Indecisive Me

•September 16, 2012 • 2 Comments

There are certain times in my life when there is a decision in front of me and I know what I’m supposed to do. When I got my acceptance letter to UT I knew that was where I was going. There was no pro/con list debating between Texas A&M, Michigan State and UT. It came and that was it. When I got my car I was debating between a few different models, but as soon as I sat in Betsy I knew, that was the car for me. And even when I made the decision to move to Denver, there wasn’t a lot of thought that went in to it. One day I just said to myself “I’m going to move to Denver.” Then I said it out loud and to other people and that was it.

Other times in my life I over analyze situations to the point that they fall apart in front of me. You can argue that’s why none of my relationships last more than four months (except my current one, which by my count hits the six month mark this week). It’s because I get in my head and start questioning myself and my decision. Sure this is great right now, but what if Jake Ryan shows up at my sister’s wedding? How can I run off with him when I’m with someone? Up until recently that has always been what’s held me back, the idea that something better might be out there. (Case in point, I bought a dress for a wedding last weekend, and bought another dress for the same wedding this weekend. Which one to wear?)

Recently I’ve been very stressed out. My apartment lease ends in October and I’ve been looking for a place for ages. I guess you can say I’ve been looking for a place since I started my new job in January, knowing that the in-the-car lifestyle I was leading was going to have to end sometime. I’ve been looking, mostly surfing websites and Craigslist trying to see what’s out there, narrowing down the areas I wanted to live in, figuring out my budget and what I could afford. Well now it’s crunch time, my lease is up in a month and between now and then I have 2 out-of-town weekends that cut down on 1) Looking for a place and 2) Moving once I’ve found it.

The places I’ve been to see are either very old, too small, too expensive, or have none of the amenities I’m looking for. And knowing that I like to have a plan, and an idea of what’s happening in my life, this hasn’t done anything more than stress me out. To the point that I literally broke down on Tuesday evening convinced that I wasn’t going to find anything and would be homeless in a month. Thankfully I have great friends that talked me down off that ledge and offered to help out.

And after several apartments, lots of unanswered phone calls with inquiries, and a lot of debate, I finally found a place. I won’t go in to it much in this post, I’ll wait until I move so I can post pictures for that. I do have to say thanks to my friends for putting up with my indecision making. Even after I picked the place I wanted I still questioned it this morning. Thankfully they talked me down. The clincher, “When you walked in to that apartment you walked in to your apartment. You could see it on your face.” That’s what I needed to hear.

And in a quick update re a Facebook post from earlier this week. My night that I need more of in my life…I have great friends. It was one of those evenings where you can’t explain how or why it was so good, and you can’t even remember what you talked about. All I know was that there was a lot of truths spoken, a lot of harsh truths, and at some point in the evening I was crying in a bar. And for those of you who know me, you know I’m not the person who regularly breaks down in public. Which means that I trust these guys wholeheartedly, even with my insecurities and secrets, and there is no price you can put on that. It just shows me how different my life is now compared to two years ago. And I wouldn’t trade it for the world.

My Second 14er: Mt. Bierstadt

•August 27, 2012 • 1 Comment

Two summers ago I climbed my first 14er and attempted to make it up a second. Now, two years later I can finally cross #2 off my list. I made it to the tippy-tippy top of Mt. Bierstadt yesterday, all 14,060 ft.

Dad’s been in town this weekend and he, as always, wanted to climb a 14er. He brought his friend Jeff (who’s climbed Kilimanjaro) and Bart (who’s never done a 14er before) and invited me up for a bit of outdoor activity. We started the weekend in Winter Park with a hike on the Devil’s Thumb trail, didn’t make it to the top, but it was a trek as is. After finishing I was really beginning to question my decision to stay and climb the next day.

Brandon came with the first day.

The climb morning started early, alarm going off at 515a (on a weekend) so we could make it to the trail head by 730a. The first part of Beirstadt is downhill, which is really mean when you think about it, and through some marshes over bridges built by boy scouts (I’m guessing). A quick hopscotch across a river (the boy scouts slacked on that part) and you start the uphill climb. I must say the path itself is really well-marked and very well taken care of, there is no way you could get lost going up this mountain. And while you are climbing the pitch isn’t too horrible…until you get to the last 1000 ft, then you’re climbing up and over rocks. The last 500 ft of the climb is a complete scramble over some nice rocks and boulders to the peak. Kinda reminded me of being a kid again.

At 1100a Dad and I finally made the summit (the others had beat us by about 20 minutes) which was absolutely gorgeous, if a little hard to maneuver around. Unlike Gray’s where it’s flat on top, Bierstadt is all rocks, and packed with people.

Dad and Bart at the top.

View from the top.

Hi Mom!

The trek down was longer than I hoped it would be, you always forget that once you make it up, you still have to make it down. And it didn’t help that my ankle was killing me the whole way. (Thanks Dad for buying me a new brace!) I was very cautious because I kept feeling like I was going to roll the ankle, and that wouldn’t have been fun. I would have been like the German Shepherd they had to rescue last week. Finally made it back to the parking lot at 230p, so 7 hour hike…not too horrible, considering how out of shape I probably am. Need to fix that before ski season.

All in all, I’m happy that I said yes to the climb, it’s such a rewarding experience to look back at the trail and think “yeah, I did that.” Even though I was stiff as a board all last night and am still a bit sore this morning. I have to say, I think Beirstadt was an easier climb then Gray’s. Also, I have to sadly admit that this was the first trek I made west of Red Rocks all summer. Why do I live in Colorado if I don’t take advantage of it? Hopefully I’ll get up more next summer. 2 down, 51 more to go!

The group at the bottom.

50 Things Adults Do

•August 19, 2012 • 2 Comments

A while ago there was an article on Thought Catalog titled “50 Things Real Adults Do That I Don’t Do.” So I wanted to know how many of those things I actually do and how many adult things I don’t. Let’s look at the list. (Things I do are crossed off)

  1. Make their bed
  2. Own a pet or a child
  3. Have a stress-free conversation with the mechanic
  4. Have more than one set of sheets
  5. Savings Account
  6. Wear jewelry
  7. Decorate their homes for holidays Christmas at least
  8. Remember birthdays most of the time (sorry about this last year Mom!)
  9. Know what they are going to eat for a meal more than 5 minutes out
  10. Pack lunches
  11. Stay in hotels on vacation instead of your friend’s cool floor
  12. Watch TV news
  13. Networking
  14. Have a landline
  15. Care about their friend’s babies
  16. Drive to bars
  17. Live in the suburbs
  18. Avoid taking public transportation
  19. Get enough sleep
  20. Go to church > ~1x/year
  21. Get their cars detailed
  22. Mow a lawn
  23. Use coupons
  24. Bake things for people at work
  25. Make conversation with adult strangers
  26. Haven’t convinced their 11-year-old cousin they personally know Justin Bieber
  27. Shower before work + blow dry hair
  28. Natural look make-up
  29. Paint their nails with neutral colors
  30. Wear sandals that aren’t metallic flip-flops
  31. Matching place settings
  32. Own “place settings”
  33. Ask their dads for a favor without using a baby voice
  34. Wash clothes after each wear
  35. Use wash clothes
  36. Use shapewear
  37. Invest
  38. Refer to things as “investments”
  39. Feel ambivalent about getting something for free
  40. Subscribe to magazines they read regularly instead of buying them each month at the newsstand price
  41. Return library books
  42. Scrapbook
  43. Feel a genuine curiosity about the different types of wine
  44. Correct grammar
  45. Send faxes
  46. Keep important documents in a file cabinet/not throw them away in a feng shui attack
  47. Grow plants recreationally
  48. Vote for Republicans
  49. Watch network television shows
  50. Dream about retirement

Weekend in Tampa

•July 22, 2012 • Leave a Comment

Last weekend I took my first true vacation in nine months. Between not having vacation the first year at PSIA and then having to earn vacation at DISH I feel like I’ve just been working, working, working for a long time. So when Alex said she was going to Tampa for the summer I decided to join her for a weekend, then Mom decided to come to and it became a Hamley Girls’ Weekend.

Hamley Girls’ Weekend started with the immediate reminder that humidity exists in this world, and living in Colorado makes you forget that fact. Alex and Mom picked me up from the airport and drove the 5 minutes back to Alex’s apartment (yes, she’s that close to the airport).

Saturday started pretty lazy with a few hours sunning by the pool. It was a good time to catch up with Mom and Alex about what had been going on at work/in life. Alex had gotten horribly burned after a few hours the day before so she stayed in the shade, while I tried to brown up my ginger skin by laying out as much as possible.

After some pool time we cleaned up and headed to St. Petersburg. We grabbed a quick bite before heading to Tropicana Stadium (#8 for me, #10 for Alex) for the Tampa Bay Rays v. Boston Red Sox game. I’ll skip over the part with Mom in the medic station and go straight to the game. I was wearing my Sox cap and Alex had bought a Rays shirt for the occasion (I believe it will become a car wash rag when the Astros move to the AL). The game was really good, went back and forth for a while, before the Rays finally beat the Red Sox. All in all it was a lot of fun. And Tropicana stadium light’s its roof orange after every win (kinda like the UT Tower).

Sunday Alex’s boss Lisa invited us to her house for some beach/boat time. Lisa was very excited to have us over, she had a full food spread for the three of us. Mom, Alex and I headed to the beach for some sand and water. Luckily for me my mom and sister beach like I beach, under an umbrella with a book and maybe wading in up to my knees. I was confused that there weren’t more waves on the beach, Galveston is full of waves, but the Clearwater beach was very calm. After our beach time we went back to Lisa’s house, got on the boat, and trolled around the bay for a while. It really made me miss summers in Texas as I desperately wanted to be behind the boat on a wakeboard or kneeboard. The night ended with a great seafood dinner. Fresh seafood, next to steak, it’s probably my favorite meal and you get so spoiled by the water, you don’t realize the quality until you move away.

The last day of the vacation was also the laziest (hard to believe). Since I was a horrible daughter and forgot Mom’s birthday I promised to take her to get a pedicure. Alex had a line on a good place (recommended by Lisa) and when we walked in there was a sign welcoming us (!). Halfway through the hot stone calf massage pedicure the smoothie place next door sent us all smoothies (courtesy of Lisa). Also, the only day it rained happened to be Monday, so perfect planning on our part. We finished the day with a nice dinner on the porch of Bahama Breeze (more seafood!) before making our way to the airport.

The flight home wasn’t that great, we were delayed and it was pouring in Denver when I landed, but it was a great vacation minus that point. My first vacation in almost a year, where no one from work called me, and I could completely turn off my brain and just relax. I need another one of those I think, especially since I have some vacation days to burn before December. So the next thing on my to do list is to plan that vacation.

Westword Music Showcase 2012

•June 24, 2012 • 2 Comments

A few years ago I went to the Westword Music Showcase and have been hoping to go back. Last year I didn’t have anyone to go with, and while I’m not averse to going to concerts on my own (single date!) I didn’t want to spend 10 hours by myself. This year I was hoping to go but when the group first bought tickets weekend dad was planning on going, so I wasn’t invited. Lucky me, Wilco happened to be playing the same night so weekend dad sold his ticket leaving me free to buy one. We had VIP tickets too which means shade (when you can find it) seating, on the rail for the main stage, drink tickets and a meal. All in all a great deal.

My day started with My Body Sings Electric at 1230. By the time Brandon and Preston showed up Churchill had played and Baywood was taking the stage. These are all local acts that have one or two songs on 93.3 and I was very much looking forward to seeing them. Luckily they lived up to my expectations, though we were in agreement that Baywood could have used a drummer (2 guys on guitar needed a little more umph for this show).

After that Black Joe Lewis and the Honeybears took the stage. Very cool band with a trumpet and two saxes (I’m always a sucker for a horn section) and a great beat. Part of me wanted to jitterbug to the music, but then I realized that would be silly at a music fest. Still, I want to find them playing at another dance-friendly venue and jitterbug there. After Black Joe was a Beastie Boys tribute we decided to skip so Kory lead us to Bar Standard where The Knew were playing. Again, another fun band, but the point of going inside was to get some A/C (it had been 100* all day and I was the only one who wasn’t complaining) and there was none. Plus no breeze made it almost worse than outside. But they played a great set and got us out of the sun for a while.

We made it back to the main stage area for Battles and dinner. Battles however was a bit disappointing (all their songs had no vocals so they sounded like an extended intro sequence), so much so that we found a cornhole board and decided to play bags instead. Brandon and I teamed up and while I don’t think we won any of the games, I was happy to know I wasn’t dragging the team down with my bad throws. Actually there were a few turns when I got 2 out of 3 bags in the hole, so yay.

Next up on the main stage was Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, a white rapper from Seattle who raps about things like thrift store shopping and setting a good example for kids. Plus he had a great team (including a trumpet player, again sucker) supporting him. Pretty fun show and a great opener for the main act of the night, Girl Talk. I think technically Greg Gillis doesn’t like to be called a DJ, but that’s essentially what he is. It was, without a doubt the best dance party I’ve been to. We were on the front rail the whole time just dancing, jumping, screaming…His dancers on stage had TP blowers that were covering us with toilet paper (just think if we’d had that in high school) and there were confetti cannons, balloons, beach balls. Then being on the front row we also had the camera in our face half the time. I didn’t see myself on the big screen but I heard that I was up there a few times. Once again, I’d love to go to a good dance party like that just because they’re so much fun.

All in all I had an absolute blast. It was a long day, super tiring, and my feet were killing me by the end of the day. I was really happy to get in bed when it was over, but I’m already looking forward to next year. A little disappointed I didn’t get to see some of the local acts I wanted to, but it was better to stay with the group then venture out on my own. Besides the local acts are local, so I can probably catch them another time. Now you’ll have to excuse me as I’m still trying to dig the confetti out of my purse.

My First Comic Con

•June 17, 2012 • 1 Comment

So Jason and I have been talking about going to San Diego for Comic Con for a while. Obviously this isn’t happening this year because the Con is sold out, but we were very excited to hear that Denver was hosting it’s very own Comic Con, so score! I just bought the Saturday pass, not because I didn’t believe in Denver Comic Con, but because I was very nervous that I was going to be a little disappointed. Let me assure you, I wasn’t.

Now Jason had been the day before to get the lay of the land and he had several panels picked out for us to sit in on. We started the day lapping the showroom floor. There were lots of comic book artists, graphic novelists, comic book stores, toy (collectible) stores, costume stores, etc. There was a lot of cool art and some really fun artists. My favorite was Katie Cook who does these cute little drawings of sci-fi characters. Jason had her draw a xenomorph and I had her draw Red Fraggle. So cute! (and new office decoration.) There was also an artist (who I don’t know his name) who drew graphic novel covers re-imagined with famous comic/sci-fi characters. I didn’t get one but Jason got two, and they pretty much rock.

We started our panels with Ethan Nicolle, the creator of Axe Cop. I’d never heard of this web comic before but was laughing the entire time. The artist is 31 and collaborates with his 8-year-old half-brother to come up with stories for a cop who fights crime with an axe. Just imagine if all of your play times as a child were made into a graphic novel, that’s what this is. I liked him so much I was even convinced to buy one of his books (I think this could be my first graphic novel, minus Calvin & Hobbes) which he signed.

We next went to a panel of Cartoon Voices including Billy West (Fry from Futurama), Tom Kane (Lord Monkey Fist from Kim Possible), and Khary Payton (from Teen Titans). It was really interesting to hear Billy and Tom talk about their time in the industry, from the days old my childhood, from Doug to Ren and Stimpy to The Angry Beavers to Johnny Bravo. And it’s interesting to hear their take on the animation industry now that famous actors are using their own voices instead of voice actors using all their voices. Like you’re not going to see Madagascar 3 because it’s funny, you’re going to hear Chris Rock and Ben Stiller. Just things that we as the public don’t think about but that voice actors depend on.

We met up with Jason’s friends Diana and Robin for a panel titled “I am Geek, Hear me Roar” that was supposed to be about women geeks. I’ll just say that it wasn’t at all what I was expecting from the panel and I was a little disappointed. They spent the majority of their time focusing on if the title “geek girl” or “team unicorn” were derogatory to women geeks. Honestly I’d never heard the terms before this panel so it was interesting that this was our topic of debate. I think I had a better conversation with Diana and Robin afterwards then I did in the panel.

Jason next took me to a panel with Colin Ferguson, the star of the SyFy series Eureka. Again, I had no knowledge of the subject before entering the room, but it was as entertaining (if not more) than the Axe Cop panel that morning. Colin Ferguson is very charismatic and interacts with the audience so easily. He’s a bit sarcastic, very funny, and very nice. He even gave a girl a hug when she asked. I knowEureka is ending, but I kinda want to go back and watch the previous 5 seasons, just to see more of Colin.

The last panel we wanted to go to was “Star Wars v. Star Trek” which I thought would be an interesting debate between the two but ended up being rather disappointing. So disappointing that we left after 10 minutes. Oh well, we gave it a shot.

We ended the day with the Costume Contest, where all the Cosplay people who thought they should get up on stage did and paraded around in costumes. Some were amazing and original, others were rather bland with little thought behind them, and some were so obscure and their “acts” so boring I almost fell asleep. Okay that could have been because I was also exhausted after 10 hours of Con, but even so…

One major think I took away from the day…how much I’ve come in to my own as a geek in the last 7 years, and how much I’m still so removed from a lot of geek culture. While in high school I think I’d have to be considered more of a nerd than a geek. I was one of the “smart kids” in band, JVTV (aka AV club), theater and dance. Yes I liked Star Wars and (not so) obscure 80s movies, but I didn’t really let myself geek out over them like I do now. I was more of a mainstream geek. And when I got in to college (with the help of TSTV, Vulcan Video, and Alamo Drafthouse) I was able to really break out of that shell and let my geek flag fly. Now I will never classify myself as a hardcore geek, mostly because I know hardcore geeks and I think it would do them a disservice to classify myself in the same realm. But I like that I’m a geek, that I can spaz out over movies and it is part of who I am, that I know weird obscure things that not everyone knows. It’s kinda fun. Just think of where I’d be if I’d been this comfortable with myself in high school.

So Denver Comic Con, definitely worth the money and now I’m really looking forward to my next one. Where will it be, San Diego? New York? Who knows. All I know is that it will be fun. (And yes Alex, I will continue to brag about it.)

My Girlfriend Qualities

•June 13, 2012 • Leave a Comment

“Listen to me. We’re always sitting here. I’m always helping you with your girl problems, you’re always helping me with my girl problems. Where do we end up?”
“Here.”
“Exactly. Because neither one of us can handle a woman all by ourselves.”
“I’m trying.”
“I’ve tried. We don’t have it. But maybe the two of us, working together, at full capacity, can do the job of one normal man.”
“Then each of us would only have to be a half-man. That sounds about right.”
– Jerry & George, in “The Summer of George”

A few weeks ago the guys and I had a similar conversation resulting in a MASH like game where we broke down their dating traits to create the “perfect boyfriend.” Not to be unfair we (okay, mostly they) ranked the girls on the same categories. The categories we were ranked in were: Staying in, Job, On the town, On vacation, Meeting the parents, Planning/getting married, Raising kids, Taking to your high school reunion, Emotional support, Sports events, Speaking at your funeral. The rules of the game stated that every girl be used three times. The three categories I ranked top in were Job, On the town, and Wedding.

From the list I have to agree with my top three. First off there’s the wedding, which is gonna be awesome. I’m not the girl who’s been planning my “dream wedding” since I was little. In fact I think “wedding” was the game we played the least in my house (Though we did play house a lot. I think we played school most, followed by “Little House on the Prairie”). However I do have a few specifics that I’d like, for instance I know what my father/daughter dance will be, and I know I don’t want a picture slideshow of my life. Other than that I’m sure it will all come together as I start planning. And mom has her ideas ready (she probably has a binder, or a Pintrest account) so there’s that. Plus we’re in a pseudo-competition with my parents friend’s as to who can have the most elaborate wedding. I feel like every wedding in that group shows up the last one by just a little. And by the time I get married we’ll probably be one of the last, therefore most elaborate… I guess we’ll see.

Out on the Town is the one I was most excited about being ranked in. I got this because of my willingness to say “yes” anytime someone suggests an activity. This means that I’m constantly doing something, and while I might not be the go-to for “what’s happening in Denver,” I’m getting better at learning. I know where to check for special beer tappings, weird conventions, sports games, and limited run film screenings. And since I keep getting invited I can’t be bad company, so that’s a plus.

And finally the category I’m most proud of, my Job. Because who doesn’t like bragging “my girlfriend is a television producer?” Working for a major company, with growth potential, in a field I enjoy, I really couldn’t have asked for a better position.

Oh yeah, I’m officially in a relationship now. So I guess the girlfriend qualities are actually doing me some good.