Prince Avalanche – Two misfits re-stripe the back roads of Texas after a massive fire. Both lonely and unaware of how much they need the friendship of one another. The landscape plays itself, beautifully so.

The Hollars – There’s a lot going on here. Pregnancy, insecurity, illness, loneliness, and wicked destructive jealousy. Also awkward funny laughter followed by some truly heart felt moments. Kinda like life.

Plus One – Two friends decide to embark on the unbearable together – ten weddings over the course of a summer. More insecurity, quite a bit of drunkenness, love, dysfunction, and good humor. Oh, and to save you the head scratching, the main man is Meg Ryan and Dennis Quaid’s son.

Britt Marie Was Here – A very tightly wound woman leaves her husband upon learning of his years-long affair with a much younger woman. Uncertain of her abilities, she takes on a neglected community center and its flailing soccer team.

Troop Zero – A young girl aching for her dead mother seeks to win the competition to have her voice put out in the universe (and therefore heard by ALL), via the Voyager craft. The only problem is she needs a Birdie Troop to do it, and the only one available does NOT want her. Undeterred, she gathers all the other misfit girls she knows to make their own. Underdogs rule the day, my friends. Plus, Viola Davis!!!

FREAKY – I loved the original Jodie Foster Freaky Friday and prolly could have watched it on a loop were the option given to me as a child. This racy, young adult in our modern times version is no less fabulous. Vince Vaughn plays a serial killer who switches bodies with a high school outcast in hilarious fashion. It’s madcap and funny and terribly gory.

Tales From the Loop – Greg and I, after ages and ages, finally bit the bullet and got Amazon Prime. For the shows, not the shipping. We’ve always kept our cart going until it was free, anyway. But, I digress. This show!!! It’s a three exclamation point and more, yes ma’am. It highlights the frailties, excitement, wonder, and loss of ordinary people living in a most extraordinary place of time travel, adventure, and answers one might not care to know. Beautiful, simply beautiful.

Save Yourselves – A couple super-attached to their devices decides to unplug for a weekend in the country right when the world is invaded my murderous, Tribble-looking creatures. It’s a hoot!

Mum – Follow Cathy as she navigates her new life after losing her husband, starting on the day of his funeral. Her in-laws, husband’s best friend, brother and obnoxious girlfriend, thick-headed and equally obnoxious son and his dimwitted but awfully sweet girlfriend play important roles, as she struggles to find her independence and sense of self. Three wonderful seasons.

Colewell – A quiet film following a postal worker as her office is declared obsolete, despite being the hub of her small community. A stunner.

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Stroll

It is always the simple things that change our lives. And these things never happen when you are looking for them to happen. Life will reveal answers at the pace life wishes to do so. You feel like running, but life is on a stroll. This is how God does things.

Donald Miller

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Andie’s adorable boy, Houston, whom I gleefully strolled around the neighborhood when I visited. He loved it. I loved it. Strangers smiled.

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Hi there, and happy Tuesday. It’s a jolly morning in my little office. Linda Ronstadt – Mas Canciones – is on the hi-fi, uplifting and beautiful, if ever there was. Si! Si!

How cute is my sun catcher of a pooch, all sleepy eyed on another day?

fern bush
pasque flower
silver buffalo berry

The garden awakens, bud to leaf to flower, and it never ceases to amaze, so much that disappears every fall comes alive again!

Unicorn left alone. Greg, Juniper, and I, on our morning walk, spied it from a distance. Me thinking, from an entirely different angle, mind you, that it was a human (it was a rather large unicorn), engaged in yoga stretches. When it became obvious a body couldn’t maintain such stillness, and we got a little closer, the truth was revealed.

Given the choice, I am a waffle over pancake person, every single time. There’s no replicating that crispness, perfect pockets screaming for butter and syrup. I’d make pancakes, however, out of sheer necessity. Waffles take time, one by one by one. UNTIL! Until I, searching online for a second waffle maker, stumbled upon this one that makes TWO at a time. Fancy! It looks a bit like what Darth Vader and the Empire would use to get a jump on feeding all those darn Storm Troopers. Black and red, and all. The waffles themselves are mighty fine, too.

This morning, on our a.m. stroll, we saw one of our favorite dog runners take a selfie, utterly seamless in efficiency. Sit down on rock, adorable pooch jumps up, snap photo, with, bonus, Pike’s Peak in background! Insert seriously cool guy sound effect.

Hey Buddy, let’s do what that guy did! We can selfie, right?? Well, my friends, this is what happened before Juniper jumped down and refused to return. I thought I’d share it in the let’s keep-it-real vibe. Keep on keeping on. And much laughter to you, too.

For my 17th Birthday, from them ALL

Thursday afternoon, lunch time. Greg and I were preparing a most awesome Thai Beef salad, and as is my wont for conviviality and all around good vibes when in the kitchen together, asked him to put some music on. He chose Van Halen, which was not surprising because I’d been craving it for days. Our Vulcan mind meld going exponential every year we are together in crazy-wild fashion. Cool, cool.

Mark & Bub

Aside from the fun Greg and I have together while listening, Van Halen is my high school years, and in particular the time spent with Bub, Craig, and Mark. For a lot of people, I was a strange appendage to this band. A girl in the company of young men. An assumed sexual relationship, which could not be further from the truth. Except for a brief time when I had a crush on Mark, they were like brothers to me. We’d known each other for years, Bub and I since fifth grade. We carpooled in his Celica, sophomore, junior, and half of senior year (until I bought my Celica, and people called us the Rice Rocket twins), so him most so.

Craig

We did all manner of activity together, go-carts at the Green Scene in Boulder, where I was cowardly slow. Mini-golf, where Bub reigned supreme. Football games. Basketball games. Parties. Movies. Wild & silly. Teenagers behaving as such. One time, where I do not remember whose house, only that it was south of 64th and near Pierce, I read the comics while they and whomever’s house it was, watched porn with the sound off. Out of “respect” for me. I kept my eyes down, not at all interested in that business, and when they told me it was safe to look, I believed them. We ALL laughed heartily at my gullibility.

The last day we were all together….

Mostly we drove around, as was the way. This is where the Van Halen really comes in. Running with the Devil, Ain’t Talking Bout Love… ALL of it. Mostly in Craig’s car, a 1980 Trans Am with T-tops. Did it have the phoenix on the hood? I can no longer remember. But the feeling, I do. Every season, but summer most potently. Warm air – short sleeve shirt, no jacket required. Me nearly always in the back seat, tops off and wind whipping my hair wild while the music played LOUD, exhilarated by freedom and pure joy. Laughter. So much laughter. And being with people I loved.

They’d pick me up at Wendy’s during a brief foray as an employee and call me Burger, having so strongly smelled of flipping them. Another time, behind Mark when he decided it was the right time to spit out his chew, high speed on Wadsworth, no less, and it ALL rushes on the wind and in my face. The horror and disgust and laughter, yet again.

I’ve lost track of them all. We are scattered by winds and distance, changing interests and loss. I have no sadness about it, no remorse. They are among the best parts of my past and shall remain so.

Women

Women will draw doors where there are none, and open them and pass through into new ways and new lives. Because the wild nature persists and prevails, women persist and prevail.

Clarissa Pinkola Est├ęs

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