28 August 2010

On Dogs and Beer...

You may remember my efforts to become a Stage Aunt by submitting Marlowe's headshot to the HipsterPuppies blog.

Well, it seems that Marlowe has made her internet debut not as a hipster but as a "Chub Dog" on the Oscar Blues Brewery photosite! Thank you, Oscar Blues for providing Marlowe her well-deserved 10 minutes of fame!

Colorado Microbrews

The book Drinking and Driving in Colorado is not what it sounds like...
It is A Guide to Colorado's Brewpubs.

There's a lot of talk about Colorado microbreweries, but it wasn't until Jon and I sacrificed a weekend (yes, it was terrible) to hit the road drinking. MADD supporters relax, there was always two DDs: a designated driver and designated drinker. From Boulder to Golden and Longmont, we sampled tasty brew after brew.

Avery Brewing Co has a cozy tap room only miles from and Boulder Beer Company in Boulder. Closeby, Golden City Brewery had one of the best family-friendly beer gardens that I've ever been to in the U.S. It's an easy walk up to the bar to order BEER HERE:
Last but not least we visited Left Hand Brewery with my favorite lefty, my Dad! We sampling beer from bitter APAs to milky Stouts outside on their scenic patio. While in Longmont, a tour of the Oscar Blues Brewery helped us understand how special beer doctors abrakadabra water and hopps into BEER!
After a whirlwind Colorado microbrewery tour I have realized how little I know about all the different kinds of magic potions we call beer. Going to breweries or tap rooms allows you the option to taste the various brews and decide which you prefer while personalize the brand name at the same time :-).

What microbreweries in your area do you recommend? Sharing is caring!

26 August 2010

Summertime conclusions

Alas, nighttime is creeping into day and this can only mean that Summer is ending. Summer could go out with a bang, but why be cliché about it. I can honestly say this whole summer has been a bang. I don't know that I could have fit more into these 3 short months. Between graduating college, moving home, working semi-full time in Denver, frolicking in the mountains, family time, cross-training with LaLa, Greyhounding to Missouri to visit my sweetheart, driving to the Wild West to visit E&N, facilitating at the International Youth Academy in Fort Worth, packing to move abroad, and BLOGGING, I just don't know what could top it! Therefore I am dedicating a new "Label" to my blog to categorize all these memories into "SUMMERTIME".

There are many posts that are written in my head and not on the world wide web. In the 2 weeks (!!) before I leave I will try to spill them into this tiny text box or at least we can reminisce with photographs.

25 August 2010

Wordle Scramble

For those of you who haven't already been introduced to Wordle, you may hate me for getting you addicted. Let's just say I spend WAY too much time making rando word collages. I figured that I might as well use it as a language learning tool, so I came up with a word scramble that will mesmerize you.

Try to match the English word to the Czech word and then find the number.
Wordle: czech #s

Or, a much easier and more practical way to learn the Czech numbers is with these BYKI flash cards.

20 August 2010

Come away with Norah

Set the mood by pressing play.
Norah and I are on a first name basis (although her given name was Geethali Norah Jones Shankar). Her music has been a part of my life for 8 years, or since my freshman year in high school. My devotion was amplified when I travelled to Germany through Lone Star International Jazz Exchange with her jazz piano teacher from UNT who strongly encouraged her music. Her 4 albums consume 3 hours and 212.3 MB on my iPod. Each album has it's own character- completely unpredictable from the previous release. Different instruments, different themes, and sometimes a new genre. I'm a fan to say the least and I like to think of it as a healthy obsession.

Last night she performed at Red Rocks Amphitheater near Denver for myself and thousands of other devoted fans who sat patiently in a Rocky Mountain thunderstorm for her to grace the stage. Our shivering wet bodies swayed in waves to her warm voice. I can easily say that this is one of the best concerts I've ever been to

Alors, the concert has past but Norah will be joining me via iTunes and iPod in my travels as my "piece of home" item. Her songs can comfort any mood and celebrate where I've been or encourage where I'm going. Last night reminded me of that. Merci Norah.

17 August 2010

My little HipsterPup

I've been addicted to the HipsterPuppies blog for about 5 months now. The puppy pictures are hilarious but the captions that the author gives are even funnier. I've been trying to come up with a good picture of Lala's dog, Marlowe, to submit in hopes of making the cut on the website. Wow is this what it's like to be a stage mom?!

Anyways, I got the idea after taking Marlowe on a long walk. She promptly passed out in her bed. I kicked back with a cold one when a lightbulb above my head lit up. She was the perfect snoozing model for this shot. The photo is perfection and too good not to share.

Note: No canines were intoxicated in the making of this photograph.

12 August 2010

You'll be speaking Czech Before You Know It

With less than a month before my departure to the Czech Republic, my brain has been on information overload. I'm cutting back on the travel guides and history books and focusing my energy on what will really help me out: language.

I have done my fair share of research this summer on programs to study the Czech language. Most of what I found was disappointing. Rosetta Stone was my first preference, but apparently Czech is one of the few languages that Rosetta does NOT speak. Once in Prauge, Berlitz and Charles University have 4 to 6-week Czech language classes for a reasonable price. Until then, I will continue practicing beginner Czech by means CDs rented from the public library and a free online program called Before You Know It. It uses flash cards and audio visual aids to teach useful words and phrases of all different categories. It's free and you don't have to download anything! To help me stay on track and get my readers (someone, anyone) involved, I will post lists like the one below on my blog.

Meeting and greeting words and phrases are especially helpful to make friends in a new country.

11 August 2010

A Serious Summit Sunday

After an almost too long hiatus, Summit Sunday resumed August 8th and you bet my calves and buttocks know it!! My special guest requested a long scenic hike, so I delivered with one of Colorado's famous fourteeners. Sunday afternoon Jon and I hiked the almost 7 miles up Barr Trail on Pikes Peak. 3,800 ft in elevation later, we arrived at Barr Camp soaked of rain and exhausted. Our "practice" hike the week before at Red Rocks Park and Amphitheater paled in comparison.
Red Rocks Park overlooking Morrison,  CO
Barr Trail on Pikes Peak overlooking Colorado Springs, CO
Pikes Peak wore us out but the experience was unforgettable. We roughed it outside with a tent and sleeping bags. That night I fell asleep to was scared stiff by a Rocky Mountain Thunderstorm. It was then that I realized it had been more than 10 years since I've slept outside with nature. Too long! After surviving the storm and staying relatively dry during the downpour, I realized how fun it was being in a storm like that. This camping thing must happen again! Neil and Teresa were wonderful hosts at Barr Camp. Not only did they provided us a hot meal (for a small fee) the night we arrived, but also served up a hearty pancake breakfast before our descent the next morning. With a full stomach and a [Camelbak] bladder full of water, our knees and ankles headed out to take the shock of downhill trekking. The view was much better in the morning without the afternoon clouds blocking the blue sky. Here's a glimpse at our "fauxto" shoot at Lightning Point.

07 August 2010

The world just got even smaller.

The day after my "It's a small world" moment, the world assured me just how small it actually is.

Jon and I were headed out to a hike in Red Rocks Park and decided to take a peek at the Red Rocks Amphitheater only minutes away from the trail head. We're walking around checking out the sights when I see a familiar face. I call out this persons name and there's no response. Funny. So I nudged Jon and call his attention to this person who looks like Jon's across-the-hall neighbor from the dorms freshman year. Jon immediately saw the resemblance and tried calling his name a second time.

This time he turned. Behold, it WAS Jon's dorm-mate. He was taking a pit stop in Denver to check out the amphitheater on his way to the airport from a family vacation in Vail. He just happened to be in the same town on the same day at the same time in the same place as us. It was wonderful seeing a familiar face out and about; something that doesn't happen often since I moved here in May. We all chatted and then he went on his way back to Chicago.

Two days in a row. Maybe it will be YOU next time.

03 August 2010

It's a small world after all.

Picture this: Jon and I are driving through Eastern Kansas.

OK, this is not a good way to start an interesting story but I promise the story will pick up. Bear with me.

National Public Radio is the only station with a signal along this god forsaken stretch of highway. Between each NPR program, a local broadcaster for the region will sign on and do a short news and weather update then introduce the next program. As the Eastern Plains broadcaster gave her update, Jon could tell something was bugging me. It was that feeling when you recognize something but can't figure out who or what. Finally I realized it was the voice.

"Funny, the radio anchor sounds just like this girl who I had a couple classes with at Mizzou. Come to think of it, she was studying radio journalism."

We continued to listen to the broadcast until it dawned on me that this same girl worked at the NPR regional station in Columbia, MO. Well, I decided I would facebook her soon and tell her that someone on Kansas NPR sounds just like her! This didn't last long because the longer we listened, the more convinced I was that it WAS her. Luckily I still had her phone number in my cell phone from a group project we had done together and I decided to text her right away.

Short story short, it was her. What are the chances that:
1. I'd be driving through Kansas
2. I would listen to NPR while driving through Kansas.
3. I would listen to this particular station between 4 and 7pm during her shift
4. I would recognize a persons voice who I only had 2 classes with?!?!

I've come to the conclusion that it's a small world after all.