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Friendiversary

Friendship is a complex social relationship that transcends blood relation, mainly as you are not related to one another by any direct familial bond, and yet you still love each other and tolerate one another’s flaws. We choose these people to be in our lives and they likewise choose us.

There are of course many different kinds of frienships and durations: casual, aquaintance, school, season, reason, or lifetime. That said, there are some friendships that last longer than some romantic relationships, including marriages.

Yet, these friendships can also be as difficult to maintain. After all you are dealing with two, or more, humans in a social relationship. Issues are bound to come up as well as personality conflicts, resolutions, etc. As such, why do we not honor friendships in America as much as other countries? Why minimalize these relationships?

So my friend and I decided we should celebrate our 20th year friendiversary. We went to Chicago.

It just seemed the thing to do.

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Chicago cityscape.

So we got to stay at her parent’s condo while they were out of town. It was glorious! Walking distance to great restaurants, convenient bus system…and right by the Lincoln Park Zoo, which was free.

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Thought of you, Karen. There were flamingos :)

We also did some touristy things like check out the bean, great for photos.

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The "bean" great for photos.

The art museum for a Ferris Bueller moment.

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Okay, my timing with people not the best...but we got to get up close and stare just like Cameron. :)

We also loved the Museum of Science and Industry, submarine inside the museum, coal mine inside the museum, and the best fairytale castle ever…the list goes on.

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And they had real farm equipment...so much bigger than I expected. :)

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Mini fairytale castle with detailed roon of about every fairytale...so awesome!

96 floors up and enjoy a cocktail…sweet city view.

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96 floors up...views all round are spectacular.

The Untouchables tour, fun, informative, and highly entertaining.

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Informative: the wall where the Valentine's Day Massacre occurred.

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Entertaining: these guys had a great sense of humor. :)

Eataly…there are no words for this mecca for Italian foodies…but alas, I have no pictures.

And of course the Buckingham fountain which reminds me of “Married With Children”.

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Based on the Buckingham fountain.

It was a great trip and Martine and I had a great time.

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Our female friends are as important as our romantic relationships. In our time together Martine also pointed out that should we get into a serious romantic relationship with a guy anytime soon, we can draw on what we learned being friends together, communication, compromise, all that has worked, and it should help us to make a relationship last (should we so choose).

*Now I am not minimizing the other friends I have that also have a 20-yeariversary with; however, in this case it just so happened that we could go and as we are the only single friends we have it made sense to make a big fuss. I look forward to celebrating a friendiversaries with my other friends as well when schedules allow. Ladies, I am thinking when we all hit 30 yrs we should find a way to do Ireland, or a resort by a beach…thoughts? *

Should Hallmark, and/or resorts, catch on and capitalize on this concept of a friendiversary, I feel some credit would be nice. :)

A Rose By Any Other Name…

The news just gets more and more…well, annoying and speculative, full of propaganda…the usual. ChatterMaster and Strawberryindigo, I know you guys will get me on this one. And the media could help…change how rhey present things in this one instance, help others…but I guess it would take too much work.

I wanted to talk about my Chicago trip (outstanding by the way) and my friendiversary with a good friend of mine…but no, this kept coming up–over and over. So fine, I will not remain silent then.

Really?  This is what we have come to? I realize that the media is supposed to perform the function of informing the public and acting as a watchdog for the rest of society, but it would help if they were a bit more sensitive to the fact that sadly many people are perhaps…okay, no nice way to say it–there are quite a few idiots out there. I know I am being negative. I am trying to be positive; take all sides into account; take into account emotions are running high and people do not think clearly when that happens; keep in mind that there are internet trolls out there too…but this is ridiculous.

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Many businesses and women who happen to be named after an Ancient Egyptian diety, one I admire, are getting a lot of flack to change their names because of a group of terrorosts going by the acronym I.S.I.S. (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria).

My favorite store is getting harassed by Internet trolls, women named Isis are becoming worried they should not go by their first names, other businesses are getting told similar admonishments–change your name. My all time favorite is some nitwit asking my store on Facebook to: “stop beheading people.” *Stares at the screen slowly blinking and then facepalm.*

Seriously? *Tilting my head* Really? Did you not pass seventh grade humanities? Do you not know basic Ancient Egyptian mythology? Isis, Goddess of Ten Thousand Names, Queen of the Gods, Goddess of Magic, Motherhood, Fertility…the list goes on (see Ten Thousand Names). SHE should change her name along with the thousands of others who were clearly born, or founded as a business, way before this group? (By the way that is rhetorical and sarcastic.)

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Even the foreign press, the French, saw they did not deserve this title. They are calling the group “Daesh” Daesh article rather than even affiliate the group with such an ancient and powerful name as Isis, or even a “State” for that matter. Daesh also loosely sounds like sowers of discord in Arabic according to the article, fitting.

Think about it. If names have meaning, and in some way inform our character, then how much power are you giving the terrorists by using that name? This is probably another reason the President tried calling them I.S.I.L (L standing for the area of Levant which is mostly in Syria as well) thus taking away some power of the name and helping those named Isis.

It would be nice to think some people can make the distinction between the terrorist group and innocent people with a bit of common sense…but sometimes when people are overly emotional or sensitive they cannot see or think rationally. Granted the terrorist group is so extreme perhaps some members would be that flagrant to call themselves ISIS openly…but I doubt a four year old in Canada is a member. I doubt a metaphysical bookstore that also sells books on the Jewish Qabalah is a member. I doubt a pharmaceutical company that had been around for at least 25 years is a member. I highly doubt the new hipster spa and salon in California is giving out swords with the aromatherapy…I could be wrong, but as Mycroft would say, “the balance of probablity” so I am logically concluding that answer is “no.”

As to changing their names…I am sorry but no way. The terrorists do not deserve such an honor as to have a name they got by the happenstance of a region and a movement (do they really constitute a state anyway?).

Taking a cue from Office Space, and dignity along with commonsense, why should They (the goddess, the women, the businesses) change their name when it is the terrorist group that sucks?

Michael Bolton from Office Space was so right.

Yeah, they don’t. The name of the monsters can change, not the innocent.  Especially not Goddesses.

Spider Truce

So for those wondering: spiders. I have a huge maple tree in the back, and that brings with it glorious shade, birds, leaves, bugs, and spiders. This one let me know it was none-too-thrilled I took down a few of its webs so right on the other side of the sliding door, there it was.

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Apparently a jewel or cat-faced spider. Low toxicity venom and hey moves around the yard, kills bugs.

A brief look at the back…no street sign visible so I figure it is okay…but check out the thumb-sized slayer of insects! I yelped when I first saw it. Caught me by surprise…spider ninja.

Now a debate began after I showed this huge spider to a coworker. She said, “I do not think so. I would kill it.”

“But it is on the other side,” I protested, “technically it is adhering to our truce. So long as it does not cross the border into the home we are all good. Besides, it kills the bugs.”

(I had heard neighbors complaining about more bugs than usual this year as we are by an open space and a creek it made sense…I have not had a lot of bugs though. I can only credit my spider allies).

“No way, what about when it decides to go in your house? Or you feel something crawl on you in the middle of the night. You will think it is the spider and freak out,” she knew me and had a good point. I already felt guilty about destroying some web work and did have a spider bite at night in retaliation (I confess it was deserved)…but my cats killed that spider.

“True…but it is harmless venom wise and a bug killer (did I mention I have a fear of spiders?).”

A bit of debate, a talk with my mother, I decided to honor our human-spider truce…for now. On the outside we are okay, on the inside, if my cats chose to hunt it, so be it. There will be no mercy, no quarter shown…

A bit harsh, perhaps…perhaps. But such is life on the other side of the wall (yes, it is a Game of Thrones reference).

Morning Drive

I have had a lot running through my head since earlier this month and in the meantime why not get some of my random thoughts out? Maybe spare a bit of the editing? That is the whole point of blogging after all. A pity my other blog is so serious…may lighten that one up, but that is a photoshop deal. Moving on…

My morning commute (an intentional fragment used for stylistic purposes).

It is just something you notice on the the morning drive. Odds are, statistics you are probably traveling with the same people day in and day out. After all, usually it is the same stretch of highway around the same time of day…odds are.

During this brief (or for some of us long) time we kind of bond with our fellow drivers.

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Well some of us take it a bit too far. Relax bro...

For me it has been the large green “Lewis Paper Company” truck that is often going southbound (on the other side of the highway). When I see it, I feel like we are giving each other a kind of air highway high five. “Have a good day, truck buddy.”

Then there is the guy, “Texas Oilman” personalized plate going my way north. Now, for him it is not a high five, as we are going the same way, that just does not make sense. It feels more like a highway fist bump or pat on the back, but not literally as otherwise that would be an accident kind of feeling.

We travel with these strangers all the time…and when it all flows, the traffic goes well, I like to think it is a sign like “It is all good today. Today we are all going to have a good day.” Even though I have no clue what everyone is going through or doing…someone could be a homicidal maniac for all I know, but when thoughts like that spring in my head I make them “Hello Kitty” fans instead…because that is more reasonable.

We are all happenstance traveling companions of sorts, and with any luck we are quasi normal-at-least-interesting-but-hopefully-not-so-insane-we-should-really-worry, but at-least-not-jerks, kind of people. Well, we all have our days. :)

Commuting in some ways gives me way too much free time to think…like now what do I do about the spider buddy, or spider gangster, hanging out my patio door? That is another story…

Much like Samwise Gamgee, I am back. Back to work and the hustle and the bustle, amongst other things, hence a lack of blogging, apologies.

However, before the hustle of a new year, I did make it to the grand opening of the Estes Park location/re-location of my favorite tea shoppe, Moon Kats. Rob and Staci found a lovely new home for their business nestled in the mountains in the town of Estes Park.

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Their famous Moon Kats truffles...adorable and tasty.

The plus side, it is beautiful. The view, the majesty of it all…the downside, the distance, and in winter mountain roads and snow.

But here are a few pictures of the awesomeness that is their new location. It is up a bit of stairs with a grand view of the mountains, you can somewhat see them from the windows in these pictures.

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They still have my chair! Okay, not "my" chair, but for the longest time I had a kind of dibs on it on Sundays.

Sigh, not quite by the Stanley Hotel, but not far either. They are closer to the library and a park actually.

The food is as wonderful, even better, than I recalled, Rob credits having a kitchen on site as the reason for this and it totally makes sense. My Pacific Rim Chicken Salad, still my favorite though he has expanded the menu. Chais, green teas, black teas, espresso drinks, such a grand variety complete with scones.

The tea, the chai, the zen feel to the place…I wish they were closer but I guess I will have to settle for sporadic visits when I can.

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It is still one of the best tea shoppes I know.

It Was Caturday

So this is about a week or so late, but hectic lately again (work, helping people move, mountain fun, home owner stuff, new car stuff, finding a local microbrew, writing, spending time with friends, you know hectic). I promised a bit of levity to a friend of mine, and as this is a bit of levity maybe a grin will come of this for some…or head tilting, yeah that could happen too. We humans can be goofy creatures.

Anyway, my friend Martine insisted on the title whenever I decided to write this it has to be noted it was on “Caturday.” We had a good laugh, and laughed at ourselves too, enjoy this oddity we stumbled upon.

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Do not know if that is true, but I could see it.

This was at the Bug Theatre, an independent local theatre where earlier we saw “Evil Dead: The Musical” which was hilarious! This night though, well one, there was avant garde art-awesome on a nearby building.

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I think it was a metal sculpture of Spiderman. Great pose. :)

It was her birthday celebration, so we started the evening with an outstanding dinner at this great restaurant called Root Down which is all about fresh locally grown food. The best part was the devil’s on horseback, bacon wrapped pepper stuffes with almonds and spice goodness, but yes it had a kick. And a cool waiter with bee-striped socks.

Then we were off to the show…

Picture if you can a traveling cat circus and rock show. Yes…it really does exist. The Acro-cats. To be fair they are quite funny and start the show with “lowering audience expectations.” But despite this what they did get the kitties to do was still impressive. After all, cats will often just look at you like, “Whatever human, it is nap time (or food time depending, and if lucky belly rub time.)

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Tuna playing her cowbell.

There was the main act, Tuna. Tuna is an all white kitty who would take your flesh off if you try to pet her but plays cowbell like no other, and she really does play cowbell and ring bells, sits pretty…she is quite a personality. My favorite was the “nerd kitty” named Buggles who was all black and well just liked to read with you. Jax was more talented I admit. Jax could do the walk on a ball thing across the stage. Who knew cats could be clicker trained to do such cool stuff? (I confess I tried with some success but the treats I used made mine kind of tune out. They do the touch thing, nose boop your hand if you say touch, but that is it.)

This traveling circus also had a talented and trained rooster named Cluck Norris who played tamborine and bowled.

There were cats that did tricks and obstacles, cats who played instruments (drums, guitar, piano, chimes, and of course cowbell), and cats who were just adorable. A portion of the proceeds went to a local cat shelter which also was nice to know you were entertained and contributed to a good cause, and the reason we went to the show aside from the whole “that is adorable” factor.

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The whole band is a hit of chaos, but cute. :)

Do not worry all were well loved and paid in fresh salmon or tuna for tricks rendered.

Martine is a big believer in those who are good to animals are good people. She is also a believer in “cat men” and it is true they do exist–studies have shown a rise in cat owners who are men and as you can see they can be hotties too…manly and well…ah yeah…I am definitely a fan of animal lovers too. :)

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He Will Be Missed

Robin Williams on Weather, Earthquakes, and Hybri…: http://youtu.be/SMn7KKv-Rvs

I realize it may be cliche and well whatever…but this is what is on my mind. He will be missed, he made so many laugh. My sister and I reminisced about Popeye, one of our favorites when we were little. Truthfully there were too many good ones to count.

A bit of swearing in this, but once again he made me laugh as he did many and I thought why not share a moment. I know many thoughts are with his family right now. I cannot even fathom. May he be at peace.

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