Wild Bangkok

While I’ve been sick–of the physical and home variety–lately, I am still loving  the Big City.

Which includes a restaurant the Boyfriend and I discovered just before Christmas break. We were wandering downtown, doing some shopping for Christmas, mostly at the new H&M store (whaaat!) and it was freezing and I was so stressed out.

I was sick, work was driving me insane, and I had a million things to do before leaving for home. (Aww…).

The BF and I decided to grab some food–we tried an Italian place we’d heard of, but that was crazy crowded and expensive.

Then–we saw it.

Down a side street, a small, unobtrusive sign. All I saw was “Thai” and we made a beeline.

That’s right, folks. Wild Bangkok Bar & Grill, just off of 16th Street in Denver.

Amazing. (Spoiler alert..)

We sat on the floor on cushions, in a dark quiet corner, with Chang beers in our hands (some of my favorite from the trip) and devoured Cashew Nut Chicken and, of course, Pad Thai.

I’m not going to pretend the food was as good as it is in Thailand–um, it’s Thailand–but it was preetttyyy darn close. I can never find the perfect Pad Thai, so I hardly ever order it, but the BF definitely inhaled his.

As for my Cashew Nut Chicken, well, I was lickin’ my plate clean as well. The sauce! The cashews! The vegetables were fresh, the chicken was flavorful and not even a little bit dry. And it all went down very easy with my Chang.

It was the first time in weeks I was able to relax. That says a lot.

And not just because of the beer.

Mostly because of the atmosphere. (Okay, the beer helped.)

Somehow, even though the place was crowded, and the bar was hoppin’  (they have lanyards of Chang for just a few bucks so…people were enjoying that) it felt like it was just the two of us. We were in the corner, and it was surprisingly private and quiet.

At least we had the illusion of privacy, which works for me.

Also, we got to sit on the floor. Who doesn’t love to sit on the floor and eat??

The sitting-on-the-floor and the expansive Thai decor complete with candles all provided another illusion: one where, when you walk out the door, you would actually be in the lush jungle of Northern Thailand.

So, if you’re in the Denver area, go to Wild Bangkok.

Make sure to request seating in the Northern Thai area!

Or hey, why don’t I just take you? (I want to go again and again and again…)

It’s even on me–it’s as close as I might get to Southeast Asia for awhile.

Sadly.

But at least I have Wild Bangkok to hold me over for now… 🙂

 

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It Ain’t All Flowers and Candlelight

It’s almost CHRISTMAS! My favorite time of the year.

A time to spend with loved ones. Which I am–don’t get me wrong–but I’m also learning something about my relationship (something that I’ve learned again and again, and each time it strikes me anew): it ain’t all flowers and candlelight. (Although you can read some about our adorable romance here.)

Specifically, splitting holidays. Because we live together, both of our families expected us to go to each respective house. Even after trips to Vegas for a family wedding and a trip out to see them at Thanksgiving.

Well, we’re broke, and we aren’t married, so we won’t be spending Christmas together, unfortunately. And yet the majority of my friends in Bozeman are bringing their respective significant others home for the holidays. Which means, I’ll be some kind of ninth wheel–somehow, even when I have a boyfriend, I never have a date in this town.

It’s the Bozeman jinx.

It’s also one of the those times where I catch myself saying “this would be so much easier if we were married. Then we’d just go to one house and the other house would have to suck it up.”

Don’t worry–I usually catch myself. The thought of marriage still makes me pee my pants.

(Plus, my mother is not the type to “suck it up,” but would nag me so I would visit not long after Christmas, anyway.)

And as the holidays strike, the epidemic of engagements begins again. I fall into that trap of wanting to be married, of wondering why I’m not engaged yet and why (insert chosen name here) gets to be happily planning their wedding.

However, folks, one thing I’ve learned: marriage does not solve everything. When I was about fourteen, I thought getting a boyfriend would solve everything. When I actually got a boyfriend (about four years later) I thought that going abroad as I had always wanted would fix everything. Then, when that didn’t work, I thought changing my majors would make everything perfect. And so on down the line.

The point of this story is: there’s always something else that would make life absolutely perfect.

These days, the BF and I are pretty happy, and I can’t imagine marriage making anything better or changing anything.

Except we’d be a lot poorer, if we had a wedding. (Well, I will insist on a honeymoon, at least).

And maybe we’d be together for Christmas.

But, life isn’t perfect. Not even at Christmas.

(Although all the pretty lights really do help. AND we can’t forget the plethora of Christmas cookies.)

I think this is what growing up is.

NOW I just need to…getintogradschoollearntocleanfixmycargotoparis…

KIDDING.

Snide

I know it’s Christmastime and a jolly happy time of year. I love Christmas, don’t get me wrong, and during my commute, I often turn on the radio and tear up at the Christmas miracle stories.

However, I also ride the light rail (yeah RTD! Well, mostly.) and what I’ve come to realize that while I have a heart of mush, I also have a brain of snide.

It’s an interesting combination, which has led me to make these observations during my commute:

1. Chivalry is dead. All those little punks on the subway–you know, the ones where you can hear their music despite the headphones–never give up their seats to the little old lady with the grocery bags. Which leaves  me to do it, because let’s face it, someone has to. They also never give up their seats to the cute girl in her adorable-but-kind-of-painful-new-boots and skirt. (That’s me.)

2. I get really annoyed when people chew loudly. It is easily my biggest pet peeve. Especially when the lady sitting right across from me is already taking up the entire seat–then she proceeds to chew through cereal, crackers, chips, and cheese. That’s how I annoyed I was–I even got irritated by the cheese. I never get irritated by the cheese. (That sounds like a lame farting joke. It’s not. I just really love cheese).

3. I also am not a morning person. This is not a bulletin, but it is further exacerbated by people in my way. Either on the road or on the train.

4. I don’t understand when it became okay for someone to sit on the floor behind the girl in the skirt with sheer hose. Even if you didn’t want to look, you still could (and let’s face it, probably did). It was awkward, kid.

5. It’s really smart of them to set the buttons so that when you need to enter or exit the train in freezing  weather, you have to push at your stop. But sometimes people need a little help understanding that: I get it. Don’t worry, sir in the blue coat: I, too, panicked when the door didn’t open automatically.

6. Many different people commute. I like it. (The diversity, I mean, not the commuting.) Probably the same population as the entire town of Bozeman commutes in and out of Denver. I think that once I get over my shyness I’ll meet all sorts of interesting characters on the light rail. Besides old men that already talk to me. (They always talk to me. All over the world. Name the place and some old man has chatted me up, even if we didn’t speak the same language.)

7. People are so generous at Christmas. My boss has this theory (which I tend to agree with) that if people were as generous and caring as they are at Christmas, we wouldn’t have any problems. He also has an idea of running for office based on “Christmastime values.” I think he could be a hit.

8. T0 the lady with the cutest black lab ever, I want your dog to be my friend on the light rail every day. I know he’s your service dog so I won’t steal him or anything, but maybe we could coordinate schedules.

9. I live really far away from downtown Denver. If we didn’t have such an awesome apartment I would hate the commute way more.

10. The light rail still makes me feel excited to be living in the big city. Even when I spilled my coffee on myself. Even when that guy spilled his coffee on me. Even with the brain of snide, I still get excited.

That concludes my list. Merry almost Christmas, everyone!

‘Tis the Season

Hi, folks.

I promise more blog posts will come soon. I have at least ten different titles/ideas saved, but several illnesses and the craziness of December (that, let’s face it, I LOVE) have gotten in the way. But for now, here’s a fun little holiday survey!

(That I borrowed from Julie over here!)

The 25 Questions of Christmas

  • Eggnog or hot chocolate?

Eggnog. With bourbon. Hot chocolate. With peppermint schnapps. Or both. Plain. Don’t make me choose.

  • Does Santa wrap presents or just sit them under the tree?

He wraps them, obviously, even the ones for the animals. Although as I’ve been Santa for my little sister the past ten years, so maybe I’m not qualified to answer this question. 🙂

  • Colored lights on tree/house or white?

It varies. My mom always liked white on everything, so in recent years I’ve gone full-out color, but I think I’m missing the white lights!!

  • Do you hang mistletoe?

No…I have never even seen mistletoe! At least real mistletoe. You can buy fake stuff at Target I think.

  • When do you hang your decorations up?

As soon as possible after Thanksgiving!

  • What is your favorite holiday dish (excluding dessert)?

We always have shrimp with lemon butter on Christmas Eve, and it’s always felt like such a decadent treat!

  • Favorite holiday memory as a child?

Christmas pageants, and always the Christmas Eve service at our church.

  • What is on your Christmas wish list?

Lots of things, as I’m so broke this year (thank you, AmeriCorps). But mostly boots (I have an addiction), ski goggles, and THIS BEAUTIFUL CAMERA.

Yep. It's a long shot. But it takes such long shots!!!...

  • Do you open a gifts on Christmas Eve?

We open all of our gifts, except the ones in our stockings, on Christmas Eve! It’s a German thing, I’m told.

  • How do you decorate your Christmas tree?

My sister and I put on our favorite Christmas record (yes, a record, my parents still have those things, plus a player) of Anne Murray and trim the tree with lights and all of our traditional ornaments.

  • Snow? Love it or dread it?      LOVE IT. Until about mid-January. But for Christmas it’s a MUST.
  • Real tree or fake tree?

REAL IS THE BEST! But the BF and I have a baby fake tree because I felt guilty looking at tiny trees that had already been cut down before they ever had a chance to grow up. I’m the original Cindy Lou Who.

  • Do you remember your favorite gift?

When my dad fixed my favorite camera, a telescope, earrings from the BF, and this awesome lego dollhouse from my awesome grandmother.

  • What’s the most important thing about Christmas for you?

Traditions, family, and enjoying the season.

  • What is your favorite holiday dessert?

Sooo many! Fudge, or these little almond cookies my grandma makes, and gingerbread men.

  • What is your favorite tradition?

The Christmas Eve service at church where we sing all the carols, the massive amounts of baking, decorating the tree and hanging up “my” ornaments, driving to look at the luminaries my parents’ neighborhood puts up.

  • What tops your tree?

This year–a candy cane. At my parents’ house, we always had this creepy angel doll (that looks pretty from far away!)

  • Do you prefer giving or receiving?

As mentioned earlier, I took over Santa duties years ago, so I love  giving! I get a little obsessive about finding the perfect gifts for everyone, usually off of something they mentioned months ago.

  • What is your favorite Christmas song?

O Holy Night, Do You Hear What I hear.

  • Candy canes, yuck or yum?

Yum!

  • Favorite Christmas movie?

Love Actually. And Christmas Vacation, because it’s just as hilarious every year.

  • What do you leave for Santa?

Sometimes a few cookies. 🙂 This is a tradition I might need to work on…

  • Do you have a Christmas morning tradition?

We wake up, eat cinnamon rolls and attack our Santa gifts!

  • Do you prefer to shop on-line or at the mall?

At the mall, usually, to soak up all the Christmas energy :).

  • Christmas letter or Christmas card?

You know me, any excuse to write. Plus I love reading them from other people!!

Whew.

That it’s for now. Stay tuned for some actual writing. A few teasers: a sneak peek into my snide brain, some more thoughts on my kiddos, a book review, and more holiday stuff, of course.

I really am a sentimental fool. Better a fool than a scrooge. 🙂