Last night I watched the Avs home opener from a luxury suite at the Pepsi Center (the boys lost to the Stars 2-3 in OT). The old man, Jake, Nels and Aaron were also in attendance. My pops was responsible for the hook up as he procured the tickets through assorted work connections. The suite came equipped with a private bathroom, assorted domestic beers, food platters, period-by-period stat sheets and a computer with internet connection. Our luxurious time was surrounded by famous radio personalities with fake cans (Clear Channel suite next door), one drunk fan trying to start an “AVS RULE!” cheer (seats below us) and silver bucket of ice, Coors products and sunshine. The life of an unemployed artist is glamorous and fulfilling.
The future wife and I have been wallowing in our own filth and muscular atrophy (Read: on vacation). When presented with the choice of showering, posting to the MB or watching three-star movies on cable television for the past three days, we have been going for the latter. Here is an incomplete list of the Christmas booty I tallied this year:
- New golf bag.
- Dark brown Donnie Brasco leather jacket.
- Assorted sweaters not of the seasonal print and Cosby design variety.
- Assorted button down shirts of the striped, metrosexual variety.
- Colorado Avalanche hooded sweatshirt that will magically fix the team’s goaltending woes and teach Patrice Brisebois how to play defense.
- The books Freakonomics, Teacher Man, Angels and Demons, Slapstick, His Excellency and Idiots At Work.
I will not be posting any 2005 retrospectives that include major news events, major life changing events, places I traveled to, New Years resolutions and any other end of the year bullshit cliches that populate most blogs. I will be spending the upcoming New Year holiday playing in an ice hockey tournament and toasting warm Canadian Hunter with a hirsute family member, his wife, Mister and Misses Chili Dog, Monica, her pretty boyfriend Matt and my beautiful future wife.
With our stomachs full of barbecue and cheap domestic beer, we made our way to the southernmost area of your backyard to throw horseshoes this Monday last. We defeated the Chili Dog and Nebraska Sally four times in a five game set. I urge you to revisit the exhilaration of our matches in your mind, recalling how we were hurling the shoes with pinpoint accuracy and standing on a cloud amongst the horseshoe gods. Now, envision feeling these thrills all summer long; the faint clanging sounds of horseshoes finding their mark, the soft flame of Tiki torches and citronella candles flickering along the border of the pit, the drunken banter of gentlemen poking fun of their opponents penis sizes and abnormal birth defects, the classic rock anthems being played loudly from outdoor speakers and most importantly, the beer; the endless cans of cold beer wet with condensation that we suckle from like swaddling babes from their mother’s teat. I understand that your wife wants a garden where we throw the horseshoes. May I remind you that the most successful marriages are those in which couples make compromises (may I also remind you that I was the best man at your wedding, perhaps the most important day of your life, entrusted with the safekeeping of your betrothed’s ring, delivering an emotional toast at the reception and holding a handful of cash during the dollar dance without stealing any of it) and in which case I have a compromise for you and your wife. Plant her garden in between the stakes, while we raise the back of the horseshoe pit up with landscaping boxes and fill said boxes with sands from the various deserts of Asia Minor. I will gladly help with any labor that becomes of this endeavor because we need this horseshoe pit. We deserve this horseshoe pit.
My lady and I spent most our Fourth of July holiday in Steamboat Springs. It was the first time I had seen Steamboat Springs in the summer time and sober (the last time I was there it was 14 degrees, I was blasted out of my skull and cruising down Howelsen Hill on a crude sledding device at obscene speeds). We also engaged in water park revelries with family members, ate some barbecue and threw some ‘shoes. It was a relaxing way to celebrate the signing of the Declaration Independence. Added bonus: watching some skinny Asian freak inhale four times his body weight in hot dogs.
Nels: I haven’t had fun since the early nineties.
Me: Really? What did said fun entail?
Nels: Ballerinas and monkeys dressed up in Civil War costumes.
Me: Well who couldn’t have fun with ballerinas?
Nels: Monkeys dressed up in Civil War costumes.
Saturday night my lady and I attended Nels and Kerry’s third annual pumpkin carving party. It was her first experience combining gourds, stabbing implements and hard alcohol. My pumpkin was voted best in party (The design on my jack-o-lantern can be seen at most truck stops across America). I was finished carving in fifteen minutes and left to drink hot cider laced with rum* while my lady worked her ass off implementing a creative idea she read about in a home living magazine. Many jack-o-lanterns looked far better than my own, but my victory is proof positive of one indisputable fact: sex sells.
* Hot cider and rum are a lethal combination. One has difficulty tasting rum in hot cider, so after drinking five or six cups, inebriation hits you like a pimp who has not received his cut of the money. At one point, I filled a standard twelve ounce plastic cup half full of rum and half full of cider. I gave the drink to my lady, who at the time was completely sober. She took one sip and said, “Did you put any rum in this? I do not taste anything.” Needless to say, we stumbled home from the party as if we had been drinking at a Kennedy compound mixer.
Weddings are usually a source of happiness as two people commit and celebrate their love in a timeless ceremony amongst family and friends. They are also a great place to get rip-roaring drunk and fuck some shit up. While I never bit a man’s finger off or smeared cake on a child, I do recall (vaguely) one wedding I attended six years back:
- The ceremony is in North Denver and I ride shotgun to it with my cousin, Monica. Both of our mothers asked us to show up early and help set up chairs. We arrive 20 minutes late because we had to stop for cigarettes.
- Monica and I sit in the back of the church during the ceremony. We make crass comments about a family member’s hairpiece that gives him the appearance of a young Ringo Starr. Joking in a British accent I say things like, “Hey Paul, it’s time to get married.” Monica giggles like a dirty schoolgirl.
- The ceremony ends and Monica and I realize the reception is at the Boettcher Mansion (near Golden, Colorado) nearly an hour away. We stop off at a local liquor where nobody speaks English before we begin the trek.
- In the car we consume alcohol as quickly as possible. We smoke many cigarettes.
- We arrive at the reception hall drunk. I sign the guestbook “Matt.” I have neither a gift nor a card for the couple. Nels and my sisters have saved us seats at a table. We proceed to the bar.
- The greatest combination of words in the English language: open bar.
- After dinner, our table is trashed and loud. Family and friends shush us. Nels and I decide to get a round of anisette shots for the table for the toast. We drink all the shots on the way back to the table and wind up going back for more.
- The anisette shots are downed at the table before the toast even begins. Then we remember they bring around champagne for the toast. Instead of waiting for the caterers to pour us the bubbly, Monica acquires a bottle for our table and after taking the first pull proclaims, “No more for me. I have to drive home.”
- The garter belt ceremony begins. Nels, my sister’s date Mike and I stand in the pit of bachelors. The garter is flung and gets caught in the chandelier. Nels and I decide to hoist Mike up to the chandelier to grab the garter. Our sense of balance is skewed thanks to the alcohol we have consumed and Mike nearly falls on his face as we lift him. Mike braces himself against the chandelier, grabs the garter and jumps down. The chandelier swings wildly for about five minutes. My grandmother looks scared.
- I see a hot girl and ask my Mom if I am related to her. She says no. I ask hot girl to dance. At this point I have spilled liquor all over the front of my shirt and smell like a brewery but she says yes anyway. As we dance I sing the song being played loudly in her ear. When the dance is over she informs me she is leaving and gives me her phone number. As she walks away I blurt out, “You look hot, and I am not just saying because I am drunk.” (Days after the wedding I forget the number is in my pants pocket and it gets ruined in the wash).
- Reception ends late. Nels and I talk the bartender in giving us some beers for the road. We smuggle them out in our dress pant pockets.
- Monica ends up chauffeuring most of our drunken table home. We get stopped at a sobriety checkpoint. Luckily, Monica is now sober and passes with flying colors. I sit in the backseat staring blankly at her walking a straight line with an open beer in my hand and the remnants of a twelve pack at my feet. Much later I realize that if I were asked out of the backseat we would have all spent the night in lock-up.
I just returned home from a visually exquisite, physically exhausting backpacking trip in the Sangre De Cristo Wilderness. I tagged along with Nels, his wife and their two dogs. I have pictures but I am too wiped out to retrieve my digital camera from the bag and plug it into the computer to share them with you. You will see me, with my mountain man beard and all my backpacking glory later this week. Many humorous anecdotes and witticisms were exchanged as we toiled along remote mountain trails, but in my opinion, the best came from me (of course) when discussing anal sex: “It is a game of inches.”
An interesting footnote: On the way home we took a minor detour to see Bishop Castle. In case you are unfamiliar with Colorado lore, for the past 30 years eccentric Jim Bishop has been building a castle, all by himself. We had to see it to believe it. As I bore witness to over 30 years of one man’s work (and enjoying the anti-government mantras written on sandwich-board signs dotting the castle landscape) I could say only one thing: “Interesting. Hey, are you guys ready to go?”
Friday. Work late to complete a corporate Flash presentation that nobody will pay attention to. After work, I play in a coed softball game where my team wins 26-4 and the opposing team’s third baseman catches a ground ball with her face and breaks her nose. Immediately following the game a torrential downpour ensues and I sprint to my car leaving my glove on the field. I roll to Tyler’s house and play College Football with the Slushy Gutter Crew. At one point in the evening Tyler pours me either a glass of bourbon, scotch, or whiskey. I drink it and proceed to kick his ass with Virginia Tech 30-14. On the way home I realize that I left my mitt on the softball field.
Saturday. I attend my company picnic and run the corporate Flash presentation I put in long hours over. Surprisingly, people pay attention, laugh and tell me good job. After the presentation the picnic continues at a nearby park with a luau theme and a pig roasting. I eat heaping platefuls of swine and mingle with coworkers. Jake, Gay Joe and I make fun of some pasty kid trying to play football. We call him “Mary” and giggle like the dickheads we are. Joe tells us about his homosexual encounters the previous evening. Hula dancers many years past their prime shake their asses for our amusement. I volunteer to dance with them, throwing my inhibitions into the wind like Kevin Bacon in Footloose. I perform a dance with pom-poms and hip gyrations. I win the grand prize in the company raffle (a $200 gift certificate to the Flagstaff House). After the picnic, I attend a lesbian wedding with Monica, Kaye, Aaron, Nels and Kerry. We quickly become the obnoxious drunk table at the reception. A plant is passed around and the recipient of said plant gives a toast. A diverse blend of people wishes the couple well including a militant lesbian with an attitude problem and a sexual predator with disheveled hair holding a kid that liked to hit people in the face. I share my toast with the happy couple, lifting my glass and saying, “Here’s to eating pussy.” They laugh hysterically. I love the lesbians and wish them the best. We roll to Monica’s crib for a nightcap. I discover Kaye does not like playing drinking games with me. Monica informs me she picked up my softball glove up after our game. This makes me happy.
Sunday. I wake up at noon with a screaming hangover. I pour a glass of water and take ibuprofen. I watch Panic Room on digital cable. I drink a glass of water. I make a trip to Home Depot to buy some sandpaper and steel wool. I drink a glass of water. I strip paint for four hours. I drink three glasses of water. My Mom calls and invites me to dinner. I drink a glass of water. I drive to my parents house and eat spaghetti and garlic bread for dinner. We discuss home improvement. I go home to play a game of College Football. Colorado State beats Wyoming 21-3. Nels picks me up for our hockey game. I tally a hat trick and an assist. I drink seven glasses of water. Mark throws a shoe at Nels’s face. I come home and take a shower. I go to sleep. If anyone asks me what I did this weekend, I will say, “Nothing.”
Friday was Colorado Rockies opening day, and attendance is an annual tradition amongst my circle of degenerates, er, friends. Once a year, we brave the concrete jungles of lower downtown Denver and binge drink like it was a Kennedy mixer. In the fuzzy haze that was Colorado Rockies Opening Day 2003, here is a list of events that may or may not have occurred:
- I consumed six beers and a hamburger before the game began. During the game I consumed three beers, one foot long hot dog, a bag of peanuts and a tub of nachos.
- At one point in the game, the intoxicated gentleman sitting in front of me (who was rocking a rat tail) got up and hollered, “Fuck you Walker! You fucking suck!” to right fielder Larry Walker. Larry Walker has a career .316 batting average and has won seven Gold Gloves.
- It was discovered by Nels and I during Colorado Rockies Opening Day 2002 that Hooters does not serve hard liquor. That fact, however, did not stop us from attempting to order a Jack and Coke at Hooters this year.
- I can throw a baseball 60 miles per hour while heavily intoxicated.
- Magnetic schedules make excellent missiles to hurl at the opposing team’s outfielders.
- An ex-stripper showed half of the bar her breast implants during post Colorado Rockies Opening Day 2003 revelries at Swankys. We happened to be sitting next to her at the bar when this occurred. One member of our party claims to have been instrumental in talking her into the flash.
- Within our immediate group two fights almost broke out. Reason for fight number one: One party comments on how amazing it was to supposedly talk an ex-stripper out of her shirt. Another party (me) comments on how easy it is to talk any ex-stripper out of her shirt. Reason for fight number two: One party comments half-jokingly that Nebraska would lose to Colorado State in football if they played this year, thus desecrating Nebraska football and its entire history and tradition. Another party, who happens to be a Nebraska fan, was heard yelling, “Don’t judge Big Red, motherfucker.” Unfortunately, one party of our group was involved in both potential skirmishes.