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!