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Saturday, September 23, 2006

Broadway Book Tour

Yesterday was a kind of cold, drizzly day in the Mile High City. The sense that the seasons are changing is palpable not only in the temperature and the bronzing leaves on the trees, but in the very light from the sun, the long shadows and slow passing sunsets. Time doesn't seem infinite, as it often does in the summer. It flies by and before you know it, the day is gone.

It's enough to make one want to winter in the Southern Hemisphere.

The afternoon was spent wandering the bookshops on Broadway with Jill. We ate a hearty Mexican lunch at the Blue Bonnet, then snooped around for a few hours. That stretch of Broadway has quite a few bookstores and strange little boutiques. We passed a goth-indusrial specialty record store and an S&M costume shop. We didn't go in there, but we did go into a little shop that had some cool, but overpriced and pretty useless stuff. I picked up a few postcards, but that was it.

The first bookstore we went to smelled dusty as soon as you walked in. There were stacks of musty books everywhere, boxes of books slammed up on every conceivable corner. They were in some order, but many of them were old and overpriced. The other half of the store was a different kind of book shop, the dirty book variety. I didn't even go over there.

The next book shop we went to was completely different, clean, very open, with a better selection. Of course, they too were overpriced. This bookstore, Mutiny Now, is owned by Jack Jensen, an artist figure, who seems to be doing alright for himself. Ichabod's Books used to be there, until the owner Kathy Gomendi got busted for buying stolen books. (More here.) Nice store, Jack, but do you think you could tone down the prices?

The last store we went to was a book mall of sorts, not a traditional bookstore. Local business owners rent out stalls to people selling books and together they keep the store running. Kind of a collective thing, and pretty cool. Their prices were a bit over the top too, but what are you going to do?

Soon my favorite bookstore, Books Unlimited will be moving down to Broadway, which is actually closer than their previous location. There the bargains will reign!

Thursday, September 21, 2006

San Antonio Express

When I was a teenager, fifteen maybe, I went on a trip with my grandparents to Texas. We rented an RV and along with my Aunt Terri and Uncle Bill, we took the grand tour of the Texas heartland. We visited Austin, San Marcos, New Braunfels, San Antonio and everything in between. It was a great trip, and one I'll always remember.

Several memories stick out though, a few I wanted to share here. One of the funnest things we did was stay at this wildlife preserve/RV park. We pulled in and found the road blocked by a herd of mules. Mulling around in the middle was a horny male, three foot dong hard as a rock and ready to roll, who was mounting a placid female. A few awkward animal movements later, he withdrew, spurting everywhere, on the road, on the front of the RV, on the other mules.

I think pictures of that humping mule still exist.

Also at this RV park, they had a camel ride. Yeah, a real camel, a real ride. You hopped in the saddle, and they pranced you around in a circle and you got off after one go round. I rode it without incident. Grandma rode it without incident. But when Terri got on the camel, the saddle started to slip and by the time she made it around the ring she looked like one of those stunt riders that hang off the side of a saddle to show how skilled they are. That one we got on video.

When we got to San Antonio, I manned the video camera, and in addition to all the beautiful scenery, like the Alamo, the River Walk, and the Mexican market, I captured close ups of all the pretty girls I saw. I'm sure that tape still exists too.

Bitch, Bitch, Bitch, Bitch

It's been one of those days, not a bad day, but one in which I've contemplated some of the annoyances that have been chafing my ass recently.

So if you don't want to read through this rant, I understand. You can click on the Poets Row link to the right, or you could read something else entirely.

But homey's gotta rant.

First off, Miss Needy, don't come running to me when you fail to live up to your responsibilities as a person and as a parent. In case someone hasn't told you what most normal people figure out in the first few years of adulthood, let me put it to you very simply: You need to pay your rent FIRST. Before you buy food, cigarettes, or anything else. Sit in the dark, eat Ramen, quit smoking, do whatever, but pay your goddamned rent. You need a roof over your head. You have a child, in case you didn't know.

And when you're about to get evicted from the free trailer you got when your Grandma died, don't call me asking for help. I'm just Uncle. I'm not your daddy, not your husband, nor am I your benefactor. I will do whatever I can to take care of my nephew, but don't think for a second that taking care of you is part of the deal.

Despite all the evidence to the contrary, I still believe you are capable of taking care of yourself...and if you're not, you should be. Time to stand on your own two feet.

And while I'm on the subject, thanks, bro, for bringing this woman into our lives. You get a pass on this one, since you were 16 when you first hooked up with her. I mean, when you're 16, "responsibility" isn't on the list, and even if it were, it's way down there, below "she puts out" and "she can buy me booze." You were young and dumb and now you know better...oh wait, never mind...

That's why on this next one, I already told you that you're on your own. Your kids I can handle...but I'm not putting up with any more of your baby's mama drama.

And, friends, let me just reiterate this for the hundredth time. I am not a drug dealer. Yeah, I used to know a guy. He used to be pretty reliable. But things change, and so do circumstances. If I have some, I'll be glad to share, but I am not Dealer McDope.

I also want to throw out a special shout out to the lady I rear ended last week. Thanks for doing that whole stop-when-I-think-you're-going thing. I'm glad your car escaped unscathed. Mine however, is pretty fucked up. Oh, it's driveable...for now, but, lady, thanks to your efforts, I will be getting a new vehicle soon. May you live a long prosperous life, and may the police never find out that you don't have insurance.

And finally, Ebay, you're a bitch. Yeah, you. Why the hell can't I just buy a lot of books without having to bid against other people? I mean, come on, man. Those auctions take time. I want to buy those books and live smug in the knowledge that they're in the mail. I don't want to duke it out with some other book loving nut with deeper pockets. Those 11 Elroy novels? Some dingo bought them for $38.59, plus shipping. For 11 used paperbacks? That works out to be about $3.50 a piece, and that's a bargain? I don't think so.

And those 25 suspense novels that I bid $11.95 for? I got beat out by $.50 because the auction ended when I was otherwise occupied. Fifty cents! At a sale price of $12.45 for 25 books, several of them Michael Connelly's, that works out to be about fifty cents a book. Now that's a bargain, and I missed it! All because of Ebay's goddamned auctions.

The Wit and Wisdom of James Pearce

If you're asked to co-sign on a loan for someone who's six months behind on their rent, say NO. Chances are, if they can't pay their lot rent (on a paid-off trailer they inherited, no less!), they won't pay back the loan.

And like Mama always said, Don't make someone else's problems your problems.

I don't work this shitty schedule so that the irresponsible can maintain their lifestyle with head planted firmly up ass.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Deftones

Last night I was thinking about profound subjects like life and death, about the cruelty of the universe and also about its unyielding kindness. As I was having these deep thoughts, I was listening to the deftones.

Anchored by the abstractly tortured vocal stylings of Chino Moreno, the impeccable rhythms of ace drummer Abe Cunningham, the steady bottom line of Chi Cheng, and the corrosive guitar work of Stefan Carpenter, the deftones (intentionally not capitalized and perhaps not even needing the definite article) have been one of my favorite bands for oh, the last ten years.

Though the songs I was listening to last night didn't directly talk to the confused thoughts I never managed to put into words, they certainly captured the feeling. Here's a trio of songs that illustrate what I'm talking about.

First, One Weak, a slow dirge-like song with stream of consciousness lyrics that mean...what exactly? I'm not sure, but I know it has a raw sound that alternates between sadness, resignation, and defiance.

Then there's the melancholy bitterness behind My Own Summer (Shove It). It has some of the heaviest drumming this side of Bonham, as well as some of the trickiest tone shifts, which is useful when contemplating the broader implications of life and death.

And finally, there's the epic size of Battle-Axe, which just might be powerful enough to put you into a hypnotic trance.

The Crime Beat

Yesterday I posted about the brutal killing in Surrey Ridge and boasted about how it was in the nice neighborhood. "Those things don't happen in the ghetto" is what I think I said. Something like that anyway.

That may be true, but things like this happen.

Today at around 1:00, just before work, I stopped off at the 7-11 on Peoria to get some cash and beef jerky, and I noticed the police had the street blocked off. I figured some kind of car accident happened or they were doing roadwork. Instead, it was a crime scene.

A Trail of Blood a Mile Long

Bush spoke at the UN earlier today, and he said some cool things. Speeches like that are dry and very broad, but it's still a George Bush speech, and as such, a bit hollow. He's not afraid to use the vaguely propagandistic imagery of all the purple fingers, but I can't say I object to much of anything he's saying there.

A few hours later, his foil Ahmadinejad took the stage and criticized the UN for being a tool of the US government.

A strange day at the UN? Oh yeah.

The most telling part of the whole exchange is perhaps this:
But even though the two leaders were addressing the same forum, they skipped each other's speeches and managed to avoid direct contact during the ministerial meeting.
I can understand the impulses behind this childishness. If it were I giving a speech at the UN against, say, my ex-girlfriend, I would do the whole avoidance thing, too.

But these guys are world leaders, and though they may have personal grudges against one another, they represent more than themselves and have a duty to their people to act like grown-ups.

Maybe that's just too much to ask for.

In other news, Oprah is not one of us. I knew this when I saw an episode where she decorated this woman's house with stuff bought exclusively at Wal-Mart. You would have thought she was a cave man recently thawed and exposed to the mysteries of modern life.

Wow, what do they call these? Aisles? That's amazing. Look at all this stuff. You mean to tell me you can get underwear, motor oil, bullets, paper towels, light bulbs, and beef jerky all in one store? Ohmygod! Make-up too?

It was sad. Rich people must be very depressed, having no need or want to venture out into the wider world. And if you're missing Wal-Mart, you're missing out, man.

Eeeeeerch! Sorry, bout that. Left turns can be scary on this road we travel.

Yesterday morning, police found the naked body of an unidentified woman on the side of the road. She was dragged behind a car for more than a mile and ditched in a field. They don't know who she is, or who did it, but you can bet this isn't the last you heard of this story.

Wait till that bitch Nancy Grace gets on it.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Broncomania

You could get a higher nosebleed seat at Invesco Field if you wanted one, but the seats we had were high enough. Let's just say that no one was behind us. One thing about these seats is that you can't see the players all that clearly --I mean, I know that masters like Champ Bailey, Tony Gonzalez, and Ty Law were on the field...somewhere...but I couldn't exactly make them out-- but you get a really good look at the field.

I'm told that at Arrowhead, fans stand up the whole game. There's lots of face paint and they pride themselves on being the loudest outdoor stadium in the NFL. Invesco Field is sleepy in comparison. Perhaps we Denver fans are too comfortable in our brand new state of the art stadium, or we're too resigned after being blackmailed into paying for it, or perhaps there just isn't much to get excited about on the Broncos roster this year.

The game itself was a battle of conservative offenses. Both teams spent three quarters establishing the run, sometimes making a go of it, sometimes not. There were a few fumbles, some nasty sacks, some foolish play by Jake Plummer. Rod Smith got a concussion. But there were no touchdowns, and the Broncos did not get a single penalty.

Here's a vid of some of the action.