Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Waterton Canyon and El Tesoro

I skipped yoga today during my lunch hour and instead headed over to Waterton Canyon for a hike. The wind was blowing pretty heavily this morning, but the skies were bright blue and there wasn't a cloud in sight. Sadly by the time I got a chance to take a lunch break, drove over to the canyon, parked and got to the trailhead, I didn't have much time to actually hike and there were patches of clouds in the sky. On a warm day like this, the clouds are usually a welcome break in the heat -- but today I wanted to take pictures of the fall foliage, so the patchy light was frustrating. I took several pictures, but not a darn one of them turned out well. Grr.

I had a doctor appointment in the Springs yesterday, so I was down for the day. After I got done working, Jeremy and I went to do the Jack Quinn's 5k weekly run. Of course, we didn't run it, we walked it, but still it was good exercise and it gave us a chance to talk. After the walk, we went to El Tesoro for dinner. Oh my GOSH. Everyone in Colorado Springs, you need to try this restaurant. It's a small venue with Santa Fe-style food (like Mexican fusion), and it's also an art gallery. I had quesadillas with green chiles and mangoes.

I miss my weekends. I miss hiking, taking classes, meeting girlfriends for dinner and drinks. I'm ready for this transition period in my life to be OVER. I know I did this to myself, and I know it won't go on much longer... I'm making the best of it, but my energy to get through is starting to run low. Which reminds me, it's time to go make a pot of coffee. Hasta luego.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

"Sundays at Tiffany's" -- SOOOO Good!



This is high on my list of favorite books I've read this year. Smooth read, uplifting and unique plot -- I couldn't put this down.

Monday, September 28, 2009

One of Those Days

I'm having one of those days where my brain struggles to function. It's like there's a disconnect between me and reality. Luckily I have a remedy at-hand: loads of coffee. You want to know why I'm so addicted to the stuff? This is it. It grounds me (pardon the pun). It brings me back to the world when my consciousness wants to drift away.

It's review time at work. Oddly enough this is an enjoyable part of the year for me. I feel like I've wrapped something up. And I do love writing glowing reviews of teammates that I'm very fond of. I am extremely lucky in that my immediate team is a group of individuals who I not only admire and respect, but truly enjoy working with.

Back and Forth

I indulged my creative side quite a bit this week. I created that Bluebird art card Tuesday night, and helped Drew pick out some new colors for one of his larger ink pieces. Wednesday I got my hair done and got my pink streaks back. After that I spent time with a girlfriend, going over painting techniques and watching old movies.

Jeremy and I are on a good path right now. I don't want to jinx it. So this is all I'm going to say about that.

I met Josey and Garrett at Fox Run park for a picnic lunch on Saturday. Every time I see Garrett, he's soooo much bigger! And his vocabulary has grown by leaps and bounds. He's such a fun, friendly little boy. Spending time with him is a joy.

After the picnic, I headed to the house to meet up with Jeremy. We are getting better about both enjoying each other's company and dealing with our issues at the same time. For a while there we could only manage one or the other. So we watched a couple of movies together (Ghosts of Girlfriends Past and I Love You, Man) and cooked dinner together. Sunday we went out to breakfast, did some window shopping at the mall, then went back to the house to work on packing. We're moving out of that house no matter what, so we're trying to get the packing done in preparation for the next step.

My family moved a lot when I was a kid. On average every 2-3 years. And as an adult I moved a lot too -- although the moves were more frequent, averaging every 1-2 years. I'm pretty good about not keeping useless stuff, and I get rid of a ton of stuff every time I move. And yet every time I move I am amazed at the amount of crap I have accumulated. The worst of it is always my books. I am a book hoarder, I admit it. Even if I know I'm never going to read a particular book again, I can't bring myself to get rid of it. So my collection is always growing.

I can't wait to be settled again. Living my life in two places is exhausting.

Going completely off-topic, here...

I sometimes feel like I'm two people. One person wants stability, comfort and routine -- the other wants freedom, excitement and change. I'm constantly flip-flopping. I've spoken to a few people about this recently and I've decided it's got something to do with my brain. See, I am one of those rare people that uses both sides of my brain readily. I'm both extremely analytical and extremely creative. When I was a kid I was much more able to mesh the two -- but as an adult I find the two sides of my brain refuse to play nicely. So it makes me feel like I'm two people a lot of the time. For a long time, I thought there was something wrong with me. But recently I've realized there's a couple of people in my life that share the same problem. So I'm not a freak (not so much, anyway). But I do need to develop, or rather redevelop, some coping skills. There's got to be a way to make these two sides of myself work in tandem. I manage at my job -- I can code for hours, then write advertising copy without missing a beat -- so there has to be a way I can make this work in my personal life as well.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Bluebird Art Card

New art card: Bluebird (pen and watercolor pencil). This was done on Strathmore Bristol smooth paper, and the background was brushed with water.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Birthday Week

Wow what a last few days!

Wednesday night my parents, brothers and I went to Las Brisas for dinner. The service was okay, but the food was fantastic. Afterward we all came back to the apartment to have Berry Delicious pie, which I had made the night before. Here's the recipe:



Ingredients:

1 (14oz) can Eagle Brand Sweetened Condensed Milk

1/2 cup lemon juice

1 1/2 to 2 cups assorted fresh berries (I actually used frozen berries and just nuked them for a minute)

1 (8oz) container frozen non-dairy whipped cream, thawed

1 (6oz) graham cracker crust



Instructions:
In large bowel, mix together condensed milk and lemon juice, combine well. Mix in berries. Fold in whipped topping. Spoon mixture into crust. Freeze 5 hours or until set. Let stand 30-40 minutes before serving.

Thursday I went down to the Springs super early for an 8am appointment, and I worked from the house for the rest of the day. It was a little strange to be back there -- but it wasn't bad. Josey took me to lunch at the Caspian Cafe, then Jeremy made me an amazing birthday dinner. He made THREE different types of salmon, cheesy mashed potatoes from scratch, and lima beans. He also bought a bottle of Santa Cruz, CA Riesling and a chocolate cake. After dinner he took me out to go to a photography exhibit -- but the Independent mis-reported the event and it was closed when we got there. So we headed back to the house and watched Dexter on DVD.

Friday after work Jeremy told me to dress up and we were going to start the night with a few drinks at Rhino's. When we got there, my brothers and a bunch of my friends were there! Jeremy had set up a surprise birthday gathering. Adrianne gave me the most amazing little sculpture. It was a woman in the yoga wheel pose, signed by the artist, Michael Patrick Garman (son of the famous Michael Garman). We all hung out there until around 10:30, drinking and chatting. It was so fun. Then my brothers, Brianna, Katy, Katie, Jeremy and I went back to the house and played Sing Star until 1am. It was such a riot!

Today Jeremy and I went to Manitou and walked around for a few hours. Then we went back to the house and started packing. Right now it looks like we're moving to Boulder. But no matter what, we're moving out of that house. We both need a fresh start, a clean slate. So the packing is just preparation at this point -- we don't have a plan in place.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Updated and Named



This one needed a little something more. And now I've named it "Brighter".

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

New art card -- watercolor, ink and collage (unnamed)

The background is watercolor on paper and watercolor on tissue, the bird and the flower are pen and the lemon and butterfly are collage (magazine clippings).

Sunday, September 13, 2009

If You're a Twilight Fan and You Need to Raise Your Heart Rate...




Sigh... I will have good dreams tonight...

Art and Sushi

Wow. Another week gone. And I have no idea where it ran off to.

Drama in the apartment, for starters. Kim (Drew's girlfriend) moved out. So it's just him and me now. And actually it's been kinda nice. I don't think we've spent this kind of time together since we were kids. And as adults, we get along a heck of a lot better. Of course he's still evil. He made chocolate chip cookies last night. BIG, gooey chocolate chip cookies that I couldn't turn down.

So since I took no furniture with me from Colorado Springs, I've been borrowing Drew's old bed that was in my parents' basement-- Drew and Kim were using Kim's bed. I was working at home Weds afternoon when Kim and two guys walked into the apartment and scared the CRAP out of me. She said she had come for her stuff. I felt weird about the whole situation, so I called Chad to come over and Drew got off work early and came to the apartment as quick as he could. Luckily it didn't take her long to get her stuff out, so the awkwardness was short-lived. Anyway, when she left she took her bed with her, so Drew had no bed anymore. So I called my parents and asked them if they would buy me a bed for my birthday (which is next week). They agreed and we went out and they bought me a king-size memory foam mattress that night. Ooooh it's so nice. Of course it's on the floor right now, because I had to keep up the college-student look in my rented bedroom. LOL

As you can see from my last few posts, I've been playing around with my art again. I'm trying out artist trading cards this week. I got inspired from an article in the Oct 2009 Artist's Magazine. The small format lends itself to experimentation, and I'm really enjoying it.

My dear friend Kirby, the brilliant illustrator behind Kirby Ink, sent me some great information on what brands and styles of pens, pencils and paper that she prefers. Since Drew is the "real" artist in the family (I say that because while I have just been learning the basic skills over the last year, he has always had a natural talent that makes my work look like scribbles), he and I both went to the art store and got a bunch of supplies and have been experimenting. Hopefully he'll let me post some of his finished work here on my blog later.

Drew and I went for sushi at his favorite restaurant, Sonodas, Friday night. It's the second time I've been there and I just love it. The waiters treat you like family. And the sushi is INCREDIBLE. Then we came back to the apartment and watched Coraline. Interesting movie. Not much of a kids film, though. And the character Coraline was kinda irritating.

Saturday I met up with my parents and we went to the Castle Rock Art Festival. Honestly it was one of the best art festivals I've ever been to. Amazing artists -- and some were even doing demonstrations. It was inspiring, to say the least. I got a pair of sterling silver earrings that were in the shape of a crescent moon with a cat lounging in the lower part. Suuuuper cute.

Saturday afternoon Jeremy and I went to The Wildlife Experience together. We enjoyed it, but it was definitely geared toward kids. After that we drove up to Evergreen and walked around the galleries and shops. He bought me the most amazing necklace as an early birthday gift at a cool little boutique up there (see pic below). Then we went to Beau Jo's for dinner where I stuffed myself silly on margarita pizza with garlic cream sauce. I don't want to give a whole lot of detail on this blog about what he and I are going through, but feel free to email me and ask -- I'll share what I can.



Chad came over Saturday night and hung out with me and Drew for a while. That's when Drew made those evil chocolate chip cookies. It's nice that we are all living so close now. It won't last forever, though, so we're taking advantage. I think the last time all five of my family members lived closer than a two hour drive of each other was... hmm... 1998.

Today Cheryl and I spent the afternoon walking around the outlets in Castle Rock. I gotta say, shopping is good exercise. LOL. She had to get a baby gift for a friend, so we got to go into some of the kids clothing stores. Soooo cute! Shopping for babies is fun. And now I'm back at the apartment watching Monkeybone, answering emails and helping Drew pick out colors for his painting.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Sake it to me

I know, I know. My brother is way too cute to be single.


Random Thoughts from People in Their 20's

A friend posted this this morning and I had to pass it along because the truth of it cracked me up!

1. I wish Google Maps had an "Avoid Ghetto" routing option.

2. More often than not, when someone is telling me a story all I can think about is that I can't wait for them to finish so that I can tell my own story that's not only better, but also more directly involves me.

3. Nothing sucks more than that moment during an argument when you realize you're wrong.

4. I don't understand the purpose of the line, "I don't need to drink to have fun." Great, no one does. But why start a fire with flint and sticks when they've invented the lighter?

5. Have you ever been walking down the street and realized that you're going in the complete opposite direction of where you are supposed to be going? But instead of just turning a 180 and walking back in the direction from which you came, you have to first do something like check your watch or phone or make a grand arm gesture and mutter to yourself to ensure that no one in the surrounding area thinks you're crazy by randomly switching directions on the sidewalk.

6. I totally take back all those times I didn't want to nap when I was younger.

7. The letters T and G are very close to each other on a keyboard. This recently became all too apparent to me and consequently I will never be ending a work email with the phrase "Regards" again.

8. Do you remember when you were a kid playing Nintendo and it wouldn't work? You take the cartridge out, blow in it and that would magically fix the problem. Every kid in America did that, but how did we all know how to fix the problem? There was no internet or message boards or FAQ's. We just figured it out. Today's kids are soft.

9. There is a great need for sarcasm font.

10. Sometimes, I'll watch a movie that I watched when I was younger and suddenly realize I had no idea what the hell was going on when I first saw it.

11. I think everyone has a movie that they love so much, it actually becomes stressful to watch it with other people. I'll end up wasting 90 minutes shiftily glancing around to confirm that everyone's laughing at the right parts, then making sure I laugh just a little bit harder (and a millisecond earlier) to prove that I'm still the only one who really, really gets it.

12. How the hell are you supposed to fold a fitted sheet?

13. I would rather try to carry 10 plastic grocery bags in each hand than take 2 trips to bring my groceries in.

14. I think part of a best friend's job should be to immediately clear your computer history if you die.

15. The only time I look forward to a red light is when I'm trying to finish a text.

16. A recent study has shown that playing beer pong contributes to the spread of mono and the flu. Yeah, if you suck at it.

17. Was learning cursive really necessary?

18. Lol has gone from meaning, "laugh out loud" to "I have nothing else to say".

19. I have a hard time deciphering the fine line between boredom and hunger.

20. Answering the same letter three times or more in a row on a Scantron test is absolutely petrifying.

21. Whenever someone says "I'm not book smart, but I'm street smart", all I hear is "I'm not real smart, but I'm imaginary smart".

22. How many times is it appropriate to say "What?" before you just nod and smile because you still didn't hear what they said?

23. Every time I have to spell a word over the phone using 'as in' examples, I will undoubtedly draw a blank and sound like a complete idiot. Today I had to spell my boss's last name to an attorney and said "Yes that's G as in...(10 second lapse)...ummm...Goonies"

24. What would happen if I hired two private investigators to follow each other?

25. While driving yesterday I saw a banana peel in the road and instinctively swerved to avoid it...thanks Mario Kart.

26. MapQuest really needs to start their directions on #5. Pretty sure I know how to get out of my neighborhood.

27. Obituaries would be a lot more interesting if they told you how the person died.

28. I find it hard to believe there are actually people who get in the shower first and THEN turn on the water.

29. Shirts get dirty. Underwear gets dirty. Pants? Pants never get dirty, and you can wear them forever.

30. I can't remember the last time I wasn't at least kind of tired.

31. Bad decisions make good stories

32. Whenever I'm Facebook stalking someone and I find out that their profile is public I feel like a kid on Christmas morning who just got the Red Ryder BB gun that I always wanted. 546 pictures? Don't mind if I do!

33. Is it just me or do high school kids get younger and younger every year?

34. If Carmen San Diego and Waldo ever got together, their offspring would probably just be completely invisible.

35. Why is it that during an ice-breaker, when the whole room has to go around and say their name and where they are from, I get so incredibly nervous? Like I know my name, I know where I'm from, this shouldn't be a problem....

36. You never know when it will strike, but there comes a moment at work when you've made up your mind that you just aren't doing anything productive for the rest of the day.

37. Can we all just agree to ignore whatever comes after DVDs? I don't want to have to restart my collection.

38. There's no worse feeling than that millisecond you're sure you are going to fall after leaning your chair back a little too far.

39. I'm always slightly terrified when I exit out of Word and it asks me if I want to save any changes to my ten page research paper that I swear I did not make any changes to.

40. I hate being the one with the remote in a room full of people watching TV. There's so much pressure. 'I love this show, but will they judge me if I keep it on? I bet everyone is wishing we weren't watching this. It's only a matter of time before they all get up and leave the room. Will we still be friends after this?'

41. I hate when I just miss a call by the last ring (Hello? Hello? Damnit!), but when I immediately call back, it rings nine times and goes to voicemail. What'd you do after I didn't answer? Drop the phone and run away?

42. I hate leaving my house confident and looking good and then not seeing anyone of importance the entire day. What a waste.

43. When I meet a new girl, I'm terrified of mentioning something she hasn't already told me but that I have learned from some light internet stalking.

44. I like all of the music in my iTunes, except when it's on shuffle, then I like about one in every fifteen songs in my iTunes.

45. Why is a school zone 20 mph? That seems like the optimal cruising speed for pedophiles...

46. As a driver I hate pedestrians, and as a pedestrian I hate drivers, but no matter what the mode of transportation, I always hate cyclists.

47. Sometimes I'll look down at my watch 3 consecutive times and still not know what time it is.

48. I keep some people's phone numbers in my phone just so I know not to answer when they call.

49. I think that if, years down the road when I'm trying to have a kid, I find out that I'm sterile, most of my disappointment will stem from the fact that I was not aware of my condition in college.

50. Even if I knew your social security number, I wouldn't know what do to with it.

51. Even under ideal conditions people have trouble locating their car keys in a pocket, and Pinning the Tail on the Donkey - but I'd bet my ass everyone can find and push the Snooze button from 3 feet away, in about 1.7 seconds, eyes closed, first time every time...

52. It really pisses me off when I want to read a story on CNN.com and the link takes me to a video instead of text.

53. I wonder if cops ever get pissed off at the fact that everyone they drive behind obeys the speed limit.

54. I disagree with Kay Jewelers. I would bet on any given Friday or Saturday night more kisses begin with Miller Lites than with Kay.

55. The other night I ordered takeout, and when I looked in the bag, saw they had included four sets of plastic silverware. In other words, someone at the restaurant packed my order, took a second to think about it, and then estimated that there must be at least four people eating to require such a large amount of food. Too bad I was eating by myself. There's nothing like being made to feel like a fat bastard before dinner.

Monday, September 07, 2009

Labor Day Weekend

I wish I had more to report. My blog is getting boring. But I've been in a holding pattern, and that seems to be continuing.

A girlfriend came up to visit me on Saturday and we had dinner at Brio. It was yummy, as always. It's great to talk to someone in person, too, versus over email or on the phone. Being here away from my friends has made me much more aware of that. It's also nice to talk to someone who has been through something similar to what I'm going through -- and has seen both sides of the equation. Things start clicking, and realizations start emerging from our conversations.

Sunday I headed up to Lafayette in the morning and met up with Della. We headed over to Yoga Elements and took the Yum Yoga class. That class is such a great addition to my practice. I'd love to do it every week. It's 75 minutes of gentle active and passive stretches -- not the athletic/energetic yoga I do normally. If I could take Yum Yoga once a week, I think I would see a huge improvement in my more active practice. Not to mention, the peace of mind you walk out with is incomparable.

After yoga, we went back to Della's, packed up, and with Mike, Mike's dad and baby Sophie we headed over to the pre-game tailgating. We parked in front of the CU law school and tailgated with some of our old friends from college and some Australians one of our friends brought with her. Those Aussies were a riot with their silly hats and zinc-covered noses. One of them brought some Australian rum called Bundaberg. It was the best rum I've ever tasted! I didn't drink much because I knew I'd be sitting out in the sun during the game, but I had enough to relax and enjoy my time with everyone.

We packed up around 4 and headed over to Folsom Stadium. The entrance to the stadium was not handled well. There were few ticket-takers and thousands of drunk, sweating and rude (ahem CSU fans) people pushing to get in. It was like being stuck in a cattle chute. It took nearly 30 minutes, but we made it through. And Della only threatened the lives of two people in that time span, so that's not so bad. Getting to our seats was a little challenging, but we made it just after the game started. CSU was already up by one touchdown and a field goal. The game didn't improve much from there. CU pulled through a little in the second half... but it wasn't enough to make up for the rest of the disastrous performance.

And let me just say that I was disgusted by the totally rude behavior of the CSU fans at the game. I'm not talking about good-natured rivalry -- these guys were lewd and MEAN. Especially in our own house, it was uncalled for. I'm proud for how my fellow alum handled them, though. And I'm especially proud of Della for not punching anyone.

Today is Labor Day. It was uneventful. I slept in, relaxed this afternoon, then headed to my parents' house for a BBQ this evening. I picked up some swordfish from Whole Foods on my way -- it was delicious. And now I'm back home answering emails and getting ready to curl up with a book. Exciting, I know.

More Pics from CU Game

Tailgating:




Had to stop at the giant buffalo and pick up some face tattoos!




Game time. We're losing, but still have faith in our Buffs! (You can see a bit of Ralphie's pen in the lower left)




Folsom Stadium is a sight to behold.

Sunday, September 06, 2009

CU Regalia

Even though we lost today, I still love my Buffs.

More pics to come when friends send them to me.