Bad Weather & The Drought

We Coloradans never object to the perpetuation of the misconception that it’s always cold and snowy here, because it’s generally understood to be the only reason everybody in the world doesn’t move to our glorious state. But now this shit is happening. I’m not even complaining about the rain, because we need it. But what’s up with Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday? Shit, that’s what.

No. This shit makes me feel kind of depressed and then angry, the kind of angry normally reserved for people who drive like assholes. Hey 25-degree Wednesday in mid April! How about you use your goddamn turn signal?!

I like winter, more or less, when it actually is winter.  But now it’s spring and we had a few nice, sit-outside-with-no-jacket-well-into-the-evening days but apparently those were just a tease and now it’s back to winter and covering up the poor little vegetables who have had the misfortune to start growing already. (Let’s not even talk about the poor little vegetables still inside or the gigantic edamame beanstalk that’s about to take over the house.) My skin is so dry my hands have those awful cuts you get when your skin is way too dry despite copious lotioning and I just want to be outside, enjoying life. I want to be outside! I want it to be nice! This unreasonably cold weather has gone on for too long! I’m sad like Margarita from The Master and Margarita (currently re-reading, which is why I’m obsessed) before she applied the cream and became a naked witch, flying on her broom in the moonlight outside Moscow.

Speaking of needing rain, we’re in a Stage 2 drought and there’s going to be some pretty hard-core enforcement of watering restrictions this summer. (More info. here.) (FYI: It’s okay to water annuals and vegetables any time with a hand-held hose or drip irrigation.) Can I be blunt? I’m already judging everybody who lives in the area and has a green lawn this summer. If you want a green lawn, you probably shouldn’t live in Colorado. It’s such a waste of water and I hope green lawns become totally unfashionable and widely regarded as a symbol of the kind of me-first-screw-everybody-else mentality good and enlightened people hope to avoid. Xeriscape! Grow food not lawns! I’m gonna have to write a Wesley Willis style song about conserving water! Rock over London! Rock on Chicago!

My boyfriend Jon Garland is coming to Denver! !!!!!

Jon Garland

This is an old picture.

In 2005, I fell in love with baseball, the Chicago White Sox, and in particular Jon Garland. My love for baseball, the Chicago White Sox, and in particular Jon Garland has continued over the years, even though Jon Garland and I have kind of lost touch as he moved from one team I don’t really care about to another and then spent the last season and a half recovering from shoulder surgery and not playing.

Today he was signed by the Colorado Rockies. He’ll be a starting pitcher. Holy shit you guys! This is the most exciting baseball thing to happen to me . . . well, since Philip Humber’s perfect game.

This is pretty much the only thing that could’ve made me care about the Colorado Rockies this year. Jon Garland!!

My New Signature Pizza and the Cactus Show

I’m ready to declare this my signature pizza:Untitled

  • thin crust
  • olive oil
  • apricot preserves
  • roasted garlic
  • rainbow chard (heat a little olive oil over medium head, add chard, fry (covered, stirring occasionally) for approximately 10 minutes until pleasantly soft, add salt and pepper to taste)
  • a little parmesan
  • a little smoked gouda
  • thinly sliced brie (I remove the rind)

So good. It’s kind of similar to the last pizza I made with chard, although that one is a lot more work.

Sorry the only picture I have is the bad one I just took of the microwaved leftovers at work (the other slice has red sauce, roasted garlic, yellow peppers, onions, and parmesan/mozzarella/gouda).

We went to the Colorado Cactus and Succulent Society show at the Botanic Gardens yesterday. It was cool. We bought a cactus that’s winter hardy and will allegedly grow to be 5 feet tall. We also got the guy below, who was picked out by Soren. I have a thing for cacti/succulents in glass containers, if that can be considered a thing.

another silly photo of usat the Botanic GardensUntitledUntitled

Update: Veganize this pizza by omitting the parmesan, gouda, and brie. Instead, put some homemade parmesan substitute (use a food processor to process equal parts pine nuts and nutritional yeast, plus a little salt) and a very light dusting of vegan mozzarella (Follow Your Heart or Daiya, or homemade if you have it) on the pizza before baking. When the pizza is finished baking, allow it to cool a bit and cut into slices. Before eating a slice, add some homemade brie. (It’s important to add as you eat, because this brie melts right away. If you have leftovers, you’ll want to reheat and then add the brie.)

For homemade brie, follow the first brie recipe (on page 12) in Artisan Vegan Cheese (no affiliate link). It’s very good but be aware that you’ll need several days to make it.

Speaking of hipster neighborhoods….

This was the tag I found on our garage today.

Today's graffiti

WTF? Is there a gang that drinks Pabst Blue Ribbon? Are they letting people know hipsters who might drink PBR live here? (We drink PBR very, very rarely, only when Ben is slumming or it’s 900 degrees outside and you want a little something in the middle of the afternoon or you’re doing that thing I used to do in college where you make a poor man’s bloody Mary with PBR, tomato juice, and hot sauce.) Professional Bull Riders (fuck those guys and their animal abuse)? I have no idea but as always, we painted over that shit right away. If you want your logo on our property you’re going to have to fork over some $$$ and at least design something that looks somewhat cool.

Can I convince you that Cole is the new hipster neighborhood of Denver?

Denver neighborhood map

We’ve been living in our little house in Denver’s Cole neighborhood for 8 years now, which is kind of crazy because I haven’t lived anywhere for that long aside from my parents’ house. The neighborhood has changed a lot since we moved here, and it feels like things are starting to get a little crazy.

I think the normal course of a neighborhood’s transition often goes something like this:

Hood –> Hipsterville –> Yuppieland

I am, as you may know due to my well-documented hatred of the Highlands (Denver) and Lincoln Park (Chicago), not a fan of Yuppieland (ever, but especially not when cute little old houses are torn down and replaced by behemoth hideous duplexes). I’m fine with Hood and okay with Hipsterville, as long as it’s not getting too dangerously close to Yuppieland. I like my neighborhood to be diverse and have a little grit, a little edge.

I think Cole qualified as a little hoody when we moved here. We lived through years of car break-ins, burglaries, gang graffiti, and gunshots and murders. (This all still happens, but not as often.) We used to play “gunshots or fireworks” all summer. Still, the only times I really thought about moving were when a completely innocent man who had nothing to do with anything was killed a block from our house and when we heard a spray of gunfire that was so close to our house we saw people running in terror and I had to call the police.

Since then, a house on our block was featured on an episode of House Hunters and our hood was described as the “up and coming Denver neighborhood of City Park” (it’s totally not City Park). Houses have been fixed and flipped and sold for, well, a lot if you ask me (a fan of paying as little for a house as reasonably possible). That said, it’s been a slow process.

But it seems to be speeding up. A house on our block was just fixed up and put on the market for, well, a lot if you ask me, and two or three days later there are already people checking out the house and asking us about the neighborhood. In the Whittier neighborhood, which is just south of and fancier than Cole, houses are flying off the market.

So here’s the deal. If you want to move to Cole, you should probably do it now. My recommendation would be to buy a house that hasn’t been fixed up but that you can live with for a while — this way, you can still get a good deal and might enjoy some appreciation (not that we can count on it any more).

Why would you want to move to Cole? Well, it’s awesome — but you should only move here if you’re awesome. It’s pretty chill and close enough to cool stuff without being too much in the middle of it. Of course, it’s no Baker, where you can roll out of bed and walk into a bar. (The thing with Baker, though, is that everybody is talking about how it’s the hipster neighborhood in Denver, which, as far as I’m concerned, means it’s no longer the hipster neighborhood in Denver. I mean, it was pretty cool when we lived there back in 2004 . . . sorry, I’m the tedious asshole who always likes to tell you about how I lived in X hipster neighborhood before it was hip. Don’t ever ask me about Wicker Park/Bucktown.) But it is close enough for you to walk to all the cool shit over on the other side of Downing, like Our Mutual Friend, Black Shirt, Walnut Room, and the vegan market, while still living in a legit, non-industrial neighborhood that doesn’t smell like festering animal carcass where you can have a cute little house with a cute little yard instead of an expensive loft. It’s diverse and friendly and laid back without being boring. You’re like two minutes from downtown and within 10 minutes of pretty much everything you’ll ever need. The schools aren’t the best, but if you’re a young hipster you don’t care and there’s always the possibility of choicing in somewhere else. Starbucks hasn’t found us yet.

The thing with hipster neighborhoods is nobody knows they’re hipster neighborhoods yet. So don’t tell anyone about Cole. It’ll be our secret.

Music for the Delaware

 

This song (Daniel Avery – Drone Logic) is so hot. You should listen to it while you read this post. I don’t know why I keep thinking about songs in terms of what would be happening in a movie while they’re playing. This one has something to do with hippies, dancing, sex, someone getting killed, someone driving an exceptionally fancy car, and probably heroin. I don’t even think that makes sense.

MCA

This film was the highlight of our trip to MCA today. It was in a small gallery closed off by a heavy curtain. It’s called “Action for the Delaware” by William Lamson. In it, you see alternating footage of what appears to be a guy standing peacefully on the water and a guy struggling with the apparatus that allows him to appear to stand peacefully on the water and doing stuff like removing water from his wading boots. Soren was mesmerized and probably could’ve watched it all day, which would’ve been great because he didn’t nap this afternoon and was a raging grump ass. We tried to pawn him off on the innocent woman on guard duty in the basement. She was going to have him help her scrub the floors of the entire museum with a toothbrush. It would’ve built some character, I’m sure. Instead we went home for a late, short nap and then went out for veggie dogs and a tragic triple-overtime Nuggets loss. (We’d planned to hit up the arepas truck at Our Mutual Friend but it wasn’t there.)

MCA
MCA
MCA
MCA
MCA

A Nice Day in Denver in January

playing soccer
playing soccer
playing soccer
playing soccer

The grass looks like shit. It’s so dry, drier than usual (and it’s usually dry, which is great in the summer and terrible in the winter because it makes your hands so dry they crack and you seriously try to superglue the cuts). This is what Denver looks like right now. Not all of Denver, of course. The non-fancy east side looks like this. I always feel weird calling it the “east side,” like someone might think we live in Montbello. We’re not that far east. We’re the east where tiny little Victorian houses from the 1800s line the streets and you can see downtown and sometimes there are still loose dogs running around. I always stop and try to get them and without fail, they never come to me. All I’d do is take them home or bring them to my house until we could figure something out.

I’ve been listening to Das Racist and I wish Wesley Willis had survived long enough to visit the combination Pizza Hut and Taco Bell. He would’ve rocked the fuck out of that shit.