Monday, December 18, 2006

Things I've finished

  1. My finals.....HOORAY! I thought I'd never finish them. They just kept looming overhead stressing me out and stunting my full enjoyment of the impending holidays.
  2. My party. It was so awesome. By the number of photo ornaments we made everyone make when the came we had about 45 people pass through our door. I made almost all of the treats I posted before. The favorites were the little red and green sandwich cookies (they practically melt in your mouth!) and the cherry crescents. Who would have guessed?
  3. My Christmas shopping...all except for my mom. For some reason she is proving difficult for me this year. It's not that she's hard to shop for at all....she'd be thrilled with almost anything. I just love to get people the perfect gift so I agonize over it until I feel inspired. Now I'm just waiting for all of my lovely things to arrive in the mail. I love Christmas shopping online because it feels like I get a present too when it comes to my little box.
  4. My after-party dish pile. Holy cow was this huge!!!! Even though we only put out napkins, somehow there ended up being an overflowing sink. Saturday I buckeled down and scrubbed my poor little fingers to the bone.

Wow, writing that list really made me happy. I love to cross things off my list!

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Not a Night Owl

Being the first person to fall asleep has never been cool.

When I was little and went to a slumber party I was terrified that I wouldn't be able to stay away and I'd end up with a frozen training bra or my hand in a luke warm bowl of water. It never happened, but the fear was real. I've always been the first to fall asleep.

As I grew older I started realizing that this little quirk of mine was going to seriously hinder my social life. In college I struggled every night to act alert and alive at 2 in the morning but really I was pining for my bed. When everyone else was laughing and screaming around the dorms I was straining to stay away from the zombie-like state to which I was naturally disposed.

Unfortunatley for me I am in love with a night person. He wants to stay up late and I tend to drift off around 11. He's even accused me of thinking the rest of the world doesn't exist when I'm tired.

However, last night we had a role reversal.

After work I started cooking. I was baking and humming and got into a rythm and when I checked the clock I realized it was alreay past midnight. I came up from my powdered sugar cloud haze to see that everyone around me was exhausted. I was filled with energy and hopped up on all the requisite sampling that holiday cooking entails.

Finished with my cooking, I took one look at the huge, beautiful Christmas tree and realized that we really should put the garland on before our tree-trimming party on Thursday. With silver beads in hand I looped and adjusted with assistance from my worn out boyfriend and roommate. After I'd satisfied myself with the decorating job I looked down from the landing of my stairs onto a scene I'd never before expierienced.

My roommate was passed out on the couch. The ear doctor was dozing off on the lovesac. The glow of the Christmas tree filled the room and I was awake. I was the one who got to have that moment. And I'll have to admit, it was pretty awesome.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006


Today I was making my usual daily stop over at Design Mom. Her give-aways of the day have completley engrossed me for the last month and I'm sad they'll be ending this week.

Anyway, today's give away are really pretty earrings hand-made by a designer named Peggy Li. The earrings are really breathtaking, and so is a lot of Peggy's other work, but that's not why she inspiried me to post.

In her bio it says that she was a Chemical Engineering major at UC Berkeley before she competley switched gears and started her own jewlery design company.

When people do stuff like this I am blown away by their bravery. It takes serious guts to give up a career that may have been lucrative and "stable" in the eyes of the rest of society and decide to start making jewelry.

It made me want to throw in the engineering towel, head down the the Culinary Institue and start my new life as a pastry chef....

...or maybe I'm just thinking like that because it is finals week?

Probably the latter.


...wouldn't it be awesome to be able to make desserts for people that just wipe away the hardness of their world, the badness of their day, the banality of their life in one scrumptious bite?

Friday, December 08, 2006

Random Act of Christmas Kindness #7

Today my boss put up some Christmas lights in the office. He put them around a doorway that I have to walk through a bazillion times a day. He had his minions help him get the lights up. This makes the office feel very festive and puts a bit of a bounce in my step.

But that isn't really the kindness.

The real act of kindness is that my boss took a picture of his boss, the big boss, and photo shopped a Santa hat on his head and hung it as the focal point of the light display.

And thus we see why I have the coolest boss and job in the world.

Time to Vote

Exercise your right to vote. Glory in the freedom you have.

Please tell me which of the following I should make for my upcoming Christmas party. Everything I serve has to be finger food because I don't want to do dishes.

Mint swirl bars. Chocolaty, cakey, minty goodness.

Almond Puff Pastries. Don't these look yummers?

Chocolate Baklava (I have some leftover phyllo dough that I need to use up)

Delicious Cherry Crescents. So festive! (If I serve this I MUST have that cute green cake stand)

The cute maraschino cherry garnish on top of these cheesecake bars are perfect, don't you think?

Pretty standard sandwich cookies with a raspberry jam filling. The piping work may be more work that I want to invest.

These cookies are so cute, but might not be really tasty. It's just frosting on graham crackers with pretzels, red hots and chocolate chips. If I can find a little sleigh to display them in I think I just might have to make these.

Just cute Christmas sandwich cremes. Sugar cookies with vanilla frosting.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Random Act of Christmas Kindness #6

Last night my wonderful roommate made dinner for 9 people...that's right 9.

I don't think she was intending to cook for 9, but people just happened to show up at our house right around 7:30, so what could she do? Feed some and let the others stand out in the cold with their frozen noses stuck to the ice covered windows as they looked on at the warm and homey scene unfolding just outside their reach? She's not really that kind of person.

So, with open arms, she stretched her dinner.

She fed the two missionaries who have so little money this winter that they're afraid they won't be able to heat their house. She fed the guy who happened to stop over after this guitar lesson to get a pot he left at our house. And she fed me, the girl who hadn't eaten all day because stopping to eat meant loosing precious working-like-a-made-woman-just-before-finals-week moments. She was amazing.

After being filled with teriyaki glazed chicken, mango salsa and enough laughs to literally bust a gut I helped her with the dishes. Without a prompting. Without a complaint. Without reservation.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Random Act of Kindness #5

This didn't happen to me, but I thought it was so nice I had to share.

Why Jes has a great man!

Monday, December 04, 2006

Random Act of Christmas Kindness #4

Friday night was our big Christmas dinner for all the women at my church. I was in charge of the food. I was really excited to be in charge of the food because I like cooking and consider making a really great dinner for 30 people an exciting challenge.

Anyway, I worked really hard to make this awesome meal and even had a chance to sit down to the table with friends to enjoy the fruits of my labors.

Just after everyone had finished dinner and the Christmas program was starting I was totally floored by someone's Christmas kindness.

A girl who I thought had nothing but cold distaste for me approached. She and I have history and, despite my recent efforts to smooth over the past, she has ignored my very existence. Well, she sneaked up and threw her arms around me in the biggest, most grateful hug. She whispered a thank you for the dinner in my ear. Before I had a chance to respond she was gone.

As I sat in my chair slack jawed and amazed, tears of gratitude started to cloud my vision. I was so touched by her heartfelt well-wishing. For so long all I have wanted was to feel her forgiveness and she chose to express it in a way that completely shocked and overwhelmed me.

As I stepped out into the 8 degree chill I felt released from the hard knot of coldness that I'd so tightly held in my heart. I fell free to love, and despite the frost covered windshield and stiff frozen leather interior of my car I felt warm to the tips of my toes.

Friday, December 01, 2006


Someone, make this coat mine!

Random Act of Christmas Kindness #3

Tonight I'm helping host a church women's Christmas party. I'm in charge of the food for about 40 people, and I'm half excited half terrified at the prospect. I've written out my lists of what to do in 10 minute increments through the whole cooking time. I saw someone do this on Top Chef and thought it was a great idea, and since I take most of my great ideas from stuff I saw on TV I decided to give it a try. I've also written out two lists for my potential kitchen helpers.

Last night I had 4 things I had to do before I could go to bed. As the minutes ticked later and later I started to get worried. I had to get SOME sleep before this big day.

Then, the ear doctor and my roommate LINDZ came to the rescue! Without me even asking they spent 2 hours peeling oranges and carrots. They made what would normally have been a dull and tedious task into a fun game. They were pretty much Mary Poppins to my lazy and depressed Banks children. They even invented a ninja chopping game when it came time to chop the carrots up. Glorious.

So this isn't so much a random act because they do this type of stuff all the time. Neither is it anonymous, but it meant SO much to me that I just had to share it today.

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.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Rise all loyal cougars!

Saturday the ear doctor and I made the trek down to Colorado Springs to see the BYU cougars annihilate the Air Force Falcons. It was pretty much the perfect day for the following reasons:

  1. I wore my hair up in two big messy knots on both sides of my head and had very cute blue polka dotted ribbon. I wore my old tried and true gray BYU t-shirt. I got this shirt when I was in high school eagerly anticipating my college experience. The fact that it looks old and worn out gives me some street cred. When attending a football game I feel it is necessary to wear your teams colors as loudly and proudly as possible. Looking kind of like a cheerleader helps too.
  2. The weather was beautiful, despite the huge piles of snow that took up 2 sections in the Falcon stadium. The ear doctor and I both got bright raccoon eyes. Glorious because then everyone asked us the next day about them and we could brag about the Cougar victory.
  3. I successfully navigated my car through the muddy/slushy parking lot. This was a feat that involved a lot of rocking my car back and forth to avoid getting it stuck in the swamp.
  4. I had the most delicious stadium food of my life. The air force food vendors were AMAZING! I had a smoked sausage that brings tears of joy to my eyes when I remember its hot, juicy goodness.
  5. Every time the cougs scored I could stand up and belt out the fight song and it reminded me of my mom getting me out of bed during high school. She'd sing it at the top of her lungs from the top of the stairs (my bedroom was in the basement).
  6. While at the game I realized what I was going to dress up as for Halloween, but I'm not telling here because I don't want to give it away to people who might be reading this.
  7. After the game we came home and went to a birthday party for a friend. His awesome wife, and my Colorado BFF, made the most amazing spread of food. It was GLORIOUS!

Thursday, October 26, 2006

How can I resist?

I love Christmas. I love it so much it often overshadows every other holiday. As soon as it starts to get cold (which, in Colorado, is Oct 1) I start thinking about fun parties and awesome presents to get people.

It takes every single fiber of my will to avoid pulling out my Christmas CDs before Halloween. This year I didn't make it, but it isn't really my fault.

It snowed really early and I was drawn to the special CD wallet that contains my 15+ Christmas disks.

Then, the ear doctor got me Diana Krall's Christmas CD from Costco last week and I didn't want to hurt his feelings by waiting to listen to it (just kidding, I barely had the plastic off before I was trying to shove it into my car's player, the ear doctor had nothing to do with it).

Then, it snowed again this morning and I pulled out my warm, off-white beautiful scarf I made myself last year. So wintry and pretty.

And, someone brought one of these into work for everyone to nibble on:

So now there is a little trail of ground up popcorn from the kitchen to my office and I'm thinking about what theme to make my awesome Christmas party this year.

Actually, now that I think about it, I wonder if that popcorn tin is from last year. Stale popcorn anyone?

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Totally nerdy

This admission is slightly shameful for me, but I have been wanting this for so long that it seems like it is the appropriate time to shed some light on my dorkiest desire.

I want this book:

In case some of you out there don't know what this is, or the glory that is buried deep inside it's pages, let me educate you.

This book tells you how to make anything.

It is the magic key without which everything in the modern world would just fall apart and be heaps of trash all over.

Want to know how fast to set your endmill to make a nice, clean cut on a chunk of Titanium? look it up!

Want to know what the pitch diameter is on a 1/2-20 UNC bolt? Look it up.

You never have to be dumb or uninformed when you go to talk to someone with world's more experience than you because you can just look it up.

It is a glorious little gem that has saved my butt on multiple occasions.

So, this is why I want this book. It would be worth more to me than any book I purchased during any phase of my education.

Monday, October 23, 2006


Sometimes life gets so busy that I forget to take a moment to work on my relationships. In the crazy whilrwind of my personal life I get distracted and stressed to the point that I don't make time for anyone outside the direct path of my personal maelstrom. Then, nights like last night happen.

Two of my friends have the same birthday...and it was yesterday. One of their husbands test-messaged me in the afternoon to invite the ear doctor and I over to their house for birthday cake. Having zero self-control when cake is involved, I gladly accepted.

When we got over there I was overwhelmed by the affection I have for these two people and their spouses. Such fun, alive people who make me laugh with reckless abandon. And the way they they've accepted the ear doctor into their homes/lives/friendships makes me care for them even more.

After eating our 900 calorie a slice red velvet cake with cream cheese frosting, we bundled up and headed back home. The whole drive home I gushed over them. How amazing Amy looked with her little pregnant belly, how genuine Ja is, how Kristian makes me laugh so hard and how Brett is a real friend. I felt deep gratitude for having friends who are constant and sure. People who, if we didn't see each other for 10 years would open their arms and embrace me like no time had passed at all.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

My mom would be so disappointed

For lunch today I'm having the following:

  • Diet Pepsi
  • Cheetos
  • Twix bar

This is a major reason I love being a grown up. You get to eat what you wanted to eat when you were 10, but no one is there to tell you not to.


Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Ahhhh, now that's more like it

I've always been a banana republic girl. I love to look put together. I love an outfit that makes me feel simultaneously girly and professional. BR has been it.

Except for the past year. It seems like every time I'd walked in their door my sense of excitement and hope for something great was immediately squashed by boring, drab clothes. No color, no unique cuts, nothing that even close to tempted me to shell out $100 for something I really didn't need.

I had all but given up on the store for anything but basics until I stumbled upon this gem:

That actually made me check my bank account to see if I could buy it. Sadly, I can't, but maybe if I stop eating for a month....


What kind of moron wears open toe shoes to walk across campus on the first snowy day in Colorado? I mean seriously, get a clue. Did you wake up this morning and look around and say to yourself, "my, this looks like a fabulously sunny day for which my perfect favorite brown leather peep toes would be apropo"? Haven't you been taught better? Couple that with your wet, un-hat-covered head and you are a mess. You're kind of person your mother would simply shake her head at and wonder what kind of wolves rasied them. I hope your swollen red little toes turn black and fall off from frostbite. Really, WHO DOES THAT?

Oh wait, that was me.

Friday, October 13, 2006

A moment of silence

My doughnut bringing co-worker moved to another branch of the company on Monday. I didn't realize what that meant.

This morning there were no chocolate covered circles of joy.

How am I going to get through this day?!?!?!

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Barking Dogs

I've had the same pair of shoes for almost 3 years now and they still hurt my feet. I don't know why I keep them. I'm like that stupid mouse that can't figure out to stop eating the cheese that shocks the be-jeezus out of him every time he reaches for it. Call me a classical conditioning drop-out.

It's just that I love them. They looks so much different from all of my other shoes. They are mesh and elastic and remind me of black and purple aqua socks. Whenever I want to look truly Coloradidian I reach for them and my down vest in one motion.

I think the problem is that I will wear them one day, limping all the while and after that day shove them to the back of the shoe heap. There they will linger, allowing my memory of their vindictive pain-producing ability to fade. One day 6 months later I'll find them down there and think, "my, those are cute shoes. Surly they only hurt me the last time because I haven't fully broken them in. Don't they look like they will just slip on and feel so good on my feet?"

But, fool that I am, I have fallen for their looks. A moth to a flame. If my feet could talk I'm sure they would squeal out a frantic warning to me as I draw them into their black mesh and velcro prisons.

I walk off to school thinking, my these shoes are glorious. The are warm and soft, yet breathable and light. All through my morning I will almost laugh at my own silliness at not wearing them every day of my life.

Then, the afternoon sets in.

All I can say is, my poor, poor achilles tendon.

The once close and comforting fit has become a raw and pulsating legion on my right heel. The secure closure of the velcro pinches in the wrong place and causes my left pinky toe to fall asleep. As I hobble home from work I am filled with disgust. Not really at my shoes, but at myself for once again believing that I could find comfort in their embrace. It is my fault. I am the fool.

These stupid shoes are being pitched into the darkest corners of my closet and THIS time I will remember.


Monday, October 09, 2006

It's all over

See, I told you fall doesn't last long here.

Today is supposed to be the first day of snow here in the Denver metro area and I'm not excited. Winter and I have an interesting past. There is so much game playing in our relationship that most of the time I have no idea what is going on.

Last year he was the typical "cool guy." The one who never seemed really invested in the relationship. The guy who sat around and waited for me to call. The guy who gave little hints of affection...a frosted windshield, a few slowly falling flakes. Just enough to pique my interest without becoming committed. He waited and waited and waited. He even let Starbucks introduce the gingerbread flavored drinks before he was willing to put his full energy into the relationship. By the time he really came around I had been wearing my ski boots around the house for fun and the Christmas CDs had been in the stereo for a month!

This year he has pulled a role reversal. This time he's started too early. It's as though he's a date who droped the L-word casually over our third date dinner. I don't want him because he wants me too much. His cold and dripping presence is everywhere today. I can't get rid of his pervasive, water-logged demonstrations which are clearly needy, suffocating attempts to get my attention. It isn't like I want to treat him badly...he's a generally nice season and I don't want to be the mean girl who breaks his heart, but come on. Can't you take a hint when a girl doesn't want you around?

Why oh why can't this season and I get in phase with each other. It is so frustrating to be in a relationship where when I am up, he is down. When all I want to do is sit and be content he insists on being nowhere around.

I guess timing really is everything.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006


Fall in Colorado happens overnight.

One afternoon you'll be bathed in gloriously warm sunshine and wish you could take the afternoon off to go to the pool and the next morning you'll wake up to a frost covered windshield and bright yellow leaves crunching underfoot.

For about one week all the leaves will be the most intense eye-burning colors. Leaving the confines of the indoors and stepping out into the glaring sun is so breathtakingly beautiful that you involuntarily stop short, in awe of what you see.

The heavy, earthen scent of fall is so pervasive that for a moment you are transported back to the afternoon you spent raking leaves and jumping into the pile. You expect to open your door to the inviting smell of cinnamon and pumpkin pie. You wonder why there isn't more brown and orange in your closet.

All you want to do is take the day off to enjoy the unearthly majesty that is open to anyone for the taking who will step up and take it. No, not the unearthly majesty. The complete, quintessential earthly, terrestrial experience.

You want to grab it, hold on, soak every moment up into your being so that you can always experience a day like this. An hour like this. A moment.

You realize that in a month (that will trip by without being noticed) you will be locked into the cold, gray death-grip of winter. Then you will look back at Colorado fall and realize, with deep regret, that you spent those few weeks indoors. Took for granted the sun and the dry hem of your currently ice covered jeans. Never went in a corn maze or picked a pumpkin from a real patch. Never made that pumpkin pie.

And instead of those thoughts making you sad, you'll realize that fall will come again. Colorado will never let you down. And next time, you won't waste a minute.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

I'm just too busy

This morning I was listening to the radio on my way to school. This is, as I am kind of ashamed to admit, pretty typical for me and sometimes the only was I get any sort of news in my day. (this is how I found out about 9/11)

Anyway, this morning the DJs were talking about some lady that one of his wife interacts with. I guess the DJ's wife needed this woman to help her out with something. According to them, it was a small task that wouldn't take long and involved packets. (This made me think it was either girl scout cookie time, or some kind of Sweet 'n Low debacle).

I guess the woman whose help was requested wrote the DJ's wife back and email that said she simply didn't have time because not only does she home school all 6 of her children, but she also volunteers at the old folks home and runs the boy scout pack for her son and chairs the popcorn sale committee for a couple of other packs. Also, she has to take care of her mother's failing health and feed the dogs and blah blah blah.

This kind of thing has recently become one of my pet peeves.

If the woman had too much on her plate, fine. Say that. But don't make yourself the martyr and show that you are just SOOOO much busier than everyone else around you.

People in my program do this too.

It drives me crazy when I'm working out a group project and someone in the group goes off about how busy and hard their life is that they absolutely will not compromise to be able to work with the group. They'll complain at length about how much homework and other commitments take up their time.

Know what I want to say to them? Something a little like this:

"Grow up. Look around. Every single other person in here has responsibilities too. Your time is no more important than anyone else's. You chose to sign up for everything you are committed to, so I don't want to hear that you can't meet because your dog at home needs to be fed and played with. Maybe you shouldn't have got a dog at 20 years old and thought that you could spend enough time with it. And if you compare the responsibilities you have to watch your dog to the responsibilities that the other guy in the group has for HIS CHILDREN one more time I might just go ballistic!"

Does anyone else feel my pain?

Monday, September 25, 2006

Oh what a day

Today is a glorious day for many reasons:

  1. I am no longer surrounded by a green haze of the cold that would not die. I feel alert, awake, uncongested and alive!
  2. The weather here is amazing. Today is the day that I want everyone in the whole world to take note of and realize that this, THIS, is why I love Colorado. Sunny, blue skies, 65 degrees, snow capped mountains in the distance, green, yellow and orange leaves brilliantly reflecting the light from the warm and penetrating sun.
  3. I had leftover spinach tortelinni and chicken sausage for dinner and Colorado has been cleared as an ecoli-free state! Wonderful because I don't think I could have gone much longer without a delicious spinach salad.
  4. I found out that one of my bff's (Kathy) made a blog to show off her beautiful little daughter Olivia.
  5. I actually felt excited about my work-out this afternoon when I was setting aside my gym clothes this morning. This is a first for me as I ABHOR exercising.
  6. After looking over my spreadsheet for this last month I realize that I STUCK TO MY BUDGET that I had imposed for the month of September. HOORAY FOR SELF CONTROL!
  7. I'm leaving Friday night to go home and visit my parents. My pregnant little sister and her husband and my brother his wife and kids are all going to. IT IS GOING TO BE AWESOME! I don't think we've all been together since last thanksgiving which is WAY too long.
  9. and I love the ear doctor!

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Cave Dweller

Remember that scene from When Harry Met Sally where Sally has just learned that her ex-boyfriend (Joe) has decided to get married to someone else?

She's wearing a long (pink?) housecoat, her hair resembles a nuclear mushroom cloud and her face is bright red from crying so hard.

She walks around her apartment with a box of tissues under her arm, and after using them crumples them up and throws them on the ground. She is just too sad to bend over and pick them up, or walk over to the garbage can.

That's how I am feeling this week.

However, my inability to throw used up tissues anywhere but the ground is derived from my cold, instead of sadness.

I hate being sick because I just sit around the house thinking of all the other stuff I have to get done. I can't even enjoy my time off.

Plus I don't shower and slowly become surrounded my towering piles of used tissue. The runny snot becomes a type of motar between the tissue-ball rocks and I find myself encased in a Kleenex-built sarcophagus.

Luckily, the ear doctor comes over to check up on me and deliver supplies which he carefully balances on a long pole. Then, he sticks the pole-balanced-cherry flavored ricola cough drops through the small food hole I intentionally created in my tissue tomb for this purpose. I wheeze my appreciation and he knows he is loved.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Still the same

Remember back to school night? It was the one night your parents had to go to school to talk to your teacher and find out how you were coming along in classes. It was the one night I was scared that my parents would come home and punish me for being in trouble or something.

In my family, the morning after back to school night was a breakfast filled with mystery. What secrets had my teacher told my mom? Was I in trouble? What did my teacher really think about me?

My mom would come to the table and we'd start to discuss what she learned.

Without fail this is how that conversion would go:

"Well, Katie, your teacher said you are doing very well in all your subjects. She said you are really doing well in math especially. She said you are making lots of friends and being a good student, but...

(and here is where the hesitation would set in)

...your teacher tells me that you talk too much in class. You socialize with friends when you should be doing your silent reading."

Then my mom would just shake her head. I mean, really, how would you as a parent handle that kind of news. I would be really happy that my kid was making friends. It would be really hard for me to tell them to knock it off, sit in the corner alone with a workbook and never talk to anybody.

This trend has stayed with me throughout my life. I just can't seem to keep my big mouth shut during lectures.

At BUY I took 4 classes from the same professor. By the end of my college career I had sat in front of him so long that he could sense when I was even thinking about leaning over to Brit to compliment her shoe choice that day. Everyone else in class could whisper up a storm, but as soon as my lips broke their hermetic seal Dr. Bowman would stop the class and embarrass me beyond belief.

Maybe its that I have a voice that is easily distinguishable, maybe its my flaming red hair, but I never seem to be able to get away with an indiscreet comment under my breath.

And it happened again in class today. Right in the middle of lecture, the teacher stopped, put his hand up and said, "class, remember my policy of being the only person in the class talking. If I notice conversions happening again I will use full names." This wouldn't be so bad but his beady eyes were boring a hole all the way through my eye sockets into the back of my skull.

I was immediately reduced to the little girl in class who has always been the overly social one. As I was walking across campus to meet ear doctor for lunch I realized that this has been happening to me my entire life and I laughed out loud.

The girl I was walking behind turned around and looked at me as if I was crazy. C'est la vie.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Not quite Usher

Here is my confession.

I love setting people up. I always have and I probably always will.

The ear doctor just laughs at me and shakes his head whenever I turn to him, wide eyed and (not so discretely) yank my head to indicate someone's flirtation that he should note. His thinks it's silly.

I just get such a thrill out of helping people out. Maybe this is because I'm forever surrounded by engineer guys who I just think are amazing, but sometimes need a little help in the relationship dept.

Anyway, there are a few tried and true steps that I used when attempting to set people up.

Step #1 Finding the Match
Through my experience I've developed some basic guidelines for choosing my set-up targets.

First, background. Nothing is going to work if people can't understand each other's background. I'm not saying that they both have to be from the same hometown, but it does make small talk easier if they have at least been exposed to the other's kind of upbringing.

Second, interests. If I know a guy who particularly loves rock climbing and hiking I'm not going to try to set him up with a girl who gets freaked out by spiders and has no idea what a Nalgene bottle is. While I'm certainly not saying that these two types of people can get together, I've found that similar interests are an excellent jumping off place for the set up.

Third, education. This one is not so hard and fast, but in my experience the best set-ups have come from pairing two people together who have roughly the same educational achievements or aspirations. Different areas of study are often a plus, but there should be an almost equal degree level.

Step #2 Set the Scene
After the targets are chosen, I usually tend to spend one evening talking each party up independently. Causally mentioning to Banana-Replublic-lovin-Mike that Beth and I went shopping there last week. Telling mountain-woman-Lindsay that Chris wanted to go on a hike this weekend. That kind of thing.

Step #3 Deliver the Bait
This is the step wherein I invite both parties over to my house to watch the interaction. I choose my house because it is neutral territory. This way both parties can test the waters without any risk of rejection.

This interlude is critical to the success of the set up. Up through this point it is anybody's guess as to whether or not the sparks naturally take off.

Critical to this event is the interaction. Activities are planned with mingling in mind. I circle the room and make sure that the targets are forced to interact. Sometimes all people need is a little push in the right direction. However, if at any time either party gives the impression that they aren't interested all bets are off and the process returns to step 1.

Step #4 The Follow-up
This may be the most integral step of all. All of the hard work and energy expended in the set up can be undone by skipping this step. How many times have we all met someone, found them interesting and then, for whatever reason, don't ever see them again. This is because there wasn't someone there participating in the follow up.

I call each target separately to thank them for coming to my house and ask if they had a good time. Hopefully they have (you can never tell sometimes). Then, I somehow draw them into a conversation where I innocently mention that the other target looked very nice or did something thoughtful or funny or cool. You get the picture.

Step #5 Butt Out
After Step #4 you remove yourself from the picture entirely. What will be will be. You've helped lay the foundation and created opportunity. Now it is time to step back and let the magic unfold, if it will.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Best in Show

That last post has been up way too long, giving everyone the impression that I am very sad about my uncle.

I don't mean that to say that I'm not sad, because I really am, but I also have this sense of understanding and faith that everything will be so much better for him soon. Its only us, here, that have to be strong and deal with him not being with us anymore. I know I'll see him again and that knowledge helps me.

Well this weekend was pretty awesome. I woke up Saturday morning to a cool sunny perfect Colorado fall day and decided that it would, from that moment on, be dubbed, "the best day" (said in a loud, booming announcer sing-song voice).

The ear doctor and I headed up to Greeley for our free baked potato and potato day. This was awesome! In honor of a particularly abundant potato harvest in Weld county about 100 years ago the city of Greeley has been sponsoring a celebration of the most wonderful tuber. They had all kinds of "heritage" demonstrations...everything from butter churning to rope making. My favorite was the cooper demonstration because his handmade wooden buckets were SO beautiful (I totally wanted to buy one). The ear doctor's favorite was the "mountain man" who fully acted the part. We also talked to some square dancers who invited us out to the senior center for a free square dancing lesson (which I REALLY wanted to go to, but the ear doctor didn't think it sounded so fun). We watched some really pretty Mexican dancing with their flowing rainbow colored dresses and the ear doctor told me all about the importance of the dances to the Mexican people and reminisced about his time in Mexico City.

Then, we went over to see the dog show that was being held in the next park over. Best in Show is one of my very favorite movies, so I couldn't pass up the chance to see the genuine article and compare it to the dramatization. Holy cow, the movie is DEAD on! These people love their dogs will a fervor usually reserved for offspring. They wash the dogs, they talk to the dogs, they picked he dogs up so they don't have to walk through dirt. They circled their RVs all around a big open grassy area and set up wire mess kennels for their dogs to stay in while not at the show. It reminded me of what the pioneers' circled wagons must have looked like after a long and dusty day on the Oregon trail. Owners looked like their dogs. People wore shirts with artistic dog renderings. We missed the best in show contest because we were having a serious convo in my car, but we did get to see the winner. The dog that won was a Dandie Dinmont. I'd never heard of this type of dog before, but I don't really think it is that cute. What do you think?

The dog that won was gray, not tan and all around his mouth was yellowed drool hair. Plus, don't you think the way they groom its hair makes it look like its sporting a mullet? I do.

I thought that a Bernese should have won, since that is now my new favorite dog. See, isn't this one cuter?

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Boyfriend litmus test

When I was younger I had a friend who said that her mom had given her a foolproof test for her future boyfriends. This test was supposed to measure if some guy she was dating was "up to snuff." I thought it was dumb even back then, but indulged her enough to listen to her way to measure a good man.

Her idea was this:

Ask some guy with whom you've been out a couple of times on a secret date. Don't tell him what the date will entail or what to expect in any way. Then, go and pick him up in your car and drive him out to a field somewhere and tell him that your big date is to pick weeds in this field. If he bent down and got right to work without complaining it was supposed to show that he was a hard worker. If he didn't it meant he was some kind of lazy, good-for-nothing loafer and it was time to kick him to the curb.

After hearing her postulate I just stared at her in disbelief for a moment. Aside from the several things that were wrong with the logic, I could not understand why anyone would ever want to date someone who thought an evening of pulling weeds sounded like something fun to do. That kind of person sounded like a psycho to me.

I don't really believe in giving your significant other tests in any way, and restrain myself from doing so on most occasions. I think giving someone a test means that you've concocted some kind of harebrained scheme in order to see how he performs (reference above inane story).

However, I can only call the ear doctor actions over the past 24 hours a full fledged passing of whatever "boyfriend" test the universe may ever hurl at me.

Two and a half years ago I was dating someone else. I was dating him the day that I found out my Aunt was dying. In hacking, gripping, sobs dredged up from the depths of my soul I called him, yearning for his love and support. I was at my house, alone, late at night and desperately needed him to be there.

He never came over.

He let me be alone the first night of my life that I really felt I needed someone.

It was the worst feeling in my life.

At 22 years old it was the only night that my face was raw and puckered from falling asleep in tears.

Yesterday I got the news that my Uncle (the husband of the same Aunt) only has 4-6 weeks left. I knew the news was coming. You don't watch someone battle a brain tumor for 12 years without expecting the inevitable outcome. So even though it isn't sudden, it is still tragic and heartrending for me. I could barely bring myself to even tell the ear doctor about it last if actually saying the words out loud made the situation all that more real, more concrete, more definite.

His love and support has overwhelmed me today. I feel so lucky and blessed to have a man in my life who is good and understands my needs. The only time I have been able to see clearly though my seemingly perma-tear-rimmed eyes has been when he is around.

He calms me.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

You be the judge

Evidences I am a grown-up:

  1. I am only 20 short payments away from owning my car.
  2. Yesterday I realized that if I don't slow down and take an evening off soon I will completely loose my mind. I've never been able to realize that in time before.
  3. I got excited because last night my friends had the ear doctor and I over for dinner and they made us chicken with prosciutto and a avocado/orange salad with white balsamic dressing. v. grown up food.
  4. This morning I thought about making sure to fit "clean shower" into my list of things to do today, and it isn't even really dirty yet.
  5. I thought about buying a vacuum cleaner.
  6. I've started to track my finances in an excell spreadsheet.
  7. I have more married friends than single.
  8. I stress out about my 401k.
  9. When I was at the pet store last weekend the first thought that went through my mind wasn't, "look how cute those puppies are!" but "wow, that would be a lot of work."
  10. My little sister is having a baby.
Proof Otherwise:
  1. I bought said car with NO money down and have been paying a RIDICULOUSLY high monthly payment.
  2. Even thought I know I should slow down and take a break I think I'm going to ask the ear doctor to take me swing dancing tonight. Doesn't that sound like fun!?!?!
  3. Sometimes I still make an entire box of Kraft Mac&Cheese and eat it all straight out of the pot. Why dirty another dish?
  4. Even though I think about cleaning the house it still isn't a weekly ritual like it was at my mom's house.
  5. After the vacuum cleaner thought drifted through my mind it was immediately expelled by my decision to just sweep stuff under the rug a little bit longer.
  6. My financial spreadsheet consists of about 6 lines of expenses and one line for income. It's really kind of sad.
  7. I still succumb to my fun few roommate's invitations to stay up WAY too late laughing and participating in diet coke and m&m eating competitions.
  8. I stopped putting money into my 401k to go back to school. This is very dumb because these are the best years for me to be putting money in. Oh well.
  9. I still go to the pet store at the mall before I go to any other store. Even Banana Republic and Nordstrom.
  10. She's having the baby....I'm not.

The verdict?

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Illicit Affair

I hope he'll never find out.

I feel dark and ashamed while still somewhat intrigued by your soft welcoming arms.

All through the festivities this weekend I felt your presence...ever so near. Just waiting for me to fall. To trip. To succumb.

I played the happy face of the girl in love. I played perfect girlfriend to a T. You should have seen their faces at his perfect BBQ birthday party. They bought the whole charade.

They'll never know that my affection is waning. My desire to be with him is cracking, flaking and falling apart.

Because of you.

Before I even saw you I knew that I would want you. Your absence hung in my heart like an avocado without a pit: dark, hidden and slightly green. Then, when my eyes fell upon you I knew. I was instantly transformed into someone who understood yearning. Suddenly I could no longer look at the covers of those bodice ripping romance novels and derisively laugh at their complete lack of reality. You made me want to rip my old, ratty sweatshirt off immediately and without reservation.


only you.

Lust courtesy of J. Crew.

Victory is mine

Good news.

I single-handedly arranged for the coffee hour that my school department offers for grad students to be held at a time most convenient for me to attend. This way I can ensure receiving 2 free doughnuts a week!!!!!!!!!!!!

And I don't even drink coffee!

Coffee hour this domination soon to come!!!!

(insert crazed, maniacal laughter here)

Thursday, August 31, 2006

Let's Nerd it up a little

So I hardly ever really show my total and complete nerdy-ness in this forum. I don't know why, nothing has really made me want to write about it, until today.

NASA announced that Lockheed has been awarded the CEV (crew exploration vehicle) program.

This is freakin AWESOME!

To really explain why this is so cool I'll have to give you a little background about the aerospace industry. During the really cool days of JFK and the space race everyone was stoked about getting to the moon. Not just geeks like me, but EVERYONE was amped. People wanted to explore space and the western cowboy in every American heart really liked the idea of conquering the "final frontier."

After the initial push to explore space the industry started to settle into a research phase. It was necessary, but kind of boring (from my perspective). We needed to learn more about it up there. We had to figure out what weightlessness or living in a pressurized shell for months on end did to a person. We had to figure out how to keep spacecraft from leaking air out into a vacuum. We had to figure out how to keep people from going crazy up there. We even had to figure out what to do with poop.

Needless to say, those types of things weren't that interesting to the general public, and the fascination with being in space has waned. As evidence, fewer and fewer people are studying aerospace subjects in college.

The cool thing is that the culture is swinging back the other way. We've finished up much of the research required to be up there and people are getting excited to go back to the moon and beyond. The government is starting to move their money from research endeavors to cool exploration missions.

This is where the CEV comes in. NASA has money to design a new vehicle that will work on the moon, and also be usable on Mars.

Not only that, it has awarded the contract to Lockheed here in beautiful Colorado.

This is great for many reasons.

First, Lockheed is right down the road from my company and with some connections I could probably make a move to go over there if the offer became too good to pass up (although the likelihood of this is small because I actually love my company).

Second, having this program here means that a lot of great engineering talent will flood the area making my company's options for picking up some serious talent great.

Third, my company is in a perfect position to get some sub-contracts to design some instruments for the vehicle. This way I could end up working on it while staying with my company. Bonus.

Last, this is a huge step in a very cool direction at a perfect time in my career. I love that I could contribute to the second wave of great American advances in space exploration.

So cool.

(end of the demonstration of my ultimate nerdy-ness)

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Good Idea Bad Idea

Good Idea:
Inviting some people over to your house for Sunday night dinner.

Bad Idea:
Not having the ability to limit the guest list or tell anyone they can't come so you have no idea how many people are coming over.

Good Idea:
Making homemade pizza dough and letting each person build there own personal sized pizza.

Bad Idea:
Not realizing that each pizza will have to cook separately meaning that people were eating at all different times.

Good Idea:
Serving a delicious salad with the left overs of your bushel of fresh peaches.

Bad Idea:
Realizing way too late that you only have 1/3 of a bottle of salad dressing left. Dry salad=gross.

Good Idea:
Suggesting that after everyone had eaten we play a game.

Bad Idea:
Playing "Riff" on a Sunday night and throwing all attempts at keeping the day holy out the window. ("Riff" is a game you play with a DVD that shows clips of music videos and you have to name the video or the artist or another hit song from the same CD as the song on the video. BTW I totally rocked the Incubus question.)

Good Idea:
Since the spirit of the day had already been ruined, giving your friends a demo of the ear doctor's wicked cool swing dancing moves in my tiled foyer.

Bad Idea:
Him kicking the wall so hard that he almost broke his toe. (Though, to give him mad props he didn't stop dancing. He's so hardcore he totally played through the pain)

Good Idea:
Bring out the guitar so everyone can enjoy my friend Jed's awesome rendition of "Every Rose has a Thorn"

Bad Idea:
Letting my roommate bring out her bongos and incessantly beating them. Quelle headache!

Good Idea:
Going to bed early (midnight) before my guests even left.

Bad Idea:
Leaving the mountain of dishes scattered all over the house.

Good Idea:
Choosing awesome roommates who did the dishes without me the next day.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Back to School

This morning as I step out of my front door I half expected to see my breath billowing out of my mouth. Not that it was really that cold, but compared to the last two days of 90+ degree weather, 67 this morning seemed shocking.

It was like Mother Nature new that it was the first day of school for most kids in Colorado and decided to act accordingly.

My mind seemed filled with thoughts about work and school and my life and I sat my rear down on the slightly chilled charcoal black interior of my car. Today is my last day of full time work for the summer. Next Monday I'll only spend half the day there and then make the trek over to campus for my first class of the semester. I started to realize that I didn't have books yet, didn't know where my classes were, didn't really know when they started and only half knew which professors I was taking. The nagging trepidation started to churn in my stomach, reminding me of the first day of middle school, high school and college.

I revved up the engine and took off to make my 6 minute drive to the office. As I slowed down to safely take the round-abouts in my neighborhood (which, BTW why are they there? They make no sense) I noticed a small girl, about 11 years old, standing on the sidewalk. She was slight, with shoulder length straight nut brown hair. She stood aimlessly and watched me drive by. After taking in her oversized black jeans, ill-fitting long white T-shirt, 3" wide black wrist band with a skull and crossbones and oversized black cross dangling from her thin, white neck I met her eyes.

I was shocked to note the same apprehension in the eyes of this little girl that I was feeling. I realized she was waiting on the corner, all alone for her school bus to come and whisk her away to another year of school. A year filled with both the promise and fear of the unknown.

At that moment I knew how she felt and it made me smile.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Wake me up

School starts next Monday.


I can't believe that summer went so fast. Yet, on the other hand, it seems like forever since I've been in class.

This will be my last school year of my life and it's kind of cool to realize that. It's not like I'll ever stop wanting to be in school. I love school. I love being around people all learning new stuff. It's really such a part of my personality. Still, it'll be nice to be done and to have accomplished something pretty impressive for myself.

Anyway, that's all I'm thinking about this morning.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Dear Tyra,

So I'm going to have to say sorry up front because growing up I had a really great friend named Tyra but she pronounced her name like Tee-rah. When you pronounce your name Tie-rah it kind of mixes me up. However, since you are a super star (and are thrust upon my consciousness as the most beautiful woman alive by every media source there is) and she's just a girl on whose bed I used to jump after church while wearing my Sunday white tights under my jeans, I guess your pronunciation may take precedence over hers. Although, just slightly.

So you used to model for Victoria's secret, right? Oh wait, I guess me playing like I didn't know that is kind of dumb because every person who doesn't live under a ROCK knows that.

Back to the reason for this letter.

I was digging through my drawers getting dressed this morning when I was momentarily taken aback by one of the tags poking up in my view. It read the following,

"hand wash cold, lay flat to dry, do not iron"

This would not have been particularly interesting at all until I realize it the tag was not attached to a delicate knit top, as I would have expected, but to a pair of underwear.


Are there really people out there who, without this tag, would attempt to iron their underwear, ruin it and sue Victoria's Secret for not warning that their underwear was un-ironable?

Do you iron your underwear Tie-rah?

Does your maid do it for you?

How can you sleep at night knowing that your maid may be ironing and ruining all of your bounteous (and probably free) delicates?



PS ANTM is my guilty pleasure. However, I truly feel that what you're doing with your show is changing lives and empowering women. I've never been able to watch more than 2.3 seconds of your talk show without realizing that I love my body for what it is. This is a lesson I could only learn from a woman who used nothing more than her near perfect body to get where she is. You really know what it's like to be me!

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Dear fellow blog writers,

Sometimes I love my posts, sometimes I don't. Sometimes I come back to ones that I wrote a year ago and laugh until I'm blue in the face...not because I think they're all that funny to laugh with, more funny to laugh at. Its kind of like going back to my journal from early high school and reading about the afternoon that,
"my crush totally stopped me in the hallway and was standing a little too close to just be friends and then he asked me if I liked the Simpsons. I don't really like the Simpsons as much as he does, but I said I did and then he totally smiled and TOUCHED MY ELBOW. I think he totally likes me but I don't know. At least I do know what he totally likes me more than he likes (insert name of whoever was my secret rival for boys attention). I hope he does because homecoming is coming up and I just turned 16 so I'll totally be able to go. And maybe we can even double with (rival) so that she'll see how totally cute crush is and how he picked me. Plus he's a year older than me so he can totally drive us. Everyone at school is going to think I am SO cool!"

Anyway, back to my point. By and large it seems that I have way different taste than people who read what I write. The posts I think are somewhat decent go un-remarked, un-noticed and pretty much un-inspiring. On the other hand, the ones I write when I've let my brain take a 5 minute time out to sit in the internet corner tend to elicit much more responses (in both comments and hits). This baffles me so I wanted to ask you if you ever experience the same thing?

So do you?



Friday, August 11, 2006

Dear Chicago,

Over the course of my life I've heard many great things about you. It seems like everytime someone has visited your welcoming borders they have left with warm reviews and a heart full of great memories. People I've met from your shining beacon of a city have had nothing but great things to say about their formative years and your positive impact upon them.

The fist contact I had that helped establish in me your glowing reputation was my college roommate. She had the funniest yet endearing Chicago accent and, to my somewhat inexperienced Washingtonian ears, it was quite pleasing. Add to that all the great and hilarious stories she told about her adventures in and around your city limits and I was hooked. I started to have an unconscious bond. I felt that I would just like you so much if we ever had the chance to meet. Kind of how I feel about Alison from Project Runway this season.

Anyway, adding fuel to my flame of Chicago-an love I met a really cool girl the summer I spent interning in Logan, UT. She wasn't from Illinois, but she went to Northwestern and told me all about how, despite it being so hot and humid in the summer that it killed some Northwestern football players (yikes!), it was just the coolest place to be for culture and jazz.

The next summer I had a crush on a boy who loved the Bears.

Then my best friend from high school moved to an apartment 1 block from Lake Michigan. She told me about the nightlife, the interesting people she's met, the salsa class she's taking and this image of how cool and awesome it would be to live there was almost too overpowering to stay away.

Unfortunately, that all has come crashing down with your actions over the past few days.

You've taken the ear doctor from me (for the weekend) and I miss him terribly. I never thought I'd be the type of girl to miss someone so badly when they've been gone only 2 days. What have you done to me? You've duped me my entire life into thinking you were a great city. A place to be. And now what? You've pulled the rug out from under my feet.

I feel so exposed and ashamed. Rendered naked and powerless by my own susceptibility to be manipulated. How could you do this to me?



Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Dear 7th grade PE teacher,

So, I'm sure you realize that the students you are responsible for "teaching" are at a vulnerable age. I don't think there is one 7th grade female in the entire country who is happy with how she looks or who feels completely accepted by the other girls around them. 7th grade girls are the centers of their own universe. Every comment made leaves an indelible mark in the psyche of that girl. A mark which many times stretches deep into their adult lives. A mark that lingers deep, hidden, buried inside that girl affecting who she is and how she views herself.

I would be willing to bet that every woman can trace the inception of a current insecurity back to this age.

My biggest insecurity (that I'm going to share with the internet)?

I'm athletically challenged.

Guess where that comes from?

Remember the day we were practicing our "speed walking" on the track outside Ferrucci Jr. High?

I'd missed class the day before and didn't get the instruction about proper speed walking techniques. Anyway, that day was cold and damp, like almost every day in early spring in Western Washington. I could feel the steam from my breath develop before it even left my mouth. I already didn't really want to be doing this, but as I walked down to the track mud stuck to the bottom of my converse all-stars making each step an even more monumental task. A shrill whistle sounded and we were off. I hung back with my friends talking and laughing until we were absolutely forced to move. I was walking along, keeping pace with them for the first lap, but then I got annoyed at their speed. I've never really been one to do what I don't want to, so I slowed down and made them slow with me. Then, half way through lap two I hear a pop and static and then your loud booming voice coming over your megaphone,

"Timothy, that doesn't look like a speed walk"

Complete. Horror.

Not only had I been called out of the entire class and my last name bellowed over a loudspeaker but my athletic ineptitude announced for the world to hear.

Thus, we see the inception of my fears.

From 7th grade small similar experiences built upon that foundation. I was picked last for a softball game. I missed an important shot at basketball. I hit the volleyball clear into the other court. I had totally convinced myself that I belonged to a class of girls to awkward for their own good.

That weakness has stayed with me into my adulthood.

Last night it was ended.

At kickball for the past two seasons I have relegated myself to right field. Knowing that the co-ed team needed alive and breathing females to be able to play, but not wanting to let everyone down with my lack of skillz, right field was the place for me. I haven't seen much action in the field, but I also haven't had a chance to let down my team, and I was ok with that.

Last night a left-footed kicker stepped up to the plate. There were two outs and the bases were loaded. We were down by 5 runs and at the top of the last inning of our last game of the season. If we didn't get this guy out the game was over.

I steeled my nerve.

The pitch was fast and right down the middle. The 6'3" David Beckham look alike wound up for the kick and booted it. As if in slow motion the ball hurtled up and out in my direction. For a moment I thought, "this is it. Catch it or die."

It dropped down, and because I wasn't perfectly lined up (darn stadium lights), it bounced off my left shoulder and shot straight up into the air. Time stood still. My heart broke. I'd let my team down, the season is over and everyone will remember that "Timothy can't speed walk".

Then, I realized that the ball was still hovering in the air. The red rubber was calling me, beckoning me to it. I realized that there was still a chance I could get it. I reached out with both hands, bobbled it up in the air, secured it with both hands while diving and rolling onto my back. I held it aloft from my grassy bed and was stunned at what just happened.

I stood up, ball of victory in hand and for 2 seconds just took in the scene. David Beckham was rounding first, looking back in total disbelief. The opposing team was jumping in my shared amazement. The ear doctor was running toward me at full tilt.

When I regained my senses I spiked the ball and jumped into the ear doctor's arms. I'm not a dork. Someone with those kind of crazy good kickball skillz is not an awkward loser who would get picked last for a sport. I saved our shot at the game. I did it. Me.

I am a jock.


Monday, August 07, 2006

Dear Will Ferrell,

Saturday night my lover took me out for some Spicy lamb shanks and to see Talladega Nights.

Cinnamon and Gravy was it good!

That's why I go to your movies. I love your work and you made me laugh so hard I actually had to bend over to prevent my gut from rupturing. You always do.

The only critique I have is that there should have been more cowbell.

I've got a fever.



PS Tell Cal that I also like to picture my Jesus with giant Eagle wings singing back up for Lynyrd Skynyrd. Classic.

Friday, August 04, 2006

Dear Alissa,

Hey girl nice hat!

I'm really excited to see you tonight at the Boulder county fair and get to know you. There are so many interesting facets of rodeo royalty that I have always wanted to know.

For instance:

Where do you get those shirts? The ones with the glitter fringe hanging from them. You can't find that stuff in normal stores so do you order it off the internet or what? Are they one of a kind? Special order?

Is it hard to hold up those flags while the horses are racing around the arena? It sure looks tough. I mean, with all that drag so far away from where you hold it there must be some pretty killer moment loads that you have to react with your little, delicate hand. (just watch the nerd in me come out)

Is the size of your belt buckle related to your status? Do they give them to you when you win the crown?

Do you have to wear jeans that come all the way up to your armpits?

How do you keep your hair so curly? My hair would never hold curl long enough to last from the National Anthem all the way through the bull riding, no matter how much aquanet I used. Is this one of the criteria for winning the title because if it is that would be discriminatory against straight-haired people. And that is just wrong.

What do you have to do to win the title? Are you just selected or is there a pageant of sorts? If so, do you have to ride a horse during the swimsuit competition because I think that would be a little awkward.

Anyway, lets get together tonight after the bull riding/fighting rodeo that the ear doctor and a bunch of friends and I are going to.

You can split a funnel cake with me and ride in my car on the Ferris wheel. That is unless you barf easily. If that's the case you'll have to sit in your own car.

Later pal!



Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Dear Cesar Millan,

Last night all I wanted to do was curl up on the couch with the ear doctor and watch a movie. We were going to go swing dancing (like we usually do on Tuesdays) but I was so tired from moving most of my boxes of stuff (no thanks to Mr. T) that I just couldn't even consider driving all the way down to Denver. Anyway, that's not important.

What is important is this: We rented two movies from Blockbuster and brought them home. I really wanted to get some Spumoni ice cream (which, BTW they don't stock at Safeway...very frustrating).

We popped the first movie into my DVD player....home movie. It was a documentary about 5 families and their home videos. Sounded like it had the potential to be hilarious.

Anyway, the DVD player started to spin up and then crapped out. I was so pissed that my year old player had decided to be lame and not work. Why is it that DVD players are such pieces of junk? I've had 3 in the past 5 years. It's not like I really work them all that hard and they just stop working. I freakin hate that I am forced to go back and buy yet ANOTHER one. Ugh.

Anyway, that's not important either.

What is important is that because we couldn't watch our rented movies we stumbled upon your show in the National Geographic channel.

You, my friend, are amazingly entertaining to watch! I really couldn't get enough of your advice and the role you play in rehabilitating dogs.

Your show is both educational and insightful and if you applied your advice to people and children a lot more people in this world would be a whole lot better off. This is what I mean:

You say that there are three main things a dog needs in life: exercise, discipline and affection. Are these not the same things people need? In fact, don't you think that our society in general is having a wicked backlash because people are not raised with these three basic necessities? Why is it that people are so interested in teaching their dogs this lessons and providing these integral tenets to the dogs in their lives but fail to do so in their children? See what I'm getting at?

Anyway, I just wanted to say thanks for providing such a rad show.

I've already got the next episode waiting for me on my TIVO.



Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Dear Mr. T,

As I mentioned to you on the phone yesterday, I'm planning on starting my move from one side of Boudler to the other tonight.

During our phone call I was pretty sure that you committed to helping the ear doctor move my broken futon because I am totally unable to lift and maneuver it at all and the ear doctor could use some help.

However, the email I received from your agent this afternoon informed me that instead of showing up to my house to help move you've instead decided to rip off your shirt, don way too much gold jewelry and fashion a belt buckle out of letters and numbers you ripped of someone's apartment door.

I find this completely unacceptable.

Add this behavior to the subversive measures you went to last night to misdirect half of my kickball team and you start to understand my frustration. Seriously, we had to forfeit because you told everyone that other things were more important and/or the game was an hour after the posted schedule reported.

Please shape up or ship out of my life.



PS I have to give you props on choosing gold over silver....much more this season.

Monday, July 31, 2006

Dear Michael Buble,

Hey pal, how's it goin?

Just wanted to drop you a line and let you know that the show you played for my birthday in Spokane last week was freakin cool.

However, I've never been to a concert like yours before. Ever. And I have to admit that I've been to quite a few concerts in my time.

No one warned me that your concert, while filled with absolutely AMAZING music, lighting and stage presence, would be completely attended by crazy, randy, 40-somethings.

These women all flocked up to the stage and stretched out their hands to have that one brief moment of ecstasy that would be physically contacting you. It was strange. Does it ever make you kind of uncomfortable to be lusted after by women your mom's age (or older)? That would be pretty weird for me.

However, your show was just so good that I can over look that. I am so glad that you are around singing old standards. As a swing dancer and lover of everything vintage I am so impressed by your ability to conjure up the coolness of a bygone era. People of our generation hardly know the old songs of Ella and Frank. When I make a joke about the rat pack they shake their head, look at me and say, "did you mean to say 'snack pack' like from Billy Madison?"

So yeah, good show. Did you get a chance to see any of Spokane while you were there? I called you like a bazilllion times to see if you wanted to hang out with the ear doctor and I but you never returned my calls. (which, Mikey, is really quite rude). Anyway, here is a weekend re-cap of the activities that you missed out on.

The day after the show we went downtown to the thriving metropolis of Spokane, WA and saw Monster House. The lead character totally reminded me of my cousin Tyler. Then, we had a freakin awesome bbq with my bff Kathy and her baby Olivia (her hubby Matt came too). Olivia is getting so big and totally walks on her own now (kind of).

Friday morning the ear doctor, my mom and I drove out to the Hiawatha trail in Montana and did a 16 mile bike ride along an old railway track. It was beautiful. Western Montana is right up there for the most beautiful places on the earth.

Saturday I took my dad golfing at the course I worked in high school. Michael, I was totally hitting the ball like a pro! I was starting to have visions of my Nike endorsement and my joint celebrity status with Tiger. I only lost 2 balls!

On Sunday the most amazing thing happened. I flew from Spokane to Denver (via a layover in Vegas) without a single mishap. Both flights were on time, I got the seats I wanted, my luggage came over fine and I found my car without incident. It was really an amazing feat. I'm sure you can remember the days when you used to fly commercial airlines so you can truly appreciate how rare this is.

Thanks again for putting on that great show. If you're ever in Denver and looking for a place to stay my futon has your name written all over it.



Monday, July 24, 2006

Dear Michelle Kwan,

Hey pal! What's up? Its been a while since we caught up. So long, in fact that I was totally surprised when you helped the ear doctor throw me the most awesome birthday weekend ever.

So, I'm sure you know everything that happened, but I just wanted to fill you in on all the details, because that's what girlfriends do, you know? Cool.

So Saturday we went to the renaissance festival. It was freakin so much fun. The ear doctor's parents went with us and they were their typical hilarious and fun selves. There were so many crazy dressed up people; I was in people watching heaven. What possesses a full grown man to don a tunic and pull up the tights I will never really understand.

We had a turkey leg (finally) and a bbq pork sandwich. Also, they had this treat there that I've never had before and was delicious. They cut an orange in half and that froze a mound of orange or strawberry Italian ice to the top of the halved orange. It was freakin amazing. The ear doctor and I decided that at our next BBQ were were going to do the same thing except with limes and raspberry sorbet. Michelle, you would have just died over the little girls all dressed up as princesses. You would have been so jealous of their sparkles.

Then, after the festival we came home and the ear doctor took me to my favorite place in Denver for dinner.

You totally know the place I'm taking about, don't you? It's so cool that you know me so well.

Tamayo is SOOOOO awesome.

After dinner we went to see you and your pal Sasha Cohen at Champions on Ice. I totally love that they respect you and your accomplishments and don't make you do the cheesy (yet wonderful) closing number. When Sasha kind of slipped and fell on her bum it was slightly reminiscent of the games, and it was pretty clear to everyone there that Shizuka really is the best and rightfully won the medal this year.

Michelle, can I just take a minute to brag about how rad my boyfriend is? I doubt that he would ever in a million years want to go to see you skate your little booty off of his own free will. He knows how much I like ice skating and went because (a) you and I are such good friends and he likes to make a good impression on my friends and (b) I secretly wish I was living the life of an Olympic ice skater...just like 85% of this nations female population.

Anyway, so yesterday was actually my b-day, but I figured it would kind of be low key because it was Sunday. We both went to church (which was great and if you're ever interested in knowing more about Mormons, let me know) and then went to his house to hang out. I left to go home and take a Sunday nap (my favorite ever). The ear doctor told me to come back to his house at 7 because he was making me a fancy, romantic dinner.

Turns out he was really throwing me a surprise birthday party with all of my friends! He made the most delicious roast and mashed potatoes. I was sad you couldn't come, but with the tour and everything I totally understand. Maybe next year!

Anyway, good luck with the rest of the tour. It was really awesome.

Give me a call so we can catch up soon! I want to hear all of the drama between you, Sasha and Shizuka because I'm sure there is some great dirt.