Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Even a fox

Anticipation was in the air as the three of us walked down Bannock Street in Denver. The clock hadn't yet rang 6 o'clock and people were milling around the City and County Building waiting for someone to set the holiday lights aglow. Vendors sold glow-in-the-dark merchandise and flashing "sun"glasses among other goodies. Bundled up, citizens walked past heaps of snow and up to the nativity scene, looked up and stared at darkness.

As we neared the end of the block, lights still unlit, one of us spied a tiny fox. Its feet painted black and its tail whipping about, the little critter hopped alongside the building, seeming to be filled with excitement at the firing up of the lights, but we all knew the shy creature was just plain scared. It was searching for a tree or bush to hide behind, yet too much action was going on nearby and it was evident the fox could not relax.

Still, there it went - Hop! Hop! Hop! - not even letting the fact it only had three legs (the lower hindquarter was missing) slow it down.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Snow days!

I've been home all week anyway, but over the last two days I couldn't leave the house if I wanted to.

Denver was buried under 2 feet of snow and blizzard conditions for about 36 hours, ending earlier at noon today. But now, the sun is out (until it sets in about 15 minutes) and our driveway and neighborhood streets are still covered under drifts up to 5 feet tall.


This was a view from our master bedroom last evening. Yes, that is a street in our complex filled with mounds of snow. I think the plow truck got stuck; at least that's what it sounded like last night.


By the look of it, the sun has a lot of snow to melt in the coming days, including the massive amount on our rooftop.

Lest anyone worry, C. and I have plenty of food, drink and stuff to do. To wit, he has been playing a Tom Clancy game on his Xbox while I've been uploading photos, updating this space and sending e-mails to friends far and wide. Yesterday, I baked 11 dozen cookies and 16 mini loaves of lemon and pumpkin bread, wrapped them in cellophane bags and prepared to pass out the holiday cheer. I think a game of Scrabble might be in the cards later. Today, I even have done a bit of crocheting and knitting. (Below: Thanks, G., for the new Ballband Dishcloth pattern! As you can see, I'm loving it and almost have two scrubbies completed! Thank God I buy the kitchen cotton almost every time I'm in the craft store. It's so inexpensive at just over a buck a ball.)



That is all for now. I hope you and yours are staying warm and safe!

Monday, December 11, 2006

Holiday update

So it's 14 days to Christmas and I've got nearly all of my shopping done. Greeting cards are out and all but one package has been sent. I just have to finish crafting a couple of gifts before I'm done for the holidays. This is much better than last year :)

And I do have plans to do a little baking. Can't wait to fill the house with good smells of pumpkin, banana and lemon bread! Now I'm hungry.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Countdown!

I've decided to make my countdown ticker (above) into a regular feature. I guess I'll have to find new reasons to count down to an exciting date! (My birthday could be the next one, for instance.)

Hope you like it. Let me know what you think.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Holiday tidings

With my Christmas tree twinkling across the living room walls and holiday music in regular rotation on my iPod, I wish thee a very happy holiday season!

P.S. My goal is to do the remainder of my Christmas shopping online. The mall just isn't worth it.

Friday, November 24, 2006

Sound advice

Just read inside the cap of my Jones Black Cherry Soda.

Encourage tranquility if you are feeling agitated.

Good advice considering I haven't done a lick of work after being here for an hour (our system is on the fritz).

This might give me more time to view the lighting ceremony at the City and County Building across the street from work. Should be quite a treat!

Monday, November 13, 2006

Howdy, partner

On a recent trip to Tucson, Ariz., I took a little walk on the Sabino Canyon Trail, which peeks into the foothills of the Santa Catalina Mountains. Thirsty for adventure and armed with my trusty Nikon digital camera, I set out with my family. We agreed on a 2-mile stroll.

Just before the midpoint of our walk, I saw this massive saguaro very close to the road, peering from high above the trail. So I stuck my camera at its trunk and pointed skyward. Here's what I got.




Just beyond the 1-mile marker on the path, I saw the destruction that the area's monsoons can bring. In the summer, a gushing mass washed out a wide path of the road, which had since been rebuilt. But still below in the wash was the debris of heavy boulders and once-strong trees, pushed aside as though they were feathers. The tree skeletons looked like the mangled vine of a bunch of grapes after they've been eaten. And from afar, the mudslide marks on the mountain face look like scratches made on a painting before it is dry.

P.S. Wildlife surprise No. 1: At sunset, a doe and her two little ones scampered away from the trail into the thick brush peppered with different types of cacti. The moment was merely seconds, and efforts to capture it on my camera were in haste.

P.P.S. Wildlife surprise No. 2: On the way to the airport, my cousin M. was maneuvering our way up the driveway and we spotted a bobcat with eyes trained on something across our path. The small, quick animal saw us, then made after his target -- a black house cat that was lumbering low to the ground, bounding for any sign of safety. Our guess is we startled the bobcat so much, we might have saved the other kitty's life.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Sign o' the times

On my way home from work one night, I had to laugh at myself.

Out loud.

I had caught a glimpse of the new price of a gallon of gasoline on the electronic Pilot truck stop sign off Interstate 70 and was appalled it had gone up.

The new price was $2.13 a gallon. A few months ago, people would have given away their first-born for such a price, but since the sticker price has gone down in recent weeks, I found a one-cent hike surprising. Silly me.

Don't get me wrong, I'm glad to be paying in the low $2s for gas, but I'd be lying if I said I didn't wish it was cheaper.

Update: This same gas station has unleaded for $2.099 a gallon. Score.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

By request



Here's a view of my paper's new building, as posted by request.
(And the story my paper ran about it can be found here.)

More photos

Since I neglected to direct y'all to the rest of my holiday photos, I figured almost a week later wouldn't be bad. (Sorry 'bout that.) As you hum your favorite Mexican folk song, click here.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

'Nuff said



Between swigs of a Pacifico and after a serenade during our trip to Puerto Vallarta, I saw this studded message across the back of one of the musicians. With a mouthful of chips and guacamole, I ran after him to capture this picture.

Love is powerful, indeed.

Seasons collide

Fall met winter today, and there were signs everywhere.

First, this view out of our back yard shows the leafy tree bogged down with the weight of the overnight snow.

Later as I walked to work along Broadway, I stepped over slush and soggy leaves. Some where taupe, some bright golden, some red and a few green ones, not paying attention to the chilly temperature. I even saw some leaves that escaped the wet precipitation, crunching under my snow boots as I motored past the capitol.

But don't worry; I won't be freezing off my derriere. The forecast for the weekend? Upper-60s and clear.

Monday, October 23, 2006

I love this city

Two new reasons I like working at the new DNA/Rocky/Post building:

1. Walking into our newsroom's cafeteria in the late afternoon, I saw the most beautiful view of the Rocky Mountains. Twilight was near, and the snow-capped peaks lined the view behind the Denver City and County Building. Talk about purple mountain magesty.

2. Through the same floor-to-ceiling windows later that night, bright pink lights shone on the top of the City and County structure in honor of breast cancer month.

They were both glorious views, enough to make me take pause and forget (even for a second) the stress and hustle of work. Take a breath. Drink in the view. It also reminded me of the treat that is coming soon, when that same building will be smattered in holiday lights and other decorations. 'Tis the season.

I'm baaack!

Sorry it has taken so long, but lest you worry, I have brought back plenty of ideas for this space from Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco, Mexico. (And a few before that, which, sadly have not made it here yet.)

Stay tuned.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Cat and mouse

According to these two little critters, 3 in the afternoon means playtime in the park. A pair of squirrels, whipping and twitching their tails around, were playing a little game as I walked along Civic Center Park.

Squirrel A would run about six steps as Squirrel B closed the gap. 'A' would stop, letting 'B' catch up just long enough to draw in a breath (a little squirrel breath!), then it was off to the races again.

Squirrel A ran about a foot up a tree trunk, then made a beeline to something yummy in the grass, then across the fallen leaves, all the while with Squirrel B in tow. Their game played out quickly, darting around like birds that change direction just when you thought they wouldn't. What a fun day in the park!

Sing it, baby

Since I've been walking a lot more due to the parking situation at my new work building, I see many many savory characters along my route of either Broadway or Colfax, sometimes both. I had just dropped off a couple of letters at the mailbox off the 16th Street Mall and Broadway, so I headed back down Cleveland Place and saw him.

A man who looked like he was out of the Old West: black Stetson, a wanna-be handlebar moustache, dark boots and jeans with a shiny belt buckle and a red Western shirt. But the catchy part was his singing. He had a pair of black headphones wrapped around the back of his neck and was singing at the top of his lungs. I heard him over my own headphones and promptly stopped my music to listen. As he got farther and farther away, I could still see the heads a-turnin'!

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Odd dog in the park

I only caught a glimpse, but it's now like a snapshot I have memorized.

The day was zooming by quickly -- errands, the daily grind, etc. -- and I was hurrying to work. Suddenly, my eyes caught two figures in a park near the Cherry Creek bike path.

Two yoginis wearing bright colors that reminded me of springtime were postured in downward-facing dog, but the part that caught my eye was the sea of colorful flowers that surrounded them. What a prime piece of real estate they had staked out. I imagined the scent of all those flowers they were breathing in deeply. It reminded me to slow down, to make time for myself.

It reminded me of a T-shirt I bought at a yoga conference a few years ago. A buddha smiles, and beneath it is a sort of demand.

Inhale. Exhale. Ahhhhhhh...

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Crazy, 'mon'!

Shame on me. I haven't told this to everyone yet, so here it goes.

It has been almost three weeks ago, but C. and I went to Keystone for a golf tournament he had qualified for. It was The Fan-950's summer golf tour, and after three tries at different qualifying tournaments around the Denver area, he finally qualified and later won.

The grand prize? A trip for two to Jamaica. We're planning on going in late March. Just about everything is included: air fare, transfers, golf (go figure!), meals and beverages at the all-inclusive Grand Lido resort. I'm not quite sure, but I believe it includes scuba diving (on excursions for beginners). Something I read on their Web site also says manicures and pedicures are complimentary.

And just in case you're wondering, C. shot an 82, but the scoring was a Stableford format in which he finished with -1 points.

Not his greatest round, but good enough to win.

P.S. As one friend said, time to get our Red Stripe on.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Remembrance

Over the past week, I've heard various stories from people; their memories of 9/11.

Where they were, whom they were with, what they were doing. What they were thinking.

So I thought of my story. Here it is:

I was living in Pueblo at the time, but on this day five years ago I was in Arvada staying at Mom's house since I had gone to the Broncos' Monday Night Football the night before. Out of nowhere, she burst into the guest room where I was sleeping, shouting "We're being attacked!" Wha? My brother had called her from Minnesota, an hour ahead, and told her, plainly, "Turn on the TV." I think it was about 8 a.m. MDT. I followed her into the living room and we didn't even speak. My dad appeared, he didn't say a word. We sat in silence, watching what so many of us can replay vividly in our minds. And I had to go to work. In Pueblo. I think it was about 11 a.m. or noon when I was driving down Interstate 25, and I saw something that will never be erased from memory. A single man standing on the bridge of Downing or Washington (this is all before the T-REX project) was waving an American flag. It was big, he was small, and that flag flapped to the left and the right, and he just stood there, making his statement. I drove down the highway, listening to a continuous feed of news from the radio, then went straight to the newsroom in Pueblo. Sympathetic faces stared back at me, and nobody said a word to each other. The first thing I wanted to find out was if the high school soccer games in the county had been cancelled. "Nope," my editor said. Shoot. I had to cover a boy's game and I didn't really want to. Begrudgingly, I arrived at the Roncalli Middle School soccer field, where it was East and Centennial high schools getting ready to take the pitch, both teams unbeaten. In the press box, I sat with the scoreboard operator and an officer working security. We tuned the radio to the news. The soccer game was flat, boring, inconsequential. The first thing I asked the boys after the game was, "Do you even want to be out here?" The overwhelming sentiment was no. They wanted to be at home, with family, with friends. Not out doing this. The next day, the school district said it should have postponed games, which is what most districts in Colorado did, not to mention professional sports leagues. It was the right thing to do. I wrote my soccer story for the next day's paper, all the while catching snippets of news from TVs and wire stories. On that day, I couldn't get enough coverage. It was all to satisfy the question that was poking at me all day. The burning question was "Why?"

"Why did this happen?"

Psych

Driving down Broadway on my way to work yesterday, I passed a sign that shouldn't be displayed on a Sunday. It's something at which those of us who have lived in Colorado at any one time (or a lifetime) would furl our brow. As I passed Blake Street, my eyes flashed across the words.

"Liquor store --> OPEN"

Huh? The arrow was just taunting me. I'm sure it was someone's mistake by leaving the sign out overnight, but that's just wrong to make us think we can buy a frosty case of beer or a liter of our favorite liquor from the LQ on a Sunday.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Maybe...

... this will be next.

My latest creation

This sad little wine cork board kit has been living on the top shelf of my laundry room for months. The lonely corks have been sitting nearby, atop the washing machine.

This weekend, I decided (FINALLY!) to do something about it. Working the wine-stained cylinders into the wooden tray seemed easy at first. But it became a puzzle. A pretty difficult puzzle. After struggling with trying to make them fit without cutting them, C. had a great idea: use his pvc pipe cutter. The next day, armed with the pipe cutter, glue, sandpaper and a dwindling amount of corks, I worked another couple of hours and at last, this 16"x16" beaut was ready to hang on one of the kitchen walls.

It gave me a chance to display a handful of corks that remind me of special occasions. The two bottles of wine we drank in Fiji -- one at dinner with new friends, another while sharing a romantic dinner for two on the beach. Another cork -- from a La Crema bottle of shiraz -- was a late addition. There are simply outrageous corks: the Electric Reindeer cork, the only red one on the board, and four with the label "RIBBIT!" A series of corks that have one word on them, such as "heritage", "patience" and "renewal." There's also the lone Whitehall Lane cork, stained with the cabernet of which C. bought an entire case.

The finishing touch was spur of the moment, really. I had saved the cork from a bottle of Veuve Clicquot champagne C. and I sipped near the time of our third anniversary, the one when we first met. It's a wonder I even found it. I had marked around it "1-6-05 THIRD ANNIVERSARY VEGAS." I cut off the mushroom-like top and here's what appeared.

P.S. Lest you think we drank all these bottles of wine, about half the supplies came from C. He opens loads of wine bottles at work, so that's where we got all the Guenoc, Crane Lake, Chateau St. Jean, Ravenswood, Louis Jadot and Benziger corks in bulk!

P.P.S. You can hardly see them at the top, but when I bought the kit, I also ordered a set of six pewter push pins. They're in the shapes of a wine bottle, grapes and a wine glass.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

A sweater for Ted


Ted and his cable sweater, united earlier this month, appear to be quite a happy pair.

Accentuate the positive

The signs have been sprouting all over for the past few weeks. I've been ignoring them, but they're there.

Newspaper circulars. Job openings. Random commentary overheard at work. An earlier twilight.

Since early this year, construction has been going strong on a new school adjacent to our townhome complex. It's the Farrell B. Howell School, a K-8 structure that was bustling with students Monday. As I drove near the school's entrance, I spied eager students tugging at their parent's hand, excited to experience the first day of school.

Elsewhere around town, the Speer Boulevard sidewalks on the far side of Auraria Campus no longer are bare. Instead, individual locks snake around poles securing a smattering of scooters whose owners I imagine are sitting in a classroom listening to a lecture. Maybe they're in one of my favorite little coffee joints on campus, the best place to go when temperatures dropped and snow began to fly. Perhaps they're in the library, a place I never was very familiar with during my six-year stint at Metro State (blush).

Perusing the paper, I have seen back-to-school sales: bargains on hot plates, mini-microwaves, twin sheet sets. There's no escaping it, even as the first of September inches closer and closer. Students talked of the dreaded first day of school. At a neighborhood restaurant, I heard a manager saying his establishment was short staffed since he lost two employees who were going back to college.

I was in denial until I felt a chill last evening. It's time to face it
. . . summer quickly is coming to an end.

On the bright side, autumn, a truly magnificent season, is just around the corner.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Chocolate gridlock

Almost daily, I drive into work and face a massive bottleneck at the Mouse Trap (otherwise known as the place where interstates 25 and 70 meet). Sometimes it's a genuine traffic jam, other times it's the rubber neckers trying to slow down and look at the person peering into their engine compartment while stalled on the shoulder. On Tuesday, it was an accident: A green 4Runner was hit by a massive white van, which was hit by a white Ford Focus. Plain and simple, there's your traffic jam.

But two weeks ago, as usual, I was cursing my fellow drivers and trying to figure out what that day's main attraction was. Don't they all know I have to be at work in 3 minutes? After growing tired of listening to the sports talk radio filter out of my speakers, I saw it.

I laughed. I smiled. I had an intense urge to eat chocolate.

It was the Hershey's Kissmobile. Spreading the message of "every kid deserves hugs and kisses," there rested three giant Kisses on four wheels, and this time, it was pure eye candy on the shoulder that had everyone's attention.

Which made me think, doesn't everyone deserves hugs and kisses? I think so.

Friday, August 11, 2006

43 to the 101

Wednesday marked a momentous occasion for me. I took my first trip into downtown Denver via light rail.

It was out of necessity (see previous post) and desire, as I had wanted to test out taking public transit at the hour I get off work (after midnight). Since my first bus trip in my teens, I have had fascination with public transit.

I fell in love with the subways in the NY/NJ area when I visited five years ago. On my first light rail trip before that, I wished for a reason to ride it regularly. Now I have one.

The only drawback was I had to arrive at the RTD bus stop across the street from my townhome complex 90 minutes before I was due at work. After boarding the No. 43 bus, I had time to scratch out a letter to our friends overseas and another little note for my goddaughter. Then I had time to catch up on some reading.

Fifty minutes later, I was at the 30th & Downing Station, ready to board the 101 D line. After a slight wait and the train's short jog through the north of downtown, I was transplanted onto the 16th Street Mall. I swiftly hopped onto a free MallRide trolley that took me straight to Cleveland Place.

Voila! I was at my new building, and 3 minutes early to boot!

And Friday, I will do it all again.

P.S. The late return trip wasn't as threatening as many people made it out to be. I walked in the darkness along the mall, five blocks to the train's launching point. Waiting seemed to be the worst part, as strangers mingled nearby, including an RTD employee. The Downing Station was a little dark for my taste, but once on the No. 43 line and heading back home, I had time to cozy in and work on knitting a pair of wool socks. By the time I got home, I was relaxed and ready for bed.

Friday, August 04, 2006

R.I.P.

Chris' car, the Silver Bullet has died. After almost three years in our hands, we donate these hard-working four wheels to Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Colorado.

1985-2006

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Ted E. Bear is born

Here's what I did with one $2.17 skein of yarn, a circular 6, a stitch counter and embroidery thread and needles. (Oops, can't forget the toy stuffing!)




The lucky recipient? My soon-to-be 1-year-old goddaughter, Isabella. The little brown bear is in transit to her house in Tucson as I type. Hope he makes it there safe.

P.S. For those of you wondering where his sweater is, I couldn't finish that in time to send it! The beginnings are on the needles now, tucked in my backpack. It will be a good project for my road trip Friday.

La "cucaracha"

Chillin' in the garage the other night, C. pointed out a rather large "cockroach" making a beeline, and somewhat quickly, for our feet. Our pal D. and I could only pause and stare.

It wasn't a cockroach.

The camel spider had returned. If you recall, I went medieval on one of these scarily giant spiders last September. This time, C. took a flip-flop and with a loud POP!, that large critter splattered on the garage floor.

Even our 6-foot-8 buddy was grossed out at the sight of the arachnid's corpse. I still shudder at the thought.

Monday, July 31, 2006

The Melty Man cometh*

Ugh.

I'm scheduled for a real-live road trip to the Twin Cities this weekend, and my brother who lives southwest of Minneapolis told me the heat index was 110 degrees. That's right, folks. 110!

While my skin will absolutely adore me, the rest of me might long for the arid conditions of the Rocky Mountains. Luckily, our trip lasts only five days and as a bonus, I hear the forecast features cooler temperatures this weekend. Have I mentioned how I love air conditioning?

P.S. Note to self: Save room in your suitcase by not packing body lotion!

* If you are a BBC America Coupling fan, you will understand this reference.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Oh to the mmm

Just this week, I had a realization bite me in the hiny.

"Yo-, " it said. "Yoga."

Yoga.

When I lived in Pueblo, I would practice regularly at the studio across the river no less than twice a week. I did that for about three years. Upon moving to Denver (almost three years ago), my practice suffered. I tried following a couple of workout tapes at home, but there always was something else pulling me away.

Then as I watched my hubby leave for the golf course yet again, I longed for something in my life to love as much as he loves golf (and I'm not talking about people here but a hobby, a pasttime, a passion). It echoed again. Yoga.

I promptly logged onto the Yoga Journal's Web site for their 11th annual yoga conference in Estes Park. I have been twice and loved it twice. When I was a dancer, I loved attending dance conventions (in Hollywood, Calif.; Phoenix; Las Vegas; Dallas), sweating and working to the beat eight hours a day. My body craved even more. It was the same for me in Estes Park.

Sun salutations to start the day at 8 (c'mon people. . .that's early for me!), a little exploration into backbends or inversions, lunch, and another class to close the day, perhaps on restorative poses. Or arm balances. I could never stop talking about my classroom experiences to my cabinmates. What an exceptional way to further my practice.

And that doesn't even include the teaching muscle. John Friend. Rodney Yee. Patricia Walden. Richard Freeman. Aadil Palkhivala. Ana Forrest. Judith Hanson Lassater. Shiva Rea. Such wisdom tucked away in the picturesque hideaway in the Rocky Mountains. Simply breathtaking.

So now, I have a goal to shoot for. Build up my practice at home and a studio, and at the end of September, I will treat myself, my body to a wonderful weekend of yoga fun!

Where indeed

Sometimes, you just need a laugh. On Saturday, I sure got one.

The sun was beating down on the pavement, but above it all, a cool burst of air was hitting my flush cheeks as I drove through my neighborhood, stereo thumping. With one routine stop at Eugene Way on Andrews Drive, I saw it.


"?Where's Kevin Pistol?"

Staring at the black letters on white paper that was taped to the signpost, I furled my brow and spent a little too long at the intersection, prompting a quick honk from the vehicle behind me. It reminded me of some "random thought" signs a friend has spied in the NY/NJ area. I turned another corner and saw it again, this time on a bus bench and framed by a little black border.


"?Where's Kevin Pistol?"

Where, indeed?

Monday, July 24, 2006

My passion

I've been trying to be much more proactive about the environment lately, so this is the perfect spot for me to share. So many things in our daily lives can be changed, and they can be as simple as changing a light bulb. Keeping your vehicle's tires properly inflated. Buying organic. Recycling. (It's not that hard, people!)

In the midst of my own life changes, I watched an Oprah show (Global Warming 101: Leonardo DiCaprio's Big Problem) that I figured could help me get out the word. We all don't have to go out and upgrade our cars to energy-efficient hybrids, exchange our appliances for those with an Energy Star approval or install solar panels to our houses. (But if you want to, go for it!)

There are so many small "tips" in order to decrease how much greenhouse gas YOU emit. Exchange your light bulbs in your house for CFLs. They last longer. Unplug your TV or computer when you leave the house. Clean the lint screen in your clothes dryer. See? It's easy.

A friend of mine also discovered a very helpful Web site called Ideal Bite. If you ever needed a reason to buy an iPod, here's one. One tip reads, "Eliminate the need for the resource-intensive process of production, packaging and distribution of CD's!"

But seriously, I've kept myself busy trying to implement these quick and easy tips into my own live/home/environment. You should, too.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Negitivity works

In this case, it does.

I just bought a third pair of my favorite brand of shoes. They're pretty cool, and with any luck, I'll buy some boots for the winter, too.

They are Earth shoes, and the negative heel technology claims to correct your posture. Plus, it makes the shoes really dang comfy.

If you're into buying vegan, they make many versions for you, as well.

Stylish and Earth friendly. Who'd've thunk?

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Just beat it

I've been trying to track down a soundtrack to Y Tu Mama, Tambien, and as I was walking to the beat of a song that's been stuck in my head for weeks, another beat creeped into my ears.

Crisp. Clean. Loud and getting louder.

I turned the corner outside the Virgin Megastore at the Denver Pavilions and there sat a man, about 20, banging beat-up sticks on a collection of upside down buckets. It reminded me of the percussion show Stomp. I thought of the Buskerfest that showcases street performers, and I seem to miss it every year.

And there he sat, eyes closed, his rhythm turning the 16th Street Mall into a sea of bobbing heads on this warm summer night.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Score!

The song I referred to in my last post is avalable on iTunes. Plus, the entire album is just plain silly.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Get this in your head

C. and I were listening to Sirius Alt Nation last week while working on the yard when I heard this song for the first time. I just stared at the radio with my jaw hanging loose...did I just hear that? Soon after, we were bouncing around the house singing this tune that we don't even know the words for.

To hear it for yourself, go to this page on CD Baby for the band Jesus H Christ and The Four Hornsmen Of The Apocalypse.

Then click on Track 1 (you'll see it down the left side of the page). My work here is done.

Monday, July 03, 2006

The "real" news

A little reminiscence happened this evening while among my peers. We were passing along our favorite stories that appeared in The Onion, and it turns out the always-offensive publication is doing a little remembrance of its own.

Over the next two weeks, the Web site will offer up its top stories of each year, starting with 1996 today, ending a week from Friday with 2005. It will be worth your time to do a little surfing there.

Here, my friends, is a sampling of some of my favorite Onion stories in no particular order.

* Anything by Smoove B.
* Family Dog Suspected Cause Of Miniature Chuck-Wagon Disaster.
* National Funk Congress Deadlocked On Get Up/Get Down Issue.
* Area Woman Not Yelling At You, She's Just Saying.
* All Y'All Urged To Go Fuck Yo' Selves.
* Point-counterpoint: I am so starving.
* Hijackers Surprised To Find Selves In Hell.

Have an Onion favorite you want to share? Post the link in the comments section.

Friday, June 16, 2006

San Diego


I just wanted to share my favorite picture from my recent trip to the San Diego area. The view is the city skyline as we left San Diego Harbor on a dinner cruise while the sun was setting. Luckily I was able to snap this image in the nick of time.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

It's only a number

While kicking it at the People's Fair today at Civic Center park in Denver, I was soaking in the sights and sounds -- the rockabilly stylings of my favorite local band, Brethren Fast -- as well as the sun's stinging rays.

Nearby, a tiny tyke grasped a box of golden raisins in her chubby right hand and darted across the wide space under the watchful eye of Daddy. She had a green sun hat on, along with pink ruffled shorts and a shirt to match. I pegged her at about 20 months old, her energetic body bouncing along to the band (I think they were covering Folsom Prison Blues/Get Rhythm from Johnny Cash).

But just after I spotted her dancing, I saw a fifty-something man bouncing along just the same. He had stripped off his T-shirt and frolicked happily to the guitar, drums and inviting bass from B-Fast. Something in the sound made him want to move. My mom and I giggled, peeking glances at the man displaying his midday dance. It looked . . . fun.

And to him, it didn't matter who was watching.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

PANcakes!

PANcakes...that is what one youth touring Sea World was so adamant about earlier this week.

This young girl of about 7 years who was accompanied by at least 30 of her peers while, I assumed, on a field trip to the sunny San Diego, Calif., hot spot was carefully tip-toeing along the narrow curb separating the walkway from the grass and flowers adjacent to an exhibit. A little farther down, a maintenance crewmember was digging around a sprinkler head, the sharp blade of of the shovel tearing into the moist grass, exposing the cool, dark earth beneath.

I'm almost certain what he heard next. The volume was rising, and suddenly ...

"...PANcakes!!!" The girl shouted, piercing our ears and I'm sure the still-growing drums of her playmates.

Our guess is she wanted her point to be known. The children around her were telling their stories, and each child chimed in at a slightly louder pitch until all we heard was something to make us hungry for breakfast.

Mmmm. Pancakes!

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Every party has a pooper

With high school and college graduations sprouting up left and right like spring flowers, parties of all kinds are beginning to surface as well.

May always has been a busy month for me with almost too many birthdays and milestones of friends and family to count. But, as I reluctantly remember this year, everyone is finding every reason to throw a party. Even I had been dreaming up a party idea of our very own over the past couple of months. (Wine & cheese? Luau? BBQ? Dinner party?)

It's not going to happen.

In light of recent developments, I've been a little antisocial, sleepy, quiet and pretty much reclusive, taking to knitting _______ (insert your favorite here: socks, blankets, sweaters, toys, washcloths) inside my cozy townhome. Separating myself from the couch some days is a chore. Luckily, my dear cats understand this and visit me often for nightly massages. (This, you say, is why my blogging has been anemic of late.)

So, if you've been wondering about me, there's the reason. And hopefully, by the time summer officially rolls around, I'll be back in my social saddle! Cheers!

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Smack!

Sitting in the customer lounge at my local Nissan dealership, which recently was outfitted with a flat-screen TV, leather sofas, a fresh paint job and high-speed internet, I grow increasingly annoyed with my fellow Nissan driver.

She sits, scribbling answers to a daily puzzle in the paper, smacking her gum. It's getting louder by the second. Smack, smack, SMACK!

I got to thinking, if everyone has at least one annoying trait, what is mine this morning? The fwip, fwip! of my knitting needles? My disheveled appearance? I can't put my finger on it.

Or it could just be that I can't concentrate due to the constant smacking going on just across the room? I wonder.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Ka-ching!

In a Barnes & Noble, I was jonesing for a cup of coffee.

Not a latte, not a frappucino. Just coffee. Regular coffee.

As oddball as it might sound, I sauntered over to the counter, where a teen with numerous piercings and carefully disheveled hair asked what I'd have.

"Coffee. Small, please."

"$1.51."

For just coffee? Sadly, yes.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

STOP!

Caught up in conversation, I must have been in a daze while walking out of a Chinese restaurant with my hubby and two dear friends. Either that or the bright Colorado sun blinded me while I was digging for my sunglasses.

At once, three people screamed at me and the basic gist was a screeching "STOP RIGHT WHERE YOU ARE!!" I was about to walk underneath a ladder. And some people think superstitions are a joke.

So, what superstitions do you have?

Monday, March 13, 2006

Thud!

Just as clearly as I was brought back to reality with a tickle in my throat, Denver was brought back to the realization that we have not reached spring. Not yet.

The weekend, the last one of winter, teases of higher temps as we sit shivering in the below-freezing atmosphere. We drug out the heavy coats, the gloves, the wool caps and tossed aside the light jackets we only thought would be sufficient.

All I know is I want to get out and enjoy the warm weather. I just have to wait longer until it gets here.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

It's coming

It was there. I could feel it. Warm breezes. Hot sun warming the back of my neck. Fresh, crisp air. It has been in the mid-60s and we haven't seen freezing temperatures since last week.

Spring is knocking.

With the windows and doors flung open, I did my own version of early spring cleaning (including rearranging some furniture) with some help from Mom on Friday. We shook rugs, we scrubbed, we dusted, we vacuumed. We walked on fluffy carpet and tidy floors when we were done. But something drew me back into the not-so-fun times of winter.

It was subtle. A cough. A sneeze. A little catch in my voice. Ears plugged up. Rats. I am getting sick. I downed some OJ, got plenty of rest this weekend (like staying in my PJs until 6:30 Saturday night) and my hope is to fight this crap off before it knocks me down.

Many of my friends and colleagues have not been so lucky. Hope they all get well soon.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

No time for a movie?

Now you have no excuse to not see a movie. These little 30-second clips are great! Bunnies reenact our favorite movies. (Sidebar: I really wish Silence of the Lambs was on there.)

Fun stuff can be found at the Angry Alien Web site.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

I promise . . .

To all my nearest, dearest girlfriends in the world, I promise . . .
* Not to lose touch, no matter how busy I get
* To listen to you, even when the urge is to blurt out my problems first
* To see your point of view; and I know there will be times when I won't
* To not always pretend like I know what to say; silence, sometimes, is golden
* To be there, at 4 in the morning, at 8 in the morning, in the middle of the day for tea - I'll be there
* To not expect perfection from myself, from you, from my loved ones
* To be accepting, loving, and most of all, to remember to laugh

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Cell phone nation

Standing in line at the post office near work, I waited patiently - and quietly - to send a package.

Two spaces ahead of me, a familiar noise broke the silence. It was a ringtone advertising its catchy matador theme. The owner, clearly in his 60s, was wearing a letter-style jacket with a southwestern design on the back. He assured the caller he would pick up more W-2 forms.

Directly in front of me, another phone began to ring. Its owner dug through her purse as the music blared loudly from her shoulder bag, and the phone continued ringing until she discovered who the call was from. After that, she slipped into chat mode, passing the time with a personal conversation.

Yet another ring, nothing fancy, began to fill the air behind me. And another. One, no, two more. And all the while, people continued to chat into their phones, not afraid to let the public hear their one-sided conversations.

A person answered his phone while he was making a transaction at the window, and the postal employee looked more than a little annoyed. I bet she was mentally ticking off the minutes until quitting time.

Later I realized had I been carrying my phone (it was at home, forgotten on the counter), I would have joined in the cell-phone medley with a jazzy rendition of Ding Dong! The Witch is Dead.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Copycat

Yes, I am taking a cue from my friend's blog for this post. I'm interested in your lists. If you're up to it, post one in the comments section below.

10 Things You Don't Know About Me
1. My nickname is Doe, as in "Doe, a deer, a female deer." Mom didn't want people calling me Jo as a child. Too boyish, I guess, but the nickname stuck. Just look at my Web address.

2. I want to try skydiving.

3. I used to play the flute.

4. I danced with tap-dance sensation Savion Glover - my dancing idol - in a "master" class at Denver East High.

5. I had a real-life, paying job as a photographer in college.

6. I secretly (maybe not so secretly now!) want to move near the ocean someday.

7. I won several spelling bees in elementary school.

8. I redesigned my dad's restaurant logo 15 years ago.

9. I minored in mathematics at Metro State.

10. As a 6-month-old infant, I tipped the scales at 20+ pounds. Yikes.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Midnight cowboy

Driving home on my usual route around the Drury Inn off Interstate 70, I had a one-of-these-things-just-doesn't-belong-here moment. First, there are dozens of horse trailers stashed along the frontage road by ranchers who visit Denver every year for the National Western Stock Show. Cowboys start hauling their big trucks and trailers a few days before the event begins; a clear sign the January spectacle is near.

But this cowboy, fiddling with his trailer, appeared to be sweeping up a pile of hay from the cold asphalt. There was a plastic bucket by his feet. Light shone out of the open cab, reflecting off his big belt buckle, but he was all about business. And what task could it be that had him still working hard well after midnight? I guess if he was lucky, perhaps he sold his livestock for a hefty price and happily was preparing a clean trailer to take back home.

I hope that was it.

P.S. Yes, I have a goal to knit these nasty little buggers in the near future.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Obedient friend

Walking with my hubby down the street to our favorite Japanese restaurant in Denver, we spied a pained little soul sitting on the sidewalk. Well, lying on the sidewalk is more like it.

Hind legs glued to the concrete (I imagine his tummy was pressed against the cold ground), he gave us a short glance but got back to his real job - staring longingly at the action on the other side of the window. With his grey and black patchwork coat keeping him warm, the weepy-eyed dog just might have been watching his owner eat a hot Japanese meal inside Taki's on East Colfax.

And as we walked through the door dreaming up something yummy for dinner, we heard the little guy say, "Woof!"

Thursday, January 05, 2006

It's here!

The tiny, sleek and stylish 2 gigabyte music device I talked about in my 9/22/05 post arrived in the mail last month, only I forgot to share the jubilant news here.

Snap. It really does work!

F---

Shit.

Double shit.

The scarf I have been knitting for months (well, in between other projects) has become my Cursed Project. I bought the yarn in September, fantasizing about a nice, new, colorful scarf for the winter. And here we are.

About three quarters of the way through, I was unsure of what I had been working up those late nights after work by just a few rows at a time. Just get it done, I told myself. Finish it, then wash the entire thing in Woolite, let it dry and see what you have. It should match the designer's picture. (A statement always carefully phrased in a question to myself.)

But after conquering knitting in the round and completing this lovely beret (which fits me better as a skull cap, by the way) it dawned on me the next time I picked up the neglected scarf that I had been working the wrong-side rows wrong. I was purling in the knit stitches. I was knitting in the purl stitches. NO!

Triple shit!

So I sat, unraveling weeks of work, rolling the gentle but overworked purple Cascade 220 wool yarn back into a ball.

Shit, shit, SHIT!