Thursday, April 28, 2011

Leave it to the airwaves

Leave it to music to take a crappy day and just... melt it away somewhere in the notes on a page.  I always laugh at myself on Thursdays, because there's this part of me that's like "Ugh, I don't feel like going out tonight, I want to stay at home" and it's as if I forget what the music does for me. Because when I get in the Jeep on the way home, there's a million notes that have crossed my fingers and leapt from the page that are coursing through my veins.  And nothing else really matters.

The power of it all still easily gives me chills. This time around we're playing a few pieces that are very evocative. One is called Equus, and I adore it. It's as the name would suggest, about the horse.  It's full of all sorts of traditional and non traditional things, but it paints this crystal clear picture in my head. And more than that, you get to live the horse, keep the pace of its hooves on the ground, be the wind in its get to be the paintbrushes showing that to people. Then there's another called Angels in the Architecture where it's a battle of light vs. dark, constantly grappling for power. I picture all the buildings in Chicago with the gargoyles atop, shadows falling over them and being erased again.

Just the way 65 some pieces (if memory serves) sound. The way it FEELS when you're tumbling towards the crest of a giant wave of sound.  There's points it builds to and I get goosebumps just being in the middle of it. THIS is where I live.  Nothing that happened that day can touch me.

I always leave energized and excited to do it all over again.
If only I remembered more often...the music always, ALWAYS washes away the rest of it.
And if that makes me a band be it.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

new job, new skills, new everything.
And it's spring, so...I guess we're in the right season for that sort of thing.  I've been waiting for things to change... and now that they have, I'm grateful, if sometimes a little wary of what's going on.

Since I've started my new job, I've gotten at least 4 hits for other jobs, people interested in interviewing me. One of them is very very close to home, doing something I've done that I do well but don't particularly like, another is marginally closer to home but doing something more focused on what I *want* to do with my skills and experience, and another is closely related to a job I already had and grew to like.  It's exciting to be on the other end of the search, where people are calling YOU, but it's confusing.

Do I take the job that's super close to home because the car is old and may not last forever and gas is really expensive? Gives me more free time because the commute is nonexistent? Is permanent where the others are temp to perm?  Do I take the job that pays 2 dollars more an hour than my current contract and is 2 months longer with a possibility to go perm? That is closer to what I'd like to focus my job skills on?  Or how about the one that's very closely matched to my role at a former job?

I hate decisions like that. And above all, I like where I'm working now, but of all the jobs, they have the lowest pay, the funkiest hours, and it's furthest away.  But the environment is nice.  But how nice can it be? Nice enough to override benefits, and the prospect of permanence? They have some permanent openings, but even still, the gas bill my Jeep's racking up is not to be scoffed at.

Decisions and revisions that a moment will reverse...
I always run into that.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Colorado: Return of the Jedi?

So. I've been postponing more than the Cubs lately, because I wasn't entirely sure what I wanted to do to get all the rest of the CO experience in one blog post. And I decided to go doubleheader with it (yeah, it's baseball season, that's where my head is today) and just do pictures with "captions"

There's so many things I just want to *show* that I'd rather just do that than tell a whole lot, you know?
Let's go!

Daddy and kiddo. I kind of have a strong affection for these types of shots, for obvious reasons.
Pause to brag on my nephew: He's a genius. He can already do TONS of things on the list for babies at least a month older than him. 

And this castle-esque scene right here is The Broadmoor. Shannon, Sarah, Collin and I packed ourselves up and went here to see the grounds and have a nice lunch one afternoon while I was out there. It's REALLY fancy and offers fantastic views of the surrounding mountains. I would love to get to stay in the Broadmoor. You can also tell why it's an International 5 Star Hotel. We couldn't get 5 feet in any direction before someone wanted to help us with doors and absolutely anything else we needed and we were just visiting for lunch. :) Oh right, and something about golf... :P

It's a nice place to float around
My sister. I love her to pieces, and it's amazing to see her with her baby. I miss her since I've left. It was just nice to see her every morning again for a while.  The thing about your sister is you don't really need to be talking about anything important or anything at all to enjoy their company.  Same with anyone you really love, I guess...

oh hey look i was there. :)

Non sequitur, sorta. Are there any sequiturs in this format? Maybe not... Anyway, I love this dog. Like, adore him. He's sweet. And he's silly. And his smushy face makes SO many expressions.  He's the lovable oaf.

The whole family. :)

Ok, and you can't deny this puggle's cuteness factor. He too is a sweetheart.  And has the softest ears ever.

And here's Manitou Springs where I will hopefully be returning in August for Kija's wedding! Shan, Adam, Collin and I visited here before I introduced them to the greatness which is Costco. :P

I went into this little book and wine shop, and this was their reading nook in the basement. I *love it*. I wish I had a little place to sit and read that was EXACTLY this.

So on the last full day in CO, I wanted to hike again. I was gonna go alone to Red Rocks Canyon Free Space, but Sarah was able to go at the last minute. I have to gawk even at the photo. HOW does the sky get THAT.BLUE.  I  The weather was fantastic this day. 85 or higher, painfully blue sky, amazing sun... God I love Colorado.

Ugh. Gah. Argh.

All I want is to be places like this for the rest of my life. Really.

Honestly. This is what drives me. This is what I want to be close to, and explore. I go out here and I feel totally free, and like the world is still...amazing and vast.  I want to just...pour myself into it and capture it somehow. I *love* it here. I *need* places like this in my life way more often...
This is just where I live.

I think this guy agrees with me.

Well, there you have it. :) 
Regular picture a days ensue after this. It's time for a bath.
God I miss Colorado, my sister, and the kiddo.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Colorado: The Empire Strikes Back

Or something like that. :)
When last we talked of this trip, I'd just arrived, and been treated to steak by the lovely husband of my sister. :)
Beer, steak, bonding with canines...
That next day we stuck mostly to the area, took Collin to his doctor's appointment (where this guy coming out of the office took one look at Collin and said "Is that the new 2011 model? And shan and I laughed and said "yep!" so he goes "all the features?" to which I retorted "he even comes equipped with smile!" and touched his cheek to try to get him to smile for the guy) , and I went to get the stuff we needed to make pizza for everybody that night. And some random other stuff, to include ACTUAL GREEN CHILE.  Not that I was excited about this or immediately bought some or anything...
Oh wait...I did.

It's weird when things occur to you. Sometime that day when Shannon and I got back in the car and I was on my way back to the house with her...I just felt that wash of home over me. Or at least where I wanted home to be.  It's just something you feel. It was some combination of the music on the radio and the way the sun felt and the mountains looked...I just kinda had a moment to breathe it all in and remember how it felt to be out there, and how much I loved it.

 So that was that night. The pizza didn't turn out quite the way I'd hoped, but it worked out. And we all just kinda chilled and talked.   It's definitely good getting to know Adam better.

Wednesday Sarah and I met up to go to Cheyenne Canon.  I'd been there before with Shannon and we got some directions from her to get back.   I was *really* looking forward to getting out and playing in the beautiful weather and climb around.  Definitely something I always want to do when I'm out there. And it's so much more fun to take someone somewhere like that when they haven't been, so I was really excited about the drive out and the exploring once we got there.  It was also gorgeous yet again that day, if windy, but blue sky and sunshine all over.
Stocked with water and cameras we headed out.  Here's some pics from that day. :)

There's just something about being up's amazing. It's exactly my favorite place on earth.  The air is so clear and the sky is so blue...and it was so peaceful. There were other people various places on the trail, but you could just sit and absorb it all too.  I love the smell of the pines and the sound of the waterfalls in the background.  Just over those peaks you can see Colorado Springs, but it's so far removed from that world.  It's awesome.

So we stayed and took pictures and wandered some on our own and some together...and I pondered living somewhere I could go do things like that regularly again, like during my time in Los Alamos when I'd sit at the overlook on the rocks and watch the sun set.  I climbed up WAY too high at one point on what someone told us was a trail that was above our trail, which I confirmed later.  It was half stupid and half awesome.  Stupid awesome?  It was really high up.  I was scrambling up rock faces and loose earth.  The me that was terrified of heights was definitely being shoved aside at that point. I keep gaining ground with that, no pun intended...and it's mostly due to the views you can find at the top.  It's just awesome. 

so semi weird picture of me, but this is when i was at the top of my climb for the day.  I have to laugh though, because the expression is kind of the way I felt when I looked behind me just before I turned around to take a look at the view up top.  "eh....that's...high...i'm....frightened...but yay?"
And here's Sarah from my vantage point...

You can't *see* her expression but I'd venture it's "geez...I hope she doesn't die"
We came down and had an awesome drive down the canon again as well. Stopped to take pictures, took some with my head hanging out of the window like a was a fantastic day.  Colorado is awesome, and I belong in the mountains, and I belong out West.
That's basically the gist of it.  Have a look-see at some sights, see?

On any given day, this is what my dreams are made of.  Final installment later. :P

Friday, April 15, 2011

Colorado The Saga! Part One: A New Hope

Sooo...long overdue. But here's the story...of a lovely lady? Who...had to get out of the state for a while lest she go completely crazy. And her equally lovely friend Sarah who was going to see her man, man. And who was willing to let her friend tag along on the road trip so she could she her sister and her sister's new baby. Long overdue=long introduction? Sure.
Anyway, we blasted off from the IL around 11 am, car full of stuff and head full of...well, nerves and excitement. Tummies not full of lunch. So...we hit an oasis. Now little did we know that this oasis would change our lives FOREVER. *insert ominous music here*  It was to be foretold! (using bad grammar). THE END OF THE WORLD.

Yep. Little did you know it was not in 2012. Guess you'd best move up your plans. Me, I'm invited to dinner the day after the world ends, and I'm thinkin go fhaving an End of the World party. I have a fun theme within a theme too.
So there we were, two women on the road. This was Iowa and Nebraska, so I can't say that much happened., though I did see the speedway near Newton at the same time as I saw a Raynor truck, which was incidentally around the time I was thinking about those to whom that might be significant. You know who you are. We also discovered we were hired, and that Nebraska hates trees.

We hit Omaha without major traffic and with just enough in us to coast to a Cracker Barrel. There was food, phone calls, no rolling, which I'm sure we both enjoyed, and a fortuitous purchase to facilitate late night silliness.

Fortuitous, no? I think those are the muppet glasses...
I wound down with some Criminal Minds, and thus ended Day 1.
Day 2:
Morning had broken…I hate when that happens. As per usual I marvelled at Sarah’s morning person awakeness and generally grumbled and stumbled my way out of bed, the shower, and eventually the hotel room.

We hit this diner (not literally :P) that was just your good ol’ USA hometown diner…with a giant chicken in their front lawn.

Being that this was NE and we were due in Colorado…that’d be the last point of interest in Nebraska. And of course, it’d seem like forever til we hit Colorado.
Even breaking the Nebraska deathlock wasn’t that exciting…for awhile. My hobby was to gaze longingly at the horizon waiting for mountains. But that’s because I’m a nerd. I like big rocks and I cannot lie. No? Ok.

It took awhile, but there were pretty pastures of horses and smelly pastures of cows to keep us semi busy until then. Yay?

Around lunchtime we finally got our mountains. I got a little chile, and a bonus view of a man with the most gorgeous blue eyes this side of anywhere.

About 2 more hours and very little patience for the road later, we finally hit Colorado Springs, Pike’s Peak, Sarah’s Kevin, my sister and one reallllly adorable nephew.

I was rewarded for my arrival with a ribeye and respite for the rest of the evening. And the knowledge that I was back out where I belonged.  It was awesome to catchup with the sis, hold the baby, have a beer with Adam, and play with the pups.

So ends part one of our epic tale. My hand hurts. I’ma go read now.