Archive | February, 2005

Introducing Shadow, Master of Being Pitiful

28 Feb

This is our pooch, Shadow:

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Shadow is a black lab/german shepard mix. He is about 8 years old. I can describe him in two words.

Needy and pitiful.

It’s not a bad thing. He’s a very lovable guy, but he is very needy for attention. He’ll come up and place his head right under your hand so that you’re forced to pet him. Or, he’ll nudge you with his paw to get your attention. His very expression seems to plead, ‘Please, PET ME!!!’

As for pitiful, Shadow has the sulky act down pat. Especially if you don’t pet him when he thinks he should be pet, he’ll sulk around, and it looks like he’s thinking, ‘Oh, poor, poor, pitiful me… No one loves me! I’m just a poor Shadow dog!’

Shadow is also a butt biter. He likes to assert his dominance over our other male dog, Tucker, and he does that by growling and biting Tucker’s butt any time that Tucker is getting more attention than him.

He also has prancing down to an art form. When he’s especially spry, Shadow looks more like a show horse than the pound puppy that he truly is.

Happy Birthday!

28 Feb

A few birthday mentions…

Happy birthday to my Dad, who will be celebrating by bowling tonight.

Happy belated birthday to my Mom, who was sick for her big day. (Hope you’re better now!)

And, happy third birthday, dear blog. It was on 2/26/02 that I entered the blogosphere. That first year of blogging was actually me typing entries manually into Front Page, and I’ve since taken those entries down. No need to leave up evidence of my prior incompetence, right?! Anyway, you have 2 years of archives available, so that should keep you busy.

Pictures from the Weekend

28 Feb

Here are some pictures from Saturday’s trip to Mt. Rose Ski Tahoe:

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This is JB skiing in the trees:
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Published!

28 Feb

Well, I finally got published, which was a New Year’s Resolution for 2004… Better late than never, right?!

Here is my guest column in the local paper.

Where Are My Purple Pants?

27 Feb

Here is a guest entry from the infamous JB:

The other morning, when we were getting ready to go ski, I heard a paniced cry. My first thought was that Lynnette had broken one of the ancient chinese antique figures. Luckily, that was not the case. The anguished cry was because Lynnette couldn’t find her “purple pants”. What are purple pants you ask? You mean you don’t own a pair? Purple pants are Lynnette’s favorite ski underwear, which actually include a top and bottoms. Of course, they are purple, her favorite color (don’t believe her when she says its red, I think its from exessive exposure during high school).

So we scoured the house in search of the holy purple pants to no avail. Lynnette was very, very sad. Then, several days later, out of the blue I heard screams of delight from the guest bedroom. My first thought was that Lynnette had tested postive for pregnancy. It was, of course, her beloved purple pants. They had been found, although I’m not sure where. Attached is a picture of Lynnette in her Purple Pants. This is how she weares her fleece. I keep telling her she has to stop gaping like that!

“Ready to ski in my purple pants!”
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What is wrong with this picture?
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Editorial note from Lynnette:
No, I’m not pregnant, first of all. Also, to explain these pictures, I had just gotten up from bed, and was still half asleep. I was trying to get dressed while maintaining a conversation with JB, and I didn’t even realize why JB was laughing at me until I went into the bathroom and saw myself in the mirror. I was wearing my fleece backwards. He thought this was so funny that we had to take a picture of it. I am so not a morning person!

Mannequin Pants

27 Feb

After skiing yesterday, JB and I headed to Gart Sports in pursuit of getting JB some new ski pants.

He found the perfect pair… Well, they would have been perfect if he could just find his size. We could find the size smaller than he needed, and the size larger than he needed, but not his size.

He was really bummed, considering getting the size too large and just wearing a belt with them, but then he discovered that the mannequin was wearing his pants in HIS size.

So of course, we stripped down the mannequin, which looked really funny in its parka without pants. And man, did that mannequin have a big bulge! I was so amuzed that I nabbed a picture with my camera phone.

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“I’m mannequin size,” JB proudly proclaimed.

Then, I saw the ski pants that I’ve been wanting for a while. I wasn’t even looking for new pants, but these are so cool… They are black and have stitching like jeans would. Totally hip.

I showed JB the pants, thinking they were too expensive, but he urged me to go try them on. Of course they didn’t have my size.

That is, until my gaze fell upon the female mannequin that was next to our now pantsless male mannequin.

That’s right, she was wearing my pants in my size! So, while about five people in the check out line watched, I took off her boots and stripped her down, chuckling all the time because we created a matching pair of pantsless mannequins.

Here she is:
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So, I’m here to report that JB and I are both mannequin size, and that we both have some really cool new ski pants!

I Took This While Working Today

25 Feb

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Don’t Hate Me…

23 Feb

Well, I am being forced to ski for work for the next two days… I know, it’s rough, but someone has to do it. I’ll be taking photos of clients on the slopes, and I’ll try to grab some good scenic shots for this website so that you can all live vicariously through me.

And really, don’t be too envious… Almost every other day of the work year I’m stuck in front of my two monitors plugging away at websites.

I seriously think I’m running the risk of getting burned out on skiing this year.

“I Ain’t Bleeping Going Down That!”

22 Feb

This past weekend, JB and I decided to pay hommage to American presidents by searching out some fresh powder on the ski slopes.

We went to Squaw Valley USA on Sunday, and there was about a foot of fresh, yet heavy powder there to greet us.

JB is a great powder skier.

I am not.

Hence, it was with some trepidation that I followed him into the trees on our second run of the day. “Let’s go this way!” he enthusiastically proclaimed, and then he was off.

I tried to follow, and next thing I knew, I was lost, in way over my head (literally and figuratively), and having one heck of a time picking my way through the trees in the deep powder.

After what seemed like forever, I emerged from the trees completely away from the downhill ski area, and onto a cross country ski trail.

Lesson #1: Don’t venture into the trees on a powder day if you aren’t good at powder and don’t have a clue as to where you are going.

I could see a chair lift off in the distance, so off I went on the cross country trail in pursuit of that lift.

You should have seen the looks I was getting from the real cross country skiers as they passed me. I was definately out of my element.

From that trail, though, I got a view of three dog sledding teams taking off on a run. The dogs were so excited — barking and trying to run as fast as they could. It looked like a blast… Definitely on my list of things to try in the Reno-Tahoe area. Unfortunately, the dogs were moving so fast I didn’t get to snap a picture of them.

I then ran across a sleigh ride, and decided to snap a picture of them to document my scenic foray away from the downhill slopes of Squaw.

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Mental note: I should make JB take me on a sleigh ride…

About 20 minutes after popping out on the cross country trail, I managed to get back to a chairlift. By this point, I knew I was on my own for a while, as JB was probably still enjoying tree skiing, so I headed to my favorite area of Squaw — KT22.

KT22 was named after an Olympic skier that did 22 kick turns down the face of that hill.

Here is a view from the KT22 chair:
squawscenery.jpg

I got to the top of the chair, unloaded, and then turned as I heard the lift attendant yelling, “What are you doing?!”

I saw that a snowboarder had not unloaded, and was sitting on the now stopped chair.

“I ain’t *bleep*ing going down that!” He proclaimed. Evidently, he had gotten scared on the ride up, and intended to ride the chairlift back to the bottom. I guess he missed the 10 or so signs at the bottom of the lift saying, ‘Experts only’, or ‘No easy way down’, or ‘This lift requires advanced skiing skills’. Had to chuckle at that a bit.

Lesson #2: They aren’t kidding when they say that a lift is for experts only.

This is the start of the hill under the chair that scared our poor snowboarder:
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Anyway, the rest of the day was much more enjoyable for me, as I went down the wide open faces of KT22, where the snow had been tracked out a bit and I was able to ski a bit more in control.

On Monday, we headed to Kirkwood, where they had about a foot of new snow, and this stuff was light and fluffy. What a world of difference that made — I was actually able to ski through it!

Evidently, light fluffy powder makes JB think that he’s being filmed for a Warren Miller flick. I just served as his photographer.
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(Note for my in-laws: he skied all of this with great caution — I promise!)

We topped off the day with a nice hot toddy in the bar, and decided that we had to go back to work so that our bodies could recover from two days of powder skiing!

Bob

17 Feb

Here is a recent conversation exerpt:

LB: I hear they’re looking for a name for the new radio station.
*radio: Welcome to the new station, Bob 97.3*
JB: I was just thinking that Bob would be a great name for a radio station.
LB: What the heck kind of name for a radio station is Bob?!
JB: A really cool one.

My Favorite Things

17 Feb

Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens
Bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens
Brown paper packages tied up with strings
These are a few of my favorite things

For breakfast: Optimum Slim Cereal with Soy Milk. I actually get excited to eat this every day, and it is SO healthy, plus it tastes really good!

For lunch: Wild Oat’s Carrot Ginger Soup and Salad Bar. You can’t help but feel healthy after eating at Wild Oat’s!

Power bar: Odwalla Chocolate Chip Peanut. No preservatives — just all natural ingredients. Yum!

For Dinner: Steak with mushrooms and onions on top, with some red wine.

TV Show: Scrubs

Wine: Port

Posession: My engagement and wedding rings, made from family jewels.

Website: I hate to sound cliche, but I’m addicted to Dooce, and have been reading her site since 2001. I was so excited to hear her on NPR last month and see her on the ABC World News.

Tea: Licorice tea (herbal and caffeine free). I seriously drink at least three glasses a day.

Soap: Pro Terra vanilla soap. I discovered it at a hotel, and then ordered it in bulk for my daily use.

Jazz Music: Holy smokes, have you listened to Queen Latifa’s Jazz album?! WOW!

That’s all I can think of right now…. Of course, waking up next to my incredible hubby is way at the top of my list of favorite things, but I wasn’t sure how to classify that.

People With Disabilities

16 Feb

My last job at General Motors had me doing diversity marketing. One of the markets that I targeted was the disability market, and I was assigned to work with iCan.com, an online disability community.

That was where I met Heidi Van Arnem. She was a beautiful 33 year old entrepreneur that was extremely driven. She was also a quadriplegic.

Heidi had been accidentally shot in the neck by one of her brother’s friends when she was sixteen. She went from being an active teenager to a paraplegic that only had slight use of her arms.

Heidi was on a mission to fight for the rights for people with disabilities, and to build up a network of services to serve the disabled.

She was always very upbeat, and strategically thinking about ways to improve her company or to leverage the partnership with GM.

Heidi was also friends with Christopher Reeve, and her friendship taught me all that the Christopher Reeve Paralysis Foundation was doing to try to find a cure for paralysis.

Believe me, after you know someone like Heidi, you become a staunch supporter of Stem Cell Research. I sure hope that within my lifetime that a cure for paralysis is found and widely available.

Tragically, merely a month after I resigned from GM and moved to Reno, Heidi died due to complications of her paralysis. I wasn’t able to go to her funeral, and I never got a chance to say goodbye to her.

After her death, Heidi’s company later got bought out, and as far as I can tell by watching her site, that company is not moving forward with any of her dreams or visions. It’s really sad to see all of that momentum get built up, only for it to come crashing to an end upon her death.

When we were at the airport on our Honeymoon, I happened to pass a news stand with a paper shouting the headline of Christopher Reeve’s death. To me, it was heartbreaking, knowing that the most prominent member of the disability community was now gone. Christopher Reeve made so many strides to find a cure for paralysis, and I think it is a true tragedy that he was never able to be cured himself.

So where did all of this come from? Dana Reeve is being interviewed on Oprah today. I anxiously recorded the program so that I can see it tonight, but I already know in advance that the show will bring back some of the disappointment and sadness that I felt upon both Heidi and Christopher’s deaths.

Also, I guess I miss having a job that was as rewarding as when I was working with the disability community. Heidi really opened up my eyes to the injustices that people with disabilities face. You can read more about Heidi here. She’s gone, but not forgotten.

Blah Blah Blah

16 Feb

I have a case of the blahs.
I need something to make me say ta-da.

It is cold and gray outside,
Making me want to take a plane ride —

To somewhere warm with sunshine
And where I can swim supine.

Summer, where are you?
I’m sick of the winter blues.

There is my poem of the day. As much fun as I’ve had skiing lately, the week-days have been cold and gray and I’m really itching for swimsuit weather and sunscreen.

Did This Weekend Really Have To End?

14 Feb

This was our first Valentine’s Weekend as newlyweds, and we did it up, people.

It all started on Friday with wine tasting, where we sampled Zinfandel wines. Afterwards, we went to In N’ Out for dinner. The wine snobs would have been so appalled!!! Ha!

Saturday, JB and I ventured back up to Mt. Rose Ski Tahoe. It had snowed a few inches on Friday, so we were treated to what JB was calling ‘dust on crust’ conditions.

We went back to ski the Chutes, and honestly, I think I was getting a big ego because I had skied them so much last weekend.

But just when you start getting over confident, the Chutes will serve to knock your confidence right back down a notch.

That knock was a double diamond trail known as Detonatator. (See the trail map here.) I skied in there thinking I was tough stuff, and next thing I knew, I was on a really steep pitch, looking at about a 6 foot wide path between a rock and a tree.

Talk about being stuck between a rock and a hard place.

I won’t claim that I got down Detonator with any style or grace at all… I had to take the pussy way out to get around that hairy part, but all in all, it was still a great time.

Anyway, we left Mt. Rose and headed into Downtown Reno for a night on the town. We had a lovely early Valentine’s Day dinner at Roxy’s. Mmmm….. Mushroom raviolis, lobster, and a bottle of wine later, we were ready for the magic show of Darren Romeo, presented by Siegfried & Roy. Darren Romeo is called “The Voice of Magic” because he sings his way through the magic show, and he has an incredible voice. Not hard on the eyes, either!

Here we are at Roxy’s… Notice the dog chef painting that observed our meal:
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On Sunday, JB and I headed for Alpine Meadows. A storm happened to blow its way in, and at times, it felt like we were on an expedition to Mt. Everest instead of skiing… But, with the right clothes and a hunger for fresh tracks, skiing in a storm can be quite enjoyable.

Here is the chairlift, which looks like it was taking us up into the clouds:

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Another view from the lift. Brrrrrr!!!!!
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After skiing, we treated ourselves to a Couples Massage at the Cal Neva Resort Health Spa in North Shore. The massage room was overlooking the lake, so we enjoyed the sunset, and then some true pampering. We then hit the hot tub, and practically collapsed into our beds at the Cal Neva. Here are some pics:

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Here’s me being a dork and taking my picture in the mirror of our room… Please forgive the helmet hair:
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Here is the view from our room:
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The thing I love about the Cal Neva Resort (besides the incredible views) is its rich history. The resort was owned by Frank Sinatra, and was frequented by the Rat Pack and the likes of Marilyn Monroe.

In fact, the resort is rumored to be haunted by Frank, Marilyn, and Sammy Davis Junior. I’ve heard some really freaky ghost stories about the place, and last time I stayed there, I hardly slept at all. But this time, I had JB to keep me safe, and I slept like a log.

I have to admit, though, when I woke up in the middle of the night, I made a conscious effort to keep my eyes closed… Just in case, you know…

A Weekend of Romance

11 Feb

I just finished making our reservations and plans for the weekend, and am SOOOoooooo excited! Here’s what is on tap:

Friday night — wine tasting
Saturday — ski at Mt. Rose
Saturday night — fancy dinner and a magic show
Sunday — ski at Alpine Meadows
Sunday night — stay at the Cal Neva Resort at Lake Tahoe, and have a COUPLES MASSAGE (Yes!!!)

I am so ready for this weekend to begin!!!

To My Valentine

11 Feb

This time last year, I was hoping that JB was thinking about proposing to me. In fact, I had suspicions that I might get a ring for Valentine’s Day. Well, I got snow shoes, but luckily, a few months later, I did get that ring.

Here is the poem I wrote for JB last year. I was worried that the very last line in the poem was assuming too much, but fortunately it wasn’t.

To My Valentine

It’s you,
That I think of
Day and night
And long to hold me tight.

It’s you,
That makes my heart race
And keeps a smile
Upon my face.

It’s you,
That I see
In my dreams
And makes life feel
More perfect than it seems.

It’s you,
That I love
More with each passing day,
And to whom
I want to say ~

It’s me,
That wants to be yours
This Valentine’s Day
And forever more.

Written on February 14, 2004

I let them win

10 Feb

As part of my New Year’s Resolution, I have been pecking away at fixing the mess otherwise known as my name change.

I started yesterday by going back to the DMV to get the titles/registrations for my two vehicles changed. I was already peeved because this was my second trip to the DMV to complete the name change, thanks to them not being specific enough on their website about required documentation.

I actually had to pay $20 per vehicle title to change the name on my title, which is required to change the name on your registration, which is required by law. But then, I discovered that the bank where I had my original car loan THAT WAS PAID OFF THREE YEARS AGO neglected to sign my title, and hence, I have to go back to the DMV for a third time once they send a letter releasing me of debt to them.

So today, I decided to tackle the social security office. If you recall, the NV DMV wouldn’t let me drop my first initial (as I go by my middle name), and hence how my name change got all screwed up. If you recall, it was a very lengthy process that would require hiring a lawyer and publishing your intent in the newspaper for three consecutive weeks. Bah! Too much work and effort! YOU WIN!

I waited for over an hour in line next to some REAL characters at the social security office, and when I got to the window, I told the man my situation:

“When I got married, I started here, and you let me change my name to Lynn3tt3 C00k B3llin (numbers used to fool the search engines). Then, I went to the DMV, and they wouldn’t let me do that without a court order, so I’m back to change my name to A. Lynn3tt3 B3llin.”

“You know there is an easy way to change your name, don’t you,” the clerk asked me.

I was not entertained. Perfect timing, I tell you.

“Oh, yeah,” he says, “you just go to the court building downtown, and pay them like $30, and they’ll process your name change for you.”

“That would have been nice to know before I waited an hour in line and changed my name at the DMV.” I stated, “I’m sick of all this buearocracy. Let’s just change it.”

“You shouldn’t let them win,” he tells me.

You know, I could sit here and waste a bunch more time fighting the system, but it just doesn’t seem worth it. I could go to the court house, then to the DMV, and then back to the social security office to get them all straightened out.

But I won’t. I’m going to let them win. I’m going to continue having a first name of A to the government and the state of Nevada. I’m going to continue to get calls for A and AL, and as much as that annoys me, I’m just going to deal with it.

The curse of the A has won.

I was amazed at the life details people were offering up to the clerks at the social security office. Here are a few exerpts:

Said by a middle aged man with a huge bump growing smack dab in the middle of his forehead: “Yeah, my girlfriend dumped me back in Vallejo, and I had to hitch hike for two days in the rain. My last ride dropped me off in Truckee, and I had to take the bus from there. I lost everything — my wallet, my cash… Hey, man, where is the closest bus stop?”

Said by a very white trash looking middle aged woman: Well, this is my last name on my birth certificate, but my Daddy died when I was 6 months old, so I took the name of my Mother’s second husband, and then I got married, but we just got divorced, so I want to change my name back to the name on my birth certificate. And I really want to go back to the city where I was born so that I can see what it is like.”

Said by the cute 20-something girl that was missing a front tooth and wearing a 49ers Harris jersey:“I don’t even like the 49ers, and I have no idea who Harris is. I just wanted a jersey, so I stoled it from my ex.”

There was also a young obese woman with a tracheostomy and an oxygen tank. Every few minutes, she would do this coughing/suffocating thing that made me wonder am I going to have to use my CPR skills, and gee, I guess you’d have to blow into the hole in her neck, right?

Ugh. Way too much time in the social security office today.

More Skiing Pics

9 Feb

Here I am taking a self portrait on the chair lift at Kirkwood a few weeks ago:

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And here is JB, riding up on the chair lift next to me:
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This is the picture I mentioned earlier this week… I took it while precariously balancing myself on the Chutes. If you look really close, you can see JB skiing in the center of the picture. I think he was shouting, ‘take your picture already!’

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Heidi The Rottweiler

9 Feb

I’ve finished my final High Fidelity Series posting, but haven’t published it as of yet, as I’m trying to decide if it borders on airing my dirty laundry too much.

In the mean time, though, I don’t think I’ve given our pooches, aka the Black Dog Club, enough attention here at Rebellin.net, so each dog will get their own entry.

Istn’t that democratic of me?!

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This is Heidi, our only female dog and our only pure bred dog. I swear she thinks she’s a model, as she seemed to be posing for every picture I tried to take of her this past weekend. I just love this picture.

Heidi is about 8 years old, and is one big sweat heart. She loves meeting new people, and will bound up to them to lick their hands and faces. This can be a bit disconcerting for people that don’t know her, considering the reputation that Rottweilers have as a breed.

Heidi’s favorite passtime is sticking her snout in holes. She’ll stick her nose in holes as deep as she can get it and then sniff in and out and in and out. I can’t see how inhaling dirt as she does can be enjoyable, but she loves it. One time, I found her with her entire body up to her waist burried in a hole. When I finally got her out of that hole, she had dirt all over her face. It actually looked like she was wearing powder. I left that dirt on her face so that I could show JB what his little girl had been up to. I worry that one day she’ll find some critter or snake in a hole, but so far we’ve been lucky.

Heidi is truly the apple of JB’s eye. It’s not that he loves her more than the other dogs, but he just has a big soft spot in his heart for her. His official nickname for her is Meathead, and he absolutely loves how big and wide her head is.

We are both entertained by Heidi’s eyebrows, which can move independantly of each other. Even if she’s just sitting doing nothing, her eyebrows are moving all around, making her look extremely cute.

When Heidi was a puppy, she managed to break out of JB’s backyard while he was at work and she got hit by a car. It broke one of her back legs, and thanks to a plate in that leg, she can’t bend it at all. You’ll notice in the picture that her rear leg is sticking straight out.

Heidi kind of drags that leg along on our walks. It really doesn’t slow her down much unless we’re in the snow. We call her the Bucking Bronco in snow, as she has to bound up and down to get a lot of clearance in order for her to make it through the snow with that bum leg.

Heidi’s main downfall is that she doesn’t like many other dogs. She thinks she’s all big and tough out on our walks if we run across other dogs, and she’ll let loose this throaty growl that would scare the living daylights out of anyone. It takes all of my might to hold her back at times, but to date, we’ve managed to avoid any confrontations.

So that’s our little girl. If you meet her in person, be careful — she loves to kiss on the lips!

I’m Famous, Fourth Installment

9 Feb

Looks like I’m beginning to be a regular in the local paper. Look for my quote torwards the end of this article.

THIS SITE HAS MOVED

9 Feb

Well, I have now registered my new domain.

Drum roll please………

Welcome to the new home of Rebellin.net.

I know that wasn’t even on my list of potential domain candidates, but I really like Rebellin, since it is a play off of my new last name, Bellin. Also, since Rebellin.com was taken (go figure), I decided to go for Rebellin.net, because Net is a nickname of mine.

So there you have it. LynnetteCook.com will start forwarding to Rebellin.net very soon… I’ve set it all up with my host, and now I’m just trying to determine exactly why it’s not working.

Damn computers.

High Fidelity Series: The One That Got Away

8 Feb

I’m on a roll with the High Fidelity Series… We’re now up to Darryl. Let’s set the scene:

It was my 21st birthday, which happened to fall on a Monday. (Completely unfair, I tell you!)

A bunch of my girlfriends took me out to the only bar that was happening on a Monday night, and I think it was disco night.

After several drinks, Amber and I were standing together and admiring a guy dancing. He was tall, with straight brown hair that fell into his eyes, and he was dancing all by himself.

‘I dare you to go dance with him,’ Amber said.

Amber and I had this deal between us in college that we had to unconditionally accept each other’s dares. And man, did that get us into some interesting situations.

I think I muttered, ‘damn you’, as I left her and started dancing with him.

We were instantly attracted to each other. After the bar closed, he asked if I wanted to go get breakfast at Denny’s. So we did. He held my hand over the table, and we talked and talked and talked. We talked until the sun came up the next day.

Back then, I thought it was love at first sight. And I honestly thought I was in love with him until I came to know the all-encompassing love I now know with my husband. That was just child’s play. But let’s just say that my 21 year old self fell harder and faster for Darryl than I had for any other guy.

The only problem? The man lived in Buffalo, New York. I was living in Las Cruces, New Mexico. You couldn’t really live farther apart while still being on the same continent.

Darryl had been working a summer job in the Grand Canyon, and was on his way driving back to New York, when he stopped to visit a friend that lived in Las Cruces.

He extended his stay to spend a few more days with me. Those were wonderful days that felt like a dream come true, and at the end of those days, as we were watching the sunset over the Rio Grande (I kid you not), he told me in tears that he thought he was falling in love with me.

He left, and called me from every gas station that he stopped at (remember this was before cell phones were popular). Once he returned to Buffalo, we racked up some really impressive phone bills and we chatted online for hours each day. We were chatting in Telnet, people. I’m an Internet pioneer.

We decided that we had to see each other again, and I booked a plane ticket to go visit him. The weekend I spent with him was amazing. I actually stayed at his parents’ house, but I’m never going to forget when we went to Niagara Falls at night, where he started talking marriage and children.

Leaving him to go back to New Mexico was horribly painful for me back them. My heart actually felt like it hurt. I was actually considering moving to Buffalo to be with Darryl.

Buffalo. Can you imagine? I was miserable enough in Detroit — can you imagine how unhappy I would have been in Buffalo?!

Upon returning to New Mexico, we kept up the phone calls and chatting. I remember him singing Richard Marks’ song Right Here Waiting for me over the phone. Ha! I’m not making this up.

He then asked me to come back out to Buffalo to go to his best friend’s wedding. He was going to be the best man.

But I was in college and on a very limited budget. At that time, it cost over $400 to fly to Buffalo, and I didn’t have that kind of cash, and well, he didn’t offer to pay.

After that wedding, the phone calls got fewer and less frequent. He all of a sudden became very busy. And then, when I called him on Christmas Day to wish him a Merry Christmas, and he broke up with me.

On Christmas Day. Was that really necessary?

I got seriously depressed after that, and cried myself to sleep for many nights. If I could only just go back and tell myself that it would all work out. It might take another 7 years, but it’ll all work out for the best.

But I can’t, and I was literally haunted by the loss of that first ‘love’.

I later ran into Darryl’s friend (the one he had been visiting), and found out that Darryl had started dating the maid of honor from that wedding that I was supposed to go to.

Oh, the irony.

And after that, I closed my heart off to other guys. And I couldn’t stop thinking about Darryl. I mourned as if he had died. Dramatic, yes. But true. I can honestly say that he hurt me more than any other man. Which is strange, because we only knew each other for about four months, but it was a very intense four months. I guess distance will do that.

For years afterwards, I looked at my birthday as the anniversary of my meeting Darryl instead of a reason to celebrate. I was haunted by him, and thought of him constantly. I wrote him endless letters that I never sent.

Until one day… It must have been four or five years after we had last talked that I finally decided to contact him. I was living in Detroit at the time, which was only a 4 hour drive to Buffalo, and I had many daydreams about me driving to Buffalo to see him one more time.

When I wrote Darryl, I had actually been dating The Man Now Known As The Ex for over a year. RED FLAG!!! (We’ll get more into RED FLAGs in the next entry.)

I told Darryl in that letter that I couldn’t stop thinking about him, and before I committed even more to The Man Now Known As The Ex, I wanted to first of all know what had happened from Darryl’s point of view, and also see if there was a chance of us seeing each other again.

A few months later, I got a letter from Darryl in the mail. I remember getting it out of the mail box and starting to shake when I saw the return address.

I ran upstairs to my apartment and ripped open the letter. It was a very sweet letter. However, it started out with him telling me that he had married that woman that was the maid of honor in that wedding I chose not to go to. He also had one child with another one on the way. He was happy, and I guess I was glad to hear that, even though I was disappointed.

He then said that he agreed that he had done me wrong and that I had a right to know exactly what had gone wrong between us. He said that he recalled a phone conversation (one of the hundreds) where he had asked me if he decided to move to New Mexico if he could live with me.

During that conversation, I told him there was no way that could happen. My parents were putting me through school, and I knew that if I up and moved in with a guy that I had known for a matter of months that all hell would break loose. Plus, it was against my beliefs at the time. I was only 21 remember.

Well, although he hadn’t told me this in advance, but this was a make-or-break question for Darryl. If I had said yes, he was going to pack it up and move to New Mexico to be with me. If I said no, then we were over.

I didn’t know this when I answered. I imagined that he could move to New Mexico, live with his friend here, and we could date like normal people before jumping in like that.

So there you have it. Years afterwards, I finally found out what happened. In that letter, he encouraged me to contact him via the e-mail account that he shared with his wife, but that was really just a bit too strange for me. I’m not a home wrecker. I got my answer, and it was enough to help me move on with my life.

In retrospect, I know that Darryl was looking to get married and have a family right away, and I really wasn’t ready for that, even at 21. I also never would have been happy in Buffalo, I don’t care how in love I thought I was.

Now, I have a love that is much deeper than what I thought was love with Darryl, AND I get to live in a land that I love. After spending 4 years in Michigan, I now know how important that is.

I guess everyone needs to get their heart really trampled on so that they can appreciate it when someone treats their heart with care.

Now you can read the song lyrics of Insensitive and know a bit more of how I was feeling back then.

High Fidelity Series: The Guy I Wasn’t Ready For

7 Feb

We’re back to the highly acclaimed High Fidelity Series. We’re now up to my sophomore year in college. That was when I met Chris K.

Hi, Chris K.! Chris has been a long-time reader of this site, so let’s all give him one big virtual high five!

Chris was a great guy. I just wasn’t ready for a guy as great as him. I was 19. I was admitedly immature when it came to relationships, and I was still afraid to commit to anyone because what if my Mr. Right came along and I was committed to Mr. Wrong?

Chris played the guitar and wrote me some of the sweetest songs. I still think one of the sweetest things a man can do is write you a poem or a song.

I can thank Chris for my second hot air balloon ride at the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta. Go figure — I’ve had two hot air balloon rides and both with guys named Chris.

There really wasn’t drama in my relationship with Chris, I’m sorry for all of you looking for drama today. The problem was that although I liked him a lot, I insisted on dating other people, and eventually I think he got tired of it, as he was looking for something more.

I found this out on Valentines Day. I remember baking him heart-shaped cookies, and leaving them at his doorstep with a note asking him to call me.

He never called. And hence, I can claim that I was dumped on Valentines Day.

Of course, typical to my style, that was when I really decided I liked Chris. Try and try as I might, Chris was done and fed up with me. And I don’t blame him one bit. I think if I had met him five years later, it would have been a completely different story.

Chris now lives in Texas with his wife and two kids. We check in with each other about every six months or so just to say hello and catch up. Occassionally, I’ll get comments on my site from him. I enjoy hearing from him, wish only the best for him.

Chris, you deserved to find someone that was ready for love, and that was exactly what you did. Good for you and shame on me.

Now, there was another fateful guy I dated my sophomore year in high school, but since he and his wife both read this site, we’re just going to skip that drama. Sorry, but some things are just better left unsaid.

My New Addiction

7 Feb

I have a new addiction: The Chutes at Mt. Rose Ski Tahoe.

I’ve mentioned them briefly on my site before, but let me go more into depth. The Chutes are some super steep terrain that Mt. Rose just opened to the public last month. Prior to that, it was illegal to ski the Chutes, but I know of people who would hike in and ski them after the ski area had closed for the season.

But now, you can ski them, and keep going back for more. Which is eactly what I did on Saturday.

The Chutes to me are all a big mind game. It’s all about getting past your fears and just skiing. I won’t claim that I skied them with grace as my brothers probably do, but I skied them, which is a feat in itself.

The top of the Chutes are extremely steep. As you ski down them, if there is someone coming up behind you, they are knocking snow down on you, causing a mini avalanche. (Mini, I said, just little sprinkles of snow, because they do avalanche controls in the Cutes).

You really don’t want to fall on the top half of the runs on the Chutes, because you’d most likely slide for quite a ways. You have to really push that thought and mental image out of your mind while you’re on them.

For a split second, though, that thought did cross my mind, and I was thinking, You really don’t want to fall here, and I fell.

As I was tipping over, a small whimper of panic escaped from my lips. Luckily, I managed to just sit down and didn’t slide at all. It was a close call, though.

Another time, I stopped to take a picture of the Chutes while I was in the middle of the hill. It didn’t really hit me how precarious of a position I was in until I was in the middle of taking the picture… It’s hard to balance on a steep slope in skis, while you’re focusing a camera and trying not to drop anything. I’ll get those photos up for you soon. The photos don’t really do it justice, but it’ll give you an idea of what I’m talking about.

When I was a kid, I remember my Mom telling me that I could get down anything on skis. It might not be pretty, but you can get down it if you just put your mind to it and not panic. I can’t tell you how many times I hear my Mom’s voice in my head saying, ‘you can get down anything’, as I peered down at the Chutes. But it’s true. One big mind game.

Anyway, you couldn’t get me to stop doing the Chutes while I was there on Saturday. It was such a feeling of conquering that I just wanted to keep going back for more. And then, when you’re standing at the top with your skis poking over the edge, the adrenaline rush is quite the high.

You can see a trail map here. I’ve now skied Nightmare, Hornet’s Nest, Yellow Jacket, El Cap, Jackpot and Exhibition.

I also went back to Wild Card, which is the run that you have to hike to reach. It’s more of just a trees run on a really gentle slope (in sharp contrast to the Chutes). It was the first run of the day, and my first turn into Wild Card, I tried to take a narrow path between some trees, and managed to hit a branch with my arm, knocking me over.

Damn, did that hurt. I have a nice bruise to prove it, too. JB was laughing at me, saying, ‘That didn’t take long.’ I think it’s a good thing that we both have helmets this year!!!

As for the rest of the weekend, on Saturday night, we went to hang out with my brother, his wife, and my niece Kacey for a little while, before we went to see Larry The Cable Guy at the brand spanking new Reno Events Center (REC). Wow, what a building! It was the first event ever at the REC, and we were lucky enough to be in my company’s suite. The event was sold out, and there was great energy in the crowd.

But, really, before that night, I had no idea who this Larry guy was. I was impressed that he sold out the entire venue, and thought it was pretty funny that this red neck comic had such a following in Reno.

Anyway, on Saturday, I morphed from Chutes Addict into Domestic Diva, as I did 5 loads of laundry, cleaned the house, and cooked in preparation for our Super Bowl mini-dinner party. I made up some guacamole with fresh New Mexican Hatch green chile, a black bean dip, and then for dinner, I cooked a pork roast and garlic mashed potatoes with a salad. It all turned out yummy, and we topped it all off with several bottles of wine.

Speaking of wine, we went to the Super Bowl Wine Tasting on Friday. It was uber fancy, with violinists playing and great catered food. My absolute favorite was the port (dinner wine) they served at the end with a raspberry chocolate truffle. TO. DIE. FOR. It was absolutely amazing.

They had a raffle, and JB and I won a signed Wyland lithograph of killer whales. I had been to a few of his galleries before and seen his building murals, so I was thrilled to actually win one of his works. Woo!

So that’s the weekend wrap up. Stay tuned for more on the High Fidelity Series this week. XOX

Tea for Two

4 Feb

Here is an adorable picture of my nephew, Jack, as he gets ready for a Tea Party.

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And here is my other nephew, Luke, on one of his first sledding outings.

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