Friday, November 30, 2012

Stomp it Clean

One of the reasons I had so much fun this summer was that I had a really, really outstanding staff working for me at Team Processing.

In an attempt to make Processing better for our teams, I had the coach of the US Halfpipe team join the staff. He has been coaching Olympic teams for a long time and has been on the other side of the fence a number of times so he gave me great insights on what we could do to improve things. He also worked his BUTT off for me. As you can imagine, a snowboard coach is probably the polar opposite of me in terms of personality and it was really nice to have his calm presence during all the intensity.

He did a couple of videos for our Team USA YouTube channel to teach folks how to do some tricks this winter. It's my fondest wish to land a jump this season so I've been watching his clips like a fiend. So if you would like to learn how to jump as well, you can't do better than learning it from this guy. His advice to me?

"All you gotta do is let it fly and enjoy the ride... just make sure you STOMP IT CLEAN!!! ;-)"

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Better things

“You can spend minutes, hours, days, weeks, or even months over-analyzing a situation; trying to put the pieces together, justifying what could've, would've happened... or you can just leave the pieces on the floor and move the f**k on.” 

Tupac Shakur 

Tis the season for the floor being a mess. In the best possible way. 


Monday, November 19, 2012

Rocky Mountain HI!

Safe to say ski season is off to a stellar start.

Thursday, November 15, 2012


Now that my crazy year is over and life is feeling back to whatever normal is for me, the "Summer of Endless Flirtation" is transitioning into "The Winter of Our Discontent Because Real Dating is Totally the Worst".

I often feel like I am just as bad at dating as I was when I was 15 and spent so much time trying to stay aloof around the boy I had a giant crush on that as adults he told me he was convinced I wasn't interested. But realistically, although it hasn't gotten any more fun to get your heart broken, or to put yourself out there when you'd like to be home watching Cougartown in your fleece pants, I actually HAVE progressed in the way I approach this aspect of my life. More importantly, I have assembled a very excellent team of coaches and mentors I like to call my "Dating Board of Directors". This might sound really silly and like the chapter heading in some self-help book but I'm telling you, this team may not help me avoid getting my heart broken, but they sure do make post break up blues go away faster, get me back in the game with less baggage, and help me to actually learn something from each relationship.

Just like at work, I can't be expected to be an expert at every part of my big projects, so I present to you the core members of a solid Dating Board of Directors. Names withheld so you don't steal my board members!

The Sympathizer
This is the person you call RIGHT after things go south. She's the person who is going to do all the things "He's Just Not Into You" will tell you NOT to do. She'll tell you he doesn't deserve you and that you are too good for him and that he will regret it and blah blah blah. This friend should never say anything about needing to see both sides or asking you what you learned or any of that bull you don't want to hear when the wound is fresh.  This person is usually a girl but can also be a male friend you have never been involved with. She's important because she will probably also help you justify buying something nice for yourself, getting a massage, or eating a bunch of ice cream. All of which is totally fine for about 48 hours after a heart gets broken. This role can be filled by a boy but I am more comfortable with girls because we can say "boys are dumb!" which we don't really mean but feels a little bit nice after one has in fact been dumb.

The Gay BFF
A close gay friend is a really useful position on the board. Gay men tend to be 50% more effusive with praise and love than any straight person of either gender. So they will say wonderfully nice things about you that will make your ego feel good, but they are still guys, so they can offer perspective that your girlfriends just can't. And it will come cushioned with the assurance that "if I was straight-daaaamn girl, I would be ALL over YOU." Which is something no girl ever has grown tired of hearing.

The Reformed Player
This is a guy you need around from pretty much the second you start crushing on someone. A guy who has been a player in his past can give you insights that a life long gentleman either can't or won't.  You say "why would he do that??" and Reformed Player will say, "oh I'll tell you exactly why...". It's like having a cheat sheet to sketchy male behavior. This is a tricky position though-you have to make sure he is truly reformed. I got myself into a situation where I got some terrific advice from what I thought was an RP, then I accidently started dating him and was pretty upset when I got-duh-played.  My current RP coached me through a miserable situation earlier this year complete with encouraging texts about just how bad the fella in question was probably feeling as I followed his tips. I can't overstate the value of this guy. Also, players tend to be pretty handsome and charming so it doesn't hurt your feelings to have one who adores you around.

The Play-by-Play Expert
This one can be a boy or a girl although you will likely get more reliable insight if it's a guy. This is the person willing to listen to a long, boring dating story and then tear apart all the details and try to figure out where you went wrong and what it all means. I must emphasize that this needs to be ONE DESIGNATED PERSON. Your whole social network does not want to hear your story in exruciating detail. And you don't want to be the girl who spills the long version to anyone who sits still for five minutes. The key to this position is that this person actually enjoys the process of talking your situation to death. It is incredibly helpful if you can fill the same role for this person so you can return the favor when he/she is memorizing Taylor Swift songs. Mine has spent 45 minutes on the phone with me analyzing a text exchange so, you know, lucky me.

The Old Married Lady
I love this one. I have dozens of these. You call them to tell a dating story and it doesn't matter if it's funny or sad-they love to live vicariously through you. They will often give terrible advice because they have been out of the game so long, or they are hoping they won't lose their endless supply of stories about getting hit on by 24 year olds. You always know that these friends love their kids and love their husbands but it makes all your experiences just a baby bit sweeter when someone else thinks they sound pretty glamorous.

The Straight Talker
A skilled friend can be both The Sympathizer and the Straight Talker but she or he needs to be really good at sensing which one you need. The Straight Talker kicks in riiiight about the time no one wants to hear you speak this boy's name ever again. As a good friend once said, "even when my mother DIED my friends were tired of comforting me after a month so breakups get 30 days and not one second longer." The Straight Talker is the one that will remind you that you have flaws too, it takes two to kill a relationship and that maybe just maybe this is a pattern or you held on too long or you have been talking about this too much and everyone is tired of it. That friend. I love/hate that friend but she's the key to moving on. She's often the one that will push you over the edge to finally break up or stop pining or get back out there or whatever. She's kind with her honestly because she loves you, but she doesn't want to have to hear this again because really, it's time to put on your big girl pants and move. on.

The Old Flame
This is another tricky position but it's one I have found to be profoundly useful after someone really hurts you. Especially when you feel like it's just never going to work out for you. This is someone you used to be crazy about but are COMPLETELY OVER and someone who was nuts about you but has DEFINITELY moved on. If you been able to be genuinely friendly with this guy, he will become invaluable. He knows you very well, he knows the things that are great about you but he also knows the things that are tough. He knows that you are dramatic and bossy and strong-willed. But if you are lucky, he still thinks you are pretty great and is convinced that you are going to end up with someone great. Because when you are dating in the grownup world, most of the people in your past are not crazy or jerks or whatever, they are just good people that weren't quite right. My Old Flame pep talker gives the most fantastic "You are awesome and we both know this so snap out of it will ya" talks ever. I use him sparingly, he often gets exasperated by the situations I find myself in, but he's one of my favorite post-heartbreak conversations. I can't stress enough that this cannot be someone on your backburner or someone who still harbors a secret crush on you. This needs to be a "his girlfriend knows there is no threat, he's practically a brother" type person or this will actually cause more harm than good.

The Encourager
I have several of these but one of my current favorites is a friend who has heard way too many stories of guys I'm crushing on that end in me saying, "but I have no idea how to tell him I like him." So recently he took to signing all his emails "MTFM" or "Make The First Move." He will give me juuuust enough of an ego stroke like "he'll be hard pressed to resist that laugh of yours" that it has actually inspired me to put myself out there in ways that completely terrify me. The Encourager can get you in trouble and make you vulnerable but apparently that's how you meet people so, I keep a few around.

So there they are, the team that keeps me from turning into a mean old spinster. I would put them all on salary if I could and will probably send THEM wedding presents if that time ever comes.

And if you think I am kidding about any of these, I'm not. This is a 100% serious list and I'm 100% seriously thankful that anytime I start to freak out, this panel is here to turn me back into a human. I also have an all female Being An Awesome Woman Board of Directors that I will have to tell you about. Tapping into the experts people, that's what it's all about.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012


To quote a kind of terrible band, "sometime the hard thing and the right thing are the same."


Saturday, November 10, 2012


I haven't posted any music lately even though I have been downloading it like a FIEND. I went to two shows in two nights this weekend though and I feel incredibly spoiled.

Last night I went to The Be Good Tanyas. All girl harmonies and mandolins and banjos. And the lead singer's name is Frazey. It's hard to pick just one their songs but I love the lyrics and the melody of this one so very much.

Light Enough to Travel

Then tonight a friend from Salt Lake was in town who I never get to see and she and her boyfriend and I went to see Lost Lander and Typhoon. There were a lot of C Springs music fans there so it was also fun to run into a bunch of people I haven't seen in awhile.

I didn't know Lost Lander but they were right up my alley-and even more awesome when I came home and downloaded their album. I am a sucker for a well-produced track and man, these guys nail it.

Cold Feet

And then there was Typhoon. Another thing I am a sucker for is a BIG band that FILLS the stage and makes EPIC sounding music. It's why Broken Social Scene remains one of my all time favorite bands. I also think it's impossible to be too snarky and caustic when you are in a band with ten other people so these big bands just seems so earnest. These guys can right a song that builds and builds and then pauses and then when you can't stand it, crashes all around you with strings and horns and voices shattering into pieces all over the venue.

Summer Home

And because you kind of need to see all of them to get the full more for good measure.

Mouth of the Cave + White Liars

Friday, November 09, 2012


Being LDS and voting for Obama I have had quite a few friends ask me over the last week why I choose not to vote for Mitt Romney. I wrote it out enough times I decided to post it here. I edited out some of the more personal things I didn't want to share publicly but this still reads as though writing to a friend. I hope this doesn't make you stop reading my blog : ) I swear I will go right back to boys and music.

So here goes...we all have to vote according to our own personal experiences. And my life experience is overwhelmingly colored by growing up in a family that always struggled financially.  We didn't have insurance most of the time. My dad's veterans benefits were the only way he could get the kidney transplant that means I still have a dad. I watched my brother pay soul crushing private premiums to make sure his kids could go to the doctor when his employer in california declined to provide full coverage to the utah office. They finally decided to give in and take some government help because it was tough paying for both shelter, food AND insurance. My brother is a college educated professional who LOVES TO WORK-not some lazy guy looking for a handout. So affordable and available healthcare is something that is near and dear to me.

I went to SUU on Pell Grants. I worked every summer, every christmas break and on campus every semester. I got scholarships to make up the differences. I wasn't a lazy kid letting the government fund four years of goofing around-I was careful with money and worked hard to get good grades and graduate on time. But neither I, nor any of my fully employed tax paying responsible citizen siblings could have managed college without major help-my parents just couldn't help very much. I feel an enormous sense of responsibility to the other Katie Clifford's of this world to make sure the ability to go to college remains available to kids like her.

Now that I AM a college educated professional and I make sort of a silly amount of money to pick polo shirts and watch swimmers try on clothes, I'm perfectly happy-heck, grateful-to pay my share and frankly even more than my share than say my dear teacher friend who makes peanuts to teach little first grade minds-to make sure we get roads and schools and fire departments and snow removal. (This sentence is terribly punctuated, I guess it shows that I quit being an English major.)

And lastly-and to me very most importantly-is the right of everyone to marry as they choose. The fact that any douchebag straight guy can go out and get married and have a few kids he may abuse or neglect and that's legal, but my kind, sweet, wonderful best friend Jed who is a good good man, cannot marry the guy he loves and adopt some kids who will be so loved and well cared for makes me so angry I could spit nails. I cannot, and I will not, support a party who continues to be so obstinate when it comes to this issue.

I worked for Mitt at the organizing committee in Salt Lake. He's super smart and capable and we were always mesmorized by his press conferences and organization addresses. However, I don't feel like I ever saw that guy again. I saw a man who bowed to the pressures of the far right and sounded like an old, out of touch, relic of a different age every time he opened his mouth. I don't believe that was the real Mitt, but I also wasn't willing to take the chance that he would feel beholden to the overly vocal extreme side of his party. Someone said today the GOP is "a Mad Men party in a Modern Family world" and I couldn't agree more.

The economy was in in bad bad shape when Obama took office-I feel like maybe people have forgotten the hysteria of four short years ago when entire neighborhoods were going into foreclosure and life savings were being wiped out. We are not where we need to be but we are so much better. A friend sent me an article back in January and it really explains why from a fiscal point of view, I voted to keep the guy who has a long-term strategy to truly fix things in place, rather than shake it all up again with a newbie who will inevitably discover that being the President of the US is not the same as being the president of Bain Capitol. Or the Olympics. You can read it if you would like, many of my fellow Obama supporters will cite it as a reason they feel good about his second term.

I am certain that as a business owner and with a different upbringing, you have a different lens you used to filter these two. We came up with different guys but it doesn't make either of us wrong-we just have different priorities in a leader. But I will say this-I've got gays in my life and I have minorities in my family and I have spent my whole Mormon girl life fighting the idea that my whole worth is tied to someone wanting to marry me and when the Obama family walked out on stage last night, they looked like progress. They looked young and fresh and they didn't look like me. I think we needed this election to shake loose the cobwebs of an America that only looks good if you are white and straight and rich.

I have gone on and on here but this stuff is important to me and I did a LOT of soul searching to get to what I think. I know my Republican friends did too. Mitt is a good man, he'll make a hell of a mission president for some lucky kids. And hopefully Obama will keep his victory speech promise to sit down with Romney. I also hope Ann gets a nap-she was a champ : ) Being a political wife looks like the suckiest job ever ; )