Thursday, December 20, 2007


A well known fact is that I like games. Just as much as I love games, I love puzzles, especially those involving words...crossword puzzles can keep me occupied for hours. So, you can only image how giddy I get when I find something that combines my love of words, love of puzzles, and my competative nature. That something is Boggle. Yes, that old childhood game has re-emerged as one of my favorite pasttimes. Anytime I hang out with Ariana (which gratefully is more and more often these days) the first words out of my mouth are not, "hi", "how's it going?" or "what's new?" It's usually, "do you want to play boggle?" I'm becoming obessed!! My heart goes pitter patter as those little letters bounce off the plastic cover while someone boggles and another person sits poised to flip over the timer. My adrenaline pumps as I search for words among those 16 little squares. I get really excited when I find words bigger than "bit" and "tin"...words that no one else will get like "lathe" and "merges". I love making fun of Gabe and his totally made up words. I get fired up when his made up words turn out to be real words. I'm not quite a pro at the game yet...not like Ariana. Maybe that's why I like playing so much...I rarely win, but I can feel myself getting close. The other day I got a score of 13! That's my highest yet...but that's average for Ariana who sometimes plays online (she's not as big a nerd as that makes her sound...really). Maybe sometime I'll attain her greatness.

Another game I love, you might call it a cross-addiction, is speed scrabble. I was introduced to the game by my roommates in LA and we could be found for hours sitting around our kitchen table, arranging and rearranging the little letters in front of us in silence except for the occassional "go" and the comparing of big words at the end of the game. I introduced the game to my family last year and brought it back again when I was home over Thanksgiving. I even got Paul into the action (I had no idea he was so competative!). The great thing about it is that you don't really keep score. Each round has a winner, but then you just flip over the pieces and start all over. So, it has an element of competition, but it's the fun kind...not the ugly kind.

Taking a cue from "Dan in Real Life", my roommate Ashley has even turned cross-word puzzles into a competative sport. We've only tried it twice and both have been relative failures since we chose puzzles way beyond out ability level...but I can see how it could potentially be really fun.

So, I hope everyone is getting their word skills honed. I plan to play lots of boggle and speed scrabble on my week off of work for the holidays. Are you ready??

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Feliz Navidad Indeed

With Christmas music and the smell of fresh baked cookies filling my house, I traipsed down the stairs this morning to put a new batch of cookies in the oven. I'm not sure you can imagine my excitement when I noticed out the back window the small white flakes slowly falling to the ground. I ran to the window like a little child and stood there watching the snow fall, glee filling my heart. I love the snow.

I'm not sure why I love it so much. I think it's partially because it reminds me of home and family. It's also beautiful and peaceful. It means snowboarding and snowball fights and snowcaves and snow angels and snow days. I doubt this snowfall will accumulate enough to actually mean any of those things, but it makes me terribly happy nonetheless.

I'm especially happy to be living in a place where it snows again, even if it's not much. For the 4 years that I lived in LA I had a really hard time getting into the Christmas spirit. The streets would be decorated and Christmas music was being played everywhere, just as it does in the rest of the US around this time of year. We even had a Christmas tree in our house most years. But, the sunny skies and balmy 65 - 75 degree weather always threw me off. It felt like fake Christmas. Like I was driving on a movie set and they hadn't brought the snow makers in yet. It just didn't feel right.

So, with the brisk winter air, the need for bundling up when leaving the house, the occasional snowfall, and the customary Christmas music and decorations, I'm certainly getting into the season this year. And, I'm really looking forward to going home to Colorado...the place that feels the most like Christmas to me. Feliz Navidad!

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Belated Thanks

I was waiting on pictures in order to write this post. Now it's been a month and a half and I've forgotten much of what I planned to write. And, I've actually already been back to Colorado since this trip, so now everything is all muddled up in my head. But, seeing as how it was one of the best trips I've ever had with my family, I've still gotta document it for posterity's sake.

I took a nice long vacation home to Colorado for Thanksgiving and had a really amazing time. My friend Paul from DC came out and spent part of the week with me and the fam...only adding to the greatness. We hung around the house a bit, my dad bought a new car (and thus my parents no longer own twinner cars),
we met up with Paul's cousin for some rock climbing, experienced the miracle of tomato basil bisque,
visited every possible Titanic related site in Denver (bet you didn't think there were any, did ya?), met up with some friends for Woody's wings,
made a delicious Turkey dinner, and just had an amazing time together.
And so, this Thanksgiving I'm grateful for the people I got to spend it with (sorry for ending that sentence with a preposition dad).
1. I am grateful for Desiree. She is a wonderful sister and one of my best friends. She works really hard at the things she sets out to do, she knows what she wants and she goes after it, and the girl's got pizzaz. She's got a mind like a steal trap and she doesn't forget a thing (particularly random things I said 10 years ago). I am so proud of her being the first member of our family to serve a mission. She did a great job and learned so much in that year and a half. But, I have to admit that I'm also really glad to have her back so I can hear her little voice more than twice a year. Desiree has a great sense of humor and has the ability to make me laugh when I least expect it. Though, I have seen more beverages come out of that girl's nose than everyone else combined. Don't ever make her laugh when there are fluids around. 2. I am grateful for my ma. She's also one of my favorite people on the planet. She's a little Irish fireball with spunk and wit, but it comes with a kind heart. She taught me a lot as I grew up, mostly how to think for myself and be independent, and I'll be forever grateful for that. She's always been so supportive of me and my crazy whims, even though they often take me far from home. She valued her family and stayed home with us while we were young, which was always such a blessing to me. I have such fond memories of singing and making up a dance to "I've been workin' on the railroad" in our big kitchen in Connecticut, sitting on her lap and telling her about my day when I came home from school every afternoon, going for desserts at the Walgreen's diner after a day of shopping, being comforted when I had a bad day, and so many more little moments that helped to shape my life. She is a hard worker and did all she could to make our lives happy and comfortable. She's so patient and giving. She's an amazing example of strength and determination and is always so generous with her love toward me.
3. I'm grateful for my pops. I've always been a daddy's girl and I've always been his Kiddo. My dad is a solid man who's extremely bright and logical, but loves to have a good time. He can entertain us for hours with his stories, particularly the ones from his college days. Like my mom, he taught me how to be independent and think for myself. When I was growing up he would ask me questions about the world like, "how did they get the hay to grow in squares like that?" and allow me to figure things out for myself. He's never told me the answer to a riddle and always had faith in my ability to come to an answer. He taught me to go after the things that I want and how to be a good leader. He's gentle and kind and patient. He's hard working and he provided well for our family. He instilled in me an appreciation for music as he drummed out the beat on the steering wheel. Luckily now he's upgraded to some real drums. We had one of our first heart-to-hearts on the bow of a sailboat when I was a little tot and we've only grown closer since.

4. I'm grateful for Paul. We met when I lived in DC and became fast friends. Paul is one of the people in my life who "gets" me best. He's a very intuitive and sensitive (yet still very manly) guy. I always have a good time when I'm with Paul, whether we're having a deep introspective conversation about life or dressing up like ninjas and kidnapping our friend. Paul is an amazing example to me of what is means to be a good friend. He's thoughtful, kind, a good listener, and always there for you when you need him. He makes you feel good about yourself, but also tells it to you straight when you need to hear it. He's honest and open, particularly about his feelings, and has taught me how to be the same. Paul is the kind of friend that I always want to have around...I've never had a bored moment with him. He's a killer soccer player, avid hiker, and all around adventure man. I'm so grateful to call him a friend.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Hall of Fame

[This post was started weeks ago...I'm just now getting around to finishing it]

Last night, Gabe solidified his position as my new concert buddy in Portland. He certainly does not replace Courtney, Ted, Dale, and Dan, but his name can now be added to that short yet distinguished list of Hall of Famers.

Since our first concert 2 weeks ago, we've been to 3 shows together. I've been meaning to blog about each of them individually, so this post seems as good a time as any to give a little synopsis.

Our first show together was The Hives at the Crystal Ballroom. We started the night off in the balcony (a la the Built to Spill show) but I could tell Gabe was itchin' to get down on the floor. The Crystal Ballroom is an interesting venue with a little something I like to call the Great Divide. Mature drinkers on one side, under aged non-drinkers on the other, with a big wide aisle between the two, so ne'er a cup of beer can be passed between the two (guaranteed by security force posted throughout the aisle). Seeing as how Gabe has only recently turned 21, I think he felt akin to the young rowdy bunch bouncing around on the kids' side (courtesy of the bouncy floor at the Crystal Ballroom). Since we weren't drinking, I didn't protest to hangin' with the kids. This decision resulted in my first foray into a pit in a long long time. I couldn't exactly call it a mosh pit...there weren't any mean and angry 16 year olds in Korn t-shirts randomly throwing punches and taking out all of their teen angst on the other mean and angry 16 year olds. It was one of those fun, happy, pin-ball machine kinds of pits. I have to say that it felt good to get in there and bounce my little heart out. The only downfall was the tween sweat that I was covered in when the night came to an end. Here's a picture of us after we got back to the car...if you look closely you can see that our shirts are soaked. Sick.

Our next show was Feist at the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall (which is an incredibly beautiful venue and home of the iconic Portland sign). Now, I've been to a lot of shows in my short existence, and I'd put this in the top 3. I want to be Feist. She was amazing. She has this voice that is pure and beautiful with just the right amount of grit. And come to think of it, that's how I'd describe her as well. She was incredibly personable and fun, a strong woman, but still soft and lovely. She rocked the guitar, dazzled the crowd, and looked like she was thoroughly enjoying herself. She even opened the stage up for a talent show mid-way through and was thrilled to death with the brave performers. Lovely, that is really the only word.

If you haven't already seen this video, I highly recommend you check it out.

Finally, we went to check out Quasi at Dantes (this little dive in SW). If you haven't heard of them, maybe this little quote from a fan will peak your interest, "Quasi is sort of a dedicated indie rock fan's wet dream." Eh? Eh? They are this very gritty, low-fi duo who belt out their harmonies and rock it on the drums and a portable keyboard. The last time I saw Quasi was on March 21, 2003. You may wonder why I know the date of a show seen over 4 years ago. But, March 21, 2003 was the day of "Shock and Awe" and Quasi was NOT happy about Shock and Awe. They were down-trodden and angst ridden and I'm surprised they even went on. Sam Coomes kept hanging his head low and grabbing his hair like the tortured soul that he was. He was wearing a white t-shirt with an anti-war slogan written on the front in black marker. They played their music, but it lacked the pep and soul that makes it so good. They were really just going through the motions. Needless to say, it wasn't the best show I'd ever been to. But, I really liked Quasi and I knew they usually were amazing, so I thought I'd give them a second chance. They totally pulled through on this one and delivered an incredible (and very happy) show.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Hodge Podge

I've been a bad, bad blogger lately. And I apologize to all 6 of you who check in on a regular basis. I know the pain caused when you repeatedly check back on old faves and find there has been nothing new posted. The reason for the silence is because I've been in one of those, "there's nothing really going on in my life" phases. The awkward kind that finds you at parties and FHE drowning in your attempts to make small talk about the absolutely nothing going on in your life. Well, now looking back I've realized that there have been things happening, but nothing really worthy of an entire blog post on it's own. But, perhaps all squished together with lots of pictures they could be of interest.

Fun with Food
A couple of weeks ago, our friend Travis (aka Matt) came over and taught us how to make sushi! Who knew it was so easy and could be so fun?? We started with some basic philadelphia rolls, but now I feel like I'm ready to move on to some more advanced sushi making.
The ingredients

The prep

A voila!

So, from gourmet to the very simple...remember fluffernutters?

I do. And I remembered them for dinner the other night. I love being a grown-up.

Fun with Amy

The most exciting thing that's happened lately is that Amy (of friendship basket fame) came to visit me a few weeks ago. We had a FABULOUS time! Amy explored the city, we had an empinada making party, we met a cheese monger and ate his delicious wares, we saw the Darjeeling Limited (which I highly recommend), we sniffed out a cupcake factory, we walked the ENTIRE city of Portland, we went shopping at my favorite boutique, we ate sushi, we laughed so hard we almost puked (literally), and just had an all around good time. What we did not do, was take any pictures. These are the only pictures I took from Amy's entire trip.

Fun with Salsa

Right before I left LA, I took some Salsa lessons (the dance, not the chip dip, otherwise this would be under fun with food). The lessons were good sweaty fun, but I never had a chance to test out my moves before I moved to Portland. Well, shortly after moving here I met a fellow salsa lover and a few weeks ago we got a group together and went dancing. So fun! We brought plenty of boys, so I never wanted for a partner, and toward the end of the night lots of the pros (read: non-english speakers) showed up and then things really got hot. I can't wait to go back and try again. We didn't get too many pictures of the dancing, but here are some shots from the night.

Fun with Fall

What would a post of mine be without talking about the weather. It's fall in Oregon, and while that means rain, it also means rainbows and beautiful fall colors. Everyday that I walk outside I am impressed with the beauty around me. Some days are clear and bright, with vibrant colors. Others are foggy and mysterious. But, it's all beautiful. Here are a few samples:

This is the view outside my office window (an office that I now have all to myself, for those of you aware of the earlier office dramas)

Rainbow, need I say more?
This is what I see everyday when I walk outside my house in the morning.

I should add that I've had to use my window scraper on my car 2 mornings this week...I didn't miss that when I lived in LA. It's a good thing I'm a pack rat and found my old scraper in my trunk!!

So, that's what's going on in my life! I hope you all feel adequately updated.

Friendship Basket - Scott

As many of you have pointed out (Mia, Amy, Kaydi), Scott has been in the friendship basket for a long long time. It's only fair that another friend be added to the basket. But, I think I've realized that the reason I've kept him there for so long is that I haven't wanted the tribute to be lost. So, for posterity's sake, I'm going to put outgoing friendship basketers in a post of their own. If you've already read the friendship basket sidebar, then you probably won't need to actually read this post. It's more for my own anal-retentive need for saving things. Be sure to check out the new basket sidebar (and the additional pictures of Poopie below).

This is Scott (and my mom). Scott is my BF (best friend) from high school. He currently lives in Colorado, just finished grad school, and has two adorable dogs. Scott likes to stuff grass in my face and guess what I'm wearing (he favors pastel cardigans). I am happiest when I'm dancing with Scott, or making up tricks on the slopes, or choreographing our next ice skating routine. He is an amazing leader, as evidenced by his stint as Student Body President, where he also perfected his banner making skills. Among all of the traits that make me love Scott so much, there is one that stands out above the rest. He is the best gift giver EVER - from the ugly woman, to homemade hand bags, to matching t-shirts, or hand-thrown plates, I have cherished everything he has ever given me, particularly his friendship.

And, just for fun, I'm going to throw in a few other photos...

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Happy Halloweenie!!

When I lived in Washington DC, my roommate Betsy's mom sent her a Halloween card with one of those hunky, mostly naked, and unreasonably tan men on the front. The inside read, "Happy Halloweenie!" It has since that time been my favorite holiday card, so unexpected from a somewhat conservative Holiday, Utah Mormon mother of 4.

Halloween happens to be among my favorite holidays. I LOVE getting dressed up, going to parties, carving pumpkins, roasting pumpkin seeds, and eating the yummy fruits of fall. This year I had three opportunities to get dressed up...

The old fall-back (our ward Halloween party was on October 12th, waaay too early for me to have thought up something fun and creative).

Saturday Night's Party (I stole Emily's idea of going as Punky Brewster and it was a hit!).

Our last minute attempt to dress as boo-ritos and get a free burrito from Chipotle on Halloween .

This is a photo from last year (before I entered the blogosphere), which will forever live on as the BEST HALLOWEEN EVER (nothing beats a Halloween on roller-skates). I would be remiss if documentation of this amazing night and ridiculous costumes didn't make in onto the world wide web in some way or another.
Here are some pumpkins the wardies carved. The bat one ended up at our house for a few days, but quickly molded and collapsed on itself and was sent to it's forested grave off our back porch by Stacey. We got a HUGE amount of pumpkin seeds from these bad boys and Ashley did a fantastic job of roasting them up. That HUGE amount was consumed in about 3.5 days.

I was really hoping to be home for the trick-or-treaters this year. It has been a long long time since a little tot dressed up like a fairy or a fireman has rang my doorbell looking for candy. Unfortunately, I had to work late and the little ones were all in bed by the time I got home. Are kids still doing the door-to-door thing? When I lived in DC, our first Halloween on 25 Sunset Drive was the Halloween right after Sept 11. So, all the kids up were holed up in their houses for fear of terrorists. Did the terrorists win? Have they kept the kids off our doorsteps forever? I sure hope not.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Of Mice and Men: Starring DanO

Last week Dan and I decided to make a little wager on the Broncos vs. Chargers game. As many of you know, I'm from Colorado, and as such, am a die hard Broncos fan. Seeing as how the Broncos typically beat the Chargers, I thought this was a safe bet. It was the first time I had ever bet on the Broncos and it turned out to be their worst home loss since 1970...ouch. This is my punishment...I think I've learned my lesson.

The following was written by Dan. I have promised not to make any changes or edits to his prose (please forgive me):

Let’s play an easy game, kay! All you have to do is tell me which one of these decrepit creatures is: a) the plague-spreading, scum-eating vermin, and b) the bilge-wallowing, whine-drunk rat?

While you are thinking, you also may wonder why I, DanO, am taking a little test drive through the blogosphere courtesy of Miss Renee’s Wild Ride, and I am more than happy to answer that. I love every single thing about Renee. We both share the same impeccable taste in music. We both love the 4th of July and jumping pictures. We were LOSTfest OGs and though she may not cop to it, secretly I KNOW that she thinks Grey’s Anatomy is as ridiculous as I do. The only time I ever had to blow the whistle on Renee, it involved roller derby and unsportsmanlike conduct. NEVERTHELESS, I guide my life by principles, including that of an ancient Chinese proverb that I’m sure someone has to have coined at some important point in history: “Wise is the man that takes advantage of opportunity, yea, even as it presents itself.”

Last week, Renee and I were “chatting” on the gmail, as we so often do. I was busy making monkey emoticons while she was trying to spell sounds. We broke from this simultaneously wordless yet profound communication to realize that our respective hometown football teams would be getting it on mano y mano on SUNDAY, sunday, (sunday) on the gridiron. One thing led to the next, and before we knew it, Renee and I had a dandy of a bet on the game. If the Denver Broncos win, I have to buy an annoying looking Broncos necktie, wear it to church, AND get photographic evidence of the desecration of my reputation as the second biggest San Diego homer in the Los Angeles area. (EvRo still holds the top spot.) BUT, if the Chargers win, I get to take the Wild Ride out for a spin. No spread, in Denver, Broncos favored to win. No problem. You KNOW I was in on that action.

Sunday afternoon, while good Mormons everywhere listened to prophetic counsel with half open eyes in their sweats around the world, The San Diego Chargers put a beatdown of historic proportions on the Broncos. The Bolts had their way all day long like MEN from days of yore, playing with a bunch of ratty kids from the block. The final score was 41-3, making it the Broncos’ worst home loss since the 1970 AFL-NFL merger. Can I repeat that? 41-3. Broncos’ worst home loss since 1970.

A quick note on my personal suffering. For most of my life, the Chargers would have been the laughingstock of the NFL, had only they been worthy of being noticed at all! I may sound bitter, but while Broncos were making three of four super bowls, and then winning two consecutive super bowls, and producing umpteen straight 1,000 yard rushers, and John Elway amassed Hall of Fame stats, the Chargers were mired somewhere between mediocrity and complete futility. The year we did go to the Super Bowl, we got creamed by Steve Young’s 49ers in embarrassing fashion. The supposed savior of the franchise, Ryan Leaf, had about three quarters of solid, #2 pick in the draft football before he threw the franchise for a five-year loss. Even last year when we had our best season in franchise history, a 14-2 record, and an NFL MVP, we found a way to beat the Patriots and STILL lose the game. To quote my boy Jim Rome, the thing we do best is snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.

So not to pile on, but I’m going to pile on. I DESERVE IT! Very few things happen only once every 37 years. I could really only think of comets, and apparently a beatdown like this. I cant even tell you how satisfying it was to see Broncos fans leave their own stadium during the 3rd quarter, in total dejection. Few know how long this has been in coming. PLEASE check out this clip with all you need to know about the mauling. I can’t explain it any better.

So back to our little game. Let me lay out a few points that may help inform your guess:
  1. Mike Shanahan was the first coach to start calling timeouts to freeze the kicker AFTER the snap, as he did in the Broncos Week 1 survival of the Raiders. This disgusting practice has spread like a plague around the NFL, infecting at least FOUR games that I have watched, and changing the outcome in three of them. Someone out there may object that there is no rule prohibiting acting like a punk-rat-cheat, and I don’t disagree. But play the game like a MAN, and don’t ruin the game with the phantom rat timeout.

  2. Mike Shanahan is ruining a model franchise by selecting the bilge dregs of the draft, and signing scum of free agency. Observe a few examples:
    a. Maurice Clarett – OSU scandals, Armed Robbery arrest, rolls with an AK-47 and a hatchet. (Today was a good day!)
    b. Travis Henry - Suspended for a year for drugs, has more illegitimate children than Shawn Kemp.
    c. Brandon Marshall – domestic violence, yadda, yadda
    d. David Kircus – Second degree assault. Yawn.

  3. Mike Shanahan lives in Denver has a tan in December. I imagine that he has one in January too, but I haven’t seen him in January lately.

  4. Shanahan is a bigger whiner than Pete Carroll. And that is really saying something. Yet over the years, the Broncos have caught more lucky breaks than any other team that I can think of. Yeah I’m bitter. Their luck continues with two wins this year decided by luck (Janikowski FG off the crossbar, second scraping against the Bills). The Broncos could easily be 0-5 this year.

  5. Shanahan’s rodent resemblance is remarkable.

If you chose either a) or b), YOU WIN!! You are on your way to becoming a Chargers fan in full perpetual suffering. Hopefully the next few years will be nice, but we did just fire a coach that got us 14-2 and we did just hire Norv Turner. I have been praying to wake up from this awful nightmare. Let’s just hope that with all the talent the Bolts have under contract, we can get just one measly championship. And let’s kick the Broncos while they are down. Heaven knows, it might not last too long.

So now that I control a pro-Bronco blog for a day, there’s only one thing I really want to say.

Chargers rule. Broncos (and Raiders) suck.



Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Why I Officially Hate Baseball on TV

So we all know that I'm a big fan of Heavy Petting and the City (the edited version of Sex and the City on TBS). I never watched the show when it originally aired on HBO and I've only caught bits and pieces of it over its years of syndication. There are several episodes that I've seen a million times (like "Anchors Away" and "All that Glitters..."). But there are also crucial episodes that I've missed that have created serious gaps in my understanding of the big picture story line. Like, I never saw the episodes where Carrie cheated on Aiden with Big (but I know it happened since it's permeates the rest of the show). And I don't think I ever saw the episodes when Charlotte married Trey (but I've seen most of the episodes where they are trying to get pregnant). Since the advent of tivo, and the fact that HPATC is on TBS like 4 times a week, I've been catching up and filling in all of those missing pieces. You may ask why I don't just go out and buy, rent, or netflix the DVDs of all of my missing episodes. Well, I'll tell you...they are too dirty for my taste and I prefer the dubbed over, drastically shortened version that deserves the title of Heavy Petting rather than Sex and the City (I tried to find a clever link for Heavy Petting but they were all too dirty, obviously me and the internet have differing opinions of the definition of the term).

Anyway, tonight I sat down to indulge in my favorite guilty pleasure (I had 10 unwatched episodes stored in my tivo...not that I planned to watch all of them tonight...but I was giddy at all of the new episodes that were soon to enlighten my understanding). I left off at the end of Season 5 where Carrie had just met Berger, Charlotte had just found out that Harry would only marry a Jew, Miranda and Steve had just slept together, and Samantha was recovering from the Richard break-up. I couldn't wait to see how it all resolved! So, I turned on the tivo, got comfy, hit play and to my dismay, realized that instead of recording HPATC, it recorded the end of the Padres v. Rockies game that went into extra innings for the NL wild card game. WHAT?? I mean seriously...I know several of my dedicated readers are even more dedicated Padres fans...but seriously!!


As if baseball on TV wasn't already the biggest waste of time on the planet, here it was ruining my favorite waste of time on the planet. And, it wasn't just episode's playoff season and it happened FOUR TIMES!!! WHAT?? Four brand new (to me) episodes just shoved out of the way for boring old baseball (minus the hot dogs, singing, ballpark atmosphere, and opportunities to let boys teach you things which pretty much makes baseball on TV pointless). So, it's official (as if it wasn't already). I hate TV baseball. Dumb ridiculous baseball. Seriously.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Welcome to Portland

Are you tired of reading about the weather yet? Some people say talking about the weather is the thing you talk about when there is nothing else to say. Others are obsessed with the weather channel. So, I'm going to assume most of you are in the middle and that most of you are intensley interested in my life. And...the thing going on in my life right now is the weather. So, there you go.

So with October has come the rain, just as everyone said it would. I honestly thought the Indian Summer would last a little longer than it did. But, like Kaydi, I think I'm a little prone to not believing bad weather news. And, I've been in high denial about the rainy season, chosing not to think about it in an effort to ward off my fears of suffering from SADness this winter.

Well, the rains have come and so far, so good. I forget that I actually really love the rain. I love hearing it pitter patter on my roof, I love the cozy closed in feeling that I get when I'm in my car in a downpour. I love playing in the rain. I love how the rain smells. I love how green and beautiful the rain makes everything.

Of course, the rain isn't all roses. It's a little difficult to drive in torrential downpours amidst cross country big rigs heading up the 5. My hair prefers dryer climes (though I've gone back to doing it curly more often, which is know, switchin' it up a bit). The rain limits many outdoor activities. And, with rain comes clouds (except in those rare cases of sunshowers, which happen to be my favorite phenomenon in the Universe). I admit that I am still very worried about the constant cloud cover that I've been warned of and the negative impact it may have on my mood. It has officially been raining on and off since Sunday morning, but there was a little burst of blue sky and sunlight on Monday morning. As long as I get those once in a while I think I'll be fine. If not, I'll either be investing in one of those light therapy lamps or I'll be suspiciously tan in February. I'll keep you posted.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Solo Mission Accomplished

I did it! I finally did it! For years it has been a goal of mine to go to a movie by myself. I'm not sure how it made it on to my list of things to do, but in my mind, going to a movie by myself was some mark of maturity and independence and a sign that I had overcome my lifelong fear of being alone. A few weeks ago I set my expectations a little high and I tried to go to a concert by myself. Built to Spill was coming to town and I couldn't round up anyone to go with me, but I was dying to see them since I had missed them every other time they'd been touring in my area and I heard they put on a really great show. So, I bought my ticket, tried to convince everyone I knew that I was ok with going on my own and I wasn't feeling lonely, and mentally prepared myself to go solo. At the last minute my roommate decided to come with me. Mission thwarted. I was at the same time relieved and disappointed. But, the experience made me realize that perhaps I was setting my sights too high and that I should start with something a little more a movie, which was the actual task on the to-do list.

So tonight, I finally accomplished my mission. For about a month I've been wanting to see the movie Once, a film about some singer/songwriters who find love and romance on the streets of Dublin. I couldn't find anyone else who was interested in seeing the movie (or venturing past the comforts of the local megaplex) so I decided to go on my own. I must admit that I didn't try hard to find any fellow movie-goers since I saw this as my golden opportunity to fulfill my life long goal. The movie was playing at the Fox Tower downtown - a local theater that plays mostly independent films and appeared to be the perfect setting for my first solo movie. The Fates were on my side and my timing was somehow perfect (which it almost never is) and I arrived, found parking right outside the building, purchased my ticket, and found my seat just as the lights were going down and the previews were beginning. I must admit it was a delightful experience, and not that much different than going to see a movie with a bunch of friends. Movies are not particularly interactive events. It wasn't nearly as scary or awkward as I thought it might be. I might even dare say that it was liberating. Mostly liberating me from my fears of being being alone and more so from my fears of being judged for being alone in a movie theater. In a recent re-run of Heavy Petting and the City Charlotte questions Carrie for going to a movie by herself on "date night". Tonight, I can finally relate to Carrie as she said, "The city is my date." I thoroughly enjoyed the experience AND the's a must see.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Thursday is a Special Day

My new favorite day of the week is Thursday. I've always had a special liking for Thursday, but today, it is officially my favorite day. This week I switched to working 4 10-hour days a week (rather than 5 8-hour days) and I get Thursdays off. "Wouldn't you prefer to have Friday?" you might ask. Yes, Friday would be nice...I've always dreamed of having a 3 day weekend every week (one day for getting stuff done, one day for playing, and one day for resting/worshiping). But, the reason I was able to get the compressed schedule is because we are having space issues at work. And the space issue is on Thursday, so that's the day I get off.

But, I'm not complaining! I think I might even like Thursday better than Friday. It's a day that very few people have off, so I can have lots of "me" time and plan my day however I want. If I decide to take a "long weekend" and go somewhere fun, I can actually leave on Wednesday night, get a 4 day weekend and only take one day off work. And now Friday is sort of an afterthought for I forgot I wasn't done and pop back in for the day before having another few days off (we'll see how I actually feel about that tomorrow).

So, for my first Thursday really was quite delightful. I got to play the housewife this morning and be at home when the Directv guy came (the dish is now in it's proper place, the homeowner's association can get off our backs, and we can record multiple shows at the same time - phew! Just in time for the debacle that would have been Grey's Anatomy vs. The Office tonight). While the Directv guy was here, I got loads of stuff done around the house (cleaning, laundry, budgeting, organizing) and then I went out and ran some errands, did some window shopping, talked with a girlfriend, and got a Jamba Juice (all of which are some of my favorite activities). Plus, the weather was amazing, bright and sunny with a little bit of fall in the air. Perfect for a day of driving around with the windows down and perusing the outdoor mall. It sort of made me look forward to the day when I get to be a real housewife! Of course then I'll have babies to look after and it won't be quite so peaceful and relaxing...nor so productive.

After I got all of my "business" done, I met up with some friends to celebrate little Gabe's 21st birthday at Fuji's (a Benihana like restaurant...fitting for a pre-office premiere activity, don't you think?). Gabe is my favorite new little friend. I call him little not because he's necessarily little in stature...I mean, who am I to talk? But he's just young, cute, surprisingly funny and has great taste in music. I'm not publically confessing a crush, he's just very endearing, like a little brother (though don't tell him I said that because I know it's like the kiss of death for guys). After the b-day dinner we all gathered back at my place for some cake (leisurely purchased while running errands today) and The Office Premiere (which was SO hilarious if you haven't seen it yet).

So, I was able to get a bunch of stuff done, have some fun with friends, and still get to bed at a reasonable hour (sort of). Andria pointed out that it's a perfect P-day (preparation day for all of you non-mo mos). I can use the day to get ready for Saturday (thus giving it it's special day status), it's relaxing, and I won't throw off my sleep schedule by staying up and partying all night since I have to be to work again the next day. Then I can spend all day Saturday playing and all day Sunday resting and doing church stuff. I'm so excited for the extra 10 consecutive hours I'll have in my life!! The possibilities abound!