And I'm off.

Headed back to bunk with the parental units for the foreseeable future while I look for some sort of permanent employment while mowing nights and weekends.

I'm going to be an only child.

I also come home as the poorest of their children for the first time in my life. It's a weird thing.

I left the Springs this morning with a fleet of hot air balloons to see me off. Their bright patterns stretched from mountain to plains as they hovered above a mostly sleeping city.

I don't know when exactly I'll return or what the trip back will mean...a job interview, to drive the rest of my things back home. Who knows.

At this point I'm flying by the seat of my pants. The only concrete thing I have to do is my cousins wedding on September 13. Before and after that date is a bit of a mystery.

That's okay though. All I know is that I am ready for a vacation. Too bad summer is over.


A night of wonders

Yesterday evening was pretty wonderful.

I got to horseback riding for the first time since May. I'm even a little sore today and it feels wonderful.

I got to hang out with friends while enjoying pizza and ice cream.

And I had the most entertaining storm experience of my life.

I was dropping my friends off at their cars when it started raining. Hard. We decided to try to wait it out.

It - it being the weather - preceded to rain harder, lightning and thunder, and hail like mad. Waiting it out turned into an hour and a half experience.

When everyone was finally returned to their cars, I drove down a street that was so flooded the water in the gutters was halfway up the hubcaps of parked cars. And visibility was poor.

The good news, well there are two things.

First, I grew up in the Northwest and am an expert of driving in the rain. It did not faze me.

Second, I got less than a mile north from the training center and the roads were completely dry. Oh crazy Colorado weather.


Unfinished Business

I have this tendency in my blogging. I start to blog about some topic, whatever happens to really be on my mind, but then I don't finish.

I started one tonight on things that I fear. The other day I began one on sushi.

But then I lose steam, or can't quite figure out where I'm going, or maybe I just needed to get that out but didn't really want to share it.

Because really, I am not that big on sharing and opening up and spilling my guts. I like the light, sarcastic, impersonal. Not all the time, I can go deep, but rarely do I purposefully expose some part of myself without a lot of deliberation.

Not that I'm calling my blog on sushi an exposure. I just lost my train of thought that night.

Of course, I also end up deleting these unfinished, imperfect blogs. I hate not completing things as well.

I guess you may never know what I have to say about sushi, or what things in this world I am really afraid.

But is that your loss...or mine?


Sometimes life drives me a little nuts-o. Why do options I didn't know I had appear late?! Maybe I'm not prepared to make this or these decisions. This is one of those times I could really just use an email from God. That would clear up a lot of confusion.


Sisterhood of the Traveling Pantsuits

Just as the Olympics ended the Democratic National Convention came to the land of the Rockies.

So I traded NBC for CNN, gold medals for keynote speakers, arenas for...oh wait, the DNC is in an arena, too.

The first two speakers on these first two nights, Michelle Obama yesterday and Hilary Clinton tonight, have definitely started things off well.

My first thought when Hilary took the stage tonight was 'wow, she has a lot of supporters'. The audience stood and applauded her and stood and applauded her and stood and applauded her.

Hilary showed her support for Barack Obama and bashed John McCain. The Pepsi Center was going crazy.

That may have been in part because of the Senator from Montana that stoked the fires like a preacher leading an altar call.

But mostly it was Hilary.

And what a fitting speaker she was on this night. This night that marked the 88th anniversary of women earning the right to vote, a woman spoke that has championed women's rights as long as America has known her.

I'm intrigued to continue following this convention and to watch the Republican National Convention when it takes place next week.

I like to be an informed voter. Plus, I like to see how many sports-related metaphors they use.


Packing for the unknown

Sometimes packing for a trip is easy. You check the weather report, think about what you'll be doing and how long you'll be there, and pack accordingly.

Other times you might not be sure what the weather is or what you are doing the whole time, so it's a little more complicated.

And then you could be in my situation.

I'm flying home next Sunday. I bought a one-way ticket and I don't know how long I'll be gone exactly. It's also that fun time of year when the weather could range anywhere from hot to cold to rainy.

I have the added bonus of trying to move stuff home on the trip and not just packing for the visit.

Add to that the fact that airlines find it necessary to charge to check bags, and things start to get expensive and complicated.

Good thing I'm a professional packer. Otherwise, I'd be in real trouble.


Mountain Retreat

My roommate agreed to take care of a coworker's dogs for the evening, and I decided to tag along.

For those of you that aren't aware, the Springs are right beside the Rocky Mountains. And tonight I found myself riding into the mountains.

The house is on a dirt road that branches off another dirt road that branches of a side road that...well, you get the idea. It's pretty much in the middle of nowhere.

The dogs aren't allowed outside after a certain time because of bears and you have a gorgeous view of the mountains off the back porch. Pretty much it's a getaway.

I'm no stranger to the middle of nowhere. I went to college in the middle of nowhere and I have family that lives so far in the middle of nowhere that you can't even get a cell phone signal unless you climb the highest hill and cock your head at just the right angle.

Sometimes it's nice to just get away. To be out of contact with regular society. To forget about rush hour traffic. To not be so easy to get ahold of. Even if it's only for a few hours.


One-Way Ticket Home

I bought a plane ticket yesterday. A one-way ticket that will take me back to the Evergreen State.

I had been planning on going back at least for a few weeks and realized that driving home didn't necessarily make sense.

So I leave August 31 to head back for the foreseeable future.

There I will be on a sort of vacation, but also come out of retirement from lawn mowing (a girl's gotta eat!).

When will I be back to the Land of the Rockies?

That all depends on job developments and opportunities. Hopefully sooner rather than later. But really, it's hard to tell.

Just thought I'd update the general masses.


Working at the organization of people in spandex (OOPIS) has gotten me more excited about the sport of wrestling than I ever thought possible.

I basically come from a family deeply connected to a sport that could be considered the archenemy of wrestling - hoops.

But here's the thing. It's basically a biological attachment to basketball.

See...my dad comes from a family of giants - literally. At 6'7", he is the shortest of his brothers and also shorter than his father. This is not a joke. All of them played basketball in college.

If I've learned anything in my time here with the OOPIS, it's that wrestlers are not generally very big people. In fact, for the first time in my life I feel a little bit tall. But I digress.

Working here for the past eight months has given me the chance to get to know some amazing athletes, and now that they are competing at the Olympics I can't help but get a little fixated.

I've stayed up late, woken up early, and sat at a computer hitting refresh because the video feed didn't work on my old Mac. To think that eight months ago I couldn't have spoken intelligently on the sport of wrestling. Thank you OOPIS.

I just want to say congrats to our medalists: Adam Wheeler, Randi Miller, and Henry Cejudo. You might not have heard about them because isn't exactly a mainstream sport, but they kicked some butt.



K-Dawg and I had a blast in the Windy City. We walked 'til our feet were tired, ate lots of good food, and just had an overall good time.

Here's a taste of our adventure...

There was a sidewalk chess tournament complete with a super sweet stereo system strung underneath the table. We did not partake.

I don't know if your eye is immediately drawn the sign in the middle, but I saw this and had to take a shot. Talk about sketch...and amusing. Oh cities.

This was the view from the 96th floor of Hancock Tower. We rode up to the Signature Lounge and had an adult beverage. It was a pretty sweet deal considering you have to pay to get up to observation decks in these buildings anyways. The view was amazing.

This is a shot of Soldier's Field, perhaps one of the strangest stadiums that I have ever seen. And I've visited quite a few. It looks like someone dropped a spaceship inside a structure from Rome. Pretty crazy.

The entrance into Chinatown, the second largest in the U.S. behind San Francisco. We'll also visited Little Italy (where we ate a delicious lunch) and Greektown (unfortunately I didn't have time for baklava). Traveling for me is basically all about the food.

The Blue Angels were in town performing for the air and boat show. This event apparently brings something like 2.4 million people to Chicago for the weekend. Of course that count probably includes geniuses like K-Dawg and myself who didn't have a clue what was going on but showed up anyways. It was pretty sweet to be traveling around the city in a double decker bus while these jets zoomed overhead. Right now they are working on a maneuver our tour guide called the breast cancer awareness ribbon.

So that by no means summarizes the entire trip, but at least gives a few highlights of the weekend. I have more pictures (including the famous Bean sculpture), but I figured this post is plenty long enough. If you ever get a chance, I definitely recommend visiting Chicago. It was a lot of fun.



I am working on the post about trip this weekend, but blogger and I are fighting over photo uploads. But it will happen.

In the meantime I leave you with this.

I have never been a napper. I didn't nap as a child and I don't nap much as an adult. Although college definitely helped to improve my napping abilities.

So I knew I was tired this afternoon when I got home from work and slept for three and a half hours.

I woke up at 7:30 and was shocked to see the time. So much for everything I was going to accomplish this evening. Hopefully it will happen tomorrow.

And hopefully I will be able to fall asleep tonight.


Having a Plan

I'm the type of person that likes having a plan. And I grew up with parents who didn't have one, or didn't follow one a lot.

In fact, one birthday my gift was to plan a day for the whole family. I loved it.

So the fact that my life is lacking in a plan is hard to deal. I'm trying to be cool, to go with the flow, but it is not easy.

The lack of plan bugs me on a number of levels. It's not just that I don't have a job. It's that I don't know where, when, or even what I want to do or will end up doing. There are just so many unknown - unplanned - aspects.

If only I could get a little outline. If even just one of those things could be cleared up. I can deal with unemployment if I know it's going to end.

But instead I'm just going to focus on the job hunt and not freaking out.

And planning anything and everything possible.


Haphazard Notions

I've been busy in the Windy City the past couple days and have a lot of things flying through my head. So I'm going to share a few with you.

I'll catch you up on the Windy City when I get back and can include some pictures for your enjoyment because I actually managed to take some.

For now...you get this:
  • I have recently rediscovered games such as Text Twist and Bookworm on Yahoo!. I am also re-addicted.
  • I cannot and will not ever be in a marathon. For many reasons. Those Olympian marathoners run faster than I got for fifteen minutes. Craziness.
  • In two weeks I will be unemployed. I am looking forward to a bit of a break, especially since this is the first year I haven't had a summer, but after a week or two of freedom the lack of work is going to make me antsy and nervous. Of that I'm sure.
  • The Olympians from the Organization of People in Spandex have no been incredibly victorious at the games so far, but half of our athletes are left so I'm holding out hope.
  • I have eaten some great food over the past couple days. Pizza, pasta, popcorn, pretty much anything starting with a "P." And some other stuff that didn't.
  • There seem to be about a million (or a billion) volunteers for the Olympians. Towel holders, gum scrapers, sign holders. You name it, they exist.
  • One of the marathoners has a rat tail. I don't even know what to say.
  • I think fourth place may be one of the worst. To be that close to a medal. Well, last is still pretty bad.
  • I am loser for my age. I've won no medals, earned no money (not big-time at least). Pretty much I need to get my act together.
Okay, I realize that many of these thoughts aren't all that impressive. Sorry. But I'm feeling a little ADD.

I totally used a thesaurus to come up with my title today. You call it lame. I call it resourceful.


My last nerve.

I'm a competitive person. It's something I've talked about more than once in the past.

But at the same time I have some unspoken, unwritten rules. Ones that I keep in my head but feel everyone should follow.

Recently I saw an individual that unquestionable broke this rule. And it drove me nuts.

Let me explain.

I was at a park playing speed volleyball with quite a bunch of people I didn't know. It was quite a mixture of skill levels, from the athletic to the talented to the I-don't-know-what-I'm-doing to the I'm-just-here-for-fun.

On one team was a guy who obviously knew what he was doing, and took over his team because they were struggling. He would step in front of people to take a shot and could barely hide his disgust when his teammates messed up.

Now I want to win as much as the next person. But I also feel in certain situations - such as a pick-up, for-fun volleyball game - it is more important that everyone is involved and having a good time. Especially when you join knowing not everyone is as skilled as you.

This is not to say I've never taken over, even for a moment, but there's something to be said for displaying a little sportsmanship.


Here tonight, gone tomorrow.

Early in the morning I will be leaving the Springs for the Windy City.

Just for the heck of it.

The roomie and I are going for the weekend, and we are going to have a blast! We are going to be tourists and just enjoy ourselves.

Maybe I'll actually take some pictures that I can share with you all. I'm going to try. I promise.

The good news about this trip, besides the fact that it's just going to be fun, is the weather supposed to be great, while it's not supposed to be in the Springs.

The bad news, I might fall behind on my Olympic watching over the course of the next couple days.

By the way, I think the female swimmers look like aliens with their swim caps on. I don't know what it is.


Eyes are tired

By the way, I have not been getting enough sleep.

Between having the Olympics on until late and trying to cram all my hours in at work in a shortened week, I have not had enough time for sleep.

This is completely my fault, but it's still rough.

My eyelids are heavy.

But I'm not turning the Olympics off. I just can't make myself.

The only good news about this addiction is that there is an end in sight. That's what I am clinging to right now.

Oh my gosh, screaming swimmer women. Things are getting crazy here.

Power Outage

This afternoon at work, I was sitting at my computer when *poof* all power left our office building.

My computer shut off, the lights were gone, the vending machine outside my office stopped humming.

In a world full of noise, it was a weird sensation to have everything shut off.

It also effectively ended my ability to work.

Essentially 98.2% of the work I have takes place on the computer. The good news, it was time to go to lunch anyways.

On a completely unrelated note, I saw a girl with crimped hair today. And by crimped hair, I mean she had done her whole head. It definitely took me back to the olden days.

I head to Chicago Friday morning and I am excited for a little vacation. It should be a good time!

Enough random thoughts, I have Olympics to watch.



Because of how I raised, because of who my mother is, I have been raised to be a bit of a snob when it comes to the use of English language.

Poor punctuation, improper use of vocabulary, it all bugs me. Especially when the person, or people, should know better.

So when a friend sent me a link for a blog that made fun of improper use of quotations (think Joey from friends), I was excited.

And I want to share. Plus from that blog you can look at a bunch of other blogs having to do with apostrophes, church signs, bathroom graffiti. You name it, someone makes fun of people for it.

So check it out:
The "Blog" of "Unnecessary" Quotation Marks

Others I found through this site include:
Apostrophe Abuse
Literally, A Web Log
Red Pen, Inc.

There are so many entertaining blogs out there. I could continue to give you links, but I don't want to overwhelm you all or take away from the joy of stumbling across something entertaining completely by accident.

So enjoy these, and find some more on your own.



I think we throw the word 'impossible' around a little too much. I think maybe our vocabulary could use a little alteration, a little more variety.

We've all heard people talk about being able to do the impossible; if you believe, you can achieve; etc., etc.

And it's true. People do the impossible all the time. But that's really because we have the tendency of misusing the word.

Impossible is defined as "not able to occur, exist or be done."

Meaning, literally speaking, impossible things should not happen.

I'm not saying we're stupid as a people, just that we believe what we know more than what might be.

I don't know if you have followed men's gymnastics at all, but they are putting on an amazing performance. And doing it with a team that has less star power (meaning Hamms) than expected.

They may or may not beat China, but it's not impossible just improbable.

So don't stop believing that improbable things can happen. People can smash records by wide margins, underdogs can win, great things can happen.

I am saying that maybe we should get out a thesaurus and make better use of our words.


Metallic Thoughts

So I don't know if you've noticed, but the Olympics are going on. It's kind of a big deal.

Apparently one billion people watched the basketball game today between China and USA. Like I said...big deal.

And I am pretty much in heaven. I spent the entire day watching the Olympics. Swimming, gymnastics, basketball, beach volleyball, badminton, traps, water polo, diving, and other stuff I don't even remember.

There is nothing else in the world that compares.

How freaking awesome is it that one 'event' has such variety. That the guy shooting traps is recognized alongside the swimmer.

The only question I really have about the whole thing...is President Bush planning on staying for all 17 days? Not that I blame him. If I could be over there watching everything, I would.

Excuse me, but I have to get back to swimming.


Multi-Sport Lifestyle

I've always thought that it would fun to to do a triathlon.

At least I had until today. Then I volunteered at the Youth National Championships.

Don't get me wrong. I have a lot of respect for those athletes. But it kind of looks like torture.

More than one athlete threw up after crossing the finish line. Many looked as if they were going to pass out. Few looked all that happy.

But it was impressive. They were impressive.

I'm just not looking to get into the sport anytime soon.


Quick-Draw McGraw

I have had one surgery during the course of my life. It happened the summer after I finished at community college.

I had trigger finger. My left middle finger.

Contrary to what you're probably thinking right now, I have never shot a gun in my life. We never even had one in the house.

Well, my dad had a bb gun when I was younger - maybe he still does - although I'm not sure why.

To stay on topic, trigger finger basically meant I would wake up in the mornings and my finger would be locked in a curled position. I could bend and straighten all my other fingers, I could flex my entire hand, but my middle finger wouldn't move.

I would have to physically pry it open every morning and loosen it up.

So I had surgery, which meant four stitches in my palm. Just a few days before I went to coach at basketball camp.

Excellent plan.

The camp director cleared everything up when he introduced me the first day. He told the campers my boyfriend had bitten me.

Then I spent the week trying to catch the basketball with my right hand and left forearm. Not as easy as it sounds.

So that's why they call me Quick-Draw McGraw.

Just kidding.

No one's ever called me that.



I went to the doctor. Not for anything too exciting. Don't worry.

But it got me thinking about some of my more memorable trips to the doctor.

Like the time I was diagnosed with TMJ (my jaw pops and stuff). The doctor explained that it could be related to hormone levels and that most likely it would go away from menopause.

I already got migraines related to my cycle. The doctor suggested that I should hurry up and have my kids so I could have my hysterectomy.

I was around 17 at the time. And my mother was with me, and thrilled to hear the doctor telling her teenage daughter to reproduce.

Another time, during my freshman year of college, I got a really bad flu. The special of the season. It was during finals week, right before my basketball team was going on a road trip.

I woke up and could barely function. My mom took me to the doctor and I almost passed out trying to check in.

Then I get in with the doctor and am informed that I need to go home and go to bed for a week.

"Healthy 30-year-old men are dying from this flu."

Basically, I could die. Just what I needed to hear in my sick stupor.

And just one more. Back in my naive days, a doctor asked me what two forms of birth control I was using, because one is not enough.

I stammered, stuttered and stared rather blankly at the doctor. Two?

Then he clarified, abstinence counted as for both. Apparently not having sex keeps you safe enough.

Good to know.


Raindrops keep falling on my head

Growing up in the Northwest meant living with rain.

I remember one year when the M's were in the playoffs and they kept going on and on about how it had rained some ridiculous number of days in a row.

I don't run for cover at the first sight of moisture. In fact, I don't even own an umbrella. That's just not how it's done.

Until I moved to the Springs, I didn't realize I would miss the rain.

I know live in a place that has as many, if not more, sunny days that the Northwest has rainy days.

We'll get the occasional afternoon summer storm in the winter, and there was snow every now and again during the winter. But tonight it actually rained.

'Clouded up completely, rain drops falling outside for hours' type of rain. Until I heard that sound this evening, I didn't even realize I had missed it.

We needed a good rain, too. It may actually lower the temperature briefly as well. Tomorrow it's supposed to be below 80, for the first time since I don't know when.

So I'm sitting in the living room, listening to the drops drip and enjoying fresh air that is only possible when a rainshower has washed everything clean.


Gentle Giant

My father comes from a family of giants. At 6'7" he is shorter than his brothers and his father, or was shorter than his father until Grampie became slightly stooped.

I don't even know where to start about Grampie.

He was alive for the end of the depression. I can't tell you how many times I hear, "take all you want but eat all you take" when I was a child. And in that family taking all you want meant a lot of food was put away.

Grampie joined the Army during World War II, and had to fight to join. Initially they said he couldn't join because he was too tall. His mother had to make his uniform, he had a cot specially made so it was long enough. It's hard to imagine that attitude in this day and age.

And the only reason he survived the war was because he got sick. He was in the hospital when his platoon was ambushed.

Surprisingly enough Grampie was a basketball player. He won a state championship in high school and was recruited to play at the University of Oregon. Grampie was actually good enough that he was drafted, but he turned down an offer from an NBA team to go into teaching. It was more stable and he could make more money. Can you imagine LeBron James trying to decide between teaching and the NBA?!

My Grampie, although I share him with eight other grandchildren, is also one of the most giving people I know. Every time I talk to him on the phone he ends the conversation by asking if there is anything he can do for me. I know that if I ever had a real need for something, he would meet it.

So, why the walk down memory lane. Because he is old and getting older by the minute it seems like. Life happens that way...and he has definitely lived a good and full life. I'm just hoping it lasts quite a while longer.


You may or may not have noticed, but I've mentioned the Olympics here and there in my blog.

I've always been a big fan of the Olympics. Four years ago during Athens, my entire family was gone the first week of the games and I sat at home on the couch with the dogs and watched...all day.

Unfortunately I have to work this year. But I am working within the Olympic Movement and actually know Olympians. So I'm that much more excited about watching this year.

A lot has been made about having the Games in China. Recently I had someone ask what I thought about it.

I'm not going into my long-winded, convoluted opinion on China.

Instead I am going to share a column from ESPN with you. It's interesting, entertaining, and has a little different angle.

Check it out.

After an Olympic lull, Beijing makes Games interesting again
by Jim Caple


Waiting Game

I am sitting on my couch, or rather, K Dawg's couch, waiting.

Waiting for her to get home so we can go running.

Waiting for a phone call from my future employer or my future rich husband to call so I no longer have to worry about money (neither of whom I know).

Waiting for a blog topic that might be somewhat interesting. I had one in mind, but I got to thinking about it and my brain was all over the place so I couldn't quite imagine writing coherently.

So I am just going to sit here and continue to wait. While my jaw throbs and the neighbors play weird music.

Don't you wish you had my life.


The Other Night

The tall one and I went out last night, to a little joint called Cowboys.

Before I continue on with the tales of adventure, let me explain who the tall one is. She's my cousin and former roommate, visiting me from the Evergreen state for a little vacation.

While at Cowboys, we made a "friend." His name was Ken. I think. He was slurring a lot and I was trying not to pay him too much attention in hopes he would leave us alone.

Ken was a little (or a lot) on the creepy side. He kissed our hands a total of four times each. It was just a little too much for me.

The one positive thing I can say for Ken, he seems to read people pretty well.

The second time he found us, he was explaining that he had been contemplating doing something but knew that we would have one of two reactions. Either we would slap him or we would enjoy it. Neither the tall one or I asked him to clarify what he was talking about.

He preceded to tell us that he had made his decision and that he thought I would slap him and the tall one would kick him in the crotch.

Ken was pretty spot on. Thankfully for all of us.


Things of note

I wanted to pass on a few interesting news stories/columns that I came across today.

I have a good story or two to share from last night, but for now, I'm just posting these.

The stories are entertaining to say the least, but I want to make sure I do them justice.

Greek team to make $erio$ run at LeBron after 2010 season

Just imagine how the landscape of professional basketball could potentially change if this happened. Maybe someday there will even be a real world championship. That would be pretty sweet.

And because the Olympics are quickly approaching...

Secret's out about Beijing Games opening ceremonies

We're just five days away from the opening ceremonies. They aren't necessarily my favorite part of the games - I mean, the parade of nations seems to just drag on - but it's exciting to know the Olympics are about to begin.

Life of Reilly

Perhaps my favorite sports columnist even, Rick Reilly sheds some light on the national anthems for a number of different countries with his usual humor.

Up a mountain, Olympic dreams are carved

First of all, this writer, Greg Bishop, has done some great stories on wrestling. Second, the incline is something I've endured. Seriously, it's intense. Oh, and I just barely missed the record time. Right.

I promise, later today or tomorrow, you will get a little tidbit from last night. You'll just have to wait.