...many times a simple choice can prove to be essential even though it often might appear inconseqnetial.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Yeah, What He Said

This past weekend I went with Trout (formally known as my boyfriend, P) to his stepbrother's wedding. The wedding took place in a little town where Trout will soon be moving to start his new career. The 5600 (blatantly stolen from Trout) was, as far as I can tell, the only slightly major town in my home state that I had never visited. It's a good distance off the interstates, tucked away in a valley along a little river and inhabited by a rather liberal and diverse population of people. All these traits are rather unusual for my home state, which makes it all the more appealing.

This weekend was also the first time I met Trout's other side of the family. As I'm sure you can all recall, I met a massive chunk of people from Trout's former life less than a month ago, and I found myself being thrown head first into another throng of people Trout finds near and dear to his heart. I have no complaints, mind you, same as first time around, I had an amazingly good time. Hugs and side splitting laughter ensued once again. And the alcohol, there was that again too.

I spent a lot of time driving this weekend, which, naturally enough, it gave me a lot of time to think about how to turn this weekend's events into a blog entry. After much thought, I'm not sure I can do it justice. I had a hard enough time writing about Trout's Not-Really-A-Graduation party (the post that made it on the blog was a third attempt, and I still wish it could have been better). And to top it all off, Trout has already beaten me to the punch, and while I somehow feel inspired to try and so the same, I just can’t compete with that. Trout is by far and away, a much better writer, and really his highlights pretty much mirror my own. Funny. Funny stuff.

Just for the record, however, there are several things Trout left out:
  • Trout totally gave his Dad a run for his money during Baby Got Back groove thing shaking incident.
  • Somewhere in between IRA jokes and threats from the fiery Irish redhead to kick Trout’s Dad’s ass, toppings from leftover pizza ended up in our shower and bathroom sink.
  • I was introduced, numerous times, as “the daughter of a rancher.”
  • Trout’s nephew lost a tooth during the reception and proceeded to collect $48 over the next two days from various tooth fairies.
  • After we got back from the 5600, Trout and I went to Cabella’s. Trout was so excited about this, he actually was hopping around the store like a six year old in his newly acquired fishing waders.

And people wonder how I can possibly have more fun when I leave the city…

A Bit of a Change

There is one aspect about this blog that has been bugging me. I’ve decided (unless anyone protests otherwise) that I’m going to refer to my friends, family etc. on a first name basis. The thing is, enough of my friends and family have names that start with the same letters that I find it annoying to put identifying labels in front of most people’s “names.” Plus, a lot of people that I talk about have their own blogs or comment on this blog or other blogs and use their names anyway. Those few who use other names will be addressed as so.

Yeah, so it’s nothing drastic, but there it is.

Monday, May 22, 2006

Excuse Me While I Geek Out

I grew up in small town Wyoming, population: 217. I went to school on a K-12 campus. Of the 31 people I graduated high school with, 10 of us had been there since kindergarten. Those who were seen as the cool or popular kids at the time of graduation established their place in the social food chain in early elementary school. In the grand scheme of things I was at the bottom…friend of a friend of the cool people. I wasn’t athletic, I played in the band, was a member of the Drama Club and Academic Team. It took me until the summer after my junior year of high school (when I got a summer job outside the realm of babysitting) to realize that people didn’t automatically think I was a dork by just looking at me. It seemed like a profound thought at the time, now it just seems a little sad. Junior High and High School are strange, surreal places.

Despite my geekiness, I found my niche in middle school and stayed there until I graduated. I was more than happy to stick with this group of kids, and to this day, whenever it’s possible (which, unfortunately, isn’t very much anymore) a good chunk of us still get together. (Hellloooo barn party over Christmas….in the rain) One thing (among a sizable list) of things we all participated in was a creative problem solving program. From third grade until I graduated from high school I was a member of Odyssey of the Mind, and later, Destination ImagiNation teams. Some of my best memories of middle school and high school were spent on weekends helping create everything from toilets that transformed into airplanes to shadow puppets, to Vaudeville acts.

The teams I was a part of did really well at state competitions and we made it to Global Finals 5 years in a row. My senior year our team even placed 4th out of 60+ teams and received an award for exceptional creativity. Not to sound all melodramatic, but in all honesty, OM, DI (and probably band, too, but that's another post for another time) got me through high school. Without them I’m sure I would have seen middle school and high school as highly traumatic experiences.

So all that geekiness came flooding back tonight as I was randomly surfing The Denver Post’s website and found this. Blogging about creative problem solving…it’s a geek’s dream combination.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

The Curse Has Been Broken!

Yesterday, instead of lounging around my apartment or elbowing my way through the throngs of people at SuperTarget, I hung out with P and his friend D in Silverthorne while they fished the Blue River.

P met D and his wife J about five years ago and have been friends ever since. After hearing numerous stories about D and J, I was really looking forward to actually meeting them. I also feel like I owe both of them a big hug and a “Thank You!” P came out to Colorado for their wedding in 2002, and it was during this trip that P realized he needed to move back West. It may have taken a couple years, but the rest they say, is history. Thanks!

As I mentioned in a previous post, up until two weeks ago, I hadn’t met any of P’s friends from his pre-move back to L-town days. That’s not to say we didn’t try. D and J live in Steamboat Springs, which is actually closer to L-town than Denver, but still not that long of a drive from either place. Our first attempt to visit was back in October. P and I planned to spend the weekend in Steamboat before the weather (and the roads) got too iffy and inconsistent to drive. J ended up having a conference in Denver that weekend, so instead of going to Steamboat, I went to L-town, and with my parents in town as well, P got to officially meet them.

With P’s job, school and the work involved in both, my job search, eventual job, move and all that, another trip to Steamboat wasn’t planned until this past March. P was on Spring Break, and he planned on spending it in Steamboat. I was hoping to head over after work on Friday and spend the weekend with them. P called me the Wednesday before and told me D had to have an emergency appendectomy. The roads to Steamboat also got pummeled with snow that weekend, which would have made the trip long and unpleasant. So, instead of going to Steamboat, P came to Laramie, we made D a care package, and P and I spent the weekend hanging out, which included hanging out with my family (including my parents and grandpa).

Why is it that my parents happen to be in town when P and my Steamboat plans fall through…hmmm very interesting. Conspiracy….perhaps.

But probably not.

So, after the second attempt to visit D and J didn’t work out, P and I joked that I was cursed when it came to meeting his friends. All joking aside, I was a little worried that there was more truth to our jokes than we were admitting. However, there was an easy solution to this problem…invite a good chunk of his close friends to a party and surely, some will show up.

They did indeed show up. Problem solved, curse, mostly, broken. J was unable to make it to the party, and this weekend when I met up with P and D in Silverthorne, J was enjoying sunny Mexico with her mom and sister. I still haven’t made it to Steamboat, but now that snow is no longer in the forecast, and D’s appendix no longer a problem, making it to Steamboat to hang out with P, D, and J no longer seems like this great hurdle to overcome.

Slowly but surely, the curse is being lifted. C, H and their two sons will be moving back to L-town from the East Coast later this summer, and P’s stepbrother is getting married next weekend (where I get to meet the rest of P’s family that couldn’t make it to his party). I think it’s safe to say I’m no longer a stranger in P’s “other” life.

Friday, May 19, 2006

I Don't Wanna Share!

Something’s happened at work this week that has caused me to step back and look at myself in a way I never thought I’d have to. It seems that after 3 ½ years of living in a single dorm room, having my own room in the basement, my own office and now my own apartment, I am no longer used to sharing my space with people. I have become a spoiled only child of sorts, and I don’t like what I’ve become!

I never used to be this way. I didn’t get my own room at home until I was in high school. I have two sisters and we all shared one bathroom growing up. And even though I had my own room for most of college, I still lived in a freakin’ dorm with 50 or so people living on one floor. More people lived in any given residence hall than were in my hometown. I slept in a bunk bed until my senior year of high school, chances are when I go home, I’ll be sleeping in that same bunk bed. Okay, yes I admit I did my fair share of whining about not having my own room way back in the day, but I was a teenager, give me a break. For the most part, sharing space with people has never been a problem.

Until this week.

On Tuesday, I got full time office-mate. I am really happy about this. With the summer session about ready to kick in full-force and with the accounting involved with the other youth service agency we’re financially supporting, another admin person has been desperately needed for the last couple of months. And even though I’ve enjoyed learning basic accounting skills, I will happily turn over the majority of my accounting duties to E. Even better, unlike my last office mate, I won’t have to ask them every five minutes if they know what they’re supposed to be doing or if they need something else to do. (you can only nag a 15 year old boy for so long before you just feel like, well, a nag)

E and I now share an office. The space I once occupied solo is far too large for one person. However, putting two people, along with a copy machine, color printer, water cooler, mailboxes, time clock, filing cabinets and various office supplies, it’s just not big enough for two people. A week into the new working environment and I’m not sure how I feel about sharing my office on a fulltime basis. Our desks sit about three feet apart, no cubicles, or partitions. Any privacy I may have once had, has now disappeared.

The fact that I have any qualms about this makes me feel petty and shallow. It really bothers me that I’m bothered by this. The week has steadily gotten better, which is a good sign, so I’m hoping by the end of next week (which is only a four day week for me, anyway, woohoo!) things will feel normal again.

Friday, May 12, 2006

More Randomess

It's been a while since I wrote a completely meaningless post. Then again, who's to say that all of my posts aren't meaningless in some way?

The fact of the matter is, it's Friday night and I've got nothing to do. And since I've got nothing to do, I don't have anything terribly interesting to say. However, I did think of a few more songs that I need to add to my "turn up/dance around the apartment/sing along to" list:

Stitched Up by Herbie Hancock featuring John Mayer
Zebra by John Butler Trio
Orange Sky by Alexi Murdoch
Ooh La La by The Faces
Personal Jesus by Depeche Mode
Crash Into Me by Dave Matthews Band
How We Operate by Gomez
Lay Me Down by Crosby and Nash
The Girl From Ipanema as sung by Frank Sinatra
How 'Bout You? by Yonder Mountain String Band

Alright folks, I almost made it to 10:00. I think I'm going to read and then call it a night. Although, I've just discovered you can listen to most of Yonder Mountain String Band's new album on their website, so I might have to stay up and surf the net so I can listen to it a little more...I really know how to live it up on the weekends.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

365 Days Later

This last weekend marked my one year anniversary of graduating from college and moving to Colorado. In the grand scheme of things, maybe a year isn’t a huge milestone, but it definitely triggered something in my head that made me think wow, an entire year has already gone by, how ‘bout that?

I’ve already done the generic “year in review” post, so I won’t bother updating, besides this blog’s done that on its own, anyway. However, something did happen this weekend that is undoubtedly worth noting.

As you all are very aware, I’m dating someone (he’d be the guy I tend to reference a lot). P and I started dating a little over eight months ago and we were friends for a year before that. Because P and I worked together (in the time before we were dating) we had a rather large mutual group of friends; my younger sister A has even known him for almost as long as I have. However, P had a whole other life before we met. No, he isn’t in the witness protection program or lived some secretive life before coming back to school. But the fact of the matter is, before P and I met, it would have been very unlikely that our social circles would have crossed.

Circumstances, and life in general, being what it is, up until this last weekend I hadn’t met anybody from P’s past. Several attempts to meet up with friends had not worked (damn the weather and appendixes!), and most of his family lives several states away. Not to say I was a total stranger to the people in P’s life I hadn’t met. I had been helping plan a party to celebrate P’s completion of school with his mother, aunt and sister for several months that included emails and phone conversations; I traded emails and stories with his best friend from high school, experienced multiple cases of the whole “six degrees of separation” phenomena (but in Wyoming, it’s more like a one degree of separation) with the aforementioned best friend’s wife, played online Risk games with other friends and became addicted to everyone’s blogs (funny how that works).

So, on Friday and Saturday of last week, at P’s Not-Really-A-Graduation Party, I actually got to meet everyone. I made up for the last eight months in about 36 hours. I met P’s Mom, Aunt, Sister, best friend from high school (including his wife and their two absolutely adorable boys), two other friends from high school and a friend P met through his stepbrother. I even met his stepdad, brother-in-law, nephew, and stepsister via webcam. To top it all off, my family (my parents, former landlords, and A) were all there, so they got to meet everyone too. Looking back, it was almost a surreal experience. People whose pictures I’d seen or whose words I had read for the past eight (or more) months were suddenly tangible people. I could finally connect real faces to stories and voices to words. P’s family and friends are, without a doubt, some of both the nicest and funniest people I have never met. I don’t remember the last time I hugged so many people and laughed so hard in such a short amount of time.

As I crammed the last of my possessions into my car that weekend in May, I would have never guessed where I would be a year later. Whether or not I could have predicted this outcome, I wouldn’t change it for the world. Thanks for a great party, everyone. We’ll have to do it again sometime.