RIP Steve Jobs

I remember when mom & dad brought home our first computer…the Apple IIGS.  It took me a long time to figure out how to do anything on it except play Q-bert (but I did get really good at that)…

I think President Obama may have said it best, “The world has lost a visionary. And there may be no greater tribute to Steve’s success than the fact that much of the world learned of his passing on a device that he invented.”

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Cute picture break: That’s got to be uncomfortable

Well, this is one place Abzug the Cat-dog has never ended up.  Of course, that’s probably because I don’t own a plastic skeleton.

Thanks MC for sharing!

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All the world’s pennies

When my (not so little anymore) brother was a kid, he loved to collect things…baseball cards, basketball cards, trucks, He-Man action figures, Legos…anything he could get his hands on.  Mom used to joke that his first sentence was “I want the whole collection”.  I ran across this earlier today, and immediately thought of him: when he was a teenager, he decided he wanted to collect all of the pennies in the world.  His rationale was that pennies aren’t really worth much, so they would be easy to amass over time–after all, who really wants to hold on to pennies when they clean out their pockets or purses?…They aren’t really all that useful.  So he set out on a mission.  I’ve always wondered what he would do with all those pennies once he got them, after all, if he cashed them in, his collection would be gone.  Maybe he could expand his furniture business (Measure Cut Cut) to include custom floors like this:

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Waking Up Full of Awesome

I stole this from a friend’s blog, who stole it from  I wish I woke up every morning feeling like this…maybe tomorrow I will! (After all, I already have the messy hair and mismatched socks)

There was a time when you were five years old, and you woke up full of awesome.
You knew you were awesome.
You loved yourself.
You thought you were beautiful,even with missing teeth and messy hair and mismatched socks inside your grubby sneakers.
Do you still have it?
The awesome.
Wouldn’t that be nuts, to tell my little girl below that in another five or ten years she might hate herself because she doesn’t look like a starving and Photoshopped fashion model?
Are you freaking kidding me?
Look at her. She is full of awesome.
You were, once. Maybe you still are. Maybe you are in the process of getting it back.
All I know is that if you aren’t waking up feeling like this about yourself, you are really missing out.

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Yep, life IS good!

Spring is finally here (well, mostly here anyway, if you discount the random spring snow storms that we keep getting here in Denver) and like most times of season change, I find myself reflecting on my life and where I am and focusing on exciting changes and occurrences that I’m lucky enough to experience in the here-and-now.  A few happy thoughts for a cold, cloudy Monday…

1. It was warm enough over the weekend to actually wear sandals.  Other than Christmas, the breakout of the sandals and/or tank tops is one of my favorite days of the year.
2. B-cycle bikes are back, which means spring is here.
3. Amazing date with a normal guy who makes me laugh, and who seems to make time stand still.
4. Crepes and gossip with a great friend.
5. Birthday celebration with friends and family and laughter so hard I thought I might throw up.
6. Visit from my not-so-little-anymore brother.  It wasn’t quite what I had pictured, but it was still fun (except for that auto breakdown on the highway) and it’s the first time in a long time that we had uninterrupted sibling time.
7. Pippi, my new car!
8. First BBQ of the season.  AG and I aren’t quite grilling divas yet, but we’re confident we’ll master those skills before fall. (Thanks MT!)
9. Flowers are coming up in the yard.  Small first “official” sign of spring.  Means that warm weather and lilacs can’t be too far behind.
10. So far this semester, I’m pulling all A’s in class.  I don’t expect this trend to continue, but since I haven’t had grades this good since high school, I’ll celebrate while I can.
11.  Only 7ish more weeks until JW moves back to Denver!  I’ve missed our wine nights like crazy (although my liver really hasn’t).
12. It’s time to start planning a garden.  Again.  I can’t wait–we’re expanding the backyard plot again this year, and my mind is already going nuts with ideas of what else I can plant.  I think this year I’m going to try corn!
13. Fortunate side-effect of crazy work stress has been unexpected weight loss.  Only 5 more pounds and I’ll be back to my 29-year old weight!
14. Upcoming visit from an old college friend = girls’ night out for the CC group.

Happy spring!

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About a year ago, a man I loved told me I was “vanilla”.  He meant it as an insult, and I took it as one.  I was kind of shocked that he would choose that term—I haven’t traveled the world, and I don’t “live on the edge”, but when I think about my life and the things I have done, I don’t think they’re boring or plain.  But I realized after I thought about it, that although I like the life I’ve made for myself, “safe” and “comfortable” are probably pretty good descriptors.  (Although I still believe “vanilla” is stretching).

I realized that a lot of my self image as an interesting person is tied up in things I did when I was younger—I played ice hockey, drove a zamboni, worked at a zoo (where I used to play with a baby gorilla and take an elephant for a walk), I left a job that I hated (OK, got laid off is more accurate) and took a pay cut to do work that I believed in, quit that job on a whim and moved across country with no job prospects and no money, but with good friends with an open couch.

A few years later, I realize I’ve finally become an “adult”.  I have a career, not a job, with an actual official-sounding title.  I own a car and real furniture that was not found in a dumpster, in a front yard, or at a thrift shop.  I have health insurance.  And a cat that actually requires food, water and attention (unlike the plants that I’ve mostly managed to kill).

And somewhere along the way, I’ve lost that ability to be spontaneous.  To make decisions “just because.” And to step outside my comfort zone just to prove I can.  So this year, for my New Year’s resolution, I’ve decided to do just that—to step outside my comfort zone at least once a month just to remind myself how it feels to take a little bit of a risk.  To be a little bit scared of failure.  And to remember how great it feels when that risk pays off.

So far, I think it’s going well.

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Reflection, 9 years later

9 years ago today I sat in the living room in a cabin in Grand Lake, Colorado with co-workers waiting for breakfast to begin when someone came in and told us the World Trade Center had just been attacked.  We were out of cell phone range for the most part, had one “common area phone” and no TV.  We sat gathered around a radio desperate for information, feeling like we were thousands of miles away from civilization and our loved ones.

I don’t ever want to relive that experience, but in some ways, I can’t imagine a better place to be when news like that hits.  We spent most of the day gathered around radios or TVs in local bars watching news coverage and discussing world politics.  We gathered together as a family on “the point” at Shadowcliff, prayed for peace and wisdom of decision-makers, and offered up moments of silence and prayers for those lost in the tragedy.

We left Grand Lake early that year and drove through the night to get back to our homes in Kansas City, glued to NPR to have any access to information.  I spent the entire next day watching news coverage at home before heading to the bluegrass festival in Winfield, Kansas.  I wasn’t in the mood to celebrate, but I knew I needed to be home.

That was one of the worst, and one of the best festivals I have ever been to.  I still get teary-eyed thinking about it.  There was a palpable feeling of community in the air that I had never before, and never since, experienced.

One of my favorite moments came at the close of the Saturday afternoon set by Tom Chapin and John McCutcheon.  I’ve always loved this song, but after the events of the last 9 years, it has a deeper meaning for me than I ever thought.  (I looked for video of the actual performance, but couldn’t find it.  John McCutcheon performing it on his own will have to suffice).

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