Thursday, December 31, 2009

Body vs. Mind

Stealing another idea from Travis, I'm going to post a conversation between my mind and my body, in accordance to one of my New Years Resolutions.

Mind:  Hello?
Body:  *snores*
M:  Hellllllooooooo
B:  *snores*
M:  HEY!!!
B:  *abruptly stops snoring and jolts*  WHA...?!?
M:  Hey, I need to talk to you.
B:  Couldn't it have waited until I was done with my nap?
M:  No, it couldn't.  I'm not waiting until I'm senile to talk to you.
B:  Rude.  Fine then.  What's so important you had to wake me up?
M:  We're going on a new exercise routine this year.
B:  You woke me up for that?  You say that every year.  I'm going back to sleep.
M:  HEY!  Don't even.  No, for real we're doing it this time.
B:  I'll believe it when I see it.  So what's this "new exercise program" you're on about?
M:  You know that 30 Day Shred DVD?  We're doing that twice a day, every day.
B:  Are you CRAZY?!?  You're trying to kill me aren't you?!?  AREN'T YOU?!?
M:  Oh relax you big baby, I'm doing no such thing.  We're going to do this along with Travis, so you won't be a whiney baby all by yourself.
B:  Travis?
M:  Yeah, you know, over at I Like to Fish.
B:  Oh yeah!  Funny dude.  I like him.
M:  I concur.  But he's doing it too.  And you should be thankful.  HE'S doing a calorie cut like the year end clearance sale at Macy's.  We're not going that extreme.
B:  Oh yeah?
M:  Yeah.  Like 800 cals a day.
B:  Are you for real?!  I don't believe that!
M:  Truf.
B:  Naw.  No way.  I'mma go ask him.
M:  Hey!  Wait..where... *sigh*
B:  Hey, Travis, this crazy mind says you're gonna go on some big diet thing.  That true?

And be sure to stay tuned folks, you'll want to see what Travis has to say about this whole thing, I can guarantee it!

Wishing you all a safe and happy New Year!  :D

Monday, December 28, 2009

Jesus in the headlights

Hi all!  I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas or Hannukah or whatever it is you do for the holidays!  And I also hope everyone has fabulous New Year's plans as well!
Yeah, I know, the title of this post sounds like some country song about finding faith in yourself on the open road.  Well, there's none of that here.  The country song bit, not the other bit.  :)  I know I still have the final installment of the journey to finish, but I just wanted to do a little bloglette today.

This time of year, I do a lot of driving in the dark.  It's dark when I get up for work some mornings, it's dark when I come home in the evenings.  It's also really - REALLY - cold.  The mix of these two things makes for some interesting driving conditions.

This morning as I was heading into work, it was dark and cold as usual.  A fog had settled in the valley, sort of making it look all mysterious and magical and other-worldly.  There wasn't much traffic on the road at the hour I was driving in, and the oncoming car was few and far between.  Now, I don't know if any of you have driven in the fog, in the dark, in the cold, but I'll tell ya, when you're cruising along in a foggy sea of nothingness and then around the corner comes another car, their headlights look like you're driving straight to The Light at the End of the Tunnel.  Hence the post title.  For real though, the light catches on all the crystalline fog particles and creates a giant halo that mostly blocks out any semblance of a car shape, and just becomes this glowing orb with a bright white center coming at you rather quickly.  I find it both beautiful and slightly disconcerting, only because I can see nothing else until the car passes.  Like say, a deer.  Which leads me to my next driving observation.

I am a lucky girl.  I've not actually hit a live deer in my time that I've been driving.  Notice I said live.  I have, however, run over two - very recently - previously run over deer.  One caused a lot of damage and my car to need a new engine.  The other simply left my undercarriage.  After these instances, I am sometimes acutely aware of things in the road.  That said, I will tell about what I saw this evening.  I was driving home from my friend's house on the highway, cruising along, doing my thing.  I saw some seemingly fresh skid marks on the road, so I slowed down a little, just in case there were animals or remnants thereof still about.  And then I passed a fairly large poof of smoke on the side of the road, which I thought was odd, because there was nothing around that would make such a large poof.  Whatever.  So I keep on down the road, and probably about two miles later, I started to see the very familiar dark lump appear near the side of my lane.  There's no other traffic, so I slow way down.  Sure enough, another poor Bambi had met its fate with a fender not too long ago.  This was not the unusual part folks.  I know it had happened really recently because there was a giant poof of smoke coming out of the poor deer.  (Poor deer...dear...ha...k.  sorry.  *ahem*)  It's so cold and the body was still warm, so it was actually creating steam, like when you can see your breath.  I can only assume this is what I passed not too long before, since it was a similar-looking cloud.  It was really eerie though.  I kinda thought it looked like the spirt was leaving the body and heading toward the sky....but then again, I'm just weird like that.  Creepy and yet serene, those deer.  So I made a silent nod to the animal as I skirted it, and headed on home.  Funny the things that make you think eh?

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Epic Travel Part 2: The Flatlands...and Travis!

Sorry guys, I've had some internet malfunctions the last few days, so thanks for standing by.  Last we left our story we were leaving the Arctic Tundra...

Our exit from Colorado was lovely.  We had stayed with Jess' friend as I said, who has a very nice house in an adorable little neighborhood.  When we left the sun was rising over the mountains and bouncing off the houses across the was all very poetic.  Though much warmer than the previous evening, there was still quite a lot of snow left on the roads that weren't main thoroughfares.  As we were turning from our last side road onto the highway, Jess was stopped at a stoplight...on a slight hill.  The light turns green, she hits the gas, and we spin.  Try as we might there was no getting around that one either, luckily we had patient folks behind us.  So when the light turned red again, Jess got out, ran to the back of the car, I jump out, and start to run round to the driver's side, and promptly fall flat on my face.  Sneakers + slick snow + running = comedic fall.  After I managed to get into the driver's seat and the light turned, a little push got us onto the nice paved surface and Jess jumped back into the car.  Impromptu Chinese Fire Drill - check!  After that little escapade we decided to go hunt down some coffee.  This would be a good time to mention that Jess' GPS (whom is called least by the name of the voice that it's set to) likes to take the scenic routes sometimes.  She tells us there is a Starbucks nearby, and we follow her directions, which takes us off the interstate, through a residential neighborhood, across a shopping center, and into a small corner where there is, indeed a Starbucks.  We realize after we got there we could have made the journey with one (maybe two) left turns instead.  But hey, we made it right?
All hyped up with caffiene, we are now officially ready to head out for the day.
Our drive through the rest of Colorado and Kansas was fairly uneventful.  We did make a pit stop to The Mall in Hays, KS (and yes, it's called "The Mall," which is why I capitalized it), where we grabbed some egg rolls and rangoons and went on our merry way.  We arrived at Jess' aunt's house later that evening where we feasted on leftover quesadias and chips and salsa.  As nice as the house was that we stayed at the night before, this was really, *really* nice, and her aunt is the sweetest person ever.
After a very restful night of sleep, we got up and got ready to head out for the day.  Jess' cousins came over in the morning to visit, who are ages 15 months and Brand New.  And they are SO CUTE.  So we had full breakfast, played with the kids, and then set out on our trek to Tennessee.  About three hours down the way we were passing through Travis' neck of the woods, so I coordinated with him and The Missus to have lunch!  As I'm sure you've read on his blog, we tucked in at the local IHOP and had some food and good conversation.  And yes, he is just as funny in real life.  :)  Unfortunately we couldn't stay very long because we had such a long way to go, but it was very enjoyable pit stop.  Thanks guys!
We then motored on through the rest of Oklahoma (...where the wind comes sweeping down the plain, and the wavin' wheat can sure smell swee...*ahem* sorry.) and Arkansas to get to Nashville.  We wound up getting in pretty late, but the hotel was lovely and we settled in with an episode of Craig Ferguson and then crashed.  I do have to mention the hilarious gas station attendant we met in Arkansas.  I was waiting for Jess and buying a pack of gum, and she says to me, "So, cold enough for you outside?"  And I said, "Oh, we're driving from Montana, this is much better than what we left.  It was negative 10 a couple days ago."  And her eyes get the size of saucers and she says, "Fo' REAL?!?"  I wish I could put intonation into that...cause that's really what made it.  I've also taken it and started saying it in my everyday conversations, so thank you BP lady!
That concludes the Flatlands portion of our journey.  Stay tuned for the final installment, Epic Travel Part 3: The East!

Oh Kansas....  Nothing but flatness and hay....

....and giant, white, balls....?

Yay!  Blog buddy!  :D

The polar bear cookie I bought from Starbucks meets an unfortunate end.  You might say he became a "molar" bear....*snort*

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Epic Travel Part 1: The Arctic Tundra

Last monday my friend Jess and I headed out to North Carolina.  We were doing a road trip since she was moving and sharing in the driving.  It promised to be an adventure.
It didn't disappoint.
Our first day wasn't much of a day, for me at least.  I mean, by the time Jess came through to pick me up she had already been driving 7 hours, which is a full driving day in itself, but we needed to make it to Sheridan, WY which was at least another 5 from where she picked me up.  We also stopped to have dinner with a friend of ours about an hour down the road, so that broke things up nicely as well.
I will tell you, there's a reason that I named this part of the journey The Arctic Tundra.  It is COLD in Montana.  One might even say frigid.  I believe when Jess picked me up, which was right after lunch and thus still in the warmest part of the day, it was -2.  Yeah.  I know.
There was all sorts of snow hanging around the side of the road and sidewalks.  The first adventure with which came the moment I got behind the wheel.  Of course.  It was after dinner and we were needing to get on the road so we could get to Wyoming.  So I hop in the driver's seat, put it in reverse, back up, put it in drive and......spin.  I do short little bursts of pushing on the gas pedal.  Spin.  Put it in reverse.  Spin. Drive.....I think you can tell where this is going.  By now I have dug us a nice little cradle that Jewel (the car) was quite content to stay in.  We had no choice.  Jess got out and we had to push the car.  Oi.  The roads to Sheridan weren't terrible, but there were a couple spots that had snow and ice.  Get to our hotel, check in, try to warm up, go to bed.
Day two.  We went to grab coffee and breakfast at the complimentary buffet in the morning, which was hosted by a very awkwardly chatty but very nice lady.  While I was making my waffle, I learned that her brother and his wife were out of town in Vegas at a hotel conference and that she and the other gal at the desk were just holding down the fort until they got back.  *awkward chuckle, sip of coffee*  And that oh by the way she didn't drink coffee herself but the guys that came through earlier said that is was good and she hoped I thought it was alright because she made it.  *confirmation that the coffee was, indeed, ok and more awkward chuckling....come on waffle*  DING.  Right!  Well, good to talk to you, thanks for breakfast, thestaywasgreatwehavetogohaveagoodday *door close*  She literally talked to us until the door shut.  Like I said, really chatty but nice.  Anychatter, back on the road.
Luckily the roads were dry, but there was blowing snow that made the day's trip a little more difficult.  Especially when a car (or heavens, a semi) passed in the other lane.  Whiteout!  So yeah, that was fun.
You'll see what we had the pleasure of driving through at the end of this post.  The whole state of Wyoming was under a blanket it seemed.  It was the same intensity of grey from the time the sun came up until it went down.  Just grey.  No mountains, nothing.  it was like driving on a blank canvas.
Then enter sunny Colorado!  Finally!  Sunshine!  (Mostly) clear roads!  Above zero temperatures!  Oh Colorado, you were wonderful.  We stopped in the amazingly awesome town of Fort Collins, which is a favorite of both of Jess and I.  For those of you who don't know why this town is so special, in addition to just being welcoming and having a great downlown, it is also the home of New Belgium Brewing Company.  Which I heart.  If you get New Belgium beers in your area and aren't familiar with them, you really should be.  ;)  We stopped at the brewery for a bit, and Jess was kinda enough to let me drive that morning so I could drink beer and not have to drive afterward.  Thanks Jess!  I bought a zip up hoodie to take with me on the rest of out travels, and also met a nice, if not slightly intoxicated and chatty fellow who put his phone number in my back pocket on the way out.  (Which, if you're reading this dude, I mean you no disservice here.  You were great to talk with, but I don't think I'll be using the number.  Thank you though for making me feel awesome!)  After we had or fill, (or I had mine, rahter) we drove the extra hour and some to Denver to Jess' friend's house and also to have dinner with our friend Greg.  Which of course I did NOT get pictures of, because that was an actual event with actual people and not just landscape rolling by....  stupid.  Anywho, Greg suggested we go to the Old Mill brewpub, and an excellent suggestion it was.  I had an amazing burger and a pretty freaking stellar coconut porter.  YUM.
And so ended our journey through the tundra.  Stay tuned for Epic Travel Part 2: The Flatlands!

And as promised, some photos of what we were dealing with....

We thought this was kinda cool.  It was some little ol' town we passed through at night on the first day, but doesn't it look like something from a sci-fi movie?

A little look at our road conditions through Wyoming....

*sings* Sun, sun, Mr. Golden Sun, please shine down on me! *pause*  No really, could ya?

Me outside the Happiest Place on Earth.  (No silly, not Disneyland.  New Belgium Brewing of course!)

Jess and I having a delightful afternoon at the New Belgium Brewery bar.  Our randomly-found friend offered to take a photo for us!  And that pair of arms with the menu on the side was the other friend helping to "get the light right."  :)

Monday, December 14, 2009

Letters to the People

I'm totally stealing this idea from Travis, because I like to do it too.  But I'm giving him credit because he actually used it on his blog first. :)  These are just some letters to folks I've run into lately.  Enjoy.

Dear Little Runway Man Who Waved at Me from the Plane:
That really sort of made my day.  I didn’t think anyone would notice.  Thank you!

Dear People Who Are Obnoxiously into Decorating for Christmas:
I have a new appreciation for you now that I have flown closer to Christmas time.  Your homes are absolutely beautiful from the sky.  Keep it up.

Dear Flirtatious Men Across the Country:
I love you.  Thank you for making me feel beautiful.

Dear Airline Attendants that have Helped Me Today:
You guys have been phenomenal.  And hilarious.  It’s really helped out with the rest of the delays and gate mix up messes.  Thank you.

Dear Denver Airport:
Thank you for having a New Belgium Hub Pub.  You. Are. The. BEST.  <3

Dear Little Older Lady at Quizno's:
Thank you for being so cheerful and telling me that I need jalepenos on my sandwich because every woman needs some spice in her life.  Amen sista.  Amen.

Dear Girl That I Ran Into Three Times Because We Were Both Lost and Who Wound Up Sitting Next to Me on Our Flight:
You are a kind spirit.  I wish you much luck in your future teaching career and I hope you got back to Green Bay safe and sound.

Dear Man Who Sat Next to Me Going to Denver:
You helped me feel safe and relaxed on the longest leg of my flight.  Thank you.  I hope you have a restful two days and maybe even a super-speedy next job in NC so you can be home for Christmas.

Dear Man Who Sat Next to Me on Our First Flight:
Thank you for not giving me a strange look when I jumped ten feet because the DING! of the seat belt sign scared me.  Thank you even more for jumping yourself the second time and then laughing and saying that it got you too.  You made me feel like much less of an idiot.  :)

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Last Monday Mingle of 2009!

Hi guys!  This will be the last Monday Mingle of 2009!  Due to the business of the holidays and whatnot Jen decided it would probably be best to wait to pick it up again after the New Year.  So that gives all of you who have been thinking about it time to get your poop in a group.  :)

Anyway, here you go!  Password as always, is: misadventure.  Enjoy!

Monday Mingle Dec. 14 from Lauren on Vimeo.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Made it!

As some of you know, this week was my road trip week.  No I haven't forgotten to blog.  We've had long days and I've been tired.  I just wanted to let everyone know that we have reached our destination safe and sound, and in two days I will be on my way back home to cold, windy Montana with plenty of time (and layovers) to start a proper blogging of our adventure.

Oh.  And just so ya'll know, we did stop and meet Travis and The Missus in Oklahoma.  Yeah, you should be jealous.  ;)

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Dear Santa

I have been a (relatively) good girl this year.  I would love the following items for Christmas:

A new iTrip for my iPod.  Mine is starting to fuzz out on me, and I am tired of my jams being interrupted by the Christian Christmas radio station.  And while it makes for amusing lyrics such as "I see you standing there with your hand on your *fuzz* Christmas tree...." I would rather rock out uninterrupted.
New headphones from Skullcandy.  I <3 the ones I have now, but the fuzz on the earpieces is starting to fall off because I have worn them so much over the last 4 years.  Yes, I know, I could send them in and get a replacement, but I love them so and they don't make the same pair anymore.  Please don't make me part with them.
A Flip camera.  I would really love to be able to take video without having to tote my laptop around.  So much great stuff happens when I am away from my computer, I need a way to record it!  Also, it would be very handy for Monday Mingles.  :)
If not the Flip, then a spare camera cord.  I am FOREVER looking for the blessed thing, and it makes it very difficult to upload pictures without it.  (I find that this is a great case for getting me the Flip instead....since it's built in and all.  And I'm very good about not losing my camera.)
A pony.  Ok, not really.  But everyone always asks for a pony.  I'm still not really sure why, but feel free to leave this one out.

That's about it.  There's a lot of stuff I want, but those are the big things.  If you could just leave them by the tree, I'll have the cookies and milk in the usual drop off point.  Just give a knock when you leave.  Plzkthnx.  :)


Monday, December 7, 2009

Monday Mingle!

See?  I told you I'd get my mingle up.  :)  Go visit Jen @ EightyMPHmom to see the rest of the awesome mingling peeps.
My hair is a mess and I may be offering redundant was late.  But I'm here!  Whoo!  Password as always, is: misadventure.

Monday Mingle Dec. 7 from Lauren on Vimeo.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Packin' up, gettin' ready

I realize this is where I would normally have a Monday Mingle post.  Well....I haven't done one yet.  I am about to, I promise.  But I wanted to post a little something until then.  I feel like I've been stressing out too much over my blog lately.  I mean, I am SO happy that I have the followers I do.  Really truly, I love all of ya.  But the reason I started this blog was to just post about my thoughts and whatnot, and I think I've forgotten that.  I suddenly feel pressure to be more entertaining.  And as most folks will tell you, I am more so when I'm not trying.  And if you guys liked reading "back in the day" I shouldn't be so stressed about changing my ways, eh?  :)  Anyshizzle, back to the stuff.

I'm getting ready to leave on a week long road trip with my good friend Jess.  We will be driving to North Carolina, and then I'll be flying home solo.  I'm REALLY excited for the first part.  Really not so much for the second.  I have a lot of layover time, so I'll be doing a lot of reading, making playlists, and puttering on the computer.  Hopefully making some new friends too.  :)

Getting ready for this and thinking about the places we'll be relative to all my friends made me realize how badly I want to go on a road trip of my own.  I mean, like just go without a deadline or destination, stopping in to see all the people I love all over the country.  Seeing friends I haven't seen in ages, or even those I saw last summer, or even meeting those I've only known from online.  I started to think about ways to coordinate meetings of folks along the way...and then I realized that this wasn't my trip, lol.  It is Jess'.  And I am very happy to be sharing in it.

You should look forward to lots of pictures and hopefully entertaining posts for the week!  Which reminds me, where is that dratted camera cord....

Friday, December 4, 2009

WTF Friday

So in my slacker ways, I have neglected to do a WTF Friday post for last week, and am running a day late (and dollar short) for this week as well.  Eh.
Let's see what I have in the ol' wtf bag for today.... *rummaging*
Looks like this is what we're going with.  *drumroll*

Oh, what to say.  I could tell you that this is a murder mystery about a secret sect of nuns who are up to no good.  And that one of their sisters is running dangerously close to finding them out.  And that for 25 cents you can immerse yourself in the tale of twisted fates.
However, I doubt you'd really be interested.
So many things went through my head as I was laughing about this title.  Was it about a nun in the "closet?"  Were the other sisters trying to help her kick the habit? (Sorry, bad pun there, but I had to.)  Was she physically in the closet?  Who put her there?  Was she hiding?  What from?  And WHY ON EARTH would you name your book this if it was a suspense thriller?
Regardless, it does kinda make you do a double take and go, "WTF?"

Tuesday, December 1, 2009


I think today is going to be a day of blog farts.  I know I've been scarce lately.  I go through phases, as anyone who has known me for a while will tell you.  I guess I'm just in the ebb of my blogging at the moment.

I have been officially hired by two jobs, and I'm very, very pleased.  This week marks my first full week of work in....golly, well probably 3 months?  Yeah.  And bonus, I even like them both.  I know right?  I'm still in training for one, I have one more day of that and then a real shift on Thursday.  Yay!

Speaking of jobs and all that business, my friend Kate recently started a new blog Newlywed & Unemployed.  If I was a good friend I would have posted about her blog a month ago, but I am a slacker.  :-/  I'm sorry Kate!  lol.  So why don't you guys pop on over and say hello to her?  :)

This last weekend I also went up to Bigfork to paint for the kids theatre.  Fun times!  I've never been up to Bigfork this late in the year, and it's SO cute right now.  The whole town is decorated for Christmas.  I got there when it was already dark, and drove straight to the shop, missing downtown.  When we were on our way down to the bar, Brach told me "You've never been here for Christmas have you?  Close your eyes!"  So of course I did.  When he said, "Open!" It was just like the picture on a Christmas card.  If there had been snow, that would have just been it.  Which, by the way, it did the next day.  :)  So yeah, had a great time this weekend.  I took a couple pictures, and as soon as I find my camera cord I will show you lol.  I am on a constant search for that stupid thing....

I know I mentioned a secret earlier.  It's still in the works.  The holiday season kinda reeks havoc on secrets, lol.  Don't give up on me!

Oh, so I know that today is December 1st, and what more appropriate way to start out the month than with snow?  I was up at the (butt)crack of dawn today and was shocked to open the door and find snow!  Snow, wind, dark, and cold.  A lot of the first two, but the last two dissipated within a couple hours.  Way to go Mother Nature!  You are so on it!  Except next time, could you try to keep the roads clear?  Plzktnx.  :)

Alrighty, that's all I got in my brain right now I think.  I'm working on making the blog rounds again.  It's very overwhelming now with how far behind I am!  lol.  But I'll get there.  Have a great week everyone!  And Happy December!  (Christmas is just around the corner!)