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Room for Cheetos

People in Boulder take their food seriously. Our Whole Foods Market makes the store in Columbus Circle look ghetto. Just to give you an idea of how committed they are to stocking only the healthiest nosh, an entire aisle is dedicated to gluten-free noodles. Another aisle is nothing but freshly squeezed juice. Here, a single serving of beet-and-other-stuff juice sets a girl back 10.99+tax. Believe it or not those puppies were flying off the shelves. 

The restaurants we've been to (and we've been to many since I am pathetic excuse for a housewife) all feature local cheese, cage-free eggs, organic doughnuts. At one place they served deep fried pickles, which, according to the menu, were local right down to the acetic acid used to pickle the cucumbers. Is that even possible? If the proprietors of the establishment didn't look like they take themselves SO seriously I'd be certain they were messing with people. 

I get why people take food seriously. We all gotta eat, and the things we put in our mouths have a big impact on our health and our moods. Food can be a way to connect, to comfort, and to create memories. So I get it.

But sometimes I just need to cut loose and eat crap; Cheetos and candy made from high fructose corn syrup by Sweetums in Pawnee, IN. It's the kinda stuff you can't find at Whole Foods Market (which is pretty much the only game in town if you live in BO,CO).

I'm really glad to know that a person can still be thoughtful about food, without taking themselves too seriously.Take for example, food guru Michael Pollen and Maira Kalman, the artist he commissioned to illustrate an edition of his book "Food Rules." Here is her response to his request to participate in the project:  

Two things:

First, I think Maira Kalman is one of the most delightful, thoughtful, talented writer/artists out there. 
If you aren't familiar with her work you should get your duff in a chair and look her up.

Second, if Michael Pollen is down for cheese doodles, maybe Whole Foods should consider devoting an aisle to what I like to call "a balanced diet." It's feedback I plan on giving management next time I'm there for overpriced beet juice and local vinegar. 


Rocky Mountain High

out my front door

Four years ago Mike and I moved from Cambridge, MA to Sandy, UT.  As we drove all of our earthly possessions (including a bag of socks Mike used on his mission in 1996) across America I plotted our return to the East Coast. 

Somewhere in Kansas, or maybe Iowa, I turned to my husband of barely two months and gave him the first (and only) "ultimatum" of our relationship:

"Unless you want to sleep on the sofa for the rest of your natural born life," I said, "You better get me out of the god-forsaken state of Utah by January 2014." 

I know it sounds dramatic but 02138 is the kind of place that gets in the blood and I was convinced that life is only worth living on the East Coast so it seemed completely justified. I was looking out for us! It didn't help that my first few months in Sandy only confirmed my biases about SL, UT. 

Anyway this is all to say that Mike probably didn't expect me to have a nuclear meltdown when he announced in August that he'd been offered a job in Boulder, CO and wondered if I'd be interested in getting out of dodge. 

"NO!!!!!" I might have screamed while holding up my gold print of the state of Utah, the one with a big heart in it. 

Poor dude. He'd done what I asked (on schedule too). 

Somewhere along the way Utah became kinda like home. I can't say if that's just what happens after you live in a place for a while or if it happened because we made some truly wonderful friends in "that god forsaken state." Either way I'd grown to love the beehive state so much I'd been considering letting Mike out of the "ultimatum.", maybe buying a house (I had my eye on a 113 year old place in the Avenues) and getting a Utah driver's license (which if you know me is major).  That's love, yo. 

So I had every intention of digging in my heels and telling Mike he should work at McDonalds because I hear they offer extra pay to people with high school diplomas (imagine the premium he could get with a JD!). But somehow, and against my better judgement, he convinced me to fly out the Boulder and check things out.  

I saw this and I was done. 

Short story long (isn't that always the way with me) we live in Boulder now, this hippy town in the mountains. 

I like it, but don't worry Utah it's not home (yet).  


stuff i dug in 2012

the glass castle
the great gatsby
to the lighthouse

game of thrones

gone by vacationer
devil's spoke by laura marling
oblivion by grimes
call me maybe (judge not lest ye be judged)

other random crap (that's not crap)
my new car.  as you can see from the photo, when we are together, sparks fly.


Dining Out

I'm not well suited for the role of "military wife." I hate rules and military bases have more dumb rules than a cub car rally. No walking on the grass. No walking outside with earphones in. No moving while the national anthem is playing.

Getting caught doing any of the above results in a lecture from a zealous 18 year old airmen. (Be wise and resist the urge to tell him he needs a Zanex.)

But one OK part of this gig is that every once in a while we get to go to a military ball.

This was actually my first and I've decided that ball isn't the right word to describe the evening. The food was bad, the speeches were boring (and generally offend my liberal sensibilities) and there wasn't any dancing. How they plan on keeping morale high without a getting everyone on the dance floor for spin is beyond me.

Also one of the commanders offered an invocation that went something like this:

"Dear God. Thank you that we are Americans and better than everyone else..."

But enough whining.

We got to dress up, which is a big deal when you've spent every minute of the preceding three months in stretchy pants and a sports bra. I wore my wedding dress and Mike wore a (mandatory) uniform that kind of made him look like a (handsome) penguin.

Sipping ice cold diet doctor peppers and watching season three of Sons of Anarchy on our ipad later that night was the real ball if you ask me.


American exceptionalism at the Olympic Games

As a kid I watched the Olympics a lot.  I remember being charmed by CBC profiles of gymnasts who escaped the USSR and shoeless Ethiopian runners who used cinder blocks for strength training. To be sure CBC highlighted Canadian achievement at the Games, but it wasn't the emphasis.  Presenting the Olympic spirit of nations coming together really did seem to be the primary goal of their programming.

I only realized this might be a uniquely Canadian approach after sitting through a two weeks of NBC's Olympic coverage. It struck me that they talk almost exclusively about American athletes and in particular, those who win medals.  
American Brit Jessica Ennis wins gold. This picture no longer makes sense--except it shows Canada losing. 
Every night it's the same thing: a celebration of American superiourity in the pool, on the track, in the ring. It is all evidence of the undeniable fact that America is still the best nation in the world. After all, they beat out China in the medal count. What more proof do you want Obama?

To be fair there was some coverage of non-American athletes. Usain Bolt (a legend in his own words) and Oscar Pistorius (the South African who runs with two prosthetic legs) did receive considerable airtime.  While both are impressive in their own ways, doesn't profiling world's fastest man and a guy without legs seem kind of, like, obvious? Well done NBC for getting the low hanging fruit. 

The games of full of athletes with incredible stories. People who have found their way to the competition in spite of injury, financial hardship, and political oppression. Tell us about them NBC! Help us see the world for a few minutes from other points of view.  

My distaste for the whole "America is the best" shtick isn't just about being annoyed by two weeks of self congratulatory programming. Only exposed to winners, viewers miss some of the messiness of athletic competition: the false starts, disqualifications, and utter heartbreak that comes from not performing your best. I think the public is actually harmed by this sanitized version of sport (and by extension life).  They make it easy to forget that failure happens all the time, and at the highest levels and gives the impression somehow that Americans are immune.  

But maybe the only people who want to talk about American failure are me and Obama.

And I should add--none of this stopped me from tuning in every. single. night.   


Fall Makeup

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Notes: If you have any kind of darkness around your eyes you need to get 7. Buy it in the orange tint and it will totally zap any kind of dark blue or purple circles you have under your eyes. It works like a charm.