Tuesday, January 27, 2009

31 and holding - Birthday #1

Last weekend was birthday weekend for me, so I thought I'd share a few of the things we did.
First off was Friday night bingo and bowling. Seriously.

I had no idea that people still regularly played bingo. Our group of 12 got there late, dressed like freshmen in college (yes, that was the costume code), and struggled to find a seat quietly while trying to catch up on all the numbers we'd already missed on the first card.

Bingo lesson #1: You have to bring your own bingo marker. They charge $1.50 for them at the hall.

From 31st Birthday

Bingo Lesson #2: You apparently don't just have to get "bingo" anymore. For the first game, when we had no idea what was going on, RL got an actual bingo right away, and ran up to the front to show the lady calling the numbers. No bingo, you have to make the letter "P" on your card. The next one was a musical note or something. Confusing.

From 31st Birthday

Bingo Lesson #3: They kept saying something about a "pickle bar" and everyone in our group thought that meant there were actual pickles for sale. Pickles are actually like scratch tickets that you can buy for a dollar. Weird.

Bingo Lesson #4: You have to be very, very quiet. We actually got shushed once, even though I was very proud of my friends for keeping it to loud whispers. Apparently the two times the woman calls it, the video of the ball coming up, and the two boards that flash the number are not enough for the bingoers. Must have total silence.

From 31st Birthday

Bingo Lesson #5: The only people that win are the ones that have like a gazillion boards in front of them. We only had one board. None of us won. Not even Q, who had a lot.

From 31st Birthday

By the end, we were all ready to go (my friend Tim even said something like, "I think I'm dying a slow death" in the middle of a game). Off to the bowling alley next door! We magically got three lanes together, I was not the worst bowler, and there were cupcakes. Awesome.

From 31st Birthday

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Cold conversations

So somehow in the last few days I managed to get a cold. Yesterday I spent the majority of the day sitting on the couch, watching movies, and using more Kleenexes than I have used in all previous life colds combined. I filled up buckets of sopping wet tissues (seriously). RL just looked at me with feigned sympathy and said:
I wonder if you took all the snot you got rid of today and put it in a pool if you'd be able to swim in it.
Me: Ew. Probably not. Maybe Little could swim in it. I can imagine her doing the backstroke.
RL: Really? I imagine her as more of a front stroker.
Me: Meow! Stroke. Meow! Stroke.
(If only she knew the entertainment we got from imagining her doing ridiculous human things. Like swimming in snot.)

Later RL was playing with my belly button and was threatening to tickle me when I said:
Listen! I'm very vulnerable right now!
RL: Hmm, interesting.
Me: Watch it mister. One fierce blow and you'll have snot all over you.
That seems to have discouraged him for awhile.

I woke up this morning and could miraculously breathe through my nose. I wasn't sure I was going to sleep at all since the snot faucet just would not turn off, but somewhere in the middle of the night it slowed to a drip. (I think it was the swig of Nyquil at 3am, followed by the Kleenex I stuffed in the worse nostril, just to make sure I didn't drip all over the pillowcase.) RL had already been awake for awhile when I woke up, and told me that he had been listening intently to my breathing to see if it was actually my nose I was breathing out of. What a sweetheart.

So I've taken pretty much every cold drug under the sun, including this homeopathic thing called Oscillococcinum, which, I found out, is made from dilution of dissolved Barbary duck livers and hearts. Apparently they only need one duck to make enough to serve the world for a year, but don't you think they should tell you that this is not a vegetarian product?!?

Anyway, the nice people at Pharmaca said it was the best thing for colds and flus, and I'd only need to take it for two days to start feeling better and meanwhile I could take all the other western cold remedies I wanted (because this "works on a whole other level" the lady told me). So I figured that the duck was going to die anyway to cure other people's flus, and I had already taken half of it by the time I figured out it was animals, so I might as well finish it. I am a bad vegetarian.

But thank goodness for Kleenex with lotion. I mean, seriously.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Three Engagement Stories

So, a few weekends ago we went on a hut trip up to Francie's Cabin outside of Breckenridge. It was amazing for lots of reasons (great snow, perfect weather, sauna, good friends, etc.), but the best reason was that our friends J and L got engaged! They've been together more than six years and we all knew it was going to happen very soon, but no one on the trip (except J) knew we'd all get to be a part of it. He even hid some champagne in his bags (could be why the trip up there was arduous, and well, heavy) to celebrate afterwards. Congrats.

Our other friend D and K also got engaged last week. Again, we knew it was going to happen soon, but K was uber surprised when he finally did it. Congrats to them too. Way to go boys!

The last story came from a Nuggets game we went to the other night. It was half time, and they were doing the whole "kiss cam" thing where they focus the camera on a couple (or just two people randomly sitting together) and the crowd cheers for them to kiss. We were delighted to see two couples who had on the ugliest Christmas sweaters possible, but that was nothing compared to the last one...

When the camera focused on this last couple, the man immediately got down on one knee. His proposal flashed on the jumbotron. She stood up, covering her shocked face with her hands. A few uncomfortable moments passed, he's still kneeling, and she's just not responding. Rocky the mascot and a couple cheerleaders are standing there, waiting. The whole stadium is hushed, trying to figure out what she's thinking.

To make matters worse, this woman had on the lowest cut blouse possible, and everytime she moved it looked like her boobs were about to spill right out of her shirt. Now everyone is staring. Trainwreck! Even the players on the court had stopped what they were doing to watch. She just kept shaking her head and saying "I don't know." I'm sure the guy, and everyone else, was really hoping she would just say yes and then discuss later, because after all, he put a lot of effort and money into this.

Finally, she mumbles yes and hugs him. From what I could see she was the young fake-blondini and he was the older (probably rich) man. Match made in heaven? Possibly. I'd like to know how it all turned out.

Note to men: A basketball game is probably not on the top of your lady's list of places she'd like to be proposed to.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Everything comes with Green Chiles in Taos

We just went to Taos this weekend to commemorate eight whole months since RL's incident with the rock. The main point was for RL to talk to the ski patrol who untangled him from said rock and tell them about brain injuries and to reassure them that he was doing quite well thanks to them.

We stayed with two different sets of friends, both of whom have built amazing houses down rutted out dirt roads. These people know how to build a house...it's all about captured rain water and solar maximization and wood-burning stoves and they're just so fricking cozy that you don't care that you're in the middle of nowhere (spoken by a true city girl).

We first stayed with AO and Jenny (AO's on the ski patrol), and they made us amazing chile rellenos before we tucked into our comfy bed for the night; next up was Dan* and Liza, who made delicious fajitas (actually, both the men cooked, which I made a point of mentioning to RL). Great hospitality, these folks (AO even made us freshly baked cookies and tea for our ride home on Sunday).

Aside from the welcome, the thing about Taos is that it's enchanted. Right next to town is the oldest continually inhabited community in North America (Taos Pueblo), and I'm pretty sure there's something to be said for that. One of the weird enchanty things is the Taos Hum, which I read about last time we went down there. It's supposedly a low, vibrating noise that only like 2% of the population can hear. Liza said she hears it all the time (they call her a "hearer"); Dan said it's gotta be one of the mining operations in the valley; AO was insistent that people who hear it are just tripping. All of them got really revved up when I mentioned it, though! The speculation abounds, and still no one knows what it is.

The other enchanted story we heard was about a piece of pottery that was found in the Taos Ski Valley (actually, on Kachina Peak, where RL's rock is). It was apparently put there years ago by the Taos Puebloans as an appeasement to the gods of snow. When it was found in 1996, the owner of TSV took it and placed it into his private collection. That year was the worst snow year on record for years, and the drought continued until 2003 or so, when the owner finally decided enough was enough. The owner took the pot, along with some Puebloan elders, back to its rightful place, and voila: snow that year. I'm sure local legend goes a long way in encouraging these stories, but I really like the idea that history is present in Taos (what do we know about the people that lived in our community hundreds of years ago?)

Anyway, another important part of the weekend was a hike up to Kachina to pay our respects to the rock that took a little piece of RL's brain. We were totally unprepared for there to be snow already, so it's a good thing AO lent us some poles and pants for our trek. Our first stop was at Honey's Huck, which we've so named because it's the biggest rock I've ever skiied off of. We took lots of pictures and marveled at its grandeur (and later I casually mentioned to AO that they might want to name it after me).

After Honey's Huck, and a lot more hiking, we got to the bottom of Kachina. It's impossible to see in pictures how steep this thing is, and I was a little hesitant when RL suggested traversing across the steepness that was covered in snow. After some falling and cursing, we finally made it to the bottom of his rock. He went on by himself, chisel in hand, to give the rock the old what-for (as I said, that rock's had eight months to think about what it did). It was good closure for him, I think, and AO said the ski patrol is going to name it after him (suggestions?).

After our hike we went and checked out the Rio Grande Gorge Bridge, which spans the 650-foot drop into the tiny Rio Grande below. What's shocking is how long this river has been flowing to have created such a ravine (similar to the Colorado, I guess). As a side note, the gorge bridge, which still features graffiti from the 1970s, was awarded some Best Steel Construction award in 1966. That's it's claim to fame. We're hoping that even though they haven't cleaned up graffiti in 30 years, they've done some other preventative maintenance).

Taos is cool, and it helps if you've got locals to hang out with. We went to breakfast at this amazing place called Gutiz, which had a dish called Taoseno that I could eat for the rest of my life (scrambled eggs, pinto beans, rice, green and red chile). We're excited to go back and check out the other good stuff!

*Interesting side note: Dan's a musician, and he often practices when he's on the road. One time he was actually pulled over for playing a harmonica and a mandolin while driving.