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Monday, October 18, 2010

I'm leavin, on a jet plane...

Yet another business trip. This time just a light, no pressure week of meetings and training in Bloomington. Decided to take the opportunity to drag Angelle to the Midwest and see the country mouse half upraising of our country mouse/city mouse relationship. Figured it was only fair. :)

Landed in Chicago Friday, and spent entirely too little time there exploring. Having spent 20 years in the area, the more I'm in Chicago now as an adult, the more I regret not spending more time in the city when I was younger. It's one of the few places east of Denver I'd consider moving to now, however. Really want to take a long weekend and dedicate it to Chicago sometime soon, just grab a Cubs game, and show Angelle some of the other parts of Chicago that are a bit more representative of the city instead of Michigan Ave's Bentley dealerships and poodles.

Headed out of town early to beat traffic. Then it was a quickie tour of Paxton (like there's any other type, again I wish we had more time to poke our heads into a couple stores or something so she could have gotten a better feel for the town), and over to meet Grandma. Grandma gave us some room (and her house), and headed back to Champaign, we freshened up a bit and followed suit. Quickie tour of downtown Champaign and UIUC campus, and then eventually caught up with the remainder of the Paxton crew I still regularly talk to. Had a great time catching up, and some great beers. Headed back to Paxton to crash for the night, and decided to pull off and show her Bridge Out and take in the clear night skies that we can normally only see out in the mountains. It seemed to be the whole theme of the trip for me, I kept wanting to cram as much as possible representing so much of what I grew up with and experienced into 2 days time.

Anyway, after being up for 20-something hours, we got a few hours of sleep, then had to wake up early and drive out into the middle of nowhere (Saybrook) to meet grandma/mom/aunt betty. Visited with them for a couple hours, hung out with the wild turkeys/cats/chickens/fat pugs, and set off for St. Louis.

Leaving from the middle of nowhere totally screwed up my driving plans, but it was sort of fun to roll through the middle of nowhere, IL (ie. Bellflower/FarmerCity/etc) on the way south.

Finally made it into the greater St. Louis area (Collinsville), and grabbed a hotel and refreshed a bit again before heading over to CWE to meet the Lammles, which was awesome to see Robdrea and Harper, who I hadn't seen since she was a baby. Had a great time visiting, then it was back across the river to meet up with Lowns and Helen in Cville, and see my old bartenders. Yet another long night, then exhaustedly back to the strange bed and crashed out.

Sunday was 'meander around STL' day, with stops at Sculpture Park, City Museum, the Riverfront, and the Arch. I'd sort of planned a bit more time in STL than Chicago just because I'd lived there fairly recently and knew where pretty much everything was, but even I was at a loss for what else to do in the City that wouldn't eat up a whole day (like the zoo or something). Wish I coulda flipped Chi and STL around, but oh well. Another meal, watched the end of some football, then it was a bit of driving around, (which there was a lot of), then up to the airport to see her off on her way back to Denver to work today.

So, the trip looked like this:

Then today was working in the St. Louis office, and then another 200 mile drive back up to Bloomington, where I'll work (and eat) the rest of the week, then back up to Midway Friday, and back to Denver, which feels more like home now than ever.

There was a lot of nervousness and such around the trip, on both sides. There were a bunch of moments I felt like I'd built things up to much and was just letting her down left and right. I was worried myself about a couple of the meetings, but I think things went at least as well as they could have, and in a few instances, really a lot better. Hopefully next time we're in town it's a bit more laid back.

It's weird, too. She's barely been gone 24 hours, and in that time I slept, was at work, and drove. And I miss the hell out of her. I remember a time in my life when I actually looked forward to business trips to get away from things. Now, I'm looking back and actually happy that I didn't get the job that would have put me on the road 15+ weeks a year. Funny how things change when your perspective changes. I can't wait to get back home, so much to look forward to the last 10 weeks of the year.

Monday, September 20, 2010

I should blog.

Hey, only 4 months between postings this time. :) I'm getting better.

Oh, let's see, what's new... Oh, there was that whole eloping in Vegas thing. :P Incredible whirlwind trip, and an amazing adventure with my partner-in-crime-for-life. Not a bad experience for my first time in Vegas, and not really sure how I'm gonna top that. It'll take more than a Carrot Top show, that's for damn sure.

There was a short stint of job-hunting, which culminating in me spending about 5 weeks and almost as many interviews with a company for a job that would have been an amazing experience, but probably too much travel. I was pissed that I didn't give the job (once I heard the reason), but in retrospect it was probably for the best. The travel, despite the amazing locations and frequent flier miles, would have gotten to me and affected the home life eventually. Decided to stay put for a bit, work on finally getting this effing certification I've been putting off forever, and then set the goals for points west eventually.

There was a slew of short and sweet getaways, just completely random adventures, up in the mountains mostly, but even around town. Great shows taken in, bitchin' rafting, plenty of street festivals, and just one helluva summer overall.

I broke down and joined a gym, which is something I was always against for some reason. It's much easier and enjoyable when you have a workout buddy, and it's easier when that workout buddy is a live-in. There's that mutual motivation, and that's awesome. As much as I love biking, it's hard to do here in Denver with the schizoid weather, which has been trending towards 'constantly hot as hell' mostly as of late.

My oddball side project, has actually taken off to some level out of nowhere and turned into almost a job, complete with income that's just past the 'beer money' level, which I'm good with.

We signed a lease on "our" place today. It's a change of venue (about 10 miles south) and a change of scenery (mountain views, what?), and a change of life. It's a big deal, and a fresh start for us both, literally and figuratively. I can't wait.

It's also our 1 year "first date" anniversary. I've said it a million times, but it's amazing what can happen in a year. We had a short discussion on the way back from the lease signing about where we'd look to live next year if the rent went up, and decided there were entirely too many things that could happen between now and then that we could plan something so far out. :)

Life, she's good.

Friday, May 14, 2010

You don't call, you don't write...

Yeah. So, been over 5 months since my last post. I suck at blogging. I'm actually convinced that all blogs eventually turn into a diatribe about how the blogger sucks at posting. Sorta like this.

But, I digress.

How's about an update? Sweet, cuz I'm doing that anyway.

Life, as the kids say, is... well, it's fucking awesome. \oo/

In terms of personal goals, I'm finally out of the "200 Club" again, have been for a month or two. Last weigh in was 194, and that's been with me being fiendishly off the workout/diet wagon, which I will reprimand once the weather and travel schedule allows. It feels awesome, I haven't been here since 2000 or so, ironically enough, the last time I lived in Denver (see the post below about that whole trifecta effect).

Also been almost 7 months since I quit smoking. I think I've cheated a grand total of twice, and neither time was a full cig, just a couple puffs, and I immediately regretted it.

I've taken my life-long lack of any sort of spirituality and/or base stated philosophy and thrown it out the window. I own a couple distinctly different translations of the Tao Te Ching, and while I'm still working on the other volume, my first run through really opened my eyes. Taoism really speaks to me on a lot of levels, and is really how I've -wanted- to live my life this whole time, and I think I have to a degree, but no I'm really more inpspired than ever to actually work on practicing what I think and read. This goes hand-in-hand with my whole exploration of Translucency. Both are really more philosophies and spiritual paths than 'religions', per say, and that's really the big draw for me.

So those are my biggies...

Oh. Wait.

Yah, I'm engaged. :)

I asked Angelle to move in with me... well, I bugged her about it incessantly for probably 2 months while she was trying to find some place to stay after her lease was up in January. The original intent was for her to move in until she was done with school, and then we'd take it from there. I think I re-asked her to move in with (on a permanent basis, after she'd already moved in of course) a month later.

It's impossible to describe, but it was right. Everything, since the first time I talked to her, to our first date has just been 'right'; natural, easy, and fulfilling. That sounds like a beer ad. But it's applicable here, too. Even after knowing her a month, I was losing sleep about the prospect of her possibly moving back west. I can't explain why either, there was just -something- that I really wanted to work to preserve, and I didn't want to miss out on an opportunity to have this amazing person in my life, no matter what capacity. There literally hasn't been a day since we first met, where we haven't talked on the phone, in person, texted, or IM'd. And it's been amazing. Even in the midst of the day-to-day routine, I still get a shit-eatin grin on my face when I see the phone light up with her face or a message from her. She's an amazing woman, and really makes me happier than I've ever been.

I asked her to marry me a little over a month ago. Again, very, very hard to explain, but I just had spent the weeks prior just going nuts. I knew it was something I wanted, I knew it was absolutely, completely beyond right, and for a while before I popped the question, my heart would literally ache sometimes when I was around her. Partially in nervousness, partially in anticipation. It was completely nervewracking, and while I still think I was a complete and utter doofus for my initial delivery and approach, she didn't seem to care, or even mind the $8 placeholder (which has been since properly corrected, don't worry). Of course, that's part of her charm; her roll-with-the punches, low maintenance attitude, and chilled out approach to life.

I think I've done a total of 3 proposals now, she keeps saying yes, so I'm pretty sure I'm in. :P

It's fun to say, but if you would have asked me x months ago if I would be in this position, I would have told you it was the farthest thing from my mind. Hell, I think Angelle and I had a discussion encompassing as much on our first date. But, here we are, and I wouldn't have it any other way.

And while I'm excited for her in her career and spiritual growth, and her being on the cusp of great things as an individual, I'm thrilled for the both of us, and myself. The future, as Tom Petty says, is wide open. Life, while still being life with it's ups and downs, is amazing. And all the more amazing knowing you have someone to share that with.

So yah..there's my semi-annual update. :P Heading to San Diego next week to meet her friends and fam, and excited/nervous/excited. Should be awesome.