Saturday, July 28, 2012

Brief stop in Littleton Thursday night to eat stuffed peppers with the TB and watch the sunset in our backyard.

Friday, someBOdy brought me a little flower, which was followed by restaurant hopping, first to oysters and then to my favorite guacamole at one of my favorite Boulder restaurants.

We accidentally never fell asleep and I witnessed my first Colorado sunrise in a long time.

I'm going to spend the rest of the evening catching up on The Newsroom, because even though I'm only 2 episodes in and the writing feels sloppy and the verbal gymnastics disguised as dialogue are already driving me up a wall, I owe it to Aaron Sorkin since he created my favorite television series of all time.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Middle of the week whiskey Korean food baby and a beer named after me...

I even brought a bottle of High West to pay respect to that state that almost killed me, but didn't.

Oh and there was this earlier on Wednesday:

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Back to wandering around Boulder...

Sometimes I find myself thinking, I could maybe spend the rest of my life here someday.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Life has been non-stop since I returned from the desert. This past Thursday through Sunday was the Denver Post Underground Music Showcase [The UMS]. I've gone every year since 2007 or 2008, and this year was no exception. I have a more detailed post about the UMS from last year, because this year I only went to two of the four days. Thursday, I saw Fairchildren at The Irish Rover, then spent the rest of the evening sitting on the sidewalk against a building across from Wheel Club 404 talking to J, a college friend.
I finally met John Moore, a man whose sister and nephews I've know for years, but who I never met in person until this weekend. I thanked him for The UMS, my favorite weekend of the year. Then J and I wandered into the Hi-Dive at some point and caught the last few songs of Munly & The Lupercalians. They were insane and wonderful. All the musicians but the lead singer had these strange masks made of long sticks shooting up into the air [my ability to effectively describe anything seems to have escaped me lately]. I bought their album because how could I not? Too creepy and beautiful to pass up.

Friday, I ended up staying in Boulder for the Unreasonable Institute's Day of Play which really just meant I had lunch with P & R at The Med, then went with R to a presentation/talk about his company, Unreasonable Adventures. When I'm reminded of what kinds of game changing things R and his friends are up to, I can't help but to be so proud. I spent the evening with my neighbors at a BBQ for the couple across the hall from me who is moving to New York. I love my neighbors. I felt instantly a part of their community when I arrived here in May, and I'll be sad to leave for that reason in August.

Saturday was epic. Have I used that word on this blog too many times? I don't care. It was. Around 1pm, the Unreasonable Institute Climax event began on the CU Boulder campus. All the Unreasonable Fellows from this summer presented their final pitches for their businesses. When they all first came rushing into the auditorium at the beginning of the event following a video that presented their progress over the past several weeks, I burst into tears. The afternoon was dotted with mingling sessions, a food truck party, and lots of time with my two best friends and my favorite Indians.

R & I had VIP tickets, which allowed us to head over to the Unreasonable Mansion after the Climax where there was a pajama party. We were out till 4am. Dancing. Singing. Starting song circles, free style rap circles, piano sessions. We ate and drank and met people and watched them sing and laugh and dance and it was such a happy event full of joyful people celebrating community and love and passion and social entrepreneurship, which is what brought us all together in the first place.
R was rocking it in his XXXL light pink Unreasonable pajamas, grey Mozilla shirt, and fuzzy white fedora. It made his piano playing later in the evening all the more badass. 
The night ended with R & I buying tickets to San Francisco to visit M & F at The Factory. More about that in a future post. 

Somehow I dragged myself out of bed Sunday late afternoon and drove down to Denver for the final day of The UMS. I went to Fancy Tiger and finally got myself one of those awesome Coloradical! T-shirts I've wanted for years.
My friend from Utah played in a new band with her sister from Bela Karoli at Wheel Club 404. They rocked it. And rolled it. At some point, I walked back down S. Broadway to see The Centennial play The Irish Rover, then hit the Goodwill outdoor stage to see Nathaniel Rateliff & Co. The end of the night found J and me at 3 Kings where In The Whale tore the place down. I've missed good old fashion hardcore rock shows. I left drenched in other peoples' sweat, ears ringing. It was the best show of the weekend.

I finally returned to somewhat of a routine today by going to yoga late this evening. Tomorrow will be my first real day back in Boulder without plans or events or people to see. Just reading and relaxing and yoga and complaining about not having air conditioning. I can't wait.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

I'm finally home, writing this post from my favorite coffee shop, Atlas, in Boulder, Colorado. Back from a trip that spanned 7 states & 3,876 miles in 19 days. Though it feels like I was gone for a lifetime. My scenery kept changing, I occupied the lives of close friends and acquaintances for a few days at a time, here and there, falling into a routine, then leaving a couple days later. The road became my only constant. Driving began to feel normal, even pleasurable, after the first couple days. I listened to probably about 24 hours worth of NPR podcasts [This American Life and Radiolab] and am sufficiently full of enough NPR anecdotes to last a lifetime.
Leaving Marfa & my spontaneous visit to Austin--

My last night in Marfa was wonderful. I drove up to the McDonald Observatory at around 9:45pm where an astronomer gave us all a tour of the sky using a green laser pointer that points to individual stars. He showed us constellations, planets, and star clusters. Then we got to look through fancy, expensive telescopes at amazing things. I saw Saturn. Twice. Real Saturn. It looked like a cartoon. It was incredible. This was the view of the sunset from the observatory: 

Sunday, I sadly checked out of Little Pinky and El Cosmico, stopped at Squeeze Marfa to get one last goat cheese sandwich and a couple $13 Swiss chocolate bars as gifts, and hit the road.

I listened to about a billion Radiolab podcasts while I drove through a fucking hurricane during which some people just stopped driving in the middle of the road because no one could see anything. But I arrived at last and was shocked by the rain forest-y feel of the place and the giant river I passed over on my drive to my friends' house.

My amazingly talented friend, Monet, and her equally talented husband, cooked a delicious dinner and we all ate and talked about life and music and had one of those perfect rainy indoor nights. On Monday, M and I went to Easy Tiger Bake Shop for breakfast pastries, then to Vintage Heart Coffee Shop for tasty drinks and writing related discussions. Hit up the Whole Foods flagship store, which is EPIC, ate lunch, then visited some small vintage antique [that's probably redundant] shops in town. M, R, and I got drinks at Contigo in the evening, then went to Enoteca for a fabulous dinner. All but the first and last of the following set of photos were taken at Vintage Heart. The first photo is of Easy Tiger. The last was taken at Enoteca.

Tuesday was lunch at Blue Dahlia with an old friend/a family friend. We've only met once, but our moms have worked together for years. We visited Take Heart next door to Blue Dahlia after eating waffles for lunch, I bought too many letterpress cards and other artisan items, then we walked around 6th looking for graffiti. Later that day, M, R, and I walked to Julio's for dinner and looked at all the beautiful houses in that neighborhood. Dreamed about the houses we hope to own when we're older. Talked about the lives we want, about raising children, about how to accomplish the things we care about most in the midst of struggling to stay afloat financially, emotionally, practically. M wrote the sweetest blog post about our friendship, so instead of trying to recreate those words, I'll just direct you here [where you'll also salivate over the banana coconut cream pie she made and then posted about on the blog].

I left Austin on Wednesday morning. The drive to Denver is something like 16 hours and I was going to stop in Raton, New Mexico for the night, but by the time I hit Raton, it was only 8:30pm, I was in driving mode, and I really just wanted to get home and see my love. And Chez SkettiO's. And my stuffed owl. And the mountain town I left behind three weeks ago. 

I'm as happy to be home as I was to be on my trip. I always miss the places I'm not, but I also always love wherever I'm traveling. It's a perfect balance. And I try to collect little bits along my travels to remind me of the places I've been when I'm in the comfort of my home. This trip, I took sand from four of the deserts I visited, a small, shiny black rock from Double Negative, photography & a tea pot & Swiss chocolate & a couple books from Marfa, a water bottle and two drinking glasses from El Cosmico, and this little ceramic cup from Austin in which I put the cactus Monet gave me when I arrived at her house in Texas: