Yesterday I rolled into the local liquor superstore Total Beverage to replenish my depleted garage refrigerator beer stocks and keep the wife happy with a thumb-hole jug of Tanqueray and assorted flavors of tonic water. Total Beverage is a magical place where the end of the liquor rainbow meets with the weakness of humankind to form an alcohol purgatory where all stripes and strata of society are equal in the eyes of their liquid master. In the checkout line I witnessed the following things:
- Two morbidly obese females getting their fake IDs confiscated by the manager.
- An Eminem reject attempting to purchase two 40 ounces of Olde English and a carton of GPC Basic cigarettes only to realize that he did not have enough money to purchase said items. He eventually settled for one 40 ounce and one pack of smokes.
- A frazzled store clerk having the following sarcastic exchange with an oblivious 8-Mile after he figured out his money situation:
“Why are you guys so busy today?”
“It’s Mother’s Day Weekend. Mom’s like to get down.”
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.
I recently learned that I have a herniated disc. I tweaked my back after a hockey game last November and have spent the last year in varying degrees of agony. Bouncing around jobs and health providers this past year has not helped the recovery process. Nor has sitting in front of the computer nine to ten hours a day designing websites. Nor has playing in three softball leagues, two hockey leagues, one kickball league and running in six road races. These past few days I have been laid up on the couch and experiencing excruciating pain when attempting to put socks on. I started physical therapy on Tuesday and have an appointment with a reputable chiropractor tomorrow afternoon. I will be taking it easy for the next few weeks whacked out of my skull on horse-grade anti-inflammatories and tall glasses of bourbon.
For those uninitiated with high plains landscaping, juniper bushes are abundant as they flourish in arid soil and spread faster than an STD on a college campus. My hatred for this vile shrub dates back to my high school years when I worked at a golf course and spent much of one summer removing throngs of this coniferous abortion. Upon purchasing our house, I knew that cutting up the overgrown junipers in our front yard would be imminent. This weekend, while the wife was playing in a softball tournament, I chainsawed one bush to the ground. The work was taxing and sweat poured from every orifice but it was also satisfying. The plan is to remove all the junipers in the next few weeks and plant more aesthetically pleasing and manageable shrubs in their place.
Aside: I have yet to finalize a method for pulling the stumps/roots out of the ground. I have narrowed it down to three ways:
- The Firestarter Method. Pour kerosene/gasoline on the stumps. Wait three weeks until root dies. Remove.
- Granpappy’s String-To-Tooth-To-Door-And-Slam Method. Tie one end of chain around root base and the other end to a truck trailer hitch (truck must have four wheel drive). Accelerate and remove.
- Aquaman Method. Saturate root with water. Remove with pick axe.
Last night our kitty threw down with a neighbor cat that wandered into our backyard (the wife described the interloper as twice her size and black). I was upstairs on the computer when I heard the ruckus. The wife bolted out the back door after the whirlwind of fur, fangs and claws to break it up. The felines were spry and the fight quickly spilled over the fence and into the neighbors yard leaving no time for the wife to hurl a broom javelin style between the cats like my late grandfather Broz. Kitty came strolling to the back door an hour later seemingly unfazed by the scrap. Further inspection revealed a bloody back paw and a claw that had been snapped off (hopefully in her opponents face). Her psychological well being seemed off the rest of the night (more so than usual) and we were concerned she tangled with some diseased pussy. To our relief, she woke us this morning in her normal manner; laying on our faces, licking our faces and purring like a chain saw. We can only hope she clawed the eyes out of her opponent and taught it a lesson.
Tonight the wife and I will be attending the Gwen Stefani concert at the Pepsi Center and joining throngs of anorexic sorority sisters whacked out on Dexatrim, underage girls adorned in midriff shirts and flaming homosexual men badly singing, “This shit is bananas, B-A-N-A-N-A-S!” I bought her the tickets for Valentines Day after scoring a sweet deal on StubHub that will put us in the fifteenth row. This should be a close enough to turn the wife into a blubbering mess of drunken fan girl as well as fill my masturbatory database for a solid year after catching shots of dew and early morning fur from the Pussycat Dolls.
Post-Concert Update: A Gwen Stefani fan demographic I completely overlooked yesterday: lesbians. Namely, hardcore, golf coaching, femullet sporting, hardware store lesbians. We were lucky enough to sit next to a fun couple that fit into this aforementioned classification. Not only were they friendly, half drunk and had a great sense of humor; they enjoyed making out during most of Gwen’s ballads. I was saddened to learn the Pussycat Dolls were not opening (I was fed misinformation) and instead had to listen to the verbal abortion that is Lady Sovereign. Akon took the stage next and was solid all around save for the ten minutes he gave the mic to some Beyonce-wannabe hack signed to his label that sucked the life out of the crowd. Akon sang about the ghetto and being in love with strippers and made countless inquires to the female audience members while taking off a shirt saying, “Ladies are you ready for this?” Eventually he got rid of the shirt all together and informed us it was alright to do so because he goes to the gym and gets “his fitness right.” Gwen Stefani took the stage amid the piercing shrieks of thousands of middle school girls and proceeded to dominate the set. She was at her best when the show antics were at a minimum (she had a troupe of break dancers and Japanese girls doing all sorts of shit behind her) and did one song in the middle of the crowd (much to delight of the folks sitting in general admission). She accidentally called Colorado “Utah” in the middle of a song, but she made up for it by mocking herself for the slip up afterward and displaying her naked, shredded midriff and scantily-covered “mom” boobs for the rest of the night. Overall I would say it was a great performance. Walking out of the venue we ran into my best friend growing up and his girlfriend (he also bought her the tickets for Valentines Day) and we decided to stop into Brooklyn’s for “a drink.” After downing six beers each we then headed home.
These past few weeks the wife and I have been up to our tits in U-Hauls, moving boxes, giant Tupperware containers and throngs of able-bodied help throwing our furniture around for the promise of free food and liquor (including one tattooed freakshow who has visited the new crib twice since moving day but has yet to bring over any housewarming scotch). Amidst the chaos we only lost one small mirror that the wife purchased on clearance at Marshalls. While the wife was conveniently out of town I spent the past few days unpacking, trimming juniper bushes, raking leaves, committing genocide on the ant colony in the mud room, configuring the entertainment center and setting up my office. My Dad gave me a bevy of tools; rakes, shovels, hedge clippers, an extension cord, a pruner, a hatchet, a lawnmower and a gas trimmer that came with the spoken caveat, “Don’t tell your mother I gave it to you. I just bought it last summer.” A housewarming party will be imminent. Bring scotch.
The moment of truth arrived for the wife and I as potential property owners this past Saturday; the dreaded home inspection. The first few times we walked into the house we were awash in euphoria and statements like “We could put our [furniture piece] in this corner” or “We could do [short-term project that will turn into a long-term project] this summer.” The reckoning arrived in the form of an elderly gentlemen with shaky hands and a red Geo Metro. Being as the home inspection is a make-or-break affair, I called in Big Guns (read: my Dad) to tag along while the inspector eviscerated our future residence. My old man is the working class hero of North Metro Denver, somewhat akin to Bruce Springsteen minus the gravely voice and the E-Street Band. Whenever something breaks, my Dad “Has a guy” for it. Usually that guy has a blue collar handle like Jimbo or Murph and will charge you little to no labor costs to fix the problem. The inspector was a friendly and competent man, and aside from my Dad correcting him about an electrical box and aluminum wiring being legal for certain types of jobs, he wrote a fine report. He mentioned on numerous occasions that the house was “well built” and “has good guts.” Aside from some leaky gutters, a pipe that needs tightening, a sewer line scoping and siphon valves that need to be installed on the sprinkler system, the future homestead is in solid working order. On a related note my Dad just sent over a quote this morning that his sprinkler guy Bruno gave him to install the siphon valves. He agreed to do most of the work for cost.