Thursday, May 28, 2009

Do not enter?

Today's Tribune Eagle got haphazardly thrown on the floor between mine and Matt's office and our boss's office.

Not exactly the most welcoming message would you say? This says nothing about what it's really like to visit Matt and I...

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Mary, Mary Quite Contrary...

I got this photo today from Jeff M. via phone:

It's hard to tell if you don't know what it is, but I knew instantly...

It's my beloved peony from the D.C., garden!

Jeff is in D.C., for the weekend and he and our other garden partner Sean went to visit the garden. The peony is enormous! Jeff counted 38 blooms!

Jeff and I have always had an ongoing banter about the peony. I wanted it very badly one year when we were planning out the garden. He thinks it takes up precious "real estate." I've spent years defending it against his "threats" to kill it. But even Jeff admitted he was impressed with my plant.

Then we got caught up on other garden news: the community swimming pool opened and there were already "hotties" taking advantage of it. The weirdos that troll the woods surrounding our plot were out in full force, and Chainsaw Charlie was sawing away on his endless pile of wood for his "government project."

Sounded like just another day in the garden.

And then Marine One flew over and I could hear it like I was there.

Just a typical D.C., Saturday afternoon.

Me and the peony when it was still a youngin'...

Friday, May 22, 2009

Gluttony and bliss

Every year in D.C., Jeff M. and I would organize an outing to Sushi Taro's crazy amazing all-you-can-eat sushi day that the restaurant hosted as part of the Cherry Blossom Celebration.

For $32, which includes tax and tip, you get to enter a sushi wonderland where you have your pick of nearly any kind of roll you could dream of, and where tray after tray of sashimi lines the bar. There are endless plates of tempura veggies (which I'm not a fan of), piles of soba noodles, stacks of tofu cakes, tubs of name it, they have it.

(I'm dying as I write this!)

And you can go up as many times as you like. It's total gluttony - and total bliss!

Jeff and I would get in line an hour and a half early. That sounds crazy, I get it, but if you didn't make the first wave in when the doors opened at 12 p.m., you'd be stuck in a line that wrapped around the block waiting for other gorgers to trickle out.

Thursday night, the Nagel-Warren Mansion here in town hosted an all-u-can-eat sushi night also for $32. A group of us went to check it out.

We had a blast, and it was good. We got plate after plate of some very nice fish. But there were hardly any rolls - which are my favorite. And there weren't any of the fixins - like soup, edamame, or dumplings. And I ended up paying a LOT more when it was all said and done.

It was a fun first-time event for the inn to hold, but at the end of the day I'd be happier going to my beloved Tokyo Bowl (a.k.a. Burger King sushi). You get more for your money and I leave more satisfied.

The cast of characters: Me, Don, Todd...

Cast 2: Molly, Brandon, Annie...

Cast 3: Salmon, white tuna, tuna...

I have NO idea what I'm talking about here...

Um...yeah. You can't take this group anywhere! We have Angry Walrus, Happy Walrus, and Goofy Walrus. The fam's all here!

The Mansion's owner took us on a tour of the place later. It was awesome! I LOVE, LOVED this painting...

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

My country 'tis of thee

Yesterday, I went to a send-off ceremony for WWII vets from Wyoming who were participating in the Honor Flight, which helps fly vets to D.C., to see their memorials - for free.

The ceremony was at the Taco John's Event Center in Cheyenne, Wyo. These old vets gathered with their families and friends to listen to military, state and city officials send them off to the WWII Memorial on the National Mall.

It was moving. Servicemen and women, some in wheel chairs or with walkers and oxygen tanks, were finally going to get to see the really spectacular monument to their service.

As they filed out of the TJ's Center down an aisle flanked on either side with flags, I stood at the end watching and trying not to cry.

Patriotism gets me every time.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Crazy serenity

I love having a schedule full of events. Even if I don't end up doing something on my calendar, I like to have it there just in case.

This is one of those weekends where I have a million things planned. And I want to do them all. It was a jam-packed day today and I'm tired, but I can't miss the fun things going on tomorrow, so I'm going to do it all again.

Today was the first "work day" for Frontier Days. They have several of these work days scheduled for all the volunteers to help get the park ready for the big event. I spent four hours cleaning, raking a million pounds of pine needles, helping a man I saw fall off a ladder at the PR committee house, and enjoying the BBQ they fed us all after. The man who fell was lucky. I think his shoulder's pretty jacked, and his face was scraped up, but at least he was conscious and kicking. The paramedics hauled him away...

After that, Molly and I hit up a disappointing garden festival at the depot, took a neat (but a little over the top) Cheyenne trolley tour since it's Laramie County appreciation weekend for residents, went antiquing, got more potting soil at Home Depot, did a whirlwind cleaning of the back patio for a building BBQ I organized, then got showered and had the BBQ with my neighbors.


I took pictures of a lot of it, but at this point I just want to focus on this peaceful scene: From my walk downtown first thing this a.m. to get my bike. It's JUST like the pics you see of the cherry blossoms in D.C.


D.C. ... (I'm too tired to search for my own pic so I found one online...)

Cheyenne...the Wyoming State Capitol... (This one IS mine.)

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Hodge podge

No real theme to today's post. Just some random thoughts and observations...

Random thought:

I wanted to do something to keep track of all the visitors I've had since settling in to my Cheyenne home. I didn't want to keep a formal "guest book" because that just seems weird and stuffy. I decided on cowboy boots instead. Any time out-of-town visitors come through I have them sign a boot, and when they're all filled up I'll use them as bookends! Nifty, huh?

The problem was, I concocted this idea after I'd already had several visitors - mostly from D.C. I sent the boot back with Elly, who was in the state a while back for work, with the important goal of getting it signed. She presented the boot to me when she was in Wyoming a couple months ago.

I LOVE it!!!

Random thought/observation:

I love, love this truck. I really want an old truck. I always have. And a Jeep Wrangler. Those are the two vehicles I want to someday own. There are several old trucks around here, but I passed this one downtown on my way back from coffee at City News and was impressed by its beautiful condition. I wish I had it in me to be a car thief. Of course I'm not. But at times like this I wish I could be...

Random observation:

Due to some annoying, ongoing construction on the street RIGHT in front of our office many of us don't have access to our parking lot. Instead we have to park in the garage a couple blocks away. I know...who ever complains about free garage parking?? But the construction blocks our direct route from the garage to the office, forcing us to walk completely out of the way.

The route takes us in front of the Wrangler cowboy clothing store. Today, I looked up at the building and for the first time ever noticed this...


Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Secret garden

I've been working on the back patio area of my place; trying to get it cleaned up and get some flowers planted.

I think I have my mom's green thumb and a love of getting things in the ground.

In D.C., Jeff M. and I got in on a plot in a community garden. In one day (maybe two if we needed more supplies) we'd have the entire thing in. That included the buying of plants, turning over the ground, running off the crazy guy who's "project" was chainsawing a pile of random wood, and actually putting the plants in. We'd spend the whole day at it and then it was done.

We didn't plant flowers - except for my precious peony which is still there - we focused more on veggies.

I wish I could say my patio area was done, but nope - I've been working on it for a few weeks now. Jeff M. would be so annoyed with me! But then Jeff and I didn't have cold rain and 150 mph wind in May!

I have visions of a "secret garden", so the goal is to get it finished tomorrow night!

Saturday, May 9, 2009


When I woke up on Saturday morning it was pretty nice out and I decided it would be a good idea to sit outside with an iced coffee at Starbucks.

But by the time I was ready to leave, the weather had changed and the cute sundress and flip flops I had on weren't going to cut it. So, I threw on some jeans, a long-sleeved tee and a hoodie and kept the flip flops.

It was a little cool sitting outside, but not bad.

A while later a man wearing sweatpants and a short-sleeved tee walked by noting my choice of shoes and places to sit.

"You must be a native!" he laughed.

And I've only been back a year...

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Cheap flicks and movie "confessionals"

I went to the Cole dollar theater tonight for the first time. It truly is $1. And they get good movies!

I'm probably one of the last people to see "Confessions of a Shopaholic" who actually wanted to. And since it was super cheesy and predictable even by my chick flick connoisseur standards, I guess it was a good idea to wait until it hit the Cole.

(As a total sidenote I was the first person there and I really thought I was going to have the theater entirely to myself. That had never happened before, and though it sounds kind of fun, it was really rather creepy! Fortunately, a few more girls showed up, keeping it from being the perfect set up for a scene in a horror movie.)

Back to the movie. There was something about it that was kind of inspirational.

I used to be like the main character Rebecca. Ok, I wasn't a total shopaholic, and I never bought any high-end designers, but I did live in the city and liked a good trip to the mall. I loved going shopping and wearing something new to work, or running out to find something perfect for a dinner at a new restaurant or a big night out.

Of course, as a shopaholic Rebecca gets in over her head with her credit card and her finances are ruined. And as you can likely guess, it all magically works out, and oh yeah, she gets the guy in the end too.

I wish that's how it worked in real life and man, do I wish I could say shopping was the reason my finances are still in disarray! But it's not. I decided to quit my job with nothing lined up and move across the country for a new life. Every month I'm still figuring that unemployed time of my life out and it isn't exactly easy.

But leaving the theater I felt the same hopeful way Rebecca did. That's because I know everything I buy is paid for and I'll be figured out long before "D.C. Kim" ever would have been.

I think I'll be seeing a lot more movies at the Cole! I've never been one to pass up cheap entertainment.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Cinco de Mayo!

I just got off the phone with the Dupont Dwellers at their Cinco de Mayo party at Chris T's. I SO wish I could be there!

They were using the old Mimosa Monday pitcher to make margaritas, were having enchiladas, and inducting a newly-minted member to the group.

I went to a work happy hour at Guadalajara restaurant downtown Cheyenne. We also had a lot of fun, even though, as I think I've mentioned, I'm not actually a fan of the food at Mexican restaurants. I do, however, like the decor.

I took my first Spanish class in second grade and we learned about the culture. I wanted to live in an adobe (I figure only my sisters will recall the line from PeeWee's Great Adventure here, "Can y'all say adobe? Ado---be.) house with Spanish tile and a courtyard that had a fountain.

Yep. That was my dream.

This restaurant comes pretty close to replicating it.

The group...Don't ask me why Brandon (in the front) has that look on his face. He's weird anyway...

This is pretty much the house I envisioned for myself...

Every chair seems to have a different look. Suns, birds,'s endless...

Wet floor...ya' think? Here's my fountain and tiles all in one...

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Race day!

I ran my first race of the season this morning in Ft. Collins.

I was signed up to do the Colorado 1/2 marathon, but with bad weather and a thrown out back, my last few weeks of training time were kind of ruined. So, I downgraded to the 10K, which ended up being really good.

I ran my fastest time in probably a year: 01:00:29. I am pretty darn proud of that!

The route started and ended in Old Town, and wound its way through a really nice neighborhood with awesome homes, down a country road, then along a bike path that followed the river.

During a race I have little mind games I play with myself to keep me focused. For example, I secretly compete against someone to keep a good pace, which I don't really think is abnormal. At one point, another girl and I were stride for stride - for about three miles. We chatted a couple of times and I found out she also had been training for the 1/2, but got sick and had to go down to the 10K. We were keeping up a really good pace - for me anyway - which was great. Then a little ways from the finish she kicked it up and left.

I also had a couple of girls right behind me the entire race. I heard all about the boy one girl liked, their diets, exercise routines, thoughts on plastic bags at the grocery store...the game there was to not let them pass me. If I heard them pick up a little I would do the same. But about 1/2 mile out they kicked it up also and I was left to finish on my own.

I'm not good at "kicking it up." I find a happy little pace and hunker down with it.

But it was today's happy little pace that got me to the finish with what I think is a very respectable time.

After the race: I'd left my camera in the car, so when I asked a random woman to a picture of me the only backdrop was the Drunken Monkey. Somehow that's somewhat appropriate...

Saturday, May 2, 2009


A girlfriend in town just called to see if I had any maps of D.C. Her roomate's son is doing a project on D.C., and needs a map to show various landmarks.

I pulled out my big D.C., guidebook to see if there might be something in there they could use.

Thumbing through all the maps of the different neighborhoods made my heart hurt.

I don't miss living there.

But sometimes I just

Friday, May 1, 2009

I study at the law library

Today the Wyoming Supreme Court had an open house so the public could see the recently finished renovations that had been going on for a while.

I happen to know, through a friend, one of the Justices who very graciously offered to personally show me and my friends from work around.

It was fun getting the "behind the scenes" tour. He took us through the Justices' chambers and the "back way" down to the court, showed us where the old court used to be before the renovation, introduced us around, and basically impressed my friends with how cool he is.

Linds H. works for this Justice and he showed us her office where I got a few pictures. He actually helped set up a few funny ones with me behind her desk. He even later, after my coworker joked about putting me in a robe for a photo shoot, said we could do that and sit me on the bench. I didn't push it that far...

I also didn't take any other photos. It just seemed a little awkward. So, you'll just have to take my word for it: Our new court is very nice and impressive.

And the Justices are awesome too.