Thursday, February 27, 2014

no reaction

I thought I'd do a MamaKat's post today.  Since it's Thursday and I haven't linked up with her in a while.  I was perusing the prompts and came across

5.) Your least favorite subject in school.

and I thought, "Oh!  School!  I like school!"  Whod've thought that would be a problem??  I sat here wracking my brain for a LEAST favorite subject.  Geesh, what a nerd.

I mean, I liked school.  Heck, now I'm back in school so that I can work in a school for cripe's sake.  Least favorite subjects aren't something I consider very often.  But surely something must be at the bottom of the stack, right?

Nothing comes to mind, but I'm going with Chemistry, and that's a bit of a tragedy.

When I was a little kid, I thought that when I grew up, I'd like to be a scientist, which is a super vague and broad term.  But I pictured myself in some laboratory with the safety goggles and the beakers and test tubes all a-bubble.

I took chemistry in high school with all the other required sciences.  I'm pretty sure I got an A, but I don't remember hardly anything about it.  Granted, it was *hack* many years ago, but I do remember pieces of my other science classes.

In college, I was required to take General Chemistry (genchem).  I don't remember much of that class at all either, other than I recall thinking it was the same stuff we'd done in high school - which I don't remember, remember?

GenChem marked the end of my chemical romance.  I moved on to other things.  Later on, I worked at a (in the mechanical side) chemical company.  I was intruigued by the work the chemists in the lab did.  Creating new formulations and compounds based on what the chemists wanted the materials to do.

Yeah, THAT'S what I'd seen myself doing in my child mind's eye.  But we didn't do any of THAT when I was in school.  I think we balanced equations and stuff, making sure that the number of molecules on the right side of the equal sign matched the number of molecules on the left.  Okay, there, I remembered something after all.

I don't regret not becoming a chemist.  I've enjoyed the schooling and career path that followed.  But at the same time, I think I would've enjoyed being a chemist of some sort.  As long as I wasn't doing cruel and unusual things to animals.

I think it's why I like having a fish tank.  It's not so much about the fish, it's about keeping it all in the right chemical balance for the fish and plants in their little ecosystem, totally under my knowledge and control.  Which probably explains the apocalarium events...


Tuesday, February 25, 2014


A friend of mine shared this photo she took today.  These mountains have some relevance to my blog post, so I include the cultural piece.

           The Spanish Peaks are a pair of prominent mountains located in southwestern 
           Huerfano CountyColorado. The Ute Indians named them Huajatolla 
              (pronounced Wa-ha-toy-a), meaning "two breasts". The Ute name translates as 
              "Breasts of the Earth"

Anyway, these beloved boob mountains are near my hometown and are a familiar landmark.  I visited my facebook feed, and there they were.  I'll take it as a sign.  A summons.

Yesterday, I came home and grabbed the mail.  Included was an envelope from my doctor's office.  Recall that I met my new(ish) doctor a few months ago.  I'm not a regular enough patient to know why my previous doctor left, and while I am a bit curious, I'm okay with not being a familiar enough patient to know.  

Anyway, so I finally got around to meeting her when I went for my checkup.  I like her, she's friendly and thorough and accessible.   But I couldn't figure out why I'd be getting mail from the office.  So I opened it to find that I've been busted.  Pun intended?

Dear Abby (got a ring to it, no?),

It has come to our attention that Dr. Hooburtz (not her real name) previously ordered the following procedure for you and it has not been completed.  Please call the phone nmber provided to have it scheduled...

Yikes, really?!?  Busted by the mammogram NSA!

They're watching?  My other doctor didn't watch, because I totally slacked the mammogram when she ordered it too, so I know!  But I got to it.  EVENTUALLY! 

Okay, I guess I'd better call.  I mean, if she can know these things and even invoke the spirit of the Huajatollas, that's pretty powerful.  

*gasp* I feel so exposed!  


Sunday, February 23, 2014

Silver Liningness Sunday

I wrote a paper for school earlier today, and I guess my brain registered it as my silver liningness post for today.  Be thankful it wasn't, you'da been bored to tears!  AND I've managed to do a brain override and get my silver liningness post in afterall.

Meego had the day off on Monday for President's Day.  He celebrated by puncturing his hand with a piece of fence post.

The way I understand it, he was playing tag with the other street urchins when he went to scale a fence a la parkour?  But i guess there was a big old piece of wood sticking out of the thing he grabbed, and the big old piece of wood went into his hand.

He came inside to wash it off and showed me where it went in.  Then he turned his hand over and showed me where it went out the other side.  Eew!

Really not that bad though.  I patched him up, and he was sort of the one-handed boy for a couple of days, but none the worse for wear after that.  In fact, I was going to post gory pics here, but it's just not gory enough anymore to make an impact.

And Magnum took the opportunity to remind me that I am way overdue for a tetanus shot.

I still am, by the way.

Also this week, we had an appointment with the Heavenly Orthodontist.  It's time for the braces to commence bracing.  They gave him this for motivation.

So now he's totally thrilled.  Not.

But enough about Meego, this is MY blog!

School continues, I'm enjoying my classes and classmates, and I haven't been kicked out yet.  Also, this was another P.E.O. week and I'm grateful to have found a good group of sistahs.  All these weeks floating along as the beloved newbie guest are soon to be a thing of the past, though, as I sense they are about to put me to work.

In movie news, Magnum and I watched Let the Right One In.  It's creepy.  I think it was well-done for what the producers set out to do, and there were things about it that I liked.  But I was kinda creeped out afterwards and so have mixed reviews.

But go ahead and [click this link] and watch the trailer!  I DARE YOU!!


Friday, February 21, 2014

for Rock Chef, who asked...

"Is there such a device? "


I like the one the little kid is wielding, myself. It's simple and efficient.  The snow doesn't need to be a perfect sphere to get the desired result. 

Except that child should still be wearing gloves/mittens.  Where was this shot?  At some fake-snow studio in California??  

Oh PLEASE let these be the next promo trash!


Thursday, February 20, 2014

yes means no

I can't quite remember when it began.  These... these... kids really.  They just started showing up on campus about once every one or two weeks.  They're hunting me.  Groupies I think.

I don't even really know why.  What is it about me?  ME?!  But I just can't seem to get past them.  They, with their smiley outgoingness.  Their happy greetings.  Their armfuls of junk!

About two miles north of the university, there is a new apartment complex being constructed.  It's not part of student housing, but it's clear that the target market is university students.  So every week or so, these young cheerful people infiltrate the campus with these... these THINGS!

And okay, it's not really just me they attack.  No one can get past them.  I've tried saying, "no thanks", OH how I've tried.  But it just seems to fuel their fire!  It's just EASIER to say, "uh... yeah, sure..."

Here's just a sampling of what I've had to take in in just about a months time:

Shown are THE LODGES water bottle, THE LODGES drink cup, THE LODGES pen/highlighter, THE LODGES shades.  THE LODGES cup coozy and THE LODGES t-shirt were offloaded before the photo op.  

But now I've gotten to the point that whenever I see the promo-junk-horde, I'm a bit curious.  What typical-Run-With-Lumber-participation-prize thing can they be pummeling us with this time??

I'm so hoping that lip balm is next!

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Silver Liningness Sunday

Another lovely week down.  It's a wonderfully warm morning outside.  I'm actually looking forward to going out there and cleaning China's bathroom in a little while.

Chaco  dropped in for a visit this weekend, so it's nice to get caught up with him.  He's got a new roommate after one of the guys in their four-bedroom dorm dropped out last semester.

New guy is a criminal justice major - gonna be a cop.  Chaco says "he's shorter than me, but huge" because he works out a LOT.  And apparently he's very tidy. Let's see...
He gets up early to work out, makes huge breakfasts and cleans everything up spick and span, and he fights crime.

What more could a mom ask for?

In entertainment news, Magnum and I watched  Dredd.  I surprised myself by liking it!  It's definitely not for everyone, and not my typical fare.  It's violent and dark with not a whole lot of character development.  It's a comic book movie, after all, and it has grit and edginess to it that was well done from an artsy standpoint.

Two severed thumbs up for Dredd.

Yeah, we watched it on Valentine's Day.

In other violent news, Napolion has been venturing outside more lately.  He's proving himself to be quite the mighty hunter.  Yesterday, he brought down a prize gopher.  It must have taken extreme skill and patience to bag that one, as the gophers tend to stay underground most of the time.

Like any proud hunter, he brought his gutted trophy right to the back door for all to see.  Thing was HUGE!  Magnum suggested a photo for the blog.  Be glad that I refused.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

throw back thursday

Meego is supposedly getting his schedule requests in for the start of high school next year.  We all went to the school for a disorganized event  on Monday evening.

It's possible that it was more organized than we experienced because we showed up about an hour and a half after it began because we couldn't possibly imagine they would have two and a half hours of things to go through.

Never had to do that with Chaco and Wolfgang, by the way, even though it's the same high school they attended.  Oh well, the main draw was that he would get a t-shirt.  He got that and a tote backpack too, so  - win!

 He seems to be organizing his year around the extracurriculars:

"So... I can do marching band in the fall, basketball in the winter, and track in spring?"

"Yep.  Hey, that's what I did in high school!"

He looks at me weirdly, and then says, "YOU played BASKETBALL?!"

Okay, so why is that shocking?

"Yes!  I used to be way taller in high school!", I answered

He didn't believe that.

But I still don't know why it was a surprising revelation.  I explained that anyone can play basketball, there are positions for the shorter ones, especially if they're quick.  And I'm not all THAT short (5'5"), but Meego has just recently noticed that he's just at about my height and has no intention of stopping there.

"WILSON!!" ~ Tom Hanks

So I checked my HS yearbook to make sure I wasn't imagining it all.

Not surprisingly, I was a point guard.

I also happened to be a team captain my senior year.

I managed to make all-state honorable mention sumpin' sumpin' that year too.

I was heavily recruited by several top colleges.  Okay, THAT was  major imagination!

But most importantly, I had fun and made lasting friendships.  I know the yearbook pic doesn't prove to Meego that I actually PLAYED basketball in high school, but it's all I've got.

Clearly, I've been giving him way too much leeway when we go out and shoot hoops.  He's going to definitely need to up his game now!


Wednesday, February 12, 2014

back among the pedalling

I almost feel bad to be reveling in our nice weather with what's going on in other parts.  But after our mini ice age of last week, I'm good with it.

We're hitting the balmy high 40's with no new snow in the forecast for a while.  I woke Bella from her slumber yesterday, and she was practically giddy to get out.  Parts of the route to school were softly snowy like a Sochi slope style course, but we barreled on through.  

And I knew Bella would be glad to be hanging out at the bar with her bike buds.  

I'm not sure, but after checking them out, I think these are all man bikes.  You can kinda tell.  Men are more likely to have *ahem* stuff hanging.  See?  The little seat bags?  Just an observation...

So yep, we'll take advantage while we can.  The school district sent out an e-mail warning us that they've already used up five of the six snow days they baked into the schedule.  If they go beyond six, they'll need to take measures to make up the lost time.

Last time that happened, they tacked on 10 minutes to each day for the last couple months of the year.  I doubt it made much of a difference, but they got in the all-important "contact time".  

I hope you all are staying warm and safe!  Keep fighting the good fight!

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Silver Liningness Sunday

How 'bout those Olympics?!  Actually, I haven't really watched any yet.  What have I missed?

Onward to the gratefulness.  This was a week of much snow and cold.  I'm grateful that it got warm.  Also, the warmth revealed just how much snow we got because it all started to melt which resulted in water, water everywhere!  This is good for the state.

With that, I'd like to give a shout out to my Cabela's women's heavyweight parka.  I've had it since before Meego, and it has yet to meet its match!  We had subzero windchills most of the week, and I just laughed, AHAHAHAHAHahahah!  PLUS, despite its age, it's still quite fashionable.  Here I am:


But, close enough.

Yesterday, I got in some nice mom time with Wolfgang.  He called and said he needed some new running shoes, could we go to the running store?  Even though the driving purpose for my presence is that I wield the credit card, running is one of our shared interests, and I always find these romps to the running store and the ensuing conversations enjoyable.

The trip also served as my first opportunity to invoke the power of my recent running organization membership.  Yep, "saved" some nice cha-ching on those shoes!  Who cares if my name is spelled incorrectly on my membership card?

And Wolfgang and I got caught up on how things are with school and such.  We are in the same math class - although, thankfully not the same section.  How weird woud THAT be?  He had a few questions and concerns about the class, but I think he'll be fine.

Similarly, a somewhat joy that is also a sorrow is that I continue to get requests for tutoring, but I must turn them down out of lack of time.  I also miss the kids I sloughed off when I started the teacher program.  School, as expected, leaves me with little time to tutor, but in the end, I'll be in a better place, and there is light at the end of the tunnel.  Plus, I've realized that I'm actually learning some good stuff rather than just jumping through some hoops to get a piece of paper.

And on a final note, Meego is about to get a much needed haircut.

Actually, that's no guarantee, but I'm hoping that putting it in the blog will make it so.

Stay warm!

Friday, February 7, 2014

the weirdos on the bus go round and round

Yeesh, another week it's been of the Great White North.  It's starting to abate, though, so I went out for a grocery run with Ellie Mae this morning.  She was not really in the mood, had a bit of trouble turning over.

Since I hardly never ever drive, and since Magnum usually drives the civic to work, I'm not sure of the last time Ellie Mae had to do anything.  Cold starts after several days of sitting in the frozen garage are apparently not her strong suit.

But, we got 'er done.  And in the meantime, my bicycles are probably getting square tires while sitting around waiting to be put in the game.

Meego relished two snow days in a row before going back to the grind today.  College closes for no one, however, and I fully agree with that.  It hasn't been so bad that we can't get where we need to go, but we don't need to be freezing school children.

So it was back on the Metro line for most of this week for me.  One day during the in-bound trip, the driver pulled over to pick up a couple of citizens.  We heard him say, "Can't bring that machete on the bus".

And I'm thinking, "Did he say 'machete'?"

A short conversation, which I couldn't really hear over the blasting heaters, ensued.  Then the bus was once again in motion.

With that, the guy in front of me asked, "Did you say 'machete'?"

"Yeah, guy had a machete.  Says right there on the side of the bus, he can't bring it".

I can't say as I've ever seen a "NO MACHETES"  notice on the side of the bus, but it's not like I've looked for one.

I bet he'd just bought the thing and was just going to take it home to do some bushwacking.  And after the bus left him there, he probably stuffed it into his backpack, or went and got a big bag to carry it in, then got on the next bus.

That's how I get my machete on the bus.

I betcha.

Is it spring yet?

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

the super duper half

"No snow, but it's gonna be chilly!", he said in his sexy Scottish brogue.

This guy that works at the running store up the road.  He sounds just like Mel Gibson as William "Braveheart" Wallace when he speaks.   Looks nothing like him, though.  Anyways, he got me all registered for the Super Half Marathon last week after I  committed myself to do it.  By then, it was close enough to mostly believe the weather forecast and bank on the event not being cancelled.

Sunday morning, I got dressed, assuming we'd be in the teens by gun time.  A light liner under my (Broncos?) orange running top, the awesome tights, a (Broncos?) blue fleece neck gaiter, and to top it off, the Mickey Mouse hat and some gloves.

Start of the Game Day 5K

As anticipated, it was about 14 degrees at race start.  Check-in was actually indoors at a plaza downtown, so that was nice.  I stood in the line to get to the line to the women's restroom for several minutes.  Someone mentioned that there were port-o-lets outside.  Yeah, riiiight...

Some of the others looked pretty serious with their high-falutin' gear.  Some looked overdressed or weighted down with various Camelback packs and water belts, etc.  There was a small friendly brass and percussion band playing some tunes at the starting line.  They were students from a local high school - how nice of them to show up and play in the cold!  Some members of them sang the National Anthem, nicely done.

It was no surprise that the entire course was mostly covered with packed snow.  I hadn't really done any warm up, figured I'd use the first part of the race for that, so I set out at a light jog   About a mile into it, there was a beer station.  Not a water station, but some spectators with small plastic cups of beer.  They had funny Superbowl outfits on too.

I declined the beer offering.

C-C-C-COLD water 

At around 5.5 or 6 miles, the packed snow became a swamp of loose mucky stuff, unseen by anything but running shoes.  I'd seen several people walking around with Yak Trax or the like on their shoes and felt that was overkill.  Now I was thinking how nice it would be to have some!

My tractionless minimalist shooz and I plodded on, however.  It was work, but we were all in the same boat, mainly concerned with remaining upright, let alone with moving forward.  One wrong foot plant could mean a twisted ankle/knee/hip and the end of the race.  I was glad to make it to the turnaround point, knowing I had made it through half the snow swamp.

Then it was just a matter of retracing the course.  Temperatures stayed right around 20 degrees.  Having not run this far in a while, my mind began to get bored.  Yes, it's a physical challenge, but not exactly "action packed".   I wished there was a way to put myself on auto-pilot, wake myself about a mile before the finish.

This shot, taken at about the 10-mile mark, made the event gallery.  See?  How bored I look?


But really, that's my own challenge.  Bottom line, it was a lovely day, the atmosphere was festive - before the game, remember!? - the volunteers were great, and the encouragement from spectators, whether they offered beer or not, was much appreciated.  A few shouts of "I love your hat!" and little kids with cowbells - what's not to like?!?

Eventually, I made it to the finish chute.  I heard my name over the PA:  "Abby Normal from Colorado Springs!", and the crowd went wild!  

...Oh, it turned out to mostly be some nearby geese.

I passed under the goal posts to the makeshift end zone, happy with my finish time.  One guy turned around and went for seconds.  He was using the Super Half as a training run for an upcoming marathon.  I felt okay at that point, but the thought of repeating the whole thing?  Right then?  Ah, HAIL no!

As I continued beyond the finish, a small boy of about eight years old handed me my beer mug.

I broke it in with hot tea instead.


Monday, February 3, 2014

the day after yesterday

What a game, huh!!

To be honest, I didn't even watch the SuperBowl.  I was interested in the outcome because of where I live, but I can't remember the last time I watched an entire football game, start to finish.   Magnum, however had no intention of not watching, while I was thinking what a good time it would be to go hit the grocery store.

Dutiful wife that I am, I joined him on the futon to be a calming presence, then commenced to putting in my earbuds and streaming a chick flick on my tablet.  I think I enjoyed myself more than Magnum enjoyed his.

I would pause my movie and check in with him every now and then, and the answer was always the same.  "Bad to worse".  I also have a fair number of friends who are diehard Broncos fans, and I would occasionally  check in at facebook

This "status update", which popped in shortly after the start of the second half, is pretty representative of my newsfeed in general:

Then, of course, there's today.  Most of my classmates and instructors at school had to get in a few comments.  It was like some tribal ritual that had to take place before we could just move on.  I'm sure similar things were going on at offices and other places of business.

And also on campus was, alas, Clyde:  The Sequel:

Post by UCCS.

Now who needs a hug? .


Sunday, February 2, 2014

Super Silver Liningness Sunday

Greetings on this beautiful sunny winter Sunday!  Really, I wish you could see the views today.  After two or three days of clouds-fog-snow  (Clofo snow?), the mist finally left leaving behind a post-card perfect view of the world!

And strangely enough, I found myself spending the morning running the local Super Half-Marathon.

A little over a week ago,  I was at a meeting of that local PEO chapter I've been stalking.  One of my sisters there likes to do marathons and half-marathons and she urged me to do this one.

The Super Half?  Well, I'm not really... well, maybe I'll think about it.

So I ended up signing up on Thursday, then Mother Nature commenced to continually dumping snow on us over the next two and a half days.

Ironically, my PEO sis didn't make it!  She lives up in the mountain boonies and was kinda snowed in.  Too bad because it turned out to be a beautiful day for it.  The course was pretty well snow-covered, and a few miles were a real slog, but still good times!

Maybe I'll give a runnerly review later on, but for now, the stats:

time:  1:48:46
20th overall female out of 189
65th overall human out of 357

I got 2nd place in my age group, but I also know of two women in the next older age group who placed ahead of me.  One is a friend of mine who is FIERCE!  I notice we old lady runners tend to watch out for each other...


I'm happy with how I did considering I've never done one and two weeks ago, I would've said, "Whachu talkin' bout, half maraton??""

Must give credit to the hat.

And I'm grateful for my friend putting the idea in my head, because it was quite fun, and the day was pretty.
 Plus I got some loot.

In other Silver Liningness news, Meego got his official honor roll bumper sticker this week, thus maxing out.  I think I've mentioned before that I don't do bumper stickers in general, and I DEFINITELY don't do "My Child is an Honor Student at..." bumper stickers.  Not dissing those who do, it's just not in my Mom code.

However, I do think it's worth a nod, so we've put the kids' stickers on our bedroom door.  They can get one per year of middle school.  Note that we now have eight, not eligible for any more.  The reason there are not nine?  Well, Chaco had a bumperstickerless semester one year.

We laugh about it.  Now.

And lastly, I want to give a shout out to the bus people again ("bus" is the non-fancy word for bus.  "Metro" being the fancy one).  Travel was really nasty this week.  Even though I can now ride the friendly bike path to school, there was still about three miles of slop between my house and the bike path trailhead, so I was back on the bus for a good portion of this week.

Beats driving and fighting for parking.

And now, I hear there's a football game later today.  Maybe I'll check out the commercials.

*Magnum tells me the SuperBowl starts at 4:20 our time.  How appropriate...