Monday, December 20, 2010

Action

Hello! Today is Blog Swap 8 through 20 Something Bloggers (20SB). The goal is to connect each other with different bloggers. Pretty fun, eh? Today I am hosting ~Soule from I mean...it happens, her blog is full of great writing and fun pictures. Be sure to check me out over there today!

Its blog swap week and I was really excited to have the opportunity to reach out to a whole new group of readers.

We received the “blog swap” subject. On Thursday which was "Action. What will you do next year that you've been putting off for too long?" A apt question at this time of year as people begin preparing their new year’s resolutions.

I rolled the subject around in my brain batting around witty options involving hot yoga (immediately eliminated b/c of the sweating potential), making a bucket list and a multitude of other grand ideas.

I decided to let the idea marinate in my brain as I had a few days before the blogs were supposed to be posted.

I went home on Friday (to Baltimore), to launch a full scale one day/ one woman cookie bake-a- thon. I spent all day Saturday baking cookies for Christmas and as I measured I pondered my blog , as I switched around my 20th tray of cookies , I pondered , and I accidently launched a hunk of peanut butter dough at batdog I pondered. As evening fell I knew where I was going with this.

I finally called it quits around 8 and laid down on the couch with batdog to watch a little TV and rest my back.

Right before thanksgiving batdog had two sets of seizures. The parents immediately took him off to the vet where he was diagnosed with epilepsy. A seizure disorder that can occur in older dogs. He was prescribed a medicine that would help to prevent any future seizures.

After we made it through thanksgiving and then his 15th birthday with no more episodes we started to relax into the idea that maybe we were in the clear - the meds are working and the little dude was good to go.

Saturday night at 8:35 he had a seizure. I have never been more afraid of anything in my entire life. I held my dog and begged god with every fiber of my being to keep him safe. The seizure passed and I laid with my dog trying to stay calm so he wouldn't be scared. About 30 minutes later he pops up off the couch and headed outside to water mom's bushes. (They do not remember the seizures but are often stunned / exhausted by what happened)

I went to sleep Saturday night in a twin bed with half my body hanging off the bottom and my head on my dogs chest just in case.

On Sunday morning I woke to my mom sounding an urgent SOS. My grandma (mama) a beautiful feisty ninety three year old polish girl; who loves the Steelers and all things sugar, was very sick. We flew into action and got her into the hospital. A few very slow hours later we had our diagnosis of pneumonia.

Thankfully the hospital admitted her and we got her up to a room and set up with fluids and antibiotics to try and build her strength back up. So that's where I find myself laying on an uncomfortable hospital couch begging and bartering with god while my favorite person in the world lies in the bed beside me. I realize I haven't written my blog and its due tomorrow.

So while I am sure I could email my partner jill and explain what’s happening I made a commitment and I want to stick to it. So as I lay here listening to the machines beep and wrestle with some angry thoughts towards god. I find myself trying to answer the question.

Ask me four days ago and you would have gotten an elaborate blog filled with some crazy scheme to rent a Winnebago and Criss-cross the USA visiting the largest ball of twine.

Ask me tonight and you get a terrified girl who is not prepared to deal with the idea that my two favorite people in the world are not invincible. So what do I plan to do this year that I have put of forever? I am going to forget about the bullshit , I'm not going to worry about if my job sucks or I hate my commute , or traffic is backed up for miles with no explanation. I am going to put my family and my friends first and my job somewhere below getting my laundry done. Life is about so much more, and I am going to stop putting that off in 2011.

It is not my intention to be a Debbie downer on my blog - just the opposite in fact it’s my one and only goal to share stories that will make people laugh. But I am also an honest person who doesn't due fake so yes I could have amused you with insane tales and crazy photos but it just didn't seem right.

Maybe some other time.... I promise

-Soule'

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Lessons

I was fortunate to be able to take some free classes in November. While reading the Westword on my way home from work I saw the “A Taste of Judaism” ad. I enrolled and a nice woman from the URJ called to give me directions to the synagogue the class was held at. The class was not meant to convert, but to educate.

I was a little nervous, because I didn’t know quite what to expect and sometimes I can find new social situations a little unnerving. I do not consider myself a very religious person, this is the first time I have voluntarily gone to faith-based education in about 10-15 years. The Rabbi started right in with the lesson and for three weeks he covered Jewish spirituality, ethics, and community.

I was very moved by the Rabbi’s enthusiasm for his faith and congregation. My perspectives on many things have shifted, and I am thankful to give myself the space I need to shift.

I am very grateful to have learned about the rich history and culture of Judaism and walked away from the class with a renewed sense of serving your community and taking care of those within it that cannot take care of themselves. The Rabbi spoke a lot about tikkun olam, which from what I understand, is to strive to improve the world through social action. In the Rabbi’s congregation, being part of the Jewish community includes helping others inside and outside the faith. This is done by working in food banks, giving blood, holding fundraisers and all sorts of other ways to donate time, money, and compassion.

What a great lesson.

Today is the first day of Chanukah.

Happy Chanukah.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

As God is my witness, I thought turkeys could fly.

Happy Thanksgiving all!

There are many things I am pretty darn thankful for this year. At the top of the list, I am thankful that my older brother made it home safe and sound to his wife and kids from Afghanistan earlier this week. It is also his birthday today and it makes me so happy that he came home just in time for his birthday and the holidays.

Bobaloo and I are still trying to create traditions for ourselves out here because it is just the two of us for the holidays. For a few years running now we have gone to a wonderful buffet on Thanksgiving at the Table Mountain Inn. We are going back again today, solidifying its place in our traditions. No cooking, no cleaning, no leftovers. That's my kind of Thanksgiving.

One of Bobaloo's favorite TV shows is WKRP in Cincinnati. I never watched it until a couple of years ago. Here's a clip of a WKRP Thanksgiving episode. Funniest thing ever. It's a little long, the best parts are at 2:oo and 5:30.
WKRP Turkey Drop - Watch more Videos at Vodpod.

I hope everyone's tables are bountiful with food, love, and laughter this year.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Welcome back to that same old place that you laughed about

Bobaloo, some friends, and I were trying to think of awesome TV theme songs the other night. Well, it started off as a reversed version of “Name That Tune.” We would give Bobaloo a theme song and he would have to hum or sing it. He is surprisingly good at this game. He doesn’t know just the first line or two; he knows every word to a lot of songs. Tickle me impressed.

This game morphed into a debate about what the best TV theme song ever is.

Personal favorites of mine are as follows:

Welcome Back Kotter (all-time favorite) Cheers Laverne and Shirley The Simpsons The Facts of Life Fresh Prince of Bel-Air Married… with Children The Wonder Years

This got me ruminating (I’m deep). They sure don’t write theme songs like they used to. Seriously, I have been trying to think of some really good ones from 1990 forward and all that comes to mind is That 70’s Show, Frasier, Friends, and Fresh Prince (how’s that for alliteration?). Are there obvious ones I am missing? Maybe this is the excuse I need to get cable.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Educating the Masses

My dad was visiting Bobaloo and I last weekend and on Sunday we found ourselves at Wrigley’s watching the Bears beat the Vikings. We indulged in the breakfast buffet and of course, threw back some Bloody Marys.

When the waitress brought my dad his Bloody, he looked down and wondered where the snit was. This is funny because Bobaloo and I had been discussing the regional differences of Bloody Marys a few weeks ago. We noted that here in Colorado the Bloody is served sans snit and a little spicier than in Minnesota.

What is a snit you ask? It’s kind of like a beer chaser that gets served in a lowball glass with your Bloody. You sip on the beer while drinking your Bloody Mary.

After much research, I have concluded the snit is something that is only served in bars in the Midwest, more specifically Minnesota and Wisconsin. I have to say that I am a fan of this element of drinking. It kind of takes the edge of the Bloody.

More research revealed that a snit is:

a U.S. unit of volume for liquor equal to 2 jiggers, 3 U.S. fluid ounces, or 88.7 milliliters. The origin of this unit is unknown.

Fascinating.

Do they serve snits in your state?

P.S. To learn what a Morning Margarita is check out A.B.’s blog The A-List

Lady Astor to Winston Churchill: "If you were my husband I'd give you poison." Churchill to Lady Astor: "If you were my wife, I'd drink it."

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Back at it

My time away from here has been great. I still keep up with all of your blogs, you know. I currently am reading them through Google Reader though because they have blocked Blogger at work. Bo-ring! I think I’ll change it up though and do the blogging on the weekend so I can blog about town as I please.

So, where did I leave off? Oh yes, impending summertime. Summer was fantastic! There were graduations, weddings, concerts, trips, and many visitors. It buzzed by breakneck speed as usual. It was very special to me to be able to spend so much time with my little brother before he left for college. I am pretty psyched for all of the experiences ahead of him. Remember what it’s like to be nineteen? Fun stuff. Like, really fun stuff!

There were a couple of funerals over the summer too. One was a dear family friend whom I have known since childhood, the other a friend from the local watering hole. One had been there for most of the important events in my life and at one time was even my employer. The final time I saw him was last Christmas. I think of him and his wife and his kids often and think about how iniquitous life can be. The other had a small memorial at the tavern I knew him from. Although I didn’t know him very long, I think of his smile and wish I had known he was into karaoke while I had the chance to hear him sing. It was really strange to have gotten to know him better as a result of his passing.

September rolled around and I was a bridesmaid for my best friend’s wedding. It was a happy day. A week later Bobaloo and I were back in Minnesota to celebrate his parent’s fiftieth wedding anniversary. A couple of days after that, Bobaloo and I celebrated our own two-year wedding anniversary. A lot of love going on. I like it.

A ton of more awesome and less than awesome stuff went down as well. It was hard to get back into the blog swing of this because I just kept thinking, where do I start?

In the last six months or so I have sat down to start writing, to start explaining. I could never figure out where to begin so it has been easier to not start in at all.

When things have a habit of not working out for a long time, trying really hard and not trying at all becomes a very fine line.

It’s not much of an explanation I guess. That okay though, I suppose.

Anyway, this marks the return of me and my regular Jillie Side Up self. Thanks for sticking with me!

“For her own breakfast she’ll project a scheme, Nor take her tea without a stratagem” -Edward Young

Friday, May 21, 2010

Summertime

Summer is coming and I could not be more excited. It’s supposed to be in the eighties around these parts this weekend and I cannot wait to sit on the patio with my book and bask in the sunshine. The pool opens next weekend and I am eager to blow up all of the pool toys and get to some floating. Bobaloo has offered to provide me with some swimming lessons this summer and I think I am going to take him up on it despite my wariness of being a difficult student. I will have to check the attitude at the door. I don’t like to learn things that don’t come easy to me. Ouch, that kind of hurt to admit.

A big part of why I love summer is because there are a ton of free or cheap things to do like fishing, gold panning, camping, festivals, basking, etc. I am thinking about doing some patio gardening although even with my efforts, plants seem to die on me. I try not to take it too personally. Do you plant anything on your patio that is a success year after year?

I have a couple of big plans for June which I am psyched about. A week ago, I booked a plane ticket to the Twin Cities to go to my little brother’s high school graduation party. It’ll be the perfect time of year to visit and I am glad to be able to celebrate his big day. I don’t know about you, but high school graduation was one of the best days of my life. I cannot believe the kid is eighteen and will be heading to college in the fall. It seems like it was not long ago that I was announcing to my third grade classroom that I now had a little brother. My, how time flies. I am already thinking about fun and interesting things I can send to him to adorn his dorm room with. I didn’t do the whole college thing for more than a week so I am not really sure what the essentials are these days. Any ideas of items you can’t live without as a freshman in a dorm?

The other big event is of course, Widespread Panic. They didn’t play Red Rocks last summer and it felt like I was missing something. I am pretty stoked to be amongst all sorts of people having all sorts of fun.

I now work at a job where I get holidays off again. Bring it on summer, with all of your paid holidays. I can’t wait!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Panic on the Rocks

On Saturday I was able to get Widespread Panic tickets for Red Rocks. To me, Red Rocks is heaven on Earth. Who knew such a wonder was in Morrison, Colorado? Who knew a heap of very old rocks could move and inspire people from all over the world? Nestled in the green hills of Morrison, you come upon gigantic rocks of red jutting out of the land and it is hard not to be dazzled by the terrain in this tiny community.

I had heard of Red Rocks for a few years from Bobaloo, who raved about this geological marvel. He kept telling me that words couldn’t do the park justice and it was something I would just have to see for myself. He described Red Rocks as his personal Mecca. The first time I visited Colorado we were seeing if the state was somewhere we wanted to move.

I was afraid to fly back then, so we packed up the old Ford Taurus and headed West from Minnesota. It is a fourteen hour trip and we drove straight through the night taking turns at the wheel and sleeping in the passenger street. The long stretch of Nebraska made for a rough drive. We made into Colorado just in time for morning rush hour and the hotel was not ready for another four hours. We were tired, hungry, and hopeful.

With time on our hands, Bobaloo suggested we drive up to Red Rocks so I could finally grasp it and he could visit the place he had come to for so many summers. I was exhausted and the last thing I wanted to do was go back in the car and traipse around town, but I sucked it up and grudgingly got into the car. You cannot see Red Rocks from afar, as we started on the winding roads the landscape started to change and the rocks became bigger and bigger.

We parked in the upper lot and the day was beautiful. My stomach fluttered when we entered the amphitheater, it was brilliant. I had never seen anything like it. The pictures Bobaloo showed me did not show the scale of how colossal the rocks that surrounded the seats were. I was astonished. The sunbeams reached the rocks and the different hues of red shimmered. I will never forget the heat of the sunshine on my face and the breath knocked out of me from climbing the stairs. Without delay the camera was out and I was trying to acquire the beauty of this magical place for my own recollection.

We checked out the geological exhibits and the gift shop and the rock’n’roll museum. There is a wall with a list of every performer who has played on the rocks throughout the years. I looked at the wall of entertainers in amazement and was eager to see a show there. When we left, I was revitalized and indescribably felt better about everything. Red Rocks was not a reason to move to Colorado but it certainly was something I wanted to be near.

Monday, May 3, 2010

The End of an A-Ha Era

I read some troubling news on Friday. A-Ha is breaking up after one last tour. I am devastated and overcome with both grief and uncertainty. Now don’t get me wrong, I cannot name any of their songs besides “Take on me,” but I feel that song helped shape me as a person in some way.

When I was a child I was transfixed by the music video longing to live in a world where morphing into a comic book character in a world of illustration was possible. Their catchy chorus was easy enough for my youthful brain to wrap around. The happy beat infected the heart of my soul and I would dance.

As I got older, “Take on me” became, well, kind of a guilty pleasure. If I was in the car alone, I would rock out while singing the lyrics without inhibition. There's just something about the tune that gives me absolute joy. If I was amongst my friends, I might have just hummed along calmly.

These days I sing it loud and proud. I car-dance to the melody if I need to. The song is in my iPod putting a skip in my step when it comes on and I am walking home from the bus stop. I can say it goes down as one of my top ten favorite songs in pop history.

So A-Ha, as you retire to enter the next stage of your lives please know you have been in the background for every stage in mine.

Thanks.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Liquid Goodness

There has been an awesome new addition to our household. A lot of our stuff is still in storage in California which makes buying things a little difficult. I don’t want to buy a bunch of stuff for the place and then have all of old belongings come back and have no room for them. This makes trips to Target a little hard on me. Target is my place of sanctuary. I can spend hours there. Anyway, back to the new addition.

As I was walking down the grocery aisles I came to the coffee section. The fragrance of coffee stirred a longing for caffeinated delight in me. I decided then and there that if I could find a coffeemaker for around ten bucks I would purchase one. I walked hurriedly to the kitchen appliances aisle and was thrilled to have found a $9.99 ChefMate coffeemaker. I quickly procured the coffeemaker and some filters and tossed it into the cart.

I promenaded proudly back to the coffee aisle and picked out a container of Folgers of the French Vanilla variety and some decaf for Bobaloo. As I checked out I could hardly contain my anticipation as the cashier scanned my items.

Once at home, I placed the coffeemaker in a hallowed corner of the counter where it could be admired from all corners of the kitchen. It was brilliant and shiny and new. I immediately half-read the instructions and started to brew my first pot of liquid goodness. I poured the russet liquid into a travel mug along with some French Vanilla creamer. I went out to the patio, lit a cigarette, and enjoyed the coffee. It was bliss.

A Found Memory From December 2008

Day 1

I went to the doctor’s office before work. The appointment was early, at 7:30. When I got there, there were only three cars in the parking lot. I was hoping the doors to the building would be unlocked. I hate waiting in my car for things, I always think other people think I am lurking. I went in and took the stairs to the third floor because elevators freak me out. If it got stuck who really would come right away and get me out. What if I am trapped in there with a cannibal who needs a snack or something? The door to the waiting room was locked and there was no one in the building. I walked around hoping there weren't any security cameras. I felt like I looked suspicious. I went back downstairs and called Bobaloo. When I told him that there was no one in the building he tried to calm me down and told me that a whole building isn't going to just not show up for work. I was early and maybe, just maybe, if I waited until my appointment time there would be people in the office. After I got off of the phone I was half reassured and half still panicking. My heart rate went up and I started to cry and to add to the lunacy I started breathing deeply through my nose hoping to calm myself down before the appointment. I must have looked like a tool.

At 7:25, I trudged back up the stairs and the office was open and I was out of breath. After I checked in, I sat and admired their oddly chosen wall art. The picture of the two fingers that I think is by Michelangelo and a weird Ansel Adams tree picture. The clocked ticked away and fifteen minutes went by. How can they be late if I am the first appointment? That added to the agitation. Finally I was called in by a young nurse. Little did she know about the impending morning meltdown that would arise. Immediately after the scale, she led me into the icy room with a view of the parking lot. Once the door was closed I preceded to bawl, I am talking some serious weeping. She took my vitals and tried to calm me down, then left, the poor thing. I grabbed a Kleenex off of the doctor's desk and tried doing the deep breathing again so I wouldn't appear as an emotional and outlandish person when the doctor came in.

She came in. I have seen her a couple of times before and she seemed nice enough. I don't know why, but I have always found doctors spine-chilling. She sat on a tiny black stool too close to me. I started crying again and she touched my knees and told me everything would be fine. From there, I calmed down. Good. Breathing is good.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Solitude

Thank you for all the suggestions and tips when I posted The Blog Clog. They were smart, helpful, and downright rousing. I think I have a plan for Jillie Side Up moving forward and am pretty excited about it.

How was the weekend? Bobaloo worked and I didn’t have plans so I spent a lot of time kicking it solo. Do you know what I realized lately? Kicking it solo makes me go a little crazy these days. I get a little glum and my thoughts take on a weird cycle of anxiety and trepidation. What a strange realization.

There was a time where I was content to be by myself and do my own thing. My dad used to call me his little lone wolf. I was able to listen to my tunes, read my books, do my writing, watch my television shows, and be left alone to my own devices. I would take the car for a drive by myself jamming to the radio and enjoying the sights of my travels. A walk around a lake in solitude was a great way to spend an afternoon.

Something happened somewhere down the line because now, being alone leaves me feeling well, alone. So, although it is a little late, the birthday resolution has been decided. I resolve to move forward by getting back to a place where I am content to spend some quality time with me and to do things that I enjoy without apprehension. That’s a good one, I think.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

I have always been on search to be more in tune with the universe, a way to live a happier and more meaningful life. I am always looking for different ways to “tune in,” like there is something out there that I am not a part of that I need to find. Transcendence, maybe? Recently I have experienced two new things to grow from.

There is a Shambhala Center in Denver that I had always wanted to check out so I recruited Bobaloo and our friend Sam to come with me. We went there for an introduction to meditation. I was excited and nervous and happy to finally have the opportunity to go. The center was very welcoming. Shoes came off before entering and we sat in a circle along with the others who were curious.

We spoke for a while of who we were and why we were there. After a break we entered a small room where we sat on cushions and were taught the beginnings of meditation. At one point the instructor said something along the lines, “let go of your thoughts in the same way as you’d pop a balloon with a feather.” That thought resonated with me and when a thought would enter my head I would visualize a feather popping a balloon. It was a great exercise and I think all three of us learned something from being there.

The second event took place a couple of nights ago. Bobaloo and I were happy hour-ing at one of favorite joints listening to music out on the patio and enjoying the beautiful weather. If you know Bobaloo, you know he chats a lot with people. He went inside to get a pitcher and ran into a gentleman putting on a drum circle that evening. The drum circle dude invited us to join them and take a listen.

We went inside to the separate space where the drum circle was being held and were met with beats from an assortment of drums. The beats were infectious and the drummers were dialed into their sound. There were a handful of dancers inside the circle whirling, thrashing, and stamping. The whole scene was without airs and genuinely a harmonious occasion.

Now I am not someone who professes to have a lot of rhythm so I would choose one drummer to focus in on and listen carefully to. I mimicked the hand motions on my lap and created my own pitter-patter of sound. Someone gave Bobaloo a tambourine to make a cadence with. We enjoyed ourselves hugely. I would like to go back on another Monday with our own noisemakers to join in on this weekly drum-fest and possibly do some dancing.

Monday, April 19, 2010

The Blog Clog

So, here’s the deal. When I started this blog I planned to write two posts a week which isn’t a lofty goal, but I seem to be falling short; way short. Lately I sit at the computer and just cannot come up with anything at all. At this moment I am reevaluating my blog and trying to figure out where I want it to go and how to be a more consistent blogger. Do you have any rules for your blog? How many days a week you write and post? How do you keep your blog fresh?

Any advice from one blogger to another?

Easter, Visits, and a Birthday

Boy, oh boy, my last post was St. Patrick’s Day. Bad blogger, bad.

Here’s the rundown of what has been going on lately:

Easter. Bobaloo and I dyed Easter eggs and I made a trout-shaped cake. We even blew up peeps in the microwave.

My brother and his family passed through town a week ago and I was able to spend some time with my two adorable nephews and visit with my bro and sis-in-law. We ate Jason’s Deli and sat around the apartment. It was a beautiful day.

My pops passed through town as well. He stayed for a couple of days and we had loads of fun. We went to the Buffalo Rose and listened to a small band and had beer and cocktails. By the way, my hundred days of soberness is up. Success! Bobaloo and I also took my dad up to Black Hawk where we spent some time in the casinos and ate pizza and drank beer and cocktails.

I turned twenty-seven last Tuesday. I am not quite sure how I feel about that. I looked at last year’s birthday resolution and feel pretty good about what I have accomplished this last year and where I am at today. I’m trying to think of one for this year, but nothing seems to come to mind. Perhaps I’ll skip the resolution this year because I made a New Year’s resolution instead. I don’t know.

Other than that, I seem to be at a complete loss for words and ideas lately.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Parade of Green

I started a one sentence journal, an idea I got from The Happiness Project. It’s not necessarily a thankfulness journal where I remind myself to be grateful for the things in my life. Instead, I try to sum up the day or event that happened in one sentence. I started this on the fifth of March and let me tell you, if someone found this journal they would think my life is somewhat bent; but fun.

I hope to be able to look back at my sentences and remember the events, thoughts, and feelings of the day, and then the years. So far, it seems to be working. For example, my sentence last Saturday was: I don’t like parades as much as I remembered.

You see, Bobaloo and I went downtown for the St. Patrick’s Day parade. I had visions of sitting on a blanket on the curb. As a child I would catch candy, plug my ears during the marching band, and hoot and holler when my favorite floats passed by. Everything about the parade was splendid from the fancy princess waves to the mini Shriner cars.

It’s a gloomy awakening when you realize that you are not six anymore and parades just don’t do it for you anymore. The noise, the crowds, the children with kazoos all make for a frenzied display. It didn’t help that this particular parade was completely random. Seriously, everyone was in the parade. Instead of watching the whole four-hour ordeal, we tooled around Denver in green and watched the monkey business that is St. Patrick’s Day. All in all, our St. Patrick’s Day adventure was amusing and I cannot wait to go back next year.
Have a Happy St. Patrick’s Day and I’ll leave you with a blessing from the spoon-holder in our kitchen:

May your troubles be less,

And your blessing be more.

And nothing but

happiness,

Come through your door.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Bookish

The summertime reminds me of books. I love to read. Everything from the feel and smell of the paper to the little black letters dotted across the page mesmerizes me. I read a lot more in the summertime than I do in the winter. I like to sit on my patio, have a cigarette, and read. My favorite summer memory is going up to the Poudre Canyon and reading on a rock by the river while Bobaloo fished.

The first book I remember reading with my mom was Big Bird Follows the Signs which was a captivating little story about Big Bird getting Prairie Dawn’s cello to her concert on time and the importance of reading signs. I remember how my mom’s voice sounded when we came to a sign in the book. She would annunciate and heighten the word, STOP! GO! THIS WAY! or whatever the signs happened to say. Sometimes she would make hand motions to add a little pizzazz to the story.

My dad was never a big reader, but I remember him sitting down to read me Ramona and Her Father. We sat on the couch and took turns reading the pages in the oh-so-grown-up chapter book. Do you remember Ramona Quimby? I loved her and the overconfidence she radiated. I secretly wished I could be that bold.

I lived next to three girls around the same age as me growing up and their dad Steve would take us to the library every once in a while. For my birthday they even gave me a library bag. I would always check out more books than I could possible read by the due date. I was afraid I would run out of books and always wanted to save the best ones for last.

In high school I would skip school to drive to the library and read what I felt like reading. T.S. Eliot, Edith Wharton, and Daniel Quinn filled my brain. I wanted to be a poet. I wanted to eat, sleep, and breathe books. Then at some point, I got a life.

These days I read when I can, when the spirit moves me to. I have a list of classic literature I am working on reading before I die. I cannot wait for long summer days to read while Bobaloo fishes or to lie in the sun and finish up a novel over a weekend.

With the approaching warm weather, I could use some good suggestions. What are you reading?

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Weekends

I started my new job and so far it’s going great. The best part of it is getting done at 3:30 during the week and having weekends off. I had almost forgotten what that was like to have precious weekends and I have been filling them up with all sorts of fantastic things from alpacas to a frozen dead guy.

The first weekend off included a trip up to Boulder. Bobaloo and I toured the Celestial Seasonings factory and learned about tea. They had a peppermint tea room that was incredible. With one draw of breath my sinuses cleared and my eyes became teary. The day was followed by some poking around in Tables and Teacups one of my favorite antique stores. We didn’t find any treasures but we sure built up an appetite. After antiquing, we headed to the Pearl Street Mall for some grub and ended up at this wonderful Mediterranean restaurant where we feasted on tapas, cheese ravioli, and lamb shank for Bobaloo. The day ended with the beautiful ride back to Golden.

The Olympics, grocery shopping, movies, and staying warm in the apartment took up a couple of weekends. But it was great to hang around the apartment and not have to worry about getting out of bed early or showering. I have a general rule of only needing to shower once and throwing a hat on the rest of the weekend. Lazy days can go by so quickly, I blink and am back to work on Monday.

One weekend, Bobaloo worked on Sunday so we packed in all of our fun on Saturday. We started at an alpaca extravaganza at the Boulder fairgrounds. Can you believe it? It was an entire extravaganza just for alpacas. We made our way in from the muddy parking lot and checked out the unassuming and dreamy animals. Now, I would like an alpaca farm. After we had enough of the alpacas we headed to a restaurant called The Gondolier. Garlic knots, mushrooms, a caprese sandwich, pasta, and dessert filled us up and we were ready to return home. We topped off the evening on the couch with a movie.

Last weekend took the cake! We went to our first Frozen Dead Guy Days up in Nederland, CO. It is a whole festival dedicated to a dead guy that is frozen in a Tuff Shed until he can come back to life. Crazy Norwegians! We checked out the hearse parade and the polar plunge. Brrr.. There was food and drink galore and a lot of people. The sun was shining and people were having fun which made me eager for summer.

How much fun can I pack in to two days? Apparently quite a bit. I am looking forward to this weekend to see what’s in store.

6 Lessons of Sobriety

If you made a certain resolution to quit certain beverages for a 100 days, you are on day 70. Just to let you know. 30 days left? Piece of cake!

It’s been a strange 70 days since I stopped with the boozing. My ears still ring at 5 o’clock on Friday. Every once in a while I have a hankering for a cold beer or a rum and coke. The cravings have subsided greatly from the first couple of weeks. The first two weeks were the most difficult. It was bizarre to order non-alcoholic beers at happy hour and keep drinking and drinking and never catch a buzz. Lesson 1; Coca-Cola gives you more of a buzz then non-alcoholic beer. There is a bar in town that serves Coors NA and that is my drink of choice these days. Lesson 2, non-alcoholic beer is a sipping drink; all it does is make you need to pee.

The strange part about going to the bar sober is having in the past had buzzed conversations with people you now have no idea who they are or what you were babbling about. Lesson 3; sober conversations are more memorable but not nearly as exciting. I have also noticed people are curious why I am not drinking, when I tell them it’s a new year’s resolution they seem disappointed. It has taken bar patrons a little more time than usual to warm up to me and to start chatting. Lesson 4; making up a more interesting reason for my sobriety might lead to more friends.

Driving home after spending a few sober hours at the bar is quite the experience. Driving without paranoia and how quick the ride goes is amazing. Lesson 5; getting home sober is good. It is odd to have a kiddy cocktail (Shirley Temple) nightcap instead of a couple of beers to top off the night. I don’t wake up tired and go to work hung-over. Lesson 6; moderation would be a good virtue to permanently have.

The strangest thing about my sobriety is that I am always hungry, and hungry for sweets. I am generally not a sweet tooth but these days give me chocolates, give me cake, give me ice cream and I will down it. I thought quitting drinking would lead to me dropping a couple of pounds, but instead I think I’ve gained a couple. Lesson 6; weight gained is well worth it, yum.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Flinching

I dropped out of college after one week. I was in Fargo which was a telltale factor, and my resident advisor tried to save me. We had a “divine appointment with God.” I can chalk the whole experience up now as too much, too fast, too soon. Back in those days I wanted change so much, but flinched when it actually came to pass.

When I told my dad of my plans to drop out he understood and said something along the lines of, I know what it’s like to be somewhere you don’t want to be. He picked me up from Fargo and the ride back to Minneapolis was the longest (and quietest) I have ever experienced. We even stopped and ate Chinese food. During lunch, there were no lectures, no evil looks, and most importantly, no questions. As long as I wasn’t running away from something, I was able to go home.

But what was I running to? At the time, the last place I wanted to be after North Dakota was at home with my parents; I wanted out of the suburbs. I think I wanted to find myself, but that September instead of books and pencils, I got a job assembling cables for a neighbor. As the months grew colder I slid into desolation and despondency. I thought my life was tragic and I extracted myself from the world I thought I would live in.

I became a townie. I had two friends who stayed in town after graduation and the three of us would go to Denny’s every Tuesday and then catch some TV and play cards. My weekends were spent going back and forth to visit a good friend away at college. I lived in the suburbs; I made friends in the suburbs, partied in the suburbs, and lost myself in the suburbs. I hung out in Wal-Mart parking lots and went to the city to cruise. I went to bonfires, house parties, and the refinery to watch it twinkle like Emerald City. Somewhere along the way I even got banned from a country line dancing bar.

These days I don’t regret not getting a traditional education. Sure, dorm life would have been a hoot and I would have my diploma on a mantel somewhere near a cap’n’gown picture with my parents. A year and a half doing cable assemblies does teach you the importance of education. As a grown-up I take community college classes when I can and hope to get a four year degree by age thirty.

It’s hard to put my finger on what I learned from coming of age in the suburbs. It know it wasn’t street smarts or anything. I guess there were a few lessons. Sometimes you need your family when you don’t want to. Sometimes unlikely friends will become best friends before you know it. Sometimes you can fight to get out of the city you grew up in and come to miss it when you leave.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Casino Land Farewell

A casualty of the casino. Cushioned chairs and cigarette machines. Endless stairways, a bird roosting at the railing. The inhale of dreggy popcorn. A blue shirt, polyester pants, and a name tag. Candles competing for consideration, hot players, and hasty money. Bellowing Blazing Sevens and jaunty jackpots. Abandoned beer bottles and wanting wine glasses. Swirling carpets and the static of slots.

A hasty farewell. You’ll do well wherever you go. It’ll suck with out you. We’ll miss ya. Take care, kiddo. Cake, a card, and cherry Prime Time cigars.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Tanya and Violet; A Reflection on an Old Friendship

So, I’ll start the story this way. Let me paint a picture for you to get you caught up. There’s the tall, skinny blonde-turned-black-turned red haired girl who is very quiet, but pretty funny. She usually just went with the flow. For the sake of anonymity we’ll call her Violet, although her hair was never purple through the changes. She was the counterpart of a more amazing creature, so she thought anyway. Tanya. Tanya was curvaceous and her hair matched her personality, the way it was wild and out there. Tanya was the only one who could control her hair. Tanya was the only one who could be in control of life.

They became such unlikely friends, but when they both decided to invest in the friendship they were everything to each other. Tanya would push Violet, and in return Violet would reign in Tanya. It was only at this time in their lives that they were symbiotic. They could feel each other’s happiness, sadness, guilt, and genuinely enjoyed each other’s company. Before and after their summer together it would never be the same. They could never love each other as much as they did that summer.

They used to joke around a lot. When you’re nineteen the world is resistant and they figured they might as well enjoy everything. They would bring their own liquor to Denny’s, they would party on a college campus, they would drive, and drive, and drive. Listening to CDs.

They had each other’s back knowing that life wasn’t going to have their back. They laughed both at and with each other.

They made bags for a flask to fit into.

They made fun of each other for one another’s shortcomings in love.

Perhaps what you need to understand about the two of them is where one lacked in sensitivity the other lacked in boldness. It made their friendship good. They complimented each other. Personality wise. They always told each other how great they were. They were unstoppable.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Exciting News Part Two

So here it is!

I got a new job! Hooray! Yippee!

I forgot that this might not be too exciting to you because this is the fourth new job I've had since the inception of this blog. Oh well. Don't rain on my parade.

So, the job is perfect. No nights, no weekends, no icky one-hour bus rides.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Golden in the Winter

This is the town I live in.
The creek where Bobaloo and I have coffee.
The mountain.
The Coors Brewery. Nothing like the smell of hops early in the morning.
There's even chickens.
All sorts of statues.
This statue outside of the bar, drunk people like to ride the buffalo.
The watering hole.
I hope you enjoyed the tour, please visit again.

The Happy Award

I received the Happy Award from Jill over at Life After College. I have recently started to read Jill's blog and love it. She writes about all sorts of things and I love her creative style. So, thanks Jill!
10 Things That Make Me Happy:
  1. Caffeinated outbursts
  2. Bobaloo
  3. The band Vetiver
  4. Cacti
  5. Christmas cards
  6. Phone calls from old friends
  7. Coffee and walks in Golden
  8. Floating in the pool
  9. Sega Genesis
  10. Summertime gold panning
Blogs that make me happy:
Amanda's The Blog Jar
And
Baking With Plath which is on hiatus, and I am hoping will return soon.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

The Bus Ride

Coughing, wiping, sneezing, scratching. Gum chewing, cell phone talking, eating, and drinking. Snot, vomit, smiles, frowns, bitching. Chatting, napping, and wheezing. Disgusting and peaceful. Playing, drunk, and eating. Awake and working. Excitability and trudging along. Reclining, leaning, snoring, headphones, and upright.

Friday, January 15, 2010

New Stuff

Some very exciting stuff is on the horizon. I just can't tell you yet!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Resolutions

Happy New Year!

I’m a little late, but so be it. Did you make any resolutions this year? I usually do not, but this year I decided to quit booze for one hundred days. Yikes!

Do you know what one hundred days looks like?

I made a paper chain and every day I cut off a link.

Wish me luck!

I wish you and yours a blissful and blooming new year, and good luck with those pesky resolutions!