brief snapshots in time. memories and thoughts. disorganized and random.

Friday, July 29, 2005

timing of changes

after sitting with a few other friends under the stars enjoying a humorous animated film starring a few ogres a donkey and a cat*, my friend S and I got to chatting about life, timing and changes.

somehow we both got past the age of 30 with only our houses and careers to show for it. well, that is, in the "life milestone" idea of what's important.

neither of us have a serious boyfriend. both of us have had some serious health problems recently. and despite all of that, or because of it, we both like our lives just the way they are, well, usually.

I had finally gotten over to a friends' house earlier that evening to meet her 10-month old daughter for the first time. (I'm a terrible friend.) she was planning to spend some quality time with her nephews soon. we were considering a road trip to visit several other friends and their new family additions.

we got to talking the amount of time that we spend celebrating and helping with others' milestone events. showers and weddings and engagement parties and bachelorette craziness.

we wonder if there's really something we're missing? it's not as if our friends' had kids young, and most of them didn't get married until at least a few years after college. yet neither of us feels like we are ready to get hitched or have kids just yet.

sure, we'd both like to find a nice, fun guy to hang out with. but neither of us is ready to give up hoping to find the guy to laugh and play with and love for a lifetime just to find anywho to marry and have some kids.

sure, someday I want all that with the right person. (I won't speak for S, here.) even maybe someday somewhat soon. but I'm happy with my life the way it is. I love my weeks being a whirlwind of activities. some of them are centered around others, but all are things I choose to do.

I am happiest celebrating with my friends, whether it be their new baby or my promotion at work. and those rare times when I do wonder what if? or get a little envious of their lives I think back to conversations I've had with friends who've done the milestone thing. the ones that remind me that the grass is simply a different shade of green.

maybe it's just not time for the milestone things right now for S or me. maybe it will be someday, maybe it won't. but it's nice to know I'm not the only one that sometimes questions the timing of life changes.

* yep, Shrek 2 - us single girls sure know how to get wild and crazy on a Thursday night!

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

life gets in the way

sometimes life gets in the way of, well, life.

sometimes work and doctors' appointments and other obligations cut into play time. sometimes play time insists it get a small billing despite the "important" stuff that takes center stage.

sometimes life just gets in the way of itself.

a routine visit turns out to be much more of an ordeal than anticipated. it turns out to be nothing too bad, just time, worrying and money not planned on.

a nearly finished project gets sidetracked at the last minute creating much more work. it'll get finished eventually, just more time, more effort.

a promise made long ago needs to be fulfilled during the busiest of busy weeks. and there is no wiggle room with this one.

a college friend visiting, a couple of wedding showers, a concert and video taping, a musical and dinner, a wine tasting and pottery class all insist on sharing the spotlight on center stage.

at least I know one thing I can procrastinate. sleep can wait in the wings for another week.

and so it goes. at least life keeps life interesting. I'd prefer being too busy to being bored.

perhaps I should be careful what I wish for.

Monday, July 25, 2005

red flag

the little red flag goes up. the waiter stops by, brings you back what you need.what you think you can't live without. it's the same red flag I remember from my childhood. with its same sense of urgency.

we used to go with my family and for friends' birthday parties. sometimes we'd go after riding the old, rickety wooden Twister or Wildcat at Elitch's. perhaps even a Colorado kid's rite of passage. Kyle (of South Park fame) even gets to take friends for his birthday party.

the pink tower facade looks the same as I remember. the sign over the door reads Casa Bonita. the wooden doors at the entrance and the line to order, winding through the mexican village facade do too.

you're kidding, right? I inquired of my friend when she said that was our Friday happy hour destination. a bunch of adults heading for an enormous restaurant that has very untasty food and caters to kids seemed ridiculous to me. it wasn't my call, or hers. we went despite my best attempt at dissuasion.

as we walked around, childhood memories came flooding back. running through the cave with my brothers and sister. playing in the jail with my bestest friends. the same friends that would decide a few short years later that my clothes were no longer "cool" enough for them.

Ignacio the dragon hasn't aged a day in 20 years. he looks good. he still guards Black Bart's pirate booty. and the scary cave, like the picture in my mind, is cheesy, yet entertaining, but perhaps a little more claustrophobic than that picture.

the cliff divers now seem small, and young. the cliff and lagoon seem shrunken. even the mexican village seems tiny. the skee ball machines seem unnaturally low to the ground. miniatures of my memories. perhaps that's what happens when a 12-year-old's memories are dredged up years later.

what used to seem larger than life is really rather inconsequential.

I wonder if what now seems important enough to raise a red flag will seem similarly inconsequential in another two decades? will my concerns about advancing my career and finding an amazing guy seem as unimportant in the future as needing another sopapilla does now?

I don't know, but for now, I'll put the red flag down, enjoy my friends' company and try to find some pirate's booty. maybe a glowing necklace will distract Ignacio.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

it's a book thing

I know, I know. I'm not the biggest fan of the guilt-inducing tag, but I sincerely want to thank 28goingon40 for this one. I was sort of dreading getting it, because I haven't had much time to read lately. but I loved answering the last question!

How many books do you own?

I have no idea as most of my books are packed in boxes in my basement after a little house flood. they are still awaiting new bookshelves, but guessing probably a hundred or so.

What is the last book you bought?

I haven't bought a book for myself in I can't even tell you how long. I often get them as gifts or loans (permanent or temporary) from friends. part of that is I never know what to buy. I need a book guru to tell me the books I'd want to read.

What is the last book you read?
I'm currently reading The Life of Pi, by Yann Martel. Been a while since I'd read anything else of mention.

What's the one book that you can't wait to read?
Angels and Demons, by Dan Brown. I really enjoyed the da Vinci Code, and have heard A&D is even better. I've got the hardcover, I just have been too busy to read at home and hate carting around the hardcovers. (Also for you da Vinci Code fans, you should read The Genesis Code, by John Case)

What 5 books are most important to you?

I have to pick just 5?

Jonathon Livingston Seagull, by Richard Bach - read it in high school and it was an inspiration to me. I'd always been the good, quiet kid, and never drew attention to myself or pushed too hard for what I wanted. I think reading this started to crack my shell a little. (I also love Bach's Illusions and One)

The Catcher in the Rye, by J. D. Salinger - think my love of this book had a lot to do with the way Holden interacts with his sister. how I wished my brothers would have acted toward me when I read it. they are protective and loving now, and probably were then, but just didn't let me see or know it.

To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee - always thought it was fantastically written. an inspiration to look beyond simple appearances to what is in people's hearts.

All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten, by Robert Fulgham - I love, LOVE his collection of short stories and life lessons. actually may be what has most shaped the way I write. (I also like his other collections, in particular True Love, where he shares love stories of all kinds from readers and others. guess it speaks to the hopeless romantic lurking within me.)

my unabridged collection of Robert Frost poems - another pivotal bit of reading for me, as I love many of his poems, two favorites being "The Road Not Taken" very poignant at times regarding life choices and "Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening" as most days I feel as if I have miles to go before I sleep.

and now I'm supposed to tag 3 more people, but I don't think that anyone who reads here regularly hasn't already done this one. so if you want to answer, feel free, I'll even properly tag you if you want. it's really not so bad, once I got around to it.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

how about it?

the wind blew through my hair. the air was no longer hot, but still comfortably warm. the nearly full moon was peeking out from behind a lone scattered cloud.

it truly was one of those perfect red rocks nights.

the music was dancing and swirling around the rocks jutting up into the starry sky. the show was amazing. people were dancing, deliriously happy. swinging with the sultans and sailing to Philadelphia.

the last song gave me chills. from head to toe.

one of those songs that reminds me of my childhood simply because that's when the album was released. reminds me that my brother gave me his tape of the album when he upgraded to the cd. reminds me of listening to the album over and over again one summer many years ago with my brothers in the mountains.

it's also one of those songs that reminds me of other times in my life simply because of its sappy, love song lyrics.

you've been in the sun and I've been in the rain (the guy from high school that I just started getting to know well as I left for college. except the sun and rain parts were switched.)

I'm tired of making out on the telephone (my first real boyfriend who didn't live in the same city.)

I get so tired when I have to explain (the connection I had with another boyfriend, that my friends just didn't get.)


a night when I ran into people I really wanted to see and catch up with. an old friend, we made plans to grab a drink soon. an old boss who was more like a friend, we planned to ski together this winter.

it's wonderful to see them, but they ask questions. questions that conjure up ghosts. maybe they would have been brought from the shadows by some of the songs anyway. but whatever conjured them, they're there. tangible. sitting on the rocky ledge. I can feel their presence in the night wind.

a question and a lovestruck romeo stir my memories with different sappy lyrics.

I start to think.

all I do is miss you and the way we used to be

and I wonder

when you gonna realize it was just that the time was wrong?

in my heart I know that you won't. and that the time was wrong for a reason.

the incredible night leaves me strangely serene, with a dash of hope. a hope that someone might someday whisper to me:

I love you like the stars above, I'll love you till I die

or maybe just a little

you and me babe, how about it?

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

the real reason

there we were sitting outside on a friend's patio on a gorgeous summer evening. drinking wine and chatting.

my friend J was detailing her exploits over the past weekend with the guys she's met online. she's having fun.

she tells us about each of her three dates and what she thought about them. one was ho-hum. one she'd be interested in seeing again before she made up her mind. and one she definitely hopes to see again.

she explains a little about how the online dating thing has worked for her, for the benefit my friend's husband who is lucky enough to be there for the girl talk.

of course eventually the conversation comes around to my (lack of a) love life. sure 24 and BikeBoy call on occasion. but the first is extremely flaky and the second I don't believe is interested, despite my friends thinking otherwise.

and then comes the inevitable question of whether I've thought about doing the online thing. we discuss my worries that the guys I'm looking for won't be there. and that it takes too much time. time I really don't have. I can't imagine having three nights open in a weekend to have dates with three new guys.

after J mentions that NowEx is on the site, my friend's husband suggests that maybe the real reason I don't want to do the online thing is that I don't want him to think I have to look there (or really, anywhere) for a date. that I want him to think I'm doing just fine in the dating world.

and it really didn't hit me until right then. (well, at least nothing past my subconscious.)

my friend's husband was dead on. I do want the ex to think that I've moved on, I'm happy, and I couldn't possibly need to look for a date anywhere.

as they say, two out of three ain't bad.

or is it?

Monday, July 18, 2005

the kindness of strangers

I mentioned the long walk/ride to the race from where we parked yesterday. and the kindness of the race participants to one another. I'm not sure if that only happens in this race, but it's part of why I wanted to race this one again.

besides the encouragement by other participants, there is also an abundance of kindness spread around by the volunteers and spectators. and yesterday, one of each, in particular.

the volunteers are great. they stand along the course cheering on each and every participant, and many of the spectators do the same thing. the amazing feeling of camaraderie continues past the finish line. into the post race celebration and beyond.

I finish packing my gear. I'm standing there, tired and a little grumpy, waiting for A& M. one of the race volunteers is standing nearby directing traffic, so that the people leaving don't interfere with the people still racing.

he starts chatting with me in between direction giving. he asks how the race went. if I had fun, etc. of course maybe he just found me sexy in my sweaty race gear, but I'm guessing he's just a nice guy asking a tired, impatient-looking racer how the day was out of kindness.

we start heading back to the car after A and M walk up. they had their guys to help carry gear. I just had myself. normally this wouldn't be a big deal. I carried it all into the race, afterall.

the problem is, I'm not really supposed to carry heavy things (doc's orders because of my back). and since the race was still going, the route they made us take back meant we had to carry our bikes up a steep hill and over fields dotted with cacti.

after the race I was physically and mentally exhausted. and as I'm struggling to carry my bike and bag, I joke with A and M that next season I'm finding me a burly man to carry my gear. they laugh as do two girls walking nearby.

and then the two very sweet girls offer their help. I told them I was fine. that's part of the deal, you carry your own gear. we talk for a little while. the girls were there to watch one of their sister's race. and one finally insisted that since I had raced, she could carry my bag.

and she did, nearly the entire mile or so between the race and the parking lot, even after I could easily walk my bike once we were past the prickly field. I thanked her profusely, but I wonder if she knows just how much I truly appreciated her kindness?

I wonder if anyone realizes the impact that a small act of kindness can have on a complete stranger?

Sunday, July 17, 2005

tri-ed and conquered

beep... beep... beep...

3:55 am


4:04 am

huh, what? oh, yeah, alright, I'm up.

I hurriedly grab my stuff and head to A's house, so we can leave for the race. down a protein shake and a banana on our way. we pull into the parking lot. check bike tires. grab our gear and start the long walk/ride into the race area.

I'm tired. this isn't good. I didn't sleep well last night. I got a call at 11:30 last night. it was BikeBoy*. he didn't leave a message, but the call woke me up, and I couldn't sleep well after that. and my hip and back were not comfortable.

I'm nervous. did I train enough to be doing this? what if I got a flat. what if my back really hurts in the middle of the race?

I'm excited. race day is finally here. I didn't get injured in the last 48 hours or days. I get to actually race today.

A, M and I hang out on the beach with their guys while the other waves start. I'm up in a few. I wish them luck, they wish me luck. we'll see each other at the finish.

as I'm standing in the water, looking out towards the bouys, a sense of calm and contentment comes over me. piece of cake the girl next to me says. this part will be.

then the countdown. the first stroke. it's cold, but it feels great. did I mention I love this part? well, except for maybe the other swimmers that hit me and my sighting.

I ended up about 50 m to the side of the farthest bouy. my goggles were hard to see out of and I accidently sighted on a boat instead of the bouy. there goes my swim time, but my mis-sight pushes me a little harded.

note to self: better goggles next season.

I'm coming out of the water and I hear my name being cheered. A & M's wave is about to start. they're cheering me on and I reciprocate.

up the hill to the transistion area. I know I should eat my gel, but I can't. I don't feel quite right. I throw on my helmet and shoes and grab my bike. this shouldn't be too bad, as long as the tear in my calf muscle doesn't act up.

it's very hilly. my thighs are burning on the first big hill. my hip is hurting a little. but I only briefly entertain the thought that I shouldn't be doing this. I've trained longer distances than this. but not these incredibly long hills. the wind working against us as we headed east makes the hills very difficult.

note to self: train more hills next season.

after the turn around I felt faster, less tired. the wind was at my back. the downhills were great, and the uphills less grueling. I see both A and M heading out as I'm heading back in, we cheer each other on from across the yellow line.

I see the finish at the top of the hill. I strain to finish strong. I get there, it's not the finish, it's another hill off. I start up it, the calf muscle is screaming. I ignore it.

there's a few girls crashed into each other at the dismount. I miraculously avoid the tangle and head back into the transition zone. rack my bike, lose the helmet and switch to running shoes. my number on the front, another sign on my back that reads: in honor of Gran.

I run for a little while, but the pain in my back and hip is excruciating. I guess the doc was right. there are hills and concrete, both terrible for my back.

I walk. quickly. it's hot now. I grab a glass at the water station and dump it on my head. as I pass other walkers, we encourage each other. this race is great in that way. everyone's very supportive of the other athletes.

I try running a few more times, particularly on the flats and the not-paved portion of the run course. it's not feeling right. I remember what I promised. not to push it too hard. walking ten years from now is much more important than running this race. I walk. I again see A and M going out as I'm coming in. cheers are exchanged.

the finish is in sight. I have to run. it doesn't feel right to walk across the finish. I'm all alone, they announce my name. and I think of Gran. I'm happy I could finish this not only for me, but for her.

I'm in a little pain, and so incredibly hot and tired. but I did it. I am hooked all over again. I'll definitely be doing more.

and we got M hooked. this was her first, but she said it won't be her last. I know exactly how she feels.

* A asked today if he called to wish me luck. I doubt it. even a clueless boy would know not to call someone late before a race.

Friday, July 15, 2005

tri, tri, tri, and tri again

my friend B: do you want to do a triathlon?

me: sure!

B: really?

me: yep, when is it?

she was a little shocked that I'd agreed so easily. I was a little shocked she wanted to do one. she's a self-proclaimed non-athlete.

but we signed up, and we trained and we started the triathlon.

we planned to celebrate over margaritas afterward. we were in the same wave, but she hung to the back of the pack for the swim. I was in the front, anxious to get in the water and swim the butterflies out.

the ride wasn't too bad, and I kept envisioning a frosty 'rita during the run as my inspiration to finish. I ran through the finish line, extremely proud of simply finishing my first triathlon, and looking forward to celebrating with my friend.

when I got back to the transition area after hanging out near the finish for a little while, B's bike and the rest of her gear were gone.

I knew she would run faster than me. our rides should have been about the same. but I'm a stronger swimmer (swim team since I was a kid). we should have finished up about the same time.

but B was nowhere to be found.

I went back to the finish to hang out with a few other friends that had done the race, then headed home.

I found out she'd blown a tire. she fixed it on the race course, but then blown another. she'd only had one replacement tube. so she walked her bike back to the transition, found her husband and left. she was crushed.

I was hooked.

I signed up again the next year, despite the fact that none of my friends that had done it that first year were entering the race. B was still too disheartened by the blow outs. the others weren't too happy with the crowded course.

I had a different reason for signing up the second year. my grandma had been diagnosed with breast cancer that year. the race supports breast cancer research. I registered and trained with her in mind.

two days before that race, I had a little mis-step getting into the shower. I ended up with a broken nose/concussion/bruised orbital/torn muscle under my shoulder blade.

I was crushed, I so badly wanted to do this race for my grandma. but it just wasn't to be that year.

or the next year.

a couple of months before the triathlon, I was on my way to work, stopped at a stoplight. I got rear-ended and taken to the ER. I had already signed up for the race, but there was no way I could do the race. no way my back and hip could handle it.

this year I signed up again. mostly as an inspiration to get back to training after the car accident. my doc gave me the ok, although she suggested I walk the run. (I'll see how it feels on race day.)

two of my friends from work are doing the triathlon with me. we even talked our company into sponsoring us and donating additional money to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.

and although it might be a little painful, I intend to do my best, finish the race, and have fun.

and dedicate the race to my grandma, now a breast cancer survivor, and to her courage and her independence.

if she can overcome breast cancer at the age of 87, I can overcome a little car accident and finish the race on Sunday.

this one's for you Gran, thanks for being an inspiration to me!

Thursday, July 14, 2005

in crowd

a comment on someone else's blog today reminded me of high school.

someone called out another commenter on trying to get in with the "in crowd."


there's an in crowd in the blogosphere? apparently I'm just as oblivious to the in crowd now as I was back in high school.

one day in high school I was talking to someone in my class, when one of their friends said something similar to that comment. something about me trying to worm my way in with the "in crowd."

um, huh?

if you asked me what "group" I was in, I couldn't tell you. I was friends with a number of people. some from class, some from yearbook, some from swimming or basketball or soccer. I probably couldn't even tell you what group any of them were in.

maybe I was naive or maybe just oblivious.

many of the girls I'd been "best friends" with growing up began to think that having the right clothes and car (which I certainly did not) was all that was required to be cool. and by their new standards, I was not cool, so they stopped hanging out with me.

I started hanging out more with some of the guys in my class and some of the more laid back girls. they were nice, funny, sincere and maybe a little not-normal. they didn't care that my clothes were sometimes hand-me-downs from my brothers or that I had to plug my car in every night to charge the battery just to make it to school and back. they were great friends, and still are.

at our ten-year reunion, many from the "in crowd" were still talking about others and calling others out. the other 90 percent of our class (and the few from that group that had grown up and realized there was life past high school) had a great time sharing the adventures of our lives with each other.

I have never understood why some people think that they are better than others and think they need to put others down. maybe that's why I have never been and never will be part of the "in crowd," and that's just fine by me.

I'll take funny, nice, sincere and a little not-normal over "in" any day.

asking for it...

I thought I told J2 that I didn't have time for an interview when she posted hers, and that I'd let her know when I did. but my questions popped up, anyway. (maybe this is what my boss was talking about when he said I needed to be clearer in my communication style?) sorry it's taken me so long to get around to answering these. I do really appreciate the interview.

here are her 5 questions for me:

1. How often do you wash the sheets on your bed?
Um, pretty much once a week. Unless more frequently is needed... no, get your minds out of the gutter... TheDog has a knack for only hitting the bed when she gets sick, luckily that's not that often anymore.

2. What is your one biggest guilty pleasure?
Sunday morning walks with TheDog to the coffee shop near my house to sit, lingering over my latte, enjoying the sunshine and reading the paper. chores and errands can wait.

3. Do you have any Paris Hilton in you?
I'm not really sure what that means... I don't think I have any Paris in me. I don't carry a dog around in a bag, I eat meals, and I don't rely on my last name for fame.

4. What’s your biggest addiction (or vice)?
caffeine and/or vodka. and many, many more, but those are the top two.

5. What is one song that can always turn your mood 180 degress?
really depends on the mood and the day... today I'd say: Soulhat's Here; BHTM's It's Alright; and James' Laid could go on and on about the reasons for each of these, but I'll save it for another post.

so... if you want to be interviewed by me, follow these little instructions:
1. leave a comment below saying "interview me."
2. I will then ask you five questions, each person's will be different.
3. you update your journal/blog with the answers to the questions.
4. you include this explanation and an offer to interview others in the same post.
5. then, when others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them five questions and on, and on, and...

I can come up with whacky questions or normal ones, just let me know your preference...

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

bumpy landing

I have a lump on my head. I usually forget it's there. every once in a great while it hurts, and I'm reminded of how it got there.

I was in first grade. it was recess and I was swinging. one of the second graders gave me a (too hard) push. my swing went flying forward, too high.

I tumbled off. I landed on my head*.

this was before the days of sand under swingsets. it was pavement, the same black pavement that was the backdrop for the yellow lines of the tether ball circles and four square, well, squares.

it really hurt.

I was trying to be brave. the girl who pushed me was not the nicest. she would tease me if she saw me cry.

but I couldn't help it. tears welled up in my eyes. she looked at them, and her face went white.

she realized she'd caused them.

she ran over to me and quickly walked with me to the nurses office. she explained what happened. said it was all her fault. I managed through my sobs to insist it wasn't.

she left me to be mended by the nurse.

I'd like to say we became friends after that. but that was not the case. she was a nicer bully in the future, but I avoided her still years later when we played soccer together in high school. she remained not the nicest.

that bump will always remind me not to push anyone too hard. it's difficult to foresee when a little too much pushing might cause someone a bumpy landing. I'd rather not cause any more bumpy landings, I've had enough of my own.

* yes, feel free to insert the appropriate that explains a great deal about you joke here. sadly this was just the first (I think) of many head injuries...

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

good influences

B: don't give her beer.

J: she likes it.

B: but then I'll have to drink beer all the time.

this was a conversation my friend B had with her husband while I was talking to her on the phone tonight. their daughter is 10 weeks old. her husband was being a good influence (obviously).

they make me laugh. most of my friends do.

and tonight I needed a little laughter.

I am counting

a quote arrives in my inbox everyday. sometimes they're strangely to the point. today's was.

The hardest arithmetic to master is that which enables us to count our blessings.
- Eric Hoffer
(1902-1983, American author, philosopher)

eerily similar to some of the comments on last night's post. (thanks!)

it is sometimes difficult to count our blessings. then along comes something that makes us step back from the whirlwind of life and do just that.

a take time to smell the roses reminder.

Monday, July 11, 2005

hanging on

he was standing in his front yard when I pulled up. his dog was straining on her leash to see me. he says she's never as excited to see anyone as she is me. I'm not convinced that's true, but sweet of him to say.

he gave me a big lingering hug. neither one of us wanting to pull away. it'd been too long since we'd seen each other. I wasn't sure why.

I got the tour. it was his parents house, though they don't live there right now. he grew up there. he was staying in the in-law apartment until the closing on his new place went through. he showed me childhood pictures of him. and of his parents and brother and sister.

we talked for a long time. filled each other in on our lives for the past few months. although we'd talked a couple of times, we hadn't seen each other.

I had wondered why he'd been a little elusive about hanging out. he had thought about telling me why on occasion, but decided he didn't want me to worry.

he'd had a relapse. the cancer came back. he'd been doing chemo.

it is back in remission now. but it will eventually come back. he knows that. and he can only hope that it continues to respond to chemo or whatever medical science has come up with when it does.

I told him I wished he'd told me. he said he wished he had, too.

I felt incredibly close to him in that moment. sitting on his couch just hanging on to each other.

that's all we can do in life. hang on to other people. when we need to.

and hope that when we do need to, there's someone who will let us hang on, if only for a moment.

Saturday, July 09, 2005

friend soup or ala carte

some people like their friends ala carte. they have their work friends and their outdoorsy friends and their party friends. and they don't overlap much.

I like to mix my friends up in a big soup consisting of all different types of friends. sure I have friends who like to do specific things more than others, but my work friends know my outdoorsy friends who know my party friends who know my family etc.

when I have friends over I invite them all. some add the spice to the soup, some are its base, but the mixture is always different and interesting. everyone always thinks I have such intriguing friends.

some people don't do this. they have low-key birthday parties for their kids and invite only their other parent friends over. they have crazy parties, and only invite their crazy partying friends over. and sure, they have their inner circle which overlaps each group, but most of their friends serve their specific purpose.

apparently my part of the meal with these friends is the outdoorsy and concert course. I am always invited along on rafting and camping trips and to see concerts, but they'll non-challantly thrown in mention of the kid or crazy parties when we're together, and I feel a little slighted.

sure I may not want to join them for the mayhem of 2-year-olds running around at a birthday party or their crazy friends drinking and doing back-room-only activities until the sun rises, but perhaps they should either extend the invitation to all and let them decide for themselves, or not mention it in front of those they exclude.

I know some of my work friends will never come to my house for a laid back afternoon bbq, and some of my party friends will never go camping with me, but that doesn't mean I wouldn't invite them or make them feel welcome.

last night I went to see Keb Mo with my mom and a few friends. my mom was worried my friends wouldn't want her there. I told her I didn't care if they wanted her there. she was the one that suggested going to see him, and I wanted to go with her.

most of my friends love my parents. they're fun and non-judgmental, and they usually leave my parties early enough so that they miss the craziness.

at this venue, you can spread out blankets on the grass, bring in your wine and have a picnic. so when we got to the show I got a space large enough for all of us. some friends knowing my mom was coming found their own space and came over to chat, but then retreated to their own blanket. some were hesitant, as they didn't know what dynamic there would be with my mom there.

maybe I'm naive, but I don't understand that. sure, maybe don't bring up the crazy details of my barely existent love life in front of her, but otherwise, it's not a big deal.

my mom is a great concert date. she appreciates the music, and enjoys sipping wine in the middle of a botanic garden over friendly conversation. she always buys her own ticket and sometimes mine if I'm not that into a particular show. and she knows about my friends' lives. they tell her, I tell her.

perhaps I should make more specific soups in the future. only throw in the ingredients I know work together. but I love all my friends, I love my family and I love spending time with all of them.

so I'll continue mixing up my crazy concoctions. let those who prefer the parts of their lives not to touch to initiate the exclusive outings. I love that my different friends and family sometimes become friends with each other. I have amazing friends, I want to share them with my other amazing friends, I don't feel the need to keep them to myself.


sorry for the rant, but how can 3 shows, each with a capacity of nearly 10,000 people sell out in a matter of minutes?

both my friend and I were looking for tickets, both were refreshing our screen so we could click into the show as soon as it changed to ON SALE.

after the times to wait increased to 15 minutes then back down, our answers popped up on our screens. she got 2 seats in the last 10 rows. I got nothing.

we were both into the searching for tickets portion within a minute after they went on sale. and all 60 reserved rows were sold out before our ticket request. that baffles me.

sure we could pay ridiculous sums of money and get better seats. as the tickets are already going for between $100 and $1,000 per ticket on e-bay, mostly through ticket resellers. there are also some already for sale on craigslist, but many, many more wanted.

there will still be scalpers standing out on Morrison Road the night of each of these shows selling tickets. but many fans unable to go because the ticket resellers bought up most of the tickets.

there has got to be a better way to buy concert and event tickets than ticketmaster.

Friday, July 08, 2005

is it wrong?

I got another text from 24* yesterday. he wants to see me again this weekend.

he's been persistent lately. he's fun and intelligent and nice. but something just feels wrong.

maybe I was born too late... or too early.

I have amazing friends most are near my age, but some are years younger, and years older than I am. so I know I'm not one to discriminate based on age, or am I?

lately, the guys that are extremely interested in dating me all seem to be younger than me, some by nearly a decade.

five years ago it was the exact opposite. the guys that wanted to date me were all 5 or more years older.

when did all the single guys around my age fall off the face of the planet?

don't get me wrong, I enjoy spending time with the young ones and the older ones, but I also would like to maybe have a significant long term relationship with someone looking for the same sometime soon.

sure, a guy of any age can be fun, interesting, caring, smart, funny and capable of commitment. but do I want to pursue something with someone who's in a much different stage of life than I am? and is he/does he/would he?

* nickname from one or more of the following:
a) his age
b) the amount of hours spent together on our first "date"
c) the number of times he told me I was beautiful in our first meeting

Thursday, July 07, 2005

can experiences really be expressed in words?

the freedom of claiming a piece of the forest as your home for the weekend.
the sound of the babbling creek as I drifted off to sleep.
the stars twinkling in the dark sky beyond the smoke from the campfire.
hikes near the creek among the trees and wildflowers.
the nostalgic smell of the forest after the rain.
TheDog trotting through the trees and lounging in the sun.
reading, great conversation, card games and pass the pig.
contemplating why food cooked over a campfire tastes better than any other way.

wandering the art exhibited at the festival with a great friend in the nearly unbearable heat.
irridescent crackle glaze on exquisitely thrown pots.
being introduced as someone who "works" at the studio with him, the guy whose ability is way out of my league.
incredibly detailed pointellized watercolors.
the thought that I actually could do some of this.
street art, face painting and lemonade.

grilling with my slightly insane but wonderful family.
oohing and awing over the fireworks with my grandma on the eve of her 90th birthday.
TheDog playing with her 3 puppy friends, acting like a puppy herself.
choosing to hang out with my family instead of a boy, and not regretting it for a second.
reliving the days of our "private" fireworks display, as the neighborhood kids attempt to recreate the craziness of decades ago.
and the 4th of July must-have, home-made ice cream and fresh strawberries.

four generations celebrating the 9th decade of the eldest.
my niece in pigtails throwing rabbits at other people.
all-inclusive family pictures on the couch followed by a pillow fight.
great-grandma and great-granddaughter taking turns sticking their fingers in the cake, licking it off and giggling.
appreciation for the presents of love wrapped in pretty bows, but more so for the presence of love and loved-ones.
cards expressing love, admiration, thanks, and happiness.

working crazy hours, but only being in the office for one, and not minding any of them.
looking forward to seeing my co-workers after a week.
the opposing engineer's client calling my office to extol my virtues and competence.

and films under the stars that make you appreciate my friends and family even more.

...just a few tidbits from a too short/long weekend/week.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

reclaiming summer

this summer was going to be different. it was going to be better. it’s been long enough. I no longer think about it every day.

but the reminders are everywhere. the colleague who innocently asks how it’s feeling. the friends camping that jump to help me lift something heavy. my 90 year-old grandma offering to help me sweep the floor.

I have a short routine of strengthening exercises I do every morning and every evening. they must be done, or it gets worse. if I skip a day, I pay. I don’t skip any days.

I put a pain patch on every day. it’s just part of my morning routine. I don’t even think about it being there. until it’s not. I didn’t have enough with me this weekend. I was acutely aware of not wearing it.

I’m tired of the annoying reminders. the ambulance bill that got sent to the wrong address, now it’s in collections. the next to zero balance in my savings account, depleted by medical bills. the simple tasks I still am unable to do.

signing up for the triathlon was my way of defeating the pain.

pain, you aren’t here. watch this. I can ride, I can swim, I can run.

but can I?

the second injection made it a little better. and sure I’ve been training some. but the distances have been short on the run and the bike. and what if I fall? what if I injure it more?

no, NO! no what ifs.

I can do it. I will do it.

even if it’s slow. even if I have to walk some of the run.

I will finish.

I will reclaim summer.

Friday, July 01, 2005


my grandma turns 90 years old on the 5th.

she went to get her independence renewed a few days ago.

they told her she couldn't have it.

as dangerous as it may be for her to get it renewed, it's her independence. she was extremely upset when they wouldn't renew it. so, she made an appointment for yesterday for a second opinion.

the eye doc gave her the thumbs up. she gets it renewed.

I know she's not the greatest driver anymore, because she can't see quite as well. then again, she only drives a few blocks to my parents' house, or to the store on roads she knows like the back of her hand. and she is very careful. it's her only means of getting out.

she truly sees driving as her independence.

so although I worry about her driving, I am so happy she has this bit of independence still. I am very much looking forward to celebrating that and her birthday with her this weekend.

Happy Independence Day, everyone*!

Happy Birthday, Gran!

(and Happy Birthday to Kristy on the 4th. if you have time, swing by and tell the firecracker Happy Birthday!)

* And happy Canada Day to you Canadians.