Monday, May 31, 2010

Weekend Catchup: Never Enough

Happy Memorial Day!

Instead of sleeping in this morning like a sensible person, I'm up at my usual crack-o-dawn hour.

Gotta love that internal clock.

HUGE POST ALERT! TR & I crammed about a week's worth of activity into around 36 hours this weekend, and there's a lot to share, but I promise it's worth it! Ghostly prostitutes! 80s bands! Yummy food! Miles of walking! Advil! This post has it all.

Friday after getting The Kid settled at her grampa's for the weekend, I headed down to Denver in a fairly speedy fashion, having miraculously found a gap in the get-out-of-town-quick traffic.

We headed to our friends Chris & Robyn's house to visit awhile with them and some of Robyn's family, and we all got a bonus... TR & Chris played some of their excellent music for us! They play beautifully, and everyone really enjoyed it. I had only heard them recorded before that, so it was really cool to hear it in person! (I recommend downloading from iTunes vs. Amazon, but Amazon had the easier-to-link listing, so there ya go.)

After relaxing there awhile, we headed over to TR's brother's to grab a ride to the hotel for the weekend. It's a downtown hotel more intended for business travelers with expense accounts, so they charge a lot for parking, even for guests. Can't say I blame them, I suppose, but we had other options so we took em'! After a quick, late dinner at Ted's (alas, the salad wasn't the joyful thing I remembered, but my burger was fantastic), we landed at the gorgeous hotel and turned in for the night.

Saturday morning I was, of course, up early. I really wonder about myself sometimes... comfy bed, no pressing obligations... do I go back to sleep after waking up and realizing I don't need to be conscious? Nope... but not for lack of trying.

We had scored a free breakfast, so after admitting defeat in the battle to sleep, I roused TR (I'm so mean, I know!) and we headed down for what proved to be a surprisingly yummy meal! It was definitely not your usual hotel breakfast buffet spread. They had the usual oatmeal/cereal/fruit display, of course, but they also had perfect bacon, an omelette lady, and some of the best home-made sausage gravy I've ever tasted. It was so good that we were trying to think of things other than biscuits to use it with (Chex Mix was a front runner).

The hotel was a block up from the 16th Street Mall, which is like Boulder's Pearl Street but with less hippies. We walked over to wander a bit after breakfast, enjoying the weather (hahaha) while we waited to meet up with Chris & Robyn & co again to take a walking tour of LoDo (the lower downtown Denver area - moniker courtesy of the mayor).

It was awesome! I learned lots of things about the city. You know I'm a fan of random information, so nuggets like the first cheeseburger (well, the home of the first folks to patent the name anyway) and the reason for the metal decorations on the sides of brick buildings (which are not just decorative after all - they're end caps for support beams!) were right up my alley. There was a ton of information, not all of which could be remembered by anybody but our tour guide Kevin and probably TR (that kind of retention is amazing stuff), but my favorite bits were the stops at Blake Street Vault for a tour by the the owner (and a drink called the Denver Donkey, a.k.a. the Moscow Mule, which about knocked me sideways - I need another, and soon!), the stop at the Cruise Room at the Oxford Hotel (an absolutely stunning Art Deco style room modeled after one of the lounges on the Queen Mary), and the ghost tour bits at both those places (a woman in brown, a merchant marine and a postman on a mission) as well as others along the way.

We learned about the ghosts that frequent Union Station, the PF Changs we passed on the way (a creepy tale of a bricked-in room, a skeleton, and scratches on the walls), and LODO, a restaurant which is housed partly in what used to be Mattie's House of Mirrors, one of the most famous of the many many MANY brothels that used to exist in that part of the city. That one was the most interesting, and I dared to venture back upstairs to where the tour guide insisted many had felt interesting things, and even seen and heard activity.

Mattie Silks

I didn't really sense anything unusual, but my thought was that I'm a woman, and maybe a man might not feel welcome up there. I can't imagine that the ladies who used to work there are big fans, given the stories that we hear about how they were treated (and still are, I'm sure). They're busy being ghosts, they probably don't have time to do much more than generalize between gender.

My inner Ghost Hunter came out, though, when I went back downstairs and spied the enormous amount of electrical wiring that's all over the ceiling, right underneath where the activity was said to be strongest, including ill feelings, strange sounds, etc. It's thought that high levels of electromagnetic energy (the kind emitted by electrical wiring, circuit boxes, etc.) can make people feel sick, feel like someone's watching them, or even hallucinate. Given the history of the place (suicides, the saucy nature of the place itself, and of course the general feeling that permeates any old building) and those conditions (huge bundles of wiring right under the floor), my guess is that if it *is* haunted, it's only by memory.

But you know me, I like to rationalize stuff.

So after all that walking, TR & I were pretty beat and decided to skip out on dinner with the group, though we did take our time getting back to the hotel (it was 5 or 6 blocks away, and we weren't in much of a hurry). On the way we stopped at Sakura Square to admire the statues and peaceful presence, and as we were walking from there we could hear music drifting toward us from the mall. There had been an arts and music festival that day, and the tail end of it was wrapping up. As we were walking and listening TR started to realize that he recognized the music, and we figured out that was because the band he heard playing was really there...

The Fixx!

Now admittedly, I don't know much of them past their radio hits from way back when (namely Saved By Zero and Stand or Fall (my favorites), Red Skies At Night and One Thing Leads To Another, if you don't remember) so I didn't realize they were as prolific as they were - 9 studio albums!

Where I know not much beyond what was popular, TR is a big fan, so he was totally thrilled and I found out that they were much more than a few hits back in the 80's. They are a really tight band, and the bass player was amazing! I'm really glad we stumbled across the concert, and not just because I got to sit down, although that was a definite bonus. I really enjoyed one song in particular of those that I hadn't heard before, How Much Is Enough?. It wasn't a huge hit when it originally came out, but TR thought maybe that was because when it was released (1991) we as a culture were still pretty hip-deep in glossy, pretty prosperity (or the quest for it) and most consumers of that attitude weren't looking for socially conscious lyrics. Now, though, given the collapse of our economy, the mortgage crisis, the current BP oil mess (which we now know was pretty much entirely due to money-saving shortcuts), etc., maybe it's time for this song again.

Oh, and guess who was playing up the street at the same time?

They're another one I never really got to know in-depth, they were more of a theme-music kind of band backing the skaters I was obsessed with Freshman year, but they're immensely iconic, so it was really cool to see them! Well, hear them, mostly... we didn't want to walk over to the stage, because we were both about to fall over.

Back at the hotel, we were desperately in need of some hot water, so we went down to pool area and had an amusing conversation with a young couple from Minnesota in town for a fun 3-day weekend. We soaked for a good hour (the staff was nice enough to let us slip past the 11PM cutoff since we were being good), then hit the hay after some serious dechlorination. I understand the need to put that stuff in the water (otherwise eeeeeew), but it's so rough on my skin!

Sunday morning we did manage to sleep in, but got up in time to catch room service for some toast and bacon and tea for breakfast, but went right back to sleep. I love a lazy morning, particularly when it's in a quiet room curled up under a heavy comforter with the a/c cranked.

We grabbed a late lunch with TR's brother & his wife at Snooze - I had breakfast tacos with carnitas that were absolutely lovely - and then it was time to go pick up The Kid at Rollerpunks practice.

After that the day still wasn't done! It was up to Greeley to visit with Nova (who is recuperating nicely). A bit of dinner then it was back home to get some rest.

The weekend was long, but too short as always... but too short is better than not at all, ya know?

Today will be a lazy one again, I think. Granted, I was up way too early, but still I have nothing in particular to accomplish other than picking up The Kid's gear from her grampa's and watching movies.

Last but not least, and I'll keep it short just because I'm being extra wordy today (and that's saying something for me)...

Happy Memorial Day again. Keep the folks out there defending our country, or who have in the past, in your thoughts today.

Friday, May 28, 2010

F-Word Friday: Again With No F-Words At All

I really do need a new theme.

Or maybe I'll just *keep* the theme and hope for the best?

I'm sure I'll say this about 50 more times before I actually do anything about it. Apologies in advance.


Last night was Trivia Night, natch, which was lovely as usual though the vibe was slightly different. I'm not sure what it was - perhaps it's that it isn't dark until trivia is almost over now, making it seem less like a Fun Nighttime Grownups Activity and more like a Wholesome Family Fun Extravaganza (Where They Say F*** A Lot).

Oh well.

I never did post about last week's trivia amusement, where we had too many people and decided to play boys vs. girls (Bastards vs. Bitches), and we girls totally kicked their asses for them AND got 3rd place and a gift certificate.

Woohoo! The Bitches took a lovely photo, but my arm looks weird - I was holding up our end of the fort - and I have to admit that the person giving the finger to the Bastards in their picture is, in fact, me.

I couldn't help it! All that trash talking from their end of the table had my Irish up. Them and their "helpful hints" about Boy George and Bon Jovi.

Well, that and two glasses of wine.

What did I say about letting me near wine?

The waiter is Travis, who is to be commended
for managing to photobomb BOTH of our teams

So last night, we did it again (with less crude gesturing), and although we came in 4th that's okay because we beat the pants offn'm once again!

I think we definitely need a single team again though. Between the two of our teams, we totally could have won both weeks.

See? Together we stand, divided one of us gets a gift certificate and the other is bitter.

The weekend will be really nice. It's a long one, yay Government Holidays!

The Kid is hanging with her grampa Saturday & Sunday, and they're going to see Iron Man 2, and to the fabulous Boulder Creek Festival, and they'll be making a quest to the Mothership (that moniker just amuses me to no end) so he can get ready for his entire family visiting this coming week.

They were going to go to the Colorado Ren Faire (beware! embedded music site!), but it's actually not open yet so there goes that! She & I (and whoever else wants to join us) will probably go later in the season. We don't get quite as much out of it as we did in Illinois, mainly because we don't really know anyone who works there, but we still get to dress up, and eat stuff off sticks, and window-shop, and it's a gorgeous drive out there, so there ya go.

I'm not sure what TR & I are doing, actually, other than spending a couple of days together, which is good enough for me. It's hard to believe, but it's been an entire year since our first date!

Don't worry, I'm not going to get all retrospective on you, but I will say this...

It's been a wonderful year, and I'm happy.

What more can I ask out of life?!

Last but not least, happy, healing thoughts to Nova, who just finished getting some surgery done. She's doing well, and will be even better soon, and the surgery went - as the doctor put it - "better than great". That is SO what you want to hear!

Have a wonderful Memorial Day weekend!

Grill something!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

WTF Wednesday - Endings And Beginnings

Well, it's done!

My kid has officially metriculated (or whatever constitutes for same) from 8th Grade.

She's now a high school kid.

And therein lies the WTF... as in WHEN TF did this happen exactly?!

Five minutes ago she looked like this:

Okay she still looks like that

And now she's in high school!

So of course this week I've been terribly verklempt, thinking about all the firsts she's had in the last 8 or 9 years.

The first day of Kindergarten...

The first day of 1st Grade for that matter! I still remember thinking how big she was then.

Then there was the first day she started at her now-former middle school. They had moved the 5th Graders over there for that year to relieve the overcrowding and everyone was freaking out because OH GOD THE CHILDREN. Like somehow rubbing elbows with 6th graders was going to make them grow up too soon.

The Kid was unfazed.

The first day of 5th Grade was the BEST DAY EVAR

She had a viola to play! New teachers to charm! Friends she'd been with for 2 years already!

I even remember her first orchestra concert. I remember even more, though, the last viola concert of 5th grade, which was also the last orchestra concert for the out-going 8th graders. I remember thinking that it was going to be ages before The Kid was playing *her* last 8th grade concert.

And now it's passed, and I realize that all those 8th graders from 3 years ago are now going to be Seniors in high school, and their parents are probably freaking out way more than I am.

But still...

There are so many more firsts to come!

The first day of Freshman Year, with all its awkwardness.

The first time she drives a car.

The first time I have to ground her ass for breaking curfew.

I know in 4 years I will be a complete mess, that the end of high school and graduation itself will mean my baby is truly grown up and on her way to a future, so I'm just going to relax and enjoy the next bit of time with her, because I know now for certain that what all those other parents, including my own, always said was, indeed, the absolute truth...

Time flies.

She'll never stop being a dork, though. Thank God.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Totally Random Tuesday: Don't Panic!

I'm sorry Star Wars Day, but today trumps you for sheer nerdiness and genre-specific geeking out.

It's Towel Day!

I grew up knowing about The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy... my aunt's license plates growing up read "ZAPHOD1" and of course I had to ask!

So why a towel?

"A towel, it says, is about the most massively useful thing an interstellar hitchhiker can have. Partly it has great practical value. You can wrap it around you for warmth as you bound across the cold moons of Jaglan Beta; you can lie on it on the brilliant marble-sanded beaches of Santraginus V, inhaling the heady sea vapors; you can sleep under it beneath the stars which shine so redly on the desert world of Kakrafoon; use it to sail a miniraft down the slow heavy River Moth; wet it for use in hand-to-hand-combat; wrap it round your head to ward off noxious fumes or avoid the gaze of the Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal (such a mind-bogglingly stupid animal, it assumes that if you can't see it, it can't see you); you can wave your towel in emergencies as a distress signal, and of course dry yourself off with it if it still seems to be clean enough.

More importantly, a towel has immense psychological value. For some reason, if a strag (strag: non-hitch hiker) discovers that a hitch hiker has his towel with him, he will automatically assume that he is also in possession of a toothbrush, face flannel, soap, tin of biscuits, flask, compass, map, ball of string, gnat spray, wet weather gear, space suit etc., etc. Furthermore, the strag will then happily lend the hitch hiker any of these or a dozen other items that the hitch hiker might accidentally have "lost". What the strag will think is that any man who can hitch the length and breadth of the galaxy, rough it, slum it, struggle against terrible odds, win through, and still knows where his towel is is clearly a man to be reckoned with."

- Douglas Adams: The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

I remember seeing bits of the old adaptation of the radio plays, and having fun getting lost in the books. They are so deliciously weird, but kind of like Tom Robbins' books, if you just go with it you'll have a hell of a time even if you feel like part of your brain was stirred when you're done. It's kind of a good feeling, actually.

I was skeptical when they started filming the newer version, and while they did make a few changes they were fairly small (and necessary since they probably weren't going to do all the books anyway), and all in all I loved it...

Sam Rockwell was born to be Zaphod.

Improbable knitting!!

So enjoy Towel Day! Take a look at the "official" website - there may be something fun to do in your neck of the woods! If not, though, it's okay...

Just be sure you know where your towel is, and don't panic!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Weekend Catchup: Carniverous

Okay, first I have to show you this.

Isn't that awesome!?

So I finally got some relaxing done this weekend!

Friday night was lovely and calm. I worked a little late (The Kid was at her buddy's house) and then headed home to get a little exercise in (my new goal - to do this at least 3 times a week) and clean the house before TR came over.

After a quick trip to pick up a few ingredients, we set to work making beer cheese soup, which was fantastic and smelled absolutely amazing! Bacon, carrots, celery, bacon, beer, bacon, cheese, beer & bacon. Oh, and milk and stuff so it was even sort of healthy!

Sort of.

Saturday after picking The Kid up, we decided to take advantage of the gorgeous day and take a ride up in the mountains!

TR hadn't been to Estes Park in ages, so we decided to take the circuitous route along Peak to Peak Highway, which looks a little scary on a map but which is, in fact, pretty tame and absolutely gorgeous.

It was fun playing tour guide! We went to The Stanley, which was of course the inspiration for The Shining, and lo and behold...

It was the 30th anniversary of the Kubrick movie! Which has almost nothing to do with the Stanley, but whatevs. They had a Jack Nicholson look-a-like running around on the porch with a cigar, taking pictures and being generally smarmy (he was quite good).

We had a slighty overpriced lunch at the restaurant there (but as TR pointed out, it's ridiculously expensive to maintain someplace like that, so really paying 14.00 for a burger is part food, part support), which was delicious despite us having gone there based on the menu in the Estes Park visitor center that was rather out of date. I had a lamb burger and yes I am that much of a carnivore. Stop judging me.

Not only was it a lamb burger, it had lamb *bacon* on it, and goat cheese from a local producer called Haystack Mountain.

TR had BBQ Pulled Elk, which was absolutely delicious. My apologies to you vegetarians out there, but in fact it's a good thing that elk are hunted out here, otherwise we'd be overrun and they'd be ill and suffering due to overpopulation. And if we have to thin the herd, well there's no use wasting resources, right?

Plus, mmmm. Elk.


After lunch and bumming around the place (it wasn't showing itself to be very haunted this time, I think because there were way too many people around, or maybe the cheese factor of a Jack Nicholson impersonator was too much for them to deal with), we headed to Estes Park Glassworks Studio, where we watched their resident glass artist make gorgeous art, and oohed and ahhed and coveted.

Not my picture, but that sums it up

Their website is being redone at the moment, but if you troll around you can see some of the amazing stuff they offer... it's nothing quite like being there in person, though, so if you get the chance, stop in! The owners are very nice, and they have super-comfy old metal lawn chairs out front that harken from the days when men were men and women were...

Oh, sorry.

You how I am with the tangents.

Anyway it was a lovely drive, and I'm always happy to let someone else enjoy the view awhile.

Besides, I love driving in the mountains!

When it's sunny!

And dry!

Otherwise I'll be down here looking up, thanks.

Do you ever play tourist in your own area?

It's fun to go exploring in places you've heard about but never actually seen, especially if they're a reasonable distance from your house.

After making our way home Saturday evening, TR hung around a little while before heading back home on his awesome bike.

Isn't that cool lookin'?!

Sunday was very quiet. We lazed a bit (we're still catching up on season 4 of Dr. Who) then headed to Denver for Rollerpunks practice.

Despite the Skateshop Guy's best efforts, the wheels needed a little tweaking and our favorite Resident Skate Maintenance Expert took care of them in short order. She's like lightening, that one.

And The Kid got her very fist derby bruise! She was so proud.

I was more "GAH" than proud, but thankfully she didn't break an ankle or anything, as one of the other girls did last week. It was just an accident, of course, it wasn't even due to anything game-related, it was just one of those things that can happen when you're rolling around on a slick surface. Poor kid.

Last but certainly not least, head on over to My Mom's Blog and wish her a happy birthday! It was yesterday, but we believe in Birthday Weeks.

I was looking around on Photobucket for birthday-type graphics, and you know what?

There are a lot of weirdos out there.

In particular, there are a lot of Robert-Pattinson-obsessed weirdos.

In the end, though, this one made me laugh hardest, most because it was such a Cake Wrecks kind of greeting, complete with unnecessary punctuation and capitalization!

Happy Birthday to "YOU"!
Happy Birthday to "YOU"!
Happy Birthday Dear "NAME HERE"...
Happy Birthday to "YOU"!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Thrilling Thursday: Me Me Me

First off, a couple of things.

One, we got 2nd place in Trivia last night, by one point which wasn't bad at all! The important thing, though, is that I won the internet trivia question bonus prize. I gave it to Melissa because she's had a bad month, but not before getting my photo taken with... well, you know.

Second, look what TR found!

I love fiber graffiti, and this is my favorite yet. It's extra funny because The Kid just saw Little Shop of Horrors for the first time. She's been singing about being a dentist for a week now!

Okay now on to the subject of the day.


So one of my favorite bloggers, Mimi Smartypants (no relation), linked this person in her most recent post.

That person, LCAmazing, wrote a piece about herself and how amazing she really is. She did so with zero apologies, in response to this *other* blogger (I do love the surfing, don't you?) who realized after a talk with a friend that...

"Two women had just had a conversation in which they admitted out loud that they were good at something, without feeling the need to qualify it with a bunch of stuff about how they’re not as good as they could be, or how other people are so much better, or how the things they’re good at aren’t really important in the scheme of things."

Why is that so hard for us? Why can't we say without apology that we're good at something? (This doesn't just apply to women, either. I don't believe for one minute that men don't second-guess themselves, or that they don't downplay their abilities.)

Kids do it all the time - they will show you their scribbles with more pride than you think can fit in a little body.

When do we grow out of that?

So here it is, my very own love letter to myself. I'm not going to edit, I'm not going to go back and re-construct (except to correct my grammar), and I'm not going to apologize for being proud of myself. I'm just going to start with one thing, and see where my mind takes me.

I'm not quite going with her theme, only because I don't like to toss around the f-bomb. I don't think this makes me less assertive, or that I'm giving in to a preconceived notion of femininity. I think this means that I am able to do things the way I want to.

See? One down already!

Why I'm Fantastic, By Mimi Rickets
I can write well. I am really smart even though I never went to college - and I know I'll kick ass when I do finally go because I'm like that. I kill at trivia. I raised my kid well - I had help but ultimately I shaped her - this is the thing of which I am most proud. I have excellent grammar. I remember everything good - dates, birthdays, apartments, instances of joy - and can forget almost everything bad because I know that holding on to that stuff only hurts me. I have lovely hair and am actually proud of the silver in it because it's just like my grandmothers was. I can give a fantastic back rub. I hug tightly. I have never cheated on anyone. I never reveal confidences and secrets. I mean what I say. I can read a book in a weekend. I can draw well though I don't do it enough. I really like my singing voice. I like movies that make me laugh, even if they're juvenile. I tear up at events of every description whether or not they have anything to do with me. I take risks if it seems that taking the risk makes sense. I am intuitive - I can see pictures in my head of things people are describing, as if I was there. I have common sense. I give good advice, but I've also learned when to keep my lip zipped. I can admit when I make a mistake. I have a big heart with room for everyone. I understand - I believe the best in everyone and try my best to see their side before passing judgment. I embrace the kind of woman I've chosen to be even though others may not agree with it or think it's old fashioned. I can defend my choices.

Whew! That was refreshing.

So tell me... what makes YOU amazingly fantastic? Let it all hang out. Don't tell yourself someone else is better at it, or that it's not really a thing to have pride in... Just say it right out loud - what makes you awesome?!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

WTF Wednesday - Beer!

Still working on Tuesday's book review. It wasn't the best book, but I feel like since I actually managed to finish it, it deserves a Tome Tuesday edition.

So Monday night Trivia Robyn and I went to Left Hand Brewery (our general area is often referred to as Left Hand Valley, for Chief Niwot, aka Chief Left Hand, AND NOW YOU KNOW) for the Ales 4 Females monthly seminar/beer tasting.

Lucky me, it was fruit beer night! My favorite!

I've never been a huge beer person - to me it all tasted like fizzy, slightly bitter water - but as I've learned, "beer" doesn't just mean whatever's in the cans at the liquor store, or on tap at the local bar.

How does this fall under "WTF Wednesday" you ask?

WTF was I thinking not trying out more craft beers before this?

I mean, I'm a crafter! How could I not have known that this craft was out there, just waiting for me to not have time for it?

And it's true - it seems this is quite the labor-intensive hobby. I might have to stick with just visiting tasting rooms and finding treats, much like I stick with farmers markets for fresh produce because I have neither the skill nor time to learn how to grow my own veg without wasting great bunches of money only to end up with dead plants.

We'll see - never say never!

I liked the facility, it's very Front Rangey - a lot of natural stone and wood and barn-door type stuff.

Right off the bat, Ms. Robyn bought me a glass (a very LARGE glass) of Left Hand's Haystack Wheat, which I was very proud to have correctly identified as containing nutmeg and cloves.

You know how I love Fall foods? Breads and pumpkin and stuff?

Well I LOVED this beer.

After sitting and dishing for a little while, we headed in to the conference room, which was all set up with 3 tasting glasses and food pairings for each seat.

This month's seminar had lots of interesting info about the history of craft beers and women in that craft/industry.

Our speaker, Erin Glass of the Brewers Association, had a great quote, which I'm almost assuredly mis-quoting due to the afore-mentioned very large glass of Haystack Wheat.

"Someday, the term 'woman brewer' will be as archaic as the term 'lady doctor'."

Women were the original brewers after all - there are even ancient fermentation methods featured in a book I'm particularly interested in, "Sacred and Herbal Healing Beers".

I bet they taste like ass, but imagine... beer for colds! Beer for depression! Beer for... I don't know, gout?

The beers set up for us, though, were *not* ass-like in any way.

They were some of the most delicious things I've ever tasted.

Normally they don't get matchy with their tastings and pairings at A4F, but in this case I think our hostess wanted to really illustrate the difference between the idea that fruit beers are super sweet and the actual fruit/sweet item from which the brews take their inspiration.

I also learned that some beers taste better cool instead of cold, which was the case with all 3 of these - too cold and I think the flavor would suffer.

First up was Great Divide Wild Raspberry Ale, paired with blackberries.

This was not overly fruity, much less overly sweet, at least in my opinion - I'm no brewer, so I have no idea what the reviewers of this one are talking about (what the hell is "lacing"?!), but I thought it was lovely and smooth. We thought it would go really well with fruit pie of any description, and I plan on putting that theory to the test.


Second was Left Hand Good JuJu Ale, paired with ginger cookies.

I love sweet ginger stuff, but it can be really hit or miss. If it's too ginger-rootish, like crystallized ginger, it can be very bitter and unpleasant. Sweeten it too much and you have Ginger Ale and it's just a sweet soda.

One perfect balance can be found in Reed's Ginger Candy, which is like eating a ginger snap with a hot sauce finish - delicious!

This was served from the cask, so it didn't have all the carbonation you usually find, which I think was lovely because I really got to concentrate on the scent and taste without being distracted by bubbles.

This is just so delicious - I think it would be lovely with Thanksgiving dinner, only because when I think of ginger and clove I think Fall, but really it would be lovely any time.

I'm thinking with Thai food.

More testing is required.

Last but not least, we had Pyramid Audacious Apricot Ale, paired with dried apricots.

And oh my goodness.

Apricots aren't particularly super-sweet to begin with, and neither was this brew. I can definitely see it going with desserts, but again think a serious sampling is going to be required to verify this.

Part of our "reading list" included a website on how to put together a tasting...

I think a few folks are going to get roped into home-made pies and fruit beer some afternoon this Summer.

I know it'll be a struggle, but I have a feeling they'll make it through.

Last but not least, we found out that this week is American Craft Beer Week!

Go celebrate with a few local brews!

You'd be surprised how many there are out there... if you're not in Northern Colorado (land of Left Hand, Pumphouse Brewery, and Oskar Blues just to name a few that I can get to in 10 minutes or less), I can guarantee there's some where you are.

Find a brewery, do a tasting, and celebrate the fact that, as Ben Franklin said...

"Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy."

Even if it's maybe only partly true (and maybe totally false), I love that quote, and since Ben isn't here to dispute it, we'll just go with it.

I think he'd be okay with that.

Happy Wednesday!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Weekend Catchup: Zippy

What a lovely weekend!

Friday after school, The Kid had her very last ever Middle School Social. It was beach-themed and she looked very cute. She wore a blue & white hibiscus-print shirt/dress/beach coverup sort of thing, with her favorite blue cargo shorts, a lei, and a flower in her hair.

She noted that the only other person to dress in theme, and all in blue, was her crush. I love that she has a crush, though I'm mentally prepping myself for when the little shit breaks her heart by dating some stupid girl in high school that's not her.

Ah, youth.

ANYWAY, while she was busy boogyin', I was at the skate shop acting like a doof while getting the bearings swapped out in her fabulous new rollerskates.

Acting like a doof because I suddenly felt compelled to attempt to convey how cool I used to be to the skate shop owner.

"Ahhh... I remember that sound," I declaimed as he attempted to manhandle the old bearings out. "I used to go to skate shops with my friends when I was young, although I couldn't skate myself."

"Mmmhm," he muttered, as he attempted to tear open the package of new bearings. (He gave up and had me do it.)

"Yeah, it's funny that you're playing Red Hot Chili Peppers, actually, because that's what we heard a lot of then, too! That and, ya know, a lot of Social Distortion and Suicidal Tendencies and stuff. I saw them live, once, actually - RHCP, not Suicidal Tendencies, haha."

"Mmmhm," this time with a subtle eyeroll, was uttered once more.

It should be noted, at this point, that my brain was yelling STOP IT, but the train was already out of the station and gaining speed.

"Yeah like I said, I never could skate myself... I was more of an afficionado. We had our videos, I had my Thrasher subscription, ya know how it was. Ha, I think I just liked hanging out with the skater boys! That would be pretty weird now, though, huh."

He looked up, gave me the once over, and said...


Hey whatever dude, you're MY AGE... at least I admit that I'm waxing nostalgic like a big dork, you're actually trying to hang with the youngins, no doubt trying to convince them that Gleaming the Cube was the best movie EVAR and that Christian Hosoi is still the king of the universe.

OKFINEIADMITIT. I totally loved this movie.


So the bearings are on! The skates are super fast, which is taking a little getting used to for The Kid, but she'll get the hang of it.

After that little adventure into "I'm too old to be in a skate shop anymore at least not looking like this", I headed home to await Nova so I could go with her to pick up a toy box way down in south Denver.

It was a nice drive, we didn't hit much traffic and figured since were down that way (and The Kid was at home playing on the computer and working on a project for school) we'd stop in the city on the way back and have some dinner.

Pete's Kitchen won the vote, and we both had lovely, greasy gyros, something that's tough to get up our way!

She had remembered reading all about the profiterole at Il Vicino, and wanted to try them while were down there, so try them she did, and they did not disappoint! Yum.

The Kid & I had an early morning Saturday, so we headed back after dessert.

Saturday was The Kid's orchestra contest, "Trills & Thrills", which you might remember me helping chaperone last year due to my rampant volunteeritis. It wasn't so bad, of course, but I figured it would be easier to let her go with her class without me this time, and more fun for her as well since I don't really count rollercoasters high on my list at Elitch's, since those rides are built more for kids and less for large-racked Fertility Goddess types like myself. I spend a lot of time standing around getting sunburned and crabby.

As she was staying with her grampa overnight Saturday (he had generously agreed to drive her down to Rollerpunks practice Sunday), I headed down to Denver myself to do a bit of Costco-ing with TR (sidebar: TR if you're reading this, I can't really express my gratitude fully except to say thanks again) and then for dinner at Udi's, which was absolutley delicious! I had more of the fabulous German potato salad (I think I have a problem) and a margherita pizza, plus a peach bellini frozen adult slushy thing that would have knocked my socks off had I been wearing any.

We were both pretty pooped from our respective long days, so it was an early night. The bonus, of course, to an early night is waking up early the next day and getting to eat relatively crowd-free at Dozens! I had way too much coffee, of course - that Novo just rocks!

It was a gorgeous day, and TR lives in a beautiful neighborhood full of big, old homes, so we took a walk and I was once again delighted as I always am by the things you see when you walk.

Driving past places like these, you see bits and pieces but can't get the full effect since obviously if you did you'd get into regular car wrecks.

Walking, though, gives you the opportunity to notice, say, the heraldric artwork under the eaves of one roof, or the stonework topping another.

And the gardens! I wish I'd had my camera, because there were some of the most gorgeous poppies and tulips blooming hither and yon. It was fun watching the bees doing their thing, and the sights and smells were blissful. There really is nothing like the scent of fresh cut grass.

We picked up The Kid at her derby practice and she looked great! She definitely had an easier time on the new skates. No more struggling to roll, which is fabulous, and she wasn't the worn-out mess she had been in other weeks.

We had some dinner at Annie's, which was much better than last time.

It occurs to me that TR has been buying all 3 of us dinner a lot lately. I'm going to have to take him out soon, someplaced good, or make some really fantastic meal or something.

This week... not so much insanity. THANK GOODNESS.

Tonight I'm attending Ales 4 Females at the Lefthand Brewery here in Fabulous Longmont, where my friend Robyn & I will learn all about the brewing industry. Our grand plan (because I have no hobbies, haha) is to start brewing our own, and rule the world.

I think we could totally do it. Hey, I have a garage! And I could fit small barrells under my kitchen table! I even have a friend, Roger, who already makes his own and has offered to give pointers if we're serious.

Tomorrow, The Kid gets her 8th grade yearbook, which I made her swear not to draw all over. Autographs and such are great, I said, but don't go scribbling out anyone's faces!

Wednesday is the orientation meething for the Leadership Academy The Kid was accepted into for Freshman year at her new high school. How exciting is that?!

Thursday I'll head down to do Trivia (I'm having withdrawals - I think that's what spawned my need to spout skateboard facts at the skate shop guy).

Friday The Kid has a party to go to all evening, and I'll get a chance to relax!

Saturday is placemenet testing for my possible high education adventure, and Sunday is Rollerpunks yet again.

Did I say this week was going to be more relaxed?

I did, right?


Friday, May 14, 2010

F-Word Friday: I Fneed A Fnew Ftheme

I'm seriously running out of F-words.


So last night's concert was lovely (I'll post some videos when I'm at home, since I forgot the camera, a fact I'm sure shocks all of you), and I only cried twice, and just a little bit.

I don't think anyone noticed.

It's just so strange to think that I'll never see The Kid perform on that stage ever again! It's such a milestone!

I was surprised, when we moved here, to find out that there is no 8th grade graduation. It's just what's done where I grew up, private and public schools alike!

While I'm not a huge advocate of other sorts of graduations for the younger kids (I don't think it's necessary to graduate from, say, 5th grade to Junior High), it's a really big deal moving from grade school to high school. It's a huge change, and it's worth noting that passage with some kind of pomp and circumstance.

Here, it's just sort of "well, hope you had fun, good luck in your new school!".

When I finished 8th grade, we had a party and I got the best bike I ever owned which was stolen from me due to an unfortunate set of circumstances a couple of years later but we won't talk about that.

My whole family came, and there were caps and gowns and a diploma and everything.

It was wonderful, and really made me feel like I was transitioning from being a child to being a young woman.

It was important.

Well, she'll at least get taken out for dinner, and there will be cards to mark the occasion. Maybe I can find a "10" tassel to give her - I still have my from 1988, the year I graduated, not *from* 8th grade, but *to* high school.

This weekend will be filled with relaxation if I have to kill somebody to make it happen. Also, the possibility of beer cheese soup, Rollergirls on Sunday, and more work on the birthday gift I'm working up.

I'm hoping for some sleeping in on Sunday, too... it's been a long week!

Last but not least...

A resort on Easter Island! I want to go! Only 3 grand for a 3 day vacation, plus airfare etc.! A pittance, I tell you.

I'll file it under the "someday when I'm rich" header.

But oh...

If only.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Thrilling Thursday: SQUEE

So my mom works at a vet's office.

Last week, she was sitting there, running things and minding her business, when someone showed up with this:


That, friends, is a baby coyote. Is it not the cutest thing you've seen all day?!

She took the initiative and drove it out to the Tucson Wildlife Center, where he'll be carefully raised and then released back into the wild.

This place is amazing! They rescue all sorts of critters. From their website:

"We specialize in the capture and treatment of the dangerous variety of animals such as javelina, bobcat, eagles or mountain lion. Hopefully, they are nursed back to health for eventual release back into the wild. We have a crackerjack staff of volunteer veterinarians."

How can you not love a place that uses "crackerjack" to describe their staff?

You can't, that's how.

Go mom!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

WTF Wednesdsay - Overscheduled

It's been a super busy couple of days, which means I'm not at my most Mimiest, but I promise to bring you something awesome for Thursday!

I don't know what it is yet, but until I do I give you the following lazy backup plan, in honor of tonight's Science Fair.

I totally heart Bill Nye, and what says "science fair" more than a model of the planets?

Well, maybe lava-spewing papier-mache volcanoes and pictures of plant torture.

Happy Wednesday!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Weekend Catchup: Accidental Stabbing

We didn't do *quite* as much partying this weekend.

Friday night we went swimming up in Fabulous Greeley with Nova & her clan. It's a therapy pool, which means no freezing cold water.


After some quick dinner, Nova & I attempted to go act like 25 year olds by going to the local pub for a beer, but we neglected to remember it was Graduation Weekend up there, and were thwarted in our efforts.

We did manage to grab a pint of Strongbow on tap and oh my friends let me just tell you...

The canned stuff is nothing compared to that! If you are even mildly inclined toward hard cider, you must find some Strongbow on tap.

Saturday morning The Kid and I got up and out early, and by 10AM I had managed to throw out my back. It was a combo of too much laundry-hauling, cat-box-cleaning and swimming, and I spent the rest of the day with my heating pad. AWESOME.

I had planned on completing a birthday project, but it's just as well that I had to sit around all day convalescing, because here's a tip for you seamstresses out there, or anyone who knows one. Pass it on.

If you purchase a jelly roll of fabric, which consists of 40 or so 2"-wide strips of fabric, don't wash the fabric.

I know, I know, the rule is if you're making something with fabric that has potential to alter in hot water, wash it first to pre-shrink so you don't end up with a lumpy mess later after you've slaved away sewing and stitching.

But in this case?

Just don't.

Whatever you make, just plan on spot-cleaning it if need be, and warn the intended recipient of your labor that they should do the same.

Otherwise you will spend about 8 hours disassembling the bait-ball like thing that comes out of your dryer, snipping off strings that unraveled themselves into snarled balls of evil in that same dryer, and then ironing those long, skinny (now slightly skinnier) strips into semblances of their old, flat, lovely selves.

Sunday was Mother's Day, of course, but like I told The Kid...

I don't need a special day.

I'm so lucky to have a kid like her, and I don't need her to stop being a jerk or do chores one day of the year - she's lovely every day.

We had some breakfast, she gave me a card she made (of course - she *always* makes cards, so now I expect it), and at about noon we headed down to pick up TR and head to the derby bout between the Rocky Mountain Rollergirls' 5280 Fight Club and the Texas Rollergirls' Texecutioners.

It is unbelievable to see professionals do this. I highly recommend you attend a bout, you'll be blown away! The Kid was pretty impressed and, I think, inspired.

Also, our girls KICKED ASS.

The accidental stabbing took place on the way down to Denver... The Kid had her mechanical pencil in *just* the right place so that when pushing her hand away as she tried to Punch Buggy me on the sly (God help us if we ever pass a VW dealership), it smacked right into the very pointy tip of the pencil. OW! TR came to the rescue with pirate bandaids.

I am looking forward to this coming weekend... The Kid's grampa has agreed take her down to her practice Sunday so I can go have date night with TR (why did that sound like Showtime at the Apollo in my head?), which is good because I kind of miss that - which is weird since I see him every week and talk to him all the time.

I find I miss The Kid during the school year, too, which is equally weird because I actually *live* with her! How can I miss someone with whom I have constant contact?

I think what I'm missing is the freedom to just hang out and relax with my peeps, do nothing in particular, have a nosh and watch a movie or something. I don't get a lot of that these days! We've just got too much going on.

Do you find that to be true in your relationships, romantic and otherwise, dear readers? That you schedule yourself into oblivion only to find that you miss someone you see and talk to all the time?

Humans are strange creatures, no?

This introspective moment brought to you by Overactive Brainfunction, LTD., makers of What Are You Thinking gum and the often duplicated, never replicated "Interpretron 2000" Conversation Analysis Calculator. Now back to your regularly scheduled program!

Whoa! Where did that come from?!

Anyway, we had a lovely late lunch/early dinner at Pete's Greek Cafe after the bout, because I had a sudden yen for lemony, garlicky chicken soup.

The yen was... um, scratched?... successfully. So good.

On to another exciting week! This week is another packed one, of course...

Tomorrow is MESA day (The Kid was one of 11 to be picked - go her!), Wednesday is the Science Fair and volunteering at the humane society (that'll be fun, shoehorning those both together), Thursday is The Kid's *sniff* last ever middle school Orchestra concert (I'm totally going to cry, I just know it), and Friday is a beach-themed social.

I can't WAIT for summer vacation! And I don't even get one!

And finally, to those who read my Friday post, you'll be pleased to know that, even if it doesn't pan out, I have successfully...
  • Submitted my FASFA application, which includes an automated application for a Pell Grant
  • Submitted my Colorado COF (College Opportunity Fund) application
  • Applied to Front Range Community College for the Fall 2010 semester (the CU free credit hours aren't going to fit right now, though I will use them later)
  • Contacted the advisor group at FRCC to see with whom I should speak
  • Contacted the placement testing facility for dates and hours (Saturday mornings)
  • Decided on a course of study... can you guess what it'll be? 10 Internets to the one who gets it right.
Who knows if it'll work - it still may prove too expensive and time-consuming for right now - but at least I'll have gained a little bit of insight into what I'll need to do when things fall into place.

Wish me luck!

Friday, May 7, 2010

F-Word Friday: Foregone Conclusion

A little whining today, my apologies in advance.

So I never went to college.

I wanted to (I wanted to be a teacher - Art or English), and it almost happened, but various circumstances joined forces and it just didn't work out that way (though my mom tried her damndest).

It always felt like such a loss. Today's word (okay, phrase) is "foregone conclusion" and that's just what college was for me! It was never a "maybe I'll go" sort of thing. I would no sooner have considered not going than I would have considered not going to high school after 8th grade.

I even got in to the college of my choice, with early acceptance and everything! Problem was the financial aid wasn't available, and we didn't find out until it was too late.

I was packing and everything, planning how my room would look.

Truthfully I don't think I've ever gotten over it really, and so every year on Graduation Day here at the College, I feel really...


I want to be walking with my friends and family, hair did, nails did, all gussied up in cap and gown down to the stadium, and hear them hoot & holler when it's my turn.

I want to be on the stage, having my name called and being handed a seal-decorated vinyl-covered scrapbook cover with a placeholder page inside.

Most importantly, I want to be doing something I enjoy, not just something for which I qualified. I could be a student forever, take it all the way to PhD even. Damn the student loans, full speed ahead!

They say it's never too late, but sometimes I wonder. How could I pull it off now? I have a mortgage, a car payment, a kid to finish raising.

I've often thought about chucking it all after The Kid heads off to college (or whatever - the Air Force, culinary school, massage therapist college... SOMETHING). Once she's settled in her own life, maybe I could sell the house, get student loans and go back to school full time.

But could I do it?

Could I give up what, at that point, will be 20 years of working and slaving, give up my house and any semblance of an adult life, and go back to being flat broke (well, flat broke-er), all based on the idea that if I get a degree in something I'll be happier?

Has comfort made me complacent?

I do alright now... my options are fewer, sure, but I'm in a good, solid job, I make at least enough to keep food on the table and let my kid do a sport and learn an instrument...

I'm kind of set right?

So why the longing?

Maybe it's just that I still feel the sting of missed opportunity. Who knows.

Eh, sorry for the maudlin post today... like I said, it's Graduation Day 'round these parts. It's hard to keep your head in the sand when it's all around you!

Here, I'll get the tiny violins out. You play em', I'll weep quietly in a corner.

This weekend... swimming, drinks with a friend, a quick birthday sewing project and a roller derby bout with TR & The Kid (which sounds like BJ & The Bear when I say it in my head). Two of the top teams in the country are playing, and it's a "friends and family only" event, to which we were invited since we are so cool (ok fine, AND because it's good for the Punks to see this stuff in action).

Have a lovely weekend!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Thrilling Thursday: Sopa de Pollo

No post yesterday because...

Well, I don't know why actually, it just never happened I guess!

My usual take-a-break-and-write time was replaced with sit-in-the-stockroom-and-don't-look-too-closely-at-that-moving-thing-in-the-corner time.

It happens.


So last night The Kid had to finish her third and final cooking assignment. She had already made the entree (Thai Beef Wraps which were AWESOME) and dessert (the Easter cupcakes which were equally delish), and so had to make either soup (from scratch) or salad (with many ingredients and dressing from scratch).

We had been kicking around salads, but you know something? Dressings are frackin' complex. You can't just take sour cream and stuff and make ranch, there are HERBS and SPICES and if you do it wrong a bear will eat you (or so I'm told). Italian dressing requires vinegars of every name and description, and they all cost many dollars that I'm too proud to sell myself for.

(Excuse me... "for which I am too proud to sell myself." Better living through proper grammar!)

Instead she decided she's make some chicken soup. We started riffing on this idea.

Since (in anticipation of tacos) I had already purchased an avocado, and we had leftover taco chicken from an I-need-to-cook-that-before-it-rots experiment the other day, we came up with a Cinco De Mayo soup (it being Cinco De Mayo and all yesterday), which closely mimics the Azteca soup which I LOVE from Ajuua.

It was definitely a kitchen-sink, use-the-leftovers soup, and it ROCKED.

(And why all the hyphenation today?! I-DON'T-KNOW.)

She put the chicken in the broth, let it simmer, cut up some leftover corn tortillas we had sitting in the fridge, added the chunky-chopped avocado and some leftover shredded quesadilla cheese, some dashes of chili powder and cayenne, some salt and pepper and hot sauce and...

It was so good we ate it ALL.

I love that she cooks. Here's the video!

I have mentioned how much I love my Mac, right? Thank you iPhoto!

In other thrilling news, I'm happy to report that I found roller skates for The Kid that will be much better than the ones she has now, and they were only $100, plus a swap-out of the bearings and maybe new wheels, we'll see.

The Rollergirls tried to convince me to get her the $500 ones, and they're totally right because those ones are the BEST, but until her feet stop growing/she really settles in to the sport, that just seems like a lot of bucks to scrape up.

I can't even afford salad vinegar, much less the Riedell Minx Superbootie!

Maybe in a couple of years. USED.

And I'm sorry I just don't think I'll ever see the need for the $1000 ones. Call me crazy. If she wants those, she'll have to start selling her organs or something.

Happy Thursday!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Totally Random Tuesday: May The 4th Be With You


It's Star Wars Day!

There I was, minding my own business and trolling through the CRAFT: blog, when what to my wondering eyes should appear but a mini plush tauntaun and a cute little pooch in an Ewok costume.

I don't like Ewoks overmuch, but that is CUTE

I love Star Wars, or at least the *real* first 3 movies (it's a nostalgia thing). It was so exciting to take The Kid to see the re-release of the original some years back, although I always have a strange sense of sadness whenever they say "A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away..."

How long exactly? Are we talking thousands, even millions of years? What happened to their civilization, do you think? Will this happen to us?

I had the same reaction to an episode of Buck Rogers, so it's an on-going thing.

I have problems, but this is not news.

Anyway, my friend Google netted me further awesomeness for today!

For when you absolutely, positively must have the correct spelling of "Dookoo".

What is Michael Jackson doing in this picture? I'm just curious.

Not sure what to do besides watch all the movies and swing around empty wrapping paper tubes making the "nyyyyarrrr" sound? A member of Star Wars Blogs has some ideas for you, including letting the wookie win.

Ever wonder what happens to the credits? Somebody figured it out.

For the record, I love Star Trek and Star Wars equally

And finally, I found this.

There are no words.

Have a lovely Star Wars Day... try not to hurt yourself.

Happy Tuesday!

Monday, May 3, 2010

Weekend Catchup: Party Party Party

Friday night was nice. The Kid had a birthday party to go to with an Alice In Wonderland theme, and she decided to be the Cheshire Cat.

Showing yet again that she did indeed inherit the Kraft Krazy, she concocted a 5-minute duct-tape costume with purple and pink coloring that was PERFECT and totally cute.

Pictures? Well that would require me remember the camera and/or that I have a camera phone.

But trust me, it was really cute!

While she was partying, I got myself some pan-fried tofu from the local asian food place and went home to catch up on The Daily Show. Michael Caine is hilarious, BTW.

After I picked her up we headed home to relax and get some sleep, but I found myself completely obsessing over bed bugs. I don't have any, but that really isn't the issue...

Reading about them for an hour or so will almost guarantee you extreme cooties for hours after.

I have vowed never to buy used bedroom furniture, though... those little shits can live for up to a YEAR with no food! And they flatten themselves out so look all you like, you won't find them before you bring that dresser home with you.


Do yourself a favor and DON'T read about them.

Or if you do (don't do it!), don't spend subsequent hours researching reasons for cooties, because the reasons for feeling that creepy-crawly sensation are many, varied, and terrifying.

Take it from me.

Saturday morning we got up nice and early and headed out to the farmers market! It was lovely, of course, although there isn't much in the way of actual produce yet. There were, however, many pre-started plants with which, if I had a green thumb, I could purchase, plant, and grow my own garden.

But I have a black thumb.

I can kill a cactus.

Saturday afternoon, after whipping up some chocolate-covered strawberries (seriously the easiest thing ever), we headed to a friends house for a May Day party, which was lovely and uplifting! I didn't dance the maypole this year, as my hip was arguing with me, but I did manage to cultivate a delightful sunburn.

After leaving that party, it was off to ANOTHER party!

We were total social butterflies this weekend.

The Bacon Party I mentioned Friday was a HUGE success. The clear winner ended up being the Vanilla Bourbon Bacon (sounds gross, but OMFG), but other favorites were the Applewood Smoked and Garlic, which were both delicious and different.

I also had some wine, which made me super silly.

"Oh hi," I gushed to one woman who had literally just walked in the door. "Did you know you look just like Christina Hendricks?!"

She didn't know who this was, so I elaborated with references to Firefly because of course I did.

Then I referred to her as Christina Hendricks for the rest of the evening, much like Tracey Morgan does to Liz Lemon on 30 Rock, which at least made her laugh a bit, so that wasn't too bad, right?



Aside from poor Christina Hendricks, I met a bunch of people who are as goofy as I am when shnookered, so that was a win! One woman even brought up Bob Schneider, so we gushed over that and did the Tarantula Dance, which made everyone take 3 steps back from us as if whatever crazy we had was catching.

That's okay, we understood. But it had to be done.

Sunday morning, me and my hangover (really when did my tolerance get so low?!) got up and after getting our lives in order and eating breakfast, we headed down to Denver for Rollerpunks practice, and I got a little sticker shock.

Remember when I was crowing about how roller derby had relatively low overhead, so go me for finding a sport that wouldn't bleed me dry?

Not so much.

I'm trying not to complain, because The Kid loves it so much, but sheesh!

I thought I had totally scored, finding roller skates for 50.00. Well, yeah, if she just wants to go to the roller rink for an hour once in awhile... According to The Girls, to make them anywhere near decent, they're going to need some serious modifications, like new wheels that COST MORE THAN THE SKATES DID!!!

Holy crap!

As a band-aid, I purchased better bearings to replace the current crappy ones (9 is the best, apparently, and these skates are currently sporting a 1 - awesome), and she'll just have to deal with the current wheels for a few more practices, 6 at most. It's the best I can do.

We had been planning on painting her room and getting new furniture and such, but I told her yesterday she'd have to pick...

Paint & upgraded furniture or skates & organization (so that her current furniture works better for her). Oddly enough, she had been thinking the same thing, and picked the skates.

So in a few weeks (when the budget allows for it), I will stop being cheap and take her to a proper skate shop to buy skates that won't make her feel like she's trying to skate in sand. Poor kid.

Well, like I told her... silver lining! Just think of the workout she's getting!

After practice, we attempted to go to Ted's in Larimer Square with TR, but parking was a bear this week. It's kind of hit or miss down there, sometimes you can get a spot right away, or at least one within 2 blocks, but last night I didn't see *anything* within a 6-block radius! Bummer, because although I have only been there once several years ago, their wedge salad still remains something I need to have in my life.

Instead we opted (based on The Kid's deep need for Thai food) to head to another location of the fabulous Thai Basil. It was delicious, as usual, and the sunset while taking the long way home (well, not so long, just less highway time) was absolutely stunning.

A lovely weekend, if a little hectic.