Friday, August 31, 2007

In sickness (and in health?)

OK, so we haven't exactly done the whole marriage/vows thing yet, but this week has been pretty crappy from a sickness standpoint. K1 went into last weekend w/ 2 ear infections and is now better through happy antibiotic assistance. K2 got the sniffles and a cough and fought it off valiantly w/ love and care from mom. I came down w/ strep, missed work Monday and was completely back to 'normal' by Wednesday. So of course Steph came down with something yesterday and spent the evening passed out and miserable on the couch. K1 was great taking care of her, K2 was not as compliant with taking pity on mom and going to bed.

I'll be glad when we're all happy and healthy again! That hasn't happened for 24 hours straight since I proposed. Poo. (And no, I don't believe it's a sign or anything :-P )

Monday, August 27, 2007

Engaged! (pt. 2- featuring Content!)

So everybody asks the where and how of such things. I didn't know that the outside world would care, but I like having a record for myself anyway :-)

It started a week ago Friday really, on 8/17/07. I obtained the last piece of the ring and took it to the jeweler to get it sized and all. He said it would be ready Wednesday, 8/22 at noon. Great! Then the question was how to get her up to where I wanted to ask her. I planted the idea last weekend that I wanted to go hiking somewhere Arlo could go along. He hasn't gotten to be with us in awhile so that sounded plausible enough. I suggested back above Golden, she thought that sounded good, and the trap was set.

Adam took the kids Saturday a.m. through Sunday a.m. this week, so it was set for Saturday. We went up to the trail (in the Mount Galbraith Park Open Space), hiked up to the overlook where we had 1st both realized that we were going to be more than weekend hiking buddies, and I popped the question*. I really don't remember exactly what I said, but considering how much we've talked about making this happen a big speech didn't seem terribly necessary. I probably wasn't as romantic and sappy as I would have liked, but I do that at other times I think...anyway, the response was the same. She said Yes ("Of course" is how she put it) and we're officially engaged now. Nobody was hiking by at that time, so we did the self-taken pic thing:
A little while later we were continuing on the trail and passed some folks we got to take our picture again:
You can't really see the ring in either of those, but I promise she has one now!
The rest of the day was spent sipping champagne, calling people to tell them the news, and then dinner at La Fondue. I'm still kind of in shock that I pulled this off. A girl this awesome is going to marry ME?! It seems too good to be true sometimes.

And then my sick yuckiness returned and I've been totally out of it and have hardly seen her. I'm home with strep, which is exactly how I'd always envisioned celebrating this time in my life. Blah.

*Note for future suitors...if your plan involves being on one knee, rocky outcroppings might not be your ideal location.

Saturday, August 25, 2007


This is largely a placeholder post, to be updated later with details and such. For now...I got engaged today and I couldn't be happier. Stephanie is a wonderful girl and I'm incredibly lucky that we found each other when we did. It couldn't have been timed better and she couldn't be better for me.

Life, she be good.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Deja vu

I think today is a repeat. Several times today I have experienced an absolutely confident deja vu. Not "I think I've done this before," but "I've done this before. When was that?"

In other news, we're taking the kids to Water World tomorrow. I haven't been since I was 17 or 18. Should be a good time. K1 is getting his kindergarten shots tomorrow morning so this is kind of something to look forward to so he can get through multiple needle jabbings. He starts school Wednesday over in Jeffco. Exciting times.

My brother got married over the weekend. Hooray! Sounds like an excellent little event, with just close friends and happiness and very little stress involved. I wouldn't mind something similar, when it comes time in my life to do the marriage thing. Whenever that might be.

Finally, all me a favor and head over to and listen to "New song: 99 floors." Probably my favorite of the truly new songs they played both nights. Bolly on harmonica is a good thing.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Kiddo wisdom

Since Mexico, K1 has decided he likes Godzilla, but not the big scary kind with death and destruction. He likes the cartoon versions, especially the "Original Animated Series" with the cute mini-Godzilla (Godzookie) for the kids. He also likes playing random free games on his computer. This weekend he wanted to play a Godzilla game on his computer. Where to find one? "Well just type in Godzilla dot com!"
He's 5 and already he understands that adding a ".com" to the end of something will likely get you a page with (hopefully) related content. The next generation is going to make mine look quaint, just like we did to our parents.

FYI, links to a page for the new Atari Godzilla game. K1 was right! You just can't, ya know, play it. Oh well. Damn close.

Now playing: Bootleg of the 7/27 Fillmore show. This was actually a badass concert. Gossamer clocks in at 33:39 though, which is extreme even for Billy. Not that I'm complaining :-D

Sunday, August 12, 2007


The NFL preseason is underway. Hooray! The 1st Broncos game is tomorrow night...on ESPN. I have downgraded my cable to the $14/month uber-basic option, as has Steph, as have my parents. This means I have nowhere to go to watch Monday Night Football when the Broncos are playing, which is 1 preseason game and 3 regular season of which is the Christmas Eve game. Dammit. In addition the Dec. 13 game is on the NFL Network, so I can't see that either (without going to a bar or some such to watch.) Anybody with better TV options want company for Monday Night Football, when the Broncos are on?

Friday, August 3, 2007

San Francisco

Last weekend was the big trip to San Fran. I'm really glad I decided I was still obsessed to go, and that Steph was willing to come along.

Friday morning bright and early my friend Kath drove us to the airport, as usual when flying any more. (Thanks!) Even before boarding the plane I was amazed by the insane numbers of Harry Potter books wandering around the airport. It had been out a week and it looked like anyone who wasn't finished already was sprinting to the end before somebody spoiled it for them. But I digress...

We hit the ground in San Francisco early enough to go explore before the show Friday evening. After trekking across town on the BART and the MUNI systems, we found our B&B and checked in. We were at the Red Vic, right in the middle of Haight St., just a couple blocks from Golden Gate park. There had been some reservations about this place, but we were quite happy with the whole experience. Aside from sharing a bathroom it was more like staying at a hotel w/ a cafe downstairs than staying at your grandma's house. We only ran into other people staying there maybe 3 times the whole weekend. After dropping our bags we headed off for Chinatown for browsing and shopping and general exploration of the whole San Francisco thing. We hung out there until it was time to head back and get ready for the show (stopping for dinner at the Squat & Gobble on Haight St. on the way back).We got to the Fillmore at 7:30ish for the 8:00 opening of the doors, which is awfully late for me to get to an SP show really. It turned out just fine though...We ended up being maybe 2-3 people back from the stage, right between Billy & Jeff. The show started absolutely perfectly. We had been talking over dinner about the symbolic significance of going to this show w/ Stephanie, and how I'd been thinking about it in relation to the whole Sarah thing (we met the night of my last SP show, 11/29/00, for those new to my life). So the show starts with Billy solo, acoustic, singing a new song (post-Zeitgeist-new). The lyrics were about a lost love "I used to know you/I used to care" and I was thinking huh, that's interesting. Then the rest of the band came out and they launched into That's the Way (My Love Is), their next single and the love song off Zeitgeist, all about love being a beautiful thing and being there for each other. It was a fairly perfect summation of the change between 2000-2006 and 2007. Then Billy threw his pick, it bounced off my face, and I got my 1st SP pick ever. Just perfect. I couldn't have asked for much more from the rest of the show. Several brand-spanking new songs, lots of old favorites, some stuff off the new CD...28 songs in all, 3 hours straight and Billy never left the stage for a second. They closed out with a 15-ish min version of Gossamer and we headed out, getting to bed at 2ish.

Saturday we slept in a bit getting up at 9 I think, which is very late for Steph, but obviously is was much needed rest after the 23-hour day we had Friday. We ate breakfast at the B&B (duh) then headed up to the wharf area. Right before we got off the bus we saw the Ghirardelli factory and had to go look. Ended up chasing breakfast with a tasty tasty Hot Fudge Sundae, then went down to the pier. Wandered there for awhile and then stumbled on a bike rental place. We had discussed renting bikes to explore, but after walking a bit on the ridiculous hills we had nixed that idea. This was on the water though, and pretty flat, so we went in to check it out. Ended up renting a tandem bike (because it was cheaper...not because it's cheesier that way :-P ) and biked along the beach and over the Golden Gate Bridge and back. Got a couple hours exercise and mastered the skill that has been the bane of many an Amazing Race team.
Saturday evening was show #2. It was quite a bit like #1 as far as the song blend was concerned. They did 3 hours, 28 songs again, 10 of which they hadn't done Friday. The best moment of that one was right at the end. One of the songs I had been really really wanting to hear was Muzzle, and they didn't play it the 1st night. Being close to the stage, I shouted MUZZLE!!! really loud a couple times, like obnoxious people do when they think the band will change the setlist taped to the floor by their feet. They left the stage after the encore with no Muzzle being played. Ah well. The house lights came on and we went back to buy our shirts and everybody else kind of hung out, cheering and gnashing their teeth and stuff like you do for an encore. Except that the house lights were give it up and go home people! But they didn't, and 10 min later the house lights went off, Billy and Jimmy came out with acoustic guitars, and they played Zeitgeist. Kick ass. Then everybody else wandered back onto the stage and they launched into Muzzle. Full-out electric version, which I hadn't heard live in years (Billy did it acoustic and solo for a long time.) Perfect ending to the night, and I'm still telling myself that they picked that for the unplanned encore because of me. (I doubt it, but it's still a nice thought, eh?)

Sunday we checked out of the Red Vic at 11 and spent a couple hours wandering Haight St. and dipping into Golden Gate Park briefly. Haight failed to yield both a flask (which I've been looking for) and a Grateful Dead Dancing Bear (for Steph). We were offered drugs many times in the 15 min. we were down by the park though. Then it was time to come home, all too soon.

Fun non-concert moments from the trip not mentioned above:
Jogging a mile or so down Geary St. to the Fillmore because it was too chilly to hold still and wait for the bus. Learning that Steph's sense of direction is better than mine when exiting a subway stop. Pomegranate martinis at the Squat & Gobble. Wandering into some random awesome little bar to use the bathroom when the bus failed to catch up to us on Haight. The little click that happened on the bus back to the airport. Overheard on busses: "They spelled it different, but it's still a HATE street!" "I only drink all-organic rum." "So do you identify WITH hippies, or AS a hippie?"

And pics of The Pumpkins from Friday night:

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Where to begin...

Catching the blog up...I'll start with the new car, only because I have pics from S.F. and I don't feel like uploading them at the moment.

A few weeks ago it became clear that a new car was in the near future for me. I had taken my Saturn in for the 60,000 mile regularly scheduled maintenance and received not-good news. The clutch was going to go "sometime in the next 6 months or so" ($1600 repair), the brakes needed fixing (at least $100), and the tires were right at the "replace" mark ($400ish on the cheap side). This added up to about $2k on a car I owed $1700 on, which was worth $5k as a trade. Mathematically this added up to "Trade Before It Dies Completely!"

So I started searching. With the help of the ever-reliable Consumer Reports, I narrowed it down quite a bit. The Honda Fit was cheap and well-rated, then there were the Toyota Corolla and the Mazda 3. OK, that's a start. The Fit was rapidly shot down by Steph as being an ugly car that she wouldn't want to be seen in, so that's a problem. I headed over to Mazda and tried out the Mazda 3, then got introduced to the lovely world of fucked-up leases. The pricier Mazda 6 was cheaper to lease, due to the financing available. It was still $100 more than my current monthly car payment though, so I began getting discouraged about my chances of being able to afford something reliable. Headed over to Toyota and basically got laughed at by a saleswoman. "You thought you were going to get WHAT payment? How did you get to that number?!" (I explained and it was actually quite reasonable, but the best payment they came back with was still $30 more than even Mazda had managed.)

On to Honda. This is where the infomercial starts. Anyone reading this in the Denver area and thinking about a car purchase needs to go talk to Jack Must at Go Honda at 104th & Federal. We had dealt with him on Steph's CR-V, I test-drove the vetoed Fit w/ him, and I had promised to go back and see him before getting anything for myself. Boy am I glad I did. Somehow Accords are leasing for less that Civics with the model-year closeout and all, so I was already getting more car than I had thought I might be able to afford. After picking a base model Accord that I loved, Jack went back to run #s for me and came back a few minutes later w/ his manager. Would I be interested, maybe, in a car with more options that was $8 cheaper per month than the basic Accord? Let's see...add a sunroof, wood-grain paneling on the dash, audio controls on the steering wheel, heated side mirrors, and alloy wheels, and pay less money? Um....ok Jack, you talked me into it.

Longish story somewhat shorter, I ended up in a brand spanking new 2007 Honda Accord with lots of options for only $30 more than I had been paying for my falling-apart '01 Saturn. I'm fairly happy with that for some odd reason.

Jack Must, Go Honda, 104th & Federal. I promised him I'd recommend people :-)