Tuesday, April 29, 2014

what should we name him?

Okay.  You guys...

*I'm whispering here, can you tell?*

You guys.  I'm here like a prisoner in my own house right now.  I just have this feeling that I'm being watched, but I don't know where the watcher is.  It's giving me the heebie jeebies.

I keep turning in different directions to look, but at the same time, I'm hoping to not see anything.  I'm watching my every step.  Every little peep of noise makes me jump.  It's hell I tellya!

It started this morning.  Or last night.  I don't know.

The cat was out all night.  It's just what he needs to do, I suppose.  He's got to go out and sow his predatory oats.  And that's fine, the gophers and mice will make more.

So this morning, when I got up, I looked and found him in the backyard.  Certainly after another night of carnage, he was ready to return to the civilized life.

I flicked on the light.
He turned from his crouched position and saw me.
It was his crouched position he assumes when he toys with a mouse before playing with it to death.
But he turned and saw me and decided to end the playtime and come on in.

or so I believed...

He came on in and headed downstairs.  I went down a minute or so later

to find him playing with a much uninvited guest.  The freaking mouse.  He brought the darn thing in with him!  It was still alive.  They're playing Tom and Jerry in mah house!

Oh feck.

I know what you're thinking.  It's my fault.  I'm the one who opened that door all widely and welcoming!  I'm the enabler!  To that I say:

It was dark!
I wasn't wearing my glasses!
Napolion's face (I've since realized) is the exact color of mouse!  Or vice versa!

So here we are.  I figured Napolion would play with that mouse until the mouse had no more play left in him - the usual shenanigans.  I didn't care to watch it, knowing I'd be responsible for corpse removal.  So I cowardly left the room, and returned later.

There's no corpse.  No trace at all.  No juicy gut pile.  No discarded tail.  Nothing.  It's a mystery.

Did Mouse survive?  Is he watching me as I type?  Waiting to exact revenge? If not, where is the body?!?  If so, where is the body?!?  If the mouse is dead, will he haunt our house forever??

There's only one who holds the answer.  And he's not talking.

At least it's a mouse and not one of those monstrous gophers.

But still...


Sunday, April 27, 2014

Silver Liningness Sunday

Well, it's been a busy and - I think - productive week!

It started last Sunday when we went to Magnum's sister's for Marijuana Day Easter.  She and her husband live just a little over 10 miles from us, but we don't see them all that often.

Magnum isn't particularly close with her (politics!), and she and I drifted apart about 10 years ago when she married a new guy - who turned out to be not so new ifyaknowwhaddimsayin' - after a bit of homewrecking drama for her daughter.  Nothing against the new guy, just the circumstances.

But time heals and people mature and I've noticed her making efforts to socialize with us more.  So when she called to invite us over, I was glad when everyone said yes, although it's pretty easy to get Chaco and Wolfgang to play along when there's lots of good food involved.

She cooked a lovely crown roast that I doubt would even fit in my smallish oven.  I realized that having a smallish oven helps to take the blame for some of my lacking skills in the kitchen.

In other news, Meego had his first track meet for the season this week.  He ran the mile, the 800 meters, the 4 x 200, and threw the discus.  He's not a big contender in any of those events, but nice variety, no?

The main thing is, he's having fun.  Save the vomit inducing pressures for high school.

The weather today is total crap.  Windy, cold, cloudy, drizzly.  In true silver lining form, I'm trying to stay positive with the we-need-the-moisture mantra that is so popular on days like today.  

Also, I went for a chop job at the hair salon yesterday.  Actually, I went for a nice haircut and ended up with a chop job, but hair grows, right?   Don't anyone dare me to do the buzz cut.  At this point, I'm actually tempted...(but won't)...


Friday, April 25, 2014


We're entering the end of yet another semester.  Yahoo!  So with the ending comes all the hoopla before the ending.  Hoopla in the form of final papers, final projects, final exams, final &%#*!

It's all good I suppose, but doesn't leave much time for writing what I'd rather be writing... in this blog.  Instead I'm writing all these final mumbo jumbos.

In other news, the weather's been lovely, so at least I have nice bike rides to and from to break up the final monotony.  Yesterday, as I neared the crest of thigh-buster hill entering campus, I found that traffic was at a complete stop.  There's a big construction zone in that area that has recently spilled to both sides of the road.

From what I could tell, traffic was stopped to allow for this big flatbed truck to enter one side of the construction zone to retrieve some big piece of earth moving equipment.  So all the cars are sitting there idling while the big flatbed truck backed into the fence, pulled forward about five feet, backed into the fence, pulled forward about 5 feet, backed into the fence, pulled for...  well, you get the drift.

When I realized the traffic would be moving nowhere for a long time, I just picked up the nimble Alice and headed to the pedestrian walkway.  See ya!  Yet another reason to be glad I wasn't trapped in a car.

In the meantime, my blogfriends all have updates, and I want to come read.  I just need to take care of a few things first!


Sunday, April 20, 2014

Silver Liningness Sunday

Happy 420!... er... Easter!

Meego's got the spring cleaning bug apparently and is cleaning and renovating Reese's habitat while I am left with the job of snake entertainer, so prepare for typos.  Additionally, that was a rather long sentence.

This week was another goodie.  China seems to really like her short do, she's been frolicking around like a puppy.  If that's the secret to youth, maybe I'll go get a buzz.

This week has been a tough one for my hometown.  I won't go into deep details, but it all started with a fun story about a llama that had gotten loose and was running around.  It made lighthearted news stories, but then things took a bad turn when the llama was killed.  ANYWAY, the teens who killed the llama, with the backing of the owner, did the STUPID thing and posted boastfully about it all over facebook.

I'm not sure what led to the killing, but by that time, the errant llama had developed quite a fan following and the fallout over the llamacide has been NASTY nasty.  I went to innocently check my facebook feed this morning, and the flame fanning hasn't stopped.

So I left and went over the deviantart for some art therapy.  Always a fun time over there, with their bazillion or so members.  But then I was reminded that llamas are quite prevalent over there!  Members give each other llama badges as tokens of appreciation for their artworks, etc.  Then certain llama levels are reached based on the number of badges earned.  So I couldn't escape the llama drama like I'd wanted to!  But this piece always makes me happy, so I feature it here anyway.  This particular artist had reached Albino Llama level (50 badges) and was noticeably happy:


It cheered me somewhat, but still not nice what's going on back home.  I think I'll just go on sabbatical from facebook for about six months or so, and think happy thoughts and rainbow farts.

Saturday, April 19, 2014


Chaco and I went to pick up his suit yesterday.  We walked into the place and it was crawling with teenaged man boys.  Then I remembered that one of my tutees told me this weekend was prom at her school.  That would explain all those children at the man store.  

So we had to wait a while for a free employee, all of whom seemed a bit fed up with dealing with the prom boys.  I'm sure it's a good time for their profits, but they'd probably rather be selling suits and separates.

When we were eventually attended to, the woman apologized for the fact that a fitting room probably wouldn't be free for another 20 minutes or so.  Chaco tried on the jacket, and we declared it all good since In Hilda We Trust.

As we were leaving, there were more teenaged boys out in the parking lot.  Chaco commented, "Geez, it's like they're tailgating", which they seemingly were.

Funny how prom was such a big deal in high school, but looking back, it's pretty insignificant.  All those boys in their t-shirts and shorts and sneakers, getting all polished up, like it's the natural thing to do.  So I did this sketch for Illustration Friday, where the prompt is "Natural".  I did it with natural charcoal then played with gimp a bit to add that shiny thing.  It's called "distant sun".  Huh?  Huh?  Do I have a grip on technology or WHAT?!

Anyway, through a strange alignment of the stars, I have a light homework load this weekend, so thought I'd let the little art girl out to play...

No one asked her to prom.


Wednesday, April 16, 2014

hair of the dog

Had the morning off from class, our instructors declaring a "lab day" since we've got some projects to finish up.  I took advantage of it by declaring it a make-your-dog-look-like-a-lab day, and took China to the groomers.  She's been nagging me for a haircut, the bushy fur coat is not a good thing now that the temperatures have gotten more friendly.

And personally, the vacuum cleaner and I are tired of the shedding.

Look!  So happy!

"I'm sexy and I know it... know it... know it..."

It was a good day for it.  Sun was shining with more promise of spring.  I planned to take a bike ride under the clever disguise of running an errand or two.  

No sooner had I brought the freshly shorn China home that the skies clouded up and the temperature began to drop.  And then... and then... and.... then....

Yeah.          That's me  ^.                  

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

horny toads and a second to spare

Despite our snowstorm over Sunday/Monday and the impending forecast for this week, I KNOW that spring is here, just having a bit of trouble getting started.

I KNOW because as I type this, the toads are having sex.

They've been pretty quiet through the winter months, but I was sitting here doing some work when I heard the telltale sexy sounds of toad barking.  Ooh, it's been so long...

I don't know what's needed as far as incubating toad babies, and I guess we won't worry about it unless things escalate beyond recreation.

Speaking of recreation, official Bash the Bluffs results came in.  My time was actually 22:34 which shaved a whole second off of the unofficial time.  I'll take what I can get.  I also managed to make a  few of the event gallery pics.

Prize if you can spot me and the "magentas":

And I managed to make this Baywatch-esque shot in the lonely homestretch, except there's no beach, no ocean, and no babe, but a possible medical emergency.

Yes, I know the photos are bleeding over into my sidebar.  I blame the template.

Happy Spring!


Sunday, April 13, 2014

Silver Liningness Sunday

I came to get my homework goodies, that sit dangerously close to the desktop, totally intending to do homework.

Then I started reading some blogs, and next thing I know, I'm blogging my silverliningness.  And here sit the homework goodies even.  Unoped.
Ah, I'll get to it.  

This was another nice week.  Apparently, Thursday was National Sibling's Day.  There's a National Sibling's day??  Well, I heard about it on facebook, so it must be a real thing.  I'm thankful for my bros.  It's weird to think of growing up without them.  On a related note, oldest big brother Hagrid had a birthday this week, so he's even an older older brother.  

And it seems that I am now fully embalmed into my local P.E.O. chapter. I keep getting e-mails from them anyways, so I guess I am somebody.

Despite my lack of homework enthusiasm, I seem to be making progress at school.  With the springtime temperatures (except for today!) making more of a showing, I'm looking forward to having another semester finished, and hopefully, I'll finish with style.

Speaking of nicer temperatures, remember "fat and scared" bicycle commuter?  He's out there!  He's made the jump!  I spotted him last week on the bike path.  Couldn't miss his loud shirt.  

Yesterday's 5K was fun.  This guy was there, and I realized later that I did not know who/what he was.  

He's the mascot from the steakhouse, and when I thought about it, I realized he is NOT a cow.  First of all, cows are girls... well, except for steers...  ANYWAY, it bothered me so much, I googled.  He's an armadillo.  Whew, now I can sleep.


Saturday, April 12, 2014

got in a quickie this morning

Yep, a 5K.

The university held it's 13th annual "Bash the Bluffs" 5K to raise money for campus recreation in memory of a renowned former professor of exercise science.  I read about it in a bathroom stall, and decided to sign up a couple of days ago.  Since my last "race" was that slow steady half-marathon, I thought a quick and dirty 5K sounded like fun.

The event page said:

"...the unique course topography providing scenic views of the UCCS campus, the city of Colorado Springs, Pikes Peak, Garden of the Gods, and the front range of the Rocky Mountains. This hilly course is challenging for runners, but is stroller and dog friendly for walkers"

DANG, they weren't kidding about that "hilly" and "challenging"!  In fact, I think I was so busy being challenged by the hills that I missed the scenic views, but I'll take their word for it.

Official results aren't in yet, so I don't know how many entrants there were.  It was a relatively small event, though.  300 to 400 runners I'm guessing.  And it was a nice morning for it.  Temperatures in the low 50's with partly cloudy skies.

I started out pretty good.   The lead males established their alpha pace right away, and I found myself in a pack with one female ahead of me.  I managed to pass her at about the one-mile point, but then another girl took me over a short while down the road.  About a half-mile later, another fiesty one passed me.  We ended up holding those positions until the end.

What is my top?
Other than "Not Magenta"?

Killer Hill was shortly after the halfway point.  I had girl #1 and girl #2 both still in my sites.  They were both wearing magenta tops.  Hmm... maybe that's their secret.  Magenta tops.  Anyways, I used the magenta targets to will me to the crest of Killer Hill.

I managed to suck wind long enough to hold onto the 3rd place female finish.  First for the old ladies.
Unofficial time of 22:35.

So it was a fun start to the day, and I got some nice loot:

Long-sleeved t-shirt, flashlight / keychain, coupla coupons (chiropractor, running store), and for turd place, a dinner for two at a local steak house and a small certificate with my name surprisingly spelled correctly.  Magnum suggests I do more races so we can eat out more often.  We have yet to use our dinner from the Rescue Run.

And the forecast for tomorrow is cold and snow and cold cold.  Run and be merry today, for tomorrow we freeze!

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

tattoos, child abuse, breaking-and-entering...

One of MamaKat's writing prompts this week is:

4.) Tell us about a blog post you didn't publish.

Well, if I didn't publish it, there's probably good reason.  Like it was stupid or boring or lame for some other reason.  Minimalist that I am, I don't keep unpublished posts around, but I happened to notice 4 drafts in the waiting wings of the archives.  What were they??  

Three of them were lame starts that I finished elsewhere (note to self:  go delete those), one was this meme - just the questions.  I don't remember where I got it, but I'm thinking I probably snagged it from Joey.  It's sort of summer themed, so seems like good timing and I decided to answer:

1. What's something people might ask you for help with?


2. What's something you might ask someone else for help with?

Haircuts, tattoos, heavy lifting.  That's about all that's coming to mind at the moment.

3.  Did your family take summer vacations when you were a child? If so, where did you go? If you're a parent, did/do you plan summer vacations with your own family? Did/do they resemble those you took as a child?

My family didn't really do traditional summer vacation stuff, which was fine.  I never felt I was missing out on anything as big summer trips weren't that common with my friends in the small town where I grew up.  I hung out with my friends and/or at Grandma's and earned money babysitting, pet sitting, breaking into houses...

Now, we often take summer road trips along with getting in some camping during summers.  Not much resemblance there.

4.   Pool-lake-ocean...which one is most appealing to you on a hot summer day?


Pools are crowded, oceans have sharks.  


5.  Have you ever justified using the expression, 'you gotta be cruel to be kind'?  Was it really necessary or were you rationalising?

Teaching my kids to ride bicycles was difficult for me because I knew they'd crash (a lot) and get frustrated before they got the hang of it.  It felt like I was being more cruel than kind.

Nowadays there's those awesome Strider bikes.  Damn.

But Chaco has a friend who never rode a bike until he was like 14.  How cruel!

6.  The Journal of Psychology recently mentioned the results of a survey identifying the ten most hated foods as-liver, lima beans, mayonnaise, mushrooms, eggs, okra, beets, brussel sprouts, tuna, and gelatine.  Of those foods, how many do you actually hate? Anything you'd add to the list? 

"Hate" is such a strong word.  As in, I hate avocados.  Seriously.  *gag*
You should know that for when you invite me to your house to watch football or something.  

What is it about football and guacamole anyway??

7. What's your favourite book or movie set in a beach or lake town?


8. Insert your own random thought here

I can't really think much random thoughts right now as I'm still gagging thinking about avocados.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Silver Liningness Sunday

The meteorological powers that be forecast wet, rainy/snowy, and cloudy for today, starting last night.  I got up and it was dry, clear, and sunny.  Screw 'em, Alice and I took advantage and went a-riding.  Lovely ride it was.

That's not to say spring hasn't had its relapses so far.  This was Thursday:

Dude!  Where's my dog!?

The silver lining to that is that we need the moisture.  The area has been dry lately, and the talk around the water coolers is not "if" something will burn again this year, but "what".   Magnum and I are betting on the suburb of Rockrimmon - barely spared in the Waldo Canyon fire, and they still hang on to their tinder box covenential landscaping rules.  You heard it here first...

The other silver lining to all that heart attack snow is that, as is typical this time of year, the next day was lovely.  

Also this week, Meego FINALLY got his braces.  I say finally because it seems like this has been in the works forever.  Appointments were postponed for various reasons.  My class schedule and state assessment tests at Meego's school, where I complied with the "good night's sleep, healthy breakfast, and no unnecessary appointments", put certain limitations on the schedule.  THEN, we have the orthodontist himself, who takes every Friday as well as school breaks off.  

Oh well, it finally happened - on snowy Thursday, of course.  The weather was borderline close enough to shut down the orthodontist office.  That would be just our luck.  But we slushed on over and got Meego all blinged up.  

Meego has a theory that the human mouth has been trying to evolve, but orthodontists keep forcing it back to its unevolved state.  Since I can't think of a way to test the theory, we are doomed to generations of unevolved mouths, so he'll just have to deal with it. 

Speaking of progress, recall that I introduced the blog to my 2nd cousin (?) Ybarra last week.  He'd just received his bachelor's degree.  Here he is, now freshly entering the world of responsible educated adulthood.

I want to go there.  It looks... 


Tuesday, April 1, 2014

fun with Rick and Hilda

As planned, Chaco and I went out for a little clothing makeover adventure.  He asked, and Magnum and I agreed that he needed a decent suit for interviews for jobs that call for a decent suit.

He and I headed on over to Men's Wearhouse.  Other than renting a tux for prom, I've never been to such a store.  Wall-to-wall suits and separates.  How to choose?!

Luckily, a very dapperly dressed young man employee approached and let us know someone would be with us shortly.  That someone turned out to be Rick, suit man.

Rick measured, inquired, figured out that I was the wielder of the credit card, then started whipping out jackets.  I was pleasantly surprised to find that suit prices haven't changed a whole lot since the days I was in Chaco's position.  Either that or I paid to much for my Brooks Brothers.  Yeah, prolly.

We settled on an appropriate style/brand/color/price.  Enter Hilda, alterations woman.

Hilda, all 5 foot nothing of her, walked up with her chalk and took charge.  While she did so, Rick informed me that the store had 20 tailors and Hilda was about 90% of them.  I had no doubt.

Then I asked, "Is Hilda Filipino?"

"Yes, she is", Rick confirmed.

Hilda and I bonded a bit over our Filipinoness - where's my mom from, etc.   Unfortunately, I don't understand a word of tagalog other than a few choice body parts, so we had to stick to boring English.

Chaco chose some shoes, then Rick picked some shirt/tie combos for us to mull over.  We figured two shirts, two ties.

While Rick fiddled with the ties he'd chosen, Chaco and I looked at the shirts he'd chosen.  We didn't think much of a couple of them, but we'd let him go through is spiel.

Then he started tucking the ties around their respective shirt mates.  Then he tucked the shirts with their ties under the jacket.  Dang, they ALL looked great!  How did he do that?!

As he fiddled the ties and shuffled the shirts, he explained that he also teaches "Dress for Success" classes at a couple of local military bases, for guys making the re-entry to civilian life.  It's amazing what a difference seemingly subtle adjustments can make.  I'm impressed that choosing a tie to go with a shirt to go with a suit is a real art.

So it was fun AND educational, as well as being productively consumptive.