Monday, June 29, 2009

Fatigue, housing, and career upgrades...

Over the weekend, we headed out to Woodland Park / Pike Nat'l Forest to do some more camping, this time with L&R as part of the crew too. I like to refer to our camping trip as "Hilton Camping" because the campground had paved roads and was pretty "chi-chi" as far as that goes. Really clean and really close to town. Ah well. It was still camping and it was one of the only available campgrounds that weekend. So there's that.

We did a pretty "hike" on Saturday (it was more of a walk than anything else) and wound up at Rampart Resevoir which was really beautiful and BIG! I took a bunch of pictures and then we had lunch on one of the fishing beaches...which was SO awesome (nicely done on lunch, L&R! Definitely stealing the wraps idea for next time!). We stuck around there for a while until we saw some ominous clouds starting to roll in and headed back to camp.

I'll admit, it wasn't the most relaxing weekend of my life. Far from it, really. I don't know why, but I was fatigued the whole time and not really talkative or fun, frankly. I was just...done. Totally spent. It didn't help that I was sick on Thursday and my right eye was totally effed all weekend. All I really wanted to do the whole time was sleep and read. I found myself on the outskirts of almost all conversations, preferring to be alone rather than around people. That feeling is pretty foreign to me. I almost always want to be in the middle of the action, but last weekend, I just couldn't handle being around anyone for very long. I took naps a lot and went to bed early. I read my book for much of the daylight hours. I was just exhausted. I was so tired and so dis-interested in human contact that I even found myself doing the dishes...twice. I hate doing camping dishes simple because of the cold water, but it was actually enjoyable this weekend.

Time for a big break from life? I think so!
33 days until Alaska. I don't plan on resting much there either, but it'll be nice to get really far away from home for a spell.

Speaking of home, we're looking at two more tomorrow night. Keep your fingers crossed...I have a really good feeling about both of them, but a really really good feeling about one of them...

Also, Todd has applied for an "upgrade" at work and has interviews throughout this week...keep your fingers extra crossed for him for the next few days...this position would be such a great move for him, for so many reasons! I'm so excited that he's jumping at the opportunity, but trying really hard not to get my hopes up. I think he's a great choice for the position, but I don't want to get too excited, in case it doesn't go the way we're hoping it does. So keep those finger crossed and good thoughts in the air...!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

They go in threes

Maybe now we can stop talking about those f**king GOSSELINS!

Three major icons gone in one week.
Makes me feel old.
Makes me feel reminiscent.
Makes me want to watch Charlie's Angels...and also to never watch it again.
Makes me want to listen to his greatest hits...and also never hear Thriller again.
Makes me want to youtube some re-runs...and also never hear "Heeeere's JOHNNY!" again.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

It's the little things...

Things that I currently hate:
1. When people make gross-out noises about foods I'm eating and/or like
2. Disorganization
3. Clutter

I guess the last two are sort of the same. I guess.
I'm on a mission to make our guest room more of a guest room. I want to get the clutter out of there and the Christmas crap down to the garage. There's just a lot of stuff in there, none of which can really be gotten rid of (books and shelves; desk; blah blah blah), but it can certainly be organized a little bit better. We have some random storage tubs that just need to get to the garage post-haste. I'm tired of the clutter. Really tired of it. Unfortunately, the problem was created largely by me. Sigh.

I have the shakes really bad right now. I have no idea why. I had the exact same breakfast I always have. Absolutely nothing different about today than any other day. But I have the shakes. And it sucks.

We're going camping again this weekend, same crew + L&R...and for two days instead of just one. I'm pretty stoked. The only hitch in the plan is that we're heading out on Friday after work...probably going to hit some heavy duty traffic. Oh well! It's still camping for the whole weekend, which will be nice even if I have to bring homework with me. It's the compromise I have to make in order to do fun stuff in the summer, I guess. It'll be fine. Just so long as no one gives me hell for it....mwahahaha....

In the recent past, I have found myself falling more and more in love with Todd. Who knew that was possible?? We've had some really amazing conversations lately and have cleared up some misc. misunderstandings that were kind of holding us both back from lots of things. Sometimes, we just get so busy and wrapped up in life that we get a bit off track and off of the same just takes a little re-evaluation and some good conversations to get everything back in line.

We started dancing again too, which is something that I've always loved doing with him. Except this time around, we're simply having way more fun. We laugh a LOT during our lessons and generally just get silly which is so much fun for me. I love being silly with Todd! One of my favorite, most treasured moments with Todd was when we were just starting to get serious and he stole chocolate from's too hard to explain what happened and the moment is really just for the two of us, but man were we laughing so hard!

I think dancing is something of a priority for me, just because we have so much fun doing it together and it's really exciting to learn something new at the same pace as each other. We're both "new" to dancing so learning it together is really enjoyable for me. And we do enjoy going to weddings and out dancing and being able to know what steps to do and to what types of songs...I really hope there's some chances for us to get our groove on during the cruise!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Looks like somebody had a case of the Mondays...

Yesterday turned into a big ol' Charlie-Foxtrot in a hurry. I have no idea why it had to happen on a Monday, but it did. I hate Monday's.

It all started last Friday when I went to register the new car, Eleanor. Turns out, the bank sent me incomplete and/or wrong information so I wasn't able to register the car after all. What a way to spend a lunch hour that could have/should have been spent studying. Sigh. The woman at the DMV-County Clerk was at least very helpful and nice so that softened the blow.

I got everything squared away and went back to the DMV yesterday, wasting yet another perfectly good lunch hour. I get there and they're on #195...I'm #219. Super rad! It actually went rather quickly, as far as the DMV is concerned. So I get up to the counter, expecting to write a check for about $250 to register the car. What the guy tells me next is almost unfathomable.

Your total comes to $1512.40.

Excuse me, WHAT?!?!? Apparently the bank didn't roll taxes and fees into the loan so I had to cough up about $1200 more than expected. Jeebus! What the hell was that all about?!? As far as I know, it's pretty standard to roll that crap into the loan because, well, a lot of people don't just have $1500 sitting around. Fortunately for us, I'm a nazi about savings so while it was HUGE hit for us, it won't destroy us. It just pisses me off...and leaves us $1200 less in the bank for a down payment on a house. Super. Freaking super.

That whole incident really made me reconsider buying a house. I mean, yes, it would be nice and yes, there's that $8000 first-time-home-buyers credit out there, but after the sh*tstorm yesterday, I'm thinking a little more seriously about what a house could cost us. Sigh. I'm exhausted. Just done.

Good thing that wasn't the only crap I had to deal with yesterday. Get it all out of the way at once, I guess.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Misc. updates....

I feel like summer is getting really busy again. Just like last year. Only this time, I have a lot more school to contend with.

I'm really bad and prioritizing, as has been evidenced in many many ways in the last several weeks.

It's like I make a plan for one thing, but forget about everything else in the mean time.

I have NINETEEN hours a week set aside for studying. It's totally ridiculous. But I can't just NOT study.

The other issue is that I like camping...and that REALLY cuts into my study time. Mostly because I require the internet for all of my school work. I have a lot of reading to do too which will happen on the drives to/from campsites and on random downtimes during the weekend, but the reality is that school is a HUGE priority for me right now. It has to be. I just want to be done. More than I could possibly describe. If I really push myself, I can be done by December 2010...I'm going to try one semester of 12 credits and if that's just too much, I'll push graduation back to Spring 2011 lest I go insane (and drive Todd to the brink in the meantime)...

If you know me at all, you know that I put myself on ridiculous schedules for life. I have to X by this time and Y by this time. It's madness and I've been fighting with myself over this for YEARS. I'm coming more and more to terms with "things will happen when they happen" and to just accept that. I want to be done with school, but I don't want to be miserable in the process. Better to take it slow if necessary than go completely mad in the process.

I'm just so close I can taste it now. That's what's killing me.

In other news, we're probably heading to Puerto Rico next spring. It'll be beautiful that time of year and it's pretty inexpensive, all things considered. And I'll be able to use my mad Spanish skillz...hahaha! I'm very out of practice...I'll freshen up before we go, that's for sure!

Mostly I've just had so much on my mind lately that I can't really function properly. Bleh. I cleaned the house like a crazy person while Todd was camping this last weekend. It felt so good to get all of that done. There are just a few things out on the counters right now that need to be handled, but at least it's not the charlie-foxtrot it was not so many days ago. I can't believe how messy I can allow the house to become!

On the housing front, we're still looking and still have some time, but we'll need to give notice to our apartments by September 1, so hopefully we'll find our dream house in short order. There are TONS to look at still...we just have a few requirements and unfortunately the beautiful homes with perfect kitchens tend to be in suburbia and not within walking distance of ANYTHING. And all the houses in walking distance of bars and restaurants are either too expensive or too crappy. So we're still lookin'...

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Mama Sannino's....yum!

Check out our "other" blog, Tuesday or Friday, for info on a new-to-us Italian restaurant in Arvada

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Does it really matter??

GAFFNEY: America's first Muslim president? - Washington Times

I'm not sure if this should be a big deal or not....I lean toward "not".
Does it matter if our president is Catholic or Evangelical or Muslim or Mormon or Buddhist or anything else?

Personally, I think that being an American and being a Christian (or any other faith) are mutually exclusive. We don't live in a theocracy, so religion and politics can be separate (to some degree...let's not get into the same old fight we've all been having since the dawn of time)...

I've thought for well over a decade that it's high time we stop focusing on the President's religion and start focusing on whether or not he's doing his job.

I'm just sayin'...

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

It all had to come out sooner or later...

Last night got the best of me, to say the least.
Here's the breakdown of my breakdown:

1. Had to cancel a date with girl friends in order to prep for a bridal shower I was throwing for a woman I've never met on Tuesday (today).
2. Stopped by Bed Bath & Beyond on my way home only to discover that their "Beyond" is a load of sh*t as they do not carry flower vases (something I needed for the shower).
3. For the last 2 days, my (brand new, sorta pricy) car has been doing this thing where it revs to somewhere between 2000 - 3000rpm unnecessarily any time I step on the brakes. I call my dad to see if he has any clue why it's doing that (since he used to drive a Subie) and he says that it's probably that the throttle isn't closing and that it's very unsafe for me to be driving the car. Well f**k. So glad I just dropped a ton of moo-lah on a new car that was supposed to be a hell of a lot safer than the old car.
4. I find out from Todd, via my dad, that the bridal shower is actually last night, not tonight, as I am trying to put together a "crafty" bit for the party. I call my mom and immediately ask "Why did you tell me the party was tomorrow night if it's actually tonight?" She thought she told me, which she so obviously did not. So much for finishing several projects for the party...and looking nice. Sigh.

I had my breakdown somewhere between numbers three and four, crying hysterically at Todd and threatening to hang the next person that tells me I'm irrational about cars and that I expect them to do too much. Not actually. I expect them to work. That's all. I would like to drive ONE FRIGGIN' CAR that doesn't have the clutch pedal fall off while I'm rounding Stadium Curve at 65mph in the winter or have the gear shifting cable detach from the gear box while I'm coming down a hill with (now) very little ability to turn onto a side street or have the head gasket crack in SIX places while I'm driving because no sensor light came on to tell me that anything was wrong (despite the fact that I was filling the coolant resevoir twice a DAY) or discover that something electronic re: the throttle is probably whacked out.

Yes, all of those things have happened to me.

It became rather evident last night that I am not allowed to have nice things because regardless of how well I take care of them, they go to complete shit at some point very early on. It's a wonder that my fancy pink laptop hasn't crapped out for no reason.

I understand that cars have issues and you have to fix them. I just don't understand why these major mechanical issues happen on EVERY CAR I OWN. I take very good care of my cars. Regular oil changes, regular tire rotation, regular air filter maintenance, regular car washes (just to be nice to my cars)...I do everything by the book and yet I still end up dealing with something so far out of left field. I'm not even hard on my cars. I'm getting 2.7more mpg than the previous owner (who can be somewhat hard on her cars). I don't brake excessively. I don't grind the gears. I don't rev the engine (of my own accord). I don't ride the clutch.

So can someone explain to me why the car manufacturers of the world seem to have it in for me?

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Skepticism takes hold...

We've been church hopping for a little while now. We haven't found one that's exactly right, which is frustrating. There are several reasons that we've been looking around, which I don't really want to get into on here, for many reasons (we can chat later if you're that interested). Our basic requirements are that I can feel connected through the music and Todd can feel challenged through the sermon. You'd think it would be easy. Sadly, not.

When we were living in the Highlands, we were going to church occasionally at Pathways, which K&P introduced us to. We enjoyed the lead pastor and (most of) the associate pastors. But then the music gal left and that was disheartening for me. She was a breath of fresh air and her style was SO remarkably different from what I was used to that, while it was shocking, it was new and exciting and .... refreshing. I was sad when she left. Very sad. Then we moved back to suburbia and Pathways simply became too far of a drive to be reasonable.

Back to square one.

We tried another Covenant church, but went to maybe the wrong service (wrong, as in, time-of-day). Still...meh.

We went to the church we got married in and rather enjoyed that, but's a bit far away to go every single week. However, it might be worth checking out again. It's Episcopalian, but with a bit of flair (and electronics).

We tried another non-denominational church and started to feel really comfortable there until just last week. I love it because of the music (for obvious reasons) and Todd appreciates the life-application portions of the sermon.

But last week....oh hoo-dee-hoo! What a disappointing sermon. Facts all messed up. Ethnocentrism at its finest. I mean, yowza.

So my question is this: Do we have to settle on a church? Are we too picky? What should we really be looking for? Should we give the "old church" another chance, despite how we've been hurt and disappointed in the past?

I'm totally lost right now.

Damn you, May!

How did May leak over into June?!?

Every time I turn around, this month, I feel like once something is straightened out, another thing gets all jacked up.

Case #1
I finally figured out with my CLAS advisor at school what I'm still required to take and what's completed and how much longer I really have. I'm right on track and he's let me know exactly where I stand through Fall 2009. I'll graduate Fall 2010, which makes me very happy. He eased my concerns about graduation substantially so I'm all clear there. BUT..........
I get an email this morning from financial aid saying that I owe nearly $3000! How is this possible when I filled out that God-forsaken FAFSA back in March/April? Oh, don't fret. The reminder email I got in March re: the FAFSA didn't say that it was specifically for Fall 2009-Spring 2010 and that I have to fill out ANOTHER form to get financial aid for Summer 2009. Oh so helpful. Fortunately, I was able to get that filled out and turned in today and should have an award package in the next week or so. On a side note: my confusion continues as I have not received a check for the unused portion of my Spring 2009 loans. Whatever...for now.

Case #2
Everything at work got handled prior to the end of May, which is nothing short of a miracle given the insanity and nature of our work that month. Many phone calls and emails and meetings later, everything got taken care of, bound up and billed. Phew! Break out the champagne! EXCEPT THAT....
Now there's all kinds of accounting craziness! I seriously cannot get any information that I need in an appropriate manner. WTF?!? I mean, honestly. If I tell someone something and they agree to those terms, that's what stands, right?? You can't just arbitrarily change the terms after you've already agreed to what we talked about two days ago...AAARRRGGGHHH!!!

My team should get, at the very least, a paid long-ass weekend once May is over. Unfortunately, I am not in charge of PTO...sadly. But we are going out for lunch tomorrow, which will be a welcome relief, honestly.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Slowing down is nice

Finally, coming to the office doesn't strike fear into my very core. Yay for MAY BEING OVER!!! We made it, even if we came out the other side a little bit bruised. Ah well. The silver lining, I suppose, is that I learned a lot...especially about anger management. I seem to learn that a bit more every May, which is really funny to me.

Last weekend, we all went camping for the first time this season up in Pike National Forest. Decker's is one of my favorite places to camp...I have a ton of great memories from camping there with my youth group in high is, after all, where I first discovered that a serving size of Twizzlers is 3 pieces...woot woot! And it has since become a staple camping food for me.

Todd and I also just bought a TON of new camping gear which we were able to use for the first time ever! I've never had quality gear before so it was nice to break that out and discover how incredibly easy it was to set up our new tent! I got Todd a Marmot sleeping bag which, hilariously, has a "stash pocket" hidden on the inside (tee hee!)'s actually even labeled as such, which just makes me laugh. My sleeping bag is pretty grey and periwinkle so I love it...and it's rated to 20F which makes it super duper warm although I froze my little bum off Saturday night because our sleeping pads didn't get to us on time so we were sleeping directly on the ground. Goo!

Yesterday, I bought us a messkit with service for four, just like the one my parents had when I was a kid...I love it! Can't wait to use it for the first time...yay yay yay! Camping is quickly becoming one of my favorite things to do because a) it's cheap and b) it's wicked fun and kooky.

I'm in the middle of working out some kinks in my college education. UCD has some crappy dual advising system where I have to talk to one person about my major requirements and another person about my core requirements. I'm speaking with the latter today to be sure that the non-English courses I'm taking the next two semesters will satisfy several remaining requirements. I'm VERY nervous that I'm about to have to push back my graduation another semester, which might kill me. I'm on the verge of giving up, frankly. But the amount of money I've spent keeps me going at this point.

Also, this morning started off perfectly, including Todd making all the fixin's for amazing breakfast burritos...yum! It was like a Saturday morning. The only thing that could have made it better was it actually being a Saturday morning :o)