Thursday, June 22, 2006

Trip Report: Denver 6/19 - 6/21

Look for photos soon.

Monday, 6/19

3:15pm – Depart the 7200. For the first time in recorded history, encounter a headwind from the east, thereby ruining my plan to save at least a little gas. Mutter expletives. Curse decision to buy 2wd truck when living in Seattle. Listen to the Grateful Dead's Live at the Fillmore East, Disc 3.

4:00pm – Despite having nearly ¾ tank of gas just 45 miles back, my fuel gauge indicates less than ½ a tank. Decide not to risk it and acquire gas, iced tea, and sesame sticks at a truckstop near a city that rhymes with "Diane."

4:25pm – The front range traffic thickens as I approach Fort Collins. I-25 is four lanes from the Wyoming border until about 20 miles north of Denver. Those first 30 miles from Wyoming to Fort Collins aren't all that bad – but then the congestion hits and it's time for, like, the 7th installment of Death Race 2006.

5:00pm – In the middle of Death Race 2006, truck makes weird noises when downshifting (my truck downshifts a lot when it's asked to go faster than 65mph). Because of the nature of Death Race 2006, slowing down is impossible – moving into the right lane ensures a fiery collision with southbound traffic from the on-ramps. Keep my foot jammed on the gas. Hope for the best.

5:25pm – Finally – sweet fancy Moses, finally! – make it to the expanded section of I-25. On some days, that third lane relieves the pressure, turning Death Race 2006 into something more like a commute. Not today. Today, semis with "dangerous cargo" stickers hang out in the middle lane, while late model SUVs surf from the far right lane to the far left without signaling. Decide that given the choice, I'd eschew a bigger engine for machine guns a la the Spy Hunter video game.

5:40pm – Take exit 213 into downtown Denver. Am reminded of my purgatory in Phoenix, a year and a half spent in oppressive heat and unrelenting traffic. Silently thank, well, whomever, for free will.

5:45pm – Arrive at Kathryn's apartment. Suddenly understand precisely what she meant when she said her apartment was "really effing hot." Sit on my lazy ass while she cooks chicken for sandwiches. Apply generous amounts of Sweet Baby Ray's BBQ sauce, which I haven't had since I lived in St. Louis. Discuss religion over dinner. Wash the dishes.

7:00pm – Take a walk with Kathryn in the Curtis Park neighborhood, up to and around, well, Curtis Park. See some Latino guys playing soccer. Wish my Spanish skills and soccer skills were not both currently on par with my brain surgery skills.

9:00pm – Watch the first ten minutes of American Splendor before noticing that Kathryn is nodding off. Mock her for nodding off, knowing full well that I'm usually the one yawning by 8:30pm.

Tuesday, 6/20

8:20am – Tell Kathryn to enjoy her job, while I go watch soccer at a bar at 9 in the morning. Remind her this wouldn't be an issue if she had cable TV. She seems unimpressed with this line of reasoning.

8:25am – On her way to work, Kathryn drops me off at the corner and I walk to the British Bulldog. Along the way I say "'Morning" to a large black woman. She says "good morning" in return and also, "I'm trying to be a better person today." Shit, lady, aren't we all? Also pass a large group of what are very likely migrant workers. Notice them checking out my shirt (Glasgow Rangers jersey) and, oddly, hope that a soccer jersey earns me some street cred. Decide not to test my Spanish skills at this juncture.

8:30am – Watch Germany beat the tar out of Ecuador with three other patrons. Drink iced tea. Am encouraged by the bartender to come back early for the England game because "the Brits are going to pack this place."

10:00am – Walk from the bar back to Kathryn's place. Read National Geographic article on the World Cup.

10:15am - Google-chat with Rothfuss about his impending move and his next next career applying nanotechnology to sports.

11:20am – Walk back to the British Bulldog. Acquire decent seat at the bar. Notice the guy to my left is ordering and drinking Tullamore Dew in impressive quantities. Order a BLT and a Newcastle. Find myself explaining World Cup elimination rules to the guy on my right, who wants to talk basketball. Hey man, the only way I'm going to talk basketball is if it's Illinois basketball. Who the hell is this "Nuggets" team you keep talking about?

11:45am – Notice a contingent of pale men in red jerseys starting to fill up the bar. Also notice that the basketball fan has left and has been replaced by a pale man in a red jersey.

12:00pm – Notice the goofy-ass Colorado Rapids mascot has entered the bar. Offer the pale man in the red jersey next to me five bucks if he saunters up and clocks the mascot in his goofy-ass foam face. He declines.

12:10pm – A Colorado Rapids cheerleader, replete with blonde hair and skimpy outfit, offers me a Rapids t-shirt and a poster of the Rapids cheerleaders. Take the t-shirt and use the poster as a placemat.

1:00pm – Bar is packed with, as it turns out, Brits. Start chatting with two chaps about footie.

1:10pm – Kathryn arrives to have lunch at the bar. Give her my seat, which is very cramped at this point. She orders fried pickles. Mock her for ordering fried pickles. Try a fried pickle. Stop mocking her for ordering fried pickles.

1:30pm – England score. Bar erupts. Chants are chanted. Songs are sung. Beer is consumed.

2:00pm – Kathryn heads back to work. A small part of me wishes I could be heading back to an air-conditioned office. Bar is at least 95 degrees, and full of Brits.

2:10ish pm – Sweden score. Bar goes silent, with the exception of a hoarse "Fuck off, Sweden!" screamed by a young woman.

3:00ish pm – England score. Bar erupts. Chants are chanted. Songs are sung. Beer is consumed.

3:05ish pm – Sweden score. Bar goes silent. Hoarse young woman chants "Fuck you Sweden, X X XXX." Everyone in bar joins in.

3:10pm – Walk back to Kathryn's place. Take sweaty nap on couch, using newly acquired Rapids t-shirt as pillowcase. Shower. Drink water. Take ibuprofen for screaming headache.

5:00pm – Kathryn calls from work. I meet her out back to let her in.

5:20pm – Kathryn and I wait on front steps for her sister and brother-in-law to arrive separately so we can all go to the Rockies game. Kathryn checks mail and sees new National Geographic, which excites her. Kathryn enjoys picture of ape holding a shoe. I enjoy first few paragraphs of article about Blackbeard's shipwreck.

5:25pm – J arrives.

5:27pm – P arrives.

5:45pm – Am regaled by P's story about honeymoon adventures on cruise ship. Drink lime-aid.

6:10pm - Insist that Coors Field won't allow cameras now that everyone's scared of terrists. Someone gets bright idea to call and ask. Kathryn calls and asks. Coors Field allows cameras.

6:15pm – Walk to Coors Field. Wish out loud I'd worn my Red Wings jersey.

7:00pm – Game begins. Tell P not to buy me a beer. P buys me a beer.

8:15ish pm – Take Kathryn up on her offer to feed me at the game. Ask for a pretzel. "With salt," I yell as she walks up the aisle. "And chee! Don't forget the chee!"

8:25ish pm – Kathryn and J return with pretzels and containers of cheese. Am told I'm eating all of the damn cheese if it kills me. Dip pretzel into cheese and notice it retains its shape, not unlike cheese pudding might if they made cheese pudding. Am told she doesn't care and that I'm eating all of the damn cheese if it kills me.

9:30ish pm – Game ends. Rockies defeat Oakland Athletics 6-0. Walk back to Kathryn's place.

10:00pm – J and P take off. Kathryn and I head for bed.

Wednesday, 6/21

6:00am – Alarm goes off. Am dreaming about armless robots and alarm is incorporated into dream.

6:30am – Leave for the 7200. Drive into headwind for entire trip. Mutter expletives.


At 8:21 AM, Blogger Kathryn said...

You make me sound like a cheese Nazi, thanks.

If I want to live up to my title, maybe I should post a pic of you enjoying every last spec of that delicious chee pudding...


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