Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Labor Day! It's Not Just for Preggos Anymore!

Today's post is separated into four distinct parts.  Sort of like chapters in a book, or better, individual short stories.  The general theme, as noted in the title of today's post, are my activities over this long weekend.  But each harrowing tale stands on its own, so I present them here to you, as individual pieces of history, in the year of our lord, 2013.

The Calamity of Caring for a Conniving Canine

This weekend, I dog-sat for some friends who were out of town.  Their dog Tuxxie is a sweet happy dog, that does not require much in terms of care or entertainment.  Which is good because I gave her very little of either.  I did take her on several walks around the neighborhood.  This of course was two-fold.  I did not want her to relieve herself anywhere in my new house.  I was told this wouldn't happen, but you can't trust dogs.  They don't wear underwear, there's just nothing stopping them from "going" everywhere.  The other reason for the 3 to 4 walks a day was part of my ongoing campaign to become friends with some new neighbors (we're ALL new neighbors duh) who I have met twice, and thought were cool.  With no actual plan in mind, I dog walk-stalked these people, probably exemplifying my creeperness as I would slow down in front of their house in an effort to initiate some sort of contact.  This method was clearly poorly thought out, and for her part, Tuxxie decided that whenever somebody WAS outside of their house, that would be a perfect time to poop on their lawn, or flower bed, or lawn again.  She became more of a social pariah than a conversation starter.  I assume this was in retaliation for not throwing a tennis ball around enough for her, but seriously, every time I did she was pooping on flower beds by the 4th throw!  Damn judgmental dog.

Since my original plan was fraught with peril, I finally decided I would walk to the neighbor's house, Tuxxie in tow and actually ring the doorbell.  This forward behavior paid its dividends and later that evening, my new friends (of whom I still don't even know their last name) joined me and some other friends for my first dinner made in the new kitchen.  I made paella.  It was fantastic.  Two bottles of wine later and I think I have my first set of Stapleton friends!  We will cast judgment on all other Stapletonians from our lofty perch of "former downtown residents just livin' in the suburbs cos it's economically smart and no I will not buy an adirondack chair" front porches!  Boom.

Frommer's Unpublished Guide Book Chapter 4:  IKEA

When traveling abroad, there is a mental checklist people usually go through when preparing for their trip.  They make sure they have enough cash because credit cards are only used in America.  They download or purchase maps of their destination so they can plot out their route and itinerary.  They call loved ones so people know where they are and feed the cat in case they don't make it back.  In no place are these tips more important than on a trip to IKEA.  No matter where you are coming from IKEA is always much farther than you thought, so its important to make sure you have enough fuel to make the trip.  And don't forget, you have to come home from there as well (unless you can sleep in the store Career Opportunities style), so account for that as well. When you first approach IKEA, you're usually awestruck  by the looming blue block which you can see from space.  Signs indicating where to park begin roughly in your living room and end at the cash register.  After that you're on your own.  You've already paid them, so get the hell out!

Dining options in IKEA are plentiful.  Most people will go for the staple food of IKEAns, the Swedish Meatball.  With the current favorable currency exchange rates, you can get roughly 600 meatballs for approximately $3.99 USD.  Be careful though, their food is often served with their national fruit, the lignonberry ,which may have a hallucinogenic effect on the uninitiated.  The fish and chips are good, plus they're made with horse meat, so you know, extra protein.

Finally, while enough cannot be said about the rich culture of the people of IKEA, you should know that driving around IKEA can be a less than pleasant experience.  Their car(t)s do not have directional control, and are often found parked in the middle of busy aisles.  Frightened visitors looking for their way out may be found huddled in corners, hoarding 10 packs of glockenspagel brand curtain rod finials.  It's best not to approach these people, as they're likely also hopped up on the lignonberry.  The best approach is to find an unmanned vehicle with large quantities of things you probably wanted anyways, and just take that to the register.  It's ok if there are things in there that you may not want.  IKEA's return department is as visually appealing as any "the 10th church we've seen on this trip.... enough already!"

Keepin' Up with the Joneses was Easier When Nobody Had Curtains

Since moving into my new house, I've lived in it for only about 2 weeks in total.  The high level of travel that all seemed to happen in August has made furnishing the house even harder.  That, and shopping for curtains is the most boring thing possible and apparently requires a PhD in mathematics (or at least remembering to measure the windows.)  But in just a few short (ha!) trips to IKEA, and a depleted bank account later, my living room is about 85% of the way furnished.  I took a nice photo of the room as it is now, but left the camera at home, so while you may have to wait for an updated photo, here's a few of the latest items I purchased.

Area rug - http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/20210356/

Coffee Table - http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/10065958/#/00104291

Decorative Crap - http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/30122199/

It's getting harder to come up with cool ways to furnish my space since people have put up curtains and I can't see into their houses anymore.  I'm not a creeper, I just don't know how to decorate!  With the living room almost done, and oh yeah! a new grill purchased, the next step will be tackling the yard.  Hopefully there's a smart solution in how to address the dirt yard I have right now before winter creeps in and turns my yard into a muddy wasteland.  (Tuxxie would still poop on it like it's her job though.)  If any of you 3 people who read this blog have good ideas for a small South facing side yard in Denver, please feel free to comment or send me an email!  Finally, having cooked in my kitchen finally, and oil splattering everywhere, the newness of my house has started to wear off, and I'm no longer afraid to use it.  Until then, I've been treading lightly around the house as if I stole it.  Now that it's as used as an old dish rag, I will proceed to own the hell out of it.  And take pictures doing it.

The One Time that it WASN'T Hammer Time

This Labor Day weekend, when people weren't standing in line for the pool, they were probably down at Civic Center Park enjoying the Taste of Colorado.  They were not likely there for the food, since the few food tents I saw were for places like Perkins, and a Chinese take out place.  In fact there were more stalls selling cheap baubles and other hippie crap than there were food places.  Pretty weak event.  Its saving grace, and the reason for the packed mobs there, were for the promise of none other than the Reverend Martin Chester Hammer (c'mon, nobody knows what the MC really stands for) to perform!  We got about as close as we could to the stage, which is to say about 1/2 a mile away from it, at the prescribed performance time.  After about 15 minutes of hype, we got bored and left, but I understand that after another 20 minutes, he still hadn't taken the stage.  Strangely enough it was walking away from the festival by a bar that WAS playing his music that I realized I really didn't care to hear it in the first place.  Personally, I think he was probably just in his trailer praying for a good show (I heard you have to pray just to make it today.)  Hopefully at some point he realized that he was really just too legit to quit on the masses that had gathered to hear his sermon.  All I know is that from the distance I would have had to stand to even glimpse the concert, there was just no way that I could touch this.  (yeah i know the last one was weak...)

Stop.   Hammer Time!

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