Thursday, November 30, 2006

Random Act of Christmas Kindness #2

I've been living in my current house since August. Recently I met our next door neighbors. They are the best. A husband and wife in their upper 60's/lower 70's. She's a retired elementary school principal who writes novels and he's an attorney. I love that I know my neighbors. It was also cool to know that they were looking out for me. They expressed concern about me and my 4 roommates because they noticed that we're really never home. It felt like I'd gained some surrogate grandparents.

This act of Christmas kindness I can take absolutely zero credit for, but I thought it was so nice and thoughtful that I just had to share it today.

A week ago my roommate lost her job. Since then she has been working tirelessly to try to find something new. She needed to put together her resume, so I printed her off a copy of mine just in case she wanted to use it for something. I promised her I'd help, but she never asked for it and I got busy.

She got an interview for a really great Last night I didn't get home until 10:30. When I tried to find her to help, my roommates told me that she was over at the neighbor's house.

The husband had been working with her for hours getting her resume put together!

Isn't that nice?

Doesn't the image of this 68 year old retired attorney helping this desperate 25 year old girl just warm your heart?!?!? It did mine.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Really feeling the holidays

I've made a resolution.

I know, I'm about a month early on this, but I just really felt like it was the right time.

I love the Christmas season more than any other. It pretty much is the highlight of my year. It seems like for a month I just walk around happy and love everyone I see. It's great. However, I know there are people out there who don't share my thrill for the holiday season. Maybe they think it's too stressful. They don't like entertaining, or they've just had some hard luck.

So, my resolution for the next 26 days is to perform a random, unsolicited, anonymous act of Christmas kindness in the hopes that some of my own Christmas spirit will rub off. Because, well, if I can't be nice to people around the holidays when I personally feel so happy, when will I do it?

The idea is that I'm going to do something every day for someone in my real life. They won't know who did it or when or how. Then, I'm going to share it on my blog so that people out there reading it can see someone doing something nice for someone else. Hopefully that will make someone reading this feel good and so I'll get two nice things for the price of one.

Sound good?

PS I hope no one thinks I'm doing this for some kind of self-gratifying promotional kind of thing. I genuinely just want to do something nice.

Random Act of Christmas Kindness #1
This morning I was the first of my roommates to leave the house. Overnight here in Colorado it snowed about 6 inches. I brushed all the snow off my car and while I was waiting for my window defroster to de-ice the windshield itself (I refuse to scrape) I took the chance to brush the snow off both of my roommates cars so that they wouldn't have to.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Balsamic and raspberries

In eight grade I broke my toe playing soccer in gym class. Now, according to my own self diagnosis, I have a bone spur on the second toe of my right foot. Usually it doesn't bother me. Just a bump that precludes me wearing exactly 2" heels. (higher or shorter is just fine).

Anyway, Sunday I was messing around and bumped that toe strange. As shooting pain leapt up my entire leg I looked down and my foot looked like this:

I reached down and snapped that second little guy back into it's normal, straight condition, and thought nothing of it.

Later that night, when my foot began to swell up like the Goodyear blimp I wondered if I had done the right thing in practicing my own metatarsal orthopedic. I couldn't walk up the stairs to my bedroom, so the ear doctor got the chance to practice his fireman carry and took me to bed. I couldn't sleep well. I had to keep little righty hanging out the side of my bed because the weight of the sheets was painful.

The lack of sleep meant that Monday I was in a C-R-A-P-P-Y mood. I just couldn't get myself out of my lame funk. I called up my friend to cancel the plans we had for that evening. I didn't really think that it would be that fun for her to hang out with my in that state.

Luckily for me, she's not the type to take no for an answer. She and her rockin husband brought me Hagen daas ice cream with raspberries and this amazing balsamic vinegar they got last month in Rome. When they told me to just pour the vinegar onto my berries and ice cream I felt a little doubtful, but what the heck.

It was surprisingly GREAT! However, I wouldn't try it unless you have some really nice balsamic to use.

Thanksgiving movie

As I've mentioned before, our family has a great tradition surrounding Thanksgiving.

No, I'm not talking about the necessary orange rolls, or the requisite 5 different kinds of pie. I'm not talking about the annual family Spoons tournament either.

I'm talking about the day after Thanksgiving.

When other people are waking up early to rush out and get good deals on Christmas presents, we are waking up, throwing on our most tacky/expressive Christmas attire and participating in TREE DAY!

Yes. Our family has created it's own holiday. It's a day where you wake up early and set out all of the Christmas decor.

I've already described it pretty well here, but I failed to mention a very important part of the day.

Around 3 in the afternoon everyone starts to loose steam. You can only wrap garland and hang ornaments so long before you start to go a little bit nutters. So, as an anti-insanity measure, we adopted the Thanksgiving movie tradition.

The only problem is that the Thanksgiving movie tradition had one critical component that won't be there this year. My uncle Mike picks the movie. That is his job. He picks it a month in advance so that no one sees the movie early and has it spoiled. The thing is that Uncle Mike didn't pick a movie. And he won't be there. And I miss him so much.

He passed away 2 weeks ago. And I miss him.

So now we have to pick a movie on our own to go see.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

I have 2 tests today, a homework due tomorrow, deadlines to meet at work and a wonderful boyfriend

I frantically rummaged through the bottom of my bag to find my cell. Where was it?!?! Why is it that when I'm trying to find it it seems hidden inside some dark, invisible pocket or something.

My hands were literally shaking when they finally closed in around the scratched and well-worn plastic. Luckily it only takes 2 key strokes to call him because I didn't know if the tension radiating from my body would allow me to dial all 10.

Two rings

and then

his voice.

Sweet relief.

Just hearing his happy greeting seemed to lower my nervous energy about 10 notches.

I word vomited my feelings to him while I was standing there, in the hall at school, not caring (much) if anyone heard. He offered me comfort. He offered to drop everything he was doing and come to be with me. He offered to bring me dinner later. We didn't talk long, since it was the middle of the day and my to do list was impossibly long, but I agreed to let him take care of me.

For me, this is a big deal. It's admitting I can't do everything. Admitting I have a weakness. Admitting I need.

The rest of the day was spent moving at Mach 3. I pushed and pushed and pushed to get things done. I was sitting in my cubicle at 7 at night after having pushed for 13 hours straight when I got his call. He was waiting at the gaurd station for me to come get him. With dinner from CPK.

For the half hour he was here I breathed. I laughed. I understood more about love.

Monday, November 13, 2006

AD addiction

Recently the ear doctor and I have fell in love with a little show called Arrested development. I love this show. I think it is pure gold. I wish more shows were quirky like this with equally endearing characters. Can't be beat.

I even got excited to see the movie "Stranger than Fiction" had Buster in it as a side character. (BTW, I LOVED that movie. Go see it and tell me what you think).

Anyway, last night as we were through about half of season 2 on DVD I turned to the ear doctor and said,

"Do you think if we dressed up as Lindsay and Tobias for Halloween next year anyone would get it?"

He paused for a minute and sadly shook his head no.

I agreed and realized that if people didn't get Holly Golightly and Paul Varjack, they certainly wouldn't get my obscure reference to a TV show that isn't even on the air anymore.

And that made me sad.

So long Diet Orange

This weekend one of my roommates drank both of my last two sodas from our fridge. I'm trying to be cool and mature about it, but that is lame. Right?

Friday, November 10, 2006

The way in which my faith in humanity was crushed

Now that enough time has passed for me to move through the different stages of grief, I think it is appropriate to share something that happened to me this week and has almost competely broken my spirit. Where I was once a happy-go-lucky girl who trusted easily and sought out the good in strangers I have now become a cold, suspicious introvert who can only associate with people I've known for quite some time.

You may be asking yourself, "how was this complete 180 paradigm shift occur to such a fun and innocent young girl?"

Well, I'm here to tell the grisly tale.

Tuesday was the day that marked my 2 year anniversary with my sweetheart. The entire week previous to this day I'd been planning my surprise for him. I was SO excited. I knew that he would love it.

I'd decided that I would put love letters and little presents in long, clean white envelopes and hide them in special places for him to find...Scavenger hunt style. I wrote down a list of places all over town that meant something to us. Our special inside joke locations. I had it all set up and organized. The first letter would give him the clue to the second and so on.

Tuesday morning I woke up at 5 am to set up the course the he would follow. I attached a small, round blue balloon and white ribbon to each envelope and tucked them away.

As I attached the two clues to the places on campus I had a momentary hesitation. What if some punk ripped them down and spoiled everything. Not only would the ear doctor not get his little letter and gift, but the rest of the route would be ruined. I immediately pushed this worry out of my head because, well, what kind of jerk would do that? If I saw something that clearly wasn't meant for me, and might be something special for someone else I would smile at it and leave it there for them. That is the normal response.

After a couple of hours of setting everything up for him, I had to go to class. After my class (at around 9:15 am) I glanced out the window toward the location that one of the balloon markers should have been.


I hit the roof.

I spent the next hour and a half canvassing Boulder to see what other clues had been rudely ripped from their not-so-safe hiding spots.

Two in the course were ripped and not a trace left behind to mark that they were ever there.

I'm still a little pissed.

What kind of person would rip something like that down, read a very personal love letter written to someone else, steal a present and throw the letter away?!?!?

Someone with a dark, black, evil soul.

(clearly I'm still working on that forgiveness thing)

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Confessions of a hypocrite

I have an 8 am class this semester. For some reason going to class at 8 am is WAY harder than getting into work at 8 am. I get that. I am totally prepared to let a little laziness slip in an 8 am class.

In my class we aren't in a traditional classroom with desks in neat little rows. The room is a chaotic mess of round conference tables. We spread out in the room and fill the far side of each table while we listen to the lecture.

Today about half way through the class this guy leaned back in his chair and put his feet up ON TOP OF THE TABLE while listening to the teacher give his lecture.

I was shocked that someone would so blatantly disrespect the teacher by assuming that posture.

Then I realized that I walked into the class 20 minutes late, letting the door slam to announce my arrival. And, as though the foot-putter-upper had reminded me of my own disrespectful actions, I said a mental touche.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006


Right now I'm working in a computer lab trying desperately to start some research for a semester project.

There are two other groups of people in here.

The group of three girls are talking about their boyfriends.

The group of three guys are talking about Bronco football.


2 year anniversary

He called me to tell me he was going to be late.

Fine with me. In typical female fashion, my look for the big night was taking a little longer than I planned it would. Who knew that doing my hair and putting on make-up would send me into a black-hole-time-warp? At least it wasn't like my prom when I realize 10 minutes before my date arrived that I didn't have a boutonniere.

Between a red hot flat iron in my right hand and a palm-full of lotion in my left I had to gently toss my cell phone down onto the floor into a pile of dirty, rumpled clothes.

I let out a small sigh of relief and refocused my dogged effort to be done and looking fabulous by the time he arrived to pick me up. After the day I'd had, that was expecting a miracle.

As he walked in the door, dressed to the nines in my favorite brown suit I caught my breath. How could I be so lucky to have the love of this broad-shouldered, ruggedly handsome man?

In one fluid motion he caught me in his arm and whispered his affection into the curve of my neck, and we were off for our night.

The big night.

The night that marked a significant milestone between us.

He took me to the most amazing restaurant in town where my taste buds were almost as overwhelmed as my heart. We ate and laughed. He made me feel like a girl in a movie. The type of movie where everyone watches with envy as they think, "that kind of thing never happens in real life. That kind of guy just doesn't exist."

Believe me, they do and he does.

After dinner he gave me a present wrapped in the prettiest paper imaginable tied with a ribbon so light and delicate that it almost begged to be undone. I, like some people I know, think the wrapping of a gift shows an extra element of forethough and adds to the contents so lovingly hidden inside.

As I pushed aside the white tissue what I saw was unmistakable. The cutest hostess apron that I had drooled over at Williams-Sonoma just a week earlier.

He told me that he'd seen it 2 weeks ago and realized that it was too "Katie" to pass up.

How did I find a man who knows me so well?

In the pocket of the apron I found two tickets to see the Lion King in Denver. Floored, because that was exactly what I was going to get him, I threw my arms around him in mixed love and surprise.

We rushed down to Denver and found our seats just as the lights lowered.

This is a show that everyone should see. It was amazing. Everything from the costumes to the staging to the performing talent was breathtaking. I sat there in childlike awe of the story and the sights unfolding before me.

Tired, but completely filled with the satisfaction that comes from knowing you're loved I drifted off to sleep realizing that this was it. I've found him.

And I'm not afraid to admit it.

Monday, November 06, 2006

I don't want to...

steal my sister's thunder here, but I'm just so excited I can barely contain myself.

My sister is having a little GIRL!!!!!!!

She hasn't posted anything yet about the ultrasound that happened this morning, but I'm sure she will soon, so head on over and send her a congrats!

Friday, November 03, 2006

Cramp in my style

Our DVR is broken.

I cannot begin to tell you how annoyed this makes me.

This week has been crazy full of SO much stuff that it wasn't until yesterday evening that I even had a chance to sit down and try to watch some of the stuff I thought was being backed up into my little treasury. Prioritizing shows, I clicked on the Office first. Last weeks re-run was a joke and I had been craving to know what who was winning the Call of Duty championship.

My stupid DVR hadn't recorded it. In fact, it hasn't recorded anything all week.

I was seriously pissed, too mad in fact to call Direct TV myself. My roommate had to do it. She waited on the phone for over an hour and in the end was told that the highest manager she could speak to was too busy and he would call her back.

Guess call back.

Rude, rude rude.

I sure hope we don't have to pay for a weeks worth of service during which we couldn't even use the said service.

And just when I get myself hooked on LOST.


Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Problem solved

My entire life something has bugged me. It was small. I wouldn't even go so far as to say that it really annoyed just bugged.

I like to sleep with full-length pj pants. I like to be cozy in my bed. However, I do not like it when said pants push up above my knees, exposing my shins to a slightly different internal-bed temperature.

Over the years I've tried everything to make this stop. Climbing into bed from the foot to preclude any pant-leg pulling up motion does not work because I end up moving around while drifting off into a slumber and the sneaky pant leg works its way up. Tucking the bottom of the pants into some socks isn't as satisfying as I would have thought because I can't fall asleep with socks on (I know, strange). Wearing knee length pants just isn't as cozy.

So here I am....stuck.

Until last night.

For Halloween I dressed up as the "Spirit of Boulder" and part of my costume involved leg warmers from Target. After throwing a monster of a party at my house I stumbled to my bed, too tired to take said leg warmers off.

Glory of glories! As my pj bottoms crept up my shins they were no longer exposed to the imbalance in temperature gradient. The beautiful leg warmers stayed in place, thus putting an end to a life long struggle I've had with my sleeping gear.