Sunday, May 30, 2010

Because What's More American Than Baseball?

I still don't like Colorado all that much, but I do have to give Denver its props. It's just over an hour away, so I can sleep in, wake up, go to places like this:

and see things like this:

and still be home around 6:30p!

Coors Field is really nice, too. Very pretty, and the fans were a lot of fun. They do "God Bless America" and "Take Me Out To The Ball Game" for the seventh inning stretch (I don't know if that's an everyday thing or just Memorial Day, though). Lots of recognizing military between half-innings (I got a free ticket thanks to being military!) and they do know how to do a baseball game. I was in the first row of the upper deck, on the first base side, so I could see pretty much everything that was happening on the field. I could even tell (usually) when pitches were strikes or balls. (I was a bit worried that I would fall over the railing - it's only about knee high - and so decided to play it safe and not try to go for any foul balls that came my way. Only one did and it was too high for me anyway.) I sat in front of a dad who was there with his son and daughter, who were clearly not a huge baseball family but were having a good time anyway. Definitely the kids' first time at a major league game, and I think it might have been the dad's, too. They were very fun to listen to, although I did get caught smirking when the kids mentioned “I think hockey rinks get louder than this. Have you heard about how loud Chicago gets when they score a goal?!” I mean, really, how could you not be proud of overhearing THAT? Even schoolkids in Denver know about the Madhouse on Madison! (There were also more than a few Avalanche hats in the crowd.)

Anyway, definitely going to head back to Coors Field again while I'm here. They lost to the Dodgers, who I probably should have been cheering for since they'd technically be my "home" team now, but I've never liked the Dodgers and the Rockies' uniforms are much nicer (purple, white, and black!). I can cheer for Colorado as long as they aren't playing the Cubs!

Back to BW's tomorrow night for Game 2! Go Blackhawks!!

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Stanley Cup Warm-Ups

Killing time before going out to catch the game somewhere alcoholic (and actually getting a chance to watch my Cubs play for once! Remember, I'm the girl who always swore she'd marry a Cub someday. Now I'm conflicted because I kinda want to marry a Blackhawk, too! Can I have both?). Anyway, because “every day is a great day for hockey” (Mario Lemeiux), here’s some classic hockey humor:

By the age of 18, the average American has witnessed 200,000 acts of violence on television, most of them occurring during Game 1 of the NHL playoff series. ~Steve Rushin

A puck is a hard rubber disc that hockey players strike when they can’t hit one another. ~Jimmy Cannon

How would you like a job where, every time you make a mistake, a big red light goes on and 18,000 people boo? ~Jacques Plante

Hockey players wear numbers because you can’t always identify the body with dental records. ~Author Unknown (my current favorite!)

All hockey players are bilingual. They know English and profanity. ~Gordie Howe

And, of course:

I went to a fight the other night and a hockey game broke out. ~Rodney Dangerfield

A few other gems I've found: Intent To Blow gives the Blackhawks Pronger-zombie killing tips and View From My Seats tells you who your teams are cheering for and why. (Pretty funny if you know hockey teams and a little history, a little bit of language.)



Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Memorial Day

Here's a toast to the host
Of those who loved the vastness of the sky,
To a friend we send a message of his brother men who fly.
We drink to those who gave their all of old,
Then down we roar to score the rainbow's pot of gold.
A toast to the host of men we boast, the U.S. Air Force!
-The Air Force Song, third verse

The Airman's Creed
I am an American Airman.
I am a warrior.
I have answered my nation's call.

I am an American Airman.
My mission is to fly, fight and win.
I am faithful to a proud heritage,
A tradition of honor,
And a legacy of valor.

I am an American Airman.
Guardian of freedom and justice.
My nation's sword and shield.
Its sentry and avenger.
I defend my country with my life.

I am an American Airman.
I will never leave an Airman behind.
I will never falter,

Settling In

So Teddie still isn't particularly fond of the fact that he can hear *gasp* Other People outside in the hallway on occasion, and there is that (I assume) very scary cleaning lady (who probably uses a *double gasp* vaccuum cleaner!) who comes in once a day to tidy things up. I have personally never met her, but as she cleans the room and leaves friendly notes afterwards and nothing's been stolen, I'm assuming she's probably okay. Doesn't change the fact that he hides under the bed for at least an hour after I get "home" every day. Silly kitty.

Class is okay. They aren't as fun as my last class - we had a lot of, ah, outgoing personalities in that class, though luckily without the major drama types - but we do have over two months to figure things out, I guess. The topics so far have been review, although we started a new block today that is new information, at least to me. I might drown soon in alphabet soup, though. And some of the stuff we can only study/do onsite, so that makes it more of a challenge. I'm the lowest rank, but it hasn't been too bad. There's a mix of ranks and experience, so I figure as long as I'm respectful and do my best in the class, things will be okay. (The instructors let me knit in class during breaks and "study times"! I might get my afghan done after all!) PT also (so far) hasn't been as bad as I had feared. We did self PT at the gym yesterday, and I was able to do a 5K run on the treadmill pretty comfortably. (Blackhawks TV episodes 1 & 2 may have also helped - one of the guys in class asked me today what I had been giggling at while I was running yesterday! They're still funny, even though I've seen them several times! Note, though - a 5K requires just under two episodes, but if you run the distance, do a cool down, and then stretch, you should be able to finish the second one.)

I still haven't warmed up much to Colorado, though, nor it to me. It's very flat, very Midwest-ish three-quarters of the view and then there's a big old mountain (Pike's Peak, I guess) to the west. It's pretty, I guess, but not as cool to me as driving down the 101. Weird. I'm going to try to make better friends with it this weekend, though. We do get a three day weekend like most of the country, and Denver is only a little over an hour away. I'm thinking about spending Sunday or Monday up there, maybe hitting Denver Zoo (they have a polar bear!) and a Rockies/Dodgers game (kinda hometown team, I guess). I'm also going to try to hit up a sports bar for the games on Saturday and Monday. I know they'll be on NBC, which I do get here in the room, but it would be kind of nice to share the Finals with other hockey fans, even if they are strangers.

Starting to rain here (I guess Denver got a heck of a storm today), and I need some sleep, so I'm gonna crash. Have a good Thursday!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Colorado Girl

Is not as fun as being a California Girl. It IS pretty here, don't get me wrong, and it's warmer here, surprisingly, but it's really weird to not have an ocean to balance out the mountains. And I've had a headache since I started getting into the mountains in Utah last night, no matter how much water I drink. At least the people I've run into today have been much more pleasant and helpful than yesterday, so I don't have quite as bad of a taste in my mouth as I did last night. I even had two guys comment on my Blackhawks t-shirt today - one guy asked if they were really my team or if I just liked it because it sparkled (it has crystals embedded in it) and then proceeded to remind me that the Avalanche play less than an hour away in Denver (which, sadly, does me no good this time of year, seeing as my BLACKHAWKS are now the only Western team still playing!) and the other guy wanted to know how the game went today, which I, of course, was more than happy to tell him.

The room I'm staying in is pretty nice - it has a decent sized living/sleeping space, king-sized bed, kitchenette (with a toaster, which reminds me that I want to get some toaster strudels and Eggos tomorrow), dishes, and a decent internet connection. Most of my favorite TV channels, too, except Versus, so it's probably a good thing that the next games I want to watch are the Finals (YEAH HAWKS!!!) and are supposed to be only on NBC. We'll see. I'm also not looking forward to doing PT up here in the mountain, but I am telling myself that it will help me out enormously when I get back to California. I also noticed an MMA/Fitness center on the main drag here, so I might have to check that out. Teddie has not given his approval to the room, but I notice that he has used his litter box and eaten some food, so that's a good sign.

Class starts tomorrow, and it's a Monday, so blues day. Still gotta get the directions to the base and make sure my regular blues are presentable. Wish me luck!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

One down...

...Two more to go. I’m done with the dorms, thank goodness! It ended up being not as hellish as it started out – once you can start going off-base you start feeling less confined. It really would not have been so bad at all if the phase program had been taken away completely. Like I think I said earlier, I understand why the phase program exists, and probably everyone thinks they deserve to live outside the rules, but the lessons that the phases are supposed to teach have already been learned by people who have already lived on their own for a while. Oh well. In the end, I was able to have as much alone time as I wanted, but I could also have people around whenever I wanted. And the people I ended up having to live with are good people. I ended up as “big sis”, “Blackhawk”, and, of course, “Trouble.” So I really can’t complain too much, but I am glad it’s over and I can live at home, at least for a week. Oh yeah, I forgot to tell you guys – I AM getting sent to Colorado, now. Two and a half months. Yay. But at least I can take the cat with me this time! And I am going to be living in a hotel and not on base.

I have been able to be home frequently, but I haven’t been online much. Mostly because I met a really awesome guy who is cute, smart, talented, ambitious, caring, funny, into family and computers and sports and theater, and not only has heard of, but likes and can quote “McLintock.” We were on opposite schedules, I was on days and he was on swings, so we were usually limited to lunch and dinner during the week and then hung out on weekends. We made the weekends count, though. We went to two shows at PCPA (his idea! And go see “Curtains” this summer – it is VERY funny and well worth it!), saw two movies, played and volunteered at the Santa Barbara County Fair, volunteered at the Special Olympics, went to the Brewery, cooked two dinners at my apartment, and laughed and talked a lot. So we stayed pretty busy despite having limited time together. Of course, I’m leaving for Colorado this coming weekend and he’s getting shipped to Louisiana the week after that to his permanent duty station. How come all the good guys have to leave? ;-)

Speaking of the Special Olympics, if you ever get a chance to help out with one of their events, do it. It can be hard, but it is worth it. I had thought that we would be helping out with setting up and events and booths and stuff, but no. We each got paired up with one of the athletes and spent the day with them, making sure they got to their events on time and cheering them on. My athlete had Down’s Syndrome, and was bilingual! Trying to talk was quite the challenge sometimes! It turned out to be a lot of fun and a very rewarding experience!

Anyway, I haven't been feeling very good today and I have to go back to work (ish) tomorrow, so now that the Blackhawks have won (Go Hawks!!) I think I'm going to take a nap!