Monday, October 13, 2008

Colorado Springs, And Some Kid

You may remember that I have a friend named Josh. What you may not remember is that he once went to the Air Force Academy, and you may not remember this because I never said it. But he did go, and by go I mean attended rather than just visited for a weekend. That means he has horrible memories of the place. And through a combination of fate, circumstance, a military wife, and dramatic irony, he's recently moved back to Colorado Springs (where the Academy is), and so when I went to visit him a few weeks ago, of course I made him take me there and relive his four torturous years in blue wool.
We packed up his new kid Tristan and headed out for the campus. I don't have a kid, so I am raising one vicariously through Josh. I continually learn new things about babies, and the thing I learned this time is that babies are heavy. Josh explained that he'd been carrying the little monster since before he knew how to smile, and so was accustomed to the weight. I, on the other hand, had not seen Tristan since he learned to smile, and so after a while, I was sorry I volunteered to lug him around. Another thing I learned is that two guys walking around sharing a baby appear gay.

Josh showed me a big plaza where he suffered the indignities of being a freshman, but what I really came to see was this... the chapel building. I'd seen pictures of this place everywhere, and it was on the list of Places To See Before I Check Out. He explained to me that even though he's not religious, he'd go to church on Sundays because they killed you if you didn't. Apparently it's also your main base in one of the strategy-type video games Josh used to play, and when he was feeling sour about the A.F., he'd let the enemy blow it up.

The architecture lends itself to some amazing photo opportunities.

Out front, it's a chapel like any other, with big wooden doors and signs that say what the guy up front is going to say about the man up top this coming weekend. We finally got inside after some low comedy with Tristan's ATV-like stroller.

I thought the outside was amazing. The stained glass as seen from the inside is ridiculously beautiful, especially since you really can't see where it is. It's set into very small squares in the stone, and somehow magnifies the effects of light and color without being slapped across the entire side of the church. Here Josh, who hardly ever appreciates anything, appreciates that effect.

After the tour, we hit McDonalds, where Tristan demonstrated his latest talent, which is reaching out and picking up food by himself.

He's not necessarily too swift with it after that, but it's a start.

He was never at all sure what to think of me, though.


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