The aftermath of the nature’s windy wrath has been rife with insurance adjusters, fence contractors, gutter repairmen and one unemployed handyman that was canvasing our neighborhood door-to-door who claimed he could reset our fence posts for “next to nothing” (I quickly learned that “next to nothing” in unemployed handyman talk comes out to be roughly $750). The insurance adjuster stopped by on Saturday morning to assess our property damage and surprisingly turned out to be a genial individual with a soul. Not only did he agree to our damage assessment to the house and fence, he gave us money to replace our hammock that looks more beat up than Tara Reid’s midsection and some roof shingles that may or may not have been ruined via the storm. Minus our $1,000 deductible, insurance will cover nearly 100% of our property damage which was far more than we expected. This week I will be supervising gutter and fence contractors hammer away on the homestead in the chilly January air from the office window while I drink coffee in the warmth.
Early this morning the wife and I awoke to the hurricane force winds. In Colorado. In the winter. When champagne powder should be falling from the sky, young lovers should be skating a frozen pond with hot cups of Wassail and children should be giggling as they sled down soft twinkling hills of twilight gossamer. Instead, fences are being destroyed and coming out of the ground post-first, gutters are being shredded and left for dead and beloved backyard napping furniture is being cast asunder. Thankfully, our wind damage is minor compared to some in the neighborhood. For the record, I call a 35-foot tall pine tree blowing down on top of your fence “major.”
Before my wife, the only time I lit candles was when I was sitting closest to the cake at a birthday party. She exposed me to a world of scented lotions, methods for doing laundry that did not include sorting clothing into two piles; “whites” and “everything else” and of course, candles. Now I have candles everywhere. I never knew one needed scented candles for bathrooms, offices, living rooms, family rooms, spare bedrooms and laundry rooms. Every odor issue in our house is solved by lighting a candle. “God you stink, Matty. We should light a candle!” Maybe I could take a shower? My wife has corrupted me. I now find myself debating the aromatic pleasures in the Yankee Candle area at Bed, Bath & Beyond. Do I want Pumpkin Pie or Clean Cotton? Cucumber Melon or Beach Walk? Finally, there is a candle company that appeals to my male sensibilities; Hot Wicks. They carry scents that smell of urinal cakes, campfires and strippers. Hot Wicks describes the stripper scent as, “the perfume counter at your local department store times a thousand … then add some glitter.” I think a more accurate description is “bitter desperation mixed with the hint of ass sweat, stale bourbon and broken dreams.“
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.
The pussy collective has developed into two well-honed killing machines. In the past three weeks I have disposed of three birds which has brought the kitty’s confirmed kill tally to seven and a half (I received credit for two assists on the birds I had to close out with the back end of a shovel). Our cats have now re-focused their murderous rampage on newer victims; bunnies. The past two evenings, the pussy collective has brought a bunny to the back door squirming in each one of their mouths. Have you ever heard a cute and timid bunny rabbit scream in agony? Much like the Madonna song La Isla Bonita, it is something you can never un-hear. The pussy collective has established their dominance in the wilds of our suburban neighborhood via the Way of Chuck Darwin. I will keep disposing of bodies, my sweet kittens, as long as you keep those rabbits from grazing on the freshly-seeded patch of lawn in the corner of the yard.
Friday. The wife and I attend a homemade rib bonanza at Team Muff’s house where we drain shitty Mexican beer and play a rousing game of Trivial Pursuit 90s Edition. Proof that we have all turned into our parents: we began questioning the “correctness” of card answers and commenting on how staying up until 11:30 seemed “late.”
Saturday. The wife and I attend a barbecue at DJs which we learn upon walking into his house is actually his birthday party. The wife gets angry at me for not knowing it was his birthday (even though it was on the Evite) and I explain to her that knowing when your guy friends birthday is is totally gay, and if I bought a gift for him we would have to move in together and begin re-decorating his house in the finest tapestries and velvets. I down a homemade chili beer that I regret four hours later, eat some swine and watch some UFC fighting. The wife and I decided to duck out early to get some sleep. When we arrive back at home, Team Hofkamp stops over with a twelve pack of shitty Mexican beer and cigarettes. We hang out in our backyard for an hour until my neighbor invites us over the fence to share in his raging backyard chimenea fire and more shitty Mexican beers and cigarettes. Four hours and eight beers later, we go to bed.
Sunday. The wife and I walk over to the movie multiplex to catch the new Indiana Jones joint. On the way, we stop to view the recently dedicated (but unfinished) Armed Forces Tribute Garden. We grab a burger and some Lumpy Dogs at the Rock Bottom Brewery before watching yet another abortion written by George Lucas. Why do you hate me George Lucas? Aliens and UFOs? Shia LaBeouf as some sort of 1950s hood with a Pompadour and switchblade swinging on vines with monkeys? Next thing you know, you will be telling me that the force is some kind of blood disorder. Oh. Right.
Monday. The wife, myself and 52,000 other people run the Bolder Boulder under the cover of cool mist and fog. My back (almost fully healed from the bulged disc) feels great and I finish in just over an hour. We retire to the homestead for a much needed shower and nap. Later we attend two more Memorial Day barbecues that feel like autumn barbecues due to the inclement weather. I play ping pong. I play foosball. I play 3-square with a beer in my hand. I go to sleep wishing I celebrated three day weekends more often.
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.
The first annual Brozovich Thanksgiving was smoother than eel ejaculate in a Wendy’s Frosty machine (in fact it went so smooth that we are planning on hosting 46 family, friends and a village of Sudanese refugees to dine on a 250 pound peacock for Christmas). Bird was devoured, spirits were imbibed (including one Christmas Tree flavored Jones Soda) and my fur pants and the wife’s matching fur skirt were the talk of the event. Total cook time for the beast: four hours.
Tired of driving to and fro during past Thanksgivings, the wife and I decided to host the annual binge-eating celebration of the harvest’s conclusion at our house. We are expecting over twenty people to show up and obliterate the 28 pound turkey we ordered and leave a trail of intestinal gases in their wake. Equally impressive to the girth of our fowl will be my fur pants. Yes, you read that correctly. I must be careful what I mention to the wife in passing in the future. Jokingly proclaiming that “Thanksgiving would be a lot more comfortable in fur pants” last year has motivated the wife to make me some fur pants. A picture of me adorned in my befurred trousers carving up an immense turkey will be imminent.
The wife and I threw a housewarming party on Saturday night, inviting our friends and family over to destroy all the hard work we put into the place over the past few months. Some highlights:
- Japanese Whiskey is a great housewarming gift and a fun treat for Grandma.
- My four-year-old nephew held court over the fire of a citronella candle waxing philosophical to numerous adults on Star Wars, baseball, war and gladiators.
- Johnny Ballgame rolled up in a new truck named “The Licorice Whip.” New is a relative term as said truck is an early 80s Chevy Half-Ton with visible fire damage and more miles on it than 50-year-old stripper. Jake reported that it died twice during the convenience store cigarette run. The convenience store is a quarter mile from the house.
- My neighbor Kevin (who I have talked to three times) walked into the house grabbed a cup from our kitchen and poured himself a keg beer. He than greeted us and proceeded to hang out for the next six hours.
- A pack of youngsters found kitty’s second confirmed kill in our backyard. That brings the body count to two in less than one week.
- Most decadent housewarming gift: 80+ ounces of Grey Goose vodka.
- Number of partygoers that threatened to Top Shelf one of the bathrooms: 2.
- Number of partygoers that requested Journey’s Greatest Hits for a musical selection: 7.
- Number of partygoers that had to be called a cab at 3 AM due to someone “taking their keys”: 2.
- Number of partygoers that drank the bottle of rum they brought as a housewarming gift: 2.
- Approximate time on Sunday that my hangover wore off and I was able to able to stand up without getting lightheaded: 4 PM.