Friday, November 25, 2005

Holiday Hi-jinks

Last weekend Mark came to visit. I picked him up at the airport Friday evening, an hour after he was originally scheduled to arrive because Delta decided to change tires on the plane in Cincinnati, and we went immediately to my favorite Oriental restaurant, Coal Mine Dragon. It was very dark and hard to see the mountains but the sky was clear, the air crisp and the stars bright and close enough to touch. We ordered two different entrees and shared while we talked and laughed and ate and caught up. After dinner we drove to my place and settled in for the night with a movie and lots of conversation.

Getting up early Saturday morning was difficult, but we made it, taking turns in the bathroom, and getting to Celebration in time for the first free seminar. It wasn't what I expected and was more of an infomercial than a free seminar. B & B met us there and B was out the door as soon as he could get through the milling crowd at the door and to the car. He didn't like the seminar much either and he wasn't feeling very well. So, Mark and I said goodbye to the guys and went over to Mountain Shadows for brunch, back to Celebration for a look around and to say hello to some friends, as well as scoping out gifts for Xmas, and then we got into the car and headed north to Wilkerson Pass and South Park. The visitor center was closed for the winter, but the views were still as spectacular and beautiful as ever with a white rime of snow frosting everything.

I needed to go to the bathroom and ended up in a porcelain toilet over a windy chasm that spanked my bottom pink with cold. I was so glad to get out of there and shut the lid on that windy hole as soon as possible. We went up 24 to South Park, looked around and headed back down the mountain toward Colorado Springs and the Garden of the Gods.

We wandered around inside, looking, touching, and literally fondling some of the goods in the trading post, eventually getting coffee for Mark and water for me, chatting and watching the out of towners, then getting back in the car to head back to my place. Little did we know that as we turned onto the road out of the trading post parking lot than we were shadowed by a pair of Bs in their Jew Canoe (that's Cadillac for the uninformed). When I parked the car and Mark and I went around to the front of the house who should we bump into than a panting pair of Bs on the front porch claiming they had waited all day for us to arrive. The story came out shortly thereafter and I invited them into the house to get warm and watch a movie or two. And they did -- until a little while later when they mysteriously vanished like their tails were on fire.

I took Mark into the bathroom to show him the cabinet where I keep all my essential oils and the Bs decided to buzz out of there thinking hanky panky was in the works -- or hoping by leaving they could instigate episodes of hanky panky. Mark and I came out of the bathroom to see the living room light out and abandoned and the Jew Canoe leaving the curb in a cloud of dust with squealing tires. I turned out the hall light the guys left on and put in a movie. Mark and I settled on the love seat and talked and laughed and didn't see much of the movie, so we turned off the TV for the night since we had an early morning Sunday.

Needless to say, we were late rising, but it was just in time to go to Front Range BBQ for lunch and a walk around some of Old Colorado City before we headed back to my place for conversation, laughter, and movies -- and another late night.

The next morning I found out Mark's flight had been canceled during the night and rescheduled for later in the afternoon. Go, Delta! I took off work and we puttered around, went out to lunch and headed for the airport. I didn't find out until later they canceled Mark's flight when he started to board the plane and bumped him to another flight that left nearly five hours later. I went to the movies to see Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire with the guys and Mark couldn't get hold of me to let me know. He didn't get home until after 1 a.m. and he called to let me know he made it.

Tuesday John came over to help me load Linux onto my computer and that took about all day. It took a little time and some work, but we finally got it loaded and working while we laughed and talked and took turns taking apart my computer to put in a new hard drive. He had a massage appointment and left fairly early, but he called back a couple times when my DSL suddenly went down and I wasn't able to get the modem to synch up. I wasn't sure if it was something we had done or not, but we figured it out that it was the phone company's problem and nothing we had done. In the meantime, I played with Linux and got into files I haven't seen in a few years -- about three of them.

Wednesday I met someone who has turned out to be very interesting, quite loquacious and more than a little intriguing, all the more so because he called yesterday afternoon to ask if I'd like to go to the gun show this weekend. Today was out because I had to work, but I said yes to going tomorrow.

Interestingly, he is a ham radio operator who has a fondness for guns and edged weapons and reads a lot of the same types of books and genres I read. He has a fondness for cats and he makes me laugh. He also surprises me a lot, even more so when he asked how I felt about going to New Zealand since he has two round-trip tickets to anywhere in the world and has been waiting for someone to share it with. I think it's a little premature to say if we'll be able to tolerate each other's company long enough for a trip to New Zealand, but I have to admit it's flattering to be asked and a pleasure to meet someone who talks more than I do.

Yesterday was turkey day and I cooked a free range turkey and took it over to B & B's along with a salad and some cornbread stuffing and we had a lovely dinner. B makes the best cranberry relish I have ever had and it was more like cranberry mousse than relish. The ham was very good even without the cloves and dinner was a smashing success. We talked and teased and watched six episodes of Queer as Folk and Catwoman.

Queer as Folk is fascinating and funny and sad and fully realized. I can't say as much for Catwoman with Halle Berry. Halle is a talented actress and she is definitely sexy, but the movie left much to be desired. The special effects were badly done and almost cartoon like without the smooth seamless fit they should have been. The effects were campy and overdone and completely unbelievable. Halle was by turns clueless and shy and a definite victim then sexy and cat-footed and aggressive with little segue from one to the other. Sharon Stone was made of stone and the whole plot ludicrous in the extreme. They should have taken better notes from The Wasp Woman in order to make the story more realistic. Corman had the campier and better film despite the lack of high tech dazzling special effects and CGI. Go figure. I'd give Catwoman a miss unless you're looking for bad entertainment and even then I'd borrow it from the library instead of paying money to rent or buy it.

Right now I'm tired and worn from lack of sleep because someone has kept me up for two nights in a row talking on the phone and going through every battery in the house. Not that I'm complaining, mind you, but I do need some sleep to pack the bags under my eyes and store them in the attic or basement very soon if I have any hopes of being scintillating, witty and awake tomorrow. Then there's Sunday to plan and Monday afternoon when Michael takes me to see Pride & Prejudice. I guess it's time to get out my track shoes and start training for the holiday hi-jinks that are bound to ensue.

I have already been invited to two -- and possibly three -- Xmas parties, not to mention spontaneous adventures dreamed up along the way. There's also an antenna to erect when John gets time and who knows what kinds of impromptu kidnappings and hijackings before the year's end. Good thing I am taking the last week of December off and will have 12 days of vacation from doctors who refuse to open their mouths to speak clearly, learn proper pronunciation of medical terminology and technical terms or who insist on either eating while they dictate or speaking at the speed of sound without being able to clearly and succinctly speak one work in a hundred. Silence is golden -- especially when you have to listen to chaos and babbling for months on end.

In the meantime, go enjoy the holidays and dive nose first into the festival trough so you'll have something to resolve not to do again -- until next year.

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