Thursday, May 31, 2012

The Genius Waitress

The Genius Waitress - By Tom Robbins

Of the genius waitress, I now sing.

Of hidden knowledge, buried ambition, and secret sonnets scribbled on cocktail napkins; of arching arches, ranting cooks, condescending patrons, and eyes diverted from ancient Greece to ancient grease; of burns and pinches and savvy and spunk; of a uniquely American woman living a uniquely American compromise, I sing. I sing of the genius waitress.

Ok, okay, she's probably not really a genius. But she is well educated. She has a degree in Sanskrit, ethnoastronomy, Icelandic musicology, or something equally valued in the contemporary marketplace. Even if she could find work in her chosen field, it wouldn't pay beans - so she slings them instead. (The genius waitress is not to be confused with the aspiring-actress waitress, so prevalent in Manhattan and Los Angeles and so different from her sister in temperament and I.Q.)

As a type, the genius waitress is sweet and sassy, funny and smart; underestimated, fatalistic, weary, cheery (not happy, cheerful: there's a difference and she understands it), a tad bohemian, often borderline alcoholic, frequently pretty (though her hair reeks of kitchen and bar); as independent as a cave bear (though ever hopeful of "true love") and, above all, genuine.

Covertly sentimental, she fusses over toddlers and old folks, yet only fear of unemployment prevents her from handing an obnoxious customer his testicles with his bill.

She doesn't mind a little good-natured flirting, and if you flirt with verve and wit, she may flirt back. Never, however, never try to impress her with your resume. Her tolerance for pretentious Yuppies ends with her shift, sometimes earlier. She reads men like a menu and always knows when she's being offered leftovers or an artificially inflated souffle.

Should you ever be lucky enough to be taken home by her to that studio apartment with the jerry-built bookshelves and Frida Kahlo posters, you will discover that whereas in the public dining room she is merely as proficient as she needs to be, in the private bedroom she is blue gourmet virtuoso. Five stars and counting! Afterward, you can discuss chaos theory or triple aspects of the mother goddess in universal art forms - while you massage her swollen feet.

Eventually, she leaves food service for graduate school or marriage, but unless she wins a grant or a fair divorce settlement, chances are she'll be back, a few years down the line, reciting the daily specials with her own special mixture of warmth and ennui.

Erudite emissary of eggs over easy, polymath purveyor of polenta and prawns, articulate angel of apple pie, the genius waitress is on duty right now in hundreds of U.S. restaurants, smile at the ready, sauce on the side. So brush up on your Schopenhauer, place your order - and tip, mister, tip. She deserves a break today.

Of her, I sing.

Playboy, 1991

Tom Robbins, The Genius Waitress

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

The Gardens On Spring Creek

I'm a giant fan of public gardens. I've taken Kalynn to the Fullerton Arboretum and the Overland Park Arboretum a handful of times. She always has fun running around, smelling flowers and collecting rocks. It turns out, Fort Collins doesn't have an arboretum or botanical garden, but we do have the Gardens On Spring Creek; 18 toddler safe, run-around, gorgeous, free acres to play in. 

Over the bridge in the "rock garden"

After walking around for a few minutes, we discovered there was actually a designated kids garden

And every kid gets their own watering can to fill up as they please and water anything they want including their dress, their parents, and the flowers. 

located directly in the center of the front range, the mountain view behind us is still breathtaking to me

(I hate fish. They creep me out.)

 The "Secret" Garden

If you've never taken your kid to a botanical garden or arboretum, you should check your local search engine and find out where the closest one is. They're almost always free and they're well worth the time!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Memorial Day Weekend

We had our first visit from Nana this weekend! Here's the quick run down of festivities: 

I tried so hard to convince the car (My mom's Toyota Rav 4; also known as The Ravioli) to make it up to Horsetooth Reservoir. The struggling transmission wasn't having it, so we got half way up the damn, pulled over, and took a picture of everything down below. Turns out we could see half of Northern Colorado. I swear we could Denver from up there...

Facing the other direction we could see the very tip of the actual reservoir which was a total tease.  But,  I'll try again once the car is fixed and report back another day.

On the way back down, we stumbled on the FoCo Holiday Twin Drive In movie theater. Just another thing I will be adding to my Colorado bucket list

I drove around the beautiful CSU campus for a while with my nose turned up being a total brat about how University of Kansas campus was SOOOOOO much prettier...

We went home and used my flag and star cookie cutters to make watermelon cutouts for a park BBQ

The left over watermelon scraps + a kick ass juicer + champagne = delicious. I learned that in math class, freshman year of college. 

We walked over to the park and played for a bit while the coals warmed up for our tiny little BBQ. Kalynn put her handprint in the sand, I filled it up with Elmer's glue and let it set for a few hours so now we have a nice little memento of this weekend.

Here's our little picnic gazebo that turned out to be our shelter for the upcoming wind storm we knew nothing about at the time:

Miss Guacamole stood guard over the hot dogs with her foot tangled in her leash.

And then the wind storm came out of nowhere, blowing our food out of our hands, our beers out of their cups, the ketchup off or our dogs and the goosebumps off of our arms.

Then we fed the pup after we were told not to...

and we laughed hysterically.

Then we went home and passed out at 9pm.

Thanks to all the veterans out there for doing what you do/did so I can do what I do freely! And thanks to DiNana for making the trip out for our first visit!

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Family Tree

Well, it's a gorgeous gorgeous day, my mom is here visiting from California and we have a new town to discover. But before we set out on our day of adventure and exploration, I thought I'd share our latest art project.

A painted hand and half an apple can make a pretty cool family tree!

Saturday, May 26, 2012


Running is just my thing. I enjoy the time alone, I enjoy being outside, I enjoy the feeling of doing something healthy for myself. I just like to run. 

Years ago, when I still lived in San Clemente, before I had Kalynn, I used to frequent a little sandwich shop called Captain Culver's Counter Culture. They had a juicer that looked like a space ship and they made the absolute best fresh vegetable juices I've ever tasted. My favorite was called the Tsunami. Every single morning before I ran, I would stop in, order a large, drink it while I walked down to the beach, and then run. For miles and miles. 

This was my morning running trail. I ran it every single day. 
Even if I was hung over. 
If this isn't motivation enough to get you out of bed, I don't know what else would be.

San Clemente Beach Trail Run, San Clemente, CA #California

Anyway, after 9 wonderful years of living in that stunningly gorgeous little surf town, I moved to Long Beach to have Kalynn closer to my mom, and I had to stop frequenting Captain Culver's. 

Last year, I got a juicer that looks like a space ship. It's called the L' Equip Stainless Steel Fruit and Vegetable Juicer. I'm in love with it. Now I can make my own Tsunami. It has the same ingredients but I call it the Beetlejuice, because it brings me back to life. 

•1 small nickel sized piece of ginger root which contains twelve types of anti-oxidants
•1/4 large beet for circulatory and heart health
•2 stocks of celery for vitamins B1, B2, B6, C, potassium, calcium, folic acid, phosphorous, and essential amino acids.
•1/2 an apple reduces bad cholesterol levels and enhances cardiovascular health
•3-4 large carrots for the vitamin A and beta carotenes (antioxidants)
•1 small handful of parsley for beta-carotene, chlorophyll, essential fatty acids, folic acid, iron, vitamins B12, K and C.
•1/4 of a lemon for digestion, teeth and skin

I know I've been posting an awful lot about Fort Collins lately, but my whole life is engulfed in getting to know this new town. Earlier this week, just when I thought it couldn't get any more beautiful, I took the running trail the opposite direction, crossed the train tracks, and stumbled on the Power Trail. I was wrong. It does get even prettier. 

Power Trail, Fort Collins, CO #Colorado #Running

Power Trail, Fort Collins, CO #Colorado #Running

Power Trail, Fort Collins, CO #Colorado #Running

Yes, the town even provides housing for its little birdies!
Power Trail, Fort Collins, CO #Colorado #Running

Power Trail, Fort Collins, CO #Colorado #Running

Power Trail, Fort Collins, CO #Colorado #Running

Good stuff!

Friday, May 25, 2012

Toto, I don't think we're in Orange County anymore...

Orange County, very generally speaking, is houses and apartments piled on top of each other and every main street goes Starbucks, Tilly's, Starbucks, Bagel Shop, Starbucks, Surf Shop, Starbucks, Tattoo Parlor, Starbucks, Nail Salon, Starbucks, Bar. 
It is very clear to me that I'm no longer in Orange County. 

I'm not knocking the 949, I lived there for 11 years so I clearly found parts of it that I'm totally in love with, I'm just saying that it's a very different pace than where I am currently residing.  
I walked around Old Town a few days ago and found some of the most obvious differences were just in the aesthetics of the actual city itself. Not even speaking with one single local, I could just tell by the ambiance, I was out of my element.  Like the very random statues and sculptures placed around the sidewalks. 

Fort Collins, Colorado

Fort Collins, Colorado

Fort Collins, Colorado

 There are public pianos on street corners for anyone to play. Not just one or two. There are many. 
Fort Collins, Colorado

 Hippies play their drums at random. 
Fort Collins, Colorado

 There are moccasin stores. And there are people shopping inside of them. 
Fort Collins, Colorado

 Leprechauns have their own separate entrances. 
Fort Collins, Colorado

 The people of Fort Collins love their dogs. And they aren't afraid to show it. 
Fort Collins, Colorado

Fort Collins, Colorado

There are still just as many coffee shops, but the majority of them are locally owned. 
Fort Collins, Colorado

 Any transportation that doesn't involve gas is welcomed so much that there are giant bike/skateboard lanes and dismount sections on every street. 
Fort Collins, Colorado

But the people who do drive, drive these silly plug-in cars
Fort Collins, Colorado

 Or The Handle Bar ("MyHandleBar is a giant 16-passenger bar bicycle with several pedaling seats and is an awesome eco-friendly way to cruise around Fort Collins with friends or crawl from pub to pub. MyHandleBar is the ideal local Colorado party rental when you’re looking to have fun in the sun, burn some calories and bond with friends." -

The Handle Bar Fort Collins, Colorado

There is something very strange going on here. Everyone seems healthy and happy and there is an abundance of space, peace, and love. More details as news develops. Please stay tuned.