Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Jack and Jill, Now with Less Jack!

I'm back!  After a 5 day hiatus from blogging, slash that's how long I've been off work, I'm back to tell you all about my fabulous weekend.  Sure I did some stuff Thursday night, and hey Friday was great (had an awesome housewarming happy hour party at my new crib), but the real highlight of the weekend, was the visit of my good friend Jill!

Our weekend was a bit mired by cloudy skies and rain, and the illness that people always seem to contract when they come to visit me, but despite all these things, we persevered and had a fantastic weekend!  Things that happened over the last 4 days included:

1.  Going to a Rockies game, and then getting poured on around the 6th inning.  PS - we lost. 

2.   Going on a hike.  We hiked the Forsythe Canyon Trail down to the Gross Reservoir.  It's only a 2 mile hike with less than 300 feet of elevation gain, but with the added dread of a possible thunderstorm, mud slides, and wondering if my non 4x4 car could even make it down the dirt road to the trail head, I would say the hike had the appropriate amount of heart pumping excitement built in.  I did the same hike a year ago, and was astonished by the difference in the water table between this year's lush oasis, and last year's bone dry surroundings.  Take that drought!  Look at the difference in these photos:

Liam hamming it up under a rock, circa 2012

Same rock last weekend.
3.  Toured the Coors Brewery!  Really cool that Coors is the largest self sufficient brewery in the world.  They even make their own bottles and cans.  The only thing they don't make....wait for good beer.

If they ever stop making beer, they could use these as alien hatcheries.  Diversify!

4.  Exposed my amazing bowling skills.  We went to this fun bar called Punch Bowl Social, which is like an adult recreation center with strong booze, in a cavernous space located in Hipster quadrant of Denver.  While I would say I showed marked improvement over my 4 games, with a score of 27 in the first game, there was really only one way to go.

Who really keeps track of score anyways...
5.  Ate hipster food at hipster restaurants, and drank hipster drinks at hipster bars.  We did the full gamut of hipster joints.  My favorite was William & Graham, a fake bookstore with a secret door to a speakeasy that has pretentious drinks made by pretentious "mixologists".  They could have spit in my face for all I cared, because if you skipped over the first part this one, i said IT HAD A SECRET DOOR.  That's my freaking dream.  Being a dark speakeasy, it was pretty natural that I slipped into a 1920s accent, saying things like, "listen here dollface, we gotta finish this hooch and beat it before the bulls realize we escaped the klink."  It was an adorable way to talk according the person who was talking like that.  And apparently only him.

6.  Went to the top of Red Rocks Amphitheater, and got tired watching other people exercise.  There's a phenomenon in Denver, where no matter how fit you think you are, you just have to go outside to see somebody doing one handed push ups backwards up a  mountain to make you feel worthless.  You know those stories your dad used to say about having to walk blindfolded, uphill to school in 12 feet of snow?  Most likely, he did that in Denver.

7.  Drove to the grave site of Buffalo Bill.  He rests atop Lookout Mountain in Golden, CO.  He is probably important, but since the museum was closed by the time we got up there, I can only assume that he is just the guy the football team named themselves after.  Quite the honor if you ask me.  Here's a view from the top.

Looks better on Instagram, you know...cos of the filters.
8.  Learned sign language for basketball, jumping dogs, pitching a ball, and the sound a pterodactyl makes.  I'm not going to explain any of that to you.  It's....inexplicable.

9.  Had this conversation:  ME:  "They should have mixologists, but for food!"  HER:  "They're called chefs."

10.  That ALL my friends should move to Denver.  It's clearly the most fun city in the nation.  Or maybe that's just for people that enjoy fun and awesomeness and hanging out with me!

To make up for the lack of posts in the last 5 days, here's some bonus photos from our hike.  Enjoy!

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Buy a House in Colorado: Check!

So after 4 long grueling months of agony and nerves, the house is mine, ALL MINE!!!!!! *cue maniacal laughter*

The last 3 days have been a cautionary tale on who you use as a lender for something as time sensitive and important as buying a new home, especially when there's new construction involved.  My lender at the last minute  decided it would be a good idea to review the documents they received from me or my builder weeks before, and found fault with all of them.  It was a huge scramble this week finding, un-bounding, and copying and scanning all the documents to get final approval on the loan.  Which by the way, I didn't have until roughly 5 hours before closing.  I didn't even see the settlement statement until I was sitting there at the closing table!  I had to write a personal check for the difference since my cashier's check (which I was guessing the amount for) was a little short!  But despite all these stressors, I did have a successful closing on my brand spankin' new house.  I did make a joke at the closing table when they explained that one paper I was signing was agreeing not to have a meth lab in my house.  I acted like I was going to walk right then and there.  Classic joke.

You'll all see the picture on facebook, but here's a sneak preview of the finished product.  Enjoy!

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Denver: A Year in Review

Today is the 1 year anniversary of my move to Denver!  After barely surviving the last night in Miami, where I got into a fight with a large piece of coral (one of my friends still has PTSD from that night...), I made the 4 hour long journey to my new city.  It is marked in history as one of the greatest moves of all time.  The warm sunny beaches gave way to the majestic mountains.  Instead of cafe con leche, it was a whiskey cocktail with no fewer than 16 ingredients.  I changed from supporting the economy to supporting the ecology....ok that one was lame.  Anyways, the greatest thing I brought with me on my move was a recently discovered sense of adventure and "yes man-ism", and a mantra coined by a friend, "I like to do everything all the time!"

So I came to Denver like a storm, and while I haven't conquered the entire city just yet, it's been the best first year of my life!  So without further ado, I present to you a Year in Review of my first year in Denver.  In my first year, I accomplished so much, including:

1.  Hiked 26.4 miles for a total elevation gain of 3765 feet!  (This was over 6 different hikes in the last year.  You're not completely Denver unless you can do that much on a Wednesday, because you don't have a job and only other mountain folk can truly appreciate your beard.

2.  Ran in a themed 5K.  But let's be honest, just running in a 5K was a pretty good 1st year accomplishment.

3.  Went Skiing.  Much like most athletic things that require coordination, it was a disaster.  And much like all of my disasters, it was a very public one.  BUT, I am new at this trying stuff thing, so I shan't give up!

4.  Recycled.  I'd heard about it before I moved, but didn't really put into practice until this year.

5.  Planted vegetables.  So excited that the earth boxes are starting to produce some vegetables.  I feel like a god.  A god of produce.  I wonder if that's what Swamp Thing was...

6.  Drank crafty beers at a beer festival.  Pretty much everywhere in Denver is a craft beer bonanza, but nowhere better is it exemplified than at a beer festival.  Most shocking though, is the lack of pretense that comes across from the bartender when you don't really know anything about craft beers.  This is not true of most Denverites though.  Never have I heard so many people talk so much and say so little.

7.  Went tubing and almost died.  You haven't really experienced Denver until you've put your life in mortal peril.  It's a right of passage here.  I suppose dying is a right of passage too....for ghosts.

(Picture removed due to its graphic nature)

8.  Saw a bison.  It is as awesome in person as you'd expect.

This should be Colorado's official logo
9.  Wore a costume for a race.  This time, not as a runner, but as a zombie obstacle!

10.  And Finally, I saw, and ran from, one of the Children of the Corn!

So that was my first year in Denver!  Oh sure, you're thinking, hey you joker, you forgot to talk about how you're buying a house!  Well shut up, this is my blog!  And besides, I don't close on the house until tomorrow, so really that's a Year 2 event.  With that event kicking off my second year, I think it is the start of a great year!  Either that or I'll end up like this by the end of it.

Monday, July 22, 2013

The Hills Are Alive With the Sound of Music!

I'm in frantic mode right now, trying to finalize and fix all these last minute, 11th hour documents my lender needs prior to my loan approval.  My closing is in 2 days, and it feels like the only person that appreciates that is me!  In this new post-financial crisis world, it's hard to get a mortgage even if you ARE a good borrower.  I don't know how the sub-prime losers do it.  Bribery?

Anyways, given the current state of panic I'm in, I almost considered skipping the post today.  But how can I possibly skip a Monday post.  It's my most picture laden recap of the weekend, so of course it's my favorite one to write!  Also, tomorrow's post will mark my 1 year anniversary, so I didn't want to have to combine what I did over the weekend with tomorrow's "Year in Review".  Stay tuned!!

Anyways, this was another fun filled weekend.  I had my "orientation walkthrough" on Friday with the Warranty Manager.  Close your eyes for a second, and when you think about a house warranty manager, what do you picture?  Nerdy dude who looks a bit malnourished...carries an inordinate number pens, one of which is always leaking, and is quick to dismiss your claims.  I guess I likened him to a claims adjustor or something.  But no, not this dude.  He was straight out of the biker bar, where his woman named Rita (prob) was waiting for him to come buy her another coors light.  In other words, he was awesome.  He also had this cast around his hand, because he apparently almost chopped off all his fingers with a table saw.  I told you, AWESOME.

The rest of the walk through went fine.  He found lots of stuff that I would never have seen, and I pointed out a couple of things from the inspection and he said sure we'll fix you up.  So that was good.  Here's the house.  I'll post more pictures after I've closed on Wednesday.

On Saturday, I went downtown in search of some art/architecture installations that were supposed to be for some Denver Urbanism event.  I don't know it was about, and was only able to find one of the 5 major installations, but it was cool.  I have no idea what this is supposed to symbolize, so I'll just assume, like any stupid art museum tour guide would tell you, it represents the pain in Africa.

Finally, I went on a hike yesterday with some friends.  After driving up to the state park, and finding out that half the parking lots near the trailhead we wanted to hike from were blocked by broken trees, we quickly reassessed our plan and found a short 3.6 miles round trip hike that led to a large reservoir.  It was lucky that we settled on the shorter hike as the 5 year old accompanying demanded to be carried the whole way back.  When it was "my turn" I told him I had no problem leaving him for the vultures and pedophiles.  His parents saw things differently.  Anyways, the hike itself was tough, with a rocky terrain and about 600 feet of elevation in less than 2 miles.  But the views at the top were spectacular!

Notice the white legs on this dude.  He didn't apply can guess what happened.

When I first saw this view, I felt like the Von Trapp's after escaping Nazi Austria

Practicing for the Polar Bear club.

Not trick photography.  I became Lord of the Hills. (Move over Lauren Conrad!)
And that was another successful weekend in the record books!  Stay tuned, as this week will prove to be an exciting week of updates.  Between my first year in Denver done (read:  survived) and my house finished and closed all up on, I will have a bit to say!  I'll try to throw in some controversy to keep this blog relevant too.  Nobody cares what you have to say unless you hate something that they also hate, or they get to hate you for hating something that they love.  That's life, son!

Friday, July 19, 2013

Fist Pump Your Fears Away!

I got my first job 17 years ago, at the young age of 15.  I was a cook at Wings N Things, working with some of my high school's finest delinquents.  The only things not fried on our menu were the salad, (pause for 15 seconds trying to think if there was anything else not fried,) and the chili.  Neither of these were healthier than the fried options.  I hated that job.  I hated who I worked with, I hated how grimy and dirty I felt every day, and most of all I hated all the oil burns I would get on my arms, face and even my eyelid one time!  But for a 15 year old boy getting paid minimum wage, I did not hate my pay check.  Finally, I had money! Freedom!  Stacks on Stacks on Stacks! 

But then my father taught me a hard lesson.  He said, "Son, We're going to take half that pay check and put it in a savings account."


But 17 years later, I have continued to save money from every job I've ever worked, stashing it away like a squirrel hording nuts, so that in 5 short days, I can give it all away to purchase my new house.  My very first house, which I am looking forward to owning, and deathly afraid of being attached to like a cartoon prisoner and his ball and chain.  But pushing those fears to the dark corners of my mind (where the gremlins live!), I have decided to bask in the elation of this 4 month journey, and find only the happiness in it, on this Fist Pump Friday.

To honor this occasion, I scoured the internet for the appropriate fist pump to reflect my mood.  I thought at first, this is a serious day, and now I'm really an adult once and for all, and will probably start shopping at Bealls for my pants, so I need something very sophisticated and stoic:

Or maybe something dramatic and fierce, to really tell the story of my conquest over land and animals by building a house on them both:

But that's not me.  I'm not the Nixon-Jonah Hill type (cos those two are SO similar).  I'm rarely serious, even when the occasion calls for it.  I'm the guy who impromptu fist pumps in room full of crowded dudes.  Cos I'm not scared!

But more than anything, I don't know how to feel.  I've just decided that this is good and I'm going to like it and dammit if I don't I'll just punk rock the hell out of everybody with my sweet fist pump moves!

Let's face it.  Anything where you move forward is a good thing.  The only minor little thing I'm possibily even scared about with this new house, is that teeny weeny little thing about going bankrupt, losing my home, resorting to turning tricks and getting addicted to crack in order to keep my pimp from killing me.  You know, like this fella.

 On the bright side, maybe my schizo arch nemesis on the corner of 21st and Larimer will see me as his equal then, and not somebody to go bath salt crazy on.

Happy Fist Pump Friday!!

Thursday, July 18, 2013

I Didn't Even Have to Use My A.K.

Today has been the perfect storm of awesome.  This morning I got to work and read my inspection report on my house.  The inspector found only a handful of cosmetic things that are easily fixable on the builder's part.  Best of all, during the inspection he was going aorund saying how everything he noticed was "the best in the industry" or "top of the line."  Even better than that, his report has pictures of the gas shut off and water shut off, which up until this point I had no idea where those things were.  Sure I had a general idea, and sure, the builder actually showed me in a previous walk through, but I was too busy taking pictures to pay attenntion then.  I had that same problem yesterday during the inspection so it's good that he provided a picture, with the shut off circled, and an arrow pointing to it.  Did the guy know me or what?

Today's also the first day where I don't feel like I owe anything to my lender right now.  Now it's just a waiting game for the underwriter to process my loan, but I'm pretty sure it's smooth sailing at this point.  Today was also the annual tenant's lunch for our whole office building.  That meant FREE lunch.  You could serve me pigeon on moldy bread, and if it's called FREE and involves getting in line (lines always mean it's good in my brain), I will eat it! 

And the VERY best part of the whole day?  It was another TWO DESSERT DAY!  Had a piece of strawberry cake this morning (made by yours truly), and then had a root beer float at the FREE lunch.  Cake AND a root beer float?  Best. Day. Ever.

Now if only I could beat level 65 on CCS, my day would be complete. 

I got to thinking, I wonder if things are just coming up me today, or if there's something about today itself that's rockin' for everybody.  So I hit the research button my keyboard and found several others....for whom, today is a good day.

Chris Reynolds is having a good day.  He opened up his June PayPal email statement, and found out that his account had been credited $92,233,720,368,547,800.  That's $92 QUADRILLION dollars (and change)!  To put it in perspective, that would make him over a million (A MILLION) times richer than the next richest man in the world, Mexican telcom mogul (aka drug cartel president) Carlos Slim (he's so Shady! see what I did there?)   I have a feeling that Mr. Reynold's tomorrow will be worse when PayPal takes the money back, but for today, he is living the high life.  He's supersizing his extra value meals!  He's not worrying about parking tickets!  Heck, I bet he even paid retail for the last book he bought!

American Horror Story is having a good day.  They received 17 Emmy nominations, which were just released yesterday or something.  I don't think I've watched an awards show in about 10 years, but I heard getting nominated is still a good thing.  I have seen the first season of American Horror Story, and if any of the following seasons were like the first, it was a well deserved nom.

Dustin Wray is having a good day.  While booking a hotel at the Woodlands Resort in Houston last month (yeah ok, so he HAD a good day), he decided to test the resort's customer service aka be douchey.  It's not his fault.  He's from Texas.  They're born douchey.  When he got to the special requests section of the online reservation form, he requested that his room have "3 red M&M's on the counter, and a picture of bacon on the bed."  Because no request is complete without a picture of bacon.  Much to his surprise and delight, these items were dutifully delivered and all his dreams fulfilled.  I imagine he squealed when he saw them.  And then probably went to some abortion clinic to shut it down.  I think that's the top form of recreation in Texas.  Stupid Texas.  Jerk didn't even leave a tip.

I'll tell you though, for every good day, there's probably several people out there having bad days.  Maybe none so bad as David Underwood of Fort Worth, Texas (stupid Texas...), who's house was demolished by the city.  Unfortunately for everybody, it was the wrong house!  They were supposed to demolish the condemned house next door, but instead, when Mr. and Mrs. Underwood came around the corner from what was probably their daily activity of lynching and equal rights stealing, they were surprised to find only rubble where the house once owned by their grandmother had been.  The good news is they hadn't quite moved in, and really, what better way to fix a fixer upper, than starting from the cement foundation up!  (that's all that was left of the house). 

Finally, since I like to have some form of visual aid in all my posts, here's a picture of a strawberry that looks like a dong.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Instant Message? More Like Instant Mother-SHUT YO MOUTH! (I'm just talkin' bout Keeley!)

Has anybody ever used the "new" chat feature when contacting customer service?  A lot of companies, like Verizon and Dish use chat windows as an available option to discussing your issue with customer service.  At first glance, this has many pro's:

- You can usually get a hold of somebody a lot faster, which also means no terrible hold music with a voice that comes on every 6 seconds tricking you into thinking you've gotten through.  (every time!)

 - You can hide the fact that you're talking to customer service because it's easy to alt+tab the window when your boss or nosy co-worker walks by.

- It promotes my strategy to avoid all human contact whatsoever, by talking to a machine that I can only assume has a human on the other end.

It all sounds well and good, and I suppose when it works, it's great.  But after my second attempt at one of these chat stews, I think I'm pretty much over it.  I much prefer the dullard on the phone that is annoyed with me as I am with them, and will do whatever it takes to get me off the phone as soon as possible.

My first time IMing customer service was with Verizon, after an "update" to my smart phone basically wiped out everything on the phone.  Thanks Verizon.  I spent an epic 45 minutes chatting with a Verizon techie trying to get the whole business resolved.  In the end, much like any call with tech support, the Indian in me took over and I fixed the problem before they could figure out what the problem even was.  Some heroes can fly, and some can read minds.  I have the ability to fit into any racial stereotype you see fit for me.

My second attempt at using this chat feature happened about 10 minutes ago, when I contacted Dish to find out the cheapest way to get somebody over to my apartment to remove my Dish.  Dish has this great customer service program where some douchebag guy who talks about all his sexual conquests will come over to install your satellite.  He'll install it wherever you want, at his own peril (think:  leaning over a small apartment balcony with no hope of me helping him if he starts to go overboard.)  The guy later told me that the slow forward button on the DVR remote is good for watching porn, so you'll forgive me if I didn't give a crap about this dude's safety or life.  But I digress.  So I get on this chat with Keeley(ID:BVR) who tells me that Dish does not remove their satellites.  I'm thinking, what are you NSA?  Then I tell her that yes they in fact do, but charge money for it.  I love knowing more than customer service about their service...that they provide customers...

She then automatically counters with a $95 price.  I tell her, wait, I thought if I sign up for the protection plan ($7/month...cancelleable at any time) then it would only cost $15 for the equipment removal.  She says, "OMG HELL NO YOU ASS CLOWN HOW COULD YOU POSSIBLY THINK THAT?!?!?!"

Or at least that's how I read whatever response she gave.  I then asked her for a waiver or some reduction in that fee, and she begins to respond to some other question I never asked.  Classic case of typing in the wrong IM window?  No idea.  The point is, without having that phone interaction, it was impossible to plead, beg, cojole or any other verb to her, to help me out at all.  The cold world of IM has no emotion except the angry caps lock, and I wasn't prepared to escalate our conversation there just yet.  Instead I told her that she was confusing and probably wrong.  Then I just closed the window....which is not nearly as satisfying as hanging up on somebody.

Short story long, I called Dish back and they immediately charged me the cheaper price for the removal.

Me:  1
Keeley(ID:BVR): 0

Crap, I forgot this was supposed to be my advice column day....Uh....ok, how's this:  Don't be a jerk, use the phone!

The end.

Artist's Rendition of Keeley(ID:BVR)

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

If Your Profile Page Was Accurate

As I get closer and closer to 2000 page views, (1987 right now), I think it's a good idea to let you guys in on who I am.  You've learned more about me already than you probably ever wanted to know, since I'm pretty much an open book.  That's made possible by keeping this blog to only a limited number of readers.  If my blog was more public, I'd feel the crushing weight of expectation, or worse, I'd start pandering to the crowd and keeping my topics and thoughts bland to not piss off the general masses.  I already do that on occasion to the 5 of you that read this blog now.

But for you select few, I've decided to give you a little insight into my belief structure.  These things that I firmly believe in, and with unshakeable confidence.  This is basically what I wish I could tell people about me in an introduction, as opposed to the where I'm from's, the what I do's.  These are the things that make me who I am.  Learn it!  Appreciate it!  Never use it against me!

1.  I wish I could bake.  Like seriously bake.  It's the ultimate form of create these amazing things out of powders and grains.  It's omnipotence in an oven!  Right now, my baking ability is a -1 based on the cake I butchered last night.

2.  I really like following processes.  I'm not OCD.  But when something has a process, and people don't follow that process, I feel like it's a giant failure on everybody's part.  It's a life philosophy I carry with me, that if you try to beat the game, you may win sometimes, but if you just play the game, you'll have fun every time.  This rule does not apply in a casino.  Or monopoly.

3.  I'm probably a democrat, but since I feel like the Democratic Party is so pathetic, and for the most part, can't seem to keep their wieners in their pants, I don't really want to associate with them anymore.  I don't have a problem, however, saying I'm a Liberal.  Being a liberal means I have a political philosophy founded on liberty and equality.  I generally support ideas and legislation that promotes free and fair elections, civil rights, freedom of religion, free trade, and private property.  I left out freedom of the press because of TMZ, Fox News, and CNN.  They ruined it for all of us.  Mostly, I believe it's the government's duty to keep Americans safe by promoting these ideals, not infringing on them.  Most shockingly, I believe the government IS doing that.  (cue angry emails.)

4.  When I meet you, if I like you even a little bit, I will want to be your friend.  Not your acquaintance, not a character in an anecdote I'll tell later on, but your friend.  I'm talking, go out for beers, pick you up from the airport, and help you move kind of friend.  Not everybody shares this philosophy, which causes me great angst.

5.  I love noodles.  I like to eat them and I like to use them in pools.  I do not, however, support noodling.

6.  I hate what flying has become.  I'm not afraid to fly, and I'm not really claustrophobic or anything.  You'd think I should be, hurtling through the air in a metal tube made by people that are probably incentivized to cut corners to reduce costs (hello dreamliner?), but that's not what it is.  I used to love it.  when we were kids, I used to love going to the airport, going through the metal  detector, finding my seat on a plane.  Heck even the seat belts on the plane were the coolest invention in the world to me.  That's right, cooler than the actual plane.  (weird kid.)  But now, the entire experience is awful.  Standing in lines with people carrying luggage that in no other world but the airport would be confused as a carry on.  Squeezing into a small airplane seat, smelling the odor of every breath and fart around you.  Watching the worst cross section of America boarding and then proceeding to break every rule that exists on the plane.  The only parts I still like about flying are during the landing.  First, when you fly into the clouds and everything becomes bright white and then all of a sudden BOOM, the world.  Then, those 2-3 seconds of anticipation right before the wheels actually touch down.  It's all I have left.  Why aren't trains cooler yet?  Or at least cheaper?

7.  The 4 seconds between when I press a button on my "smart" phone, and when the application actually opens and loads, are the 4 angriest seconds in my entire life.  Entire worlds explode in my mind during those 4 seconds.  It's like the fury of a thousand suns, roiling around in my head to the point of human extinction....and then instagram opens up and it's all ok again.  I can't be alone on this one, can I?!

8.  The no text back brings about a milder version of #7.  Seriously, it's way milder.  I'm not pyschotic.

9.  My favorite smell in the entire world is orange blossoms.  Fresh orange blossoms are the greatest scent I've ever known.  I never feel at peace as much as when I am smelling them.  Clearly, these are what I need to be near, when I'm trying to open my text app to find out why somebody hasn't written me back.  I mean seriously, what's your deal!?

Since there's nothing quite as bad as being predictable, I'm not even going to make this list have 10 points.  The 9 above should give you enough insight into what makes me, ME, or have you running, screaming for the hills.  Either way, it's important that you know this, because when I become a pyschotic axe murdering serial killer of smart phones, you'll be able to write first hand knowledge about me in my biography.

Monday, July 15, 2013

A Meet & Greet and Zucchini Treat!

Sorry for not updating on Thursday.  I honestly believe the entire universe slowed down to a snail's pace that day.  I think I saw a bird frozen in mid air outside my window.  Rain fell upwards, and other twilight zone stuff happened.  Like Bella picked Jacob.  My fried brain just wasn't functioning that day.  But, had I live-blogged Thursday night, I'd have had SO much to say!

On Thursday night, I went to a "Meet your New Neighbors" aka "Judge your New Nemesis" event in Stapleton.  It was a chance to meet everybody that will be living in and around my house before I move in, but late enough in the process that I can't back out even though I know what I know now.

Highlights included:

 - Meeting several people from the Denver Public School system, who quickly ran out of things to talk to me about when they found out I didn't have kids.

 - Meeting a guy who said he was looking for 10 year old girls. (wait for it) because he has one and wanted to find her new friends!   I know, we were THIS close to finding the neighborhood perv.  I guess he could still be in the running....I hope not though, because he is also from Florida.  And get this, not only did he just move from Florida, he lived in Sarasota for 25 years!  And now lives 4 houses down from me.  Strange, small world we live in.

 - Meetings a few cool couples that will be my neighbors, or at least share my alley.  I tried my hardest to be awesome around them, so they will become my best friends without hesitation.  It either worked very well, or they'll never speak to me again.

 - Determined that I might be the only single guy living in Stapleton.  This is ok, but further emphasizes the need for me to get a dog, so my walks around town will seem less creeperish.

 - Potentially signed up to be the "Block Leader".  This is a term I made up.  I don't even know what I agreed to but I gave this lady with a clipboard my name and email and agreed to do whatever she said.  I think it was to be like Captain of the Block, aka Organizer of Events, aka His Supreme Lordship, Czar Ankit of Conservatory Green.  Next Stop:  The White House!

 - Got some free swag which included a bicycle bell, reflectors and flashlight.  Of course I don't have a bike for any of these attachments.

 - Got photographed no less than 1,000 times by the photographer for Stapleton's monthly newsletter, The Front Porch.  As with my last modeling session, I was clearly targeted for the "diversity" shot.  I was talking to a Black and White gay couple with their bi-racial son.  If I had said we were all living together in a commune,  I might have even got a 3 page spread!

 - Saw a baby goat, but declined petting it.

So yeah, all in all a pretty interesting Thursday!

The rest of the weekend proved to be fairly relaxing, but entertaining.  After finding a new hipster bar on Friday and trying some drinks with 100s of ingredients (don't get me wrong it was awesome!), I spent Saturday nursing an almost doho in the best possible way!  Setting up, living through, and tearing down a 5 year old kid's superhero themed birthday party!  (No I didn't dress up.)  As if kids aren't hyper enough, this party seemed to amplify their hysterics with sugar, and a John Williams score that was played on an endless loop.  Although at some point, the sugar crash, the running around like a superhero, and the plethora of visual stimulants seemed to do the trick, and the kids were left lurking around the museum like slack jawed lackeys.

Slack Jawed Lackeys
 I also saw the movie Dark Skies on Saturday night.  It's about a family facing the age old problem of alien abduction.  How come there's never a movie where humans abduct the alien?  We conquered almost every other animal on Earth, can't we beat little green men?  I guess we did kidnap the hell out of E.T.

On Sunday, when the weather threatened to kill our plans for a hike in the mountains, some friends and I decided to do a little urban hiking and spent a leisurely day down by the Platte River (I have no idea if that's the name of that river by the way.  Sounds nice though right?)
In Colorado, even the little downtown rivers have raging rapids.
 Perhaps the best part of the whole weekend came late Sunday afternoon, under the blazing hot heat of the Rocky Mountain sun.  Out inspecting our earth boxes, wondering if this was all worth it at all, we found the very first "fruit" of our labor!  Like giving birth to a child, our Earthbox, after a short gestation period, provided us with our first zucchini!  So I'll just end this post with way too many pictures of us being way too excited about one zucchini.  Enjoy!

Way to excited about this.

Also, I just realized my analogy of a zucchini like a baby child is pretty bad considered that I King Soloman'd it in half and then ate my half.  Or maybe it's the same, I don't know what other people do with their kids.