Friday, August 29, 2008

Denver: The City that Only Sleeps a Little Bit

We’ve been avoiding downtown. We heard it was quite the cluster, and we had no desire to wade through seas of Obama-happy tourists in our little Honda. But on Wednesday night I found out my friend A was in town, volunteering for the convention. Having not seen A in something like four or five years, I decided to make an exception and make the trek towards New York City’s alter-friendlier-ego, (at least for this week) Denver.

I parked a fair ways out and decided to walk in. At first, I was totally overwhelmed by the sheer number of people. How dare you all be in my streets and restaurants? This is the West, we need our space out here. But then I got sucked into the hype. There’s a really good energy downtown, it’s very festive, except in a kind of party-with-a-purpose way. Everyone’s got the same goal. (And the same buttons. Seriously, could we not get a little more variety in our buttons?) And I got very excited and swept up in the throngs of people who believe our next President could bring the change (what change? It has yet to be defined, but folks seem to be o.k. with ambiguous, all-encompassing Change for now.) our country needs. I was excited, I had made it! I felt like a big city girl.

Hey baby, do you want to move to New York? I think I’d like it there.

And then I realized I had forgotten a) cash with which to buy previously-mentioned buttons and b) my camera. How do you forget to bring your camera to something like that? Fuck-a-doodle-doo, I certainly wasn’t going home to get it once I had scored a parking spot.

Since A was volunteering at the convention, he was there until the bitter end. Which meant meeting up at 10:00 PM. AKA: my bedtime. So I did a lot of people watching, and met up with A and his girlfriend and their friends and got to see the celeb candids on their camera phones. I didn’t see any celebrities myself, but supposedly I almost ran over Cynthia Nixon (who plays Miranda on Sex and the City) as I gave them a ride to an after-party, so that almost counts, right?

Meanwhile my throat is still sore and my phone is kind of broken, which means I haven’t been talking as much as I usually do. (Much to The Funasaurus’ relief.) If you need to call me, I advise leaving a message, as The Universe has apparently possessed my phone and has decided to let calls through at its discretion, not bothering to alert me that anyone tried to call unless they leave a message. If that’s not a sign that I need to get an iPhone, well, I don’t know what is.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

I Went for the Stickers

So we were at the filming of The Daily Show yesterday, since it’s here in Denver for the DNC. You can watch the whole episode here:

I am pretty sure I can hear The Funasaurus laugh at least once, but I am probably the only person who thinks so.

Tickets for the show are extremely hard to come by, and are ordered months ahead of time. We are not that organized, but happily we have good friends who are and who know how much we love faux news. So they let us tag along with them. Of course, we still had to get there four hours early to get a place in line, because they overbook because apparently they don’t have faith in Jon Stewart fans to show up, so your “ticket” only reserves you the right to stand in line and be one of the first 100-some in: hooray! Nacht.

So I am a little sunburnt, and very hoarse from screaming for Jon (because we do not get many celebrities here in the middle of the country, and so I was totally o.k. with screaming rabid-hyena-like for a fake news anchor).

In line we were given all sorts of fun (?) political shwag.

A pin to announce my social beliefs! How original!


A fan with an oh-so-clever pun:


And the very best, a squishy Obama-as-President!


See? He squishes.


It's like he's hiding behind the desk since he knows he's not quite supposed to sit there, yet.

I got a sticker, too, but I can’t find it.

It was interesting to watch the filming, they got us all warmed up and hyped and encouraged “louder than normal reactions” (code for: please be a good laugh track, even if you don’t find this humorous) and then Jon Stewart came out all professional-like and seemed annoyed that we were cheering and laughing so loudly. Did we have a miscommunication with the fluffers?

But overall it was fantastic, Jon Stewart is a very funny person, and the whole crew was amazingly professional. They do the whole thing in one take, in real time. No re-dos, no extra time on commercial breaks, no autographing rabid-hyena-esque fan’s breasts. Sadly.

Of course, this has been a hellacious week with work, I am still trying to recover from traveling, so I had to work really late last night. And Monday night. And will have to work again late for the rest of the week and really. I am so sick of work. I have better things to do with my time.

I did manage to go for a lovely hike over the weekend, though, and I’m headed back to the mountains this weekend. Where hopefully there will be plenty of wine to sooth my aching throat.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Nice to Meet You, Mr. Stewart

I sincerely hope you all can watch The Daily Show tonight. Because you can so hear The Funasaurus' distinct laugh in several places, as we were in the audience this afternoon. It was awesome. Gratuitous photos of shwag to come.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Exoskeletons and Introspection

I managed to have crab and lobster yet again for dinner tonight. I am calling it good, as I have started to develop a weird rash and while I am not sure it’s due to my recent ocean insect diet so much as to the lack of sleep and large quantities of chocolate and alcohol my trainer has been pushing, I am thinking I shall call it good and go back to steak and chicken for a while.

Crustaceans: I declare victory.

Meanwhile, I just about collapsed at dinner. I am exhausted. I was kept awake only by the most gorgeous scene of a new rep (who is also in training) who hails from the south and has perfect blond hair swept to the side just so and lots of eyeliner and trendy, tight clothes get sprayed with lobster juice by the chick next to her who was wearing a bib to protect her from her own meal. Sadly, the bib was not large enough to cover her salad-nibbling southern neighbor, and that was some funny shit. I snorted beer in glee. Which is mean, because Miss Perfectly Coiffed South is actually really nice and I like her very much. But fortunately she started laughing hysterically and made comments about her new eau de lobster for the rest of the evening, so I felt joining her in her self-mocking was the supportive thing to do. She’s seen beer come out of my nose. We are so far past polite it’s like it never existed.

Now that I’m thinking about it, I’m not sure it ever did.

Tomorrow I go home, The Funasaurus is picking me up from the airport, sacrificing a ticket to the Broncos game to be my chauffeur. Do you see why I love this man? Sacrificing his beloved pastime to be with his wife when she gets home from her long trip? Also, I didn’t give him much of a choice.

Next week is the DNC. Downtown is going to be a cluster; I plan on avoiding it. Except for one afternoon, when our good friends scored tickets to a Very Important Event, which we are very excited about attending. Being the very involved politicos that we are, and all. (?) Details to come, as it is not set in complete stone just yet.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

All But a Red Socks Fan

Here’s the thing: I want to move to Boston. This plan has been vetoed by The Funasaurus, but I plan on having my way with him when I get home and then asking again nicely. Maybe after buying him a new video game. I have my methods. It’s nice here. I’ve had lobster and/or crab four out of the last six meals. (I was going to say “five” but then my friend took me to an Indian restaurant tonight and there was not so much the Maryland Blue Crab in saffron or anything… sadly.) I’ve also been working my ass off. Sunday night I got in after midnight and then had to be at work at 8:00. Monday I spent the whole day in training, then spent the evening catching up on my regular work until about 2:00 AM. With a small break for crab risotto and a nice pinot grigio in there. Tuesday I was at work by 8:15 and worked straight through to lobster and crab ravioli at 7:00.

Tonight I went to happy hour and then out to aforementioned Indian food. Which was delicious, but not half as delicious as seeing an old friend again. And, well, shit. I miss having all sorts of good friends around.

Boston is alive at all hours and all days of the week. Tuesday night? There’s a line out the door at the pastry shop. Wednesday night? The 80s Party Bus came by at least three times during our dinner, and OH! how I wanted to get in on that action.

The 80s Party Bus was pink.

Neon pink.

The office is very bookish and New England-y, and my coworkers are a smart set. I like hanging around them. I feel very east coast and smaaaht.

Plus, we took a Ben & Jerry’s break today. Who doesn’t want to work in an office where there’s a mandatory Ben & Jerry’s break?!?!?!

I have had a lot of alcohol, a lot of sugar, and not so much sleep. I feel a little woozy. But I’m trying to rally. I wish there was a way to commute to this town without that pesky plane flight….

Friday, August 15, 2008

I Need a Groundhog Day Fall Equivalent. I Put a Lot of Faith in Those Vermin.

The past couple days, the word “Fall” has crossed my mind. I’m not sure why, it’s been warm, the ice cream truck’s been around, children are not in school like I prefer them to be. Maybe it’s because my lavender decided it was time to shed all its flowers and look very hibernate-y, despite the fact that the temperatures were still in the nineties and I was watering it daily. Maybe it’s because I deigned to go to the mall last weekend and there was plaid and orange and fall-type clothes everywhere. Or maybe it’s because my taste buds ready to move on from mulberry and get to pumpkin pie, already. Whatever it is, I’ve been dismissing the word thinking, “Well, it’s still summer.”

Then, last night, I went out for happy hour. As I am apt to do. And as I left, the wind went straight up my skirt in a very inappropriate way and I shivered for the first time in months (over-air-conditioned hotels and boutiques not included) and was like, “I think it’s fall.”

And then this morning it was cold and dark and dreary and the high today is supposed to be 58. And it’s raining. It’s also cozy, but it makes me nervous. I am not ready for months of this. A day? Oh yes. It makes napping so that much more delicious. Maybe even two days. But I am so not ready to give up my sunshine, my morning runs, my no-jacket-needed ice cream trips, my pretty flowers outside. I HAVE ONLY MADE IT TO THE POOL ONCE!


Please tell me it’s unnaturally warm and likely to stay light out for many more months where you are. I would really be reassured.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

The Perks

I just took a nap. It is the single-most awesome perk of working from home. That, and getting to watch Tatum’s eyes get crazy for No Good Reason all day long (when he’s not napping with me.) Napping compensates for the late nights and weekdays spent staring at spreadsheets. It doesn’t quite compensate for Tatum’s random and violent attacks of my feet under the covers at 3:00 AM, but that would happen anyway, so at least napping helps.

Working from home has other advantages, too. Like: complete silence. I know many people like a little background noise when they work, music or something. And sometimes I play my iPod when I have a really tedious task I’m working on. But for the most part, I am able to stay the most focused if everything is totally quiet. You don’t get that working in a cube farm. Another bonus is being able to exercise. I get up, do some work, and then often go for a jog or even go to yoga if there’s time, around 10:00. Some days I’m too busy and can’t make it. But most days I do. It’s a good excuse to get out of the house, which I desperately need. I start to go stir crazy, sitting in one little room all day. On the other hand, I have yet to see any health benefits. I see no new muscle or loss of flab after a summer of running out of sheer boredom. I’m expecting it’s all just building up and I’m suddenly going to be skinny and toned for my sister-in-law’s wedding this fall. Right?



Happily, I’m off to Boston soon for a business trip, so that should take care of the little travel bug that’s crept back into my brain. This is sad for Sugar, who’s developed a bad case of clinginess. (More so than usual.) I have a little white shadow all day. If I bend over to pick something up, or check something on the computer, she jumps immediately onto my shoulders. It’d be cuter if it didn’t draw so much blood. We need to work on her aim. She kind of just goes for “up” and figures out the details as her paws make contact with anything, be it collarbone or lace sleeve. (Because I am Beethoven? Who wears lace sleeves? I was making a point.) As soon as I sit down, she’s on my lap. And oh! But it is tragic, tragic I tell you, if I should ever need to stand up again. There is much sadness and angst.

Fortunately for her, I haven’t bothered completely unpacking from Miami, so the suitcase is still lying on the floor, and I’m hoping she won’t notice when I start to fill it up again.

Then it’s The Funasaurus who gets to lug her around on his shoulders for the week that I am gone. Lucky you, baby. I’ll try to remember to trim her claws. Because we all know what a fun job that is.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Finding a Happy Balance

Oh! Good things are happening!

Prior grievances are being fixed by the universe! Thanks, universe!

I believe I have figured this one out. I convoluted the letters a little, but I think it comes from the Sergio Mendes song that I downloaded for free from the card I got at Starby’s. It’s kind of catchy.

And remember this? The book has reappeared. It was unearthed under a bunch of crap that had been frantically cleaned the morning after I got home from Miami, upon sudden realization that PEOPLE would be appearing at our doorstep momentarily. So I am happy, happy, happy to have my book back, especially since I am leaving for another business trip this Sunday and need further reading material.

So good things are happening, despite the fact that my most recent book group was shanghaied by a Mary Kay rep who neither read the book nor belongs to our group but was invited by the host… and while o.k., I like makeup, I felt like it was a bit of an underhanded thing to do, to take advantage of a captive audience like that.

I realize I’m a book snob. I’m o.k. with it. Everyone else seemed to enjoy learning about facial cleansers instead of discussing Tom Sawyer’s summer break escapades, so I am trying to get over it already.

I have also started eating grits again, as a shout-out to my southern heritage. And also as a conscious decision to avoid over-processed cereal as I am turning into a fanatical hippie. I feel the two paths may diverge at some point, but for right now I’m walking the deep South meets tree-hugging/chai-swilling balance beam. Unlike the American girls at the Olympics last night. That was painful to watch. But I love the Olympics, anyway. Something about that Dum Dum, Da Dum Dum Dum Dum music makes me tingly.

Monday, August 11, 2008

What Could Be More Natural Than a Twinkie?

This weekend I was reading my Glamour magazine (my consummate source of all things science research-y) and there was an article about the increasing rate of autoimmune diseases (such as MS, crohn’s disease, Type 1 diabetes, celiac disease, etc) in the U.S., particularly in women. It said that scientists are looking into the correlation of processed food in our diets to the increased risk for these types of things. They are saying our bodies just can’t keep up with technology, and that our immune systems are working overtime, breaking down all of those pesticides and preservatives that come in/on so much of our food. On their Very Bad list? : preserved bread products and cereals.

Motherfucker, that is my WHOLE DIET. I subsist off of bread and cereal. And also cheese. Which, you know, is a food that is a result of preservatives. I’m thinking I may as well just start taking Red Dye #26, or whatever it is, intravenously. Save the effort of chewing.

Their argument kind of makes sense… but that’s a lot to digest (hee? Funny? No?) for a girl who literally ate nothing but: cereal, Fritos, and pie yesterday. Homemade mulberry pie. It was AWESOME. Also: made with real lard.

So today I’m going to yoga and then maybe to the grocery store to buy some quinoa. Which will obviously not really make a dent at all in the nearly-thirty-some years I’ve had of regular Frito and cereal consumption. But I’m getting kind of sick of rice so it seems like a nice change that Glamour would approve of. I've always wanted Glamour's approval, despite my propensity for socks that so very obviously do not coordinate with the rest of my outfit.

Now that I’m thinking about it, we’re also out of ice cream sandwiches. Maybe I will pick some of those up, too, while I'm at the store. You know, you don’t want to shock the system TOO much.

Friday, August 08, 2008

A Little Whine for a Friday Afternoon

So I’m kind of frustrated today, because I’ve realized that I have, indeed, completely lost my copy of The Shipping News. The last time I know I had it for sure was on the plane coming back from Miami. That is not a good sign. I’m pissed not only because a) it was good, and I was really into it and I really want to keep reading before I forget all the important plot points and b) it’s frickin’ expensive to buy books, especially when you’ve already BOUGHT said book but also c) this is the second book that’s disappeared recently. Earlier this summer I was reading Mating, by Norman Rush, and it was pretty good. But I took it on a weekend get-away and haven’t seen it since. I don’t know what my problem is. Normally I keep track of things like that, especially if I’m in the middle of reading them! And now I am stuck deciding whether to respend money or go to the library (that's not so close) and see if they have a copy or a list I can get on.

Also, I went to BD’s Mongolian BBQ for lunch today and it was a clusterfuck. I’ve never had to wait in line so long for someone to cook my pile of raw meat and noodles. I intend not to go back anytime soon. And the noise level was deafening. My friend, who’s in town visiting, and I decided to not attempt further conversation and agreed to just catch up tomorrow at another friend’s wedding. That’s how loud it was. And you can ask anyone who knows me, my voice can be SHRILL when I want it to be, and that still wasn’t sufficient.

So I’m annoyed.

Which is a rough way to start the weekend. Happily, there’s a rehearsal dinner at a fancy-schmancy country club tonight, so I’m keeping my fingers crossed for a little fois gras to soothe my nerves. A girl can hope, right?

Thursday, August 07, 2008

It IS Easy Being Green!

If I asked you, “What is the best possible thing that could have ever happened to me?” and you answered, “The Funasaurus,” you would be right. But if you had answered, “Receiving an awesome, awesome bag with KERMIT on it that reads, ‘Green and Loving It’ on a random Monday,” it would have been a close second.

Behold, the second-most awesomest thing to have happened to me EVER.


I could die of happiness.

(Although I don’t want to, seeing as how I would hate to bury such awesomeness with me in the ground [for naturally I should take it to the grave] instead of strutting all over greater Denver showing it off.)

Meanwhile, we had a tornado warning last night. We weren’t sure whether to take it seriously until the tornado sirens went off. I didn’t even know we had tornado sirens! So we packed up the cats, the wedding album, and my new awesome bag, and headed over to my sister-in-law’s house, since our house is made of sticks. And particle board. And while sister-in-law’s house is also made of sticks and particle board, she has a cement basement, so we hung out down there, torturing the cats and looking through wedding pictures. Then we left 15 minutes later when the TV said it was probably just thunderstorms. Also, we ran out of chips.

And that’s all the excitement we’ve had. And if you’re not watching So You Think You Can Dance, you really should be.

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Back in the Goofing-Off Grind

Can one be homesick for Miami if one has only spent a week there at a work conference? If one can be, then I am that one. Of course, Miami did not have a cuddly Funasaurus or a Tatum to chew in my ankles, so you know, it’s not so bad being home. But it’s frickin’ hot in Colorado. For goodness sakes, it was cooler in MIAMI. Twenty degrees cooler. I kid you not.

I would like to do a shout-out to American Airlines, because I had no idea that there were any functional airlines left in the world. But I flew out on a Friday morning and returned home on a Friday evening, and both times, the flight was nice and calm with minimal turbulence, we pulled back from the gate early, and landed early. I am going to try and fly American from here on out, despite the fact that I have a crapload of frequent flyer miles with someone else because holy cow, a flight that’s on time. I had no idea such a wonderful thing still existed.

/random big company endorsement

I have spent the weekend catching up on sleep and laundry. And getting sunburned. Somehow I managed to avoid sunburn for a week on the beach in Florida, but give me one afternoon picnic in Denver and I am toast.

I also saw Momma Mia. The music is fun. The scenery made me want to go to Greece desperately. Meryl Streep continues to do nothing wrong, in my mind. Pierce Brosnan made an ass of himself, and I have no desire to see him act ever again. Oh my lord, but he was awful and took himself Very Seriously for being an Abba-singing babby daddy. The movie was pretty cheesy overall, but fun enough if you are in the mood for uplifting songs and delicious views of utopian Mediterranean isles.

I still think I shall be disappointed by any movie that isn’t Wall*E, so feel free to take what I say with a grain of salt.