Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Tortilla tastiness

I'm not a big Mexican restaurant fan. Not because of the taste, but because it's bad for you.

However, I keep hearing about this place called the Tortilla Factory in Cheyenne and how amazing it's supposed to be.

A group of friends from work went for lunch last week and invited me to go. After another co-worker told me the green chili was awesome - and that's one of the things I really enjoy - I decided to join.

I love the decor of Mexican restaurants! Always so bright and interesting...

My coworker Matt ordered the burrito supreme lunch special. It was as big as a forearm - and there were two...

At the front of the place is a little market. I really liked this. I want to go back for some spices. I think Mexican pastries are so simple and pretty...

In case there's an enchilada emergency...

This cracked me up...

I've been wanting a couple cast iron skillets for a while now, but I have other priorities I keep diverting my money to. This grill was only $10 though! It's in my kitchen...

And the green chili? I have an abnormally high threshold for spicy food and the chili was just right. For once a place meant it when they said hot!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Catch up

I have a lot of catching up to do on here.

I left on Sunday for a conference in Denver and got back today. I wasn't going to buy Internet access at the hotel, so the updates have fallen a bit behind.

But now...let's get down to some blogging business!


My coworker Matt and I went out with some other exhibitors last night - primarily two really fun guys, one Australian and the other English. What is it about those accents, anyway??

For dinner we went to an awesome pizza place in Larimer Square called Osteria Marco. Super cool, super delish, and super fun. Then we headed down to the Wynkoop Brewery, which we closed down. What is it about Aussies, Brits and Wyomingites and beer, anyway??

Today, we walked around 16th St. Mall after the conference and had lunch at a pretty swank place for lunch (I was delighted) called Earls.

On 16th St. Mall...

The Denver Post. For all my love of social media I still like seeing papers that are still standing...

Friday, April 24, 2009


Last night I drove to Laramie, Wyo., for Wyoming's first "tweetup" - a face-to-face meeting of people who are on twitter.

What is that?

Twitter is another one of those crazy social media outlets out there. It's being used by businesses and individuals to find customers and communities who are talking about the same thing they are.

I'm on for my office and my own personal enjoyment.

The tweetup was really fun. Twitterers from Laramie and Cheyenne were there from college students and above. We had good conversation and it was fun meeting new people.

I love doing stuff like that and I want to host one in Cheyenne sometime soon!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Concern for others

I went to the Albany liquor store last night to pick up a six-pack of beer. I was having a guest over to BBQ and wanted to offer him something nicer than the Rolling Rock I had bought a while back on a sentimental flashback to college.

I went to pay for my nice O'Dells 90 Schilling and didn't have my I.D. or debit card.


I apologized to the cashier, who was talking to an ol' codger, and said I would be right back - I was going to run out to my car to check for them.

After a fruitless search in my car I walked back to tell the cashier no luck. The guys were both genuinely concerned about where the cards could be.

I apologized again for the already-rung beer and kind of turned to go.

I must have looked pretty bummed because the ol' codger pulled out his wallet to spot me saying, "I could catch him next time."

I was touched and surprised. And of course I politely refused.

But I left thinking how nice it was that one old drinker was trying to look out for another.

Now THAT'S what I call concern for others!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Burger queen

I am a grill master. A burger queen, if you will.

My new grill had its inaugural outing tonight.

After nearly having a stroke putting it together yesterday (projects are not my thing and the tight places my hands had to go made me wish for child labor. I swore like a sailor over some of those parts!) tonight's end result was well worth it.

The little monster in all its glory...

Cookin' up some flame broiled goodness...


I'm pretty much a grilling goddess.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Birthdays are the best days (afterall)

Friday was my birthday!

Normally, I wake up very excited for MY day, but this time I was bummed. After a perfectly fine week of weather we got dumped on with more snow that closed the roads and consequently canceled my birthday dinner plans. No fabulous Ethiopian food in Ft. Collins, Colo.

I was super bummed and pretty sure my birthday was ruined. I was really looking forward to the dinner and just couldn't seem to come up with a Plan B that compared.

On the upside, I did get a birthday breakfast with Elly and Wendy from D.C. We went to the Luxury Diner (where else?!) which was a first trip for the both of them. We had a good time and I think they seemed very happy with their meals. Can't you tell by the happy looks on their faces? Oh wait, we don't have faces here! The poor man taking our picture just couldn't quite get it and I didn't want to trouble him with several takes...

It was at breakfast that I learned work was canceled for the day. I know I should have been ecstatic to get my birthday off, but it was just a reminder of how the bad weather had ruined my plans.

But around lunch time it dawned on me I could have something ethnic to eat in town: Burger King sushi. That sounds terrible, I know. It's not really sushi from BK, but the Tokyo Bowl, what it's really called, is in an old Burger King building. I could never seem to remember the actual name of the restaurant and would call it Burger King sushi...

It sounds gross, but really it's QUITE good for our neck of the woods. I love that place.

I treated myself to a couple rolls and a Kirin beer for lunch. How delicious does this look?? An eel roll and a tuna and avocado roll. Heaven...

Suddenly, my day was totally different. I felt so much better! So what if I couldn't have Ethiopian - I had BK sushi in my stomach! It was a true transformation. All was right with the world...

I then took myself down to the divy Four Winds bar near my neighborhood for a birthday drink with a friend. And afterward I met up with the crew for happy hour at the Depot and then a house party.

I may have had to stay in my boots and not the gold heels I brought to dance in, but it was a great night all the same.

So, what I thought would be a bad day turned out to be a very nice one!

We'll still do Ethiopian soon.

Oh - a little something to leave you with...

Tyler sent this clip to me in a birthday email. SO funny!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Smell a rat

In D.C., I lived in Dupont Circle - the most wonderful neighborhood in the world.

Ok, that might be a bit of a stretch, but it IS fantastic. So fantastic that several of my friends eventually followed in my pioneering footsteps and migrated to my 'hood as well.

To get them off on the right foot I thought we should all do something to explore their new neighborhood. We went to the First Friday event where you tour all the crazy art galleries filled with terrible art, then landed at one of my favorite neighborhood hangouts: Kramerbooks.

Over food and lots of drinks we decided to have outings every now and then for just us - the Dupont Dwellers.

It stuck.

I got a Dweller email today: Cins is planning a Cinco de Mayo dinner at her place.

I told the crew I was happy I still made the cut - even though I will obviously not be attending.

And even though my new home near the state Capitol technically makes me what we call people who do basically everything on Capitol Hill in D.C. - a "Hill Rat."

Monday, April 13, 2009

Belated Easter

Here are some belated pics from Easter in Laramie, Wyo.

Setting the Easter scene. Jonna became Martha Stewart and made that big stuffed carrot herself!

I think it's funny we had "deviled" eggs on Easter...

An Easter ham right from Wyoming. Our Kaycee Easter oinker...

Jon and Linds laughing at Sam...

J, Sam and Nate finding change-filled plastic eggs!

We took bets on when Linds will have Romy. So far three of us are out...

Linds' cheesy potatoes, which are a general fave every time. She'll give me the recipe, but I'm not allowed to post!

My Easter tatt. I brought Easter stickers over for Sam and one of them landed here:

My contribution - strawberry shortcake with homemade whipped cream. I was supposed to bring the colored eggs too, but you all know what happened with that...

Jon, me, Sam and Linds. Happy Easter!

Saturday, April 11, 2009


I forgot all my colored eggs in the fridge in Cheyenne.

I am in Laramie.

I am annoyed.

Easter eggstacy

At some random point in my day yesterday I had a sudden urge to dye Easter eggs - something I haven't done in YEARS.

So, this morning - after another run thwarted by back pain - I walked to the local Safeway and picked up some egg-dyeing supplies.

Maybe the urge to dye eggs was some cosmic message because later Linds H. called me to see about going to Laramie for Easter lunch with her, Jonna and Co. My contribution - dessert and eggs for Sam (and maybe me) to hunt.

I wish my nephews could have been here to join in the dyeing fun, but then again, I seemed to be perfectly entertained by myself!

I love the Barbie doll-pink nail polish I've been sporting all week. Kind of Easter-y itself...

A moment of silence for one of the eggs that lost its guts in the pot...

The dye kit cracks me up. Just look at the egg holding its nose getting ready to be "baptized" by the duck! haha...

I think the dripped dye looks pretty on the paper. It's like, accidentally artistic...

The finished product. How freakin' cute are these...??

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Grilling madness

I am pretty much ready for a summer of mad grilling...I bought my grill!

It's a cute little charcoal grill that once assembled will look like this...

Nothing fancy, nothing over the top. Just a little area for a flame that will get the job done.

Right now, this is what it looks like:

You'll also notice the weather out. It's just a little Spring squall (fingers crossed)...I fully expect to be flipping burgers this weekend (fingers crossed).

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Choppers and chai

On my way to City News for coffee with Annie yesterday I had a D.C. flashback...

Two helicopters came out of nowhere, flying together across the open sky.

It was JUST like when the president flies in and out of D.C. There are three helicopters that go up - and come down - at the same time for security purposes: presumably so you don't know which one he's in when they're up.

I can't tell you how many times on my morning run, just past the Lincoln monument, I would be detoured because one of the helicopters was supposed to come down in the "grassy knoll" right alongside my route. The place would be crawling with cops and barricades creating this strangely busy scene on my otherwise peaceful and pretty little route.

There were always three helicopters flying around D.C.'s airspace it seemed. And it was always cool. Every time. Without fail.

Annie nicely informed me - after I gasped and made some weirdo comment like, "It's the president," - that it was just the base practicing.

I then explained why this seemingly everyday thing around Cheyenne was so like an everyday thing around D.C.

We admired it for a moment then we went happily along to our lattes.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Treadmill of tears

Somehow I've hurt my back. I think it's from trying a terrible Pilates workout tape (yes, I said tape) at home on Saturday when the blizzard was at it's peak.

WHY did I do this video right in the middle of my marathon training?? Why? I've been asking myself this for the past two days because my back hurts so bad I can't run (or easily bend over for that matter).

I tried going out yesterday morning, but couldn't even make a mile. This morning I went to the gym to get on the despised treadmill because it's so windy. I couldn't run more than a couple minutes.

I tried to do an amped up walk when suddenly, as happens more time than not, my iPod went flying off. Without thinking I cursed rather loudly only to look over and see two elderly women staring at me. They either thought I had been injured or were appalled by my sailor-like mouth. Maybe a bit of both.

I slammed the f'ing machine off and stomped over to get some antibacterial wipes.

Then, just as suddenly as my iPod went flying, I got to the hallway and started to cry. I am just so angry and frustrated - and panicked - over not being where should be in my training.

It usually takes getting to this point to make me dig in. If only my back weren't broken.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Go, go, goal

I'm starting to get concerned about the 1/2 marathon.

I'm trying to train - I really am. But constant waves of winter storms are really screwing me up.

To stay in the game during bad weather I go to the gym and run on the treadmill for about 30 minutes - which seems lame, but it's significant because I HATE the treadmill.

I'm not where I should be though. My goal is to run 10 miles on my birthday, which is next Friday. I'm going to have to push it that morning at the rate I'm going.

I will do it...I will do it...I will do it.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Snow-white blossoms, and just snow

The crew in D.C., did the annual cherry blossom breakfast at dawn at the Jefferson Memorial today. I thought I would do a sister event in Wyoming with breakfast at the Lincoln Memorial on I-80 between here and Laramie. I planned to be on the road at 5:30 a.m. so I could get situated for the sunrise, but a crazy blizzard that started up last night had all the roads closed.

Plan B was to sit down at the state Capitol with some coffee, but one look at the sky completely covered in dense clouds at 6 a.m. told me there would be no sunrise. I was bummed because I was hoping to be with my East Coast friends "in spirit," but nothing could be done.

So, I went to work rolling out cinnamon rolls - not because being disappointed drives me to make cinnamon rolls, but because I had invited some folks from work over for a pre-MS Walk breakfast. Pretty sure the race would be canceled, but not sure if people would still show up to eat I went ahead with the making of the rolls.

I felt like such a farmer girl: up at the break of day rolling out dough for breakfast!

Brandon was my lone guest. We ate then decided to venture out to Wal-Mart for something to do. In Wyoming, snow storms don't mean snowed in - especially if you have 4WD. I also kept my haircut appointment...I will not let Mother Nature keep me from having good (ok, given the weather here - decent) hair!

The rest of the day? Reading by my fire. Some organizing. And more baking. Weather like this makes me want to bake. It doesn't help that I've had INCREDIBLE urges to make chocolate chip cookies and red velvet cupcakes for a while now. I think the time is right.

My neighbor's car and my front steps: The East Coast crew might have cherry trees in snowy bloom, but I've got the real thing. Hmmm...I don't think I've come out on top with this one...

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Milk and cookies

I didn't see this until I got the jug home.

It cracks me up every time I open the fridge.

Aside from the obvious cookies and milk pairing...why is it on there??

haha. Or, I mean, hee hee!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Bruisers end of season

Tonight was our last night of volleyball.

That we would lose wasn't really up for debate. But the possibility of winning was a tough one: If we lost both games we would maintain our proud losing record. But if we won, we might get the other team in the best April Fool's ever.

We stuck with losing. When you've got a good thing, why ruin it?

So, here's to an awesome losing season by the Chey-Town Bruisers...GO BRUISERS!

This might be our closest spread ever. Who cares if it was in a "pretend" game after the official two. And that the other team had a 10-year-old playing with them... Who cares...?

Good game...good game...

The Chey-Town Bruisers! As the cheerleader I'm obligated to be in a cheer pose in all photos...

Good season team! We'll get 'em next year!