Friday, July 29, 2011

Some House Updates

These are things that I’ve put together, all by myself.  I’m looking forward to mowing my lawn tonight once it cools down a bit.

My porch just needed a cute little porch swing.  It gets evening shade so I've enjoyed sitting on it a few times already!
I think this little push mower will be just the right size for my tiny little lawn.  

Yay, ME!

My IKEA rugs.  Cute, right?
Somehow, I got talked into going to IKEA on its Grand Opening day in Denver (by my usual partner-in-crime, Ingrid).  It was not nearly as crazy as I thought it would be.  It was a fun adventure.  It felt like going to LA or San Francisco for the afternoon, since the only times I’d ever been to that store before were in those cities.  We figured we had walked about two miles inside, we made friends with lots of children (who were interested in Arthur:  “Look, mom, a doctor dog!”), and I only spent $8 and bought two rugs for my kitchen floor.  In my opinion, it’s Disneyland for adults.  *sigh.  Welcome to Denver, IKEA.  Thank you for coming.  Now if we could just get a Trader Joes….

This is my other favorite new addition to the home d├ęcor.  Clearance at Pier One.  Yes, please.

It's possible that I'm butterfly obsessed.
So these things mark off about 1% of my list of things to buy for the new house and my to do list still to accomplish.  But, hey, I’m getting there.

Monday, July 25, 2011

How Amy Winehouse made me cry...

The summer of 2006 Sawan and I took a trip to Montana.  That same summer, my friend Ingrid introduced me to Amy Winehouse’s debut album, Back to Black.  For those of you who aren’t Amy Winehouse fans, it’s this great album that has almost a mo-town sound, with back-up singers, but with modern day themes and she’s actually so, I don’t know, crass in a delightful way that I just loved this album.  I listened to it a lot.  But it was sort of chick music.

When we were on that road trip, and I remember exactly what part of the road we were on (I-90 just north of Sheridan, WY), I put the CD in and we listened to it.  Sawan was entertained by the style of the music and the clever way she could use the f-word.  But once through was all he could take.  Every time I was about to DJ the party he would suggest that I not choose that album. 

A few times since then it would be on in my car and he would humor me, and obviously he had heard her songs on the radio, but I don’t know if it had something to do with his sobriety and her obvious struggles with addiction, or if he just really didn’t like her, but we didn’t listen to her much together.  We did, however, talk about her occasionally and what a train wreck she was.  Always with compassion.

One of my clients on Saturday sat down in my chair and asked, “Did you hear about Amy Winehouse?”  She died, and they don’t know why yet, but it seems that her short, troubled life is over and that it is likely addiction that finally took her.

My immediate thought was, “I have to call Sawan and tell him.” 

I know that’s so strange.  But this happens from time to time.  It had been awhile, but it happened on Saturday.  My brain knows that I’ll never see him again, but occasionally, in my subconscious, I think, “I’m just gonna call him real quick and tell him….” This is the edge of craziness that I feel like I’m always on.  This is what it’s like to be a widow, even when you’ve had the space of almost two years.  I wonder how long this will continue to happen?  I wonder why my brain can get it that I’m not going to see him, but can’t seem to grasp that I’m also never going to talk to him.  It’s frustrating, because it feels so devastating when I have those thoughts.  It’s like realizing all over that he’s died.  Luckily, it happens so much less frequently than it used to.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Summertime, and the livin' is...hard.

I haven’t been posting much lately because frankly I’m just not doing that great. 

It’s like a million degrees in my house.  When you’re hot it makes everything else seem that much worse.

Summer used to be my favorite.  But that was back before my husband died and when I had air conditioning and a pool at the condo.  So now I’m struggling.  It’s hard because I miss him.  I miss the fun stuff we used to do in the summer.  I miss loving life.  And the summer is full of anniversaries, so there’s just so many more of my “hard days.”

I know I have a lot to be thankful for.  I just can’t think of anything right now.  Ok, I can, I just don’t want to.  I guess I’ve been choosing to wallow.

So, posts may be a bit sparse for a bit until I can manage an attitude adjustment.  I’m working on it.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Pocket Lint

For today's post, please blitz on over to my friend Gillian's blog, Pocket Lint, where I wrote something for her "Friday Feature".  It was such a treat to work with her, and saying that I felt "honored" to write a guest spot on her blog doesn't even begin to cover it.

Monday, July 11, 2011

The stop sign at Dry Creek and Humboldt

The course of my entire adult life can be traced back to one small decision:  Left or right at the stop sign?  It was late August 1998.  I had just moved to Denver with my family from Billings, MT and needed to find a job. 

In Billings, I had worked at a Red Robin as a hostess, and the serving jobs were coveted.  Denver looked to be a different animal in the job market, it seemed like everywhere we went there were “now hiring” signs, so I was hopeful. 

I made a plan for myself that August afternoon.  I needed a job, and I needed gas in my car.  I would apply at two places for a serving job, and see what happened.  Red Robin would be my first choice, because I had worked there before.  Then, we had been to a “Chili’s” with my family earlier in the week, and there was a gas station in the same little strip mall area.  So, I’ll go to Red Robin and fill out an application, then fill up the car, then go to Chili’s. 

I wore a denim skirt with cargo pockets, a white t-shirt, and the platform converse-style tennis shoes that were so popular that summer.  I remember putting on that outfit and remembering that I had once dressed my Barbie doll in a very similar outfit when I was a kid, and isn’t it funny how fashion always comes back around?  Anyway, that’s beside the point.

I hopped in my little 1978 MGB and was on my way.  My parents live in a little neighborhood that backs up to Dry Creek Road.  Dry Creek Road is a pretty busy street.  I stopped at the stop-sign on Humboldt, ready to pull out and make a left hand turn to head toward Red Robin and waited for traffic so that I could turn left.  And waited.  And waited.  And waited.  Finally, I re-thought my plan.  I decided to just go ahead and turn right and go to Chili’s first, then fill up the car, then I’d stop at Red Robin, then I’d come home.  That way I could stop waiting, for the love.

I went in to Chili’s and filled out an application.  I was hired on the spot.  I never made it to Red Robin. 

I’ll never know what would have happened had I just turned left.  But, as far as I know, my entire adult life hinged on that small decision to turn right.

For one thing, it made life simpler.  Every time I went to work while living with my parents I could just turn right.  Phew.  Good decision.  But, here’s the thing:  I met lots of people working there, people that I still keep in touch with and love today.  I met my best girlfriend there, who (seven years after the fateful turn) introduced me to my husband. 

And the rest is history.

Monday, July 4, 2011

My Downtown Adventure (or could be titled: Holy Cow, you're old now.)

I’m practicing saying “yes.”

I’ve decided that I’m lonely.  I’m ready to have a social life again.  I’m tired of being by myself.  I needed to be for a long time, but now I’m ready to be out and about again.  So when people ask me to do stuff, I try really hard to say “yes.”

So last night a bunch of friends were going downtown to get drinks.  I haven’t been downtown for several years, other than for baseball games.  In my early 20s I loved downtown, but it’s just not my scene anymore.  When clients or friends who have just moved here ask me for recommendations for where to go down there I always tell them “Oh, I don’t know, I’m not the one to ask.  Coors Field?” 

Bars in general just have not so much been my scene.  I’ve taken almost two years off of socializing in general.  Before that I had four years that I was with a recovering alcoholic so we never went.  I would go occasionally with girlfriends, but not much.

So, after my first night in a downtown bar in 6 years, here’s what I learned:

First of all, it seemed like 40% of the men in that bar were under 5’8”.  I have no idea why this is or, I guess, it’s relevance but it was remarkable.

And, the new dress code for young women seems to be “hooker.”  Holy cow.  Six inch heels (boots).  Short, tight little dress.  In a casual bar.  In 90 degree heat.  In DENVER.

This was my first time at a bar since the popularity of smart phones.  Everyone I was with was constantly checking their phone for texts and checking Facebook and email.  It seems to communicate, “I’m not having enough fun and stimulation with you and the game we’re playing and the great music in here and the drinks and the people watching.  I need to see if someone more important would like to communicate with me.”

I think I might be old.  I remember getting pulled over when I was 17 just because the guy wanted to check my driver’s license to make sure that I was old enough to be driving.  I was incredibly offended.  But I notice, as I get older that it’s harder and harder to gauge the ages of people younger than me.  There was a kid playing us in “Jinga” that I thought, “No WAY are you old enough to be in here.  What are you, 12?  Did your mom say it was ‘ok’ for you to come out tonight?”

I’m not necessarily thinkin’ “Giddy-up!” about going out down there again.  But, I did get quite an education, and I am practicing saying “yes,” so who knows?