Monday, August 31, 2009

Free entertainment

It's trip to Italy that is! We haven't bought our tickets yet, but the dates are set. I will leave for Phoenix on November 2 and return November 13. Ideally, we will leave on the third for Italy and return on the eleventh or twelfth. And, it should work out for me to not loose any hours at work, as I have hoarded seven days of vacation just for this trip. That means that I will work on the Sunday before and the Monday that I leave, and the day after I return to Missoula. Geesh, I may regret that but it will be well worth it!

So, from here on out I am restricting my spending drastically. There are a few purchases that will be necessary, namely, a backpack, of which my budget is $130. I have found a North Face W Crestone 60 pack that is on sale at Bob Wards for $119. This may be the one that I go with, as it would also work very well for backpacking into Montana's wilderness.

So this weekend followed last weekend in that I spent hardly any money. On Saturday I worked, and then went to the free movie. Sunday was spent hiking in Pattee Canyon with Arthur, Sunny, and Brian. After that we all went and met up with Emily at Taco Del Sol for tacos and PBR tall boys (which, by the way are only $1 there). Total spent for Saturday, Sunday and Monday: $7.00

Today, I went to the gym, paid my necessary living expenses, then headed out to play tennis with my boss. After loosing to him (?) I headed uptown to inquire about a recurring running problem at The Runner's Edge, where the owner gave me a free pair of socks! A quick stop at The Dark Room convinced me that I need a polarizing filter for my camera, of which will cost me anywhere from $10-$40. Not sure if I really need this, but Ebay does have one for $10.99, so I may try that out.

I have also been spending some time reading again. Right now, I am working on Don Quixote. So far it has been slow going, but I am enjoying it. I also need to get back into the Italian lessons, as I now know that I am going.

I hope to make extra money this weekend by selling all of my excess stuff on a garage sale. I probably won't make enough to buy my pack, but I'll bet I come close.

Sunday, August 30, 2009


Well, I pulled it off. I stayed home on Friday night and enjoyed my fifth night of the month just doing nothing, going nowhere.

I actually had two visitors for about twenty minutes. My friend Arthur walked over to introduce me to my dog-nephew, Sunny. After that, I was left to my own devices, and I was actually very happy to be alone.

Right before sunset, I decided to bike the six blocks to a lookout where I could shoot some photos. I messed some of the more simple features with my camera and got some neat affects. Since the return of my camera, I have become slightly obsessed with wanting to figure out how to really use my D90. Photography is such a big part of my free time that I feel I should try to make it a side project/job.

Last night, I met up with some friends and we went to the Outdoor Cinema on the North side where Psycho was playing. I had never seen it and was happy to have seen it the way I did: on a blanket under partly cloudy skies with friends and a growler of beer. Had it not been for this setting, I am not sure I would have been able to sit through all of it. Not that it was a bad film, it wasn't. I am just a very antsy person that has trouble watching a news program without getting distracted. There were a lot of good quotes in this film, my favorite being right at the beginning..."I'll lick the stamps." Not sure why I like that one in particular, but it could be that it is just an off the wall kind of comment. :) All in all, it was a fun outing, of which I am sad to say next week's is the last night of Outdoor Cinema. They will be playing The Big Lebowski.

So, for now I am off. It is a beautiful day here in Missoula, and I think there is a trail and a couple of friends calling my name.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Busy because I want to be

I've done so much this past week and I've been too busy to blog about it.

To start, I finally made it to Artini, an event that the Missoula Art Museum puts on every third Thursday of every month. I read about it before I moved here, along with First Friday, but had never made it out to the museum. I was joined by Amy and Nora, new friends I've met through Blake. The cupcakes were delicious, and had we wanted to spend $6 for a glass of wine, we could have had that too. All of the art was spectacular! I will definitely have to make it out next month.

Friday, I had another golf tournament for work, and finally the weather cooperated! Sunny and 85. What a day! After that, Kimber and I were off to Choteau for the weekend. Talk about small town Montana, where everyone knows everyone. It was a nice, relaxing weekend, without cell service and internet. Sometimes, even I need to completely unplug.

Sunday, when I returned home, I had the great task of running 9 miles. What a challenge! I had wanted to run, but right from the get go, I noticed that my legs were tired. For about 2 miles, I felt like I was getting shin splints. As that sensation went away, I started getting a side ache, which eventually migrated to my lower left side. Around 4.5 miles, my left hip joint started to really ache. I stopped and walked on three different occasions, for one minute each time, and a water break and stretch break that took about 2 minutes. My time: 1 hr, 28 min. I was sore and tired and sleep was even painful! Riding my bike to lunch helped loosen me up on Monday. I hope that I handle my 10 mile run on Saturday better.

The rest of this week has been filled with the usuall stuff. One of the better moments was hanging out with Justin for the first time in almost two weeks. We made dinner and looked at about half of his photos from China...half. While I am still sad that we are no longer a couple, I am very happy that we will remain friends, and very easily at that.

I am still trying to find a night for myself. Tonight will not be it, as it is the last Dinner in the park. Perhaps Friday night.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Change of pace

I love people. I am almost sad when I am not around a small or large group of people, whether I know them or not. On the four nights so far this month (four out of twenty!) that I have stayed home by myself, I was restless for two of them, and thankful for the other two. Wanting to go out and be around people, and having the opportunity, I forced myself to stay home, for fear of getting burnt out. While I am not burnt out, I know that I need to change my attitude. I don't need to be around people all of the time.

This month is zooming by at warp speed. High school students have started back to school, college courses start in a little over a week, and then summer will fade into fall. While I am not a student, many of my friends are, and their focus will shift back to classes and course work. With this shift of the seasons, I hope to find time for me.

Running has been one of the only solitary thing I do now, well, that and sleeping. I still find running, as hard as it may be some days, to be relaxing. I don't worry about what I must do the rest of the day, or what happened the previous day. I just run.

So, as the season prepares for change, I accept the changes that have recently occurred in my life: the end of a fabulous relationship, the start of many wonderful new friendships, the appreciation of family, and the comfort in knowing that everything happens for a reason.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Some photos

Top left: Jill, Michelle and I at the tree that I would say more people than not at least check out.

Top right: My favorite spot to take photos, Avalanche Gorge always shows me something new every time I visit.

Bottom left: Someone had already staged this, and I just thought that it was kinda neat.

Bottom right: I've got a thing for shadow pictures lately.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Week in review

What a busy week I've had! My sisters arrived last Saturday afternoon for a week of hanging out, camping, and celebrating Michelle's and my 30th birthday. I'm happy to say that we had a fabulous time and did almost everything that they wanted to do while they were out here.

With the weather suddenly cooling off for the entire week, we were unable to go floating. Instead, we headed to Phillipsburg on Sunday where Michelle found three rough sapphires that will be able to be cut. On Monday, we headed to Glacier National Park for two nights of car camping. Tuesday, we drove the Sun Road and did a bit of hiking where we saw several mountain goats and a couple of different families of black bears. I got a four mile run in (opposited direction of bear sighting) and then we hit the lake, where it proved to be too cold to actually submerge.

Wednesday, we packed up camp before we headed to the stables for our trail ride. It was cool and started to rain towards the end of an uneventful ride. As we were nearing the corral, my horse had had enough, and decided to crow hop a couple of times, of which I was able to stay on for one. No major injuries, save for a few bruises and a very soar neck and chest from bracing for the fall. I had also opted out of wearing a helmet (which I will never do again) and was very lucky to hit my head lightly enough that there was no bump or soreness whatsoever. Had we been a few feet further along the trail, my head would have hit a large rock...all I could think was, "Not now, I'm not ready."

With that excitement over, we headed back to Missoula. We had timed it just about right for the arrival of Matt and Tiffany, who are also from Iowa and would be staying the night with us on their way through on a bike trip. My sisters, guests, and three other friends headed out to Sean Kelly's for dinner and drinks. As we were heading home, Michelle commented that I had very nice friends. Indeed, I do.

Thursday proved to be a bit of a dreary day, weather wise, so our last chance for floating went down the tubes. Instead, I stayed in bed until almost noon. After I finally gained the motivation to get up, the three of us did some shopping (Matt and Tiffany had left at 8am). As planned, a group of friends met up at Caras park for dinner and drinks and then headed out to a couple of bars for more drinks before heading to Blake and Justin's for cake.

Friday was a fun filled day of golfing with my coworkers in a Tough Enough To Wear Pink tournament, after which I rejoined my sisters for our last evening together. We had dinner, hiked the M and they enjoyed Big Dipper Ice Cream. Their visit was quickly drawing to a close.

I saw them off at 6am this morning and went back to bed, completely wiped out from over a week of constant activity. While drinking my coffee before work, I was a bit unsettled, as this was the first time in a week that I had been alone. I was enjoying the quiet, but at the same time, I was a bit sad.

Pictures of our time together to follow in my next post.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Treadmill running

The last two mornings it has been raining pretty heavily at the time that I would normally run. With having plans both evenings, I was forced to get up at 5:30am and head to the gym to get my miles in on the treadmill. This was torture! Not getting up at 5:30, I can handle that, but running in place for 3 miles, then 4.5 today was so bloody boring!

The only good thing about running on a glorified hamster's wheel is that I was able to track my mileage accurately and found that I am running a 9 minute mile, which is what I thought I was running anyway. All I can say is that it had better be nice on Sunday for my 8 mile run.

And now, for something fun. It is totally an add for Citi card, but very fitting for this post.

At least this didn't happen to me!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Finally chilled out

Two months ago, I had a lot of anxiety. I couldn't calm myself down and just relax. I am happy to say that without much work, I have found my chill zone, or perhaps it has found me.

After dinner with Kimber on Friday evening, an intense calmness came over me. Almost trance-like, I sat at her kitchen table and felt completely at ease with the world around me. The pain that I had been feeling was still there, but I was no longer aware of it...somehow, it had faded. I went to bed early and slept as I have never slept before.

This happened again, on Sunday morning, after brunch at Kimber's. I had just run 7 miles, to cap off a 19 mile week, and we were preparing to float the river. Perhaps she is putting something in the food ;), or perhaps it is something else...

As I mentioned in a recent post, I have been hanging out with a bunch of different people in the last few weeks. The variety of interactions have been a great benefit to me. I feel invigorated, creative, and confident all at once. It is almost too much to handle so suddenly.

I am living in the here and now, not the what was, or what could be. This is exactly where I am supposed to be.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Already August

We have officially entered the month in which I turn 30. The big 3-0. Whoop-ee-do-da. It doesn't bother me, per se, but what does bother me a little bit is how fast the past five years have gone. They (I'm not sure who they are) say that the older one gets, that faster time goes. Well, they were right!

Along with the past five years going by quickly, I am surprised at how quickly this summer has gone. It feels like it was just a couple of weeks ago that I was moving, and it has been two months already. In the past, August has always been the end of summer, but here in Missoula, it feels like we are just getting into the swing of it.

Over the past three weeks while Justin has been in China, I feel as though I have found new and interesting ways to spend my time. I've begun hanging out with friends that I already knew, but with being in a better location, it is much easier to meet up with them now. I've been training for my half marathon, going on bike rides, heading up to Caras Park,
a quick trip to Glacier National Park, attending meditations, studying Italian, and decorating my apartment, among other things. Tomorrow, if I am able to, I will run 7 miles, go on a bike ride with Jen, float the Clark Fork, and if there is time, do laundry, which is a whole new adventure for me (because of going to a laundromat). There is always something going on.

They say that time flies when you're having fun...I say, what better way than to spend your time having fun. Be it special occasions with friends, everyday errands, work, etc. Whatever it is, live it up. We've got this one life to live, and we should get the most out of it.

It would seem that I've been having a lot of fun the last five years! I've got no problem with that.