In Brief.

Hi friends!  I’ve been AWOL recently.  Fun things have been happening, as they are wont to do here in Denver – I saw Craig Morgan play at the Grizzly Rose (more on that later), watched a shirtless man play a keytar (much more on that later), and ate a ridiculously amazing breakfast burrito (read more about that here).

Unfortunately, I don’t have photos of any of this to share with you.  Nobody regrets that more than I do; however, I’m pretty sure it’s been said that 1,000 words equal a picture, so I will attempt to paint a couple below.

Grizzly Rose: Craig Morgan concert

My wonderful cousins invited me along for their “redneck girls’ night” to see Craig Morgan, of “Redneck Yacht Club” fame, play the Grizzly Rose.  We met for Mexican food to fuel up before the show (tamales smothered in green chili…mmm…) and headed to the venue.  The Grizzly Rose is a magical place where you can drink a beer, watch live music, line dance, ride a mechanical bull, and buy a pair of Wranglers.  You can also wear daisy dukes in January, a matching camo-print sweatshirt and baseball cap, or a western shirt with Yosemite Sam emblazoned on your back.

The opening band was decent – they played a mix of original songs and covers, including personal favorite “Strawberry Wine” – and Craig Morgan has very nicely toned arms.  We danced, sang, and saluted our veterans and active military members.

In short, it was amazing.  They offer free dance lessons, which I fully intend to attend.  I’ll be sure to take photos next time.

The Bluebird Theater

A few of us attended the “Third Annual Faceman’s Waltz” at the Bluebird Theater.  What does that mean, you ask?  Hell if I know.  A friend’s former coworker’s awesome band (The Knew) was playing, so to the Bluebird we went.  (Side note: any of you watch Nashville?  I know it’s a different Bluebird, but I pretended I was going to see Deacon, who is a stone cold fox…)

The theater itself was so cool – it feels old but not neglected, like notes from shows in the ’50s still hang in the blue velvet curtains.  It’s a cozy venue, and every seat in the house is a great one, but the music is so great, you’ll be standing.  This particular show was comprised of a bunch of funky bands, including one with a guy wearing a fur vest, and was hosted by a very abrasive Buddy Holly-esque emcee.  My favorite band, other than The Knew, was a shirtless solo artist rocking a white-guy fro and a keytar.  I don’t know how to describe the sounds coming out of this man’s body.  It was a combination of growls, yelps, and some gibberish…they may have been real words, but I was so flabbergasted by the whole scene that I browned out.

After the show, we headed to Pete’s Kitchen for some late-night breakfast burritos: the perfect conclusion to a lovely weekend.

Losing Stock.

Something in the cosmos is cock-blocking my adventures this week.  (In a definite “first world problems” kind of way, though, so…take these complaints with a grain of salt [lick].)

A few people had told me wondrous things about the stock show, which kicked off with a parade downtown today.  I have so many great memories associated with parades in New York.  During our first summer in NYC, my friend Allison and I giddily attended both the Gay Pride and Puerto Rican Day parades, which are two of the loudest, rowdiest events in the city.  The West Indian Parade ran directly in front of my first Brooklyn apartment, the streets crammed with girls wearing elaborate feather headdresses and booths selling jerk chicken.  The Mermaid Parade in Coney Island is a sweaty, glorious celebration of weirdness.

Coney, you're a hot mess, and I love you for it.

Coney, you’re a hot mess, and I love you for it.

The stock show kick-off parade involves over a hundred Texas longhorn cattle, marching bands, horseback riders, and floats, and I couldn’t wait to embrace this side of Denver culture.

The parade began at noon, so my plan was to leave the house around 11:30, to ensure plenty of time to get a good spot.  I got a bit delayed finishing up my Modern Family recap for Character Grades (SHAMELESS PLUG: you can read it here), but I made it downtown by 12:30.  I figured this was plenty of time to catch the tail end of the show.

While walking towards 17th street – the parade route – I saw a man wearing a cowboy hat (over his sweatshirt hood), walking in the opposite direction of the parade.  Red flag #1.  I passed a bearded man and his wife carrying camp chairs, also walking away from 17th.  Red flag #2.  Finally, I got to 17th, and like a thief in the night, the parade had stolen itself away…my broken heart the only sign it had ever been there at all.

I decided to hoof it towards the end of the route, in case I might be able to track down at least one longhorn steer.  I reached Tremont, where the parade was scheduled to end, and caught sight of a few horses in the distance, followed by a herd of…street sweepers.

Herd of street sweepers in their natural habitat

Herd of street sweepers in their natural habitat

It may not have been the experience I’d hoped, but it was a nice walk through downtown Denver, and I cheered myself up with a Turkey Tom from Jimmy John’s.  The sandwich alone was worth the [cattle] drive!

(p.s. in order to cheer myself up, I allowed myself a few gratuitous puns…sorry I’m not sorry.)

Thwarted Again.

DetourInspired by the beautiful weather, I attempted, once again, to visit Barr Lake.  Once again, I failed.

To avoid any hunters, I looked up driving directions to the park, packed up my camera, put on my L.L. Bean boots, and headed out.  I passed horses wearing little jackets and a field full of cows (or maybe small bears?  I was far away and couldn’t tell exactly what they were), and planes bound for Denver International Airport coasted overhead.  As the road turned, I glimpsed the lake!  Surely the entrance could not be far.

I reached Piccadilly Street, where I was due to turn, and then…a road block!  No Through Traffic!  Road Work Ahead!  The detour sign led me onto a dirt road, so I followed the path, hoping I could reach the park on the other side of the detour.  My little Honda CR-V bounced and jostled along the unpaved road.  I wondered, is this going to hurt my suspension?!?   As a spoiled suburban female, I have no idea what the suspension is (is it a part?  Is it a concept achieved by keeping all the parts in balance?  I’m envisioning springs…), but regardless, this seemed like a situation that might be endangering it.

After a long loop, I passed “Gun Club Road” (and some ridiculous mansions) and reached the other side of Piccadilly Street.  Can you guess what awaited me there?  Another huge road block.  I took it as a detour sign from the universe.  I probably would have been eaten by rabid coyotes, anyway.

You’ve won the battle, Barr Lake, but someday, I will stroll along your shore…

 

Barr None.

Barr Lake State Park is within spitting distance of my house.  I’m told the nature preserve houses bald eagles, deer, and other critters, so I set off on foot this afternoon to visit.  Apparently, you can follow a nearby canal all the way to the lake.  I say apparently, because I did not make it that far.

First, I ended up on the wrong side of the canal…the path ended in a small cliff.  So I backtracked and tried the other path, only to notice a man in the distance, rifle over his shoulder, dog by his side.  I decided the canal was adventure enough for the day and vowed to try again, perhaps arriving by car.

Canal

Going Green.

Those of you from the Rocky Mountain region will already know about this stuff, but green chili…is amazing.  It’s chili made with green chiles (hence the name).  So far I’ve had a version with pork (similar to the photo below), and then a creamy, blended version.

Guys!  Green chili is awesome!

Guys! Green chili is awesome!

You dip a tortilla into the soup, which has heat, but not enough to overpower the flavor.  I was told it originated elsewhere, but it’s now a Colorado staple.  So while Colorado is populated by people who are passionate about recycling and reducing carbon emissions, I’ve found my own way of going green.