Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Recap and resolutions

Society has been telling me that today is the day when you come up with a list of your top [insert number here] [insert general category here] of 2008, and then go on to list [insert other number here] things that you plan to change in 2009. I’m not sure if there is some sort of punishment for non-compliance, but I figure I’ll be proactive just in case.

10 Things That Happened to Us in 2008

  1. I got a new job.
  2. We moved to Colorado.
  3. Steve got a new job.
  4. Steve got a new job.
  5. We visited Phoenix.
  6. We visited Las Vegas.
  7. We turned 24 and 25.
  8. We watched a ton of Tivo and Netflix.
  9. We walked around in nature.
  10. We ate pizza, burritos, and little else.

5 Things I Say I’ll Change in 2009

  1. Take more pictures that have one or both of us in them. Someday we’ll want to show our kids what we looked like when we were young and adventurous.
  2. Eat fruits and veggies. Burrito lettuce and pizza sauce don’t count.
  3. Drink water, not soda. (Mmmm… soda.)
  4. Reduce the level of crap Steve has to put up with from me just slightly.
  5. Wear socks that in some way match my other clothing items (don’t really care much about that one, just noticed my blue socks are a bit obvious with my brown pants and shoes).

Also, I must be ready to put my husband through grad school this year. I’m thinking about writing a Lifetime movie about it. Less Chipotle: Rachel’s Story – The true story of a young woman who makes minor sacrifices for one calendar year while her husband gets an interesting and highly marketable degree.

Happy New Year!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Steve’s not allowed to pick our Netflix anymore

On Wednesday night we subjected ourselves to three episodes of the show Once and Again. Steve put the show on our queue because he “respects” Evan Rachel Wood as an “actress.” As far as I can tell the show is just hour after hour of dramatic, uncomfortable make-out sessions between 40-year-old people with uber-complicated divorces. Not my idea of a good time.

But the desire for those 2 hours and 15 minutes of my life didn’t upset me nearly as much as the dream I had Wednesday night after we watched it:

Steve told me that he was leaving me for Kayle (the college roommate who was the reason we met). I was shocked, and started to argue with him that he needed to stay with me. But the more I argued, the more he smiled, like “I’m so glad that I made this decision and will never have to deal with you again.”

Then I told him I was going to leave right then, thinking it would shock him into not letting me go. But again he smiled and happily started divvying up our stuff. He got our bamboo – the bamboo that was a housewarming gift for our first place more than five years ago – because it was from Michelle.

And then the real awfulness of the situation started to sink in for me. I was going to be alone, without a plant, while he lived with Kayle in our apartment with our stuff, and he was so happy about it.

I felt so relieved when I woke up, although it did take a second second to shake it all off. I put my head on Steve's shoulder and went back to sleep.

When I told Steve about it the next day he offered this helpful suggestion: “Next time you dream I’m leaving you, can it be for someone other than Kayle?”

Friday, December 5, 2008

I'm the luckiest girl in the world

Steve:   awesome last name: Hogoboom

Me:       yes, i like it

lol, let's change our name to that

Steve:  ok

Rachel Hogoboom

It makes me picture exploding hookers which isn't great

 me:     exploding hookers?

oh like ho-go-boom

i was picturing exploding pigs

like hog-o-boom

 Steve:  no it's like a ghetto recap. then the ho go boom

 me:     lol, you can't do that while i'm at work

 Steve:  like a fitty cent song

Who was I kidding?

Three or four or five months ago, I purged my Google Reader. I was in one of those places I sometimes get into where I felt pathetic for reading celebrity gossip, daily accounts of people’s lives (people whom I’ve never met), and only occasional real news (at least about the election).

So I axed all of the personal blogs, the Perez Hilton, the Ecorazzi, etc. To fill the void I added in more green news, more election news, an indie craft blog, and some feeds that I thought might be more spiritually enlightening. At first it was refreshing. It forced me to sharpen my focus on issues I cared about. I convinced myself it was some kind of Reader intentional meditation.

But as time passed I found myself scrolling through these new feeds as quickly as I possibly could. I would never really read them. I’d sometimes look at the pictures. I didn’t want to hear about someone’s two hour a day yoga practice anymore. And just when I thought there couldn’t possibly be another post about green office furniture, there it was!

I started sneaking back to my old blogs, guiltily, in elaborate covert operations. Just one peek to catch up, I’d say, knowing full well I’d be delving deep into the archives. But I wouldn’t let myself enjoy it.

This week I finally gave in, I added back the personal blogs I missed plus a few others I discovered. What I came to realize is that in days filled with polite, superficial conversation, it’s invaluable to have access to a few people’s honest thoughts. So what if these people aren’t my friends or I haven’t known them for years? I think that only underscores the fact that there are these universal issues we all deal with, and it feels so nice to know you’re not alone.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

A year and a half of us...


The entirety of our blog in a Wordle.

The fact that the word "like" is the most used obviously goes to show that I'm like, totally, like a valley girl, like. Either that or I'm very deep and use a ton of thought provoking similes.

Other points to note: 
  • I write more about Steve than he writes about me, or he writes a lot about himself in the third person.
  • "Eat" is very little, but we actually eat a lot.
  • "Time/Distance" shows up because apparently at one point in our lives we ran.
  • "Fun" is used far less often than "work."
  • The only names that show up are our own. We are some self-centered SOBs.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Be free, Gobbles!

This is my symbolic turkey:


I have decided to name him Gobbles. This year we will not be eating Gobbles, even though I'm sure he is delicious. My whole family will be turkey free!

Instead we will be eating this:



It's made out of mycoprotein, which is a fancy way of saying fermented mold. However, it is actually quite tasty. Much better than Tofurkey.

Feel free to send condolences to my parents for having weird children.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Who does this?

How gross is this? What was she thinking?



I didn't watch this with the sound on because I am at work but I suspect I don't care what she has to say.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Envy, pride, or one of those other deadly sins

I wouldn’t describe myself as a competitive person. I’ve never punched somebody in a poker game and my (lack of) athletic abilities make it near impossible for me to compete seriously in any kind of sport. I’ve always believed in the “doing your personal best” philosophy of life, and that comparing yourself to others won’t tell you what kind of person you are. But recently one little issue has been gnawing away at me…

We are making serious preparations for Steve to return to grad school next fall. He’s figured out a path, and we’re ready to do what it takes to get him through. I’m really happy about this. It means good things for him, good things for us in the future, and I feel so fortunate that he has this opportunity.

I’m also thrilled that Bryan and Colleen are thinking of moving this way after the school year is over. I’m sure there are many “young professional” antics to be had before we all completely settle down into family life (I swear I’m getting to a point).

The problem with all of this is that I’ll be the only one left without a postgrad degree. It seems like everyone I know is in grad school, finishing grad school, or applying for some fabulous grad program. And despite knowing that I shouldn’t judge my self-worth based on whether or not I have a piece of paper with a state seal, I feel stupid. I picture a future where Steve has to cover the electrical outlets and keep me away from small, swallow-able objects because, “She might hurt herself. She only has a Bachelor’s degree.”

In my rational thoughts, I know this is silly because:

1.       Some of the smartest and most interesting people I’ve ever known have had no degree at all.

2.       The people that I surround myself with are a bit of a warped, over-achieving sample.

3.       If at any point I decide I really want to go for my Master’s or PhD, there’s nothing standing in my way. I just have to decide for myself how many of my other life plans are worth putting on hold to keep up with the Joneses.

I’m sure eventually rational thinking will kick in a bit more. But for now I’m going to go sit in the corner and eat paste.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

At peace

America, we have come so far. We have seen so much. But there is so much more to do. So tonight, let us ask ourselves -- if our children should live to see the next century; if my daughters should be so lucky to live as long as Ann Nixon Cooper, what change will they see? What progress will we have made?

This is our chance to answer that call. This is our moment.

This is our time, to put our people back to work and open doors of opportunity for our kids; to restore prosperity and promote the cause of peace; to reclaim the American dream and reaffirm that fundamental truth, that, out of many, we are one; that while we breathe, we hope. And where we are met with cynicism and doubts and those who tell us that we can't, we will respond with that timeless creed that sums up the spirit of a people: Yes, we can.

-President-elect Barack Obama

I slept well last night. An overwhelming feeling of contentedness has filled me knowing that for the next four years (at least), I have faith in the person who will be leading our country. I have faith that he will take care of our people and our Earth. I have faith that the world is a better place because of the decision that was made last night. It will not be an easy transition, but I am filled with patience and perseverance.

The only dark spot on this historic night of breaking down barriers was the intolerance and prejudice shown by those who voted to strip away the civil rights of one segment of our population. This vote profoundly affects every citizen because it erodes this country’s founding principle that all men are created equal.

But if this election has taught me anything, it’s not to give up. I know now that together we can make a difference, and together our voices will be heard. I’m not giving up hope, and I will not be complacent.

This is just the beginning.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Election 2008

Rachel and I wanted to poll our audience on who they will be voting for President of the United States. Feel free to explain your vote in the comments section below if you wish and just like in the real election you are only allowed one vote.






Sunday, October 26, 2008

FOCOBAMA

That's FOCO and Obama combined if you were wondering. This weekend was all about Obama. On Saturday, Zach Braff:



Today, after waiting in a 2 1/2 mile line, we finally got to see Obama himself (if we balanced on a tree and leaned our heads just right):

Obama Speaks To Enthusiastic Crowd In Ft. Collins @ Yahoo! Video

A lot of good people supporting a great cause. Our blurry photos coming soon on flickr.

Obama '08

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Young's Gulch

Over the weekend, Rachel and I went on a hike called Young's Gulch in Poudre Canyon (stop laughing Dennis) about 25 miles from our house. We did the same hike two weeks earlier and the Fall colors were a little more vibrant but I only had my camera phone which sucks as seen in the first picture below. The second picture is of the same hike but was taken this last weekend.





Go to our Flickr for more pictures of this hike (including the bones we found) and pictures of an earlier hike at RMNP and our groovy Tour de Fat costumes.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Democracy in Action

We voted today at lunch. I think I checked my ballot about 15 times to make sure that I had really marked that circle next to Obama/Biden. We both opted for paper over electronic ballots. If someone’s going to sabotage our precinct's results, they’ll at least have to destroy some evidence.

Now all we can do is cross our fingers and know that we’re in good company.

Friday, October 10, 2008

What Steve and I will look like...

...if we don't start riding our bikes to work!!!


Friday, September 19, 2008

My plea…

Yesterday I had this sinking feeling about the election. Not that it wouldn’t go the way I wanted it to, necessarily, but that it would be decided by people whose only source of information about candidates will be the (often untrue and misleading) television ads that they run or mean speculation by talking heads. And what really irritated me about this was that there wasn’t much I could do about it. Sure I could go door to door trying to provide more accurate information about the candidates I support and their positions. But if people willfully choose to be ignorant on the issues, there is nothing I can do to combat that.

This morning I am again trying to build hope by issuing a challenge to everyone, hopefully a challenge that will be passed on by my friends and family to their friends and family and colleagues. Do your own research for this election, and do it thoroughly. Get beyond “hope” and “lipstick” and “POW” to look at the candidate’s histories, records, and the policies they’ve outline for the future. Find out what a community organizer is. And beyond the candidates, research your ballot initiatives and what they mean for your community. And as a final request – when you’re researching these things, try to think beyond how they would affect your personal bottom line. Remember to show love for one another, even with your vote. "There is enough in the world for everyone's need, but not enough for everyone's greed." –Frank Buchman

When you go to the polls, feel confident in your decisions, knowing you’ve done your best to bring about brighter future for our country.

I know we’ve been putting up a lot of political posts lately, but it’s because it is personal and does affect our lives and the major life decisions that we make (jobs, kids, buying a house, whether living in another country is a good option for us).

So in conclusion, research, learn, debate, discuss, and then, hopefully…

VOTE OBAMA ‘08

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Guggenheim Hall @ CSU

Starting Oct. 6, 2008, this will be my new 8-5 home.



Hopefully I won't have to be there too late after dark because the place looks haunted.

Friday, September 12, 2008

The Truth

[Fighting the lack of] HOPE

This morning I wish I could agree with my dad that it will be some neo-conservative conspiracy that will keep a right-wing, fundamentalist government in power that only benefits the wealthiest and greediest Americans. But after some of the things I’ve heard in the past few days, I think it is racist and fearful American voters who will stop progress and prevent an era of hope, quality of life, and compassion.

The first blow to my naiveté came from a story from my mom about a volunteer she knows, who despite agreeing with all of Obama’s policies, just can’t bring herself to vote for a black man. She said it’s just the way she was raised – she never interacted much with “them.” Following that came a story on NPR about race as a factor in the election. At first everyone said they had no racial biases, but through the discussion it became clear that they did.

I’m not voting for Barack Obama because of his race. I would not vote against someone because of their race. I’m voting for the candidate that I think could create the kind of future I want to see in this country – a future where everyone has equal opportunities.

In the same vein, I would not vote for the McCain/Palin ticket because Palin is a woman. Any candidate who hunts animals from airplanes, fights to get polar bears off the endangered species list, has an agenda that includes banning books and replacing comprehensive sex education with abstinence-only education (even with a pregnant teenage daughter at home), left a town of 7500 with a $22 million debt after coming into office with a balanced budget, and considers our occupation of Iraq as a mission from God is not the candidate I want representing me. And McCain picking this governor for his running mate has made it clear once and for all that he is not a maverick – he is another Republican candidate pandering to the far-right, Evangelical Christian, single-issue voters.

One more note on Governor Palin: May I remind you that the last time we voted for a likable yokel from a big oil state we got 8 years of W?

Vote Obama.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Hold me!

Since we moved to FoCo, I think we had this unspoken bond that we would not drop the F-bomb (Flagstaff, of course, for those of you with dirty minds). We refused to miss it, we would not talk about it, we would continue to list all of the reasons why our new city was infinitely better than the one we had left.

And for the most part it’s really true – we sat on this big grassy hill overlooking a lake filled with Canadian geese which is just a couple of miles from our apartment and couldn’t believe how excited we had gotten about a 20x100 yard expanse of flat grass behind our apartments in Flag. We have great shopping, great restaurants, great parks, close mountains, and the actual realistic prospect of someday buying a house.

But it was silly to think that we wouldn’t miss our little Arizona mountain city – the city where we met, the city where we first lived together, the city where we had our first fajita/margarita night, the city where we made such good friends who we could sit around talking with in coffee shops or at the Wine Loft or playing Frisbee.

This is not my big, “We’re moving back to Flagstaff” post, in case that’s what you were wondering. We’re happy here, I like my job, I like the college, being an hour from RMNP is pretty sweet, and our -4 year old loves the parks and good schools. But there are still the Thursday nights where I dream about going to Barnes & Noble with Bryan and Colleen, wish we could go play pool with Becca and Kevin, or meet for drinks at the Wine Loft with people from Steve’s work.

So I guess what I’m saying is sometimes I’m a little homesick. And I wish everyone I knew was independently wealthy so we could just spend all of our time visiting each other.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Friday, August 29, 2008

The Grandma Jean that I knew…

Sitting in her memorial service and going through her things made me realize how little I knew about my grandma. I didn’t know the woman who exchanged funny, flirty anniversary cards with her husband, was an excellent seamstress, and an impressive musician. To me she was always just my grandma, and the things that I’ll remember about her are much different:

• At Christmas and Easter, the notes that came from Santa or the Easter bunny were a squiggly version of her handwriting (obviously carefully disguised).

• At her house we would always eat peanut butter and jelly on wheat bread with carrot sticks and apple slices and fewer chips than either of us would have liked (eating crusts, especially on wheat bread, was slightly horrifying at the time).

• When she would babysit us, she would be the pitcher when we would play with the Snoopy baseball set. When it was too late to play outside, we would play Yahtzee.

• She could easily trade joking (or at least half joking) insults with my dad.
SIDENOTE: My only social skill - starting conversations with something sarcastic and inappropriate - came from my dad. So I’ll blame him for implying that my cousin was on drugs in front of the minister. But that’s another post for another time…

• We would try on my Mom’s wedding dress in the yellow room (my mom’s old room) where she kept all of her old formal dresses. We would sit at the vanity and look at ourselves in all the different lights on the makeup mirror.

• In her house she had a pink bathroom and always had Aquafresh toothpaste which was the best because it was stripe-y. She also had a plastic cuticle pusher that I thought was very cool even though I had no idea what it really did.

• She would pay us 10 cents for every acorn we picked up in her yard.

• She would let us play with Mom’s old dolls, Debby and Cathy

• She would let us drink out of the brightly colored aluminum cups that were in the “bar” in the basement.

• We would put on fabulous roller skating shows on her driveway.

• When we stayed at her house for long periods of time, we would get to watch As The World Turns with her.

• She always made sure that we were taken care of – fed, clean, clothed, and equipped with the resources to take up any opportunity that came our way.

• She was practical and strong. She loved us, and we loved her.

I wish any of this brought any sort of closure but I think I’ll always have to remind myself that she’s not in Lincoln welcoming a visit when we can break away from our busy lives.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Monday, August 4, 2008

Do they make a medication for this?

So normally I like to think of myself as a pretty logical person. Hopefully not like the clueless FBI agent/CIA agent/police officer/museum curator/professor in the movies that is always saying, “But this can’t be! I’m sure of it!” right before the alien/killer pandemic/ghost/prehistoric curse offs them (after all, I have seen all seven seasons of Buffy at least 4 times plus the first graphic novel). But in general, I think I’m fairly level-headed.

But my normally logical thinking completely breaks down with my belief in some weird karmic scorecard where the universe is constantly weighing everything I say or do and altering our lives because of it. And not in systematic ways, like if you try hard and think positively things will work out. No it’s like a guessing game of random events that I’m sure will determine our fate.

Take for instance, the potential of Steve working here on campus. Everything I say about it, think about it, and even completely non-related events affect, in my mind, the chances of this happening. If I mention it too many times, then we want it too badly and the universe will teach us a lesson. If I don’t mention it enough, then we don’t want it badly enough and it will go to someone else who wanted it the proper amount. Since Becca got her job in Flagstaff, maybe that means that the universe will be balanced by Steve not getting his. Maybe me running into another advisor he would work with is a positive sign, or maybe the fact that I didn’t ride my bike to work enough this week will result in punishment.

Flying is another one that gets me. If I don’t worry at all about flying will the universe try to be ironic and make that the time the plane goes down? Or if I worry too much will I project negative mojo on the plane and make it worse than if I were thinking positively? How can I possibly keep the perfect balance of positive and negative thoughts that are obviously the only thing keeping the plane in the air?

After reading this post, my mom will be thinking that I need more to do. It’s probably true.

But whatever your idea of positive thinking, praying, altering karma, could you please try to do it for Steve to get the job here? Maybe your system will work better than mine.

(Too bad this blog post will do no good since my hope that Steve gets his job is semi-selfish and the universe only rewards completely altruistic thought. Foiled me again, universe!)

Friday, July 11, 2008

Religion Quiz

Rachel and I have battled with whether or not to attend a church for as long as we have been a couple. Rachel has many good memories of growing up in a church with positive social, spiritual and educational aspects but it was also flawed. I on the other hand don't have as many fond memories so I have been skeptical about trying again since day one. One major obstacle for us is the fact that we are crazy treehugging socialists so finding a church that matches our view on social issues can be difficult but nevertheless remains an area of curiosity.

Rachel and took a quiz today to determine which belief system best suites each of us. I was listed as 100% Secular Humanist which was not a tremendous surprise because most questions on the multiple choice quiz offer an "I don't know" option. Nevertheless, I question where secular humanists come together for social gatherings and enlightenment. I have always thought a church or some institution should exist with the sole purpose of supporting a quest for higher learning while discussing many modern issues even spirituality. I decided that I should start my own called the Gathering of Secular Humanists or GoSH. The irony of this acronym is not lost on me. Gosh is a word used to replace God, so too would GoSH the institution.

I am having fun here and by no means wish to offend anyone nor do I have any real intention to start a Gathering of Secular Humanists. Besides, such institutions already exists. They are referred to as state universities.

I am curious to see what the quiz identifies as your belief system. If you care to share, list your top 3 in the comment section. My top 3 are:

1. Secular Humanist (100%)
2. Unitarian Universalist (97%)
3. Tie between Liberal Quaker and Theravada Buddhism (92%)

Friday, June 27, 2008

Bike Route 2

I want to start by mentioning how proud I am of Rachel for riding her bike to and from work all this week to participate in Bike to Work Week. While I did go along with her, I didn't have to work an 8 hour day in between rides.

On my way back home from riding to work with Rachel this morning I decided to take another new trail back home. I am pretty excited because it was awesome and beautiful. It is similar to the other one but it went along the side of the Gardens on Spring Creek (kind of a designated botanical garden and greenhouse area) and the creek itself. It went by homes I hope to live in some day, more natural areas, Rolland Moore Park and Spring Canyon Park which is Rachel's and my favorite.

I didn't have the camera with me so no pictures but I will try to remember next time. Also, I realized that I have never mapped Rachel's commuter route so I will do that next.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

On being too darn good (diddly)…

On Saturday we went to the Mets/Rockies game in Denver and sat in the “Rock Pile.” Basically cheap seats in the outfield, but really not bad for $4. Unfortunately the Mets lost (the only game they lost of the series), so Steve was in a rather intense place. Never mad (have you met Steve?), just quiet.

This gave me a lot of time to listen to the conversations going on behind us. It was a group of people a couple years out of college (so basically our age) who had chosen a much different path. Beyond their very clever insults of “You suck Mets!” and “Go back to New York!” they had some interesting conversations that I observed like Jane Goodall would observe apes. Here’s a sample.

Guy: So what do you do?
Girl: I’m a broker.
Guy: Like a stock broker?
Girl: Kind of. I’m in training for Charles Schwab.
Guy: So do you have a lot of clients?
Girl: Right now I kind of just answer questions on the phone.
Guy: Like cold calls?
Girl: No, just regular calls.
Guy: How’s your portfolio?
Girl: Not very extensive yet.
Guy: Yeah, mine’s not that big yet either.

Girl: I need to get a dog tag with my address on it.
Guy: Why?
Girl: So when I get drunk people know where to send me. I have a friend who does that.
Guy: He’s a tool.
Girl: Yeah, but I need it. I get so drunk.
Guy: Yeah.
Girl: Want to go to Bash tonight? (Blah blah blah, something about 4 a.m., hangover, haha, very funny)

At first, I’m like “Can you believe these idiots are our age?” Then I started to wonder if there was some part of our youth we were missing out on. Do normal 24 year olds go to bed around 10 every night and wake up early on Saturday to go the farmer’s market? Do they consider eating cheese a semi-sinful treat? Do they drink decaf with soy milk and Splenda? I bet they wear leather shoes and shorts and tank tops. Maybe I shouldn’t have worn my cardigan and fanny pack.

It made me miss our friends in Flagstaff, who by staying out past 11 and sometimes even going out on a weeknight kept me from feeling like an 85 year old shut-in. Sure I’m never going to be a drunken club girl in designer clothes, but it was nice to go to a laid back bar and eat cheese fries and make jokes with a big group of people. Hopefully we’ll be able to find that here soon.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Recap & Pictures

This weekend Rachel and I made a quick trip to Lincoln, Nebraska. Grandma Jean was a great host and it was nice to visit with the James family and more. I wasn't very good at taking pictures (only two).



I met Rachel for lunch again today and decided to take the same trail home I posted a few days ago. This time I brought a camera. The photos didn't upload in the appropriate order but for the most part they are grouped together. If some look a little off, keep in mind, many of these photos were taken while riding (I was careful).

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Bike Route

Below is the bike route I took after having lunch with Rachel today. It was awesome. It was completely paved and went through natural areas, along rivers and creeks, and through parks and neighborhoods. I was exhausted because it was 9.5 miles and that was after riding from home to CSU to meet Rachel and then from CSU to the Library where I picked up a bike trails maps and the below map begins.

P.S. I love mapmyrun.com

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Living in the Now

I’ve blogged before about my complete and total inability to live in the present moment. I often find my thoughts drifting through our plans which end somewhere around, “And by then our kid(s) will be out of the house, based on the current projections for my 401(a), we’ll be able to retire 2.5 years early even with five years subtracted to stay home with the child(ren), the mortgage will be close to paid off and we can decide whether we want to downsize and use that money to travel. Maybe I should check on flight prices to Europe for April 2047.”

I know there are some good things about having a basic direction in life, but this is just not right. Especially scary is the desire to skip some parts of life to get to that moment where we finally have everything, a la that movie with that actor who I have no respect for after “I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry.” It’s easy to start thinking, “If we could just skip three years ahead, we’ll be in this really perfect situation…”

Also frightening is that planning so far ahead makes it feel like we’re so much older than we are. Thoughts like, “Enrolling full time in grad school? I don’t know… I’d be there with all those 23 year olds,” are a lot more common than they should be.

When I’m able to clear my mind of all of the pressures to be “something” already, I’m really happy with where we’re at. I really like my job, I love hanging out in all these cool new places with Steve, and we’re living pretty comfortably. So maybe at 24 we’re not CEOs with 2.3 kids, a big house with a white picket fence, and a vacation home on Martha’s Vineyard. And that’s OK.

As the wise Buffy the Vampire Slayer said, “I'm cookie dough. I'm not done baking. I'm not finished becoming who ever the hell it is I'm gonna turn out to be. I make it through this, and the next thing, and the next thing, and maybe one day, I turn around and realize I'm ready. I'm cookies.”

Maybe by the time I’m 40 I’ll be cookies. Until then, I’m going to try to enjoy the ride.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Socially Awkward

In a lot of ways it has been great having Steve at home. He brings me peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for lunch and we have yet to end up with a 5 foot tall pile of dishes in our sink. However, the only problem with our current roles is that I, as the one who goes out into the world and sees people, should probably be the one making us some friends.

However, I am a complete social misfit reject loser. I’m polite, but I think that is where my social skills end. The worst part is, I have a pretty good idea what I could do to fix this. Repeatedly in my head I think, “Ask people what they’re doing this weekend! Ask about their families! Share something small and neutral about your personal life, like ‘I like cookies!’” But then I get the other voice that says, “I can’t just say stuff out of the blue, it will be awkward. I’ll sound forced and weird and stupid. I suck!” I don’t think its schizophrenia because neither voice has an accent.

And this weekend a co-worker invited me to a BBQ for his daughter’s birthday. Of course I over-thought it until I couldn’t possibly go. “He’s just doing it be polite. It doesn’t look like anyone else from work can go. If I show up, I’ll just stand awkwardly in a corner somewhere. And we’ll have to explain we’re vegetarians. And what if his daughter doesn’t like books and we get her a book for a birthday present and then they think we’re weird reading-pushing people? Or if what if we buy a toy that was painted in China and they think we’re awful people?” So instead, we’re probably going to Denver by ourselves…

Once Steve is working, I fully anticipate that we’ll make friends. Because if someone invited him for BBQ, he’d say “Cool.”

Monday, April 14, 2008

Yikes!

So our lives completely changed over the weekend. I think that everyone who is supposed to be informed in a non-blog fashion has been informed, so it’s probably safe to talk about. On Friday I was offered a job in Colorado and accepted it, which means that we will be moving 800 miles away very shortly. It’s a step up for me, and it would mean living in another beautiful college town in the mountains - but one that is a lot more affordable.

Now we’re working on making all of our arrangements - moving truck rentals, apartments, utilities, etc. And we both had to officially tell our respective employers today, so it’s been a little stressful. Luckily most people have been really supportive which is important when you make life-altering decisions on a very short timeline.

Of course there will be tons of things we’ll miss - being within driving distance of family being the biggest - but we’re also excited for an adventure and a new place to explore.

I’m sure there will be more to come, but for the last few weeks we’ve been hesitant to say anything because apparently I’m uber-superstitious and though talking about this job like it might actually happen would guarantee that it wouldn’t.

So yeah, I think that’s all. Carry on.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Ruining our unborn child(ren)…

For any of you who have been living under a rock, or somewhere without WiFi, Steve and I are big planners. Or maybe just big discussers. We like to talk about everything related to the future and get each other’s perspectives to see if we can come to some kind of agreement before whatever the said is event actually happens. This works for things like which high school we would like our kid to go to, or what the best retirement living option is for us. I’m not very good at “living in the now.”

Holidays and the way we will celebrate with our child has been one subject of a lot of debate. Me being idealistic (insane), I really want to only celebrate holidays that truly have some meaning to us and avoid imparting right-wing, conservative Christian concepts just as an easy excuse to eat chocolate.

This has led me to scour Amazon for the perfect “who Santa really was” book, and to float the concept of thinking of Easter as a time to really examine new life and what life means, rather than as the day our holy Lord and Savior literally rose from the dead and gave chocolate eggs to all the children.

As Michelle said, as far as religion goes we’re “free agents” right now. I don’t think I’ve found that one organized religious group that completely aligns with how I feel the spiritual side of life to be. I do hope we’ll be able to create meaningful and fun holidays for our kid even if they’re not as traditional. Or maybe we’ll buckle and you’ll see Steve carrying around the baby Jesus in his Santa suit singing “Here We Come a Wassailing.”

Friday, February 29, 2008

Obama!

I will be the first to admit that I am a sucker for emotional appeals made by famous people.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Dreaming of the Living Dead

So last night I had a dream that went something like this...

Brittany and I were going to a party. Not like a crazy college party, but more like a First Friday artsy store kind of party. I think Steve was there too, but I'm not completely sure. Anyway, there was a lot of little cocktail-type food set out, and I started to notice that when people ate any meat dish (but mostly chicken wings) they became zombies, for a few minutes. Not crazy vicious zombies, but they did have a taste for human flesh. These meat eating zombies would nibble on the people around them - necks, arms, fingers - then a few minutes later they'd return to normal. My arm was slowly eaten away before I made a break for the bathroom only to find - that's right - more zombies. I remember thinking that I was lucky I didn't eat meat so I wouldn't be one, but the flip side was that I'd be dead and eventually the other zombies would just go back to normal.

I blame falling asleep to commercials about 30 Days of Night and seeing the preview for Undead or Alive on some movie we rented.

Any other interpretations?

Thursday, February 14, 2008

New Feature

I decided to join the Twitter craze because I am never going to have the patience to write a blog post but a least this way I can write quick little updates about what's going on in my world and in my head. Look to the right to check it out.

Rachel will be joining soon...

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Anticlimatic

Steve and I voted early on Friday just to make sure we got our ballots in. We knew today might be busy, and that voting on our lunch hour could be difficult. And, I know this sounds terriby prejudiced, but our polling place was a baptist church and I thought our ballots might get "lost" if we turned them in there.

I'm glad that we had the option to vote early, but it's a little sad not to feel like a part of Super Tuesday. Very little rallying and/or camaraderie for the people who vote early.

But still better than a caucus in my opinion.

Thursday, January 31, 2008

The work of our student new media team...



Go to nau.edu/plaid for their work and my crummy template-driven web design.

Friday, January 25, 2008

This is what happens when you procrastinate…

A lot of half-assed blogging that is intended to communicate everything I meant to blog about in the past 9 days or so.

I’m 24. I immediately sensed a newfound maturity and sophistication at around noonish on January 18. Then it dissipated at around 2 a.m. on January 19.

On the night of my birthday I bowled (terribly), danced to Zowie Bowie, ate spicy noodles with shrimp, and was chauffeured around in two different BMWs. It was all a little more than we simple folk from the north country could take. But I did have fun.

On Saturday night, I requested Portobello burgers with sweet potatoes au gratin. I learned that I did not like Portobello burgers, but I’m taking baby steps toward eating like a normal person. Dinner was followed up with angel food cake and cookie dough ice cream.

On Sunday, we walked around the new Palazzo on the Strip. We ate at Maggiano’s at the Fashion Show Mall, and managed to catch a fashion show with this year’s Miss American contestants. It was thrilling. Then we headed over to Love, which is amazing. At the end I felt kind of speechless. I think I’d need to see it about six more times to take it all in, but it was beautiful.

Thanks to my parents, Steve, Nate, and everyone else who made my birthday so special.

This week at work has been crazy busy. Making up for taking a four-day weekend is killer. I’m hanging in there with the help of Steve and Gilmore Girls re-runs.

Mad Men is so rampantly sexist it almost hurts to watch.

There’s a lot going on right now that firmly contradicts my need to know exactly what is going on and exactly what will happen in the future. It’s making my brain hurt and my skin bad.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

I heart baseball

Every baseball season it's the same. When spring training rolls around I am giddy about the return of baseball games. I say games because baseball in spirit never stopped. Not in my life. This is because I read baseball blogs (specifically Mets blogs) on a daily basis. I am so obsessed with one in particular, mestblog.com, that whenever I open a web browser- whether to check my email or do anything else, I instinctively start typing metsblog.com into the address bar when I have no intention on going there. It has become habit like locking the door when you go to the bathroom or saying hello when you answer the phone. It really is sick. During down time at work, I could easily check the site every 5 minutes to see if there is anything new. During the off-season, I am most interested to see if any major trade or free agent signing has occurred. Currently I am following a soap opera like storyline of will they or won't they trade for Johan Santana or will he stay with the Twins or go to the Yankees (heaven forbid) or the Red Sox.

The best part of all is that I probably watch only 5-7 of the 162 Mets games during the regular season. Not because I don't want to but because I don't pay 150 dollars to get unlimited games on MLB.com and because Rachel would shoot me. So the majority of my obsession is reading box scores and off season transactions or non-transactions, not actually watching or even (gasp) playing the sport. And my favorite team resides in a place that I have never been and have no family ties. I would claim Alex but he is more Yankees fan than Mets fan.

I have considered that I could have more productive hobbies that may benefit some underprivileged population but when I hear the crack of the bat or, better yet, read about it hours later, I cannot resist because I HEART BASEBALL.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

How did I live my whole life without knowing this?

Apparently I am an INTJ. Click here or here or here if you care what that means. I can see some of it, but it doesn't include my crippling fear of ordering pizza, so I'm taking it with a grain of salt. Although, if it's true I'm on a very, very wrong career path.

Sidenote: Does it bother anyone else that "challenges" is misspelled on that second link?

Monday, January 7, 2008

Belated Christmas 2007 Recap

This last Christmas might be my most favorite post childhood Christmas. I have finally come to grips that it will never quite be the same as when you were a child except possibly when we live vicariously through our own children. We also got to host Christmas this year in a non desert climate, my first. As usual the holiday season got started on the right foot with a pre-Christmas party at my mom's house with the ever growing Phoenix crew. Below is a picture of my mom's house and one failed attempt to take a good indoor picture.




On Christmas Eve, Rachel and I ascended to Flagstaff to host the Hanna's, or Mark and Mary, or Mom and Dad H. (haven't quite gotten there yet) for the remainder of the holiday. Below are pictures of our finely decorated digs.




We enjoyed a little less than a weeks worth of food (mmmm Tofurky), cold weather, pool, Christmas movies, not so Christmas movies (I am McLovin) and much needed relaxation.




Thank you to everyone that contributed to a very merry Christmas satisfying our commercial (gifts, gifts and more gifts) and Zen (fun, food, family and relaxation) needs.

Friday, January 4, 2008

Three days in a row of bloggy goodness…

Last night I had a dream that there was something good or special I got to do ONLY because I was younger than 24. I think it involved getting to be some kind of creative director where they needed someone 23 or younger to be in touch with “the youth.” I stood up in whatever meeting it was and said, “I’m not 24 yet,” and people exchanged smiles and then it was obvious that I would get this great job or role or however it worked.

In 14 days, I’ll no longer be able to get this dream promotion. I think I’m a little scared because I was always felt like an old person in a young person’s body. But now I’m starting to realize that eventually I’ll be an old person in an old person’s body.

Contributing to my paranoia - Jenna Fisher’s old person make up in Walk Hard. I was sitting in the theater thinking, “It’s Pam! And she’s old! Someday she’ll really look like that! And when she does I’ll look like that!”

I know I have some time before I need to start scouting retirement homes, so I plan to at least make sure that this birthday is celebrated fairly immaturely.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

They should give us a badge or something…

New Year’s Eve was fabulous for the most part. We had appetizers at Maloney’s and played Taboo at the Wine Loft with Bryan and Colleen. At midnight, we watched the pinecone drop as has become our tradition. You would not believe how many people fill the streets to watch this big metal pinecone drop about 8 feet.

After the crowd dispersed I was craving a pita, so we wandered over to the Pita Pit. On the way in, Bryan and Colleen got held up by a mob of kids trying to hold up their severely drunk friend. This guy was bad off. He hit the ground, they pulled him up and he kind of fell on to Bryan before he and Colleen made it in the door. We grabbed the only open barstools by the window and continued to monitor the chaos.

Most of the mob left and the guy sat down on a bench with one girl holding him up. Inevitably, after about 15 seconds he starts vomiting gratuitously - orange, liquidy, and instantly freezing on the sidewalk. The girl is trying to hold him up, but she can’t handle his weight and he falls onto the sidewalk and continues puking. At this point, the girl RUNS INSIDE THE PITA PIT AND HIDES, and the guy is left just lying on the concrete, shaking, as people step over him and walk past.

So I look at Steve and say, “Someone needs to get help,” and Steve heads out to grab the police officers. The police come and order Steve to wait across the street in the freezing cold. For 15 minutes we watch the police hold this guy still and he shakes and throws up. Finally, the ambulance shows up, the paramedics strap him to a board, and he's off to hopefully get the help he needs. In the middle of all of this, the girl "friend" sneaks out the restaurant covering her face. Eventually Steve makes it back in, but at this point, I’m not really feeling a pita.

Sidewalk Drunk Boy, if you’re reading this, make your New Year’s resolution to lay off the booze and look for some new friends.

The Most Terrifying Video You'll Ever See

Yet suitable for children of all ages.



These are the kind of simple arguments I can get behind.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

[Expletive Deleted] [Expletive Deleted] [Expletive Deleted] Work

So after 11 blissful days off, being back at work is excruciatingly painful. Just the thought of being back at work turned me into a miserable, moping thing in a bathrobe and slippers for the majority of yesterday. And after drinking some of my Anxiety Tea (a Christmas gift from Becca who understands that I'm insane), I was a sleepy, moping thing in a bathrobe and slippers.

I wish every day that I could find a little more apathy because my doormat mentality is not serving me well at work. I don't think anyone would say that I'm a bad employee or a bad person, but the fear of being labeled as such keeps me from ever standing up for myself.

It's not an excuse for not speaking up, but I do fail to see how it is my responsibility to coax some of my superiors into behaving like decent human beings, showing a little consideration of others, and accepting some responsibility. If I can do it, they can do it. And they should be able do it without me having to fight tooth and nail for every inch.

For a good cause, I will fight my hardest and stand my ground, but for myself, I just can't do it.



"I believe you have my stapler..."