Thursday, August 28, 2008

Nie Nie Day

Stephanie and Christian Nielson have a great little family. And they are grateful for it every single day. The joy that fills their lives is obvious to anyone who has ever stumbled across Stephanie's, or NieNie's, blog.

However, a little over a week ago they were both in a horrible small airplane crash. The third passenger in the plane with them, their brave flight instructor Doug Kinneard did not survive the impact.

Daily thousands of people checked back in to NieNie's sister's blog to check on the status of Stephanie and her brave husband. The prognosis is not good. 80% of Nie's body is covered in burns and 30% of Christian's is likewise. It is likely they will be in the hospital, away from their 4 darling children for months. Obviously, the bills are going to go through the roof.

I couldn't get the image of this wonderful family's tragedy out of my head and neither could a lot of other people. So, Gabrielle Blair named today NieNie day. All over the internet bloggers are uniting to raise money for the Nielsons. Strangers are stretching forth hands to help a family they've never met. Virtual shoulders are being outstretched for weary heads to lean on.

Today I'm holding a silent auction, all of the proceeds will be donated to the Stephanie and Christian Recovery Fund.

If you can, make a bid. The object you purchase will forever remind you to open your heart and help others in their time of need. Couldn't everyone use that kind of reminder?

Oh, one more thing. Everytime you make a bid on this auction, for any item, you're name will be entered into my doorprize give away. What is this great giveaway?

A $45 gift certificate to Williams-sonoma, that can also be used at Pottery Barn!

The more times you bid, the more chances you have to win!


How this silent auction works:

1) Please place your bid by leaving a comment with your Bid Amount, your name and your email address in the comments section of the item you are bidding on. Check the comments frequently to see the most recent High Bid.

2) Following the close of the auction, I will contact the winner (make sure your comment bid includes an email address or link to your blog or some way to contact you). The winner will pay the amount of their winning bid to the Stephanie and Christian PayPal account. The winner will then forward the PayPal receipt to and I will either put the winner in touch with the sponsor or mail them their prize.

3) Please bid in increments of whole dollars. The auction will end at 5 pm MST on Tuesday, Sept 2, 2008. (so that anyone going on vacation for Labor Day will have a chance to get in on the action)

Oooh la la

Last December Nie featured Kevin and Robyn Olson in her Friday face feature. From then on I've been secretly pining away for this bracelet.

I contacted these two talented artists and asked if they'd be willing to donate something to this little auction and, JOY OF JOYs, they accepted.

Not only that, but they've offered this EXACT bracelet to you, in support of NieNie.

You all may have to keep up with me in the bidding!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Who couldn't use more pretty things?

Next up? A Happy Box! by KKD Boxes

In the words of the artist's daughter:

This Cherry Blossom Happy Box! is handmade and covered with a hand printed Japanese chiyogami paper by Karn Dunn, a boxmaker living and working in Cold Spring, N.Y., on the banks of the Hudson River.

The box (5inx5in) comes with removable *wheatgrass* which adds a bit of whimsy to your table and is perfect for nestling pens, notecards, even the occasional chocolate bar!

The box is also well suited to holding cocktails napkins for your next fĂȘte and makes a perfect hostess gift. Our Etsy shop will open on or around September 15 (username: kkdboxes) so please stop by. If you have questions or are interested in ordering a box in a custom color scheme please contact us at Thank you.

Finding attractive ways to store the odds and ends is always a challenge for me, but this little box would be a great solution. Who wants to start the bidding battle?

Benefiting baubles

Let's just all agree to one thing. Rachel Schultz owner of the amazing online store Darlybird is fantastic. Not only has she donated items for the auctions on Design Mom and Tangled and True, but she offered to support this little auction as well?!?!?

Bid here for the chance of owning not one, but TWO pair of beautiful vintage earrings. These, perfect for day:

And a bit sparklier for night:

Not only that, but she's named a set of her vintage earrings after Stephanie herself. Half of the cost of each pair of NieNie earrings purchased will be donated to the Nielson recovery fund. What a great and stylish way to show your support of the family.

Wouldn't it be rad if we all made these earrings the next Livestrong bracelet?

Cute like Jane

Last December Nie pledged to go handmade for the Christmas gift giving season. A lot of other people did too.

In an effort to make it easier to find great handmade gifts, Nie put together a handmade Christmas gift giving guide. She's just great like that. I immediately remembered this adorable picture of Jane:

Part of me remembered that adorable clip and part of me remembered that if I don't get a red headed daughter some time in my future I might throw my fits into the air and curse the cruelties in life.

I contacted Julie Persons and told her about Stephanie and Christian's accident. Quicker than I could click refresh on my in-box there was a lovely offer awaiting me. Julie has graciously donated to this auction to help the Nielsons.

You can pick any 3 items out of her etsy store, as long as each item is listed for less than $9. Any 3 items, people! What a DEAL! That means you could get these:

or these:

or even these!

Or 3 of anything else that Juile sells for less than $9! Let's start the bidding....

A bit of inspiration

As I was getting ready for this auction I was clicking around to other people's blogs to see what they were planning to sell. That's how I came across Tracie at Broadway Paper. Not only is she hosting her own auction today, but she's offered to donate items to anyone else holding an auction! That's pretty amazing.

Oh how I wish there was a way that my career could directly benefit someone like this. Anyone interested in auctioning off some satellite drawings? How about an electrical schematic? Any takers?

I thought not.

How about this instead:

1 blossoming vine journal , 1 set of pom pom thankyou notes, and 1 noteblock, all from the awesome letterpress shop, Snow & Graham.

Awesome right? Who'll start the bidding.....

Be more like Nie

Get your Yoga on! Because Stephanie loves yoga so much I thought it only fitting to contact Lotuspad and see if they wanted to donate. You're all in luck because they IMMEDIATELY offered to help!

Get yourself this hot pink yoga mat and get yourself in shape.

The thing that is so great about these mats in particular is that they aren't the standard sticky gross PVC mats. They're made out of an earth friendly, non chemically thermoplastic elastomer! 100% biodegradable and recyclable. Not that you'll ever want to get rid of it, but if you do, it won't hurt our earth!

Ummm, did someone say they love shoes?

In my house back to school meant one thing: NEW SHOES! I remember my mom taking me to Nordstrom and letting me pick out any shoes I wanted. More times than not, I ended up with a new pair of casual sneakers. Had I known about Tretorn back in the day I'm pretty sure I would have ended up with these shoes year after year after year.

And, LUCKY YOU, they've donated 1 pair of ANY of their sneakers! Mens or pick! And there are some awesome styles to choose from! Just take a gander.

Literally walking on sunshine:

Purple is supposed to be the popular color this fall, right?

It doesn't get much more pretty/vintage than this:

I sort of LOVE when shoes have interesting fabric on the inside:

How can you not love a company that uses this photo for it's ad campaign

Dress #1 from Shabby Apple

Hold onto your hats, because this one is a doozy! Shabby Apple has donated this awesome turquoise 90 Words Per Minute dress to help benefit the Nielsons! Not only will you look great wearing this dress, but you will feel great that you helped out an awesome family!

The competent, professional red personality can wear this to the office:

Or the out of control yellow personality can sport it for a night out:

Either way, it will look amazing!

Dress #2 from Shabby Apple

Can you believe your good luck?!?!? Shabby Apple donated not one, but TWO awesome dresses! This dress, called the Tuxedo III is so awesome that I want to buy one for myself.

This dress will make you SOOO happy. See what it did for her:

Look how smart this girl looks wearing it. You will look smart too!

What, not a book worm? No fear, this dress is great for the edgy belt-wearers out there too!

It's what I call a perfect "bridge" dress. Gets you perfectly from summer to fall! Do I hear $10...

Sneak Peek

Are you all getting excited for the auctions tomorrow? I sure am. Actually, excitement doesn't even begin to describe the jumble of emotions that this incredible gesture is bringing out. I'm so proud to be part of a community that opens their arms in such a concrete way. Inspiring.

Anyway, I thought I'd throw some chum in the water to get you excited for my auction tomorrow. Just take a look at all the goodies that will be up for sale tomorrow, right here:

And the coolest thing is that since I don't get as much traffic as some of the other blogs, these goodies could actually end up coming to YOUR doorstep!

Door mat update

Remember my neighbors from this post? Well, don't worry I ended up cleaning all traces of the surprise the my puppy Roscoe left them. I was actually a little embarrassed that he pooed on their mat.

Anyway, you'll never believe this. The day after I wrote that post they got rid of the mat!!!! Could it possibly be that they read my blog and found out about the little accident? I am pretty horrified at this prospect. The ear doctor thinks it's hilarious.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008


I just realized that I left my flash drive plugged into the main computer in the big conference room. The big conference room where we host all our really important meetings with our big wig customers.

I left it in there for a month.

It wouldn't be so bad if it hadn't been the flash drive holding all the ear doctor's baby pictures and our engagement (AKA making out) pictures.

Not the most professional thing I've ever done....

I'll have the THICK crust, please!

When I first moved to Colorado I didn't know a soul. I moved into an apartment that my company provided. It was a nice place, had air conditioning and furniture. The only serious component missing was a phone. I had no way to call anyone. When I left work at 4 pm I came back to my empty apartment. Sat alone and wondered what I was going to do until it wasn't embarrassingly early to go to bed.

This was probably the most lonely I've ever felt.

After about 3 days of this I decided it was time to get a cell phone. I rushed over to the Veriz0n store and tried to get a phone. Unfortunately, I'd never used a credit card or even paid utilities under my own name. The deposit was going to be $800! To get a phone! Ridiculous.

There, in the Veriz0n Wireless store I lost it. I broke down and begged the manager to give me a phone. I NEEDED a phone. I wasn't leaving without one. He was immovable. He made me call my mom and ask her to co-sign for a phone to waive the deductible. Ridiculous and humiliating to have to ask my mom for help.

Anyway, its been 6 years and I've had my phone by my side ever since. The models come and go, but my love for connectivity remained constant.

That is, until this weekend.

I was down in Arizona and the beating intensity of the sun was just too much for this fair haired girl of British Isles heritage. Somewhere it fell out of my purse and could not be found anywhere.

At first I was distraught. Would I experience that same isolated loneliness of yesteryear? Could I handle being cut off from everyone I know and love? I woke up in the middle of the night in a strange bedroom scared out of my little noggin. I turned everything I owned inside out.

I looked in the most improbable of places.

It was gone.

But, you know what? The strangest thing has happened in the 3 days I haven't had it. I feel free. Sometimes people can't get ahold of me, and that's OK. I've found that, for me, it really isn't that important to be connected to everyone int he world at EVERY moment. It's nice to slow down and disengage.

Of course, I haven't had the craving for Papa J0hn's pizza yet so we'll see what happens when I do.....

Monday, August 25, 2008

Here goes nothing

The weekend before school started my senior year of high school I was invited to a party. It was a girls only party and was thrown by the most popular girls in school. To this day I don't really know why they invited me. I was a honors class, orchestra nerd who'd never even kissed a boy. I did not fit in there.

My mom thawed some zucchini chocolate chip cookies, handed me the plate and practically pushed me out the door. I was terrified. The whole way over I was a nervous, sweaty palmed mess. What was I doing thinking? I couldn't hold my own at this party.

As I drove up to the house my bravery failed. Who brings lame healthy homemade cookies to the coolest party of the year? A dork, like me, that's who. I sped on by hoping no one caught a glimpses of the incriminating Tasmanian Devil mud flaps that my dad insisted on hanging from the fenders of my 1983 red Ford Ranger. My mind flipped back and forth while I decided whether or not to go back and attend the party. I could just drive around for an hour and tell my mom I went. That way no one would ever know what happened. Surely no one would miss me.

Then, I realized was I being lame.

Nerves steeled, I slammed my foot on the clutch and spun that little truck around. My finger shook as I pushed the little white button. The sound of the doorbell reverberated in my ears. Seconds ticked by and I could feel my resolve slipping. Insecurities reared their ugly head. As my weight shifted, enabling me to run away in shame to the safety of my old moldy-smelling truck cab, the door flew open.

The girl who lived there and eventually was on the prom court took one look at me, smiled widely and said, "Are those homemade zucchini chocolate chip cookies?!?!?!? They're my favorite! I'm SOOOOOO glad you came!"

I sort of feel that way again. Design Mom is pretty much the most popular girl in school and she's decided to initiate NieNie day to benefit the author of one of my favorite blogs. Stephanie Nielson and her amazing husband were in a small airplane crash and need all the help they can get.

And guess what, Design Mom has invited me to come to the NieNie day party.


I'm not nearly as popular, nor do I have a pretty well-designed blog layout. But I do have something to share and would love to help make a difference.


on Thursday I will be hosting a silent auction, along with a lot of other bloggers out there. If you have the means, please come and bid. I'm going to work it the same way Gabrielle is going to:

I'll write a post about the prize and then I'll leave the first comment, saying something like: I bid $1. The next person could comment: I bid $2. And so on.

As the auction progresses, bidders will need to check the most recent comments, to see what the current high bid is. I plan to leave the auction open through the weekend. Allowing bids through Sunday night.

Once the winning bidder is identified, they'll send money directly to the Stephanie & Christian Paypal fund. And I'll mail their prize.

Here's hoping someone out there really likes my homemade, semi-defrosted zucchini chocolate chip cookies.

Also, if someone would like to donate something to my auction, don't hesitate! Even if you think it is something small, every little bit helps. Leave a comment with your contact info and I'll be sure to get in touch!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

I can do this, right?

You'll forgive me if I post a video my sister took of her daughter? A totally mundane moment in her life, once captured on video becomes a moment her auntie can obsess over and post on the Internet. Like other people even care.

I think it's just about the cutest thing there is.

You moms of little kids out there probably won't get much of a thrill out of this, but to me it is hilarious. My favorite part is the grunt while trying to extricate herself from the chair...or the part where she gets dizzy from shaking her head too much.

Hey, share the covers!

When we got married we spent a sizable chunk of our gift money on getting a bed. And, boy oh boy, did we get a BED. It's a king size beauty that weighs about a million pounds. Actually, since we live on the third floor it's the driving force behind my refusal to ever move again. I just can't see how we're ever going to lift and carry the beast down 2 flights of stairs.

Anyway, this bed is amazing. It has a deep, lush pillow top that envelopes me and makes me feel like a new-born bebe, swaddled in love by my mothers tender touch. At least that's how it feels when I first lay down. After about 6 hours of sleep, during which I don't move at all, the dead weight creates a deep impression on my side of the bed. Each night this impression gets deeper and deeper, as if I were a sawdust stuffed body laying immovable on a bed for 20 years.

I hate sleeping in this body rut. My back gets all messed up and my neck hurts. I don't even have to use a pillow anymore because the impression is so deep.

The ear doctor does not believe that this sink hole occurs on my side of the bed. He's tested my side and just doesn't believe that its as bad as it is. He thinks I'm make up the severity of the situation. I can't understand why he'd think that I NEVER exaggerate or embellish a story for effect. NEVER!

Well, guess what. Last night I slept on HIS side of the bed. Ha! I reveled in the rut-free-ed-ness. I tossed back and forth amazed by the lack of a downward pull from gravity to drag me to the bottom of my body impression. I slept deeply and soundly. My back and neck feel like a million bucks and I'm one happy wife.

So after this highly scientific study I've decided that I am now fully justified in sleeping in the dead center of the bed, where this is a beautifully unsquished segment of bed stuffing. Sorry, ear doctor, you'll just have to sleep on your side with your bum hanging off the edge. It's the only way I can really get some good ZZZ's. Thanks for being so willing to sacrifice.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Another great find

I'm a mechanical engineer.

Growing up I disassembled every pen I got my hands on to see the different parts and figure out how they work. That's what I do. Which is probably why these prints appeal to me so strongly.

I can't tell you how much I would love this entire series by Brittny badger to hang on the walls of my house. As someone who loves the domestic arts, machinery, and photography these are right up my alley!

Found via Design Mom.

Sort of need

Saw these today and decided that I probably need them.

I'm pretty sure they're biodegradable. I can't be sure becuase the whole site is in German, but I bet "recyclebaren" is a good sign.

However, since they're made in Germany and definatly not in the budget I guess I'll just continue taking handfulls of doggie bags provided by my apartment complex. Not nearly as cute or cleaver, but their FREE-ness makes up for that.

In case you were wondering

The estrogen fest continues.

Last night I went alone to see Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2. I know, SOOOOO corny, right?

Except, did you see Alexis Bledel's hair? And clothes? Oh, yes please. I found myself casually coveting everything that she wore in the whole movie. That is my new way to describe my ideal style.

My enduring love for Rory lives on.

One time someone said that I look like her and, while I don't really agree, I took it as a very nice compliment and have remembered it since.

On the way home from the theater I got a little choked up because I thought about all the great female friends who live so far away from me and who I've done a HORRIBLE job at keeping in touch with. I've had some truly great friends in my life and I need to step up the level of personal effort to keep those relationships strong. So thanks, makers-of-a-predictable-corny-cheesball-movie, for reminding me about what is important to me.

Who ever would have thought I'd get such a stunning realization from pre-teen chick-lit turned g-rated sex and the city alternative ?

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Corniest person in America

Last night as I drove away from dropping the ear doctor off at the airport I had my little puppy sitting on the front seat beside me and I was listening to the country station. Suddenly, those old familiar notes of Lee Greenwood's classic I'm proud to be an American: God Bless the USA came on.

I don't know if it's the Olympic fever or what, but I brazenly lowered my windows, pumped up the jam and belted out those lyrics. The punk rock kid listening to Bad Religion in the car next to me started dry heaving a little. Even Roscoe was rolling his eyes at how utterly dorky it was.

Then, I came home. Plopped on the couch and satisfied my guilty pleasure by watching the Notebook. The ear doctor will no longer watch this movie with me because I become a sobbing little pile of jello with tears cascading down my cheeks.

Could there be a more nerdy combination of activities for one night? I think not.

Clearly, the ear doctor is away for a a week. Otherwise this level of nerdery would never be attained. He's in California this week helping his parents move. And I miss him already.

Monday, August 18, 2008

A bit overwelmed

Jenny and I are the same age. We both have red hair and tempers that match. The daughter of my Dad's favorite brother, we spent Christmas and summers together. When we were little, time seemed to know no limit or structure. It flew by like so many childhood days. We ignored my little sister (sorry Mags) and had our own special world together. She had a big 4 poster bed in her room with ruffly bedspread and a picture of ballet shoes on her wall. On Sunday she curled her hair with hot rollers and always had a huge bow on the back of her head. She was the greatest.

When we got older we would laugh. We'd laugh those crazy, "I'm not really sure why I'm laughing but I just can't control it" kind of laughs. The laughter that now drives me up the wall and makes me wonder how our parents could stand to be around us. 13 year old girl laughter can be so hard to bear. It was kind of laughter that rarely comes over me anymore. Unbridled is the best way I can describe it.

After high school we drifted. Our paths shifted underfoot. While the physical distance between us shrank the gulf between us grew. I don't think I've spoken to her face to face in a few years. Worse yet, I don't think I've thought of her since I got married. It's shameful and embarrassing for me. Someone who claims to hold friendships and relationships dear.

This weekend I heard she was pregnant and was overjoyed. But, the same breath that delivered this astoundingly wonderful news held words that choked my throat and stilled the flutter of my heartbeat. Words like "hospital" and "2 months premature" and "possible death" entered my ears, but did not compute.

Is this really happening to the girl whose face was the closest reflection of my own I've ever had? When did growing up get so hard?

UPDATE: My mom called me this morning to let me know that she'd delivered her little baby in an emergency c section and they are both stable. Little Grace weighs 4 lbs and is in an incubator. Jenny is hanging in there. Keep your fingers crossed.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Quick update

Today it is gray, cold and rainy and I am LOVING it! As a child of the friendly Northwest, this weather makes me want to curl up in a corner with a new book and go to town.

However, I have to be responsible today and get SOOO much done. Gotta run, but before I do I want to mention 2 things.

First, ANY job is better when you get an unexpected 6% raise like I did yesterday. I'm seeing through rose colored glasses a the moment.

Second, my mom is coming to Colorado this weekend to visit and celebrate her birthday. I can't wait for her to get here so I can show her a great time. Or maybe I'll buy her a new book and a new pair of wool socks and we'll sit together reading, surrounded by the sound of rain pounding on the roof.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Sweet vengence

As I've remarked multiple times before, we live on the third floor. Up there, in the stratosphere, there are 3 other apartments with us. All 4 doors open onto the breezeway. I'm sure you all know what kind of relationships can result from sharing your space with others. In the best of scenarios, there is polite detachment. You occasionally smile and say hello and always pass by their door hoping the best for them.

On the other hand, there is the possibility for the development of a true arch enemy, good vs. evil battleground between rented doors.

Below is an overhead picture of the breezeway.

On either side of the open area is a set of stairs. The lower goes to the parking lot. The upper to Roscoe's little patch of grass/pissing ground.

Apartment 1 houses a very nice couple. I think they recently got married and they have a cat and they must have decent taste because I once ran into them at Crate & Barrel looking for furniture. Nice people.

Apartment 2 used to have a crazy old Italian guy named Bernard. He'd sit in his apartment all summer without hardly any clothes on and the door wide open. He worked at a golfing store and once helped us move a new entertainment center into our apartment. Kind of crazy, but just some harmless fum.

We live in apartment 3 and have the best door mat in the whole complex. (it's a gnome sitting under a mushroom...adorable and funny).

Apartment 4 houses our enemies. They are bad. Last Christmas we moved our old dying tree out of our apartment and let it sit in the breezeway for an hour and they called the office on us. They are lame and never smile and report every "infraction" they can.

Apartment 4 must go.

And Roscoe must sense my animosity every time I got by their door.

(Now's when I tell of the sweet, sweet justice that happened the other day.)

Roscoe's not that great on the leash yet. He's stubborn and will just sit his rear down on the cement and refuse to move if you want him to. My solution is to drop the leash and go on ahead without him. This is my way of showing him that he is not in control, I am. Eventually, he follows me down the stairs and out to his pee grass.


One time last week he pulled this trick. I let him go and walked down the stairs until he was out of my sight. I waited. and I waited. And then I realized that something wasn't going right. Furious, I tromped back up the flight of stairs and was met with my pooch dropping a steaming hot turd right on my enemies plastic green, fake grass door mat.

Vengeance is sweet.

You're welcome Amazon

In a few weeks the ear doctor will begin teaching his first undergraduate class. And, judging from the preparation he's putting in, they will be blown away by his material. Here are all the books he's purchased online in the last month or so.

Just seeing the height of that book stack makes me inwardly cringe. It also makes me secretly happy I'm an engineer and never had to read that much material for my degree.

(All the English majors out there are probably eyeing the stack and thinking, "that doesn't look too bad....")

He's such a great teacher and I'm actaully really jealous that these students get to take his class. I'm pretty sure I'm going to have to stop by his class once in a while to make sure none of this Professor Indiana Jones action is going on.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Do yourself a favor

If you get Bon Appetit DO NOT MISS your chance to try Thomas Keller's recipe for fried chicken. I made it yesterday and it blew my freakin mind.

Literally, I'm sitting here in the hospital while the most talented neurosurgeons are attempting to piece together the poultry induced cranial explosion that occurred 2 milliseconds after my lips touched the finished product.

The ear doctor hadn't heard of Thomas Keller, and that really surprised me. But then I thought about it again and realized that maybe he wasn't quite as obsessed with food as I currently am. Then I realized maybe there is someone else out there who hasn't heard of this award winning, ground breaking, amazing American chef. He has a restaurant in Napa valley called The French Laundry that is supposed to be amazing. I've only read stories about it, but from all accounts this is the place to go for your last meal to die a happy foodie death.

I'm probably not going to get to go to his restaurant any time soon, in the mean time I think I'm going to make his fried chicken every Sunday night from now until the day I die.

Friday, August 08, 2008

The life I want

I want to have a life in the future where I get up early and work in my huge madly producing garden. I want to be out there alone to feel the coolness of the summer day and feel the stillness of the morning.

I want to come in to wake up my children with smiles and the BYU cougar fight song. I want to teach them to be morning me.

I want to sit around a table in a small kitchen that is inviting and has bright beams of light pouring through the windows. I want to sit across from the ear doctor and love him more that morning that I've loved him the day before.

I want to create a place where fun and laughter reverberate off the walls and where kitchen dancing is a daily occurrence.

I want to teach my children to think of others and perform service every day. I want them to feel the joy of making someone's day.

I want to eat food saturated with the flavor of hard work and love.

I want to have a house dedicated to worshipping what is right and true. A place where respect and acceptance is understood. A place were unconditional love for all people is fostered and judgement is left in the hands of one infinitely more qualified to do so.

Thanks for the inspiration to write this down today, Nie Nie.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Why my husband is a tease

Whenever I go somewhere that I know people are working on commission, and their sole reason to talk to me is to sell me something I tend to get a sheepish look on my face, avoid eye contact and shuffle past them.

The ear doctor? Not the case. Even if he is fully and painfully aware that there is no way we will be purchasing something he'll walk right up to the sales person and pretty much dare them to give their pitch. He'll ask questions, he'll make them think that we're actually in the market for whatever they're selling and just when they're really giving him the hard sell he'll walk away.

I think he likes to do it just because he can. That, and he really is genuinely interested in the product.

So, despite me standing beside him looking longingly across the room wishing for the slightest break in sales pitch to give us an excuse to run away, the ear doctor probes further.

For example:

Last weekend we went to the parade of homes. The houses were alright this year...nothing that I would spend $2 million on, but nice. One of the ear doctor's goals in life is to have a nice home theater. This works great for me, because I don't really like having TVs out in the main living area. The thought of hiding all that equipment back in a dark little room seems revolutionary.

As we walked into one of the home theaters I spotted the sales person from the installation company and instantly knew they were in for a surprise in my husband. As everyone else scurried past them, averting their eyes, the ear doctor walked right up and asked for a demo. He then asked about the locked control panels we'd seen throughout the house. Turns out they wired the entire house as well as the theater. At this point I could see the sales person start to get excited and I started to pity her giddiness. She took us all through the house showing the different features. Clearly she mistook the two of us apartment-rent-paying newlyweds for some kind of power-couple with trust funds because she started pricing out different options for us.

I just shook my head.

It was pretty clear that she had no idea she'd just been played by the master of all sales pitches. Hopefully this won't turn her into a bitter, audiologist hating wretch who sits at home, waiting by the phone and cursing the day she met my ear doctor.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008


Saturday night the ear doctor and I went to one of the coolest venues on the planet to see Yonder Mountain String Band. It was awesome. Probably the funnest show I've been to in a long, long time.

We got their early and got some pretty great seats. I was happy to be there:

The ear doctor was thrilled. That is until we noticed that this might be a naked audience show.

That's shocking.

I haven't been to Red Rocks in a while, and didn't know about this new method to save seats. You send one poor sap down to lay out a tarp so that a bunch of your friends don't have to come early. This kid was saving about 24 seats all by himself. Not really sure what I think about that.

Then the show got rockin and the ear doctor and I were hoe-ing down. It was freaking awesome. Especially when I noticed this guy holding and infant about 20 rows down from us.

What, you can't really see the baby in that blurry picture? How about now?

All in all, the concert was so fun. Tons of bluegrass energy, lots of dread-locked hippies, and I didn't get one spec of barf on my feet. A total success.

Taking my turn

I've lived a pretty charmed life.

The realization of this fact overwhelms me with gratitude down to the very core of my soul. I grew up with a idyllic childhood. I have wonderful relationships with my siblings and parents. I married an amazing man. I haven't had any serious health problems. I've never suffered crushing defeat in anything I've attempted (except making fudge...I just can't do it). I've been blessed with a brain I can use moderately well (most of the time).

But sometimes I start to worry. Is all this great stuff in my life just leading up to some kind of horrific disaster? Surely I can't be given an easy road the entire time. So when is the major life bump coming? Am I ready?

Each day that passes easily by a secret fear of the future grows a bigger. It's tucked away in the back of my mind and rarely comes the to surface to manifest itself, but it's there. And it's gnawing.

I talked to my mom, sage of the universe, about this yesterday. She also told me that she feels so lucky in her life to not have had any huge personal potholes sneak up on her. She decided years ago that her way to express gratitude for not having to personally struggle is to support those around her who do. She takes on other people's burdens and issues. She does her best to spread out the pain so that one person doesn't bear it all alone. She never says "no."

For 10 years my aunt struggled and fought against a raging case of colon cancer. During that time my mom said only one word. "Yes." Currently there are 3 twenty-somethings living at my parent's house because their roommate attempted suicide and they didn't know where else to go. When they came to my mom for help? "yes" was the answer.

Taking cue from her, as I have done my whole life, I'm going to look for more people to say "yes" to. More people whose pain I can ease. More ways I can help those around me who are suffering.

So, today, Cagequeen I say to you: Is there anything I can do for you? Any way I can numb the pain? Anything to redistribute the hurt so that it's more bearable?

I'm waiting to say "yes."

Monday, August 04, 2008

Executive decision

Lately I've made a big change in my professional life.

I work in a male dominated environment. I'm an engineer, it's a fact of life. I actually prefer it that way.

When I started working a female coworker of mine told me that it was a tough department, company, and industry for "us women". She would always complain about the difference in pay scale based on gender for the whole country. She would say that "we women" had to work harder to get the same amount of recognition and opportunity. She would tell me of the importance of looking the part and fitting in.

I was young and inexperienced and didn't know what to think, so I took her advice. I didn't wear a skirt or jewelry to work for 4 years. My cute shoes were pushed to the side of my closet only to be brought out when I was sure that no one from work would ever see me in them and mistake me for a female. I wore muted colors and my black danskos every day.

While infinitely comfortable, these are pretty much the LEAST feminine shoes you can get. Am I right?

But, guess what. She, judging from my experience, was wrong.

Over the past 5 years of working as an engineer my career path has been unparalleled. I have achieved much and I've had some of the luckiest opportunities of anyone my age in the company. I've been supported and treated as an equal. I feel like I've been generously rewarded and recognized for my efforts.

And now that think of it, I'm a little miffed at said lady. If she was still around I would probably march over to her and ask what she was thinking, brainwashing an innocent newbie like that. I'd especially do it today, since I'm wearing this beautiful new dress that the ear doctor got me for my birthday, complete with big gold necklace and open toed shoes.

I'm not foolin anybody today. I am a girl...and a good engineer.

Weekend Recap

I'm sure the first thought that went through your mind this morning when you opened up the Internet was, "I wonder how Katie and Ear Doctor's little puppy is doing..."

Well, don't you worry, because I am about to give you an update! LUCKY YOU!

Saturday morning we woke up early and did one of my very favorite things to do in the whole world. We went over the the Boulder Farmer's Market. Not only is there some awesome produce to choose from, there are TONS of, how do I say this, interesting people to watch. Also, it's pretty much the best place in the world to socialize a dog. Roscoe couldn't go 3 feet without been cooed over and petted. He loved it. The ear doctor started telling people that he was a full-grown pigmy Boxer and people believed him. He has the best poker face in the world.

We also let him play in water for the first time. Amidst tons of other little kids and dogs, we let him splash around. Here is a little pug that he fell in love with.

Immediately after taking this photo he started humping the cute little pug's side. What a stallion. Here's pretty much my favorite picture I've taken of my two guys:

Isn't Roscey getting SO big!?!?!?