Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Six Word Memoirs

I was intrigued by an article I read in Newsweek this week about Six Word Memoirs. In particular they were referencing memoirs about Love and Heartbreak. So it makes me ponder how many ways I can sum up my life in six words (they don't have to be short).

Chatting with my sis, her off the cuff answer was "constant effort to do it all."

So instead of summing up my life, I'll do 6 word commentaries on this week:

Curling Trials Coming to Denver - Bonspiel!
Toes Painted Bright Pink Look Great
Cherry Limeade From Sonic The Best
Suitcase Half Empty and So Lonely
James Bond Is Coming This Friday
Working Like Crazy Savage Before Vacation
Can't Find Casual Skirts In January
Convinced Insurance Company To Give Meds

Feel free to add your comment with your 6 word memoir, on life, your job, your cat, or the state of world.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Countdown to Thailand

After many months of planning and anticipation, my trip to Thailand is drawing nigh. (It's not often you can use the word "nigh", so I'll take advantage of the opportunity). Next week at this time, I'll be on my way over the international date line on my way to Bangkok via Tokyo. Today it was 11 degrees in Denver. Today it was 91 degrees in Trang, which will be my home away from home for 3 weeks in February. For your geographic edification I have attached a map of Thailand that shows you where Trang is. I'll have computer access while I'm there, so I can keep you apprised of my adventures in volunteer work, cultural experiences, and international fun. I'm going with Cross Cultural Solutions and my placement will be working in a day care center. Playing games with small children sounds like an excellent way to spend my time.

I'm mostly ready to go. However, my to do list doesn't reflect it. As long as I cross 2 or more things off each day, I'll be ready to hop on the plane on Tuesday morning.


Many things this past week have been ridiculous. Mostly in a positive way. Items that were ridiculous in a negative way will involve fog, traffic or temperatures below zero. First was the weather. We had 3 days last week that were around 70 degrees. I think that's perfect weather in January. Then was my birthday dinner with magnificent mojitos. Followed immediately after with a fun ski weekend in Breckenridge. The fog on the drive up: ridiculous. The house for our ski weekend: (as the guys would say) "ridonkulous". The snow resulting in powder skiing. The infamous green chile. Playing "Celebrity" - an elaborate 3 round game of charades that involves actual Charades, Taboo, and 1 word clues (using words/phrases such as: cornice, the industrial revolution, and Mama don't let your babies grow up to be cowboys). Watching 80s videos on VH1, specifically seeing Whitesnake's "Here I Go Again". Sunday afternoon skier traffic. Having dinner with a friend from my freshman year of college. The dramatic transition to freezing weather, ice and snow in town.

If it's ridiculous, I'm in.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Is Cutting Coffee the Solution?

As people start the new year, and in a tightened economy, there are a lot of articles of how to save money and budget. I've noticed that the cornerstone to many articles is cutting out coffee. You owe money on credit cards? Stop the Starbucks! Saving money for your wedding? Ditch the Dazbog! Kids in College? No Caribou for you!

Obviously the American population spends much more on coffee than I do. If I cut out my coffee "habit" it might leave me with enough money to buy a bag of dog food. Apparently a lot of people are spending $4-8/day on lattes.

So what else to the experts suggest? Bring your lunch rather than going out. Check. I get my meals for free. Take public transportation rather than paying for gas or parking. Check. I ride the light rail.

I'll have to spend more time analyzing what small habits that I have that add up. In reality, my travel habit is probably the one that should be trimmed...I'll contemplate that one after I come back from my next vacation.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Adverstising Truths

I took this picture outside the advertising museum in Milwaukee, WI. In case you can't read the signage it says "without advertising absolut is just a spelling error." The other window said "without advertising apple is just a fruit." A lot of fun and creativity goes into advertising. Maybe the next time I'm in Wisconsin I will have time to visit the museum.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

It's So Easy

I was reading a magazine and saw an ad from the Social Security Administration. My first thought is "why is the government spending money on advertising this?" The tag line: Retire Online - It's So Easy. If only.

I started saving for retirement 8 years ago right after getting my first job. Unless I win the powerball, I will be working in some capacity for another 30+ years. Nothing about retirement sounds easy, especially if you have to spend your entire working life planning for it so that you can live / travel (or even pay for medical expenses) the way you'd like. So it's great that you can retire online...if only the rest of the details fell into place like that.

Brings to mind some lyrics from Kenny Chesney's song "The Life"

And all the things that I’ve gathered
From climbing that ladder
Didn’t make much sense anymore
They say my nest egg ain’t ready to hatch yet
They keep holding my feet to the fire
They call it paying the price
So that one day in life
I’ll have what I need to retire

I really like the message of the whole song, which is that the high-powered fast pace life isn't necessarily the can envy someone who has a lot less stuff but is still living The Life.

Monday, January 12, 2009

If you seek a pleasant peninsula...

I can't say that I spend a lot of time pondering our state mottos or how they were established, but when I saw this picture, I admit I was intrigued. Colorado proudly affirms "Nothing Without Providence."

Monday, January 5, 2009

Ye Mystic Krewe of Gasparilla

Did you know that every January / February, there is a huge pirate festival in Tampa, FL? I had no clue, but in reading an article about Party Across America, a book that highlights major annual events/festivals throughout the US , I heard about this insanity. During the Gasparilla Pirate Fest the Mystic Krewe sail into the Tampa harbor on their pirate ship, the mayor hands over the keys to the city, and a giant party commences. I need to add this to my travel plans in the coming years. Pirate festivals are hard to come by in a land-locked state.

So the author of the book took some time road tripping through America looking for these crazy-fun annual events...some of which have almost a cult-like following. The good news was that Colorado was well represented with activities like the Great American Beer Festival, Spring Back to Vail and the
Tour de Fat. Then I checked back on my home states of WI and IL to make sure that the love was there. Taste of Chicago, check. Summerfest (one of my planned activities for July 09), check. There are always some states that aren't represented, and I thought that Iowa would be it.

I learned something new about fun things in Iowa (other than butter carvings at the State Fair). They have the
RAGBRAI every summer. What does one do in a Ragbrai? Ride one's bike across the state of Iowa, that's what! It started in 1973 and about 110 did the entire event. Now the event is capped at 8,500 riders. Apparently other states have created events inspired by this, but I'm sure they don't have nearly as fun of a name.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Plight of the Big Footed

Thanks to the Internet, Payless and Nordstrom, having big feet isn't as "big" of a problem as it was when I was young....

In a training class earlier this year we were asked to describe the first time that you felt left out, how old you were and how you felt. One story that comes to mind is sometime in 4th or 5th grade when you could get these special black and white Keds that you could color in. All my friends had them. And I didn't. Why? They didn't come in size 10.

Even now I avoid most mainline shoe stores, because finding attractive shoes in size 12 requires patiently scrutinizing each and every row of the women's section, searching for the special sticker for large size shoes. My time is worth more than that, plus the one pair you inevitably find is a pair of cream colored hush puppies. At least at Nordstrom, you get service for the price of your shoes. You sit in a comfy leather chair and the sales rep will bring you all the shoes they have in stock and offer to order the ones they don't.

A month from today I leave for Thailand. In the participant manual, it says the following "You will need a pair of sandals with a strap around the heel (not flip flops). You can purchase these in Thailand; however, if your foot is larger than a 7 1/2 you will need to bring your own."

Obviously that was for my benefit.

My sister visited South Korea last year, and said that there was not a single pair of shoes in the country her size. Somehow I know I'm in the same boat.


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