It was a weird weekend.
Todd was at a sci-fi convention in Denver and stayed at the hotel, so I had the house to myself. I had lots of plans for Saturday, but none for the rest of the weekend.
Until I walked to the bus to Denver Saturday morning, I still hadn’t decided what aspect of Uptown I’d be exploring. Should I try the same dish at all three Mexican restaurants in one day? The two diners? The dessert place and the shakes place?
Did I want to throw up a lot? Well, no.
So I compromised. I decided to go to Las Delicias for lunch, let the other Mexican joints wait, try to get a haircut, and hang out at Fluid or the ceramics store if not.
As we all know, we must compromise to get along in life. But today, compromise just made me feel cheated.
I started out at Las Delicias I (out of five total), where I had a perfectly good chicken chimichanga. But I think I’ll save more detail until I’ve been to all three Mexican restaurants in Uptown Denver.
One detail that I would like to share: my table faced the large windows on 19th Avenue. As I sat there, I saw the grizzled white heads of two old men go by, as if traveling on air. And the arms of a wheelchair-one was pushing the other.
After lunch, I walked across the intersection to Vain salon, which was quite colorful on the inside, and also so busy that no one was at the front counter to greet me. They weren’t able to fit me in until Tuesday, so I said I’d try them some other time. I think I’ll call them in advance sometime—I’d like to see if their haircuts are as appealing as their décor.
I got a hot chocolate from Fluid Coffee Bar (extra mocha, anyone?) and walked an entire block to Ceramics in the City. I swear, you could live happily without leaving this one square block: Mexican food, wine, coffee, a couple of salons, an exercise place, Chedd’s, and a place to paint pottery. Oh, and an immense parking lot across the street. For the SUVs that Coloradans seem to love.
So how artistic am I? It took me an entire hour to paint a coaster. I can hear you all howling with laughter now, but seriously, it was a complicated leaf pattern. I used three whole colors!
OK, I’m artistically challenged. So sue me.
The day got better from there. I finally turned in my “pottery,” and made my way to downtown Denver and Wen Chocolates. They were having a birthday party for themselves. The chef, William Poole, told me how happy he was with the first year. He said it could have been so difficult, but they’d had a really good year. I hope it continues, especially after eating that cake. Man! I want Wen to stick around for a while.
Then I walked up to Forest Room 5 to celebrate the release of Michael Henry’s and J. Diego Frey’s books of poetry. It was an accomplishment that they could read at all—that back room is so dark. And all the food was gone by the time I got there. But their reading was quite amusing, even if I did have to stand there for forty-five minutes with period cramps. Damn Ibuprofen! Then I tried Pamprin, and it gave me a rash. It’s enough to drive a girl to morphine.
So here’s a reminder to be grateful.
A friend of mine had asked me to go to a play with her that her husband didn’t want to attend: The Trip to Bountiful. It’s a wonderfully simple story: an old woman tries to get home to a town called Bountiful before she dies. The lead actors were very good.
That night I got closer to an actor than I ever have: my friend and I were sitting near a stage entrance, and the last set of the play was to our left (some of the sets came up from underneath the set; others came in from the sides in this theater in the round). Toward the end, we were three feet from the actors, so I averted my eyes and just listened.
The lead actress kept talking about the redbird (cardinal), which reminded me of my mother throwing raisins onto the patio for the cardinals to eat.
Late the next day, I read my email and realized that Barack Obama had been in Denver, at Civic Center Park, and I had missed it. I was playing LOTRO while 100,000 people gathered there to listen at noon.
That upset me quite a bit.
Monday night, I went to hear Gloria Steinem speak at the Broomfield Auditorium, and it comforted me a little for what I missed on Sunday. For those who aren’t familiar with her, she cofounded Ms. magazine, among other things.
She walked in and asked, “Are we going to have a good time tonight, or what?” She seemed to have a command of US history that one doesn’t often hear these days: one designed to bring us all closer together and remind us of our similarities. For example, she mentioned that Barry Goldwater was pro-choice.
She mentioned how the United States makes it difficult for people to vote, using as a counterexample that in Canada, election officials actually post lists of registered voters in each community. If there are any Canadians reading this post, can you confirm that?
A couple of memorable quotes: from the man in front of me: “We’re counting the men. We hope we get into the double digits.”
From Steinem: “The art of behaving ethically is behaving as if everything we do matters.”
Because we never know exactly which action makes the difference, do we?
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