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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.

No stranger to this

Wednesday, November 16th, 2011

I thought that having the Honda stolen twice was more than my fair share, but apparently not.

I WILL say that I’m laughing pretty hard about this, though.  I mean, come on.

I plan on being spontaneous

Tuesday, July 26th, 2011

Next week, I am taking the entire week off of work. The entire week.

For vacation.

I don’t think I have ever had an entire week of vacation, ever in my life. I’ve taken 7-day stretches off of work, but have used them for crazy travel plans (ping-pong flights, weddings, road-trips, holidays, family events). Never have I ever taken a solid Monday through Friday with weekends on both ends, and decided to stay put.

This is my only plan: do not leave Colorado.

Except, that’s not true. You all know that I’ve planned it a bit more than that. In fact, last week, someone who knows me better than I thought called me out on it: “I don’t believe you. You totally have the week planned out.”

I denied it, because technically, I don’t know what’s going to happen when.

But he was totally right.

Here are some of my hopes for the week:
-Climb 3 mountains
-Snuggle my visiting nephews
-Go to the Denver Zoo
-See the final installment of “Harry Potter”
-Get a massage
-Turn 29-years old
-Go for ice cream

Because as long as I can plan on it, the spontaneous will come easily.

Any other ideas of what I should do with my “unplanned” time off? What would you do?

Damn, girl.

Monday, July 18th, 2011

Before you hear this little story, there are two things you should know.

1) My sister Becca is definitely a looker: funky and darling and adorable.  She has a heart-shaped face and a great figure and awesome hair.  It’s never a surprise when a dude finds her attractive.

2) Sloan’s Lake, our new neighborhood, is… colorful.  Interesting.  Slightly ghetto.

Got those two facts?  Okay.  Here’s what happened on Saturday.

Becca was walking around the lake, and when a certain man passed her, he looked her up and down and said, “Damn, girl – you look beautiful!”

And despite Becca’s aforementioned beauty, when she relayed this story to me, we both laughed until we cried.

Because this is what she was wearing:

Damn, girl, indeed.

(I’m still laughing.)

Hooker House #1

Wednesday, July 6th, 2011

I’ve had a number of requests (okay, fine – just two – heyyyy, Greta and Julie!) for pictures of the Hooker House.

I’m one who likes to have things settled just so before a grand reveal.  And because of my persnickety nature and tight budget, it’s going to take awhile before I’m ready to explode our new home onto the World Wide Web.

However, with some help last night from one Jonathan Dalby (who, as I informed him last night, was once called “unfortunately good looking” – congrats, Dalbs), the living room is finally looking pretty complete.  Here’s a glimpse.

I know.  A FIREPLACE.  How picturesque is the Hooker House??

I mean, you know.  For being a garden-level apartment and all.

You just never know

Friday, July 1st, 2011

Happy July 1st, my sweet and patient friends.

Come on.  You knew I’d have a video.

As you can tell, I needed a little bit of breathing room in June.  Things have been heavy and confusing and stressful, and I didn’t want to spew my emotional guts all over your internet each day (that would have been rude and, most likely, vile).

So I took the month to just hunker down.

But now?  Now, I am GIRDING UP MY LOINS.

July is shaping up to be quite a month, what with a skunk on the loose in my new neighborhood, spraying innocent bystanders and all.  Other upcoming events of note: the grand opening of Denver’s Ikea, a 900 mile drive in a Penske truck, more mountains, and who knows?  Maybe even a haircut.

Have a great holiday weekend – and if you just can’t wait one more second to hear about baby Zion – my new nephew! – click on over to read his story.  I am so in love with this boy already, and can’t wait to snuggle him.

“So All May Eat”

Friday, May 20th, 2011

Last month, I attended TedxMileHigh, which was monumentally perspective shifting.  If you ever have a chance to go to a TED conference, go go go.

One of the speakers was Libby Birky, co-founder of the SAME Café, Denver’s first pay-what-you-can restaurant.  Ever since hearing about it, I’d been wanting to check it out – so yesterday, my co-worker Gina and I dropped in for lunch.

Driven by the desire to see everyone treated with dignity, regardless of their ability to pay, the SAME Café encourages patrons to leave a donation that seems fair to them, or to exchange an hour of work for their meal.  Their menu changes daily, based on whatever organic ingredients are in season.  The food is fresh and made from scratch, and the customers range from professionals to the homeless.  Everyone eats together in the same room.  It’s a beautiful concept, and the food was delicious (homemade pizza crust?  YES).

If you live in Denver, consider supporting the SAME Café.  It’s on the north side of Colfax (or “the Fax,” as I like to call it) between Race and Vine.  You’ll eat well, and you just might have a conversation about broccoli salad with a man whose life looks very, very different from your own.

Homeless FTW

Tuesday, March 29th, 2011

I didn’t know that moving my stuff into storage would cause so many questions.

Oh, you and your questions!

It’s really not a big secret – here’s the deal.  My lease is up at the end of March.  I’ve loved this apartment – truly, more than any other physical space I’ve ever occupied.  But parking is atrocious.  It’s expensive.  And given my bizarre neighbors, as well as a landlord who entered my apartment last week when I was out of town, turned on the oven, and left it on for the SIX DAYS until I returned, I don’t know.  It just seemed like the right time to go.

I thought about finding another place right away, but then I remembered that April is going to be crazy.  I’m driving 5 hours away for a dentist appointment.  I’m going to Boston to see Christina.  Julie’s getting married in Kansas City.  And I’ll be in Nashville for the week before the half-marathon (which I will walk, not run – no shame).  Why pay rent for a month that involves a lot of travel?

So, I moved my stuff into storage.

Totally annoying, I know.  It means that I will have to move twice.  That is the pits.

But then, I think of the money I will save.  And because I do enjoy a small cushion of sweet, sweet cash (that, according to my track record, will probably be spent on some random emergency before I even see it), it all feels strangely worth it.

I’ll figure out the next step, the next place, the next home when I get back to Denver in May.

Now we are all on the same page.  It happens to be blank.  But at least we’re here together.  [snuggle snuggle]

No rest for the weary

Thursday, March 24th, 2011

I am having a hard time feeling like The Real Me right now, since The Real Me thrives on routine and nesting and eating the exact same thing for breakfast every morning.  But 2011 has offered no rest for the weary, and no predictability for your truly.

The past few months have been a rough go for The Real Me.

The Real Me likes walking 11 miles a night after work by herself.  The Real Me likes having all of her clothes hanging neatly in the closet.  The Real Me likes a balanced checkbook and a good night’s sleep.  The Real Me likes home-cooked meals.  The Real Me likes independence.  The Real Me likes quiet moments and clear skin and a big glass of water.  The Real Me likes to be home, wherever I have most recently dubbed it.

After weeks and weeks of travel, I am home today.  I am home tomorrow.

And then on Saturday, I am moving all of my stuff out of my home and into a storage unit, and becoming homeless – again.

It’s only for a season, and there are a lot of very good and valid reasons that I’m doing this.  It’s the right choice, and I have to remember that, like many of my seemingly manic decisions, I am, oddly enough, choosing it.

But The Real Me is just so damn tired, and hasn’t packed a thing, and will stay up all night tonight and tomorrow to pack my home away into boxes – boxes that I do not yet have.  The Real Me will cry and swear before it’s all over.  The Real Me will live uncomfortably, and pray that she doesn’t wither away in the midst of it all.

Nesting: a (sort of) photo essay

Monday, January 10th, 2011

I made it back to Denver on Saturday night, and when I walked into my apartment, I swear, it took everything in me to not drop to my knees and kiss the hardwood floors.  For all of the trips that I take, I am a bona fide homebody.

Yesterday, it started snowing.  It was pretty and white and wintery outside, so I looked out the window for awhile.

Then, while still in my pajamas, I made my best breakfast, and drank 3 cups of coffee in quick succession.

This is too much coffee, so after that, my hands were jittery.  But I managed to plug in my new Sonicare toothbrush, which I got for Christmas.  It’s changing my life.  I’ll never go back.  NEVERRRRRR.

I looked at my new wall-hanging, a gift from my sister-in-law.  And then my heart exploded with sprinkles.

At one point, I ventured out to buy myself some yellow roses – because according to L’Oreal, I’m worth it?

I opened all of my mail (6 weeks’ worth – Merry Christmas to ME), and loved all of the holiday cards that my friends sent.  I put them on my fridge.

Then, I pulled out my food processor and made almond butter.  I added a little bit of vanilla and cinnamon to make it taste like heaven, that’s what.  I didn’t want to put it in a Tupperware, because please, ugly – so I decided that a glass butter dish would work just fine.

I acknowledge that this totally doesn’t look as appetizing as it is.

I also made chocolate chip cookies.  I didn’t get a picture.  I promise it’s not because I ate all of them – it’s just that they’re now in a plastic bag in my cabinet, and who wants to see that?

I talked on the phone for awhile.  I didn’t get a picture of that, either.  But it happened.

I examined my current physical ailments – eczema on my hands, 5 swollen toes on my left foot (do I have the Gout? I’M SERIOUS), and yellowing bruises on both of my forearms.  All are a mystery.  And again, no picture – but let’s be honest, you’re totally okay with that.

I watched a documentary called “The Art of the Steal.”

Finally, I ventured to the gym and ran 5 miles on a treadmill, which did not bode well for the 5 swollen toes on my left foot, or, incidentally, my mood.  Then, I went to Target and bought graph paper, because how much do I love graph paper?  It’s so regimented and orderly, and when I write on it I can tell myself to “read between the lines” and totally mean it.

That was yesterday, but this is today – and today, it’s 3° outside and I am feeling positively unwell.  So it’s a sick day for me – back to bed to hopefully sleep off the crud (and the Gout).