that would take up the entire page, I've just cut out the ones I've done.

Via Snowball.

3. Climbed a mountain
7. Taken a candlelit bath with someone
8. Said 'I love you' and meant it
9. Hugged a tree
10. Done a striptease
12. Visited Paris
14. Stayed up all night long, and watch the sun rise
16. Gone to a huge sports game
20. Slept under the stars
21. Changed a baby's diaper
22. Taken a trip in a hot air balloon
24. Gotten drunk on champagne
25. Given more than you can afford to charity
27. Had an uncontrollable giggling fit at the worst possible moment
28. Had a food fight
30. Taken a sick day when you're not ill (Snowball calls them "mental health days" - I agree)
31. Asked out a stranger
32. Had a snowball fight
34. Screamed as loudly as you possibly can
38. Taken an ice cold bath
39. Had a meaningful conversation with a beggar
41. Ridden a roller coaster
47. Actually felt happy about your life, even for just a moment
50. Loved your job for all accounts
51. Taken care of someone who was shit-faced
52. Had enough money to be truly satisfied
53. Had amazing friends
58. Taken a road trip
59. Gone rock climbing
61. Midnight walk on the beach
64. Been heartbroken longer then you were actually in love
68. Milked a cow
69. Alphabetized your records
70. Pretended to be a superhero
71. Sung karaoke
72. Lounged around in bed all day
74. Gone scuba diving
77. Played in the mud
78. Played in the rain
79. Gone to a drive-in theater
80. Done something you should regret, but don't regret it
82. Discovered that someone who's not supposed to have known about your blog has discovered your blog
83. Dropped Windows in favor of something better
84. Started a business
85. Fallen in love and not had your heart broken
86. Toured ancient sites
87. Taken a martial arts class
92. Crashed a party
93. Loved someone you shouldn't have
94. Kissed someone so passionately it made them dizzy
96. Had sex at the office
98. Made cookies from scratch
102. Found that the texture of some materials can turn you on
106. Masturbated in a public place
107. Got so drunk you don't remember anything
110. Been to Las Vegas
113. Had a one-night stand
116. Bought a house
118. Buried one/both of your parents
119. Shaved or waxed your pubic hair off
123. Bounced a cheque
125. Read—and understood—your credit report -
131. Found out something significant that your ancestors did
132. Called or written your Congressman/Member of Parliament
133. Picked up and moved to another city to just start over
134. —More than once? —More than thrice?
136. Sang loudly in the car, and didn't stop when you knew someone was looking
145. Broken someone's heart
147. Been fired or laid off from a job
149. Broken a bone
152. Ridden a motorcycle
153. Driven any land vehicle at a speed of greater than 100mph
155. Fired a rifle, shotgun, or pistol
157. Ridden a horse
158. Had major surgery
170. Eaten sushi
171. Had your picture in the newspaper
172. Had 2 (or more) healthy romantic relationships for over a year in your lifetime
173. Changed someone's mind about something you care deeply about
175. Gone back to school
179. Eaten fried green tomatoes
180. Read The Iliad
181. Selected one "important" author who you missed in school, and read
196. Dyed your hair - hello? doesn't everyone?

Monday, October 18, 2004

And if there's one famously disenfranchised and alienated and apathetic voting bloc that needs to get off its collective yoga butt and stand up and make itself known this election lest it lose an even larger chunk of its basic human rights than it even realizes, it's youngish women.

From, via my sis.
It was a good, calm weekend for the most part. I staffed at the rescue squad on Saturday night, and spend Sunday finishing up some projects around the house. Joni came over at 11:30, and our plan was to go to Tuesday Morning, and then a movie. We allowed ourselves an hour to browse at TM before needing to head back to Boulder for the movie. Well, that didn't work...we spent 3 hours shopping. After that, we needed sustenance, so we headed to Southern Sun Brew Pub for snacks and drinks.

Later on Sunday, my brother headed up to Boulder to join my mother and me for dinner. He had promised to do some reorg on my mom's home theater setup, plus we hadn't seen him in a while. My mother was heading home from the airport, so Turtle and I hit Munson Farms for some produce - I got winter and butternut squash, green beans, pumpkins and peaches & cream corn. Yum. I can taste the squash soup already.

Saturday, October 16, 2004

A and his father left this morning on their road trip to Coeur d'Alene, ID. A's father wants to buy a second home there, now that he's retired, so they've gone to look at property, with assorted fishing stops along the way. It's a bit too long in the car for my taste (about a 17 hour drive from Boulder), but I am a little jealous at missing the fishing in Montana - something I will definitely be trying one day.

The dogs and I have a full day ahead. Following my renovation of the bedroom/bathroom last weekend, I now have tons of returns to do at Home Depot. Other assorted errands around town (hardware store for African violet pots, pet supply store for enzyme cleaner, etc.) will keep me busy for most of the day, but I'm hoping for a while to sit on the couch, knit and watch college football.

Thursday, October 14, 2004

A's father is visiting us this week, and they're both thrilled with the chance to spend time together. My mother is in LA working, so we've got both of her dogs, plus Ruby roaming around the house. Isn't strange how three dogs isn't the same as one dog times three, it's more like one dog times ten? They all get along really well, and they're very well-behaved, but I feel like the center of the universe when they're all here. I stand up, they stand up. I go to the bathroom, they all want to come to the bathroom. I sit on the couch, they all want to be on the couch, in my lap, all together. Not such a big deal if you have Pomeranians or some other type of small, puntable dog. A bit of a problem when the smallest of them is 55lbs, and the largest is pushing 90lbs.

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

What kind of girl am I?

Via Len.

Tuesday, October 12, 2004

I tried to keep busy all weekend so that I wouldn't think about Maggie and having to bury her in the yard. That was one of the harder things I've ever had to do. My girl just didn't have it in her anymore - the diabetes was wrecking her body and the vet assured me that she wasn't likely to ever improve. So I did what I think I had to do. I cried and I kissed her head and I told her I was sorry, and then I wrapped her in a shawl and buried her. I confess that I rubbed her toes after she was gone, something that she would have never let me do while she was alive.

The rest of the weekend involved renovating both the master bedroom and the guest bath - new paint, new light fixtures, new curtains, new shelves and hardware in the bathroom , new sink and shower fixtures, the works. It really does look amazing. My mother helped with the whole thing (thank the Lord), otherwise not only would it not be finished, but I probably wouldn't have even started the job.

Friday, October 08, 2004

I've been quiet on the blog this week because I'm dealing with a lot at home - mainly that I have to put my cat to sleep. My poor girl isn't getting any better since being diagnosed with diabetes a few months ago, and her symptoms keep getting worse. I can't watch her deteriorate like that, so the vet is coming over today and will give her a shot at home. More later.

Tuesday, October 05, 2004

I wish there were another day in the week (a weekend day, of course). I have so much to do that I find myself prioritizing absolutely everything - when it becomes a tradeoff between eating lunch and studying, you know you've got too much on your plate. The early part of the week is the hardest, because I have rescue squad on Monday evenings and homework due each Tuesday night.

I'm getting up in the wee hours of the morning so that I can work out before heading to the office. Knowing myself as well as I do, I can safely assume that I won't be properly motivated to work out in the evenings after dragging myself home after a long day. I am really enjoying my early morning time with the Bowflex, and I like being wide awake when I get to work. It's tough to get up at 5:30am when you don't get home the night before until 10pm, but I'm doing it, and I'll keep doing it. They say it takes 21 days of repetitive behavior to create a habit, so that's my goal - make it through 21 days, and hopefully I'll have developed my workout pattern.

Saturday, October 02, 2004

The scavenger hunt on Friday was a blast. It was rainy and cold, and we were wandering around downtown Denver, gathering items from the Denver Mint, the Museum of Contemporary Art, the State Capitol, etc. We had about 25 people show up, and it was just the right amount of time - we had two and a half hours to get everything done before meeting up for lunch at the Hard Rock Cafe downtown. Lunch ended up getting pretty rowdy, I kept expecting the staff to come and ask us to leave.

We're headed up to the mountains today to spend the evening with Dean & Kim, and then the four of us will go to the races tomorrow. This will be the first time (I think) that A has just been a spectator. It's the last race of the season, and the last race forever at this particular track, as it's being closed down due to complaints from neighboring subdivisions about the noise (bastards!).

Thursday, September 30, 2004

Tomorrow is our department off-site activity - we do 3 or so of these a year, and I usually have to plan everything and get to have zero fun. This year, I got the college-aged daughter of one of the guys in my department to organize the whole thing - I basically had to do nothing more than send directions. Even better, I don't know exactly what we're doing, so it will be fun for me, for once. What I do know is that it's a scavenger hunt on the 16th Street Mall in downtown Denver. I've never done a real scavenger hunt, and it seems like my young friend did quite a lot of work. It should be fun - except for the part where the high temperature tomorrow is supposed to be around 45 degrees.

Tuesday, September 28, 2004

Training last night was all medical - mostly patient packaging (how we get them out of the nasty place they've ended up). I was happily surprised at how much I remembered from my EMT training last year - and then dismayed when I realized that I have to recertify next year. Doing practicals all over again?? Uggh. Hopefully my exposure via the squad between now and then will be enough to make me comfortable with my skills.

A is doing much better. He went back to work yesterday (even driving his car, shifting with his left hand). We had offers from friends to let us borrow a non-stickshift car for him to drive, but I think he feels better just trying to get past this. Any indication that he might not be completely and utterly self-sufficient would of course be out of the question. Boys....

Monday, September 27, 2004


It's Banned Books Week (the last week of September each year). How many of these banned (or "challenged") books have you read?

Here's the list of banned/challenged books in 2004, according to the American Library Association:

    - To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee
    - King & King & Family, by Linda de Haan and Stern Nijland
    - Brave New World, by Aldous Huxley
    - I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, by Maya Angelou
    - The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, by Mark Twain
    - Places I Never Meant To Be: Original Stories by Censored Writers, edited by Judy Blume
    - Fahrenheit 451, by Ray Bradbury
    - Fools Crow, by James Welch
    - Kaffir Boy: The True Story of a Black Youth's Coming of Age in Apartheid South Africa, by Mark Mathabane
    - Stones from the River, by Ursula Hegi

I've read half of these, including two which were required reading in grade school. To Kill A Mockingbird is my favorite book of all time, and I think one of the finest ever written.

To voice your opposition to censorship, read a censored book this week.

Thursday, September 23, 2004

I hate the days at work where you wait just a little too long to make lunch plans, and by the time you're hungry, all of your friends have either already left, or they've already forced themselves to eat the nasty frozen thing that they brought from home. Such is my luck today, so I'm sitting here, eating apple cinnamon Soy Crisps, because that's all I had in my desk. Screw it, I'm heading out to Siamese Plate - there's one next door to a Grease Monkey by my office, so I can get the oil changed while I'm at it!

Monday, September 20, 2004

A's little accident on Friday kind of eclipsed my joyfulness at my purchase - I bought a new camera - finally! And not just any camera, mind you. I bought the Nikon D70. It's the most wonderful camera I've ever used. Within minutes of getting it out of the box (and the battery charged), I had taken a dozen pictures. Of course, I've still got a very thick manual to read, and I have to remember to make copies of the receipt and get it into inventory (for our homeowners insurance), but I'm well on my way to a love affair with this camera. I want to sign up for a photography course (oh, I hope they offer those at night) and take that thing with me everywhere. The photographer at the track saw it, and he drooled, just a little bit.

Saturday, September 18, 2004

Friday took a turn for the worse in the afternoon. A had an accident at practice, and I got the call that I dread - he was at the hospital, getting x-rays, 2 hours away. I hopped in the car and headed for Pueblo, working my cell phone furiously - calls to my mother to ask her to pick up Ruby, calls to Mike & Joni to ask them to give Maggie the Diabetic Cat a shot, calls to my brother to beg him to come down to Pueblo with me so that he could drive my car home while I drove A's truck & trailer back. Actually, it all came together - my brother and Kimberly came down to the track in their car, and then my brother drove my car back to Boulder, while A and I took the truck.

Turns out that despite catapulting off the bike and cushioning his fall with his head, A is in pretty good shape. His right collarbone is broken, but other than that, he's fine. His helmet did its job (God bless Shoei) and probably saved his life. It certainly saved his face - I took a look at the helmet, and there are deep scratches/grooves along the visor and the part of his helmet that covers the forehead and ear. He's in quite a bit of pain from the shoulder, and far too stubborn to properly medicate himself, but he's in good spirits. He was so stressed and overworked last week, so it's ironic that now he CAN'T work right now. He agreed with me that maybe this was a sign to slow down for a while.

Friday, September 17, 2004

I'm experiencing Buyers Remorse. I bought something very expensive today. It's not yet in my hands, so of course I'm rethinking the whole thing...I'm going to have to go pick it up before I change my mind....(hint - it's not a Mac).
I've been a slacker this week about posting. It has been the busiest week at work that I can ever remember, plus I've had stuff going on each night. The good news is that I managed to attend a rally, go to school, get my hair done and go to the rescue squad, in addition to a full work week that included a 7-hour budget meeting yesterday.

Training for tomorrow has been canceled, so I'm going to sleep in (yeah, sure) and then head down to Pueblo tomorrow. I get to spend the night in the brand-spanking-new TrackAddix trailer tomorrow night. If it's too hot outside, I plan to sit in the new condo-on-wheels and enjoy the A/C.

Monday, September 13, 2004

Good news twice over. Not only did my Packers prevail tonight, but I was voted in as a candidate member of the rescue squad! I'm not exactly sure what happens now (other than continuing to attend training and meetings) - at some point there will be another vote, which will transition me from candidate to active member. For the most part though, I've effectively been made a member.

Work was as unpleasant as ever today. Morale is so low in my group - one coworker is considering whether to take another job, and that person's supervisor ratted them out to HR and my boss (the department head). What a sh*tty thing to do. This after my coworker told their supervisor in confidence that they were looking, and why. There are others that I'm aware of who are actively looking, myself included, but I won't make the same mistake and tell the Big Mouth anything.

As to the other work situation that was like a festering sore for a while, nothing much has changed. The Hated and Feared Brown-Noser (hereafter referred to as the HFBN) has ignored me completely, which I guess is what I wanted. However, many people have noticed, and so are specifically not including me in meetings or conversations where I would have otherwise been expected to be there, but for the fact that the HFBN is there. There has been talk from higher up about assigning him and his staff their own admin from outside our department, to which I said that I'd probably quit if they did that. It absolutely validates his bad behavior, and gives the appearance that I'm the problem - that I couldn't handle working for him, and so someone else needs to be tasked with it. No way, Jose.

Sunday, September 12, 2004

Just back from dinner at my mother's house. We BBQd tonight - steak, asparagus, bell peppers, corn on the cob - all on the grill. We also had yams, prepared with my new ricer that I bought today at the Mile High Flea Market.

The Flea Market was quite the adventure. Mike, Joni, the boys, and our friend Kira and I all traipsed down toward the airport, and joined the 3,000 or so other people who decided to shop today. There wasn't too much unique stuff - probably a dozen interesting areas where people were selling what appeared to be their own belongings. Other than that, it was like a bunch of little franchises, all selling the same T-shirts, baseball hats, umbrellas and sunglasses. We stayed for a couple of hours and wandered around, but it was damn hot, and the little boys were kinda grumpy. After gorging ourselves on turkey legs and lemonade ices, it was time to go. I had just enough time to hit Costco and head home to take a bath before it was time to head off to dinner. Whew. I'm beat.

Saturday, September 11, 2004

Besides being the third anniversary of the terrorist attacks on the US, today is also Volunteer Day. Our rescue squad training for today was canceled, so we played host to about a dozen volunteers who helped out around the station today - there were people stuffing envelopes for a fund-raising campaign, some high school kids who helped wash all the trucks, and some very nice ladies who cleaned all the tables and chairs in our meeting room, and then swept and mopped the floors. I stripped beds in the crew quarters and washed all the sheets, helped set up lunch, helped stuff envelopes, etc.

After I left the station, I was beat and dreaming of a nap. However, being that it's September, that means FOOTBALL! I got caught up in a couple of the college games, especially the CU game. A few of those players must have angels on their shoulders, it was a pretty lucky win.

Friday, September 10, 2004

Just killing time at work, waiting for it to be 4:30. I have happy hour plans tonight with a friend from work, going back to my favorite old haunt, Japango, for happy hour sushi and two-for-one Kirin on tap. While I don't do sushi, I do love edamame and gyoza, so I'll be a happy girl.

I'm looking forward to a restful weekend. Training on Saturday morning, Saturday afternoon free, maybe a matinee with Joni on Sunday. I do have to stop by the office at some point, I bought two wooden bookcases at a company garage sale, and they have to be picked up by Monday. Of course, the truck is back in the shop (again!) and so I'll have to beg borrow or steal someone's wheels - these suckers are way too big for my little car. Speaking of Boo, I've been testing him lately, pushing his little engine as hard as I can. While not the turbo, he's definitely the little engine that could.

Thursday, September 09, 2004

Anne Lamott returns to (I missed you, Anne!).

"It's too hot and the light is unforgiving and the days go on way too long. Spring is sweet, the baby season; but summer is the teenage season -- too much energy, too much growth and beauty and heat and late nights, none of them what they were cracked up to be.

So I lay down to practice my Prone Yoga, and I remembered that people already had said things that helped: Martin Luther King said the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward freedom. Molly Ivins said during the reign of George Herbert Walker Sushi Barfing Bush, that freedom fighters don't always win, but they're always right. I started to feel better. And this is when I came up with the Dark Side Rising Beauty, Diet and Exercise Program, which I follow strictly now."

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Wednesday, September 08, 2004

I'm overwhelmed by work today, and so rather than taking the time to think about things and come up with some news to post, I'm going to borrow a list (with my own answers, of course!) that I read in Tequila Mockingbird's archives...

Ten things I really liked when I was a teenager that I don't much care for now:
1. skinny, peg-leg jeans
2. headbands
3. green eyeshadow
4. jelly bellys
5. michael jackson
6. shoulder pads
7. molly ringwald
8. white flats (I had Mias)
9. big earrings
10. doritos

Ten things I didn't much care for as a teenager but I really like now:
1. vegetables
2. foreign films
3. yoga
4. knitting
5. reading every night
6. levis
7. my brother and sister
8. long road trips
9. clogs
10. volunteering

Ten things I didn't like then and I still don't like now:
1. fish
2. heavy metal
3. snobby girls my age
4. little tiny dogs
5. spandex
6. being outdoors when it's HOT
7. Weird Al (I just don't get it...)
8. abuse of people, animals, the environment
9. gossips
10. whiskey

Ten things I've always liked and probably always will:
1. animals
2. camping
3. the beach
4. little cars that are really fast
5. guys with longish dark hair and a smirk
6. my mom and my dad
7. sleeping on the left side of the bed
8. tuna salad
9. movies
10. driving with the windows down

Tuesday, September 07, 2004

Despite all hopes and wishes to the contrary, work was still there and expecting me this morning. I think I was subconsciously avoiding going back, because I slept through two different alarms and only woke when A poked me in the back and said "Aren't you going to work today?". My boss leaves for a trip to Europe tomorrow, and in his usual fails-to-plan way, dropped a bomb on me around 10am - a marketing brochure that he wanted edited and printed (200 color double-sided card stock) by 3pm. Thank God for Copy Max.

I'm trying to settle in and do some data entry for the new site, but it's hard. When you go to a new office setup, nothing is ever where you think it is, plus there are all of the "new" issues - my internet connection worked for my Mac, but not the Windows machine that it shares a switch box with, the new monitor worked for the Mac, but not the windows machine...wait, I'm starting to sense a theme here...

Monday, September 06, 2004

Sleeping late on a day when you would ordinarily be at work is the best - you almost feel a little guilty, like you're cheating somehow...but I didn't let that bother me for too long. A got home late last night, so we slept in, and then went to breakfast at the Village Coffee Shop - a kind of locals-only, be-prepared-to-wrestle-for-a-table kind of place. The service is fast, the food is pretty good, and you usually don't have to wait long for a seat because the servers chase people out within minutes of having delivered their food.

My other task for the day (besides ridding my house of accumulated dog hair) was homework - I read the chapter, did the assignment, took the quiz. I'm even halfway through the chapter we'll be starting on Wednesday. I'd almost forgotten what it was like to take a class that you were really excited about.

Sunday, September 05, 2004

I went to the movies with my mom and Joni today - we saw "Vanity Fair" - pretty good, but awfully long. I'm not the world's biggest Reese Witherspoon fan to begin with, but 2.5 hours was a long time to watch her. Don't get me wrong, she was very, very good - but she's just not one of my favorites. The story seemed a bit all over the place as well...but certainly a good afternoon escape. The only downside was that the weather was so beautiful that it seemed a shame to be indoors. This Labor Day weekend has been by far the most pleasant weather that I can remember since we came to Boulder.

Saturday, September 04, 2004

One of the reasons that I'm not in Iowa, biting my nails while I watch A fly around a track, is that today was dive tender training (for me), while the squad helped with a practice dive for Front Range Rescue Dogs - the dogs were amazing to watch. I've never seen such absolute focus from an animal, and if it was one of the dogs that was waiting on shore while another worked the water, the shore dog was quivering in anticipation of the command that would send him/her in.

That training was from 8am to 2pm, so I came home and crashed for a couple of hours after that. Now that Ruby is fed and Maggie has had her shot, I'm watching the CU-CSU game for a bit before I have to head back to the station and wait to see if we get called out for riot control. Hopefully not...

Friday, September 03, 2004

I spent a long time today reading blogs - huge numbers of blogs, far and wide. Some of them I visit frequently, others I've heard about from other blogs and have barely begun to check out. There's so much interesting stuff out there - too much to ever take in, really. I've created a new links section (--> right) for blogs that I enjoy - go take a look, there may be one there that becomes the one you want to read every day.

In the spirit of blogs I read daily, I really like LJC FYI - her posts are always either cool stuff she does around the house or with her hubby, or (even better!) about products(!!). Like me, Jenny is hooked on Method products. After reading a post a couple of days ago, I went to my local Target and hit the jackpot of new Method products - I picked up laundry sheets in Morning Bloom, hand soap in Green Tea, wood cleaner (some kind of almond scent), dish(washer) cubes in Sweetwater, and candles in French Lavender, Sweetwater and Creamy Vanilla (they didn't have Red Currant or I would have bought that, too.). You can't imagine how good my house smells!

Everyone keep good thoughts for the CU-CSU game tomorrow night - not just that the Buffs win, but that there are no riots and our friends in public safety have a very quiet night.

Thursday, September 02, 2004

This has been the longest week I can remember in a while - so much going on! I decided to skip school tonight - we have our 2005 budget due tomorrow morning, and I'm still going over it, looking for holes. Plus, I was just ready for a night off. I need to have more than an hour between the time I arrive home and the time I go to bed.

I got most of my office set up last night, just have to finish up with the router tonight so that I've got internet service on both machines. I'm really enjoying my Oracle class, and I'd like to be diving into the exercises and homework.

Wednesday, September 01, 2004

I feel a bit more caught up with things today - getting a handle on my SQL class really helped. I need to put the same effort into Spanish class now - but I don't think I'm going to make it tomorrow, because our first draft of the 2005 budget is due Friday morning, and I have a feeling I'm going to get stuck polishing it on Thursday night. Plus, A leaves Friday morning for the weekend, and I'd like to spend some time with him before he goes.

Work is still weird and tense - the bad man avoids me, but it's such deliberate avoidance that it's loud - does that make sense? He took away my proxy to view his office calendar (oooh, hurt me), which I thought was a pretty stupid move on his part - I mean, he can't very well complain that I'm not "supporting" him as an admin when he's taken away my ability to see his calendar - dork.

Tuesday, August 31, 2004

I've spent the better part of the day today working on homework - several hours this morning for my Oracle db class, and at least an hour this afternoon on Spanish. I'm going to be busted in Spanish class tonight because we're supposed to have completed homework and an oral presentation - I have about 90% of the oral done and maybe 15% of the homework. Oh well. I'll catch up sometime.

I went shopping this weekend for my home office. I've finally begun moving all of my files and assorted knick-knacks down to the basement and started getting organized. I bought a flat-screen monitor, because my old one was both too big and too heavy for my smaller desk. The new monitor wasn't very expensive (about $430), and it's wall-mountable, which will work really well for me. Now I just have to drag the computers down there, set up the switch box and the router for the wireless, and I'm set. I was hoping that A could help me with all of that, but he's swamped with consulting work - work that I'm supposed to be helping with, but I have no working office/computer right now. Quite the dilemma. I hope to get everything sorted by this weekend, when I'll have some free time to finish up the odds and ends.

Monday, August 30, 2004

It's amazing how quickly you can fall behind on things. It's only my first week of school, and I've got a pile of homework for two different classes to get through before tomorrow night - oh, and let's not forget the part where I have to bring 5 things into class and describe IN SPANISH why they're important to me or representative of me. Sure - I'm lucky if I remember how to say "My name is..." in Spanish.

It's also budget season at work, which means half of the senior staff is in full-blown panic mode all of the time, making sure they meet all of their ridiculous timelines for deliverables ("timelines for deliverables" - I'm sounding way too corporate). My life in budget hell is complicated by the absence of my boss - a man who travels 2 or 3 days out of each week is not the best person to manage a budget.

Sunday, August 29, 2004

Sleeping in on a Sunday, followed by lots of coffee and the newspaper, is a luxury that I sometimes take for granted. Today was the exception - I reveled in every moment. I'm heading out to the track to make it in time for A's first race of the day (he was top ten in his endurance race yesterday - woo hoo!).

Saturday, August 28, 2004

Go watch Move On's ad, "Everybody". There are other ads there as well, especially the one directed by John Sayles, called "American Opinions".

Friday, August 27, 2004

Following the trend this week, I am "working from home" while HR sorts out the mess with my coworker. I know that they met yesterday to tell him that I had made a formal complaint, but I haven't heard from anyone (other than a strange hang up on my cell at 10pm last night - where the heck is area code 713??). It's a little spooky, and I expected my boss to call yesterday and let me know how it went, which he didn't. Today they're supposed to give him a formal written warning that goes in his file, which he has to acknowledge and sign. They all thought it best that I not be in the office when these conversations took place.

I'm already feeling overwhelmed in Spanish class, and it's only been two nights. There are people in there who are much further along than me, and so there's much more done entirely in Spanish, so I only pick up bits and pieces. I came home from school last night and told A that we needed to go to "all Spanish, all the time" - we'll see if that happens.

I bought a new desk from Target Online, it's a pine architects desk/drafting table. It's tall, so I can stand to work, or I can sit on one of the many bar stools I somehow acquired. It was a great deal, and I really didn't have a good desk. I'm going to Best Buy this afternoon to look at a flat screen monitor (just a small one!), and a switch box so I can have my three machines all hooked up to it. Once we figure out the connectivity issue in the basement, I'll be set.

Wednesday, August 25, 2004

Blogger is chugging along pretty slowly this morning, I think I had better get the FTP set up sooner rather than later. I will post more info before moving the site.

This is the last week that my grandparents and my niece & nephew are in town. It's been wonderful having them all here, many dinners together and movies and puttering around my mother's house. I'll miss them all terribly. Today they're taking a road trip up to Cheyenne, WY to have lunch. Tomorrow will be either the Denver Zoo or the Natural History Museum. Friday evening will be our last group dinner, and then everyone flies home on Saturday morning. *sniff, sniff*

Spanish class started last night and went pretty well - other than the fact that I feel like it's been 3 years (rather than 3 months) since I last had a class. I have the same teacher that I had in the spring, and sit next to the same woman as last spring, so that's nice. There's also someone from my office in the class, which came as a complete surprise to me last night when she walked in. We're talking about carpooling (she also lives in Boulder) a couple of days a week, it'll be nice to get to know her a little bit better.

Tuesday, August 24, 2004

Almost forgot - I have a couple of gmail invites left, if anyone wants one. Send me a message at magaliblue at gmail dot com.
Continuing drama at work these days. I had a confrontation last week with the hated and feared brown-noser, and it really creeped me out. He stood in the doorway of my cube and just yelled at me, as mad as I've ever seen him. It was over something completely inconsequential, so I know that it wasn't really about me or that issue - but this time I went to HR and made a formal complaint. I have no idea what will happen now, but I knew when I went to work yesterday and just being in the same room with him made me feel sick, I had to do something.

My mother's housewarming party this past weekend was a lovely time - tons of friends and new neighbors came by, leaving enough food in their wake to feed the family for a couple of weeks. The house shone like a new penny, the dogs were well behaved, the weather was perfect - best possible afternoon.

School starts today - Spanish Tuesday and Thursday evenings, and a SQL class on Wednesday nights. With rescue squad on Monday evenings and Saturday mornings, I'm going to be a busy girl this fall.

Wednesday, August 18, 2004

Grrr. I hate the new Blogger nav bar (top of this page) - it looks so hokey. They won't take it down or allow me to upgrade to a service where I don't have to have that banner, so I'm going to switch to hosting myself. Look for a change in the next day or so.

Work crawls along at a snail's pace. It's budget season, so I already have a ton of work to do, but I'm also trying to get moved into a new job (same company), so I have to write the job description and get all the relevant managers to sign off on the move. I also have to get it into the 2005 budget, so the deadline for getting it all done is this Friday, when our first round of staffing forecasts are due.

I have a night off tonight! I can't remember the last free night I had. I think I'll go to a movie - maybe Joni will join me.

Tuesday, August 17, 2004

We had a great time at the track in Pueblo this weekend - no injuries to our team (yahoo!), and Alex took third place in one of his races! There was a little wooden plaque and everything! He also did well in the two other races he ran, but nothing higher than 4th place. Pueblo was really pleasant this weekend - not too hot, nice breeze, etc. If every race weekend were that mild, I wouldn't mind going to them all.

School starts next week for me. I'm taking Spanish Language II and a SQL course, all at night (Tues, Wed and Thurs). I'm going to rescue squad meetings & training on Mondays and some Saturdays, so I'll be pretty booked. I think I'm going to postpone working at the shelter until after the first of the year, when I've finished my courses. Much as I love going there, I just don't see how I can commit to more than I already have on my plate.

Thursday, August 12, 2004

I'm back at work today, after spending the first part of the week up in the mountains at Keystone, where my company has a conference each summer. It's beautiful up there, and so quiet! I slept well with the windows wide open, the air is cool and smells good. My entire department was up there, and we celebrated a birthday (my boss) on Tuesday night with beers, pool and shots of tequila all around...Wednesday morning came too soon after that.

Maggie the Cat (for whom this site is named) was diagnosed with diabetes this week - an outcome that I suspected for quite a while. She's now getting insulin shots twice a day (every 12 hours), and the vet tells me that it should get her back to normal. My poor little fat cat, who isn't quite so fat anymore - one of the ways I knew she was ill was that she went from 16lbs last fall to 12lbs this spring. She's being a good sport about getting the shots, particularly given her history of hissing, spitting, and viciously biting me when unhappy. Still, it makes me sad each time I have to jab her, and I watch her to see if the insulin is bothering her, or if she hurts at all.

Thursday, August 05, 2004

Bush Guffaw of the Day:

I just had to post this, it made me laugh so hard...

And this, via Squoogy.

Wednesday, August 04, 2004

Boulder is doing something cool today - each year, they dig up and give away all the tulip bulbs that had been planted & bloomed at our outdoor mall that season (which they imported from Holland and spent $4,000 on). They say that the bulbs don't bloom reliably after the first year, and so they purchase new ones each winter to be planted. Starting at 10am this morning, you can go down to the Pearl Street Mall and get your free bag of 100 used bulbs, out of the 10,000 total that will be given away. I'm sending my mom down there, she has at least a few hundred feet of border area along her back yard that would be perfect for some tulips. While part of me is annoyed with the city for being wasteful and spending so much each year on something that they have to replace again 12 months later, I'm glad that they have a program in place to let everyone enjoy the flowers, including in their own yards.

We had dinner last night with my mom, Mare and my grandparents at The Cork, considered by many to be the best steakhouse in Boulder. They have a formal, pricey dining room, and then they have "the bistro" - in their bar area, there are some small, cozy tables, and a different menu, much more reasonably priced. They've been running coupons in the paper lately - buy one entree, get another free. I saved 3 coupons, so all six of us were able to have a great meal for about $70. I knew that coupon clipping would come in handy one day!

Tuesday, August 03, 2004

We just returned from Kansas, where we had a two-day TrackAddix weekend. The event was a big success, with Saturday sold out and a bbq/beer bash that evening. Sunday was a little more calm, which is good because we were able to pack up a little bit early and get on the road. I'm still pretty tired - it's tough to get home at 1:30am and head to work by 7.

I had a training meeting last night with the rescue squad - I'm so excited at the prospect of joining them. I hope there won't be any hurdles with my being voted in as a member. They have a very structured program for training and advancement through their levels of accreditation - it would take me a year at the first level in order to advance to the next, with assorted training and scene requirements built in. It's a great group, they've been so welcoming to me. One of them is a lover of books and hits all the local recycling centers, looking for unusual stuff - he and I were talking at the first meeting I attended, and he asked me about the origin of the name Collofine. I explained that I had read it in a book I loved by Herman Hesse. Last night, he showed up for training with a copy of Wanderings for me, that he'd found on his recycling haunts.

Tuesday, July 27, 2004

I've stayed away from a computer for the better part of the last few days - it felt great, very liberating, but also very strange, like when I skip yoga or going to the gym - I know I should do it, but I can talk myself out of it and try to forget that I was ever meant to do it. That's how it felt to not check email for a couple of days.

I was roaming around blogs and sites the other day, and somewhere (I wish I could remember, so I could link to them) I read a list of things that made that person cry & things that made them happy. I liked the idea, so here's my list:

Things that make me cry
  • anything patriotic, especially the national anthem
  • any injuries to the innocent (especially kids & animals)
  • cruelty in any form
  • most movies on Lifetime
  • onions

Things that make me happy
  • when Ruby wakes up, sees me, and starts to wiggle
  • the first long drink of water after a good yoga class
  • my garden when it's just waking up from winter and starting to bloom
  • getting snail mail from my friends
  • how the boy smells when he's sleeping
  • peanut butter & chocolate

Thursday, July 22, 2004

Yesterday was a completely useless day, so I met my friend Michele for drinks after work, had two margaritas, went home and was asleep within an hour.

Today should be a bit better. I'm supposed to go to the Subaru dealership and fill out a survey, and in exchange for being nice about them, they give me a free tank of gas or an oil change or something. However, what I really want is the owner's manual for my car, which was mysteriously absent when I bought the car. I think I'll give them the survey and let them fill it out, in exchange for my manual and a set of all-season floor mats.

Tuesday, July 20, 2004

There was no volunteer training last night, I got my weeks mixed up. Oh well. I headed home, and found the boy in the driveway with a box. It turns out that he found an injured bird at work that was about to be swallowed by a cat, so he put it in a box and brought it home. Many phone calls later, we found a wildlife rescue place near Lyons that would take him - and they'll take him back to where he was found when he's ready to be released, so he can hook up again with his bird homies.

I've started watching "Six Feet Under" and I really like it, but the episode last night was almost more than I could bear. As a friend put it, it's the vicimization of someone that's so hard to watch. I almost turned it off, but it's a good show, and I wanted to see the character make it out of things okay. It was a very disturbing episode.

Monday, July 19, 2004

meme thing
lifting what I read here

Last Cigarette: Two years ago, as of 8/13/04
Last Alcoholic Drink: Last night, red wine from a box (don't laugh!)
Last Car Ride: Morning commute today
Last Kiss: The boy, this am
Last Good Cry: Last weekend
Last Library Book: The Godfather (on tape)
Last book bought: Feng Shui Chic, from my local used bookstore
Last Book Read: Red Poppies
Last Movie Seen in Theatres: "Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban"
Last Movie Rented: "Stuck on You"
Last Cuss Word Uttered: F*ck
Last Beverage Drank: Orange juice
Last Food Consumed: Beets
Last Crush: Can't remember
Last Phone Call: From company's legal department, but I'm not in trouble
Last TV Show Watched: "South Park"
Last Time Showered: This morning at 7am
Last Shoes Worn: Danskos, on my feet as we speak
Last CD Played: Spanish guitar music
Last Item Bought: Steaks for dinner last night
Last Download: "Fallin'" by Alicia Keys (yes, I paid for it)
Last Annoyance: IMs from my brown-nosing coworker
Last Disappointment: Yoga class on Sunday AM, no balance
Last Soda Drank: Yesterday
Last Thing Written: Blog entry this am
Last Key Used: Front door key at 7:15am, when I realized I forgot my purse
Last Words Spoken: "I don't know where he is"
Last Sleep: During general staff meeting this am
Last Ice Cream Eaten: Glacier Pralines & Cream, couple of weeks ago
Last Chair Sat In: Scary office chair I'm currently occupying
Last Webpage Visited: Zucchinis in Bikinis, where I lifted this
We went back to the Elks Lodge on Friday for swimming & bbq, but it was kind of gray and rainy, so we skipped out after Mare ate her bbq beef sandwich. We ended up staying in and watching "Stuck on You" - too funny.

Joni and I finally made it out to a movie again yesterday - we saw "Harry Potter and the Prizoner of Azkaban." I love those stories. Just seeing the movie yesterday made me want to pick up books 4 & 5 again. I'm trying to convince Mare to get started on them, but she's happily reading "Treasure Island" out loud to my mother right now.

I made a deal with myself that I would really make the effort to get some kind of exercise each day - even if it's just riding the stationary bike while I watch TV. I've started going back to my local yoga studio (which feels wonderful), and walking in the morning before work. I have so much more energy when I do that - it's like a kick-start to my day. Now if I can just find another pilates class that's in the evenings....

Friday, July 16, 2004

Poor Martha. While five months doesn't seem like a long sentence after this long, drawn out trial, I feel for her. When I think about what she's done (or at least, is accused of having done), I'm kind of left with "what's the big deal?" - I mean, I know she broke the law, but it just doesn't seem like it's worth all the fuss. At least she didn't do this with her own stock, cheat her investors while sitting at the top of her corporate food chain. If we use Martha and her five months as the yardstick for corporate honcho no-nos, then we shouldn't be seeing Ken Lay again until the next millenium.

Thursday, July 15, 2004

Mmmm, Mexican food for dinner last night. There are few things better than Mexican beer when it's 90 degrees outside and you're sweating even though you've been standing in the shade. The downside to my burrito & beer meal is that I felt compelled to get on the stationary bike the second I arrived home.

Tomorrow night will be swimming and BBQ at the Elks Lodge. It's such a cool, funky gathering - mostly just people from the neighborhood, lots of kids & older people. Last week we saw several people that we knew. It's like a little local secret, and one of the few outdoor pools around.

Hahahaha....Kung Fu Bunnies - via Daisy.

Wednesday, July 14, 2004

I'm going to the Farmer's Market tonight with my mom and Mare. It's every Wednesday afternoon and Saturday morning, but I've never been on Wednesday before. We'll grab dinner down there, maybe tamales from one of the vendors. Usually I get herbs (last time I bought four tiny lavender plants), veggies, cheese, bread, and sometimes something special - like a bunch of dried sage that I keep around to burn in the house.

A friend at work bought some of the yellow bracelets to benefit the Lance Armstrong Foundation. They sell the bracelets for $1 each to raise funds for the foundation, and are have Lance's motto "Live Strong" stamped on them. I went to the site and ordered a package of 10 to give away.

My friend Laurel is running the Nike 26.2 in San Francisco in October, to benefit the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. I recently learned that my goddaughter was diagnosed with leukemia, so I went to the site and made a donation in her name. As a bonus, Laurel will put Sadie's name on her shirt for the marathon.

Monday, July 12, 2004

I had a glorious four-day weekend. I took Thursday and Friday off work to be with Joey and Mare, and we relaxed and went to movies and shopped and had a great time. Joey went to camp on Saturday morning, he'll be away for almost 4 weeks. He seemed a little nervous about going away for so long, but he rallied nicely when the camp van met us and picked him up. Mare and I are going to take a picture of the dogs and send it to him as a postcard.

I have a meeting tonight with a volunteer rescue squad that I'm hoping to work with. Keep your fingers crossed for me!

Wednesday, July 07, 2004

Best editorial about "Fahrenheit 9/11" that I've read - from SF Gate.
The editorial pages in my local paper continue to be full of messages from both ends of the spectrum regarding "Fahrenheit 9/11" - there is one in today's paper from a friend and coworker, whose thoughtful points included asking everyone to ask themselves "what if?" - what if even a fraction of the truth is depicted in the movie? Wouldn't that alone be enough to outrage you?

Mare had a great time at the track this weekend, and came away with a new name - everyone was calling her "Mar" - she says she likes it, it's better than the people who get it wrong and call her Mary.

Tuesday, July 06, 2004

We got back late last night from a long two days in Iowa. We left on Sunday morning, arrived early evening at the track, stayed for a bbq and to watch the fireworks, then went back to the track in the morning. After a LONG day of riding, we hit the road about 6:30pm and headed back to CO. Of course, since we had to drive clear across Nebraska, nothing was going to be easy. We hit the weather at about 9:30pm - rain so fierce, and lightning so constant that I couldn't see anything. We pulled over to a little restaurant beside the highway to wait out the weather. Yuck! I haven't seen weather like that since hurricane season in Florida when I was a kid. We finally got back to Boulder about 2:30am - Mare was asleep in the car, I dragged her up and put her right to bed again. Meanwhile, I had to be back at work bright and early this morning.

My mother got a gig in LA this weekend, so she's leaving early Thursday morning, back on Saturday. I'll have the kids while she's away, and Joey is supposed to be leaving for camp on Saturday morning. However, Joey's been sick with what we now suspect is either strep or mono - either one presents a problem. I think if it's just strep, he'll still be able to go to camp, and just take his meds there. If it's mono, they might not let him come until he's better...we'll have to wait and see.

Saturday, July 03, 2004

It's a beautiful summer day here, the first weekend in recent memory without the looming threat of rain. I'm off to the Farmer's Market this morning, am wanting more rosemary and lavender to plant in pots in my backyard. I bought some lavender last fall and planted it in the ground at the front of the house, along the driveway, and it has sprouted and flowered like crazy. Beautiful!

Alex and I went out last night, down to the mall, hitting all of our favorite places. We ended up on the roof deck of the new Lazy Dog, formerly a sports bar in our neighborhood that was forced to move. Their new restaurant didn't seem all that interesting, but the roof is something else. Views of the Flatirons and all of Boulder, tons of tables and lots of servers. The food was delicious, but then again I have no perspective, as we had already had 4 or 5 pints by the time we arrived....

Thursday, July 01, 2004

I took the day off work yesterday, and went to see "Spiderman 2" with my mom and Joey and Mare. We all really liked the movie, and agreed that it was better than the original. We may even agree with Roger Ebert (who I tend to disagree with) that it is the best superhero movie since the original "Superman" in 1978. The only thing that distracted me from Tobey's big blue eyes was the obnoxious woman and her three obnoxious kids who wandered the theater and did everything from talking in their loudest voices (the 5 & 6 year olds) to babbling and shrieking (the two year old) during the ENTIRE film. This woman didn't make any effort to quiet them or remove the from the theater, just completely oblivious. Lady, if you can hear me - HIRE A DAMN SITTER. Honestly, don't they have special showings for mothers & infants/toddlers/outofcontrolkids? It cost me $20 bucks (between tix for me and one kid, plus popcorn & drink) to see the movie, and I get to listen to her kid scream? At what point do people stop having any consideration for anyone besides themselves? Besides, this really isn't a movie for little kids. It's dark and noisy and scary - isn't that why it's rated PG-13?

Tuesday, June 29, 2004

We went to see "Fahrenheit 9/11" last night. It wasn't what I expected. I don't really even know how to explain why I was disappointed - it was obviously one-sided and scathing, and I expected that. I agree with the premise that we went to Iraq for all the wrong reasons and, most likely, under false pretenses. But one comment that Alex (who was really offended by the movie) made really stuck with me - he pointed out that Moore's film was every bit as manipulative as the behavior that he was depicting (the behavior of the Bush administration). I was especially bothered by the "shock" effect of dead babies, napalmed women, etc., set to music and following the shots of US soldiers talking about getting psyched for combat. To demonize the soldiers was especially repulsive. I know that people have strong feelings about politics in general, and for some, very strong feelings about this movie, so I'm going to stop here. It's too big an animal for a little blog.

I read a blurb in the local paper today about a 58-year old woman here in Boulder county, who was arrested for stalking her priest, giving him unsolicited gifts and professing her love for him. She told the sheriff's deputies that she and the priest were going to be married. The reason that it jumped out at me is that she is the same age and has the same name as a woman I used to work with in LA, who was definitely stalker material. This woman used to hit on all the male employees, even the married ones, and one of them once told me that she had imagined an entire dimension to their relationship that didn't actually exist. How weird would it be if she moved out here as well, and now I'm reading about her?? Spooky.

Thursday, June 24, 2004

Things continue to be tense at work. They still haven't announced a new hire to replace the admin that they fired 2 months ago, and yesterday they let the receptionist go. Today, someone in my department asked me if I was worried for my job, and when I answered "yes", I realized it was true. I'm not worried about being let go, but the prospect of finding something else quickly is a different story. There is a job out there that I desperately want to have, but it pays substantially less than I make now, and I'm just not sure that I can afford to take it....but I'm going to figure out a way. I'm a big proponent of "life's too short", and staying around at a job where people are unpleasant to you every day is stupid. It reminds me of one of the definitions of insanity - doing the same thing over and over, but expecting to get different results. I think that it's not reasonable for me to expect people to behave any differently than they have in the past, because people don't really change their natures....(in case you missed it, I'm feeling a bit cynical today)

Wednesday, June 23, 2004

Busy morning already, and it's not even 8am. Today is a big meeting day at work, and I tried to get here early, but was thwarted by my cozy bed and my little red dog. She so wanted my attention this morning, I just couldn't resist. We sat on the floor and she stretched out and howled and begged for scratches. By the time I jumped up to get ready, it was already pushing 6:30....

Today is Bike to Work Day, and while I personally couldn't participate (having no working bike and an 11 mile commute that includes the freeway), I was able to count all the bicyclists that I passed on the way in - 21 between my home and office. They're expecting thousands, just in Boulder County, and I hope that it happens. I've looked into alternatives to driving, the bus being the most practical - but it would take me about 40 minutes to get here, versus the 15 minutes I usually spend driving. I've also thought about riding my trusty scooter, Pepe Salsa, but it doesn't really go over 35 mph, and I'm afraid I'll be run off the road for going too slow. Biking will probably be the best option, once I get the bike repaired and road-worthy again.

Tuesday, June 22, 2004

Not much is new and exciting yet this week. The kids arrive tomorrow, and Mom spent her first night in her new house last night. We're going to the Fox Theater tonight to hear the Rebirth Brass Band - a friend from work recommended the show, said it was fantastic.

At the massive neighborhood garage sale a couple of weeks ago, I bought a composter for the backyard - your typical giant black plastic dome-type thing, called the Earth Machine. I've been saving all my kitchen scraps and bought some wood chips for the foundation of it, so tonight after work, I'll go home and turn the soil (get those worms and other critters woken up)...and start composting! I have a great book that talks about all the stuff that can go in there, and how often I have to "stir", and how long it should take. Alex thinks I'm nuts and wants the composter hidden behind a bush or something, says it's really ugly, but he will change his tune when we have luscious shrubs and flowers due to my composting efforts.

Saturday, June 19, 2004

Ow. Very sore today. Socks and hardwood floors are a bad combination, and one I wouldn't have expected in June. It's been so rainy and cold that I'm always wearing socks, and last night, arms full of laundry, I took a bad step down the wood stairs - thump, thump, thump, thump, thump. While nothing appears to be broken (doctor said elbow and wrist are okay, but maybe a broken rib), I'm moving a bit gingerly today. The worst pain is in my shoulder, which took a big jolt when my elbow hit the floor. Bruises on the back of my hip, upper back and elbow. Not good. My mother pulled a similar move last week, but we blame that on a runner in the hall that didn't have a no-skid pad under it (it does now, I can tell you!).

Today we're off to have a couples massage & lunch at a spa outside Denver - a Christmas present from Dean & Kim that we're just now getting a chance to use. I think a massage is just what I need. Of course, it's always a little embarrassing that I fall asleep almost every time I get a massage...

I read on another blog about a new Crate & Barrel store, called CB2. It's sort of their "hip" line - I found some great stuff there for my mother's new house - orange tea kettle & orange melamine canisters, to go in her new orange and red kitchen...

Friday, June 18, 2004

I'm home sick AGAIN today, thanks to those in my office who are now known collectively as "Typhoid Martin" (since they're all male). Here is yet another fine example of why you should use the sick days that you're given - so you don't go to the office and make everyone around you sick! A special thanks goes out to the two guys in my department who both had strep throat a couple of weeks ago, and yet unselfishly chose to go to work anyway. We now have 12 active cases of strep at work, and I suspect I'm about to be included in those numbers. A quick visit to my local GP will confirm my suspicions.

Since it's Friday and I'm not at work, I thought I'd compile a list of things I'm grateful for today:

    It's Friday (obvious, but must be listed)

    Alex and I get to do a couple-kinda thing this weekend, extra special because we haven't had time alone in a while

    It's been raining for a week or so, and my grass, trees and flowers couldn't be happier

    Joey and Mare arrive next week and will stay for two months

    Gas in Boulder is down to $1.75/gallon, even at Shell and Conoco

    My little Subaru gets about 26 miles/gallon, and it only cost me $23 to fill it the other day

    Everyone in my family is healthy and seems to be happy (!)

Wednesday, June 16, 2004

Well, my Lakers couldn't pull it off last night, not that I really expected them to. The thing that really bugged me was Karl Malone in street clothes. I don't care how bad his knee was hurting, he should have been out there with anything less that a severed limb. That was the last night he'd be in an arena as a player, and he didn't play?!?! I think that was a poor message to send to the rest of the team, and I guarantee you that if the Lakers had somehow managed to win last night, Malone would be looking for floor time back in LA for Game 6. Obviously, I don't know what went on behind the scenes that led to the decision to not have him suit up, but I think it was the wrong call, whoever made it. I consider Karl to be one of the greats, but I was truly disappointed in him.

Tuesday, June 15, 2004

There was a story in the local paper yesterday about a group that evaluates cosmetics, shampoos and other personal care products, and gives them a safety rating based on the chemicals that they contain, whether they're known allergens or cancerous agents, etc. I went to the website and did a search on some of my regular products - and most of them had a terrible safety rating. It even claims that my hand soap contains "ingredients that are (is a) known or probable human carcinogen(s)." Not good!! Even my favorite lip stuff scored an 8 (10 being the worst). This is very depressing. On the plus side, Burt's Bees fared pretty well, and I like their stuff, so it may be time to make a change.

Monday, June 14, 2004

I've been taking it easy for the past few days - still not over my cold, but I'm feeling much better. On the down side, Alex is now sick, but I could have predicted that. It was a quiet weekend - Mom and I hit some garage sales on Saturday (I got a composter!), and we went to the movies on Sunday. The best news is that I finally have patio furniture! My mother had said she wanted to buy us a set, as a thank you for putting her up for the past couple of months. I saw what I wanted (at Target, no less!), but they were sold out, didn't know when they'd get more, blah blah blah. I love Target and the stuff they sell, but they're kinda crap on the whole customer service thing, and they're REALLY bad about stuff that goes clearance. I can't tell you how many times I've bought something that was on special or clearance and it has rung up at full price. If you're not paying attention, they won't catch it. Just last week, Joni and I each bought a copy of "Lost in Translation" on DVD that was on special for $10, but they came up as $14.99....and neither of us noticed until later on when we were home. I hate that. Anyway, we finally, finally got them to sell us the floor model of the patio furniture, since it seemed that the set just no longer existed anywhere among the 15 or so Targets around here....but I'm not complaining. I love the furniture, it fits perfectly on my deck, the chairs have spring frames and are kinda bouncy. I'm looking forward to many morning and evening meals being taken outside.

Thursday, June 10, 2004

I'm still sick, and feeling too crappy to come up with anything original or interesting today, so I'll give you a quote that I came across and really liked....

"This is a world of compensations; and he who would be no slave, must consent to have no slave. Those who deny freedom to others, deserve it not for themselves; and, under a just God, can not long retain it." -- Abraham Lincoln, 1859

Wednesday, June 09, 2004

Although I'm still suffering mightily from this cold, I'm back at work today - it's just too hard to be gone for more than a day or so, stuff piles up and everyone decides that they just can't possibly function without me telling them where to go and when. One of them actually called me at home yesterday because they needed an account number to fill out a stupid form. Oh, excuse me if my illness is interfering with your paperwork.

My mother's house is coming along beautifully. I went over last night and helped with some of the painting in the laundry room. The kitchen is a buttery yellow, the living room is a lighter, warmer cream color, the laundry is a yellow called Goat's Beard (???), and then the upstairs guest room is a light moss green, the office/second guest room is a pale blue, and the master bedroom is a light rose color. It all looks amazing. We talked about putting together a before & after book for her to use as a calling card, if she wanted to start hiring herself out for home improvement consulting, etc. I'll post photos as soon as we're done with the work (later this week, early next).

Monday, June 07, 2004

Ugh. I have a cold. I am at work and I don't feel good. How am I supposed to focus on invoices, expense reports and NDAs when my head feels like it weighs 100lbs? I going to try to make it to lunchtime, and then may head home to sleep.

I did have a nice weekend, despite the onset of the killer cold. I worked in the garden, got to visit Tara and Kasey, saw a movie w/ Joni, played with the boys, went to a BBQ, walked with the dogs - sounds perfect, huh? I wish every weekend were as relaxing.

Friday, June 04, 2004

Friday. Vendredi. Viernes. Venerdi. Freitag. Aren't they lovely words?

I'm looking forward to a lazy weekend - no plans other than a matinee on Sunday (Harry Potter, here I come). I was supposed to be hosting a party for BCC volunteers tomorrow, but we decided to postpone until late summer/early fall, just before the program ramps up again. I might be doing a happy hour thing tonight at this new creole place, but not sure yet. I'm feeling pretty footloose right now - only 9 out of the 26 people in my department came to work today, making it a perfect day for me to quietly leave around 2:30pm....I think a manicure/pedicure afternoon are in order.

Thursday, June 03, 2004

I know this pic might mess up the page (for those of you naughty netizens using Internet Exploder), but it was too good to pass up. Who knew I was channeling Audrey?

WORSHIP! Your inner Bombshell is the beautiful Audrey Hepburn. Like her you've been blessed with a "certain something" that no one could describe accurately. You are more reserved than other bombshells, and that shows in your gentle, graceful nature. You like doing things for other people and love volunteering for your favorite charity. Yours is a rare gift in this day and age. You don't need to show a lot of skin to be sexy, all you need is your eyes. To see Audrey at the top of her game, watch the movie "Breakfast atTiffanys".

Who is your inner bombshell?
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I got a new car! What a relief - they took the Exploder off my hands (and will pay the $5000 balance due!), and I got my Subaru. It's called the Outback Sport Wagon, although it's actually in their Impreza line. I didn't do the WRX for several reasons - it's a lot more money (about $7k more than what I paid), the gas mileage isn't as good as mine (I get 28 or 29 mpg, vs. low 20s with the WRX), and I couldn't find a silver one with a manual transmission...they're very popular right now. Also, because of my negative trade, I would have had to put down a small fortune for the WRX. So, last night after work, I took myself down to Mike Shaw Subaru in Westminster, and 4 hours later I drove home in my new car! Subaru has a promo running with 1.9% financing if you do under 60 months, too good a deal to pass up.

Tuesday, June 01, 2004

I can't believe it's June already! It's amazing how quickly spring flew by. Joey & Mare will be here for a visit at the end of the month, my grandparents are coming out in July, and my brother and his fiance will have moved out (probably Denver-area) by September. Mom should be moved into her new house by next weekend - everything is starting to speed up with her project over there. Hardwood floors and new fence are going in this week, then new appliances and painting next week.

Work continues to be the thing I have to get over every day, but I can handle it for a while longer...although I just had to sit here and have a 10 minute conversation with a man at work that I despise. He can't ever have a conversation with a woman without talking to her breasts, and he is the biggest brown-noser that ever lived. That's 10 minutes of my life that I can never get back.

On the plus side, things are getting more relaxed at home - not so much pressure of travel all the time. I'm sort of bummed for Alex that he's not going to do as many races as he thought, but also relieved that we don't have to spent every weekend on the road, and the beginning of each week recovering from would be a good example. We had a track day in Omaha yesterday, so we left about 6:30 MT, got home about 2am. Since it was so late, I didn't set my alarm, and came in to work at 8:45 instead of my usual 7:15, which means I get paid for an hour and a half less today than usual. Being hourly sucks. Being at the mercy of your employer's idea of work hours sucks, too. I need to get cracking on the programming work, so I can get off this crazy ride...

Wednesday, May 26, 2004

Can I just say again how much I hate Windows? Why is it that every MS application has to periodically crash?? I walked in this morning to find that all the budget updates I made yesterday (about 3 hours worth of work) were not saved because Excel crashed when I tried to close out last night. Damn! I know there's no use complaining, because this company is unlikely to ever allow us to use anything else for budgeting...although there is someone at work who has convinced The Powers That Be that we should be testing Macs on the network....yeah, the IT department is thrilled about that! They're positively wringing their hands at the prospect of a machine on the network that functions properly without their assistance.

It's been storming here the past few days. The other night there was thunder and lightning that was so amazing - the house actually shook during one roll of thunder. The dogs and cats didn't seem particularly fazed by it, although Ruby doesn't like the lightning (one eye, flashing light, go figure).

Tuesday, May 25, 2004

The best thing I've read in a long time, by one of my favorite authors: Cold Turkey.

Thursday, May 20, 2004

The debate that rages in my mind right now is about a new car - my poor Exploder is starting to scare me a little bit - electrical problems in a vehicle are never a good thing. Besides, Alex teases me mercilessly for having bought a Ford (Dean and Kim are now victims of this same abuse and can empathize). My criteria for a new car are: must get good gas mileage; must be affordable; must not be a Honda, Toyota, Hyundai or Kia; must maintain some semblance of resale value. I think I'm ready to get away from SUVs, and I like the idea of a hybrid (but that kind of knocks out the "affordable" requirement). I'm just about settled on the idea of a Subaru WRX Sport Wagon. It's all-wheel drive, roomy enough for me, the boy and the dog, and gets around 22 miles per gallon. It's a little more than I would prefer to spend, but it will hold it's value really well, especially in Boulder. Also, it's fairly small, and would be much more convenient to drive around town and find parking. Hmmm, I really like it in silver...