Friday, June 29, 2007

Cooling off

It's stupid to complain about the heat when you live in the high desert, but it's been hot here lately.

One of the great things about living in the hot desert is evening bike rides. Last night, our dear friend, Tracee Trace, watched Mar so I could ride my bike to one of the local watering holes. Bill's band was playing and I wanted to check them out.

I started for the bar around 9 p.m. and it was glorious. The sun wasn't quite down yet and with the aid of my trusty headlamp, I pedaled my way through neighborhoods, enjoying the cool air and quiet evening.

I got to see the Wrong Impressions play a bunch of songs before it was time for me to pedal my way home.

Here's Bill and Johnny rockin':
The ride home was nice, but it was darker and I was alone and it kinda scared me a bit — but not enough that I won't continue my evening bike rides.

Watch out!

I'm pissed and I'm gonna be making a big fuss.

Read about it over here.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

What's with all the work anyway

So, my co-worker when on vacation and left me with a pile of work.

I know, the nerve of some people.

But I had two and a half seconds to post the lamest blog entry ever over here.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

I heart Mimi

I've been reading Mimi Smartypants' blog for a while now. She's a great writer with lots of sarcasmy goodness.

The end of this recent entry is brilliant and made me want to move to Chicago and sit next to her on the bus. Here's that excerpt:

Same El ride, honest to god. It was an action-packed commute! A lady with really hairy arms sat next to me, and her hairy arms are neither here nor there but it was something I noticed when I did the Urban Eye Slide peripheral glance to see what she was reading. She was reading a little Christian pamphlet, hey cool not my thing but whatever. Then Christian Tract Lady put that away and got out a small stack of identical pamphlets, and sat there quietly for a while. Even though my nose was still in my book I just knew her plan was to distribute these in some way, probably starting with me. I was right. And because I was feeling restless and frisky (I blame you, Dud Avocado), I then did something kind of weird.

CTL: Can I interest you in some of my literature?
Me: No. Can I interest you in some of mine?
CTL: Oh...well...what's it about?
[already rummaging in my bag] Me: Hmmm. [hands her a Target receipt, which was the only giveaway paper I could find] It seems to be about what I bought at Target.
CTL [with angry look]: No thank you. [she gets up and walks down the train aisle]
Me [calling after her]: But I think you'll find it very edifying!

I think my tract did not look professional enough, that must be the problem. I'm off to Kinko's to print up and staple together some of my Theories, so I can be ready for the next time.

See, I told you, brilliant.

Swim, swim, eat

OK, so I'm loath to admit this but over the winter, I sat on my ass and found those extra pound that I worked so hard on losing last year.

In an attempt to fit back into some of my cool summer clothes, I'm trying to shed a few ... again.

The problem? I'm flippin' hungry.

In the last couple weeks, I've been riding my bike as much as possible and swimming.

Yep, you heard me right. I'm over my "I'm-not-getting-the-top-of-my-swim-suit-wet-so-I-don't-have-to-walk-home-with-wet-boob-marks" phobia and I've begun swimming at our local pool.

Every year, we get summer passes to the pool and walk over a couple times a week to let Mar swim and play in the water.

In years past, I've walked around the little-kid's pool and even gotten the bottom of my suit wet a couple times, but I refused to get all the way in. I never wanted to deal with all the wetness that is involved in getting all wet.

This year, with Mar's ever lengthening frame, she has moved out of the little-kid pool and into the big pool.

And we're all better for it. Margaret horses around and plays with her friends while Bill and I coax each other along as we swim lap after lap, stopping to toss the water Frisbee with Mar and show her how to do handstands under water.

The result? I'm starving all the time.

This morning I ate a nutritious and yummy bowl of oatmeal and had a yogurt granola bar. Normally this would keep me full until lunch.

Today I was shaking from hunger. At lunch with Bill and Mar, I scarfed down my soup and taco and was thrilled that Mar couldn't finish her cheese quesadilla and finished that off for her with great enthusiasm.

I remember that while I had a membership to the gym that I was hungry all the time too.

Why? Why can't I just be the same amount of hungry and active, too? Why do I always feel desperate for the next meal?

Stupid body — it's like it wants to be fat or something.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

They say it's your birthday ...

because it is ... it's Margaret's birthday today. She's 7 years old.

I have no idea how that happened. I guess I blinked.

We had the annual Margaret's birthday extravaganza Saturday. You can read about it over here.

Below is a slide show from the party.

Margaret had a great time and so did we. We love celebrating our not-so-little girl!

Friday, June 22, 2007

On the brighter side

When I came home for lunch on Wednesday, Bill asked if I could get Margaret a drink from the fridge. I opened the door and gasped.

Someone had stolen my fridge and replaced it with a clean one!

Oh joy of joys. Our fridge was no longer disgusting.

At that moment all the complaints I have about Bill and Mar getting a summer vacation while I toil at work were forgotten — they came back, of course, the next morning when I had to climb over the sleeping bodies of both my husband and daughter to turn off my alarm clock.

But every time I open the fridge, I am reminded how lucky I am to have a husband who gets summers off and will spend some time doing the dirty work.

While the family were in New York, I had intended on getting to all the cleaning jobs that had been neglected for entirely too long. I got the tub scrubbed, all the floors scrubbed and the carpets cleaned. I organized Mar's room and finally started hanging things on her bare, lavender walls.

But I just didn't have time to get to the fridge ... the allure of riding my bike all over town in 98-degree weather was more compelling than cleaning that yellow sticky stuff from underneath the vegetable bins, I guess.

So while I still may not be getting a decent night's sleep, at least I can console myself with the thoughts of a fridge that is actually clean enough to keep food in.


I'm tired! Read me whine about it over here.

Or if you don't want to read about how I narrowly avoided a temper tantrum in Old Navy, click here and see a Time photo essay on what people eat around the world (Link thanks to my dear Tracee-Trae who is happy to come watch TV with me most Thursdays and make up juvenile monikers for CBS's newest reality show).

Thursday, June 21, 2007

There's a lesson in this story

From the Sun:

A DRUNKEN woman had to be pulled out of a freshly-laid road after falling into an asphalt trench.

Elena Pavlovna, 43, was staggering home when surfacing machinery blocked her path.

She tried to climb over it but toppled into a concrete mixer, which had been left on. It twirled her around for five minutes until she pulled herself out.

But dizzy Elena — weighed down by the liquid concrete on her clothes — fell flat on her back into the pool of drying asphalt. When the road workers returned from a lunch break, they found Elena craning her neck and head out of the sticky mix — and swearing.

They called rescue services and she was winched clear.

Elena, of Kemerovo, Russia, said: “The mixer made me feel sick and dizzy. Then when I got out I fell into the asphalt.

“It was like quicksand. The more I tried to pull myself out the more I sank into it. I was angry with the workmen because they laughed at me. One even threatened to put a bucket on my head to stop me shouting at them.”

A rescue spokesman said: “She wouldn’t shut up and kept on telling us what we should be doing.

“The asphalt wasn’t set properly or she might have ended up a permanent feature in the road.”

My favorite part: "One even threatened to put a bucket on my head to stop me shouting at them.” Maybe next time she's stuck in asphalt she'll remember you catch more flies with honey ...

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Very, very not tan

The summer I met Bill, I had been spending a lot of time outdoors and I was proud that my skin had turned from its normal translucent quality to what I considered tan. (This was, obviously, years before I became the skin cancer Nazi. But even then I kept sunscreen on my face all the time.)

Years later Bill admitted to me that even though I had talked about being tan that I was indeed not tan ... and was actually still "very, very white." Yeah, he called me very, very white, but in the most loving way, of course.

But I've come to terms with my pastiness and accept that I am intended to be pale. Now, I see a tan person and I shake my head in pity knowing that while they might look aiight now, that tan is going to come back and bite them in their leathery ass at some point ... maybe.

Accepting that I am ultra-white girl doesn't mean that I like the way the glare off my jumbo, gelantious thighs blinds small children at the pool. So it was with great delight that I learned that I am not the only one suffering this affliction.

Click over here. Make sure you scroll down to the conversation between Weet and her husband about her white pants — Brilliant, like most everything she writes.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

I drove my car today

Since coming back from New York, I've been riding my bike everywhere. I love riding my bike and using it as my main mode of transportation has been fun and rewarding.

Oh and it's been sweaty.

When I got to my hair appointment at 10:30 Saturday morning, I was glistening to the point of being downright nasty. My hair stylist didn't seem to take kindly to my eco-friendly glisteningness and toweled me off before she worked her magic on my sopping mop.

Directly from the hair appointment I attended a baby shower where I arrived sweaty and disheveled. It look like I'd come from the car wash not a hair salon.

But I didn't care enough to worry about it. I like riding my bike.

So last night while waiting for my family to finally come home, I decided to enjoy the gorgeous evening and ride around the neighborhood. I would crisscross around our 'hood hoping to catch a glimpse of my family pulling into the driveway.

Just before 8, I was about five blocks from home and the chain on my trusty Electra jumped ship. I tried to get it back on but only succeeded in getting all greasy. I started walking the bike home and realized that walking a bike sucks frozen fish sticks so I tried again to get my chain back on the sprockety things.

And I did it. I fixed my bike and rode it home just as Bill was unloading the last of the luggage (this was not the plan, but an unintended consequence of the chain derailment).

My family is home. As much as I enjoyed my alone time, I'm twice as happy to see them.

I'm so happy to have them home, that I don't even care that I barely got any sleep last night— what with all the arms and legs pummeling me for most of the night (heaven forbid Margaret actually sleep in her bed all night long — really, what is the advantage of sleeping comfortably in a nice cool bed surrounded by all the stuffed animals she could ever want when she can kick and complain and toss and throw elbows into my eye instead).

I almost cried on the way to work this morning when I realized how lucky I am to have my lovely little family home.

On a rant

Cancer sucks giant donkey balls.

Read more about that over here.

Monday, June 18, 2007

And it's just about over ...

Hurray! My family is coming back today!

I came back from New York last Tuesday, leaving Bill and the kids to enjoy more time with the fam.

From what I could gather from our phone conversations, they had a good week without me ... shocking I know. I mean, who yelled at the them all the time, while I wasn't around? I bet they acted wrong a whole bunch and grinned knowing I wasn't there to give them the mama eyeball of death.

It's been well over seven years since I've spent more that a couple hours by myself. So I relished my time.

I kept to myself and really enjoyed my time along — except for Saturday when I had a couple of parties and a hair appointment (What? Do you think blonde hair just grows out of my head?). Despite the fact it got close to 100 degrees Saturday, I rode my bike everywhere. It was awesome.

Saturday night drew me down to the Spotlight to see Denver-based rockabilly band, Buckwild. Their bass-player chick played the stand up and rocked in the most awesome way imaginable.

They were having a great time shredding up the stage until this happened around 12:45:

Someone plowed through the new roundabout downtown and creamed into Buckwild's rental van. Doh! But no one got hurt, so that was lucky. I'll tell you what, nothing puts a damper on an evening like a hit and run.

Friday, June 15, 2007

For Scott

You can look at these, too, but mostly this is the easiest way for Scott to see what I've been working on.

I'm still stuffed

I ate so well while I was in New York.

Oh mah gawd, the food there is so wonderful. But I guess you have to have wonderful foods so that you won't mind suffering through their brutal winters.

Here in Western Colorado we grow and eat a lot of healthy foods. But that makes sense since a lot of what we have to offer is pretty good weather and some amazing landscape best enjoyed on foot, bike or horse. So healthy food is a must.

In Buffalo, they have some of serious winter weather (and some humid summers), and what could make you feel better about six months of snow?
This might just do the trick ... for those uninitiated folks unfamiliar, this is beef on weck. The roll is called kummelweck or shortened to just weck. And it is most awesome. It's salt and caraway encrusted rolls. Hello yummy bus, I'm getting aboard.

I generally don't eat roast beef, for no good reason other than I'd rather have ham or turkey. But I'd eat beef on weck with horseradish every day if I could. It's the perfect sandwich.

But Buffalo isn't just about beef on weck. It's also about the hot dogs.

Lemme tell you that Oscar Meyer doesn't sell many dogs in Buffalo, because they have Sahlen's and the Wardinski's. Believe me, you haven't had a hot dog until you've had one of these dogs from local Buffalo companies.

While enjoying a foot-long at the famous Louie's, Sean was asked if he wanted some loganberry in his ginger ale. He asked what loganberry was. The guy cooking the dogs, stopped, turned away from the grill and said, "Youse ain't from around here, is ya?"

Yeah, we don't have loganberry soda ... er, I mean pop, either.

And they all call carbonated beverages "pop," actually pronounced "paahp." Here in Colorado we call it "soda."

Despite what this map says, I grew up in California and we called it all "coke," as in "You wanna coke? What kind? I got Pepsi, 7-Up ... ."

Gah, talking about all this food is finally starting to make me hungry again. I wish I could get my hands on some good beef on weck right now.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

The falls

Niagara Falls = awesomeness on a grand scale.

Below is a slideshow of our visit to the falls. I didn't get as many pictures of the Horseshoe Falls as I would have liked because we were getting hammered by the "mist" (have you ever know mist to pummel you like hail?), but I got some good ones of the American and Bridal Veil Falls.

Click over here to read about our trip to a wonder of the natural world.

Visiting the in-laws

As I said yesterday, I was in and around Buffalo for the past week visiting Bill's family.

Shamefully, it's been over 6 years since we've been to Buffalo. Margaret was 6 months old. So we were obviously overdue for a visit.

Since it had been so long, I'd forgotten just how much flippin' fun Bill's family is. I mean, it only makes sense that since Bill is fun that so would his family. But damn, they are a crazy good time.

Mar got lavished with attention and she ate it up. Bill's brothers are both awesomely hilarious and the rest of the fam are people that are easy to be around.

For most of my stay we were with the McCracken side of the family in rural western New York. Here's picture:

You got Sean, baby brother Jamie and younger brother Shannon in the back row.
Me, Bill and Bill Senior in the middle row.
Niece Lietta (daughter to Jamie), niece Alana (daughter to brother Marl), sister in law Sadie (wife of Jamie), Kelly (daughter to sister Diana), Fran (step mom).
And the front row are the two belles of the ball, Siobhan (daughter of Jamie) and Mar, of course.

Here we got the Cheektowaga contingent:
In addition to Sean, niece Alana (pictured above also with the McCrackens), Bill and Mar, you got Bill's mom Clara, his sister Valerie and her son, Ryan.

One thing can be said about all of the members of this family is that they love to have a good time.

There isn't a sourpuss amongst them.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

'the hell?

Can you believe that there are places in this country that only have access to dial-up Internet? Can you believe that these parts of the United States of America exist in the same state as New York City.

Oh, I assure you that it's true.

I spent the majority of last week in Barker, New York north of Buffalo at my in-laws where they only had dial. up. Internet.

And get this — a wind storm blew down a tree and with it their phone service.

Yeah, so they didn't even have dial up after that.

Can you imagine?

I had intended on posting pictures of our time enjoying the rural life, but instead I got a taste of what the world was like before the Internet.

Remarkably, I didn't miss it much.

But now I'm back with a ton of pictures and some great stories to tell so stay tuned.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Spit, don't spray

So I already wrote about getting my tooth worked on. Today I had to go back and get the crown fitted.

Despite the fact that they had to "gum" (that's "numb" for those unitiated to the world of Margaret speak) it up because it was so sensitive, it was fine. However, I had the same problem this time as I did last time.

After all was said and done, the dental assistant said I could rinse my mouth at the sink. Well, fine and dandy, I'm not one who'll pass up rinsing at the sink ... I mean, ooooh, how exciting.

Now the left side of my bottom lip is completely numb. I pour in the water and close my mouth to do a little swishing.

At least I thought that I had closed my mouth. Instead the stupid "gum" lip stayed propped open and when I would swish, the mouth wash would shoot out the top of my lip like a fountain.

So this time, I made sure that my lips were actually closed and guess what?

Yep, mouth-wash fountain all over myself.
You think I'd learn ... maybe next time.

Monday, June 04, 2007

Almost normal

I posted an update on DiaBilly over here.

It's good news, go check it out.

You say it's my birthday

OK, it was my birthday ... and Davy's too.
We held our 3rd annual Davy and Robin Birthday Extravaganza!

Here's a slide show of the party. Some of the pictures are blurry ... but that's how you know it was a good party!

Friday, June 01, 2007

Trying for the end around

It's Friday and I doing the typical Friday headless chicken dance. During my moments of free time, I'm trying to work on a logo for Scott's kick-ass band, Exit 42.
In an attempt to thwart the e-mail demons that seem to be out to get me today. I'm going to post my works in progress for Scott to see.

The rest of you should click here and discuss the level of hosedupedness this is.