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Yearly Archives: 2006

_MG_0167.JPG soggy dog
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What do you do on a Saturday when you had just recently spent a week with four attention-craving dogs and you are now in serious dog withdrawal?  Go to the dog park of course!  Cooper was teaching me a couple photography techniques with the new camera he bought for me/his business…so I thought I would put the camera to use take photos of some new dog friends.  Me being the shy paranoid girl I am thought the dog owners might not appreciate me acting in a dog paparazzi sort of way…but surprisingly many were really excited about it.  I think I might have to make it habit! 

Luckily it was a busy day at the park and so many dogs were out…obviously I had a hay-day with photos.

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the best poser of them all
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A random baby hat found on a bush in Oakland

 

My snow-filled days have passed…I am back in California in 50 degree weather where you almost look silly wearing a heavy coat, scarf, and mittens.  Some people are not snow friendly, and I wouldn’t necessary call myself a snow lover, but there is something about having a winter with snow that can’t be beat. 

I also couldn’t imagine a holiday season without our house in Boulder filled all of us Beckord kids (plus the dogs and baby).  If the storm had prevented everyone from getting home, my Christmas would have been soooooo quiet and minus the usual chaos.  I think I either somewhat love the chaos or am partially immune to the realization of how crazy some moments really are.  Surprisingly, our family and extended family survived Christmas day with all the dogs and varying personalities fairly well.   It was actually fun to watch home video of my dad and his brothers and sister when they were kids (even though there was no sound).  And we had those funny grandma moments…where she ate an orange glazed carrot and insisted that it was a “little wiener” even though it tasted like a baby carrot and had the texture of a cooked carrot.  The “non-gift” Christmas wasn’t really as my mom declared it to be.  She did a pretty good job of filling our stockings with extremely thoughtful stocking-sized gifts which took more energy and effort than was laid out in her “No Christmas Gift Rules.”  My dad did a glorious job of finding treasures at the Hallmark store that was going out of business.  My older bro got a nice ceramic dog doorstop which was missing a glass eye.  And Nathan surprised us all with gifts from my mom’s recycled gift drawer.  His gifts included: a bed-wetting contraption for my little brother (who during the gift giving time was dressed in yellow pants, a hockey jersey, and a braided/beaded Jamaican Rasta hat…and proceeded to wear the bed-wetting contraption as we opened our gifts), a cutting board my older brother gave to my grandmother which she returned back to him as a gift and was again recycled and given to my mom, a wooden penis bottle opener for my dad (I don’t know where this came from), and pot holders for me and my sister.  I don’t think most families have a Christmas quite like we do in the Beckord home…I sure hope my sister’s husband and brother’s wife can some day appreciate the odd Beckord humor. 

Beyond the snow, the holiday events, all the family, the dogs, and the traditional mass amounts of food…I would have to say that the baby made my trip home the most enjoyable.  Amelia was such a different little human than she had been a month ago at my brother’s wedding.  She actually now seems to be understanding and has an interest in what is going on around her.  She really bonded with all of us…gosh…I miss her!  I have come to terms with the fact that I will never have a child who is as precious or as cute as Amelia, which is ok.  I just have to enjoy her as much as I possibly can! 

Now it is back to work and life in the bay area.  Ho hum.

The Thursday after my cancelled flight I went to work to a surprise bacon and waffle breakfast as a consolation prize for not being able to go home. Thanks friendly boss and fellow co-workers!

Midway through my day my mom called to see if I could immediately fly to Vegas and drive through the night with my dad to Boulder. Why the heck not?!? I didn’t have my perfectly packed suitcase with stocking stuffers from Trader Joes or my birthday present for my dad…but I guess I didn’t reallllllllly need any of my clothes or underwear, or knitting projects, or swimsuit (which I wouldn’t wear anyway), or down vest, or jeans, or sweaters, or makeup or my freshly purchased chapstick which I was so excited about, or books, or Cooper’s brand new digitial camera which I was going to play with and take really good pictures of my family, etc. Nope, I didn’t need any of this stuff. Instead, I hopped on Bart with my beatup yellow North Face backpack and headed out with nothing more than the clothes on my back and workout clothes in my bag.

I met my dad in Vegas with visions of winning $298759283752 on the slots in the airport casino…but instead we made a quick getaway and started for Colorado. A highlight of the drive: getting monster tacos from Jack in the Box with my papa. He craved the same tacos that I was drooling over in my head so we made a taco stop and had a taco eating contest. I love my dad.

Luckily papa Bruce was wired and wanted the drive for the full 12 hours so I got to sleep. The roads were clear all the way until we hit Golden and Boulder, thank goodness! The snow was beautiful and bright and the ony signs of the disastrous storm were the stranded cars stuck under several feet of snow. We made it home at 9:00am and immediately started dancing with Amelia to the singing santa decoration.

My big and little brother along with my little big brother’s new wife arrived this morning at 3:00am with their monsterous dog Finney. We now have a full house of two “non-committed” kids, two married kids and their spouses, the two parentals, four dogs, and a baby. It is going to be the Christmas we had intended all along! No big storm gets in our way!

If anything, I suppose I wish I had a few more clothes to wear. My late 90’s high school jeans and sweaters look a little funny, but I guess it isn’t as bad a wearing black jeans (which Cooper Carras was reported to have been seen in recently).

Merry Kwanzaa, Happy Valentine’s Day, and don’t forget to do an Irish car bomb.

p.s. Greg…did you make it?!?!

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This is how I feel right now.  Dummy from the 2006 TPR Holiday Party

Oh my gosh…what a day.  My life is really very good and I am not complaining (too much), but today was a complete waste.  I went to bed last night at 9:00pm…planning for my early 3:50am wakeup to catch a 7:30am flight.  The trip to and through the airport was pretty much a breeze, only minimally painful.  But, I certainly had a hunch at 5:30am that today could potentially be bad when I saw that the 6:00am and 10:30am flights to Denver were cancelled (which made me wonder why they hesitated to cancel the 7:30am flight?). Nonetheless, I waited patiently at the gate for the final word.  When our flight was officially cancelled (due to the severe snow storms in Colorado)…the mass chaos and extreme grumpiness of everyone around me began.  Looooooooooong lines were formed with hundreds of unhappy customers and it took an average of approximately 18min 45 sec to help one set of travelers (yes, a few of us timed it while waiting in line…we needed something to entertain us!).    Of course the check-in agents had already helped the 6:00am and 10:30am folks…so us 7:30am travelers got the brunt of the bargain.  I didn’t actually get to the ticket counter until 11:30am at which time everything was taken.  The only thing the ticket lady (who had already worked through 3 hours of her break) could give me was a late flight on Saturday…which cuts my time at home in half.  Whatever.  Yes, the tears began to flow.  I was so tired, felt like crap, and was so utterly frustrated.  Back to Bart I went.  When home, I cried a little more.  Took two long and extremely hard naps.  Didn’t really know what to do with myself.  Watched the entire season of Project Runway.  Ate lots of bad food.  Decided to knit a bit.  Was shakin’ in my booties when a 3.7 earthquake rattled the apartment (is the world coming to an end?!).  Read about how to prepare for and survive an earthquake.  Called United to see if by any sweet chance I could get a different flight…and have now been on hold for 58minutes and 32seconds with the nauseating United Airline theme song playing in the background (which really does make me nauseous…ask around….people who know me know this is true). 

My mom is home alone in the middle of the snowstorm.  My dad should be home.  My sister and Amelia should be in Boulder.  We should all be at home playing with dogs and a baby.  Cooper is in Washington without power (which his family has not had for a week).  I just was rocked back and forth by an earthquake.  Maybe I should put my helmet on, get my emergency blanket/food/flashlight and hope for the best.

Um…I guess…Happy Holidays?!?

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kitty litter cookies. Photo courtesy of Emily Abbott


Who would have thunk it…at 10:35pm last night my hands were crafting mass amounts of cat poo (cookies).  While others were out having fancy dinners, or watching TV, or reading their books, or painting a picture, or sleeping…I was creating cat feces.  The best part was thinking about what sorts of mix-ins would look most realistic…corn and coconut were my final two conclusions.  I wasn’t just making cat poo for fun, oh no! Our office is having a holiday party with an elaborate scavenger hunt followed by broomball at a local ice rink. The cat poo is for a “Clean or Dirty” challenge.  Teams pick either clean or dirty…if they choose clean, they have to clean a classroom from top to bottom.  If they choose dirty, they simply eat cat poo.  This decadent kitty litter dessert idea came from the lovely Marcy Swiatek at her honky tonk murder mystery party last year. 

Speaking of honky tonk…I am still not quite over this song.

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three heads…found in Rockridge, CA

Oh man, my head is spinning.  Actually, I feel like I am growing three heads.  This past weekend my dad called and invited me to go to Vietnam with him for two weeks in January…and I needed to let him know whether or not I could go by the end of the day on Saturday.  I had not planned for a trip on such short notice and I wasn’t sure how I was going to hack it with my job (or if I would lose my job).  But, as of yesterday…I am going!  My mom said it will be the last big family trip for the “non-committed” kids.  2006 was a hard year for my parents so I think they need a little change of pace and enjoy life a little.  Still not sure about how the job scene might pan out, but I suppose I will take it as it comes.  Now I just have to deal with that nervous excitement/unsettled feeling in my stomach.  Whoo weeeeee.  Gotta take a deep breath.

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door knobs

There is something about living in an older apartment that gets my “Curious Georgette” juices flowing.  When I see the various layers of paint in a corner, I begin to wonder…what types of personalities lived in this same space and how did they make it home? Were they homebodies?  Night owls?  Where did they work and what did they do?  Were they artists? Writers? Young? Old?
 
When I first moved in I noticed a memorial invitation posted on the wall for a Jeffrey Jones.  I then put two and two together and realized that I was living in the former apartment of a JJ (his name was on my mailbox).  How did JJ pass away?  Was is it in my apartment?!?!  What sort of life did he have in this little place?
 
This building has been around for ages…as is apparent by the revolving wall (a former murphy bed), the sink faucet with separate hot and cold spouts (so you have to mix the two together in your hand to wash your face with warm water), the incredibly small kitchen, and the extremely odd angles in every room. I know there must be some sort of fun history that I just don’t know about.  Who was the first person to live here?  How much was their rent?! What color were their walls?  What did they see when they looked out the windows to the now busy street below? My guess is probably not a dog accessory boutique or girlie shoe store. 
 
I suppose I could do the research, but I kind of like the mystery of not knowing and I think I would rather create my own characters and stories from the layers of paint that I see….

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My one little holiday attempt.  (I am the dot in the center of the bulb). 

I hate to admit this, but I am a little bit of a holiday scrooge. Extreme Christmas decorations honestly make me nauseous.  I enjoy lights on houses and tactful holiday spirit, but any overwhelming signs of Christmas force me have to close my eyes.  And I seriously cannot stomach Christmas music.  The absolute worst is when I get a song stuck in my head and can’t get it out…I nearly barf in my mouth. Maybe I immersed myself in the Christmas shenanigans too much as a kid (kind of like eating too many cheddar and sour cream chips to the point where you get sick…and now you can never eat them again).
Whatever the cause…I guess I am a scrooge.

Luckily, our family is completely toning down our Christmas festivities for this year which I couldn’t be happier about.  My mom sent out an e-mail to all of us kids explaining how 1.) We all don’t need more things, 2.) It is too hard to find items for each other that we will like 3.) None of us have enough money to spend money on crap. We may each have a little stocking stuffed with oranges or something, but no big gift exchange.  Whoo hoo!  I am totally down for just a nice dinner as a family with four dogs and a baby.

Beyond all the intense red and green, the frenzied materialism drives me batty.  I love giving people gifts and showing others that I care about them and have thought about them, but it is hard to draw the line between showing your appreciation and getting someone something just to be buying them a gift.

Maybe my attitude will change at some point, but for the moment…simple is best.  I will without a doubt enjoy my time with family and friends, but I am fairly certain I won’t get caught up in the expensive chaos.

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Amelia then (December, 2005)

A year ago today, I was home in Colorado and my sister’s stomach was huge.  I had a four day window surrounding the expected birth of her first ever child.   I prayed every night for months beforehand…hoping that something would happen while I was home.  We researched all the natural ways to get the baby going…long hikes (while my poor sister was carrying 30 lbs on her tiny little hips), cups and cups of raspberry leaf tea, pineapple, spicy Indian food. Thank goodness we didn’t go the castor oil route!!  However, I think the yoga the morning of December 4, 2005 (the due date) was what did the trick.  I remember walking around Pearl Street during that yoga time…it was a cold but sunny day and I had just purchased a funny little porcelain baby doll ornament with a broken foot. 
 
Never would I imagine how that day would change so dramatically.
 
At around 3:30pm my sister was sitting on the couch and said she felt something.  She wasn’t sure if it was a contraction because it was so low on her enormous beach ball of a stomach…but it was different than a gas pain or baby kick.  She looked at all of us with such an odd but excited expression.  Me being the naive and excitable person I am…I watched her like a hawk for the next few hours and I would not leave her side.  As time progressed the odd lower belly pain started to kick in on a more regular basis.  She was actually starting to have contractions.  Around 6:00pm she and Cyril were timing each contraction which naturally became increasingly more and more painful.  I will never forget watching them time a contraction while a horrible cartoon with angry Santas played in the background.  The Santas chanted “Ho, ho ho.  Ho ho ho.  Ho ho ho” in such a vicious and repetitively faster manner…it almost made me nauseous.  I didn’t want to say anything to Steph and Cyril…I thought I would let them do what they needed to get through the contractions. 
 
Because the medical costs in having a baby are so high, the soon to be new parents wanted to wait as long as they could before heading to the hospital.  When my sista could no longer handle the pain…my mom, brother in law, and I (along with the woman in pain) headed off to the hospital.  I couldn’t imagine sitting at home just to wait in anticipation, so I had to go with the troops.  When we arrived at the hospital my sister was already 7 or 8 cm dilated so they whisked her off to receive an epidural (just in the nick of time!).  My sister was so funny when she lost control over her little white legs.  The poor woman pushed and pushed and the delivery nurse (who reminded me of Karen from Will and Grace) used so many interesting tactics to try and get my sister to pop the child out….but nothing happened.  My parents and I were all in the delivery room for every moment.  I don’t think I have ever had as much adrenaline running through my body as I did that night.  I can’t say the same for my dad…at one point he was literally sprawled out on the couch in the delivery room…snoring (all while my sister was quietly screaming in pain).  If nothing less, it was a comical moment.  At around 5am the doctor decided that perhaps a C-section would make the most sense.  My mom and dad went home to rest for a few hours and I slept on the cold cold couch…shaking in nervousness (and from the cold)…wondering if my sister was ok.
 
At 5:32am, Steph and Cyril had a baby and Amelia Mary Vidergar was born.  She was 6 pounds 10 ounces and 21 and 1/4 inches long.   I went to the baby station and Cyril was standing next to a new little Vidergar human…I mouthed “Is it a boy?”  Cyril mouthed, “No, a girl!”  
 
A year later we have a beautiful little Steph/Cyril clone who is the funniest mini-person I have ever met.  I hope my first dog/child is just like Amelia.  Maybe I will name her Namelia Nary Nidergar or Bamilia Bary Bidergar. 
 
Happy Birthday little baby.

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Amelia now (November, 2006)

 

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Smiling Mazie dog.

A momentous event happened last night: I stepped in a massive pile of dog dookie.

After a long days work the thought of a freezing cold bike ride home sounded painful on my little lungs.  Luckily Cooper was gracious enough to pick me up, but karma had it in for me. Upon arrival at our apartment, I swiftly exited the car so as to get my bike out of the back in record speed (so another car could park behind us).  Without looking I stepped on a large pile of what felt like mud….I slipped around on the pavement…working to put the tire back on my bike.  Then I noticed that the massive (and I mean massive!) pile of mud that I stepped in had quite a stench to it.  An awfully horrific stench. I had to confess to Cooper that I stepped in dog turd (to which he laughed of course).  So, instead of riding my bike home in the cold and potentially not messing up my shoes, I was outside for an hour trying to scrape dung off the bottom of my soles.  The other issue I faced was: what do you do when you live in an apartment without a balcony or private access to the outdoors?  I couldn’t walk in the halls with my shoes on, but luckily I did find a water spout and one of my old toothbrushes so I continued to scrub my shoes.  Man did I scrub.  I then attempted to hang my shoes outside of my window and had to tie them to the curtains in our living room so they wouldn’t fall on the busy street below.  I suppose moments like this help you to appreciate the luxuries of having some space and living in an actual home.