Friday, October 31, 2008

My kitty is gone.

Samson vanished sometime Tuesday night. We think he got outside while Jeff was on the porch, and the coyotes probably got to him before we realized he was missing.
Obviously we're all pretty upset. He was an indoor cat, and a chubby one at that, so he really didn't have a chance outside the house.

Mom hasn't given up hope yet - she thinks he's just lost, so she keeps all of the outside lights on all night long "so he can find his way home." She keeps the garage door open about 8", too.

Courtney checked the Humane Society yesterday and left a "missing cat" note there.

El jefe took Sam's favorite toy - a duck that yells "PROCESS, PROCESS!" (it's a long story, don't ask) - outside and tried to call Sam home with it.

I'm making Missing posters and hanging them on all of the mailboxes and light posts around Greenstone. I figure it's the least I can do. And as EG and JT have said, maybe someone just took him in. I guess there's always a chance.

And I really want him back.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Kelsey's Sage Advice for a Safe and Happy Halloween Night

1. "NO CAPES." - Edna
2. Keep in mind that everyone in a costume thinks they're anonymous and are therefore more likely to do something stupid.
3. Don't think you're anonymous. And don't do something stupid.
4. All standard city, county and state laws are still in effect.
5. Any costume with wings is probably a bad idea, especially if you're bar-bound.
6. Just like when you were trick-or-treating as a kid, don't go out alone, and make sure that if you're running around in the dark you have something reflective on your body so you don't get hit by a car.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

These pictures remind me of my favorite people, places, things and events from the past few years of my life.
RMNP
Hiking in RMNP with KH, 7/2008
TA and AK on the way to Wolf Creek, 2/2008
Skiing in Utah, 1/2008
The Denver Oyster with Dad and AJS, 8/2007
Cancun, 7/2006
TA reliving the previous night - Steamboat, 12/2006
New Belgium with KH, Spring Break, 3/2008
My family (minus Christian) in Seattle, 3/2008
Courtney and I snowed in, 12/2006
Rockies, 8/2008
MB, 7/2008
Hiking with BR, 6/2007
7/2006
Rawah Wilderness backpack trip, 7/2006
Running the marathon with Rando and Dad, 1/2007
RC and NJ at the wedding, 6/2008
With Mom and Courto, 7/2008
Backpacking the Maroon Bells with Courto, Amy and Katie, 8/2008
In Chile with AJS, 10/2006
Skiing Wolf Creek, 2/2005
Costa Rica, 12/2004
Backpacking with Courto, 7/2004
Woody, 12/2005

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Ugh.

I don't know about this whole being-an-adult thing. I really dislike it so far.

All of my money is gone, and it went to things that are not fun. Like car insurance. And health insurance.

I wish I had better valued my elementary days when I had the chance.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Oh, I believe!

Wow, what a stimulating weekend!
*
Thursday was, of course, brilliant. I very much enjoyed cooking; I very much enjoyed hosting my friends; I very much enjoyed laughing and drinking and carving and relaxing with many of my favorite people in one room. Henri B. Stendhal wrote that "to describe happiness is to diminish it," and for that very reason I'm not going to write another word about it.
*
Friday was odd, mostly because I slept for 3 hours before getting up - at 3am - to work. Sleeping for ALL of Sunday and Monday + napping on Thursday night = a very confused Kelsey. I felt like most of Friday afternoon my body was kind of like, "Seriously? Seriously?! What the hell are you doing?!" I rallied in the evening, which led to three distinct interactions: a) a delightful long-distance phone date with MH; b) an awkward (and short) stop by JN's birthday party; and c) a beer date at the Crown Pub with LM. The last one was a treasure - we decided (over a particularly inspirational Easy Street, natch) to take an extended trip to southeast Asia next summer, volunteering and traveling together throughout Laos, Thailand, Vietnam and maybe Indonesia. And we mean it. (I don't think it really hurt matters that CN was working. For some reason, watching him wash glasses inspires me to live a more adventurous life. :) )
*
Yesterday was kind of a bust, and more than anything I want to talk about today. Just a couple of notes first:
a) The Rams won, the Huskers won, and the Buffs got DESTROYED. Huzzah!
b) LY's homecoming party was pleasant. Honestly, it made me really miss AJS. And I had a decent conversation with JG and LY's new girlfriend about how and why some guys act very differently around their girlfriends than they do in normal society.
c) I stayed up obnoxiously late for NO reason. Stupid. Stupid.
*
To make a long story short, I skipped Christian's confirmation this morning to see Barack Obama speak at the CSU oval. (The thought process going into that decision affords its own blog entry. Look for that later.) I went as a guest of LT with him, his parents and many of his wonderful friends, and the day as a whole was extraordinary. It wasn't life-changing, but it was definitely once-in-a-lifetime.
I showed up at LT's house around 10:15 armed with a 4-shot Americano and my standard attire (blue Patagonia fleece and Chaco flipflops). Unbeknownst to me, he had assembled a veritable army of Obama supporters, and a few moments later I was Oval-bound with LT, his parents, his roommate BB and BB's mom, the girls KS and KB and KB's boyfriend SH, NP, her mom, and her boyfriend JS, and GD and his brother. Things were awkward for about 16 seconds when I realized that everyone there had known each other since fourth grade and I was "oh, THAT girl!" whom the whole group knew a LOT about (thanks LT), but everyone was warm and friendly so the awkwardness passed.
When we got to the front of the library we were joined by SK, his dad DK and his girlfriend MD. JH - whose relationship with LT KS and I speculated on all day, but never nailed down - was our connection for getting to stand in the bleachers, so we found him just as he was briefing the group. Obviously we had a big crowd, but we were part of a much larger group (maybe 300 people), so as JH read our names off of a list we stepped forward for our gold stars. From there, we walked down University Ave to the special spot where people with gold stars were supposed to wait for security checks and more briefing. (They told us that because we were going to be on TV they were going to "arrange us" on the bleachers according to what would look the most attractive behind The Man.)
At this point we waaaaaiiiiited. And waited. And waited. We got to the corner of University and West (just south of the oval) at about 11:10am and we didn't move until 2:50pm. Needless to say it was a long, long, long wait, and it was rather cold outside and we were rather bored and hungry. Mercifully the anticipation of standing directly behind our next president was enough to suppress most of our small irritations. Once we decided that we couldn't order pizza to the corner of University & West because of the insane Secret Service presence, the boys + NP + LT's dad played hacky sack while KS and I chatted up LT's mom. (At one point we had her in tears after telling her how much we love him. It was sweet.) Parts of the group came and went; LT and his parents and I spent about an hour snuggled up in the grass trying to stay warm. I saw LM and her parents, and I started feeling REALLY anxious because LM said that Obama was running 1.5 hours late due to travel delays - and since I knew I was working at 5, I thought I was going to miss him altogether (after having waited 4 hours to see him AND skipping my own brother's confirmation!). Alas, my anxieties were all in vain.
Once they started moving us through security and up to the bleachers, announcements were being made that the man of the hour (or, more accurately, the year, the decade, our lives, etc) had arrived on campus and would hit the stage shortly. I was BESIDE myself with excitement, as can be attested by LT and his parents. Later I'll post pictures of what the following half hour looked like; suffice it to say it was SO much fun.
And then he was on stage. Right in front of us. Right in front of 50,000 people. Right in my backyard.
I dug his speech. Like I mentioned, it wasn't life-changing, but I probably wouldn't forgive myself if I'd missed it. He hit on all the usual talking points - healthcare, economy, tax cuts, McCain's stupidity and ignorance - and encouraged us to vote early and have our friends do the same. He joked around a LOT, which thrilled the crowd, and at one point said something like "college kids aren't a special interest group, they're our future!" so of course I looked at LT and declared, "HE BELIEVES IN US!" and we dissolved in giggles.
And then just like that, he was gone and we were headed home. Of course, as I reflect upon the day, the undisputed best part was sharing the experience with so many people. My little nuclear group alone - just the people I've referenced in this blog - numbered 17; the crowd in the bleachers numbered 300; and looking out upon the packed oval, we numbered 50,000+.
I was reminded why I call LT my "therapist." We met four years ago in a physics class, and yesterday I repeatedly said silent prayers of thanksgiving for his friendship. He is one of my most true friends - he's kind, he's affable and gentle and congenial and sincere, he has a heart of gold and I am so lucky to call him a friend. I'm going to name my firstborn Loren after him. And I wish I could be the kind of friend to other people that he is to me.
*
God is love. I have a lot of love in my life. I have a lot of God in my life.
*
At work ANOTHER of my coworkers thought CF was my sister. Which reminds me that I need to write at length about my adopted siblings - AB, CF, KH and many others. Again...I'm so fortunate to have these people in my life.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

"I got a fever..."

I'm going ultra 'stream of consciousness' with this one. Ready? Okay.
*
I was driving home from work today listening to NPR (duh), and Michele Norris was interviewing a guy who runs a barbershop in Tampa Bay called "Fernando's Shaves and Shades." He and his wife started 'giving away' mohawks to Rays fans after they won the ALCS the other night. They're calling them Rayhawks. DID I CALL THAT OR WHAT?!
The best part of the interview, by the way - and this is sooo NPR -
Michele: "This is probably tough for someone who has thin or balding hair, or maybe a recessed hairline. Does it work with all hair types?"
Fernando: "We manage to even do bald guys. I'm sure if you put a hat on, nobody would know the difference."
*
At the end of the interview, NPR played Blue Oyster Cult's "Don't Fear the Reaper," and I
cannot hear that song without thinking of the old SNL parody with Will Ferrell and Christopher Walken (you know - "I got a fever...and the only prescription...is more cowbell!"). I just looked EVERYWHERE for that video to post it here; I don't think it exists anymore.
*
Anyway, THAT makes me think of my friend MG. I have this awesome cowbell - it was in the trick-or-treat bag I got after finishing the marathon last year - and coincidentally it's CSU colors, so I always wore it to CSU football games.
Last year at the CU/CSU game in Denver, MG (whose girlfriend, it should be noted, is a CU student) was plastered. Not only was he screaming things like "YOU F***ING GYPSIES!!" at CU fans, but he would also reach over and grab the cowbell around my neck and shake it as hard as he could (which strangled me in the process) AND grab the food out of total strangers' hands and throw it over the balcony onto the heads of CSU fans below us. He was out of control, and it was awesome.
*

So THAT makes me think of this other time with MG when we were skiing in Utah. (I referenced this trip a few posts ago.) I'm thinking of the insane anxiety and anticipation I felt at the top of this line:
It was the one time in the last many ski seasons when I can remember being truly terrified at the top of a run.
*
And THAT makes me remember why I chose to ski bum in Aspen - I'm going to feel that way a lot this season.
*
And THAT makes me conflicted, because of course it's going to be amazing...and yet I'm bummed out that I have to leave Starbucks. I know it's such a silly thing to say since I've only been there for a week, but I really, really like my coworkers. Why couldn't I have started working there a couple of years ago? These people are awesome!
*
And there you have it: one full thought circle. I started this post and ended this post talking about work.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Salsa

I have this friend who is more of a cousin than an acquaintance. His dad is my uncle's best friend from medical school, and I think we were about 12 before we realized we weren't actually blood-related.
Anyhow, BM - my friend - has a personal policy: he doesn't take pictures. No matter what we're doing, no matter how amazing it is, he won't document it because he doesn't want to mar his actual memory of the experience. He believes that photographing something diminishes its value in your brain - it makes it so that the only part of the adventure you remember is what you see in the picture. You don't remember the moments in between the exposures.
I think the experience I had tonight totally validates BM's perspective.
*
I went salsa dancing at the Rio with MC. I completely forgot how amazing your good girlfriends can be. I have missed her so, so much, and shame on me for not realizing it until tonight.
I danced with EG, who perpetually makes me smile. I like him. He has many, many excellent qualities, and I so appreciate his sense of humor for putting up with my two left feet. Every time I'm around him I get blindsided by a bout of excited silence and feel like a fool trying to explain it. I think that alone says something.
And I saw DW, who is so charming and funny and goofy. Obviously I can't dance and talk at the same time, but I'm glad we had a chance to reconnect.
*
Again...I'm so lucky to be able to call these people friends.
*
I found out this afternoon that I finally have housing in Aspen. I'm THRILLED; an enormous stress has been lifted from my shoulders. And yet...after tonight, I'm scared and a mite anxious about this new beginning. I'm sad to leave behind so many people I love so much.

I had the CRAZIEST dream last night.

It started with me dog-sitting for the S family again.
I showed up at their house around 10pm, let the dogs out, then went to sleep in J&A's room (since that's where I stay when I sleep there). Around 5am, Dally needed to go out, so I got up and went downstairs.
Here's the first crazy part - the back door was wiiiide open, so when I let the dogs out, I went out on the porch to investigate. There was some creepy guy - like 5'10", white, around my age - crouched below the patio table. I freaked out and screamed or something, then ran inside and slammed the door. (Magically the dogs got back inside again before I slammed the door.)
I shut off all the lights, and the creepy guy came up to the door and put his face against the glass! I started yelling that I was going to call the cops, ran around to make sure all the doors and windows were locked, then picked up the phone. Of course the line was cut, so I couldn't call out. The creepy guy was snearing at me from the window, and I was trying to act as threatening as possible, so I ran upstairs to grab my cell phone. For some reason my phone was in another room, so I locked myself in that room and dialed 911 about a million times. Every time I'd get a busy signal (of course, right? It's a dream).
This is when it got really weird. I grabbed the mace out of my purse and ran downstairs, thinking that if I could just open the door and mace the guy it would solve all of my problems. (The dogs were being no help whatsoever - they were just as frightened as I was.)
When I got downstairs, A had let the guy inside. WHAT THE CRAP, J&A were home the whole time?! The guy was trying to attack A, so I maced him, and then the two of us more or less chased the guy around the house for a little while.
THEN, as if things could get more weird, KH and AJS showed up! They were sleeping in one of the upstairs bedrooms! Slowly allllll of my friends started coming out of the rooms - BB, KK, even AB and the rest of the kids who lived in Newsom. It was some kind of warped CSU reunion, and all of us ended up in the S's livingroom at 5am.

I think I need to lay off the NyQuil.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Are faux-hawks the new rally caps?

My cousin, Tom - the tall one in the middle - was in the state championship soccer game in South Dakota last weekend. He and his teammates shaved their hair into faux-hawks. (They lost the game, but they're still the second-best soccer team in the state.) And then last night watching the BoSox/Rays game, I saw one of the Rays players with a fabulous fresh faux-hawk that actually wrapped around the side of his face and met with his handlebar moustache. It all leads me to wonder...are faux-hawks the new rally caps?
*
I just about lost it watching SNL on my DVR last night when Sarah Palin called herself "Caribou Barbie." HOW PERFECT IS THAT? I found a bumper sticker on Facebook - yes, I realize I'm talking about Facebook applications in normal conversation, deal with it - that had the McCain/Palin logo and the words "Fudge-Umbridge" in place of their names. I laughed, then congratulated myself for my juvenile taste in literature. (Fudge & Umbridge are characters from Harry Potter.)
*
I could have sworn I had a billion things to write about tonight, but my brain is in a serious fog. Chalk it up to DayQuil. Thanks for the cold, Courto. Love you too.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Saturday

I need to make this very quick. I'm supposed to be in the shower getting ready to go see the new TGR movie at the Aggie, and JT is anxious that I'm taking so long. If he knew I was writing instead, I think he'd be pissed...but I have to get these thoughts on paper. Well, sort of on paper.
*
Last night at dinner, Jeff was making me crazy - perseverating about something or other - and Dad kept signing "STOP" at me in ASL. Of course I continued antagonizing my brother, but it occurred to me after the fact how swell it was that a) our family signs with each other and b) Dad allowed me to say my peace, even though he wasn't pleased with my behavior. Then tonight at dinner - we ate at the Rio for Christian's birthday - Dad put a temporary tattoo of a pirate ON HIS FACE in an attempt to make Christian laugh.
I have SUCH a great dad.
*
Grandpa has pulled a total 180.
He had a stroke about a month ago - at 83 years old - and today he's not only back at home, he's walking and talking. I'm so excited and thankful I could cry.
This was us on New Year's Eve back in maybe 2003.
*
Work today was really fun. I've remembered almost 100% of the things I've forgotten from four years ago - it's just coffee after all - and I really dig my coworkers. One of them, JM, looked like he was going to faint when he found out I'm friends with AA. I think it may have changed his life.
*
I had a great text conversation with Courto tonight as she was headed to the Rio from work:
Me: Hurry up slow poke! You better not have showered because i still stink like coffee. Where the crap are you?
Court: I haven't! Where the crap is the mulberry exit?
Me: It's Hwy 14
Court: Fuck...
*
So Mom and Dad were in Denver last week, and when Mom spotted a guy walking down 16th Street with this Obama cut-out, she hunted him down and had her picture taken with it. If you know my mother, it's really no surprise. Anyway, she came home and showed the picture to Jeff, and the first thing he said was, "Mom, that's awesome! He kinda looks like a cardboard cut-out." Jeff, bless his heart, thought Mom actually met our future president. :)

Friday, October 17, 2008

Tomorrow is Christian's 15th birthday. My baby brother is halfway through his teens.
I remember the night before he was born feeling the most intense anticipation - I was old enough to know what was going on and appreciate how much things were about to change. I was so, so excited.
Happy birthday, lovey.
*
I voted tonight! Our whole family got together (well, Courtney was working, but she doesn't have a mail-in ballot anyway so it doesn't matter), had dinner and filled out our ballots together. We sat at the kitchen table debating the candidates and the amendments. Dad read through the blue information booklet; Jeff complained. The whole thing felt so important and urgent. I really, really dig the democratic process.
*
So I'm making my own Halloween costume - I'm going to be a German beer maid - and I have to admit, I'm incredibly domestic. I'll post pictures when I'm finished.
*
Last night was so, so fun. Thursday nights have come to be my saving grace, the one night of the week when I spend time with a) my own demographic AND b) people I really like. Courto and I headed to Road (natch) after our Office viewing party, and as is custom, we waited in line behind RG before imbibing with a variety of other chums. EG made my night, mostly just by showing up, but of course I very much enjoyed the company of BS, TB, RG, MC and others. ZH didn't show and I was disappointed. Once you establish a reputation of Thursday night Road attendance, people come to count on your presence (much like some kind of warped family reunion).
*
MB called me back today...FINALLY. I actually started to worry that something had happened to him - he was in the hospital after a bike accident and was barely clinging to life, but his family couldn't get ahold of me. No no, he's just terrible at returning calls.
To the rest of the people in my life, take note: I awfulize when you don't return my calls. Please, for your sake and mine, don't suck at communicating.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

You need to see this.

This is the (excellent) video counterpart to my favorite song of all time, "All These Things That I've Done" by The Killers.



Brandon Flowers makes spectacular faces.
There's a Gospel choir.
And there's platonic hand-holding, which of course I love.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Running. Part I.

I went for a great run tonight.

Let's get lost tonight/You can be my black Kate Moss tonight/Play secretary I'm the boss tonight/And you don't give a f*** what they all say, right?/Awesome, the Christian in Christian Dior/Damn they don't make 'em like this anymore/I ask, cause I'm not sure/Do anybody make real s*** anymore?

I left the house around 9pm, dressed for the cold and armed with mace and the two little lights I keep on my bike. I had my driver's license in my pocket . . . just in case anything happened.

You may be watching from a safe distance/You may be so close you can taste the blood/You may have headed for higher ground/You may be drowning in the flood/No matter what you do/Love will find you

My plan, as it is most nights, was to run north on LeMay until I was tired of running, then turn around and run home. This is usually a good plan, as I run twice as far as I'd like. Since I run about half as often as I'd like, it all works out.

Speak to me, when all you got to keep is strong/Move along, move along like I know you do/And even when your hope is gone/Move along, move along just to make it through/Move along/Move along

Tonight was ethereal. For 1:06:32, it was me-and-the-pave-ment, step-af-ter-step-af-ter-step, pitch-black-and-no-cars-a-round-so-I-ran-down-the-cen-ter-of-the-street.

Just look to the rainbow you will see/The sun will shine 'till eternity/I've got so much love in my heart/No one can tear it apart/Feel the love generation/Feel the love generation

Running kicks my brain into overdrive. Tonight was no exception. Rounding the corner from Carpenter to LeMay, I was pining for the nights two years ago when I was training for my first marathon - those nights when I'd rather be sprinting down Overland or Taft Hill in the dark than having a beer at Road. Further down the street, I watched my long ponytail charge back and forth across my shadow and gave God thanks for the motivation and the ability to spend a Monday night this way. Coming up to the light at Paragon Point, I thought about the people I've spent the last four years with who now live so very far away - AS, KH, BB. I thought about Katie. I thought about MB and the conversations we had under the stars this summer. Then I looked at the stars for a little while; I was pleased, but not surprised, to spot a satellite instantly.

I think it turned ten o'clock but I don't really know/Then I can't remember caring for an hour or so/Started crying and I couldn't stop myself/I started running but there's no where to run to/I sat down on the street and took a look at myself/Said where you going man you know the world is headed for hell/Say your goodbyes if you've got someone you can say goodbye to

Of course I know it's risky to run alone in the dark. Frankly, that's part of why I do it. I crave the adrenaline rush of knowing I need to keep myself safe. And I crave the alone time.

And your eyes are the size of the moon/You could 'cause you can so you do/We're feeling so good/just the way that we do/When it's nine in the afternoon

When I crested the hill on LeMay just above St. Elizabeth's, I looked out at southern Fort Collins and saw no one else around - nothing but an open four-lane road and a couple hundred street lights.

Now hang me up to dry/You wrung me out/Too too too many times/Now hang me up to dry/I'm pearly like the whites/The whites of your eyes

Seven miles later, I have no cartilage in my knees . . . and I haven't felt so alive in a long time.

And when there's nowhere else to run/Is there room for one more son/These changes ain't changing me/The cold-hearted boy I used to be

*
The text in italics are the lyrics of the songs in my "Run Faster!" playlist.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Puppies

Pastor Steve Eulberg led worship at Lutheran Campus Ministry tonight because Pastor Connie (his wife) is in Columbus. He made an off-the-cuff remark that struck me as sweet, though:
"Jesus is always pointing at God, and we're like puppies - always sniffing around at his finger and never looking at where that finger is pointing."
*
The closing song tonight was a Central American hymn. We sung it in Spanish, naturally, and I thought the words were beautiful:
Enviado soy de Dios, mi mano lista está para construir con él un mundo fraternal.
(The Lord now sends us forth with hands to serve and give, to make of all the earth a better place to live.)
Los ángeles no son enviados a cambiar un mundo de dolor por un mundo mejor;
(The angels are not sent into our world of pain to do what we were meant to do in Jesus' name;)
Me ha tocado a mí hacerlo realidad.
(That falls to you and me and all who are made free.)
Ayúdame, Señor, a hacer tu voluntad.
(Help us, O Lord, we pray, to do your will today.)

I really, REALLY miss my "bestest cousin twin."

At Tom's confirmation in South Dakota, April 2008
With Courtney and Amy on our way to Aspen to backpack the Maroon Bells, August 2008
At a Karaoke bar in Mexico, November 2006
Skiing Steamboat, January 2005Hanging out in Seattle, July 2007
*
Follow Katie's amazing adventures in Peru & Ecuador here.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Coffee and Toothpaste

This has been one of those grrrrreat, mmmmmellow, rrrrrainy fall days during which I get nothing done and the leisure has no end. All I've done today is watch football. If there was a football-watching contest, I would have won.

I compiled a list of the teams I give a s*** about:
COLLEGE
1. CSU
2. Nebraska
-->(these two should be obvious)
3. Wisconsin
4. USC
-->(these are because of who goes to school here, BR and KH, respectively)
5. Ohio State
6. Michigan
7. Tennessee
-->(these I only mildly care about)
8. Oklahoma
9. CU
-->(these are the teams that I always want to lose)
NFL
1. Denver Broncos
2. Indianapolis Colts
-->(obviously)
3. New York Giants
-->(mostly because of Katie)
4. New England Patriots
-->(the team I most love to hate)

Given this data, it's clear that I have endured a rough day in football. CSU, Nebraska, Wisco, Michigan and Tennessee all lost. Mercifully, so did Oklahoma and CU. USC and Ohio State pulled off wins, but that's little comfort.

My fantasy team is sucking, too. I started off spectacularly well (especially given my rookie FF status) and have since lost 3 straight contests. I'm playing my cousin Rick this weekend, though, and I'm pretty sure I'm going to crush him. Come on, Jason Campbell!!

Speaking of Rick, I've been meaning to upload this video:
We were in Estes Park in August for a family reunion, and Rick was WILD. He played this game and "hand tennis" (more hand abuse) with everyone in the room and basically destroyed us, so when Amy finally started to kick his ass we documented it. (This was right after he walked into a glass sliding door at full speed. Twice.)
*
I found this on Facebook today, and for once I have a reason to smile about economics:
If you purchased $1,000 of shares in Delta Airlines one year ago, you will have $49.00 today.
If you purchased $1,000 of shares in AIG one year ago, you will have $33.00 today.
If you purchased $1,000 of shares in Lehman Brothers one year ago, you will have $0.00 today.
But if you purchased $1,000 worth of beer one year ago, drank all the beer, then turned in the aluminum cans for a recycling refund, you will have $214.00.
Based on the above, the best current investment plan is to drink heavily & recycle. It is called the '401-Keg.'
A recent study found that the average American walks about 900 miles a year.
Another study found that Americans drink, on average, 22 gallons of alcohol a year.
That means that, on average, Americans get about 41 miles to the gallon!
*Christian has recently begun calling Dad by his first name. Seriously. What 14-year-old yells "Riiiick!" from his room? This development comes after his last trick: walking around the house yelling, "Ma, the meatloaf!" Courtney discovered that he dissolves in fits of giggles at the mention of almost any Will Ferrell line. If I hear "Dear Lord Baby Jesus" next, I'm going to get suspicious.
*
I shouldn't have written yesterday about what I was doing last night, because of course it didn't live up to my expectations. And I threatened EG with writing about it after the fact, so now I have to. Suffice it to say that:
-I was reminded that I have incredible friends - EW and Courto went above and beyond
-The world is a very, very small place
-I love running into people I know (BS, WD, JC, JN, SO, etc)
and
-I love the snow.
EG is a cupcake, even if he'd rather go dancing in a dive bar than kick back with the rest of us in the basement of the Steakout. He doesn't know how great I think he is. He's really great.
*
One last thing before I get too carried away with this post (oh, hell, I'm already too carried away with it):
I ran into these guys at the Steakout last night:
It reminded me how spectacular/remarkable/ethereal/awesome our trip to Utah was in January.
I'm really blessed to have so many quality people in my life.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Friday

I'm going for a run today, I really am. But running with THIS many thoughts in my head is hazardous.
*
I stopped by the Rams bookstore today to buy a certain someone a CSU t-shirt. (This certain someone bought me a Wisconsin t-shirt a year ago, so the favor being returned is long overdue.) Anyhow, I parked my car on Mason, and walking into the store I noticed a pair of brown heels and one of those fake Western kiddie pistols lying in the grass median. WHAT THE HELL?! Someone had an interesting night - not to mention an uncomfortable, barefoot walk home...
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At said bookstore was posted a flier for some kind of "Gathering of Extraordinary People" to be held in the LSC at some point this month. I glanced at it for a moment - long enough to see that I didn't know any of the five people speaking at the event - before deciding that they must not be THAT extraordinary if I didn't know who they were. And then it occurred to me that I'm the un-extraordinary (read: ordinary) one for not knowing them. Hmph.
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I'm growing more scared and more pissed off about the economy by the MINUTE.
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There's a harvest festival at the Grant Family Farm in Wellington tomorrow. I think I might go. I've never been to a harvest festival - a 'harvestival,' as it were - but it sounds exactly like the kind of place I might find "my people." (That was a gratuitous reference to an inside joke between Katie, Courto, Amy and me. Sorry.) What's not to love? It's a well-earned celebration of hard work, sunshine, local culture, decent music and good food & beer. And I'm pretty psyched about the face painting.
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I am NOT going to miss College Ave when I leave here in a month. Let me repeat that: I am NOT going to miss College Ave when I leave here in a month. I hate that road, truly hate it.
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A couple of nights ago a new friend of mine, BS, mentioned that he'd started listening to Elton John again. It wasn't immediately obvious why he brought it up, so after my inquiry he said he passed the information along because it was an "unexpected spark" for him. I instantly went into excited silence - other people are having unexpected sparks now, too?! Consequently, the conversation became an US for me. How full-circle.
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ISOLATION ALE IS BACK!!! HALLELUJAH! I met LT in the Ramskeller today for a bit - naturally we drank IA - and when I dropped him off at his house afterward, I met his new kitten. He named her Sidney. As in Crosby. (Aside to, well, everyone: LT is obsessed with hockey and wanted us to name our new cat Sidney last December.) Chalk up another US. This day has just been full of 'em.
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I'm going to the Crown Pub tonight with Courto, JT and his new lady love, EW, EG and maybe LT. CN and B? (oy, I don't know his last name!) are working. This night is going to be amazing. I've been excited since about 11am.
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Last night at Road JT was behaving so strangely. I pointed it out, and he made some crack about how I'd "never seen him around a girl before." JT: I AM A GIRL. He laughed, but it was further conviction that I am just one of the guys. I relish that.

Thursday

Life threw me a billion curve balls today. A couple of them nailed me in the face.

Anyway, today's unexpected sparks -
*Waking up at 7:03am.
*Being happy about waking up at 7:03am.
*"Minding, but not minding..."
*November's Marie Claire in my mailbox
*Getting to sleep in my own bed for the first time in eight days
*Finally getting a hold of seminary stuff
*READING TIME . . . and the necessary thinking time to accompany it
*Family togetherness
*FOUR profound moments of serendipity
*Office viewing parties with AS, ES & GW
*"Maggie=Sarah Palin"
*Reconnecting with very old friends (TB, WC, lots of other Werner and Collins kids)
*Quality time at Road - getting to know BS, making fun of ZH for texting, gawking at JT's behavior. RG even bought me a drink - who knew? What a night!
*AJS' pronouncement that he's training in Aspen come November - coincidence, schmoincidence

I spend too much time online . . . and nothing I write at 1:46am is going to be profound.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Things I'm Going to Miss About Sky Ranch 2008

This is a reprint from what I wrote in my journal on August 7, 2008:
In Absolutely no particular order...
*CM and ZW telling me everything about their love lives because of some inner voice that compels them to do so
*Inside jokes with MB
*Having my "own" room (AH slept there on the weekends) and getting to share it as I saw fit - BR, RC and Katie for a week each
*RC and my after-lunch siestas from 12:30 to 1:00 every day
*APR's Charlie Brown dance
*Cath-face :)
*Never ONCE fighting with Courtney - or Jeff! Shocking!!
*DB: "I damn near concussed myself." :)
*NJ being the whale - and then the bush - in our SONdance Jonah skit
*Being the perfect height to hug RC
*ALL of the things I carried in my Marmot Walkabout at any given time: H2O, friendship bracelets, radio, sunscreen, headlamp, keys, markers, gum, chapstick, pocket knife, lighter, moisturizer, sunglasses, camera, two Bibles, a book, my journal & my trusty little black Moleskin book
*Worship on the hill; getting to be Jesus; my voice echoing off Golgotha
*The writing on my windows
*The "Hot Chicks Dig Obama" button MB gave me
*The time MB pushed me from the lodge all the way out to Wilderness in a wheelbarrow
*Doing work projects with MG . . . and dropping my radio in a giant puddle from the top of the truck
*The first day of staff training - and meeting all the new staff
*Our affirmation bags
*Leadership staff meetings with AS - especially the time he brought us ice cream
*Making fish bracelets for EVERYONE!
*The time MB "rescued" me from the office to drive the Ranger around to pick up woodchips
*Driving Big Bertha to Sleepy Owl & then Fort Collins with NJ
*Taking my "driving test" with AS & NJ - when NJ backed up Bertha and ALMOST knocked over the fence by the meadow because he didn't know it was there
*Our "anti-social running club" - me, RC, MB, LH, MG & sometimes KB, all running together . . . with our iPods
*SWIMMING in Beaver Creek with RC, Courto, CJ, AW and (sort of) NJ. (He fell in, fully clothed.) SB, KW & CB watched and took pictures for us.
*Learning to play "real songs" on my guitar
*The ridiculous band - troop? - of kids from Fort Collins who came traipsing out of the woods into camp during Week 3
*Awesome, awesome weekends, every last one of them. Always hanging out with camp kids. Sleeping on the tramp with MB; watching movies & drinking beer on the porch. Text-message flirting with JW from across the table. Chipotle . . . perpetually.
*Seeing campers and sponsors whom I love and who love me - my own little camp family, relatives I get to see but once a year.
And of course, there are infinitely more . . . but this list will, at least, do the summer justice. I loved it. And I'm sad to see it go.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Why would I want to be Paris' friend anyway?

I did something stupid yesterday.
It began innocently enough, really. I was channel surfing. Maybe I had my guard down. At any rate, it happened.
I saw an entire episode of Paris Hilton's new reality show on MTV.
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I don't care to devote any energy into disparaging it - I don't even want to justify that kind of garbage with a comment - except to make one point. In the pilot of said program, a girl is kicked out of the contest for refusing to dye her hair black at Paris' request - as Paris puts it, "friends take each other's advice, and you didn't take my advice."
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Ugh, I take such issue with that logic. It's petty (for that matter, the fact that I'm writing about this is REALLY petty) and poorly conceived. Now, I've only had two BEST friends in my life - Courtney, my sister, and AS, whom I dated for five years. One could argue that ASB and KD were my best friends from childhood, and KH, BR, BB and maybe even MB and JT are my best friends now. The point I want to make is that none of these exceptional individuals would ever pose that kind of ultimatum. It's not...friendly. It's not what friends do.
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I think the reason this is irking me so is because I was witness to the failure of a very close friendship about a year ago. Two women I knew and loved - and who were closer, at least emotionally, than many married couples - fell completely apart because one friend politely declined to take the other's advice on a guy she was casually dating. (It should be noted that this was NOT a Lauren-Heidi-Spencer situation. The guy wasn't a winner, but he wasn't Spencer, either.) From my vantage point, I couldn't understand WHY the one friend was so harsh, especially in light of the pain it caused the other friend. I still can't grasp it, and these girls haven't spoken in over a year.
*
I can't stand Paris, either. Anyone so self-involved should never have so much attention.

Hey B,

All day I've been giving God thanks for our friendship.

It warmed my heart to hear "Falling Slowly" on KBCO (of all stations!) driving home. I looked through all of the goofy pictures we have from the last couple of years - the millions of adventures we had up at camp; our trip to WP for the brewfest; the couple of weeks we had after camp ended before you went home; the weekend I came up to Madison (the farmers' market! our 'sleepover'! excessive beer drinking in the rathskeller!) and the time you spent here in January; our fun, fun week here this summer. We live so far apart, and yet we remain so involved in each other's lives.

I am so grateful for you.

Love, K

Some Thoughts on Babysitting

After recent discussion with a few friends regarding the first profession most of us had - babysitting - I have some thoughts that perhaps someone else will find valuable.
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GREAT babysitters...
1. Always arrive 5 minutes early. Getting to the house a little early allows you the chance to touch base with the parents, meet the child (if you haven't yet) and help ease the transition when parents leave.
2. Are outwardly energetic and excited to work. If you're tired, get coffee before you show up.
3. Aren't being paid to stick a kid in front of a TV and make sure they don't burn the house down. This is an important job, and you can teach a monkey to watch a child watch a movie. Engage the child - read, color, draw, go for a walk. Help them clean their room. Build a blanket fort. Play with sidewalk chalk or basketballs. DO something.
4. Know how to cook basic meals - mac & cheese, frozen pizza or chicken nuggets, sandwiches. You should also know how to complete a meal - i.e. if parents leave a box of mac & cheese on the counter for you to cook, serve it with a fruit or a vegetable.
5. Have the house clean when parents come home. Remember, you're being paid good money for this job, and once the child is in bed you are not off the clock. Don't feel like you need to do laundry, but dishes should be washed, the counters/table wiped down and all toys/blankets/movies/etc should be put away.
6. Don't use electronics while working. Your cell phone should be in your car or on silent in your bag the ENTIRE time, even after the child is asleep. Don't use the computer. You may watch TV after the child is asleep, but only watch a show that you would watch with your grandmother - kids WILL get up and wonder what you're watching. The most preferable after-kids-are-in-bed activity is reading, because it is least likely to distract you or prevent you from hearing the sleeping child.
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GREAT families...
1. Pay well. This is YOUR CHILD someone is watching - it's an important job, and you want it done right. Minimum wage is $7.02 in Colorado! A good rule of thumb is this: $6/hr for one child; $8/hr for two children; $10/hr for three children, etc. Never pay someone less than $10 to babysit (even if it's only one child for one hour) if you're hoping to hire that person again someday.
2. Are prepared. Don't feel like you need to cook dinner before you leave, but have a number where you can be reached, your plans, the time you expect to return and a nearby emergency contact written down.
3. Are clear. If your child has food restrictions (no dessert today, allergic to apples, etc) say so AND have it written down. If you want your child in bed by 8:15pm, say so AND have it written down. If your child needs to read before bed, has a medication to take, can't watch Batman, has to walk the dog after school, etc, say so AND have it written down.
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I had friends in junior high and high school who were practically professional babysitters - girls (and a few guys) who babysat so often they could afford a down payment on a car. I was not that girl; aside from my own 3 siblings, I have only regularly babysat for three families my whole life. I remember my favorite babysitters as fun (we made peanut-butter balls and played M.A.S.H.), good at engaging both 10-year-old me and 2-year-old Christian, and relatively laid-back. Obviously I LOVE babysitting for the S family; their three little girls are like my little sisters. I came up with the list for what "great families" do based on the things JS & AS have done for me over the last 2.5 years that I've watched their kids. (It also helps that they're really fun people - I have stayed 30 minutes after they've come home on many occassions just talking to them in the kitchen. I don't necessarily recommend this, because most parents just want you out of their hair when they come home.)
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I guess I don't really have anything else to say.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Meet Hannah.

Hannah is not mine. Yet. She's one of more than 350 adoptable female yellow labs on Petfinder.com right now, a beautiful 3-year-old dog in need of a home.
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I want her. I need her, and she needs me - or someone like me, someone willing to love her and play with her and take care of her and rescue her from a few short weeks in a shelter before an untimely end in an overcrowded pound.
*
I really want a dog. I feel most fulfilled when I have something (or someone) to take care of, and lately that void in my life has made itself extra-obvious. Of course, I know what kind of problems a dog would create in my life - time and money are two things that do not abound for me - and yet, I think a puppy would alleviate so many problems. Boredom. Lonliness. My lack of a running partner.
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Hannah is not the one for me. Besides, I want to name my dog Eleanor.

Textually Active

10:14pm, Saturday, October 4
JT: At a hockey game in denver, i might not be able to make it back in time
Me: Okey dokey artichokey
JT: You silly goose
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11:59pm, Saturday, October 4
JT: Staying in denver was a bad idea
Me: Why?
JT: I have been drinking too much too late
JT: I am just laying down on the curb, it is a good place to sleep
Me: No no no, that's a bad idea hunny!
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3:13am, Sunday, October 5
Me: Good morning, sunshine
AA: Good morning beautiful! What in the hell are you doing awake at this hour?
Me: Long story...but I really should be sleeping
AA: Well since you're up, you could always drive down here and run the Race for the Cure which starts in a few hours. :) Our show will be 5 hours long this morning because of it which I consider to be a bit overkill.
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11:36am, Sunday, October 5
JT: I don't have shoes anymore
Me: Hahahahahahahahahaha! How the hell did that happen?
JT: I will tell you about it when i get back, fyi i am not drinking for a month
Me: That makes my day...
JT: Good i am glad cause i feel like shit
Me: Where are you?
JT: Invesco
Me: IS THAT THE CURB YOU SLEPT ON?! J that's a really bad part of denver, no wonder you don't have your shoes anymore!!
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5:21pm, Sunday, October 5
JW: Listen, 'Common action makes the human person a human person and keeps them from becoming an unfettered ego.' - P Odoch Pido
JW: I don't think i'm getting enough social interaction
Me: I'd agree with that. That's an interesting quote given the thoughts I've had lately.
JW: Thoughts?...You're not going all emo on me are you?
Me: I've always been all emo on you, baby.
JW: That might be where we differ a lot of the time. Namely, i love my life, what thoughts have you been having?
Me: I'm sick of telling people that I'm bored, so I'm mentally framing a blog I'm going to write about the importance of mundane, everyday life
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12:59pm, Monday, October 6
EG: Sad. I missed you on your last day!
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2:57pm, Monday, October 6
Me: Oh man, I just saw the new Patagonia women's down vest in green...and it looks amazing!! Somebody stop me!! :)
Mom: Stop right where you are. Is there a support group for people who hoard patagonia vests? 'Hello, I'm Kelsey and i am a patagoniaholic.'
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5:10pm, Monday, October 6
Courtney: Here comes the fuzz
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9:35pm, Monday, October 6
Me: 'Mom just explained to me what a douchebag is, and I'm not going to say that anymore.' - Jeff
MB: Wow. I actually lol'ed
AE: LOL that just made my night! I miss the heck outta that kid. Thanks kels!
KK: hahaha what a traumatizing moment
BR: oh jefe...

#3

I have a huge scratch across my chin, my neck and the left part of my chest. Don't get me wrong - I'm not complaining.
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I'm housesitting for the S family while they're in Lake Powell, and their two beautiful dogs - Cody, a big old chocolate lab, and Dally, a black lab puppy - are under my care for a few days. Naturally I'm thrilled. I still get choked up thinking about Woody, and Cody & Dally fill the little 'I-miss-my-labrador-retreiver' hole in my heart.
*
Anyway, last night I thought it would be a good idea to sit on the floor and play with the dogs . . . and Cody thought it would be a good idea to play shake with my face.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Are YOU registered to vote?

As of about 3:06pm this afternoon, I am officially done registering voters. FOREVER. I must confess that the job was incredibly gratifying and not nearly so bad as one would expect, and yet I'm basically thrilled to never do it again.
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After some elementary math, I think I - me, personally - registered close to 500 voters in the Fort Collins area in just under 4 weeks, and maybe 80% of those individuals are Obama fans. I'm pumped. That's a big number.
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I got the job with Grassroots Campaigns, Inc. sometime shortly after Labor Day weekend, and when I interviewed with SH & AG I was under the impression that most of my job would be office work AND that I was working for the Obama campaign. That couldn't have been further from the truth on both counts. I spent about 5 hours a day 5-6 days a week somewhere on campus or a street corner in the Fort, harassing passers-by to register to vote through MoveOn.org. I like to think that I was not
as obnoxious as most voter reg people, namely because I dressed up for work (it couldn't hurt, right?), smiled REALLY enthusiastically, joked around with people as they passed and appeared to enjoy what I was doing. In other words, I actually tried pretty hard to not be hated.
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I was still ignored regularly.
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I had a few 'favorite' moments canvassing. There was one time in Old Town when a group of preteens with skinny jeans and bad
curtains-of-sorrow walked past. Here was our conversation . . .
Kelsey: "Are you...old enough to vote?"
Emo #1, 2, 3 & 4: "No - but we're old enough to party!!"
I always ALWAYS enjoyed registering brand-new 18-year-olds, and it thrilled me to hear people say "OF COURSE I'm registered!" because I knew those folks were really going to vote. And this will surprise no one, but I most loved working on campus because I always saw friends (and made a number of new ones). Perhaps the only reason I'll miss canvassing is because with its departure goes my regular interaction with EG, SC, ZH, ZW, NL and even BS.
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Canvassing matters. Our office registered 5700 voters in Fort Collins alone. Five thousand seven hundred people! No one can ever say that our work was futile. I am so grateful to be part of important work.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Here goes nothing.

I was confirmed in the Lutheran church in May 1999, and on my confirmation day, my mentor, JL, gave me a simple blank book with instructions somewhere along the lines of "Let your heart guide you." I began journaling that night in ninth grade . . . and haven't stopped since. Having filled more than eight books at this point, I am more than accustomed to the awkward way a new journal begins. There really isn't any way past it. This new blog is no different, really.
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Obviously I'm still journaling. I filled a book this summer at camp, and throughout my discernment process lately I've written pages and pages of colorful words in the book I use now. Because I have that output, I don't know why I want a blog . . . I just need it.
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My life is in an interesting spot right now - I'm back at home with Mom & Dad, I'm done with school, I don't really have a job, and almost all of my friends are far, far away. I feel very much the square peg for the round hole. And, to be frank, I am truly bored out of my mind. This is the reason for my new venture: I am tired of telling people that I live a boring life. I don't - I know I don't - and I want to change my perspective. My assumption is that in writing about the "unexpected sparks" of my daily existence I will gain greater appreciation for the people, places, things and experiences that constitute my life.
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Here goes nothing.