Living in Colorado is an adventure. Living in my head is an adventure. Don't count on a sustained train of thought or unified theme. We live at 7,600 feet above sea level, and strive to make every day living an adventure.
So, only 23 people read my last blog about spin class (which I went to again on Friday, by the way, this time NOT by myself, and the "beginner" class felt SO much easier!) However, apparently, EVERYONE's takeaway was that Megan is an out of control cookie monster.
As everyone knows who has been around me for even a tiny bit of time, I love to run. Love. it. I pay money to run (which confuses my poor husband, who doesn't understand the lure of the race... he just sees it as paying money for something I do for free most of the time.)
I will tell you what though. Lately, it just isn't going so well.
And by "not well," I mean, I am not only riding the struggle bus, not even DRIVING the struggle bus, I am the bug on the windshield of the struggle bus, baked on by the sun and won't come off even with the windshield wipers going full-blast and the misters used repeatedly.
Watching just a bit of Ice Dancing this evening. I'm not a huge fan of ice dancing - it seems like the cheap version of figure skating, not that I can do what they do. However, I failed to realize that Eric apparently has an absolute horror of ice dancing. Can't. Stand. It. Here are some of the things that have been said, just in the last few minutes:
Eric: This is NOT a spot.
Me: Doesn't that hurt, with her skate on his <Eric interrupts>
Eric: She should stand on his head.
Me: A twizzle? Seriously, that's a thing?
Announcer: Come on Tom, you gotta love it!
Eric: No I don't. And I don't.
Eric: <watching Russian ice dancer cry>: She's faking it.
So, I'm thinking that if there's anything else left in the Olympics that is on ice and is NOT hockey, I will be watching it alone, or not at all.
Happy Valentine's Day! Such a wonderful opportunity to honor and cherish the ones we love...
Excuse me, I'm going to go puke now.
Is Valentine's Day not just the most over salted, overpriced, guilt-ridden, sap-fest promulgated by commercialism and capitalism you've ever seen? I mean, I'm a card-carrying member of Hallmark, but I just rage against the greeting card on this particular day. The emphasis on over-priced, sure-to-die immediately flowers, chocolates that will take years to get off my hips, jewelry to get a (*ahem*) smile but breaks the budget just drives me bonkers.
I am really fortunate in that I have a husband who understands this, and celebrates within my anti-V-D framework. Last year, he put a pineapple in my car, and that totally works for me.
So in lieu of dinner out and chocolates we don't need, here's a numerical recap of Eric and Megan:
4,063 days married
3 houses and 1 apartment in 2 states
6 countries visited together
29 states visited together
3.76 pound lobster
one million inside jokes
countless laughs 0 regrets
I know, who does? The one redeeming part about the dentist is that wonderful, lead-lined blanket they drape over you when they take x-rays. I want to stay under that weight forever... except maybe today, because I started wondering just what the heck they were taking pictures of in there. Seriously, it was like 10 x-rays, and I only have 28 teeth!
What I really don't like is the lecture. I'm sure you know the one, you know, about flossing? I am convinced that there isn't a single person in America who doesn't work in a dentist's office that flosses enough. My hygienist, probably because I am a new patient, really laid in on thick today. On, and on, and on about the floss! Seriously, I am nearly 35 years old, no cavities, and every dentist I've ever been to tells me I have "pretty teeth," which I don't really understand, but I'm assuming is good, and so I'm thinking that what I'm doing is more or less working for me. I frankly, highly doubt that your lecture, or the lecture of ten's of dental hygienists before you, will make me change my habits, or lack thereof.
The woman then had the nerve to say, "well, you've got some bleeding in your gum here." I'm sorry, but did you NOT notice that you just punched my gums with a 16th century instrument of torture, and then scraped along the gum line? I don't think any amount of flossing is going to toughen those babies up to the Teflon-levels they would need to be to withstand that crap.
I'm not kidding you, when the dentist finally arrived, she looked in my mouth and went, "hmm, looks like you cut the roof of your mouth." Me? Again, stainless steel devices that are likely used at Guantanamo and illegal under UN interrogation charters, and I cut my mouth?
Then she thought she saw something on one of the x-rays. However, that "something" was so small, she had to take the record to another screen and blow it up to see anything. She came back and declared that the vague shadow on tooth 13 (don't ask me which that is, I don't label them) has a cavity.
Are you sure? I don't feel anything? No discomfort, no pain.
Yep, cavity. Well, the start of one. Maybe if you floss more...
Come back Tuesday and we'll put some <insert technical word for what I heard, which I swear was "white paint">> on it.
Monday through Friday, for the work day, I really could have been anywhere on the planet. Hotel conference rooms pretty much look the same the world over (exception, the stone wall, thatched roof conference space I was in last year in Ethiopia, but exceptions sometimes prove the rule.)
I stayed through Sunday evening, and that made all the difference. I couldn't get back to the states until the planes went (duh), so I had a day and a half pretty much free. There should be another post about adventures on islands, but that's for another time.
Food is the focus here.
So, Indonesia is, (duh) a series of islands. Not surprisingly then, fish is on the menu. All the time. All the time, for every meal. Some of the preparation, however, tended to be a little more... uhh, all natural, than others.
Like the fish soup with scales and fins still attached. Yummy, but crunchy.
Or this lunch:
Here's looking at you, lunch.
Or this dinner:
Prawns with their heads
Manado, where I was, is also apparently known throughout Indonesia for being one of the few places in the country where they serve their food really, really spicy. Fortunately, I like spicy, although this trip tested the limits of my tolerance. They serve tiny red and/or green chilies of HIGH potency in almost everything they cook. Like this chicken curry dish, one of the few times I had something other than fish:
Sunday, before my flight, I went with some Compassion staff out into the country, up a volcano and back down again. We ate from roadside stands, and from a bakery in some small village. The travel nurse from work would have had a FIT.
My co-workers negotiating for fruit at a roadside stand
Durian, the stinkiest fruit on the planet. Grows from really tall trees
and I swear they could be like a mace if you got hit with one.
They are banned in public transportation in many SE Asian countries
due to the smell.
Tastes vaguely like sulfur and meat, and is a little salty.
Bun baked with hard boiled egg and sweet ground pork. Langsat. A fruit much better than durian.
Once I got the airport that evening (four hours early, then a two hour delay, all the while wearing dirty, sweaty hiking clothes, but again, story for another day), this is what cheese toast was in the café:
I kind of think of blogging as story-telling, so here's one...
In 2006, I quit my first professional job. It was nerve-racking. I had never quit a job before. I mean, I left several jobs in college, but always because it was the end of the school year, or the beginning of the school year, end of break, etc... but never left a "real" job.
So I quit. I gave five weeks notice (holy moly, I really could have done with like, three.) My vice-president was disappointed, but informed the CEO that I was leaving.
Apparently, the CEO's response was "what will it take for her to stay?"
OK, so that's really flattering, but also really dangerous, right? I mean, if I say, "oh, pay me this much more and I'll stay," that doesn't make for a very loyal employee, does it? That certainly wasn't going to set me up for future success, and frankly, at that point in my life, I wasn't interested in staying, more money or not.
So then the CEO called me into his office.
And that's when things got weird.
The CEO ushered me in to his office, and followed behind me. He stood between me and the door, and, I kid you not, said "I have two sets of handcuffs, where do you want them?"
Want to guess what I immediately thought?
Well, I didn't say THAT out loud, but what CAN you say out loud? I fumbled around with some words, all the while thinking "how do I get out of here?" and "holy cow, he's blocking the door!" I actually sat at his conference table and talked with him. I have no memory of what I said, something about "it's just time for me to try something new," and thinking "this is yet another reason I have to get the heck out of here, RIGHT NOW." He kept chuckling, but also saying something about wanting to keep me there...I finally got out of his office, walked across the hall, and reported the whole, creepy incident to the HR Director.
I don't suggest trying to keep your employees by threatening to chain them up, and then laughing about it, but continuing to say creepy things.
Epilogue: Two months later, the CEO was fired. I got a phone call from a friend at my former work, saying "You can come back now."
Remember when I was all bedazzled about the beautiful, gorgeous winter weather in Colorado (read: last weekend?)
Yea, so the bottom dropped out of the weather this last week.
Tuesday night, it was -5 when I went to bed.
Wednesday morning, it was -16 when I left the house. The wind chill was something in the negative high 20's.
Despite having both cabinet doors and the dishwasher door open, the kitchen sink pipe froze after I left the house for work. Eric turned the heat up to 75 sweltering degrees in the house, put a space heater under the cabinets, and shut the doors, which resulted in 90+ degrees under the sink.
It was -17 when I left for work Thursday morning. The pipe was still frozen.
Thursday night, we moved the space heater to the basement, and propped it up on a ladder, right near the ceiling. At 10:30pm, it finally thawed. We're very glad the pipe didn't split.
Time to open up the drywall and add some insulation.
However, we still just call this "winter" in Colorado. No polar vortex. No snowpocalypse. Just winter. No reason to panic...
Does anyone else find it really incongruent that McDonald's sponsors the Olympics every year?
Do we really believe that these finely honed athletes, with their dieticians, trainers and coaches, supplement their kale smoothies with a Big Mac? Maybe a large fry before hitting the weight room? End the night with a McFlurry?
The current McDo commercial shows athletes biting their medals on the winners' podiums, then cutting to a group of fit(ish) looking spectators, watching the games on TV and diving into some nuggets.
Couch potatoes and a McChicken? Sure. Sochi participants? I don't think so.
Notice who former Olympic athletes shill for?
Just don't get me started on that disgusting new sandwich they are promoting, something sticky with corn chips on it, and a horrible theme song to go with it...
We are just about one year into attending our church.
A year ago, we walked in to Fox Meadow, after googling the church in the parking lot, and having our expectations about as low as you could get. We hadn't had a "great" church hunting experience so far.
We happened to meet the pastor and his wife. They happened to have gone to college with someone Eric works with.
We got invited to something called Family Dinner.
We went. We kept going. We started hosting. We kept hosting. We joined.
Last weekend, we walked in. We said hello to Tracy. I stopped to talk to Kathy. Eric nipped into the nursery and saw Josie, his year-old girlfriend. We laughed with Adam about something said at B-Dubs the night before.
Laurel made me my name tag.
We didn't expect to find community, certainly not as quickly as we did.
All my Michigan friends can laugh, but we had ONE FOOT of snow this weekend!
I know, the Midwest is digging out from multiple feet of snow, and arctic temperatures, but this just doesn't happen very often in Jan/Feb in Colorado. Most of the snow Colorado receives comes later into the spring (last spring we had six Saturdays in a row of blizzards.)
Enter the Pineapple Express.
Seriously, it's called the Pineapple Express! A dip in the Jet Stream results in pushing moist air over the Rockies from California, bringing snow to Colorado in January and February.
The Pineapple Express made a stop at my house.
It's so happy!
Garden of the Gods
I skied Friday night before Eric got home from Chicago.
We rented snowshoes from REI on Saturday ($15 for a pair, and they let us keep them until today!)
Garden of the Gods
We snowshoed Garden of the Gods on Saturday. It was cloudy and cold, and was snowing, but we didn't mind and neither did the big horn sheep.
Pike National Forest
Eric and the Monument
Sunday, after church and before the Super Bowl, we snowshoed to "The Monument" (the big rock the town of Monument is named for.) It was sunny, 37 and just gorgeous.
Not really sure when I became that woman who talks about the weather all the time?
We experienced Bronco nation tonight for the first time. When we lived in Indiana, the Colts went to the Super Bowl, but I honestly don't remember if we actually got together with anyone... in all likelihood, we were Up North, and were with other Lions fans (read: no dog, er, cat, in the game.) It was a fun idea to be in the same state as a Super Bowl contender!
We were with Broncos fans tonight. At one point I looked over, and there was a whole couch of long faces. It was seriously like a sad clown festival. And the night just never got better. The Broncos got outplayed at every turn. It was a little like watching a Lions play-off game...
Sorry, Broncos. At least you made it to the Super Bowl...