Tuesday, July 31, 2012

The weekend in le nutshell

Hey y'aaallll. How were your weekends? Relaxing? Active? Fleeting? That's pretty how much I view the weekends. Do as many fun things as you can and try to sleep in at least one of the days.

Friday: I finally saw Indeed for the first time in a couple of months - so much has changed as they prepare to open for business in the next couple of weeks. 

Saturday: I woke up pretty early and immediately started painting. I've found that painting is a relaxing and rewarding way to start the day. Then I went for a run and headed out to meet my newish bloggy friend for brunch at Wilde Roast. Smoked gouda hashbrowns? Good-a. 

Then it was off to Indeed for my sister Nancy's birthday. We "sampled" the beer and got into some shenanigans throughout the evening. (My sister's name is Nan and the beer is called Shenanigans, get it?)

Sunday:I mostly recovered and then attended a wedding. I tried to buy balloons but was denied due to the helium shortage. Did you know that existed? Our helium reservoir that supplies 75% of the world's supply is running out, the price is spiking dramatically, and the helium we are using is going first toward hospitals for MRIs and other technology. Thus, no balloons for me. I guess MRIs might be more important, or something. Punny headlines read, "Senators see ballooning national crisis" and "Helium shortage deflates local businesses." 

Now, the real purpose of this post:

Happy [Belated] Birthday Ms. Nancy!
Nancy is my twin, but older, so not really. She is one of the most hard-working people I know, whose actual weakness in an interview would be that she cares too much. Always trying to do what is best for everyone around her, Nancy has a lot of people who look up to her and her intelligent, creative, stylish ways. She has influenced almost every facet of my life from what I studied in college, to my hobbies in crafting, down to the stores at which I shop. She supports me and encourages me and I appreciate it so much. Fancy Nancy, U R A Q T!

Thursday, July 26, 2012


My book club just read Wild by Cheryl Strayed and if I'm going to be punny here like I want to, I will tell you how wild I am about it.

Basic story: 20-something girl loses her mother, tears apart her marriage, gets into a habit of drugs and sex, then decides to change it all, drop everything and hike the Pacific Crest Trail.

It's so much more than that. Cheryl is a woman whose mother dies of cancer very suddenly (7 weeks from finding out to the end). After that, she is angry and broken and becomes self-destructive. She cheats on her husband, does heroin, and actively makes poor choices. One day, she sees a guide book to hiking the PCT in a book store, and the idea sticks with her.

She decides she will hike part of the roughly 2,500 mile-long treacherous trail that spans the West Coast from Mexico to Canada. Without any prior experience in hiking, she packs up a monstrous backpack and hits the trail. 

While she faces the very physical and immediate needs of being on the trail, she goes through a mental healing of sorts, though unaware of it at the time.

The book has funny anecdotes, face-offs with wild animals, lost toenails, friendly and shady encounters with other hikers, descriptions of nature and what it's like to hike for months, all the while interweaving heartbreaking stories of her self and past to form a cohesive, inspiring story of losing it all, then piecing it back together.

Cheryl uses beautiful imagery and stories of her trip to paint a greater picture of life and its meanings:

"This [Crater Lake] was once a mountain that stood nearly 12,000 feet tall and then had its heart removed. This was once a wasteland of lava and pumice and ash. This was once an empty bowl that took hundreds of years to fill. But hard as I tried, I couldn't see them in my mind's eye. Not the mountain or the wasteland or the empty bowl. They simply were not there anymore. There was only the stillness and silence of that water: what a mountain and a wasteland and an empty bowl turned into after the healing began."

A few years ago, I was at a very low point in my life, although I had not really lost much but a young love who was all wrong for me. I started doing yoga and it became my coping mechanism, although I wasn't totally aware of it at the time. Even though it wasn't a season-long journey that engrossed me 24/7, it was a moment of my unbearable day when the physical demands and immediate requirements coerced me into letting go of my mental mind games. Eventually, I pieced myself back together, one asana at a time.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Story People: Kindred Spirits

I have long been a fan of Brian Andreas' creations for Story People. Accompanied by odd drawings and sculptures, he puts life stories and emotions into little narratives. This is one of my favorites:

I really believe that the "right" person for you is one who is equally strange or who can tolerate your strangeness. (Thanks Z).

Image via

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Eloquence of Days Past

Do you ever wish you lived in a different era? 

Sometimes I wish for a time when things were not as technologically-driven, material-obsessed, or Kesha- or LMFAO-centric. Oftentimes, I wish written and spoken word were carefully eloquent. I wish that musicians didn't title their songs with shortened versions of pronouns or numbers. I wish we didn't have such foul, abbreviated mouths. (Myself included!)

I saw a Summit Brewing Co. billboard the other day that read, "Is eloquence, like, totally lost or whatever?" 

It may be. When I was at my Grandma's 90th birthday party in Iowa, several guests introduced themselves and shared memories. Two lines that stood out to me were: "We were great bosom buddies" and "I was just tickled."

Translate that to today's terms and it would sound more like:
"She's my BFF" and "It was schmawesome."

Maybe I should start speaking with more thought. I'll chew on it.


Thursday, July 12, 2012

The rumors are true - Colorado is cool.

I realize I'm behind on these posts, oopsies. Zeb and I (I guess I don't have to call him boyfran all of the time. My next post will explain why...) spent four days in Denver, Colorado at the end of June. My sister and her husband have good friends who live in Denver, who were traveling at the time so they graciously loaned us their house! (We were also given permission to use the bikes and truck as well).

So, here was how it all shook out:

Thursday: We took the bus and light rail to our temporary abode. It took us awhile, but totaled to $24 instead of a $60+ cab ride. Lately, I've preferred taking the less expensive method of transport to get a better feel of the city, even if it takes longer. After a walk to the grocery store for a light lunch and a subsequent nap, we met Emily and Zach for cocktails in Larimer Square. We ended up at Corridor 44, a champagne bar and Emily and I both had "Pin's Cups" which had Pimms and something else in them. Mmm, yum.

Friday: We took the bikes (a mountain bike with sketchy brakes and a clunky cruiser that probably should have been named Bessie) to Stranhan's Whiskey Distillery. After the pungent tour, we had the best mac 'n' cheese of our lives at Rackhouse Pub. We biked through Washington Park, then went home to nap. Napping in the middle of the day is GLORIOUS.

We took the lightrail to Coors Field for the Rockies v. Padres game. The Rockies won and put on a dynamite fireworks show at the end, which was quite possibly one of the best shows I've seen. (Zeb and I are on a MLB stadium tour as part of our shared bucket list). We had a brew at Falling Rock and then a cocktail at Green Russel. I know it's super Portlandia, but I really enjoy a well-crafted cocktail that takes time and effort to concoct.

Saturday: We ate breakfast at Lucille's (amazing food), then headed to the Cherry Creek Farmer's Market before setting off for Golden, CO. When we arrived at the Coors Brewery in Golden, it was a 1.5 hour wait in the blistering sun, so Zeb convinced me to skip it and we headed to the Golden City Brewery instead which really was just a shoddy patio with resident dogs and a few plastic chairs. It was still cool. We headed out of the historic town (we missed Buffalo Bill's gravesite) and made our way to Morrison, CO.

I saw a "National Dinosaur Park" on the map near Red Rocks and begged Zeb to stop. We missed it, headed for tacos at Morrison Inn, then the park closed. The dinosaur park closed. I was devastated.

So, instead, we drove to Red Rocks Amphitheater to see the Avett Brothers. (Not that this wasn't planned for months). It. was. glorious. Seriously, if you've never seen this red sandstone, it is so intensely beautiful your mind can barely comprehend how it exists. (I'm a huge fan of rock formations by the way, because they rock). The show was phenomenal, the ride home painful (stuck on a mountainside for an hour), the memories, vivid.

Sunday: We went to yet another farmer's market on South Pearl Street, then had ice cream at Bonnie Brae, strolled through City Park, and headed home to lock the house up and bus it to the airport.

{Home again} 

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Happy Independence Day!

Oops. I was having too much fun on the 4th of July to remember to post this. Anyway, here:

I hope it was a good one!