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

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.”