Tuesday, May 31, 2005
between the ridiculously wet weather, the incredibly long hours at work, my annoying cold/bronchitis, and random little complications attributable to life in general, I've only been able to take it out twice.
right now, as I'm trying to finish up some work before tomorrow morning, as I have to e-mail it off before jury duty, (read: while I'm writing this to procrastinate), it stares at me, just willing me to take it for a little spin...
and TheDog... she's just staring at me with those big pouty eyes, begging to go, too...
ok, enough already, I can't stand it...
we go for a quick spin around the neighborhood, and I realize TheDog didn't so much want to go for a ride, as a walk. so we swing back in a loop, I drop TheDog (tongue hanging out the side of her mouth) off, and head back out for a short ride.
I love the feel of the wind on my face, the smell of the rain on the horizon... then the gentle sprinkling on my nose... but the lungs aren't quite back yet (damn bronchitis), breathing still hurts... and the back still doesn't feel quite right... guess that's my cue to get back home to finish up my work.
but even then, it sits there and mocks me... if I were less of a wimp I would be out riding through the pain. I wouldn't let anything keep me from the pure exhilaration of riding my sleek new toy.
so there it is, still gleaming with newness, almost daring me to get it a little dirty, and I will soon. it may have to wait until this weekend, but I am determined to actually use it for it's intended purpose (and not it's current purpose of holding up the wall)!
a few mishaps* over the past few years kept me from buying one. what's the fun in getting a new ride, if you can't fully appreciate it?
then BikeBoy* came into the picture and made an offer that was too good to refuse... and so, yes, I finally got a new road bike!
I have been wanting one ever since I started training for my first triathlon 3 years ago. Mishaps have kept me from doing another one, but (fingers crossed) I'll complete my second one in July... and I can't wait to race on my sleek new bike!
* I'm sure I'll be back to tell these stories another day...
it's a generic mountain scene...
oh, so, Colorado doesn't have any beautiful real mountain scenes to depict on our state's quarter?
they had narrowed it down to 5 choices, and there where a few real scenes in the running, the Maroon Bells and Pikes Peak... in my opinion both incredibly beautiful and widely recognizable Colorado mountain scenes.
oh, well... the gov did not ask my opinion. (and afterall, it's the same gov that neglected to ask my opinion when he made the green Colorado license plates extinct.)
I suppose it's not that bad.
Monday, May 30, 2005
I hosted the requisite BBQ. good friends, including my past-her-due-date pregnant friend, came over to enjoy the only nice day of the weekend. the food was great. I can say that since most of it was brought by others, even had some tasty jello shots. it was a small crowd, as many of my friends head to the mountains every MDW to camp... last year when I was in the mountains, it snowed. I don't think this year was much warmer, but at least camping season is on.
while sitting around the back yard, we even observed a moment of silence and poured a drink to "whomever we're supposed to remember on Memorial Day." during the discussion, I was a little astonished at how many of very intelligent friends did not know what Memorial Day was about...
apparently Grease is still the word.... my mom, sis and I had the pleasure of seeing Frankie Avalon sing his famous teen angel song, complete with an encore performance after the musical of a few of his other songs. my mom was giddy with excitement. and I must say, Frankie's aged well, and still sounds good.
after the show we enjoyed some incredibly tasty modern mexican food for dinner, and as we lingered over coffee (annoying our waitress), we chatted about my grandparents and other things that reminded us of Memorial Day.
today I joined my friend J at a local street festival, where she talked me into buying a beautiful jade necklace in between dodging the rain showers. we also ran into my still-past-her-due-date pregnant friend and her husband there. she must be so ready to have that kid!
so, as we were leaving the festival, the band at center stage was playing a heartfelt rendition of God Bless America. we stopped to listen, since I'm a saxophone fanatic, and the sax player was truly amazing. the lack of applause after they finished the patriotic song saddened me.
all of this got me thinking about a few things... Memorial Day is to remember those that died in service to our country. some think it's only those that have fallen in wars. my grandma has always interpreted it a little more broadly. she believes it is in remembrance of those who have died because of their service to our country. my grandfather had flat feet, being as they did not allow flat-footed men to join the army, he went to work in the shipyards in California during World War II. this is how he worked in service of his country, to help build the ships that would deliver those that served to the war. his years in the shipyard may have contributed to the cancer that ultimately took his life. this is why my grandmother believes all people who have died because of defending our freedom should be honored and remembered on this Memorial Day.
I tend to agree with my grandmother. and even maybe go a little further, perhaps we should remember all those who have served our country and have now passed away. that's what I choose to do this Memorial Day.
remember all those who have helped to defend our freedom to celebrate, remember, BBQ, camp, head to the beach, and all other activities we are free to do this Memorial Day.
I know some political viewpoints differ greatly from mine, but I believe we can all join in honoring the men and women who serve our country to defend our freedom.
the news tonight showed one lone Memorial Day parade-goer holding a sign that said:
this morning she woke me up with a "whallumph" on my chest. how can you get mad at the cutest little blonde face in the world?
she always greets me with the whole body wag when I come home.
she pouts when I leave the house and even if I'm home and I don't take her for walks or hikes in the evenings or on weekends.
she loves to go on hikes, especially where there may be water nearby. she loves to swim.
she turned 11 years-old last month. sometimes she acts the part of the grumpy old dog, usually only when there are too many people around.
and sometimes she acts like a young pup, like this morning. since my alarm didn't go off to peel me out of bed early, she knew it was still the weekend. so she continued to tigger around with excitement until I sat down in front of the computer to do some work.
being as I usually do fun things when she goes with me, like walk or hike or visit her many doggie cousins, she must think I do that everyday, without her... no wonder she pouts when I leave without her.
right now she's laying at my feet, pouting, looking up on occasion with those eyes just begging me to get over my silly cold (read: bronchitis) and take her for a walk. she thinks on weekends (and holidays, and after work, and in the morning) it's all about her.
well, usually it is... she's a great get-out-of-the-house instigator and she keeps me sane. so, I think it's time for a walk, for as long as I can breathe...
Thursday, May 26, 2005
yes, both in one afternoon. sometimes things happen that way. when it rains it pours...
I had just finished up my (hopefully) last appointment with the spine doctor, a follow-up to the injection I had a few weeks ago. I walk around the corner right into Dr.BlueEyes (literally). I had to go see him for an ankle injury last summer. he is absolutely gorgeous. and nice and funny. (and, well, obviously smart).
during my appointment, he was being very friendly (not inappropriately so, but more friendly and inquisitive than most docs) and if I would have been single at the time, I may have gone for an unneeded follow-up visit, just so I could see him again.
the girls at my physical therapy clinic were encouraging me to make another appointment. (they didn't think NowEx was worthy of my time, if I'd only listened to them earlier.) they even found out some more info about Dr.BlueEyes, being as they are sort of colleagues. he was single, looking, had just moved here, didn't know anyone... etc. they kept coming up with these great "plans" for me to meet him. (perhaps a couple of happily-coupled people trying to create more.)
since at the time I was not single and tend to be outrageously shy around guys that interest me, I did nothing about it.
now, the shy-around-guys-I'm-interested-in part unfortunately hasn't changed, but the other obviously has... so when I ran into Dr.BlueEyes today, I... well... I wimped out. I just smiled at him. he did smile back, but that was it.
and I headed home.
then, as I'm driving home from the doctor's office, stuck in traffic, I glance over at the cute guy in the car next to me. wait, he looks familiar. could it be? well, same kind of car and bike racks on top... hmmm...
being as I'm driving in rush-hour traffic, attempting not to get into an accident, I can't get a great look at him. (how embarrassing would that be, to find out it was indeed MusicFestGuy, when he stopped to recount his version of the accident to the cops?)
so, in between stealing glances at maybe MusicFestGuy, I began remembering everything about the weekend, and how I kept running into him.
my friend J, a couple of the guys from work and I went up to the mountains for the annual two-day music festival. NowEx was supposed to join us, but, as he was occasionally known to do, he bailed and didn't come up that Friday, and was maybe going to meet us the next day. (perhaps NowEx's bailing was the start of my wishful ticketing?)
I was a little annoyed at NowEx and ready to have fun with my friends and Mr. Citron at the local bar. we were all dancing and I remember MusicFestGuy joining us. he was wearing some crazy hat, which J of course borrowed, as she's been known to do. he and his friends bought us a couple of drinks, we danced some more, but as tends to happen at crowded bars on festival weekends, people wander away.
the bar has a great outdoor area in the summer, and we're all outside enjoying the crisp air, when I again bump into him. J was on a mission for another tasty beverage, so we were left to chat. it was so easy to talk to him. he wasn't pretentious like guys I typically meet in a bar, even though he did point out his new set of wheels (how I knew the car today was maybe his).
we talked about jobs and hobbies and music. he actually thought it was interesting that I'm an enginerd, and was excited that I ski/hike/bike/camp/etc. (unlike NowEx, who never wanted to do any of those things with me.) and MusicFestGuy was psyched to see many of the same bands I wanted to see over the next two days.
at this point in the evening I half-realize it has been awhile since I've seen J. I glance around and find her sitting with my friends from work (who are themselves working on a couple of, um, interesting chicks). J's not looking too thrilled with me. so MusicFestGuy and I walk over and try to include her in the conversation for a while. but being it's Friday, she's tired and we decide maybe it's time to head to the condo.
J tries talking my work friends into leaving, while MusicFestGuy and I talk a little more. he asks for my number, I (very unusually) have a card with me, so (even more unusually) I hand it to him.
he then asks if I'm dating anyone. (yes, the order of the questions was weird, the whole night was a little surreal, so at the time it didn't strike me as odd.)
being a horrible liar, I tell him yes, and ask him the same question. he says yes, he's dating someone, started dating her about a month ago. he asks how long mine's been around, and I tell him a year, to which he raises an eyebrow. and I explain how I'm extremely annoyed with him (and why), but yes, I'm still with him. MusicFestGuy asks if I would really want him to call me back down in the city. and I truthfully tell him, yes, grabbing coffee or hiking or something sometime would be fun.
as we're leaving, he gives me a friendly kiss on the cheek, this is when J notices his friends are also HOT. hmmmm... this could mean tomorrow night will be more fun. oh, wait, what's his name is maybe coming up tomorrow. oh, well. if he does, I can still talk to MusicFestGuy as wing-woman, right?
the next day, NowEx calls when he gets to the fest, and I head down to the gate to meet him with his ticket. I've had to leave the festival to do that, so I now have to circle around to get back in.
I hear my name and turn to see MusicFestGuy about 5 feet behind NowEx. I walk over, he hugs me and I say I'll see him inside. (NowEx saw this, and sadly all I could think at the time, was good, maybe he'll be a tad jealous.)
we went to the local bar again that night, NowEx along. we had a bigger group that night, other friends had gotten into town, also, and one of them knew some of MusicFestGuy's friends, but MusicFestGuy wasn't around.
not-surprisingly, NowEx bailed early. (he was supposedly sick, part of the reason he'd waited to come up until Saturday.) and as NowEx was leaving, I see MusicFestGuy. he walks over to talk to me.
more friendly dancing and harmless flirting ensues. and although he asks if he can give me a kiss at the end of the night, I offer up a cheek, instead. he offers up their condo for all of us to continue the party in. but as J and I get to their condo door, I'm feeling a little bad about NowEx, she decides she's tired and we head on back.
I see MusicFestGuy one last time the last day. he says he'll call so we can grab that coffee sometime. and that was it.
today, as I glanced over at his car one last time, I've convinced myself that it's him, he's exiting at his exit after all. wait, is he smiling back at me? I can't really tell.
but it makes me wonder a little why he didn't call. was it:
because I had a boyfriend and he was dating someone? (understandable)
because he lost or washed my card? (understandable, but unfortunate)
because he wasn't really all that interested? (utterly unbelievable)
I suppose I'll never know.
well, perhaps my second chances of today will become third chances someday...
Wednesday, May 25, 2005
my friend A and I had gone to a show. (if you're into music and want the details, they're at the end of the post.) between the opener and the headliner, A and I were talking to a couple of guys. and after we'd been talking for a little while, one of them asked the unavoidable question...
so, what do you do?
I replied with something about working for an engineering consulting firm. and as the The Look immediately crossed their faces, A quickly interjected, oh, we just answer the phones and stuff, we aren't engineers. after this the four of us continued talking for a while...
the outspoken one was obnoxious, and the cuter one was ridiculously shy. outspoken and obnoxious wouldn't let cute and shy get a word in, so there was little chance there, but their reaction to my answer reminded me of so many similar introductions.
so, the question is, why do I almost always get The Look when I tell a guy I've just met that I'm an engineer?
I've actually had guys I'd been talking to for a while, conversation flowing along nicely, question gets asked, they find I'm an enginerd, and then literally turn around and walk off!
I can think of a few reasons for The Look and other not-so-great receptions to my chosen career path:
a) perhaps it's the stereotypical engineer thing, and guys don't want to hang out with someone they assume to be a socially inept nerd?
b) or perhaps it's that guys are afraid a woman engineer might be smarter than they are?
c) or that since the woman engineer is actually out on the town, exhibiting not-so-inept social skills, embracing life's fabulousness, that she might be too much for some guys to handle?
I have a feeling that all of the above are true for different guys.
in light of that, I've been considering changing my career.
no, not actually finding a new job, I actually like mine for the most part.
a new job, one that's a bit whacky, simply to tell guys in jest when I first meet them.
it would be something obviously not true, but would let the conversation continue to the point that we can find out if there may be common interests, etc.
maybe let the guy figure out that I'm not socially inept before he finds out I am an engineer. then if b) or c) is true, well, that will still become apparent, and if it continues to bother said guy, I can do the walking away.
so, imaginary internet friends, what should my new career path be?
a) professional pillow fluffer
c) ostrich trainer
d) underwater glass blower
e) cranium question creator
f) trapeze artist
h) any other great ideas??
maybe I'll just rotate them...
or maybe telling them I'm an enginerd up front is a good test of whether a guy is comfortable around smart, sassy women... and that's a good start.
headliner: Glen Phillips, who played with a band for most of the show. and although he's amazing when it's just him and his guitar, it was even more amazing and a bit nostalgic to see him play with accompaniment for many of the old Toad songs!
opener: Blue Merle, who, although I enjoy their music, really need to work on their stage presence.
Tuesday, May 24, 2005
and as everyone knows, the movie that best asked that question answered it with a resounding no.
but what if there is no attraction on the part of either party... can they be just friends then? or if they're both in relationships?
being the girl that has always had guys for friends (my three best friends from high school, one of my best friends from college, and several current great friends are all guys), I do truly believe that guys and girls can be just friends...
there may have been some non-platonic attraction at some point during the friendship on the part of one or both of the parties... for instance I thought my good friend M (who is now married to an amazing woman with two beautiful daughters) was the absolute cutest boy in the world when I was in about 3rd grade.
I also was originally interested in dating another good friend... but he had a girlfriend at the time. later I found out he, too, was interested in dating me... but the timing gods were probably just looking out for us. we were definitely meant to be only great friends.
and what of those attractions that do go beyond "just friends" at some point?
I've been through a few of those... and some of those guys are still my best friends. one was a few amazing non-dates with a very good friend, that luckily is still my very good friend. another was a random college make-out session with a guy I only knew through a friend who turned into a great friend. but, maybe I just got lucky in those cases, I think once a friendship crosses the strictly platonic line, things can get weird...
I've been there, done that, too.
in fact a couple of those were recently... for whatever inexplicable reason, a couple of my friends have become not-so-platonic this year. one was definitely an aided-by-too-much-vodka evening. after a night out with a group of friends, my friend OhThoseEyes ended up crashing on my couch... after we kissed for a long time in the kitchen.
OhThoseEyes was someone I would have considered dating (if you couldn't tell by the nickname), and I'd heard through mutual friends that he had been interested while I was with my ex (the guy behind the little reminder).
but after the drunken event, OhThoseEyes acted very junior high. a little while after the "incident" I talked to him and gave him what I imagined to be a very non-scary opening if he was interested in seeing where things could go. but after that we didn't talk much for a few months. when we did hang out with mutual friends, he'd either be obnoxious towards me or not say anything.
lately things have been a little more normal. luckily my friendship with him seems to be close to getting back to the way it was. I (in my mind) think I was totally laid back about the entire thing, and knew it was his problem if one drunken night would completely ruin our friendship. so either OhThoseEyes realized the situation had become ridiculous or he realized I wasn't sitting home pining for him, and things appear to be getting closer to the way they were. I guess time will tell on that one...
the other one (AdorableSmile) is the best friend of my guy friend FrighteninglyBrilliant (just remembered there's a story there, too... hmmm...)
anyway, the situation with AdorableSmile is still rather complicated... one problem is that there was definitely an attraction when we first met. despite that, and because he lives in another state, is one of the biggest players I know, and because of a few other reasons, we'd become fairly good friends over the past few years.
well, FrighteninglyBrilliant got married a little while ago... and although the ex was originally going to go with me, by the time the wedding rolled around, he'd been gone awhile, so I headed for the destination wedding solo. when AdorableSmile got into town, it was apparent he was flying solo for the wedding, also.
AdorableSmile and I hung out, shamelessly flirting with one another (which was no different from before, except, for once, we were both single) and we ended up going beyond the platonic line... with a little help from another couple who is one of those happily-coupled-think-everyone-else-should-be-coupled* couples.
to give you a little idea... this is along the lines of a conversation I had with my friend AssertiveWoman (of course, after drinking excessive amounts of vodka):
AW: AdorableSmile is really cute, and he seems to be into you!um, yeah, it could... but... wait, was she only pushing this since I was so obviously the 3rd wheel in their condo, or did she really think I needed to have some fun... well, either way, she kept inviting AdorableSmile to join us in just about everything we did for the rest of the week.
me: yes, but he's, well, the biggest player I've ever met.
AW: well, you could be the one to change him, FrighteninglyBrilliant did say that AdorableSmile wanted to find what FB had found in his soon-to-be wife.
me: right, I have NO delusions there.
AW: well, at least it could be a little fun vacation fling?!
and one night on the way to the beach, AdorableSmile says to me... why do you have to think so much, why can't you just have fun?
and so I did... for the remainder of the trip...
but now things are very weird... and I know, what could that really matter given he doesn't even live in the same state, I knew he was a player, etc. and yes he's acting weird about it, and honestly the whole thing doesn't bother me, except that it appears my friend FB is upset with me, or disappointed in me... or something. and that's what breaks my heart. sure, I hope AdorableSmile and I remain friends, but if my friendship with FB is tarnished by having a little fun at his wedding, it definitely wasn't worth it...
and maybe that's really the key question. is it worth it to possibly permanently alter a friendship for the sake of a potential fling or relationship?
I think in some cases it is, to see if there's something amazing there, beyond the friendship. (the most amazing relationships I've ever had have been with friends, whether we started the non-platonic part as friends, or ended it as friends, or both.)
but in other cases it's best to let the brief moment (or week) of vodka-induced bad judgement pass, keeping the friendship intact. I don't regret anything I've written about above, well, unless my friendship with FB is forever altered, then I will definitely regret not thinking through to the outcome and just having fun.
I suppose I need to find out if FB is uncomfortable or disapproving or whatever, and make sure everything is ok with our friendship, but I'm not good at bringing up those things with guy friends... guess it's time to get better about it!
after reading this over, I realized that I may sound a bit, um,
* if you want to read a story about some other happily-coupled attempts at similar couplings... read this.
Sunday, May 22, 2005
when we first got there it appeared to be your typical backyard bbq, with eats and drinks and ice... at closer inspection, maybe not so typical... there was an over-abundance of ice...
in the middle of the backyard was a giant block of ice tilted up at one end. the host's name was carved into one side. on top were several curved lines, carefully carved into the block of ice, (the guys, of course, using power tools to create these lines).
this is the shot luge.
my friend A had mentioned the shot luge, but I didn't really think about it or ask what she was talking about... now it became clear.
one guy is on the uphill end of the block of ice, pouring the shots down the slides. and the lucky shot recipient bends over at the waist (some crouch) on the downhill side with their mouth on the ice to receive the shot. and of course, being in Colorado, there was a plastic skier to race the shot down the shot luge. (where is my camera when these things happen?)
even though I decided to resist the shot luge (of course, not because I was above taking shots off a block of ice, but solely to keep my cold to myself), A took her turn, after which we stood and watched a few others. as we watched, we'd been talking with A's fiance and Tall Guy, when A and fiance wandered off. (I found out later, to give Tall Guy and me a little time to chat).
excellent... Tall Guy is cute, seems nice, and is, well, tall. so we talk for a little while about kayaking and skiing and other randomly interesting things. the conversation seems to be flowing pretty well when Tall Guy pulls out his cell phone, dials, and proceeds to talk to someone...
feeling rather ridiculous, I half wave at him and start to walk off, to hear Tall Guy say, "it was really nice to meet you."
I smile back at him (to be polite) but don't say anything (also to be polite, given he is in the middle of a phone conversation).
I wander around and find A on the stairs of the porch with a few of the girls. of course A asks what happened. so I tell her.
we all decide that no, it wasn't me. Tall Guy needs an etiquette lesson. it would have been one thing if his phone had rung, he had indicated he needed to take the call and then answered... or if he had said something to the effect of excuse me I have to make a call, before dialing... but come on, is a little courtesy that much to ask?
well, we sit on the stairs watching one of the guys other random games of the evening... a version of kindergarten toss-across. they have two boards with holes in them set up about 30 feet apart, and are taking turns throwing duct-taped corn bags (apparently the new thirty-something bean bag) at the board opposite. the guys are very animated while playing, jumping up when they score and talking trash to their opponent.
having had our fill of duct-taped corn-bag toss-across, we head inside to join the bathroom line, then decide to detour to the basement bathroom, even though the door doesn't close (some guy broke it down during one of the previous parties).
when it's just A and I downstairs, she apologizes to me. she says she's sorry she didn't even think about Mr Impatient maybe being at the party.
I say it's not a big deal, it's not as if we dated or anything. we'd seen him when we first got to the party, and he'd said hello, although quite honestly, it took me a minute to remember exactly who he was... and it wasn't a big deal, really... well until I ran into him later.
I'm out by the garage where the third random game (drinking ping pong) is going on when Mr Impatient walks up and starts talking to me. (perhaps now is a good time to fill in a little background information... )
[background story... feel free to skip right over if you know it]
Mr Impatient was one of the first guys I met from this group of A and fiance's friends. we'd been out drinking and Mr Impatient made a little bet with me... if I won, he'd make me dinner, and if I lost he'd take me to dinner... not a bad bet from my perspective.
so after about a month of many phone calls, him constantly telling me he wants to get together for dinner, but never actually having dinner together, we both ended up out at this bar these guys apparently frequent.
he knew I was going with A and fiance to a show that night, so when he saw me there he came up and said something along the lines of hey, what are you doing here, thought you were going to the show.
um, ok... I explained to him that A and fiance had wanted to grab dinner there. so Mr Impatient and I chat a little, and when it's time to leave for the show. Mr Impatient says they may end up there. and they do. but A and I are close to the stage dancing, and Mr Impatient, despite being so anxious to hang out on the phone, appears to be playing it cool in front of his buddies.
even so, when he leaves to go to another bar, he tries to get me to join him, but the show wasn't over and we wanted to stay, so he said he'd call me and we'd grab that dinner... well, he never did... and we never did. (and, yes, I could have called him, but I'm a firm believer in people doing as they say they will, if I'd told him I'd call, I would... again, just a little courtesy.)
[end of background story]
back by the garage, Mr Impatient is going on about how busy he's been. he's tired of his job, he's ready to quit after the summer. he offers up, in what I assume to be some semblance of a "sorry I didn't call" excuse, that he's been on a ridiculous number of business trips, he's only in town about half of every month, and etc. etc.
he's apparently leaving on a long multi-country business trip for most of the summer, which is why he's not quitting until after the summer.
after describing his upcoming trip, he suggests that we should hang out when he gets back this fall. he'll give me a call.
excellent, I think I'll just sit and wait by the phone for that call...
oh, the dumb things guys do on a Saturday night.
Thursday, May 19, 2005
it happens to me in relationships, I tend to know when things are close to ending before they do.
I miss my grandma already, but she's here.
she's the most amazing woman I have ever known.
my grandfather passed away when I was 3, and I remember him like it was yesterday. he was so caring and incredibly tall (or was it just that I was incredibly small). I think she's missed him every day since he's been gone. but she's always been very courageous and strong. and would never let anyone know that she's missed him so much.
for the past 5 years I've driven with her back and forth between her warm weather house and her house here, near her family in Colorado. and on our 13 hour road trips I've come to know some funny, sad and entertaining things about my grandparents that I would probably never have known otherwise. .. such as, my grandfather swept my already-engaged-to-another-man grandma off her feet!
our trips also made me feel special, as she would never let anyone but me drive with her. my siblings, cousin, aunt and mom all tried to give me a break in the past. but she would always insist to everyone that she was perfectly capable of driving herself... except to me.
it could be because I used to drive the same insane length of road trips solo between college and home.
it could be because I share a few of her traits. (I'm sometimes courageous and strong, but always rather stubborn. so, I'd just give her a call and ask when we were going on our next road trip adventure, and she'd simply tell me the date, knowing full well that I would not be talked out of it.)
but I mostly want to believe its because I am ever-so-slightly her favorite.
for several reasons, this spring my mom made the trip with her. and they made the trip without any problems. she's even adjusting to the altitude change better than this time last year. so I should be ecstatic.
but somehow I'm sad, I miss her already.
I missed driving with her this year, I miss her stubbornness at only letting me drive her, and I miss the feeling of specialness she imparted on me with that decision, whether intended or not.
and I'm scared of really losing her, too. she turns 90 this summer. she's as sharp as I ever remember her being. she's survived the Great Depression and breast cancer and raising two wonderful and different women with grace and beauty. but I worry that plain old everyday life may be getting to her, slowly eroding her strength and courage.
so I called her tonight. I talked to her and told her that I missed driving her this time. she told me I was sweet and she loved me very much.
I told her I loved her, too. that I am looking forward to driving her this fall. she said that sounded good.
and as I hung up the phone I realized that it's silly to miss someone before they're gone. what's important is celebrating every minute we get to spend with the people we love, doing the things we love... and telling them we love them.
and I intend to begin my celebration tonight!
Wednesday, May 18, 2005
but, being it was our last night there, and after DinnerInterloper* had given us false hope that we could just waltz right in, past the line, no cover paid, right into the club he owned part of ...
we decided we didn't want to pay a cover for under an hour of club or bar time, and we'd try our luck a bit.
it was, of course, freezing in the casino. I ran upstairs to grab my jacket and met the girls back downstairs.
two were playing, so I joined them... they'd both been playing since I left. neither one was up any cash...
we all kept playing for a little while, then one was out... then the other...
one friend looked as tired as I felt, and the other told me to keep on playing, they'd wait.
making a quick assessment, and being I'd actually already won more than 6 times what I began playing with, I decided to do the wise thing, and free them of their tired misery.
I took my slip of paper out of the video poker game, cashed it in for my winnings, and headed upstairs...
I don't normally consider myself to be lucky, in fact I usually tend to have pretty unfortunate luck... but that night (despite still feeling a little bad about the previous night) I felt a little lucky, afterall, I was a winner... so proud to have won all of $13 from my $2 cash outlay...
*again, another story for another day...
Monday, May 16, 2005
while eating our drunk food that night, my friends, who were hanging out at the bar as I hopped over, told me that they witnessed the whole incident. and this is what they saw, as if it were in slow motion...
I was just swaying with and kissing CuteBoy when the couple next to us lost all sense of balance and toppled over straight into my knees, basically clipping me.
and since I was sorta attached to CuteBoy at the time, he started to fall over, too. and, as the bar floor was disgusting, CuteBoy reached down and used my head to keep himself from landing on the floor.
after CuteBoy helped me up, they said he got a strange look on his face (my guess here is that he saw the tears streaming down my face and thought that in hitting my head to keep himself upright he may have hurt me).
at this point I made a quick beeline to my friends at the bar, leaving CuteBoy kinda oddly staring at me while I'm hopping away...
so, when my friend A said you should keep dancing with him, he's really cute! she wasn't aware that I was actually in pain, she thought I'd gotten annoyed he'd used me to steady his balance while I was laying on the floor.
my friend A was also encouraging me to have fun, since she knows me to be uncharacteristically shy around guys I think have potential, even if it is just for drunken bar dancing.
so, when my friends were leaving they gave me the "are you sure you should be making the decision to stay with a random guy you just met when all your friends are leaving the bar??" look, and the last shred of sobriety in me knew that I needed to go with them... and after kissing CuteBoy goodnight, I followed...
[fast forward to the next morning]
so as we're scraping ourselves out of bed the next morning I find out that our other friend (who'd been dancing with CuteBoy's friend) had found out a few pieces of information from Friend:
1) CuteBoy's name*
2) where CuteBoy was from*
3) CuteBoy and friends were in Vegas for a bachelor party... CuteBoy's
I'm sorry, what???
yes, you're probably asking what kind of girl:
1) doesn't know the name of the guy she's kissing
2) or where he's from
3) or kisses a guy that's getting married... next weekend!
now I know it's no big thing, I'm sure guys go to Vegas for their bachelor parties and kiss drunk girls all the time (and worse)... but I really am not the kind of girl that would have kissed him if I'd known he was engaged...
and no I didn't ask, and yes, I guess maybe I should have. but maybe he should have divulged that information?
why, why do I always attract the attached guys**??
* protecting the names of the innocent and not-so-innocent
** I had thought it was some subconscious thing on my part that I was able to flirt more easily with attached guys, since I knew it was harmless... but now I wonder if it's not just that?
but they were on a bike built for three... Dad, then Sister, then Little Brother... what a great way to get taken to school!
(and no, I was not hallucinating this due to Vegas shot residual)
Sunday, May 15, 2005
[narrator's voice] This is one of those stories.
so, the girls and I were dancing at TheBar...
TheBar seems to have quite a few more male patrons than female ones, so, we're surrounded by guys. two of which have been dancing with us for quite some time. one friend is dancing with one of them. the other, who we'll call CuteBoy is dancing with all of us.
then, being one of the few no-ring-on-left-ring-finger ones in the bunch, CuteBoy walks up to me and asks (after hitting on at least one of my married friends and another engaged one):
are you married or engaged?
[CuteBoy turns on the charm]
really? I find it hard to believe, the most beautiful girl in the bar is single.
yeah, that's me, the most beautiful girl in the bar, that's why you're hitting on me after you found out my friends were ring-on-left-ring-finger ones. oh, who cares... when in Vegas, do as the... wait that's not the right city...
[me turning on all my I-drank-way-too-much-at-cheesy-naked-man-show charm]
well, isn't it your lucky night, then.
oh, wow, that sounded a bit on the slutty, scratch that, skanky-ho side
well, then come over here and dance with me.
[me coyly smiling] sure [me stumbling a bit, but CuteBoy appears equally not-sober, and doesn't really seem to notice]
from here it gets a bit more hazy... we dance, CuteBoy has another friend deliver both of us drinks.
we're still dancing, maybe a little random drunken pda that would do a junior high dance proud.
then all of a sudden I'm on the floor... and there is this incredible pain in my knee.
[whistle blows] CLIPPING!
I look around, none of my friends appear to be near, CuteBoy helps me up. I cannot stand on my one leg without the pain cutting sharply through my drunkenness.
I spot two of my friends, hop over to the bar where they're standing... they appear to have seen the whole thing... and the first thing my friend A says is, you should keep dancing with him, he's really cute!
granted, it's A's bachelorette weekend, and she's way more drunk than I am (if that's really possible), but by this point I've realized tears are streaming down my cheeks... apparently, although I cannot fully feel my body, the knee still hurts enough to create tears without my knowledge.
[me... asking bartender for a napkin] ok, but I need to wipe my eyes first.
[me to CuteBoy hopping back onto dance floor] thanks for picking me up.
[CuteBoy grins] sure.
so we continue dancing (well, I'm hopping, he's dancing) and perhaps a little drunken pda-ing until my friends tell me that we're leaving and drag me with them.
we grab some alcohol-absorbing pizza, sit down, and I get to hear my friends' version of what happened in TheBar...
...however, my iif, the observers' side of the story will have to wait until part ii, as my slightly-still-hungover self needs to get some sleep!
Thursday, May 12, 2005
I had been very ineffectively trying to crank out a few last things at work before leaving for Vegas* tomorrow. but it was getting really late, and I have to get home to feed TheDog. poor thing's been stuck at home alone since I left early this morning. I pack up my things, grab my latest caffeine fix and head to the elevator.
I'm heading down, when the crazy machine lurches, spilling caffeine #3 all over me... elevator comes to a stop, and the gorgeous guy who works a few floors below steps in... you're kidding me, right? there's probably two people left in the entire building, and we end up leaving at the same time... what luck! oh wait, I'm drenched in coffee... of course I am...
he looks me over and says: rough day?
no sherlock, it's been an excellent day, that's why I'm heading down the elevator after 9pm, with coffee covering most of my shirt and half my skirt.
yeah, been a long one.
I am so witty sometimes it kills me.
so as we ride in uncomfortable silence down a few more floors I desperately try to think of something remotely interesting or humorous to say... nothing...
guy: well, have a better night.
thanks, have a good one.
so witty, oh, yeah, no wonder they're banging down my door...
* I am sure to come back with crazy stories... we'll see if what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas!
the pile of work I'm supposed to finish before I leave is growing out of control... why is it that somehow taking one single day off creates more work for you to do than you could possibly have accomplished in that one day?
it's not like I won't be back Monday. I'm sure my clients will not even notice that I'm gone a day, yet TheBoss seems to think that all of my projects need to be finished before I leave...
hmmmmm.... maybe I should be wondering if I'll have a job when I get back? no, I will, they could never find the important stuff for all the clutter on my desk...
ah, job security solely based on disorganization...
Wednesday, May 11, 2005
Tuesday, May 10, 2005
doc: let me know if this hurts.
now why in the world would sticking that 12 inch needle in my back, just to the right of my spine hurt?
nurse: (seeing the look on my face) it will only hurt for a few minutes, then it will all be over.
now what’s a few more minutes when it’s been a year and 5 days, but who’s counting…
and what’s a few more minutes when, for the last 45, the hot doc, the creepy janitor, and the rest of the hospital have continuously been walking by and looking in while my bare ass has been peeking out between the hospital gown and the sheet (which is now only covering my thighs) as I’m face down with only my feet and calves still actually inside the mri machine.
oh, that really hurts, the last time they did this it didn’t hurt as much and it was quicker, right?
doc: ok, you’re all done.
nurse: (helping me up) you should feel better in a day or so.
yes I will, and the pain will be completely gone this time. that’s what the doc hopes…
and that’s what I have to believe. enough pain and chaos.
I am all done. I'll feel better.
what in the blog-world is wishful ticketing, you may ask?
well, it starts with the fact that I love to go listen to live music. all kinds of music.
I even went to a strange beach restaurant (I live in Colorado... there are no beaches, just wishful decorating) in some far away town to listen to some guy play his guitar and sing along last weekend. why? some friends are considering hiring him to play at their wedding, but my friend says to me, want to go check out some live music... my answer without inquiring further was SURE! now he was very talented and it was fun, but it goes to show my irrational enthusiasm for live music... but, I digress...
part of the problem is that for many of the shows that I want to go see I just assume that one of my friends will be dying to go to the concert with me... sometimes this is the case and other times it is not.
this problem is compounded by the fact that I also have various friends that initially say, yes, please get me a ticket to show X, then bail... and yes, they usually have good reasons, but sometimes they're a little lame.
so, it comes to a week or so before a show, and I have anywhere between one and six extra tickets, and I send out an e-mail to friends to see who wants to go. I usually get a few takers, and I have one friend that's almost always up for going to any show with me...
she asked me recently why I always have two tickets?
well, I say in a hushed tone, I got it in case.
in case of what?
in case I found the guy.
the guy that enjoys going to see live music as much as I do and would be incredibly crushed if he couldn't join me at this particular show.
you see, it's wishful ticketing...
and yes, some day I may meet that guy, unfortunately for now, the guys I've been dating have different musical tastes than I do, which leaves me with an extra... anyone want to go to a show?
Monday, May 09, 2005
do they not see the adventure in the bar scene, and internet dating, and the set-up?
oh, actually they do see the adventure in the set-up...
they, in their coupled delusions, seem to think that just because their friend xy is not-coupled and their other friend xx is not-coupled, the two must have something profound in common and they must set them up... even if it's a non-date.
news flash to the happily coupled... some of us enjoy not being half of something for some period of time.
def. non-date : when coupled friends set not-coupled friends up, however the not-coupled friends have no idea what's going on.
def. some period of time : unique to each not-coupled individual, and ends abruptly whenever happily coupled people actually have a gorgeous, intelligent, interesting friend that would be fun to hang out with.this clarification for my dear, happily-coupled friends, that although I know to be well-meaning, seem to think I don't know what I'm talking about when I say either:
a) I'm happy being not-coupled.
read: not interested in their only other not-coupled friend (so very not-coupled for a reason)
b) I think your not-coupled friend is interesting.
read: I think he's interesting/hot/intelligent, and wouldn't mind hanging out again.
I'm glad you're happily coupled, but keep your coupledom to yourself until I tell you oh-so-subtly otherwise!
Sunday, May 08, 2005
that crazy fox!
oh, wait, what's that?
little kits, clambering, biting, rolling and playing by the side of the road, just where the fox had been before her mad dash.
mom was just running a little interference for her little ones... courageous little fox...
happy mothers day, beautiful fox!
... thanks for sharing today's story, dad! and happy mothers day, mom! I love you, both!
Saturday, May 07, 2005
* imaginary internet friend (iif)- great phrase I originally thought I came up with myself, but in actuality may have "borrowed" from an iif who is absolutely hilarious... she just walks around with it... hope she doesn't mindso, back the the story... there I was, just innocently walking my dog when you drove by... well, maybe it wasn't you, but it sure looked like your car, same color, same roof-rack, but I guess I've been wrong, what... maybe once before?
I mean, what could possibly bring you to my neighborhood? you don't live anywhere near me, my house is not even in the same city as your job... maybe you're just checking to see if I'm alive? how kind, how considerate... ok, that can't possibly be your reason.
well, maybe it is... I guess I wondered for a few days if you were alive... afterall, we had a great time for well over a year before you just disappeared... I thought, of course, you must be stuck somewhere without a phone... otherwise there's no way someone so sincere and honest as you could possibly be so inconsiderate as to not even call me back... maybe you were abducted by little green men, or marooned on a desert island, or maybe just hiding out in the basement... but none of those are the case, are they? did you just decide that I didn't deserve to know why?
so if that was you driving by, did you think a little reminder was necessary?
are you concerned that I might be missing you, might be over you, might have forgotten all about you?
well, missing you? not a chance after you bailed so abruptly, no explanation, not even the li(n)e "it's me, not you."
forgotten about you? well, I was almost there...
but then the random little reminder of the drive by... the best part of this little reminder is that I know I am much better off without you. did you know that despite the whacky things I started to believe when I was with you, there are actually guys out there that aren't worried I might bail if I meet their friends, guys that are sincere, tell the truth, and that I don't have to make excuses for.
so little reminder, I'd like to say thank you, that was actually a very good thing you helped me realize... I truly don't care about you anymore and I don't care about the why... and I'll forget soon...
wait, I'm sorry, what was your name again?
Friday, May 06, 2005
when people mentioned blogs, I used to think writing random stories to imaginary friends was a little crazy... then I got to thinking a little more about it... what about my e-mails to friends that live thousands of miles away, how is that different, except that I know they will appreciate my sense of humor and (at least pretend to) support and encourage me in my mishaps and illogical adventures.
the one problem with that logic is that they are my friends and they do support me and I probably slant my stories because I know how they might react, so what better place for my random musings than a blog? really who reads these except people who are bored at work and looking for ways to procrastinate [like me]?
maybe since there are people like me that occasionally read these, there are people like me that will appreciate the random stories I have to tell, maybe even enjoy them?
maybe there are people that can help make sense of the randomness, or just laugh at it with me?
so if you care to comment, please do, I love to read what other people have to say about the random things that make up this thing we call life!
why is it that the stupid little things remind us of the big things in our pasts?
Wednesday, May 04, 2005
Tuesday, May 03, 2005
by Robert Frost
TWO roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;
Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,
And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.