Archive for January, 2007

Skiing, it’s not just about falling down

My wife and I went skiing this weekend with some friends, and had a blast. The last time we went skiing it was… less than stellar. It didn’t suck, but after a full day lesson (recent transplant, remember) the three and a half hour drive home was less than the funnest thing I’ve ever done.

This time our friends had a connection, boo-ya! Yup you read right, the Tiger Run resort! It’s nicer than you might think, for a single wide cabin in a RV park. The lodge has an indoor HEATED ppol, two hot tubs (complete with too many old people for my comfort), gym, arcade, reading room, it was like… well not like vegas or Disney Land, or even Palm Springs, but it was nice. The cabin had a neat loft for the sleeping, a well stocked (including Willow, and Lawnmower Man) video library, and a nice bathroom, big enough for a person much shorter than I. We had a great time, skiing and were able to come back to our ‘Chalet’ and relax then head to dinner. It was very nice, to not have to worry about getting back to civilization and just drive ten minutes from the slopes.

This was the longest we’ve ever been in Breck (I’m hip) so we got to take in some of the local flavor; the Budweiser Select Snow Sculpture contest, Pizza at Fatty’s, and really yummy salsa at Micasa. We’re thinking this spring or summer we’ll hit up the chalet again and do some hiking or biking.
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Mardi Gras! In Denver!

Or at least Highlands Ranch. My wife met one of the ladies involved in this little shindig and having never been to the real Mardis Gras, figured why not try this, I’m sure Highlands Ranch can party like New Orleans. Ok, I’m not sure of that, actually I’m pretty sure of the opposite, but dodging a two seater L.L. Bean baby stroller is easier to do than dodging a weaving drunk, covered in beads, though maybe not as much fun.

The folks from Renard Roux is kicking off the first Mardi Gras celebration in South Denver (if you’re shocked that it’s the first… Me too!!!) on February 12th. It starts at 6pm and goes ’til 1am. I’ll be there, but long gone before 1am. I’m the kind of party animal that goes to bed early, bear maybe? Marmot? a badger of some sort? I dunno.

It sounds like fun, my wife and I are excited. If anyone feels like joining in, you have to email (Renardroux@aol.com) these folks to get tickets, ‘fraid it ain’t free. It’s gonna be at the Crystal Rose (swank sounding huh) in Highlands Ranch (8351 South Park Ln).

Ain’t no party like a Highlands Ranch party, cuz a Highlands Ranch party don’t stop!!

Cognitive Dissonance

So, pretend you’re biking west along the Boulder Creek and Goose Creek bike paths, because you’ve just got off work at Central and Flatirons and want to get to 28th Street. As one does. You pass the post office out at 55th and Valmont, and the Harley Davidson garage, and soon you’re passing Eco-Cycle, through Valmont City Park, and then alongside old Pearl Street towards Foothills.

Before you get to Foothills, you notice some sort of construction going on to the right of the bike path. Looks like a new condo or apartment arrangement. “Neat,” you think (if you’re me). “Walking distance to Redstone Meadery and the Parkway Diner. I wonder…”

And then you stop wondering because you’ve drawn abreast of the identifying and advertising sign. You know, the one next to a construction site that tells you what a wonderful place this will be when it’s complete, and what it will be called, and don’t you want to live/shop/work work/own an office/fabricate auto parts here?

And what will this wonderful place be called?

Harlem Yards.

*blink* *blink*

No guano? Seriously? Harlem Yards?

A neighborhood called Harlem? In Boulder?

*blinkBLINKblink*

…That sound you hear, after the crash that’s me toppling over into the creek from too much blinking, is undoubtedly Billie Holiday rolling over in her grave.

Today in Complaining

If any of you have considered writing the City Public Works Department to offer your thoughts about their piss poor snow removal job, don’t bother. I’ve done it for you.

Here’s me:

From: Me

Sent: Saturday, January 20, 2007 6:30 PM

To: Public Works

Subject: Ruts

Hi,

Not sure if I’m barking up the wrong tree, but I’d like to add myself to the chorus of citizens angry about streets that resemble a polar Beirut.

Twice in one day I nearly slid into a parked car because of the ice ruts. In both cases, I was driving the speed limit when a person swung open a car door and I was forced to swerve to the left. Because of the deep rutt, I slid out of control coming way too close to a parked car.

I’m sure you’ve received more than your share of after the fact prescriptions, but here’s mine…

Instead of offering hollow promises about a pending “plow armada,” The City should have told side street residents that they need to band together and shovel their own streets. This message might have been communicated when the snow was still light and fluffy. The fact that it’s a month since the first storm hit and driving central Denver’s side streets is almost as dangerous as when it fell is embarrassing.

Barring a mass distribution of mechanized ice picks or a freak heat wave, I don’t see the situation getting better soon. Don’t suppose I can send you the bill for new shock absorbers?

Bummer.

Sincerely,
John

The city responds:

From: Public Works Administration

Date: Monday, January 22, 2007 1:40 PM

To: me

Subject: Ruts

Thank you for contacting Public Works with your concerns regarding the snow and ice removal from city streets. The Department of Public Works has deployed its full contingency of snow removal equipment and our crews continue working to deal with this challenge. In addition, the city has rented extra equipment and has contracted with private snow removal crews to assist the department with this task.

Several different areas of the city are having the snow and ice removed simultaneously by distributing the combined crews throughout the city. The information you provided will be used as Public Works continues prioritizing snow removal throughout the city.

A timeline for completion of this task is still uncertain. Each street poses unique conditions and each time it snows, crews are redirected from removing ice build up to keeping the City’s main arterials clear. Everyone is encouraged to drive according to the street conditions, keeping speeds down and using extra caution in watching for other vehicles and pedestrians.

Your patience during this extensive task is appreciated.

Denver Public Works

My Follow Up:

From: Me

Sent: Monday, January 22, 2007 10:27 PM

To: Public Works

Subject: Ruts

Thank you for taking the time to cut and paste that response. And you even hit send!

No wonder my street is like driving in the Outback.

John

No follow up…

Cafe Play! On the Hill! Fun!

They just opened. December 7th, I think he said. It’s in Boulder on the Hill (1155 13th St, next to The Fox), it serves Dazbog coffee and Harney & Sons tea and many snacky sorts of things including Ramen noodle bowls, sandwiches soon to come, and it hosts LAN parties on its 8 PC stations and it hosts poker nights and Superbowl watching (not that I’m bitter about the Saints not being in that event, no, not bitter at all) all sorts of other events too (schedule pending), and it has several big big big TVs with gaming consoles attached, and its upstairs lounge is the comfiest space I’ve relaxed in ever. And they’re open until 2 AM (and potentially 24 hours on finals week). It’s like having a really rich best friend who lets you come over any time, hang out in their living room, and avail yourself of all their gadgets. And you don’t have to leave the house to buy munchies.

And of course it has wi-fi. Duh. SSID: “Cafe Play”.

Their website, when it’s up and running–which it isn’t yet but check back soon–will be www.cafeplayonline.com.

So I’m upstairs with my husband and our new friends playing Chrononauts and waging remote control war with someone else in the room–they want to watch Scrubs; we want to watch the Daily Show. I think we’re gonna concede the war and just play another game, if we can keep from getting too distracted.

Next time I’m here, I’ll have to take pictures. This place is so cool.

[Blogger avers opinions stated herein are her own and are not influenced by gifts, tips, or wages. However, if the management just happened to read this and decide to comp Blogger a large tea and a sammie, Blogger would not certainly not complain.]

This Week in Unapologetic Self-Promotion

Booya:

what: Geek Bowl 2007
where: The Oriental Theater
when: Sunday, January 28th. 6pm.

Seriously, what? The Pub Quiz to end all Pub Quizzes, cash purse for the top three teams. Compete against the biggest nerds in all the front range.

What else? Adam Cayton-Holland and Dave Burdick will be our halftime comedic entertainment. Closing the festivities will be The Quad City Madman himself, Magic Cyclops.

To learn more, go to the infrequently asked questions post on our website www.geekswhodrink.com

How do I get tickets? go here.

Why am I getting hairy? All will be explained.

Dating in Denver

It seems that I’m here as a lone representative for single Denver (since most of my fellow bloggers here appear to be hitched). Well, I hope to make my own little documented contribution to the Denver dating scene story. And to other much more interesting topics. Like Denver opthamologists, vending machine distribution patterns, and oh…that ever interesting subject, the weather. (Actually, as weather-related conversations have crept up to account for 99% of all retailer-customer conversation, I no longer feel the need to cover what has already been so thoroughly explored.)

So, I’ve been dating in Denver for just under a year. And recently I started to lose my appetite. I just couldn’t stomach another romantic resume exchange at Tommy’s Thai. Or a psychological reconnaissance mission with the purpose of assessing my innocent date’s hidden (or not) flaws over muddy cups of joe at St. Marks. Or heading out, shod in those Yak Trax miracles, over hill and dale with some weird stranger in tow. I don’t like what dating has done to me. I don’t like that my gagging reflex has been trained to activate whenever I have to figure out the staging for the next minor tragedy. “Shall we meet at 7? 8? What bars/coffee shops/restaurants do you like? Oh, you’re vegetarian? Okay, we’ll avoid Morton’s then…” Oiy. I don’t like that I’ve become a collector of flaws. That “my time is precious” and so I better figure out what’s wrong with Joe/Bob/Ron as quickly as possible so that I can move on to Max/Greg/Omar. I should say, it’s not all as bad as I’m making it out to be. I’m not riding a perpetual wave of dating induced nausea. It’s just that sometimes, high velocity dating feels a little, um… hollow.

So, with a recent internet dating contact, when I deemed it time to move from our on-screen repartee to an in-person encounter, I thought, FUCK! I am not going in for the same old shit this time. I need something new. (Okay, now I’m finally getting to the reason I’ve dragged you through my dating woes.) The National Western Stock Show! The perfect date staging ground! Yes, that ten-gallon hat of an event where you can see sheep sheering, dancing horses, jumping bulldogs, poet cowboys, mariachi, and something that goes by the intriguing name – “The Death Jump.” You can examine Miniature Herefords, or any of the other 20 bovine breeds at “the super-bowl of cattle shows.” You can see yaks and eat them too at the Yak meat sampling table. Now, I won’t say that this event does not offer up its share of disturbing sights, sounds, and smells. It does. But shit, it’s not Tommy’s Thai! It’s not the same old same-old. And, I have to admit that as a New Yorker turned Coloradoan, it’s a little friggin’ bizarre, which is why this is my number one choice for a place to take a date these days. You will have something to talk about or, at the very least, you will be able to share a stunned silence after listening to yet another joke about gay cowboys or the old ball’n’chain. And when will you get the chance to impress your date with such a unique destination? Well, it seems you won’t get the chance until this time next year. Today is the last day of the event. At sundown this eve I guess all them cowboys and girls will hit the dusty trail…or perhaps they’ll just hit the ice rutted roads in their Ford pickups and head for the highway.

We’re Number 1….through 15

In terms of Nachos that is. This isn’t breaking news, but The Wall St. Journal ranked North Denver’s very own Rosa Linda’s Mexican Cafe in the nation’s top 15 in the nacho department.

Apparently, they didn’t rank it beyond that so there’s no way of knowing if their Nachos are #1 or not, but I can say they’re quite delicious and, as the photo reveals, mountainous. Went there yesterday for the first time, yum. And to be honest, I don’t even like nachos that much and these are quite the stuff.

Nachos.jpg

Now lest I break form and not complain about something, I’ll update you on my quest to locate Denver pizza that transcends mediocrity. Had a lot of recommendations for Edgewater Inn and while their sauce is quite good, toppings decent and atmosphere unpretentious -though how many TV monitors a restaurant like that really need? – the crust resembled something out of the Safeway freezer aisle.

I will say that , however chainish, Anthony’s Pizza and Pasta makes a respectable plain slice, but that’s all I got in Denver. Also, beyond the metro area my friend Noel of Newspeak fame took me to Borriello Brothers in Colorado Springs right across the street from Palmer High School. That’s definitely the best slice I’ve had in the state, hands down. Though Poor Richards nearby is not at all bad, though the service is slower then the DMV.

Again, I exempt Buenos Aires Pizza from this debate since it’s a distinct school of pizza.

Mongolian BBQ anyone?

my wife started taking a sewing class at the Joann near us, so before class we go out for a bite. This past week we hit up our local mongolian BBQ joint, which we realized had just changed ownership. Joon’s Mongolian is one of our favorite Mongolian BBQ places, being close to the house doesn’t hurt. When I worked up in downtown i used to hit up DB’s in LoDo every once in a while. Equally yummy food, though the single guy with a laptop doesn’t get much love from the wait staff.

Joon’s new owners made one great change; you now get to do your own serving. Not that the old way wasn’t fine, they were pretty generous, but it’s nice to just take as much steak, chicken, tofu, hot dog(?) as you like, load it up cowboy!
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Obama ’08, a reason I’d be in downtown in August

It looks like it’s more or less official, Senator Barack Obama is starting to explore a Presidential bid. If there was something to lure me into Denver during the DNC, it’d be to see Senator Obama speak. I missed him when he was in Denver a few months ago for a book signing at the LoDo Tattered Cover.

With the exception of wanting to see the Senator speak, wild hippos won’t be able to drag me into downtown during the DNC.

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