Saturday, May 19, 2012

5 Shades of Gray

I'm talking about pens, here, guys.  Pens.

I managed to find my favorite Faber Castell pens in Hobby Lobby recently.

Please stop staring at my strangely shaped thumb

I can tell you aren't nearly excited enough about this.

Maybe you don't know what can be done with gray pens.  Your ignorance pains me.

For example, you can make a lot of dots and draw a picture of the scary thing in the woods using thousands upon thousands of dots.

Want to know why I haven't been blogging lately?  


I was making dots.

Move over, Pisarro.  I have gray pens and I am not afraid to use them.

The title of this piece is, "I Know, Let's Go for a Hike in the Scary Woods".

I was also traveling for work last week in sunny California. I had to pretend to be a Responsible Adult for four days in a row, while my brain kept trying to get me arrested (It puts the wallet in the basket, or it gets the security pat down from TSA again).  It was pretty stressful, and I spent most of my free time there playing my ukulele.

Why yes, I do play the ukulele.  And I bring it with me when I travel.  And take it with me through airport security.

Ukuleles are cool.

I was so busy making dots and keeping my damned mouth shut, that I failed to keep up with my imaginary friends here in the blogoverse.

It turns out that while I was away, I won some awards.

What the hell, y'all?  It's like you want to hear what I have to say or some shit.

The first award is from Erica over at Touch of Embellishment.  Erica is one of those overachievers that actually illustrates her blog (just like almost everyone wishes they could), and is ridiculously funny on a regular basis.  She consistently makes me laugh, and also makes me think I should be doing more with my blog:

She has nominated me for the "Beautiful Blogger Award", which makes me incredibly happy in so many ways.  Thank you so very much.

The second award that I received while I was out gallivanting around the countryside is from BeeBee at  Beebee's Blog.  She is the only blogger I have ever seen who has illustrated a picture of her unicorn impaling Chuck Norris in a single blow.  Seriously.  Thank you, BeeBee.

So both of these awards have all these rules and things, but I thought it might be fun to just combine these into the single most awesome blog award of all time.

I call it the:

I Want to Wear Your Head for a Hat Award:

It might not be quite as prestigious as the "Your Skin Would Make a Nice Rain Coat" award, but this one is still full of awesome.

The rules:
  1. Link back to the person who tagged you.  Say what you will.  It doesn't have to be nice.  Just know that I will find you.
  2. Run like hell and hope that that crazy bitch who is following you doesn't saute your tongue in a butter and garlic sauce.

    Wait wait.  That isn't right.  That should read, "that crazy bitch that 'joined' you in Google Friend Connect."

    Or circled you... or whatever the hell these crazy kids do these days.

    Aw, fuck it.

  3. Nominate some OTHER bloggers and ensure that they will never sleep again.  

Were you nominated?  Hrm.  Let's see.  Is your blog over on the right there, under "Stuff I Read"?

You're it.


Is anyone else hungry for some fava beans and a nice chianti?  Is it wrong that I'd rather have beer?

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Thar Be Trolls in Them Thar Woods...

I haven't been talking about the trolls as much as I should.

No, I am not talking about people who make inappropriate comments on the internet.

I am talking about the large angry beings that live in caves, or deep in the woods, and generally hate us and maybe want to eat us.

They do too exist.

Let me start at the beginning...

Boyfriend and I decided to go for a little walk in the woods.  Being in Colorado, this means that we were going for a 2,500 vertical foot, 6 mile one way climb up.

...just a relaxing walk in the woods...


"Where should we hike?" I asked boyfriend, "The Park, maybe?"

"Hmm," he replied, "It says here that there is a lot of ice on the road up to Bear Lake because of the storm last night."

"Yuck," I said, "Maybe not."  I hate driving on good days, going up a narrow, curvy, slick road with big drop-offs was not my idea of fun.

We were quiet for a minute.

"What about..." I said, "Signal Mountain?  I haven't been up there in years."

Signal Mountain is at the end of a dirt road that turns off a county road on the highway that heads into the mountains.  It is only about 45 minutes from my house, and rarely has anyone on it.  In the summer, the switchbacks up the west-facing hill are brutal, and it climbs something like 1000 feet in the first mile.  This time of year, it should be pretty nice.

Once you get to the top of the ridge, it's a much gentler "up", and has nice views of the Divide to the west.

We packed up our backpacks and headed out.

It was a fantastically beautiful day out.  The chill in the air was just enough to keep us from overheating.
I was feeling pretty strong, and we made it up the steep part in a relatively short amount of time. The breezes kept it from being too hot.  It still got cold enough at night that the trees hadn't budded out and the grass was still dead from winter, but it had a stark beauty anyway.

I believe this is a misprint.  It should be "Bullwark's Ridge" because the troll's name is Bullwark, and this is his ridge.  Obviously.
The open meadows gave way to lodgepole forest, and we came to a fork in the trail.  Signal Mountain, that-a-way.

"I always think this part of the trial is weird," I said.

Boyfriend, "Huh?"

Me: "It's so quiet.  When M. and I climbed up here we got totally creeped out."

He didn't answer.

I know, let's go for a walk in the scary woods.
We were quiet for a while, and walked a bit farther.

Our footsteps were muffled in the deep pine needles as we went, when I heard a strange noise.

It was the sound of something... big.

I froze, and looked back at Boyfriend.  "Did you hear...?" he started to say, when something made a deep groaning noise.

"What the fuck was that?" I said.

"I don't know," he replied.

"Was it a bear?"

We both fell silent.


"PROBABLY NOT A BAD IDEA," said Boyfriend.

"What should we do?" I asked.

We looked at eachother helplessly.

"If it can smell fear, I totally reek right now, I just started sweating like a pig."

Boyfriend snickered.

We stood quiet for another moment, and then started up the trail.

Immediately, there was another thick noise from the woods.

"Shit," I said.  "What is that?"

It feels like there are eyes everywhere, watching you.  Maybe the forest was awake. Or maybe there are trolls.

I scanned the trees, my heart racing.  They were too dense to see more than a few hundred feet. There could be anything out there.

We looked at each other and turned around and headed home.

There are other places to hike.

"Do you think it was trolls?" I asked.***


I fell silent.  For about a minute.

"It's really quiet," I said, "I'll bet the other animals are afraid of the trolls."

"Is there a such a thing as wood trolls?" I asked.

"I don't know," he said, "I am not up on my troll lore."

"That probably pisses off the trolls, don't you think?"

I glanced behind me.

"STOP DOING THAT!" he said.

"I feel like something is looking at me, you know?  Like eyes on me."

Boyfriend gave me an exasperated sigh.

Obvious evidence of troll activity.  Trees knocked down and strewn about.  No, it wasn't the wind.  It was trolls.

"Check it out," I said, "Evidence."

Boyfriend looked at me.

"OBVIOUSLY, the troll got pissed and knocked down some trees."

Boyfriend didn't respond.

A spectacular view through burnt trees.

"Maybe we should get some bear spray," I said.

"Do you think that would help?"

"You're right, a troll would probably think it was seasoning, but it would make me feel braver if it was a bear."

"You know," he said, "It was probably just an elk or something.  Remember when we climbed Ypsilon?"

"Huh," I said.

We saw a grouse.  No, it totally wasn't a mountain chicken that scared us.
"I wonder if it was a chicken of the woods," I said later.


"Check it out.  A grouse!"

Boyfriend said, "Never speak of this."

"Don't worry," I said, "I'll tell everyone that I hurt my knee or something."

"You're planning on blogging about this, aren't you," he said.  It wasn't a question.

"It's why we hike," I replied, "So I have something to blog about."

So in the spirit of truthiness, I have to say... ahem...

"I hurt my knee while hiking, so we cut it short."

The End.

***Reason #45 why dating me is hard: I have an over active imagination and I share it.  Sorry.