Friday, April 30, 2010

F-Word Friday: Fresh

Well we nearly managed it again!

Team Bastard came in 2nd last night (pulling up from 5th) so go us (and we still beat Team Super Mecha Whateverthehell)! We only lost by a point, and that was only because some weirdo in Team Can't Type It Here, This Is A Family Blog knew all the kids in the Family Circus comic.

I forgive him though, merely for the fact of his awesome victory pose.

Like this but with more clothes

Since we had the spoils of several prior victories burning holes in our collective pocket, the team splurged on a few beers, some hummus, and a big spinach and garlic pizza, which was SOOOO good. D-Note makes their own crust I believe, but at the very least it's not a pre-formed sort of thing. Their pizzas are very rustic, and this one was piled with - oh Dandy, you'd just love it - whole cloves of roasted garlic!


This weekend is full of stuff to do, which is alternately nice and exasperating. Nice because I don't feel like I've wasted days of time, but exasperating because OMG WE HAVE SO MUCH.

Tomorrow morning is the first day of the farmers market season in town, so we'll be getting up to get some fresh veg. I don't know what's in season, but whatever it is I'm getting some! I've really developed a taste for fresh and not shipped-from-elsewhere food.

After that it's off to the grocery store for supplies to make chocolate covered strawberries or fruit tarts (or maybe both, we'll see what's on sale) for a gathering we're attending later - maypole dancing might be involved... unless it's raining, because I'm a big baby.

Then later in the evening, we'll be off to Melissa's for her Fabulous Bacon Party!

My friend Melissa is writing a book all about bacon, and part of it is sampling some of the many, many varieties to be had in the world. She got a whole bunch of samples and we'll be fryin' em' up and chowin' down.

That was a lot of unnecessary apostrophes. I apologize.

Anyway, it should be lots of fun - I'm even going to bring wine. What wine goes with bacon? Hm.

I predict in the end, my favorite will still be your regular old, run-of-the-mill bacon. The skinny, crispy stuff. What can I say? I'm boring.

Sunday should be a lot more relaxed. We'll sleep in I think, then Rollerpunks practice and dinner afterward in some capacity or other. The Kid has a science fair project that needs finishing, but all that needs doing is to print some stuff up. Lacking a printer, this means a trip to grampas (he's so nice). Assuming we remember her flash drive, we'll probably do this on the way home Sunday.

And of course, I have to get started on a birthday present for my mom; well, WE have to get started. The Kid & I are doing it together! It's a cool one I think. Maybe lame. It doesn't involve yarn of any kind, at any rate, which means there's a fair chance it will actually be done in time for her birthday!

By the way, you'll be happy to know she's already got herself a sweet new gig at an animal hospital, and is already running the place. She's like that.

Happy Friday!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Thrilling Thursday: Pay It Forward

I really like my dentist office.

No really!

I still don't particularly like going to the dentist, mostly because I fear pain like any normal human, but if I have to go...

I started taking The Kid there when we first moved out here, since that's where her grampa goes and he liked them. They won me over by being friendly and not at all mill-ish despite having several locations, and they always remember us despite only going in twice a year. It says a lot about the employers when a medical/dental office keeps the same staff for years and years.

I chose to go with a different dentist at the time, just because their hours worked better with my then work schedule, but in the end I found that every time I went there was different staff, and never a smile or feeling of "we are here to care for you" - which really, isn't that why we go to doctors and dentists? That kind of "we don't care if you come in or not" makes it hard to trust their expertise, so a year ago I switched over to The Kid's place, and happily so! They're very comprehensive and do things like testing your taste-buds to see if your diet needs attention, a litmus test to see how acidic your saliva is, and a blood pressure check before anything to see if you're nervous, and if you are, a little Rescue Remedy to help calm your nerves.

They also set out organic truffles and cheese, keep Vitamin Water stocked and cold, offer a treasure chest for the littler kids to grab something fun after thier visit, and have *awesome* posters for old spaghetti westerns on the walls. I appreciate the little things.

This brings us around to yesterday, when I went in to have my bi-annual cleaning and "why aren't you flossing more" chat.

I have a few fillings that have been needed for awhile, but haven't been able to afford to get them done - it's hard to shove a few hundred dollars into the budget all at once, and though I had tax refund money awhile back, it was fix the car or fix my molars. The car won.

After a cleaning, the dentist that's in the office that day always comes in to see what needs doing and to chat awhile. Yesterday it was Dr. Perry, who proved himself to be not only a pleasant dentist but also a model human.

I had been discussing my lack of ability to do a payment plan with the hygienist (they require up-front payment, and rightly so, I don't blame them at all), just figuring I'd do it when I could. When Dr. Perry came in, she asked him what he thought about putting one together anyway.

"Well," he said, "why don't we just make it easy. Don't worry about paying, just come in and get it done. You do something nice for 3 people at some point in the future."

I didn't quite know what to say other than "Seriously?!", to which he replied...

"Yes. In these economic times, we all have to pull together, or we're all going to sink."

It sounds hokey, what was truly thrilling wasn't the free dental work, but the optimism, and the faith in humanity. I've always believed that people are generally good (it's just that the bad ones make better news stories), but it's lovely and inspiriing to see it in action.

I'm getting my teeth fixed, but more than that I suddenly find myself looking around a little more.

I know that I will keep that promise to "pay it forward". I don't know how, but I know it will happen.

And you know, it's the least I can do...

If you need a dentist, and live in the Longmont area, give them a try! And actually their practice is in 8 locations in northern Colorado, so even if you're not in Longmont, their methods extend to all their locations, so if you're looking for a dentist you can find their practice in Denver (3 locations), Arvada, Aurora, Greeley and Boulder.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Wednesday's Child: Washington/New York Trip Photos!

Maybe a new theme?

Wednesday's Child could be the day I tell you something delightful about The Kid. But then every day is that day, so basically a) I wanted to share trip pictures and b) "WTF Wednesday" didn't quite fit.

So! Trip photos!

As requested by The Kid, I did not delete even one of her pictures. This means there are about 600 or so, but there are some really awesome ones I thought I'd share!

Do yourself a favor and click the pictures to see them full size!

This is a nice shot from the plane:

Very clear, considering it's through a thick piece of plexiglass!

They went to the Jefferson Memorial first.

Really cool building. She took some neat perspective shots, but this one is my favorite:

This is a nice combo shot with the Washington Monument in the background:

The Kid on the steps of the monument...looking like she will when she's 18. SCARY.

Later in the evening...

The next day they went to the National Cathedral. She learned all about gargoyles at the cathedral for a report she did before the trip, so she was thrilled to get to see them in person.

It's hard to get good stained glass shots, but she managed!

And they got to go up into the Washington Monument! Awesome.

They went to the Capitol Building as well, and she took a nice shot of the inside of the dome.

Finally they went to Arlington, and she got a good closeup of a cherry blossom. At least I think that's what this is!

She didn't take many pictures in New York, since she was fearful of losing her camera, but she did take a really nice photo in Central Park! Very New Yorky.

Unfortunately they couldn't take photos everywhere, like the White House and such, but she did take those nice camera-phone photos of 30 Rock and the Statue of Liberty I showed you, so that's something!

All in all I think she had a great time; I know she'd like to see both places again and have more time. Next time I'll go with her!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Totally Random Tuesday: Flagstaff Film Festival

Okay first, let me just say that Tome Tuesday isn't dead, it's just sleeping. I'm working on a couple of good'ns right now and will post reviews soon!


So my mom knows lots of cool people.

She's met them here and there in her life, and while some were fleeting hi-how-are-ya kind of moments, some folks stuck. (For example... Bob Schneider's massage therapist. No kidding!)

One of the other cool people she's met and befriended is Meg.

Meg is running the first ever Flagstaff Film Festival, which promises to be an exciting mix of independent films all lovingly submitted and ready to run come this August!

I know what you're thinking... August? In ARIZONA?!

According to the FFF2010 website...

"Located smack-dab in the middle of the Coconino National Forest at nearly 7,000 feet in elevation, Flagstaff is one of the highest cities in the U.S. And that means that Flagstaff's summer temperatures are wonderfully moderate with daytime temperatures in the 70s and 80s."

So there ya go!

She's got a neat website set up for the festival itself, but also a blog, the fantastically named Festacular Blogmatic (and a Twitter site if you're up on how to work those things, which I'm not), which details various steps along the path towards the realization of what I can only imagine is a years-long dream of hers.

It's exciting to see someone take so much initiative... I'm super lazy, so I tend to be fairly astounded by those who can get so much done.

Good luck, Meg!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Weekend Catchup - WHAT THE HELL DUDES

So, um...

Remember how I killed those 3 spiders on Earth Day, and mentioned I might rue the day?

There was some serious ruage Friday.

Okay so I'm sitting in my easy chair, messing around on Le Mac, and I see skittering along the far wall one very creepy crawler.


I sit back down, and glance over to see...

10 more.

4 on the ceiling on the living room ceiling, 3 on the hallway, and 2 on the wall on the far side.


Over the course of the next hour I...
  • Smashed several more spiders... I lost count after about 50
  • Flinched
  • Freaked out
  • Prayed for a Terminix man to appear at my door
  • Flinched some more
  • Stared at the walls/ceiling
  • Called TR and prayed he'd get my message (the phrase I NEED AN ADULT has never been truer than it was at that moment for me)
  • Moved from room to room like I was doing some sort of FBI sweep
Thankfully TR did in fact get my panicked cry for help and came to our rescue. We packed a bag as quickly as possible and got the hell out of dodge!

Now you may think this was an over-reaction but...


TR made me feel better by reminding me that there's a reason people fear spiders and other crawly things. Generally they are poisonous, and our instincts are to avoid such things.

Can't argue with that.

We didn't actually get to sleep until about 4 or 5 in the morning on Saturday (we left the house at 2AM, and needed to relax when we got down to Denver, which was readily accomplished through the clever use of Strongbow cider and Avatar), so we didn't manage to get up and moving til about 3PM Saturday.

I had planned on getting a lot more done on Saturday than sleeping and imagining my house in various Deadly Cargo/Kingdom of the Spiders scenarios, but I really did exhaust myself stressing over the eight-legged marauders.

Oh William Shatner, how I love thee

Instead, we lazed about (The Kid happily ensconced in internet-land on TR's giant monitor) and went for Thai Basil for a late lunch. The Kid hadn't had good Thai in ages so she was thrilled!

We got home about 6PM, after a quick stop at Lowes for long-cuff gloves and spider spray, and thankfully didn't see anything. We thoroughly cleaned The Kid's room (she had a lot of stuff in piles on the floor - prime hidey-hole material) and left no nook un-inspected.

Well, I say "we cleaned" but I mean "I cleaned". I made The Kid take me for ice cream after.

I stayed up late to monitor for activity, since TR had figured (and verified) that the combo of warmth, followed by 3 days of rain, followed by a cold snap had caused the critters to decide my rooms were a lot more inhabitable than the crawlspace where they normally hang out, minding their business.

Midnight came and went and I finally took my chances...

And slept.

I did not wake up, as I had feared, in a cocoon, and only saw one all morning, by the back door (which is pretty normal for this time of year).

So now, it's a couple of days later and things seem to be going well.

I'm still a bit jumpy though. Stupid creatures.

Anyway Sunday was fun! The Kid gathered her gear and about 2PM we headed down to Denver for the first Rollerpunks practice, held in the Rocky Mountain Rollergirls' training facility, which reminded me of every skate-shop I ever went to as a wayward teen. Stickers on the walls, music blaring, hair of every color...

If it's wrong to live vicariously through my kid a little, well then so be it because we are *both* having a blast!

Thankfully the lovely Rollergirls in attendance were very understanding of my lack of knowledge about the skates themselves, and helped get The Kid's in line. Next week should be a lot easier on her.

I was very pleased to find that getting to the facility only takes about 30 minutes - I really envisioned that we'd be schlepping an hour each way! Awesome.

And look how cute!

Last but not least... look what's growing in front of my house!

I didn't plant any, which just makes it cooler. Wild-growing tulips!

Friday, April 23, 2010

F-Word Friday: Four Legs Or Less

I have to apologize for my lack of Tuesday or Thursday posts this week.

I know you were all "WHY HAS SHE FORSAKEN US" but I promise it wasn't you, just a whole lot of work and rain and generally trying to get too much stuff done in a week and exhausting myself.

Also there were spiders. I f'ing hate spiders, I don't care how beneficial they are. And you know, it's cool, they can live in my house as long as they stay hidden.

I'm sure it's extra wrong that I killed 3 spiders in my house on Earth Day.

You can judge if you like, but you didn't see them.

Allie from Hyperbole And A Half drew that picture, and it's a fairly accurate depiction of what kind of spiders appear in my home during their Spring migration to terrorize the world outside my basement.

And they do that, you know. They're like evil clowns and zombies that hide in closets... they jump out at you and freak you out and make you have cooties for the rest of the night.

Frickin' spiders.

ANYWAY. That's why there was no post on Tuesday or Thursday.

Moving on.

Last night TR & I had dinner at Udi's, which I thought just made bread but who in fact are trying their hand at restaurant... er, restauranteering? Restauranting? I don't know.

Anyway it totally rocked. TR got this French onion soup that was totally delicious, plus a Cuban sandwich that despite them forgetting and putting the pickle on was possibly the best ever. The bread made it, of course, it *is* their specialty after all!

I had chicken shnitzle, which was exactly as awesome as it's name and came with what I almost substituted out - German potato salad.

I hate German potato salad, although admittedly before yesterday I had only ever had your standard-issue grocery store comes-in-a-giant-milk-carton variety, and it always looks so... mushy. And it makes that disgusting squelchy sound when you try to dish some up. And it's COLD. Who likes cold potatoes?! Gag!


"Get the salad," the server insisted. "Trust me."

She totally wins.

It was this concoction of perfectly crispy-on-the-outside pieces of red potato and sweet potato, combined with some greens, lovely tangy onions and capers, all served hot and drenched in this delightfully vinegary Dijon mustard sauce.

I want more of it as soon as possible.

After dinner, we walked the 30 feet to D Note for Trivia, where we won AGAIN! We came from fifth place to first because we are an awesome team, and Mecha Panda Monkey Octopus Eaters Anonymous can just go take a hike.

That made no sense to you, and it's alright. Suffice it to say they are a rival team and we kicked their asses.

After Trivia we hung out for awhile, basking in the glory of our victory, and then I went home with my cupcakes (thanks TR!) to hang with The Kid and her creepy baby.

Oh did I not mention the creepy baby?


Thank goodness she only had it for one night. I can't imagine having this thing in my house for a whole week, just laying there, breathing and staring at me.


Happy Friday!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

WTF Wednesday - 4... 3... 2... 1...

Earth belo-o-o-w us, drifting faaaaaalling...

Oh, hi!

Sorry, I had that song stuck in my head. And now you do too! Muwahahahaha.

So TR is looking for interesting places to live. So far he's found some gorgeous places that cost billions of dollars (well no, but they might as well!), a school complex in the middle of Kansas, and...

Missile bases! Neat places, those. Check out a little history!

Hopefully these aren't still lurking...

Who knew these were even for sale!?

This one's neat...

It reminds me of The Jetsons, only with less robots and stars

It's all redone and has a cool above-ground log cabin (click the picture, it's actually quite lovely!), but the rest of them are a teeeeeensy bit creepy.


Doesn't that look like creatures will come shambling through there at any minute?! *shudder*

Your murderer will flay you now.

I think I need a tetanus shot. Also, my mommy.

But hey, maybe I just lack vision! Look at what people have done with their missile bases!

Jackson Heights High School in Kansas used to be a base, and while I would run screaming from the "before" picture, somebody definitely had imagination.

BEFORE: One, two Freddy's coming for you. RUUUUUUN!

AFTER: Um... cute! I think!

Pretty awesome... I bet those stripes were fun to paint!

No trivia tonight, I'm still recovering from the bar stools last week!

Hope you have a lovely Wednesday, up in the open air!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Weekend Catchup: I Love The Dogs, And The Dogs Love Me

After our little morning adventure on Friday, and a subsequent full day of school and work, you might imagine we were pretty tired come Friday night, and you'd be right!

I didn't get up until probably 10AM Saturday morning, and The Kid would have gone right on sleep if I hadn't gotten her up at 1:30 so she could get dressed and we could go to the birthday party at her Colorado Grampa's house which we'd been invited to attend.

As it turned out, she had a great time, and I slept some more.

As I walked into the house, I suddenly realized that there were 5 dogs in attendance.

Now I love dogs, in particular big happy ones who love scratching and treats and kisses, however I'm extremely allergic (skin-itchy allergic mostly, but occasionally ow-my-eyes allergic).

"Here, take some Benadryl," Sherri said.

"Ok," I replied.

4 hours later I awoke from my coma, had a burger, and went home (after running errands for an hour, of course).


Thankfully all were understanding of my plight.

(You know I petted all the dogs before I left, too.)

Sunday was a nice quiet morning. The Kid had some school work to get started on (the Science Fair looms large), and I had some housework to do, but we took the afternoon off to go see How To Train Your Dragon.

So cute, go see it! It was very pretty, and had a couple of good messages buried in all the hilarity, plus it totally backed up TR's thought that cats are descended from dragons. Toothless the Dragon was absolutely Dea in cartoon dragon form.

PS... Cool project alert! You should join in! You must have your submission to them by June 26, so allow for international shipping times.

I've always wanted to go to London, and if I can't go myself right now, at least I can send a representative.

Friday, April 16, 2010

F-Word Friday: F for Effort

This morning, I dutifully got The Kid up (despite our late night) at 6:30.

I got her to get dressed and ready for her field trip to Denver for a MESA competition, figuring that we'd better get there early for the pre-trip meeting of the minds I assumed they'd have. Besides, I needed to sign a permission slip, since I'd never seen one. We were dressed and fed and there by 7:20.

Seeing that the door she usually enters for these before-school things was propped open, we entered the building and headed for the classroom in which the MESA meetings are usually held. There, on the wall, was a packet of permission slips. I slipped a sheet from the packet and read...

"MESA Rollercoaster Competition Permission Slip. When: Friday April 16, 6:15 AM - 3:40 PM".

We missed the bus. By an hour! Do you have any idea how much I *hate* being late, much less missing stuff?!

Let me backtrack a little for you...

When leaving at 4AM last Sunday, one of The Kid's MESA instructors said "So, are we ready for the competition Friday?" I told him I hadn't seen a permission slip yet, and he let me know he'd have the other instructor email me some info. Never happened.

I couldn't think what to do, I didn't want her getting in trouble, so we went to the office to wait for someone with power to come and help us get a hold of the teacher on the trip and let us know whether or not she needed to attend or if she could just go home!

Long story short (or longer, as it were)...

I drove to Speer & Auraria at 8AM so that my kid could get out at a stoplight and join her teacher, who was waiting for her there.

And you know what? By the time I got to work an hour later, they were already done, and had nothing left to do but sit around for the rest of the day.

For this I drove all the way down there? Yeesh.

Oh well, the silver lining is that it was a good lesson for The Kid about not letting her team down.

Or something.


The abysmally hard quiz of Wednesday was all but forgotten in last night's incredible run! Our team was awesome, and it was definitely one of those group efforts that wouldn't have happened without all of us chiming in equally, which we all did, and beat everyone's asses for them.

And I won the email bonus question prize for knowing Sarah Palin likes bendy straws!

I can't believe I just put her name in my blog.

I feel dirty.

Guaranteed to increase the value of your car by 5000%!

There, that's better!

Dinner beforehand at Furr's with TR was delicious, of course (I forgot to get Salisbury steak though, dammit!), but I was seriously distracted by some awful news.

Good thoughts/prayers/presents/money towards my Mom, if you please, and taunts/daggers/blowdarts/cannonfire at her former employer.

She's trying to be positive, but as one friend so aptly put it, she was cold-cocked. That takes adjustment.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Thrilling Thursday: "She Is REALLY Big!"


Remember how we won first place the last 2 weeks at Trivia?

Last night... 4th place. Ouch!

But you know it's just one of those things. You never know what categories will find their niche with this team or that, and last night's questions about video games and Auto-tuned music were perfectly suited for the young geeks behind us. Good for them! It's no fun if the same folks win every time, after all.

I don't know if I'll be going back to Pumphouse very often anymore, though, because they've moved where they do the trivia from the sports bar section with booths and tables to the other side of the bar, where it's just tables. It would be fine except they're those tall tables with stools, and I can't sit on those for 2 hours. I ended up having to take ibuprofen last night to take the swelling in my back down so my legs would stop hurting and I could sleep!

That's okay, though, because driving to work this morning, I received the following images via cell phone from my darling daughter:

Gorgeous, huh? And not bad for a cell phone! I like that the clouds changed so quickly. Must be a windy day today.

I responded back with "Wow!" and she replied...

"Yeah... she's REALLY big!"

I'm glad to hear it, actually. I remember seeing Mount Rushmore and wondering "Is that it?!".

Seriously, it looks so tiny! I'm sure it's huge up close but you can't get near enough to tell. Standing right at the base of Lady Liberty though?

It must be amazing.

She sent these Tuesday night:

She didn't want to carry her camera in New York, for fear of losing stuff, but I think it was just as well since she was able to be hands free.

And oh, the shopping.

So educational.

Well at least she's having fun! She's home late tonight, about 11PM at the school (thank goodness, I really didn't want to have to go to the airport, and frankly for the price of this trip they can schlep them back up).

I can't wait to see all her pictures and goodies!

I know, however, that if I go home first I will fall asleep on the couch and awake with a jerk to realize it's 5 to 11. So instead I'm trying my luck down with Trivia at D Note after dinner with TR at Furr's (mmmm, hope they have mac and cheese!). That should keep me out late enough that I'll be back in time to pick her up!

Let's hope I do better than last night!

It seems I probably won't attend the Harry Potter quiz next weekend, though... the 2PM slot has already sold out (I didn't even think to reserve a table), and they added a 5PM slot but we have to go to Denver the next afternoon, and I'm sitting The Kid's grampa's dogs, so it's probably just as well.

They'll probably do one of those again, so we'll just shoot for next time.

Why are we going to Denver the next afternoon, you ask?

Rocky Mountain Rollerpunks practice, that's why. My girl's a Derby girl. I'm so proud!!

The overhead was pretty low for this, thank goodness. I shelled out for new skates (if she gets serious they will get replaced with better ones, but these are a good start) and a helmet, and pads and a mouth guard of course.

I'm trying very hard not to get volunteeritis with this adventure.

I'm offering some Girl Scout Leader advice as far as what I've seen, and only because the ladies running this asked for input, but I'm really going to try to just consult on this one, and let the grunt work stay with the parents who don't live an hour away from the practice space.


I just know I'm going to get pulled in. I just KNOW it!!!

Lord help me to not say "I'll do it".

Besides, I already volunteered to run a carpool group if there are other kids from my neck of the woods.

See how it starts?


Happy Thursday!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

WTF Wednesday - A Train? Really?

Okay now THIS is cool.

Can you imagine?! Waking up every morning to a view of the Golden Gate Bridge, or pretending to live in a fish tank?

Just imagine how much more tolerable those little micro-hotels would be with one of these.

I think the train one would make me dizzy though.

WTF Wednesday indeed.

Tonight... more Trivia! I'm going to see if we can't make it a hat trick. If nothing else, I'll once again be able to eat and drink for free, so win!

Trivia at Pumphouse doesn't start until 8, though, so I think I might try making these coconut kiwi muffins I found; I happen to have a bag of kiwis sitting in the fridge, and a good cup or so of coconut in my pantry, and a little time to kill!

We'll see if I find the motivation.

I may just have a salad and watch Jon Stewart interview Rachel Maddow.

The Kid is having a great time! She called me earlier while they were taking a break from their morning in New York, where they took the subway, saw Central Park, and shopped. A lot.

So educational! But she did pick me up a Rachel Maddow mug, so ya know, I can't complain too much.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Weekend Catchup: Bisquick Can Suck It, Except For Pancakes

This weekend included some early mornings, some late nights, and some good eats.

I would have preferred the late nights not immediately precede the early mornings, but whatever!

I have caffeine.

Friday night, The Kid had her friend Carly stay over, which was fun. Carly really loves my cooking, even when it's lame spaghetti and Italian sausage, so she's always welcome in my house!

Saturday morning, after Carly got picked up by her dad (who waited patiently while she finished her breakfast of home-made hash browns and spray can pancakes**), we headed up to Fabulous Greeley to help set up Nova's Mom's surprise birthday party!

That was the super-secret thing I mentioned on Friday's post. I know you were just about drooling on yourself in suspense.

** Have you heard of Batter Blaster? (Or as I keep mispronouncing it - much to The Kid's delight - "Bladder Blaster", although that just doesn't sound as appealing.) It's pancake mix in a spray can, and it's an awesome concept but not as fluffy as one might hope. They're organic, though, and they weren't too pricey, so they were worth trying, but I think I'll stick to the powder mixes.

We got up there at about 10AM and got preparations going thanks to notes left by Nova. Truthfully, "we" consisted of The Kid and a friend of Nova's mom, as I had to run out and grab one of the guests who was arriving by shuttle from the airport, but I did manage to chop some veg before I left.

Nancy was totally surprised, I got to play with a dog with whom I successfully played Dog Yodeling (if I get the video, I'll post it!), and everyone ate ridiculous amounts of Chicken Molé. Success!

We didn't stay long, as there was packing to be done for the trip! Home again, we got everything put together and sacked out at about 5. The Kid fell asleep but I...

I lay there and worried about getting up late.

We had to be at the school by 3:45 AM. This meant getting up at least as early as 2:30 so that food and clothing could be applied as necessary and still get out of the house by 3:15 (it can take awhile to get across town). My usual body-clock wake-up seems to be about 4:30. You can see the potential for disaster here, can't you?

Chaos and panic loomed large, and so (conveniently forgetting that I'm deeply ancient and can no longer even make it through a whole movie) I figured "Hey I'll just make some coffee and stay up!"

I did end up falling asleep, but thankfully my paranoia was strong enough to wake me every 45 minutes or so, and between my phone alarm and my friend Chris's phone alarm (she vowed to call me and make sure I was up), all was well, and we got to the school a good 10 minutes before everyone else, which I don't think actually won us any prizes, but I felt vindicated.

The Kid wanted me to stick around until the buses took off, and though it was pretty chilly (and I was poorly dressed for the weather), I vowed to do so. This lasted until her friend Devin showed up, then I was told I could leave now, thanks...

I hugged and kissed her in... well, let's just call it "joyful retaliation" and leave it at that shall we? It amused me greatly, and the "I love u" text I received about 10 minutes after I left told me that, secretly, she loved being snuggled on by her mom.

I spent the rest of the weekend relaxing and hanging with TR, which included but was not limited to:
  • Playing with my new french press. This is definitely the way to go when you only want a couple of cups of coffee. Tasty and fast, especially if you have an electric kettle with which to boil the water!
  • Fielding phone call updates from The Kid. She's having a great time, though they are trying to cram an awful lot in to just a few days. There was an issue with the toilet in their room, but as far as I know it was resolved. Once can only hope. I counseled her to make sure she was keeping her stuff in order (so as not to lose anything) and she assured me that all was well, and that she was resisting organizing everyone else's stuff. I admired her restraint, and that she is truly her mother's daughter.
  • Eating yummy Thai at Thai Basil. TR had some lovely sesame chicken, I had pad thai (I was craving garlic and limes), and we shared some chicken satay, which really is one of their best items! I also had Thai iced tea which isn't for everyone but which I love and never get. It tastes like sweetened peanut skins, which as a description sounds nasty, but trust me it's good! You'll be pleased to know I did *not* have the soup of doom. I wanted it though... I'm a masochist.
  • Trying a new spot for breakfast goodies at Denver Biscuit Co. We met the guy who makes the goods, and he told us about the "Jack Lee" which was named for his father (for whom biscuits with grape jelly and bacon were, apparently, a favorite). I had that, much to the fascination of a couple of staff members, and TR tried the chicken pot pie, which was amazing. Then the chef treated us to some non-menu-item garlic fries while TR waited for fresh biscuits and gravy... and OH GOD, THE GRAVY. It was perfection on a plate.
  • Twice trying to get through 1941. I failed once due to exhaustion at 11:00 PM the night before the trip, and the second time due to further exhaustion ensuing from carbohydrate overload. I'm going to watch the rest tonight (thank you, Netflix!), but so far it's really funny, fairly dirty, and full of movie references and WWII airplanes and is so full of potential GWD trivia answers. Why have I never seen this movie before?!
  • Annoying some cats, to their merriment and delight. One got beaten with a dusting wand (she loves it, how can we deny her?), one got carted around like a baby calf every time he jumped up and wanted attention, one got taken for a walk outside on a leash (although I think he likes this more than he's letting on), and one... well nothing really annoys her, now that I think of it. Dea is very zen like that.
I hope you had a lovely weekend!

I sure did.

Friday, April 9, 2010

F-Word Friday: Free and Fair

You like the internet, right?

Hey me too! It's like we're twins.

So if you enjoy being able to look at exactly what you want, no matter how silly or politically fringey or full of hot chicks on car hoods (it's okay, I don't judge), you might want to write a letter or something.

And if you have a blog, embed the video! Spread it around, and make sure everyone knows that the world would be a sadder place without the Leslie Halls and Peter Pans and Tron Guys of the world.

Thanks to them, and to the other video stars who joined in, for the AWESOME video reminding us all...

Well, the trip has finally arrived.

At 3:45AM this Sunday, I'll be squiring The Kid to the waiting buses at her school, which will whisk her and her buddies off to the airport for the long-awaited Washington DC/NYC trip!

They're all super excited of course; I hope they didn't over-schedule them *too* much though. They're really packing a lot into just a few days!

Well, if nothing else, it'll give them a taste for travel.

Have a wonderful weekend; other than packing everything we can think of for a 4 1/2 day trip with no parents, mine should be pretty uneventful!

Nudge nudge.

Wink wink.

(I'll tell you Monday... little pitchers have big ears!)

Happy Friday!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Thrilling Thursday: Winnah!

I went to GWD trivia last night with Melissa, and we kicked ass!

My cheap little heart is tickled that we got first place again.

It means that even though we blew our 25 dollar gift certificate and a beer token from last week, I walked *out* with another 25 dollar certificate and a spare beer token.

I broke even! This is so the way to go.

Finally, all the random crap in my head is paying off!!

The girls in the next booth were a bunch of whiners, though.

At the end of a few of the rounds, there's a bonus question, and the way I learned down at the D Note is that you run up to the podium (or booth, in this case) and stand, pen and paper in hand, ready to pounce with your answer, since the first person with the right answer gets a free drink.

Naturally, sitting at your table and writing it down with the idea of then going up to the podium/booth isn't going to win you anything!

But boy did I get dirty looks.

"Geez, way to be overeager," one girl said, to which I replied...

"Well, get up then!"

I mean what do they want, a silver platter?! Yeesh.

I won one of the bonus rounds by knowing that the term for the glow that some creatures naturally emit is called bioluminescence (fascinating stuff... click it!), and one more for knowing that it's the leaves of the dill weed that are used as a foodstuff.

Go me!

I really need to get one of these though, if I'm going to continue frequenting Pumphouse for this.

There are maybe 8 big-screen TVs all over the place, all showing one of 4 channels. It's irritating as hell, and I take no small amount of pleasure in the fact that during our 2 hours of fun, you can't hear even one of them over our Quizmaster's DJ skills.

Oh and I'm petitioning for new team names, by the way... I know some teams stick with the same name every week, but there's national championship or anything, no Big 10 bracket that requires name recognition, so why not have fun with it!?

Last night we were "Two Days Two Late", in honor of a smutty story Melissa told me, and next time I think we'll go with "That Sounds Dirty". My cleverness knows many, many bounds, however, so any fun monikers would be appreciated!!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

WTF Wednesday - All The Birds Are Singing That You're Gonna Die

So I may have mentioned my thing for Joss Whedon.

By "thing", of course, I mean deep-seated involvement detailed enough that a thesis paper is probably floating around in there somewhere.

Naturally, I loved Dr. Horrible's Sing-A-Long Blog, which...

Well you just have to watch it. Go! Now! To iTunes or whatever with you!

Here's an Attack Of The Show piece about it. (Click that link right there.)

It's got Doogie Howser AND Captain Tightpants! Really you can't go wrong. Here's a little snippet, poorly recorded on YouTube, but which will lure you in with its awesomeness.

Once you've seen it, or if you already have, check out the following, which will make you squee with joy, like I did.

Really! It was loud and stuff. There were looks.


I can't wait for parts 2 and 3!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Totally Random Tuesday: Roll Your Own Blog

I have some new followers! Look at me being all internety.

Some of them seem to be much more advanced than I, what with all their widgeting and such, but I do have quite a few listed over on the right there...

You should check them out!

New to the list, other than my fabulous child's burgeoning blog, are Workforced, which amuses me greatly and is written by someone with excellent musical taste, and The Midnight Writer, who commented yesterday and has an extremely involved blog and political views I admire greatly.

Looking at their blogs and being a snoop means I read all their comments, which usually means I find even *more* things to read in the blogs of other comment authors, and before I know it it's been 3 hours, but I have found some truly fabulous folks this way, including Mrs. Dandy The Expectant and Finny The Crafty, not to mention The Pioneer Woman, who taught me how to cook some of my favorite meals with all her lovely photos.

(And that, children, is a run-on sentence. I can live with it, though.)

I remember hearing some fears voiced about the idea that the rise of the internet would foster less socializing, less interaction between people in the real world. I think we were headed there anyway (ever worked in a cube farm?), and granted there are definitely some folks who need to get out and gain some sunlight now and again, but generally speaking I think all these opportunities to communicate with strangers has done the exact *opposite* of what "they" feared.

Sure, some of that communication can be mildly disturbing and nothing you'd want to repeat (I'm looking at you, Omegle - if you choose to click don't say I didn't warn you), but most of the time you find you've met some amazing people, and know more about them than you do about some of the people you actually see every day! Even if you rarely meet these folks in real life, it doesn't mean you don't know them well.

I have grown to really love sharing my life with all you fine folks, even if it's a scrubbed up and pretty version, although that version has its merits! It's a lot easier to put the rotten stuff to the side and concentrate on the good stuff when you're doing it for an audience...

Even if it's an audience of 5.

Eh, I'm babbling today.

It happens.

It's a very If You Give A Mouse A Cookie, stream of consciousness sort of day.

Tonight, it's off to Target to finish shopping for Washington/DC trip stuff for The Kid, the geography bee into which she was roped (they were a person short of a team and she was needed), and a visit from TR who has some fabulous books to share with her since she'll be visiting the Smithsonian museums, in particular the Air & Space Museum and Portrait Gallery... he (rightly) figured she'd maybe get more out of them if she had a good idea of what was there!

Thanks TR... I appreciate the schlepping you do.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Weekend Catchup: There Can Be Only One

A lovely weekend.

Friday and Saturday consisted of a lot of lounging.

We had a dinner Friday night with Melissa at a local favorite, then went home and baked the lamb cake.

It came out totally cute! All the detail of the mold doesn't really come through, but I think all that detail is meant more so that the mold can be displayed as a piece of kitchen art.

In the morning, before leaving for 4 hours of fun at Firestone, I iced and decorated...

And voila!

I was really proud of myself! It looked just like I remembered. I didn't coconut the whole thing, which meant that I took a little longer icing the sucker (coconut covers many, many icing sins). The Kid hates coconut, and I had promised her the beast's head, so that was that.

Firestone was actually quite a nice experience. My car has recently hit 45,000 miles (yowza) and I knew I had to get some serious upkeep done. I'm good about oil changes, but the other stuff tends to fall by the wayside because it tends to be expensive and time-consuming.

I did some comparison shopping before going to Firestone, but ended up there since I've been there many times and always had good experiences. They have never messed around, or made me think they were doing anything unnecessary or to take advantage of me being a girl. (Much as I'd like to believe, in this modern age, that women are considered equal to men in all things, a lady alone in a car-related area is someone of which advantage is often taken.)

It paid off... I had requested a brake job, assuming I needed one after so long, and was informed after inspection that my breaks were just fine (although I did opt for a brake line flush). Now they could easily have done it anyway, how would I know? But they were honest, and they have me as a customer for good.

So back at home Saturday, we made the gluten-free cupcakes we had promised The Kid's grampa's housemate. Well, I say "we", but really The Kid was in charge! This was another project for her Home Ec (excuse me, Consumer and Family Services) class, so there were many pictures, the end result of which was some seriously cute Easterness!

We brought the cupcakes and lamb cake to Easter dinner Saturday night (ham, potatoes, green beans... the best!).

Since I had promised The Kid the head, I let her lop it off, and she snitched many red jelly beans and got arty.

I do so love her.

Sunday morning, I hid The Kid's basket-filling goodies, which she enjoyed immensely. We languished all morning until Nova & family came to have lunch with us at our new favorite pizza place, and Nova's husband Kelly did some house maintenance for me (he's handy like that... the broken tree limbs are now down, and my furnace filter changed).

We ended up going to bed pretty early (I blame the weather and ever-present allergies... even The Kid seems to be suffering this year) but we did manage to watch Sherlock Holmes, which wasn't bad but could have been so much more!

Happy Monday... I hope you had a fun weekend!

Friday, April 2, 2010

F-Word Friday: Friends List

New blog alert!

Let me introduce my Kid. She's pretty awesome, as you know, and she started her very own blog!

I told her, no swears. Not til she's 18.

(Insert teen angst eyeroll here.)

So are you on Facebook?

I am, but not as much as some folks who shall remain nameless and are devoted to their imaginary farms.

I like it as a social network and a place to reconnect with folks from "ago" (as Uncle Stevie would put it), but TR and I were talking last night about how it's occassionally necessary to put your friends list on a diet.

My list is pretty varied, which is fun, but it seems a bit large!

There's my family of course. If they weren't on there, I wouldn't talk to them as much, only because everyone's lives, including mine, are so busy! I don't think to sit and write letters, but with Facebook I can see updates and interact with them, and we probably know more about what's going on with each other than we would have even if we *were* motivated to write letters. We share old photos as a family, keep updated on each others exploits...

It's great!

So they don't get snipped from the list (family is exempted - it's just bad form), but there are a few who (I'll admit) have gotten the "Hide" button used on them. I just don't need to hear every song lyric that enters their heads, ya know? But I still want to keep in touch.

The rest are, if not actual friends with whom I'm actually actively involved, the "friends" that, when I added them, I hadn't seen or heard from in 20 years, give or take. Several of that group have proven to be folks I missed and was glad to reconnect with, but most were passing fancies and fits of nostalgia. I'm sure they feel the same, and don't even notice when I remove them, just as I wouldn't notice if they removed me!

Why were they on there in the first place, you ask?

Well you know how it was when you first started your Facebook... you trolled your real-life friends' friend lists, and got all excited when you found Classmate A, who was your seatmate in 3rd grade. You looked at Classmate A's list and were shocked to find they knew Girl Scout Camper B, who you were besties with for 2 weeks in 6th grade, who subsequently was friends with Club Kid C who you hung out with on a regular basis for 7 months in 1991.

And when those people accepted your friend requests, you got all nostalgic, and even exchanged a wall post or two, right? Memory lane was traipsed, "remember whens" full executed, maybe you even exchanged an embarrassing Flock Of Seaguls hairdo photo or two.

But that was 2 years ago... have you even talked to them since?



And it's okay. (But copy the pictures first.)

Happy Friday!

And Happy Easter if that's your thing. Wish me luck on the lamb cake!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Thrilling Thursday: Get It Right, Quizmaster

You may have heard I enjoy trivia, in particular Geeks Who Drink trivia because it's fun and often sorta salty.

So you can bet I was totally excited when I heard that GWD was coming to a bar not 5 minutes from my house!

The Pumphouse is a nice place, good food (if a little pricey), a bar that's attached but with a separate entrance (nice when you bring your family), and a brewery on-site so they often have some really delicious microbrews, like last night's Blackberry Blonde which was lovely, unlike our crappy server.


So this was week 2 of GWD being held there, and I went with Melissa and her friend Lou. I also brought the Kid since a quick look at last week's blog for this event showed a tamer crowd than tends to frequent the D Note where I usually go, at least so far. (The most risque name last week was "Dang".) Not that their deeply filthy or anything, but they definitely name themselves like a bunch of 12 year old boys down there!

Honestly I probably could bring the Kid to D Note, I mean she's 14 and lives with me. She doesn't exactly have tender ears. And she totally helped last night... I would never have remembered that Daffy Duck and Donald Duck are the ones playing the dueling pianos in Who Framed Roger Rabbit!

Melissa & I came up with a deliciously spicy name for our team ("Quit Saying 'F***' You Guys, I Brought My Kid!"), but decided that we didn't want to be the ones to get GWD banned from the Pumphouse their second week in, so instead we went with "Bilbo... wait, what?!", which the quizmaster totally didn't get. It was meant to be mildly dirty, you know like somebody might mis-hear "Bilbo" and say "wait....what?!".

Get it?


Well, WE thought it was funny.

Of course I thought "Bastard Children of Apollo OH NOOOOO!" was funny too, but I think Chris & Robyn were just humoring me, bless their hearts.


Although we tanked a couple of rounds, after all was said and done, we got first place!

Fun facts learned:

* There are an unbelievable amount of covers of Leonard Cohen's Hallelujah, and some of them are awful, but not Justin Timberlake's, and no I'm not kidding. Go listen!

* Rambo was a book first. (Who knew this?!)

* Perching on a stool for 2 hours make your feet hurt.

Happy Thursday!