Sunday, March 30, 2014

Silver Liningness Sunday

This was a good week.  I enjoyed the break from classes, even though I did have a few things on the schedule, it was nice to have the openings too and to spend time with the fam.

Speaking of which, yesterday my maternal in-laws stopped by for a short visit.  Lunch was good and there was no yelling as with the recent paternal in-law visit.

In other family relations, I've been introduced, through facebook to a couple of my relations on the other side of the planet.  My  mother is from the Phillipines and my dad was an only child, so I didn't grow up with a bunch of cousins, aunts, uncles, etc.

I've "met"  a couple relatives that found me on facebook.  My mom had two brothers that were quite a bit older than her, and a younger brother with whom she was pretty close.  Uncle Max has "oh, lots!" of kids, according to her.

So anyway, my cuz, Boyet seems like lots of fun.  At least his photos indicate that.  When the big typhoon hit the Phillipines a while back I was a bit concerned, but Boyet's good time photos kept coming, so that was nice.

off to graduate

But actually, the first relative I met was Ybarra.  He sent me a friend request, and I was all, "who the heck...?"  But it turned out he's the son of one of my other cousins, so Uncle Max is his Grandpa.  Does anyone know what that makes him and me??  Second Cousins?  Aunt / Nephew something??  Anyway, he's in the same age-range as Chaco and Wolfgang and seems like a real nice kid.

He just got his Bachelor's degree this week, so shout out to "Barry"!

In closer-to-home news, Chaco and I are planning to go shopping for some Power Clothes for him later.  Meego has managed to stretch his haircut out a bit and he's still shaggy as ever, but it's coming off before end of business today!


Saturday, March 29, 2014

all who wander are not lost

But then there are those few...

We hit the great outdoors yesterday!  We decided to go check out a state park we'd yet to check out.  It's a relatively new recreational spot, located at the base of Cheyenne Mountain.  I know that running races are sometimes scheduled out there, and they've got some campsites, but we just went to hike around.

Wolfgang joined us, but Chaco had a meeting, so it was just us four.  We decided to take our chances and not register at the trailhead.  Where's the adventure in that??  I did have on my hot pink shoes, though, just in case we needed them for a beacon for Search and Rescue.

And actually, it would be pretty tough to get lost in there, with all of the various landmarks plus the maps and trail markers.  I'm thinking there were a few mountain lions watching us too.

We didn't come across many others either.  A couple of hikers at one point and some guys on mountain bikes, but that was pretty much it.  

Nice day.  Not lost.


Thursday, March 27, 2014

nice rack

Greetings, Spring Breakers!  I've been enjoying the week.  I've realized that it's a good thing that I had some homework to keep me from getting rusty.  Surprising how quickly that can happen.

It all balances, and I've enjoyed the time off.  Meego has been asking for a tablet for a while and wondering what he can do to earn one.  We thought it would be a handy thing for him to have, plus if we got some work out of him, all the better.

He did a few things around the house this week, and I rounded it out with having him solve some math problems - muahahaha.  He even agreed to throw in a haircut, so today, he and I went to the store to get his Nexus 7.  Once he got it home, he realized he couldn't get onto our WiFi without all of the secrets that Chaco built in .  Good thing Chaco lives nearby.

The weather's been decent, so I've managed to get in quality time with the bicycles for running a few errands.  Today I ran by the grocery store.  Check out the bike rack...

... if you can find it.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

in the fast lane

I was waiting for my tutee yesterday afternoon.  He was late and I was sitting in our study room at the library.  It's a curious thing that this particular library has the study rooms adjacent to the children's library, and the study rooms have big floor-to-ceiling windows.  Little kids often come up and press their moist little faces up against the glass as if looking at some zoo display.  I can just imagine the information plaque:

North American Tutor
praeceptor paedagogus

  • Often found in random study rooms in urban areas, dressed in layers to accommodate the ever changing climate.  
  • Males are anywhere from scrawny to over 300 pounds.  Pretty much the same for females.  
  • General markings include dry erase marker smudges and finger tip calculator callouses.  Very little makeup...

Anyway, as I daydreamed and entertained the zoo library patrons, my student showed up in due time.  He was covered in road rash and bandages.

"What happened to you?!", I greeted warmly

"Heh... longboarding accident", he sheepishly replied.

Five stitches (chin) and a tetanus shot for good measure later, he was raring to go.  I commended him for his study of friction since we were doing science.   His scraped appearance made for a good showing of the tutor display for the kiddos too.

In other news, I came across Bike Lady this morning.  I don't see her as often since retiring from the Crossing Guard Force.  I do catch her occasionally when our bike paths meet, but that hasn't been as often this semester.  So I sometimes wonder if she's still fighting the good fight.  By the way, the crossing guard who replaced me is a mom I know from PTO days and a very capable replacement.  Just wanted to note that since I'm sure readers were concerned.

Anyways, I was out enjoying a run this morning.  As I came over the crest of a hill on the pedestrian/bike path,  I saw a bicyclist headed in my direction.  At first, I thought it was my commuting friend, Jeff.  I don't wear my glasses when I run, remember?  Be glad that I was at least able to tell it was a person on a bicycle.

As the distance between us closed, I recognized that it was Bike Lady.  As is typical, our "conversation" was not a long one:


So nice to catch up.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Silver Liningness Sunday

Well, for one, we are officially on spring break.  I've still got some  homework, which I'm a little bummed about.  I'm okay with it during regular school time, but c'mon, it's spring break!  *whine*

But, among other things *COUGH*, I'm too old to be a stripper, so I guess I'll just suck it up.  

Silver lining-wise, I've gotten two of the four things on my homework to-do list completed already over this weekend, so the blow has been somewhat softened.

I also got a new phone this week because my old phone died.  The new phone is still a no-frills dumb phone, but at least it's not dead.  Yet.

Speaking of the dead, Napolion continues to impressively do battle with the gopher hordes, racking up trophy after trophy.  I keep hoping the remaining gopher squadrons will take the hint and go invade someone else's yard, but they continue the losing battle.  Thinking they will still win the war?

And as if that weren't enough to satisfy his thirst for blood, Napolion's taken to having rematches with another tough guy cat, whom we've come to know as "Chinga Cat".  His name derives from a popular saying from my hometown.  I never knew the literal translation of it, but the phrase "throwing chingas!" was used in the context of provoking fights.  Magnum looked up the translation for chinga.  I wasn't surprised.

Anyway, Chinga Cat is a big dude with long black fur and a tuft of white on his impressive chest.  Napolion loves beating him up and waking our entire household while doing so.  As annoying as it is, I have to admit, he's quite the badass.

Happy Spring!

Friday, March 21, 2014

happy trails

Happy first day after the first day of spring!  We're a little closer to nice weather, right?  That's what all the wind is about?

I realized that it was time to put Tessa on the market.  Since meeting Alice, I couldn't keep my minimalist reputation with having three bicycles around.  But I also didn't want to try to sell a road bike in the middle of winter.  The time had come.

Yesterday afternoon, I penned a quick craigslist ad with a total cheesecake shot of Tessa and sent it to the masses.  Then Meego and I left to run some errands and returned later with dinner sandwiches - which are the same as lunch sandwiches, just eaten later in the day.

After dinner, I decided to check my abbymail to see if there was any interest in the lovely Tessa, although the ad hadn't been up very long.

Oh. My.  God.

My e-mail on FIRE.

"I want it!"

"I'll buy it tonight.  CALL me!"

"I WILL buy this!"


I thought it would only be fair to go with the first response.  An interesting side to that one was that he had the same last name as ours.  Some long lost relative?  Nah, despite the fact that, more often than not, our name is mispronounced / misspelled, it's pretty common.  He was just another one.

I went with the second one.  He had me at...

                  "Hello my name is [   ~   ]. This is just what I am looking for for my beginning cyclist 
                    girlfriend.  Please call or text [   ~   ]. I can meet you."

Hopefully, readers here know that I'm not looking to make a buck.  My main concern was that Tessa go to a home where her many attributes would be appreciated and utilized.  So (1), yes, she was priced to sell, and (2) I wasn't letting her go to someone who would just put her in the garage so the neighbors would think a bicycle person lived there.

I sensed from this e-mail that this was a good home.  And the love story was gravy.  Plus he used decent grammar.

We met at a nearby parking lot.  He was all excited.  The happy girlfriend was with him.  She's a bit shorter than I am, but nothing a lowering of the saddle won't cure.  They're both in their late 20's, I'd guess.  Nice couple.

While he rummaged around his truck looking to see if he had a tool to adjust the saddle - in my separation anxiety, I'd forgotten to bring one - she asked a bit about the bike, and I let my intuition decide if they were the right buyers.

And just like that, Tessa has gone on to other pastures.  I jumped on a computer and took that ad off craigslist before my e-mail crashed.

So, it's bittersweet to see her go.  But thankfully, I got this t-shirt surprise in the mail this week from brother Guano.



Wednesday, March 19, 2014

hump day

On Wednesdays, I have a late class.  It's dark when I get out, so I don't ride my bicycle.  The Metro doesn't go to my neck of the woods at that time either, so I'm into option 3:  The Shuttle Lot.

It's not all bad.  It's the university's response to all the parking troubles.  The shuttle buses run all day long from about 7 in the morning to 10 or so at night.  There are big free parking lots at the bottom of the hill, then it's about a 2-mile shuttle ride to campus.

And the shuttles themselves are comfy enough vehicles, like airport shuttles.  There's always music playing on the shuttles - like elevators - except it's not necessarily elevator music.  I think it's iheartradio or spotify or something similar that is up to the driver's discretion.

There's this one olderish driver.  Physically, he looks much like Wilford Brimley, that "diabeadis" guy?  I don't know anything else about him other than he seems to like '80s disco music.  It's what's always playing whenever I ride one of his shuttles.  BeeGees, Diana Ross, Commodores... Homecoming dance music from my era.

It's all right, I can deal with it.  I wonder what the young 'uns think of it though.  This afternoon, I really began to wonder.

I was on Wilford's shuttle and the disco tunes are steaming happily.  We pulled out of the lot just as Donna Summer's "Love to Love You Baby" kicks in.  The long version.

I swear, we were at the longest red light EVER, right at the point that Donna starts orgasming her way through Love to Love You Baby, the long version.

Often, these shuttles can be rather boisterous.  Side conversations going on.  People talking on cell phones.  Good eavesdropping opportunities.  But not this time.  I swear, does NO ONE have something to drown out Donna Summer's ecstasy?!  This feels AWKWARD!  I was thinking.

*oooooh* And why?  Why does Wilford have *aaaaaaaah*  Love to Love You The Long Version on his *squeeeeaaaaal* shuttle playlist??  *mmmhmmmmm!*  

 Who knew college kids could be so quiet?

Monday, March 17, 2014

ode to Joe

I met Joe during my second year of Junior College.  He was a basketball recruit and a nice guy, I don't even remember our initial meeting nearly 30 years ago, but I remember Joe.

He was an easy going guy and he made friends easily.  Basketball and soccer were his sports.   He wasn't all that tall, but he was fast and coordinated and it was clear why the coach had recruited him.  I thought he had very nice legs too :).

We used to hang out.  My art class got out after dark, and Joe would often be waiting for me outside the art room to walk home with me.  I remember one time, he borrowed a friend's bike so we could go for a bike ride.  One of his tires popped shortly into our ride, though, so we ended up just going for a hike.

I vividly remember sitting on a ridge in the sun, looking over the little sex change town, just relaxing.

"This is really nice", he said.  "We should do this again... bring food and stay up here longer".

One night after work, I met up with Joe.  We went to a friend's apartment for a while.  Joe seemed different.  I sensed that he'd been drinking.  He got a little too aggressive with me, and I decided to leave.

A few days after that, a friend and I were going up to the city where I live now for a long weekend, and Joe asked if we could give him a ride since that was his home.  So we gave him a ride and dropped him off.  The next time I saw him back at school, he was covered in hickies.  I didn't hang out with him much after that.  He stopped coming around the art room.

I graduated and left town, and didn't think much about Joe after that.  Until yesterday.

The local newspaper ran a story about a local homeless man who'd recently died.  The story retraced his life as a gifted athlete from a local high school with a loving family and how drugs and alcohol had changed everything.

I didn't recognize the 48-year-old man in the obituary photo, but I recognized the photos from his high school yearbook.  It was Joe.

I read the long story, partly in shock, remembering the Joe I knew.  How could this be the same guy?  I never would have foreseen his life ending up that way.  

the Joe I remember

Rest In Peace, Joe.


Sunday, March 16, 2014

Silver Liningness Sunday

Recall a few weeks ago when I mentioned Napolion's supreme hunter skills?  The gopher trophy?  How I forwent the photo?  The activity has continued.  Gophers... mice... birds...

He brought us another gift yesterday, so if I'm gaggin' the whole blog be gaggin'!  Time to share the love.

I looked out the back door, and Napolion's running toward the house all proud-like with this big old mass o' fur hanging out his mouth.

"Look, Mom!  Look what I bratcha!"

This after I just cleaned off the last gut pile from the unwelcome mat.

How about a close-up, Jim?  (There's no Jim, that's just a random journalistic name that came to mind...).


I snapped the pic, Magnum disposed of the Trophy.  Napolion probably thinks the trash dumpster is our special place for treasures.

OKAY, now that we've all lost our breakfasts...

Another good week down.  The transition to daylight saving time wasn't too painful.  I keep thinking that we will stop the practice, and we'll be telling our grandkids about switching the clocks twice a year and they'll be all, "Grandma's so weird..." but here we are still doing it.

One nice thing about it is that it is a harbinger of spring.  We're already enjoying nice days mixed in with the not-so-nice.  This week featured both lovely bicycle rides and March of the Penguin reenactment.  Never boring.

School continues to be enjoyable, and I think I actually learn some stuff once in a while.  Spring break is coming soon, though!  No Girls-Gone-Wild for me, however.  I've got a couple of nice tutor students to keep me honest.

On that note, I have to do some homework now.  A lesson plan on anything I want (science/math related).  ANYTHING!   Calculate the average life cycle of a gopher in our yard vs. not in our yard??



Thursday, March 13, 2014

paved with good intentions

I was talking to a classmate yesterday - the guy who's wanting to get on the bicycle commuter bandwagon.

"So", I queried, "Ya ridin' yet?"

"Nah", he chagrined.  "I'm fat and scared".

So we laughed a little, but truth be told, I admitted to being scared too.  Not so much scared about riding a bike, but just thinking about all that can go wrong when you've got a schedule to meet.

We worry about getting a flat or having some other malfunction.  We worry about the weather taking a turn for the worse.  We worry about unexpected bad road conditions.  We worry about people that just don't like people on bicycles, for whatever reason (they're out there).  We worry about things that will keep us from getting where we need to be when we need to be there.

I know what he's thinking about.  It was scary to do at first.  To come out of the comfort zone.  I assured him I was scared too, in fact, I still get scared.  But then I get on a bicycle and go to class and then I wonder what I was so scared of.

Today was a nice-ish day, so I dusted off the helmet cam and took Alice to school.  Here's the 7.5 -mile commute in four minutes to save the world.

Or to save the fat and scared...


Sunday, March 9, 2014

Silver Liningness Sunday

I'm sitting here snacking and catching up on blog reading while Reese is munching on some fine mouse next to me.  He's starting to come out of his brumation, realizing that spring is on the horizon.  He's spent most of the winter sleeping and not eating, but a couple of days ago, he shed his winter skin, and today, he nearly took Meego's hand off when going after that mouse.

Herppy Love

I set out on bicycle Bella to pick up Reese's takeout earlier today.  The mouse store is about a mile and a half from home, but my bike ride GPS app confirms I took the looooooong way.  Such a nice day out!  I'm decidedly not a fan of moving the clocks ahead for daylight saving time, but I guess I like that extra hour of sunlight... for now.

In addition to the signs of spring, this was a nice week.  It was midterms at school, so tensions were high.  I did fine, and it's nice to have them finished until the next round of exams.  

Wolfgang swung by yesterday for a haircut (and food, and repairs on his longboard...). and it's always nice to get a visit from either of the college boys.  

So Happy Spring, everyone!  I know it's not official on the calendar, but if I'm springing my clock forward and spinning the mattress, we get to say it.  

Friday, March 7, 2014

new beginnings

Even though it was my choice to leave, I've missed my ex over the years.  We had many good times together, laughing, celebrating, working toward common goals.  Oh, it was work, but it was all very fulfilling and worthwhile.  But, then it just seemed it was time to go.  So I went.

We've kept in touch, my ex and I, over the years.  But after a while, the cards, letters, facebook updates, etc. just weren't enough.  I was ready to put myself out there again.

So I started dating, playing the field.  I was going out nearly every week.  I met some really great people, and I also admit that there were some nights when I realized I would be enjoying myself better at home.

Eventually, I got tired of the whole dating scene.  So exhausting, really.  Okay, so it was kind of fun watching them all fight over me, but enough already.  It came time to make my intentions known, so I did that, hoping I wasn't being too cryptic.

Then I just let it float out there, gave them all some space to think it over and hash it out, whatever they had to do.  And then this arrived:

Yep, they've popped the question.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

I hear things

Sometimes being a college "kid" when no longer a kid can be quite amusing.  I'm certainly not the only olderish one, which is a nice thing, but I often get a kick out of being around "peers" that are a generation behind me.

And they talk.  And I hear things.

So I'm linking up with Mama Kat again this week for the prompt:

5.) 7 things you overheard this week.

Girl outside the math building,  talking to a friend:  After my mid-term, I went and got a Brazilian, and now I feel better.

Instructor:  I'm going to put up this slide of a Tesla Coil....
Student (female):  WHAAAAT?!?
Instructor:  A Tesla Coil?
Student:  OH, I thought you said TESTICLE!

Girl on her phone:  Well, he never talks about girls, and there's no way a guy with that hairdo is not gay.

Guy on the shuttle:  They should totally use gondolas instead of these shuttle buses.
Girl on the shuttle:  What?  Then there'd be all kinds of sex going on in the gondolas.

Girl(1) from my Teach class, to her boyfriend:  We tried to teach the scientific method to a class of 2nd graders, and we totally sucked.  Now they'll hate science!

Instructor:  Suppose I make the claim that the mountains got fresh snow because I danced naked last night...
Student:  It'd be better if you left out the "naked" part.

Then this gem...

Girl(2) from my Teach class:  Yes, I turned 30 last week.  GAWD, I'm old!


Tuesday, March 4, 2014

join the movement!

Hmm... kinda dark in here, no?

I'm playing with the blog template for something unproductive to do.  I'm not even sure what this background is.  It was under "recreation".  Anyone?

Speaking of recreation, yesterday, a classmate asked if I ride my bike to school every day.  I told him I do except for when it's icy or super windy.  So he continued with the questions.  Where from?  How far?  What kind of bike?

He wants to start bicycle commuting too and, in fact,  just got a used mountain bike on the cheap, but he thought a road bike would be better for riding to school.  So naturally, I told him the easy solution was to add a road bike to the collection.  Obviously!

I wore short sleeves today, I just thought I'd report.  It's also forecast to snow tonight, but today... I wore short sleeves.  The tattoo and Alice got some fresh air.  Spring is around the corner!



Sunday, March 2, 2014

Silver Liningness Sunday

Whew, almost didn't make the Sunday silver liningness deadline!  But have no fear, I'm too anal well-ordered for such a crisis.

See, my Father-in-Law in-laws (I have a separate set of in-laws on the Mother-in-Law side, oh joy...) came to visit.  So we had a family gathering, managing to get Chaco and Wolfgang to join the fun.  Fun is in italics because things usually escalate to a roar when they visit, and this visit progressed as usual.

I wasn't involved, I had a paper to write, so had a good excuse to be somewhat anti-social.  Then I was catching up with Chaco and Wolfgang too (they were no part of the roaring either), so didn't get a whole lot of paper writing done.  Meego joined us to seek sanctuary from the roaring.  I ended up rescuing China too. Napolion managed pretty well on his own.

So yeah, nice day!

Chaco requested a haircut, and then I requested a group photo.  A serious photo was out of the question.  Chaco wants to always look like an unsmiling assassin in his photos, Meego and Wolfgan prefer to wing it.

Really, I mainly wanted a shot of Chaco's THE LODGES shirt.  I'm thankful that the various propaganda is helping to clothe my children.

Nice week too.  For one, the weather was pretty agreeable.  I actually got Alice, the fair weather bicycle, out for a romp to school one day.  I went jacketless!  I wore the flowery gloves with no fingers!

And after weeks of saying, "no", I took on a new tutor student this week.  Things are going pretty swimmingly with classes, so what the heck.  Plus, she's the younger sister of a boy I tutored two years ago, so it was all the more difficult to refuse.  So she showed up for our first session, and she actually brought the box of goodies (flash cards) I'd  LOANED  to her brother and forgot to get back from him.

And we're at mid-terms already for this semester.  Yay for being nearly halfway through!  Boo for exams!  Well, no, even the exams are okay.  I'm trying to operate in teacher mode, to see things form their side, and it's all good.  But I also really like my instructor who "doesn't believe in exams".   Okay!  (Seriously??)