Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Anthro giveaway

My poor dog was sick yesterday... or should I say my poor husband, since he was home first and so had to deal with the MESS.

So we were lazy last night and I don't have any of the pictures downloaded. Instead I am posting a link to a giveaway, for $50 to Anthropologie... very helpful for the upcoming Christmas season.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

StrungOut

Blogging to you from a concert in downtown Denver. A favorite band from my husband's youth, Strung Out, is playing tonight. If you know me, you know tiey are not my favorite. So I am being that person, the girl on her phone. But I am in the back, and it is only the opening act.

Don't get me wrong, I love punk, but not this genre. Too poppy, but hey, too each his own. I owe this Rob, as we've blown them off every time they've been in town for the past 5 years.

We did some cool stuff this weekend, so I will be back wirh pictures soon.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Featured on Sometimes Sweet

If you are interested on our (Rob and me) take on tattoos, head over this way.

One Night Stand Car Show

This took place in August (8/21/10, to be exact)... So I'm only a month late in posting these. This took place in Santa Nella, CA and we were able to attend with our friends, the Garcias, when we were on vacation out there. I took so many pictures, there is no way I can share them all. I love hot rods and in Denver there certainly is a vibrant scene, but we still tend to see the same cars over and over again. It was really nice to see some new cars. I did recognize a few from Viva Las Vegas and magazines, but most were brand new to my eyes!

My gorgeous friend Ellen (can you believe she is a mom x3?)did my hair, which is why it looks so nice!

Week in Pictures

It's been a good week for the most part. I'm feeling a bit under the weather, but I've managed to get out despite that. Saturday Rob and I had breakfast at the Coral Room* and just hung out. On Sunday we stopped by a little Road Devil's show at a bowling alley. Last night we went to our good friends' wedding (after 7 years and 2 kids, it was much anticipated). And today, we went for breakfast at Snooze* and are back to lounging. Here is the photo evidence.**

*Coral Room and Snooze are both awesome restaurants that focus on local, organic, quality ingredients and are veggie-friendly. I highly recommend both if you are ever in the Denver area.

** Yeah, some of the photos are repeated. Because I am too lazy to go back and fix it.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Mobile blogging

Car shows and weddings and blog features, oh my. Luckily I have tomorrow off, so I can write more.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Giveaway at Va-Voom Vintage

Femme Fatale themed giveaway at Va-Voom Vintage. Check it out!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Rock Around The Park

We are getting our plans in place to go to the third annual Rock Around The Park in November. Basically it's a "rockabilly day" at Disneyland. We went last year and had a blast and we can't wait to go again. I know that it is not for everyone, but we love Disneyland... It's good, clean, retro fun at it's finest, and even better when there are car shows and concerts to compliment the park!
It happens in Mid-November, which is great timing. The weather is perfect (well, it was last year- neither too warm nor too cold) and it is before the holiday rush hits (meaning hardly any long lines!). Not to mention that RATP is the first weekend that Disneyland is transformed for Christmas. That means the Huanted Mansion become Nightmare Before Christmas, Sleeping Beauty's Castle is covered in "snow," and there are a million other adorable details as well.
Last year it was just Tob and me (and some friends we met up with), but this year my parents and siblings will be joining us. Not that they are into the rockabilly aspect, but they have been looking forward to going to Disneyland as a family for the first time in nearly 10 years (I was 16, and my little brother was only 6! I can hardly wait! Hopefully Rob and I will have a chance to steal away for some beach time as well.


Dogs are like kids*

*Not really, and we know that, but Rob made the observation that we may be getting a little preview of what's to come...

1. We trip over toys in every room.
2. We are constantly covered in body fluids that aren't our own (we have droolers that happen to be kissers)
3. We are constantly yelling phrases such as "don't lick that," "in or out," and "don't put you foot in your ear."

Friday, September 10, 2010

That Uneasy Feeling

Do you ever think of something, only to forget your thought mere seconds later? And it leaves you with this highly uncomfortable feeling? Yeah, I have that going on right now.

I hate this uneasy feeling. I try to write thoughts down as soon as they come to me so that I can avoid that whole senario. I have enough anxiety for cause, I certainly don't need anxiety over something that probably isn't even an issue.

Pumpkin Spice Lattes and Mike Ness

I had my first Pumpkin Spice Latte of the season this morning! I love this time of year! Fall was always my favorite season, even in California where it is a much more subtle transition. But in Colorado, you can defintely tell there is a change in the air. Still really hot at times, but with a cold breeze here and there. And the sun is definitely shifting positions.


So here is my list of things to do this fall:


1. Drink tons of pumpkin spice items.

2. Really start crafting and sewing.

3. Take the dogs on evening walks.

4. Go to a haunted house.

5. Go to the mountains to see the Aspens change color.

Also, we are going to see our favorite band, Social Distortion, again in October. We saw them last month so I thought I would post a few (unedited) pictures. It was a great show at small venue in Boulder, The Boulder Theater. It's a neat little place, very art-deco. In October we will be seeing them the Fillmore in Denver, which is much larger.













Wednesday, September 8, 2010

What Sarah Said

And the happy posts continue...

Assisted living facilities also reek of piss and 409. But it is absolutely true, love is watching someone die. And that is true at 25 or 75.

My grandfather





My grandfather has Alzheimer's, and it is every bit and awful as it looks in the movies. Worse, actually. My grandfather was a smart guy. He was an engineer, had a master's from an ivy league school, and was a member of MENSA. And now he walks around a large room filled with other lost people, never really sure where he needs to go, but with an urgency that he must go now. My grandfather, who was quick to correct even the most minor mistake relating to the English language and who could speak Japanese, a fair amount of German, and even a bit of Old English, well now he can't even remember the word "sandwich."


We went to see him in his new home when we were in California a few weeks ago. My grandmother was caring for him at home until last December, when it all got to be too much. Too much watching him, cajoling him, arguing with him. Instead of taking care of her husband of 52 years, now she sits at home and cries. And he stays in his new home and wanders from corner to corner of the locked facility.

He and I were always close. When he was a father, my understanding is that he was never terribly hands-on, fulfilling the stereotype of the typical man of his time. He showed his love by going to work at a job that was stable but boring, and by taking his children on the requisite road trips. But when I was born, things were a little different. He changed my diapers. He took me on all his errands. He let me get away with things his children never would have. Even compared to the other grandchildren who followed me, I was always able to get away with more. Maybe it's because he felt protective of me due to some things that happened when I was born. Maybe it's because he and I are so alike and he knew it (I am so the nerd of the family). I don't know why exactly, but our connection was special.


When it hit me that he was indeed going to succumb to the awful reality that Alzheimer's is, I decided to write a letter telling him exactly what he meant to me and why. He framed that letter, and showed it to everyone everywhere he went. That letter lived in his office for the last few years. Now it is with him at his new home, along with a picture of him and grandmother, a few pictures from his 50th college reunion, and a picture of him, my grandmother, and me at my wedding.



Given that history, it's no surprise that everyone thought certainly I would the one face he would remember this time. But he didn't. My grandmother had me come close to him and she softly said, "Bill, remember? This is Nicole, this is your little girl." He gave me a polite but blank nod and an uncomfortable laugh, and I backed away. Those words struck me to my core. My mother is his only daughter, and they had given up the idea that he would remember her. He did remember one of his son's name, calling out "Frank!" but then, nothing. Yet there still was hope that he would remember me. There was a large group of us there that day (My grandmother, my parents, my siblings, my sister's boyfriend, my husband, one of my uncles, and three of my cousins), and everyone had tight mouths and wet eyes.


We stayed while my grandmother fed him his dinner, as she likes to do every day. The visit went on without incident. Well, aside from the confrontation from the resident bully and my uncle. It went something like this:

Bully to my grandfather: "You! Don't go there!"

My grandfather was looking out a window.

Uncle John to bully: "You better watch yourself."

Bully: "I do all the watching around here."


My uncle is not in the habit of yelling at the elderly but apparently this particular gentleman has taken a (vocal) dislike to my grandfather and nothing has been done to stop it so far. It was funny in a black humor kind of way.

I guess life goes on. But it is not easy to have to watch this happen to my grandparents, to my mom and her brothers. We were sitting with my grandmother a few days later and she asked Rob what the tattoo on his chest said. He responded, "I'm gonna live before I die."* My grandmother sucked in her breath sharply and was silent for a few minutes. I thought it was because she didn't care for tattoos but I proceeded to ask her what was wrong anyway. Her eyes watered and she simply said, "We were so young just a minute ago." I knew she got it. And I know that I get it now more than ever.


*Totally lyrics from a Social Distortion song.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Random Act of Kindness





Today Rob and I had a mini-picnic in a little mining town near Denver (Idaho Springs). We stopped at a park to eat and I immediately noticed an elderly man lying down in the grass. It was pretty windy and chilly, so I was a little concerned. I couldn't tell if he was homeless (I doubted it because he didn't seem to have any possessions with him), but it was clear that whatever the case, he was not in good condition. Given my overly empathetic nature, I kept my eye on him. I didn't approach him because he looked like he was sleeping, and besides, I wasn't sure what I would have said to him.

So we sat down and started eating. Out of the corner of my eye I noticed another picnicker approach the man. She checked to see if he was breathing, and then walked back to her husband and must have said something because immediately her husband went to his car and brought back a sleeping bag. The woman brought the bag over to the sleeping man, and began to put it around him. She helped him up so that she could place the bag under him, and then she began to rub his back and speak to him softly. I couldn't help but watch in awe and think that I was witnessing something amazing.

It brought a tear to my eye. That is how I want to live my life; to help others without the fear that so often paralyzes me. I've always dreamed of working with the homeless and the lonely. I've always been drawn to under-served populations and yet something has always held me back from actually acting on my feelings. But that woman's random act of kindness triggered something in me. Maybe it wasn't as big of a deal as I thought, but it really touched me and I am really glad I got to see that.

Time for a detox

I'm way overwhelmed these days. Actually, I believe the clinical term is burnt out. Rob and I really taking a long hard look at where our life is right now, and where we want it to be. So I've been a bad blogger. Especially bad considering how new to the game I am. Oh well, I can only try to do better in the future.

On a random note, Rob and I have started trying to do a nutritional detox once a month, partially to help with our overwhelmed-ness. We feel over-stimulated by chemicals, our jobs, the media, everything. Cutting out certain foods and focusing on clean livin' a few days a month really helps us to feel in control of our bodies.

We try to stay healthy. We only buy meat every 4-6 weeks, and only grass-fed/free range. We eat conventional meat when we are out or with family to avoid alienating anyone, but we really try to to keep about 70% of our diet vegetarian, especially at home. We both enjoy a nice steak, but don't feel meat needs to be present at every meal (protein, yes). When we do our mini detox, we not only avoid meat, but also sugar, dairy, caffeine, and alcohol, and try to eat liver-healthy foods. We plan this well ahead of time so we are sure to still get all of our nutrients, and we usually do this between 3 days and a week at time.

Maybe it's only the placebo effect, but I really do feel much better by the end of it. Of course it is really hard for us to avoid coffee, beer, and chocolate, but for some reason, we still look forward to it!

Friday, September 3, 2010

Boring Dogs

Rob (as we were driving to work this morning): "Do you ever see someone else's dog and think how boring the dogs seems? I mean, what would they* have to talk about..."

*He was totally referring to the dog and the owner conversing.

*Because obviously, our dogs are conversational geniuses. Especially the little one. I cannot get her to shut up!