they pay to kiss your feet

since there's no one else around, we let our hair grow long and forget all we used to know. then our skin gets thicker from living out in the snow.

Monday, October 31, 2005

Upon hearing the news that Mizzou lost, Gus drowned his sorrows in blueberry yogurt.

Friday, October 28, 2005

On brad, border wars and being a tiger.

On Saturday, Brad Smith will either lead the Missouri Tigers to a much-needed, soul gratifying victory over the Kansas Jayhawks or, he won't. For the sake of my marriage, I hope Brad shows up and takes Lawrence by storm. Really. Because, although I'd like Mizzou to win especially so that I can rub it in the face of my KU cohorts, I also want to have a nice evening Saturday night. And, I know that if we lose, Nick will be so heated and ticked that I won't want to touch him with a 10-foot poll and so, I won't. He's really trying to not let Mizzou football dictate his state-of-mind, but if you ask me, he's not doing a great job at it. Last weekend, was a great weekend. Why? We beat the pants off of Nebraska. The Iowa State weekend was another story. Yes, we won, but we weren't winning when Nick decided to turn off the radio and to go shopping. The entire time we were shuffling through dress shirts and suit coats and picking out a nice honey goat cheese from The Better Cheddar, he was trying to remain calm and collected, but I just knew something was bothering him. He thought MU lost the game. He was angry. But when we pulled back into our driveway and our neighbor came up to us with his headphones on saying, "Man, what a game!!!" And we were like, "Yeah, we lost." And then he was like, "No, you guys came back, they put the freshman in and you came back." It was like immediately, Nick was a new man, his face was glowing, his eyes were shining and he spent the next few hours watching highlights, talking to friends about the game and talking on tigerboard (for those of you who don't know, it's the message board for MU fans.)

I can't blame him really, being a Tiger is hard. The beginning of a new season always offers hope. We always say, "We're going to be really good this year, I can just feel it." And then, we either are or we are not. Usually, we are not.

Saturday, we face the ultimate ego test, the border war. Some time in the 1800s, the Border War was really all about whether Kansas would be admitted as a free or slave state, which by law would be up to the citizens who lived there. Lawrence was one of the first communities to be established and soon became a symbol of the abolitionist movement. But then, Quantrill, a guerrilla Confederate leader from Missouri, led about 500 men over the border to sack Lawrence. Their mission? To "Kill every man, and burn every house." Not sure if they killed every man, but they massacred 185 men and boys and burned most of the buildings on Massachusetts Street as well as many of the homes in town. And then, they returned to Missouri.

Today, the Border War lives on in spirit. If Kansas wins, the celebration will continue at Free State Brewery, name not ironic, I'm sure. If Missouri wins, Brad Smith will be B-RAD, I will have a good Saturday night and Missouri fans everywhere (me included) will have a something to fill the void that lives in our souls caused by the times when, in the past, Missouri football has let us down - at least until November 5 when we play Colorado.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Notes to self - Volume Two.

Buying that really big bag of Frito’s scoops to accompany a hearty bowl of chili is a good idea in theory, but when you end up eating more scoops than chili, which results in feeling like a bucket of grease, it’s not such a hot idea anymore.

If you go into the office bathroom with an upset stomach hoping to be the only one in there and then see an old lady asleep on the couch in the lounge area, it is probably not normal to say, “Oh, my gosh, I’m so sorry,” and then to run at full speed out of the bathroom while she chases you saying, “Miss, miss, it’s okay, you can use this bathroom, come back.”

When shopping for ski apparel at Dick’s Sporting Goods, always knock on the dressing room door before barging in on a man changing his pants and saying, “Oh, my!” But if that unfortunate event does happen, act like a woman instead of slamming the door and running to the other side of the store to try on really cute, flared leg ski pants.

When playing with Gus right after he gets out of his kennel, never get down on all fours with your face anywhere near his because your eyes become treats and Gus becomes leaping frog dog on a mission to single-handedly consume your entire face.

Quick Trip coffee is worth an extra stop on the way to work most days. But on days when you’re feeling not quite like yourself, it’s probably not smart to enter into the high-paced speed world of the quickest convenience store around. Pouring your coffee is just the first obstacle. You must then avoid really angry push broom girl coming straight for you with a pile of dust and lids and then, once you’ve successfully dodged that bullet with coffee still in hand, you have to conquer the coffee set down so that you can get a lid. This is the hardest part apparently — don’t be fooled and whatever you do, don’t squeeze the cup at all. Steaming hot, foaming Quick Trip cappuccino burns badly and a day later, the blister is still ugly and painful and really, the coffee is so not worth that.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Why I loathe the treadmill

It’s getting colder, and I’ve been turning to the gym treadmill for my daily runs. It would make sense if these two facts were correlated, but they’re not. It may be colder, but that wouldn’t keep me from my outside long runs. Because on a treadmill, shin splints come with the territory, as does the mirrored wall that some gym genius decided would be a good idea. But seriously, I don’t care how beautiful, muscular or tan you are, no one looks great while running — especially not this girl. By about mile 5, my bangs are plastered to my forehead and my face is a shade of red that, until having to run before a mirror, I’d never seen. So, all red-faced, sweaty and sporting my lovely forehead vein that only pops out after strenuous activity, I am forced to look at the mirror and at my reflection because the only other option is looking at other people, which may be considered creepy or watching a tiny television screen playing some random episode of The Surreal Life. So, I look ahead, but as my feet are pounding the rubber conveyer, I picture myself running beneath a sky wearing its finest blue jacket and next to bushes that set yards on hot pink fire and down streets that lead to hills and valleys and past houses that look perfect in the autumn light. And I hope that one day soon they catch the jerk that stole my hobby. At 2 p.m. a few weeks ago on a Tuesday, a girl running through my neighborhood was attacked. She screamed after he grabbed her mouth and her crotch. He freaked out and ran away — a single act that has every other woman in my neighborhood running to the gym and settling for the treadmill.

Saturday, October 22, 2005

It is cold, so I shall serve chili

About a year ago, doing the cold-thwarting exercise I konw how to do best - serving chili made from a bag while dressed in my Mizzou hooded sweatshirt to my Nick whilst Gus, I'm sure, begged from the corner.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Without Gus, what joy would I know?

Sarcastic title, yes, but without my little Gussy, I wouldn’t know that at 3:30 a.m., the moon is positioned just perfectly above the house to reflect its splendor off the white flagstones in our patio. I also wouldn’t know that at 3:30 a.m., dogs prefer to urinate right next to the house on the glowing-in-the-moonlight patio instead of in the slightly moist grass. I wouldn’t know that I have the capability to actually appreciate any of God’s creation in the middle of the night and that I would actually consider getting the camera to take a picture of it. I didn’t get the camera, but just the fact that I thought of it is startling. I wouldn’t know that after being interrupted from the most wonderful dream, I have the ability to talk baby talk to Gus to get him to come back to bed, bribing him with words like “Come on Gussy Wussy, come back to bed with Mommy, aren’t you sleepy baby?” I also wouldn’t know that I can become a complete dog-serving idiot when I really shouldn’t care if Gus comes back to bed or not. And since when is Gus a “sleepy baby?” He’s a dog, which I think I sometimes forget especially at 3:30 in the morning when all I want is for him to snuggle up next to me and for his head to be in a perfect position so that he isn’t snoring, but that I can still hear him breathing and he also needs to have his tail curled in a way that it is not in my face or hitting my arm.

Monday, October 17, 2005

For my grandparents on their 50th wedding anniversary.

I used to wonder who I looked like. I also wondered things like what types of diseases might run in my family and if I was going to age gracefully. I’d pass someone on the street, someone who looked a little bit like I did, and I’d pretend we were cousins. I’d pick out grandparent-aged couples and think maybe, just maybe, those were my grandparent — my flesh and my blood. Of course, I was wrong every time. The soft-looking older lady with the creamy skin and brunette hair that I saw walking around the shopping mall wasn’t my grandmother. Neither was the tall, blonde-headed supermarket worker. My grandpa wasn’t the man I saw sitting on a bench at the park wearing brown khakis and a sweater vest. He also wasn’t the very bald, very short security guard at a building downtown. Mostly, I wondered what had happened and if I would ever meet these people who created my mother, this woman who just happens to be one of the most beautiful people I know. They had to be great, my grandparents, but I didn’t know anything, not even their last name. We thought it was Henry. I preferred to think it may be something exotic or French like Bogart or Boucher. I wondered where they lived. Were they still in Kansas? Were there any other children? Was that woman that I passed on the street my aunt? I had so many questions and then one day, I got answers — six of them. I had two real, live grandparents that were my flesh and my blood and they were married. I had two aunts and two uncles, each of which had an uncanny resemblance to my mother. I could look my heritage in the face. My grandma and my mom have the same eyes, they’re as deep and as warm as they are cold and distant, an enchanting color of hazel, and they are captivating. I could see that my petite mom came from a tall, strapping father, which explains why I am the only woman in my family to clear five feet four inches. So much made sense when I felt them give me hug after hug, accepting me as if they had known me all along. There are also some lessons you learn and they stay with you forever. My grandparents have taught me that mistakes can become the most beautiful blessings, that God knows what he is doing and that in life, we are not defined by our mishaps, but instead, by the sum of our intentions. They’ve shown me that sometimes, the most gut-wrenching heartache can be turned on its back, that not all tears are sad tears and that mothers and daughters always have a connection even when years and miles are between them. I’m sure I will continue to learn from them, about what makes marriage last 50 years, about how to keep family close and about how to live like you mean it with a sort of reckless abandon that is neither reckless nor abandoned, but that is vibrant and full of life and love and energy — the kind life that makes people stand up and take notice.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Gus didn't like this nearly as much as I did.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

I'm right here.

Boost Mobile is hitting the MTV generation hard with commercials featuring Eve and Fat Joe. And they are continuing to harm that genearation by refusing to use a verb in their catch phrase. Is that really what this world is coming to? Maybe it is, which is why the phrase "Where you at?" is probably working for them. But, to be brutally honest, it hurts my soul just a little bit. And I don't think I'll be buying a Boost Mobile phone anytime soon because, if I'm looking for Nick or Gus or anyone for that matter, I tend to phrase the questions like this: "Where are you?" I use the "being" verb "are" to form a complete sentence. So, Boost Mobile, to answer your question, I'm right here, but I'm not Eve or Fat Joe and I am a snotty journalist/writer and so, I use verbs and I turn my nose up at you.

Monday, October 10, 2005

The first sign of winter

It's snowing today in Denver. It's 67 degrees and crisp and sunny and perfect today in Kansas City.

Saturday, October 08, 2005


Nick and I just finished watching the movie Crash. I have no words to express how deeply it touched me. It has to be one of the most well-done, well-acted and inspiring films I have seen in years - no joke. And not only is it intriguing, but it is powerfully eyeopening. Please, watch it. Everyone should watch this movie once. I can't stop thinking about it and I think it will be with me for quite some time.

Learn about it here

Friday, October 07, 2005

Falling for autumn.

Last night, I went to a high school football game inappropriately dressed. It was 45 degrees and I was still in my work clothes — tall boots, a wool skirt and sweater. I had enough time and enough sense to stop by my house on the way to grab a coat, but I didn’t have gloves or a scarf or pants or non-heeled shoes, which would have made climbing the bleachers much easier. But despite the chill in the air and the fact that my friends were wearing scarves and gloves and our noses were running and the air was blowing and the cheerleaders were wearing coats and pants under their skirts, I was warm. There’s just something about the smells of autumn that make the fact that it gets dark so early somehow bearable. I normally crave sunlight and long days and balmy temperatures, but by October, I’m ready for the way the leaves turns shades of vibrant orange and red and yellow and the way that walking around the neighborhood is accompanied by a new soundtrack of crackling leaves and acorns. In autumn, the sound of the wind through the trees isn’t as swooshing as it is in the summer, instead, it’s a cracking sound of limb to limb and branch to branch and gazing at the sky through the almost-bare branches means seeing through the smoke from end-of-season barbecues. In autumn, there isn’t as much of a glare and sunglasses aren’t as important and being outside is freeing and fun and it’s the only time of year where I actually wait for the first snowfall with endless anticipation. And though really, autumn is a season of dying for flowers and grass and summer’s bounty , it’s perfect and beautiful and it offers so much hope because though winter’s hard freeze is around the corner, there is always the promise of spring.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

My guilty (kind of) pleasure.

So, today for lunch, I brought yogurt and fruit and while I'll admit that I probably should have packed more to eat, I will also admit that the only thing that sounds good to me right now are the baked pork rinds that were sent to me in a care package from a client. They're like little bites of heaven. And, they're baked, which makes me feel less guilty about consuming them. I had never tried a pork rind until last year when my best friend was on the Atkins diet. She ate pork rinds like crazy and I may have been known to try one or two. And now, I have three bags of them staring me in the face. I haven't tried the barbecue variety yet, but I'm loving the hot and spicy rinds. I should probably just throw the bags away or put them in the breakroom and watch how fast they get eaten, but instead, i'm conserving them for the long winter and the bacon cravings. Because each crispy, crunchy morsel really does taste like my all-time favorite food, bacon. I'm mostly healthy but lately, my vice is the rind. Do you blame me?

Saturday, October 01, 2005

A rare sight.

Perhaps I'll take Gus on more long afternoon walks. There's nothing quite like walking through the neighborhood, crunching fresh fallen leaves and acorns. But, there's really nothing like seeing Gus actually asleep during prime "go" time. No laps around the house this afternoon.


Anyd's head is bigger than Gus. We got Andy when I was 16. I thought he was older than he is, but I guess he's just about 10. He's huge and lovely and he lives with my dad now. I miss him.