Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Ugh. I have the worst headcold. I don't think it's good when your teeth ache, right?

Back soon. I need to guzzle a couple of glasses of red wine so I can sleep.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

I've gotten so lazy about posting lately - part of it is that I've become spoiled by being able to use photos, but I haven't been taking many lately.

Work continues to be really busy, far more so than I expected when I took the job last fall. The strange thing is, where I used to resent every moment I spent in the office (at the former job, the make me want to stick needles into my eyeballs job), now an 8 or 9 hour day flies by. Part of it is that I genuinely like the work I'm doing and the people I'm working with. I'm not suggesting that the last job had no redemptive value - it paid a salary (always a good thing), they had FANTASTIC benefits - so much so that a lot of people never left, even though they were just as miserable as I was, and there were a handful of people that I really cared about. BUT, the new gig is a far better place for me. The work is challenging and changes, there is always something new to learn, and the powers-that-be are always willing to let me try new things, constantly improving my skills, the whole package.

Love the new car, too. It came just in time for the March winter that has descended on this part of Colorado. It's been snowing on and off for the past four days, and the high temps have been about 30°. The truck handles beautifully in the wet (assuming I drop it into 4-wheel drive), and I really do feel safe in it. My only scary moment so far was this morning, sitting in the left turn lane at a light near my house. I saw a pickup coming up in my rearview mirror, and I could tell he was going WAY too fast for the conditions (I had hit the sheet of black ice he was headed for just minutes before I saw him), and I was watching, just knowing that he was about to hit me and hard. Luckily, he also figured this out, and cranked his wheel to the right so he ended up beside me instead of in my trunk. Fracking people - when will they learn? Driving a big heavy vehicle does not make you immune to ice!!

Friday, March 17, 2006

Okay - yes, I got a new car. Those of you who know me know that my other car was only two years old, so let me explain.

I have been driving a 2004 Subaru Outback Sport Wagon. It's a lovely car, handles beautifully, great gas mileage, the works. Then, about 6 months ago, I was nearly hit head-on by a Tahoe. Only through the grace of Buddha did I not get hit. It TOTALLY freaked me out, because I know that if that big monster had hit me, I'd be dead, or at least really fucked up. Ever since, I've wanted to be back in an SUV - I know all the arguments against them, believe me - I'm one of the ones who has always spouted off those arguments. But I was scared, and then I was scared to have Joey and Mare in the car, and I was nervous taking it on road trips, and that's just not like me. I couldn't get the idea out of my head that I needed to get back into an SUV.

So I started looking around, checking prices, reading crash test results and safety ratings. It seems that short of a mini-van, I can't do much better than a 4Runner. I focused on the 2001 and 2002 models, they seem to be a good value. We found one at a dealership in Golden, and drove down last night after work to take a look.

The car was in good shape, no body damage, pretty straightforward. Alex surprised me by saying that he didn't think we should do it, because for $10k more, we could have a brand new one. You could have knocked me over with a feather! He never wants to buy things, much less spend MORE on anything. But that's what we did. We bought an '06 4Runner SR5 with 4-wheel drive. It's really a lovely ride. It's more than roomy for those of us who stand over 6 feet tall, plenty of cargo room for the Wonder Dog, and the back seat is comfortable, too. I am now in debt up to my neck for a car, but I'm doing well at work and have the ability to work more if I want, so I'll do that for a while and make extra payments. The best part (aside from the fact that I can plug my iPod into the car and listen seamlessly through the stereo) is that I feel safe.

Lookee what I got....

Thursday, March 16, 2006

I'm still here! I have a bunch of news & posts and the like stored up, just haven't had a chance to get organized. I'll do that as soon as I can.

I was in San Diego last week for business, god how I miss California sometimes. I had lunch with a friend that I met on my high school swim team, 20 years ago. He looks exactly the same, just some crinkling around the eyes. Just to test my memory, I picked up my rental car and declined the map, tried to just find my way around. With the exception of one wrong turn off a freeway exit, I did great.

I'm dashing now, Alex and I are going shopping for a present for me. More on that later....

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Tonight we have a hockey game - for those who don't know, I bought season tickets for the Avalanche this year. Well, I bought 1/3 of a pair of season tickets. My friend Tara and her husband each had a pair of season tickets going into their marriage, and they are side by side (so four seats all together). Each season, they break a pair of the tickets up into a 3 part series - so I go to a total of about 11 home games this season. Tonight, Tara and her husband are exhausted from having just returned from a trip, so I picked up their tickets as well. Alex and I are taking the kids, they love going to the games.

I love hockey, I always have. Living in Vail as a child, we didn't have an ice rink until we'd lived there about 3 years (we skated on a frozen pond prior to that). Once the arena was built, we'd head over there nearly every day after school. Most days were just free skate, but we also organized our little informal hockey teams and beat the shit out of each other with out sticks. I still have scars on my shins, since we didn't know about pads or helmets or any other protective gear.

As an adult, I find hockey exhilarating, but only if you can see it live. Football and basketball I'm content to watch on TV, but not hockey. Being there, listening to the crowd, being on your feet or poised to scream for most of the game - there is nothing like it. I love how you get to know the styles of the players - like I know that if Rob Blake is anywhere on the opponent's side of the blue line, he's just waiting for the pass that lets him pull out that big gun and fire a shot that's like a bullet. Maybe I'll get to see one of those tonight....

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

I LOVE sales on CDs! I stopped into the Borders near my office on my way back from lunch, and scored 6 CDs for about $40. Today's purchases:

Prince - The Hits 2
Deep Purple - The Very Best of Deep Purple
Control Machete - Uno, Dos: Bandera
Bill Withers - The Best of Bill Withers: Lean on Me
Green Day - Dookie
KC & The Sunshine Band - I'm Your Boogie Man and Other Hits

I know, the last one is questionable - but I've been rocking out to "I'm Your Boogie Man" and "Boogie Shoes" all afternoon. Well worth the $1 that CD cost me.