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December 5, 1999
two years ago

Fort Collins

Woke up with a craving for oatmeal. So I indulged and made a fresh batch of it. The world outside was snowy and cold and it seemed perfect to have the hot, warm, filling treat. John agreed and the two of us enjoyed a good portion of the stuff with plenty of mac nuts, brown sugar and dried fruit. I had absolutely no desire to sit at home and look at the TV or the computer, so proposed an adventure somewhere, anywhere, away from home.

John proposed Fort Collins, and since I had no idea why not, we decided to do so.

I got ready, got caught up in a book I started last night, Dragon's Bait by the same lady who wrote Companions of the Night. Both books are fantasy about teenage girls that get into mysterious and dangerous adventures with nearly inhuman teenage boys. In one case, a vampire, in the other case a dragon who can be human for a while. I think I would have enjoyed them more if they weren't so darned close to some of the fantasies I've had about being involved with, romantically, a being that was far different than human. The thing that poked me the most was the niggling feeling that, in the end, their inhuman qualities were changed because the girl loved them. Eventhough they were dangerous, amoral, and also very lonely, there was the feeling that if the girl just loved them *enough* or sacrificed *enough*, they would change for the better.

A very, very dangerous fantasy. And one I know I bought into big time when I was younger, which is why I've done some of the things I've done. Some of it to some really large damage to myself.

But I really liked the story because it really did play to those parts of me, those stories I don't think I ought to tell, but really are laid deep down in my heart.

I stopped because we had to go. And the day was brilliant out. Cool and crisp and beautiful. The snow hadn't reached as far north as Fort Collins, so, up there, the ground was bare and dry. Quite the difference from home, and likely an even bigger difference from south of Denver.

Our first stop was a hardware store that John had been getting mailers for for some time. They had good deals, good stuff, and a really cool store, that we wandered about in wonder with. I really had fun just shopping with John and grabbing everything and anything he really looked like he wanted. Later he said that it was really fun to shop with me because I actually put things in the cart when he says he wants them instead of saying that we could think about it and come back later. They had lots of really keen stuff, from rolling platforms to lie on to get under a car, to a rolling stool for staying close to the ground but still being able to move about, to solidly built tricycles. There were all kinds of tools and toys and things like a crank-operated radio. We played with them all, got a few things, and wandered on.

Downtown Fort Collins is made up of a whole lot of shops, restaurants, and keen places to wander. It's mostly new and the area is made up so that walking is easy, and there's quite a few block's worth of this kind of thing all centralized there. So we parked just outside the area and started wandering. Through eclectic art shops to candleshops, from kitch to books. We just wandered through most places, but spent some time at The Stone Lion, which is a very keen bookstore with a stone lion in the from foyer. The basement had all the used book bargains, and that's where I found a whole bunch of books that I wanted. A big bag of books later, we were out on the street looking for lunch.

It took a while to find an interesting enough place and we ended up at a brew pub where they served real British-style chips and some very interesting food. I ended up with a cream of endive soup that was rich with vegetables and really good along with a smoked brisket half a sandwich. John's burger came exactly as he ordered it without as many chips as we really wanted, but when he mentioned the lack to the waitress she cheerfully brought an entire plate of the crisp, meaty fries! Yay! I'd spotted a mango tart on the specials menu on the way in and when we were done with our meal, I asked our waitress if it might be available, yet, and she went and found out that, yes, it was available! That was very keen. The mango on the tart was ripe and sweet and smooth, the puff pastry underneath was crisp and rich, and there was a sprinkling of dried cherries amid a pile of whipped cream. Heaven. I'm glad I asked.

On the way home we stopped by the Outlet Mall along I-25 and found a few more four ounce ramkins as well as anti-snoring pillows for the two of us. Solid foam things that looked like they's support the head and neck in alignment with the spine, so it might help my back as well. It was nice to know what we wanted and know that we were getting pretty good deals on the things we found. I really like the Corningware outlet. Lots of nice things for storage and fun.

Dinner was simple. Soup and leftover bow, steamed to heat. I watched some football and some Iron Chef, because it was on. Sleep with the new pillow was a little problematic for me as I wasn't sure how to use it and shifted a lot in the night while I was trying to adjust to it. Not that much fun, but when I really did line things up right my sinuses cleared, my spine really felt straight and I felt pretty good. Interesting to have it make such a difference.

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