Monday, July 31, 2006

Fun Party!

Last night we threw an engagement party for our friends Carrie and Jonathan. They were the ones who climbed Kilimanjaro last month and at the summit, Jonathan proposed! So this was a combination welcome-back-slash-engagement party for them, since none of us had seen them since they returned to Colorado a week ago.

We had wine and cheese pairings, as well as various appetizers Peter and I made, and they all went over quite well. I had far too much fun planning this, from the invitations to the decor and the meal. I got to use a really fun font family (Tagettes and Tagettes Plus, as well as a dingbat font for the "motif"), fun quotes about travel and love I found on the internet and pictures of the happy couple on their various travels (the quotes and pictures were framed and put on the tables with the food).

Carrie and Jonathan shared with us some of their pictures from the trip, as well as some of the video they took, including the proposal!

We also set up a "photo booth" with travel-themed items to use to dress up. The result? Some incriminating photos that will no doubt come in handy should we ever need to blackmail :-) No, really they were fun and cute and we had fun taking them as well.

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Sunrise, Sunset

Peter's brother and sister-in-law are here, which is why I haven't posted anything because we've been too busy seeing the sights and whatnot, but I promise all that and more will be yours when I get a little more time to myself!

This morning, Peter had a run and so got up earlier than should be necessary on a summer Saturday. He woke me up to show me the beautiful sunrise with pink and red clouds and I went back to sleep trying to remember the phrasing of the sailor's saying I saw on a placemat at Friendly's in Massachusetts when I was ten. "Red sky at morning, sailor take warning; red sky at night, sailor's delight"? Sumpthin.

Let night, we also had an amazing sunset. It seems like those don't come too often, since the mountains rise menacingly close to us and the sun sets too far to the right to actually see it from our place (which is very, very confusing to anyone as directionally impaired as I am because the sun set on a diagonal to where the "straight" mountains are and I just cannot figure out where the heck West is).

Here are some of the many pictures I took of that gorgeous sunset:

And no, I didn't take any pictures of the sunrise this morning, but my sleep-addled brain did briefly consider running downstairs for the camera.

It's an addiction, I know.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Parent Pictures Part II

We went on a hike on top of Flagstaff Peak when my parents were here, partly to escape the heat and partly to get a little exercise.

Here are some pictures from that!

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Pictures Part I

My dad and Will with their hats. It was a little scary but very cool how much my parents loved Will. I mean, he IS the cutest baby ever, so I really can't blame them.

We took him downtown to Pearl Street (where this picture was taken) to an art fair and he was great. He was a little out of it, as he had a fever from some immunization shots he got the day before, but he was a good sport.

Boulder was in the middle of heat wave (like the rest of the country), so it was a very welcome offer we received from our family friends in Fort Collins to go out on their boat on a resevoir with them.

Not only was it much cooler, but we had a wonderful time visiting with them, having a delicious dinner on the boat and zipping around the lake. I think we would go up there with them every weekend if we could!


This past weekend, my parents came to visit us in Boulder. This was my dad's first time seeing our place, though he had worked in Colorado one very pivotal summer in 1971 and has been back a few times since (my mom has been able to visit for work several times since we've moved here).

We had a really great time, and we did an amazing amount of things for the 4 or 5 days they were here, but I didn't realize how exhausted I was until this morning, when I overslept the arrival of my adorable summer job (eek!). Truly, though, the real culprit was my memory, conveniently telling me that my late-start morning followed my late-late night, which of course was not true at all.

We were out so late because Peter, my parents and I went to see Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young at Red Rocks. It was an incredibly long concert (in a good way), starting at 8:30 or so and ending after midnight, with an unusual intermission in the middle. The concert was sort of divided into thirds: lots of new anti-war songs to start (with a few classics in there, I think), intermission (doesn't count as a third), then acoustic versions of some of the great songs highlighting each of the members with the others backing up, and finally, some hard core rock with more of their classics, as well as some serious anti-war stuff, both new and old.

We saw quite a few people leaving during the slow acoustic section, maybe because they didn't know or like the songs, and maybe because it was a Tuesday night so they had to work the next day (it was about 10 or so by this time). We felt horrible for them when it was over though, because they missed almost half the concert! Too bad for them!

I think my favorite part was watching the crowd. There were really cute old hippies and really cute young hippies, as well as aging Baby Boomers (my parents included). I loved watching the row in front of us, which included an older couple who were dressed in clothes they either haven't worn in a long time, or who are still very counter culture. The woman wore a black leather biker cap and leather pants and looked like she weighed about 90 pounds and the man was similarly dressed. Next to them sat a group of younger people, the boy with a ratted white-fro that looked like it hadn't been washed in, oh, ever, and the girls were rocking out hard core, passing the joints and swilling the beer. It was really cute how much they loved the music.

Unfortunately, I couldn't get any pictures because CSN&Y didn't want cameras, and since I am incapable of sneaking, Peter had to run back to the car to put my beloved Tizzy away :-( But I do have lots of pictures from the other fun things we did with my parents, so I will get to posting them soon!

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Hot time in the city

We are getting a nice little heat wave in Boulder (and across the country, I believe; what global warming?). This is what Will thinks of the weather:My parents are in town for a visit (yay!), of course perfectly timed with the crest of the heat, so we will do what we can to either stay out of the sun or stay out of our furnace of an apartment (concrete walls + west exposure - AC = H-O-T!). Luckily, there's so much to do in Boulder, and the mountains are close enough that we can always beat a quick retreat if needed. Nordstorm is having a sale this weekend, so if worse comes to worse, we may be forced to go to the air conditioned mall!

Thursday, July 13, 2006

How come I never heard of it before?

I got Gosford Park from Netflix a while ago, and I just keep watching it over and over. I can't decide if it really is one of the most brilliant films I've ever seen, or if I've just been royally snookered. I'm still very much a student of "good" films and I've seen some that were critical classics I just couldn't love, but something about Gosford Park totally caught me.

It's been a while since I've done any kind of critical deconstruction or analysis of anything (and even when I did them in undergrad, it was always a story or novel, rarely a movie), but when I finished Robert Altman's movie, I had so many little epiphanies about themes, characters and filmmaking.

I want to see more of his movies now; I've seen some before and they seem to have a certain "flavor" to them that I always found intriguing but, frankly, boring. Now, I think, I have a better sense of how to appreciate his films. They aren't "movies" for mindless enjoyment (at least, not for me), but rather films to appreciate and digest, to think about as a slice of life or a rumination on a subject. If I look at them that way, they are beautiful gems of films I can greatly enjoy. Off to update the Netflix queue!


As a linguist, I know that there are attitudes towards language every speaker holds. In some cultures, speaking a local dialect may be seen as more ignorant, less cultured, etc. while in another culture, speaking a local dialect may be more prestigious. People can think speakers of certain languages may be funnier, kinder, more polite, less trustworthy, more immoral, or any number of human characteristics, positive or negative, all based solely on the language the person speaks.

Despite the fact that I am well aware of these prejudices, such as knowing that in American English, a Southern accent is less preferable and a French accent might be seen as more "romantic," I came face to face with the language prejudice that seems too deep seated for me to ever overcome: British accents. I was watching the BBC news report on the situation in the Middle East, and found myself thinking how much more intelligent, well-informed and unbiased the reporters were compared to American reporters. Of course, this all may be true, but how can I separate it from the accents?

Maybe I should just develop a British accent, and then I will have a fabulous self-esteem about my intelligence!


I just finished a "chick lit" book my sister-in-law lent to me (along with several others I've devoured in the four days since), and I was left with the question, "How exactly does this qualify as 'lit'?" I know chick lit isn't supposed ot be Anna Karenina, but even though I enjoyed the book, it was really just a thinly disguised romance novel, but not nearly as satisfying. I guess I'm just not a "chick."

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Happy weekend

Last weekend, Peter and I flew to Vegas for the wedding of two very good friends. The bride, Vanessa, was my roommate freshman year and introduced me to some wonderful friends and the groom, Ryan, was an RA with Peter and me and one of Peter's groomsmen last year. We were so happy when they met and started dating, and now they are married! The wedding was great and we had a lot of fun, especially seeing Griff, a friend we haven't seen in years, and his girlfriend.

We also had the great pleasure of seeing our friends Armando and Desiree in Pahrump again, along with their almost-seven-month-old baby. We had seen her the day she was born and a few weeks after, but had only seen a few pictures since then. She's a few days older than Will, so I was really curious and excited to see another baby around his age.

It was incredible how much she had grown! Of course I knew she would be bigger and moe capable than the helpless newborn we saw in December, and I knew what Will was like, but it was still amazing to see the jump, rather than the gradual increase I saw in Will. She was so strong and quite capable of feeding herself cookies (if they didn't get to the dogs first).

It was really nice to visit with our friends again, especially for Peter, who hasn't found friends quite like Ryan and Armando here in Boulder yet.

Why bother?

Will has this awesome little piano that has different levels of difficulty and learnig as he grows. He likes playing it OK, but right now all he cares about is pulling out the plastic cards with each program and then playing with the $.25 plastic.

When we have kids, I think I'll just give them plastic cards and empty boxes and skip the toys altogether :-)

I know I am loved.

I opened the fridge, starving, and found only one yogurt cup left. Peter had left me a strawberry one :-)

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Daily Daily Photo July 5th

Misty Mountain Sunrise

More of Will's laugh

Here's a video from a while ago when Will went to visit Bear, Alison's Rottweiller. Be sure to listen carefully to the beginning. That alien sound you hear is Will laughing!

Fiery Fourth

Actually, it was pretty much the opposite. Since Colorado has been so dry, the governor banned all fire and fireworks for the state (except the big, controlled kind) last week to prevent wildfires. Ironically, we got the hardest rain we've seen in a very long time the evening of the 4th, and fireworks (of the legal sort) were seriously in question.

Luckily, it cleared up very well, and we still got our show! Since our apartment is incredibly close to the stadium where they do the fireworks, we had some friends over to watch. And what friends they are! They walked, literally, barefoot through the rain, uphill both ways (maybe only one way) to hang out with us! We had a barbecue--inside and with no barbecue in sight-- with hot dogs, chips, sausages and other fare. It turned out to be an unintentionally "healthy" meal, with buffalo hot dogs, sugar cookies made with part whole wheat flour, whole grain tortilla chips and a strawberry dessert. And it was all delicious!

I took some pictures of the fireworks, but I honestly just wanted to watch them more, so the quality of the pictures suffered. Since I have a slew of fireworks pictures I took years ago that were pretty good but I just never looked at them, I figured this wasn't too much of a loss. The finale was awesome though, tons of big fireworks going off at once, everything a finale should be, so we all enjoyed it.

Hope everyone else had a happy and safe Fourth!

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Baby Laugh

So, Will's laugh is the best in the world. This is the first video I've done this way, so we'll see if it works. I set it to private, so let me know if you can't see it because of this!

Monday, July 03, 2006

Daily Photo July 1st

Life is awesome.

I've been playing around on Flickr a lot lately, getting inspired, commenting on pictures, meeting other photographers and what not. So I had an image posted that's called an HDR image. To create these, I have to use a program that is not free, but the trial version with annoying watermarks is.

A guy who is part of a small group of us who own the same camera also makes a lot of these HDR images and commented on one of mine that he liked that it was a shame about the watermark. I agreed, but explained we be po' and there's no way I could ever justify paying $109 for what is essentially a toy (Food? Toy? Food? Toy?). So last night, I get an email from him saying "Happy Birthday," saying he had liked what I had done with the HDR so far and giving me a code to try! It worked! I have no idea if this sainted man bought it for me because he's a billionaire and likes to do nice things for strangers on the internet, or if he has some code that is floating around on the internet (I kind of hope it's this one, because that's a lot of money to spend on a complete stranger), but I don't care!

Random acts of kindness rock! I'm definitely going to pay this forward (in a very non-monetary sense). Any other cliches I could press into service?

In other awesome news, within the past week, I have had two sets of friends get engaged! I'm not going to post them here, since of the readers I know exist, half of you wouldn't know them and the other half should probably hear it from the horse's mouth, as it were. (One of them I'm still waiting on confirmation for. They emailed out a very, very suspicious picture and if they aren't actually engaged, I'm going to be very angry, then very sad. So it better be true!)

Hooray for good things!

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Thrilling Day

I spent a long time in the computer lab, practically froze to death in there (good thing to remember on days our apartment is 120), worked on yet another puzzle and we watched "Flightplan." We're getting a nice little thunderstorm now, and I'm going to start working on Peter's quilt tonight. I talked to my parents today as well, I can't wait until they come visit! We're expecting Peter's parents and brother and sister-in-law later this summer as well, which will be very fun! I keep thinking of fun things to do when everyone is here, I only hope we won't get another heat wave!

Have a good weekend and happy July! Here's a picture of a robin I spotted on the walk back from the computer lab to leave with:

Daily Photo June 30th