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.