Thursday, March 30, 2006

Wish Really Hard

When I was little, I thought getting wishes to come true just took the same effort as everything else you wanted. Wish really hard.

So, when I wanted a new jean jacket or a pair of L.A. Gear, I would just sit, close my eyes as tightly as possible, picture the image of what I wanted and wish for it. I spent hours perfecting this and the fact that it worked once in a while (like when a birthday would roll around) was enough to keep me wishing.

Here I sit tonight after another twelve hour work day and a half-hearted four mile run and all I can think about is whether or not I can wish hard enough to get here:


Wednesday, March 29, 2006

She's Just Not That Into You

I really wish someone would write this book. Contrary to what many women believe, there are guys out there who will continually attempt to be around you though you are showing absolutely no sign of being into them.

About two months ago I went on a blind date. This guy and I spoke on the phone a couple times and the conversations were pretty good so I wasn't surprised that when we went out, we were actually able to talk. The thing about it was, that's all there was. Sure we had things in common but it wasn't anything extraordinary. No butterflies. No spark. No major first impression.

So, I told him I had a nice time, gave him a hug and said goodbye. He asked if he could call me but it was only regarding some biking stuff I had for him and we didn't really talk about going out again. I was pretty sure he was on the same page- no chemistry. Well, he called. And called. And called some more. At first, I'd talk to him and chat like friends do. Then, I realized we were, in fact, not on the same page. I started saying I was busy and that I didn't think I could make plans any time soon. A sure sign for a guy, right? Wrong. He just waited three weeks and called again. We chatted, I was polite, he asked, again. So, I had to say "No thanks. I just don't see dating in our future." Fine. Blunt. But no, he replies with: "So we just go out as friends. No big deal. I think you're really cool, even if you're just my friend."

So here's what I'm thinking:

1. Cool. Mature guy. Knows how to be friends. Doesn't blow you off. Could lead to many other opportunities in life, like a new mountain biking buddy (which is always good) or,

2. Lame. Pining. Could get annoying. Or even worse.

So, though it's not common and this guy is not likely to spend nights crying over the girl that he can't get, it turns out that men may need a book too.

Because it may be a while before the right book comes along, here are a few sure-fire signs for the guys that a girl is just not that into you:

- She doesn't call you.

- She takes more than two days to return your calls and though she's nice, she's also really short with you.

- She ignores your calls altogether.

- She doesn't laugh at your jokes, even if you have a winning personality.

- Unless she's 16, she's seen Casablanca, she's heard every romantic song in the world, she's read all the poetry and none, none of that is going to "woo" her into your arms. That's the kind of thing that might impress a girl after she already thinks she's into you. That was a little digression but nonetheless, important.

- Last, but hopefully the most obvious of them all, she gives you hints (if not comes right out and says) she's dating someone else.

I assure you, there has never been a single, available woman in the history of the world that will ignore you for three weeks if she likes your attention. If she's available and into you, you will know. If she's doing any or all of the above, man up and move on.

If you want to keep the girl as a friend, tell her so and then leave her alone. If you can manage this, she might even think you're normal and set you up with one of her friends.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006


I mentioned yesterday how my grandmother always asks me if I've "met anyone interesting lately." I know this is her subtle, nonchalant way of asking me if I'm dating anyone. No matter the current state of affairs, so to speak, I always answer the same: I meet interesting people all the time.

As far as why I always answer the same, I suppose I have a lot of reasons for it. They vary from shallow and lazy to deep and well, deeper. The obvious reason is that no matter how much wine I've had at Thanksgiving dinner, a conversation with my grandmother about my love life is not my idea of fun. The more truthful reason is that I keep this information pretty close to me, no matter who's doing the asking. I guard the information as if only the right combination of time, reassurance and love will be the one thing that will ever allow me to let it go. It's mine, until I decide otherwise.

I sort of know why I do this, I'm careful by nature. I'm doing it to protect them. And I'm doing it to protect me. If I don't tell them what's going on then they can't be disappointed when there's no news to share. Also, if I don't have good news then I won't have bad news, either. But does it make sense?

I'm not trying to turn this into a "love never works for me" kind of thing though, because that's not true. The truth is, love has worked for me. I've had a first crush, a first kiss, and a first love; both as a kid and as an adult. And for what I knew about it at the time, it was pretty good. Break ups aside, I'm alright with it. I've learned and will continue to learn; which really is a good thing most of the time. Knowing this makes it even harder for me to understand why I keep a lot of the details to myself. I'm not bitter about love, I just don't want to talk about it-or anything to do with it. Convincing, right?

Today though, I'm beginning to understand a little more. I'm house-sitting for some family this week and while I was wandering around their house looking for the cat, the hundreds of pictures of their family kept capturing my attention. No matter where I looked, the pictures were everywhere; mom, dad, two boys, one cat, one dog. Then I noticed other things like handmade birthday cards and art work. There were painted rocks: "To Mom, I love you most." There were carved wooden sticks with initials and dates. I stood staring at markings on the wall where the increasing height of the kids was measured and marked for the last eighteen years and it began to sink in.

There was a past and a future all wrapped up in this house. There were wedding pictures of the beginning of this journey and all the moments that followed. There were lives and futures and hearts all wrapped up in this one place. I know these people well and I see them all the time but I would have never guessed that one of my greatest moments with them would be when they weren't even there. I realized the value of that. It's special and precious. It should be protected.

Before now, I thought I wasn't seeing things right or thinking clearly. I considered that it might be wrong for me to not just "put it all out there." Why shouldn't I share? Why shouldn't everyone know? Not now though. Now, it feels right. As long as I don't build a wall, a little safeguard is okay. It's my life, my future and my heart. If there's anything worth a little protecting, it's that.

Monday, March 27, 2006

And blogs were never the same again

Two things that scare me so much I may not be able to sleep tonight:

1. My 80-year-old grandmother reads blogs.

2. She's thinking of starting her own.

It will be a blog all about asking me if I've "met anyone interesting lately", cooking, and Avon.

Hug the kids. Run for the hills. The end is near.

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Nothing Special

Sometimes I have such good days doing absolutely nothing. I often think of Mary Tyler Moore on these days because, you know... "who can take a nothing day and make it all seem worthwhile?"

This morning I got to sleep in three whole hours late. It was already warm and sunny (read: above 40 degrees) and before even getting out of bed, I decided which flip flops I'd be wearing today.

I went for a five mile run that felt like two and felt great the entire time. This might have had something to do with the iPod's odd decision to get stuck in the early 90's and only play Pearl Jam, Nirvana and Toad the Wet Sprocket. I know. So my 26 year-old brain started to drift back to my 13ish year-old brain and I think after the third or fourth song, it convinced my body it was thirteen again, too. Which explains the youthful energy and the way I got all flustered when I passed the boys on the running path. Oh no, I forgot, that's been happening since I was thirteen.

I actually got to run errands like a normal person, too. I wasn't some crazy girl running all around downtown trying to fit everything into a lunch hour. It was calm and timed and relaxed. And there were no lines at the bank or the post office; I just breezed in and out. And really, who ever gets to breeze anywhere anymore?

I had a late lunch with a friend and caught up on work, boys and sports bras without having to inhale food as if it was going to be my last meal. On the way back from lunch I took a detour and went by the park. I sat on a bench and read the newspaper for almost an hour, just because I could.

I'm glad to know that even in the chaos of an average life, I haven't forgotten how to revel in the normalcy of it all. Taking time to enjoy days like this reminds me of what's important. It reminds me of what's real.

And then I came home and cleaned dog puke off the carpet. Reality is so refreshing.

Friday, March 24, 2006

Good Thing or Bad Thing: Part 1

Since I so often wonder if certain things that happen in life are a good thing or a bad thing, I'm starting a "Good Thing or Bad Thing?*" post. I'd like to say I'll always have "Good Thing or Bad Thing? Friday" or something like that but honestly, that's too much commitment.

Instead, this is Part 1:

Manager (boss' boss): So you're working early today?

JustRun: Yep, just a little. Have to get some stuff together for Monday.

Manager: Well, I'm glad you're going to get everything done. I see you've worn boots to the office today?

JR: Yep. They're very comfortable.

Manager: So you're getting everything done, in jeans and boots?

JR: Yes, I think I am.

Manager: I should wear my boots to the office. I've never thought of that before.

JR: Yes, you should.

Manager: Cool. We should all wear jeans and boots to the office.

JR: I agree.

Okay, kids. Good thing or bad thing? Or, just very weird thing?

* I just realized this sounds like "Deal or No Deal." But it's not like that. There's only a fraction of the excitement and none of the prize money.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Relatively Cool (and admittedly shallow)

I watched American Idol last night. Not to see who got booted. Not because I'm secretly in love with Simon.
Nope. I watched so I could see Barry Manilow. I'll probably have to get into my love for Barry another time but for now, I'll just say it was a "can't miss" for me.

Anyway, as I watched Barry, I noticed something about him. His hair was darker. And so was Ryan Seacrest's. And recently, so is mine. A few months ago I said goodbye to ten years of highlights and I've often wondered if I made the right decision to go dark. As insignificant as this may seem, it was actually huge for me. As a kid, I always had blonde hair. But as I got into the mid to late teen years, my hair started getting darker. One day, on a trip to L.A., (which I will always blame for the beginning of my never-ending personal appearance criticism problem) I got highlights. For the next ten years, I was always some wonderful shade of blonde. And I loved it.

Late last year though, I decided I'd had enough. I went to the salon and asked for my natural color back. Of course, it was darker than I thought it would be and I've questioned keeping it ever since. It just seems less interesting. Less, well, fun. Oh how cliche, I might puke just from typing that.

Now though, I know it will be okay. If Barry Manilow and Ryan Seacrest can go dark, so can I. And, as an added bonus, this little revelation has made me realize that as long as I continue to measure my style decisions against Barry Manilow and Ryan Seacrest, I will always be doing okay.

As if I weren't cool enough already.

Update: I've been informed that Barry, in fact, does not have dark hair. Apparently, it's just the roots. I stand corrected. But I'm still cool.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Breakfast Bonding

This morning, over thirty people who sit in semi-dark cubes for 8-10 hours per day came together. Jokes were told, pictures of kids were shared, and bacon was eaten. It was breakfast potluck day in our little corner of the IT world.

I've said it before; this is a fantastic job. There are good people here with amazing talents and fantastic personalities. But the nature of our beast is not social. It's functional. We stare at computers. We speak in odd languages. We make things work. But this morning was different. This morning, we were like real, human people. There was barely a trace of the dazed, code-spitting monsters we often turn into come midweek. It was like a little breakfast miracle.

We laughed. We cried. We ate our weight in breakfast burritos.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Snow Will Make You Think

It's late March; flowers want to bloom, birds want to sing, the sun wants to shine. But you're in Colorado, so get your rear out there and clear the snow. The infamous "Last Big One" is upon us.

While out, I got some good thinkin' in:

1. I've been trying to figure out the best way to walk into the office in the morning and say "Sup, beeeyotches?" without looking like a disrespectful moron. Since I don't normally use this phrase any other time, this is especially challenging.

2. I need to break my current addiction to peanut butter cookies. Though they are the most protein-packed cookie, they are also manufactured by the devil, packaged in lard hell and brought to me in bulk by cute little girls in green who tilt their head and smile and say, "It's only tree dollars." Yes, tree, not three- it's more manipulative that way.
On second thought, the green girls may be the devil, too.

3. I need new running shoes but I don't want to go back to my favorite running store because the new guy there always looks at me like he's my stalker and he doesn't want to reveal himself just yet.

4. My neighbor's dog came over and peed all over the sidewalk today. Now the snow on the edge of the sidewalk leading to my door is all bright yellow. I was going to be mad but I've now decided that it might look like a landing strip and maybe the Mother Ship will show up tonight. No, I really don't believe in "Mother Ships." Pirate ships though, I definitely believe in those!

5. Yesterday, a guy wearing shoes like this asked me where the closest Eddie Bauer store was. I haven't been to Eddie Bauer in a while but I'm pretty sure they haven't started stocking those sneaks!

Monday, March 20, 2006

The Time I Met the Girl That Seemed Normal But Turned Out to be a Little... Off*

Explain this to me:

There's this girl and she's usually pretty bright. She's got a respectable education. She owns her own home. She has hobbies and spectacular friends she doesn't deserve. She has a cute dog that won't hump your leg. She hasn't worried about this guy in weeks. She reads (and often understands) classic literature. She is capable of giving complicated presentations and, oddly, she enjoys it. She has a nice family. She runs races up mountains. She's even been known to carry on coherent and intelligent conversations. Imagine that.

So why, when this girl is talking to an adorable man that wants to participate in her charity event this summer does she turn into a complete and utter bumbling idiot?

Answer me that.

*This is the way he'll start the story when he tells jokes about it later.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Heavy Heart

I woke up this morning and checked a few blogs. I learned that the husband of a fellow blogger passed away on Friday night. He [and really, they] had been fighting the battle against Acute lymphocytic leukemia for quite some time. He'd recently come into remission and they were anticipating a life without cancer. Then, it returned. That was about a week ago. Now, he's gone.

I don't want to link to their site, it's not the right time for a parade, small as it may be.

Rather, I want to say how angry I am. How many people does this have to kill? How many people have to lose their child, their fathers, the love of their lives to something that our President wants to cut spending on? How many?

I have no words of consolation. I have no way of expressing how I feel. I have no right, either.

This is why I don't rest in this fight. There's just too much to ignore.

Maybe you'd consider getting involved in the fight against cancer in your own community:

Relay for Life

Making Strides Against Breast Cancer

Talk to Your Legislators

Join the Team In Training

Tell Congress NO to cutting cancer research dollars

Maybe even donate here or here.

I understand people don't always see this disease this way. Maybe you haven't been affected by it. Maybe you have but you don't want to hear about it. This post is not about that. It's not about yellow bracelets or flashy fund-raisers. It's not about the t-shirt I got at the race or the picture with the celebrity spokes-people.

It's about staggering mortality rates. It's about research. It's about a cure.

The people fighting cancer don't get a break. They don't get vacations or happy hours or lazy Sunday afternoons. Cancer doesn't rest. I can't either.

Friday, March 17, 2006

Is It St. Patrick's Day or Is It Me?

Yesterday, the crazy was all around. So much so that it followed me right into today.

This morning I was washing my hands in the restroom and the lady who cleans the office was in there. She had just finished cleaning the counters so when I was finished, I used a paper towel to wipe the counter where I'd washed my hands. I didn't want to un-do all the cleaning she had accomplished.

"No! Do not wipe the counter, please," she shouted.

"Okay. Um, I was just cleaning up the water."

"Don't do that. Don't you know that if you cleaned up everything you messed up around here that I wouldn't have a job?"

"Uh, I guess I didn't think of it that way. I'm sorry."

"Well, you should be. I need this job, you know! I have to buy things."

"I understand. It won't happen again."

"Good. 'Cause I have to buy things and the most important thing is cheese!"

I couldn't resist. "Really? Cheese, huh?"

"Yes, cheese. And cheese is darn expensive!"

"Yes. I guess so."

"Four dollars."

"Wow, " I said. And then I high-tailed it out of crazy land for the fourth time in less than 24 hours.

And a Happy St. Pat's to all! I need beer.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

What is up with today?

Freakish things are coming out of the woodwork left and right. Heck, it's not even the woodwork; that would imply they're trying to be subtle. Nothin' subtle about this day. This is real in-your-face freakish.

At noon I walked two blocks to pick up lunch. In those two blocks I was accosted (the approached-and-spoken-to-loudly kind of accosted and the asked-for-sex kind of accosted) twice. In Spanish.

Because I am semi-bilingual, I will semi-translate for you.

The first was an older woman who, apparently, thought I was called Lucy.

"Lucy! I told you to be here at 11:30! Ayyii."

I avoided eye contact and said nothing.

She followed me for about half a block, shouting all the way, "Lucy, you idiot! Do you ever listen?"

It's no wonder the real Lucy ditched her.

The second accosting was at a crosswalk. I was halfway through when a short man in dark glasses bent down in front of me to pick up something off the street. I tried to side step him and right as I thought I'd avoided tripping over his trench coat, he turned to me and raised his eyebrows and looked me up and down.

"What's up, chica? You want to come downtown with me?"

We were already downtown. I don't want to know what "downtown" he meant. I felt the need to shower about seventeen times and consider telecommuting.

I returned from my reinitiation to the city to an email from someone calling himself "Terrence Wilson, Blog Finder." I know I'm new to this game, but I've never heard of Terrence Wilson. I read the email anyway.

Apparently, Terrence and his "associates" want to pay me for my blogging or my writing or something. Heh. Sure.

The following is my response back to Terrence:

Mr. Wilson and Associates,

I have no idea who you are. I'm skeptical that your name is even real. I'm hesitant to even reply to this message. Nonetheless, I will acknowledge your offer politely.

I am not interested. If you've read anything here, you'd know that one, I am very new to blogging, two, I have a career in which I'm quite pleased and three, the only new position I'm even remotely interested in being offered right now is that of Beach Bum.

Unless by "compensate" you meant millions of dollars and by "professional weblog" you meant drinking margaritas in Cabo, allow me to save you any further time and ask you to not proposition me again. I've had enough of that for today.


P.S. Just as a tip from one professional to another: You might consider using the name of your company and that of your "associates" when offering out contracts.

This back to reality thing is going swell.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Ahhh, That's Better- And Here's Why

Previously in this space was a story of a trip I took.
It was a story of island magic, wonderful people, learning how to relax, reflection and rum.
I've removed this story to save it for other things. Other times and places than here.
To all of you that were able to share this story with me, thank you. Your comments will remain as a reminder to me to never let that island magic go.

Ahhh, That's Better

Back from the Caribbean and hating every minute of it.

Nothing like 22 degrees F (that's 5 degrees C) to welcome you back from 80 degree days and 70 degree nights.

I have so much to share about my trip. I hope to do that as soon as my mind gets used to the reality that I'm no longer laying on the beach, which may take a while. For now though, I'm just trying to accept the fact that there's no sun today, I can't wear flip flops, and whatever it is I'm drinking doesn't have rum in it.

Monday, March 06, 2006


Every once in a while, a girl should trade in the office shoes for flip flops, her brief case for a beach bag and her power lunch for a pina colada. In a few hours, that's what I'll be doing. And that's the way it should be.

I also won't mind exchanging the last cold winds of Old Man Winter for trade winds. I won't mind trading a trail in the park for a snorkeling trail. And the flannel sheets can be replaced by a hammock. I couldn't be more ready- I've been packed for days!

Even my friends and coworkers are ready for me to leave. Apparently, they don't love my inspired rendition of "No Shoes, No Shirt, No Problems" every hour, on the hour. I can't imagine why not.

With that, I'll say farewell. Should I get down there and decide my true calling in life is beach-bumming (which I sort of already know), I will find internet somewhere and give everyone my new Caribbean address and invite you to visit. Promise.

Bon voyage*, my few but precious bloggin' buddies.

*Bon voyage is boat talk; if it's truly paradise, there will be boats.

Sunday, March 05, 2006


<-- Here's what fun looks like.

During training, about once (maybe twice) a week we'll head down and hit the Manitou Incline.
I could tell you stories about the Incline but there's a lot of history out there about this old rail of 1.1 miles and a 68% grade, so you might want to check it out yourself. Every time I'm dragging myself up this thing, I ask myself "what the hell am I doing" and yet, I go back.

The two most important things to remember about it are: It's technically tresspassing if you're on it and, it will kick your ass.

I'm off to have my ass kicked now.

Friday, March 03, 2006


I've never been tagged before so I was a little afraid of doing it right. A blogging meme virgin, if you will. Forever ago I was tagged by the fabulous Bre. I still fear I'm not doing it altogether correct but hopefully it's good enough.

Seven Things To Do Before I Die:
1. Wind surf
2. Run the New York Marathon
3. Live on a boat for more than a week
4. Visit Italy
5. Throw dinner parties (even if they consist of my homemade pizza and beer)
6. Publish writing that isn't about software
7. Return to coaching youth sports

Seven Things I Cannot Do:
1. Not cry at weddings
2. Look at snakes without cringing
3. Listen to music that demeans others
4. Stay out in the cold for too long
5. Go one week without a margarita
6. Throw away my report cards from high school
7. Wait for my nephew to be born

Seven Things That Attract Me to Blogging:
1. "Connecting" with others
2. Identifying with others
3. I'm never bored when I read your blogs
4. It's not work
5. My need for constant communication
6. Sharing
7. Writing practice

Seven Things I Say Most Often:
1. Grrrr
2. Like
3. No way!
4. Please don't make me run today.
5. Please run with me today.
6. Lola! No!
7. Wooohoo

Seven Books I Love:
1. Old Man and the Sea -- by Ernest Hemingway
2. The Greatest Miracle in the World -- by Og Mandino
3. My Sister's Keeper : A Novel -- by Jodi Picoult
4. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings -- by Maya Angelou
5. To Kill a Mockingbird -- by Harper Lee
6. Rabbit's New Rug -- by Marc Tolon Brown, Judy Delton
7. Marley & Me : Life and Love with the World's Worst Dog by John Grogan

Seven Movies/DVDs That I Watch Over and Over Again:
1. Say Anything (because I will always love Lloyd)
2. Casablanca (because I want to go to a gin joint)
3. The Breakfast Club (because detention was never that much fun)
4. Top Gun (because I really do feel the need for speed)
5. Roman Holiday (because who doesn't like a little anonymity?)
6. Pretty Woman (because I was way too young to watch this movie and I still did)
7. Dumb and Dumber (becuase that would SO not fly in Aspen anymore!)

Seven People I Want To Join In:
Because this took me so long to get to, just visit the "All Things Wonderful" section and, I promise, you'll learn a little at every site.

Happy Friday!

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

My Windshield on the World

Growing up my family always traveled by air.
Sadly, I was deprived of the traditional family road trip.
It's no wonder I jump at the chance to get on the road now. Apparently, I also need to take hundreds of pictures to prove it.