Thursday, December 29, 2005

Undercover

When the sun goes down, that is when we get our second wind.

"We" are the night people. We sleep late. We work late. We check our mailboxes at 1 in the morning. We eat breakfast about 11 a.m. We stop at the 24-hour market after work for snacks, or deodorant, or cat food. We are the people who stop to refuel our cars in "the middle of the night," which, by the way, for us is about 5 a.m.

That's when some of you get up for work during your "normal" hours. As a "normal" (but I beg to differ) woman once told me, our kind of people must miss out on all the "fun times." Yeah, lady, I never have any fun at all. (And this conversation took place on a ski lift at about noon on a Tuesday. Not having fun? Bollocks!)

Fun for me happens all the time. It is going to the grocery store at midnight, picking what I require off the shelves and coasting through the almost-empty aisles, occasionally passing one of my fellow "night people." It is making a dentist appointment and not having to take half a vacation day. It is cruising through the mall at 1 p.m. and not having to fight the regular weekend crowds, which I am sure you are a part of. It is never having to hit rush-hour traffic. It is being able to accept that invitation for a beer late at night and not worry whether I can make it to work the next day.

It's freedom.

Don't wrinkle your nose when you hear what time we go to sleep. Don't wrinkle your nose when you hear what time we actually got out of bed. And, most importantly, don't call us before 10 a.m. We love our lives. We love our hours. So get used to it; it is not about to change.

And the best part is, we don't need alarm clocks.

Sunday, December 25, 2005

Dreamboat

It has been over two weeks since my return from Fiji, and it also has been nearly two weeks since my last dream of life on the island.

I was curled up in my fleece robe, tucked in beneath my trusty down comforter and the world around me was of no consequence (except, maybe, for the temperature in the teens outside).

Until I heard a faint, distant noise... What was that?

A low hum. A familiar pitch I hadn't heard often.

Seriously, what was it?

It was a boat. Chugging along past the reef outside the front doorstep of our Kukuru bure on the tropical island of Qamea. It was early, and it probably was transferring a group of the resort's staff to work about 6 a.m. I had heard this noise often during our 10-day stay. Like the beautiful birds singing to each other in the predawn silence or an early fit of rain that would tickle the leaves on the native foliage just outside the window, it was a welcome noise that often shook me from my slumber. A natural alarm clock, if you will. And one that I gladly would get used to given the chance.

Then I realized I was in my own bed, covered by layers of warmth to fight off the Colorado cold. The noise I heard? A truck humming along Interstate 70, bracing for the soon-to-come rush-hour traffic.

A boat? It's a much, much nicer memory when I think of it like that.

Monday, December 19, 2005

Irony

After a quiz, I discovered I am a fruity, tropical concoction ... a mai tai! Click below to see what type of drink you are.

You Are a Mai Tai

You aren't a big drinker, but you'll drink if the atmosphere is festive.
And when you're drunk, watch out! You're easily carried away.

Honeymoon central

Click here to view images from the honeymoon Chris and I just experienced.

Click here to see more of the glorious resort. Click here to see more about the waterfalls. Click here for ... nevermind.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Time machine

Two weeks ago, Chris and I experienced the day that never was.

Sunday, November 27, 2005

We were on an international Air Pacific flight to Fiji; we had left Los Angeles just before 11 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 26, 2005. When we arrived in Nadi, the sun was rising and it was Monday, Nov. 28, 5:30 a.m. Fiji time.

The flip side of losing that day -- a day we never experienced, a day we never really were able to live -- was the Groundhog Day-like experience on our way back across the International Date Line. It was in the morning on Thursday, Dec. 8 when we left Qamea, Fiji. It was 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 8 when we arrived in Colorado. We had been traveling for nearly 28 hours.

(Note to self: Next time you go to Fiji, book a return flight on your birthday, that way you will have more time to celebrate!)

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Ch-ch-chilly

Less than a week back home from the tropics, I can't stop shivering.

Everyone says Chris and I missed the worst of the cold snap (and I believe them what with reports of -13 degrees Fahrenheit), but that doesn't make me feel any better. We returned Thursday to 8-degree temperatures and snow on the streets. We puffed out white clouds of hot breath as we huddled together at the airport, waiting for a ride.

And tonight, while walking along Broadway during my dinner break, I double checked all the buttons on my coat and the knot on my scarf - stopping short of hiking up my socks - to find out exactly from where the cold, cold air was sneaking in. The hair was raised on the back of my neck. Temperature? 30 degrees Fahrenheit. Not bad, you say, for a Colorado winter evening.

I'd still much rather have that number in Celsius.

P.S. That's my new goal. Learn the metric system since the rest of the world uses it, too.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

S.C.U.B.A.

Fins? Check. Goggles? Check. Weights? Check. BCD? Check. Tank and regulator? Check.

After ticking off this list of essentials for our first S.C.U.B.A. dive, Chris and I took to Nuku Bay off Long Beach on the island of Qamea, Fiji. We spent the morning in the resort's pool with our instructor, Pana, and learned the odd sensation of breathing air from a tank and viewing the massive world below.

After a 5-minute boat trip, we took a backward drop off the side of our dive boat after watching our new pals from Australia go first. Equipped with our buoyancy control devices, tanks filled with about 175 bar of air, we both took deep breaths in and out and began our descent.

The world underneath us is amazing. Hard and soft coral. Anemonies. Big and little nemos. Sergeant fish. Needle fish. Parrot fish. Sea slugs. Sea cucumbers. I even spied an empty clam shell. After 40 minutes and the deepest descent of 20 meters (oops...we were only supposed to go about 12 meters), we were back at the surface after a decompression safety stop at 5 meters.

What a wonderful, wonderful way to begin our S.C.U.B.A. certification process. We hear there is no place else like it to start.

P.S. Sadly, we didn't see any reef sharks, like we did on our first guided snorkel at the sea fan site around the corner from the resort. One was a small white-tipped reef shark, about 4 feet long -- AND FAST! -- the other, a gray reef shark, was catching a snooze at the sandy bottom. Pana tried to wake him from his slumber so we could see him move, and he scooted fast into the darkness of a coral cave. Sensational!

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Silence . . .

Who knew a newsroom could be this quiet?

I sit at my desk, thumbing a day-old paper, waiting for the night to end. I've read the sports wire, the national wire, the foreign wire. The Nuggets lose. A fatal fire in Tennessee. Another pit bull attack, but this time in Illinois. Bird flu worries in Beijing.

My eyes are dry and tired and filled with glare from my computer screen. My ears are almost ringing it's so quiet. Occasionally, they are filled with the tick, tack of keystrokes and click, click of mouse maneuvers of 10 colleagues located within a 25-foot radius.

Our second deadline is still 49 minutes away - an eternity in these parts. (And even longer when something as light as a sigh would break the silence.)

Thursday, November 03, 2005

L.A. face with an Oakland booty

A friend turned me on to this cover of Sir-Mix-A-Lot's signature ditty. Baby Got Back by Jonathan Coulton is sure to brighten your day.

Don't be afraid. Turn up your speakers. Listen.

And I know you're going to sing along.

I've heard rumors of it being available on iTunes but still have yet to find it. Let me know if you have.

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Last chance

After finishing 368 wedding favors Friday night with help from some dear friends, I decided to sleep in Saturday and spend the day lounging -- perhaps my last chance to do so before the nuptials arrive.

I sipped my coffee slowly, changed from PJs into some equally comfy lounge clothes and took my time. It felt good knowing I had no appointments to keep, no one to meet, nowhere to go.

The day was a puzzle to be put together the way I saw fit. And it was a good fit.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

quack, quack, QUACK!

Each sipping our own refreshing, frozen creation from Starbuck's, my college pal J. and I took an hour for "we" time. The two of us left work behind and walked around a lake tucked away from the busy Denver streets, soaking in this gloriously warm and sunny late October day.

And in mid-sentence, J. was charged by a rather large and seemingly angry goose. Suddenly, we were 13 again, grabbing each other's hand while running and squealing in the other direction.

I guess that foul fowl had enough of our stories.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Bula, vinaka!

Arrived today by FedEx overnight mail: Two round trip tickets to Nadi, Fiji. I can almost smell the warm ocean breeze.

And, finally, it seems like an appropriate time for a countdown. (To the honeymoon, of course! Subtract seven days for the wedding countdown.)

45 days

Sunday, October 09, 2005

Reunion

People change. People stay the same.

It was on Saturday afternoon when this reality hit me. I was at a wedding at my old church, which since has been gutted to create a reception hall beside its massive new worship structure.

I saw old friends, old acquaintances. New hairstyles. Old hairstyles. New babies. Laughter reminiscent of my younger days brought a hint of a smile to my face. Women stood in the flesh that previously housed eager little girls. Boys had become men.

And after nearly eight years have passed, some things just stay the same.

Sunday, September 25, 2005

A triumph!

Though I had aspirations of sitting on the couch Saturday on my day off and knitting a shawl for Mom, I ended up being quite productive.

My list of chores included: Washing the car inside and out; mopping the floors, vacuuming and dusting; making breakfast, lunch and dinner; running errands to the bank, jeweler, mall and other stores; trimming the bushes in the back yard; watching Inside Deep Throat; and, at last, sitting on the couch knitting away.

I even mixed in a little yoga "Trance Dance."

P.S. My night was punctuated by having to kill a rather large eight-legged freak, which for anyone who knows me, is a monumental feat and it's a wonder I didn't die of cardiac arrest! (P.P.S. It's a sofulgids, also known as camel spider, windscorpion or sun spider...the version I clobbered with a size 14 shoe was about an inch or so long. EWW!)

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Wanna free iPod?

Well, be prepared to work ... and to pay for "free" trials. Anyway, it wasn't so painful. I always wanted to try Netflix, anyway.

Check it out, here.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Sad, sad day

An exciting adventure turned somber today when C. and I were searching for a new suit. A man entered the Men's Wearhouse and explained to the salesperson that he was there to purchase a suit for his father ... to be buried in.

By the time we left the store, even the sky had turned gray.

Monday, September 12, 2005

The little things

Last week, these little things made me smile:

Unpacking my suitcase after a long weekend
Clean sheets
The click clack of my knitting needles
Discovering a letter from a friend in my mailbox
Finishing up my latest knitting project
A gentle breeze flowing through a fresh, clean house
Selecting a new knitting project
An afternoon nap
And lastly, to make you laugh, cough suppressant with codeine (to help with those naps)

Monday, September 05, 2005

Need some relief

I meant to do this before I left for vacation, but please, give what you can to relief efforts for the victims of Hurricane Katrina.

Donate to the Red Cross. There are several ways to help, including monetary gifts.

P.S. Technology rules. I published this post from a bustling Apple store at La Encantada, an outdoor mall in Tucson, Ariz.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

The pits

In 15 hours C. and I leave for Tucson ...

and my throat is scratchy, my lower back aches and I have sprouted a fever blister. The headache is coming on, too.

I don't have the guts to ask how much worse it can get. Welcome to vacation. :(

Monday, August 29, 2005

BYOW

Out with the girls for a bachelorette party on Saturday night, I spied a little sign posted near a scantily clad "bartender" serving beer out of a giant tub at Coyote Ugly. It read:

We do not serve women here.
You have to bring your own.
That little message says it all.

Another quite scary sight (this time at Nerve-ana, the new '90s room at Polly Esther's): Two intoxicated twenty-something girls singing and dancing -- word for word and step for step -- to N'Sync's Bye, Bye, Bye.

Friday, August 26, 2005

Tender moments

While I was driving to yoga class today, I saw a tender moment shared by a couple. It happened near 22nd and Broadway, and a woman with a bandana holding back her jet black hair was inching closer to a man toting a stuffed backpack. He slowly took a few steps backward. It was a moment frozen in time and something so intimate I was awestruck to see it play out on the city streets, with lunchtime traffic sweeping by.

And oddly enough, it reminded me of a scene from Grease, with Olivia Newton John daring to press against John Travolta. "I got chills..."

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Fit for a king

When C. and I did a menu tasting today for our fast-approaching wedding reception, we were presented with three choices of a salad (with three yummy dressings) and four entree selections. There were linen selections, vegetable selections, bread basket displays. And in the privacy of our own small banquet room, we were tended to by a personal server and were waited on hand and foot. I got to thinking, "Every meal should be like this!"

Next up ... the wedding cake. Help me choose: No. 1, No. 2 or No. 3. Post your coveted selection.

Monday, August 22, 2005

Quiz time

Grow up in the '80s? Have time to kill? Wanna see if you can beat my score?

Sunday, August 21, 2005

Countdown...

...to Tucson (for a little vacation I fear C. and I desperately need!)

12 days

Sunday, August 14, 2005

Sights, sounds

Heard and seen this weekend around Denver:

Champ Cars zooming around the Pepsi Center during the Grand Prix of Denver. I couldn't get enough of their distinct sound as they cut corners near the campus where I went to college. Spectators sans tickets lined Speer Boulevard to catch a peek of the temporary course.

At the Rockies-Phillies game Saturday, people saying how the fine, misty rain looked a lot like it could turn into snow any minute. (And it's August!) Just after that, people in front of me returned to their seats with ice cream. Hmmm... Fans were also heard saying how they can't believe how bad the Rockies stink.

At the Cherry Creek mall, weekend shoppers - many of whom were teenagers - pretending to do some window shopping. But then I remembered reading something like 85 percent of people who go to a mall to do just that end up buying something, anyway. Suckers.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

I wonder as I wander

As it has so many times before, a certain thought popped into my head while I was riding in someone's vehicle last week.

Drivers: Some are cautious, some are not. Some focus on the road, some focus on themselves. Then I realized it applies to people on foot - and just about anywhere you go.

Consider: The I'm-in-a-hurry shopper cutting a path through the congested mall on a Sunday. Then the one you can't seem to get around because they're ambling along too slowly. Coworkers so determined to get where they are going sometimes they forget to stop and say hi. Other colleagues who take a leisurely approach and still do a magnificent job. People waiting at the bus stop. People running for the bus stop. The woman waiting patiently in the nail salon for her appointment. The one that rushes in and demands to know the wait time for a walk-in. You see them at the airport, the grocery store, at baseball games.

Which one are you?

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Simple pleasures

In this world if information technology, it's a surprise and inconvenience when anything hiccups. That's what happened to our wire service tonight ... box scores weren't available for hours, and with two colleagues, I helped add coding to garbled text in order for our paper to publish something resembling baseball box scores. While doing this tedious work, I began to wonder about the old days. Before computers, when reporters would use typewriters and a carbon, editors actually used pens and copy-editing symbols and typesetters would take 26 letters and arrange them in such a fashion that, when a little ink and paper is added, you have a newspaper. A far cry from our newsroom today.

So last night while driving home after the busy flourish, a trio of songs played on my iPod in shuffle mode. It's not that bizarre since more than 10 percent of my music collection consists of this one artist, but the trio of songs by Harry Connick Jr. made me forget the night that had passed. The first was an instrumental I Like Love More from "Occasion," then the crooner's smooth, blues-y voice in You Don't Know Me from "Only You," followed by a bass-slapping, chord-thumping rendition of Stompin' At The Savoy from "When Harry Met Sally." Mission accomplished. Spirits lifted!

Monday, July 25, 2005

Like so many others

Today, I began my morning with so many plans for the day, and once again (like it happens so often), I ran out of time.

Awake at about 10 a.m. (after hitting the sack at almost 3 a.m.), I didn't get a jump-start until about noon. Then I paid bills, had a bit of "breakfast" and mapped out my day after practicing my calligraphy. I would make trips to the market, Tri-R Recycling and the post office. All that before heading to a friend's in Highlands Ranch to feed her fish and water the flowers.

At about 1:15, I realized I didn't have enough time to do all that and get to work by 4 this afternoon. "There's always tomorrow," I kept thinking. Now, here I am at my desk at work scheduling my tomorrow.