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I was just lying in bed thinking about Nancy Garcia, Peter’s mother. She has a job cleaning hearing aids. Every time I think of it, I feel like my heart breaks a little in some strange way. It seems like a dirty, sticky job, but somehow one that makes you love her for doing it. There are those people in the world who do those jobs like cleaning hearing aids.

My feet hurt. Running is wonderful, but not, I fear, the most natural or best thing for my body.

Tomorrow I’m going to Queen of Sheba, an Ethiopian restaurant where the head chef is a woman from Ethiopia, and it’s the first time I have finally been able to find someone who wanted to go with me because they love Ethiopian food too. I’m going with Po, who I don’t know very well yet, but who I think seems like a great person, and I’m looking forward to it very much. That pre-date feeling where you’re like…oh man, here goes nothin’. You try not to go in expecting much and just enjoy the person for who they are and don’t project any of your own bullshit onto them, just live in the moment and love life…spend some time with another cool human and eat some delicious food while you’re at it.

Probably a few times a week I wish I had NZT (see movie, Limitless), particularly when I’m at work in a meeting I am completely baffled by. If I had some NZT that scenario would go a lot differently. I’d be like, “Actually, might I suggest…” then I’d start speaking in Korean.

Going to Mountain Harvest Festival in Paonia with Josh next month, possibly others. Colorado wine country on the western slope. Peaches and wine and mountains and fall. Josh knows the spots to see some beautiful fall colors, mountains full of woods where the Aspens make it look like you’ve stumbled upon Lothlorien.

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At Streets of London drinking an Agave Wheat and eating an enormous slice of pepperoni pizza. I can’t seem to quit these things, but why would I want to?

Drove to Alma yesterday morning with Ashley. We had a good day, had a couple of beers at the only bar in town, met a nice person, Jeremy McCullough and his dog, Charlie, a little French Bulldog with a lot of spunk. Jeremy lives in a teepee in the woods, an amazing teepee. We hiked to a turquoise pond, and I took up my usual habit of looking for the elusive heart-shaped rock, and was surprised to find they were everywhere, everywhere I looked I seemed to find them. Even the fire pit had ashes and burnt out embers in the shape of a heart. I took it as a good omen.

A strange shrine of some kind in the woods…

Jeremy’s teepee was incredible. He has solar panels and everything.

Cool frog table…

Little Charlie. I wish my boy had been there.

Alma before the rain…

Prissy

Jeremy brought out a big duffel bag and dumped the contents onto the floor of the tent. Out poured these…I said to him, “That’s the last thing I expected to come out of that bag.” Amazing. He crafts leather.

Can’t. Stop. EATING! Gahhh!

Anyway.

Whole lot of thrifting today. Aurora Goodwill and Arc. Flossy McGrew’s, funtastic! SoBo Goodwill. Some good finds!

Adventure Mom:

Adventure Dad:

Stefanie Shank, Zumba instructor and world traveler, back from five months living abroad in Argentina and Peru on just $4000, including airfare to and from South America and on the continent. Inspiring! And the lovely Lauren, a new bride.

Zumba!

Lord of the dance, Peter Garaffo

Annie having a bit of a laugh in the background:

Chocolate Fondue fountain, yummy!

A few from Annie’s 80’s birthday party at Rio:

Loretta Lynn is a badass. “Fist City”

I am getting so excited for fall. I think of falls past and they always seem comforting and beautiful and I only feel happiness in retrospect, despite anything that may have been happening at the time. I am very fortunate to have a car this year, and I am eager to take trips around the state to festivals and am very excited for the ski season! A few festivals I’ve heard of:

Oktoberfest of course at the end of September – Denver and Breckenridge and probably other places. Beer and food and wonderful things. Apparently there is a dachsund derby in downtown Denver (alliteration!). That oughta be a hoot.

Mountain Harvest Festival on the western slope in the town of Paonia, celebration of harvest (I love the idea of celebrating a harvest), live concerts, farmker’s market, beer and wine tasting, chili cook-off, arts, etc. Sounds beautiful and fun.

Chile and Frijoles festival in Pueblo. It says to come and taste the pride of Pueblo, a special intesely flavorful variety of green chile. Sounds insane. It is served on a stic, chopped and stuffed into a quesadilla and topped with salsa. All kinds of cultural things abound as well. Eee!

Would also love to take a New Mexico road trip, Taos and/or Santa Fe.

Applefest on October 1-2, moot point, sadly, as I will be in Wisconsin for the wedding of one, Ethan Kargus, and his bride-to-be, Bridget Thorpe-Kavanaugh.

I bet there are lots of apple festivals though. I want to do the whole thing. Jeans and a hoody, jump in the car one brisk October morning, go to a pumpkin patch and pick pumpkins, drink apple cider, eat a carmel apple, bake an apple pie, go through a corn maze, maybe a haunted house or two (Denver is supposed to have some great ones!)

Pumpkin beer in fall is just beyond. I love it. I love life. I love memories of good times. I love thinking of fall in Asheville. Fall in Madison. Fall in Oshkosh. The smell, harvest moon, the way love feels in the fall, somehow sweeter, deeper.

Football and long walks at night, stars that shine brighter, the looming threat of snowstorms that could start at any time. Coats and tights, boots, skirts and mini-dresses, hats, mitties, hair that blows in the wind, and wind is always present on the best of fall days.

I wonder if I can find some kind of harvest festival that celebrates the equinox. I would like to partake in something like that, a wonderful pagan gathering.

Tonight, Glitter Party, which I keep referring to as a quote. For instance instead of asking Ross what time the party was, I texted him, “I’m starting to doubt your commitment to sparkle motion.” He said, “Are you coming? It starts at 7.” Ha! Very excited about running. It’s getting easier and easier and feels better and better, especially as the days get cooler. I am thinking of a change of venue to Wash Park, check that out. Maybe yoga, thrifting, study for GRE, cookie baking, movie-going, book reading, a good weekend.

Also, a date!

Two songs that resonate lately:

“One Chance” – Modest Mouse

“A Lack of Color” – Death Cab for Cutie

My eyes hurt, Blog. I think it’s because I’ve been staring at a computer too long. Feeling quite like crawling into a hole in the earth at the moment, a hole that might mercifully take me to Wonderland. What would Wonderland be like if I got there? I think it would be beautiful countryside with enormous flowers in many different colors. Falcor, the luck dragon would greet me and we would fly around to different parts of Wonderland, and there would be no illnesses or aging or acronyms or org charts. There would be no accrued leave and if you asked someone to “CC” you on an e-mail, they wouldn’t have any notion what you were talking about.

My physician would be David the Knome. There would be a ring of trees in part of Wonderland that would go to each of the Holiday Lands like in Nightmare Before Christmas. On Wonderland, there is also the option of joining Star Fleet and training to be on something like Voyager. There would certainly be a Hollideck. The force would be real. It would be like The Neverending Story in that I could create things at a whim if necessary, but it would not do to abuse that power.

Soon I’m going to get out of here. I’m going bake chocolate chip cookes tomorrow. Tonight, run like hell and study.

I really want to see 30 Minutes or Less. It comes out this Friday. I’m going.

My boss talked to me today about a promotion, $4,000 a year more than I’m making now. Why do they ensnare me with practical things? I would be really glad if it only promised more things to do, meaninful things to do. Maybe it does, but I feel like I’m foundering, and a lack of connection with my coworkers. It perplexes.

Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam. The exchange rates:

1.24 Singapore Dollar to 1 USD. Every time I think of Singapore I think of stringent laws of cleanliness. No spitting out your gum, no littering, no throwing cigarette butts. Very bad. I also think of Brave New World by Alduous Huxley for some reason, but I haven’t read it nor have I been to Singapore. But, I think it is because I the idea of rigid laws and a strictly controlled society reminds me of 1984, but Singapore seems to nice to be like the Oceania of 1984. So, probably more like the Utopia of Brave New World? I ought to be fined for the rambling I do.

3.00 Malaysian Ringgits to 1 USD. I think it would be something sensational to ring in the new year in Malaysia. The towers in Kuala Lumpur. Borneo, Island in the Clouds. I have a picture of a volcano in Borneo surrounded by clouds as my desktop background. Borneo is on the island of East Malaysia though, I think, and really a separate trip.

Nearly 30 Thai Baht to 1 USD. I’ve been told the bugs are heinous, but that’s the only bad thing I’ve heard spoken about Thailand. Writing this makes me crave the peanut sauce at Bahn Thai in Madison on Willy St. Oh, Willy St. With the likes of the Wisco, Cha Cha Salon, the Weary, Jolly Bob’s, the Co-op and the Crystal Corner, how can I not love and lament you? From Thailand to Willy St.

20,964 Vietnamese Dong to 1 USD. $50 USD per day and you can have the time of your life. Authentic food in foods carts costs about $1, buses and airfare is cheap. The black market is big in Vietnam, and law enforcement is pretty nil where it’s concerned. Big city, white sand beaches, mountains, culture. Country of determined optimists.

4,184 Cambodian Riel to 1 USD. It is said that one can live it up on $20/day in Cambodia. Budget lodging can be found for as low as $2-5 USD/night. 1000 riel, or about .25 cents you can have a wonderful, authentic meal in Cambodia that will apparently compete with the best of Thai or Vietnamese food. Another fun fact: you can rent a motorcycle in Angkor for $6 a day. Biking around Cambodia would pretty cool.

8,184 Lao Kip to 1 USD. Three currencies are used in Laos. Thai Baht, USD, and the kip. It is perfectly acceptable to negotiate costs when buying something. The kip comes in denominations of 500, 1000, 2000, 5000, 10, 000, 20, 000 and recently 50,000. Most flights on Lao Airlines are between $40-100 USD and bus trips are between $1-2 USD. You can get by in Laos on about $15/day.

Wow, I just took a bite of ginger. Spicey batch! The hot Cambric tea I drank after made it extra spicy. A Cambric tea is one made with hot water, milk, and sugar, and is something of a misnomer for what I am drinking, though not entirely. The tea I most often order is a Rooibos tea latte with soy and whip cream, which contains all the elements of the above, but is less basic. I really like it! Cambric tea is also described as a drink for children.

Got the couch and coffee table in the homestead last night. The man I spoke with about the mattress showed up in a pickup truck with two cronies, and the mattress was not the one in the picture, but a small, stained one that looked as though he got it in an alley after it had been discarded. I realized they were running some sort of racket, and I told them I just couldn’t take it. They were nice about it and offered to go back to “the warehouse” and get a different one, but that it would cost more. Pffft. Please.

Rode my bike to St. Mark’s, read The Orchid Thief. A few passages I liked:

“Oh, mystery, beauty, unknowability, I suppose,” he said, shrugging. “Besides, I think the real reason is that life has no meaning. No obvious meaning.” – As to why collectors obsess so heavily over orchids.

“I suppose I do have one unembarrassing passion–I want to know what it feels like to care about something passionately.”

“His life seemed to be filled with things that were just like the ghost orchid–wonderful to imagine and easy to fall in love with but a little fantastic and fleeting and out of reach.”

Fantastic and fleeting and out of reach…

Stopped by Lost Lake for a drink with some kiddos. We got a little photo booth crazy, and it ate our photos again, I fear. Bike ride home was wonderful in the most perfect of summer nights. Blue black velvet firmament rife with twinkling white stars (the word firmament has the most wonderful definition: the vault of heaven; sky). Riding through Cheeseman Park and feeling the wind on my face, the expansiveness of the land, and the rumor of unsettled spirits made the whole thing feel very magical, somehow nostalgic. It is said that Cheeseman Park is built on an old burial ground, I believe, is the story.

An alley that looked very pretty under moonlight and streetlamp:

Another wonderful word, amaranthine: unfading, everlasting

To find a love like amaranth or perhaps a love amaranthine in character or quality.

Lots to do. Lots on the brain.

Went to Nederland on Saturday. Listened to an 80s mix my dad had in the car. We hiked around the Barker reservoir to the dam. On the way a tire came flying through the canyon and was just feet in front of me when it passed. It would have knocked me into the reservoir. We had a beer at the Pioneer Inn, and then came home. There was a car accident in front of us, a car got totaled, airbags off, the whole thing. It was scary. Had some friends over that night. We drank wine. I felt sicker than I’ve been in a long time on Sunday. I think it was a combination of a bad reaction to medication and vitamin B toxicity. I have been sleeping on a box spring, and I don’t recommend it. I have also been dealing with a broken heart, and I would recommend avoiding that too, it is terrible. I feel again that old familiar sting, that feeling where I know it is not helpful to feel sad, but all I can do is try to hold myself together. I feel like I will never know love again, like I am better off dead. I can hardly walk amongst the living for fear of tears. I hope that people won’t talk to me because I will just fall apart. I did the best I could. I gave as much as I could. I thought I was doing right. My best wasn’t enough, I guess. My hearts feels like a rock in the middle of my chest, a dead weight pulling down towards my intestines.

People are talking about how much they have to do at work, how their calendar “just doubled”. Give me a break.

A day at a time. Just do this a day at a time. I wish I lived far away from Robbie. I knew this would happen. I should go back to Wisconsin. There’s nothing for me here. Six months, maybe I’ll give it six months. I’m going to be okay, I’ll get through this.

I saw these kitties on Saturday:

I got to ride with my friend on his motorycle on Friday to Aurora. We went thrifting, and I got some great stuff. A big purse with jungle animals embroidered on it. A beautiful blue sweater, and a black dress I am wearing now. Here I am with a big head:

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