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Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Ooops I Did It Again.

I played with your heart. Something something the game?

It's been brought to my attention that I failed pretty hard on my previous goal/challenge (brought forth by yours truly, in the post below).


To be fair (or to present an excuse), the last few months have been nutso-insane-hectic to say the very least. Planning a wedding 1,200 miles away is not something I recommend for people who like to live low-stress lives. Regardless, thanks to the help of a lot of awesome people (many of which I didn't even meet until the days before the event) things went of (mostly) hitchless, that is to say, without a hitch. Which is a weird phrase. But I digress.

We'd decided to build a lot of extra time into the trip out for the wedding to make a vacation of it, nearly 2 weeks long in all (including drive time). We should have done three. Or four. Everything went by insanely fast, and all of those details and things that weren't really hammered out solidly beforehand were things that just ate up most of our trip. Juggling families, coordinating people, making trips to the airport, etc, etc. I think I spent more time in the fine malls of San Diego during those two weeks than I have in any city in the country over the past 8 months. Gifts, this, that, the other. On the plus side, San Diego has some nice malls.

But let's back up a bit. This was Angelle and mine's first 'real' road trip (to say, more than a couple hours in the car together), and as such, we both wanted everything to go awesome. She was a trooper and a half, putting up with my travel insanity, where I generally worry about every detail of everything, and drive everyone around me completely insane in the process. She even packed for me, which led her to forget to pack socks and some other items for herself. That's love. Sockless, awesome love. (I bought her socks when we got there because I felt bad).

Anyway, on the way out we decided to trek straight west on I70 through the mountains, over to I15 through Vegas, and down the 805 to San Diego. To be brief, the Rockies were incredible, (I'd never been west of Vail), Utah was so much more amazing than I expected, and Nevada is flat and hot. Both riddled with excitement, we rocked out the 1,150 mile trip in 18 hours on the way out, which included stopping an hour for dinner at some awesome diner in BFE Utah, and stopping what seemed like every 5 feet at scenic lookouts in Utah to photograph the scenery.

Once there, it felt like absolute pure chaos for 3 days while I met parts of the family I'd never met before, and we got settled into a grove. Being a holiday weekend, we physically couldn't even make it to the beach (due to lack of parking) for those first 3 days. And when we finally did, we had to walk about a mile to the sand, but it was totally worth it. Watching the sun set over the Pacific with the one I love was one of those watershed moments where everything, the stress, the anxiety, all just literally floated away. We wandered up and down the beach for a couple hours, and headed back out to her grandparents completely refreshed. And sandy.

Then, it was back to the rat race. Family functions, more shopping, airport runs, interviews, etc, etc. We made a point to set aside 'us' time when we could, even if it was just her showing me some awesome burrito stand in town. Those were the moments that made everything else not an issue.

Worlds finally collided Friday night at her grandparents house. My friends, mom, and her family and friends. While we were both worried, everything went pretty much flawless. Much awesome food was had, much mingling was done, and much beer was drank, which in book, makes for awesome.

Saturday, of course was the big day. Despite all the planning and rehearsing, I felt like things were still in a mild state of disarray for some reason, but I think I was just over-thinking things. All the stuff showed up at the site on time, people were mostly courteous to the parking and permit situation, and despite a traffic jam, the bride showed up on time. We even started early, and it seemed like from that moment on the rest of the day was stuck in turbo mode. The ceremony, which lasted 15-20 minutes, seemed to last 5. An hour or so of pictures afterwards seemed to take 10 minutes. The 30 minute drive to the reception hall seemed like nothing. The reception itself, seemed like it maybe lasted for 20 minutes instead of nearly 4 hours. I didn't feel like I even had time to have a drink, between dancing, and meeting people still, and making sure everything was going smoothly and everyone was having a good time. But they were, and it did. Everything came out perfect.

Her grandparents were awesome enough to get us a room at the Westin downtown for the final days of the trip, and that was the single biggest godsend of the whole thing. Having our own space was huge, not having to be on any sort of itinerary after the wedding was the most relaxing thing on the face of the earth. More beach time ensued, breakfast in bed happened, awesome dinners were had, and much chilling was done. The 12-day-long venture seemed like 2 days prior (it was like a week) and then an actual 3 days afterwards. And that made it all worth it.

The final day of our stay in SD, we made our way back to her grandparent's house, crammed all of our new worldly couple belongings in the back of the Subaru, and hit the road east, this time opting to take I8 through Yuma, Phoenix, Albuquerque, and up through the middle of Colorado.

The desert is fucking hot, and fucking flat. That's what I learned on the way back. And the middle of New Mexico has hotels that are fully booked on a Tuesday night for ABSOLUTELY NO GOOD REASON. We were both beat after the week+ we'd had, so about 9 hours into things, we decided to cut the trip in half at Gallup, NM around Midnight, eventually finding one single room left available in Red Roof Inn, that was... well, it was a shit hole. I'm surprised we didn't catch any communicable diseases from the bed, to be honest.

The remainder of the trip was low-drama, until we got to the last 5 miles of the trip, ready to be home, both having to pee like madmen, when we got stuck in one of the most torrential downpours I've ever had the pleasure of being dumped on by.

Spoiler: we didn't pee our pants.

So here we are, back amongst the Rockies, starting our life together in earnest. 2 weeks later, everything's finally unpacked, new wedding gifts are in place and being used (thanks everyone!), and we're planning our next move. More on that once we figure out what that move actually ends up being. The future is unknown, and I couldn't be happier about it, because I have the one thing with me that I really need: the love of my life.

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Short and sweet

Maybe. I'm giving blogging another shot again by popular request. :P Fact of the matter is, between Twitter, Facebook, and whatever message boards, I just type too much during the day as it is, and I never feel like the 'long-form' babble fest really is needed. Maybe it really is, in spite of all of that other quipping and 140-character-limited thought sharing though.

It's completely possible that I've mentally regressed into some ADD-riddled state of mind, where I have a thought, spit it out, and move on. There's never really much in terms of thinking things through, expanding on that thought, or god forbid, branching out into another, somewhat related, but possibly not, thought process altogether. And that's really double-sided, which you've probably seen on here before, where I go off on ridiculous, rambling, pointless tangents for paragraphs on end.

But, on the other-other side, who's to say that's necessarily a bad thing either? It's an odd catch-22, but just as an experiment, and to provide for my fans, I'll give blogging a solid shot again. It may work out well anyway, as there's things I can't really get into on Twitter/Facebook due to exposure to certain elements.

So, the goal/challenge... Blog more. I'll set an arbitrary goal of AT LEAST one entry a week for the month of June. That's fair and obtainable, I think.

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.


Sunday, December 27, 2009

"Nothing is permanent except change"

Yep, sorry. Still a few days left in 2009, which has been officially dubbed 'The Rollercoaster Year' by the Naming of Years committee (me).

With that in mind, I have to get some more poignancy and reflection in still. So, apologies.


I was dead-set on getting the title of this post tattooed on my arm, even as recently as a few weeks ago. I changed my mind, though, and I'm glad I did. While I think the quote rings completely true on so many levels, I think it's a tad dark, and doesn't really reflect my outlook on life. Yes, change is inevitable. If you don't accept that change, you're destined to be miserable. Change MUST be embraced, because, while it's important to lay claim to, and nudge your own direction in life, it's not all in your hands. There will always be external influences to your path. Some for the better, some for the worse.

In short, shit happens. But conversely, awesome also happens.

And as long as you're a human, a social creature existing on this earth with other humans, and interacting with the world around you, you leave yourself subject to those happenings, for better or worse.

You form friendships and relationships with other humans also existing on this rock. And those invariably end. Be it through a natural occurrence, an external influence, or your own choosing, it's bound to happen sooner or later. And depending on the situation, those endings are either going to be a source of devastation, elation, something in the middle, or even a combination sometimes. But no matter what, after the dust settles, you have the opportunity to rebuild; rebuild yourself, help rebuild those around you.

And that's the beauty of it. If we want to stay on the construction metaphor for a minute, you learn from your engineering mistakes. You know what worked, and what didn't, so you can rebuild stronger the next time around. If you help someone rebuild, you can offer input to help them rebuild stronger as well. And even if you're unable to help in the rebuilding process, at least you can help with cleaning up the mess left behind from a sudden demolition.

While the first half of 2009, was, for the most part, completely uneventful, the 2nd half was insane, especially in comparison. And not just for myself, either. Being helped by those close to me was amazing. Being able to help those close to me... Also amazing. Allowing new people into my life, who I was able to help, some just a tiny bit, some more than that, and who also helped me... Amazing as well.

It's a continual journey, and if you're aware that it's actually happening, it's all the more rewarding. And knowing that this is all so fragile and fluid, really allows you appreciate those moments even more. So I guess if I take nothing else out of the year of 2009, it's to be aware, to allow and to act. The 3 A's, I guess.

As far as 2010, I don't know I've ever looked forward to a New Year as much as this one. Sure, I have my material goals. Get a couple certifications. Lose that last 8 pounds I wanted to get rid of before the end of the year. Keep working out. Keep on track with the non-smoking (2 months now). Work on rebuilding my credit which took some pretty massive dings between the move and the divorce.

Beyond that though, I want nothing more than to move forward with my new knowledge, my new outlook, the new people in my life, and actually experience a full New Year.

Friday, December 04, 2009

Dive! Dive!

206.6 this morning. Apparently not working out as much and just eating less is a good plan for weight loss, who know?