Wednesday, February 28, 2007

new gear

Ed note: Blogger is fricking ridiculous and won't let me format this post the way i want to and I sick of messing with it.. just imagine that it has the proper spacing and the captions correspond to the pictures the right way. Stupid F-ing blogger, I hate you.

I love to match. I love pairs and sets that go together, colors that coordinate, etc. It's just how my brain works... I feel off somehow when I don't coordinate. All season I've been feeling off. The stuff I wear when I snowboard doesn't go together at all, but I've just been using what's available to me:

* Stephen's old board by...somebody? (white, with this weird hellish red-orange-yellow-black volcano thing happening, with silver and bright blue bindings)

* New boots that happen to be 3 sizes too big for me but we didn't know it by Burton (dark blue, black, and green)

* Light winter coat by Burton (Beige and Pink)

* Snow pants By Ronin (I use Stephen's gray pair or my white and yellow pair, it has a big "R" on the back right hip)

* Mittens by Columbia (black, huge, and useless for doing anything with my fingers)

* Helmet also by Somebody (silver)

It doesn't work. I feel completely awkward. None of it fits perfectly except Stephen's pants (go figure), and half of it is men's clothing/equipment. I know it's not the most important thing, but I want to look cute when we go snowboarding! Is that so much to ask?

Anyway, I'd been complaining about my boots. They felt like they might slip off every time I made a turn (which is BAD), so we were buying me new boots. While we were there, we saw a snowboard for Amy (that's our Christmas present to her- I'm such a good sister!)... and then Stephen had a(nother) brilliant idea. Since we're selling the boots online (we can't find the receipt...), we may as well sell the old board. So...

I got a new board!!!

And last weekend, I got a new jacket. That matches. So now, I feel fabulous in my:

* Ride Women's Jacket in turquoise (it's fitted and cute and has a zillion little pockets aand has a silver embroidered R on the back... we all know how I love the letter R. Can't find a picture.)

* Vans Encore Women's boots (below, in MY SIZE)

* Palmer Touch Women's board (below, which the bindings match perfectly- this is one of the very best companies to buy a board from. Remember how I wanted a Liberty? This is a similar model.)

* Same pants, helmet, mittens (next on my shopping list: gloves that fit)

It all matches. I feel cute. And in boots that fit, and a fantastic new board, I am a lot better than I thought I was. I'll be dusting Stephen in no time. He'll be so embarrassed. (Read: Hopefully in a few years I'll at least be able to keep up with him. He'll be so proud.) I know I've only been doing this for one season, but I've fallen in love with the sport. I'm very passionate about it.

Vans Encore Women's Boots

Palmer Touch Women's Board
(I think I should name it. Something 50's cute like Betty. Or something that starts with a P. Any suggestions?)

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

I'm back, and feeling (a little) better! I did take a hot bath and drink a glass of wine, and I did curl up in a blanket with a chick flick (Marie Antoinette), and I did take time off work- 3 days. I also took a slew of medicine and am at the moment running on Dayquil. I'm back at "the old swivel chair" trying to catch up on work/do damage control on the disasters that inevitably happen when I'm gone.

Anyway, I've been thinking about the silly things we do out of habit: namely, the "How are you?" People walking by my desk or visiting the office or, less often, on the phone... it's nothing more than a social nicety; usually it's mumbled without thinking and without expecting an answer. Usually I just answer "fine, thanks", because usually I AM fine. But I try to only ask if I care/have the time to listen to a real answer, even though I know I won't get one 90% of the time.

I'm a genuine person and I don't like small talk and "social niceties". If you don't care how I am, why bother asking? The way I hear it every day, the "How are you?" isn't even deserving of a question mark. You know the tone I'm talking about. "Hey, how are you." It's insulting. And since I'm not fine today, It's been making me feel shallow all day to have to answer "I'm ok." when I really want to answer "I haven't been able to breathe through my nose in 6 days, and I've hacked up a some really, truly horrendous and unidentifiable masses of something gooey that I'm considering donating to DU for scientific research."

Too much? It'd definitely be the last time that guy from Halliburton asks a receptionist about the current state of her day without thinking long and hard. But I don't want to make anyone uncomfortable. >:)

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

please excuse my venting

I am a total wreck today. I feel terrible. On top of my churning stomach, occasional gag reflex, throbbing temples, aching back, and sore throat, everyone was just plain mean today. I was hoping for a quiet day when the phones wouldn't ring much and no one would come in. Instead, we had nearly 30 visitors to the office before lunch. 14 of them came in all at the same time. They all gave me an attitude about having to sign in and treated me like an inferior. People kept calling me all morning to belittle me because, more often than not, something happened that was completely out of my control and they just need someone to blame or they assume it was my fault. One woman, who is typically very kind and friendly with me, was really rude with me on the phone this morning. I went into the bathroom and cried. I'm very sensitive- it's hard not to take that shit personally.

I managed to find a warm sunny quiet spot outside (do you know how hard that is in downtown Denver?) where I could relax and clear my mind. Jackass security guard made me leave and actually tried to follow me out of the courtyard (it's not really a courtyard, exactly. Whatever.) I was in the midst of telling Stephen over the phone about my horrible day and how this little spot in the sunshine was the only happy thing about my day so far when the security guy made me leave, so I completely lost it. I cried again. A lot. I cried for, like, 10 minutes. I'm not even premenstrual right now. I'm coming unhinged.

What is wrong with me?

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Sorry for not posting. I had a 5 day weekend and I never remember to blog on weekends. I wrote a post this morning and then my stupid computer closed my browser and gave me some BS error message. I just don't feel like messing with this today.

I don't feel good- I've been tired and I've had an off-and-on pounding headache all day. What I need is a couple good cracks at the chiropractor. Fortunately, I don't think I'm getting sick. When I get sick I get really scatter-brained and do everything very slowly, like I'm underwater. Once, I wandered a Walgreen's for 30 minutes alternately trying to remember what I was looking for, finding it, putting it down for some reason in some random aisle, and beginning the cycle again (let me take this opportunity to apologize to whatever employee had to collect and return 5 or 6 Walgreen's brand hand sanitizer bottles to their proper location). I then ambled around downtown for another 30 minutes before returning to the office and realizing that I had forgotten to eat lunch while I was out.

Stephen called me this morning while I was straightening my hair to remind me that "we're going to that Av's game tonight". All I want to do is go to sleep.

We were planning on him meeting me at my office and just going to Old Chicago, and I've been dreading it all day. Pizza? Beer? Gegghckaaghk. 2 things which would normally be great, especially in prequel to a hockey game, but it just sounded awful today. But I just talked to him and he suggested that, since Sonoda's (sushi) is right down here...

Stephen, you are a man after my own heart. I've been craving sushi all day. Raw fish does a body good.
Rachel's Prescription for Wellness.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Stephen called me today at work and said "Happy Valentines Day!".

Huh? Valen-whats it now?? Day? Today? OH!! That. I had forgotten.

This is just not a big deal to me. Sure I'd like some flowers or chocolate or chocolate flowers, but wouldn't I every day? (answer: yes) Even after I figured out that today is V-day, I was monumentally confused by the special Google logo of the day and didn't figure it out till' just now.

I'll probably forget again in a little while, and when someone in the office says something like "got a hot date tonight?" with a wink and a grin, I'll end up pondering this bizarre query for a good 5 minutes before I remember again that today is a holiday.

I know not everyone has someone to celebrate with and this is a crappy day for some people, and that a lot of people love Valentines, and a few don't care either way, like me... so to all of you-
Happy Valentines Day!!
Go do something that makes you happy today.

Also, Stephen passed on my TMS post to his coworker Jennifer, and she's under the impression that I'm funny and is reading my blog now (much to my bewilderment and appreciation). So, hi Jennifer, and everyone who got my blog from her! Thanks for reading!!! (This is so weird for me. I've never considered myself funny. Maybe this is like the tall thing?)

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

The train was delayed last night because of a traffic accident on the tracks. Since we sat at the station for 10 minutes waiting for the chance to go, more and more people kept getting on. It was packed to capacity before we left the first station. I didn't get to sit, but I actually prefer standing since I sit at this stupid computer all day (plus, balancing on a moving train is like a low-impact full body workout). I was only about 15 minutes late getting home- it was inconvenient and unenjoyable, but on the whole not that big a deal.

A woman across from me spent the 45 minute ride complaining loudly about how this is "inexcusable" and "ridiculous" and telling the other passengers that she's going to have to complain to RTD again. She said she files an average of 2 complaints a weeks (Lady needed to loosen up). Rather than let Miss Stick-Up-Her-Butt and her terrible attitude get to me, or freak out because I couldn't move my arms without bumping someone, I got out my ipod and jammed the whole way home. Thus, I bring you my stuck on the train again playlist.

1. John Mayer- Waiting on the World to Change
2. John Mayer- I Don't Trust Myself
3. John Mayer- Vultures
4. John Mayer- In Repair
5. Snow Patrol- Ways & Means
6. Snow Patrol- Shut Your Eyes
7. Matisyahu- Beat Box
8. G. Love- Can't Go Back to Jersey
9. Art Blakey & The Jazz Messengers- Moanin'
10. Lee Morgan- The Sidewinder
11. The Commodores- Brick House
12. Outkast- So Fresh, So Clean

I got off the train and danced all the way to my car- I looked crazy, but I just needed to move. I highly recommend dancing in public.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Rachel: Flower's Bane

We have 2 buildings and quite a few married couples in the company. One woman from the other building sent her husband (in my building) an enormous bouquet for V-day. Her husband is out of the office for several days. I called the aforementioned woman (she's head of a department, very important, etc. etc.), thinking the flowers had been delivered early on accident.

"Oh! I completely forgot that he's in Dallas today. Would you put them in his office and make sure they have enough water? He'll be back on Wednesday. Thanks!"

Crap. I was hoping she'd say "Well, you go ahead and keep those delicious smelling flowers for yourself, hon, and I'll just order some more! After all, I'm very important and I can afford more flowers." But no. It's now my responsibility to love and nurture those stupid flowers till' dude gets back from his business trip (do husbands even like delicious smelling bouquets?). If there's one thing I excel at, it's killing plants. I've got the touch of death- I'm a botanical murderer of a high and lofty reputation. A hit-woman of all things green and growing. This is NOT GOOD.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Diagnosis: TMS

Few, if any of you out there have had the pleasure of a verbal exchange with me. You've all just read my written word, which makes me sound a lot nicer since I have the chance to censor it before I post it. I'm not offended by other people cursing, but I try not to do it myself (save for that oh-so-special 3-5 days of the month and an occasional outburst when I'm really upset). Stephen came up with a lovely name for my affliction: TMS.

The other night we were discussing the Pythagorean theorem, and it was a very lively discussion (yeah, weird. I know). In any case, it's not a subject which particularly displeases me, yet during the course of our conversation I let slip several words which are normally filtered by a little voice in my mind which warns "No, no dear. Not out loud". I also had a lot of unclean adjectives regarding the assembly process of the complicated little pieces of paper inviting a large number of people to our blessed event (see previous post).

Stephen commented, "Honey, you've got a dirty mouth tonight!"
I glowered silently at him (it's supposed to be a warning, but I think it comes off sort of cute, thereby defeating my purpose and further frustrating me).
He, not heeding the warning, added "Maybe you've got turrets. TMS."
Me: What's TMS?
Stephen: Turrets menstrual syndrome.

Fantastic! A stroke of genius. Maybe I should put out an infomercial on youtube. Studies show approximately 75% of women suffer from this disease.* Ladies, do you feel frustrated by the cold, hard world? Are you sometimes unable to express your emotion without the use of obscenities? Are your hormones waging a war within you against your self-control, logic, and sense? You may have TMS*.
*These statements have not been reviewed or approved by the FDA and are, in fact, not based on any real studies.

From now on, when chided for foul language, I will claim TMS, and "I'm a little sensitive about it, if you don't mind..."

We saved a bunch of money (by switching to Geiko?) by making our own invitations. It sounded so easy: buy paper. Type out text for invitations, directions, etc. Print. Cut. Put in envelopes. Mail. Get married.

Not quite so simple as all that, as it turns out (and neither will marriage be, I think). As my job endows me with obscene amounts of free time, I elected to complete our invitations at work. Around the 15th completed invitation, I had it down to a science. For a while, it was really fun. Around the 45th invitation, I was tired of it. Around the 60th one I felt like screaming. 96 invitations later, I'm finally done. If I ever have to lick another envelope or tie another ribbon I'm going to kill myself.

I think that they turned out really cute and that, if I may say so, I happen to be a creative genius. Not a profound creative genius so much as an artsy crafty genius, but even so. Here are some pictures (I don't have a digital camera, please bear with my phone pictures till Stephen and I buy one).

The little charms on the ribbon say "to love and to cherish".

We chose sand-colored ribbons to go with the sand-theme my cousin suggested (Stephen proposed on the beach). We'll have centerpieces with sand and (maybe) shells at the reception.

Tuesday I spent 2.97 on a Tall Vanilla Latte.

Today I spent 2.97 on a Tall 4-pump Mocha (uncontrollable chocolate addiction, anyone?).

February's only 8 days underway and I'm already at $14.04. Craptacular.

Monday, February 05, 2007

I've been tagged! Thom issued the challenge, and I accept.

A – Available/Single? - Engaged, and married in 61 days! Which, by the way, is the longest 61 days of my life. Holy. Fricking. Crap.

B – Best Friend? – Stephen is my best friend. My best girl-type-friend from high school is named Mel, but we're sort of messed up right now. It's a long story.

C – Cake or Pie? – Cheesecake. I hate traditional cake, but certain types of pie are ok. It depends on how bread-y they are. Chocolate cheesecake is a good option.

D – Drink Of Choice? – Vanilla Latte, Jasmine Tea, Wine, (not necessarily in that order). I just found a fantastic Pinot Grigio at whole foods but I don't remember the name.

E – Essential Item You Use Everyday? – My cell phone and a good book (at the moment, The Two Towers by Tolkien). Also chocolate, if that counts as an "essential item" that I "use" every "day".

F – Favourite Colour? - Brown, green.

G – Gummy Bears Or Worms? – Gummy worms, or actual worms? Because my answer hinges on the differentiation between the two. Gummy worms are better than Gummy Bears, especially if they're sour gummy worms. I just can't bear to eat cute animal shaped candy. Anyway, I don't like hard or gummy candy that much.

H – Hometown? – Denver, thought I technically was born in WA. I've lived here since I was too little to remember anything about Washington except the blueberry field by my house and the little girl who could already read next door.

I – Indulgence? – Chocolate. My favorite thing is to have an evening to myself to spend reading/bathing/drinking wine/reading in the bathtub while drinking wine. I love my alone time.

J – January Or February? – February, because ... I don't know why, actually. Weird.

K – Kids & Their Names? – No kids for 3-7 years. Stephen likes Amelia, I like Eliana, and we haven't talked about boys names. If things go my way, we'll have a boy first (because I always wanted an older brother), then a girl. A third child is optional, and it would be cool to have a boy (because I think good men come from having an older sister), but a girl would be cool too.

L – Life Is Incomplete Without? – Jesus Christ, first and foremost. My life is completely empty if I'm not spending time with Him. Everything I do is meaningless if Jesus isn't coming first. After that, life is incomplete without my family and dearest friends, music, being outside, and... chocolate...

M – Marriage date? – April 7! By the way, being so close to marriage but not actually married yet, and Christian, therefore abstaining... well, it sucks. A lot. 2 more months of this?!? I've said it once, and I'll say it again. Holy. Fricking. Crap!

N – Number Of Siblings? – Just 1, Amy. I love her to pieces. We've always gotten along really well, and our relationship keeps getting better as we get older.

O – Oranges Or Apples? – Oranges. Oranges are sectioned and clean and organized and delicious and pretty!

P – Phobias/Fears? – I am not just afraid of spiders... I am terrified of them. Mortified. Horrified. Yet somehow, fascinated by the little suckers.

Q – Favourite Quote? – C.S. Lewis (of course), from Mere Christianity: "I am trying here to prevent anyone saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him: 'I'm ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don't accept His claim to be God.' That is the one thing we must not say. A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would be either a lunatic — on a level with the man who says he is a poached egg — or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God: or else a madman or something worse. You can shut Him up for a fool, you can spit at Him and kill Him as a demon; or you can fall at His feet and call Him Lord and God. But let us not come with any patronising nonsense about His being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to."

R – Reason to Smile? – I'm alive, healthy, and have true salvation. I'm blessed out my ears, getting married, gainfully employed, have a fantastic family, I have a bag of chocolate in my desk, and I live in Colorado where I can see the mountains every single day. Happiness is based on circumstances (I am happy), but joy remains despite circumstances, and I have been given joy, which means I can smile no matter what my circumstances are, because a good God is in control. I know that I know that I KNOW that He is absolutely faithful.

S – Season? Summer. I get depressed in winter when it's dark in the morning as I walk into work, and it's already dark when I leave in the afternoon. I love summer.

T – Tag people? – Melissa, Beth.

U – Unknown Fact About Me? – I'm a little (I use the word little loosely) OCD. My brain processes things in a peculiar way, thus I am very picky about the arrangement of the food on my plate and in which order the dishes get stacked. I like things to go in order and to match and to be organized (like oranges), but order and matching and organization means something entirely different to me than it does to anyone else.

V – Vegetable you don’t like? – I love vegetables! The closest I get to not liking a vegetable is preferring orange, red, and yellow peppers to green ones. Did you ever lean out from the grocery cart and steal pieces of candy when you were little? I stole grapes.

W – Worst Habit? – I speak negativity a lot, and I am not naturally inclined to pick up/clean up as I am in the process of cooking (read: making a mess).

X – X–rays You’ve Had? – Dental x-rays, back x-rays at the chiropractor (I have a very mild case of scoliosis).

Y – Your Favourite Food(s)? – Salads with lots of good stuff in them. Fillet Mignon, medium-rare, A1 on the side, with seared asparagus and a glass of really good red wine. Sushi (I love nigiri and sashimi) with chilled sake. Fruits and vegetables, especially avocados. Mozzarella cheese. Dark Chocolate. Wow, I'm hungry all the sudden.

Z – Zodiac Sign? – I'm a virgo (and a rat, ha!), though most of the characteristics don't fit me and I think it's stupid that so many people find it necessary to categorize themselves and thus define their identity based on this crap.

Wow. I think chocolate made it in that list 6 times. Anyone want to guess what time of the month it is?

little things

I was wrong about the Bears, about Rex, about everything. Though, to be honest, I didn't care that much who won, and didn't even really watch the game. We went to a superbowl party last night with a bunch of people from church and I think I watched about 90 seconds of actual play. I joined in making fun of Prince during half time and caught a few commercials. Other than that, I stood around drinking beer and chatting with people, which is more fun than watching football and more fun than being right about who won.

Also, as promised, I am divulging my coffee spending. Saturday morning found me spending $8.10 on Peaberry coffee for me and Stephen.

Now, I thought $77 in a month was bad, but my friend Chris (who works at a Starbucks) didn't think so. I'm sure anyone who has worked in a coffee shop, especially a chain like Starbucks, would say the same thing. People coming in 4 times a day, 6 or 7 days a week, and buying a 5 dollar drink every time is apparently not uncommon. I think it's crazy. That much caffeine every day is not healthy.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

An Open Letter To Winter

Dear Winter,

What's up? Last time we talked I think I was begging you to end Summer’s terrifying reign of heat. So, I know you've been really busy lately blanketing my entire city with snow and inconveniencing everyone. I'd just like to make a few points and, if I may venture to be so bold, suggestions. I know I'm not a season, and you've been doing this for a long time, so I'm not trying to say I could do it better. You know I'm one of your biggest fans (till' about March, at which point I'm tired of your antics).

Now, I think what you've been doing here in Colorado for the last 60-odd years has really been working. You know, how some nice pretty snow falls and accumulates 2-4 inches, but melts within a few days? That's good. We all like that pretty well. We enjoy the random blizzard that gets us all out work and school and briefly transforms our city into a Narnia-like world of wonder. We've even gotten used to Colorado's typical 2-season year with a sprinkling of spring-ish and autumn-ish weeks in between. So why mess with a good thing? You know the saying, "Don't fix it if it ain't broke"?

Maybe you felt like shaking up your routine a little bit this year. Hey, I understand, you're not as young as you used to be. But here's the thing, winter, and I'm just being honest: I think maybe it's a little excessive. And by excessive, I mean ridiculous. I mean, seven weeks in a row? Come on. It's pretty and everything, but I don't think that this whole cold thing is making anyone like you more. I was watching the news last night, and an old lady said she's fallen 3 times on the ice-slicked sidewalks. Why, just yesterday morning I slipped and fell trying to get to work. I didn't break my hip or anything, but it did ruin my morning.

So, let me make a few suggestions. I liked having 2 blizzards in a row. It was different, fun and exciting (good call on the holiday placement, by the way), and I think that would have been enough. We all could look back on the Christmas blizzards of '06, with much fondness and cheer. But, as I walk around the city, I see huge piles of plowed, filthy snow banks, sheets of ice on the ground; I feel the bitter cold and wind that pierces all clothing and flesh. Do you want posterity to remember you as a tyrant? Also, I'll just throw this out there: If you deem it necessary to overwhelm us with snow, at least give the mountainous regions (in particular Keystone, A-basin, Breckenridge, and Winter Park) 25% more that the city.

I've seen pictures on the news of your handiwork across the country (downed power lines, crashed cars, freezing precipitation of all kinds, and just about everything imaginable coated with ice), and though some of these things are very beautiful, I would argue that it's:

1) Dangerous and potentially deadly for the living population, particularly the elderly, local plant life, and animals that thrive on said plant life.
2) Dangerous for those of us who must share the streets with all manner of the maladroit (i.e., people from predominantly warm weather states; people unfamiliar with the typical operation of a vehicle in snow, or otherwise; people who are under the impression that their truck or SUV is capable of everything they saw in the commercial).
3) Bad for economy. Citrus fruits are being frozen, herds of cattle are inaccessible to their owners, and the Beaujo's in Idaho Springs is closing.

Therefore, because of these reasons (and many others I'm sure other disgruntled winter patrons have made you aware of), I beg of you, please end your long national autocracy of never-ending winter. At least before April 7th.