Thursday, December 21, 2006

Let It Snow

Some of you may remember that I live in Boulder. Some of you may have noticed on the news that most of Colorado has been gripped by a freak storm. Yeah. In the mountains above Boulder, we got a lot. Enough so that I haven't left my house by choice for two days.

Actually, I had to go to town yesterday morning and pick up the kids - they were at their house, waiting on my mother to fly back from LA. Only problem is that NO ONE flew in yesterday afternoon. The Denver International Airport has been closed since about 10:30 Wednesday morning, and isn't scheduled to resume operations until midday tomorrow (Friday). My mom is stuck in LA until Saturday night, the first time there was a seat available to Denver on any airline that flies here.

It's been sort of charming to be stuck up here. We have plenty of food, and have power, TV and internet, so we're set. The kids have been out playing with the dogs, shoveling the snow every few hours. They weren't able to make any headway with the driveway though - it's about 75 feet long and under more than 3 feet of snow. Just when I thought I'd never be able to leave again, I heard a motor outside. Alex and I went out and found a total stranger using his snowblower on my driveway. Turns out that he's the son of the elderly woman across the street, and he came up to check on her and decided to do her neighbors' driveways as well.

A guy like that makes me remember the good in people.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

A meme!

Via Amber:

1. What is your occupation? Engineer, home-improver, professional

2. What color are your socks right now? Green. It is a day for

3. What are you listening to right now? Local news coverage of freak
holiday storm.

4. What was the last thing that you ate? Chocolate chip cookie that my
niece just baked.

5. Can you drive a stick shift? Of course! Can't you?

6. If you were a crayon, what color would you be? Purple.

7. Last person you spoke to on the phone? My mom. She's stuck in LA,
unable to fly home (see freak holiday storm above).

8. Do you like the person who sent this to you? I like the person who
posted this on her blog :-)

9. How old are you today? 36 years, 1 month, 6 days.

10. Favorite drink: This used to be an easy question - Heineken.
However, pregnancy has killed my beer buds, so I'll have to go with red wine (preferably a Barolo) or Pellegrino with lime.

11. What is your favorite sport to watch? If it's live, hockey. On TV,

12. Have you ever dyed your hair? A better question would be, have you
ever not dyed your hair?

13. Pets? Oh yes. The lovely one-eyed, deaf Ruby the Wonder Dog. I also currently have in my home two yellow labs, Thor and Daisy. Two more dogs are coming up tonight to stay, Halle Berry and Blu Berry.

14. Favorite Food. This is a tough one. Cheese and red bell peppers.

15. What was the last movie you watched? The Holiday.

16. Favorite day of the year? Gotta go with Christmas. It starts off
well, then you get a break to watch football, then you get one of the best
meals of the year.

17. Least favorite day of the year? I can't think of one.

18. What was your favorite toy as a child? Stuffed Snoopy dog.

19. What is your favorite, Fall or Spring? Fall, totally.

20. Hugs or kisses? Hugs. Big ones.

21. Cherry or Blueberry? Blueberry. It's a superfood, you know.

22. Do you want your friends to email you back? Usually....oh, I get it.
In the context of this post, yes, I'd like to hear from you all.

23. Who is most likely to respond? Probably Ali.

24. Who is least likely to respond? Someone I don't even know.

25. Living arrangements? With hubby and lots of dogs in a draft old
house in the mountains.

26. What’s on the floor of your closet? Shoes and a big bag full of baby
clothes that I haven't laundered yet.

27. Who is the friend you have had the longest that you are sending
this to
hoping will read this? This is an easy one. Victoria.

28. What did you do last night? Went to the home of my husband's boss
for a little impromptu happy hour, then came home and sprawled on the couch and bonded with TiVo.

29. Favorite smell? Lavender, fresh coffee, jasmine, the ocean.

30. What inspires you? Reading Anne Lamott, watching Helen Mirren do
anything, figuring out some new application on my Mac, seeing my husband talk to new people.

31. What are you afraid of? Spiders. People I love getting sick or hurt. Driving down the hill in really shitty weather.

32. Plain, cheese or spicy hamburgers? Cheesy as hell.

33. Favorite car? My car. Silver Toyota 4Runner.

34. Favorite dog breed? The Ruby breed. Whatever she is.

35. Number of keys on your key ring? Uh....six, maybe? Car, house, three or four others that I have no idea what they open.

36. How many years at your current job? One. Woo!

37. Favorite day of the week? Saturday

38. How many states/provinces have you lived in? Four. Florida, Utah, California, Colorado.

39. Favorite holiday(s)? I'm a sucker for Christmas, although I don't even really decorate my house. I still don't even have a tree up.

40. Ever driven a motorcycle or heavy machinery? I've driven a motorcycle (reluctantly) around the block, but I used to drive a fire engine while on
the local rescue squad.

Monday, December 18, 2006

The Times They Are A-Changin'

So. Yeah. A lot has been going on, as you can see. I'm just over 13 weeks pregnant, now in my second trimester. I've been wanting to spill for ages, but on some level it just didn't feel right to blog about it. Now that I've worn pregnancy comfortably for several weeks, I can talk about it. I had read a number of posts on other blogs about people announcing their pregnancies, and I wanted to shout "Me too! Me too!", but I just couldn't bring myself to do it. This feeling sort of led to my being generally discontented with my blog, so yet another reason that I've not posted. on the way. I'm terribly excited, and for the most part I love being pregnant. I don't know that I've ever felt healthier, and haven't had any sickness or food aversions or anything like that (okay, I apologize to every single woman who has suffered through morning sickness and suddenly hating her favorite foods). I haven't put on any weight yet, but my belly suddenly popped out and began being quite noticeable this week. In a way, that's a relief, because now I can just let it hang out and not worry about looking fat instead of pregnant.

My husband is growing accustomed to the idea - it's hard for Peter Pan to accept the idea of fatherhood. But I've seen him with his nieces and nephews, and with Joey & Mare, and I know that he'll do just fine.

Look for lots of belly shots and baby comments in the near future. Hopefully that won't be all that I have to write about, but I confess that for now, it occupies pretty much every waking moment for me.

Friday, December 08, 2006

mags is temporarily on hiatus. check back soon. thanks.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Happy Birthday, Baby

Today is Alex's birthday. He hates it when I remind him. I think he would prefer to just ignore birthdays, anniversaries, really holidays of any kind. It has to do with becoming the center of attention, a place where he is truly uncomfortable. I can understand that, but I refuse to ignore things like this. I told him this morning that if he didn't cheer up and start acting like a good sport, then I'd email every single one of his coworkers and remind them of just what a special day this is.

Tonight is also an Avalanche home game, against the San Jose Sharks, so we'll be taking the little people and heading down to Denver for the game. I love going to the games, especially with this motley crew. It'll be a blast.

Monday, November 13, 2006


Based on the way the last 24 hours have gone, you'd hardly be able to tell that I live a quiet little life, just my husband and me and the dog. Suddenly there are two teenagers, three dogs, and an out-of-commission septic system at my house. Thank goodness we can all crash at my mother's house this week while she is out of town.

The kids are normally no trouble, they're great and fun to have around. But since we moved up to the mountains, everything is just a little more complicated. On the one hand, the dogs love it because there is so much more room, and it's much more relaxed than being in town (leashes optional, etc.). On the other hand, the kids can't just catch the bus to school, so in order to get Joey to the high school on time, we have to leave my house by 7am. That means kids fed and dressed, dogs walked and fed, and of course all of my normal morning ablutions - all finished by 7. I think we could have done it, were it not for the minor problem of our septic system backing up last night. Oh no.

It could have been worse, it didn't actually back up into the house. However, we can't use the toilet or any of the sinks until we get someone up there to figure out the problem. Alex and I each showered at our respective offices today, luckily the kids both had showers yesterday before the problem. The boys took advantage of the situation and gleefully ran into the woods to pee this morning. I would have done the same thing ordinarily, but it was about 15 degrees when we left the house, and I just wasn't up for it.

The picture is of said dogs, resting in front of the stove in my kitchen.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

More Italy

Just because....this is a small castle in Alba (home of Nutella!).

Privilege, Right, Responsibility

I tried to find a banner ad from, but couldn't locate one on their site. Oh well. In lieu of a pretty, colorful ad, I give you my own voice (well, my written voice).


If you've already visited your local polling place or voted via absentee ballot, thank you. If not, stop what you're doing right now and go vote, or at least commit to a plan to do it before your polling place closes tonight. I know that it's easy to wonder if your individual vote really matters, but it does. One of the best experiences about having moved from a large city (Los Angeles) to a small one (Boulder) is that you can really see, in numbers that seem real, how narrow a victory or loss can sometimes be. I've often found my voice on the losing end of an issue, but I'm never tempted to stay quiet. I believe that you never lose when you speak your mind.

I've been a member of since the elections in 2000. I've been one of those people who sits outside a polling place to answer questions from voters. I've watched a stranger's child so that she could go vote. I've driven an elderly voter to her local polling place so she could make her voice heard. I truly believe that voting is not just a right, and is so much more than a privilege. It is the responsibility of every person. How can you live in our society and not care about how we are led?

I found a great quote recently, and it struck me as particularly relevant today.

Always vote for principle, though you may vote alone, and you may cherish the sweetest reflection that your vote is never lost. -- John Quincy Adams

Friday, November 03, 2006


Sometimes it takes an email from your oldest friend to remind you of when you're being a slacker. It's not that I don't want to post or don't have anything to say, rather that I'm feeling a little ambivalent about it right now. I have a lot going on at work and in my personal life, some of which I can talk about and some that I can't. This has made it difficult to post, since I don't want to bore you with what I had for lunch (because as we all know, no one cares what you had for lunch). Oh well, I'll do my best for now, you let me know how it goes.

One of the things that Alex and I have discussed since moving to the middle of nowhere is getting another dog, so that Ruby will have company while we're at work. The other purpose this would serve is to alert Ruby to when there is danger, whether it is a car or a coyote or mountain lion (yes, we have those here). I have mixed feelings about this, because Ruby is really our baby, and I would hate for her to feel jealous or think that we loved her any less. Plus, I know that it's a whole lot more work looking after two than one. But they would (hopefully) be friends and would bond much the way my mother's lab Daisy bonded when we brought Thor home to be with her. Those two are so happy together, it's hard to imagine one without the other. Ruby should be so lucky.

We haven't reached a decision on the whole second dog issue. We have a lot of work left to do on the house, and we're both working long hours to get ahead a bit on the extra mortgage, etc., so the idea makes us both feel a little overwhelmed. It may be that we have to revisit this in the spring, when we've made some headway with the work on the house and Ruby is fully adjusted to her new life as a mountain dog.

The photo is Ruby at our lake, on our last hike before it started snowing like a bitch two weeks ago. I'm guessing it'll be many months before Rube is ready to put one little dog toe in that cold water again.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Wednesday, October 18, 2006


It has been difficult to get back into the groove at work since we returned from Italy. Yesterday's weather didn't help. It was wet and threatening snow all day, then starting snowing hard on my drive home at about 4:30, and by 7pm last night, I knew I wasn't going anywhere for a couple of days.

So I'm sitting here at my makeshift desk (since unpacking and organizing my home office has been pretty far down the list of "new house priorities"), trying to get some work done so I can bill for my time today and not go broke. Joey is here with me, because Alex is out of town and I'm not yet ready to stay here alone. We're making soup to have for dinner later (Giada's lentil soup), and in a couple of hours I'm going to put some pork ribs in the oven to cook slowly for about three hours.

Tomorrow should be warmer, and the roads should be better. Joey will need to get back to school, and I need to go to work. I'm no good at working from home, I don't know how people do it. There are just too many things (couch! TV! Internet! dog! unpack! cook!) that distract me when I'm here with a whole day on my hands. It was all I could do this morning to change out of my pajamas - how's that for being motivated?

The picture today is from one of our glorious lunches at Anna's house in Italy. I think it only shows a couple of antipasti, plus some wine....there were probably another 5 or 6 courses waiting for us.

Friday, October 13, 2006


I'm back. We had a lovely time in Italy. There were so many wonderful days and sights and meals, it will take me months to share it all. In the meantime, the picture is from a day trip to Lago Maggiore. I like that the madonna is guarding the boats.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Leavin' on a Jet Plane

I'm still here in Boulder, but my mind is already across the great wide ocean. I wouldn't normally quote John Denver, but the song is rolling around in my head like a soundtrack for this week. Work has been tedious these past few days, and so it is that much harder to concentrate on getting anything done. We leave Friday morning, and I'm mostly ready (except for packing and arranging transport to the airport).

I thought I'd tell you about Fern and little Jake. Fern is the little old lady that lives across the way from us (I could say "street", but there is no paved road anywhere near my house, so we like to pretend that it's just wide open space). We met her one day last week while we were out walking Ruby. I wish I had a picture of her, she has such a wonderful, weathered old face. Her wrinkles and creases are deeply defined, and I like to think of how many smiles and laughs it must have taken to carve them like that.

Fern lost her dog of 15 years earlier this year. I think she's a widow, she mentioned grandchildren but not her husband. I can't imagine how hard it must have been to lose her longtime canine companion, especially if he was the only companion she had left. The area where we live is very remote, and I can already tell how easy it is to isolate and become lonely.

A couple of months ago, Fern went down to the humane society and adopted a six-year-old beagle, named Jake. He's a fierce little thing, with a full gray muzzle. He's a barker, very protective of Fern and of his "yard" (couple of acres of land bordering on our road). As soon as Jake spotted Alex, Ruby and I walking on the road, he cranked up the volume on the barking, straining at his leash to get to us. Ruby is, of course, deaf as a post, so she didn't react to the barking at all, just the appearance of another dog (look! friend! playmate!). She walked right up to Jake, who was barking so hard he looked like he might fall over with the effort. It wasn't until Ruby was about a foot away that she realized something was wrong, it was either the vibration of his barking or the blasts of air to her face that caught her attention. She cocked her head at him, then leaned down a little further toward him......and he stopped. The tail started wagging, there was much sniffing of behinds, and no more barking. I felt comfortable kneeling down and offering him my hand, and he came over and let me pet him.

Fern says it was a good sign that Jake liked us, that he knows things about people. It's the first step in becoming part of our 'hood.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

One of the Good Guys

Former Texas Governor Ann Richards Dies

It's a sad day. The world needs more women who are smart, funny, gracious, and unfraid to say what they think, and mean what they say.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

The View From Up There

This is my boy, admiring our view.

I've been trying to keep a list of stuff to post, but it gets away from me. There is really too much going on as I prepare for our LONG VACATION(!). That's right, Alex and I are leaving on holiday next week, so blogging will be light for about three weeks (unless I feel the urge to post from some lovely little village in Italy, which I sincerely doubt).

In the meantime, here's a short list of stuff I might eventually tell you about:

    trash on the sidewalk at work
    coyotes in my driveway
    Fern and little Jake

I'm out.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

The "Vacation"

So, where to start? It's such a long and sad tale of woe.

My grandparents celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary last month. They're wonderful, lovely people, and I love them dearly. I spent every summer with them for the first 15 or so years of my life, and in the years since, I've visited them in Florida about once a year. For the past three years, they've come to Boulder in the summers and spent about 6 weeks with us.

This year, we wanted to do something special for their big anniversary. After much discussion between my mom, my sister and myself, we decided that renting a houseboat on Lake Powell for a few days was a good plan. It's pretty expensive, and a long drive from Boulder, but we agreed to split the costs and decided each kid could bring a friend so they a) wouldn't be bored and b) wouldn't pester us all day long.

My sister flew out from California, and we left for Lake Powell the next morning. We got to the marina at about 6pm, at which point the leasing office was closed - but they'd left us a note with our boat number and told us to have a good night and to check in for paperwork in the morning.

To make this already long story short, the boat had fucking mice. Aggressive, taunting mice that would sit on the counters at night and casually help themselves to our food. The leasing office told us there wasn't anything they could do - they're not allowed to kill them (it's a national park), and "mice are a fact of life in the desert." We decided to give it a try and set out for parts unknown in the big lake.

The second night with mice was even worse, and I got no sleep again. The next morning, I told my family that we needed to head back, because one more night without sleep was going to turn me into a complete raving lunatic. That's a bad thing. Plus, it's really not much of a vacation. Everyone agreed, we headed back, drove home that same day. One thing I will say for the leasing company, they refunded our entire rental fee. Pretty cool of them.

P.S. I didn't even go into the typhoon-like weather that hit the afternoon of our one-and-only day on the boat.

Worth Watching

Even Stevphen - Islam vs. Christianity

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Overheard at Work

"I'm sorry, I can't make it that day. I have roller derby try-outs."

Friday, September 01, 2006

I'm Still Here

Exhausted, but still here.

I have blog fodder for days with stories of foiled vacations, aggressive mice, endless trips up and down a winding mountain road. As soon as I catch my breath and get more than 5 hours of sleep, I'll work on more posts. For now, here's a picture of my dog on her new deck.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Chez Kate (oh, and Alex, too)

We closed on our new home this morning. It was by far one of the smoothest, most pain-free exercises in a "process" that I've ever experienced. The paperwork was less than one inch thick (total!). Alex and I are now the proud owners of a bouncing baby mountain home.

The photo above doesn't do the place justice, but it's a hard house to photograph. This picture shows the front corner of the house, and I was standing in front of the garage when I took it. The side of the house faces the road, the back of the house faces the driveway, and the front of the house is looking out toward a lake and mountains and is surrounded by trees. Once I'm up there, I'll work on doing a better pictorial tour.

Monday, August 21, 2006


Mare's softball team took first place at a tournament this weekend (woo hoo!), their second tournament in a row in which they took top honors. It's a great team, and most of the girls turned 13 this year, so next year they'll all move up together to the 14-and-unders. They played three games on Saturday, which is amazing because before and in between each game there was rain or threats of rain.

Late in the day, I went to the airport and picked up my grandparents, and as we drove back the 50 or so miles from the airport to Boulder, the skies opened and dumped the worst rain I think I've ever seen. My grandparents live in Florida, so they're used to bad weather - they were troopers while I drove white-knuckled back toward home.

Edit: That photo is from the last tournament they played (and in better weather). Those are the practice uniforms, the game uniforms are shiny purple - they look like short Lakers!

Friday, August 18, 2006

Training Me to Harass, Sexually

We have mandatory sexual harassment training this morning. We watched this clip from "South Park" to prepare.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Moving On

Thanks for the emails (and for the comment, Ali). I felt weird about posting something like that, especially since it's not my heartbreak, but it did shape my days and nights this week. I'm moving on now, I don't want to dwell there. I'm still paying regular visits to my friend, as are many in her life, and she's being well looked after.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

No Good News

I haven't felt much like posting this week. My friend T. lost her infant son to SIDS a few days ago. His funeral was yesterday. He was a few days shy of four months old.

I don't really have anything to say, other than I can't begin to imagine my friend's grief. I've tried to just be there for her, because I can't think of anything else to do.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Anam Cara

We went to the wedding of some very good friends last night. It had lovely Irish touches, including large gulps of whiskey from a shared cup (the "loving cup" or "quaich"), and many humorous references to the bride's love of all things sci-fi. I think I had more fun at that wedding than perhaps any other, outside of my own. We also knew nearly every person there, which was rather nice and sort of unusual for me in my history of wedding-attendance.

Luckily for me, there was very good red wine, so I wasn't tempted by any of the strange concoctions that were being crafted behind the bar. Probably 20% of the bartenders in Boulder were at this wedding, so it was bound to get out of hand eventually. Alex and I left shortly after all of the groomsmen appeared dressed as Mr. Spock and serenaded the bride. It really was a fun, loving evening. I very much needed some sweetness and light.

Friday, August 11, 2006

On the whiteboard in the kitchen at work.

Happy Links

I've added a bunch of new links at the right - sites I had visited and liked enough to bookmark, have read periodically, etc. Mostly it's that I've just been too lazy to update my links. There is a lot of great and amusing writing out there, and one of my favorite things to do each day is just cruise around and check in with everyone. Now I just have to get better about leaving comments.

It might be time for another facelift for this here blog, but lord knows I have enough on my plate right now. Maybe that will be a good project for this fall, once I'm settled in a bit.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Golden Oldie

Hey, I have titles! Who knew? (Yeah, okay, I really should explore the Blogger toolbar more often).

I was looking through my archives this afternoon and came across a meme from last summer. I liked it, so here it is again, updated with today's answers:

    1. What is your name? kathryn (or kate)
    2. What color underwear are you wearing now? nude
    3. What are you listening to right now? Radio Paradise
    4. What are the last 2 digits of your phone number? 44
    5. What was the last thing you ate? prosciutto-wrapped melon, and grilled shrimp
    6. If you were a crayon what color would you be? purple
    7. How is the weather right now? stormy
    8. Who was the last person talked to on the phone? my nephew
    9. The first thing you notice about the opposite sex? it's the smile
    10. Favorite Food? can i be honest??? fried chicken
    11. Favorite Drink? water
    12. Favorite Alcoholic drink? Heineken
    13. Favorite place to shop? the internet
    14. Hair Color? brown
    15. Eye Color? brown
    16. Do you wear contacts? nope
    17. Top or bottom? top
    18. Favorite Month? october
    19. Favorite Fast Food? i don't really like fast food - but Qdoba rocks
    20. Last Movie you Watched? "Clerks 2"
    21. Favorite Day of the Year? some Saturday in the fall
    22. Are you too shy to ask someone out? not at all
    23. Summer or Winter? winter
    24. Hugs or Kisses? both
    25. Chocolate or vanilla? vanilla
    26. What books are you reading? A Moveable Feast
    27. What's on your mouse pad? i don't have one
    28. Favorite Board Game? Scrabble
    29. What did you do last night? shopping, followed by dinner and cocktails with my friend Joni
    30. Who inspires you? Anne Lamott
    31. Butter, Plain, or salted popcorn? butter AND salt
    38. Favorite Flower? i'm not really a flower kind of girl
    39. What do you say when you wake up in the A.M? get off me, ruby
    40. Do you still talk to your best friend from middle school? didn't have one
    41. What's on your desk? apple, tangerine, three bottles of Eldorado spring water, graph paper tablet, phone, Bobbi Brown Black Cherry lip tint, mechanical pencil, stolen hotel room door card that says "do not disturb the calm little center of my universe"
    42. Rock Concert or Symphony? symphony
    43. Play or Opera? play
    44. Have you ever fired a gun? yes, and i hit stuff, too
    45. Do you like to travel by plane? not especially
    46. Right-handed or Left-handed? right
    47. Smooth or Chunky Peanut Butter? chunky if by spoon, creamy for spreading on things
    48. How many pillows do you sleep with? 2
    49. City and State you were born in? winter park, fl
    50. Ever hitchhiked? no

Just a quick update, for those of you following along at home:

We did buy a new house, and we're moving in on August 27. We decided to keep our house in Boulder, and we're in the process of trying to find tenants. The hunt for tenants is long and arduous, but we're hanging in there. We've had 6 families take a look, but nothing so far. I keep telling myself that it's because it's been available for so long, but it might be a tiny bit expensive. If we don't rent it by the end of this coming weekend, we're dropping the price.

I'm very excited about the new house. It's going to need a lot of work, most of which we'll do ourselves. We need to install a water softener for the well water, need to buy a new washer/dryer, and then once we're moved in we'll start a list of changes and try to prioritize them. Some are more urgent than others - there is a wall in the dining room that needs to get knocked down in order for us to fit our dining room table, so that will happen pretty quickly. There is only one bathroom, so putting a second one in will be a HUGE priority. There is some faux wood paneling that I'll be removing, which has to happen before we do new floors. There is yucky brown tile in the kitchen that needs to come down and be replaced, cabinets need to be cleaned up. I need your help here - the cabinets are okay, but BOR-RING. I'm tempted to sand them down a bit and then paint them white and put stainless steel hardware on them, which will then match the stainless steel appliances that we'll be putting in. Opinions?

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Okay, here's the picture of THE HAIR. There is a lot of it. One thing that my family ain't short on, that's hair follicles. My hairstylist charges me extra for doing highlights (yet another reason to do it myself) because it takes her over an hour to put foils in.

This color is "Light Brown - Natural", which means that it's neither Warm nor Cool, so it's supposed to bring out your natural shades. It lightened my roots (and all the hair at the back of my head, near my nape, which never gets colored), so I think it's actually a bit lighter than my natural shade. Of course, I've been coloring my hair for so long that I have no idea what it would look like without color.

I'm going to live with this for a few weeks and see how I feel, and then I'll either continue to use this color or will go one shade darker. It's certainly much easier than having blond highlights (no rootage!).

Monday, August 07, 2006

I had to stop at the bank on the way to work this morning, and since it's directly next door to one of my favorite coffee shops, I made the rare stop for a nice schitzo skinny latte (that's half-caff, non-fat milk for you non-drinkers). I say "rare" because I hardly ever get coffee anymore - the stuff we get at work is pretty good, and at $3.60 a pop for my lattes, I figured I'm saving myself around $80 each month (have to keep reminding myself, saving is good, saving is good).

I always get treated well in my coffee shop, especially if one particular young woman is working. This girl and I go waaayyy back, to when she spilled a double-espresso INTO MY FAVORITE WALLET last year. Guess what? Credit cards stop working when soaked in espresso. Of course, she felt terrible and insisted on buying my coffee for months. Even now, she still jokes about it, makes sure the counter is clear of my wallet and purse before pouring. The coffee is no longer free, but it's still funny.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Alex and I spent about three hours last night watching back-to-back episodes of Dog Whisperer. I'd never seen the show before, in fact I think that we both thought it was about a pet psychic (don't ask....), but in fact it was really pretty good. Some of the episodes focused on dogs where we were both thinking either kick that dog or give it away, but I'll be the first person to admit that the love we have for Ruby could probably only be rivaled by a child, so I'm not gonna throw any stones at these people who put up with dogs that bark, dogs that bite, dogs that try to eat other dogs.

The Dog Whisperer (Caesar) is all about the "pack" mentality. He's the leader of the pack, and as soon as a dog that he is working with acknowledges that, he can start to work with the family on how to control the dog's behavior. One thing that really rang true with me was to watch how he required that the dog become submissive before he moved on to any work with them. He never calls the dog by name, it's more about body language and asserting himself as the leader. He has a sort of "dog camp" in Los Angeles that is home to around 40 dogs - some that he has rescued, some that he is working with, some that board while their people are away. All of those dogs, living in harmony. Have to say, I was pretty impressed. I think there is hope yet for my mom's crazy dog, Thor - my nephew is now responsible for him, and I told him to TiVo a few episodes of the show and watch them to get some ideas.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Moving day is about three weeks away, and I've only just begun to pack.

That thought fills me with terror, even though I'm an old veteran of house-moves. The house I'm about to inhabit will be my 21st address. I may even be forgetting one or two, but I know it's at least 21. I'm about to be 36 years old, so that seems like a lot of moving - but let me say that many of those moves took place before I was able to decide for myself. In the last 12 years, I've lived in 3 houses - 6 years in my condo in Santa Monica, a year-and-a-half in a house we rented when we first moved to Boulder, and now 4 years in our current home. That's not too bad.

One of the things that made me think of this is a news blurb I read or heard about recently about how many adults and families have no sense of community anymore, no "circle of friends" that they rely on for everything from babysitting to moral support. Among the factors they cited was that many adults move from place to place so much, far more than was common for our parents. Many people don't have jobs that are long-term, due to layoffs and competitive employers, etc.

In my adult life, I've always tried to create that circle for myself. I relish my home and my friends and the time I'm able to spend with them. Even when I've landed in a new city, one of my priorities is to find a place (okay, usually it's a bar) where I feel comfortable, and then to go there and seek out the faces that start to look familiar. Over time, I've built wonderful friendships with an incredibly eclectic group of men and women. I'm so grateful for them.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Well, I did it. I bought a kit of at-home hair color and used it. I was terrified.

Since we're buying another house, and I have this wacky goal of being out of debt sometime in the next 50 years, I've had to seriously cut back on certain types of expenses. The first to go was the personal trainer (an admitted luxury), followed quickly by my regular visits to the hair salon. My hair grows incredibly fast, and I've worn blond highlights for most of my adult life, so I usually have to go have them done every 8 weeks - even at eight weeks I have at least an inch and a half of rootage.

My goal going forward it about simplicity, about not needing so much STUFF. Along with sorting through my possessions with a wicked hand and creating two pickups full of stuff to sell at a garage sale next week, I'm also trying to make my day-to-day life a little less complicated. This led me to a frightening conclusion - my natural hair color *gasp*. Only problem is, I'm not exactly sure what my natural color is. Okay, I can look at the hair near the back of my head/neck for guidance, but it's pretty damn dark. I can look to my brows, but they're pretty dark, too. I'm not sure that I'm actually that dark-haired, although my father was. To make the transition a little less traumatic, I went with a light brown shade from L'Oréal Féria. It is a little too light of a brown for me, but it's a good interim color, and in a couple of weeks, I'll go a shade darker and see how that goes. The Feria stuff isn't permanent, it's meant to last a month or so. It's very gentle, but I confess there were some fumes last night that made me wonder if my husband put something in my water.

Anyway, I'm not posting photos yet. Maybe after the next color adjustment. Don't you just love progress posts?

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

A meme from Beth:

Five items in my freezer

  1. vodka

  2. peaches

  3. Boca lasagna

  4. beer glasses

  5. wedding cake

Five items in my closet

  1. many, many pairs of shoes

  2. many, many purses

  3. hockey stick

  4. rifle, shotgun and handgun

  5. extra toilet paper

Five items in my car

  1. parka

  2. 15 dog leashes

  3. extra socks

  4. flares

  5. first aid kit

Five items in my purse

  1. 11 tubes of lip gloss

  2. sunscreen (spf 45)

  3. Evian atomiser

  4. handkerchief with my initial embroidered on the corner

  5. check for $581.25 (woo hoo, gotta go deposit that!)

Monday, July 24, 2006

I wish I were better about making time to post. Every day it seems like there is an interesting or funny little story that would be perfect to share, but by the time I get around to actually doing a post, I've forgotten all of the little gems of my day.

One thing I can share with you is how much I'm enjoying Hemingway's A Moveable Feast. I never had the opportunity to read much Hemingway (outside of school), and this book is like a little gift that waits for me each night when I go to bed. I especially love how he describes needing to read other writers at the end of his work day, to preserve that part of his writing that still lives in his mind, by escaping into someone else's story.

For most of my life, since I learned to read, I've read every night before bed. Even when I'm traveling, or I stay out too late, I still pick up a book before going to sleep. I keep stacks of books on the floor next to my bed, because I never know what I'll be in the mood for from one night to the next. Sometimes I stick to one book until I finish it, but other times I know that what I need is something else, and I pluck a different one from the pile. I'm also one of those people who rereads books over and over again, because I'm able to disappear into the ones I love, and it's like reading them for the first time again.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Dr. Choppers passed on the house. *sigh* Oh well. I'm not going to kid you - the idea of a nice, responsible dentist and his kids as tenants was pretty much a dream come true for us, but what can you do? So the ad is running again, and I might actually have to plunk down some serious cash and run an ad in the local paper. Yes, I said "serious cash" - to run the very brief ad, text only, on a single weekend (Friday, Saturday and Sunday) is $800. I kid you not.

Come to think of it, I know someone (in the friend-of-a-friend-of-a-friend fashion) who works at the paper. I'm going to call and work on that. Really, it's not as if they have people getting left out of the local classifieds for lack of space, so how hard can it be to do me a little favor?

Monday, July 17, 2006

Dr. Choppers (I mean the dentist - ha ha, where is that reference from?) has been offered the house to rent. I should hear tonight or first thing tomorrow whether or not he'll take it. Hold good thoughts for my house to rent.

It's a relief to be back at work, mostly for the opportunity to spend the day indoors with A/C. We had some major computer issues this morning, so I haven't been as productive as I would have liked, but it beats being out in the heat. I'm even skipping going out to lunch (oh, the horror!) because I don't want to be outside. I know, I'm being lame, but I can't help it - I'm so sensitive to heat! Give me winter any day over being hot. I suppose it's a good thing that our new house is way up in the mountains, it's at least a good 15° cooler up there at any given time.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Since I've talked several times about how hot it is, I'm guessing that you figured out that we don't have air conditioning. There are really only a handful of days each year when this is a true problem, but unfortunately those days seem to all be right about now.

We went to a movie last night in the hopes of cooling off a bit, so I got to see "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest". I'm not going to do a movie review here, except to say that I wouldn't spend any money to see it again. It's not that it wasn't entertaining, it's just a kind of bored, been there, done that kind of movie. Anyway, the point wasn't to see THAT movie, it was to be inside someplace with A/C for a while, so I guess at least the money wasn't wasted.

Today, I took my niece and spent the entire day at a shopping mall. No kidding. We strolled through most of the stores, had a long lunch at California Pizza Kitchen, bought a few little goodies, had our makeup done at Nordstrom, etc. We managed to kill 6 hours - but hey, that 6 WHOLE HOURS THAT I WASN'T SWEATING AND MISERABLE.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

It's been a busy freaking day, and also the hottest in years. Really. Record-breaking heat.

We had three potential renters come over this morning, starting at 9:30am. Two were referrals from friends, and the third answered our ad on Craig's List. All three seemed to like it, all three took applications. Unfortunately, I was interrupted with the last person (let's call him "the dentist"), because Alex called to tell me that he was stuck by the side of the freeway in Denver, wearing a wool suit.

Yeah, that one begs for an explanation. This morning was the funeral for our friend Gene, who died last week. Gene and Alex used to race together, they were incredibly well-matched in terms of their abilities. Gene was a sweet kid, and Alex was like a big brother to him. Since we had already lined up several prospective tenants, and since it's so unbelievably important that we get the house rented, I stayed behind to do the showings and Alex went to the funeral. Being the nice, well-mannered, cultured boy that he is, he went in his only black suit, a lightweight Italian wool. He looked lovely, and I was so proud of him for being so respectful toward our friend's family by looking appropriate when he went to grieve with them (unlike some of his fellow racers who thought it was somehow completely appropriate to go to a graveside ceremony in A T-SHIRT AND SHORTS. Are you fucking kidding me?).

So, he's headed home from the funeral, on the freeway back from Denver, and the truck dies. Just completely stops. It'll turn over, but won't catch. He's stuck on the side of the freeway, in 104° weather, with no power in the truck (and so no A/C), and I'm about 40 minutes away and occupied with trying to rent out our house.

Anyhow, long story short, the truck made it home, then died again on the way to the dealership, got towed, and now appears to need a new power train control module (oooh, scary). Alex says the whole thing with the truck is just our friend Gene, messing with him one last time.'t....move.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

It's not a good day. A friend died today. He was injured almost two weeks ago, and died this morning. His organs are being donated as we speak.

I didn't know him well, but well enough to miss him. His death is hitting me really hard, and one reason is that his accident occured while he was riding his motorcycle at a track day - something that my husband does on a regular basis. I'm long past the point of feeling sick every time he gets on the bike, but I have to confess that after this, I don't know how I'll feel.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Big news. We've decided to buy a second house. We're land barons now (haha). The picture above is the view from the end of the driveway, out toward Gross Reservoir. It was such a good deal, a nice piece of land, a nice little 2,000 square foot house, 30 minutes into the mountains above Boulder. More info later.

Friday, July 07, 2006

You know the guy in your office that talks too much? The one who can't resist butting in on any conversation within earshot? The one who sees you standing in the doorway of the manager's office chatting, and strolls over so he won't be left out? Yeah, that one. I have one of those, too. We couldn't decide what to call that condition, until Wikipedia helped me out (actually, Wikipedia pointed me to Wiktionary).

Gobshite. Heh. Perfect.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

One of my favorite things about my job is the people. We're a small group of about 8 (there are 18 in our office, but many are on the road a lot or work from home, so the core group is about 8), and we have lunch together nearly every day, do happy hour, that sort of thing. Now we're adding movies to the list of things to do when we're not hard at work.

Boulder Outdoor Cinema is a cool way to see movies in the summer. The films are projected up onto the back of a building on the quiet side of downtown, in front of a big empty parking lot. The movies start at about 9pm, and from 7pm on, people start to slowly arrive and stake out their spots - dragging lawn chairs, bean bags, coolers and picnic baskets. You can bring whatever food/drink you like, or they have some to purchase.

This Friday we're going over to see "Office Space". I can't think of a better movie to watch with this group of friends. One of them promised to bring a pitcher of margaritas (made with some excellent tequila that another coworker just brought back from Mexico), and I'm going to take some bbq chicken and deviled eggs. Should be a good time.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Back from a race weekend in Iowa. It's WAY too hot to be going to a place like Iowa right now - of the four days I was there, I think the lowest daytime temperature was around 90 degrees. Ugh. I'm not one of those people who handles hot weather well. I'd rather be surrounded by snow 10 months out of the year than go through 3-4 really hot months of summer.

Boulder is hot, damn hot, in the summer. There have been summers since I have lived here that have been almost unbearable for me. In fact, in 2001 I fled Boulder and returned to Santa Monica, in part because I was so hot all the fracking time. I get cranky, have headaches, my joints swell - it's awful!

This summer got hot pretty early, but it's cooling off a bit now. We had a fierce thunderstorm last night, just dumped rain down on us. My house backs up to open space, and there is a creek just beyond our property line. Flash floods are not uncommon when it rains like that - it's one reason that flood insurance is required where we live. In the four years we've been in our house, we haven't had any flooding yet, but we are on the "100 Year Flood Plain" - let's just hope the 1-in-100 doesn't happen while we live there.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday dear Kellllllllyyyyyyyyy.....Happy Birthday to you.

My little sis turned 34 today. A few highlights from June 26 gone by:

In 1870, the first section of the boardwalk at Atlantic City, N.J., was opened to the public.

In 1917, the first troops of the American Expeditionary Force arrived in France during World War I.

In 1945, the charter of the United Nations was signed by 50 countries in San Francisco.

In 1959, President Eisenhower joined Britain's
Queen Elizabeth II in ceremonies officially opening the St. Lawrence Seaway.

In 1968, Chief U.S. Justice Earl Warren announced his intention to resign.

In 1977, 42 people were killed when a fire sent toxic smoke pouring through the Maury County Jail in Columbia, Tenn.

In 2003, Strom Thurmond, the longest-serving senator in U.S. history, died in Edgefield, S.C., at age 100.

Today's Birthdays: Actress Eleanor Parker is 84. Jazz musician-film composer Dave Grusin is 72. Actor Josef Sommer is 72. Singer Billy Davis Jr. (The Fifth Dimension) is 66. Rock singer Georgie Fame is 63. Actor Clive Francis is 60. Actor Robert Davi is 52. Singer-musician Mick Jones is 51. Actor Gedde Watanabe is 51. Rock singer Chris Isaak is 50. Rock singer Patty Smyth is 49. Singer Terri Nunn (Berlin) is 45. Rock singer Harriet Wheeler (The Sundays) is 43. Rock musician Colin Greenwood (Radiohead) is 37. Writer-director Paul Thomas Anderson is 36. Actor Sean Hayes is 36. Actor Matt Letscher is 36. Actor Chris O'Donnell is 36. Friend, daughter, sister and mom Kelly Bennett is 34. Actress Rebecca Budig is 33. Country singer Gretchen Wilson is 32. Actor-musician Jason Schwartzman is 26. Actress Kaitlin Cullum is 20.

Chris Isaak is 50???

Thursday, June 22, 2006


Aren't feet weird looking? Maybe it's just mine. I know I have one really odd toe (fourth toe on my right foot), which kind of curls under the others. Also, my feet grew so that my toes formed a point - you should see when I point my toes, they actually form a very shart point. I also think the longer second toe is freaky. I've heard all sorts of theories over the years about how that means something, but to me it just means my feet aren't as pretty as some others. I take comfort in the fact that I don't know anyone who has what I would call "pretty feet". I supposed it could be worse - my husband is dark-haired, and he said the (very sparse) hair on his feet makes him look like a hobbit. Heh. Hobbit feet.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

I bought a new camera last week. It was equal parts a present to myself for my recent promotion (yay!), and a practical purchase in the sense that we're going to spend about 3 weeks in Europe this fall, and I'm trying to go with one small carry-on suitcase (yeah, we'll see how that goes). On the one hand was my beloved D70, which is a) heavy, b) bulky & hard to pack, and c) very, very expensive. On the other hand was the very reasonably priced Canon PowerShot SD600, which fits in the palm of my hand, and is far more easily replaced (price-wise) if I lose it or break it.

Anyhow, I was messing around with the new toy in the office last week, and snapped the photo above - the very first photo taken! The view is from my cubicle out onto Pearl Street in Boulder.

More to come....

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Internet problems in the office yesterday afternoon (damn you, C0mc@st) prompted a group of us to go off, laptops in hand, in search of free wireless Internet. In a town like Boulder, you don't have to go far. In fact, two doors down is the lovely Allison coffee house, which I've written about in previous posts. However, Allison does not have air conditioning, and since it was around 90°, my compadres and I kept walking. Then, in flash of genius, I remembered that Conor O'Neill's has free wireless, and air conditioning, and both Stella Artois and Harp on tap. I'll give you two guesses as to where we spent our afternoon. We were not necessarily productive, but we had a good time.

Monday, June 19, 2006

Jodi had a conflict come up for Tuesday this week, so we met this morning instead. I was able to drag my ass out of bed early enough to do about 15 minutes of fast walking on an incline before she got there (so much for my cardio). Once she arrived, we did this:

  • Push ups - 3 sets of 12

  • Hip adductors - 70 lbs. - 3 sets of 12

  • Hip abductors - 90 lbs. - 3 sets of 12

  • Standing leg extensions - 3 sets of 12 / each leg

  • Seated wide grip pull downs - 35 lbs. - 3 sets of 12

I feel pretty good today. The leg extensions that we did today were easier than the ones last week (for me at least). I stand on one leg and lean forward to hold onto a bar, then draw my other knee to my chest, and then extend it out straight behind me, pivoting the hip joint of my standing leg. Since I used to do both ballet and gymnastics, this particular strech isn't difficult for me, but doing a lot of reps is certainly a good little burn.

Jodi also gave me some diet advice last week, and so starting today, I'm on the bandwagon of 5-6 small meals, about every 3 hours. This is hard for me, because I'm often not hungry, and I tend to lose track of time while I'm sitting at my desk. But I'm going to try. Just so that you'll all pity me, here's today's menu:

protein bar

2 hard-boiled eggs, whites only
5 whole wheat crackers
handful of green grapes

grilled chicken
small salad

1 c. of oatmeal
1/2 small red bell pepper
string cheese

small apple
2 small slices tri-tip steak
green beans
dinner salad

Seems like a lot of food. We'll see how I do.

Friday, June 16, 2006

I was thinking that the best way to let you know that I'm keeping my commitment over at Neil's to "move my ass" is to post about my visits to the gym. Let me know if this gets boring.

I meet my trainer, Jodi, on Tuesdays and Thursdays before work. We do a half hour each time we meet, focusing on weights and core work. Squats and crunches exist in every workout. I usually try to get there a half hour or so before I'm to meet Jodi, and I get on the treadmill for a brisk walk / slow jog. I usually select one of the preset programs on the treadmill - "calorie burn" is my favorite, it speeds up and slows down and increases and decreases the incline. I always feel good after I get off the treadmill, and I feel nice and warm by the time I start with weights. We don't do any heavy weights, just lots of repetitions (usually 3 sets of either 12 or 15). I have very long limbs, so building the long muscles works well for me. I played a lot of sports as a child/teen (gymnastics, swimming, volleyball, softball, track), so I have a tendency to build certain muscles (thighs, back, shoulders) faster than others. I'm trying to be careful about building any big muscles - I don't want the thighs of my jeans to be tight!

Yesterday's workout was as follows:
  • Bicep curls, seated on fit ball for core stabilization - 15lbs in each hand - 3 sets of 12

  • Squats, each followed by a lateral shoulder raise (10lbs each hand) - 3 sets of 12

  • Crunches with one knee drawn to chest - 3 sets of 12 for each leg

  • Tricep extensions - 3 sets of 12 at 25lbs

The last exercise we did was kind of strange (well, it was new to me), and it's the one I'm really feeling now. I stood with my feet firmly planted, about 4 inches apart, then raised one leg and stood with that knee bent. I then extended that leg out straight, and returned it to the bent knee position, remaining balanced on one leg. I repeated this 12 times, then switched legs. Did both legs 3 times. By the end of the third, I could barely extend my leg, felt like it was lifting a bag of cement every time I kicked out my ankle - and of course it has to be done slowly and smoothly!

Anyway, that was Thursday. I'll be back at the gym Saturday morning, on my own this time - can't afford Jodi more than twice a week!

Good news this morning! My mobile rang about 7am with the news that my friend Kim had her baby. Lily R. was born late last night, weighing a healthy 7lbs. 4 oz. Kim is such a trooper, she said the delivery was surprisingly easy (although clearly not as easy as my friend Joni, who described the delivery of her twin boys as "they shot out like they were on a water slide"), and she and the baby will be going home tomorrow. My best wishes go out to the new mama, and Papa Dean.

P.S. I'll bet you thought I was kidding when I posted recently about all the babies, huh? It just keeps coming - found out the other day that our friends R & D are expecting their second baby this fall. I swear, there's something in the water here.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

I was a couple of hours late to work today, because this morning at 9am was the opening of the Title Nine warehouse sale. At least, I thought it was a warehouse sale. They sent me a flyer about a sale, but I lost the stupid flyer. Then last night, I went to Bonfils for my regular blood donation, and there was a sign about the sale posted in the empty storefront next door. I figured, what the hell, I like Title Nine but won't usually spend the ungodly amount of money that they want for most of their merchandise, so a warehouse sale works for me. Turns out, it wasn't really a warehouse sale, except in the sense that every woman in Boulder between the ages of 18 and 70 was there. Some even brought their husbands (I think so that the hubby could be used as a barricade when digging through a particularly deep bin of sports bras). I had to park in a WHOLE SEPARATE STRIP MALL LOT!! Come on, this isn't Boston or LA - we NEVER have trouble parking, especially at a strip mall that until today boasted of a Blockbuster, a Glacier ice cream store, and the Outback Saloon.

So the part about how it wasn't really a warehouse sale is in reference to the fact that this shit was still REALLY expensive. Elbow your way in, push against the human tide to get close enough to a table to grab an item that MIGHT fit, wait in the cashier line that wrapped twice around the lenghth of the store, only to still pay $29 for a t-shirt? $19 for a sports bra? I get that it's less than in the store, but it's hardly a bargain price. Hell, I can do better than that on Sierra Trading Post or Campmor, and can even find some of the same brands. Plus, no one steps on my toes or snatches a sweatshirt out of my hands when I shop online.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

About three weeks ago, I made a commitment over at Citizen of the Month to exercise at least 3 times per week, or else publicly humiliate myself on my blog. Ha! No public flogging here! That's right, I am on track with my thrice-weekly visits to the gym. I've even reached the point where I sort of look forward to it. With the help of my trainer, Jodi, I'm getting toned, little by little. She and I meet two mornings a week, and then I make it at least one more time each week on my own. Here's what we did this morning:

  • Tricep extensions

  • Chest presses

  • Hip adductors

  • Hip abductors

  • Crunches on a fit ball, pushing medicine ball skyward at the top of each crunch

Unfortunately, I was running late this morning and didn't get any time on the treadmill, which is how I usually warm up. Maybe tomorrow....

On my iPod for the gym:

Earth, Wind & Fire
Crystal Method
Pussycat Dolls
Fat Boy Slim
Kanye West

I know. Weird.

Monday, June 12, 2006

I got back into town last night from a long weekend in Durango. A friend of mine participated in the Adventure Xstream race, and I was part of the support crew ("crewing" became a favored term over the weekend, and was usually invoked to describe what we were doing when we were sprawled on the couch or floor in the condo, drinking wine and eating cheese). I love Durango, it's a very scenic town, with very mild temperatures this time of year - mid to high 70s during the day, low 50s at night - as opposed to Boulder and the mid-90s temperatures that I have to look forward to all this week.

Our condo was on the mountain at the Purgatory ski resort, about 25 miles outside town. The view from the couch was straight out across the valley, to the Needles peaks opposite the resort. I would show you photos, but my trusty D70 has taken to turning itself on while in my bag and thereby draining its battery - so no pictures until I hear back from the rest of the team (the picture above is from Google Images).

P.S. In my defense, I tried to post last week, really I did. Fracking Blogger was down. I'm surprised I could even view my blog, 'cause I sure couldn't post to it.

Monday, June 05, 2006

I set up my site for RSS feeds, via FeedBurner (see the clever little icon on the lower right) - feel free to sign up. Go easy on me, I'm feeling very technically challenged by all of this and am resisting the urge to whimper. Clearly, I do not spend enough time online and perusing blogs. I may have to change that....

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

This one is from a hike I did last year with the kids in Rocky Mountain National Park.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

I'm getting settled in nicely to the new office and the new job. A little about each:

The new office is gorgeous - 2nd (top) floor of a building in downtown Boulder, right on the corner in a busy pedestrian area near the Pearl Street Mall. There's a restaurant downstairs, so every day at about 4pm we start to hear music and people laughing and talking. It's energetic and alive in this part of town, and one whole wall of our office is windows that look out at the mountains. I can see Mount Sanitas as I sit here, reflected in my monitor screen.

I wasn't kidding about the air conditioning. It's 75° outside, and probably 65° in here. I sit at my desk wearing a fleece.

As for the new work, it's been kind of overwhelming, but exciting at the same time. It's far more technical than anything I've ever done (for work, anyway) before. I'm writing code that creates little snippets of video streams that we use to test digital video products. The creation of these streams is very detailed and involved, and there's a lot for me to learn - but I'm so thrilled that I'm being given the opportunity to do it, after years of being stepped on and held back. I'm starting to find my footing with this work, but there is tons of help available to me. I think the plan is that I do this for a month, and if looks as if I can cut the mustard, then I get to make the change permanent and make more money (huzzah!).

About the only downside to this change at work (and I don't see it as a problem at all) is that I am spending lots more time at work than I used to - around 50 hours a week. I don't mind it at all, but it will start to cut into my ability to do other things, at least for a few months until I'm really rolling with this stuff. But the potential for me to a) work my way out of debt and b) be fabulously successful in my chosen work is well worth it.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006


Monday, May 22, 2006

More for the office photo stuff....this one taken in Chicago, the day before Alex and I got engaged.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

I could HARDLY participate in a photo contest without submitting at least one photo of Ruby....did I mention that it's a magic red ball?

Monday, May 15, 2006

We had a lovely Mother's Day - my mom, Joey, Mare and I went to see Poseidon in the afternoon, and then headed toward downtown Boulder for dinner. The initial plan was a Cajun restaurant called Red Fish, but once we were seated, the smell of fish was so overwhelming that I was starting to feel sick. Luckily, no one was dying to eat there, so we left and went instead to The Med, one of my all-time favorites in Boulder. We dined on grilled garlic shrimp, calamari, three different kinds of hummus, some falafel, and prosciutto-wrapped melon with balsamic vinegar. Mmmmmmm. I also had a glass of a really nice pinot noir, called Hahn. I've never tried that particular wine before, and I'm not usually all that fond of pinot noir, but this was quite nice - I think I'll try to pick up some tonight and have it for home.

Today is actually a big day for me at work - I sort of got a promotion (that means that for a month, I do a bigger, harder job - if it goes well, I probably get to continue to do it permanently and make more money), so I've been assigned a mentor at work and will spend pretty much all of my time with him, trying to quickly get up to speed. I'm slightly intimidated, but the person that will be mentoring me is someone that I'm already close to, so I know that we'll be able to work well together.

One last thing for you to chew on - I might have some news soon, rather big news (no, not the kind that comes nine months from now). Stay tuned.

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Taken last fall, from my mother's driveway....

Friday, May 12, 2006

There is a photo contest at work, where the winning pictures are blown-up and framed to hang on the walls of the office. After a few months or so, you get to take your picture home. Over the next few days, I'll post photos that I'm submitting for consideration (be nice!).

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

My beloved Avs are headed to the conference semifinals in the next couple of weeks. The outcome of the Calgary/Ducks game today will determine who we face - according to, "If Calgary wins Wednesday, the third-seeded Flames will host No. 8 seed Edmonton in the conference semifinals. An Anaheim win would eliminate the last of the top four seeds in the West playoffs, and set up a matchup between the Ducks and the seventh-seeded Colorado Avalanche."

Personally, I don't care who we play - I have tickets, and I'll be there - on my feet, screaming my head off. Sports have always been part of my life, both as a player and a spectator. I can remember watching football with my grandparents and my uncles when I was just a small child, and my mother & sister know more about college football than some coaches I know. I still love it to this day - my sister and I know each other well enough to know that in the fall and winter, you don't call early on Sundays (in case we're sleeping off Saturday), but you don't call late morning/early afternoon either, since we'll be watching football.

This is the first season that I've had season tickets for the Avalanche, and I'll definitely re-up for next year. Actually, it's a pretty sweet deal: my friend Tara and her husband have 2 sets of tickets side-by-side, so four seats total. They keep two for themselves, and then they sell the other two to three separate couples - so I get two tickets to a third of all the home games. I know that sounds confusing, but it works really well for me. I get to attend about 11 games, so it doesn't feel like I'm going ALL THE TIME, and I take different people every time. Alex has been to a few, my friend Tam, my friend Kat, and Joey and Mare have been to a couple of games each.

Hold good thoughts for my boys - Sakic, Tanguay, Hinote, Hejduk, Laperrier, Brisebois, Liles, Theodore, and my most favorite, Big Rob Blake. GO AVS!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

This one is for my darling Vic....

I was reminded this week that this blog is how a lot of my oldest and dearest friends keep track of me. A lot of times, I think about posting and am turning over my days in my head, and while there are stories there that touch and amuse me, I usually think other people would be bored by them. What I keep forgetting is that I started this blog for me, as a way to get stuff out of my head, and the happy by-product was that my friends and family could follow my days. So, I sit here this morning with a renewed commitment to my blog and regular posts.

Almost every morning, I stop at Allison for my morning coffee. It's right across the street from where I park, a really charming little storefront coffee house. It has a garage door on the front wall that rolls up when the weather is nice, making the whole place seem very open. There are small tables and chairs, armchairs and couches, and the obligatory wireless internet that it seems no coffee house can do without. They also have great coffee. Not just good coffee, great coffee. The staff is laid-back and unhurried, so you might wait a few minutes longer than if you ran up to St@rbuck$, but my lattes are so smooth and frothy, it's well worth my wait.

Now on to my gripe. I have only one, really (other than the one about how one of the staff misled me when he said they do all their own baking, and then I was there when the baker was delivering bread, cinnamon rolls and cookies, and the guy confessed that they only bake everything ELSE). It's that a lot of the regulars don't bathe. I don't mean like funky hippy B.O., I mean nasty, never-seen-a-bar-of-soap-before-much-less-touched-one stink. Sometimes they look to be homeless (look, I used to work with the homeless here, I've got no beef, but most of them aren't up and hitting Allison at 7am, nor would they spare the cash for a frou-frou latte), but more often they are just dirty - good shoes, no holes in the pants, but FILTHY. What the fuck is up with that? You're such a connoisseur of coffee that you'll go off the beaten track of the mall to get to Allison (and the coffee isn't any cheaper than the other place), but you won't take a damn shower? Or wash your hands? I swear, the guy behind me in line today not only had a smell so bad it was almost visible in the air, but his hands were dark with dirt and grime. C'mon - you eat with those hands?

Some say this is part of the local color of living in a place like Boulder. Maybe they're right. Lord knows I wouldn't have had much else to write about so far this morning....

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Almost forgot - that post from last week, about spring? Remember the pink tree (scroll down....) - here it is this morning:

Ruby loves the snow.

Monday, April 24, 2006

Who knew that winter extended into the third week of April?

Sunday, April 16, 2006


Moms and babies are doing great - Gavin and his mom have to stay in the hospital until probably Monday, as he was delivered via Caesarean. Rachel and her mama just got home a few minutes ago. They live next door, so I saw them pull in as I sat at my computer. Both sets of Rachel's grandparents are here, and one grandpa had a video camera ready to record her homecoming. It was sweet and charming to see, but made me not a little bit sad - should Alex and I ever have kids, it won't be quite like that - my dad is gone, my mom already has 2 grandkids, and Alex's parents have enjoyed watching 5 grandchildren arrive so far. Still, it's nice to hear all the excitement from next door - the only thing missing is the banner strung across the garage door that announces "IT'S A GIRL!".

I now have one remaining girlfriend who is pregnant - her daughter is due in June. This has been a busy year for pregnant friends - at one point it seemed like I was going to a baby shower every week! I've decided that it's just a factor of my age - I'm 35, and most of my friends are within a few years of that age, so it's natural that they're either starting families, or having their last kids. Plus, this is Boulder - home to more sets of multiple births (twins, triplets, etc.) than any other place I've ever lived, and a lot of those babies are coming to families who've waited a while to have them (read: moms are older!). They tell me that the likelihood of a multiple birth goes up dramatically as you approach 40, which frankly fills me with terror. It's probably one of the few reasons I still hesitate to consider getting pregnant - oh, I know, everyone says you figure it out and make it work, but I'm telling you, a single child would be lucky to survive in my house, forget more than one.

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Spring has sprung in Boulder. The white tree is in my front yard, the pink one is in the side yard. It's 75 degrees out already today. I just hope that if we do have a spring storm, my flowers will survive the snow. This happens every year, so they should be used to it by now.

Friday, April 14, 2006


Two of my closest girlfriends are pregnant, and both are delivering today! They're even at the same hospital. They're making it very easy for me to visit and bestow tons of auntie gifts on the little people. One knew she was having a girl, but my other friend was holding out to learn the sex at birth. I'm still waiting for calls from both of them with the announcement, names, sex, etc. This is very exciting!

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

I have lately been inspired by Ali and her success at losing the little extra weight that just seems to mysteriously appear. I'm not sure at what point I began to slowly creep up, but for someone who used to be quite thin, I am decidedly Rubenesque lately. Not into plus sizes or anything, but heavier than I like to be. Of course that extra weight had to go directly to my boobs and my hips - while the guys out there may not see the problem with that, I would like to get back to being comfortable in a tank top, rather than look like I'm imitating Jayne Mansfield or something.

I joined a new gym in Boulder, it's 24 hrs. and for women only. It's small and doesn't offer classes, but they have plenty of equipment, it's close to home, and I can work with a trainer. My trainer is called Jodi, and I meet with her every Wednesday morning. I'm obviously not as committed as some - Jodi told me about another client that she meets with 5 mornings a week - not only can I not afford that, I'm not sure that I could bear it. I make the effort to get there another 2-3 times per week, besides my workouts with Jodi, but lately I've not been too successful at that.

Last night I was flipping through a magazine, and there was an article about Gabrielle Reece and Laird Hamilton, their gorgeous kid and home in Hawaii. There was a quote over a photo of Gaby working out, and she talked about how working out has to be like your job - some days you don't feel like going to work, but you've gotta go anyway, and that you have to adopt the same attitude about working out or you won't be successful. That really hit home for me. So as I was just starting to wake up this morning, still groggy from lack of sleep and slowly coming out of my dreams, I started to try to talk myself out of going to the gym. Oh, you can head over there on the way home from work tonight. Oh, what's the big deal if I go tomorrow instead? Oh, I'll take a walk at lunch instead. I was suddenly aware of how easy it was for me to make excuses, and resolved to just cut it out. The truth is that I feel great if I go and do my workout, it really changes my entire day. I KNOW this, so why can't I just quit arguing with myself and go?

I don't intend to turn this into a weight-loss blog, but reading about Ali's efforts really helped me get clear on my goals, so I am in turn sharing this with you.

Monday, April 03, 2006

We're back from the loooonnnngggg weekend at the track. This was our first motorcycle event of the season, and the weather was glorious on the first day, just ideal conditions. However, Saturday night a storm rolled in, and I spent hours in bed, listening to the thunder and the rain and the hail and the wind, just waiting for the trailer to be knocked over. Luckily that didn't happen, but it did ruin our second day of riding. The track was wet, the ground was muddy, and the storms returned mid-day. All in all, it was a successful event, since both days sold out, but it would have been nice if we'd had better weather. I'm just glad to be back, I'm so completely spent after three days of sleeping in a trailer and sporadic access to a shower. I hereby commit to not making any plans for at least two weeks, other than my girls night out this week (I'm not skipping that!).

P.S. I read in the news this morning that those same storms we experienced Saturday night went on to kill 27 people across the midwest. Yikes. I can believe it, it was as bad as any weather I've seen before.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Ugh. I have the worst headcold. I don't think it's good when your teeth ache, right?

Back soon. I need to guzzle a couple of glasses of red wine so I can sleep.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

I've gotten so lazy about posting lately - part of it is that I've become spoiled by being able to use photos, but I haven't been taking many lately.

Work continues to be really busy, far more so than I expected when I took the job last fall. The strange thing is, where I used to resent every moment I spent in the office (at the former job, the make me want to stick needles into my eyeballs job), now an 8 or 9 hour day flies by. Part of it is that I genuinely like the work I'm doing and the people I'm working with. I'm not suggesting that the last job had no redemptive value - it paid a salary (always a good thing), they had FANTASTIC benefits - so much so that a lot of people never left, even though they were just as miserable as I was, and there were a handful of people that I really cared about. BUT, the new gig is a far better place for me. The work is challenging and changes, there is always something new to learn, and the powers-that-be are always willing to let me try new things, constantly improving my skills, the whole package.

Love the new car, too. It came just in time for the March winter that has descended on this part of Colorado. It's been snowing on and off for the past four days, and the high temps have been about 30°. The truck handles beautifully in the wet (assuming I drop it into 4-wheel drive), and I really do feel safe in it. My only scary moment so far was this morning, sitting in the left turn lane at a light near my house. I saw a pickup coming up in my rearview mirror, and I could tell he was going WAY too fast for the conditions (I had hit the sheet of black ice he was headed for just minutes before I saw him), and I was watching, just knowing that he was about to hit me and hard. Luckily, he also figured this out, and cranked his wheel to the right so he ended up beside me instead of in my trunk. Fracking people - when will they learn? Driving a big heavy vehicle does not make you immune to ice!!

Friday, March 17, 2006

Okay - yes, I got a new car. Those of you who know me know that my other car was only two years old, so let me explain.

I have been driving a 2004 Subaru Outback Sport Wagon. It's a lovely car, handles beautifully, great gas mileage, the works. Then, about 6 months ago, I was nearly hit head-on by a Tahoe. Only through the grace of Buddha did I not get hit. It TOTALLY freaked me out, because I know that if that big monster had hit me, I'd be dead, or at least really fucked up. Ever since, I've wanted to be back in an SUV - I know all the arguments against them, believe me - I'm one of the ones who has always spouted off those arguments. But I was scared, and then I was scared to have Joey and Mare in the car, and I was nervous taking it on road trips, and that's just not like me. I couldn't get the idea out of my head that I needed to get back into an SUV.

So I started looking around, checking prices, reading crash test results and safety ratings. It seems that short of a mini-van, I can't do much better than a 4Runner. I focused on the 2001 and 2002 models, they seem to be a good value. We found one at a dealership in Golden, and drove down last night after work to take a look.

The car was in good shape, no body damage, pretty straightforward. Alex surprised me by saying that he didn't think we should do it, because for $10k more, we could have a brand new one. You could have knocked me over with a feather! He never wants to buy things, much less spend MORE on anything. But that's what we did. We bought an '06 4Runner SR5 with 4-wheel drive. It's really a lovely ride. It's more than roomy for those of us who stand over 6 feet tall, plenty of cargo room for the Wonder Dog, and the back seat is comfortable, too. I am now in debt up to my neck for a car, but I'm doing well at work and have the ability to work more if I want, so I'll do that for a while and make extra payments. The best part (aside from the fact that I can plug my iPod into the car and listen seamlessly through the stereo) is that I feel safe.

Lookee what I got....

Thursday, March 16, 2006

I'm still here! I have a bunch of news & posts and the like stored up, just haven't had a chance to get organized. I'll do that as soon as I can.

I was in San Diego last week for business, god how I miss California sometimes. I had lunch with a friend that I met on my high school swim team, 20 years ago. He looks exactly the same, just some crinkling around the eyes. Just to test my memory, I picked up my rental car and declined the map, tried to just find my way around. With the exception of one wrong turn off a freeway exit, I did great.

I'm dashing now, Alex and I are going shopping for a present for me. More on that later....

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Tonight we have a hockey game - for those who don't know, I bought season tickets for the Avalanche this year. Well, I bought 1/3 of a pair of season tickets. My friend Tara and her husband each had a pair of season tickets going into their marriage, and they are side by side (so four seats all together). Each season, they break a pair of the tickets up into a 3 part series - so I go to a total of about 11 home games this season. Tonight, Tara and her husband are exhausted from having just returned from a trip, so I picked up their tickets as well. Alex and I are taking the kids, they love going to the games.

I love hockey, I always have. Living in Vail as a child, we didn't have an ice rink until we'd lived there about 3 years (we skated on a frozen pond prior to that). Once the arena was built, we'd head over there nearly every day after school. Most days were just free skate, but we also organized our little informal hockey teams and beat the shit out of each other with out sticks. I still have scars on my shins, since we didn't know about pads or helmets or any other protective gear.

As an adult, I find hockey exhilarating, but only if you can see it live. Football and basketball I'm content to watch on TV, but not hockey. Being there, listening to the crowd, being on your feet or poised to scream for most of the game - there is nothing like it. I love how you get to know the styles of the players - like I know that if Rob Blake is anywhere on the opponent's side of the blue line, he's just waiting for the pass that lets him pull out that big gun and fire a shot that's like a bullet. Maybe I'll get to see one of those tonight....