Monday, March 30, 2009

Artistically Wired

I discovered a while back that I’m a lot more productive at a coffee shop than when I’m at home. I imagine it’s due to the lack of entertaining distractions like laundry, picking up the house, and removing friendly felines from my keyboard. It may have something to do with ingesting three or four quarts of coffee, but I don’t see how that could possibly be.

For the last year or so my favorite spot has been a little place on 19th called Fluid Coffee Bar. The people are friendly, the coffee is tasty and full of luscious caffeine, it’s walking distance from home, and almost every table has a power strip. That last one may sound odd, but it’s become crucial since my laptop’s battery has been so abused that it holds less juice than a double-A battery (seriously. I checked.)

To top it all off, they’ve now got some good art too. That’s right, they’re showing Wendy’s photos. I claimed to be her manager and said they couldn’t use hers unless they put mine up too, so they’ve got a couple of my photos up in a corner somewhere. They’re also showing some great work by other local (I think?) artists.

Fluid is hosting an official opening night type thing this Saturday, April 4th, complete with music and dance and whatnot. It should be a good time. Actually, the place is pretty small so the dance part may have to be on a table – even better!

So anyway, if you’re in the area on Saturday you should swing by, get wired on some way-above-my-head connoisseur artisan brewed coffee and find out if I was right about the dancers.


Fluid Flyer

Like the flier says, it’s on 19th & Penn. That’s in the Post Uptown apartment buildings, a block west of Chedd’s. I believe you can park in the garage on Pennsylvania for free, so you can’t use that as an excuse. You also can’t tell me you were too tired – they’ve got the cure for sleepiness in a convenient 16 ounce package. So no excuses!

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Circling the Four Corners

Circling the Four Corners. It sounds like some kind of square dance move, maybe one they taught you in high school. Or, maybe the ceremony that witches do right before invoking the power the West Wind. But no, it’s actually the plan for our last vacation, a road trip to the Grand Canyon and New Mexico.

It was a great trip. We did a whole bunch of awesome cheesy stuff. We saw the Grand Canyon (it’s big), the Painted Desert (meh), and some old Route 66 spots. We even saw the Arizona Meteor Crater, reputed to be the world’s first proven and best preserved tourist trap. And we visited Los Alamos so Wendy could worship at the altar of the Oppenheimer.

Miscues were thankfully few and far between. I saw more snow on our hiking trip to the desert states than I did on my ski trip to the mountains. The entire Grand Canyon village lost power for a while, though thankfully the canyon itself continued to function normally. One of our hotel rooms had the scariest wiring I’ve ever seen - the lights turned on based on where we were on the bed. But really, nothing too bad happened.

Naturally we snapped an unreasonable number of photos along the way. I think it may have been 2117. More or less. So you can expect to be wading through those for roughly the next eternity or two.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Neon, Shaken and Stirred

Pink Bunny Down!

The second of my recent WTF inducing encounters took place six blocks from home, beside a four story subsidized housing apartment complex. It’s actually a pretty nice building. It even has a balconies for some of the units.

As I walked by I heard a man call from above. “Hey, hey man, can you help me out?” he asked.

Normally that’s the prelude to that most common query of the street, “Got any change?” But not this time. Instead, it was a segue into an entirely different conversation. This time it was followed by “Can you throw me my shoe?”


Can I throw you a shoe?

Do I look like an Iraqi journalist?

Or maybe Random Task?

Evidently I do to some people.


Needless to say, I was a bit confused. But with a little coaching from on high I found the footwear in question, a bit off the sidewalk lying in a planter between some bushes. But it wasn’t really a shoe. It was more of a… well, it was a sort of… ok, it was fuzzy pink bunny slipper. Apparently they’re all the rage in the projects these days.

I’m still a little baffled how he lost it – the balconies have full walls, not just railings, all the way around. But he managed it. And now he wanted his wayward rodent footwear back.

I don’t throw change to people, but I will throw shoes. So I gamely tried to throw the fuzzy pink footwear up to that manly man trapped helplessly on his balcony.

Unfortunately, the floppy bunny ears had too much surface area, and the plush material had too little mass, so it would catch the air and fly off in a random direction. In other words, the adorable pink slippers wouldn’t go straight. After a few tries, culminating with a near landing in the busy street nearby, that macho muchacho above decided to leave the safety of his balcony to fetch his cute little wayward footwear himself. With luck it won’t try to hop to a pwecious wittle escape again.

Monday, March 09, 2009

Snoopy? You’ve changed, dog.

It’s been a few months since I’ve updated you on the nutjobs in the Denver area. Let me assure you, that’s entirely due to laziness on my part rather than a dearth of outspoken lunatics. This will be the first in a three part series to get you caught up on the WTFs of my daily life.


We recycle at our house. It keeps Al Gore from sending me nasty emails in between snowed-out global warming conferences. We keep the bins conveniently close to our back door but they’re picked up in the alley, which means they have to be moved back and forth every couple of weeks. So one Monday night I sallied out to retrieve the bins. I headed down the sidewalk and turned into the alley just before two upstanding gentlemen who were heading the other way, towards the house. The gentlemen just happened to be carrying paper bags containing… Steel Reserve? King Cobra? Anyone’s guess really, there are so many malt liquors to choose from.

Perhaps not coincidentally they were moving with truly geological speed, slow enough that Cheech himself would probably have yelled “Hey man, move it!” Moving at my usual pace, practically hummingbird speed compared to them, I managed to make two roundtrips from the alley to my back door before they finished covering the thirty yards to my front door. As I locked my side gate they finally reached position to strike up a “conversation” with the unforgettable icebreaker:

“Hey man, that’s a nice house. You mind if I lay on it?”

Lay on… my house?

I was at first struck by a mental image of this stranger laid out on my roof like a drunken Snoopy on an enormous doghouse, Olde English bottle trailing from his hand. I almost said “But, it’s really tall… how would you get up there?” Before that thought escaped my throat I moved on to the more likely possibility that he was homeless and wanted to crash out on my lawn. But that made only a little more sense. The homeless don’t ask permission to crash anywhere, and besides the shrubs across the street are much more popular. After all this consideration, I finally managed the witty rejoinder, “Um… no. No you can’t lay on my house.”

There followed the usual amount of half-intelligible utterances, halfhearted attempts to move along, muttering, and finally the obligatory inquiry as to whether I had any coins in my possession which I might see fit to share. Then, just when I thought we were back on the standard script, they dove headlong back into WTF territory:

“Yeah man, this is a really nice place. Hey, if you want we could, you know, keep an eye on it for you. Make sure nothing happens to it.”

… Did he just offer me “protection?” Like Mafia style, Corleone family "protection?” Really? Because the drunk guy that makes my grandmother look like an Olympic sprinter just isn’t going to intimidate me into paying tribute.

Or was he honestly offering his services? As if it would greatly increase my peace of mind to have such a fine example of humanity guarding my doghouse.

Regardless of his intentions it was just too much for one evening. So I headed in to my dinner, leaving them to meander down the sidewalk towards whatever destination they had. I don’t know what their destination was, but at the rate they were going they’re probably still trying to get there.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009


While I was visiting the family over Christmas we got a huge snowstorm. Mom & I took a photo trip to botanic gardens. The gardens were closed, so we had the place to ourselves, including endless untracked fields of three foot deep snow. But we were not deterred!