December, 2011

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Mix and mingle

Friday, December 23rd, 2011

Me: “Hey Micah, do you know what D.O.B. stands for? Hint: it’s something they ask you for at the doctor’s office.”

Micah (8): “Oh! Di-O-Betes.”

– – – – – – – –

Mom: “Mix up your soup.”

Tyler (6): “Yeah – mix and mingle in a jinglin’ beat.”

– – – – – – – –

And Zion’s hair is showing early signs of becoming Kid ‘n Play.

– – – – – – – –

This weekend, I’m wishing you laughs in your bellies, peace in your hearts, and as few listens as possible of Paul McCartney’s “Wonderful Christmastime.”

Second place

Wednesday, December 21st, 2011

Today is my last day at Emma.

My sweetie friend Miles – the one who played guitar for my original LÄRABAR song, the one who gave me my most favorite nickname of all time (“Persnicket”), the one who makes work so much more fun – made me this.

That?  Is awesome.  And hilarious.

Thanks for the wonderful years, Emma.  Thanks for introducing me to some of the greatest people in my life.  Thanks for the chance to make Nashville home.  Thanks for acting as training wheels for my transition to Denver, and now launching me out on my own.  Thanks for teaching me how to talk to all sorts of people, and giving me the confidence to confront conflict, and guiding me toward grace under pressure.  Thank you for being exactly the right place during exactly the right time.

I kind of feel like the luckiest girl in the world.

Except for… um, her?

Really, internet?  Really?

Well, so, okay.  Second place, I guess.

The time I said “EXPLODE” to homeland security

Wednesday, December 14th, 2011

So there I was at the Denver airport, heaving my bulging black suitcase onto the conveyor belt for the x-ray machine.  Mind you, this was just my carry-on – my REAL bag (a behemoth red Samsonite) had already been found 6 lbs. overweight at the ticket counter, leading me to put on my boots and jacket, stuff my curling iron and jewelry into my purse, and relegate various items of detritus to my smaller suitcase.

As the carry-on inched toward the x-ray machine, the TSA agent observed the swollen vessel, and made a comment that he didn’t know that it would make it through the machine.

“I know!” I laughed.  “It’s about to explode!”

And right then and there, all of the air was sucked out of Denver International Airport.

The silence coddled the word like an overindulgent mother.

Explode.

EXPLODE.

I literally clapped my hand over my mouth, realizing what I had done – and then I sprung into action.

“Haha, I mean explode with my stuff.  My STUFF – nothing dangerous, nothing sharp.  I mean, except for high heels!  Haha!”

No one else was laughing.

“Ma’am, we’re going to need to take a look in your bag.”

I was led to a sterile table where a blue-gloved person (man? woman? man?) asked, “If I open this bag, will anything harm me?”

“No!  No, not at all,” I rushed.  “All that’s in there is shoes.  Oh, and a bunch of computer things.  And I guess some snacks.”

Snacks is right.

The agent slowly, hesitantly, cautiously unzipped the suitcase, and beheld the contents.  “Ma’am, why do you have so many LÄRABARs?”

Full disclosure: there were hundreds.

“Well, those are for my co-workers in Nashville.”

“Okay…?”

And then, without further prompting, it all came tumbling out.  “I resigned with the company – just last week, actually.  I’ve been working for an email marketing company that’s based in Nashville – but I’m switching jobs.  To LÄRABAR, actually.  They’re based in Denver – I live in Denver.  I just wanted to bring my Nashville friends some bars – as a little farewell, I guess.”

There it was.  And there it is.

The suddenly indifferent agent waved me through security and all the way to Nashville, where I’ve given the bars to my friends at Emma – an understated thank you for the three years of support, camaraderie, and friendship they have given me.

Come January, I’ll join the marketing team for LÄRABAR, a brand that I have been evangelizing on my own for years.  I am leaving an incredible company for another incredible company, which is not lost on me: this basically makes me the luckiest girl in the world.  This is one of those moments where I can look back and see how the complicated, jagged-edged pieces have fit together perfectly, creating a gigantic flashing arrow, pointing me toward this next step.

So my suitcase may be emptier – but as much as my heart is tempted to feel the same (after all, I am giving up what has been a very good thing), it’s actually full to overflowing.  I will spend the next week with some of my favorite people in Nashville, and then gently close the door on what has been a beautiful season in my life.

The goodbye is bittersweet, but the future feels warm and bright.  In fact, my heart is exploding with sprinkles.

Just don’t tell TSA.

Having already cleaned up barf today

Tuesday, December 13th, 2011

Toad has no remorse.  She does bad things and doesn’t know they’re bad.  She just keeps wagging her tail and dog-smiling, and it’s impossible to be mad at her.  She has never known shame.

Ugh, I love this damn dog.

Catch-up confessions

Monday, December 12th, 2011

Forgive me, readers, for I have sinned.  It’s been 7 days since my last blog post.

But maybe you’ll have mercy if I tell you that plenty of life has been going down around these parts.

For starters, my friend Carl (SHOUT OUT) came to Colorado to visit, and stayed at the Hooker House for a few nights (sorry Carl, you probably don’t want that sentence written about you on the internet). Carl is one of my favorite people, and we spent a good deal of time a) talking about life, love, and other mysteries (not this), b) sipping quaffable beverages, and c) watching YouTube videos. This cover of Tracy Chapman’s “Fast Car” is my new favorite thing, and has inspired me to learn the song on guitar myself. I’m getting semi-okay at it.

Speaking of “Fast Car,” I got an $80 speeding ticket in the mail. One of those cameras caught me. Rats.

My friend Greg (SHOUT OUT) plays keys for Allen Stone, and they swung through Denver last week for a show. Holy. Cow. Allen Stone is the most ridiculously soulful singer, born to perform, with one of the greatest voices I’ve heard. If you haven’t heard his stuff, check it out – “Sleep” is a favorite.

The Handy Graham (SHOUT OUT) slept on the couch on Saturday night, and yesterday morning, he, Becca, and I drank coffee, ate eggs, and, well, sang “Fast Car.” Just another morning at the Hooker House.

I’ve never been a fan of a sports team – ever. But the Denver Broncos have won me over. I live three blocks from the stadium, so they’ve never been easy to ignore – but their last couple of games have sealed my interest. I’m paying attention. And as foreign as it feels, I think this makes me a “fan” of something – I mean, other than music and books and food – something sporty.

I will finally, finally be getting my Subaru back today. It’s been 4 weeks since I’ve held the precious steering wheel it in my ever-loving clutches. If anyone ever tries to steal my car again, so help me, I will use my Cuisinart blade against them like a Japanese ninja star.

Tomorrow, I’m telling Denver “peace out” for a few weeks, as I’ll be traveling to Nashville for work and then Kansas City for the holidays. This will be my last trip to Nashville for a long time – stay tuned for some ch-ch-ch-changes.

New plates

Monday, December 5th, 2011

It’s Monday, December 5th, and I have now been without a car for 20 days.

On a few occasions, I’ve had a friend or two go out of town and bequeath me their vehicle in their absence, so don’t worry: I’m not starving, I’ve made it to the gym here and there, and my December rent check was deposited.  Subaruthless should be ready later this week – hopefully better than new (Subaruthless-er?), and maybe they will have even vacuumed up all of the dog hair on the backseat.

The thieves stole the license plates, so this morning, I went to the DMV to get new ones.  When it comes to car stuff, it’s always more expensive than I anticipate, so when they told me that my total would be “eight-o-six,” I gulped and wrote a check for $806.  The woman looked at it, and then dryly said, “Eight dollars and six cents.”

I kid you not, the clouds opened up and the angel choir sang a chord.

Nothing like a slew of other unexpected, exorbitant expenses to make tiny check written to the DMV the very best way to start your week.