VAN ROADTRIP // november twenty-twelve.

After getting back from a [wonderful, wonderful] trip to Texas, I came home to Evan’s lovely family visiting us.

They left the next day and Evan and I both would’ve guessed that we would just end up sleeping for the following 24 hours.

Instead, we went on a little road trip. It was ah-mazing. Just perfect. What I’ve been needing. Oh, so right. So much fun.

I made a little video about it…

[i’m falling in love with montana more and more by the minute.]

[i didn’t mean to fuel the fire.]

like she was. like it was.

The other day, I had to drive to an appointment across town after work.

Traffic in Missoula can be surprisingly frustrating when not traveling by bike.

The lights are longer.  Which is completely frustrating.  Most days.

The other day, I was sitting at a light for the third time in a row… I was now waiting in the front row.

Frustrated, already late for my appointment, I put my hand in my head and huffed.  I look into my side mirror and noticed the car in the next lane, one car behind.

It was obviously a father and his daughter.  The girl, maybe age 6 or 7… possibly 8… full of joy, wonder.  The dad, exhausted.  He yawned a couple times, but was ever so engaged with his daughter.

They were smiling, laughing.  Why?  Because they were doing some kind of copy-cat-dance-move thing.  It was ah-mazing.  The girl would do a crazy dance for about 30 seconds and then point to her father saying something that looked like, “Now you.”

The father would then imitate his daughter’s crazy dancing for about four seconds before they both broke out into laughter, giggles.

I could not stop staring.  It was so precious.

After about four rounds of dance-copying, I, too, was giggling out loud.  Watching, though the mirror,  the father with his pursed lips, dancing like he was a Britney Spears back-up dancer, was just too much.  His daughter couldn’t take it, laughing so hard and covering up her eyes, leaning her head back, like she hadn’t just asked him to do it, like she was embarrassed, like it was the BEST, like it was the funniest thing that had ever happened to her.

A car horn honked… then honked again… the light was green.

I drove on to my appointment.

Happy for the traffic.


This morning, making breakfast, after having a fort night…

I was in my boy shorts undies and a sweater… and I might have had my pearls on from last night because there was a dress-up code to enter the fort.  [i went as the queen of england in her pajamas.]

Cooking breakfast in my undies and pearls, a song came on that I couldn’t not dance to.  [oh, shhshh all you literary geniuses… i know there are fivethousand errors in my ways.]

I started dancing and then looked to Evan across the kitchen.  He was manning the stove section of the breakfast.  I said to him…

– Do what I do.

– What?  Dancing?

– Yeah, you copy me.

– Okay.

I danced as ridiculous as I could.  I danced as funky as I wanted to.  I was a child.  I was the BEST.  I was embarrassed.  I was asking for it.  I was loving it.

We both could not stop laughing.

– Okay, your turn.

– Okay, dance like I do.

Dancing in the most ridiculous ways.  Lots of elbows.  Lots of dramatic drumming.  Lots of hands on the hips and dramatic circles.  And all in a kitchen surrounded on three sided with windows.  A show for any neighbors lucky enough to be unbusy enough to watch.

I don’t know who it was more fun for… The Maker-Up-Er or The Copier.

Laughter took over and we couldn’t contain ourselves.  Tears.  Laughing.  Loving.  Dancing.

The song stopped and we looked at each other.  Out of breath, sweaty from dancing, cheeks hurting from smiling.  We went on cooking breakfast and everything tasted just a little bit sweeter with a side of ridiculous childishness on the side.

[thank you car dancing father/daughter duo for your inspiration.]

nothin’ real exciting in Outside Magazine this month…

Oh, I forgot to tell you, I’m famous… again…

Remember this picture?

Well, that photo [me dancing in a green wig] has made an appearance in Outside Magazine this month.  So, go pick yourself up a December 2011 issue and check it!  I’m the center-fold… a dream come true… my mom would be so proud.

I’d show you my copy, but it lives at my desk at work so I can show people how important I am… in a green wig… doing a T-Rex dance… in Outside Magazine…

I hope you all have a wondrous Thanksgiving!  I am so thankful for so much!  You’re probably one of the things.

[much love!]

tunes to take down a village.

This past weekend the ladies [allison and julia] came for a visit.

It was ah-mazing.  [do i say that too much?  whatevs.  it WAS.]

And, of course, Saturday night we ended up in everything from my costume box and had a late-night dance party.  O-M-G.  So much fun.


It was around 4am… yep… 4am.   And we were dancing to something along the lines of…

And [somehow] I was walking past my front door and I heard a knock.  [uh. oh.]

So, I answer the door in a blond wig, Kanye West glasses, an 80s-tacular silver jacket and a skirt that there are no words for.

It was my downstairs neighbor.  My sweetest-man-in-the-world-almost-70 downstairs neighbor.

– Hiiii… Could you…

– Oh my god, I am so sorry!

– Hey, you’re cute!

[oh, yeah, we hadn’t properly met yet.]

– Oh my god, NO.  I look like Pretty Woman on an off day.  I am SO sorry.  We’re going to bed right now.

– Okay, thank you.

– It’s just my friends from outta town… they’re WILD.

– Well I hope you had fun!


We immediately shut. it. down.

And went to bed.

I woke up the next morning feeling how my bedroom looked…

that's the exploded costume box at the foot of the bed. marshall bear was pretty distrot about the whole ordeal.


So the girls got their stuff together, cleaned up my apt [god, i love those girls] and had to head back to Jacksontown.  We said our sad goodbyes and my chest still hurts because I miss them so.

But I also had this horrible feeling in my chest because of what I had done to my sweet neighbors… woken them up… at 4am.

So, I bought some chocolates and wrote a card and tried to leave it on their doorstep… but they caught me.

– Come in here!

– I am just so embarrassed… SO sorry.

We ended up talking forever.  We talked and talked.  They told me about how they fell in love… love at first site… only three years ago.  We talked about everything!

They are the sweetest couple.  Pom: A almost-70 black man, who stands at 5′ nothing and glows with life.  Alice: His beautiful counterpart, who is one of the happiest people I’ve ever met and stands at 4’7″.

So there I am: The asshole giant who almost took down their adorable village by aggressive dancing.

And they were so full of grace with me.  Gosh, I could not have felt worse and here they were wanting to give me hugs to make me feel better.

– I just can’t believe we were that loud.  I turned on my radio this morning and was taken back by how loud the music was!

– It wasn’t the music that woke me up… It was the stomping.  I just heard this, THUMP, THUMP, THUMP and I was like, “What the HELL is that?”

– That was a LOT of bad dancing… that’s what that was.

They both laughed really hard and then said…

– You should’ve woken us up before the dance party to join!

I loved that.  I loved that we were sitting there talking, smiling, laughing… dancing in our own way.  Dancing with the closeness and love that I had the night before with Julia and Allison… but in a different way.  But the common denominator was love and laughs and smiles.

What it’s all about.

So, with that amazingly long introduction, I present to you a mix to make you smile and laugh and love and [hopefully] dance.

yep... THAT'S what we were wearing.


Click on this: WAKE THEM UP AND DANCE.

It’ll take you to a link with a big, green box that says “Download.”  Do that.  Click that.

Listen and let me know what you think!

I like to think that this mix is like November itself… Starts off slow, cold, picks up a bit, and then gets a tiny ridiculous.

My dream is that you’ll love the tunes, we’ll connect, and something inside of us will wake up and dance.

[i refuse to hide in a page of the story.]

where wine comes from!

I am a sucker for free things. 

I’ll take it!  I’ll do that!  Sure, I’ll eat that!

So, I won a two week pass to The Womens Club from a raffle from a 5k Momma and I did whilst she was in town.  I answered the phone call and when they told me I had won this pass, I got excited like I had won a trip to Europe or something.  I was that woman on The Price Is Right that wins a toaster on Plink-o and freaks. out.

Now, I’m determined to squeeze every ounce of worth-ness outta this free-ness… Which means?  Going to every class that I can make.  So, when Zumba was the only class after work and before my radio training, I thought,

Alright, old lady jazzercize-like class… I’ll take you… Let’s do this Zumba.

And it might not be just an older lady thing, but I mean, who’s mom doesn’t do Zumba?  Although, the other day, on the phone with an ex-boyfriend, he reminded me that I’m “not a spring chicken anymore… soon I’ll be a spinster.”  [no clue why that one didn’t work out… shocking.]

So, I wore pigtails to the class to reinforce my youthfulness.

The class started, I stood in the back… a head taller than every single woman in the class, which would’ve been totally helpful if you danced with your head.

I drank a bit of water, looked around.  The music started, the instructor had her Britney Spear’s mic on and started calling out moves… yep, moves… and they all knew them!  I soon, and quite harshly, learned a lot of things.  Let me tell you something about Zumba:  First, it’s not all old ladies, there are a lot of younger ones, too… But listen to me…


Excuse the all-caps and profanity, but my god!  When did all these women have time to go to Step-It-Up Camp 2011?!  I have never been so lost in my entire life.  It was SO hard and complicated!  This one took a close second behind my first hot yoga experience… and second only because I didn’t actually think I was going to die… unless it was of embarrassment…

It was hilarious how bad I was at it!  She would call out things like,

– Grapevine!…  Salsa!…  Shimmy!…  Push it!

And I would try to follow the fourth-row-back-watered-down version of what the instructor was doing, whilst mentally answering her instruction calls in a panicked internal dialog,

– Where wine comes from!… I want some right now!… What I do when I’m imitating a hooker!… Push it real good!

At one point, she literally called out, “The chicken!” and everyone in the class started doing the exact same Mick-Jagger-like dance while I went through every single one of these…

I was so confused by how bad I was at this dancing exercise… mostly because dancing is how I mainly get my exercise

Exhibit A:  my first halloween in jackson… one for the books.

Exhibit B:  fall fest ’09… all the single ladies. danced so hard i stripped down to tank top in front of mostly strangers.

Exhibit C:  allison’s surprise birthday party… makin’ it rain on dan long.

Exhibit D-runk:  rendezvous employee party ’08… you can’t get me to do squats like that without some lil’ wayne. p.s. dabney is winning at life hard at this moment.

Yeah, just click that “Topics of Discussion” drop-down to the left over there and select “sweet dance moves.”  You’ll see.  I like to dance.

But then I realized that it’s just organized dancing that I’m real bad at!  Once I connected those dots in class, I felt a lot better.

Cuz, hell, if we all had a couple cocktails in us, my dancing would look AWESOME… and the rest of the classes’ actually would, too!  Because, let’s be honest, and I’m talking to you, 17-year-old dancing in front of me who keeps adding extra “shimmies” to the routine… You don’t actually look cool!  Yes, you do look slightly cooler than me right now because I look like I’m just doing jumping-jacks wrong… but you just danced like a chicken to Michael Franti in sync with twenty-five other women… don’t try that at the club… or anywhere else than HERE.  [exception: some flash-mob i’ll youtube over and over.]

All in all, I sweat my ass off and I think I’ll probably go back.  Why?  Because the deep down confession is that I don’t find it one bit cheesy for those few steps that I’m actually getting it.   And then right after that Taio Cruz song, we start doing some high-knee-clapping-over-the-head move to a Kelly Clarkson chorus and I couldn’t love it more.  I feel awesome.  And I’m not sorry.

[a little embarrassed, but not sorry.]