Parental Units

My parents' birthdays were yesterday and today. Within a week of mine...the end of July is kind of an exciting time in the family.

It's also an expensive time.

So what can I say about my parents...first of all, I've been pretty blessed. I know that not everyone has great parents. And I am thankful.

So to commemorate this day, or rather these days, I thought I'd share a little something about each of my parents. I'll try to make it good.


Oh man, where to start. My father makes me laugh about as easily as anyone I know. Let me replay a recent phone conversation with him just to give you an idea. Oh, if you don't get sarcasm easily, you might not find this funny.

(We were discussing a wedding he went to, sort of)
Dad: You mother made a peach pie, she was practicing being submissive.
Mom (in background): Yeah, right.
Me: Was that emphasized at the wedding?
Dad: Quite a bit. That and not nagging your husband.
Me: Really?
Dad: Yes. All women nag a lot.
Me: I know. I'm one of the biggest naggers ever.
Dad: Yeah, but men don't nag at all. They are too busy loving their wives as Christ loved the Church.

Recently my dad also told me, after my mom mentioned she was praying that I would find a job, that he was just praying for grandchildren. And that I didn't need to worry about a husband.

He kills me.

He's also taught me to see the humor in everything, and not to be afraid to poke fun at myself.


My mother also has a great sense of humor and we've had some ridiculous conversations, but that's not what comes to mind first when I think of her.

If you really want to get to know my mom, just visit her blog. A Word About Words That's pretty much who she is.

My mother and I are pretty much opposites in a lot of ways, and that means sometimes we drive each other nuts. There have been times when I have driven her nuts.

For example, in high school and middle school my response to the question,"how was your day today?" was without fail, "pretty good."

And my mother is a talker, so I think sometimes she wasn't quite sure what to do with me. Getting me to open up and share, especially when I was younger, was like pulling teeth.

But from my mother, I've learned to be a better communicator. While, I will never instinctually open up, I am much better about talking about myself than I used to be. Believe it or not.

My mother is one of the major reasons why.



So I don't have anything good today...no stories, thoughts or anything that's really all that remarkable. So instead I am going to share a random assortment of items, bullet-style to be more efficient. Take them as you will.
  • Recently I have enjoyed a menagerie of family visits. I spent the weekend in Boston with many, had the chance to see my aunts and cousins for dinner last night, and now the tall one - another cousin - is visiting for a weekend. I'm pretty psyched.
  • The exodus has begun to China. The two other people in my department, my boss and big C, left early this morning to make the trek across the ocean. That means I'm the primary communications contact here in the states for the next month. I just hope I have the answers. Many teams and other staff members have also headed over.
  • The departure of all these people means that the Olympics are quickly approaching. I am freaking excited!!! While I will be working, and there's the fourteen hour time difference to deal with, NBC is offering more live coverage online than any previous Olympics. Meaning I should still be able to catch a lot of it.
  • Sadly, two of my people of the week - a short-lived tradition in my blog - have passed away. Randy Pausch, who gave the Last Lecture, lost his fight with cancer and died last week. Nick, a friend of a friend, who suffered from ALS also died recently.
  • Things may be looking up in terms of flights to Chicago. I'll keep you all posted. Now I just have to remember to ask for August 15 off.
  • Last, but definitely not least, happy birthday to my dad (and mom tomorrow)!!! I plan on doing something a little better to commemorate these days, but I just don't have the brain power today. Keep your eyes peeled.
That's really all I got for now. Sorry it's so lame. Feel free to ignore this post and wait for something better. I would.



Have you ever wondered how exactly airlines and their fares really work? It's a question that haunts me all the time. Here's an example of why.

My roommate and I decided we want to visit the Windy City. Neither of us have been and there and it sounds like a good time.

We looked up flights about a week ago and they were pretty reasonable. It looked as if I would even be able to fly from the Springs non-stop.

Then we waited for her to clear it with her boss, this trip being right before she goes on a business trip.


When we got back online to book my trip, flights had suddenly jumped in price. Just two days later. And when I say jumped, I mean that I could drive for less - not that I have the time for that.

Now the cheapest way to get there is to fly out of Denver with at least one layover. Sounds like a blast, right?

Maybe one day soon that non-stop, affordable flight will reappear. I'm not betting on it.


"The Question"

Do you remember when you were about to graduate from high school and the only question anyone seemed to have was where you were going to school?

And then having to answer you weren't sure but you might go to the local community college. Oh wait, that was me.

The thing was I had options. I was accepted to all seven schools I applied to, from the state school to the competitive private college. This really just made the decision harder.

Then I had the chance to keep playing basketball. Which was something I didn't turn down. Some looked down at me for going to community college, said I was wasting my abilities, but I think it's one of the best choices I've made.

Can you tell there's still a little bitterness?!

I do have a point here. Really.

It just seems like there are these crossroads we come to in life. Finishing high school, college, whatever. And people suddenly see only one option in our future, that life should only be headed in one direction.

What school are you attending? What is next in terms of a job?

And mostly I feel like I don't have the answers right now. At least not when I am supposed to.

It happened at the end of high school, and it's happening now as I finish up my internship at the Organization of People in Spandex.

What I'd really like to do...travel. Anywhere and everywhere.

But as someone recently asked, "with what money?"

Another plan involves living with my parents at least until I'm 25 and can no longer be on their insurance - that's my fall back plan.

The real plan...I'm not sure. Find some sort of employment that I might enjoy somewhere in the country and/or world.

That's all I got. For now. Just in case you wanted to know. Now you don't need to ask.

Happy Hunting

I have done a lot of church hunting in the months I have been in the land of the Rockies. Well, maybe not a lot, but my fair share.

I am living in what be one of the most conservative areas in the nation. This means there is actually a church on almost every corner. Seriously.

K-dog (my roommate) and I look for possible options as we drive around running errands.

The churches I have visited represent quite the spectrum, in a variety areas: length, worship style, demographics, size. I've seen quite a lot.

For example, today I sang such classics as This Little Light of Mine, That Old Time Religion, Shall We Gather at the River, and much more.

The thing is...I've enjoyed the variety. That's not to say I've enjoyed every minute of every service. But it's interesting to see how diverse people are, how much churches vary.

That said, I have no idea where I'll end if I stay here. I have many more corners to try out.



Up until a few months ago I avoided running like the plague.

Didn't like it, wasn't interested in partaking.

For years, running had served as punishment. Miss too many free throws, some swears during practice, get outrebounded - my basketball coach found a multitude of reasons to run.

But then I made the decision to get into shape. And there was no way I was doing that without at least some running.

I'm not going to say that I love it now, and really my pace is closer to a jog than a run, but I don't dread it. And I hate going days without lacing up and hitting the pavement.

I don't know what changed, but running doesn't seem like punishment anymore. And I'm good with that.


Another year bites the dust

I turned 23 yesterday.

There's nothing like putting in a full day at the office to celebrate. I know, I know...welcome to the real world.

Overall the day was good. I got to eat sushi, got flowers at work, went out to dinner, got some new books. I was happy.

To mark the occasion of completing another year of life, I originally thought I'd pass on some tidbits of wisdom.

Unfortunately, two or three thoughts in and I was sounding like a corny Hallmark card. Which none of us really want to see happen.

Instead I'm going to pass on what my mother wrote marking the occasion.

If nothing else you can learn a little bit more about me.

Mom's Blog



The Inclinator

That's actually what the elevators were called at the Luxor hotel in Vegas, but it's fitting for today as well.

I climbed the infamous Incline today.

It's a mile long staircase that takes you up the beginnings of a mountain. I'd never done it, my roommate said she was going, so I thought, "why not?"

This picture is actually from a hike in January. Luckily for me, there was no snow today when I made the trek.

I had climbed halfway up once. All the way is not at all the same.

But I made it, and it took me less time than I thought. Not that I set any world records.

The smartest choice I made followed. With limited options for food due to the fact I haven't gone grocery shopping yet, I didn't really eat dinner.

I had some dip and a cookie.

As I tried to fall asleep my body was busy informing me that this was not sufficient. So I had string cheese and another cookie.

I'm not sure that was the best choice, but at least I ate something.

When's breakfast?



This past weekend we had nine people sleeping in two hotel rooms.

Do the math and you get more people than beds. One room had to have a trundle bed, or whatever you want to call it.

Being younger and more spry than our parental counterparts, the children got lucky.

I volunteered to sleep on it. I fully take blame for that fact.

The other reality was the only place the bed would fit was between the far bed and the window, right in front of the A/C unit.

With the temp ranging from the high 80s all the way into the 100s while we were there and five people staying in the room, we had no choice but to have the A/C running.

But, I swear, it was defective.

There were only two settings: freezing cold and lukewarm. And the room smelled stale.

Needless to say I was a little on the cold side sleeping there.

To make matters worse the hotel had sent all the spare blankets to get washed. All of them.

And the bed was rather unstable with a few metals bars right across the middle. Too much movement and it felt like it was going to fold up or collapse. Too little movement and my back ached.

It was quite the predicament.

But I fell on the grenade for the team.


Across the country in an hour or ten

I am sitting in the Boston airport, a little over an hour from boarding my first of two flights to get back to CO, and I am refusing to pay for internet access.

Let me start by saying I consider myself to be a champion packer.

I carried everything onto the plane on the trip here. I packed lightly.

Then I got here and went shopping, and got some birthday presents.

I am headed home with two additional pairs of shorts, two more pants, three extra pairs of socks, two new pairs of heels, a Boston t-shirt, another dress, and two more shirts.

Even with all this extra stuff, I am still headed back with the same bags I came with.

Champion – that’s all I am going to say.

At the moment I am in crisis mode. My iPod has frozen and I have seven hours of travel ahead of me.

This could be rough.


Special Saturday

My uncle got married today.

It made for a pretty sweet day.

The ceremony was beautiful, the weather gorgeous, and the reception a blast.

Ok, all of that is true, except the weather was a little ridiculous. 110 (rumor has it) and pretty humid as well. Not exactly the weather they ordered.

But it was a fun time none the less. My sister and I sang at the reception, we all danced our little hearts out, and got some good family time in.

Then, five of the cousins piled into my uncle's five-speed jetta, and I navigated to the cinema to watch the Dark Knight.

All I have to say is...believe the hype and check it out. Definitely worth spending some money on.

Now I am exhausted and my head doesn't feel great, so I'm off to bed.

Places to go and people to see tomorrow.


Another weekend, another adventure

I am sitting in the Denver airport waiting to board a flight that will eventually take me to Boston.

My uncle is getting married, and as much of the family that can manage is converging on the city of Boston to celebrate the occasion.

Like anytime the family gets together the trip will cover a range of activities and emotions. I am excited to everyone since it's been quite a while. Some of them I saw in May...and for the rest it's been even longer.

I'm going to try to take pictures, but I proved through my trip to TN that isn't a skill of mine.

At the very least, I'll try to come back with some entertaining stories. That I can definitely manage.

I may even try to keep you updated along the way. No promises though.

My weekend starts now.


The Incident

You know those days when you get dressed and feel good about your outfit.

Come on, you know what I mean.

It's usually a goal of mine when I get ready for the day. That I look good. It should be everyone's goal.

So I was feeling pretty good about the outfit today, but that's not the point though.

The point, I had a skirt on. And was wearing it successfully - meaning without an major problems.

And then it happened.

I walked out of a building to meet a wrestler, and take him to an interview with a reporter, when the wind blew my skirt up. As the wrestler came walking up.

I did the keep-from-being-exposed dance and hoped that the tourists asking him to take a picture distracted him from 'the incident.'

We went inside for the interview without any comment and I put 'the incident' behind me.

At the end of the interview, however, he had me follow him outside and he brought it up. 'The incident,' I mean. He gave me crap about it, making a comment about how if he had had some dollar bills...

Boy did I feel classy, and professional.

It was a good moment, that's for sure.

On a competely different note, but related to yesterday's blog...

I found I am still insured, up to the age of 25 if I'm still a dependent of my parent's. I told my mom I might wait to get a real job since I'll have health insurance.

I think it's a great plan.

I'll live at home for free and not get a real job until I'm 25. Deal.



I came to realization recently that I may very well be one of hundreds or thousands, or even hundreds of thousands of Americans that are uninsured.

Meaning I no longer have health insurance.

I vaguely remember last June/July when I was trying to think ahead to my last doctor, dentist and eye doctor visits.

Which means those visits I made when I was home at the end of May were it for me.

It's a status that just a couple years ago seemed unimaginable. You see, I have been blessed in my life. I really have never wanted for anything.

But now I find myself graduated from college, without permanent employment and uninsured.

So I have decided to make an effort to be as safe as possible. No longer will I speed, skip my vitamins or not floss. Who knows the next time I will have professional help.

In fact, I may very well take to wearing protective gear at all times.

My new motto: safety first.

Or at least until I have insurance again, then all bets are off.



I have been a very poor blogger recently. My commitment is lacking - that's for sure.

Unfortunately, that's not going to change tonight. I took some Tylenol PM in an effort to rid myself of a headache and get some solid sleep.

Needless to say the brain is not functioning at a high or consistent level.

Hopefully one of these days I'll come up with something good. Just try to hold back from throwing the rotten fruit and vegetables at me.

It's not worth your effort anyways.


Catch up.

A few days late...the story of my journey from the Spring to TN and back again.

The four and a half days of my trip were a bit of blur. There were a lot of miles driven, a lot of entertainment had by all. Instead of trying to recap everything - no one is interested in that - I thought I'd share some of the more remarkable moments from my adventures. Consider this the abridged version.

Day #1 - Wednesday, July 2

Sam and I cram ourselves and the bags full of her life into the back of the Tib, and set off around noon. 700 miles, including all of Kansas, lay ahead of us. We plan on driving from the Springs to Columbia, MO.

Somewhere in the middle of Kansas we stop for dinner and manage to find a DQ that has no ice cream. It still takes them 20 minutes to make our food, even with the lack of business.

We pass two billboards right next to each other. The first reads: "Jesus saves, pornography destroys." The second says: "Adult Superstore."

Hours later we pay the leave the state while watching a remarkable lightning storm play out in front of us. Then we drive through it. Luckily I am experienced in driving in rain.

We arrive at our destination 10 1/2 hours after we started driving, greet our host and collapse into bed.

Day #2 - Thursday, July 3

We leap, or crawl, out of bed to start our second day of driving. After a delicious breakfast in downtown Columbia, I am given a whirlwind tour of Mizzou and then we jet.

Stop #1 is a book on tape, stop #2 is 64 oz of Sun Drop for Sam. And the world suddenly looked a little brighter.

We make our way through the end of MO, the corner of IL and a stretch of KY before reaching our destination of TN. The night ends with an orchestra, fireworks, and some good BBQ. Plus a little dancing downtown. A great to celebrate having made it and to ring in our country's bday.

Day #3 - Friday, July 4

The plan originally had been to wake up at an early hour, eat and drive to the lake. Instead we rise about mid morning. Still tired, but ready for the day. We eat waffles, load our gear into the car and head for the lake.

Only to be stopped by a parade in Small Town, America. The only way around, about 30 minutes out of our way. We reach the lake around lunch time, just in time to join the gang in hitting the water. With one boat and 15-ish people it takes to trips to get everyone to our destination on the water.

Then we hang. Floating on a random assortment of objects, including a kiddie pool, strung together with rope. If you've ever heard the song "Red Neck Yacht Club," you can imagine what it looked like.

After saturating ourselves and roasting in the sun, the group agrees that we should try to get everyone back in one load. So inner tube is tied to inner tube to the back of the boat to get towed in.

Everyone piles on or in, but somehow the driver misses the memo to go slow. The three of us on the back tube are fighting to stay on and inside the wake, knowing full well to cross over the wake means we will flip. The guy beside me finally falls off anyways.

This the driver also misses. We wave our arms and yell, and in the process I also fall in.

After reconfiguring ourselves we head back to the house to relax.

Sam and I make an executive decision not to stay the night. At this point we need all the sleep we can get and it won't happen at the lake.

We drive to her parent's house with an ongoing fireworks show. An the same Small Town, America that had the parade, also has a fireworks show, leading to even more delays on the way home. But we make it.

Day #4 - Saturday, July 5

After eating a delicious homemade country breakfast. Sam and I head towards Chat. Me with my bags packed, ready to catch my flight home. We meet up with her brother, her brother's girlfriend and her friend for a drink before she takes me to the airport.

At 3:15 p.m. EST I check in at the five gate airport only to learn that my flight has been delayed. Good thing I have some reading material.

I make it from Chat. to ATL.

Then the ATL airport proceeds to confuse the crap out of me. I walk from terminal C to terminal E to terminal B to terminal E to terminal B and back to terminal E. Luckily, or unluckily, my flight is again delayed. I arrive in DEN at 12:30 a.m. EST, almost two hours later than planned, and still face the drive back to the Springs.

A lot of travel in short amount of time. That's for sure.


Work in progress.

I have started the blog about the adventure of this past weekend, but then life grabbed a hold of me and I haven't had time to finish.

I put in a twelve hour work day today, had more voicemails in five hours than I had the rest of the year, and probably won't make it into the office tomorrow.

So the blog about my trip is going to have to wait. I might get to it tomorrow. I might not.


Many miles lie ahead...

In less than an hour I will depart on a two-day, whirlwind road trip.

I am helping my friend drive home to Tennessee.

Our goal: Chattanooga by 8 p.m. EST on Thursday, July 3.

Rand-McNally predicts that the drive will take 20 hours and 40 minutes, give or take. We are trying to do the first 11 hours and 40 minutes today.

We’ll see how that goes.

I will get to check off a number of states after this trip. Missouri, Kentucky, Tennessee, Alabama and Georgia. That will bring my total to: 27.

Of course that’s counting three states based on airport layovers, but I was still there.

While I think we’re both dreading the drive, we’ll have a blast once we get where we’re going. Don’t worry, we’ll take lots of pictures to document the adventure.


Excitement in the Workplace

Somedays at work are boring. Nothing really happens, you sit at your desk, and you get work done.

Other days are not. For example, last week the lawn mowers shattered one of the floor to ceiling windows in the conference room.

Today was another not-so-boring day. Someone, who obviously had their thinking cap on, tried to heat up a burrito wrapped in tin foil in the microwave.

Note to self: do not place metal in the microwave. Bad idea.

I didn’t see it, but apparently flames were actually shooting out of the machine. Impressive use of brain cells if you ask me.

Following “the incident,” I overhead two coworkers talking. The conversation went something like this.

“I’m surprised the fire alarm hasn’t gone off,” said Coworker One.

“I don’t think we have one,” replied Coworker Two.

If that isn’t safety first, I don’t know what is?!