Thursday, January 31, 2008


The past 18 hours have been less than stellar.

To start the strange cluster of events, I found a handwritten note on my driver's side door as I walked to my car to leave work. The author very rudely noted that he/she "saw" me back into his/her car. Apparently, he/she knows my name, too. It is Asshole.

Grrr. Not only have I never in my life backed into a parked or moving car, I never moved my car once I arrived at work yesterday. There was no name or phone number left on the note, just an ominous warning that I'd be hearing from them.


So, I called the campus police in an effort to file a non-complaint or something. Dark, dark memories of fighting for years with insurance companies (EVIL BASTARDS) when I got run over by a drunk driver who plead guilty washed over me and I was not about to let someone's insurance company get any ideas. Goddamn it. Over-reactionary? Sure. Do I care? No. I just wanted to be on record as not being an this so called asshole, damn it.

The officer looked at my car and noted in my case file (no, really) that indeed, the copious amounts of dust on my car had not been disturbed in any way and therefore it is extraordinarily unlikely that I would have backed up into someone's car. Cheers for a filthy car!

Later in the evening A. and I went to the Cowgirls basketball game where they just never came out of the shoot, you know? The fought like hell in the second half, but lost to a lucky three-point shot by Utah in the last five seconds of the game. My heart was broken. BROKEN.

Returning home, Buster and Belle greeted us at the front door. They were supposed to be in the back room, secure and warm and inside because it was too cold to leave them outside. Hmm? How had they gotten out? By chewing and scratching and generally ruining things.

Where were the four dozen chocolate chip cookies I'd baked the night before?

In the content bellies of Buster and Belle. Chocolate. Dogs. JESUS. I made a frantic call to the vet's emergency line and kept an eagle eye on the two little shits to see if they were acting funny. The vet called back and said because it was milk chocolate they were fine, it wasn't enough to hurt them. She said I might have a night of cleaning up diarrhea and barfing ahead of me, though.

Thankfully there were no messes to clean up, but Buster did keep me up all night whining with a belly ache.

I am whipped.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Poorly Written Post About Small Town Living, Part One

Daily I am struck with the pleasures and challenges of living in a small town. I've been inspired to gather my thoughts regarding small-town living by this post by Flibberty. Unfortunately, this post isn't really coming together but I am going to throw it out there for you anyway. Let's call this Part One because I know I am going to want to revisit this topic on a more articulate day!

I grew up in a small, western town and couldn't wait to get the hell out. Shortly after college I ran away to Washington, DC. After being perpetually lost for the first six months (there was no visible mountain range to remind me of where West was and damn, if the Washington Monument doesn't look exactly the same from every angle! No navigational help there.) I woke up one day and quite literally just knew how the city was laid out and knew my way around. It instantly became Home and I loved it fiercely. Still do.

But. I decided I really needed a master's in American Studies (a post about just what the hell is this field of study is in the works... I know, you can't wait, can you?) so I moved back to the West, back to a small town.

Initially I was too busy trying to read 349,208 pages per week for my coursework to notice the daily challenges of living in a small town. To be fair, I missed out on many of its pleasures, too.

I have really started to contemplate living here now that A. and I have a home together, a life together, and all that remains of The Graduate School Experience is The Thesis.

On the one hand, I keep thinking that, "Geez. Living in the city is so much work. It is such a hassle to get anywhere and it takes so long!" But it is a lot of work to live here, too. There isn't much for industry or commercial enterprises here, or anywhere within 200 miles for that matter (and in only one direction, otherwise you are looking at more like 500 miles). To buy a pair of jeans (any pair of jeans) requires a hunt and usually ends with an online order or a trip out of town. There is a Target 50 miles away, but for most people in the state a Target is no less than 250 miles away.

But, for the most part, people know their neighbors here. When A. and I were doing our Christmas shopping downtown we ran into a number of acquaintances. When S. waved at us through a shop window I nearly burst from how happy and neighborly and merry it all was. The little local toy shop owner helps me pick out gifts for the niece and nephews and they are always the biggest hit. I know the owner/pastry chef of the local bakery on a first name basis. I know I will run into J. and S. at the local coffee shop on any evening of the week and on Sunday mornings.

(For what it is worth, I think this small-town-ness is only possible and fostered by a healthy downtown that operates as functional public space. Thank you, Farmers' Market!)

You can't afford to be rude to anyone. You will run into them again, somewhere in town. Or they will turn out to be related to your boss. Or they will be your next landlord or new gynecologist.

But this all means that it is nearly impossible to make a quick run to the grocery store for milk. There is always visiting involved when you run to the grocery store, the video store, the hardware store. And God forbid you think you'll be able to sneak in and out with condoms or a pregnancy test. I've noticed that folks who live out of town and pick up their mail at the post office do a lot of visiting in the lobby.

More and more I feel like I did my stint as a big-city girl and feel happy and content to remain a small-town woman. If A. and I do move somewhere larger when he finishes grad school, say in the 100,000 range or so, I really hope we live in the city center and can live by the "10-block rule" (all daily requirements can be met within 10 blocks of our house). Kind of make a small town in the midst of the big town, you know? Come to think if it, that is exactly how I got by in DC.


Thanks for all of your questions! The new Q and A feature is up and running! Keep sending those questions...this is fun!

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

A Little Q and A Action, Baby

I am sooooo behind in my reader. Three hundred and eighty-nine entries behind. Bah.

I blame it on the cold I caught from my BIL, twice removed. (I am not married to A., and he is not married to A.'s sister. Living in sin, the whole lot of us.) Also - my work schedule and the high level of stress it has eliceted from me are also to blame.

I slept straight for two days, partly because I didn't feel like doing much and because I wanted to nip this fucker in the bud. The cold never totally, completely kicked my ass, and I credit my improved diet for my ability to stay out of the Miserable Pit of Hellish Colds. Hurray for fruits and veggies!!


Anywhoooo, I thought it would be fun to add a Q and A element to the sidebar of my blog. The idea is that you would send in questions you have about me, A., my dogs, where I live, the landscape, what I am thinking about the election, local foodscapes, what I ate for dinner--whatever, and I'd post an answer on the sidebar. Maybe even with pictures. (No really, I swear! I will connect the damn camera to my computer on a regular basis, I will!) For more involved questions, such at "What the hell is American Studies, anyway?" I'll probably write an entire post.

I think it's be a great feature, and I've ripped it off from this site.

Problem is, I am am pretty sure my existence is considerably less interesting than that of someone raising a young coyote. This may be a short lived feature. Very short lived. And I might feel like I am not the best company at a party afterward, but what the hell.

Or not! You guys are a creative and inquisitive bunch. So! Think up questions and either leave them in the comments or e-mail them to me at sagebrushandserendipty at yahoo dot com. I'll probably throw some of the questions right back at you. Interactive, baby.

Obviously, if a satisfactory answer to a question would jeopardize my anonymity, I'll chose to skip it or answer it kind of half-assed. Also, requests for hot, steamy pictures from the bedroom will also be ignored. A. is shy.

Friday, January 25, 2008


The only thing that was not awesome about my trip to see my sisters was that schedules and crappy weather did not allow for a little side trip to see Black Sheeped.

I was so looking forward to chatting and chatting and chatting and laughing and laughing and laughing with Black Sheeped.

I miss you very much, my dear.

But! We will have March! Yes! Yes, we will!

Friday Five: Not as Occasional

1. The trip to Omaha to see my sisters was AWESOME. T. is cute and round and the little alien nephew residing in her uterus is kicking and happy and YAY! T. is doing a great job getting ready for the baby. She is going to be such a good mom, you guys. I am really proud of her. And BIL, R., is so damn level-headed and funny he's going to be a hoot as a father. Little sister, A., is still tall and gorgeous and funny and smart. I wish that I was able to see both of them more often. It is hard being far away; I feel like I miss so much of their lives.

2. Part of why I miss these guys so much and feel like I don't always know what is going on with them is because I never talk to them on the phone. I HATE TALKING ON THE PHONE. It annoys me to be on the phone. I'd rather be doing something. Maybe if I can rig my cell phone up so that I can have both of my hands free and can move around and do stuff I'll be more likely to chat away. (My particular model of cell phone can't be open and on when in a belt clip, and I push buttons if I have it flipped open and in my pocket. Also, those in-your-ear things HURT. Suggestions, anyone?)

I need to do something to get past my grumpiness with the phone; I miss my sisters and my friends in DC, NYC and Iowa (yes, you!) so much.

3. We have a full house right now. MG is staying with us for a few days, as is A.'s little sister B., her partner K., and one-year-old M. Oh, and B.'s dog and cat are with us, too.

S0, there are five adults, one ADORABLE toddler, three large dogs, and one SCARY cat in the house right now.

We have a small house. It is full right now. It is cozy. I am much happier about all of this chaos than I thought I'd be.

4. My sister gave A. and I her old Tivo. It is too bad that when I have finally caught up with all this fancy-schmancy television technology that there are no shows on the tube.

5. Is anyone else starting to really feel the writer's strike? I am, but I do support them. I am still trying to figure out how I feel about Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert going back to work without their writers. Is it crossing the picket line if you are broadcasting the cause on national television every night?

Stephen Colbert is so fucking funny you can't even tell he doesn't have his writers. If I were his writers, I'd be a tad concerned about my relevance.

Happy Friday to you!

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Update on My Ridiculous Indecisiveness. Also: Thank you

Thank! you! all for your input on my travel dilemma (of my own making). You guys are awesome. Really.

Flib - your comment is the one that finally pushed me onto one side of the fence. But, Erica, you really had me daydreaming of a roadtrip with me, myself and I! But, I'd made up my mind, I'd have myself a little train adventure.

I went to book my train tickets and they had doubled in price within 30 minutes. *sigh*

So, I am on the other side of the fence and will be driving to Omaha! While not the most breathtaking scenery, Nebraska has a presence that is all its own. I think it will be fine, and if it's not, I'll hole up in Ogallala for a night and catch up on some reading for The Thesis. As a co-worker reminded me, "You do know how much your life is worth, right?" So, no crazy interstate driving for me, if it comes to that. But, yes, Bibliodiva, they do indeed know how to plow in this neck of the woods.

Now, if this Forced Vacation in Ogallala is on the way to Omaha, I'll be very, very sad to be missing my sisters for a bit. (Oh, did I mention baby sis A. will also be there?!?! I AM SO EXCITED.)

If I am stuck on the way back to L-town, however, then I'll chant calming meditations for a bit until I am not longer riddled with anxiety about missing work.

Because. Work? Lately? Insane.

That is all I am going to say. It is hard not to complain/obsess/worry/rant about work on this blog. But, if anything is going to bite me in the ass, it would be complaining/obsessing/worrying/ranting about work on this blog. So.

That said, it is back to work for me.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Help: Indecisiveness Is Stealing My Soul, Threatening My Weekend

This is stupid, but I can't make up my mind and need your help. Indecisiveness wins again!

I am going to Omaha to see my delightfully pregnant sister, T., for the long weekend. But I can't decide how I want to get there. Both options, for now, cost about the same.

Option A: Take the train.

  • First - A. drives two and a half hours to Denver to drop me off to catch the train on Friday night.
  • A. drives back to L-town.
  • Get lulled to sleep by the sweet motions of public transportation.
  • Get woken up by the oddities and potential frights of public transportation.
  • Arrive in Omaha EARLY Saturday morning.
  • Repeat in reverse on Monday night/Tuesday morning, complete with A.'s second round trip to Denver.
  • Don't have my own car, thus requiring some additional planning to visit Black Sheeped while in there.
  • I love train travel, though in the States it is different.

Total travel time for the round trip: 24 hours.

Option B: Drive my own damn self

  • Leave at 5:30 a.m. on Saturday, drive 8 hours to Omaha on mind-numbingly boring I-80.
  • Hopefully the six to eight inches of snow falling along the entire route today and tomorrow will have melted (not likely - high temps will only be reaching 10 the next week), or at the very least haven't left an icy, nasty mess.
  • Drive back on Tuesday, also hoping that Monday's predicted storm doesn't leave me with too much ice and snow.
  • Have a car to go see Black Sheeped.
  • Enjoy a road trip by myself, complete with singing at the top of my lungs to whatever music I want to listen to. I haven't done this in years and I always loved it.

Total travel time for the round trip: 16 hours plus any bad road delays

Ok, folks! Help me make up my mind. I am leaning toward driving, except for the stupid weather...

This is ridiculous.

A Fierce Stillness

The night before last, I pulled off the highway and stopped to check the mail before heading down the two-mile stretch of dirt road that leads out to the house. I was thoroughly distracted as I turned off the ignition, have been bopping around to the song on the radio, wondering if the Netflix movies had arrived. Wondering what Netflix movies has arrived.

It was so still and so quiet and so crisp outside that I was literally rendered immobile. My breath had, in fact, been taken away. This awe was unexpected. Something was different. It was so still. Seemingly without a say in the matter, I stood still for a while, gazing at this land that is my home, listening to those sounds that are often missed because the wind shouts over them. A coyote called. L-town glittered in the valley. I looked up at the stars. I was once again stunned at how bright and clear the stars are when you are by yourself, away from the lights, the cars, the noise of town. It was such bliss to lift my head without having to steady myself from the wind.

The landscape imprinted itself on me. In its stillness.


Last night, the dust stirred up by my tires as I drove up the lane to the house blew ahead of me, faster than my car was driving. A few weeks ago, while driving 55 mph on the highway, the truck couldn't keep up with the blowing snow, either. It is a strange feeling, being outrun by the wind. But it is not foreign.

The landscape etched itself on me. In its fierceness.


It is not always easy, living here. In the thick of the winter months I start to struggle with it. It is so cold. So windy. So long. It is so much work just to be in this kind of weather. Currently, at 10:45 a.m., it is an even 0 degrees Fahrenheit. When the wind picks up, it feels more like -15 or -20 degrees. Thankfully, there was just barely a breeze this morning. walking to the car, I forced myself to stop for a moment. I forced myself to appreciate the newly fallen snow, the quiet peacefulness of morning where all of God's creatures are snuggled up, quiet, keeping warm for a bit longer before the business of the day calls them out.

Maybe if I look for and treasure these little moments of grace I will be strong enough to endure another winter. Perhaps, instead of simply enduring I can teach myself to thrive in this fierce stillness.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Friday Five: Not as Occasional

1. I am going to try to make it to the gym again tonight. (Wow! How is that for passive!?!?) Last night didn't work out, so now I will have only gone to the gym once last week, and once this week. Hmm. Shitty.

I suppose most of my problem here is I am expecting time at the gym to magically "work out" on its own, rather than, say, dedicating actual, scheduled time to going to the gym. *sigh* Damn.

Damn agency to hell. How about fate take a hand in this gym-going stuff?

2. Another possible excuse
glitch in this plan is if A. wants to get home right after work because the poor boy could be STARVING by then. We have done a great job bringing just one vehicle (and the gas-sipping Honda, to boot!) into town since returning to work after the New Year. It is almost like it was an unspoken Joint New Year's Resolution. We will see how we do next week when A.'s classes resume.

3. I am in the middle of a wicked Cookie Withdrawal. I went so bonkers baking Christmas cookies that they became a bit of a staple item in our pantry as of late. I find myself ROAMING the kitchen, the fridge, the cupboards an hour or so after dinner hunting for cookies.

4. While it is shitty that I haven't been to the gym in a week, it is also not shitty that I haven't made it to the gym but once per week. Not going suits my very lazy ass just fine.

5. Earlier this week I had a hair appointment. I had decided I wanted to grow it out a bit longer. I came back with the cutest, short style I've had in a long time. I'll post a picture as soon as I get my hands on a camera. Woo hoo! New haircuts are fun!

Happy Friday to you!

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Adventures of a Wary Fitness Newbie: An Occassional Series

Last Friday, after work:

I waddled over to the gym, carrying my workout bag, my insulated lunch thingy, my purse and my hat and mittens. Apparently, I must carry clutter with me everywhere I go.

I swiped my card, entered the locker room and didn't even have to think about where my locker was. Rock on! In fact, I zipped right through my combination lock, too. Whoa. This is surely a sign that going to the gym and "running" has the potential of becoming a habit, no?

High from the fact that I actually remembered my combination, I pulled out my sneakers and started to disrobe. Just as I was about to rip off my shirt (ha!), one of my student employees, K., and her mother, walked in right at that moment and offered a cheery "hello!" I would have been just mortified if I'd been seen in my unmatching, unflattering, undergarments by a student I know. Urg.

Until they left, I busied myself with ridiculous tasks, drawn out to buy time. I gingerly took my iPod Shuffle out of my digital camera case (I don't want it to get scratched!) and laid it out. I carefully removed all of my workout clothes from my bag and laid them out neatly before me. I took off my shoes. I pulled out my sneakers, checked the laces. When I heard that K. and her mom were on their way out, I finished changing (I am a nerd, I know!). Of course, I'd packed sweatpant-capri thingies, but hadn't shaved my white legs of their long, dark, dark hair in days. I had a nice length of calf showing that was sexy, let me tell you.

I decided to brave the scale. Hopped on and discovered I'd only gained about three pounds over the holidays. Not bad! Woo hoo!

I head up to the track, as "running" in the treadmill scares the shit out of me. I just know I will be sucked underneath it. Sucked. Underneath. By a moving floor.

There weren't too many people on the track, even with New Year's Resolutions so new and fresh they were practically in cartoon bubbles above all of our heads. It was a Friday evening after work, and I suppose that may have had something to do with it.

Two young men were stretching and cooling down where I was stretching and warming up. I had my cute little iPod earbuds in, but didn't actually have the iPod playing just yet. (I am so silly - I actually wanted to draw out the anticipation of using it for the first time for just a bit longer. Nerd.) Confident that I couldn't hear them, they chatted away, continuing their discussion of the inconsistent treatment of the character Russ from the National Lampoon vacation movies. In particular, they were discussing Europe and Vegas.

I went out on the track and turned on my iPod and was in heaven. I had no idea what I was about to listen to or what was next! The suspense kept my mind off of the impending intervals of running and that was such a blessing.

I *heart* my iPod Shuffle so much.

And I think my Shuffle loves, me too. With four minutes left of my intervals and me wishing I was dead, Shuffle sent me a song by Corporate Avenger. Nothing gets me quite so fired up and pissed off and inspired as this band. They are fucking awesome. And the song, "Web of Lies"? Perfect for running around the track while in utter, endless pain. Because! I will rise up and overcome the Web of Lies, yes I will! Now, if it had shuffled to "The Bible is B******t," I'd still be running around that track.


I need to thank Tessie, and Erin for their inspiration. I wouldn't be making a complete fool of myself on the track if it weren't for you!


[This is absurd; this has taken me nearly a week to write... Let's just say it's been one helluva week. And unfortunately there have been no visits with the gym to update this post with. But! Tonight! I will be huffing and puffing my way around the track...]

Friday, January 4, 2008

Friday Five: An Occasional Series

Happy First Friday of 2008!

1. Last night, A.'s younger step-sister, H., came over for dinner and to help me figure out the pattern for the knitted titty. I've been "practicing" on a scarf/potholder/thingie for a couple of months now, and felt confident that I could at least cast on, knit, and purl. It is time to knit a boob.

It was a fun--but also frustrating--evening. Surprise! I figured out how to knit an I-cord after many failed attempts and exclamations from both H. and I. of "What the fuck? This can't be right." Then, even after H. showed me repeatedly how to do it, every time I tried to increase a row I ended up with my yarn connected to the ball on my right knitting needle, instead of my left. Of course, I couldn't figure out how to undo what I'd done wrong and ended up having to rip everything out. After my sixth attempt I poured myself a glass of wine and called it a night. (Hey, you knitters! Any tips as to what the hell I am doing wrong?!?!)

However! My first official, completed knitted project is a NIPPLE. So I did feel smug with satisfaction as I sipped my wine. Progress, no matter how small, is progress.

2. I am seriously considering buying Buster a coat for the winter. He doesn't develop as thick an undercoat as Belle and winter is harder on him than her. I thought this one was cute, functional and would serve its purpose. I'd get it in black and remove that absurd hood. A. is convinced I've lost my mind. I think I am being a responsible pet parent. I mean, it's been around 3 degrees in the daytime, without considering the wind chill, for a couple of weeks now. Brrrrrr....

A. is concerned the neighborhood dogs, namely Chewy*, will pick on Buster and tease him.

3. I didn't realize how much food I've been consistently making from scratch (yay!) until I signed up for SparkPeople. Trying to input homemade foods into their nutrition tracker tool is A PAIN IN THE ASS. I am losing interest in the site pretty quickly as a result.

Also, the site seems absurdly packed with links to information. Is anyone else using SparkPeople? Do you find it kind of confusing to use, or is it just me? I tend to shut down if there are too many things competing for my attention, hence my EXTREME HATE for live, professional men's basketball games.

4. A. and I are members of our local food co-op. They've called for submissions for panels for a new mural inside the store. I am considering submitting one. The artist who will compile these will also let me help paint it, too. Murals are not my favorite type of project, but they do lend themselves to direct involvement with communities, and exist in a public life that I find very important. I'd love to be involved with this particular one. A real sense of ownership and responsibility with the co-op has been stirring in me lately. And I think it would do my soul much good to paint again. I would really feel like I was contributing my own particular skills and strengths to the co-op project, you know?

5. Resolutions Update:

  • I've flossed daily every day this year! Rock on!
  • I did some reading for The Thesis last night. Progress, if very small.
  • I brought my darling little red iPod Shuffle with me today so I can go to the gym after work. I am pretty excited about the random song thing. I don't know what is on the Shuffle, and I don't know what I'll hear next. I have over 1,000 songs on my computer that the shuffle randomly loaded from, so I truly have no idea what I'll be listening to. There is so much suspense and anticipation involved. That should keep my mind off of the heaving and trying not to barf.

Happy Friday to you!

+ + +

* I've named the chow, who is a pain-in-the-ass, running-free-and-tormenting-my-dogs, Chewy. He's a bastard and I really, really, wish his owner would keep him on her property or behind a fence. He's been aggressive toward my dogs before on walks, and on one occasion I ended up being drug down a dirt road while they all had a scuffle. I returned home with TUMBLEWEEDS in my hair. A. looked at me, stunned, and said, "What the hell happened to you?" I STRONGLY DISLIKE Chewy and Chewy's owners.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Random Updates Galore: Holiday Edition

So far, 2008 is off to a much better start than was 2007 this same time last year. By January 9 of last year, A. lost the majority of his ice-fishing gear--including hisfancypants ice shanty--to 70+ mph winds during an ice-fishing derby and we had a drain line from our house freeze solid. Let me point you to the key words in that last sentence: DRAIN; FROM; and FREEZE. (I'll let your mind wander through all the disgusting and thoroughly inconvenient ramifications of this its own.)

So far, so good. It's warming up to the 30s and 40s for a few days, so I don't have to worry about freezing pipes for a while. A. is considering entering the same ice-fishing derby this weekend. Would you all mind sending some good karma his way? Gee, thanks! You are the best.

Happy New Year to you and yours, and here is hoping that only good things find you throughout the year.


Christmas was lovely. It was my first Christmas away from my family, and I struggled with that a bit. I couldn't overcome the feeling of guilt I carried with me that my papa didn't have any of his kids come home this year. Every time I spoke with him he seemed cheerful and happy. I keep telling myself that wasn't for my benefit. A. and I did swing down to see he and my step-mom a few days after Christmas and he seemed great. It was a fun little visit.

But A.'s family were all very thoughtful and took special care of me this holiday. Truly, how lucky am I? Before we left to go see my folks a few days after Christmas, A.'s older sister gave me a hug and thanked me for spending my first Christmas away from my family with them. The lump is still in my throat.

Some favorite things about Christmas this year:

1. A. gave me a new fly reel and brand new line to go with the rod he gave me last year. Woo hoo! I am even more anxious for winter to get the hell out of here so I can go fly-fishing. What is up with this ice-fishing business?

2. T., A.'s four-year-old nephew was beside himself with excitement over all the presents and Santa. He looked through all of the gifts under the tree to see which had his name on it, then carted them all over to the dining room table so they cold be close to him while he ate lunch. He slept with the presents later that night.

3. Because they were spending Christmas at Grandma's, T. was worried that Santa wouldn't know where to leave the presents. So he left him a note at home! Too sweet! Oh, it breaks my heart.

4. Little S., A.'s two-year-old niece, received a play kitchen. At one point, I heard her blowing. I looked over, and she was blowing on the "hot" saucepan of soup. Again - TOO SWEET.

5. A.'s mom's cooking. Yum. Except for the Lutefisk. Dear God, that is rank, jiggly stuff. Eeeewwww.

6. My folks gave me an iPod Shuffle! It's red! It's adorable! It's tiny! I've wanted one for years, and kept telling myself I'd buy it for myself when I went to the gym faithfully for at least one month. Instead, I have a cute little thing full of my favorite music to inspire me to go to the gym. No more giant Discman for me.

7. I got to spend another Christmas with A.


Sunday, A. and I drove to Denver to meet his folks at the Vikings-Broncos game. It was a difficult game, as in order for the Vikings to make it to the playoffs the fucking Dallas Cowboys had to beat the Redskins. I HAD TO HOPE WITH ALL MY HEART THAT DALLAS WOULD WIN. Oh, that was painful. As was the Vikings' performance. As were thefreakin' cold temperatures in late December in Denver. It was COLD, people.

We stayed long enough to see the Vikings score their first (allowed) touch down and two-point conversion. We left then to beat the traffic so A.'s folks would make it to their play on time. By the time we trekked all the way back to the vehicle and had the radio on, the Vikings tied the game and it had gone into overtime. Damn Vikings! You always, always find a way to fill me with delirious hope at the very end.

The Broncos got a field goal and won the game. And Dallas? Dallas decided not to show up for their game, benched all their prize players and let Washington run all over them. Fucking Texas.

Instead of driving home that night as we had planned, A. and I slept of the floor of J. and C.'s place in south Denver. All roads to L-town were closed due to 70+ mph winds and absolutely no visibility. Fun. Have I mentioned how much I love winter in these parts? Thankfully a friend of our with a four-wheel drive made it out the house to let the pups in overnight. It was fun visiting with J. and C., though.


The roads were still crappy and the winds were still at about 50 mph on New Year's Eve day. So, A.'s parents decided to stay with us for the holiday, and we all made the slow, stressful trek to L-town on barely open roads. Arg . But! We ended up having a great New Year's Eve. A.'s step-sister H. came out to the house and I made homemade pizzas and we drank wine and champagne and played Yahtzee and TrivialPursuit. It was a lovely way to ring in the new year.

A.'s mom asked us all what our resolutions were. I never keep mine, but I make them anyway. H. is going to send birthday cards to all the family. On time. (I would fail outright if that were my resolution.) A. is going to catch the biggest perch of the year. (Dork.) I am going to floss daily and finish The Thesis. I have been struggling with my third resolution: to lose weight, get fit and feel better. I've never had to make a conscious effort to achieve these things before and I am a tad freaked out. I'll save this for another post (for you, Tessie!).


Happy New Year!