Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Starla Hits a Road Block

Today ended up being one of those days everything ends up going wrong. I can't say it was terrible, but it was definately frustrating.

Here's what was supposed to happen:

Get up and make the journey to Wellington Lake (~60 miles away) to see what my June 16 triathlon course was like. I'd get up there, bike/run the course and then get back into CoSprings with plenty of time to shower, run errands, and go to my bowling league (where I'd announce my new bowling name: Starla. Thanks Joel! Cd on the way).

Here's what did happen:

Got up to find that Lawrence Christopher (my pansy not-quite-a-mountain-bike) was having a temper tantrum. After working on him for a bit, he shaped up and started working again. When I came upon Decker (2/3 of the way there) I realized that my map is old and not up to date. Spent an extra hour looking for the road that would supposedly take me to the lake. Finally found it and traversed the pothole laden road without killing my Jane, my litttle Sentra (a major feat!). Got a map from the lady in the office which did not match up with the one I had printed out before leaving home. Spent another hour trying to figure out where the bike/run started. Eventually figured out that the bike is done on the pothole laden roads I had just come up on. A bad sign, but I figured I had trekked all the way up there and might as well give it a whirl. Bad idea. The first three miles are a super-steep downhill which left me dodging potholes at 20 mph on my pansy, fake mountain bike. Then Lawrence Christopher decided to freak out (for the 4th time this week) and I ended up pulling off to fix him. I persevered though. Got back on the road and went for a few more miles only to find myself thoroughly lost. Again. Figured that I just hadn't come to the turn off yet and kept going. A really bad idea. Ended up going four miles off course and through some serious terrain. Turned back and headed back to the lake and my car. Tackled the steep pothole laden road once again (the uphill was actually easier than the downhill). When I got back to my car I realized that I only had two hours to get back to my apartment, shower, and leave again. Unfortunately it took me two hours and ten minutes to just get to my apartment, which made showering an impossibility. Gross. Luckily I'm not trying to pick up on any of my bowling teammates :)


There is absolutely no way that I'm going to be able to compete in that triathlon. The website said it was not technical, but it's definately too technical for my pansy, no-shocks mountain bike. That keeps breaking down. I will kill myself trying to do it fast. So now I get to figure out a different race I can do in the next month so that I don't have to do my olympic length tri in August cold turkey.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Almost Famous

The wonderful Heidikins has graced me with interview questions. Here goes:

1) What is the craziest, most spontaneous thing you've ever done?
Moving to Colorado. Although I had been thinking about moving for a while, the decision was made quickly after things snapped in SLC. It took me about half an hour in front of a map to eliminate most of the United States and then finally pick Colorado Springs, a town I had only driven through once before and didn't know a soul who lived there. A couple of weeks later I was here and looking for places to live with all of my junk in tow. One of the best decisions I've ever made though!

2) If you suddenly won 1,000,000 dollars, what would you do first, second, and third? (Tax-free, we're talking One. Million. Dollars. here!)
My answer is super lame, but I tried to think about what I would really end up doing:
First - I would buy furniture. There is a serious lack of it in my apartment.
Second - I'd probably take at least one of my friends out to dinner to celebrate.
Third - I'd pay off all of my student loans.

3) What is one of your most memorable vacations? Why?
The vacation I remember loving most was taken when I was about 13 years old with my family and best friend from junior high. We started out by driving to the west coast of Canada. Went to the Butchart Gardens in British Columbia (beautiful!) and then back in Seattle we saw all of the major sights. My favorite place we visited there was one of the coolest science museums I've ever been to. I've never had so much fun in my life (Yup, apparently I've been nerdy for quite a while). We then headed down the coast and stopped in both the Redwood National Park and the Sequoia National Park. So green everywhere! We then traveled down to San Francisco, hitting up the Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz Island, and Golden Gate Park. We continued our way down the coast and took in the Monterey Bay Aquarium and lots of random overlooks for whale and seal watching. In LA we went to Knott's Berry Farm where I watched the particularly insane members of my family get incredibly sick by riding a horrible roller coaster over and over again. Suckers. In San Diego, we all went the famous San Diego Zoo, but I'm not going to lie to you. This was my least favorite part of the entire trip. Never been a big fan of zoos. Actually that's an understatement. I detest zoos. Even as a child. But I do remember liking the sky tram that took us over the entire zoo. We finished off our trip by crossing the border and heading into Mexico. I don't remember much from Mexico, but I do remember clearly that my Dad is terrible at negotiating prices. Poor Dad.

4) What are your favorite books? Authors? Why?
I guess my favorite authors are CS Lewis and Jane Austen. They're the only ones I've read many books by. I love Lewis because he's so incredibly logical and usually end up with a list of words I've never heard of that I get to incorporate into my vocabulary. Austen is just genius when it comes to her characters and comedy. I can read Emma and Pride & Prejudice over and over without getting sick of them.

One of my favorite books is The Life of Pi. I was chatting with some friends the other day who hated it, but I just don't understand how it's possible to hate that book. I was enthralled by the story of a boy who gets stuck on a small boat with a Tiger. So symbolic and very interesting. The Kite Runner is also a recent favorite.

5) What is your definition of a perfect day?
One in which I get a lot accomplished and spend quality time with people I love.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Bowler Seeking Help From The Blogosphere!

Don't think I've mentioned it before, but I've signed up for a summer bowling league. I've always wanted to be on one and I figured this summer was my chance. Last night was the first of twelve and my team is pretty much the coolest team ever! First there's Harry who is about 85, basically drops the ball onto the lane, and somehow still adds spin to it. Then there are the cousins (to each other, not to me), Donald and Paul. Donald is about 75, teaches bowling at a local high school, and felt at ease giving me sweet bowling tips. Paul is the youngest of the three (~55) and strikes me (ha! a pun and i didn't even mean it) as the silent, brooding type.

But I realized that I'm missing something extremely important to any good bowler. I need a name. JenKneeBee just doesn't cut it in bowling. I need a better one, which is why I've decided to open it up to the blogosphere. You all are much more creative than I am and will think of something brilliant. I have faith in you :)

So here's the deal:
*Leave your idea for a bowling name in the comments
*Post it by next Tuesday (May 29th)
*Winner will receive one rockin' awesome mix cd (any
theme of their choosing)

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

My Favorite Red-Headed Twinner Friends

Meet my red-headed twinner friends. Aren't they absolutely adorable together? Scrabble Boy and Banker Chick. Of course those aren't their real names, just their preferred ones. Since Banker Chick was visiting for the weekend, I took the opportunity to make them pose for a twinner portrait. They could totally be related. Hopefully neither of them kills me for posting this either...

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Butterfly Pavilion

Last Saturday some friends from SLC and I went to the Butterfly Pavilion up in Denver before hitting up Wicked (so good!!!). Here are my favorite pics:

JenKneeBee: World Champion Ambidextrous Bowler!

I'm sure you will all be ecstatic to hear that tonight I achieved one of my lifetime goals! I bowled a 110 with my left hand!!! Woohoo! And a turkey! (For all you non-bowling types, that's three strikes in a row).
It's a bit hard to see, but I'm the third one down:

Friday, May 18, 2007

Bird of... Steel?

Today Miss Heidikins and I were coming down Cheyenne Mountain and happened to catch sight of a house which had amazingly weird metal structures all over it's front yard. This "bird of steel" was our favorite by far. It acted as a giant weather vane, turning with each change in the wind. So cool. But incredibly weird.

Monday, May 14, 2007

How Embarrassing

So Stacy tagged me for this most embarrassing meme. But because she majored in English, she decided to make it much harder than it originally was by adding in a bunch of plays, poetry, and short stories. Most of which I've never read and some (to my shame) I've never heard of. I'm claiming chemistry major ignorance on this one. I also went back to the original meme and brought back some books I just couldn't leave out.

*Blue font for everything you've read
*Red font for everything you've started but never finished
*Purple font for everything you've read but wished you hadn't
*Yellow font for everything you'd never read, even if you and that book were the only things to survive the apocalypse
*Black font for things you've never read
*Green font for things you want to read
*Orange font if you've read the author but not that particular work

Stacy's version:

The Bible
Medea (Euripides)
Oedipus Rex (Sophocles)
Odyssey (Homer)
The Canterbury Tales (Chaucer)
The Inferno (Dante)
A Midsummer Night's Dream (Shakespeare)
Tartuffe (Moliere)
Pride and Prejudice (Austen)
The Rime of the Ancient Mariner (Coleridge)
The Eve of St. Agnes (Keats)
Frankenstein (Shelley)
Wuthering Heights (Emily Bronte)
The Scarlet Letter (Hawthorne)
Moby Dick (Melville)
Great Expectations (Dickens)
Little Women (Alcott)
War and Peace (Tolstoy)
Madame Bovary (Flaubert)
The Awakening (Chopin)
The Turn of the Screw (Henry James)
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland (Carroll)
Ulysses (James Joyce)
The Great Gatsby (Fitzgerald)
The Sun Also Rises (Hemingway)
The Grapes of Wrath (Steinbeck)
Brave New World (Huxley)
The Sound and the Fury (Faulkner)
The Fellowship of the Ring (Tolkien)
To Kill a Mockingbird (Harper Lee)
Lord of the Flies (Golding)
The Catcher in the Rye (Salinger)
Lolita (Nabokov)
Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (Williams)
The Bell Jar (Plath)
A Good Man is Hard to Find (O'Connor)
Their Eyes Were Watching God (Hurston)
Where are you Going, Where Have you Been? (Oates)
Love in the Time of Cholera (Marquez)
White Noise (DeLillo)
The Bluest Eye (Morrison
The Satanic Verses (Rushdie)
White Teeth (Zadie Smith)
Middlesex (Eugenides)
The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay (Chabon)
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Rowling)
Everything is Illuminated (Foer)
Gilead (Robinson)

From the other meme:

Anne of Green Gables (Montgomery)
A Prayer for Owen Meany (Irving)
Jane Eyre (Charlotte Bronte)
The Hobbit (Tolkien)
Life of Pi (Martel)
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (Adams) - Currently reading it
Tuesdays with Morrie (Albom)
1984 (Orwell)
The Power of One (Courtenay
The Alchemist (Coelho)
The Kite Runner (Hosseini)
Angela's Ashes (McCourt)
Crime and Punishment (Dostoyevsky)
Catch-22 (Heller)
Les Miserables (Hugo)
Emma (Austen)
The Secret Life of Bees (Kidd)

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Can't Wait Till I'm Calico


Summertime has arrived in Co. Springs. Which means I get to pull off the layers and go biking in shorts and a t-shirt. Woohoo! This also means that I currently look hilarious (due to biking shorts and gloves):
And that at the end of the summer I will look like this:

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Running at Garden of the Gods... Again

Probably Opening a Can of Worms

Confession: I'm fairly obsessed with politics. You wouldn't know by reading my blog because I've shied away from writing about it. I'm not exactly sure why, but I think it has to do with the nature of politics. Everything is very, very complicated and no matter how much information you have on any particular issue, there's still more you could learn. And although I have my basic opinions and try to follow things closely, I admit that I can be wrong about things. Since most people seem to be either extremely opinionated or apathetic when it comes to politics, I haven't really felt like opening that can of worms. Until now. At the request of one of my fantastic Colorado friends, I'm going to start blogging about my views.

First on my agenda: the death penalty. Although I've spent quite a bit of time thinking about this topic, I've only recently solidified my opinion on it. Here are some of the pro-death penalty arguments and my rebuttals for each:

1) It's a just punishment. They deserve to die for what they've done. I worked as a tutor for prisoners trying to get their high school diplomas a few years ago and it really opened my eyes to a completely different world than the one I was brought up in. While there were scary, scummy prisoners, it was easy to see that a lot of them had been born into really bad situations. Situations so bad that if I was placed in them I'm sure I'd be in prison as well. It was amazing to see how they reacted to the program I helped implement. Most of them were so thirsty for any bit of knowledge and kindness they could get. While they had all made serious mistakes, they wanted to change for the better. I'm not naive enough to say all prisoners are like that, but I am saying there are some who, when given the chance, will change for the better. They may deserve to die for what they've done, but as a Christian who believes it's possible for people to change, I just can't support this argument.

2) It deters other potential criminals. Whether or not the death penalty deters future criminals has been thoroughly studied by many criminology experts. While there is some support for the deterrence argument, most experts agree that it doesn't work. Would sentencing more people to death or decreasing the time spent on death row lower the crime rate? It's hard to say, but I really don't think so.

3) Getting rid of the criminals prevents them from committing the crime again. This is true. It does keep them from committing the crime again, but so would incarceration for life without parole.

4) Countries with the death penalty have lower crime rates. Yes, but these countries are: Saudi Arabia, Iran, Iraq, Nigeria, Pakistan, etc. Oh wait, do we really want to be like these countries? Because I'm pretty sure we should be taking our cues from Iran. It being an axis of evil and all...

5) The death penalty costs less than incarceration. I won't even pretend it's not expensive to keep a prisoner for life. That's a lot of money spent on food and amenities that could have been used for something like education or law enforcement. Unfortunately it can also cost as much or more to execute someone. Costs for trials in which the death penalty is sought are significantly more expensive than ones in which incarceration is desired. And I'm not sure that it's completely logical to kill someone (no matter how awful they are, they are still human) in order to save money.

So there you have it. Feel free to share your opinions.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Phobiaphobia - The Fear of Fear Itself

Stumbled upon a list of phobias in wikipedia and thought it was a fun article:

Here are the ones that apply to me:

Acrophobia - Fear of heights. Me and half of America.

Agoraphobia -
Fear of a place or event where escape is impossible or when help is unavailable. I hate feeling trapped somewhere. Like being snowed in. Shudder.

Androphobia -
Fear of males. Okay, not really, but I thought it was funny. It's interesting that they don't have a term listed for the fear of females.

Taphophobia -
Fear of the grave, or fear of being placed in a grave while still alive. Definately don't like coffins. That story about tying a string to the fingers of corpses and attaching it to a bell up top always gives me the willies.

Tokophobia -
Fear of childbirth. Aren't all women? Ouch!

Trypanophobia -
Fear of needles, injections, or of pointed objects. This is probably the only seriously debilitating fear I have. They had to give me valium before they could insert an IV last December.

Musophobia -
Fear of mice and/or rats. Okay, I lied. This one's debilitating too. In one really old house I lived in a couple of years ago, we had a few mice and it was so not okay. Talk about flipping out.

Arachibutyrophobia -
Fear of peanut butter sticking to the roof of the mouth. Or things being stuck in my teeth.

These are the funniest/weirdest/coolest ones:

Gymnophobia - Fear of nudity. Anyone else an Arrested Development fan? And Tobias as a Never Nude?

Xenophobia -
Fear of foreigners. It's okay Allie, I'm not a xenophobic :)

Aibohphobia -
The fear of palindromes, which is a palindrome itself.

Anatidaephobia -
Fear that somewhere, somehow a duck is watching you. Weird.

Hippopotomonstrosesquippedaliophobia -
Fear of long words. Ha!

Monday, May 07, 2007

Going With My Gut

I'm going to try and express a thought that's been floating around in my head for a while now, but if it doesn't make sense... sorry.

I've always been the sort of person who just implicitly trusts people. I meet them, think they're fabulous, share thoughts and feelings. No problem. This has sometimes led to disaster. Like the time when my cousin Lyndsi (also a very trusting person) and I met a random girl in the ward who needed a place to move into and we jumped at having her as a roommate. Looking back at the situation, we DEFINITELY should have picked up on warning signs that she might not be the best roommate in the world. And that she was a complete crazy person who couldn't go five seconds without lying. Okay, I'm exaggerating, it was more like 30 seconds. But even though I've had a few sticky situations, I've always been glad that I was so trusting. It's a great thing to bring into friendships.

This past year however, a series of events slowly stripped that naive, trusting instinct away. I didn't quite realize how much it really affected me until I moved to Colorado and started making friends here. I feel like a broken and crazy person half the time. Which I'm sure is mostly in my head, but annoying nonetheless. I've noticed that I tend to spread myself around. Meaning that I become friends with lots of people and then let them each see different pieces of me. Kind of like investing your money in diverse ways. If one stock crashes, no worries. Huh... I totally just gave an analogy using finance. Weird.

I guess the conclusion I've come to is this: Being an distrustful person doesn't suit me. It makes me feel broken. It's not natural. I've decided to stop fighting my natural instincts and do what I want to. I may crash and burn, but having done so before, I know that it'll all turn out okay. It always does if you wait long enough.

So there we go. New goal: Trust people. Believe that they're good. Believe that they won't drop kick me and then use me as a floor mat afterwards.

Friday, May 04, 2007

Note to Self:

In the future, please refrain from opening your mouth while cycling down hills at speeds of 30+ mph. It'll keep you from eating bugs, I promise.

Play MASH to Celebrate!

Hurrah for my 100th post! I'm officially not a newbie blogger now!

And what will I choose to blog about on such a momentous occasion? Something nerdy of course. Did you really expect otherwise?

So today I ended up following a bunch of children around at our local Cheyenne Mountain Zoo. Scrabble Girl is a teacher, her kids were taking a field trip, and one of the chaperones dropped out at the last minute. So there I was trekking across the zoo listening to the conversations of sixth graders. Side note: I am incredibly glad that I will never have to go back to sixth grade. Fifth through seventh have got to be the most awkward stages of a person's life. Seriously. Anyway... The two girls in the group, who were incredibly hyper, kept going on about playing MASH on the bus.

Which made me think of the conversation I had with Scrabble Girl the other day about how MASH is still fun to play as an adult. What could possibly be better than a great round of MASH when you're incredibly bored? Absolutely nothing. Clearly. You know you love it. Which is why you should hop on over to the Play Mash website and play a quick round. Here are my results:

I will live in an Apartment, drive a Dark Green Audi, marry the Cabana Boy, have 5 kids, and be a mechanic in Kona, Hawaii.

I must say that considering all the crazy things I put as options, I made out pretty well. Cabana boys are always attractive and I'll be living in Hawaii. Rockin' awesome...

Thursday, May 03, 2007

iPod Madness

A while back ago Allie had a post I've been wanting to copy for a while, but haven't had the time to actually do it. Until now that is. Questions about your life and future? Want to know the answers? No problem. Just locate your iPod and use the songs that come up at random to receive fool proof answers. Here's the verdict on my life:

1) What should I do with the rest of my life?

Sweet Baby James - James Taylor
There is a young cowboy he lives on the range
His horse and his cattle are his only companions
He works in the saddle and he sleeps in the canyons
Waiting for summer, his pastures to change

Ha! Clearly I need to start looking into getting some cattle. And now google telling me to milk the cows makes way more sense.

2) What kind of person do others think I am?

Rains in Asia - Jump Little Children
She wants to know does everyone feel this way
When it rains in the summertime
She wants to know does everyone feel this way
When you're sure that he's gone forever

3) What kind of person am I really?

Daughter - Vienna Teng
Well it's time to be wise
Wise in the ways of the heart
To come out from under the covers
This voluntary state of apart
From the faces, oasis
In this Sahara of sorrow
These graces that hold me
It's from you that I borrowed

Woah, scary how accurate this one is.

4) What's my love life looking like for over the summer?

Cecilia - Simon & Garfunkel
Cecilia, youre breaking my heart
Youre shaking my confidence daily
Oh, cecilia, Im down on my knees
Im begging you please to come home
Come on home

Uh, hopefully I get to play the part of Cecilia and not the lover on his knees begging.

5) What's the outlook on the rest of my life?

Answer - Sarah McLachlan
I will be the answer
At the end of the line
I will be there for you
While you take the time
In the burning of uncertainty
I will be your solid ground
I will hold the balance
If you can't look down

Hope so.

6) Do I have a secret admirer?

Something's Missing - John Mayer
Something's missing
And I don't know how to fix it
Something's missing
And I don't know what it is
No I don't know what it is

Ouch. Outlook not good.

7) How can I make myself happy?

Flake - Jack Johnson
The harder that you try baby, the further you'll fall
Even with all the money in the whole wide world


8) What should be my theme song?

Change Your Mind - The Killers
Racey days
Help me through the hopeless haze
But my oh my
Tragic eyesI can't even recognise myself behind
So if the answer is no
Can I change your mind

Sweet! Time to pull out persuasive JenKnee!

9) What sort of men should I date?

Father Figure - George Michael
I will be your father figure
Put your tiny hand in mine
I will be your preacher teacher
Anything you have in mind
I will be your father figure
I have had enough of crime
I will be the one who loves you
Till the end of time


10) How's the rest of my day going to be?

New Shoes - Paolo Nutini
Hey, I put some new shoes on,
And suddenly everything is right,
I said, hey, I put some new shoes on and everybody's smiling,
It so inviting,
Oh, short on money,
But long on time,
Slowly strolling in the sweet sunshine,
And i'm running late,
And i dont need an excuse,
'cause i'm wearing my brand new shoes.

Better go get my new Pumas :)

11) Any final advice?

Under Pressure - Queen and David Bowie
It's the terror of knowing
What this world is about
Watching some good friends
Screaming let me out!
Tomorrow takes me higher
Pressure on people
People on streets

I'm not really sure what the cosmos are trying to tell me with this...

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Men's Health Magazine is Full of Crap

After a long blogging break (okay, so only about a week) I'm back in the blogosphere. I was reading over at Trish's Dishes and apparently according to Men's Health, the best place to get a guy is in Salt Lake City. Now I'm pretty sure that most of my SLC readers will agree when I say that Men's Health was clearly misinformed. While there might be single guys, they surely aren't dating. I was fairly blown away when I found out that boys in Colorado actually get girlfriends. Opened my eyes to a whole new world. So in case you were contemplating moving to SLC to find a boy, I'm warning you... don't do it.