Monthly Archives: December 2006

A really big ornament

While Hulk has already documented the cats’ favorite activity at his parents’ house, here are some pictures of Loki’s second-favorite activity (at least, this time of year): climbing and hanging out in their Christmas tree.

The living room of the house has a very high ceiling, and they have a tall (fake) tree – at least 8 or 9 feet. Loki would climb about halfway up and just hang out, all 14 long lean pounds of him. Once or twice, he climbed even higher and then the tree wobbled and shook, not built to withstand that much cat. I had to pull him out a few times because while his tree-climbing instincts are still there, his tree-descending instincts leave something to be desired. It was OK for him to hurl hhimself out of the tree from 4 feet up but I got a little nervous when he was peeking out and trying to figure out how to jump out from 6 feet.


End-of-year meme, courtesy Linda of All and Sundry

From here:

1. What did you do in 2006 that you’d never done before?
I shoveled a crapton of snow after our blizzard last week. I took Amtrak from Colorado to California and back for Thanksgiving. Got in my first car accident (was rearended by a 16 y/o at a stoplight.) We got to have our very own garden for the first time with tomatoes and peppers and herbs, because we moved to the new place.
2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
Didn’t make any, other than to look fabulous for my 10-year reunion. And I think I did. I think I’ll stick with staying in good shape for 2007.
3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
Two cousins, neither of which are particularly close, but I did knit the babies some blankets.
4. Did anyone close to you die?
5. What countries did you visit?
None. We went to China at the end of 2005 but didn’t make it out of the country this year.
6. What would you like to have in 2007 that you lacked in 2006?
A car
7. What dates from 2006 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
August 10 (HS Reunion), July 3 (5th anniversary with boyfriend), December 20 (blizzard)
8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Helping to organize a great national conference.
9. What was your biggest failure?
I failed to convince the people at my job that I’m worth more money for the amount of responsibility I have.
10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
A few colds, maybe. I was actually quite healthy in 2006. Must have been all the working out and eating super-healthy I did.
11. What was the best thing you bought?
Absolute Sandman for the Hulk for Giftmas.
12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
My crappy old supervisor retired. I celebrated then. Also, Benji won “So you think you can dance,” and that was pretty good, too.
13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
Can I say the entire current political administration? I’m going with that.
14. Where did most of your money go?
Assuming aside from things like rent, food, utilities, probably travel to CA.
15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
The reunion. And meeting internet people.
16. What song will always remind you of 2006?
“My Humps” was pretty ubiquitous. I hardly ever listen to the radio, but I heard that song all the time.
17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
a) happier or sadder? 
b) thinner or fatter? 
c) richer or poorer?
maybe happier, marginally thinner (though a lot stronger and in better shape), marginally richer (at least, more debt is paid off and I have more in my retirement account.)
18. What do you wish you’d done more of?
Travel out of the US, or maybe just travel in general. I also wish we’d had the chance to go see more live music.
19. What do you wish you’d done less of?
Been frustrated by Hulk’s difficulty in gaining employment
20. How will you be spending Christmas?
Spent Giftmas with Hulkrents, HulkBro, Hulksisinlaw, HulkGrandma. But I did talk to my family a couple of times.
21. Did you fall in love in 2006?
I fall in love with the Hulk over and over again. And a girl named Spike.
22. How many one-night stands?
None in my whole life.
23. What was your favorite TV program?
Watching Battlestar Galactica and Lost on DVD.
24. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?
I don’t think I hate anybody.
25. What was the best book you read?
Temeraire (3 book series) by Naomi Novak.
26. What was your greatest musical discovery?
I’m so out of the loop regarding music; I really have no idea. I like music.
27. What did you want and get?
To meet my friend Monkey after knowing her for 5 years on the internets.
28. What did you want and not get?
A car
29. What was your favorite film of this year?
I’m not sure – maybe Wordplay.
30. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I was 27 on March 14. I went to work and my mom’s students sung to me over the phone. Hulk made me a delicious birthday dinner and red velvet cake.
31. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
Probably if I’d taken any sort of a class to help exercise my brain.
32. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2006?
I wasn’t concerned with fashion so much as fitting into smaller clothing, which I did manage to do for a few months (July, August, September). I did find some cool new stuff to wear. I love my new jeans with the dragon on them that I got in Indianapolis. Oh, and I got to shop at H&M several times both in Indy and in CA, so that was good.
33. What kept you sane?
Knowing I was going to be able to travel for work and get out of my cube this fall. After that, it’s been looking forward to the holidays. Now, it’s knowing that soon we will have a toilet that won’t run all the time.
34. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
I always drool over Ewan MacGregor and Ed Norton. I drooled over Christian Bale in The Prestige.
35. What political issue stirred you the most?
Probably the election in general. I was so glad things turned out the way they did. A particular piece of legislation was drafted to counteract a part of the President’s proposed 2007 budget that would have directly affected the program I run, so that was probably the closest-to-home issue.
36. Who did you miss?
Family and friends. I missed Hulk and the kitties when I was traveling a lot for work.
37. Who was the best new person you met?
New, as in didn’t know at all before 2006? Leah and Simon of A Girl and a Boy.
38. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2006.
Go to the chiropractor ASAP after you get rear-ended.
39. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.
“It’s something unpredictable, but in the end it’s right.”

Merry Giftmas, internet

Made it up through the snow to HulkRents’ house
Been to the gym twice
drank waaaay too much
ate waaaaay too much
surprised and touched by the lovely presents from Hulk & co
kitties are all settled in and don’t even mind the little doggie
hot tub under the stars when it’s 20F out: lovely
Loki has climbed the Christmas tree at least 5 times. He lurves it.
found all the necessary presents
successfully deposited large jar of suggestive German sausages into the Holla stocking. (yummy!)
One more day of HulkFamily togetherness and then we’ll make a trek to the still somewhat dysfunctional Denver airport, do some Denver errands, and head back up north for some winter cabin time. I’m bringing a bunch of knitting and we might rent snowshoes.

faithfully keeping the internets informed,
merry Giftmas and whatever other holidays y’all celebrate,

Blizzard: today’s pictures

9 AM today, looking out our front window. That car parked there about 3 PM yesterday and I bet it’ll be a while before the car can move. I would guesstimate the snow is at least 20-24 inches deep (obviously, no little fence visible). You can see where the sidewalk would be, since someone walked through there not too long before I took the picture. The snow is still falling.

Corner, 9 AM. Notice the huge drift in front of the red fence, and the truck by the stop sign is almost invisible because it’s covered in snow.

Out our front door – several inches of buildup. (Petra tried to stick her head outside and then thought better of it)

View out the back window – the grill looks like a big boob on the table, and the chairs are completely covered in snow. Note – no rose bush visible, so the snow there is at least 24 inches deep.

Hulk just bundled up and pushed through this to get to the shed where the snow shovel is kept. I don’t know how he managed it.

And the snow hadn’t stopped falling yet…

See, I asked for a white Christmas, not a blizzard.

So it really isn’t my fault, I swears.

Here are some pictures I took yesterday around 1 PM and then this morning at 9 AM (needless to say, pretty much EVERYTHING is closed, including all state offices. I cheered when it tickered across the bottom of the TV screen last night.)(So today we are having another snow day, and I’m going to build a snowman in my backyard because I’ve never in my life been able to do that before.)

Anyhow, pictures.

View out front window. You can see the tops of the fencing of our front bed. The snow was falling pretty hard.

View of backyard. Note the little bbq grill on the table and the top of the rose bush against the lovely privacy fence. Several inches of snow buildup on the chairs.

Corner of our block, 1 PM. Notice the small blue truck already somewhat buried to the right of the stop sign. The reddish fence is behind where we had our tomatoes and peppers this summer. Also, notice that there are still brave souls out there driving!

Corner of our block, with small beetle bravely making its half-buried way up the street. I would guess the snow is about 10-12 inches deep at this point.

Blogger won’t let me put in more pictures, so I will have to do a post#2.

Snow day!

From what I have been told by those in the know, the state NEVER closes buildings, even for terrible, terrible weather. That’s definitely been the case since I’ve worked here, but there are rumors going around today that our big honkin’ winter storm is going to force the closure of the state buildings at noon today.

Walking to work this morning was an interesting task. I had to get all bundled up in layers, hiding my wet braided hair under my Emily the Strange hat (with kitty ears!), wrapping my long green scarf around and around my neck and lower face, putting on my heavy wool pea coat. Today I knew the conditions would be bad-ish, so I wore jeans and knee high socks and my clompy snow-going zipup boots. The snow was stinging cold powder blowing straight into my face the whole way to work, and every minute or so I brushed off my coat, purse, and mittens, unable to reach my backpack and the layers of snow that piled up. Few people had been out on the sidewalks, or enough snow had fallen that the footprints of those who had walked before me were obscured, so my footprints fell deeply into the inch or two of snow on the sidewalks, announcing to the world for at least a few minutes which way I had gone.

The girl walking ahead of me wore a bright red coat, fuzzy hat, and mittens. I love brightly colored coats, both for the visibility factor and for the contrast between the whiteout conditions and the vibrant color. My peacoat is at least 30 years old (maybe more like 35) and a hand-me-down from my mom. It’s warm and fits me, so though it’s black I’m sure I’ll be wearing it for years.

Cars drove by much more slowly than usual, as the snowplows either hadn’t been out yet or hadn’t been by in a while. It was cold enough outside to keep the snow in the road from melting much, but everyone is careful when driving in these conditions, at least the smart ones are. I was glad I didn’t have to drive. In the interim breaks between waves of cars, the still snow silence roared in my ears along with the wind blowing gritty powder into my eyes.

As I got to work, one of my coworkers approached from the building across the street, huddled under an umbrella. I felt like kicking myself; the umbrella would have been a wikkid smaht idea. Maybe I’ll remember next time.

Inside the building, I roasted immediately and began peeling off layers, shedding my winter skin like a snake. Off come the hat and mittens, and I stamp the snow off my boots and clomp carefully down the stairs to the basement. In my cube, I unwrap my scarf, shake off my hat, mittens, coat, scarf, backpack and purse as I remove each item. Even my sweater has a bit of snow accumulation around the collar. Everything gets hung up to maybe dry a little before I venture out into the world again.

It’s official; the building is closing at 2 PM. I think I’ll leave at 1 and go to the gym. I don’t want to break my exercise streak (been going 5 days a week for the last 4 weeks to negate the 2 months of traveling and eating out I had to do for work this fall). It remains to be seen whether we’ll be told to stay home tomorrow. If we aren’t, I may be one of the only ones who can get in to work, since my legs work much better in the snow than vehicles stuck behind the huge drifts in some of the suburbs caused by plows. Maybe my wish to see a white Christmas will come true for the first time in my life. There will probably sill be some of this snow around this weekend, if nothing else.

People around here moan and groan about snow in the winter – at least, my coworkers do. I’m sure it gets old after living here for years and years, and I can understand why someone might want to flee for more temparate climes. But for me, snow is still magical, and a small, childish part of me has always wanted to see snow at Christmas. I’m sure for Wheels in Winterpeg or for Leah who grew up in SLC, snow is more of a hassle than anything else, but when it comes to snow I feel like I did anticipating Santa before I figured out he didn’t exist. Snow is magic and special and I’m going to stomp my clompy boots and insist on that for at least another winter here in Colorado.

Update: It’s 11:30 and we’ve been given the OK to leave. Maybe I’ll just do a pilates DVD at home, because I don’t know what the weather will be like in an hour after I might be done at the gym.

A Girl’s Best Friend

One of my coworkers has possession of nearly $14,000 worth of diamonds this weekend. She’s been carrying them in her coat pocket all day today.

Backstory? Her son is planning a Christmas surprise proposal to his girlfriend. Their family is friends with a diamond wholesaler out of state, who mailed 3 diamonds to my coworker’s house. Coworker’s son came by the office to pick the one of the 3 he wants to buy and have set into a presentation setting for his surprise proposal. Coworker had planned to FedEx the other two back to the wholesaler today but was told to wait until Monday.

Coworker’s son left, and I got to take a peek at 3 princess-cut diamonds all worth around $4500. Sparkly! Shiny! Square! And also, rocks.

Man, I don’t know if I can think of anything that makes me more nervous than carrying around something really valuable. I don’t think I’ve ever carted around anything worth more than a few hundred dollars at any given time (including cash), so the thought of walking around with many thousands-worth of precious gems makes my stomach kind of droppy. I think this is one of the reasons that I don’t want a diamond ring for my own self – that, added to the whole DeBeers thing, the overvalued thing, the conflict diamond thing, and the fact that I prefer colored stones. I honestly don’t think I would like walking around with a piece of jewelry on my hand worth more than the total value of my other posessions, having to worry about what happens if it falls out or gets stolen or whatever.

I must admit, they were pretty and sparkly. But sheesh, talk about pressure, carrying them things around and having them at home for days! I wouldn’t want that kind of stress.