Monday, September 18, 2006

Exploring Colorado: Chapter 1

On Sunday, we had the most perfect. weather. evah. It was in the 40s in the morning and only reached maybe 60 all day long! Perfect for sunbathing? No. But for hiking? Oh yeah baby. So I got up early (yes! on a Sunday!) and me and my friend Kirby drove up to Boulder (about 15 minutes -- because WE LIVE HERE AND IT ROCKS) and went for a several-hour-long hike. I'm probably going to spell this wrong, but the park is called Chautauqua and has tons of trails; we picked one that was supposed to be easy.

Um. Maybe for someone who can actually breathe the CO air, perhaps; but for me? Still adjusting to the altitude and out-of-shape to boot? Let's just say it was a bit...challenging... But Kirby was very patient with me and took lots of pics every 2 minutes when I had to stop, gasping for breath. I will now post some of the pics. And please note the hella blue sky... that ain't no Texas sky, my friends :)

Before the hike: hopeful; naive

After 5 minutes of hiking at a slight incline

The rest of those are views of the Flatirons (which I can also see from my apartment) and then me and Kirby sitting in these stone chairs someone built up at the top. Also, I learned today, upon bragging to someone at work that I went to the "mountains" this weekend, that "those aren't the mountains; those are hills". Um. To this Texas girl? THEY'RE MOUNTAINS.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

finding me again

When I was going through much self-revelation years ago (with the help of a talented therapist), I was encouraged to think about my childhood in a more analytical way. Interestingly, I had never spent a lot of time dwelling on any particular childhood memory. It was really hard at first; I couldn’t remember much of anything. But the more I thought about it, the more things would come back to me.

I’d remember roller skating in those barbaric metal skates that strapped to your sneakers, careening at a frightening speed down the bumpy sidewalk hill that skimmed the edge of the courtyards on Pick Avenue. I vividly remembered the exhilaration I’d felt, the excitement at the risk involved, and the trust I somehow had in myself not to fall. I can close my eyes and feel it even now. I can feel my knobby kid-knees absorbing the bumps, the cracks in the sidewalk, as I continue to gain speed. Would I do that again now? No way. What is the difference, I wonder? Well for one thing I haven’t skated in years. But more than that, I don’t trust my body anymore, I don’t trust my balance. Nor do I have the nerve to let the wind blow through my hair as I squint into the sunshine, bending my knees slightly as I fly down a hill. I am afraid. Hmm, I thought as an adult, interesting.

The roller-skating memory led me to a memory of a parade the neighborhood kids tried to put on, in the same neighborhood during the same time period. The details in my mind are sketchy, but it involved a wagon and the same bumpy sidewalk. Maybe a tape recorder playing tinny Olivia Newton John tunes. Costumes. But mostly, the excitement of planning it. Gathering the kids together, figuring out who would do what, alerting the adults to watch…but oddly, I don’t remember the outcome. The actual parade is not part of my memory. It seems it didn’t turn out as cool as we had anticipated, but what ever does? As an adult, I am curious about that excitement I felt in planning to entertain. Being part of a group, even being a leader. Wanting to impress the adults. Wanting to perform. Nowadays, I hyperventilate at the thought of giving a presentation – what happened to that exhibitionist child prancing about in Ft. Leavenworth, Kansas?

When I was a girl I climbed trees. I didn’t mind getting bumped and scraped, I wasn’t afraid of heights; in fact, I thrived on the dizziness the higher I got. I can remember being high, high up in the air, clinging to a scratchy branch, heart pounding, grinning down at my sister triumphantly. I gave no thought to the scary bugs that live in trees (although I may have been mildly on the lookout for spiders [shudder]); there was no worry of falling, not really. But now, I get woozy at any height. I can’t look over my own balcony without feeling an alarming sense of vertigo. Where did my fearlessness go?

It goes on and on like this. It baffles me that these images and feelings are still so clear in my head, but I can’t fathom being comfortable again with the risk, the exhilaration, the giddy fear, the butterflies in my stomach.

What I’ve been thinking about is, when and why do we lose that childhood sense of self? If I really think about it, I can say that it was 7th grade when I started thinking of myself as inferior to other “cooler” people. Not that I didn’t have angst in 6th grade, but we moved from Kansas to Texas between 6th and 7th, and there was quite a difference between 12-year-olds in the two states. I remember how shocked I was that girls my age in Texas carried purses and wore makeup. I was sort of thrown into the shark-infested waters of middle school with no transitional period — I didn’t have the slightest idea of the adolescent brutality I was in for. I had never heard of designer jeans until it was too late and I didn’t have any. I still had goober glasses. Etc. I don’t think I climbed trees anymore after we moved to Texas. I became more concerned with my feathered bangs and the (wrong) emblem on my shirt. I started comparing myself to others and coming up short.

I really miss the carefree days I had as a child. I miss trusting myself, knowing my body won’t fail me, feeling confident enough to actually seek out attention. I miss climbing high into the green branches and peering down at everyone else, as if I have a secret that no one else shares. I miss feeling that not only am I good enough, but in fact I’m pretty darn great.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

thinking inside the box...

I had a good weekend – very productive in the settling-in department. Sunday my sis and the boyz (including my BIL) came over and helped me do some things –- my BIL, who’s a SUPAHSTAH, hung my dresser mirror and reassembled my desk – so yay! I have a working desk now! And I can see myself in the mirror! Yes. He also helped us dispose of more empty boxes – remember how I said a few weeks ago, Nic and I experimented with dropping boxes from my 4th-floor balcony? Rather than carrying them down the 8 flights of stairs? And the loud gunshot noise? Well, we tried this again, only this time…my BIL insisted on catching them. As in, he stood on the ground below my balcony and Nic and I threw box after giant box overboard and watched as he caught them and threw them away. It went pretty well until the last box, but it was a doozy. Nonetheless, everyone (even my BIL) agreed it was MUCH better than carrying them down one by one. (for those of you wondering why I don’t just break down the boxes, I do when I can – but we’re talking about pounds and pounds of wrapping paper stuffed into each box, and it’s not worth the effort to try and get all the reams of wasted paper in a bag separately… trust me on this. Sunday I unpacked the next-to-last kitchen box, which was about as tall as my waist; inside this heavy, jam-packed-w-paper box? Six drinking glasses, a vase, and salt and pepper shakers. I AM NOT JOKING – it’s ridiculous, the paper waste…)

Anyway. After the fun-at-Lisa’s-apartment time, we loaded everyone up and went to Boulder for a few hours. It was great – highs in the high 60s, breezy, and while it threatened rain while we were there, we didn’t actually get (that) wet. My oldest nephew was called upon by a street performer to squish himself, and another little boy from the audience, into a small clear box. Behold:

All in all, I’m just a tiny bit closer to feeling like I’m not just on an extended vacation in Colorado…

Friday, September 08, 2006

everybody's working for the weekend

Reasons why I’m glad it’s Friday afternoon:

1. Tomorrow is Saturday, and the next day is Sunday.
2. I don’t have to work this Saturday OR Sunday.
3. I can do anything I want to – besides work – for the next 48 hours.
4. I forgot to wear deodorant today* and I’m starting to get paranoid. (even though it’s only in the low 60s…haha).
5. I am tired of drinking only water all day (no soda machines at my workplace – I know – barbaric!).
6. My cable is fixed as of yesterday!
7. I can go shopping for more than a lunch-hour-at-a-time.
8. I have the next two days to reassure Jess that the noises outside the (opened) windows are not monsters coming to eat him, and he can survive elsewhere other than under my comforter for 12-hours-at-a-time.
9. I might get to leave the 2-square-mile area that is my life 5 days a week.
10. I don’t have to awaken to an alarm for the next 2 days.

In other news, I am feeling enormous guilt about making the kitties live in an apartment. Besides Jess living in cowering fear of all the apartment-noises, this morning I heard a single bird-chirp outside my 4th-story window, then saw a blur that was Piper springing hopefully towards the window; poor thing is so bird/rodent/reptile-deprived she nearly broke her little neck careening around the corner to my open window. And the bird was merely chirping in passing, because generally birds don’t just levitate outside 4th story windows. Poor, bored kitties. Instead of nature, now they get to watch dorky golfers all day long. Good times all around.

And I am well aware that lately I’ve resorted to blogging boring lists and diatribes about socks because I haven’t done anything noteworthy in over two weeks. I’ll work on that this weekend…


Thursday, September 07, 2006


It has recently been brought to my attention that there might come a time this winter when I will have to wear…socks. That’s right—-socks. Have I ever mentioned how much I HATE wearing socks??? But then they’re hardly necessary in TX. I only wore them when I exercised or wore boots. I could go a whole winter never wearing socks with my snuggly closed-toe mules.

But in CO? There will be snow, and it will get in my shoes. I might have to wear socks. And I’m completely bummed about it.

I’m not sure why I have the aversion to socks, or when it started; I’m thinking maybe I burned out after high school, when it was “in” to buy those [expensive] scrunch-socks from The Limited in all different colors and match them to your outfit (shut up, you know you did it too). In any event, I was in Eddie Bauer the other night and as I was being rung up the salesperson said, peppily I might add, “Oh, we have our socks on special!” And I looked at her blankly for a beat or two, then smiled thinly and said no thanks, I’m good. But am I?

A CO native told me that boots are the way to go, because apparently, snow? It’s cold and icky when it gets in your shoes. In fact, she told me that’s what boots are actually FOR, is keeping your feet safe from such hazards. This was somewhat of a revelation to me, because in TX, we wear boots because they are pretty. It makes you feel frisky to prance around in mid-calf black boots worn with too-long jeans. Boots were a fashion accessory, not a necessity. I like me some boots. So the good news? I get to buy new boots this winter. The bad news? Boots must be worn with SOCKS.


Monday, September 04, 2006


Here I am later that day, still working, but at a less frantic pace and from the comfort of my own bed. That's right, you heard me -- I'm in bed. Typing. On my Mac. I'm WIRELESS again, baby!!!! I don't know why it took me 4 days after getting my desktop running to remember/figure out how to do the wireless router. Maybe my brain was just tired. It's very possible. But tonight I achieved victory and can once again surf, post, and yes, even work from any square inch in my apartment.

that is all.

iTunes moment #511

It's been a while, but now that I'm working FT again, I am again listening to my trusty iPod. I just want to say, how cool is it that the moment I realize I'm singing a song in my head, just like that, I can find it on my iPod and really listen to the song? Talk about instant gratification.

Speaking of songs stuck in your head, how does that happen, anyway? sometimes it's obvious; you heard it on the radio, over an intercom at a store, a commercial; but then there are other times when you're typing away on a scintillating topic such as, oh, IT optimization, and suddenly you realize you're singing "Cleaning out my Closet" by Eminem in your head. Where the hell did that come from?? Oh well, never you mind -- i'll just look it up on my iPod and feed the craving.

Technology. Rocks. The Cubicle.

p.s. yes, this means that I am at work on labor day. shhh, i don't want to talk about it...

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Out, out, damn box

I did it. Today I removed all the empty boxes from my apartment. I am so. happy. I figured since it was in the 50s all day i should take advantage of the minimal sweating (yes that was a not-so-subtle rub to my friends in Tejas). Well, that, and my cable box is broken and I can't change the channel. So, you know. unpacking.

I can't believe the last time I wrote was Monday, but this week was so busy and went by so fast. Now that I'm working again, I'm back on "agency time" which means the freakishly swift passage of time due to living in a deadline-driven world. For example, my mind is already on October b/c my project has to be finished by the end of September. But I don't want to talk about work today. No. Since I have to work all weekend, i'm not going to talk about it on my blog too. Ugh.

Last night my friend from work invited me to go to this "Mexican" restaurant with another girl from work who said it was "awesome" (note: this girl is from CO). Yes, I know I'm an idiot, but I got my hopes up that it would actually fulfill the TexMex craving I've been having. (what? this is the first time in more than 20 years that i've gone w/out texmex for more than 3 weeks). Well, me and K were polite and ate all our food (K is also from TX) and it was a good time and all, but the second we got in the car K said "was that not the worst Mexican food you've ever had in your life, or what??" Note for the future: don't believe anyone who's not from TX on their Mexican food recommendations. This place even had shitty margaritas, people. Not that I didn't still finish mine, but it was not. the same. thing.

So last night was fun and today I've been working, both on work and on my apartment. Toomorrow is all work and then Monday I'm going to my sistah's for a cookout. It's supposed to be nice all weekend (60s) so I'm tres excited. Incidentally, I'm all about setting records here; not only have I gone the longest w/out TexMex in 20 years, I've also had my AC off for the longest in 20 years. Yeehaw!

That's the quick update. I just wanted to check in so people don't think I'm dead. I'm buried alright, but not in dirt...

Oh, and a shout-out to Babs who celebrated a momentous birthday yesterday! Babs, I'm SO GLAD YOU WERE BORN!! Love you and wish I could be there... well except for the weather... ;)