Five Question Friday – 1/29/10

I joined in on F.Q.F. last week and had such a good time I thought, what the heck? Let’s do it again! If you want to join in the fun go to Mama M.‘s blog, read her directions and just do it!

1. Would you ever vacation alone?
This depends on what you consider vacation alone…let me tell you why. Last summer I went to Sweden sans the hubbmeister because a) he didn’t want to take unpaid time off work (because he is a work-a-holic to a masochistic level) and b) he didn’t seem all that stoked to go to Sweden (which I think has more to do with his hate for flying). So being the brave independent woman I am, I boarded the series of flights to Gothenburg, Sweden and then jumped on a bus to Borås. Pretty freakin’ cool. Now if you don’t count the fact that when I got to Borås I linked up and stayed with my Swedish sister, Matilda. Then yes I would and do vacation alone sometimes. But if the only definition is to go to a destination where you don’t know anyone, like say Tahiti, and sit on the beach with a book….well I think I would do that too maybe. I would miss the hubs a lot, and usually do when I go on trips without him, but at the same time I am pretty successful at entertaining myself. Shoot all this take of travel makes me itch for a vacation!

2. Do you go the speed limit?
Yes if by speed limit you mean, “flow of traffic” which is usually at least 10 mph over the posted speed limit. hahaha. I TRY my darndest to be a good driver and stick to the signs, but sometimes when you go from where it is posted at 75 on the highway down to 55 when you hit Thornton, it feels like you are traveling back in time it is so slow!

3. Why did you start blogging/following blogs?
I started following a couple of my friend’s blogs. But I was just a spectator at first. Then one of my closest friends, Katie, was sneaky and she sent me a note on Facebook saying ‘I mentioned you in my blog today, you should go check it out’. And in her blog she said something to the affect of “man, I wish this girl would blog”. I had posted silly stories on facebook a few times and I thought, heck I can do this more often, why not? And then a giant can of worms was opened and here we are.

4. Where do you shop for yourself?
Well I used to shop at Tall Girl (tearing up) because I have a considerably long set of legs on me. I am approx 5′-11″ and have at least a 35″ inseam, but I like pants with at least a 36″ inseam. I spent much of my life wearing pants that were too short, or modifying them by sewing panels of fabric at the bottom, or, on rare occasion, finding a pair of pants with a 34″ inseam that would look okay for approximate 3 wears and then they would mysteriously shrink up and look too short again. Well 5 or 6 years ago my (at the time) step-mother-in-law (she is now my ex-step-mother-in-law and I have a new SMIL)  Julie, took my sister-in-law and I to the Mall of America as our Christmas present. She paid for the flights and the hotel and food and we just had to finance our shopping extravaganza. This was the first time I had been to M.O.A and I was overwhelmed to say the least. Well my ladies-in-law were having a good time, finding and purchasing things, but I was coming up with zilch. We went into Ann Taylor to see if they would have some tall pants only to find out that they ‘only offer tall sizes in their catalog’ A**holes! (aside: you know tall people like to try clothes on in stores too right?). But then the sweet angel of a sales lady said ‘You know there is a store here called ‘Tall Girl’? it is on this floor even’ (although that meant it was roughly four miles away, hahaha). And that is how I discovered the GREATEST store a tall women could ever discover! I only bought two pairs of pants there (hey I was poor okay!) but once back in California I located one at the Irvine Spectrum, so Andy would humor me every so often and we would make the two hour trip up to do some shopping. Then when we moved to NY every six months or so I would drive up to Buffalo (6 hour round trip trip) and lay down $400-$700 on a ton of new pants. AND when we decided to move back to Colorado, I was mostly thrilled at the idea that there was a Tall Girl downtown (the first time I wouldn’t have to make a trek to get to one) and since I take public transit, I was within three blocks of TG five days a week. Needless to say I had to change my shopping habits because I no longer needed to grab every single pair of pants in my size off the rack and try them on. I could pick one or two and buy one thing and then come back next week. Well sadly TG was bought by a British Co. about 6 months ago and they were able to acquire TG’s canada stores, but not their American ones. I have no idea why this is just what I was told as I peppered the sales lady on my “emptying the store of everything that fit me” trip. She tried to console me that eventually the Brits want to bring their stores here and it might take a year. But I knew my dreams of having a physical store to go shopping at were quickly dying. Anyway I bought 7 pairs of pants at TG before they went out of business. I have four with the tags still on and I am saving them for a time when I need to feel like I just went shopping and found something new (you know the feeling ladies). In the meantime I am waiting to see what happens with the new company and I am going to use the pants I have to make patterns for myself. Because I do actually sew and there is no reason I can’t make my own pants. Wow that turned out to be an extremely long answer to a seemingly simple question. Sorry for the vent-fest.

5. What was the song that you danced your first dance with your spouse to at your wedding…or…what song would you like your first dance to be to?
Ahh (sigh) we danced to “At Last” which my ever-so-beautiful-and-talented mom recorded for me. She had an amazing voice and my dad is an awesome guitar player, so I asked them to make a recording of it for my wedding and it remains my most cherished wedding gift. Andy was pretty oblivious to the whole wedding thing, but I have programmed him enough now (7 years later) so that every time “At Last” comes on he is like ‘hey! that’s our song!’. And they say men can’t change. hehehe

MckLinky Blog Hop


Prove it!

If you have read some of my posts, you know that I brag and brag about how awesome Colorado is….and you might want to say ‘okay Natalie…Prove it!’. Well this last weekend I packed up my little red subaru with my K2’s and off I went to meet up with my dad and his fiance, Shelly, in Steamboat. According to my dad, I have been to Steamboat Springs several times growing up, but this was the first time I have ever skiied there. We’re having kind of an interesting ski season so far, not a whole lot of snow. So I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect. I did a snow dance the weekend before in the hopes that the moisture gods would line everything up for a nice batch of powder. But when I checked the weather on Friday it said “snow possible 30% chance”, which is a low chance in my opinion. Well I was going anyway, but then as I was making my way up I started to notice that my dance had pleased the makers of the snow. Here’s a pictoral look at one of the most magical and amazing weekend I have had in Colorado!
Armed with only the best equipment, I make my way up I-70 towards Las Montanas de Rockies.
No, I would never put my life and the lives of my fellow drivers (not to mention the well-being of my skiis) in danger by taking a picture while driving.
I made the turn-off on 40 to head north to Steamboat (again I am not driving and taking pictures).
At the base of Steamboat, what is that? Could it be snowing? Friday night brough 4 new inches.
My gosh-darn “pater familias” a.k.a. Dad. Notice his 3-tassle hat (only two tassles visible here) signifying the Expert telemarking rating. I am working towards my first tassle this year.
More Magical-ness!
We were skiing in the snow and fog and then we came down the mountain to see this! Magnifico!
The hot springs at Strawberry Park were amazing, a little crunchy (i.e. lots of hippies) but so relaxing and magical. We spent 3 hours there!
The “changing hut”, notice the lack of door or windows or any privacy for that matter, like I said a little crunchy. But we were already in our suits! HA! Take that. And when we got out it was dark so it didn’t matter that we were butt-naked in front of strangers. Your welcome strangers! 
While we were soaking a giant storm rolled in and dumped around 10 inches of new powder.
Day 2: Even better than the first! Powder Powder and it is all MINE! Well and a couple other people’s too.
Reason number 4 zillion and one for loving Colorado! Gorgeous!
Oh Steamboat how I hated to leave, but thanks for the amazing and magical weekend! I promise I will be back.

Five Question Friday…let’s try this thing out.

Okay so I have been following Mama M. at My Little Life for a little while….ahem stalking her blog I mean, but in a nice way, nothing creepy…Anyhoo she does these Five Question Friday posts and today I thought ‘what the heck’ let’s see if I can do it too! So there is this whole linky thing involved…and I am hoping that I can do it. If you want to link up too, I would suggest going to her blog and following the directions she laid out because I can’t be trusted. Now let’s get to the questions.

1. What is better, growing old with out money or dying young and wealthy?

This is definitely a no brainer to me. My goal is definitely to have a long and happy life and although most days I am convinced that having stacks of money lying about would make me infinitely happy, if I had to choose between stacks of money and dying in the next couple years or living for another 50 or so, I would go with the latter. But my answer to this question doesn’t mean that I am not doing my darndest to make sure that when I am old I have a nice fatty fat retirement egg to nest on. Not like a “ski chalet in the Alps” retirement egg, but maybe a “sitting in my hot tub sipping on some champagne up at our little A-frame cabin in the mountains of Colorado” retirement egg. I plan to be a sassy champagne drinking granny! Deal with it….and come visit me, I am bound to be a hoot!

2. Who takes out the garbage at your house?
Well like everything in marriage, Andy and I share this 50/50…..eerrr I mean I start bitching on Wednesday night and we both scamper around the house gathering up recycling and trash from all the rooms and taking them out to the curb. Hey! at least I don’t just bitch and stand there and watch him. We take it out together.

3. Have you ever had the same dream many times?
I am pretty sure that I have, but I can’t think of one right now. It is just one of those things when you’re in the dream and it feels so familiar. I inevitably forget my dreams about two hours after I wake up. I can remember them for a little while, usually long enough to tell someone about it, but then whoosh…out they go from my brain like clockwork.

4. Can you play a musical instrument?
Yes, I can play the violin. I started when I was 6ish or so. There was a program called “Weekend for Strings”. My parents used to drop my brother and I off Saturday morning at what I then thought was the butt-crack of dawn. I laugh now at the thought of being able to sleep in until 8am…. ahhhh bliss. So yeah, big bro wanted to learn to play the bass so why not get rid of both your kids for the day? Now I pretty much rocked the violin through junior high and high school, the only players better were a couple of Asian kids in my classes (I know how racist this sounds, but it is the TRUTH, I remember them like any person remembers their long-time arch nemesis. I was convinced that their parents beat them if they didn’t practice 3 hours a day though). So what happened to my rockin’ skills? Well I stopped practicing. I still have my violins, plural…because I have a regular one (that is gorgeous!) and an electric one (because I like to rock!).  As much as I internally pester and pester myself to get my music out and brush up on it, there just aren’t enough hours in the day! Seriously it is on the top of my list to do it, but in the past three years I have probably practiced six times max. And the painful part is my brother is practically freakin’ Edgar Meyer (amazing bassist, check him out) and I know I could have at least held on in the second violin section of some symphony (even if I was in the very very back) if I had just not been such a freakin’ slacker in college and my adult life. Ahhhh….c’est la vie. Thanks for the reminder FQF I am going to try harder in 2010.

5. If you owned your own store, what would you sell?
OMG, I would LOVE to have my own store. I am serious. Andy has listened to me drone on about it forever, he can vouch for me. But what would I sell…..trickier question. I imagine it would be like a funky vintage store where I could sell the clothes I have designed and made, but maybe there would be awesome retro furniture for sale there too, and then I also thought it would be awesome to have a diner/cafe attached, and then maybe in the back would be my architecture office….ooo and there should be cupcakes, but that could be part of the diner/cafe. You see. I would never be able to decide. hahaha.

Happy Friday Everyone! I am off to Steamboat for skiing with my pops!

MckLinky Blog Hop

Tired Thursday Dillusions

Are you ever so tired that your mind convinces you of something that couldn’t possibly be true? Usually I am so worn out on Thursday mornings that really strange things start running through my head. This morning’s was so funny I had to share it.

So this morning I pick out a pair of cute grayish dress pants (one of my favorite pairs) and off I go. Well as I am walking from the train to the office I start realizing a wedgie is developing (just another example of how far I am from Emily Post). So I am thinking about my undies and they are an adorable pair I got from Victoria’s Secret. They are light blue with darker blue hibiscus flowers, so kind of tropical and just plain cute. Well then I am thinking about it and I am pretty certain that I wore this combination of undies and pants last week sometime and suffered from the same wedgie situation. I believe the culprit is the undies but only when paired with this particular pair of pants. Hmmm then my brain makes the odd jump to…my undies and pants are in cahoots! They are somehow communicating with one another so that I am always choosing these pants when I have adorned myself in these undies and then the two are getting together to cause this wedgie….they are trying to embarrass me! Meanwhile I try to peek around me to ensure “correcting” the discomfort will not be seen by anyone. Of course what is usually a deserted landscape every other morning is populated by every car and pedestrian on the planet! (Warning: over-exaggeration). So I am finally able to fix the situation before I come within view of the office building and all is right as rain.

What delusions pop into your head?

01/11/10…Natalie Loves Palindromes

I find that there is really nothing more fun than palindromes….okay maybe that is a little bit of an exaggeration…. but I do get pretty darn excited when I find one and there really is no explicable reasoning behind it. So today I looked down at my phone at work to discover the date on the fancy display is a palindrome! YAY! Now if only I had discovered it at 11:11am and not two in the afternoon. Of course if that had happened I might have peed my pants and then had to leave work early. So let’s all be thankful that I did not see more than one palindrome when I looked down today. But to exaggerate my dorkiness….and because my camera was still in my purse from my trip to Las Vegas this past weekend, I took a picture so when I got home to write the blog about my dorky palindrome I would have an image to put up. I have to appologize to my reader(s) my blog is extremely lacking in the image department. I keep meaning to spruce it up, but as of late I have rarely had my camera in tow….this is definitely something that I need to improve upon in the coming year. Note: It’s okay if you all want to stop reading my blog and/or associating with me in any way now that you discovered what a huge dork I am. But really if you didn’t have any inkling of an idea before this, I would say you were pretty darn unobservant. So I am putting it back on you.

Anyway I didn’t just start an entry to talk about the silly palindrome date…eventhough I do consider that reason enough. I was thinking today how I didn’t actually make a New Year’s resolution in the strictest sense of the word. See in my opinion New Year’s resolutions are just made to be broken. Therefore I choose not to “officially” make them so that I won’t be disappointed when February rolls around and I realize what a worthless attempt I have made. See I set myself up for success right from the start. This is a suggestion I make to everyone…it kind of goes along with the idea that when I am making to do lists I put one or two things on there that I already accomplished that day so I can put check marks next to them (What you might be thinking: ‘what if you haven’t done anything yet when you are making the to do list?’ well dearest reader(s) why not put “make a to do list” and then check that puppy off!). It is like an instant motivator for me. Again if you didn’t realize that I was a dork you really have no one to blame but yourself.

Since I obviously like to start my years off feeling great, I also don’t make any resolutions that cast me in a negative light (yes even to myself…no one is more critical of you then yourself, so why enable that negative side?). For instance, the obvious resolution for so many people is “get into better shape” or “lose the muffin top” or “seek psychiatric help”, but in my opinion that is kind of a non-loving way to start out your year. Besides, getting into better shape has been on my to do list since I shook hands with the Dean at Cornell and snatched up my master’s degree. So that goal is sort of in the back of my head at all times anyway…and I am making some good progress with that, but that is another story/entry. So moving on. Now at this point one might be thinking ‘Natalie you don’t make any lofty resolutions and you don’t resolve to do anything that might make you feel bad about your current physique/mental status…so what the heck do you “unofficially” resolve you big loony toon?’. Well first of all, you need to calm down…hehehe, just kidding. My “unofficial” resolution is…to have more fun! This may sound pretty ridiculous to those who have specific goals for the coming year, but to me it’s the perfect resolution. First because it is so open to interpretation that I will surely fulfill it….like I said, setting myself up for success. And second because it reminds me what is important in life.

So what does having more fun mean to me? Well first it means finishing my darn architectural exams so that I can have more fun. I have officially received “passes” on four of the tests and am fairly certain the one I took a couple of weeks ago was a “pass” as well, but it will be another three to five weeks before I know for certain. So with five down and only two to go, my unofficial resolution means I need to buckle down and study to get these last suckers out of the way of my play time. Then it is all sunshine and lollypops on my horizon for 2010, unless you think about that pesky California supplemental exam, but let’s just shove that little grey cloud out of the picture for now and focus on the sunshine. Ahhh, doesn’t it look good. Now imagine a blanket in the sand by some rolling waves…..ooooo. Now maybe place a little strawberry margarita there beside you, don’t forget to put on some sunscreen…it will be less enjoyable if you end up with a sunburn tomorrow…in fact, just put on a big sun hat and sunglasses while you’re at it, don’t worry you will you look completely chic….aahhh. Perfect! So my “sunshine and lollypops” includes spending more time with my loving and amazing husband, so he’s one of my big ole happy rays of sunshine. Then there is having more time to pursue my other “loves in life” i.e. sewing and designing clothes, crafting, etc. And there are a few things I would like to try for the first time. For instance, my dad and I are going to train for a triathlon this spring. I actually meant to do one last year, but decided the Breast Cancer 3-Day was enough of a goal for one year. Now you might be saying ‘Natalie training for a triathlon does not sound like a whole lot of fun’. To which I would answer, very blasé, ‘life is what you make of it’. In reality when the training goes full-swing I will not be thinking ‘ooo this is so much fun!’. But some sick sadistic part of my brain seems to think it is going to be a lot of fun getting ready for this and such an amazing accomplishment if…errr I mean when I successfully complete one. Maybe I think it will be fun because it is a new challenge, it involves swimming and cycling which are two of my favorite physical activities…apart from skiing and horseback riding. Which gets me thinking of an awesome idea for a “Natalie” Triathlon…but I digress. Plus it will also be an opportunity for my dad and I to hang out more as we get ready for this endeavor together. And really running isn’t too far down on the list of physical activities I like to do. The challenge, obviously, is merely putting the three activities together into one large package and doing them in a row. But let’s not focus on anything negative…let’s just focus on the fun and the fact that it fulfills that teeny teeny mini-resolution that I keep entirely unofficial and completely underwraps, getting into better shape. HA! So in the end it seems I am just like everyone else I just swirl it all around, twisting and manipulating my wording and come out to say the exact same thing!….Looks like it is time to run for some politicial office! But I am shoving the “train for and participate in a triathlon” into the”unofficial” have more fun resolution umbrella.

As for other sunshine and lollypops I haven’t completely decided….and that is the other great thing about having an “unofficial” and completely positive, yet laid back, New Year’s resolution. You can pick and choose what you want as you go and in the end it fulfills the overall goal. So in an attempt to fulfilling my overall goal, I am off to study for my next exam and get some rest!

Why I (still) can’t be trusted with sharp objects

So this beauty is now long and healed, but I did take pictures of it and there is a fairly funny story surrounding me and sharp objects, so it kind of made me want to blog about it. If you think about it, now is really the best time to blog about this and other incidents because you don’t have to feel bad or concerned in anyway. I am all better. So you can just laugh at me and feel free of guilt as you do so.

This caption is just begging to be “Natalie wants YOU to stay away from sharp objects”

This story first I guess, so it starts with me in the shower. I am about finished, but I realize that the drain is not draining as fast as it could, must be time to check for hair. Sorry I should have posted a warning about this entry, that it is kind of gross and involves practices which real ladies must deny ever happen, i.e. that our hair clogs the drain and requires us to remove said clogs. Ehh I don’t feel as embarrassed as I probably should. Moving on…So yeah ready to investigate the drain situation so I take off the drain cover….meanwhile the shower is still going (don’t worry environmentalists I have an extremely low-flow shower head)…hmm nothing I can see, better investigate with something longer. What do I have, ah ha! my razor. So I turn said razor around using the handle as a probing device and swirl around to dislodge the clog-causer. Then I pat myself on the back for my resourcefullness, turn off the shower and reach for the towel….but wait…what is this? I see little blood droplets on the shower floor. Must have sliced my leg while shaving..then I catch a glimpse of my finger. OH DEAR! It is gushing. Apparently my new blade was all too eager to make it’s way through part of my pointer finger. Tell me something…why is it that you can’t feel the cut when it is happening, but as soon as you realize it and try to stop the bleeding, it hurts like nobody’s business? Razors are magic like that I guess.
So yeah, I grab a piece of toilet paper to wrap my finger up while I dry off. Thinking I can attend to my finger after I am dressed. But I bleed through the toilet paper pretty successfully and the next few attempts, for that matter. Okay finger first… put the hand above my head and search for a band-aid. Andy helps me place my band-aid, looking very unsurprised that I have managed to cut myself on something for the zillionth time (he asks and I just tell him, cut it on my razor…no need to go into the whole ‘I decided to use my razor as a probing device’ because he doesn’t need additional ammo against me). I am headed back down to find some clothes and I look down and I am gushing through my band-aid. Geez it was apparently deeper than I had originally thought. I struggled into some clothes this time and then went searching for the gauze and medical tape. Voila, the result is what you see in the photos. I had to wear this giant bandage AND replace it once because I managed to bleed through the first one of these as well. Guess I don’t need blood thinners.

So you might be wondering, ‘Natalie? Why is it that Andy is never surprised and exhibits little anguish when you come to him bleeding?’. Well, dear reader, he did, at first. Andy’s experience patching up my clumsy encounters with sharp objects began early on in our relationship. I remember the first one all too well. He had just gotten a new pocket knife and I was looking at it. Don’t ask me what I was thinking, but I had the blade facing my hand and I closed my fingers around it while we were talking. He said ‘be careful or you’ll cut yourself’. Just as he said it I opened my hand and saw that I had done just that. Embarrassed by myself I closed my hand to hide it from him. But he noticed and asked ‘you just cut yourself didn’t you?’. No point in lying I was going to gush blood all over soon enough. So this being the first incident, a little wave of panic washed over him and he rushed all over the place getting supplies to stop the bleeding and patch me back up.

The second occurrance where I remember him panicking was after we were first married and I had just changed the blade on my razor. Now I am not that competent when it comes to shaving my legs. You might think that since I am 20-ahem- some years old and I have some fif-ahem-plus years experience (might as well start lying about my age now so it doesn’t come as a shock later on) with shaving that I would be a pro. Well you are thinking wrong and if you can help it, never take a bet that involves me not cutting myself shaving…because chances are, you will lose. Just some friendly gambling advice…something I like to mix in there while I blog. hahaha. So yeah, we’re married, I have a freshly changed blade and I am shaving my legs. Now you know that pesky spot right behind your knee? I call it the knee-pit. Well I get the razor up to that little spot and I pause for just a second, I think I was reaching for the shaving cream or something, not sure why I paused. But in that second of resting the blades sunk into my all-too-willing skin and wreaked havoc. I am assuming I must have jerked it just a smidge to cause the cut, but I am sticking with the story that it was merely resting in one spot and cut me. Anyway, as I am an accomplished bleeder the shower was immediately a site to be seen. Aside- don’t you hate it when you cut yourself shaving and you still have tasks to perform in the shower before you are done? Maybe I am talking to myself here. Well in this case I still needed to shampoo and condition my hair. So I couldn’t just get out and attend to my cut. I had to finish my work. Well water + my willingness to bleed = horror film. The shower literally looked like I killed a small animal in there. But, never the panicker, I get out, wrap a towel around me and reach for the trusty toilet paper.

Now imagine how awesome I look holding toilet paper to my knee-pit as I waddle out of the bathroom in search of Andy (i.e. my medic). I calmly tell him I cut myself, by which point the blood is dripping down my calf. His eyes bug out and he proceeds to rush me to the bed, lift my leg into the air and apply pressure. Now seriously it didn’t seem like that big of a cut but apparently it was because I needed, as I apparently often do, some serious bandaging to get it all stopped.

So as you can imagine, these first few instances of me with sharp objects (plus add in there a few times chopping vegetables and finding my finger) and Andy was exposed to all he needed to react to my current and future endeavors with calm and the utter lack of surprise. I still see him cringe whenever I have a knife in my hand, save perhaps butter knives. Just the other day he was showing me a knife he bought his dad and he hovered over me like you would a child as I held it. I am sure if he could vote I would be banned from ever touching such objects, but he isn’t offering up his shaving-my-legs-for-me services and I still have to make food every once in a while. Therefore I am sure my list of “times I hurt myself with a sharp object” will continue to grow.