Thursday, December 29, 2005
a year ago at this time I was still with NowEx. I thought we were happy together. he bailed on our New Years' Eve plans. I should have known then.
over the year there were various high points and low points.
New Years' Eve spent with new and old friends.
dinner with friends telling me they're knocked up.
ski trips to Winter Park with college friends that were spent on the slopes and in the ER and another with work friends.
guilty kisses with a friend, because although NowEx was gone, I didn't yet want to believe it.
the foolishness I felt when I finally let myself believe it.
ski trips to Breckenridge with friends and family. as many ski days as my back could take.
reconnecting with great freinds from the past.
trips to Hawaii for friends' weddings... yes, twice in one year. and a few other weddings, close to home.
celebrating with good friends as they finished Master's and PhD's.
throwing baby and bridal showers for friends. attending more showers and traveling to crazy Vegas bachelorette parties. and a low key mountain bachelorette weekend.
more doctor and physical therapy visits than I'd like to remember. one ER visit for myself, and, yes, that's a good thing.
jury duty and court cases.
plays and musicals and movies on the plaza. and the annual ski movie, but this year with an old friend, instead of NowEx.
pool parties and ice luges. margarita fiestas and Colorado native parties. halloween party hopping and football games. and friends in town for visits.
girls' nights and photographer's slide shows.
five first kisses. first kisses that turned into more. first kisses that didn't. and one first kiss, with hope for more.
getting back to writing, pottery class and a triathlon. and making incredible new friends in the process.
crazy trips to a music festival and towards a hurricane. reminders of other storms. and a tribute show of a friend.
beer festival turning into a run-in with the past.
a road trip with the most amazing woman I know.
excellent shows including:
BHTM2, the Nadas, U2, Glen Phillips, Keb Mo, John Hiatt and the North Mississippi Allstars, Mark Knopfler, the Fray2, Marc Cohn and Suzanne Vega, the Killers, Jonny Lang, Gipsy Kings, Jack Johnson, Tom Petty and the Black Crowes, DMB2, the Decemberists*, Paul McCartney, and of course my friend's band, many times.
other not-so-excellent shows including:
Hello Dave, Jewel, Maroon 5, TMBG, Madelleine Peyroux...
(um, yeah, you know about my little problem, right?)
and linking some off these "events" had me reading through posts of non-specific days. of many wonderful dinners with friends. of quality family time. of hanging out with TheDog. of the tribulations I perceived this year. even my silly "woe is single me" laments.
and after reviewing the events and non-specific things of the past year, something I know, but that seems to slip through the memory cracks on occasion, came back to me. I remembered that life is about moments, not events. the little things are truly those that matter.
and despite some pain along the way, the moments add up to an amazing year of wonderful memories shared with my incredible friends and family, and, of course, TheDog!
hope your 2005 was filled with love and laughter! Happy New Year!
Wednesday, December 28, 2005
a short while later a voice asked if I was alright. I was. I had a positive attitude. then the noises started. the whirring and clicking. the beeping and clunking.
as I lay there trying to ignore the noise, I thought about my ruined plans for the weekend. and what I might do instead. I thought about the super response earlier. and whether it was sarcastic or sincere. and I thought about the errands I needed to run to make use of my Christmas present.
and then it was time to get up. I got dressed and waited for the images.
then I hurried home to feed TheDog and grab my new skis to dress them for the weekend (hopefully).
I stood in front of the boots. I wasn't sure which ones would fit. then up walks Jack. he fits me with a great boot. then while we're waiting for them to warm up to thermal mold, he goes to get the bindings I know I want.
they're out. so he quickly rings me up while I work the hot boots to mold to my feet so I can head to their other store. I make it just in time to pick up the bindings.
and even though I still have to take all the gear back tomorrow to have the bindings mounted, I should have my new gear in case I can head up the hill this weekend.
as I was driving back and forth I heard a familiar voice. and although he wasn't actually talking to me, just hearing his voice made me smile. and made me hope our earlier exchange ended with sincerity, not sarcasm.
to pass the time while driving, I also made a few calls. and may have found a few ways around the broken pipe that ruined the weekend plans in the first place.
so, if the images come out as I hope they do, perhaps next year will be a good one or at least start that way. I guess only time will tell.
Tuesday, December 27, 2005
luckily my grandma's house is close by, so the turkey took a short trip to a working oven. a small delay, but there are days that can't be ruined no matter what happens. days filled with love and laughter and joyous moments.
my adorable niece playing with each present as she unwrapped it. her little sister smiling at the lights on the tree. the herd of dogs chasing a log in the yard. everyone happy and together. well, mostly.
my grandma decided not to make the trip this year. she's not feeling well. I missed her terribly. but I know she has a wonderful group of friends to keep her company on Christmas. we all talked to her on the phone. but it wasn't quite the same.
although it would have been better had my grandma been with us, everyone enjoyed the day. the (really late) dinner, the gifts that were (eventually) unwrapped, the (chaotic) gathering of family.
I most enjoyed watching my niece play with her new toys. she's finally old enough to enjoy it all. I was happy that my sister's face lit up when she unwrapped her gift. and even my impossible-to-buy-for brother looked pleased.
I didn't even mind when the topic of conversation turned to teasing me about my single status. only my sister knows of the kiss a few weeks ago. only she knows how excited I am about the smallest possibility of potential there.
I would love to tell the rest of my family, but not unless something becomes of it. otherwise next gathering all I'll hear is what ever happened to that guy you were so excited about?
so for now I'm content to spend the holidays surrounded by people I love. someday, I hope I can count an amazing guy among those. but for now, I'm happy to have my family, TheDog, and my new skis.
Monday, December 26, 2005
every creature was stirring...
after rooting on the home team with good friends on Christmas Eve, I hurried home. (actually my parents' home, but for the holidays, that is home.)
as soon as I arrived, my brother (the only other one of us not currently required to do significant other things), my parents and I had a mellow Christmas Eve dinner. then my brother headed home, and my mom and I got to work.
in my family, for as long as I can remember, I've been the wrapping elf. and the toast-bread-for-stuffing elf.
so, as my mom began the Christmas dinner preparations, I wrapped. and wrapped. and wrapped some more. then after another whisper -
so we talked my dad into toasting. (amazing, since he's always an early-to-bed elf on Christmas Eve.) and I somewhat lamely continued to wrap.
although it was far too late, finally the elves retired for the night...
Friday, December 23, 2005
while shopping today, white paint was splattered by the feirce wind all over my black car. I laughed. I told the guy parked in front of me that I was sorry he was parked by me, as these things always happen to me. his frown changed. he laughed. we wished each other good luck with the paint removal and happy holidays.
so instead of wrapping up my shopping, I hurried to the car wash to be sure I didn't get a new paint job for Christmas. after checking to be sure there were no more unwanted polka dots, I resumed my shopping. finishing most of it in time to meet J for our sort of traditional Christmas Eve Eve dinner out. another fabulous dinner over wine.
on my way home from dinner, I decided to stop by the old standby, Target, to try to fill in a few gaps in my purchases. as I wandered the aisles seeing families searching for presents I was taken back, many years.
my mom and aunt took us to Duckwalls every year. the four of us kids and my one cousin. one at a time we would stand at the front of the store with my aunt, as my mom took the rest of us around the store to pick out the perfect present for the one marooned at the front of the store.
funny how I remember the fun shopping excursions much more vividly than any present I received as a result. it was acceptable sneaking around. acceptable secret keeping. and we were all there together.
I still love the fun in finding the perfect gift for my brothers or sister. love watching their face light up as they unwrap something they truly love.
so far I'm happy with what I've found for everyone except my siblings-in-law. they may not like their presents as much as the rest of the family does. I think that goes with not knowing them as well. but it's too late now. the presents are (mostly) wrapped.
tomorrow, as soon as the orange crushes the black, I'll head home. trunk packed full of turkey, ham, presents, and love. TheDog lounging in the back seat. I always look forward to going home for Christmas, even if this year it's only for a day or two.
I hope everyone's holidays are filled with love and laughter!
Thursday, December 22, 2005
listening to my xmas iTunes folder has helped. with everyone from Elvis to The Fray to the Smashing Pumpkins adding to the cheer. then there's the fact that as soon as I get word back on a report and sign it, I'm out of here!
besides, runaway dog* was found (although not feeling well, due to too much dumpster diving). the flu has begun to move on. and non-flaky friends are still going with me to listen to a friend's band tonight.
in the last few days I've also managed to treat a friend to a belated birthday dinner, and have a few drinks and play foosball with a friend in town for the holidays.
and so, I hope all of you have found your holiday spirit.
* not my dog, a dog I'm watching for a friend of a friend
Monday, December 19, 2005
then to color my drive into work, the sun shone orange through the snow-covered trees over the lake. turning to find the pink sun glinting off the snow-capped peaks.
an apology. a long, but productive day. kind wishes from many of you. friends thanking me for hosting a great party. a waggin' tail greeting home. time to actually cook dinner. channel surfing to a sappy holiday movie.
hope returns, even though the expectations are lowered. I won't trust again as easily. I can't believe again, just yet.
the holiday spirit snuck back in. perhaps helped by the holiday potluck at work. or the cards waiting in the mail. or the twinkling tree I got to truly enjoy for the first time.
or perhaps it's just optimism that a simple you too might have been sincere.
grown a little sadder, grown a little older,
and I need a little angel sitting on my shoulder...
need a little music, need a little laughter...
Sunday, December 18, 2005
I believe that people are good. I believe they say what they mean. I believe people don't intentionally hurt others. I believe that friendships last.
yes, I have even always been one of those sappy people that believes in the spirit of the holiday season. that it brings out the best in people. I'm beginning to think that may be the furthest thing from the truth.
maybe I shouldn't believe these things. maybe I'm a terrible judge of character.
some people are not good. some people lie, often. some people will intentionally hurt others if it's easier. some people use than discard friends like old newspapers.
I believed in a friend. I trusted. completely. I never imagined that opening up, believing, could rip open such a hole.
I feel naive. foolish. gullible. and very far removed from my normal happy holiday self.
Friday, December 16, 2005
oh, well. at least I have my girls. yes, this is another I love my friends story.
another hilarious girls' night
we happened upon a bottle of wine in my collection. it was one of those that sparks a memory.
we had been talking about guys, particularly the lack of anyone fantastic in my life. (most of the rest of the girls are married or dating someone.) we touched on the current lack of appropriate follow-up. then they somehow moved on to my ex. how he was never worthy. (thanks for letting me know that you thought that then.)
literally in the middle of this topic of conversation we grabbed this bottle of wine. it was my birthday present from him. I was instructed to save it for when he cooked me dinner.
so, last night the girls decided no time like the present to drink it. it was horrible. and I am absolutely not exaggerating.
we all laughed. figures.
Wednesday, December 14, 2005
and the one thing I really want to write about, I can't. I'm worried I'll jinx myself if I do.
I really want something to work out, that isn't right now. and I don't know what to do about it. but I do know every time I write about things such as this, they never work out. that is why I'm being so vague.
in the meantime, I hope everyone is much further along in their holiday preparations than I am. being as besides the tree, I've done nothing. still.
Monday, December 12, 2005
pulling out the ornaments tonight. the memories snuck in. the bows and glass balls that I bought for my very first grown-up tree when I couldn't afford anything else. the ornaments my mom bought for me, after realizing I had nothing but glass balls and bows on my tree. and the needlepoint ornament my grandma made for me.
I used to think my mom was a bit of a nutcase when she'd tear up while we decorated the tree. now I think I understand. the ornaments my sister and I bought together when we first moved in together after she was done with college and I with grad school. and the one she gave me last year after she got married and moved out.
the ornaments that were presents from friends. the ornaments created amidst wine and the laughter of friends. and of course the ornaments chewed with love by TheDog last year, after ten Christmas trees left completely alone.
each decoration a memory of Christmases past. a few new to mark this Christmas. each adding a little bit of cheer. each a reminder of all the wonderful things the holiday season is really about.
and as I sit and admire the lights glinting off the ornaments, I have decided to try and remember this contentment when I'm stuck in holiday traffic or cramming most of my shopping into a few hours.
after a great night out last week, a fun weekend hanging out with close friends, and a little sentimental tree-trimming tonight, I think I've finally found my elusive holiday spirit.
Sunday, December 11, 2005
tomorrow. really. it's all planned. I'm buying cider on the way home from work (along with some working lights). turning up the Christmas carols. and trimming my tree. and nothing short of an extremely intriguing invitation will keep me from it...
Friday, December 09, 2005
I still don't know exactly what was said, but I do know that we had a great time at the show. and afterward. and I woke up grinning this morning, after sleeping in for the first time in weeks.
and tonight I'll be hanging out with my work "family" similarly to how I hang out with my real one. just me. while they all have their significant others accounted for. and you know what? I'm completely fine with that.
happy even. no date to worry about entertaining. or making a fool of myself in front of. or trying to head off stories that might be told by my work friends.
and I won't feel lonely. because I know who I would want to take. it's just not the right time. perhaps soon it will be.
Thursday, December 08, 2005
I'd much rather take my own friend or a gwp*, then have to sit with someone I don't know and make small talk. particularly this week, when I'm so tired I can barely string together a sentence.
BikeBoy called last night and we chatted for a while. after we hung up, I realized I should have just asked him. or maybe I should ask my friend who missed the chance to grab drinks with me last week. I suppose I could if I talk to him tonight at the show.
I'm not sure if I want to ask either one. if I worked in a different company, where the holiday party was a boring night out with a hundred people you see everyday, but aren't close to, I'd take either in a second.
but my company is like a family. I have great friends there. in fact I sincerely like everyone I work with most days. (yes, I complain sometimes, but that's about managing and workload, not about the people.) whoever I take will get the third degree. the risk of stories being told that I'd rather wouldn't be is too great.
before the work crunch of the last few weeks, I was thinking I could take one of my guy friends. but most of them have significant others that likely wouldn't be too excited I was borrowing their man. or I could take a girlfriend, but they, apparently, have lives of their own.
and even if a friend could go, I'd rather take a real date. I just don't have one this year. why is it so incomprehensible that I would go without a date? sure I'll be the only one in the company there without one, but is that so bad?
I've been good this year, maybe I should ask santa for a real date. (no, not with him, with a guy who's around more than one night a year.)
* gwp - guy with potential
Wednesday, December 07, 2005
yesterday it snowed. cold snow. tiny flakes.
today will be beautiful. blue skies. and a balmy ten degrees for a high.
perhaps tomorow I'll have to *cough* *cough* call in. then hit the slopes. afterall, it dumped in the mountains. and it's supposed to get a tad warmer after today.
ah, my deluded working-too-hard dreams. I know I'll be here, chained to my desk, at least through Friday. but can't a girl dream?
Monday, December 05, 2005
every year since my sister and I moved to Denver, she from the south and I from the north, we've gone together. we've taken TheDog and traipsed through the snow and picked out our tree.
when she got married last year, that didn't change. we still went to get trees together last year. we were supposed to go yesterday. I couldn't. I had too much work to do.
so while she and her husband and both of the pups braved the cold to find our trees. I stayed warm, inside, drinking steaming hot coffee and staring at my computer screen.
it's sad. my beautiful, bare tree stares at me. begging for lights and ornaments. but I have more work to do. and after the report is finalized I have a show to go to, and a party to attend. so, the decorating will have to wait until this weekend.
but then I plan to turn on the Christmas music, sing aloud (hopefully not scaring TheDog too much), and deck the halls. the holidays are around the corner, and soon I'll be able to enjoy the holiday spirit.
Sunday, December 04, 2005
no, it's not what you're thinking. I only had one beer and one martini. (although Friday night a few more might have been advised.) what I am trying to say is that I'm entirely over-caffeinated.
and my over-caffeinated brain seems to have a bit of an attention span issue (which is not helping me get work done). random thoughts popping in and out of my head constantly. mostly inconsequential randomness. but something popped that made me realize something. a little something I'd mostly forgotten about.
the events of the weekend helped bring about the memory. a missed meeting Friday night. a few conversations over the weekend. and the realization that the pesky culprit, bad-timing, may have messed up things, yet again. I think there was even some mention of star-crossed in the apology.
part of our conversation reminded me of when we first met. reminded me that we exchanged numbers once before. and although he never called back then, I still might have called him had my last boyfriend not been in the picture. so along with a few other meetings, this one might have been different if I had the foresight to end things with the ex when I should have. if the timing had been different.
for now I'm not banking on hanging out with him anytime soon. I admit, I was excited to see him this weekend. but there was only a nebulous "call me later if you're out and want to meet up" that ended the apology conversation. no concrete "let's find some time soon to get together" as I had hoped.
for now, he's just a good friend. and honestly I'm happy that he is. more might be great, but it might not be. maybe someday we'll find out, maybe not. for now friendship works for me, hopefully it does for him, too. I think I'd still be open to more, but if he's not sure, I'd rather we continue as friends than start something that one of us doesn't really want.
Friday, December 02, 2005
from a friend: work hard, play harder.
and another: remember that life is short and no job is worth killing yourself over.
from a coworker: you can always find another job, it's not as easy to find another
the old standard: all work and no play makes rg a dull girl.
from one of my bosses, of all people: there's always time
to make room for life. work can wait.
also from my boss: you can sleep when you're dead.
random man in front of me in line at the caffeine addict shop after the guy behind the counter asked if I still had my job: if you're working this hard for them, they'd be crazy to let you go.
and just a few more jems:
it's all about balance.
will you remember missing a deadline and the disapproval of your boss in 10 years, or will you remember the time you spent with friends?
what happens when you drop your laptop and have nothing?
and so, to all those who have relayed to me these nuggets of "truth," thank you. but have to interject a few clarifications, first.
I want to sleep now, not just when I'm dead (anyone remember how George Costanza had his under-desk nap area arranged?). I'm not dull, even when I'm working. while the job may be killing me slowly, I sure am not to the point of killing myself over anything. and I backed up my laptop last weekend, so I only lose a week, not everything.
so, after one more crazy day, there will be light at the end of the tunnel. granted, much of that will be from the burning midnight oil as I finish up the now late report over the weekend. but my friends and family are taking priority, well, they will be, starting at 5 tonight.
Wednesday, November 30, 2005
the only reason I'm here is because I'm behind. so very far behind. even working over the weekend didn't help. working every night this week hasn't made much of a dent, either. but here I am attempting to caffeinate and make a little headway.
amazing what the fear of losing your job will motivate you to do. I've gotten an average of 4 hours of sleep since Sunday. and it's looking like that will go down after tonight. but maybe I can get some sleep this weekend.
this lack of sleep mixed with fearful adrenaline and caffeine reminds me of cramming for finals. that and attempting to read not-so-exciting material in a coffee shop. I almost wish I were back in school and doing just that instead of working like a madwoman in hopes I don't lose my job by the end of the week.
well, better get back to it. think there's any way that time will stop and allow me to catch up?
random aside - in the five minutes it took to write this, two guys I know walked in. one was no surprise, he's a caffeine addict, as well. the other I haven't seen in years. it took me a minute to remember who he was. I grew up with him, we were on a summer club swim team together. for the life of me I can't remember his name. he gave me the same look I'm sure I gave him, the I-know-I-know-you-from-somewhere look. this world is eerily small sometimes.
Tuesday, November 29, 2005
then when I went to college, and didn't follow the rest of my family, I became a bit more of an outcast. I was teased by my brothers. my decisions were questioned by my parents. only my sister sort of understood my desire to go (far) away to school.
only when I came back to go to grad school. when I graduated and became an alum, did I get let back into the fan club in my family's eyes.
but not going there for undergrad, I don't live and die by our team quite as much as my brother and sister do. so after the pathetic loss Friday, after our team, our alma mater, was embarrassed on national tv, while the rest of my family lamented the loss, I just drove home. doing my best not to let the football rage seep in and become road rage.
sure, I was sad. it was a pathetic game. but regardless of what some guys think, life is not football. and since our neighbor to the east decided to give our team an early Christmas present, they get to play again next weekend. for the conference championship, no less.
and as I'm a bit more realist than football fan(atic) these days, I acknowledge that they don't deserve to play in the game, that they probably can't win. and I know my family, although they know the odds are not good, will still be devestated if (when) we lose Saturday.
although I really do hope they win, if the outcome is as I imagine it will be, I will again be the outcast. and as much as I love my family and think they're great, in this case I think perhaps it's better to be different.
Monday, November 28, 2005
The guy is right there under your nose. Watch out - you will see.
part of me thinks she may be right. but if she is right, which one is it? yes, there is more than one guy that might fit that description. and Saturday I had a few interesting conversations that may have led me to believe there might be something there with more than one of them.
these guys are my friends. not great friends in that I don't know them so well that they're no longer in the guys with potential (gwp) category. but good enough friends that taking that next step scares me a little.
I don't want to lose a friendship, but yet if there is some mutual interest, I wouldn't mind seeing what else is possible. but as much as I think that being friends first is the best way to meet someone, I've never had much luck with the friends-to-more transition.
and if there are possibilities, I don't know what, if anything, I should do about them. I would typically wait and see, and let them decide. but my typical behavior doesn't seem to get me where I want to be, so I'm considering being proactive. that's if I can get up the nerve. and that is an enormous if.
Sunday, November 27, 2005
so instead of enjoying a relaxing cup of coffee, I headed to my parents' earlier. where I had the great fortune of helping clean out random things, because the Murphy's Law of holiday gatherings was in effect. the milk that spilled everywhere in the fridge. and my lotion bottle that although the altitude change is insignificant, exploded all over the bathroom.
then, as with every holiday, it was my duty to prepare the stuffing. and help with the rest, since being the only one without a significant other, I am required to, while they talk or watch the football game or surf the internet in order to keep their SO entertained.
well, somehow my mom and I with a little begged help from my sister got everything done, and dinner was fantastic. too much, of course, but all of it great.
after the turkey feast, for a brief moment I wished I'd had a boy home with me, so I could lounge after dinner and not do the dishes, but I know I would do them anyway. that's just how I am. but I still wish I had a guy I wanted to bring home. someone who would want to spend a day with my family. someone who'd insist upon helping out.
maybe someday, but even if not, I know I still have many things to be thankful for. and I am.
Wednesday, November 23, 2005
so since I won't have the chance to tell the whole family at dinner tomorrow, I'm going to write down what I'm most thankful for. and since I won't be limited by the five seconds I'd have at my parents' house, my list will likely be long winded...
I am thankful for TheDog. she makes me smile when I don't want to. she insists I enjoy the little things. sniff the good smells. excercise my vocal cords when she's barking late at night. and she lets me know every day that I'm loved, unconditionally.
I am so very thankful for my amazing friends. they call just to say hi. stop by to see if I'm up for a walk. feed my dog when I'm stuck at work. send cards when I'm feeling sad. listen to me lament the small not-so-great things in my rather great life. play wing(wo)man when necessary. tell me he's not good enough for me when he's not interested. let me stay in their homes when I take my nomadic trips. let me be myself. and like me for who I am. encourage me and challenge me to be more. sympathize with me. and laugh with me. and go with me to see bands that I love play, even when they're not that into them.
I am so very thankful for my incredible family. besides the many things I've talked about before, they are always there for me. encouraging me. challenging me. and teasing me. lending me a couch until I can find the perfect replacement. collaborating on great gifts for others. requesting my advice on music. and making me laugh at myself.
I'm thankful for my coworkers, many of whom are also my friends. they swing by (miles out of their way) to give me a ride to a meeting when my tire is flat and my battery is dead. they give me rides home when I'm stranded at work. they bring breakfast burritos in, somehow knowing I was out of milk for my cereal this morning. they harrass me about my love life, in a nice way.
I'm also thankful for the nice baristas at the coffee shop that put up with my pre-caffeinated self. living in Colorado where outdoor activities are never far away. steaming hot cups of coffee. savory glasses of red wine. fantastic music. spectacular sunsets. being able to travel. and most of all for the friendship, humor and love in my life.
Monday, November 21, 2005
as I talked with other friends, I could feel you looking at me. I looked your way. you looked away and missed my smile.
she was there. sitting next to you. you seemed to be ignoring her. but I knew she was with you. well, rumor had it that she was, anyway.
just once, we looked at the same time. in that instance I could tell you were mostly happy. but still unsure. a glint of longing. of remembering. of knowing. of home.
then it was gone. although I could feel your eyes continue to glance. as I played with our friends' kids. as I laughed. as I wished I could talk to you.
I know there's nothing there. I know there shouldn't be. but the feeling of home doesn't go away as easily as I'd like. it lingers.
finding out you were with her, before the last time I saw you. it made me sad. not for her. but because you're not the person I thought you were. it makes it a little easier to start to forget about that feeling of home.
then you give me a squeeze on your way out. tell me it's great to see me. and home seems closer, even though I know now that I can never go there again.
Sunday, November 20, 2005
so, what makes a weekend great? terrible? sometimes the same things.
shots of camaraderie with a friend for her birthday. realizing some things have nothing to do with me. having solid proof earlier intuitions were right.
too much to do. nothing to do. bowling and football games. set-ups and mix-ups. friends and family. not enough drinks. too much to drink. late night texts. cryptic writing.
so, how was my weekend? well, good, bad, ugly and far too short.
Friday, November 18, 2005
this is exactly why I don't do New Year's Resolutions. they never last.
since I made my little list of changes, what was it, oh, yes, three short days ago, I've stayed up far too late every night. it's been entirely too cold to walk TheDog in the mornings. (for her, of course, not me.) and work has crept into other plans once or twice, as well.
of course, not all of this is necessarily bad. just why resolutions are made to be broken.
for instance the staying up too late? well, that's because I've been working and playing too much.
the other night the girls came over for wine and good conversation. we had a few appetizers before sampling a few different wines. then proceeded to "redecorate" my dining room. and by redecorate, I mean spill glitter, tinsel, paint and glue all over the place.
you saw the pumpkins from the last girls' night. this time it was ornaments. last year, when the craftiness was suggested, my friends all raised their eyebrows. but after convincing them it was more about drinking wine and less about artistry, they were in. and last year's decorating party was hilarious.
this year's was not too different. a few more friends. a bit more glitter. and more laughter. the ornaments are not necessarily museum-worthy. but even my non-Christmas celebrating friend had a great time reverting to kindergarten glitter-and-glue creativity.
then last night I had to make a bit of a drive with my sister and her husband to celebrate my mom's birthday with the rest of the family. more quality time with the nieces. great dinner. funny stories shared.
and then the bonzai trip back here to try and meet up with friends at my friend S's show. I caught only the last two songs, but got to see my friends and talk briefly with S after the show.
a little work was laced in where I could. while waiting for the girls the other night. while my sister drove last night. there's much more waiting for this weekend. but the temperature is rising and there's a blonde dog that has insisted upon a walk if not a hike. work will have to wait.
Tuesday, November 15, 2005
I am going to go to sleep earlier. so I can get up and walk TheDog before work instead of after, since it gets dark so early. (and she thinks I've been abusing her with the short walks.)
I am going to stop jumping to conclusions. I have been incorrect in my jumping. well, once or twice. and I don't like being wrong, ever. (although, yes, I can admit when I am.)
I am going to send holiday cards this year. really. not just talk about it. or buy the cards. I'm going to actually write in them and send them.
I am going to finish my gift shopping early this year. at least by noon on Christmas Eve, since my family's going to a football game that afternoon.
I am going to have everything together before my holiday party. I want to enjoy my guests this year instead of running around finishing up the preparations as they arrive.
and I'm going to prioritize. work can wait. coffee with friends, birthday celebrations, and important conversations can't.
now, I'm off to sleep. there's a blonde dog with a leash that is going to wake me up at the crack of dawn.
Monday, November 14, 2005
it was the restaurant I took him to start off his birthday surprise the first year we were dating. it was one of his favorites.
today is the day. his birthday. I realized that this morning when I put the date on my notes. I almost wanted to call and wish him a happy one. I know I can't.
when I saw the sign, a smile crept across my face. I couldn't help it. it was one of those memories that just make you happy. we had such a great time that night.
he told me it was the best birthday he ever had. apparently his family was never big on them. mine always has been, and always will be. so I made his a big deal.
and as I walked under the sign, the smile grew wider. I knew that my desire to call him earlier today stemmed simply from wanting to wish a happy birthday to someone who used to mean the world to me.
and I do hope he had a happy birthday. although I think I got the gifts today. the gift of knowing that despite the way things ended, I have not an ounce of ill will left in me towards him. the gift of knowing that although we may have been meant to be together for a while, we were never meant to last forever.
another smile lifts the corners of my mouth just thinking about it.
Sunday, November 13, 2005
big sister is 2. she knows my name. she insistently calls me by it when I've stopped playing for a minute. I'm not around her enough for her insistence to be anything but adorable. she's smart and cute, and, well, you could say she takes after her aunt.
the little one is so tiny. I can't believe two short years ago her big sister was that little.
time flies by. life flashes past in endearing smiles and giggles.
the crying fits, the tantrums, they get forgotten. the loving hugs, the little hand taking yours, those are the things that stick.
I know I'm happy where I am right now where my life has taken me. I know I've gone amazing places and done great things in my life. but somehow pictures of an amazing sunset seem to pale in comparison to a baby girl.
I know life is not measured only by the big milestones. but somehow being around my little nieces and other family this weekend, my accomplishments seem to pale a bit in comparison.
Thursday, November 10, 2005
it looks like I assumed incorrectly. (well, we know what they say about assuming.)
anyway, we're still trying to find time to grab that drink. but it looks like my friend S is interested in just a friendly one.
I don't know if it's the timing. he seemed possibly interested in more when I saw him last week. but when we couldn't grab a drink over the weekend, he seems to have lost it. interest, that is.
I know I'm not the greatest judge of intentions, but is it really this bad? or is my timing this completely off?
when I began to think he might be interested, I began to realize I might be. even if he was, life's craziness apparently stepped in and changed something.
well, although this little turn of events brings with it the end of the suspension of the bet, at least I'll have a new niece tomorrow, or the next day, or...
Wednesday, November 09, 2005
yesterday (or was it the day before?) Jen was talking about blog friends. she questioned if they are real friends. I think you are. and apparently Kurt agrees.
for example, in the past week or so, my blogging "friends" have gone with me to see a great band, invited me over for Thanksgiving celebrations, sent me flowers, helped me to face some demons, complimented me, encouraged me, challenged me, let me know they were there for me, asked me the tough questions, made me laugh hysterically, and also made me cry, in a good way.
what more could I ask for?
I think there is room in everyone's life for different kinds of friends, like different kinds of drinks. I have many amazing close real life friends (you know that, I talk about them all the time). these are the ones that get better with age, the special reserve wines and ports and 50-year old brandies.
I have new real life friends and blogging friends that have become real friends. these are the friends that are new to the palette. the new vodka flavor. you never know if it will become the kind that lives in your freezer, or only the one you drink when you go out to that bar. but regardless you welcome the new flavor into your life.
and there are many of you reading this that I consider friends, whether I will ever meet you face to face or not. you might be likened to that special martini concoction at the local hot spot. or the special brewery ale tapped this month. it may be fleeting, or may turn into a favorite, you never know.
friends are the people you share your life with. in small shots or by the keg.
you guys are the best, thank you for your friendship!
who wants to go grab a drink?
PS - this whole post sounds a bit alcoholic... but it's just an analogy. and no, I haven't turned to the bottle as my only friend despite my perceived melancholy lately...
Tuesday, November 08, 2005
last night, though, when I awoke from a nightmare, I started thinking that maybe karma doesn't work, at least on any scale I can see, that good people get bad breaks and bad people get good ones.
I don't know what caused such a vivid dream. I don't typically remember them. maybe it was all the memories revisited yesterday*, maybe it was watching Medium before falling asleep, or maybe the spicy dinner.
regardless, in my dream I was back in my college town. we were at the bar. the one with the couches. my friends were all there. even the ones I didn't know in college. dreams don't care about time lines.
he was there. he was married. he had kids. he and two of his friends laughed at me. they laughed because I was still single, because I was alone.
I tried to be strong. to pretend it didn't hurt. to get out of there. but I couldn't. my friends wouldn't let me leave alone and upset. they were there for me, as they always were. as they always are. but, I wondered, where were they that night? my incredible friends. the ones that would do anything for me.
I was naive, then. I believed in the good of mankind. I never even imagined I could get hurt. I was young, I was invincible. I was wrong.
I lost my faith that night. my faith in guys. in trust. in my ability to assess people's character.
I've gotten most of it back. it wasn't an easy path. I've since realized that night wreaked havoc on my relationships for years to come. on how I never completely trusted people.
but that's changed. I once again believe most people are good. I have learned to trust again, well mostly. I know no matter what you do, no matter how good you are, no matter how much you fight, bad things can happen.
I didn't deserve it. it wasn't my fault. I'm sure some people would say I shouldn't have put myself in the situation that I did. that may be true. but that is no excuse.
I now realize my friends would have been there to help me. not that night, they couldn't have. but afterward. to help me deal with it. if I could have just had the courage to talk to them about it. I wish I had. I wish my ability to trust hadn't been so shattered. I wish I could have believed in someone.
it's funny how denial eventually leads to the truth... one way or another. and how truth helps forgiveness. of others. of oneself. I forgave him a long time ago. I can't hold a grudge, well except against myself.
I'm still working on forgiving myself. it will come. and, by the way, if you're keeping track, that's hope, not denial.
* thanks, Kurt, and you know I mean that very sincerely!
Monday, November 07, 2005
of course there are several things I'm in denial about. that I'm getting older. that my accident may have permanently changed my ability to do some things. and that certain memories from my past actually happened to me.
these things sneak into my subconscious from time to time. every once in a while I realize that a 33-year-old woman maybe should not be hanging out with 25-ish year olds, drinking and being a band groupie. but then again, I feel 25, so why not? (see, denial.)
and on occasion the pain from the accident is so severe that I end up on the floor of my office, or in the bathroom at a football game, hiding from friends or family, desperately trying to stretch out the offending muscles or get the joint back into alignment. but after the pain passes I go back to working too much or jumping up and down cheering. and, of course, got my season ski pass. (again, denial.)
as for the memories that I would rather not have. there are a few. but one in particular. from a decade or so ago. as much as I like to forget that it happened, it shaped who I am today and how I interact with people in a profound way.
friends think I'm open, honest. and I usually am. but sometimes when they use these terms to describe me, I cringe. I wonder what they would think if they knew the truth. I can't tell them. if I tell someone, if I talk about it, then it really happened. then the game of denial is over.
as I read the words my friend wrote, memories came flooding back. but I'm not sure I'm ready to face them again. and that's what I'd have to do if I told someone. as much as I know it wasn't my fault. part of me can't completely forgive myself. I know my friends would say it wasn't my fault, but it's what they might possibly think that keeps me silent.
maybe someday I'll be brave enough to talk to a trusted friend about it. although I think that last bit might just be more denial. but I am working on it.
Sunday, November 06, 2005
I haven't seen her since college. she was one of the coolest girls I knew. she was in engineering with me, but a year ahead. she was a mentor of sorts to me and my other friend Jen. by that I mean she took us under her wing and went to grab margaritas with us when we were supposed to be in our every-Thursday-afternoon engineering class.
she was like the big sister I never had. she gave me a guitar for graduation. she insisted to the other Jen and I that we could still be cool and fun while being enginerds, even after she switched out of engineering.
we used to take road trips every summer together. usually up to the northwest to visit the other Jen. we were supposed to be roommates my senior year, but she ended up transferring to another school to finish up engineering. after college we kept in touch a little, but as too often happens, lost touch eventually.
I've thought about her often since college. she probably has no idea, but she is definitely one of the reasons I never considered taking the easier route and switching out of engineering entirely when the going got tough. she also made me see that if I wanted to also get a business degree, I should. she was excited when I told her I was going to grad school for engineering, unlike my family. she's the "older sister" that helped me to believe in myself and all the possibilities.
a while back, I saw an article on her in our alumni magazine and e-mailed her. she had told me she was dating a guy from Colorado, and that she was here from time to time. but I had no idea she'd be at the game yesterday. and she had no idea I'd be there either.
we caught up on each others' lives, as best you can at halftime. she's getting married in a couple of weeks. in Colorado. even though neither she nor her fiancée lives here now. they eventually plan to move here.
talking with Jen was like my own little time machine. it was like we were standing on our own campus, not a thousand miles from where we went to school, over a decade later. sure the maroon and white at the football game had been replaced by black and gold. but it seemed very little else had changed.
true friendship. when neither time nor distance matters.
Friday, November 04, 2005
as I walked into the coffee shop this morning, one of my favorite golden retrievers was there with her person. she's a great dog and her person is a really nice older gentleman. every time I see them in the morning, despite how tired I may feel, a smile sneaks onto on my face.
I planned to get her a bone out of the doggie treat canister as soon as I picked up my coffee. as I was waiting, my friend S walked up to me. we talked for a while. about work and being tired. (glad he couldn't see just how tired I really felt.) and grabbing a drink soon. we talked for a little while longer, then I had to get to work, so I grabbed my doggie friend her treat and left.
as I walked out of the coffee shop, I began wondering if my friend J was right. when we went to see S's band a while back she got the impression he was interested in me as more than just a friend. based on our banter before and after the show. I wasn't convinced. as I've mentioned before, I can be a bit clueless when it comes to guys (particularly guy friends) and whether they're interested in me or not.
so we're planning to go for a drink next week. well, unless my soon-to-be-new-little-niece makes a surprise early appearance. the question is, is it just a couple of friends grabbing a drink, or is there more to it?
Thursday, November 03, 2005
she's also an attorney. so, we talked about what I have to do to get everything resolved from my car accident. despite the fact that the medical bills are piling up, I have to wait until I am better before I can settle with the guy's car insurance and pay the medical bills.
I'm not better. I'm still having to go to the doc. to the physical therapist. to get cortisone injections. I had another one today. it wasn't as embarrassing as the last time. it wasn't the parade of people past my bare bum. it didn't take as long.
but it hurt again. maybe more so than the last one. I can't even decribe how much I hope this one does the trick. that the joints they hit today are the right ones. that the pain will go away permanently. I'll know in a few days.
if it doesn't work, the doc doesn't know what else to try. and my attorney friend said there are many car accidents where this type of pain never goes away completely. I don't want that to be the case with me.
if wishful thinking were all it took, I'd be better than ever already. but the positive attitude only goes so far. at some point we all need help. and when no one knows how to help, that's when it gets really frustrating.
but for now, I'm doing the wishful thinking thing. the shot today, it has to work. I just need to believe that it will. and worry about the rest only if it doesn't.
Wednesday, November 02, 2005
I love that song*. a guy put it on a cd he made me once. I knew then he didn't love me. and wouldn't when we were apart. but the idea of someone waiting for me forever. loving me forever. that stuck.
when Paul played it last night, just he and his guitar, a tear snuck out of my eye. luckily the eye away from my mom and sister who had gone with me to the concert. I secretly wondered if I will ever find that guy. the one that will love me forever.
they both have. and deep down, I know I will. but every once in a while I question the timing of it. I don't know if I'm up to waiting a lifetime.
but the hopeless romantic always wins out over the cynic. and those songs that some would call sappy, always leave me knowing I'll find it one day. and I am willing to wait for it.
besides, what better role models than my family? my grandmother was engaged when she met the love of her life, my grandfather. my mom met my dad through his roommate, the guy she was dating at the time. my sister met her husband through an aquaintance neither talks to anymore.
dancing next to my mom and sister last night, I was hit with a little epiphany. I just have to have faith that it will happen. and stop worrying about the how and when. perhaps take some steps toward meeting new people, and get J off my back about the bet.
my mom, sister and Paul helped convince me last night to go for it. stop worrying about what others think and be open to possibilities. I will. at least I'll try.
* I Will, by the Beatles
Monday, October 31, 2005
my dad and our neighbor used to take us around the neighborhood. we got all dressed up in our costumes. then usually had to put on our ski jackets over them. it often snowed on Halloween, and was almost always cold.
it was long before masks were necessary. when we could be ourselves. but only with the people we knew. even in a small-ish town where we left our front door unlocked at night. my parents never let us go anywhere that they didn't know the neighbor.
tonight I had more trick-or-treaters than I have any of the seven Halloweens that I've lived here. and only one or two of the parents did I recognize.
perhaps parents don't worry about the things my parents worried about when we were kids. perhaps there are scarier things out there than questionable candy.
I'm glad to see that kids can be more carefree. that they can go door-to-door showing off their adorable costumes. I love seeing their creative costumes. the ones that parents didn't buy in the store. I love hearing them ask for candy, wishing me a Happy Halloween as they run down the steps on to the next house.
I think my favorite costume I saw tonight was the family with four kids, dresses as the Incredibles. perhaps it was the four kids and how much they reminded me of trick-or-treating with my brothers and sister. and the reminder of how much I used to (and still do) love Halloween.
I wonder what costumes everyone else enjoyed most tonight?
Sunday, October 30, 2005
it doesn't take a mask to feel anonymous on Halloween. that's the beauty in it. you get to dress as you normally couldn't or wouldn't and call it a costume.
I had too many places to be last night. parties, a friend's band was playing, and checking out the costumes at the bars downtown. I chose to go to a few of the parties, thrown by good friends.
the first was over-run by little monsters. the costumes were pretty good. a few of us no-children adults stood around catching up. one of the guys didn't recognize me from the hockey game where his brother got me in trouble with my then boyfriend by, gasp, talking to me.
then it was off to the next party. the costumes were a bit more creative than the first. my geek glasses apparently worked as a disguise again. of course, his costume did, too. unbeknownst to both of us we were talking for a little while before each of us realized who the other was.
we kissed at my friends' wedding. neither of us was very sober. and it was a little uncomfortable last night, apparently more for him than me. when he realized who I was, he disappeared.
the costumes at the last party were the best. my friends have had a Halloween party every year for a while now. and each year everyone tries to outdo their costume from the year before.
everyone liked my costume. clever, they said. and apparently it suited me. my sister even agreed that my inner goddess was hot. I had to laugh, the girls at this party are the beautiful ones. I'm the nice, dependable one. they all thought a boy couldn't resist my costume.
perhaps if he'd seen it that would have held true. he didn't. he called when I was still party hopping. I called him back after he'd already passed out. no boys, my geek goddess only impressed my friends.
perhaps I can let the goddess out another time. without the excuse of a costume. take off the mask. even if only for a night.
Thursday, October 27, 2005
I have a friend. I thought she was a very good friend. but I'm starting to wonder about that.
I know friendships go through phases, like any relationship. I know there are good times and bad. but this one is making me wonder.
a roommate of mine in college jokingly nicknamed me the doormat. I used to let one particular friend that I'd known since junior high treat me not-so-nicely.
I finally learned to stand up for myself. to not let her take advantage of me. I'm wondering if I've reverted.
am I just being overly sensitive? is it just a different level of friendship?
I'm a loyal, trusting friend. I would do nearly anything for her. I realized tonight, that's not reciprocated. I don't even make the short list of people she invites over for Friday evening beers.
she continuously mentions hanging out when my presence could benefit her. but when I don't, the invitation is often absent.
does that mean she's not a true friend? or that I expect too much of my friends? or does it mean I'm just more considerate than most? perhaps she's just trying not to mix too many ingredients into her soup.
Wednesday, October 26, 2005
last week's trip was a disaster. so I was supposed to go again Monday. that didn't work out. I went today instead. it was a beautiful day. the sun was out compared to last week's rain. and as it sank over the lake, I had a strange feeling I was supposed to be there.
and yesterday the feeling was comfort. and relief. maybe there are reasons. destiny. fate. whatever you want to call it. maybe we never understand some of them. that doesn't mean they don't exist.
Tuesday, October 25, 2005
I knew it would happen eventually. I was worried it would be uncomfortable. things would be strange. but it wasn't. they weren't.
despite my concern that I would be nervous the next time I saw him. or seeing me would make him feel uneasy. I wasn't. he didn't.
we joked with each other. asked how life was. filled each other in on things since last we saw each other.
he really is a great guy. (even if his taste might have been slightly questionable.) I'm happy there is no awkwardness. I'm happy there may be friendship in our future.
I'm even happier that seeing him made it clear to me, friendship is all I want. and I'm certain of it.
Monday, October 24, 2005
the night before I went to a cold college football game. leaves falling slowly, reminders of fall. and the night before that, the Warren Miller movie. the precursor to my ski season. every year. this year an added bonus, a benefit for hurricane victims.
last week the girls showed up on my doorstep with pumpkins, appetizers and dessert. we drank wine and carved. the result was pretty impressive (if I may so boldly brag about my friends' mad carving skills).
before that I went to see a little musical about an orphan with my mom. another reminder how lucky I am to have the family that I do.
the weekend before I caught up with an out of town friend before a Broncos game. spent quality family time celebrating my niece's birthday. and had a fun night out with the girls that ended in being "picked up" by a couple.
despite all the fun, excitement and general "life is grand" moments I've experienced lately, one small piece of news yesterday left me feeling like the world is a bit upside down. even tonight when I kissed a boy goodnight before I headed home, something bothered me deep down.
it's down to me. I'm the only one left. nearly every friend I have, even those younger, are either shacked-up, engaged or married. and my brother. the player. well, he got engaged yesterday. I'm extremely happy for them. she's incredible and they're great together.
but as he told me the news yesterday a little hole inside grew a tiny bit larger. I know some of you that read this will think I'm sad. I'm not sure that's what I am. I know some of my friends will strongly suggest I do something about it. I'm not sure I really want to right now.
I love my life. the way it is. my friends and family. my more-than-friends. my dog. even most days, my job.
but I have to admit some days, like yesterday, I do feel like a little something is missing. a little gnawing hole that isn't filled in. something needing to become complete.
is life really incomplete if you don't have someone special to share it with for the long run? I don't know the answer. I sometimes state (with a bit too much bravado) that I do know the answer. that of course I don't need someone to make me complete.
perhaps that's it. I don't need someone, but I think I may want someone. I don't think I want to take this entire journey alone. parts of it, sure. but parts of life are made for two. like halloween costumes. all of the costume store workers assumed I had another half. that I needed a couple's costume.
no it's just me. but the costume will be good. and hopefully funny.
Friday, October 21, 2005
so, I want to thank TWAM, Yoda, Aarwenn, and anyone else that taggeed me recently. I appreciate the thought and may come back and do them when I need ideas for posts, but for now I have too many. so I guess I'm counting this as my tag catch-up post?
anyway, could use any and all help to figure out a GREAT Halloween Costume. preferrably something more feminine than not.
Wednesday, October 19, 2005
on my way back from checking out, I admired the koi swimming amidst the lily pad in the little volcanic rock rimmed pond.
I realized I didn't even explore the grounds of the condo complex fully, much less the island.
but as there was much of the island left, and only a few short hours, I headed off to admire as much of it as I could. I drove away from Poipu. towards the mountains.
of course I had to stop by and see Wailua Falls (the famous Fantasy Island water fall). I fought the urge to yell "de plane, de plane" from the rim of the falls.
as I drove around, I pondered the many things I wanted to do and see that I didn't get around to. sea kayaking the Na Pali Coast (the waves were too big this trip). scuba diving. more hiking.
would I be back? would I get to do and see those things?
I hope so, but moved on to see another water fall. looking out over Opaekaa Falls, I noticed that everyone else was admiring the falls in groups. of course, groups of two. perhaps I stood out. the solo sight-seer.
I didn't really mind. I was enjoying my relaxing vacation. sure there had been slips to loneliness. and perhaps next trip I'll bring someone amazing with me. but I am getting used to travelling alone. I can do whatever I want. that's kind of nice.
I continued on from the falls and drove around the ranches and farms, on the backroads. revelling in the slow pace of the island. I tiik the little rental car onto an unpaved road, and ended up near Kauai Ranch. beautiful open spaces.
the road back down the hillside. to the mai highway around the island.
I found myself near Kilauea. near the lighthouse we hadn't had time to stop at the day before. that day I had time. so I took the turnoff.
I stopped at the overlook. listened to the waves crashing on the rocks below, then continued on into the wildlife refuge. there were many birds, Ne Nes and others. they called the cliffs home.
the lighthouse was a stark white in comparison to the blue and aqua ocean behind it, to the clue sky. I stood there as long as I could, then, sadly, it was time to turn in my rental car, and head to the airport.
but even leaving I had something to look forward to. on my way back to cold Colorado, I stopped off in Honolulu to have dinner with some of my good friends. I hadn't seen them in a long while. only a couple times since their island wedding a few years ago.
it was wonderful to catch up. my friend picked me up from the airport, we had dinner at their house, then she drove me back. my too-short visit made me realize I'm extremely blessed to have such amazing friends. (particularly the ones that get married in cool locations. only kidding, well mostly.)
and although it snowed while I was gone. all that was left to tell that tale was a few branches fallen off my trees. life goes on whether I'm there to witness it or not. so I intend to enjoy it, whether I'm on a tropical island or in the snow. alone or surrounded by friends.
Tuesday, October 18, 2005
we headed to the North Shore, to the Na Pali Coast.
when we got to the trailhead, we decided to fuel up for the trek. we enjoyed a little lunch on the beach. then headed to the trail.
it was rather wet and slippery. but, as we continued along the mud and wet rocks, the panoramas we caught glimpses of through the trees were breathtaking.
well worth the messy climb.
at last the trees were less dense. fewer hanging on to the stee cliff side. we could take in the entire view.
the uninhabited Na Pali Coast stretching off into the distance. magnificent cliffs sharply meeting the ocean. lush vegetation. the variation in the colors of the ocean and land, incredible.
pausing many times along the way. views to take in, pictures to take. amazing shots. too many to post. (perhaps too many already.)
I had warned them about my photobug tendancies. about the 200 shots I'd taken on my first hike. luckily my new friends liked to snap away and admire the view almost as much as I do.
in my packing frenzy before I left, I had not grabbed my Camelbak. luckily the groom's friend had one and offered to share with a "would you like to suck on my hose."
who could pass up such an offer. and his wife was more than willing to share with me. we thought it was very amusing.
the guy passing us did as well. although he didn't know we were speaking of hydration.
I suppose eavesdropping without fully understanding can be even more entertaining.
the trail continued to get more and more slippery. and it began to pour. we decided it was time to turn around, besides we wanted to get a little snorkeling in.
the snorkeling was great. large volcanic rocks covered in algea and coral off Ke'e Beach provide a great place to look at the fish. hopefully the underwater pictures will turn out.
after we left the snorkeling behind, we stopped for a drink and dinner. a friend at the coffee shop near my office had reccommended the Dolphin in Hanalei. very glad I mentioned where I was going before I left. the ahi was incredible.
an incredible dinner with amazing new friends, quite the way to spend my last evening on Kauai.
Monday, October 17, 2005
I wandered around the gardens before our ride to the wedding spot. I admired the flowers and unfamiliar tropical plants. I hurried so as not to miss the ride.
I should have known that it would be on island time. no hurry.
the ride to the location was longer than the guests expected. but the surroundings were beutiful. the botanic gardens covered a large area. trees and flowers. a stream and steep cliffs.
the ceremony itself was incredible. I've been to many weddings. they're always special. but this one was even more so than others.
it was very fitting for the bride and groom. very fitting for the incredible surroundings.
they spoke their own vows. they were perfect.
towards the end of the ceremony, as the blessing was being said. a short rain shower passed through. the wedding was under an enormous tree. the drops didn't bother anyone.
just a refreshing little shower. a blessing from nature. and at the end of the shower. a double rainbow. perfect.
on the way back from the wedding, we paused long enough to glimpse the sunset.
it was quiet. a tram full of people, everyone just enjoying the sunset and reflecting on the incredible ceremony.
most of the wedding guests met the bride and groom on Shipwreck Beach for a bonfire that night. it started as fun and entertaining. but it seemed to me that as the evening wore on, the waves and stars seemed to bring out the romance in everyone else.
Sunday, October 16, 2005
the festival was at the edge of the canyon. since my roomie and our other friend hadn't seen the canyon yet, we continued on to the lookouts after the bride and groom left. we briefly stopped to appreciate the views on the way up.
on my first tour of the canyon, the top was in the clouds. at the far lookout you could see almost nothing.
the day of the festival was clear. when we got to the top, it still was. we decided to walk the small way to the lookout.
you could see the mountain top not far off in the distance. it was shrouded in white before. but that day, one of the wettest spots on earth could be seen beneath the clouds.
it got me to thinking about timing. it really is everything. when I was at the same spot just two days earlier, I could see nothing. the second time around I could see clearly.
and the view was worth the hike. even twice. it was an incredible panorama of the Na Pali coast. the ocean in the distance. the color variations in the water. the clouds casting shadows on land and sea.
earlier my friends had asked if I was sure I didn't mind "wasting" part of my day, going where I'd already been. I assured them I didn't even before I knew what awaited at the end of the trail. even the places I'd seen before looked different on this day. light and perspective change things.
we had to hurry down the canyon. there was a pre-wedding party at Salt Pond Park. it was a beautiful beach park, illuminated by a beautiful sunset upon our arrival.
more introductions. more people becoming fast friends. amazing how easy the conversation flowed.
as the party came to an end, many of us decided we needed to continue it. we chose a beach closer to where we all were staying.
telling stories. listening to the waves crash. watching for shooting stars. I saw one. of course made my wish.
timing. it really is everything. with clouds, shooting stars, and all other things in life. I need to remember that.
Saturday, October 15, 2005
Friday, October 14, 2005
we lounged around on beach towels spread out on the warm sand. introductions and catching up. old friends and new. some reading, some snorkeling. everyone relaxing.
it was ridiculously windy. the sunblock became stick-em for the sand. but I suppose the layer of sand was just an extra layer of sun protection.
the blowing sand started irritating eyes, getting in drinks. the "council of women" decided we should head to the North side. to bathe like queens.
the trip up to our final destination was entertaining. I was in a car with my new married couple friends, my new roomie and another guy friend of the bride's from Colorado.
although we assumed Hawaii has a "no open container law", we were sipping on our POG and rum concoctions a bit on the trip.
some more than others. I was not the some, so I got to laugh at them. particularly when we got to the trail. it was very wet slippery red mud.
everyone was sliding. I seemed to be doing ok. perhaps my spill from the day before had taught me how to walk on the wet stuff.
past the beautiful small waterfalls on the trail and past the spectacular first view of the ocean waves smashing into the volcanic shoreline, there it was.
Queen's Bath. a tidal pool. with occasional waves overtopping the lava rocks forming it, sending small waves into the pool.
the snorkeling was amazing, as the water was extremely clear and shallow, particularly in places. we even talked our slightly scared-of-the-fishes friend into snorkeling.
my making fun of the drunk ones came back to haunt me when climbing back into the pool after a short break. I slipped on the slightly slimy rocks and landed in the exact same spot from the day before.
karma. I made a mental note to be more kind to those that slip in the mud in the future.
the day at the beach and the bath was incredibly fun. we topped it off with a group dinner at another fantastic restaurant, serving, of course, fresh fish. then, exhausted from our frolicking, we all retired to rest up for the next day's adventures.
Thursday, October 13, 2005
I headed to Waimea Canyon. Mark Twain's "Grand Canyon of the Pacific."
it was incredible. even with the misty haze created by the constant rainshowers moving through.
the different layers created by different volcanic eruptions. the beautiful colors. the black patches of the volcanic rock cliffs. the stunning red of the top soil. the lush green of the trees and other plants.
the beautiful Waipo'o Waterfall. it draws me in. captivates me. falling in multiple falls. the water drops 800 feet before it hits the canyon floor.
cutting its way through the hard volcanic rock. through the soft red top soil. slowly creating more of a canyon. patient in its work.
water is amazing. it slowly carved this incredible wonder of nature.
I continued past the trailhead of the hike I planned to take. I had decided to drive up to the other outlooks, then come back and start my hike.
I happened upon a newly formed rainbow at the last quickly accessible lookout.
the view, a spectacular one of the Na Pali Coast. the rainbow seemed to be stretching all the way from the edge of the beautiful mountain to the ocean. more breathtaking beauty.
I wanted more. I decided to walk to the furthest lookout. the road was closed, but there were many people making the trip.
the view from this lookout was not spectacular. the clouds had enveloped the mountain top. and the visibility was very poor.
I quickly returned to the car. started the drive down from one of the wettest spots on earth. anxious to start my hike.
the trail wound through trees unfamiliar to me. flowering trees. lowering vines amidst the branches. it was all so lush. and the rain continued.
there weren't many people on the trail. a little eerie hiking alone. I've never done that before. I've always had TheDog with me at least.
the trail continued over an irrrigation ditch tunneled into the mountain. there are many tunnels throughout the mountains carrying irrigation water from the wet mountain tops to the drier fields of the island.
yes, I found this intriguing. I am a nerd. I've told you that.
the trail came out of the trees and continued along the rim of the canyon. red paths leading hikers along the way. very few improvements exist on these trails. they're natural for the most part. some might say a little dangerous.
eventually I could hear the falls. I hiked down the steep slippery cliff to the first small falls. to the beautiful fresh water pool at the base.
the lush vegetation hiding the oasis. enormous lava rocks fallen about from the cliffs above.
I've seen waterfalls before. even falls in Hawaii. but this little fall captivated me. it was peaceful. there was no one else there. just me.
but there was a subtle nagging feeling. again, I wanted to see more. and I could hear more.
I hiked down another small drop-off. the red dirt was a little slippery. I slipped. I grabbed onto a rock, attempted to wipe the red dirt off, and stood up.
I took a step forward. I found myself standing at the edge of the first part of the large falls. a several hundred foot drop to the next tier. the slip could have been bad. really bad.
but I suppose if you're going to go, falling off a waterfall in paradise wouldn't be a bad way.
I remembered back to the view from the rim on the other side of the canyon. I was standing at the top of the falls you could plainly see from there. I started snapping some photos.
the light was getting incredible. a photographer's dream. brilliant greens and reds popping out of the surrounding volcanic rock.
wait. great light means sunset. and I'm a few miles from the car. on a trail I don't really know. with no light. and there is no one around.
I very carefully hightailed it back up the trail. making certain to not slip again. running a little on the flat portions to make up time. yet still making an effort to enjoy the spectacular view all around.
I made it to the rim of the canyon (and the car) just as the sun set over the ocean.