Sunday, December 24, 2017


As I write this, our mailman has just received our annual tribute Christmas gift from us.

See, getting the mail around here isn't quite the same as getting the mail in the 'burbs. In the burbs, you have the mailman like Mr. McFeelly from Mr. Roger's Neighborhood.

Out here, it's a little more like Funny Farm.

Saturday, December 23, 2017

Captain Crazy Crunch

I consider myself a fairly capable person, able to handle a rather good deal of "stuff" that comes my way. And by "stuff," I mean managing my job, where I get random calls and emails from all over the world, help keep a house surrounded by animals upright, and generally make it through the day without necessitating my arrest or hospitalization.

One thing, however, gets me every time.

And that one thing, folks is...

The cereal aisle of the grocery store.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

What if #MeToo Isn't Enough?

This morning, Time named the #MeToo movement as it's Person of the Year, as "The Silence Breakers." For some, this seems a little strange as the idea of "person," taken literally, is singular, and this is a movement, which is necessarily plural. It's important to remember that Time does this fairly regularly - "The Protester," "The Whistleblower," "The Good Samaritans" and "The American Solider" have all been past persons of the year. The #MeToo movement seems a stark contrast and perhaps stands in purposeful opposition to last year's Person of the Year, the man holding the highest elected office in the US, who has been accused of sexual assault and harassment by at least 12 women.

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Griswold Family Christmas

It's skinnier than last year, right?
I always thought I was Ellen. You know, the one keeping everything together, hacking the cabbage in half instead of smoking her cigarette in the back?

I realized this weekend that I might be Clark.

Monday, November 27, 2017

Open Comments (For Sharing) to the National Park Service

As I think most of you know, we love the National Parks. As in, LOVE. THEM. Want to see them all. We are highly invested in the National Park System, buy an annual pass every year, the whole outdoor kit-and-caboodle. 

The National Park Service is currently accepting comments for their proposed rate hike plan, which would implement dynamic pricing at the most well-traveled parks that would double entrance fees (or in some cases, more than double) during peak seasons. This would not affect annual park pass fees, just single entries. 

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Breaking Up with Bono

Dear Bono,

I think we can both agree that I have been very loyal in this relationship. I've followed your work. I've supported your causes. We've been in this together, right? I mean, I even followed you across the globe this summer.

So, it pains me to say this, but, we need a break. And...

It's not me.

It's U2.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

I Heart Paris

In June, I did a sixteen day trip for work. I took a team to the Netherlands, and then went on to Togo for a week with another team there.

But for a day and a half, I had a layover in Paris.

If you don't know, and I don't know how you couldn't, because I still talk about it all the time, I lived in Strasbourg, France for 6 months in college. I loved that time. I loved living in France, I loved the culture, and I loved travelling around Europe.

And I love Paris. I went a number of times to the City of Lights when I lived in France, and returned once with Eric since. But it had been 12 years since the last time I was there.

Monday, November 6, 2017

Will Enough Ever Be Enough?

Last year, after the Pulse Nightclub shooting, I wrote to my members of Congress, and published the letter on this blog. Ten days later, I received the email below, from Congressman Doug Lamborn, and a similar one from Senator Corey Gardner (who's reply I no longer have.)

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Irish Times

So, we are at a point in life where sometimes, we can do things. I mean, we can't go all crazy all the time, but on occasion, we can get an idea in our head, and then actually go do it.

That happened this year.

Monday, October 16, 2017

Me Too

There is a Facebook campaign going around about "me too." The idea is that if enough people who have experienced sexual harassment or sexual assault joined in with "me too," others would understand the scope of the problem. This is in direct response, or at least I assume, to the allegations that Harvey Weinstein, famous movie producer, is a serial sexual harasser and possible perpetrator of sexual assault. Or something like that... I was in Rwanda when this news broke. I came back to less the headlines than the Facebook posts about "why are these women only coming out now," and "why is everyone jumping on the bandwagon against him?" and "why didn't they say anything at the time."

I thought long and hard before I posted "Me too" on my Facebook page. I consider myself lucky: I've never been sexually assaulted. I have been sexually harassed. I don't have residual trauma over it. Sometimes I've wondered if the harassers really understood what they were doing was harassment. So I wondered "do I really have the right to say, 'me too?'"

Thursday, September 28, 2017


I'm confident America has gone absolutely bonkers, I'm tired, and I'm leaving for Rwanda on Monday. So, what better distraction than to talk about the dentist!

Even though I am at the new, competent, dentist, I still hate going. I don't exactly have a great history of dental care and concern, as evidenced here, here and here. But whatever, because I am occasionally compliant, I do in fact go for 6 month cleanings and check-ups. However, because dentistry will forever remain low on my priority list, I always schedule a visit for before work, because there is no way I am using work time for that crap. Also, I still, despite the cavities and the root canal, never floss until approximately one week before the visit, because frankly, I'm not convinced that not flossing caused any of those problems. Certainly, no dentist is going to convince me that not flossing has caused more damage than the stress-grinding that I do nearly every night on my teeth with such force that I've literally bitten through one mouth-guard. I'm the freaking Mike Tyson of sleep-biting, I kid you not.

Monday, August 21, 2017

HailNo Chases the Eclipse

The setup
Like so many other Americans, our alarm went off at 3:30 this morning. Well, Eric's did. I was already awake, because the adrenaline from yesterday had me up most of the night, so I was making coffee and putting together road food by then.

By 4am, we were on the road, destination, Wyoming, in the path of totality for today's eclipse. We honestly debated if my going was a good thing, I mean, I did complete do a bit of a workout in the last 24 hours. But, I was feeling ok, so into the car I went, and then slept most of the way to Wyoming. Car sleeping is almost as good as camper sleeping!

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Race Report: Pike's Peak Marathon

"I climbed a mountain, and I turned around..."
- Fleetwood Mac

I started training in February, and today was the day: the Pike's Peak Marathon.

This last week, Eric has played coach for me: checking to make sure I didn't run too much, got enough sleep, and wasn't disturbed... so from Wednesday on, he insisted on sleeping in the guest bedroom, where he didn't get much actual sleep. Saturday, we saw our friend Amy and my old co-worker Dave off on the Ascent, (which they both rocked!) and then Eric was on to ensuring that I didn't do too much, and was well-rested for race day. I owe him - including for nearly a week of missed sleep. Trust me, I know from missed sleep.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Charlottesville, 2017

This post was supposed to be a funny post about the dumb stuff that I'm up to as I train for PPM. But then Charlottesville happened... white supremacists marched, neo-Nazis bought torches at Home Depot and walked down the street with them, people saluted... and there was  counter-protest, then violence, then a white nationalist mowed down counter-protesters with his car in what I can only describe as an ISIS-inspired attack, killing one and hurting a bunch.

It is 2017.

And we have Nazis running around, and white nationalists in khaki pants and button-down shirts pretending respectability while spewing hate and vitriol. And killing people with their cars.

And I can't come up with a funny thing to say about my training, maybe tomorrow.

Friday, July 7, 2017

Megan Motel

Remember when we were kids and could sleep anywhere? I mean, it really didn't matter, when we were tired, we slept. When I was in college, I got tired and laid on the floor of our dorm, my legs in a pile of shoes, and fell asleep.

Yea, I wish I was still like that.

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Hondon't, Subar-DO!

For the last eight years, I have been driving a 2007 Honda Civic. It's been fine. To be honest, I don't put too much thought in the vehicle that gets me from point A to point B... which is probably why I drive a Honda.

But since we moved to the mountains, the Civic has been a bit of a challenge. And by challenge, I mean it annoys the crap out of Eric that I have to take a running start with the car to get it up our driveway, and I routinely leave divots in the gravel and spit rocks at the surrounding scenery. This results in hummocks the size of large badgers in the drive. But I got up it daily.

However, driving a 2-door Honda Civic also means that our pull-the-popup-camper options (and most other road trips) are limited to HailNo. We've taken the Civic a couple of places but it just doesn't really cut it.

So, it was time for something else.

Monday, June 26, 2017

Ski Season Round Up

Winter Park at the very top
This blog is a bit in coming - it's been sitting in draft status for a while, but better late than never!

Did I tell you I got new skis last summer? After the debacle that was the end of last ski season, I purchased skis, bindings, and boots at Sports Authorities going-out-of business sale, and got a ridiculously good deal on all the gear I needed not to look like an idiot this season. And, bonus, the skis were K-2s, albeit not the same K-2's I demoed (but good enough!), along with Salomon bindings and boots.

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Where Everybody Knows Your Name

I'm consumed these days with work and training for the Pike's Peak Marathon. I mean, I do other things, but the two monoliths on the calendar seem to be work and training.

Since March 11, I've been trekking up the Incline twice a week. I go before work or after work, or get up early on the weekend and make the slog - whatever works best for the schedule that week. I'm not fast - as evidenced by the guy who recently wrote an article in the paper claiming to have completed the Incline in the snow while HIGH in about the time it takes me to drag myself up those steps. Humbling, that is. Also slightly annoying, but I digress.

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Go Big or Go Home

I registered for the Pike's Peak Marathon today, because apparently I am crazy. You can't register for the Marathon unless you have a qualifying marathon time or you've run the Ascent in the last three years. Did I mention this is my first marathon, so I used last year's Ascent to qualify?

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Be my Valentine, Stinky

As you likely know, I find Valentine's Day to be an overpriced, capitalistic, commercial monstrosity that sets unrealistic expectations about love, sex, and romance, and is a made-up way to guilt people into spending money. So, basically, I'm Debbie Downer for Valentine's.

However, this year, I feel a little justified, as Valentine's may have jumped the shark.

Friday, February 3, 2017

What THIS Woman Thinks

I'm a regular reader of Slate. One of their columns is XX Factor, "What Women Really Think." It focuses on women's issues and is generally pretty progressive. However, this morning's (Feb 3) column has me seethingly mad, and is perhaps the most anti-feminist argument I have ever seen in this column. I believe it's because it's about Melania Trump, and the writer disagrees vehemently with the Trump Presidency. But that doesn't make what she says ok. If a liberal First Lady was making the same choices, I don't think she would have written this column, and that's is not only not fair, it is hypocritical and undermines women's equality.

So I wrote a response.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

De-Southwesting, Session 3

Before (photo courtesy of the realtor who sold us the house)
So, I get these ideas in my head...

In our never-ending quest to rid the house of the vestiges of its former southwestern glory, we spent the last couple weeks remodeling the half bath on the main floor. I was heading to Guatemala for a week for work, and Eric planned to replace the disgusting, decomposing tile in the half bath. The half bath also houses the laundry room behind a set of bi-fold doors, which meant moving the washer and dryer out into the living room for several days, hence why Eric wanted to this while I was gone. My OCD can't handle washers and dryers in the living room.

Monday, January 30, 2017

Do Better

I'm writing this for me. I don't expect to change anyone's opinion, and this is solely my opinion. My family, my work, I don't know if they agree or don't agree with me.

I read the draft of the executive order suspending visas on Thursday. The executive order was signed on Friday. Today, I read the final copy, from the White House's website, then re-read it to make sure I understood.

I've listened to the commentary.

I've checked my heart, my beliefs, and my learning.

I cannot support this.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Race Report: Polar Prowl

Confession: I was feeling aspirational when I registered for this race. A bunch of people from Eric's work were going to be in town for annual staff training and wanted to do it. I figured a half marathon early in January would keep me motivated through the Christmas season and I would start my running season early.

Yea, that was totally a great idea until I blew that pesky recurring disk in my back hauling stupid garbage cans up that ridiculous driveway of ours, resulting in weekly visits to my amazing chiropractor and physical therapist, but NOT resulting in quick recovery.  And unfortunately, one of the things that exacerbates an already bulged disk is... running. Suck.

Saturday, January 21, 2017

"Good," not "Fun"

View from the first hotel
I am currently on my way back from a six-day trip from Guatemala. When I leave for work trips, people often tell me “oh, have fun!” This happens to Eric too – more frequently, in fact, as he travels more than I do. When we get back, one of the most common questions we hear is, “Oh, did you have fun?”

To be totally honest, I’m exhausted and emotionally spent from this trip, so much so, that if someone asked me right now if I had “fun” on this trip, I would likely cry. Fun is for vacation. This is something else.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Scoop on the Poop(er)

Over Christmas, Eric bought us a new toilet. Actually, he bought us two toilets.

And because I apparently am both old, and have no life, I am so excited about this thing!

Ok, here's the deal. When we moved in to this house, we moved in with Bruno's original toilets. They didn't work well. We tried switching out the guts of the toilet for new guts, with mediocre results. Now, when I saw "mediocre results," I mean that the toilets continued to back up on random occasions, with, or without large cargos they were carrying. Just cause.

That gets annoying after a while, not to mention that keeping plungers next to all the toilets is not exactly the bathroom aesthetic we're going for.