Tag Archives: holding out on the internets

Teaser

OK, I don’t think I can post the Great Big Reveal on a Sunday, since nobody’s probably going to see it. Therefore, I’ll just do a teaser or two.

If you can guess what the project is, and you haven’t read my posts on FB about it, feel free to comment! If you already know, and can wait until the big post tomorrow, please keep my secret for one more day. 🙂

WHAT COULD IT BE?

Lookit them purty flowers...

Dear internet, I have nothing to say

So here are some photos I took, the first set on a hike we took before we went to California, and the second set on a hike this past Sunday.

May 22 or 23, near Evergreen

My first pussy willows


Dunno why I like this shot so much, but I do.


Spanish moss


This was a funky hike, because the first half was downhill and the second half was back uphill. Here’s a photo of us at the highest point.


The creek was still iced over in some places.

June 6, just above Boulder

Sun on the pine needles


Flatirons


This photo demonstrates the inspiration for our wedding colors.

Joining the 21st century

I’m not one for what you might call technological innovation. I resisted getting a cell phone until I moved to Denver in 2003 and discovered that a basic cell phone plan (including free long distance) was the same price as a land line. I’ve never done much with any cell phone other than make phone calls; I send and receive so few texts that we don’t even have texting on our phone plan and pay for them piecemeal.I know my current phone has a camera, and I’ve used it twice (once to take a background photo of Loki and once to snap something in a store) and have no idea how to get the photo off my phone and onto someplace more useful. I didn’t get a digital camera until Dan gave me one for Christmas in 2004 (?) For someone on the cusp of Gen X and Gen Y, I’m startlingly old-school when it comes to gadgets and gizmos and The Latest Thing. We’d probably still have the same old non-HD, non-flatscreen TV had we not gotten a fancy TV as a wedding gift.

As with technological devices, so too am I often behind the curve when it comes to web-related stuff. I never programmed my own website or learned HTML. I have Friendster, Tribe, and MySpace accounts primarily because for some time or another they were the only way to communicate with certain of my friends. I joined Facebook, finally, about a month after we got married, since it seemed everyone I knew had migrated there from previous social networking sites. And for the past couple of years I’ve been reading people’s individual twitter feeds from their blogs or on twitter directly.

It occurred to me, the other day, that there was a lot I was missing out on by not having everything in one place. And so, internet, you can now find me and my inane drivel at Twitter, username pantalonesfuego. I have finally submitted to the dark side of the force internets.

The Next

Some people are planners.

Some people have ideas, when they are young, about who they want to be and what they want to do by a certain age. I knew people in high school who had already mapped out exactly what their lives would be, and knew even more in college who were the same way. People who would be married by 22, have a kid by 25, be finished with childbearing by 30 (“I want to be a young mom!”). People who would go to graduate school and start on the high-paced career track of an investment banker or corporate lawyer. People who were going to graduate, join the Peace Corps, and work for a multinational NGO making the world a better place.

I have never been that person. I am not a planner. When I was a kid, I was scared shitless of growing up. I remember being in 8th grade PE and thinking that when it became the year 2000 I’d be 20 years old! About to turn 21! My god, I was going to be ancient.

Now, I always had goals, things I worked toward. I got the best grades I possibly could, got into the school I wanted to attend, and even got excellent grades (freshman year Chemistry excepted) there, in case I ever wanted to go to grad school. But by the time the year 2000 rolled around, I had been in school continuously for 18 years. (That is not a typo. I started preschool in January of 1981, before I was even two years old.) And I had no idea what I wanted to study in graduate school, or even if I really wanted to go. So I didn’t. I went to Europe, and then the dotcom bust happened, and then I started working.

I was never, however, the sort of person who had age goals. When I met Dan at age 22 I was nowhere near the mindset of wanting to get married anytime soon. Our long-distance relationship worked well for me, until it didn’t, so I moved. Living in sin worked well for both of us, until eventually we decided that we wanted to get married, so we did.

Internet, we have a next, now. We have plans. We have things we want to do and goals we want to achieve, and in a way it’s a little bit scary, but in a way it’s also exciting. The first major goal was for Dan to finish school and finish his internship. Now that’s accomplished, and we’re working on Stage 2 of our Master Plan. It’s taking longer than we thought. I’ve written before about how patience is not one of my virtues, and Stage 2 is not the sort of thing that has a specific time frame – it will happen when it happens, that Stage 2, and not until it happens.

But I want it NOW. I want these things to happen, I want Next to be Now. The last couple of months have been frustrating for me, primarily because I’ve been looking forward to what’s next for a long time, and Next isn’t Now yet. In the last week or two, I decided that it’s not going to do me any good not to enjoy what is Now. So I’m taking photos of the fall, and we’re going to parties, and last-minute road trips. Things we can only do Now.

And hopefully, before I know it, the Next will happen. And then it’ll be Now. And that will be good.

Where I was

Last week, we had some friends over for dinner on Wednesday night who are moving from Colorado to California, and they brought their 2.5 year-old son who spent most of the evening chasing the kitties around, declaring “Kitty!” as the kitties ran away, confused about this small monster who smelled like and resembled a human but was surely way too small to be one. He liked the magnetic letters on our fridge and insisted on having a drink that looked just like the mojitos the adults were drinking, which I served him in the only plastic cup we have, which is covered in horse holograms from Churchill Downs in Louisville.

We enjoyed dinner, especially spending time with our friends, and bemused at their reactions to and apologies for their son’s behavior; he was actually very well-behaved and acted like I would expect a two-year-old to act, but I think since they knew we aren’t around little kids very much that it might be kind of weird for us. Luckily we like them and we like him and all went very well.

The next day, Scarlett came back to town in order to look for an apartment and get some last-minute things settled for her upcoming move to Denver for grad school. Her boyfriend joined her this time, and we spent the weekend showing them around and cheering when Scarlett found just the right place and signed the lease (only half a block from our place!) and eating pub food and ice cream. In the middle of their visit, I had to fly to Durango for work (flew down Sunday night, flew back Monday after a day-long training). The trip to Durango was short and relatively uneventful: I had breakfast at(and bought coffee beans for Dan from) Carver’s; I had dinner at a fantastic Himalayan (Indian/Nepali/Tibetan) restaurant. I stayed in the Strater Hotel though my room didn’t resemble a brothel but rather perhaps the vomit of a wedding cake. Our training was over in plenty of time for our afternoon flight, but something kept our plane overly long in Denver and it was really hot, so despite the plane being not even close to full there were some sort of weight restriction issues that I didn’t fully understand and we were told that five adults had to volunteer to take a bump to the next flight or the plane couldn’t take off. Since I live in Denver, I volunteered. I got a $200 flight voucher and got to sit in the airport for an extra few hours, which was OK once I got the free wireless to work. I got home a lot later than expected and didn’t get to spend as much time with Scar and Jason as I would have liked, but that evening we played a game Dan got for graduation called Zauber Cocktail which was super fun, and we all went to bed late, and I called in late for work on Tuesday.

Tuesday evening Dan drove up to Glenwood Springs with me for my Wednesday training, and we had more pub food and stayed at the Hotel Colorado, which (as I’ve mentioned before) is supposed to be haunted, but the only unusual thing we noticed was the lack of cool air in our room. Man, was it hot. We got up early so we could have breakfast at the place we like and on the way back up to our fourth floor room my neck suddenly took a giant crap, right before I had to start my training. After that was over, we drove back and got home at a reasonable hour, but my neck was still killing me and remains so.

I have one more training to do, which is tomorrow in Denver. The upside is that no travel is required. The downside is that there will be more than 60 people there. I’m used to training groups of 15-30, so 60+ is going to be a challenge. Wish me luck, internet.

Hey Jealousy

Internet, I have some confessions to make. I know there have been hints along the way the past several months, but it’s time for me to come clean. These are things that are difficult for me to write about, but they are what’s truly on my mind, so I think I should write about them.

I want a baby.

I want a house.

I want to go to graduate school.

People I know and love have or are doing all of these things. I’m jealous.

I know they say that there’s never a good time to have a baby and that you should just go for it. Well, we’ve got some plans in the works and needed to wait for some things to happen (Dan graduating, for example). I’m just so tired of waiting. Yet I’m not comfortable bringing a new person into the world without a few specific steps of preparation (primarily, two incomes and some significant savings). It’s hard, because every month when I start a new pack of pills a good chunk of me just wants to say Nope, not going to take them. But every month I do. Having only been on the WANT BABY train for a couple of years now, I can’t imagine what it’s like for people who feel that way for a decade or more before they get to be parents.

It’s going to be a while before we can buy a house. We need two incomes for a while. We need a decent-sized down payment. We need conditions to stay as they are for a while so housing prices don’t go back up. And we need a lot of luck.

Graduate school is something I have wanted to do since I finished college. Well, maybe the first year after I graduated I wasn’t interested. Over the years, I’ve had a lot of different ideas and even made some steps toward applying to one program or another, but nothing ever felt quite right. Then Dan got back into school to finish his bachelor’s degree, and my educational aspirations were put on hold (there’s no way we could have afforded for both of us to be in school at the same time). I’ve had nearly ten years to decide what I want to go to school for, and I think I’ve finally figured it out. But what I want to do will take a serious amount of preparation (taking refresher courses, some volunteer work, and some excellent references) that will take a lot of time before I’m even ready to apply. In the meantime, there’s that whole want a baby-want a house thing. I don’t know if grad school will happen (though I hope it does) and I think the idea I have is a good direction that uses my skills, interests and talents.

But I’m scared of all of these things. I’ve always had a reluctance to grow up, and a baby, a house, a master’s degree will all mean significant changes – in my identity, in my finances, in my career potential. This is frightening stuff. Am I ready to be a parent? Am I ready for homeownership? Am I ready to finally get my butt back into academia where it belongs?

I feel so lucky that the dude I married feels the same way I do about things – that the reason we’re waiting for a baby isn’t because one or the other of us is unsure, but that we want to be in the best situation possible. That we’d rather be smart about buying a house, especially after seeing what some of our homeowner friends have gone through. Dan worked his tail off to finish school, to do well, to learn marketable skills so he can have a career he enjoys and not a job he just does for a paycheck (and so, for once, he can be the primary earner while I finally get the schooling I’ve wanted since we’ve been togther). He is supportive, he listens, we talk about our hopes and fears for the future. He’s going to make a great father to our children, and we’re going to have so much fun fixing up a house together, and I know that he will support me every step of the way if and when I do end up getting that master’s degree. These things are scary, but we’re facing them together, eyes wide open, hands clasped.

In which we get to see the insides of all kinds of cool buildings, part the first.


This weekend was Doors Open Denver, which I was looking forward to because we had so much fun last year. And this year my camera actually talks to my computer, so I won’t have to wait six months to post the photos of our adventure.

I actually forgot about it until Sunday morning, but ultimately I guess that was OK because Saturday it poured freezing rain all day long and the six inches of snow we got on Friday (wet, slushy snow) didn’t melt! Like, at all! The weather was gross and weird so the only thing to do was go shopping. The clothing acquisition part of the shopping excursion was mostly unproductive, because nobody seems to be selling work-appropriate tops or shirts that are knits (not button-down, since those just don’t seem to fit me anymore) that are less than a million dollars. (Seriously? I’m not paying $50 for a shirt that’s kind of ugly, Macys. You disappoint me.) I found a couple of things at Old Navy (one of which I’m sporting today) and a couple more at NY and Co, one of which was on clearance (woot!). Then we went to Blood Bath and Beyond and, with all our coupons and the remainder of a wedding gift card from Dan’s aunt and uncle, we got $200 worth of stuff for $80. Plus, did you know BB&B is selling toiletries and cosmetics now? I had no idea! We hadn’t been in there since sometime last year and when we walked around a corner there was a whole makeup and bath product section, and I found some brands of things I haven’t been able to find anywhere else in years. So I stocked up on my favorite conditioner and deoderant.

It turns out that Cost Plus World Market (next door to BB&B) no longer carries our favorite Russian chocolate (the best chocolate on earth, in my opinion) which put a damper on our recession-be-damned spree at BB&B, but the tasty blood orange sody pop kind of made up for it. (A quick consultation with Google tells me this is no longer available at all since the maker of the chocolate was bought out by Wrigley. Boo.)

But all that was on Saturday. On Sunday, it was gorgeous and sunny out, with a blue cloudless sky and water everywhere from all the rain and melting snow (highly unusual for Colorado at any time of the year). As Dan was making breakfast (pizza omeletes, breakfast potatoes made with sweet potatoes), I suddenly remembered that it was Doors Open Denver weekend and went to the website to look up what places were participating this year, since I hadn’t remembered seeing any of the signs while walking around. Luckily, there was a big list of places that were open (especially several museums which were FREE during the event) that we wanted to see, particularly a couple that we missed out on last year due to timing or claustrophobia (mine). So over breakfast we planned out an itinerary, showered, and headed out for the day’s adventure to explore the innards of some of Denver’s most well-known (and least-explorable on a daily basis) places.

Our first stop was the Molly Brown House Museum, which is in our neighborhood and only about a block away from our previous apartment. I’d walked by it oodles of times and always wanted to go in, so was really excited about going to see the inside of it for free. We got there about 10 minutes before the first tour but weren’t able to get in until the second tour because so many other people were excited about seeing it for free, too. To kill time, we wandered around the outside of the house taking photos and then (just like last year) my camera suddenly decided its batteries were low. I went into the gift shop to see if they sold them (no) and then I audibly exclaimed over some cute hats they had and was told not to take photos of them. Because I had a camera in my hand. This kind of pissed me off, so I snarkily asked if there was anything else in the gift shop I was prohibited from photographing (no). You know, there were a lot of things in that gift shop I might have wanted to buy, but there’s no way that I was going to buy anything after getting that from the salesperson. We hightailed to the corner store up the block and paid federal pound-me-in-the-ass prices for 4 AA batteries and got back in time to wait another 10 minutes on the front porch for our tour.

It’s also known as the House of Lions.

Succulent in the sun; the shady side of the house was still snowy.

Once inside, though, the tour was pretty awesome. I highly recommend it to any Denver resident interested in Denver history or Molly Brown (her name was Margaret, the tour guide told us, she never went by Molly, that was bestowed after she died) or what the houses of rich Victorian-era folks looked like. The tour guide (or docent, maybe? it is technically a museum) explained what the functions of each room were (entryway, with statuary holding trays for calling cards; formal parlor and what one could discuss in there (your family, my family, and I think maybe the weather?); library; formal dining room on the first floor (and an explanation of Victorian custom regarding meals, how many one ate a day, and nothing about how one stayed thin when eating 12 courses at dinner)), why photos weren’t allowed (something to do with the antiques that furnish the house, many of which are original, aren’t owned by the historical preservation society that owns the house but instead by other people? probably just a ruse to get people to buy postcards.) and what Margaret Brown’s life was like, her relationship with her husband, when/how they came to Denver, how they ended up with all that money, etc.) and then we went up to the second floor, where she told us about the Titanic-related stuff and explained the function of each room we would see. The second floor had a bedroom for their daughter (but not their son; apparently he was mostly away at boarding school), for her parents, for her, for him, and perhaps the original Man Cave aka his study. Also, one bathroom. For the entire household. But in 1894, to find a great big house with running water, indoor plumbing, and heat and electricity, it was probably worth every penny of the $30,000 they paid!

After we oohed and aaahed over the fainting couches and the gorgeous stained glass, we went down the servants’ staircase to the kitchen, with a dry goods pantry and a butler pantry. The back porch was closed in, and held the laundry drum and the ice box. There was one more room, I guess where they have different exhibits and you can watch a movie about Margaret and her family if you like. The exhibit we saw was about lingerie during Victorian times, aka unmentionables for men and women (13 pieces! for women. 13! Sheesh.)

After we left the Molly Brown House, we headed up the street to the Kirkland Museum of Fine and Decorative Art, which was mostly full of paintings by Vance Kirkland and whole crapton of stuff like you might see in a Modern Art museum (you know, things like chairs and teapots that are DESIGNED but probably not especially FUNCTIONAL). We spent about 15 minutes walking through rooms that were so full of stuff that you couldn’t really SEE anything, but it was still kind of interesting. Plus, the building is where Kirkland’s studio was, and he was a short guy who felt that his paintings shouldn’t have an up or a down (he sometimes would sign in two different places to encourage this) so he had this funny rig set up so he could paint horizontally (and also used skateboards to move his unfinished paintings around. or something). It reminded me of Maude Lebowski’s paint swing system, so I got a photo of it.

Kirkland painting. We couldn’t use flash, so the photo isn’t great, but I was trying to get a sense of the texture.

Brochure for some sort of “snack server” suggesting you serve snacks after (or during) bridge, movies, golf, motoring(!), boating, and football games. What, no tennis? Mah Jong?

And here’s the “snack server.”

I didn’t find the painting underneath to be especially vaginal.

We headed south to the Governor’s Mansion (and yes, the governor of Colorado and his family actually live there, though only the first floor was open to the public) and admired the opulence of all the different formal rooms (dining, library, solarium, etc.). The mansion was first lived in by the widow of Walter Scott Cheesman (who now has a park named after him, since he’s buried there along with a bunch of other people) and was later bought by the Boettchers, a well-known wealthy Colorado family. Apparently most of the furnishings were purchased by the Boettchers and never replaced, so there’s a lot of Art Deco-ish stuff, gilded French decor and repeated motifs of things like flowers and faces. I enjoyed seeing the inside of the house and also the grounds, which would be a perfect place to hold a wedding and grand reception.

Fancy lighting.

A whole lot of stuff in the house looked like this.


Back of a chair – but there were faces everywhere.


Also in this room, but not pictured: the desk where Obama signed the stimulus bill (transported to the Nature and Science museum for the occasion).


Sign of habitation: laundry basket on the second floor.


Back side of the house.