Sunday, July 31, 2005


Hello all!

Well, life out here in Colorado is passing so incredibly slowly, I'm beginning to go a little stir crazy! I found out this past week that I might very well have to stay here through October 16th, which I think would kill me, so I'm hoping that it isn't true. Plus, I really can't feature driving my car over snowy mountain passes, except at about 10 miles an hour.

But, all things aside, I keep thinking about all the great produce that's available at the end of the summer in Iowa, and how I'll be missing the opportunity to be eating tomatoes, cucumbers, and corn by the bushel. We get hardly any fresh vegetables here, and I never seem to be off work when they're having a farmer's market in town. Plus, I don't have a space to cook in, naturally. But, I think I've found a way around that!

We have a stand-alone house here, called The King House, where a large family or group can stay all together. It has a fully functioning kitchen with all necessary tools and appliances. As of right now, from the beginning of September on, there is nobody booked in it. And word on the street is that we at Pioneer can cook there as long as we clean up well afterwards. So, the idea of being able to make the occasional dinner there is the only thing that will keep me happy if I have to stay here through October.

Another cool thing is that it turns out that my boss, Deb, and I both love classic movies. We were working late in the office one night and I had turned on an internet radio station (yay! playing music from the 20s and 30s, so we got to talking about that time period and how we both loved it. I asked her if she had ever seen any Poirot, and she hadn't, so I was looking online for some examples. In the course of that, I was on and saw an advertisement for The Thin Man movies. I can't believe it! They're finally releasing a box set of all 6 on DVD!! So, I told that to Deb, and it turns out that she used to play Nora at her old job in dinner theatre down in Florida! I told her that my cat was named after Nora in the Thin Man, and that pretty much cemented that we're the two dorkiest people on this ranch. :-) Anyway, after that, we started listening to old music during the work day and it does seem to make the hours fly.

Thankfully, Lauren hasn't really been around the office this week. They've had her working in the dining room as a server, or as a counselor in the Children's Program. They are so short-staffed around here that they want us to ask around to see if anyone we know would like to come up and work in the dining room or housekeeping for the rest of the summer! So, if any of you are interested, just let me know! ;-) Poor Corky is the only person officially employed in our housekeeping department at the moment. Balbir makes his nephews work for her, though. They're like 15, 14, and 10, so I'm sure their dream summer activity is cleaning dirty hotel rooms! I keep waiting for them to ask me to help in housekeeping, but so far the request hasn't come. But, as I told Deb, I would work for Corky any day of the week, but I would rather pack up everything from my room and leave THIS MINUTE before I would ever work for Scott in the kitchen/dining room. Forget it! I'm not THAT much of a team player.

However, Scott the Evil Chef hasn't been too much of a jerk to me lately. I was so pleased to hear that he got his ass royally chewed out in the manager's meeting that Balbir had a couple days ago. Turns out he forgot to reorder propane and one morning it was just like "Oops! Nothing to cook breakfast with!" I got into work that morning and everyone was literally running around like crazy. I had no idea what was going on. Balbir asked me to type up a few signs that said breakfast would be a half hour late. I didn't find out what happened until I went in to breakfast myself and got the gossip from Peggy (another office lady, but she works upstairs now as our marketing director). In the end, different people helped to cook the breakfast in the private staff cabins that have propane stoves. What a mess!

This week I went to Boulder and almost lost my mind. I had no problem getting there (and many people from here were jealous that I was going since they had heard that it's really cool), but once I got into town, it was a nightmare! I had originally wanted to go there to see "Othello" at the University of Colorado's Shakespeare Festival. Well, I rolled into town and there was NOWHERE anywhere near the place to park. All the maps I had were total crap. Plus, there is a beautiful abundance of trees and bushes, so you really can't get a clear view of anything more than 20 feet in front of you. And there was construction on every street I tried to get down to park on. Or I needed a school permit to go down a good parking street. And on and on. Eventually, after almost an hour and very near the end of my rope, I just said FUCK IT and decided that fate had not intended for me to see this play. So, I went to the shopping district instead. :-) Where I was lucky enough to find a wonderful Italian cafe (Attica Roma) that actually served gnocchi (something I have really been craving). So, that made life all better. Plus, it was located immediately adjacent to the LUSH store where I wanted to buy a shampoo refill. Perfect.

I walked around the rest of the afternoon, doing some window shopping, until Alexia and James got there. I was so happy to be with someone who actually knew their way around!! Alexia took us to the Celestial Seasonings Tea factory, but unfortunately we just missed the last tour. So, we had to content ourselves with some tea samples and a cruise around the gift shop. Alexia got me this really cool set of English Breakfast tea items, and I bought a cute pink mug that had drawings of black cats on it. All told, including an earlier purchase on my own, I ended the day with three new mugs. I think I'm set for quite a long time!

Anyway, after that we went to dinner at a tasty Mexican restaurant. Thanks Al! Then I hit the road, trying to get back here before dark. No such luck. I did get over most of the mountain pass, though, before the darkness crept in. By the time I was near home, it was pitch black outside. On our bumpy dirt road, I had my brights on, and still had to go about 5 miles an hour to avoid cracking an axle. At one point, I stopped my car and turned off my lights completely. The utter blackness was a little scary. Once I finally got back up to the lodge, I parked my car, collected my things, and got out. I looked up to see how many stars I could see on such a clear night. Well, only about 50 gazillion! I could the Milky Way as clear as was so cool!!! I don't think I have ever, ever seen so many stars. I wish I had a way cool camera to get some night sky pics. After star gazing, I went inside, where we were hosting karaoke night. I had a margarita and kicked ass on "Mama He's Crazy" by the Judds. A great day, by the end.

Speaking of karaoke, last night we had an impromtu session. A son of one of our guests, who I would say was about 11, wanted to sing some more. This is a boy who should never be let near a microphone. Let's just say that he's one of those people who thinks that actually listening to a song before trying to do it on karaoke is a waste of time. After all, the words are on the screen, who needs to know how the rhythm goes, or what note to sing? Jesus, I wanted to kill him. So, I sat at the bar and drank a Jack on the rocks. I was sitting with Balbir, his assistant Tanje (from Germany), and Corky. Eventually, Tanje and Corky left, so Balbir and I started talking about whisky and traveling--particularly around India. I told him that I'd really love to go there someday. So, get this shit! He said that he would send me to India at his expense if I would promise to come back to work at KMR next summer! So, naturally I told him that he was full of it. But, he insisted that he knows so many different families all over India that he could draw up a route for me all through the best parts of India and I would have great families to stay with the whole time! What a great trip that would be! Sadly, I had to tell him that I plan on being in Italy by next summer. :-)

For those of you who haven't heard, we FINALLY got the last certificate from Italy that we needed (at long long last!!). So, now begins the (hopefully) easy task of requesting our American certificates, translating them, and turning the whole kit and caboodle in. Wish us luck!!

Anyway, my shift is close to over here, and I still have bunches of things to get done. I hope all of you are doing well!!

Talk to you soon!

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