Sunday, February 27, 2022

camp kids, old people, and yardsticks

This gif was included in a monthly newsletter from the university, and I found it cute and hilarious.  

Those who have seen the movie, The Disaster Artist get the reference.  For those who have NOT seen it, I recommend.

The movie is weird.  And true.  And weird that it's true.

Yeah, so February is nearly over.  Days are noticeably longer, and I'm pretty happy with the balance of day to night right now.  I like a decent share of darkness, but  not too much.

And just as COVID seems to be abating, Russia goes and invades Ukraine.  Magnum was convinced it wouldn't happen because, "Putin isn't that stupid".  Welp...

But sticking with regular programming of goings on in my limited world, we went to an RV show yesterday.  No, we won't be getting an RV, it was mainly something to do on a Saturday afternoon after  a week of cold cold temperatures and resultant cabin fever.

So we looked at a few RVs but mainly people-watched.  All of the RVs on display were pull-beind trailer types.  IF we were ever to get any sort of RV, it would likely be a van that we customize.  No trailers.  There was this cute doggie trailer hanging out with the land barges.

Having been to an RV show a few years ago (again, just for the heck of it), we were not surprised by people walking around with yard sticks.  Apparently, serious RV shoppers walk around with yard sticks.  

We did not bring a yard stick.  We don't even own a yard stick.  

Not a bad way to kill a couple of hours, and I actually did have to visit my boyfriend, John Elway.

Eventually, the Country Western music wafting through the event center reached a saturation point, and we said our farewells to the RVs.  

Many of the campers were sold during the event, so I guess people actually purchase these things.  I think the industry has been hit, like others, with supply chain delays, so buyers were probably hot for ready RVs they could actually see and touch.

That was pretty much the good week.  Magnum was out of town for work.  He always manages these work trips to the warm places when we have crap winter weather.  Hadn't traveled since pre-covid.  Then he boards a plane, and *BAM*, single digit temperatures for days.  

I'm ready to say, "Oh, hi March".

Thursday, February 24, 2022

the world is gonna roll me

It was a dark and stormy night...

No, wait.  I think it was an afternoon.  Slightly overcast.

Anyhoo, this was way back in the college undergrad days so... 30-something-ish years ago?  I lived off campus and typically rode my bicycle to and from.  I was heading home after another day of classes and was still on campus, going past the law building.

I was pedaling on this little stretch, and there was a BMW something or other heading in my direction, going pretty slow - maybe about 10 mph.  Then, just as we're about to pass and then never see each other again, the woman in the BMW turns that hunk of metal and rubber left RIGHT IN FRONT OF ME.  

Next thing I knew, my front wheel hit near her passenger side headlight and I was soon no longer on my bicycle, but floating ever so gracefully toward her windshield.  Since I was much younger and suppler then and aware of The Matrix, I managed to slow time and do a quick little herkie-doo

Uhm, actually no.  I mean FAT CHANCE of THAT!  What followed was the much more expected

minus the dinosaur onesie.

I was wearing, however, my backpack laden with a hardcover textbook or two, hence it took the brunt of the impact.  Next I knew, I was sitting on the ground while other students scurried to my assistance and a frantic woman exited the BMW.

I remember one bystander in particular, a youngish guy with dark hair.  

"I saw everything!  I'll be a witness! Here, I'll write down the license number!"

Did I mention this was near the law building?

But really, I do appreciate the speed at which people came to check on me.  Actually, though, I was not hurt.  the MOST freaked out person on the scene was clearly the driver of the BMW.  Middle aged woman, looking for the law library, and kind of, 

"oh, there it is" *turn*CRASH!*

She took me and my injured bicycle back to my apartment, gave me her contact information and money to cover all repairs.  And that was that - the episode had a brief life as a short story to tell my friends.  

These days, it might have become a viral video or gif to live on in infamy.

Ain't that the truth, Martha? 
Clearly, I was ahead of my time.

Linking up this week with Mama Kat for the prompt:

1. Write a blog post about a time you were in a car accident.

Wednesday, February 23, 2022

from my cold dead hands

Like many others, we're in a deep freeze.  We've had a few inches of snow to go along with it, but for the most part, it's almost "too cold to snow".

Back when we lived and worked in upstate NY, some new-college hires joined my work group and a couple of them were from California.  They'd never seen snow before and were intrigued at their first "real" winter.  

It did take a while for them to acclimate as I remember them wearing long johns under their work clothes and whatnot.  During one particularly cold stretch, Lucy commented that she thought there would be more snow with such low temperatures, to which a seasoned upstater commented, 

"Nah, it's too cold to snow".

Lucy became incredulous that "too cold to snow" was a thing.  To this day, I think of her huge-eyed reaction every time it's too cold to snow.  

Despite our current low temperatures and the work of dealing with it, I felt restless (it's a day off work for me) and went out to be among the people.  I went to the university library to maybe get a book, but really, it was just an excuse to get out.  I know agoraphobia is a real condition, and sometimes I wonder if I have its opposite?  Would that be "goraphobia"?  ( I googled, that's not a word).  Recall that agoraphobia is...

extreme or irrational fear of entering open or crowded places, of leaving one's own home, or of being in places from which escape is difficult.

What if I crave open or crowded places?  Leaving my home?  That "from which escape is difficult" does not apply to me, however.

Well, I wouldn't categorize my restlessness as "extreme or irrational", so I'm not concerned.  And I don't hate my home, either.  I'm just not much of a homebody, I suppose. 

One upside of campus mask mandates is a lessened chance of being recognized by any of Meego's friends who know me when I escape to the university campus.  God forbid we  have, "Hey, Meego.  Yur MOM's at school...", poor guy.

And really, it's actually quite pretty out, if one is dressed for it.  

Sunday, February 20, 2022

see beyond the road I'm drivin'

On Monday, I made a lousy batch of French press coffee.  I guess I wasn't paying much attention to my process, and it was really *bleccch*

I'd made the awful coffee for taking in to work, and it was there that I realized it was awful and just would not do for a rousing day of invigilating.  During a break in the action, I ducked out to get a cuppa from the campus coffee kiosk.  Nothing fancy, just hot and caffeinated, please.

The coffee kiosk is a satellite operation of a well-liked coffee shop downtown, but I'd never been to the downtown location.  Since they saved the day from my pressed sludge, got me going with a punch card (buy 9, get the 10th free), and it was an unseasonably nice day today, Magnum and I decided to bicycle downtown and check out the mother ship coffeeshop.

We often go out for coffee on the weekends and sort of fell into a rut of the same 2 or 3 places, so we were due for a new experience.  It was a beautiful day for a ride, so I'm glad we took advantage because temperatures are set to plummet this week.  

So we're out enjoying our coffee run, headed east near the university.  In my rear view  mirror, I saw a guy coming up beside us on his bicycle, so slowed a bit to allow him to pass.  The three of us continued single file in the bike lane going east until we approached the bike path that would take us north to coffee.

Turns out, Bicycle Guy - now in front of us - was also turning north (left) onto the bike path.  He didn't even check behind him for motorized traffic before beginning his left turn.  Keep in mind that we were all in the bike lane on the right side of the road.

It's like I could see it happening before it happened.  I saw two vehicles approaching from behind us, I saw Bike Guy starting to turn left... Luckily for him, both vehicle drivers were paying attention.  The one in front hit the brakes, avoiding a collision with Bike Guy, and the one behind hit the brakes in time to avoid a collision with everybody.  

I'd guess that Bike Guy was in his 40s or 50s, and not some cocky college kid being a daredevil.  He was an older guy riding an average bike.  He stopped among the burned rubber and just sort of,

"Oh, heh, sorry.  My fault", and waved the cars forward before proceeding onto the path.  

And I'm thinking, "C'mon, you're giving us all a bad rep", and "so everyone knows, I look behind before turning left!"

All that to say we tried a new coffee place because I  made a lousy batch on Monday.

I added a couple of people drawings to the sketchbook this week too.

One with a pen.

One with a pencil.

The randomness abounds.

Thursday, February 17, 2022

jet lag

It was our last days of summer youth.  We'd recently graduated high school and had few obligations.  My good friend, Ingrid, would be off soon to onboard at West Point Military Academy.  I would soon be doing less rigorous things, but on that particular day, we were pretty carefree.

That summer after high school, Ingrid had wanted to "get in shape" for West Point and sort of recruited me to join her in pre boot-camp boot-camp.  Yeah, okay, why not?

We bicycled, we ran, we didn't drink any alcohol...

And we canoed.

Ingrid's neighbor friends had a good sized canoe they let us borrow whenever we wanted.  I drove an old pickup truck with room in the bed for the neighbor canoe, so a few days during the week, we would drive up to the reservoir and paddle around before I'd go off to my restaurant busgirl job.

We'd paddle out to the middle of the lake, boot-camp style, then languish in the sun, eating chips and drinking pop.  The pop and chips probably canceled out any benefit of the paddling, but it's good to have balance.

As often happens in Colorado summertime, a violent thunderstorm approached on that afternoon as we languished among our Doritos.  Seeing the dark clouds rolling in, we roused ourselves out of our sunbathed-and-monosodium-glutamate-induced lethargy, and took up our oars.

We were making good time getting back to shore, however, the lake surface began getting choppy, and we began floundering a bit.  The storm did not flounder but continued its relentless approach.

Motor boats - our companions on the lake that day - were zipping by toward shore as Ingrid and I paddled away in our suddenly realized slow, exposed craft.  I glanced to Ingrid behind me to see her determined look:  her face sweaty and focused, her hair wild in the wind and humidity.  I thought, "better her than me going off to West Point".

Dark clouds made it seem like it was almost nighttime even though it was mid-afternoon.  Would we make it back to shore before things got really crazy? 

But then, alas, a good sized waterski boat came up behind us, and I heard its engine slow.  It was driven by Jet, the high school football coach (yeah, he really went by "Jet").

"YOU GIRLS NEED A TOW BACK TO SHORE?", he called all masculinely in his typical shirtless presentation.  Maybe a slight smirk on his thickly mustached face.

And I was all, "Oh thank gawd, let's get the hell outta here", as raindrops began pelting.

But not before Ingrid raised her sweat stained wild haired head and replied, "NO, WE'RE GOOD".

I looked at Ingrid.  I looked at Jet. I resumed my fervored paddling.

Jet hit his throttle and left us to make our way back under our own power.  I glanced again back at Ingrid.

"That chauvinist pig isn't gonna be the one to save our asses!"

And with that, we saved our own asses.  

Linking up this week with Mama Kat for the prompt:
4. Write a blog post inspired by the word: flounder.
along with a little...
2. Tell us about a random act of kindness that you witnessed or were a part of.

since he DID stop to ask, and we actually did survive.

Sunday, February 13, 2022

winter of our content

Friday was Winter Bike to Work Day in our fair city.  Recall that we did Bike to Work day last June, and I was happily flummoxed at the turnout.  I mean, I knew of bike to work day in other places - a few stops along the bike paths for snacks until they run out - but Fort Collins does it up big!

As expected, Winter Bike to Work Day was not as well attended as the one in summer, but that would be tough to match.We still enjoyed plenty of good eats, swag, and a good amount of camaraderie.  Thankfully, there wasn't much snow and ice around to contend with, temperatures were in the comfortable 30s.

As with the summer, we managed to run into Wolfgang in the crowd.  In June, he pulled up along side us at a Chicken 'n' Waffles station.  This year, we spotted him at the University Oval where several stations were set up.

The oval included cinnamon rolls from THE place in town to get them, I learned.  

Our trash company was there as well, giving out swag like lip balms and hand sanitizer.  Gotta get some trash lip balm!

Our other stops included the Hilton (breakfast burritos), the credit union (neck gaiter and cup cozy), a realtor (Gogurt and granola bars), a Pizza place (breakfast pizza), and REI (bike map). I think there were something like 66 contributing businesses all up and in, so we barely scratched the surface.

In other winter news, we got our new furnace installed this week.  The old geezer furnace is no more after having a good run of about forty years.  

I also swung by the running store on Friday and picked out my much appreciated freebie shoes.  I entered and announced my intentions, and the part-time store employee turned fascinatingly to her boss, 

"We had a Strava contest for shoes??"

Was it all a dream?  

The boss confirmed that, yes, there was a contest, and yes, I was the chosen one.  So I picked out a pair that I was planning to buy soon anyway.  I'm glad they are at the lower end of the price scale for the shop's inventory - didn't want to seem greedy!  So many freebies!

Thursday, February 10, 2022

a little bit of everything all of the time

I was sitting between two others on the bench seat of a pickup, holding on to a couple of "forties".  I don't remember who the driver was or who had the window seat.  I was 15 or 16 years old, and the three of us had gone on a booze run from a party we'd been attending.  Who bought the booze?  Why forties?

Those questions didn't really matter to me at the time because I was thinking, "Wow, my first drunken high school party!!"  Yeah, I'd made the "big time" *snore*.

I recall that my first real "ex" was also at that party.  He'd been a bigtime crush - sent my heart all a-flutter just at the site of him.  He drove a Pontiac Thunderbird - the only one like it in town - and whenever I saw that car, I became a big noodle, knowing he was in there.

Earlier that school year, I'd gathered all of my nerves and asked  him to go to the Homecoming dance with me.  OMG, what was I thinking?! I was a sophomore, he'd been a senior the year I was in 8th grade!

But I'd crushed on him big time, and it worked.  I actually called him from a payphone to ask him out because this was LONG before cell phones, and I didn't want anyone in my house overhearing the momentous call.  

We went to Homecoming and were together for a while.  It eventually fizzled the way these things do, so then I had an ex!  AND I was at a drunken high school party!!  Woo hoo, look at me checkin' all the boxes!

Thankfully, while I attended that party and many more to follow, I was never a big drinker - or smoker for that matter.  In the low-income small town where I grew up, "drugs for the rich" weren't much of a problem as far as I knew.  Alcohol and weed were about it.

Oh sure, I underwent that rite of passage, but in the end, I got over the "let's get shitfaced!" mentality pretty quickly.  That served me well later in college as I'd already gotten my party days out of me for the most part.  I was too broke to party much in college, plus I needed to do my homework.

College was where I met the equally not-into-getting-shitfaced Magnum, who eventually asked me to marry him.  Admittedly, I think we both were a little tipsy at the impromptu proposal.

There are so called "healthy" addictions too.  I've sometimes wondered if I'm addicted to running since I've enjoyed running for as long as I can remember.  Times when I couldn't run - e.g. injuries and pregnancies - I would sometimes have dreams about running, then wake up and be all, "ah, bummer".

Or people will ask what I'm training for, and I'm, "Nothing.  It's just for fun".  But I'm sure I'm not addicted.  Pretty sure.

For January of this year, a local running store created a challenge on the running app I use: walk or run at least one mile a day for 15 days in January to be entered in a drawing for a free pair of shoes.  I signed up, mainly to support the store but not expecting to win anything.  January came to a close.

This morning, I decided to see what was what with that challenge.

Lo and behold.

My name?  Listed as the winner?

I thought maybe the app was glitching.

But nope, apparently it's legit.

New shooz for me!

Not only do I get freebie shoes, but everyone who participated gets a 15% discount in February.

What a nice thing for that store to do.  These COVID times, businesses are hurting. 

And I thought I'd link up with Mama Kat this week, but it was a tough decision regarding which prompt to write about!


1. Tell us about something you are “addicted” to.
2. Write about your proposal.
3. Tell us about a crush you had in high school.
4. Write a blog post inspired by the word: party
5. Share a blog post about a tough decision.
6. Tell us about the last nice thing somebody did for you

Sunday, February 6, 2022

trippy and trapped

We watched a couple of movies this weekend.  I liked them both... I think?  I mean, I think I liked them, but at the same time, I'm not quick to recommend either.  Explain.

First was Mayday, a story about... about... about.  Well, see there's the problem.  What did I just watch?

It's billed as "drama, fantasy, mystery".  I have since come up with a theory on what I watched, but this is one of those movies where it's never explicitly stated or shown just what. is. going. on.  Fantasy and dreamlike fer sher, it sort of reminded me of the lost boys in Peter Pan except it's girls.  

And the girls live on a U-boat.  With a bunch of guns and such.

I'm sure there are people who hated it, but it held my attention well enough because it had me thinking about what the meaning of it was.  It seemed rather drug-trippy, not that I've been on any drug trips personally, but what I imagine a drug trip might be like... which feeds my theory on what it was really about.  

I don't think it was necessarily a "man-hater" movie, although it certainly hints at it.  I think that would be reading too much into it.  

Mia Goth's portrayal of Marsha, the leader of this strange "army", was really good.  The other performances weren't anything to blog home about.  

I'll give Mayday  2 or 2.5 stars AT MOST out of 5.  ⭐⭐🟊🟊🟊.  I'll leave it at that so as to not spoil it for anyone who decides to check it out.  


Next up was Unsane.  Whew! Whatta ride.  

Claire Foy plays a woman who is unwillingly admitted to a locked psychiatric institution.  The whole time I was watching, I was wondering, "is she truly 'crazy'?  Or is everyone around her trying to convince her she's 'crazy'?", and "Am I 'crazy'?"  

Like, Mayday, I wasn't sure what was real or imagined or... but at least all was (mostly) resolved by the end.  Psychological Thriller, yep.  I understand it's loosely based on true events, and it certainly got me wondering about what goes on at some psychiatric hospitals.  Yikes. 
Three stars ⭐⭐⭐★★ for Unsane. I'd like to give it more, but it gave me the creeps.


For those looking for something weird, confusing, and/or disturbing to watch during these long winter nights, I'll say check these out.  And I'd be interested to know your thoughts.  Otherwise, feel free to skip 'em!

Friday, February 4, 2022

going for cozy

This past Wednesday night was the coldest of the season so far.  It was -4F when I checked early Thursday morning.  What makes this noteworthy (maybe) is that our furnace decided to crap out Wednesday evening.  

It was about 8:30pm when Magnum noticed the furnace wasn't kicking on when he adjusted the thermostat.  

After fiddling around like the non-HVAC technicians we are while the inside temperature continued to drop, we decided to call someone who might actually know what they're doing.

Long story short, our furnace was back, hobbled but on the job, by around 10:30 for a "small fee".  While it sucks to lose your heat source on the coldest night of the year, I'm quite happy with how things went down because

  • we  noticed it before going to bed.  Had we not, we and the pets would surely have died in the night... Okay, maybe nothing that dramatic.  BUT the house would've probably dropped into the 30s or 40s, pipes would probably have frozen, etc.
  • the technician was able to find and band-aid the problem - dirty/corroded contacts on the gas valve.  Initially, he thought we might need a part that is no longer stocked because we have a geriatric furnace.
  • it wasn't a total shock as we've been chipping away at projects/upgrades to our previously neglected house since we bought it a couple years ago.  Might as well do the heating system next.

So we bought a new furnace this morning - well, half of one anyways.  We'll buy the other half when it's installed next week.  In the meantime, old Bessie (current furnace) is earning her keep without complaint, and I'm hoping she can hold on for another cold week.


Linking up this week with Mama Kat for the prompt:

2. Write about your most recent purchase.

Wednesday, February 2, 2022

since we've no place to go

Firstly, an update.  My friend's son, Jack - the runaway from my previous post - is back home.  I don't know how/where he was located or what caused  him to high-tail it in the first place, but bottom line, Jack's back.

His mom updated her facebook yesterday, grateful for all the support and help during their "nightmare week" and acknowledged needing time to process.  She's obviously relieved, and I'm relieved for her.  

Today is Groundhog day and also a snow day for much of the state.  School districts announced closures by early afternoon yesterday.  The university and college where I work followed a few hours later. We shoveled about a foot this morning, and it's still lightly snowing.  But it's fluffy stuff, not a back-breaking, heart-attack-inducing heavy spring stuff.  Gentle and rather pretty, really.

While our driveway is clear, I wouldn't be able to get much further in the car, however.  I could make it to the street where I would surely bottom out.  I might go out for an adventure trek to see how the main roads are looking.  


Okay, I ventured out.  Magnum tagged along to get outta the house too.  Not much more snow has fallen since this morning.

I meant for him to get the evergreen trees with their lovely flocking at this spot.  Instead, he mainly got the convenience store, but okay.  Trust me on the trees.

At this point I noticed there is hula hooping for the next 1000 feet?

I'd mainly wanted to venture out to see how clear the sidewalks are.  Back to work tomorrow and I typically walk since it's under two miles.  City crews are really good at cleaning the bike paths, but as luck would have it, my bicycling route to work is all residential streets and bike lanes on the main roads - the most neglected when it snows.  But I enjoy the walk, so it's nice that work is so close by.

And thankfully, looks like the snow blowers did their thing on the main sidewalk I take to and from work.

Speaking of clearing paths, our snow shoveling includes taking to the yard so the dogs can romp and do their biz.  Penny in particular would get swallowed up in this foot of fluff.

Stay warm!