Archive | January, 2013

things lost on the freeway

13 Jan

This one time last August, Nathan and I packed up all of our belongings so that we could move them a thousand miles from Louisiana to Colorado. Our goals were to a) take as little as possible (so by “all of our belongings” I meant “everything that didn’t end up in Nathan’s apartment Dumpster or my parents’ house”) and b) not spend any unnecessary money, so we fit everything in his small pickup truck and in my even smaller two-door Nissan.

It worked out pretty well. My mom and I started our trip driving west across Texas, and Nathan headed north several hours later through Arkansas so that he could drive straight through. He didn’t want to stop overnight at a hotel partially because he had so many things loose in the back of his truck, and partially because he had his cat with him in the cab.

The cat had got in the car and started making this face:


She apparently kept that expression the entire 17-hour trip. At one point near the beginning, Nathan looked at her and said, “Katze, quit being weird!” At which point she peed on his foot.

I’ve always loved that cat.

Anyway, we obviously both made it to Colorado. Nathan had unloaded his truck into our new apartment before my mom and I arrived, but he realized that he’d lost a few things along the way. His iron skillet had flown out of the truck at some point, along with his box of recipes. (We replaced the iron skillet right away, but unfortunately the recipes are lost forever since we couldn’t exactly go to Target and buy them.)

Every once in a while, we’ll realize that we’re missing something that we thought for sure we’d brought along with us. First it was his travel mug. And possibly one of my travel mugs (I don’t remember if I packed it or not). And his guitar. And a glass pie pan. And even yesterday, we had a conversation that went something like this:

me: I can’t believe you didn’t bring your dominoes with you!
him: I didn’t? I thought I packed them.
me: Did they fall out of the truck too?

And today:

him: Didn’t I used to have a spoon rest?
me: Yeah, it was white.
him: I guess it fell out of the truck.

It makes me wonder how long it will be before we stop remembering things that never made it to Colorado with us and are lost on the freeway somewhere between here and Louisiana.

Have you ever lost anything in a move?


congrats on that chicken

10 Jan

Here is a very short story about my compadre.

Or maybe it’s not so much as story as evidence that my compadre and I are the best compadres. A conversation last night, which Coleen started out of nowhere shortly after I’d gotten into bed:

Coleen: Congratulate me on that chicken compadre.
me: Congrats on that chicken, compadre.
Coleen: Thank you compadre.
me: You’re welcome, compadre.
Coleen: I’d like to thank heb for putting that thai peanut marinade on sale for 2.50 and encouraging me to seize the day, and subsequently rocking my world.

Then I started giggling so much that a very sleepy Nathan had to open his eyes and ask me what I was laughing about. I told him, but I don’t think he was very impressed. He just said, “That’s weird,” and rolled over to try to sleep. Maybe he just doesn’t understand our compadreship.

right now

6 Jan

Right now, I’m…

feeling sleepy, but I have to wait until my clothes are done drying before I can fall asleep…boo.
that I hadn’t put off doing my laundry until Sunday night, as usual (I never learn).
 When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead; it won a Newbery medal a few years back, and I’ve been meaning to read it since.
hoping for a good day at work tomorrow.
listening to an episode of Ugly Betty, which I can’t get enough of lately.
wearing hugely comfortable gray stretchy pants and one of Nathan’s shirts.
loving soup and sparkling water, always.
wanting to make a cup of tea before bed.
needing to finish putting away today’s groceries.

What are you up to right now?

a great day (pho sho)

5 Jan

Today was an unexpectedly great day. I could really just add this entire day to my jar of happy things in 2013.

The Denver Art Museum offers free admission to its regular collection on the first Saturday of every month. After a little convincing on my part—Nathan was worried that we’d run into too many screaming kids in the crowd—we trekked downtown for our first visit. It had been a while since I’d been in a big museum, and I definitely wasn’t disappointed. The place is huge, and it took us a couple of leisurely hours to get through all seven levels. I love the calming effect that museums have on me, and the possibility of coming across a piece I didn’t know existed by a favorite artist, like this one by Roy Lichtenstein (source):


I may just be partial to it because my grandfather was a violinist, but I think it’s pretty sweet.

We left the museum and had lattes at the first café the GPS directed us to. I have a thing for lattes lately. Then we came home and this happened:


Homemade pho. Nathan used this recipe, but he made half as it’s written for him and half with vegetable broth for me since I don’t do the beef thing, even in broth form. I marinated and baked some tofu to add to mine. The whole thing was delicious.

We also enjoyed some mojitos along with it—not because Vietnamese food made us crave them but because if we were already using a recipe that requires lime and mint, why not just pick up some rum as well and mix it all with some of the sparkling water we always have on hand? Right? Like I said, a pretty perfect day.

What’s your idea of a perfect day?

Compadre Thursday

3 Jan

This is Coleen.

Coleen ACL

She is one of my closest friends. I am pretty sure that I have to have unlimited texting in my cell phone plan mainly because we are always telling each other everything that comes into our heads.

A couple of years ago, due to a slight miscommunication during one of these texting conversations, Coleen and I decided that we should always call each other “compadre.” Now most of our conversations start out with some kind of reference to that term. (“How great are sports, compadre?” or “Ugh, compadre, it’s too early.”)

When I said last night, “I’ve started a blog, compadre,” she made fun of me at first, but later she asked if I was going to do “Compadre Thursdays” where I tell stories about my compadre. So that’s what I’ve decided to do. She once wrote a Wikipedia article about herself that was subsequently removed, so maybe Compadre Thursdays will make up for that.

Honestly, my compadre is someone who will probably never leave me short of stories to tell. Between her being a weightlifter with a philosophy degree…

coleen lifting

…being always willing to drink beer with me and get photobombed by a neon sign…


…and always reminding me to calm down and not worry so much…

coleen in the sun

…I don’t think I’ll run out of material any time soon.

happy things in 2013

2 Jan

Yesterday, a childhood friend posted on Facebook something that I thought would be a good thing for me to try as well. The idea is to write on little pieces of paper good things that happen throughout the year—big, small, life-changing, simple, anything—and collect them all in one place. My friend chose a jar for hers but said that she might tape them all in a notebook instead. I found a pretty green vase from a thrift store (they are all over the place in Denver and I love it) and have decided to use that.

happy things vase

I love my new home in Colorado, but I still feel as though I’m in a transitional period and that can be hard. I’m hoping that this little project will offset that a little bit. I hope that I’ll remember to contribute to my vase often, and that it will help me to be thankful for all of the good things that happen this year, no matter how insignificant they seem. So far I’ve added little things like this…

happy things notes

…but by the end of the year, I’m sure some more memorable events will be in there as well. Like finally renewing my passport and getting married. It will be fun to go through all my notes at the beginning of 2014 and reread a whole lot of positivity.

Do you have any plans to record good times in the new year?

first tea of the year

1 Jan


Nathan and I were running an errand today when we realized that we were more than halfway to Boulder, so we made an impromptu trip to an amazing tea house there. Our friend Greg introduced it to us when we went to visit him a few weeks ago, and I don’t think I’d ever get tired of it. The building itself is absolutely gorgeous and was apparently imported piece by piece from Tajikistan, and they have an interesting East-meets-West menu, but today we went for the tea.

Their tea list is several pages long, and a lot of the varieties are oriental. Nathan and I bonded over tea when we first met, so it’s special to us. Not to mention that it’s just generally delicious. Today we enjoyed some oolong and pu-erh. Our teapots each came with a lotus flower dish so that we could set aside our tea leaves once they had finished steeping, and our waiter even brought us a tea timer and told us how long we needed to steep our tea (three minutes, or the entire length of the timer—good to know).

It was a perfect way to have tea, and a great way to spend a little bit of the first day of a new year. Happy 2013!

How did you spend your first day of the new year?