April, 2012

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Tuesday, April 24th, 2012

Last week, my friend Ryan Thomas (SHOUT OUT) pointed me toward this article in the Atlantic. It’s compelling and so spot on: “Is Facebook Making Us Lonely?

As usual, I’m behind the times when it comes to popular music. Right now, I’m loving Ellie Goulding’s “Lights.”

My mom is a redhead. I’m thinking about being a redhead, too, a la Emma Stone. I am DEFINITELY getting a haircut soon.

Anytime I feel sad, I just look at Basset Hounds running.

Business trips

Friday, April 20th, 2012

A few days ago, I took Toad on a walk around the block (as far as she can go). It’s good for her to have the illusion of adventure.

On this particular stroll, she stopped to do her business; Becca calls these walks her “business trips.”  And because I am a responsible pet-owner, I had a plastic bag on hand. I scooped up the mess, tied the bag, and carried it home.

As we rounded the final corner, we came upon three stray cats – a dime a dozen in our neighborhood, unfortunately. Two of them scattered, but the biggest one, a giant black Tom, arched its back and hissed at Toad. Toad was like, oh no you di-in’t, and lunged.

The cat didn’t flinch. In fact, it got even angrier, growled that feral cat-growl, and shot out its claws like Wolverine. I stomped and yelled, hoping the cat would run – but it came even closer, fangs bared and hair on edge. Toad was about to get destroyed.

So I did the only thing I could think of. I swung the only weapon that I had.

And pardon the expression, but that cat learned a whole new meaning of the term “shit-faced.”

Home again, home again

Thursday, April 19th, 2012

I know that you’ve all been racked with anxiety since I announced that we might soon be living underneath a bridge. You’ve probably lost sleep, your hair, and your minds from the stress of it all.

But worry no more, good friends and countrymen: we found a house.

A HOUSE.

A stand-alone structure.

Do you realize with this means? We will be living in a place with no shared walls, floors, or ceilings. Early in the morning, we won’t hear thundering footsteps. Late at night, we won’t hear screaming babies (or grown-ass adults). We can have friends over and entertain WITH ABANDON.

This house has a deep front porch and a big backyard and a second-story balcony with no railing (read: no adult beverages allowed on the balcony). There are hardwood floors and a bay window, a big basement for storage, a gas stove, and plenty of charm. We’ll have (almost) enough closet space.

We move in 10 days.

I’m going to be bold and just say it: I feel like this move is a game-changer. We’ve committed to living here in Denver, and are ready to live in a HOME. In the 11 months that I’ve lived on Hooker Street, I can count the number of times I’ve invited a friend over on one hand, mostly due to the fact that it isn’t a pleasant place to be (low ceilings and loud neighbors will do that). But hosting and entertaining is in the fiber of my being, and I’m so excited to be able to welcome people in.

We’ll have space to spread out a little bit, and it won’t feel like we’re tripping over dogs at every turn. We’ll have lawn games. We’ll have wine & cheese on the porch. We’ll have fun, and peace and quiet, and walks to Hash (breakfast, not pot).

And we’ll have you over.

These days

Tuesday, April 17th, 2012

On Saturday, my friend Annie Herzig texted to offer me a $20 ticket to “Wicked.”  I know – do $20 tickets to “Wicked” even exist?  Is that even a thing?  When you’re friends with Annie Herzig, yes, it’s a thing.  And you should definitely say yes.

Although I read the book awhile back, I wasn’t at all familiar with the musical.  But oh my word.  Those of you who have seen it know what I’m talking about – this show is so, so good.  It’s funny and poignant and magical, not to mention that those girls can sing like nobody’s business.  I felt embarrassingly lucky to have had the spontaneous chance to see it on the cheap – but apparently not so embarrassed not to tell everyone that I SAW “WICKED” FOR $20.

The food at Bittersweet is overpriced and undersized, but flavorful and worth a Saturday night splurge with girlfriends.

Sunday morning, I went to church and heard a sermon that echoed a lot of my thoughts on why commitment equals freedom.  Saying “yes” to one thing may be saying “no” to a myriad of others – but the longer that we “keep our options open,” the more likely it is that those options pass us by, becoming non-options.  Trust, take a chance, and make a choice – it’s so much more interesting than living passively, waiting for the best case scenario to just show up.

Later on Sunday, I donned my ugliest fleece (it’s gigantic – like, unisex gigantic – and bright orange) and delivered fresh baked goods to a friend.  Nothing was said about the unisex gigantic bright orange fleece.  That’s a good friend, right there.

Last night after dark, I went out and ran 6 miles.  I listened to Sugarland and felt like me.

Allow me to make a declaration: 2012 is so much better than 2011.  Not that it would be at all tough to be better than 2011, but still.  2012 wins.

Where we might live soon

Friday, April 13th, 2012

It’s crunch time.

Haircuts for bears

Wednesday, April 11th, 2012

Every morning, I pull up CNN.com to read about current events.  As a person with no TV who despises talk radio, it’s the only window I have to the outside world.

This morning, rather than reading about politics (so long, Santorum) or George Zimmerman (so long, lawyers), I opted to click on this link:
Texter looks up, sees 400-pound bear

I am so glad that this moment was captured on film.

Speaking of bears, I mentioned that Toad got her summer haircut.  She went from looking like this:

to this:

So long, bear.  Hello, 3-legged baby cow with a feather extension behind her ear.

(I promise, she is cuter and less pathetic than this picture makes her out to be.)

(But only a little.)

And with that, I’ll take my leave. I’m pretty sure I’m going to spend the entire day thinking about:
1) paying my estimated quarterly taxes,
2) how we still haven’t found a house to move into, and
3) the fact that in just 8 days, HUNTER IS COMING TO VISIT – which means that once again, this moment will be made possible:

I cannot wait.

After Easter

Monday, April 9th, 2012

“So, friends, every day do something that won’t compute.  Love the Lord.  Love the world… Love someone who does not deserve it… Give your approval to all you cannot understand… Ask the questions that have no answers… Be joyful though you have considered all the facts… Practice resurrection.”

-Wendell Berry, from Manifesto: The Mad Farmer Liberation Front

Just a moment to say…

Friday, April 6th, 2012

I work for the #1 most reputable company in America.  Feeling so blessed to have the job I do.

We’re house-hunting like nuts, and have to be off of Hooker Street in 24 days.  So far, no luck.

Denver is treating me so well these days.  It took a little while – but I just love living here.

I’m making my list of mountains for the summer.  I’m shooting to climb 10 more this year.

Toad is getting her summer buzz cut today.  I’ll report back with pictures.

There’s a lot of pain swirling around out there in the world.  I keep seeing it, feeling it, bumping up against it.  I am more thankful for Easter this year than maybe ever before.

How to cut up a pineapple

Monday, April 2nd, 2012

I’ve known Roommate Hannah since childhood. In fact, here’s a picture of her and me from the days of yore.

That’s us at ages 10 and 15. This was around the time that Hannah thought that “Les Miserables” was, in fact, “Lame is Rob” – which is basically the best thing I have ever heard.

Anyway, Hannah is good at all sorts of things that I’m not good at – like sports and computers and wearing Nike shoes. She also knows how to cut up a pineapple – and yesterday, I made her teach me how.

Step 1: Cut off the top. Those leaves are spiky. Don’t bleed all over the fruit.

Step 2: Cut off the bottom. Now it should be shaped like a barrel. If it’s not shaped like a barrel, then you didn’t cut off the top and the bottom correctly and you probably don’t deserve to hold a knife.

Step 3: Cut the barrel in half, length-wise. Top to bottom. Longitudely, not latitudely.

Step 4: Cut the two halves in half again. Count up all of your halves – you should have four. Yes, four halves make a whole and never let anyone tell you otherwise.

Step 5: It’s time to cut off the core. The only reason you would want to save the core is if you wanted to make a smoothie or if you are a giraffe. Otherwise, you are not allowed to keep it.

Step 6: Cut the four halves in half again. Now you will have eight, and fine, I’ll stop calling them “halves.”

I will call them “boats” instead.

Step 7: Take each boat and slice the flesh (HELLO, CLARICE) into… you know, slices. But don’t cut all the way through the rind, because look at Step 8.

Step 8: Cut off the rind.

Voila – now you have perfect little pineapple pieces – and, in my case, 15 years on the Annie that was pictured earlier in this post.  How has half a lifetime gone so quickly?

Maybe the better question is, how have almost 30 years passed without me ever having to cut up a pineapple?