May 5, 2003. Monday

921pm Denver, CO

Cinco de Mayo

Things have been busy, but lazy--last week I had to take a 2 hour deficit just to reach 40 hours!

On my trip out West, after leaving Knoxville, I stopped for way too long in Nashville, running around with Lisa Draht, who was really fun AND really hot. Guys everywhere we went turned around and looked and prob asked 'What's that tool doing with a girl like that?'

I stayed way too long with her and didn't arrive in OK city until 1AM.
Betsy Smith and Karla were waiting for me at the hotel and we went to IHOP for way too long but I felt like I owed it to her for being so late.
Things turned out well---John Kulans had called late that night, surprised to find me on the road, but told me to hold in OK City until they sorted out where I was to go.
That phone call came after I had already told Betsy 'bye' and checked out of my hotel. I found out I was coming to Denver and since the work wouldn't be there, to spend a day in OK City which was fine by me.
Betsy and I found a good deli before going climbing. I am such a weakling now! I could barely last 2 hours of semi-climbing! And I complained way too much, so headed home early.
I took her to dinner at Fratelli's (the Goonies) and had some sub-par house red wine.

From there, after catching Betsy between classes, it took me 13 hours to reach Denver.

I refused to drive through Kansas and instead took I-40 until almost Albuquerque, shot up East of Santa Fe (and took some pictures on an old survey) then caught I-25 up--gorgeous drive through the mountains.

I finished my second CD book, The Wild Blue, about B-24 Bomber pilots in WWII written by Steven Ambrose (Band of Brothers). This was much more narrative, following one bomber crew in particular from signing up for the Air Corps all the way to the end of the war.

Vicki and I played phone tag all week before getting together Fri night for dinner and drinks. The steak was ok at Brittany Hill, but the crab-stuffed mushrooms and Mondavi wine (with a hint of apple) were great, as well as the 5-mile hilltop view of downtown Denver.
We went to LoDo (Lower Downtown) and Larimer Square for a drink at Blue before coming back here under the guise of showing her my pictures. That didn't last the pretense once the door closed and I work up early in the morning next to her wearing only a borrowed t-shirt.
I took her to her place so she could go to some dog marathon with Kathy, then came back for a few hours sleep.

Jess (Jessica Brice Goodman), Ryan Paquette, and I went downtown, to the park, to the Natural History & Science Museum, and to Cheesecake Factory before grabbing tickets to Kevin Nealon's (SNL) stand-up show at comedy works.

The show was hilarious and drinks were strong!
One guy joked about fat girls wearing midriff shirts and compared them to the window in the bacon package.
Kevin went off on maps and how people always show you where you want to go off the map. Then, and this killed Jess and Ryan, he did the whole hand-thing about Michigan.

After the show, they saw him backstage and told him about the U-P--I took a hasty picture and hope it comes out.

Yesterday, I found a small church in Golden (since I wasn't about to drive 1/2 hour to Westminster) with a  deceptively-toolish adult class. Engineers and a lawyer. Super smart, iffy socially.
Another new guy, TBS, was there and works for Outward Bound. Rigorous training program. You have to go through their normal 81-day 'class' and specialize in an outdoor activity. He used to do it in S. Africa, now works the office in Golden. Had to sell his car since low $$. Really cool guy. Brutally honest and up-front about himself--moreso than I am around people I'm comfortable with.
The lesson was good, and so was the discussion once it got going. I even managed to contribute.

After getting back late, the 3 of us went downtown again. Ryan had heard of 'the unsinkable' Molly Brown's house so we toured that. What a bust! How boring can a Victorian home get? Not much more than that. I want my money back.

We fought the Cinco de Mayo crowd downtown and made it to the Art Museum. A little disappointing, especially when the best exhibits were Modern Art and a tunnel of mirrors.

I always just like looking around and admiring talent and skill.

In beauty I walk;
With beauty before me I walk;
With beauty behind me I walk;
With beauty all around me I walk

Navajo Prayer

Almost 10--time for Simpsons. I wonder why I don't have much free time today--to journal, play guitar, read, write up, TE reports, and I remember I worked 10.25 hours today IN THE FIELD.
Well, and exercising and watching this year's Eco-Race till 9 sorta cuts into being responsible and productive, but for me its necessary, not lazy or uninvolved.

Write-ups can wait, esp if we want to stay through the weekend--work is dwindling, but we'll stay at least Sat--I want to hike the Rockies even if it means this FL boy has to rent snow shoes.

"Well…we were going to eat at Rio Bravo's but it wasn't authentic enough for Jason! So, we went to take some pictures of the Parthenon at some park on West End. (Yes, I've lived here for 3 years & I don't know the name of the park). Then I showed you around the historic Printer's Alley--full of boobs and booze. :) We walked around the block and you were going to take a picture on Broadway, but Tootsies' Tour Bus was in the way. Just when we thought the adventure was over, I wanted to get some food at McDonald's--we stopped at Subway instead--and that's when it happened! I remembered where an authentic Mexican restaurant was! So we hopped back into the rent-a-car and we were off--leaving behind the confused looks of the people in Subway. You got an order of Quesadilla en carno and I ordered two enchiladas de pollos. It was yummy and then we left because you just HAD to get back on the road…buttface. I pondered on how I could somehow go with you but it just didn't work in the end. So, I hope you have an awesome trip and when it's really late and you're still driving, just remember how lucky you are to have the opportunity to travel! You could be behind th desk working for some asshole of a manager in Winter Haven! God help us! Sorry it's so messy and you better keep in touch! I had a good time just hangin'. Lisa"

"Hey it was fun hanging out with you--come visit me and Betsy again soon in good ol Shawnee (And if I was America. To get motivated I would draw a better picture but I'm too lazy). So here's my quote: 'You know the feeling when you're leaning back in a chair, and you lean back too far and you catch yourself just before you fall--I feel like that all the time.' I don't know who said that but if you can find the movie this is from I'll give you a prize.
'"'Feeling screwed up in a screwed up time at a screwed up place does not necessarily make one screwed up.' Yeah story of my life--let me tell you!"--Kayla


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