Friday. The wife and I attend the 2008 Punk Rocks show at Red Rocks. The band lineup includes NOFX, Mighty Mighty Bosstones, Bouncing Souls, Street Dogs and young Denver skate punks Frontside Five (the Circle Jerks are a no-show). I soon recognize how old I am when I breeze through beer lines in mere minutes. I soon learn that new punk kids like smoking weed way more than old punk kids. NOFX, Mighty Mighty Bosstones and Bouncing Souls are still awesome. The Street Dogs are the opposites of awesome due to an hour and a half set and a fifteen minute dissertation on who the Ramones are and why they are so important to punk music. The only way to make their set less cliche would have be for the lead singer to not remove his shirt before his Ramones tribute song only to reveal a strategically planned Ramones shirt underneath. I conclude that six hour concerts and $7 beers are not nearly as fun in my thirties as they were in my twenties.
Saturday. Enter the annual neighborhood pool luau. We represent a respectable drinking crew and my next door neighbor’s classic rock cover band melts faces. Our HOA is awesome because they allow (tolerate) my next door neighbor to wheel an ice-cold keg over to the pool to serve free beer. I soon realize that inflatable monkeys cannot sustain the belly-flop weight of a grown man from a diving board. Post-luau we torch a fire in the backyard pit and the wife provides ingredients for ‘smores. Three people fall asleep in their chairs. I conclude that staying up late and drinking until intoxication two nights in a row is not nearly as fun in my thirties as it was in my twenties.
Sunday. My annual fantasy football draft goes down in the living room. Being as this is the fifteenth year of my league’s existence and the same team owners have been in said league for the past six years, I expect the draft to take no more than two hours. Four hours and eight cases of beer later, the draft concludes after much humor, animosity and stupidity (this sums up my fantasy football league perfectly: upon the draft’s conclusion one team owner loudly proclaimed, “I have to get going. I am late for marriage counseling.”) Steak, potatoes and a gigantic apple pie from Costco are then decimated in less than twenty minutes. I conclude that sports gambling and NFL football viewing are not nearly as fun in my thirties as they were in my twenties.
I have been consumed with Olympics viewing all week and thereby disturbing my normal sleep and freelance design routines to watch riveting “sports” such as synchronized diving. The thing I did know about synchronized diving is that synchronized showering and synchronized hot-tubbing are a major part of the “sport.” The first week of the 2008 Beijing Olympics has shown the world that at least one female Chinese gymnast is underage, sportsmanship is not necessarily alive and well in Olympiad and Michael Phelps is kind of good. Maybe Michael Phelps can teach Carmelo Anthony work ethic before the next summer games so Melo shows up ready to compete on the world stage instead of spending his entire first game on the bench after going 0 for 3 from the field.
After running down an errant couch on I-25 with the Ghost of War, the wife and I decided the time was nigh to purchase a new automobile. We first called our credit union to get pre-approved for a loan and were pleased to learn they offered their customers a free auto broker service. This was exactly what I wanted to hear as car salesman rank in character somewhere between necrophiliacs and Rent-A-Center employees to me. The wife and I were referred to a genial gentleman named Gordon. He called to inform of us of an auto inventory showcase they were having the next day and invited us to come down and test drive whatever he had. So we did. He introduced himself and then became scarce and the wife and I spent the rest of the morning speeding new and used whips around the hills near Morrison, Colorado. We fell in love with the 2008 Toyota RAV4, both for the V6 engine and the stellar Consumer Reports ratings (thanks EZ). After discussing the features we were looking for in an automobile with Gordon, he informed us that he would scour the Denver metro area for what we wanted. The next day he called to inform us that he procured a 2008 flint-colored, moonroofed Toyota RAV4 and that he was driving it up to the crib to let us take it for a spin. We loved the damn thing (of course) and two days and fifteen minutes of paperwork later, the wife and I had us a new ride.
I made my final voyage in the Ghost of War yesterday (a youngster in Castle Rock bought her for $500) first to Santiagos for a sack of breakfast burritos and then to the office. She was a steady machine that gave me scant trouble in ten years of hard driving (I work a clutch like a Mexican field hand works a burro). Godspeed, Ghost of War. May all your future rides be down the smoothest of couch-free roads.
Tonight on our drive down to south Denver for a hockey game, the Ghost of War smashed into an errant sofa on I-25 at about 75 mph (the sofa conveniently lay on the highway less than three hundred feet from Furniture Row). Thanks, Jake Jabs. I am guessing that a new sofa purchaser, unskilled in the art of twine and furniture hauling, dropped that big bastard on the road upon merging and failed to look in their rear view mirror to notice that their load was lost. The sofa lay in the far right lane as we sped along in the far left lane. An eighteen wheeler barreled through said sofa and sent it careening across the highway. The Ghost of War happened it be directly in its wake. I swerved enough to deflect the brunt of the blow, but the old girl still got tagged pretty good. The damage included the passenger side mirror being shattered into oblivion, a large dent on the passenger side door and the passenger side headlight being bashed to pieces. Being as the Ghost of War still gets 35 miles to the gallon and is paid for, I am running her for at least another 100K. I plan on hitting the Yota Yard at lunch tomorrow for some replacement parts as it is close to the office and located directly across the street from the Walnut Room (which makes a mean meatball sandwich). May the parts be with me, indeed.
Now that the bulged disc is mostly healed, the sciatic nerve is growing less annoying by the day and my stupid injury is tolerating two league nights of ice hockey again, the wife and I decided to get back on the fitness train. For Xmas we bought ourselves a treadmill and are looking into a bench and dumbbell set (I am hoping some recently divorced father of three will be unloading a joint cheap on Craigslist because he is moving into a crappy one bedroom apartment due to crushing monthly alimony and child support payments). These fitness items all fit nicely into our unfinished basement. My goal is to be back in pristine condition for the 2008 Runnin’ Of The Green in the middle of March (Runnin’ Of The Green is a 7K road race through downtown Denver which features free beer and corned beef upon crossing the finish line. The Irish finally got something right).
On Monday we started a high-fiber, high-vitamin cleansing that has shaved four pounds off my middle and has seen feces flying from my ass faster than a midget being fired from a cannon (I tallied a lifetime record ten bowel movements today that were both refreshing and enjoyable). We finish said cleansing this Saturday when I will start eating solid food again in lieu of fitness shakes and health bars.
Saturday saw the send off for my buddy Wil who is walking the Earth for the next six months to a year. He will return home whenever his money or his transsexual hooker sugar daddy connections dry up (literally). We procured a limo for his last evening in the city and took a dive bar tour of Denver in style. Some highlights:
- The limo was compliments of one of my work clients who hooked us up with an amazing deal. He gave us a two week old Mercedes Benz limo for the night and stocked it with complimentary beer, gin, whiskey and champagne. The whip was so new that the stereo could only play CDs as the sound system was like the Death Star in Return Of The Jedi and not yet fully operational. We only brought one CD between the seven of us. Said CD was a shitty local techno band and ended up being fired from the limo window by night’s end.
- At My Brother’s Bar, they have bacon listed as a menu item.
- Number of individuals in our group that ordered bacon: 2.
- Number of individuals that asked the waitress to “Look away” as he attempted to pick up and eat a strip of bacon that fell of the floor: 1.
- The Hilltop, my favorite college-era haunt, did not fail to disappoint (except for the omission of “Ballad Of The Green Berets” from the jukebox which was the traditional way to close all drinking benders back in the day). While walking into the bar a guy came out yelling “Who needs some blow? Some meth? Some X?” While sitting at the bar some troll-looking kid was attempting to start a fight with the a gentleman three times his size. The bartender encouraged smoking after asking if we were cops and than proceeded to light up and “fuck the anti-smoking laws.”
- Changing the name of a strip club from Cheerleaders to The Player’s Club does not make your joint instantly classier. You still have to wash the vomit and sweaty ass from the carpet.
- Number of individuals in our group that had their wife pick them up from The Player’s Club: 1.
- Number of individuals in our group that lost an electronic device sometime during the night: 2.
- Number of individuals in our group that were called by the limo company with the whereabouts of their lost electronic device: 1.
Be sure to rubber up in the jungle, Wil. Once you establish your white warlord presence in Belize, we will be down to slaughter cattle with machetes in front of the locals as a lesson not to cross you. In short, be safe and enjoy your adventures.
The rain falls softly on the metal roof. OJ is currently in jail for a B and E. I inhaled eight tacos and a bowl of green chili with Team Hofkamp during the Broncos game yesterday. Two homeless guys just walked by our office window with four shopping carts full of cans that were covered with assorted tarps and bungee cords yet neither were wearing a rain slicker or a poncho. I get free Brothers BBQ for lunch today. We just learned that one of our freelance designers is a con-artist and wanted for fraud. Pumpkin pie sounds delicious.
Conspiracy theorists have long been masturbating to DIA for its seemingly clandestine activities. To date, the Freemasons, Illuminati, UFOs, underground military bases and reptilian aliens have all been linked to Denver International Airport. Prophetic messages are claimed to be seen in the art murals of Leo Tanguma that predict the impending apocalypse (conspiracy theorists apparently have never taken an art history course nor are familiar with Mexican muralista painters). Traveling in and out of DIA on countless occasions I have never seen any concentration camps full of reptilian aliens nor any Freemasons holding a virgin sacrifice in Concourse A, but I have seen some long goddamn lines at the Frontier check-in counter.
In case you have not noticed by the recent minimal posting, these past few months have been a blur of work and liquor. I have been pulling some long hours in order to catch our production schedule up to an acceptable level as well as drinking at a frat boy pace during an autumn social (a charity golf tournament this past Saturday had me knocking back Bloody Mary’s at seven in the morning). Tonight our office park held an “official” open house rife with free hooch, gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches and pulled pork fajitas. We got the chance to chat up our neighbors who are mostly architects, photographers, creative types, tech junkies and one drug addict painter contracted to complete odd jobs until the end of the year. As I post this I am draining a glass of scotch and researching how to create a typing text effect in Flash. Welcome to my OCPD.
One downfall of the new office location is the lack of decent eateries. Despite the area being redeveloped into the fancy new architecture/design district, we are still surrounded by industrial warehouses and old cement factories that closed during the Carter Administration. Our immediate food options include two McDonalds gas station annexes, a Quiznos and a strip mall Mexican joint that does not deserve to be named. These past few days we have been venturing into nearby Five Points as it provides places to eat that specialize in food rather than Coors. For those unfamiliar, Five Points is one of the oldest neighborhoods in Denver that is renowned for its jazz history, its rich black heritage and its high crime rates (or perception thereof). Today, upon Jake’s recommendation, we rolled up on Tom’s Home Cookin’ for some soul food. I ordered the fried chicken, mashed potatoes, collard greens and corn bread and am still wallowing in its delicious glory. My boss was rendered speechless by the peach cobbler and proclaimed upon regaining his facilities that our future intern would soon be making afternoon cobbler runs. The best part of the dining experience came after the meal when we walked back to the car and caught the chef sharpening his butcher knife on a curb in the parking lot.