Ralph’s charged particles

I was at Ralph’s yesterday. Ralph’s is a grocery store, and it turns out it’s part of the Kroger empire, but nonetheless it is a huge and fancy grocery store, and that’s saying a lot because it appears to me that southern California takes their grocery stores very seriously, and even the shitty places have a produce department the size of a Las Vegas casino. So Ralph’s puts to shame the old Astoria C-town, and I don’t even think Ralph’s is the best of the stores out here.

Anyway, I’m at Ralph’s, and over the musak, I hear a song I know I know, and after a moment or ten, it comes to me: it’s the Chick Corea song “Charged Particles” from their album Beneath the Mask. And that was suddenly weird on so many levels. I mean, I first got into that album in the summer of 1992, and listened to it end-to-end thousands of times that year. And then when I was writing Summer Rain, that was the one disc I could always put in and get back to that point in time. And not only was it completely burned in my head, but it was also an enjoyable album to play when I was trying to write. And then, 16 years later, I hear it playing over the PA system of a grocery store, while I’m trying to pick out a brand of ketchup.

I’ve had a lot of weird thoughts lately about the past, especially since I have been doing nothing but shredding old papers and packing up boxes of zines and books and finding old ticket stubs and letters and notes. Part of me has always been a completist, and I thought I needed to keep absolutely all of that shit. And sometimes that’s true – every time I try to trim down my zine collection, I wonder if any of the authors are going to end up on an FBI terror watchlist. And part of me thinks that if I kept every damn thing I touched in 1992, it would have been much easier to write a book about that year. But part of me recognizes a need to let go of that shit, and I ended up throwing out a lot more old stuff this time around. I probably won’t need a copy of every shitty death metal zine I traded with back in 1993. Yeah, “it might be valuable someday”. Price out the cost of a storage space in LA and then talk to me about value.

My first week of living in LA has been interesting. I am the master of noticing small differences, especially those that have to do with grocery stores or fast food. But so many things amaze me. The plants are incredible, almost entirely tropical. It’s closer to Hawaii here in many ways, with the palm trees and other huge, broad-leafed green foliage. There are so many collections of odd things in one place. We live near a wetlands, and when we drive through it at night, we hear all of these frogs croaking. The other day, I saw a dude out in the swamp flying an RC plane. We went and saw the canals of venice. I see all of those old, old-school cars, old VW bugs and muscle cars, with totally pristine sheet metal, no salt on the roads or rough winters at all. There are more fast food chains than you could possibly imagine – everything started here. The Indian joint a few blocks from here has a $7.95 all-you-can-eat buffet, so we checked it out today. I don’t know if Denver’s food was so bad, or if this place was incredible, but I’m going back at least once a week. And it’s in this odd little house where no two corners or windows are the same, and everything’s painted up in garish colors, and it looks like something that belongs in a college town, but it’s here. It’s all so interesting and bizarre and new, and I don’t really believe I live here, but I do.

Speaking of which, on Monday, I fly back to Denver to be there as they pack up our house. I will have a night in what’s mostly our old setup, our regular bed and stuff, and then a night in a hotel. After that. who knows how many days until the truck gets here, then a day of unloading confusion, and several days of arranging and organizing. At least I am very close to LAX. When we went last time, it was a sub-$20 cab ride there.

I went to Staples yesterday and blew $250 on a new desk and chair. I now have part of an office, and don’t need to sit on the floor and type. I also got a new keyboard that purports to be spill-resistant. I got that at Fry’s, which is a bizarre California institution itself. It’s basically like an old-school Best Buy where they sell every single possible electronics item, including parts and pieces and oscilloscopes and everything else. We went to the one in Manhattan Beach, and found out that each Fry’s has a theme, this one being Tahitian. So, it was a huge geek store with the occasional tiki torch or fake palm tree. Very interesting.

I forget what else. Still sick, but maybe it’s going away. I wanted to go for a walk, since we are allegedly right by the ocean, but I measured it the other night, and it’s two miles away. Funny, every apartment in the neighborhood says it is “just blocks from the ocean”. Yeah, 20 blocks.

Crossing the nothingness of Utah

We’re here, more or less. I forget where the story last left off, but we are in our new place in LA, but our furniture isn’t. My car and a carload of stuff has been waiting here, and then yesterday and today, we drove the other car, a carload of stuff, and the two cats here. I go back next Monday to orchestrate the full-pack movers and get the last couple of suitcases of stuff. In the meantime, no phone, no internet, no TV, and no place to sit down except the aerobed. (I did cop a slow wireless signal from the business center, though.)

The drive was long and extremely cramped, as every square inch of the car had something in it. The first day was about twelve hours; the I-70 run through the pass in the mountains, dropping into the nothingness of Utah and then the I-15 shot into Vegas. The two cats had very different approaches to the trip: the little one cowered in fear inside of her carrier, and stayed comatose the entire time. The big one started crying about five minutes into the trip, so I let her out and she greatly enjoyed watching the landscape roll by. Neither ate, drank, or used their litter pans, so thank someone for small miracles.

In Vegas, we stayed at a La Quinta, which allowed pets. It’s way the hell over on Paradise Rd, kinda-sorta near UNLV. We had a two-room suite, and the cats were fine and dandy once we got set up there. We ordered some really shitty food from the proxy room service thing and watched the Oscars. (After watching John Stewart host, it’s odd that I’d actually miss Billy Crystal’s saccharine schtick.) By the time that was over, we were both out for the night, and that was the extent of my Vegas trip.

Today was a quick drive, maybe five hours, but it still seemed like forever. We stopped in Baker to see the world’s tallest thermometer, but I was bummed to see it was just a tower with a bunch of digital signs on it – I was expecting a giant glass tube filled with mercury. Anyway, we got here, hauled everything upstairs, made a giant Costco run, and now we’re trying to unpack a bunch of luggage and gym bags filled with toiletries and clothes.

I got a new iPod, btw – the 60G classic, in black. Sarah gave it to me for Valentine’s day, but I did not get it until today because it went to the address here. I just synced it up, and that’s ready to roll. I did sell the Mac Mini anyway, and that money will probably go toward a new office chair, or something to make my new home office more habitable. You know, “if I buy this I might write more” stuff.

BTW I just got copies of a new book I am in, called Santi: Lives of Modern Saints. It also includes my pals John Sheppard, Erin O’Brien, Timothy Gager, Grant Bailie (all AITPL contributors) and more. And it comes with a CD, although I haven’t listened to that yet. Anyway, well worth the $25, and also I got a handful of free copies, so state your case or make your best trade offer and one could be yours.

Way too much to do. I think Verizon shows up tomorrow, I need to look into that, too.

In LA

I’m in LA. Specifically, I am in a Panera near Playa Del Rey, eating soup and eating free WiFi. But yeah, I have been here since Tuesday, looking at places and stressing out about where we will live. I believe we have a place picked out down near here, but I better act stupid so I won’t jinx it.

I’ve found a lot of the landlord/broker/managers here to be very spacy. And there’s a level of deception not as great as NY, but more than Denver. Like I went to a place in Santa Monica – great, great neighborhood, one block over from the ocean. But the interior basically looked like a very rough Varsity Villas apartment (non-Bloomingtonians: a shithole apartment complex where jocks go to puke, black out, and date-rape sorority chicks.) Very sad because I really do like that area, but what are you going to do.

So I’m staying in a shithole Econolodge, driving around the Yaris, which is odd. Imagine taking a trip to Vietnam or Siberia or Dubai, and when you get off of your 24-hour plane trip, your home-town vehicle is there waiting for you. And instead of commuting to work or taking the holland tunnel to jersey or whatever else, you’re driving past desert and oilwells and dudes on mopeds with 2000 pounds of monkey brains on sticks passing by you. It’s just odd to me.

My fucking iPod broke, which is pissing me off to no end. I didn’t do anything catastrophic, like drop it down ten flights of stairs. It just failed to boot the other morning, the sad mac face. Yes, I already tried all of the stupid tricks – it is 100% dead, end of story. I blame my old I-25 commute, because once a week I would have to lock the brakes in a 75-to-0 full stop when some fucknut pulled in front of me, sending everything in the car flying, and slamming the iPod against the floor or dash or whereever it landed. All I can say is I’m glad it didn’t happen before or during my long drive out here, or I would have gone insane.

And no, I am not buying an iPod touch. I would have to buy five of them to keep all of my music on it. And without keeping all of my music, I might as well go back to cassette tapes. I am selling my old Mac Mini on ebay if you are in the market for one, that will be the “replace my iPod” fund. (Auction here.

I saw jfrankov of UCS fame last night – we caught a dinner, and also took a quick trip through a Trader Joe, so two nice bits of nostalgia there. He is well, and it was good to see him after something like 13 years. It’s also further weird in that I worked for him last summer, and we did everything by phone and email. I still need to see my friend Julie, so we will catch up at some point.

This journal entry is nothing but short sentences and no real paragraphs for two reasons. One is that the MacBook keyboard sucks, and I never use it because I run with an external. So when I am mobile, my typing speed and accuracy is roughly the same as it was on the old Atari 400 with membrane keys. The other reason is I’m in Panera at peak hours, and I keep stopping to enjoy the dirty looks from people. So yeah, all of the misssspelliings, if it bothers you, you’re always welcome to cut and paste this into Word and fix it yourself. Or I will refund your full purchase price. (ie $0.)

I am too lazy to write a giant esoteric introduction right now, and I will later, but go here to check out John Sheppard’s new book, Tales of the Peacetime Army. (There’s also some more at paragraphline.com. The short version is that John and I will be publishing his next book from the same publishing entity I created to put out the zines.

OK, I better get out of here before they lynch me.

I think Utah was closed for business

Hello from Las Vegas. I am writing from the 19th floor of the Stratosphere, which has aged about 28 years since I was last here in 2002. At a much too early hour this morning, I loaded up my little Toyota with six giant bags of mostly laundry and two bags of laptops and headed west. The plan is to get to LA tomorrow and bust my ass to find us a nice apartment. Sarah will be arriving on Friday, and we will hopefully sign whatever has to be signed, then leave behind my car (and the junk inside) at a friend of Sarah’s, then fly back to Colorado to finish off everything going on there.

Today’s drive took just about thirteen hours. The Yaris wasn’t bad. It was exceptional on gas mileage; the thousand-odd miles took less than three tanks. I started full, filled up twice, and I am at 3/4. The tiny engine and jumpy automatic transmission were not that great crossing the rockies. No problems, but with the right lane being semis with their blinkers on going about 12 mph, and fucknuts in suburbans and jacked-up hummers in the left lane trying to go like 117, the winding, twisting two-lane roads filled with heavy up-grades and down-grades got a little nerve-wracking. It was beautiful, with the snow and mountains and all that, but it would have been better if I was the only one out on the road.

Then I got to Utah. I knew I was in Utah when I stopped for gas and some chick came up to me and was all too friendly and started asking me where I was headed and where I was from and how I was doing. And that’s when I realized I was in mormon country. And that’s when I remembered that Mitt Romney was a mormon, and his ideal country if he ended up becoming president (and if Bush could win in 2004 with like a -37% approval rating, who knows about this guy) would be everyone getting in everyone’s shit like this constantly. And then I remembered if you spend a half a million dollars on real estate in the Bahamas, you are automatically a citizen. But I was overthinking all of this.

And speaking of having way too much to think about, when did the entire state of Utah close for business? From the time I left CO to the time I reached I-15, I saw about as much commerce as you’d expect to see in Hiroshima in mid-August of 1945. This place made Goshen Indiana look like one of those CGI cities in those Star Wars prequels where there are 17894 levels deep of rocket pods on platforms on cities on floating cities. The only thing there was white snow on either side of me, like twin tanning mirrors, burning out my retinas. I have some prescription sunglasses, and thank the baby jesus for those, or I would be configuring this computer to read me my web pages from now on.

The only thing that kept me relatively sane was the iPod. I loaded up every comedy and spoken word album I could possibly find, and kept going on that. I wish I had more podcasts, because I have no idea how I will continue to drive another five hours tomorrow.

So I am in Vegas, although I do not plan on going out tonight, and I will check out and leave early tomorrow morning, so I can get to LA to make an appointment. It is weird to be here so soon after having just been here, although I was here for such a short time last time, that a week here would not seem so horrible. But Monday nights are always a very beat time to be here, and Monday nights at the Stratosphere are particularly horrible. Yes, I could drive somewhere else, but I’m sitting here in bed and it still feels like I’m in a microcompact car with 12-inch tires going 80 on a badly paved Utah highway, so I don’t think that losing $300 at a blackjack table at Caesar’s is going to do much for me.

It is weird to have my car – the car I actually own, as opposed to a rental – here in Vegas. I think that’s a first for me. It’s also odd to think that this car will not be going back to Colorado. I mean, it was odd enough thinking last night that I would be getting on a plane for Vegas; I kept rethinking my packing strategy, like “can I get this in my carry-on?” before remembering that I would just throw it all in the hatchback and hit the gas. But it’s unusual to think that this car, which since its arrival from the Japanese motherland, had never been more than 25 miles from its home dealership in Aurora. Maybe it will be back, but I’m guessing that if we were ever forced to drive cross-country again, it would be in the Subaru. (And if I was ever forced to drive cross-country, I would hope one of you would take the tiny toy tire iron on top of the spare of my car and beat me in the head until I remembered that flying is almost always a better deal, unless you’re moving a car, or maybe trafficking drugs.)

I think that’s about it. It’s a dump here, but I think it was $39. There is a Coke machine on this floor that has a thing where I can tap my Amex card and it sells me a Coke. And this technology is there because a Coke costs $2.50. But I’d rather pay $2.50 on an Amex for a Coke than spend 47 precious minutes of my life trying to get the fucking thing to read a completely pristine dollar bill. Anyway, I need to go to bed. This probably won’t get posted until tomorrow, since I have no wireless here, but I’ll pretend it’s going out there now, and say something like “next time I see you, I will be in LA.”

Vegas Birthday #9

So I went to Vegas for my birthday this year. (I have pictures, but most of them are stupid, and I have been apathetic about posting pictures. I’m vaguely thinking about writing a Rails app to handle my photos, but I’m sure the migration path will be a nightmare.) I went to Sarah’s family reunion last year, on Superbowl weekend, but didn’t hit the usual 1/20 weekend. This year, we switched off, and I went solo for the birthdays, and she’s in Vegas with her family now.

Bill Perry (the other birthday boy) initially got us a room at Bally’s, which was a new spot for me. The rest of the cast of characters was new to this celebration, and also people I hadn’t seen in a long time. First, there was the team of Marc VH and Tom, both old pals from the days of the sparcstation cluster in the basement of Lindley Hall. Bill recruited Marc to Seattle right before he got me there in ’95, so I saw a lot of him at Spry (his office was next to mine for a while), and because he and Bill went on to the same company, we all ran in the same circles. Tom was an AI in the CS department, and finished a PhD there. He also just finished a law degree and passed the bar in Illinois. He used to work for Lucent in every odd place in the world, and last time I saw him was before he went on a long stint in Saudi Arabia. Now he lives in Chicago and does patent stuff for a huge law firm there.

Marc is always interesting to talk to, because he is one of the most dark, sarcastic, and cynical people ever, and couple that with his intelligence, and you have a lot of strange conversation. And Tom’s great to talk to, because he’s the sort of investigative person who will ask many questions to hear about your experience or opinion. And he’s got the uncanny ability of being able to go back to a forgotten but unfinished conversation from earlier on. It’s like he’s one of those stack-based computers, where things get cleared and the next-oldest thing comes back up for action.

And the kicker is that my old pal and housemate Simms showed up, too! Simms met a lady out in LV and has gone head over heels, so he made his second trip of that month to see her. But he also hung with us, and it’s always interesting to add a new thing to the mix. Like, it’s weird that Bill and Simms just met, but they probably live less than a mile from each other in Bloomington.

So yeah, the trip. Sarah was in LA for a couple of days, and she got back on Friday morning, but I had all of my gear packed in the car and had to fly out Friday afternoon, so we just crossed paths, sort of. I parked in the underground garage, even though it costs like $30 a day, because I have this unnatural fear of parking in the $6 lot that’s about 80 miles away, and having a freak snowstorm bury my car, so I would have to dig it out with my shoe, or maybe a copy of The Onion from the airport concourse. My foot was also bothering me again (rapid climate change) and I didn’t want to walk two hours to get to the gate.

My plane was late. I talked to a music schoolteacher who was flying to play golf. I, up to this point, was on a crazy “stop fucking around” diet since 1/1, and had gone off of caffeine, sugar, fried things, and much more. But I was tired as hell, so that all went out the window. I had a crazy russian cab driver (aren’t they all?) at LAS who started talking to me about subprime mortgages and how he was flipping properties, but now it’s all fucked. (We had a lot of weird cab drivers that weekend. One was this Large Marge type who kept bitching about how everything from new condos to global warming was specifically designed to fuck over cabbies. I.e. “these fuckers at CES don’t even want to go to the strip clubs anymore!” We also had this guy going to the airport who was a dried-out punk rock oldster who told this insanely long story about how he lived in the mountains, and the city fucked up the zoning drawings and he had to hire one of those diviner guys to find his septic tank.)

Bally’s isn’t bad. It’s a place to sleep. Tom and Marc stayed there; Simms was out at the Tropicana. Tom and Marc have a collective IQ of about 780 and therefore spent an insane amount of time playing poker. Marc, at any given time, could tell you exactly what casinos were having poker tournaments at what time. (He has this human wikipedia quality, and could probably tell you the volume of concrete being used for each construction project on the strip, off the top of his head.) While they played poker, me and Bill did other stuff, or and of course Simms was off doing his own sort of stuff.

We went to Kraftsteak for dinner on Saturday. For $200 a person, they bring out a metric fuckload of food, including a million apps, and about a dozen cuts of kobe beef. I wasn’t 100% with the food for whatever reason, but the desserts were pretty incredible. They just brought out a bunch of plates of different cakes and ice cream and whatnot. Good stuff, but like I said, not $200 good. The In-N-Out I had with Simms was much better.

The trip in general was nice, but way too short. I got there on Friday night and flew back on Monday. I did get to see everyone, got the variety pack thing at the Coke store, saw Penn and Teller again, and saw comedian Bobby Slayton, and didn’t lose too much gambling. But I felt like I had a low-grade cold or flu the whole time, and wanted nothing but sleep. To counteract that, I fell off the caffeine wagon something fierce. Also, because my ankle was fucked up, I took a dose of Prednisone to try to knock it back in line. Normally, that would make me have an unstoppable appetite and extreme insomnia, both of which are good for a land of unlimited buffets and 24-hour gambling, but it never really took.

My biggest impression was that Vegas is really changing fast. The Stardust is gone; the Frontier and Boardwalk are levelled. The entire area from the Monte Carlo to the Bellagio are one giant construction site. The Aladdin has been redone to be a giant Planet Hollywood. Every little t-shirt shop or fast food joint with frontage on the strip has been sold and levelled. I guess a lot of my favorites are still there, but at some point in the near future, the Bellagio, recently the most posh place on the strip, will be bulldozed for something newer. And I’m not talking about in 50 years; it wouldn’t surprise me if they closed in 2010.

And the strange thing is that I will be in, or maybe through Vegas at least two more times this year, as I move west. Both times will probably be a single-night break in driving, and not a gambling orgy. But maybe I will get more pictures.

The end of Denver

Well, the Denver gig is up. We are moving again, by the end of this month, to the original Plan A city, which is Los Angeles. And I’m reluctant to talk about it at all, since the stock reaction of most people is similar to that if I told them I was building a machine in my back yard that would turn silly putty into platinum bars. But yeah, we are moving.

Sarah’s job has been less than stellar, working ten hours a day, seven days a week, and dealing with a lot of general lunacy. Then the firm lost their biggest client and laid off half the company. And those of you dot-com survivors can affirm that when half of your company gets laid off, it doesn’t mean your workplace will be just dandy from now on. It’s a lot more like being the band on the deck of the Titanic, except they didn’t have to deal with endless conference calls. Anyway, she talked to her old boss, who immediately found her a gig at their Los Angeles office. She had no real complaints about her old job, just that we were both sick of New York. And working for the biggest ad agency in the company means they don’t start selling off their office furniture when they lose an account.

As for me, I was done with work as of the 31st, last Thursday. I actually will be staying on as a part-time contractor, working remotely, but I won’t be going to meetings, dealing with politics, or driving an hour each way a day. My plan is to cut over to contracting part-time, and working as a developer. Since before christmas, I’ve done nothing but read Ruby on Rails books and work on a few simple projects that I hope to flesh out. I’ve been memorizing Ruby books, reading the Knuth books, reading the Gang of Four, and trying to learn every shortcut and trick tip in Eclipse.

But first, I have a huge marathon ahead of me. Three weeks today, we turn in our keys and leave this apartment forever. And when you look at the place now, it’s pretty much in the 100% functional state. Sarah’s in Vegas for her family reunion this weekend, and I have been shredding papers like I worked for the Stasi in 1989. But no matter how many hours I put in, the place looks about the same. We do have the whole rockstar relocation setup, even more than last time, so the little elves will show up in our last week with their packing tape and semi trailer and haul everything west. But we still have to find a place. A week from today, I drive my car to LA solo, with the back and trunk filled with a redundant supply of clothes and toiletries and whatnot. Sarah flies there on that Friday, and we have a weekend to seal the deal on an apartment, then fly home. We then have to drive out in the Subaru, with two cats in tow (which will be an awesome time for all) and then reverse the procedure on the other end. Between now and then, I have an endless stream of appointments and errands: service cars, go to doctors, fill prescriptions, cancel things, sign up for things, and continue the onslaught of throwing out, giving away, and shredding up.

So, Denver. It has been an interesting year, and there are some things I will miss. I always like when I’m driving and I see the snow-capped mountains on the horizon. I will really miss baseball here, last summer at Coors Field and the incredible run to October the Rockies had. I will also miss walking a block to the park to see a game. I really do like sitting here in my office, looking out at the open area of LoDo, working on the computer and enjoying this apartment. This is one of the nicest apartments I’ve lived in, and everything actually works, which is new to me. Having grocery stores bigger than jesus and Super Ultra Giant Fucking Monster Target has been nice. And hey, best emergency room ever.

Denver has its issues that make it a “probably not forever” place. I didn’t have any altitude problems, but the dry air is a killer. I get so dehydrated, I wake up two or three times a night to get a drink, even if I take enough ambien to kill a horse. Allergies are worse, and most of the lifers here look like they were rode hard and put away wet. The botox people are taking a beating out here, because I see more than a fair share of ladies that resemble the crypt keeper. Yeah, they climb mountains and ski and all of that shit, but come on people, four words: SPF-50.

I always envisioned Denver as some kind of hip, high-tech mountain metropolis, and I guess it tries. There are some nice looking buildings and they try to be urban to an extent. But a lot of people think Colorado is the wild west. And when people think that in Elkhart, it’s idiotic, but here, you could drive into the mountains and shoot a bear with a .50 caliber sniper rifle. So there’s lots of camo, lots of country music, lots of fans of Larry the Cable Guy, and lots of people with pickup trucks that could fit my car and a cord of firewood in the bed.

So it’s really George Bush country up here. And while I don’t really give a shit about politics (especially with the group of geniuses jockeying for the big job later this year), it sets the mentality of the place. Just down the road in Colorado Springs, you’ll find Focus on the Family; down there and in the suburbs out here, you’ll see mega churches that are bigger than casinos in Vegas. The Promisekeepers also hail from Denver. There are lots of jesus fishes on cars, and you can ignore it all to an extent (which you can’t in Elkhart), but it’s like eating in a restaurant where something’s burning on the grill in back: it’s not your food, but it still bugs you.

I think the biggest case in point is the gay situation. I have friends who are gay, Sarah has friends who are gay, and we’re both used to being in New York, where a person being gay is about as unusual as a person wearing a jacket in October. So sometimes if I’m talking to someone, something might come up in conversation where I know someone who did this or went there or owned that, and when I start to talk about it, I find myself pronouning things, which is really bullshit. But if I told a person that I had thanksgiving dinner with two guys who happened to be life partners, I might get dragged off to a reeducation camp. On the other hand, in LA, if I told someone a friend was gay, they’d probably just say, “well, does he know anyone who can read my script.”

Everyone thinks that LA is the great devil, especially people in the Midwest, especially people with the “fuck that, New York is the greatest place ever” headtrip. But I like it. There’s always been some allure to California to me, something that always made me happy or make me think I was in some huge, mythical thing. I can’t say I’ve always dreamed and hoped of living there, but more than once in the last fifteen years, I’ve interviewed for jobs there and had my fingers crossed. Like I said, LA was our first choice last year, before the Denver thing came up. It will be nice to have the ocean, and water. We are aiming for West Hollywood, which isn’t on the water, but it’s close. (And no, West Hollywood is not the one with the tranny hookers and smack dealers, that’s East Hollywood.) There are other niceties, like multiple airports that aren’t a million miles out of town (DEN), we get to see movies before anyone else (except maybe NYC), ethnic food other than just Mexican, and while there are always jesus people everywhere, they’re pretty drowned out by the people who really don’t give a shit.

We already have a network of people out there, too. Sarah lived there for almost a decade, and still has a lot of friends, both personal and in the biz (and both) and I have a couple of old pals out that way, too. Some of our NYC friends who would never visit Denver are in LA all the time, so we get to see those people too. We both have met absolutely nobody here, mostly because the only thing to do on a Saturday night in Denver is go to the mall and watch a movie, or maybe shop at Wal-Mart.

Bad stuff? It costs more, although compared to New York, it’s maybe a bit cheaper. You need a car; we have two. Traffic, but my I-25 drive for the last six months has not been a breeze, either. I don’t know what to do about baseball. Am I still a Rockies fan? I would love to go to all of their games at Dodger Stadium, but I’m afraid if I wear a Rockies shirt, I will be stabbed by a Mexican gang member. The Angels are there, but AL baseball sucks. Who knows, I thought the Rockies were a losing prospect when we moved here, and look what happened. Maybe when we move, the Dodgers will make it to the series. (And then maybe I can get Scott Boras to arrange a deal where I move to some other city with a shit team and get them to the series.)

So that’s my story. I’ll post more when I know it. And hopefully this cessation of salaried work will help me post more. I looked at my paper journal last night, and realized I hadn’t updated it since the day I started this job. Anyway, time to shred…