Thursday, July 16, 2009
COLORADO...IT DOES A BODY GOOD
Sorry it's been a full week since I've blown up this piece. Long week. They're all long weeks when you're trying to train for a marathon. I've just found that to be a truth. No steady three yet, but officially had my worst three jogs this last week. Brutal. It's gotta go up sometime. I'm confident my body can do it. Not sure what fantastic delusion allows me to believe that, but I do regardless. Went to Colorado for my cousin Maria's wedding. She married a cat named Tim and, yes, dude is not only smart he's cool. Or do you say that the other way. "He's not only cool, he's smart." He's both equally. And he's got decent taste in music. It's a prereq for this familia.
My lovely wife and I used the entire trip to discuss the ethics of graffiti and the health hazards from not wearing a mask (be safe kids). It was one of those discussions where the highway just brings forth such deep analysis of such a small segmented issue that we truly explore it to a satisfactory conclusion. I've determined that graffiti is okay if it's on train cars...still. I mean, really, are train cars good for anything else besides hauling crap? My lovely wife would disagree. One time I concluded that, in the end, our prisons are really just housing units for a lot of cats with early head injuries. Do the do, kid.
Traveled the first day to Denver where we chilled for a day before journeying further north to Ft. Collins which is officially the furthest north I've traveled in Colorado. It's damn-near Wyoming. Denver's ill, but there's some weird parts of it. Some parts of it are just like the Yellow: full of white trash in big trucks. Then there's the hippiecats who smell like stinky oils and put their hair in dreads. You know, the Marley type. There're the funky, progressive earthy folks who drink elk urine and can climb any tree in the neighborhood because they have monkey like feet from walking barefooted at an early age. There's the microbrew cats who drink beer like water and their beer gut starts from below their beltline and goes all the way up to their chin and it's normally covered in fur. They laugh loudly and talk alot about acoustic music. Ugh. I'm really just an observer. Someone's gotta be.
We hit up Twist and Shout and I managed, for the first time, to walk in and out of there without putting down a nickel. Solid selection, but just really didn't find anything that made me tickle the wallet. If I lived there, I would shop their habitually. Know this. Definitely worth the visit.
Denver was rated as the number one town that people in the United States want to live in. Not sure why, but that's an interesting claim. Meaning when people are asked where they would like to live other than where they currently do, they say, "Denver." I usually would answer that question with, "Fenway Park."
You know, I like Colorado, but I really like the mountains. I like the solitude. The city is just like the same suffocating metro feelings as Dallas except there's mountains to the west. On a cloudy day, you wouldn't know the difference. The mountains, though, that's the realness. I'd live there if it weren't for the Freedmen's Bureau and the fact that no one knows any good hip hop once you pass the first pine tree. Not sure why, culturally, hip hop has no place in the mountains. I know that I listened to De La Soul is Dead on the way up and it worked perfectly. Oh, on a non-related note but not really, I asked a kid at our record store down the block (that I work for) to look up "De La Soul" and he looked blankly at me and asked, "How do you spell that?" I just said slowly, "DE....LA........SOUL." It's the most I could do to keep me from taking a swipe at him.
Speaking of, 7/31 marks the date in the Getdown. I got my ticket. Do you? I mean, not only are you going to miss one helluva show, but you'll miss yours truly shaking his ass like James Brown for two hours straight. Worth the price of admission, easily. Plus, you get a De La Soul show out of it.
That's a half-pound burger with green chile strips, Bermuda onions and strips of bacon at the Cherry Cricket in Denver. In other words, it's your first meal as you pass the pearly gates.
Where was I? Oh yeah, I was in Denver. Near sundown, I turned the wheel towards Littleton to see if I could locate Columbine High School. Because I'm a news junkie (but I'm also a respectful news junkie), I felt that, after ten years, it was worth a visit. I think to myself that it's much like visiting the Grassy Knoll where Kennedy was assassinated. One of the darkest days in our history, but it was one of those extremely important days in our history. We searched that damned town for about 45 minutes until we found it. We filed into the adjacent park and saw a sign that said, "Columbine Memorial" and kept following signs to an incredible memorial in memory of those lost. It was really pretty awe-inspiring. Very humbling. It did, however, lead to the question of why weren't Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold remembered and how, as a society, we don't see them as victims worth remembering because they were the perps behind such a horrific act and how, really, aren't they the first victims in all of this? Dwell on that.
Next day, we head north to the fort of Collins and, this day, we were to do a little rafting with my other cousin Carrie. Carrie's an adventurous type. She climbs things, plays rugby, ain't scared of a little running water. It's just her nature. We met her new "friend" Eric. Fine fella except he's peculiarly a White Sox fan. Didn't know they existed. You learn something new everyday. We'll let it slide. He's a Chicago native so he can pick who he wants. If you're not from Chicago, you root for the Cubs.
I'll give you the abridged version of the rafting story to say that everything went as it would except that some lady got dumped out of the boat on one rapid and my lovely wife pulled her out of the water by the personal floatation device like freaking Rambo and saved this woman's life. Coolest thing that I've ever seen. She pitched herself on the edge of the boat, snagged her under the straps of her personal floatation device (they call them that because they didn't want "life jacket" to infer that it'll save your life--it really just makes you float) and then yanked out of the water like some superawesome baptism. The lady landed on my lovely wife with a thud and a grunt in the boat. My lovely wife was pinched underneath her in some weird pretzel configuration. That's just how they landed. Being the illest thing I've ever seen, I lift from my seat up front and instinctively tried to high-five my lovely wife immediately after as she was flattened by the weight of this woman laid out on top of her in the boat. My lovely wife just pushed out a "we're fine" and that was it. She doesn't like being the hero, but on The Root Down, she's as good as Charles Bronson.
Day of the wedding, my lovely wife and I decided we'd kill some time by visiting Odell Brewery there in Ft. Collins--apparently one of about six breweries--the biggest being New Belgium. Odell was a recommendation of Angry Tim. What I found was hop heaven. We walk in and I'm met with a six-beer sampler that was enjoyed by my lovely wife and I equally as one of those beautiful afternoon Rockies rain storms rolled in. They're IPA is the stinkiest bit of goodness that you'll find in a bottle. Just trust me on that.
We happily too the free tour and found my new calling. I'm gonna be a hop farmer. I'm gonna be a hop farmer and make me a lot of money because, my friend, people like beer. And even when the economy is crashing, they like beer. In fact, they like beer even more when the economy is crashing. It's a difficult crop, but if you partner up with a regional like Odell, you're golden.
The wedding was super nice. I got the best seat without having to be in it. Second row. It was a party. A nice warm Hammond B3 with a soul singer and decent drummer and guitarist. New Belgium wheat and some fancy hour'dourves from Malaysia. Danced to "My Cherie Amour" on the Hammond and, dude, I got me some Horace Silver even. Uncle Tony's a beast on that thing. We didn't get our deserved Outkast cover, though. I got a great family. I'm not going to lie.
Good to see my grandma. Cousin Krister. Cousin Gio. Cousin Angela. Aunt Pam. Aunt Karla. Missed the Aunt Madonna.
And we got Tim now. He's col' family. No turning back now. He's cool though. Smart too.
Listening to MF Doom on vinyl tonight wondering how I'm gonna start on Bryan's party mix. Well, I got the start done, but where do I go from there? People are just mad weird about their music sometimes. They don't know what they like, but then they'll be the first to critique when they hear something they don't like. I'm like that, "just tell me what you want" cat. But then they stand there with their thumb up their tail end. I'm doing what I want and you're going to have to just deal with it, homie.