Tuesday, March 31, 2009


Here is my list of the day:

I am TERRIBLE at parking. Not only parallel but all kinds of parking. On my behalf, I must say, cars have grown at a much faster pace than parking spots. Nevertheless, I have a serious problem getting between the lines. Come to think of it, I have always struggled at being between the lines. I am not very good at coloring either. And speaking of parking-how does one get such good parking anyway? It's one thing to be early-it's an entire other thing to get good parking. Wherever I am, I always wonder how early you have to be to get such a good spot. It's really just luck I suppose. I did once use a handicap sticker at the zoo with a girlfriend of mine, and I still feel completely horrible about it.

I have lied about my height and weight. I am not completely certain what my height is, and I really don't want to know what my weight is. I may start withholding the truth about my age soon as I am just a year away from turning 40.

When I fill out those painstakingly long forms at the doctor's office, I tend to lie about how many drinks I have in a week-and I never mention the cosmetic surgery I had.

I have fed my kids cupcakes for breakfast, popcorn for lunch and cold hot dogs for dinner (not all in one day).

I have purchased items that I have never worn. I cannot explain this as it really makes no sense. Maybe I thought I would lose some weight, or I was too rushed (or lazy) to try it on. Who knows. But occasionally, I do a purge of my closet and find things with tags on them. I have also told my husband that I have had this item while when really I just don't want to tell him I just bought it.

I told my dentist that I flossed once a week-it's more like once a month.

I cannot stand to touch raw meat. I buy latex gloves to prepare it. My mom makes fun of me all the time about it.

I think it's cold if it's under 70 degrees.

I cannot figure out how to put pictures up and have comments under them on this blog. I am terribly inexperienced at blogging-but I do enjoy it.

I could eat bacon at every meal-or as every meal.

I have Xanadu on my Ipod and I know the words!

I love facial hair on men-I have no idea why.

My idea of being a handyman is calling someone to fix it or buying a new one. I get anxiety when I see the words, "assembly required

Monday, March 30, 2009


I think of skiing as a regional sport/activity. I doubt I would do it if I hadn't grown up in Colorado. And while I do sincerely enjoy it, I also consider it one of the many things I do as a past time that mostly involves complaining.....

For example, the snow conditions are always grounds for complaining. There is too much snow, not enough snow, it's way too cold, it's a bit too warm, crusty snow with ice underneath, mashed potato like snow, blown snow, crunchy snow, icy snow, really just about anything you can think of to describe snow. It seems there is rarely a day that has perfect snow-yet we all crave it because every once in a while-there is one. There is a day when the sun shines just perfectly after just a dusting of powder on top of soft white crests. A day when you are king of the mountain. It actually makes you a better skier. Let's face it, most days when it comes to me and the mountain, I would bet on the mountain-but once in a great while-you are the champion. You hit every turn, read every line-you actually hear the sound of your skis. You just own it. Very rare (at least for me), but keeps you coming back

We also complain about having to haul all the heavy equipment long distances because there is never good parking. Who gets good parking anyway? That is a mystery to me-and it's a whole other blog so I am not even going to go into here. I get serious anxiety when I think about bringing my 4 and 7 year olds up with me. I have visions of them getting all dressed and having to pee. Then I have to carry all their stuff. Then I think they will whine incessantly about how cold it is (well, I hate to point out the obvious-but it is snow) And it is insanely expensive. But still, it is a Colorado family tradition-parents have been torturing children this way for generations and who am I to break the mold?

I used to ski as much as possible on my weekends. Then I had children. Now I feel like a rock star if I go 4 times a year. I used to love having the best of gear, and always felt like a kid in a candy store at the ski shops. Now, I am just happy the clothes I have still fit, and the equipment is functional. I cannot imagine that I ever cared about looking good while skiing, but if I did, that was very long time ago.

There are some truths about skiing I have learned to appreciate:

There is no better feeling in the entire world than at the end of the day, when you finally take your boots off.

Lift line etiquette is a must

A bad day skiing is still a better than a good day at work, which is why I maintain a strict policy of skiing on the weekdays

Advil is the elixir of life

If you go down a run that no one is on (and it's a crowded day)-THERE IS A REASON-get off this run!

You are more likely to bust your a$$ and make a fool of yourself on very easy runs with the most amount of people watching.

Two minutes is a very long time when the lift stops and you are on it

It is much easier to go to the bathroom before you get all your gear on.

Short people have a huge advantage

It's the only time in my life I wish I had facial hair

Only a few things are really worth the money-your boots, your goggles and your boots

Polling totally sucks

Skiing is not fun with people who are far better or far worse at it than you are at it

It is not something I recommend taking up as an adult-especially if all your adult friends already know how (see previous)

It used to annoy me when young children would sail past me on runs-now it kind of annoys me when old people do-I am not sure why

Skinnier is not better

Good equipment does not make bad skiers better, it makes good skiers better

Skiing with an Ipod is a imperative....and so is a helmet

Monday, March 23, 2009

odds and ends

I love spring! It's not my favorite season, summer is, but springtime in the rockies is a close second. Why? Well, for one, it's not winter anymore. And that's a good enough reason really. But it also means that summer is next up.

I love a good thunderstorm and we rarely have them-but they are most common in spring. It is such a desert here that even when we do get the spring rains-they last about 10 minutes, and it is bone dry again an hour later. Mainly, they just keep car washes in business. I always hear that it's the wettest season for us, but that's not saying much. It is SO dry here. I don't love a ton of humidity (a la Texas or Florida) but would it kill anyone if we had just a tad more? I was flying in last week, and all I could see for miles was brown. It looked like if you dropped a match, the whole place would go up in flames. I hate to complain because this really is a great place to live, but I would love to go one day without lotion and not look like an alligator.

I also love March Madness, daylight until 7 or 8 pm, spring skiing, breaking out the flip flops and open toed shoes again, the flowers that mysteriously pop up every year in my flower beds. I have a black thumb but somehow they still grow. So, I am very content with the time of year.

In other news, my older son informed me that he will no longer wear "tighty whiteys". He is 7. Kid already knows slang for his boxers. He is finally getting big enough to wear the XS size in boxers. If you follow this blog, you realize how happy that makes me. Just today, I noticed a pair of sweats he was wearing looked a bit small on him. Yay!! It seems since he got diagnosed with asthma, and has been on lots of inhalers for it; he has been hungry.

My younger son does not care about such things as underwear, but he does love to wear his wife beaters. In fact, if I put one on under a shirt of his at school, it is likely when I pick him up, that is all he is wearing. Speaking of what he wears to school, last Friday, he went to school as Batman. And right now, he is climbing the indoor basketball hoop (don't ask) while my older son shoots. It's lovely.

I have a lot of work I should be doing in this house, and instead, I am just sitting here-blogging. Such an over achiever!

Friday, March 20, 2009

The list

I was recently with a very together-with business person who said he did not like lists other than while he was at work. I understand that but there is a list I do like. It's a list of things I want to do in my life. We all have one-and I am not talking lottery winning, fantastical, long shot lists, I am talking the real life things I want to do before I leave this world.

Here is what mine looks like:

Travel-really travel-not just resort hop. I want to see Europe-the people, the customs, the culture, the real deal. I want to speak different languages, watch their shows, read their publications, order at restaurants, etc. I really want to experience it. It is a huge regret of mine that I did not do it earlier in my life. But there is still time.

Stadiums-I want to hit every stadium and ballpark in this country-and abroad too. I want to see hometown stands root for their teams, and cheer on my sorry teams (poor Chiefs!). I love to tailgate and see the fans get all fired up for their teams. I want to see Wimbledon and the Aussie and French Open. I wouldn't mind seeing a World cup soccer match-though I really don't get soccer.

See my kids grow up-I don't have too many expectations here-just that they are happy and that they outlive me. My worst fear is to outlive one of them. And since I am condemned to mother in law hood, it would be great if they married women I liked. I hope to be a good MIL.

There are certain entertainers that I would like to see perform-Bruce Springsteen is high on the list, I would like to see Madonna Sting, and Elton John too.

Drive-someday I want to drive a Mercedes CLK model-a sleek black 2 seater. Sure, I'll be 70 and they probably won't even make them anymore so it will have classic plates, but I don't care.

I want to ski until I have white hair-and on the runs I ski today (OK, maybe not as fast, but I skied next to a guy with white hair last time I went-we were on Phantom Bridge (black diamond bump run at Mary Jane)

I want to ride a train, in a helicopter and a hot air balloon.

Adrenaline junkie things-I would like to sky dive even though it scares me to death. It's probably like riding roller coasters, which I love. I would like to ride in a race car too-same reason.

See a musical/play on Broadway-Cats or Wicked comes to mind, but I would see anything there.

See Niagara Falls-I just want to hear that sound. I LOVE waterfalls

Go to New York City and Washington DC.

Fly a kite

Teach spinning class

This may be a to be continued list....it does seem to continue to grow, and I am a bit out of steam tonight....

The heart wants what the heart wants

Why are there so many songs about Romeo and Juliet? I mean, do we really have a world full of unhappy people and unrequited loves? Isn't anyone happy? I was talking to a friend of mine recently who says she is convinced no one is happily married. I am not sure I am that cynical. I have been at times, but overall, I still believe in true love. I believe in that feeling that just grips you from the insides and won't let go. It has a way of super ceding all that makes sense, a way of taking over. In short, the heart wants what the heart wants. I love being in love. I believe anything worth having is worth working for.

There are some who just like the first date feeling forever-and they stay single or get a lot of divorces. I suppose that makes sense-to a limit. But that's not me-I was never very good at the single thing. I didn't really like worrying about what this guy or that guy would think of me. Everyone has a list of things that aren't so great-in order to avoid that, you would have to subscribe to the single forever theory. That being said, sometimes people get married that shouldn't. I get that, but I also think some people get divorced who shouldn't. I am no marriage counselor (nor could I stand to be) but I just don't believe everyone is unhappy. It's just one of those things about our culture that has evolved-we don't really like working hard. But relationships can be hard work.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

I got a good one

I really hate to bake-it's a lot of work, and it rarely turns out well for me. My cookies are like frisbees, my cakes always fall and stick to the non-stick pans, my brownies are like chocolate volcanoes on the inside and bricks on the outside, I have never tried a pie, and baking breads or rolls sound less appealing to me than the word speculum. My Mother In Law is an incredibly good baker-that should tell me right there that I have no shot. She and I are so different, it comes as no surprise that she has mastered something I can barely make edible on a good day. This is not to say I don't like my Mother In Law; just that we are different.

She is actually an excellent MIL. I don't have another one to compare to, but I know both she and my own mother had terrible ones, so I totally appreciate the difference. For example, she has NEVER imposed her will or abused her influence over her son to meet her needs as her own mother in law has always done. Her mother in law once wrote her a letter completely renouncing Catholicism-which is how my MIL was raised; she also made her name her first born (my husband) a hideous name-Millard. My poor husband has gone by his middle name his entire life-and my MIL would love to see him legally change it. She once said to me that she had hoped to never be that kind of mother in law. And she has succeeded. I could not ask for a better one. She has always been very hands off-and very respectful of Paul and me-even when we do things that just make her scratch her head. She has been so helpful and supportive all these years-but never over steps it. I have seen the mama's boy syndrome in many of the men I know, or the men my friends/family married. It is not the case with my husband-and that is a giant credit to this great lady.

And I am sure I drive her crazy-I am her opposite in so many ways. I am super outgoing and overly talkative; terribly unorganized and unstructured; messy, forgetful, impulsive, emotional and expressive. I bet when she met me-almost 18 years ago-she just rolled her eyes. When we told her we were getting married, she thought we were pregnant. Probably because I was her worst nightmare.

However, over the years, we have really grown together. I used to be so uncomfortable around her, like I could never please her. Despite the litany of things we do not share, we do share a huge love for our family. She is an exceptional mother and amazing grandmother. And she has been able to put aside things about me that have to feel like finger nails on a chalkboard to her, and become my friend anyway.

We both love to make fun of our husbands-and their ridiculous over eating habits. We love to discuss recipes, she has gotten me addicted to Philosophy and Bare Escentuals products, she gives the best gifts-new flatware, dishes, the best Kitchen Aid hand mixer ever, my favorite sweater, to name a few. She watches my boys 2 days a week-which has made it possible for me to work and never have to put my kids in daycare. I am forever indebted to her for that gift. My house is cleaner when I get home than when I left it-despite my 2 sons (and her son/husband) messing it up all day. I doubt she realizes I notice that because I often forget to mention it. She is such a blessing in so many ways. She gives so much, and never asks for anything in return. She is so understated and unassuming.

I used to just see the things about her I did not understand because we were such opposites. But now, I see such a wonderful lady, full of incredible talents and gifts. I have learned so much from her, and I continue to all the time. I love her with all my heart.

I hear terrible stories all the time about the families people marry into. And while I don't seem like a perfect fit for the one I married into, it is perfect for me.

Monday, March 9, 2009

More of life's irritating mysteries

It occurred to me that this column could be something I do more often than once. After all, the world really never stops irritating me, so here is another post:

Why do we have to type words in a little box for security purposes? And why are those words always impossible to read? Is there some connection with criminal internet behavior and someones ability to decipher those impossible scratchings?

And why can't parking meters take credit cards? And what happened to the days when parking meters didn't charge for weekdays and weekends?

Why would anyone tell you that you look tired? Isn't that just another way of saying you look terrible? I hate backwards insults like that. Just tell me I look awful!

Why are CDs and DVDs epoxied with industrial strength saran wrap material that could seal an army tank? And speaking of which, why can't saran wrap we use for food be that useful? It really only sticks to itself.

Have you ever noticed how the radio stations all play commercials at the very same time? Such a conspiracy. And I am a seriel flicker, so it really bugs me on the drive home.

Who came up with a 40 hour work week anyway? Was it some scientific calculation or was it based on a specific task/industry; or was it just arbitrary like most things that have to do with the workforce? Do we really need to work 40 hours? I tell you a stimulus plan that would work-cut it to 30 (same pay) and see how much daycare cost savings would help the middle class. Not to mention, people only work about 30 of those 40 hours anyway. I know people would work a lot harder and more efficiently if they only worked 4 day weeks-the same amount of work would get done as it does now. People would just be a lot happier, and families might start forming again. Our culture has lost its sense of family.

Why is it acceptable to wait in the lobby of a doctor's office for endless periods of time? Is there another profession where we could get away with that? Is a doctor's time that much more important than his patient's? The only ones more important would be those monopoly weilding folks like repairmen and servicemen-what's with the standard service window of time-"we'll be there between 8 am and 4 pm" What? Are you kidding me? I would love to be that loose on when I would get things done at work!

Why are there so many dead zones for cell phones? When our kids are grown, will they laugh at us when we tell them there was such a thing? It will be like telling them we had phone booths or rotary phones that weren't cordless.

Why is it that when I lose something, I look in the usual spot for it. Then I look around a bunch of other stupid places only to find myself looking in the original spot over and over again; long after I have determined that it is not there? As if it will somehow magically re-appear where it belongs in the first place! Am I the only one who does this?

I hate 35 MPG speed limits. I also HATE when a policeman is behind me-especially in a 35 MPG zone. I don't have to be doing anything wrong, and I still feel nervous and guilty. It reminds me of my 7th grade typing teacher who would stand over me until I made a mistake typing. He scared me to death. Invariably, I would make a typo instantly when he stood there.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Best of intentions

So, have you ever planned something you thought was going to be a great time, and then it just really wasn't? It's such a crappy feeling. I made dinner reservations for Paul and me last night at what I thought was going to be a hip little place downtown. Turns out, there were quite a few other folks planning to go downtown last night as well. In fact, after 30 minutes of driving around in a construction laden, skinny parking lot infested, over priced 5 or 6 block square radius, we finally found a $20 spot that we could not get the stupid autopay parking figured out. By then, we were both pretty frustrated-and we didn't even care anymore. We figured the parking ticket couldn't have been much more than $20 anyway.

Then, we got to the restaurant-a place called Limelight Supper Club. It is located right smack in the middle of the Denver Center of Performing Arts complex. Seemingly, a pretty hip and swank place. However, we walked in-and we were literally the ONLY people in the entire establishment. Seriously! I felt like a geriatric couple eating dinner 3 hours before the rush. I guess the reason was that the shows had already started so everyone who eats dinner there comes early to make the shows. Wasn't I feeling like the uncultured swine? It might have been salvagable if it was just an incredible meal-after all, Kevin Taylor is supposed to be all that in this town, and he is the chef. But, actually, it was a very average meal. The tomato soup tasted a lot like something I would make. Paul had lamb and I had salmon. It was very comparable to any chain restaurant we could have had in downtown Castle Rock (with free parking). Probably the best part of the night was the fact that we did not get a parking ticket. From all accounts, it was pretty much a disaster

On the bright side, it was good company. Paul and I did have a nice time together. I am sure we will laugh about this for years to come....well, we will mostly just laugh at me. In any case, deep down, I just know Paul appreciates that I had the best of intentions.

Musically inclined

Recently, my favorite blogger shared told me she wasn't "musically inclined". Naturally, it is my mission to convert her. It did make me think what it means to be musically inclined anyway. And I guess it's just one of those places I go to escape. I remember as a kid listening to music, and it always made me feel like I could be somewhere else. I loved the sound of my mom singing to me. I played the piano-which could feel surreal at times. I was never a big student of piano though-I just liked making the sounds. In other words, theory and lessons bored me. I just wanted to play songs. It drove teachers crazy.

As I approached the adolescence age when music is oh so important, I remember having a giant appetite for and a huge variety of different types of music. I liked top 40,classic rock, heavy metal, alternative weirdo bands, classic piano tunes, cheesy stuff my mom sang to me as a kid, pretty much everything. I have not met many types of music that I couldn't fine a few songs I liked.

As an adult, I find that music has a way of taking me back to places. Sometimes it's a great memory. The song, Candy by Iggy Pop was playing on my Ipod-and it totally brought me back to my college days. I could feel the warm sunshine on my face in my room mate Amy's Mustang convertible. So many late 80's and early 90's tunes have that affect on me. And I always welcome it! I was a DJ at Pepperdine so I was very up to date on tunes of the times. I love reliving those moments-just in my mind. I think of concerts we went to-getting ready for a typical college night out: complete with lots of hairspray, changes of clothes and pre party beers. I still remember those 18-21 year old days of trying to figure out who we were going to be when we grew up. And some 21 years later, those girls still have such an important role in who I will be when I grow up (if i ever do). We are in 5 states now, we have 8 kids between us, 2 divorces and when we are together, we still play the same songs and our hearts are filled with magic only that type of connection can bring. It's as if we are on PCH all over again wondering what life has to offer; and just happy to be in it together.

Then I hear songs that make me think of things that I forget are even very old. Slave to Love by Bryan Ferry is a song that always makes me think of Paul. I worked at Paramount Cafe downtown the summer I met him. The jukebox there played that song all the time. I still think of those days when I hear it; and it amazes me that has now been 18 years ago. And Brown Eyed Girl has been around forever it seems. I still remember the first gift Paul ever gave me was the Van Morrison CD with that song on it. Years later, we both agree, that is the only song worth anything by Van Morrison. That's another timeless song though, that reminds me of all the years that have passed, yet stood still.

Some memories are sad. I hear Blue Danube on the piano, and it always makes me cry because I think of my grandmother, whom I called Nannie. Despite our incredibly low ranking as Iranian kids among the southern relatives (my mom's side of the family); our Nannie always loved us unconditionally. She never made us feel like we didn't belong-even though we knew we didn't. Remarkably, she managed to mask her distaste for my father in order to love us so much. I miss her so.

Many songs remind me of movies-either the unmistakable rifts like James Bond or Indiana Jones, or maybe Oscar type scores like Chariots of Fire or the Now We are Free Gladiator theme song. That type of music makes me feel like I just got up out of the theatre seat. I remember the Star Wars craze days of the late 70's and early 80's where we lined up for hours to get in to see those films as they were released. I remember seeing the third Indiana Jones with my mom when I got suspended in the 8th grade (which was total BS!)

And still other songs remind me of fun times and places I have been in my life. Whenever I hear Jimmy Buffet, I think of the incredible summer I spent in Cincinnati. And when I hear U2 songs, I think of the many years in my life their music has spanned; and how many times I have seen their concerts. I hear John Denver songs and I am reminded of my many cross country trips home from Pepperdine with Amy through the gorgeous Rocky Mountains. I love them all.

Some songs remind me of a specific person-Turbo Lover will always remind me of my sister. So will Purple Rain. I see her in her black RX7 with her big hair, big nails and her insufferable older-than-me-high-school-girl attitude! I hear Pump up the Volume and I can see Laura; And with Denice, it is always when I hear Summer, Highland Falls . And then there's Maria-with the big blond hair flip and the 10 foot long cigarette-grooving to Bizarre Love Triangle by New Order. These images live in my brain forever.

I could look through my Ipod and find stories for so many songs. In fact, maybe I will. I guess that's one of the things I have always enjoyed about it. Music is a great way of expressing myself Music keeps me company. It used to just be when I was at the gym or driving. But I also love to pop in the headphones while walking my dog, skiing, at work, cleaning my house, cooking dinner, taking a shower, on a plane, hanging out by a pool (like I ever do that!), sitting outside in the summer time watching my kids play and drinking wine with my hubby.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Size matters

Okay, get your minds out of the gutter. I am thinking about how many things I have always aspired for that are bigger and better. I have owned three houses in my life. The one I live in currently is at least 3 times the size of my first house-and almost twice the size of my second house. While I always thought I wanted a big house-I find that it is a giant pain to keep clean-and to keep from being incredibly cluttered. It also comes with a much bigger payment. Our first house payment was around $900 a month. How I miss that! This is not to say I want my first house back but I do question the need for things that are too big.

Also, the diamond in my wedding ring has grown over the years. My first ring was tiny (very representative of our socioeconomic status at the time). We were 23-I think it was maybe 1/3 of a karat. Two upgrades later, I have a 2 karat ring. I think about the years between those two rings, and though it has been worth it-I find myself missing those simple days. We have both endured so much pain, made stupid mistakes, our marriage has been through some very rough patches. I would gladly give back the ring if I could have spared both us of some difficult times. I have heard comments like, "someone really loves you" regarding my ring. I have never thought the size of the rock has a thing to do with how much we love each other. I never look at that beautiful (and it is quite stunning) ring and think to myself-man, my husband really loves me. I generally reflect on days gone by, when we had far fewer things, and how I miss that sometimes.

I remember how we used to spend hours walking our dog together. He was our free time because we just didn't have money to do much else. I never thought that was a bad thing. But I notice we hardly ever walk our dog together today. Those were pre-blackberry, cell phone, laptop, 24 hour Spongebob, Facebook, senior level job days. Days when our time together was so segregated from the rest of our busy lives. We would talk, laugh, and dream together; and we didn't share those moments with anyone. And naturally, we aspired to have bigger and more of everything. Ironically, we both reflect on those days of having so little, and without question admit that we had it better so many smaller ways.

There is a saying, "it's not the size of the dog in the fight, but the size of the fight in the dog". Obviously, my first born son embodies this adage. He has such a huge heart-one you could never know by looking at his slight appearance. He has been playing sports since he was 4-and he is ALWAYS the smallest kid. He is also almost always one of the most skilled. His remarkable, God given talent and skill level are not as impressive to me though, as his courage. It has to be hard to be out there all the time-hearing all the comments about how tiny you are. The parents often question how old he is-within his earshot. I cannot imagine what the other kids say to him. Yet, he shows up, he plays with all his little heart, he never quits. I can't say with certainty that I would do the same thing. He never stops making me proud-and I don't care if he ever scores a basket or a goal or hits a homerun. He is such a champion to me.