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

Friday, June 30, 2006

It’s About Friggin’ Time

Friday. It’s finally here. Not only is it Friday, but it’s also the beginning of a four day weekend. As the week slowly progressed, it managed to improve just a little bit everyday. And no matter how much the week improved, considering how it started, I'm just really glad it's not Monday anymore.

My delayed future boss and I went out for margaritas on Thursday night. We eventually ended up at the Italian dive across the street watching what can only be described as Chicano American Idol. The neighborhood is largely Mexican-Italian, and every Thursday karaoke is king. From what my boss told me, the same group of people sings every week. These people have their songs mastered; they sing their bad songs very well. Between the yummy drinks, and the Neil Diamond crooners, the edge from the week almost completely dissolved away. It was a good thing I didn’t have more to drink, otherwise, when one of the regulars started singing Poetry in Motion, I would have lost it like I did that night at the bar in the 5600.

My half day went by extremely quickly and surprisingly smooth. The workshops are slowly getting back on track, and hopefully by next week’s session, things will be where we want them to be. My parents, Jenn and Phil showed up a little after noon and we went to the Body Worlds 2 exhibit at the Nature and Science Museum. The exhibit itself was amazing. Being able to see the body in such a raw and naked form really makes you realize how simultaneously durable and fragile the human body is. Unfortunately, the exhibit (a traveling special feature), despite having been in Denver since the beginning of March, is still extremely popular. The space was packed with people almost from start to finish. The exhibit was laid out extremely well and despite all the people, it was still easy to maneuver around and see everything.

And despite the excellent end to me week, I’m glad to be enjoying the peace and quiet of my own apartment. Tomorrow I’m headed back to the ‘burbs to celebrate Phil’s birthday. Everyone will be back out at my place on Sunday for brunch (it will be the first time I’ve cooked for more than one person) and Trout rolls into town on Monday for the soccer game and fireworks on Tuesday. It is going to be a very good mini-vacation, so good I just may forget all about my week of Mondays.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Yep, You Guessed It

It was decided by a majority of my coworkers that today was indeed another Monday. It may have been upgraded to more of a Monday afternoon (still Monday, but with an end the crapiness in sight), but the fact remains it was still a Monday. Because of today’s events, tomorrow will be hectic (translation: possible Monday) and because I’m only working half of Friday that too will cause much chaos (translation: possible Monday). At least there’s a four day weekend coming up, and we all need this one.

Several things happened today as the result of one event. Some of these outcomes are positive, others, well they just plain suck, for lack of a more eloquent word. My mood has balanced itself out, so the drama of this week is slowly subsiding and I am able to accept it with a better attitude. With that being said, do you want the bad news or the good news first?

Let’s start with good news, shall we? Okay.

Good thing #1: I get my own office, again.

Good thing #2: Dirk, we no longer have to compete to see who has the more annoying coworkers/officemate. It’s all you, buddy.

So with the good things out of the way, you may have been able to figure out that, yes, my officemate is longer my officemate. This means two not so good things...

Bad thing #1: My officemate’s position will not be filled anytime soon, so I have to take over the Summer Workshops. I should also mention the kids who are attending these workshops are out of control because my officemate didn’t know how to manage them. At all. Now it’s my problem.

Bad thing #2: My promotion has been delayed and there is no real idea when it is actually going to happen now. I’m going to try and help with fundraising as much as possible, but with all the admin and accounting stuff I have to do on top of it, it won’t be nearly as extensive as I want. In essence, I’m back to where I was two months ago.

I’m really trying to keep a good attitude about this, I really am, but there’s only one thing that keeps running through my head right now.

Is it Friday yet?

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Yep, It’s Still Monday

I realize that universally, very few people in the world actually enjoy Mondays. Perhaps this is unfair, maybe Mondays have even acquired a bad reputation by accident. However, the sad truth is, most generalizations are rooted in some bit of truth. No matter how much Monday tries, not matter what he does to try to win people over, he will inevitably still be hated and dreaded by millions each and every week.

Particularly bad days at YB are considered Mondays. You could consider it a spin off of the classic Office Space line “Uh, oh. Looks like someone has a case of the Mon-days.” There was a really bad week a month or so back that we still refer to as “The week of Mondays.”

Yesterday was an okay Monday. Yeah, I was exhausted by the time I got home and had to get up extra early, but I was able to spend it outside and didn’t have to really do anything. Today, however was quite possibly the worst Monday I’ve ever had. Not only was I (and most of the staff, for that matter) still worn out from yesterday, but I was just in a terrible mood. Everything was just flat out pissing me off. Internet not working…pissed me off. People not wanting to leave voicemail messages so they called me back to leave message for various people around the office…pissed me off. 80 kids with unending amounts of energy…pissed me off. Feeling unenthusiastic about my moves in Warfish…pissed me off. My officemate…pissed me off.

An issue arose at work today (which was actually the cause of some conflict last week as well) that could inevitably affect my job in some substantial ways. I won’t go into any details until tomorrow, because by tomorrow at this time, I’ll have a better idea of what is going on, and so will everyone else around the office. But needless to say, what I was told about this arising situation turned this already emerging Monday into a full-fledged kick-me-in-the-ass Monday. Oh yes, folks, at this rate, I may get to experience another week of Mondays. At least my week will end a little earlier than usual this time around.


Monday, June 26, 2006

It's Only Monday

My week started at 5:00am this morning. I spent the day sitting at the ninth hole of a swanky golf course with one of our interns from work while semi-celebrities played in a charity golf tournament. Every year, YB provides the volunteer staff for this tournament and in return, a majority of the proceeds are given to us. Last year at about this time, I was given temporary, fulltime work at my previous employer to help plan their charity golf tournament. This year, all we had to do was show up. This is definitely the way to go.

Even though the most physical activity I did all day involved helping measure the longest putts of Broncos football players, newscasters, newspaper columnists and other people I should probably know, but don’t, I’m completely spent. Despite the sunscreen, sunglasses, hat, water, and umbrella, I still feel cooked. The thought of getting up tomorrow, running and then going to work sounds exhausting. I feel like a huge wimp.

On a much lighter note, while my week started earlier than usual, it will also end a little earlier and my weekend will last a little longer as well. My parents are coming into town on Thursday night. Jenn and Phil are taking them to Tom’s Home Cookin’ on Friday, and then we’re all off to the Denver Museum of Nature and Science to see the Body Worlds 2 exhibit. Since the 4th falls on a Tuesday, I also get a four day weekend. Trout is going to be down for part of my mini-vacation, and we’re going to celebrate our nation’s birthday by going to a Colorado Rapids Game and fireworks show with Phil (Jenn, unfortunately, has to work all day on the 4th, I wish you could come with us!).

I’m not sure what I’m doing in between the museum and the soccer game, it could involve watching a lot of World Cup (at Jenn and Phil’s or at the pub down the street), cooking my parents dinner at my apartment, or just a whole lotta nothing. I’m fine with any (or all) of them. For the time being, I think I’m just going to veg on the couch and watch the replay of the Italy/Australia game on Univision because American network television is bothering me tonight for some reason. Soccer’s more fun to watch in Spanish sometimes, anyway. ¡Que divertido!

Saturday, June 24, 2006

The Adventures of Louie

I had a rather nostalgic moment during my commute to the suburbs yesterday afternoon. The heat and the traffic were finally getting to me as I approached the turn onto Santa Fe Drive when, the black car that had been following me down Broadway for the last couple of miles, pulled up beside me into the turning lane. The name and logo of the long horn steer on the side of the car immediately caught my attention: it was a Maverick.

My very first car was a red, 1970 Ford Maverick. My parents originally bought the car for Jenn for Christmas when she turned 16. Even though it was technically Jenn’s car, it was understood that the car would be passed on to Abbey and me when we too became old enough to drive. In quintessential small town fashion, my parents had purchased it from a man whose daughter I was an Oompa-Loompa with in summer theater years before. He was the second owner of the car and we were the third. The original and only other owner of the car was a man by the name of Louie (someone who my parents were also familiar with). Louie had taken very good care of his car and obviously took great pride in it. The body was in great shape, the interior also in great condition and the dash cover (that matched the maroon interior of the car) even had "Louie" embroidered into it in fancy script.

Built like a tank, it was the perfect high school car. Sure, it had its quirks (Trout, you think my car now has issues, you should have met Louie), but looking back I really did love that car. The gas gauge only registered to half full, and as a result, I had to calculate gas mileage to figure out when I needed to fill the tank. The car took leaded gas and within the first couple months that we owned the car (before I was driving) leaded gas was discontinued. Every once in a while we had to put additive in the gas tank to make up for this. The seat belts were primatively adjustable. The lap and shoulder belts each buckled in the middle and could be adjusted very minimally for a person’s size . The passenger side barely adjusted and left little room for that seat’s occupant to move. Oil had to be added every two or three weeks, brake fluid about every two months. There was no passenger side mirror, the car just didn’t come with one. We eventually replaced the AM radio with an AM/FM tuner and tape player (major upgrade), but on really cold days, the tape player was slow and cold. The Dixie Chicks and Sarah McLachlan were baritones or basses until the car warmed up.

There was an art to starting the car. It involved reaching through the gi-normous steering wheeling, pulling back slightly on the gear shift, turning the key and pumping the accelerator (no fuel injection on that car!). Abbey never could get the whole process figured out (and was one of the reasons she drove the car the least out of all three of us). For awhile, the passenger side door automatically locked, and I think before we fixed that problem, for some reason the driver side door wouldn’t open from the outside. This problem was quickly fixed, but I’m pretty sure there was a week or two when everyone had to climb in through the passenger side door. Say it with me, people…Class-y!

The body of the car took some hits while it was in our possession. During my year and a half stint as a waitress at Ole’s Pizza and Spaghetti House, one of my fellow employees backed into my car and then was nice enough to drive off and not let me know it was hit. I still remember heading out to my car around midnight, after a particularly long shift, smelling of fried foods, pizza and salad dressing, seeing a very large dent in my car, just in front of the driver’s side door, promptly turning around, walking back into the kitchen, completely livid, and saying to the remaining cooks and my boss who were still cleaning up (avert your eyes, Mom and Dad), “Who the fuck hit my car?!?” It was one of the only times I dropped the f-bomb at work, and certainly the only time I did so in front of my boss. The large dent only allowed the driver’s side door to open about a quarter of what it used to. Eventually, the dent was beaten out by my Dad with the help of some 2X4s and a rubber mallet.

In order to avoid plowing through a line of a Mother duck and her babies, I hit the brakes a little too hard on a dirt road, over corrected and ran through a barbed wire fence…an interesting spiraling design ended up on the hood from the wire. No ducks were hurt and the fence was repaired.

In high school, Abbey and I played in our community college’s band and had to attend rehearsals every Wednesday night during the school year. On two, count them two, different occasions, on the way to practice, a large buck deer came barreling out from the shoulders of the highway (one from the passenger side, on from the driver side) and actually hit the car. I kid you not, we did not hit the deer, they hit us. Thankfully, both times the deer lived and the car only suffered minor scratches.

The car took us to proms and school dances, parties, jobs, graduations, school functions, to the lake (but never the mountains) and weekends with friends. Sure, the car rarely went outside a thirty mile radius from home, but we somehow managed to put 30,000 more miles onto it. However, perhaps the greatest story I have about the car is Louie’s last adventure.

During the summer before my sophomore year of college and having spent my entire freshman year without a car (Louie just wouldn’t have made the 4 ½ hour trek to L-town and back), I knew I needed a car. By the middle of the summer, after spending a day in Billings car shopping, I had a new (to me) car. Abbey didn’t like driving Louie, and we had both been sharing my Dad’s old F-150 to get around. Sadly, Louie’s use had run its course and we couldn’t have five cars sitting in our driveway. I worked at the front desk of the Best Western that summer, a job that has led me to despise hotels, but that a subject for a whole other post. Because very few local high school or college age students want to spend their summers cleaning hotel rooms, the hotel hired international students every summer to work as housekeepers. This particular summer we had a group of Turkish guys working at the hotel. They had international driver’s licenses, could obtain insurance, but had no car. Well, I had an answer to their problem. For a very small amount of money, the four pooled their paychecks and bought Louie from us. I left for college soon after that, and upon my first couple of trips home people I would see around town would ask if I had sold my car. When I told them that I had, their response was usually something like “Oh, that’s what I thought…I saw a group of men driving it through the Wal*Mart parking lot the other day and thought, well that’s not Kathryn.” So once the stories died down, I didn’t think about Louie much.

That next summer I worked at the hotel, again. I worked with almost the exact same group of people and had the same boss. One day, Bob was helping out at the desk and he asked if I had heard what had happened to my car. A little worried it had met a violent and fiery end, I told him I hadn’t heard the story. Louie’s greatest adventure goes something like this: The Turk whose name the car was purchased under had apparently run away from home, was living and working in the US illegally and unbeknownst to the rest of his family. The INS eventually came to the hotel and the poor guy was bounced around the country to various immigration centers until he was eventually deported back to Turkey. The three remaining Turks, after they had finished their housekeeping commitment, took the car and drove it to California. My little car, that hadn’t gone farther than 30 miles from home somehow, someway, made it to the west coast. I don’t know what happened to Louie once he got to California, maybe I’ll see him in a movie someday. I think Julieanne Moore drives a red Maverick in Bennie and Joon, but that was long before his trip…but hey it could happen.

So now, every so often I see a Maverick (but I have yet to see another red one), and a little bit of me misses those late nights driving home from summer jobs or racing home to make curfew.

Here’s to you, Louie, wherever you are.

Another Bouquet Toss

Jenn and Phil's Wedding, August 2003. I was a willing participant for this toss. Stellar idea Jenn, I'm definitely copying you on this one. Posted by Picasa

Friday, June 23, 2006

No Introduction Needed

As promised, here is the previously mentioned bouquet toss picture. Sheena and I tried to convince the people at our table that we technically weren't single, but obviously, that line of reasoning didn't go over so well. Posted by Picasa

Yes, We Really Did Watch the Game

 Posted by Picasa

And So it Begins

This lovely picture of Jenn and me prompted Trout to mutter "Oh God, here come the pictures." Like taking pictures is a bad thing...sheesh. Posted by Picasa

Hello From the 'Burbs!

One and All:

I'm coming to you live from Highlands Ranch, and more specifically, the room I lived in for eight months (it's now been turned into the home office). I've managed to get my laptop hooked up to the internet, so pictures of the Rockies game (and the chee pudding) are on their way. However, I am having technical difficulties with the scanner so the bouquet toss picture might not be making an appearance until later this weekend. Keep your fingers crossed, I know you all can hardly wait.

And I'd like to publicly thank Trout's stepbrother Chad (for those of you who don't read the comments) for no longer updating his blog. Another crisis averted. You can go ahead and dispose of those "candid" pictures now, Chad. Thanks in advance.

Look for more updates about my adventures in the suburbs, which includes watching World Cup Soccer in High Definition and trying to keep the cat from escaping into the Suburban Jungle.


Thursday, June 22, 2006

*Insert Sigh of Relief Here*

Earlier this week, Trout told me that his stepmother was going to be sending me a picture from Chad’s wedding that she found amusing. Upon hearing the words “amusing” and “picture” in the same sentence that included me, a slight wave of panic came over me.

I used to be horrifically un-photogenic, I took terrible pictures. There is a school picture that I hope to the powers that be, it doesn’t come back to kick me in the ass someday; I threw away all of my copies, but it has been eternally documented in my high school yearbook (but thankfully not my senior edition). My situation improved drastically after summer jobs in the customer service fields (you learn quickly how to turn on a genuine looking smile on a moment’s notice) and from the hundreds of pictures taken at Jenn and Phil’s wedding almost three years ago. Of course I still take some pretty bad pictures, but the frequency has decreased many times over.

Trout assured me, from what he knew of the picture, that I would also find it amusing. However, when I think about the wedding reception (where I was assuming the picture was taken), and the reasons why an amusing picture would have been taken, I realize I was much more inebriated than I had ever planned on being. All worst case scenarios ran through my head: was my dress tucked into my underwear? Toilet paper stuck to the bottom of my shoes? Horrible dance moves? Food unknowingly stuck to my face? In my teeth? Despite Trout’s best reassurances, I was expecting the worst.

When the envelope arrived in the mail yesterday, I was hesitant to actually open it. I thought about waiting until I talked to Trout to see if I could get him to tell me what it was before I opened the envelope. Eventually I cowboyed up and opened it. Upon seeing the picture I realized it was nothing like I feared. The picture was of the group of us “single” women waiting to catch the bride’s bouquet. I was standing next to Sheena, Trout’s cousin’s Irish girlfriend, and on the other side of me is a group of younger girls, (and by younger I mean like closer to flower girl age than my age). Sheena’s covering her mouth trying to stifle a laugh while I’m leaned slightly towards her, no doubt muttering some sarcastic, snarky comment about being forced to participate in the toss, which (from what I can recall) dealt with hoping that no one expected us to trample the 10 year olds next to us to grab the chance to get married next. Whether or not Sheena is laughing at my comments, it’s apparent neither one of us wanted to be standing up there. Sheena took the high road and found it amusing, I just look bitter. It really is an amusing picture.

Trout’s stepmom included a funny little note about “Desperate Brides” instead of “Desperate Housewives,” both of which I will never be, but I was so relieved I was neither flashing the wedding guests or demonstrating highly inappropriate table manners that the picture and note are now hanging on my fridge. Crisis averted.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Another Geek-Out Moment, Brought to You by Our Friends at National Geographic

National Geographic was one of the few magazines in our house growing up. I distinctly remember reading (well more looking at the pictures until I was older) the December 1989 issue. The cover story about the restoration of the Sistine Chapel was fascinating in itself, but I remember being more fascinated with the foldout within the article about artificial limbs and organs. The foldout was a silhouette of the human body that included all of the available artificial limbs and other body parts. As a six year old, I was amazed that something I not only knew about, but something that was a part of me was actually in a magazine.

I should also mention my honorary sister, Mo, works for them in Washington DC, how cool is that? My geekiness is über jealous.

When I moved into my new apartment, my Mom got me a year’s subscription as a housewarming gift. I don’t receive a lot of mail, so the arrival of each new issue always makes for a good day at my place. Thanks to good ol’ NG I’ve had numerous geeky moments since I moved into my new place. I’ve geeked-out so many times with every issue, I can’t believe it.

First, there was this article, and then this, and this, and this and this and just yesterday, my anthropological interest was satisfied yet again with this article. The picture with the shoe is quite possibly the ultimate for my anthropological geekdom. I can’t get enough of this stuff. After having to go through high school with a science teacher who was such a fundie-creationist that he refused to teach evolution, National Geographic is breath of fresh air. Few things get me truly riled up, but try to convince me that evolution can’t be proved and you are in for a heated discussion.

Thanks for stepping up, National Geographic. You can be sure that I will be a lifetime subscriber. And while we’re on the subject…are you going to bring back the Zip Code stories? There wasn’t one in the last issue and I always looked forward to seeing which zip code would be featured (or if I’ve been to any of them). Thanks.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Sick But, Somehow, Incredibly Productive

To make up for all of my health related maladies, those who are in control of the universe and such things were nice enough to give me an immune system of steel. I very rarely get sick, when the flu or other viruses spread around the residence halls or the office, more often than not, I would come out unscathed. I’ve been at YB almost six months and have managed to avoid everything germ-related that the throngs of youth have thrown our way. Until now. We’re two weeks into the summer session and I have a sore throat that won’t go away, a cough and I think my head is becoming more clogged by the minute.

This weekend I finally got around to buying curtain rods that will work with my windows. Along the way I also managed to pick up a copy of this and this to go with the only other wall hanging in my apartment. Despite a night of horrible sleep, I still managed to get a lot of things done today. I woke up this morning hung both pictures, three set of curtains, went shopping downtown with Jenn, picked up a couple pairs of flip-flops, cleaned my apartment and did my laundry that I’ve been putting off for almost a week. I even managed to catch most of the Australia/Brazil soccer game and finished my workout music mix (shoes came in the mail last week, I start running tomorrow).

Trout will be here tomorrow (which, in all honesty, is the main reason I cleaned the apartment) and on Tuesday we’re going to a baseball game with Jenn and Phil. Hopefully, after a good night’s sleep and a morning run, by the time Trout shows up tomorrow afternoon I’ll won’t be guzzling water and sucking on throat lozenges like they’re candy.

Saturday, June 17, 2006

The Officemate

By the time a person starts looking for their first real job, they have undoubtedly had to work with a wide variety of people, both good and bad. Trudging through the trenches of high school and college employment waiting tables, checking groceries, mowing lawns, babysitting, tending bar or hotel front desks will leave one with enough inspiration to find a better job to last them a lifetime.

Coming from small town, rural America, I’ve worked with a decent cross section of people. Thankfully, none of my former coworkers have been outrageously inept or unbearable to work with. I don’t have nearly as entertaining stories as Dirk, but then again, you’ll be hard pressed to top his coworkers. Since moving to Denver, I’ve been lucky enough to have great coworkers, both at MH and now at YB. We actually socialize outside of work, just for the hell of it. However, the newest addition to our staff probably won’t be joining us the next time we split a pitcher of PBR (oh, that’s right, we drink PBR). And I have to share an office with her.

I’ve attempted to write about this several times already and every time it comes off as whiny, shallow and just not funny. My officemate is a good person, very likable and her heart is in the right place. It’s not that I don’t like her, and having to vent about her makes me feel a little guilty. With that being said, I still find the need to write about it. If I was a better writer this might come out wittier, or cleverer, but this is the best I can do:

My officemate is in her late 30s, but she uses the words “awesome” and “totally” more than any of the youth in our programs.

Instead of using words like “good” or “great” like saying “Okay, great, I’ll get that done for you.” She’ll use “beautiful” instead. At least once a day, I hear something like “Oh that’s beautiful. Thanks for showing me how to print file labels.” Or (when ending phone conversations) “have a beautiful day.”

She thinks that anything the youth do (and keep in mind they’re teenagers, not six year olds) is “cute” and “adorable.” She also uses those adjectives to describe the kids in general. “Which one is José? Is he the adorable little guy who was wearing the green shirt today?” This particular conversation came about when we were signing a birthday card for José’s 16th birthday.

When I finish phone conversations that are clearly not work related, or chuckle at emails (or blogs, but I don’t think she knows what those are), she asks, in the same high, wispy, slightly condescending voice she uses to talk about our “cute” and “adorable” youth, “Oh, was that your hunny-bunny?” I haven’t referred to a boyfriend as “hunny-bunny” since I was fifteen, and even then it was a joke. She’s not joking.

She informed me one day, when I tried to help her re-word a letter that was going to be distributed to parents about our summer workshops (I was trying to explain why words like “awesome” don’t belong in formal business letters), that she avoids using certain words “because of the vibrations.” Apparently words like “sorry” and “please” don’t work well with the balance of the universe.

In our programs, we emphasize the importance of the business handshake, and as a result, when the trainees come in to work, they shake the hands of their peers and staff members. Since we’re in the front office, we end up shaking a lot of hands throughout the day. I admit, this is a surprisingly uplifting part of my day, and thankfully, my officemate has an explanation for why this is so inspiring. In her airy, hippy-dippy voice, she told me “Oh, I know it’s so great to shake the youths’ hands, you can just feel their positive energy being transferred to you.” I’m pretty sure the vibrations came up again in this conversation as well. Mystery solved.

Now, I’m all for religious freedom and expression, even ones that include crystals, vibrations and astrological charts. However, the thing that really baffles me is that my officemate, whether subconsciously or not, thinks that not only should we help the youth with academic, business and leadership skills, but we should be helping improve their souls as well. That’s fine, but YB is not the place to being doing that. I don’t know if she sees our youth as these poor disadvantaged, unenlightened beings that need to be shown the way, but last week’s workshop was a little too much. At one point, the youth had to sing Amazing Grace and other spiritual hymns while trying to center their breathing in order to identify their inner-vibrations. The whole situation was just so out of place and awkward that I had to retreat to the back of the building.

As strange as my work environment is sometimes, and I wish I had my own office again, I also have to keep my fingers crossed that my officemate works out. My promotion doesn’t include an office change, but she’s next in line to take over all my administrative duties when I switch positions. If she doesn’t stick around that might put a hitch in when I get to start working in development fulltime.

What I wouldn’t do for a cubicle right about now…

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Nothing to Do

The triple digit weather has zapped all energy out of me, so the most productive thing I could think of to do (after making another batch of guacamole, that is) was to change my blog template. Even though I eradicated most of the grey, I was feeling restless with that look. Let's see how long this one lasts.

I keep meaning to post about my current office sitauation, and if I can muster up the energy to do that, I might post again tonight.


Monday, June 12, 2006

I’m Not A Runner, But I Play One On TV

Recap time folks: I am chronically unathletic. Because of this condition I avoided sports (with the exception of Ultimate Frisbee) like the plague and dentist appointments through high school and college. For some reason I also associated physical activity with athleticism and therefore didn’t do much to get or stay in shape.

In high school everyone knew I was the band/drama/academic team geek and there was never any question as to my athletic ability. So when I was a freshman in college, I was really confused why people kept asking if I was on the cross country team, or if I ran track in high school. Didn’t being in the marching band automatically correlate with non-athleticism? Apparently not. And apparently, unbeknownst to me for the first 18 years of my life, I look like a runner. I found this rather amusing because I hated running. Ever since I developed asthma in the second grade, not to mention my inability to really excel at any sport, running and overexerting my lungs just lost its appeal..

I’ve since outgrown the asthma and have come to realize I can still get in shape without having to become a killer basketball player. Since starting (and then, finishing) college there have been some short-lived occasions where getting shape was almost a reality; emphasis on short-lived and the almost part of that statement.

This weekend marked the beginning of the World Cup. I went to L-town to hang out with Trout. This, of course involved a lot of World Cup watching, and inspired us to go buy a soccer ball to kick around one afternoon. I suppose I could blame the altitude (L-town is at 7220 feet, a good 2000 feet above Denver), and after several short sprints and a little bit of mild jogging around the park, I was completely spent. I was not happy about this. However, I realize I have the ability to run decently, and hell, since I look like a runner, why can’t I be a runner?

Before I could talk myself out of it, as soon as we got back to Trout’s place, I ordered some new running shoes. I’m tired of being out of shape and feeling all lethargic and sluggish. It’s getting too hot out to actually walk to work now (with a 20 minute walk, if it’s above 70 degrees, I am too sweaty for comfort by the time I get to work), but I still want to get some sort of exercise. As soon as my new shoes arrive in the mail (hooray for zappos.com!), I’m going to start running in the mornings before work. No, seriously, I really am. Something happened this weekend and my frame of mind shifted. Instead of thinking I should exercise because it would be the right thing to do, I actually I want to exercise because it would make me feel better.

I realize it’s nothing profound, but it’s enough to get me out of bed every morning, put on my running shoes and do what I really never saw myself doing, ever: running just for the hell of it.

Works for me. Wish me luck.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Movin’ On Up

Work today could have been considered rather unproductive and useless; the AC hasn’t been working properly for two days now, and having 80 extra kids in the building doesn’t help the situation, power in the back half of the building went out at about 2:00 and in trying to fix that problem, our computer server and phone system had to be shut down at 3:00. What can one do without a cool working environment, access to the internet, hard drives and phones? Nothing, absolutely nothing.

The day would have been a total bust if it weren’t for two things. On a minor note, I scored a free lunch at a yummy Thai restaurant courtesy of our executive director. Even though I was looking forward to eating the homemade guacamole I brought for lunch, it was nice to escape our sauna of an office and it never hurts to make nice with the boss people. On a much bigger note, though, I found out that I will in fact be getting that promotion I alluded to in an earlier post. It won’t happen until August, but it includes a title change (Development Associate), pay increase (maybe I will get around to buying some book shelves, after all), and a departure from the never ending ringing phone (hallelujah!).

To celebrate, since nothing was working, my soon-to-be-new boss and I went to Happy Hour at our favorite local bar (there are very few decent after work hang outs in the same neighborhood as the office, but luckily we have this place). We arrived a little after 3:00, our ED and one of our board members who was supposed to meet with Rebecca anyway, joined us and we hung out and enjoyed our beer and the air conditioning until close to 8:00.

Why yes, it was a very productive day at work, indeed. Not that I want every day to be like this, but it was a welcomed change. Onward and upward!

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Yeah, and There’s Not Enough Evidence for Evolution, Either

Whoever thinks that global warming belongs in the same category as the Easter Bunny and Tooth Fairy need to live in my apartment this week. Denver is experiencing temperatures that are twenty degrees above normal.



I sat in my living room last night, in boxer shorts and a tank top, with all my windows open, all three ceiling fans going full force (because cute, vintage apartments don’t come with AC), listening to the weather people on the news observe that the temperatures this week are similar to what we normally experience in late July and August. It’s early June, people. If things don’t change it’s going to be a very long summer.

Friday, June 02, 2006

A Realization

***Let me warn you now, this is going to be a long post, bare with me, and hopefully it will be worth it for those who stick it out until the end***

Now that that spring is well on its way to summer with no looking back, I walk to work whenever it is possible. What used to take five minutes by car now takes 20 minutes by foot. This eats some of my free time in the mornings, but considering my room, with its white walls and white shades, doesn’t keep much light out and consequently doesn’t allow me to sleep in much past 7:00am, ever (helloooo curtains!), it was an easy adjustment. When I leave for work at 8:00ish, the traffic has dissipated, few people are out and the sun is still far from reaching its maximum potential for the day. The minute I step out of my apartment building, and turn on my MP3 player, I have a peaceful twenty minutes to myself.

This time to myself, both in the morning and in the afternoon (although it is much hotter and busier on the walk home), is much more appreciated now that I share my office with someone else. (The progress of that arrangement is worth another post, that I’m sure will appear here sooner than later.) During my daily trek this week, I’ve come to realize something about myself that has been subconsciously eating at me for probably well over a year now. I’m not really sure what triggered the realization, but now that it has, I hope that it will be easier to figure out some things that have been the “uncertainties” in my life since I graduated from college.

A small recap, first: I graduated from college in the spring of 2005 with a degree in Anthropology. I had spent the first part of the fall semester debating on whether or not I should apply for grad school for the following year. With work and my classes, and knowing the next semester would be significantly harder than the current one, I ultimately decided that taking some time off and establishing residency in Colorado (so I could, maybe, afford grad school there) would be the best route to take. I had spent the two previous summers as an intern/assistant curator at a history museum in my hometown, thus peaking my interest in museum studies and cementing my plans for grad school, whenever that would happen.

After I graduated, I moved into my sister and brother-in-law’s basement until I found a full time job and could afford a place of my own. I took a temporary position at the same non-profit Jenn worked at while I searched for jobs. The more I searched for jobs, and the more I worked at MH, the more I wanted to stay in the non-profit sector. Eight months later, I was finally offered a position at YB, was able to move out a month later, and four months after that, here I am.

So, now that I’ve been in the non-profit sector for over a year, my interests are beginning to shift. Museum studies is still of interest to me, but there’s just something about working in non-profits that makes me want to stick around for awhile (and musuems can be non-profits, too). The fact of the matter is, either way I go, Museum Studies or Non-Profit Management, grad school is undoubtedly in my future. Yet, I’m still hesitant. I know I’m not ready to go back to school right now, I want to enjoy homework free evenings and weekends for a little while longer. Grad school, no matter where I go or what I do, will be expensive, and I want to make sure I’m going back for the right degree and for the right reasons before dishing out money or taking out student loans. However, buried underneath all of these reasons lies the heart of my hesitancy: I have serious doubts that I’m smart enough to even go to grad school.

Okay, before we go any further I want to let you all know that the previous statement was not written with the purpose to solicit self-esteem boosting comments. I hate that I think this, wish I didn’t, and surprised myself that after everything I’ve managed to accomplish this past year, I still feel inadequate.

That being said, I don’t think that I’m stupid, and any self discriminating thoughts that were in any way related to that train of thought have all but disappeared in the last year. It’s not like I did poorly in school, I graduated high school with over a 4.0 GPA, made it through college with a 3.8, I had a fairly well rounded social life, and successfully worked a variety of jobs. Somewhere along the way, however, being labeled as chronically un-cool for the first half of my life and lingering far too long in a relationship that did nothing for my self-esteem, somehow, in my own head, translated to some form of inadequacy. I won’t say that I was traumatized by high school, or that I was in an abusive relationship, but the combination of past events ultimately, somehow, made me doubt my intellectual abilities.

Of course, everything started changing about 10 months ago. With the help of family and friends (even if I wasn’t admitting it to them, or myself for that matter), I realized all the relationship crap I was going through wasn’t worth the consequences and I (with lots of support and advice) broke up with the bad-relationship-boy. Shortly after that, I began dating Trout, who had not only been my friend for over year before that, he somehow didn’t go running in the other direction edven though he had witnessed my relationship ugliness, but on top of everything, when he told me why he liked me, one of the first reasons was because I was smart. That is without a doubt the nicest thing any boyfriend has ever told me. I can’t even remember the last time the previous boyfriend told me that (but I could tell you when he, more or less, told me the opposite of that). I think this was the first step in the right direction. Thanks, Trout. You’ve been amazingly supportive, and I hope you realize how much you’ve helped.

Unemployment was an ugly time, and I really appreciated everyone’s patience with me through those months. I will admit I had several breakdowns at the thought of spending day after day scouring newspapers and the internet for potential jobs, not knowing if it would pay off. As I’ve said before, unemployment doesn’t do good things to one’s self-esteem. In the end and looking back, I feel like I was being overdramatic, even if it seemed entirely reasonable at the time. Getting the job at YB was another huge step, and while being an assistant isn’t always the most thrilling job in the world, I’m really happy with how things are going.

After work earlier this week, I went out for drinks with a coworker. This particular coworker is one of the people I work under. Fund development and communications is the main area that I’ve worked in since I started in non-profits, and now that I’ve seen the programming and accounting sides, I know that, if I stick with non-profits, I’d rather work with fundraising. I don’t want to say too much yet, for fear of jinxing this (it worked to my advantage the last time I stayed vague on details until I knew for sure), but if Rebecca can work with our COO, my job description may shift significantly in the next couple of months and I would be taking on a lot more responsibility within the department. Our conversation the other night also reassured me that I’m moving in the right direction. I really like the non-profit sector and after I left the bar, I realized that I am capable of doing more than what my job description states now.

Wednesday night was the first time in a long time that I felt like grad school was actually an obtainable possibility. All the other factors are still an issue, but the underlying problem seems to be fading away with each passing day. The walk to work on Thursday was one of the best I’ve had since I started walking on a regular basis and I have new things to look forward to at work. Sooner or later, I’ll be able to get this whole “what to do with my future” thing figured out. It’s not if, but when.

Okay, I’ve finished my heart to heart with you all. Thanks for sticking it out until the end. And if you’re worried that I’ll be late for work by looking that the time this is posted…I decided to stay home a little longer to finish this post. I’ll forego any chances of any more revelations this week and just drive to work.

This weekend I’m off to the suburbs to make curtains so I might have a chance to sleep in on the weekends and keep the apartment cooler as summer draws ever closer. It’s been a good week, can’t wait to see what’s next.

Happy Friday everyone!