Friday, December 30, 2011

Double Dare

I could go on and on about how perfect this break has been but I have way better things to talk about...like FINALLY getting that St.George nephew this morning. At press time he still does not have a name but his Seattle cousin will be induced in the morning and we'll have our Clifford boy basketball team complete just in time for 2012.

I worried after all the hoopla around the first nephew that kidlets #2 through whatever would not be as exciting. But when Christopher sent me a bunch of pictures tonight I burst into the same kind of tears anyone standing on the corner in SoHo oh those three years ago would have seen when I got the news that Morgan had arrived. 

Here's a pretty song by the always terrific Matt Pond PA that I've been listening to almost constantly the last two weeks, guaranteeing that it will always remind me of these little as yet unnamed weasels joining our big crazy wonderful insane can't live without them family.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Due Date

Someday, when my soon-to-be nephew is old enough to sit through a story we will tell him the one about how his parents and aunts are totally crazy.

Because one night over Christmas vacation, someone told them that they heard if you change elevation quickly you can make a baby come early. So at 10:00 at night, they loaded up the minivan with his two older brothers and they drove from St. George to Cedar City, got some fries and a few Diet Cokes, and drove home again.

It did NOT in fact, make the baby come. But that's how excited we are about you baby. So hurry up, so many people are excited to meet you. And when you leave, can you push your Seattle cousin down the chute too? Nephewpalooza 2011 needs to START.

(We tried some yoga on the red rocks too-nothing. Except this totally awesome photo.)

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Finish Line

I've been reading some old holiday blog posts and there seems to be a common thread in all of them-I hit the end of the year running on fumes. I'm always half delirious to get home to Utah and recharge.

This year is no different and I would venture to say that needing time with my family and the network I still have in Salt Lake becomes exponentially more important every December. There are so many wonderful things to say about 2011. When I think back to January, my main resolution was that I wanted a year full of good stories. I wanted to yes more than no. I wanted to try things and experience things and I wanted to be open. So I traveled to places I had never been, I went to concerts on weeknights, I kicked a little ass at work, I made new friends, I explored my beautiful state, I had some hard but honest conversations. I rode to the top of Hoosier Pass and strapped on skis like a proper Coloradan. I put my heart out there and came away a little bruised but learned a lot.

I also did a lot of dumb stuff and made a lot of mistakes. My friend Damian once said that the older he got the more he realized how little he knew about anything. I certainly feel that too. And demonstrated it on more than one occasion.

I am pretty sure that all adds up to a pretty great year though, one I'm proud of. 2012 starts with a bit of a bang which is why I'm so looking forward to a quiet few weeks loading up on sugar and faces. There are some parties and some ski days and probably more lunch dates than you can shake a stick at on the horizon. But mostly there will be laughing, and hugs from small fry and evening conversations that will turn into late night confessionals. There will be sleeping in and there will be reflecting. There will be sister time. And Aunt time. Friend time. Daughter time. Flirting time.

And music time. I'm such a sucker for a great love song. This one is in pretty heavy rotation 'round here.




Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Birdies

This week is a losing battle of trying to get everything done so I can go to Utah for two weeks with a clear inbox. It's best that I accept that I will not, in fact, get everything done. I will have to plug in my laptop in St. George. And I will plug it in in Salt Lake. But Morgan can crawl on my lap while I assign rooms in the Youth Games village and I can sit in my sister's cute apartment and eat guacamole while I plan February's site visits. There is simply not enough time this week for all the things I have to finish.

Enough. There seems to be a theme in my life recently....is there ever enough? Time. Attention. Love. Resources.

I think the answer is just no. So it's finding satisfaction in the time, love, attention that you can give or get and letting a lot of things go. I'm trying so hard this week release all of the stuff I can't control or finalize and trust the universe that it's all going to be just fine.

This morning I was on my way to the warehouse super early and freaking out a bit about how I was going to box up the 99 bags for Youth Olympians we packed yesterday when I discovered this song on a KEXP compilation I had bought at a music store in Seattle. So instead of rushing I stopped and got some hot chocolate and took a couple pictures of the mountains. I didn't entirely stop the rising panic in my stomach as the printer refused to work and four people needing five different things all showed up at once, but the bags got boxed, and the staff got clothed and the conference call was fine and I still managed to show up to the dinner I have been looking forward to.

It's a little gem. Have a listen.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Little Talks

There are end of the year music posts all over the internet this month. They are stressing me out because there is so. much. stuff. I missed. And I already felt overwhelmed by all the good tunes I heard and saw this year.

NPR posted a link that just cost me a small fortune. They are all worth checking out but I am a sucker for Icelandic bands so I'm posting this one.



I hope you are dancing in your kitchen now too.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Wish you were here

No internet, despite what the photos on Facebook say, I am not dating someone I haven't told you about, nor do I have a kid I haven't mentioned.

I do however, kind of love the super cute photos they take at the top of the mountain and might take one every time we go. 

This skiing thing is kind of turning out to be my best decision in a looong time. Today I finally felt my legs doing the things they learned oh so long ago when I was taught how to do this. It's so much fun and the perfect way to get out and enjoy this amazing state I live in. And the other kind of scenery up there doesn't suck either. (I'm taking about boys you guys. It's hard not to be hot in ski gear it turns out.)

We're going to try to ski in the Alps next month. I will get crushed but I will enjoy it.

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Spin the Bottle

A funny thing has happened. I finish up with the Youth Olympic Games in Austria near the end of January and then have a big meeting in London the first week of February.

When I proposed to my higher ups that I stick around Europe and take a few vacation days rather than play time zone roulette, I got the green light.

So I have this lovely dilemma wherein I have about 7 days to get from Innsbruck to London with no real firm idea of where I want to go along the way. Spend a few days in Paris? Visit a friend who just relocated to Zurich? Book an Easyjet flight to Alicante? Or Inverness? Trains? Planes? Road trip?

It's like the most deliciously exciting prospect ever...seven unknown days.

So I ask you internet...thoughts? Where would YOU go? I mean, I'm going to blog the SHIZ out of it so maybe you guys should speak up about what you want to read.


Monday, December 05, 2011

Hearts

Is anything more fun than innocently watching guilty pleasure television and OH MY GOODNESS a song pops on by a hardworking little Denver band you love?

These guys opened for The Head and the Heart at a teensy weensy little club last winter and I was totally enchanted. I even got to play their glockenspiel (not a euphemism) during one of the tunes that night. I've seen them play a few times since and this song always get the crowd riled up.

Such a fun treat on a night where I still don't have my car because apparently there was more wrong with it than originally anticipated. Sigh.




Sunday, December 04, 2011

Karma

The lesson learned this week is that the Universe has one heck of a wicked sense of humor.

Proof?

Thursday night after we laughed and cried at The Muppets (go see it, hands down the sweetest movie of the year) I came out to a check engine light and a creepy chugging sound when I started the car. I took it to the garage on Friday morning and darn it if the O2 sensor-a thing I had no idea even existed-was broken and don't you know it, the part wouldn't be in until Monday.

I had planned to go to Breckenridge Saturday and thankfully my friend was down to drive. It was a wee bit snowy but were determined and his 7 year old daughter was looking forward to her first snowboard day of the season. We got part way down Hoosier Pass when my biggest driving in snow fear started happening. We lost our traction and the car sailed across into the other lane and then right over a ledge and into the embankment.  We landed just over the edge almost completely sideways.  My heart was leaping into my throat as we approached the side of the road-I remembered riding that curve on my bike that summer and knew it was mostly steep drop-offs but somehow we managed to slip off in an area where there was a bit of a shelf that stopped us. The car was at such a weird angle Ana and I had to hold onto the roof to keep from sliding to the other side.  Guillermo was remarkably calm as it was happening. He said later he felt like a duck-smooth on the top but paddling furiously under the water where we couldn't see. He called AAA right away. Unlike my experience on Wednesday, more people than we could count stopped, got out of their cars and came over to see if we were OK. The car wouldn't start so we could roll the windows down and we weren't sure how secure we were and didn't dare get out so I would push the door almost straight up to thank them and tell them help was on the way.

It was so surreal. I have never been on a snowy road where I wasn't terrified that we would slip off the road. And then it was happening. We were sliding right towards a scary ledge and it actually crossed my mind, "this could be it." And then it wasn't. And then AAA came and the guy was laughing because we were laughing because what else could we do? We drove slowly to Breck and the sun came out and it quit snowing and I skied and they snowboarded and we laughed some more about our day. There are a hundred ways that adventure could have ended and I feel incredibly blessed that all we ended up with was good story.

Then tonight I got a text I wasn't expecting from a boy I shouldn't want to hear from asking to see me. A thing that is hard to say no to on a snowy night. That I did say no to and I should have said no to but was harder to say no to than I wanted it to be.

I feel like maybe my guardian angels have been catching up my blog and thought it would be funny to test me on ALL THE THINGS I'M WORKING ON.

But then this. So I've been carless this weekend and since Thursday night I chose The Muppets instead of a desperately needed grocery shopping trip (no regrets) I ended up needing to walk to the store tonight which I usually try to avoid on Sundays. It's cold so I piled on a bunch of layers and headed over. As I was investigating the bananas I noticed that a girl I've been stalking on about five different social networks and know through a mutual friend was also checking out bananas. So I stopped her and we ended up having a lovely little heart-to-heart on dating and careers and marriage and Lululemon. It was so fun to see her and the conversation hit all these unexpectedly needed points and calmed my manic little heart down in a hundred ways.

Well played angels, well played.

Thursday, December 01, 2011

Flat

My morning went something like this yesterday...

I woke up obscenely late for an adult with a job and had to call and cancel two meetings. Then I picked up my mail for the first time in a week and found not one, but two notices of overdue bills, a sign that those times I sat in the team processing office at midnight trying to remember what to pay may not have been the most coherent moments of my life. A couple of embarrassing "can I pay this over the phone?" calls later I finally got on the road to put in a half day at the office after being out for five days.

That is until I heard this terrible sound as I was getting off the freeway and discovered once I was sort of safely on the shoulder of the exit that I had a flat tire. Since I do not know how to change a tire (sorry feminism, I just can't seem to care enough about this one), I joined AAA from the side of the road. After the nice man with really astonishingly great eyes put on a spare, I got the lovely news from the guys at the garage that hey, you need to rotate your tires lady because this other front one is about to blow too. Since I'm driving to Breckenridge just about every Saturday until Christmas and then to and from Utah for the holidays I decided you know, why not spend all my money this morning on things that are not fun and I replaced not one, but two tires.

So that was my day.  And there were years and years of my life where I think I would have dissolved into tears on that freeway shoulder wondering why on earth all this had to happen to me? And I would have been overly stressed out about how I was going to pay for everything and it would have just seemed like the worst.  But I think you have two choices as you get older-you can climb deeper into your own faults and fears and get more and more set in your ways or you can really try to identify the things you struggle against and work your tail off to get over them. I have mentioned often and recently that worry is one of those things for me. I had a roommate several years ago who even bought me a book about managing worry-a gesture that was both sweet and embarrassing. If the person who lives with you feels compelled to buy you a self-help book, you might have a bigger problem than being an endearing little worrywart.

The truth about worry is this-nothing you are laying in bed freaking out about ever happens. Weird stuff that isn't even on your radar screen does, your parents get divorced when you are 24 or your dad's kidneys shut down 4 weeks before you leave on your mission or you end up in a city you hate with a job that is eating you alive. You didn't worry about those things ever happening but then they do and you get through it because that's what you do. Meanwhile you stay up half the night thinking about whether you ordered enough backpacks for the Parapan Am Games and of course you did. Or you read an article about the likelihood of a woman over 35 getting married and you get stuck on it for a week even though you are a person who can see the hand of God all over her damn life and you know He's not really a numbers game kind of guy.


So I'm working on worry. And it's getting better. Today was annoying, and it killed the better part of my work day and it was expensive at a time of year I would prefer to be buying nephew presents to AAA memberships. But it wasn't the worst. It was actually far from the worst. Because today I also got to see coworkers who have been gone for a month and who I missed. And because we made firm ski plans for the weekend. And yesterday I had lunch in SoHo at a restaurant I'd been dying to try. There are just better things to have in my head than getting stuck on things that are just life. Tires go flat. Sleepy bodies turn the alarm off. Bill due dates can slip by in busy times. And sometimes that all hits at once and it feels like a personal attack from the universe.  But then last week I got a whole bunch of these moments.


I was probably due for a flat tire or two. Good trade in my book. 

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

On the Mountain

I love the holiday season. Just kind of can't even be reasonable about how much I love it.

Free download from a band I saw and fell in love with this summer. It's really beautiful.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

BFF

Tonight I'm sitting in a hotel in New York, trying on several different outfits and stressing about what to wear to my meetings in the morning. But what I'm really doing is missing the stuffing right out of my nephew Garrett.

I got to babysit him last night while his parents went out on a much deserved date. He and I watched Cars, ate some snacks, laughed about stuff, and I let him read approximately seven extra stories because I flat out didn't want him to go to bed. He's polite and he's funny and he's smart and we had way too much fun together.

I get a real sense of dread when I have to leave family gatherings these days-something I didn't really feel in my twenties. But Garrett is going to get cooler and funnier and smarter and four days here and there of giving him a tube of dinosaurs and overdosing on Lightening McQueen doesn't really feel like it's going to be enough.

Confession: I was reading him a Bernstein Bears book that was his dad's (and mine, frankly I did not think through the fact that the first kids to HAVE kids would get all the stuff from Grandma's closet. Damn it.) and I had to stop and get my wobbly voice under control so Garrett wouldn't wonder why on earth Aunt Katie was crying about Sister Bear's first day of school. As we were reading I could actually remember my mother reading that book to me. Somehow the juxtaposition of my little girl memories of the book and the tiny guy in my lap asking me for one more story made for an all too real confirmation that time is just rocketing by faster than five year old me could ever have imagined.  

For now I'll make due with Skype and Facebook and the one million or so photos I took in not very many days. I'm sure your kids/nephews/grandkids are cute and all but man, so far my family produces ridiculously good looking children.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Alert

Fair warning internet-if you follow me on any sort of social media, I am spending four days with this guy
And I'm not even going to pretend I don't intend to make the other members of my family jealous about all my neph time.

Last year's beach Thanksgiving with my girls was so perfect. This year a rainy Seattle Thanksgiving with family and friends is sure to hit to spot. My suitcase is full of scarves and boots and colored tights and my Instagram app is all revved up for way, way too much photosharing.

I hope all of you lovelies have a terrific holiday weekend. We all could use it I think.

Prep

Five years ago I threw myself a 30th birthday party. The boy I REALLY REALLY liked at the time came and brought his married cousin and the poor guy ended up spending the whole party in the kitchen talking to my mother (who flew to Huntington Beach just to make crepes for my friends) while the rest of us demonstrated exactly why we were NOT married all night.

All that run on sentence is to say that although absolutely nothing happened with that boy, the married cousin in question turned out to be a crazy talented musician that my entire family now adores.  He and a whole bunch of other crazy talented musicians from several Utah based bands have a side project called The Lower Lights where they do great folksy covers of old hymns.

They just put out a Christmas album and it's pushed me right over the edge of my Christmas music rule. Packing for my Thanksgiving trip counts right?

My friend had this little "making of" video up on his Facebook wall and if watching it doesn't make you wish you had an ounce of musical talent and could join this revival, you are probably a swamp monster with no soul.


The Lower Lights: Come Let Us Adore Him from The Lower Lights on Vimeo.


(I was going to say that my friend is the one with the beard but...man, there are a lot of beards in that band.)

Monday, November 21, 2011

Rumors

"Someone Like You" gets all the glory for being so pretty and pitiful but the song I like best off the last Adele record is "Rumor Has It".

It's delightfully bitchy and way less "poor sad single girl still pining over married guy." Gross. 




Sunday, November 20, 2011

'Tis the Season

Last night I had a long Facebook chat with an old friend. The kind that makes you thankful you were smart enough to know college was just as much about building good relationships as it was about going to class. I sure found some good ones down in good old Southern Utah.

Anyway, this morning I was kind of in the mood to listen to Christmas music even though I do have a pretty strict "not until Thanksgiving day" policy. But this is a song that isn't actually a Christmas song but I often put on holiday mixes anyway.

I love everything about this season and this year in particular I'm thrilled to be spending Turkey Day in Seattle with my nephew and parents and my sister-in-law's baby bump as well as getting to visit a couple of my favorite favorite who live there too. A work trip to NYC means a sneak visit with some East Coast friends and Christmas will bring us a new St. George nephew and lots of time off to catch up with so many people I love in Utah.

And today I get to teach six year olds at church! Somebody pinch me : )

Friday, November 18, 2011

Great. Full.

A few experiences in my personal life over the last two months have had me doing quite a bit of thinking about the kind of people I want to have in my life.

There are some guys at work that have quickly become some of my very favorite coworkers. Cool guys. Funny guys. Smart guys. And guys who seriously can't even be reasonable when they talk about how rad their wives and kids are. It was a few years ago when it really hit me that the guys I date can be fun and cool and interesting and smart, but if I can't imagine them teaching my little boys how to be good men and setting examples for my little girls about what a real man is, then I have no business getting attached. And if I have friendships that are clouding that judgement I probably don't need those either.

I may have gotten off target as of late. Made some questionable allowances for shady behavior. Done a few things that are out of character. Nothing awful but just enough off track that I've had to do some serious thinking about where and with whom I want to spend my time and invest my affection. At church on Sunday I made a list of all the people I admire and the many, many good marriage examples I have in my life. It's almost embarrassing how long that list was. It doesn't leave a lot of room for folks who don't bring out my best self.

In my thoughts this week I keep going back to one of the great letters I got for the Dear Me project. It came from an old friend from my idyllic days in Huntington Beach when I took it for granted that I would always be surrounded by cute, smart, surfer dudes who could make me laugh until I cried and were all trying their hardest to be good. Not always succeeding mind you, but sure trying.  I still want all the fun stuff but that trying to be good thing has flown up the charts on my list of things I'm looking for.

So here is his letter. I feel like this is something Coach Taylor would write and as we all know, Coach Taylor is the perfect man.*disclaimer, there is some Mormon specific language in here but I think it's still pretty clear.

Hey, dude. It’s me. Well, actually, you. Just 25 years in the future. I know that sounds entirely creepy, but it’s true. You see, in the future (and this is one of the few things in the future that is truly mind-blowing) there’s this thing called a blog and you’ve (I’ve?) been asked to write something for it. Picture a fanzine but accessible through a computer and available to almost everyone in the world. It’s insane and you won’t be able to remember how you lived without it.

So, yeah, this is you in the future. Knowing how your brain works, right now you are (a) wondering what has become of you and (b) completely questioning the credibility of this. So, let’s just tackle those questions upfront. First off, the future is a bizarre place where you are shaving regularly (well, still only a couple of times per week to be perfectly honest) and having sex (and, even when that is only a couple of times per week, you aren’t complaining in the least). Yes, you actually marry. Yes, you actually have kids. And (shockingly, to be honest), yes, you actually like your job. The future is actually awesome. Look forward to it, but don’t rush it. The ride to get there is plenty awesome as well. Secondly, let’s address that credibility issue. Here you go – 25 years on, you would still take a bullet in defense of “Psychocandy” being the greatest album ever. Oh, yes. Now, I know what you are thinking – “I’m an old man clinging to the past! Argh!”. Don’t worry there are 25 great years of music ahead of you and you are still on top of it. But, there’s still just something about “Psychocandy” that nothing else has been able to trump.

So, I’m rambling a bit (dad’s pet peeve about your writing style to this day; don’t change it man, just keep rockin’ the overdose of commas and parentheticals; it’s how your brain works). Let’s get to the point here – it’s time for some advice. Yeah, I know that sounds all old and stodgy, but, dude, trust me, this is still you. The energy and drive are still there (I’m actually writing this on 3-hours of sleep in an airport heading to a big corporate presentation today harnessing immense game face; lack of energy never becomes a problem). Now, on with the old-guy-to-young-guy stuff. Cool?

1 – Follow the Prophet. Yes, there it is in the #1 slot. There were a lot of different things that I could say here (“live the Gospel”, “obey the commandments”, etc), but “follow the Prophet” is ultimately all you need to know. If there is nothing else you remember from this (and I’m sure you are 84% tuned out already), just remember: follow the prophet. Why? Well, here’s how it breaks down: If there is truly a living Prophet on the earth, sent from God, then that’s kind of a big deal, right? Yeah, completely. It’s a huge deal. So, attach yourself to that huge deal. Listen to what he has to say and follow it. Don’t sweat whether you understand everything or not yet, just follow it. If it’s from God, then who are you to overanalyze it, right? Totally. Focus more on making it happen than on understanding everything in full detail. The prophet will point you to everything else of worth – read the Book of Mormon, live clean, start a family, get a solid education, man up and be a provider, don’t be a deadbeat dad, etc. If it’s important for you to know, than trust me, you’ll hear it from him. So, we got this one? Follow the prophet. Trust me, you’ll never regret it.

(Reminder: Everything that follows below is far less important than what we just went through. So, should you ever get confused, just remember to follow the prophet).

2 – Be humble. Yes, it’s fun to act arrogant to push people’s buttons. It’s an easy one and I’m not sure you’ll ever get over the temptation. But, seriously, while you may jokingly act like that guy, don’t ever be that guy. Just don’t do it. Stay self-aware. The world is a big place and you are not the sun in the universe, so don’t ever think/exude that. Cool? OK. Seriously, be confident, be strong, be bold, etc, but don’t ever be arrogant. If you don’t know the difference yet, figure it out (hint: constant and complete gratitude is a secret ingredient here).

3 – Be mature. Let me make this super easy: Take serious things seriously. Notice, I didn’t say “don’t have fun”. I didn’t say “be serious”. I simply said “be mature”. Notice serious moments and respect them. This is huge.

4 – Be kind. This one is simple – just be cool to everybody. Done. If you are humble and mature, this will come naturally.

5 – Read like mad. I don’t necessarily care what you read as long as it’s clean and at least somewhat engaging to your brain cells. Just read. A lot. And read different things. A lot of your experience and understanding in life will come through reading. You simply can’t personally experience all there is to experience, so at least read about it. This will be a huge asset to you in connecting with other people.

6 – Travel. If you had any idea how much I’ve been able to travel, you’d be really tripped out. Look forward it. Embrace it. But, don’t ever carry a “the way we do things in my part of the world is superior” vibe (reminder: be humble). Keep your mind and eyes open. The world is a huge and beautiful place. Dude, I’m jealous of the places you are going to go. Be grateful for all of it.

7 – “Never lose that feeling”. Dude, nobody will ever know you like you know yourself. That may sound like a curse, but honestly it’s pretty awesome. Don’t do anything to disturb the natural vibe/signal/energy that you have (hint: following the prophet will keep your signal alive). Be grateful for some of the internal blessings that God and your family have passed down to you.

8 – Listen to the Spirit. I’m going to close on this because this is the only piece of advice that could possibly topple “follow the prophet” for the #1 slot (and it’s definitely advice that the prophet will give you repeatedly; follow it). Keep your mind and hands clean. This world has some ugliness and you are smart enough to recognize it. Avoid it at all costs. Be perfectly honest and able to look any person alive straight in the eyes and know that you are good. That’s a very powerful feeling (hint: this is the secret ingredient for confidence). Live by the Spirit. To quote one of your future Bishops: “Once you feel the Spirit, you never want to lose that”.

So, in conclusion, just know this – it may be 25 years in the future (and you may be sitting in an airport pre-dawn in a business suit as you write this), but you are still 100% you. Your face is more wrinkled, your hair is less plentiful (and less pigmented), your waistline is less trimmed-out, and your responsibilities are far heavier, but your joys are far exquisite. It’s a great time and you will love it. Live clean and get there.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Fear and Loathing in COS

I worried a lot when I was a teenager. About everything. It would be nigh unto impossible to catalogue all of the things my 16 year old brain could come up with to fear.

I worried that I would never kiss a boy, that I would never get to live in my own apartment, and that I had learned to ski and all my friends had learned to snowboard and therefore, I would never ever be cool.

Well, I've kissed plenty of boys-recently even (settle down internet, to call it a fling would be generous and it is already dead), I'm going on two years in an apartment of my very own that I love dearly and as it turns out, in this world there are skiers and there are snowboarders and we can all live in peace and harmony.

I have spent the last few years just tolerating snow and cold and being borderline miserable for a whole season. So I decided that this would be the "Winter of Skiing" and my 35th birthday present to myself was a season pass and all new ski gear. Colorado has this amazing pass for locals that covers three resorts plus ten days at fancy pants Vail and I think just about every one I know without kids got one this year.

So even though I have not been anywhere near a mountain in TEN YEARS, I talked this handsome devil into playing hooky from work and heading up to Breckenridge yesterday. (And again, chill out internet, this is "just a friend Adam". I'm pretty shallow and all my male friends are hot.)


I was halfway to Adam's when up when I realized my critical error in going skiing for the first time in so long with a fearless and slightly crazy male. And you know, all my fears were realized when on our fourth run of the day I followed him right to the top of a hill with a slightly confusing sign that I thought was blue and he knew was black. I wiped out once but falling in full view of the chairlift only served to remind me that falling on skis is actually not that terrible and faster is more fun. There is a reason I've been biking and climbing with boys this year and it's because they will just trick you into doing things you aren't ready for and you get better quickly. They will also laugh at you when you fall but then sometimes they hit an unexpected branch and yard sale and all is well in the universe again. 

It was a beautiful day and although I was completely exhausted by the time we left and still have some brushing up to do, I was ecstatic to be up there. More reasons Colorado and I might never break up.  Here's hoping this winter will be full of photos like this. 

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Fiddle

I'm playing around with the new Blogger templates. I'm not sure I like any of these.

You know what I do like though? Being back in Colorado. Getting ready to go skiing tomorrow for the first time in ten years. My brother Logan sending me funny text messages. Dinner with my friends Bryce and Tara. The sound of the dryer in my apartment. Listening to Carole King before bed.

I like home.

Monday, November 07, 2011

Remix

So I'm pretty sure that running Team Processing I'm getting a good taste of what being a mom must be like-everyone needs something all the time, almost no one says thanks, you barely have time to eat, and your only alone time is when you sneak to the bathroom.

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Shake it

I don't usually like to do two music posts in a row but I simply cannot stop turning up the new Florence + The Machine as loud as I can. Home, car, when I'm the only person on my floor at work. This album is just full of songs you want to scream at the top of your lungs. 


Which I have been doing while packing for my Houston remixed trip. It basically means taking at LEAST a third of what I packed last month, and possibly even a little less. And then getting on the same flight I got on a month ago, checking into the SAME ROOM I was in a month ago and setting up a distribution center exactly the same way I did it last time. 


By this time tomorrow night I will likely be sitting up in the lounge laughing with the transport guys and being ready to it all again. Tonight I'm listening to this song on repeat and thinking I could use one more day in the office and one more night in my own bed.  


I am done with my graceless heart
So tonight I'm gonna cut it out and then restart
Cause I like to keep my issues strong
It's always darkest before the dawn







Sunday, October 30, 2011

Comfort Food

I have been more than a little obsessively downloading music the last week. Feist and Ryan Adams both released albums while I was nowhere near my good speakers and my friend Heather finally put up her annual Fall mix so I have been buying full albums of artists I am falling for thanks to her.

I'm a little all over the board at the moment but here are five tracks you should listen to and then pay to add to your collection immediately.

Listen to this and then join in me hoping these guys tour near your house immediately because I NEED TO SEE THIS LIVE.



I actually found this one this summer but it's on the new snowboard movie The Art of Flight that you should watch even if you don't care one bit about snowboarding but you like things that are awesome. I love to listen to this on my way home from a great bike ride or a killer trip up the Incline.



This is not new but that Pearl Jam documentary sent me searching through my iTunes for Eddie Vedder's voice. I forgot all about the Into the Wild soundtrack but oh man, it's so good. My favorite lyric of this song is "When I walk beside her, I am a better man. When I look to leave her, I always stagger back again." Inexplicably this song has me so excited for the bright cold mornings I plan to spend on a slope somewhere this winter.



My love for Ryan Adams is well documented on this blog. I loved all his albums with the Cardinals but this feels like Heartbreaker which means it feels like Huntington Beach days and I never don't want to be reminded of that.



And finally, Leslie Feist. If I could write songs I would want them to come out sounding like hers. This version of "How Come You Never Go There" is stunning. Although I wonder if those backup singers were sad they had to wear those terrible jeans and she got to wear that cute dress.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

The stars at night

Halfway through my time in Texas, I watched the new Cameron Crowe documentary on Pearl Jam two nights in a row. The whole thing, two nights in an exhausted fog row. Because halfway through my time in Texas my brain was so full it was comforting to listen to Eddie Vedder's voice and think about being 16 and in the basement of my friend Sarah's house watching MTV in the middle of the night and seeing the video for "Jeremy" and my head kind of exploding.

An exploding head is maybe the best way to describe what it's like to be managing an event for 21 straight days. I wasn't sure how this thing was going to go. I almost can't be rational about what kind of an experience Team Processing was in Vancouver. I mean it's the Olympics right? The whole world was paying attention but tell me something you know about the Pan American Games that you didn't learn by watching my tweets or Facebook page. It's actually the second biggest multi-sport event in the world next to the Summer Olympics but I'm sure more of you can name who is playing in the World Series right now than who won the gold in Women's Softball. Spoiler alert-we did. Seventh straight Pan Am gold as a matter of fact. So true confession, while I was excited to get on the ground an run and event where, unlike Vancouver, the show was all mine, I really hadn't managed to get that excited about the actual sport side of it. It's not an Olympic qualifier so lots of sports use it as an opportunity to send development teams, I just wasn't sure what to expect. What I got was like a three week, full-bore, crash-course personal and professional leadership laboratory.

Last time I ran Team Processing, one of our Senior Directors was on hand and not everyone reported to me. This time I had full responsibility for the venue and 18 people staff members including an intern on loan from the Houston Sports Authority. To say I felt a different measure of accountability is a giant understatement. On top of wanting to make sure the athletes had a great time, I wanted all of the staffers, the volunteers, and every last person we relied on at the hotel to enjoy the experience. And there were moments where I suddenly understood why Michael Scott is such a brilliant character-because when you want to make EVERYONE happy you may find yourself making your staff play musical chairs to win a pair of Oakleys (true story). The hope is that you realize the moment is going horribly awry and you cut the game short so everyone can go do what they really want which is most likely to go drink beers in the concierge lounge or eat something that requires utensils. And then sometimes you catch a glimpse of yourself with your hair in a ponytail wearing a hoodie and calling the transportation staff a bunch of nerds and you know all those Liz Lemon comparisons might have some validity.

This was the first time I had done everything-selected the venue, picked my own staff, chosen the apparel and placed the orders. On top of that I was experimenting with a new way of issuing the apparel as a test for London and wasn't even entirely sure how we were going to do it. So it was a thrill hearing the athletes whisper in the dressing room about how cool the gear was, to get emails the next day from Team Leaders saying it was the smoothest processing they had ever been to, and to have my staff tell me they'd love to come to London and do it all over again. I feel a tremendous sense of accomplishment and my brain is full of all kinds of new dreams and ideas for the next few events. 

There were so many great moments it's hard to pick just one but there was a particular highlight for me this year. We had a Track athlete one night whose plane was landing long after Team Processing had closed so I stuck around with his two team leaders to get him outfitted. We were sitting in the lobby, pretty tired and ready for bed when this kid walks in just grinning from ear to ear. We all shook hand with him and I thought he was going to explode as we took him down to get his apparel. His face lit up again when we handed him a bag full of apparel and shoes. He went in to try everything on and came out to model every single outfit and asked us to take photos. He told us this was his very first National Team and getting to wear USA on his chest was the realization of a dream he'd had since he was a little kid. I had to fight back tears as I watched him dancing around in front of the flag in his podium uniform. It's rare to be in a job where you get so many chances to watch someone's dreams coming true. It made me feel hyper aware of my responsibility to do my very best for every single athlete that comes through. And it made me feel incredibly lucky to do what I do. How many people in the whole world get to have this job?

A few fun photos from the trip...

Arriving in Houston
Load in day and the big green forklift
My survival kit
I loved seeing this every day 

I also didn't mind seeing this. Go Team USA!

Behind the scenes, prepacking the swim team

The women's gymnastics. Yep, that's Shawn Johnson
Pallet jack in flip flops-our warehouse manager would kill me

Yep, that's this little monkey jumping on the bed at our wrap party

We celebrated with a little fuel for the Houston economy

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Back in Kansas

21 days later I'm back home in Colorado Springs. There is a big snowstorm predicted for tonight so my plan is to go stock up on things I can make in my own kitchen and not eat standing up in the office, get a few movies out of the Red Box and spend all day tomorrow snuggled up on my couch. It was, as expected, an unbelievable experience. But I am exhausted both physically and mentally and I go back to do it all again for 10 days next week so I'm officially shutting my brain off for about 36 hours.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Sunday?

We have to write the date and day of the week on a white board in the office or else no one has any idea if it's Tuesday or Saturday. But I do know that today was grey day.
And here's a little story I shared with our PR team tonight... One of the Pelota guys is French and needed to make a call to France. His phone wasn’t working and I’m a sucker for a chance to speak French so I let him use my cell phone (I only work for a 403b, no big deal letting a guy call France on my cell phone right?). He was in the Processing room so he was trying stuff on and trying to figure out the country code at the same time. We offered to help track down the code so he left the phone with me and went to the dressing room. After several failed attempts to get the right collection of numbers it was finally ringing so I, ever the helpful one, dashed over to the dressing room to give him the phone and yep, you guessed it, yanked the curtain open to reveal a whole bunch of mostly naked Pelota players. I’m not sure if the roar in the dressing room in front of me or the roar in the processing room behind me was louder but a good time was had by all.

Friday, October 14, 2011

35

I'm 35 today. And sometimes I feel like maybe I'm the luckiest girl in the whole world. I have too much love, and joy and support and satisfaction in my life that it seems like I ought to be doing more with it. I need to figure out what that means. But so far 35 feels pretty alright.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Fit

In case there's any confusion about why my job is so great...this guy came through Processing last night.
So, you know. It's maybe alright to be spending my birthday here.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Roast

The best part about yesterday's post that is the I used the word "right" when I really meant "write". Because if anything tells you exactly the state of my brain right now, it's that I didn't even use the correct word for my favorite thing in the whole world. I was thinking tonight about moments of my life that I truly regret and the only one I can come up with is the time in the hall my sophomore year when the boy on whom I had the kind of crush only a hopelessly romantic 15 year old girl can get asked me if I was allowed to date and I said no. Good little Mormon girls wait until they are 16 to date and I was 15. My mother later told me that for this particularly charming and well behaved boy there might have been some exceptions which just goes to show my mother was entirely wasted on a daughter who didn't even manage to kiss a boy until college. But that day, alone in the hallway practicing our scene for Drama 1-2, I was so terrified of what would happen if I said yes-that he would ask me out? that he wouldn't but now my hopes were up? So I stared at the floor and said it was against our family rules. For many, many reasons I am really glad that I was such a dismal failure at boys in high school, and college, and for most of my twenties and well into my thirties. My self-esteem has had to find legitimate things to be based on besides how many dates I go on and blah blah feminism blah. But I'm still a girl and sometimes I wonder what might have happened if I'd been just a touch less skittish about cute blonde boys with really great dimples.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Books

I leave for Houston a week from today for a month of processing. I'm sort of nervous and excited and ready and not ready all at once. I'm trying to get my house super clean so when I come back half dead it will be welcoming, figuring out what I need to pack when I know I will end up wearing the same two tee-shirts pretty much the whole time, getting a pedicure and an eyebrow wax so that in the midst of ponytail hair and barking orders I can look down at my feet and remember I'm still a girl, making some playlists for the apparel room so there is always an opportunity to dance, and just generally getting amped up to go do the part of my job that I love the very most. These two songs rolled through iTunes tonight while I was scrubbing my bathtub within an inch of it's life. Both of them remind me of Boston-the Red Sox may be melting down as I write this post but every October I get a little nostalgic for 2004 when we spent every night of the playoffs staying up too late at a bar or someone's house, blowing off everything else to watch games that seemed straight out of a too good to be true movie. Both great songs, now this girl has to get to bed before 11 lest I turn into tired pumpkin who cries at work.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Show and Tell

This is really what I did at work today.
My job is so awesome.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Overheard

This week almost killed me. Between our staff training, several days of bossing interns around in the warehouse, and my leadership class, I lost quite a bit of badly needed time in the office. I ended up sticking around until way too late most evenings, sleeping fitfully every night while I thought too much about what still needed to be done and then I made a questionable decision to stay out way too late on Friday. Combine that with the complete inability to shut my night own tendencies down even when I was crazy tired and well, I slept until 5:30 today. Five-thirty in the EVENING. But I woke up feeling like a coherent human instead of a babbling zombie for the first time in a few weeks. Which is good timing since tomorrow I head down to Houston to finalize all the details for the long Team Processing stint that starts in three weeks. Probably best if I have all my wits about me.

When I finally DID wake up, I started cleaning my apartment within an inch of it's life.  To most normal people, my apartment is always clean but I am something of a freak and there were several projects I've been meaning to get to all summer that I finally decided to tackle. So tonight my house is blissfully sparkling and I think I can get myself to go to bed at a somewhat reasonable hour and keep up this ability to remember my own name and phone number business.

I like to listen to music while I clean and this is my most recent obsession. This is the guys who sings that Steve Winwood cover  I posted earlier this week. If you are in the same Bon Iver, Iron & Wine, Sufjan Stevens fan club to which I feverishly belong, you will not regret going straight to iTunes and downloading Early in the Morning in it's entirety.




Wednesday, September 14, 2011

CO-versary

I arrived in Colorado two years ago today.

I said on Facebook today that I have zero regrets about the move and for the first time in a looong time, no getaway plan at the two year mark. We were in Denver on Saturday at the New Belgium Brewery "Tour de Fat", riding our bikes on a loop through downtown with 5000 other lunatics in costumes and I thought,  "oh Colorado, I am so clearly in love with you right now."

In a lot of way I feel like I have been making up for some years of my life when I was too scared or too worried to live my life that way I wanted to. Last month as I was fighting my way up Hoosier Pass I got feeling pretty discouraged. My riding partner happened to be a four-time Olympian and I had no prayer of keeping up with her. Which I knew but once I told her I'd see her at the top, I heard a little voice saying, "ok seriously, maybe this just isn't something you are capable of. You are not an athlete little girl, maybe you can't get up this hill." And then I said a couple of words to that voice that I don't think my mother would be thrilled to hear about and I sucked it up and made it to  the top of that pass (elevation 11, 532 thankyouverymuch). I don't even like to DRIVE those high mountain passes. I'm always half afraid I'm going to slide right off a switchback. So as I was flying down those very curves with just a helmet between me and certain death, I felt like I was punching multiple long held fears right in the face.

It's been maybe my favorite discovery of adulthood that you can reinvent yourself as many times as you want. You can learn new things, you can make new friends, you can work on your flaws, you can spend years thinking you are not brave enough for something and then one day you find yourself at the top of a rock wall and you actually aren't afraid at all.

It's been two good years. I'm pretty excited to see what the next Coloradoversary post looks like.





Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Reagening

It's only Tuesday and I already feel like I got run over by a truck. I went to Noodles and Company to grab dinner tonight (I got something healthy I swear!) and I stared at the cashier for a full minute trying to remember the name of the thing I always order. There just isn't any room in my brain for anything that isn't related to Houston in three weeks.

So I'm doing a lot of listening to quiet music before I go to bed to try to really relax before it all starts over again the next morning. Here are two things I think you should check out too.

This version of the closing track off the new Bon Iver album has been breaking my heart right in two for about a week now. I already loved the song, saxophone and all, but this version really shows off what a beautiful track it is.

My friend Dainon sent this on Friday and I just about fainted. I don't think I ever really paid attention to the lyrics of this Steve Winwood classic and they are kind of great

Think about it, there must be higher love
Down in the heart or hidden in the stars above
Without it, life is wasted time
Look inside your heart, I'll look inside mine





Sold. And so time for bed.

Monday, September 12, 2011

To Whom it May Concern

Dear blog-

I haven't been writing here as much as I wish lately. We have a big event in three weeks and while I am so excited for the month I'll spend on the ground doing my absolute favorite part of my job, the 10-12 hour days that we constantly have to pull the month before are sort of soul crushing. So I don't write, and I am too tired to exercise, and I end up eating more french fries than the previous six months combined. I'm not always proud of these weeks but I'm rather resigned to this just being how it goes.

However, such behavior will not fly next May/June when I am gearing up for three crazy London months so I am going to try try try to break some of my bad prep habits. The fridge is stocked with non-fry things, I have my favorite workout DVD's ready to go for nights I can't drag myself out for a ride or a run, and I have SO MANY IDEAS FOR POSTS. We'll see. I tried to quit Diet Coke just before we left for Vancouver and my intern wouldn't allow it saying he was unwilling to bear the brunt of me making eleventh hour changes to my routine.

Accountability folks-let's give it a try.

kc

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Thursday, September 08, 2011

Papa Bear

Getting an email from a guy who kissed you in the race office one late night when you were 24 talking about how great it is to be a dad is at once completely adorable and utterly disconcerting.

The man who stars in two of my top ten make-out stories is someone's father.

Growing up is weird.

Friday, September 02, 2011

Fiddling Around

Labor Day weekend snuck up on me a little bit. I thought about making big plans but then we got Band of Horses tickets and I need a haircut and a day to catch up on the stack of baby presents I haven't sent to kids who are probably going off to college now. So I see sleep, a bike ride or two and maybe a massage thrown in for good measure in my future. I hope you all have fabulous plans of your own whether grand or low key.

My friend send me this last night and it has blown my brain a little bit. Sorry dad that I never practiced the violin-had I known it could turn out like this I may have tried harder.



Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Bold

There are some days where I feel like everything is just half a step off. Today was one of those days. I felt out of sorts and couldn't quite put my finger on why. And then the internet reminded me, as it has a tendency to do when you have left bits of your life all over it, that a year ago today a boy I was busy falling for did one of those thoughtful and romantic grand gestures that feels straight out of a John Hughes movie.

So the weird feeling made sense. If I'm honest, I'm not 100% over that guy. He was really different from the kind of person I am usually attracted to and our whole relationship felt like something sweet (and maybe unrealistic) that I made up when I was 16. I've gotten so tired of telling myself that maybe THIS experience was just good preparation for the ONE but in this case, I really do think I learned a lot from the whole experience. Even though it didn't end the way I was hoping, it was a sweet chapter in my choppy love life.

What I wanted to do when I got home was pull out the cookie dough I shouldn't but do have in my fridge, watch the episode of 30 Rock where Liz Lemon meets her pilot boyfriend, and try not to compose any texts I would instantly regret. Instead I got into my cycling gear and went for a hard ride through the Garden of the Gods. I tackled the really evil hill that I never do and always forget isn't just three steep peaks but has a nasty little fourth kick to get to the top. I listened to tough girl songs and I counted my blessings-all that stuff that sounds cheesy when you are in a mood but somehow manages to work anyway. There are times when I'm almost annoyed that I'm nearly 35 years old* and I'm still spending time and energy trying not to think about a boy. And then I think of all the things I don't have to worry about right now and I'm humbled as usual.

I'm also giving myself a few minutes to remember how swept off my feet I felt last year because that feels fair. It's one of those stories that I will love to tell once the sting is all out.

The Counting Crows album August and Everything After is one of my go to albums when I'm feeling a little melancholy and I found this beautiful version of two of my favorite tracks. I might be watching this in the dark. It's cool though, "''round here we always stand up straight."
 *eff.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Quick Release

Dear Internet-

I changed my own bike tire tonight all by myself. Well, all by myself with YouTube. But still-I DID IT.

So old dogs, new tricks and whatnot.

Pretty sure it's because I spent the weekend watching guys do this


k8

Friday, August 26, 2011

Ride

I'll be in Breckenridge this weekend watching a couple of Schlecks and a Hincapie and a Leipheimer ride up some hills.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Pwnd

I was in a meeting today when someone (who I cannot stress enough is NOT a member of my organization) went out of his way to treat me like I was an idiot. Completely misconstrued something I said and made me look stupid in front of a room full of people. Fortunately I had a conference call scheduled and had to leave the meeting right after his comments so I had to shake it off by the time I got back to my desk. My boss came by later to see if I was OK and to remind me that I'm not by a long shot the first person to be treated that way by this guy.

This afternoon I had a session of a leadership class I am taking at work. It's based on the Dale Carnegie book "How to Win Friends and Influence People" and at first I was a little skeptical. But I don't really believe in turning down development opportunities even if they sounds just this side of cheesy. It turns out the class has got me looking at leadership in a completely new way. Nearly every session stresses the importance of showing appreciation, being far more lavish with praise than with criticism and developing a genuine interest in the people around you. The whole course seems to be built around the revolutionary idea that if you are nice to people and you treat them well, you will get better results out of them. It's been a terrific class and I'm grateful to work in a place where they are teaching us that just plain being good will make you a more effective leader.

So tonight as I have been getting ready for bed I've been thinking more about my interaction with the meanie. I don't want to give him more head space than he deserves but the whole thing really got me thinking about what kind it actually means to be successful. If you have a cool job and you are good at it but it's a known fact that you are arrogant and treat people badly then I tend to think you've failed on a pretty fundamental level. Tonight I'm resolving more than ever that really the only measuring stick I want to use is how I make other people feel.

Growing

This is my grandmother. It's her birthday today-a birthday that puts her a little further into her 80's. Let's hear it for living clean ladies and gentlemen because I would cut a tiger to look this good at eightysomething.


Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Summer Essay

This has been a pretty chill summer. I did my crazy globe-trotting and island hopping earlier in the year so it's been nice to do low-key things for the last few months and just enjoy the warmth and slower summertime pace. I've made some new friends, gotten to ride my bike quite a bit and taken time to some new parts of Colorado.

And then my cousin decided to get married and most of the non-SLC Cliffords peer pressured each other into taking a few days and going home. Now listen, my family is not perfect. We get in stupid fights and we hurt each other's feelings and we definitely talk too loud and too much. But if eternity is a little bit like our Sunday afternoon at Liberty Park, sign. me. up. I'll do forever with this crew.
















Monday, August 15, 2011

FATT

Remember several months ago when my friends and I saw Fitz and the Tantrums twice in two days because their shows are THAT amazing?

Well in case you didn't believe me, watch them get 10,000 people on the ground at Lollapalooza two weeks ago.



I haven't been able to stop watching this clip, that explosion at 4:17 makes me grin like a damn cheshire cat.
I.Love.Music.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Guided

One of my all time favorite teenage memories was a river trip we took with my church group when I was almost sixteen. In a rather stunning display of all kinds of rule-breaking, we went as a coed group and rafted and camped for three days in Southern Utah. Now, we were Mormons and we were heavily chaperoned so I really don't think any funny business happened but there was something a little illicit about spending our days in swimsuits and sleeping in tents inches away from the handsome boys we'd grown up with.

Then of course, there were the river guides. I don't know if you have to pass some sort of pheromone test to be a guide but ours were completely irresistible to nearly every female on the trip. From about fifth grade on I had a hard time getting boys my own age to pay any attention to me but because I was smart and talkative, older gentlemen usually got a good kick out of me (this is still true by the way, grey hairs tend to think I'm the greatest). I loved sitting up front on the raft and and hearing them talk about college and the terribly adult things they were doing when they weren't running the river. We were an underage church group so I'm sure they were far better behaved than they may have been had we been drunk sorority girls but there is a kind of innocent flirting a college boy can do with a high school girl that gives both of them a nice little ego boost without crossing any creepy lines. And especially for a sort of serious teenage girl who worried constantly that she might never, ever go on a date, it was awfully nice to get some extra attention from the ridiculously good looking "men" leading the trip. There was one in particular who I thought was probably my dream boy and although I have forgotten his name or any other details about him, when I hear the Shawn Colvin song he recommended I check out I can still get an image of his impressed face when I told him I did, in fact, know who she was.

Yesterday we went to a little town about 90 miles from the Springs to do some white water rafting on the Arkansas River, a thing I haven't done since that trip. I was with two couples so I suppose you can guess who ended up sitting with the guide? It turned out he was my age and we had quite a bit in common, including having lived on the same street in HB at different times so we had a fun conversation when he wasn't making us work. I kept wondering exactly what that teenager me would think-"34 and still flirting with river guides? Get a grip older me!" or "34 and cute enough river guides still want to flirt with you? Good job older me!" So I decided that if I remembered the summer of 92 correctly, she'd probably go with the latter.

I guess no matter what we do, our younger selves are knocking around in there somewhere. It was fun to spend the day with mine.


Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Fox in Sox

We had a company party at the Sky Sox game last night. Today the guy who took all of the photos said to me, "there is a HILARIOUS photo of you in the shared files," which is precisely what every lady wants to hear. I always want to look HILARIOUS in an easily distributable JPEG.

Turns out it is sort of hilarious. Close your mouth Cliff!


Maybe I'll use it for my match.com profile. (I don't really have a match.com profile)(anymore)

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Likes

I wish this song was longer than 43 seconds. But those 43 seconds are pretty rad.

Sunday, August 07, 2011

Beth/Rest

A few years ago I answered the phone at work and my boss told me she was quitting. I had no idea how to react-we had just signed a major deal with a big celebrity and things felt like they were finally going to take off. The person I admired most at the company leaving seemed like a sign that maybe I was wrong. The HR Director told me to take the afternoon off and I went straight to Crystal Cove to run on the beach and try to figure out what the hell to do with my life. I decided that no matter what happened with the big celebrity contract, for me personally it was time to get out of the comfortable bubble I was in and look for new ways to grow.

It was only a few months later that I was packing up my life once again and moving across the country for a job opportunity. A new opportunity that turned out to be both a blessing and a curse. I do not regret anything about that move-I made incredible friends, learned things about myself that were disappointing and things about myself that were awesome, and had experiences that have increased my capacity for empathy. It was a good move. However, deep in my heart, I know that it was a move I talked myself into because I was a little too chicken to figure out how to grow where I was. A new job, a different city, a new ward-it was a wonderful external way to force myself to change. The last fifteen years of my life have been all about clean slates.

Cut to late summer 2011 and staring down the two year anniversary of moving to Colorado Springs. I have zero reason to be restless, I have a great job, good friends, I'm close enough to Utah that I can drive there or get a cheap plane ticket, the weather is lovely, I've picked up some new hobbies I am loving and I have an apartment that makes me happy every single time I come home. Life is good.

But.

It's easy to get complacent when things are going well. And it's very, very easy when you are single and making a nice living to just be having fun all the time and totally forget to stretch. A couple of months ago an old friend from college asked if he could set me up and while we were talking about it he said, "you have a great life but it's time to quit goofing around and get serious." Let me be clear, I in no way think being 34 and single is an indication that I have been "goofing around". I don't think married people are all responsible and single people are all flakes. (And to be fair, I don't think that's how he meant it either.) But what he said hit a nerve on some other fronts.

Instead of daydreaming about what else might be out there and imagining how I would reinvent myself when I got there, I've decided to make some changes I've been thinking about but not DOING much about for awhile now. This weekend I went on a blind date. I got up early on a Saturday to go for a bike ride and we did some evil hills. I took every box and drawer and pile of stuff I said I would go through "after the Olympics" and sorted and organized and trashed things like an episode of Hoarders. I've committed to some lofty goals at work. I keep thinking about the scripture about needing to be humble lest you GET humbled.

Hard things here I come.

Willingly.

And for your Monday morning listening pleasure-here's a live version of Bon Iver's Blood Bank from Boston recorded Friday night. I heard them play this many years ago, also in Boston, and it was one of my very favorite music moments. A beautiful song that is simply outstanding live.

Monday, August 01, 2011

FHE

After work. Ten minutes from the office.

I may never leave Colorado.




Sunday, July 31, 2011

Cool

When I was a freshman in college, my friend Brandon came over one night and when he went through all my CD's he told me my New Edition Greatest Hits disc was the ONLY one worth listening to but also cool enough that we could still be friends.

I had to come to the office today to finish up my orders for next summer. And iTunes decided to give me this ditty as a gift



Just for the record, I can still sing every single lyric on that entire album. Yep.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Win Win

I joined a kickball team this summer. Some friends at work sent me an invitation and it seemed so fun I broke my own rule of never signing up for a sport that involves other people. I am just not an athlete so I have tried to stick to thinks like running and biking and even climbing where my inability to catch or serve or hit a ball will make the people at my job hate me.

I was actually pretty stressed out the first night as I realized even kickball requires at least a little coordination and I really do hate to lose at things. I had these terrible flashbacks to being in a hyper competitive congregation as a kid and being the weak link on every softball/volleyball/basketball team the Mormons make their young suffer through regardless of talent level. Fortunately it's really just a nice excuse to run around a little, do some trash talking, high five a bunch and then go sit at Tony's and drink beer (or Diet Coke) on a hot summer night. And tonight I even scored a run and performed decently at third base.

The theme of this year seems to be wildly awesome things strung between millions of tiny simple pleasures. Like Tim photo bombing my double rainbow photo. Endlessly entertaining tonight.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Peace

I was getting ready to leave the office tonight when I saw a tweet from a friend with the news that Jeret "Speedy" Peterson had died. Jeret was a freestyle skier and medalist on the US Olympic Team in Vancouver.

I got to met Speedy at an event just prior to Vancouver. I was tasked with making sure he and one of his teammates got in the car that would take them to the airport. We sat on a bench at 30 Rockefeller Center and chatted a bit while we waited. He was cute and funny and charming-just exactly what you imagine when you think of meeting an Olympic skier. When the freestyle team came through team processing a few months later they were lively and fun and his silver medal moment was one of my favorites from the Games.

So the contrast of this young, vibrant guy I have in my head and reading that he died of a self-inflicted gunshot is breaking my heart tonight.

I was already thinking this after reading about Amy Winehouse and her fairly tragic death this weekend as well but gosh, this kind of thing just makes me want to be kinder and more patient with people. We have no idea what kind of demons the people around us might be battling. This article written during the 2010 Games talks about the particular difficulties Jeret went through and the enormous efforts he made to try to deal with them.

I have a lot of Olympic related people and organizations in my social networks so I've been reading all kinds of sweet messages from his friends and teammates. They reminded me of this Jackson Browne song that I've loved since I was about 16. It's sad but it's also tender and hopeful.



I sincerely hope Jeret is finally getting to feel the peace he couldn't seem to find in this life. And that maybe heaven has hills.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Pup

Can we all agree that I look good with a dog?

And can we also all agree that all photos should be taken in the witching hour of perfect, golden sunlight?