Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Still sick, still sans veggies

I am officially Typhoid Mary. I am drugged up 24/7, in an effort to keep the hacking cough manageable. I actually miss the gym. And sleeping through the night. I am getting grumpier by the day (I don't do well with little sleep) and I'm sure my family is getting tired of trying to hear the Jeopardy questions over the sound of my death cough. I'm sure my healthy breakfast of TastyKakes certainly is helping matters.

I'm ready for 2011. I'm excited for my NYE plans and will head to Baltimore tomorrow to begin my venture down along the east coast. The last few years I have worked hard to not have any big "I wish I could do that" wishes. Instead, I do them! The biggest, of course, being my move to Denver but I have also finished a triathlon and spent money a bit more freely. For 2011, I've wanted to travel more and I'm well on my way. I've got a long ski weekend booked for MLK weekend up in Winter Park quickly followed by a longer weekend adventure in New Orleans with Lauren. Somehow, Lauren and I have managed to see each other at least once a month since we both moved from Arlington! We will continue that feat into February.

In July, I'll combine travel with an exercise goal of the year - attempting to complete my first half marathon in San Francisco, where I can also visit my cousin Jess. But the big trip of 2011 will be the London/Scotland/Paris/Germany adventure in September - my first trip to Europe!

I'm still pulling together Katie-esque goals for 2011 (I'm not nearly as organized as she is, so by the time I decide on monthly goals, the month is already over), but this will be my first year without a single semester of classes since I was 4. I'm looking forward to filling my time!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Monday, December 20, 2010


I am sick. Again. After losing my voice Thursday night, I finally got it back Sunday only to lose it again screaming my head off during the 4th quarter of the Eagles game (completely worth it!).

I seem to be getting sick more often in Denver. I'm not sure if it is the dry climate (snuggling with my humidifier seems to help) or if I have just been busy and wearing myself down, but I've come to the unfortunate conclusion that my eating habits aren't helping matters and that, whether I like it or not, I may actually have to start eating vegetables.

I am a pizza and beer girl. Everytime I go grocery shopping, which, granted, isn't very often, I enter with the high hopes of buying healthy things and making wonderfully balanced meals. But those meals rarely came to fruition and after one salad, the rest of the lettuce would go bad while the bananas in my fruit basket turned black. So I stopped pretending, accepted my limited cooking ability, and stuck with pasta, chicken, and lean cuisine frozen pizzas. Nary a green food item to be found.

But alas, I think those carefree days are behind me. Even if I do so kicking and screaming, fruits, veggies, and the vitamins and nutrients they provide must now become part of my diet. I do not have full weekends available to lay in bed, taking deep breaths of hydrating air. Vegetables are my fate.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Greetings from Missouri

I have been remiss in blogging lately. Again. Its been a busy December. After a whirlwind weekend in DC for my mentor's surprise retirement party, I came back to Denver to kickoff a project I recently won. I have been running my own proposals since June, which includes picking which staff to propose, drafting up a detailed cost proposal, and choosing which projects showcase our ability to complete the work. On my fourth proposal, I finally won! Ok, Berger won, but I like to think I won. And I guess I did, as I am now sitting in my hotel room in Van Buren, Missouri, anxiously awaiting my first internal scoping meeting/site visit in the morning.

When I told my sister that I was running an internal scoping meeting, she immediately laughed and said it reminded her a colonoscopy and asked if that's what I would be doing on this trip. I innocently explained to her that in my line of work we also have agency scoping and public scoping. It didn't help her giggles.

But anyhow, that's how I found myself driving to the airport yet one more time before flying home for Christmas. I flew with one Denver staff member and was meeting a DC coworker in St. Louis before traversing together for 3 hours to the park. While the Denver folks were already scheduled to arrive an hour before Emily, our DC counterpart, her flight was delayed and we had two hours to kill before she landed.

We picked up the rental (a REALLY nice new Jeep Cherokee), googled the address for the Arch (Technically the "St. Louis Gateway Arch: Jefferson National Expansion Memorial"), popped it into my phone's GPS and headed that way! I thought we'd only drive by and say "hmm, yep - there it is!" But we parked and headed over.

We were too close to fit it all in one picture. As we walked towards it, alone in an empty field, I couldn't help but thinking, well sure its big, but is that it? (thats what she said?) I found out that there is a whole museum/lots of signs for NMac to read located underground beneath the arch. My coworker Jack remembered traveling up inside the Arch as a kid, so we headed to the ticket counter to see how long a trip would take. We were in luck - the lifts went up every ten minutes and one was leaving now!

I was a bit skeptical to see the doors to the lift:

We were sent up in little pods and I discovered I might have a touch of claustrophobia. But it was worth it when we got to the top

And then I took a picture looking straight down:
I think the Arch was probably the best of what St. Louis has to offer, though, with the exception of maybe Sam Bradford (yum!). We quickly got back to the car and off to the airport in plenty of time to pick up Emily.

While we had to drive down a sketchy road to reach our hotel, it seems like a decent place. Its a bit odd that they don't have a clock or hairdryer, but at least they have wireless. The website had mentioned dial-up would be our internet option, so it was a welcome surprise.

Think of me tomorrow as you are cozy in your homes. While it was 62 in Denver today, the high in Van Buren won't get out of the 20s and will be spreading a wintery mix as we venture from site to site. Nothing if not an adventure!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Two wheeled commute

Now that our office has moved downtown, I'm back to my bicycle commute! I'm still working the kinks out, but it is only 1.5 miles and is super easy. Given that the entire ride is on city streets, opposed to my wonderful Arlington trail, it isn't quite as peaceful as my old commute used to be, but I love it all the same.

I also officially joined the pricey gym next door and have gone twice this week already. I often forget how much working out makes me an all-around better person. Biking to work makes me alert and perky, even before coffee, and finishing my day at the gym sends me home full of energy and ready to get things done around the house. I am normally a pretty optimistic, happy-go-lucky person, but exercising regularly makes me even more so. And I like it.

What's nice about Denver (but has been a challenge to get used to, bike-wise) is that even at the same temperature, Denver weather seems warmer that DC. The sun is always out and there is no bone-chilling cold that shoots through whatever you are wearing. Back east, I had a set rotation of layers that I wore, which changed at every 10 degree increment. This morning it was 36 and I even rid myself of a layer, but was still sweating by the time I got to the office.

I also have braved the bus to work, given icy roads on Monday and 14 degree temperatures on Tuesday. I have managed not to get lost, but am still figuring out which stops are the fastest. Similar to DC, the bus seems to attract a wide assortment of characters including the young gentleman waiting at the bus stop last evening who asked whoever was on the receiving end of his cell phone if she had gotten her period yet. I hope the answer didn't ruin his day.