The Perfect Waterbottle

I have – or had – this waterbottle. I bought it a few months ago at REI. An REI, by the way, that was sadly lacking compared to those in the land where REI got it’s start.

But I digress, I really like this waterbottle. It was stainless steel, and pretty. Green with a sort of retro design.

I bought it before the news reports came out saying that Nalgene bottles aren't actually safe. Using it made me feel healthy and a little environmentally friendly.

I wasn't throwing disposable bottle after disposable bottle away. (As if I drink that much water anyway.)

Sadly, my Sigg bottle met its unfortunate end last night.

I have gotten in the habit of filling it with water and leaving it in the freezer to chill for a brief period of time. Last night I forgot I had put it in.

When I woke up this morning I remembered and took it out.

“That’s weird,” I thought after removing it. “There’s a large bump on the side. Did the water leak out the top?”

I turned it over to examine it and realized the expansion of the H2O caused the side of the bottle to actually split open. It wasn’t a chunk of ice, it was a large gaping, jagged hole in the side of my Sigg.

Shocked I set the bottle in the sink to thaw. Tonight I will give it a proper burial.

R.I.P. Sigg bottle. I will miss you.


The Guest Room

My family has never actually lived in a house with more bedrooms than we needed. But over the years we have definitely opened our house on more than one occassion to guests, whether it be for a couple days or months.

I was reminded last night of some of those more intereting visits.

When I was a freshman in high school, some old (meaning from the past) friends of my parents asked to stay with us while they looked for a job/living arraingement. What was supposed to be a couple weeks turned into a few months. Nine of us living in a four bedroom house was a little much. The only bonus, we qualified for free and reduced lunch.

I also can't count the number of times we've had someone sleeping on our couch, living room floor, or some other extra space. My uncle, good family friends, any number of people that have come to reside with us.

Now my parents have another child. She is living with them for the foreseeable future. Just when my parents thought they had finally gotten us all out of the house, the picked up another kid. It may not be a situation they would have chosen, but regardless they are making it work anyways.

Because that's the kind of people they are.

And knowing them, this probably won't be the last time they let someone stay with them.



Last night I was at Walmart making a few purchases, which included a couple movies.

I was using the self-checkout. A handy feature about 80% of the time. Those exceptions include when you forget to put something in the bag, the person in front of you has no clue what they're doing, and the cashier has to come and validate something.

The case of the latter occured last night. One of the movies was rated-R, so the cashier wandered over and...


Seriously, I don't even look 17?! Not even a little?! Luckily I passed the test.

This isn't the first time people have been confused about my age either.

When I was home for a week, I went to the dentist. As I checked in at the counter the receptionist asked if I was 18 yet.

I know I don't look old or anything, but I guess I didn't realize how young I looked.



Onto the positive

Since I did that whole, these are ten things that I'm not good at, thing. I thought I would do the flip side.

So here goes nothing...

Top Ten Reasons You Might Think I'm Okay:

1. I'm really good at Minesweeper-this is no joke. I win at least once a day.

2. I eat well-and a lot. I think this is a skill. If we get stranded somewhere and don't have sustenance, I'm living longer than the skinny kid. I'm just saying.

3. I always have my eyes out for a bargain-this is a gift/skill passed on from my father. Cheap gas, sales racks, bargain stores, etc. I do it all.

4. I'm a good listener-I am also good a keeping secrets. The two can go hand in hand.

5. I'm athletic-in my life, this is a good thing. I like sports, I pick them up pretty quickly - though I'm no superstar - and I stay somewhat healthy.

6. I like to cook-and usually it turns out pretty well. I also clean up after myself. This is generally a good combination.

7. I like to serve-meaning help out the people around me. Give you a ride, help you with a project, and in a variety of other ways.

8. I'm pretty positive-occasionally I get into funks, but usually I can find the silver lining. Life is good, in one way or another.

9. I like to laugh-a sense of humor is pretty essential to surviving life. At least that's what I've found to be true. And it makes life a lot more enjoyable...to laugh and find humor in things, especially myself and my mistakes.

10. I'm low maintenance-not that I am digging on those that are higher maintenance than me, but I count this as one of my positives. I mean, how can low maintenance be a bad thing?!


the Salon

Tonight I made an appointment for two pedicures, a haircut, and an eyebrow wax.

I am going to be looking good Saturday afternoon.

I'll tell you what.



I don't know if you're aware or not, but humans are imperfect bunch. It's true.

Most of us are aware, we gossip too much not to be. So instead, I thought I'd take some time today to look at my own faults, positive and negative, serious and amusing.

So here it goes...a list of my imperfections, things I don't or can't do well. Because this list couldn't potentially stretch on for an unknown period of time, I am going to narrow it down to ten. Think David Letterman style.

The Top Ten Reasons I'm Human:
1. I'm impatient.
I don't like waiting around, things taking longer than they should, and traffic lights that don't change as quickly as they should.

2. I'm horrible at ballet. That and a number of other things. I'm not flexible or graceful, and am completely uninterested in wearing a leotard.

3. I spend more money than I save. I'm kind of hoping this issue improves with age, but I'm not planning on it. My closet tells this story well enough.

4. I have really bad luck driving in parking lots. This is no joke. Everyone of the incidents I have been involved in with other cars have been in parking lots. Once I get on the roadways though...I am good to go.

5. I'm incredibly competitive. It doesn't matter when, where, or what about. I want to win. Sometimes I'm amazed that my brother and I are friends today after all the time we spent fighting about winning while growing up.

6. I am a speed demon. I don't break many other laws, at least, not on purpose. But I can't seem to help myself with this one. And in CO it seems everyone else drives under the speed limit. Combined with No. 1, this has caused great frustration. Luckily for me, I've only gotten one ticket in my professional driving career.

7. I'm not very good at staying in touch with people. Partially because I don't like the telephone and partially because I get distracted by the here and now. Either way, I have definitely dropped the ball a number of times in this area.

8. I don't like emotions. My own or other people's. I spent a lot my childhood not understanding my sister, because there was always something affecting her emotionally. Now, I have trouble identifying and dealing with my own emotions. The avoidance backfired.

9. I'm not very good at opening up. I often respond to questions I don't want to answer with "I don't know," "Okay," or another similarly vague phrase. I will also use the 'change the topic' tactic to avoid feeling uncomfortable. It's a skill.

10. I am a people pleaser. While this means I often succeed, it also means that I avoid confrontation, don't always stand up for myself, and let others get their way. And does that sound like fun to anyone?!

So there you go. My top ten. Luckily for me, all are things - except maybe the ballet - I can improve on. I hope.



One of the funniest purchases my roommate made when we moved into our apartment was the shower curtain.

The funny thing about shopping for household items is that often you are forced to rely on the picture that appears on the packaging and what you remember the apartment looking like.

In this case, that didn't work out so well.

On the package, the curtain looked cute. It was a blue sheet with a strip of plastic that allowed you to see out and let light in.

Hanging on the shower rod, however, the result was much different. As soon as we hung it up, we knew there would be a problem.

I climbed in to demonstrate the issue. The strip of plastic made from just below my nose to just below my boobs visible. As soon as I stood behind it, all of us were rolling with laughter.

There was no way this would help alleviate traffic in the bathroom in the mornings.

But it did make for a good laugh.

Surprisingly enough, we bought a second curtain.



I have a problem. Anyone who knows me is fully aware of this.

My problem: shoes.

I love them. And I don't discriminate.

I like pumps, sandals, tennis shoes, boots. You name it, I'll wear it, I'll buy it. Last time I counted I had around 50 pairs.

I own so many pairs of shoes that I couldn't bring them all with me when I moved for the internship.

And I've probably bought somewhere between five and ten pairs since I got here. It's a problem. Someday I'll introduce myself with, "Hi, I'm Elizabeth and I'm addicted to shoes."

But I've admitted the problem, and that's the first step, right?!

The thing I've found about shoes is that you can always find something you like. That is not always true about clothes. There have been so many times when I can't find clothes I like. Not so with shoes.

I. Love. Shoes.

In fact, tomorrow morning I am waking up to go shoe shopping. What a great way to start the weekend.



Wrestling is not a sport of big stars, bigger money, and even bigger coverage. At least, not to the general population.

Most people have probably heard of Rulon Gardner, but there are and have been so many great wrestlers and great people who wrestle.

This year's Olympic team is no different.

I wrote yesterday about the excitement of the U.S. Olympic Team Trials, as well as the heartbreak. Today, I want to tell one of the amazing stories from the competition.

Perhaps if you've paid close attention to the sporting world in the past couple days you've heard murmurs of Jake Deitchler. His performance made the ticker on ESPN Saturday night, the issue of Sports Illustrated that came out today features an article on him, and USA Today named him the athlete of the week.

In April, after Deitchler placed second at the National Championships, I wrote a feature story on him for our magazine. I read back over it yesterday and it's rather ironic, considering he's now a member of the Olympic Team.

So, what exactly is so special about this wrestler?

He's the first 18-year-old in 32 years to make the team. He defeated a two-time World bronze medalist and a wrestler 14 years his senior. Deitchler is well-spoken, entertaining and confident.

I remember after I got the assignment to write the story on him, I was a little worried about doing a phone interview with a high school boy. I've known some high school boys over the years, and many of them are not what you would call well-spoken.

But Deitchler doesn't fall into that category. This is a kid who ended his press conference at the event in Vegas with, "I'm going to go to the arcade now."

And his first big concern coming off the mat from the big win was where his Mountain Dew was.

I don't know how well Deitchler will do at the Olympics. He definitely has the attention of many now. I'll definitely be watching in August to see if he can shock the World just as he shocked the wrestling nation this weekend.

Check out the SI article on Jake:
Kid Dynamite

This is just one of many stories from the Trials. To check it all out, tune into MSNBC at noon ET this Sunday, June 22.


What to say.

Last night I got back from almost a week in Sin City. I've been pondering what exactly to say about my trip, what story I can tell, what thought I can share.

And I'm just not sure.

I have stories...believe me. I have a great many thoughts.

But I don't know how to sum it all up. It doesn't help that I am still exhausted. Perhaps if it weren't for the game of putt putt golf I played at lunch I might have enough energy.

Let me start by saying I got to see some amazing wrestling. Upsets. Surprises. Peoples dreams coming true. That said, it was also hard to watch those who fell short, and there were many more losers than there were winners.

The sixteen athletes we will send to Beijing to take part in Greco-Roman, men's freestyle and women's freestyle are not 16 that anyone would have predicted. Some of them, but definitely not all. I think that's the exciting thing about sport. Even though there are favorites, there are those that the rise to the top more than those they compete against, there is always the chance of upset, of the underdog.

Not surprisingly, my trip also involved a lack of sleep. The combination of long working days, and wanting to have some fun as well, added up. But I figure if I sleep for the next day or so, I will be completely caught up. Oh wait, I still have to work.

And, wow, is Sin City expensive. Everything...cabs, drinks, food, hotel, shows...all of it. If I hadn't been going for work, I would be coming home a beggar. That was with me coming close to breaking even in the casino(s).

Now, after two trips in the past two months, I'm ready to take a break from Sin City. It was interesting, fun, entertaining and more, but at the same time, the city is incredibly draining. In more ways than one.



I've decided a week is a long time to be in Las Vegas. Some might even say too long.

I'm tired and ready to go home.

Hopefully at some point this week I will recover enough to write a real blog, but don't hold your breath.


This is why I’m hot

#1 - Ashton Kutcher. I try not to be a name dropper, but this one was too cool. I was sitting two seats away from him. Not that I talked to him or anything. I did, however, manage to take a not-so-discreet picture of him.

#2 - Wrestling, as a sport, has really grown on me. I like watching matches; I get excited about it. These Olympic Trials, if you haven’t been following, have been pretty crazy. There’s a high schooler going, the first since 1976, and a number of other favorites have been knocked off. I will definitely be tuning in to NBC in August.

#3 – I cruised the Vegas strip in a convertible last night. It was a fun to see the sights and sounds, and people watch. The view doesn’t get much better.

#4 – During the past two days I’ve worked 24 hours. The end.



...people are just annoying. Like the security guards at passenger pick-up at the airport.

Is the attitude really necessary?!

...I forget to do things and feel like an idiot. Luckily I was able to 'save the day.'

...shoes that look good don't always feel good. But it's worth it.

...I wish I could spend more time by the pool and less time weaving my way through Vegas in a minivan.



Git 'er done

Do you ever have those days when you feel productive?

This morning was definitely that way for me. Last night, before I left work I made a list of everything I wanted to get done before I left for Vegas. It wasn't ridiculously long, but long at it made me a little anxious.

Now, however, I'm feeling good. I caught up on some correspondence, ran almost all my errands, packed for my trip and even squeezed in a work out.

Basically, I'm feeling good.

I'm a big proponent of to do lists, or lists in general. Even if I never look at the list after I make it, at least I have things organized. I know what needs to be done.

There is a certain satisfaction in checking things off the list.

I know, I'm a little weird. Or a lot.

Anyways, I am leaving shortly and will be gone until next Tuesday night. Most of that time will be spent working. So I apologize ahead of time, but the blogging will probably take the hit time-wise.

Consider yourselves warned.



I am a competitive person. Always have been, always will be.

It doesn't matter what the activity is. It can be something I am good at, such as basketball, or something I rarely play, such as putt putt golf. I want to win.

In fact, I turn everyday activities into competitions. In December, the old one and I won while crossing the border. Meaning we beat a car in the other line across.

This competitive spirit had a negative impact on the interactions between my brother and myself when we were young. We would argue unceasingly. Often, we wouldn't be able to finish board games because we would be fighting so much. Almost always we said something we didn't mean.

I like to think that both my brother and I have outgrown this tendency. Don't get me wrong, we are both still incredibly competitive. But we are a little more mature.

And we're willing to wait for another chance to prove we are better.

For all that maturity I've gained, I still want to win. Every time, at everything.


La Cocina

Today I cooked for the first time in about six months. Give or take.

The meal itself was nothing special. Chicken, pasta and marinara sauce. I know...wow! And the sauce wasn't even from scratch.

But it was fun to get back in the kitchen.

I've lived in the apartment now for a week and a half. So, really, I probably should have been cooking a while ago. It definitely would have saved me some money.

Moral of the story, home cooked food is good and it's cheaper than eating out.

Surprised, anyone?


Eating Out

My roommates and I have come to realization that our apartment is located close to almost every restaurant imaginable.

Within minutes, blocks even, of our front door there are numerous places to go eat at. This was helpful four days ago when we had no pots and pans in the house.

But I can tell it is going to be dangerous.

Why cook when you can go to Chick Fil-A, Olive Garden, Red Robin, Sonic, Applebees, Panera, etc., etc.?!

It's bad news, for me and my bank account.

In the past three days I have had Olive Garden, Coldstone, Blackjack Pizza, Taco Bell, and Chick Fil-A. No joke.

It doesn't help that I am leaving Wednesday for Las Vegas, so I've putting off a major grocery shopping trip.

Either way, not good news.


the morning

I have never been a morning person. I never get out of bed quickly, I don't really want to talk, and I only eat so I won't be cranky later.

Over the years I have perfected the art of getting up as late as possible and still being on time. It's a true skill. But it has taken years of practice.

In middle school and high school I was usually on my own in the morning. My dad left for school usually before I woke up and my mom isn't exactly a morning person either. In fact, she would lay in bed and yell and me to get up.

I quickly learned that because she was in bed she wouldn't actually know whether I was up and around or not. I began to yell back and wiggle around in my bed, trying to make noise and let my mom know that I was "up."

Luckily for me, the bed was metal and made a lot of noise. Many a morning I used this trick to buy myself more time in bed.

I still was always on time to class to. Like I said...a gift.

Now, no one checks to make sure I'm up in the morning. Although, my roommates are up and around, so it's hard to sleep in.

Luckily all that practice I got in years ago has allowed me to get as much sleep as possible and still make it to work on time every morning.


I fail a little...

So I started my 'person of the week' tradition and made it about three weeks. That's some stick-to-it-iveness.

Today, I stumbled across the story of a pretty amazing girl. Crazy, amazing.

So even though it's not the right day of the week, I am still sharing this. Because I have been a slacker and don't want to wait on this until next Thursday. Really, if you think about it, I am only twelve hours late.

Ten-year-old Ira Kaplan doesn't have arms, otherwise her life is complete normal because she has worked to make it that way.

Check out the story and video to see exactly what I am talking about.
Ira Kaplan's story.



My glasses broke last night.

My contacts make my eyes angry if they are in all day.

My back up glasses are two prescriptions too old.

My head hurts.

Yes, I will take some cheese with that whine. Thank you.

The good news of the day...Boston won.

Morning Debacle

I am currently living in a one bedroom apartment with two other women. We are making it work.

Then, this morning, the furniture store threw a wrench into our living situation.

My roommate had purchased a mattress and bed frame. The mattress was delivered weeks ago and then the bed frame was delivered and built this morning.

After they had finished assembling the bed frame, the furniture men asked when our box spring was.

Um…excuse me.

Flashback…when my roommate purchased the frame she specifically asked to look at the frames that didn’t need a box spring. This was supposedly one of two that would work with just a mattress. So she bought it.

Current day…now we have a bed frame set up and a mattress leaned up against the wall blocking entry into the bathroom. An overall fun and exciting situation.

And the soonest the furniture store delivers is two days after purchase. Which means we have one couch for three of us to sleep on the next two nights. Apparently we are going to be even closer than originally thought.

Nothing like some forced bonding to bring roommates together.


Say Cheese!

I was looking through photos of me and realized that I basically have one face I make in pictures. Probably about 90% of the time.

And this is just one phase of many. Let's take a look.

Currently most pictures of me involve this sort of facial expression:

I don't know that this photo needs a lot of explanation. Seriously though, if you look at the majority of photos taken during my time here in the land of the Rockies...this expression is in a ton.

The last look that happened often was the head tilt. Nothing like cocking your head to the side to look cute. Looking back, it seems reminiscent of a dog which is rather unfortunate.

Here's an example of the tilt:

After reviewing the archives, these two are definitely my favorite poses. It's hard to believe that I was never discovered as the next cover girl.


I was driving home tonight - this morning - and was mostly thinking how I really should already be asleep.

Then I noticed the sky.

Off to the northeast a cloud seemed to have settled just on top of the land. And within the cloud was lightning.

I don't mean I saw a couple lightning strikes. I mean that the cloud actually seemed to be alive with light.

And I was a little sad that because of the time, not many other people were having the chance to see it for themselves. So I attempted to take a few pictures.

Needless to say, my not-professional camera and untrained self were completely unsuccessful. Not to mention the fact that I was attempting to drive at the time.

But it was spectacular. Definitely worth missing out on some sleep to see.


A Case of Mistaken Relationship

I am good friends with both of my siblings. We talk, text, IM, facebook. We get along...most of the time.

Where is this going you wonder? A look at the laughs/discomfort my brother and I have experienced over the years.

I'm not talking about how we've fought, disagreed and argued - although all of that happened fairly frequently. And occasionally still does.

Nope, what I'm talking about is all the times my brother and I have been mistaken for a couple. It's unfortunate, really, but we've had a few good laughs over the years. I was reminded of this phenomena this past weekend.

I was home for a few days and convinced my brother that he should come have martinis with my best friend and myself. We got to Poppes, my favorite martini bar ever, before she did. He declared that having to walk in and sit with me was ruining his at love. It was a depressing time.

But back to the point - all those other times. I thought I would impart a few moments to you, my loyal readers.

Numba 1:

In high school, my brother worked at Little Ceasers which was just a few minutes from our house. One afternoon I stopped by to trade him cars. I went to the back door and one of his coworkers grabbed my brother for me.

My brother came to the door and said his coworker, Butter, asked if I was his girlfriend. When my brother responded in the negative, Butter asked if he could have my number.

If that isn't classy, I don't know what is.

Numba 2

Right after Christmas my sophomore year in college my basketball team traveled to Southern California. My sister, mom and dad left on Christmas day to meet me there because the tickets were cheaper, so my brother and I spent the day at the neighbors.

The introduced us as Elizabeth and Jonathan Wiley, their neighbors. Later, my brother had one of the uncles ask him how long we had been married.

There's no easy way to answer that question without awkwardness.

Those are my two favorites. There have been others but none as remarkable. Hope they brought you some laughter as well.


the things she carried with her

While the title may be somewhat of a knock off, it was certainly applicable today.

I was traveling and ended up with quite the variety of items with me as I boarded the plane.

See, I have this purse which is similar to the bag Mary Poppins had. It seems to have unending space and often I am not sure what is in it.

In fact, as I went through airport security my purse was searched. The offending item: pliers, which had traveled from my apartment at school across the Evergreen State to my parent's house and into the airport.

Luckily the pliers were small enough I was allowed to retain possession of them.

This made me curious though. What else was in that bag???

Here's what I found:
-iPod and earphones
-book: "The Boleyn Inheritance"
-migraine medicine
-DVD from internship
-Leona Lewis CD
-some earrings
-random receipts and papers
-eye drops
-head phones

Overall, some unexpected and forgotten items. The good news, I was ready for a lot.

Always be prepared.