Dispatches, thoughts, and miscellanea from writer Jon Konrath

Hello from 5280 feet

Hello from Denver, my former home and now a great vacation spot for me to get my baseball fix once a year.  We got into town Thursday night, saw the Rockies beat the Brewers last night, and will go tonight and sit right behind home plate for game two of the series.  We also took the stadium tour and I got some great pictures from the field.  We will be flying back tomorrow, which thankfully means we get to miss the last game.  Sunday is “faith day”, sponsored by the jesus freaks at Chick-Fil-A.  “Faith day” is code for conservative christian day, when all of the lovely folks from Colorado Springs take a break from their megachurch and come up to see a baseball game with the heathens and sinners. I’m very tempted to go rent a press-on-beard and turban and see if “faith day” really means all faiths.  I’m sure nobody would get the joke.

There are a lot of things I love and miss about Denver, but that’s sure not one of them.  Like yesterday, I was sitting down in the club level to eat my pizza, and overheard some windbags losing their shit about the TERROR MOSQUE, repeating ad nauseam whatever Fox and Friends told them to believe about the mosque going in “at” ground zero in New York.  I honestly don’t give a shit either way, and I really don’t like to burn cycles on politics, but as a person who was in lower Manhattan in the fall nine years ago, I really don’t like it when tea party types circle-jerk in the name of all things 9/11.

Anyway, Denver is weird in that way.  I mean, it can be a very left-leaning place – there are a lot of hipster types with way too many tattoos that smoke way too much pot and spend a lot of time eating lean and mountain biking and a bunch of other stuff that’s pretty much incompatible with the belief system proclaimed by all of the christian conservative types that stomp around here.  It’s weird that a city with as many damn pot dispensaries can also have so many megachurches.  (In our old neighborhood – LoDo – pretty much every former Pilates or Yoga studio in the area has converted into a legal pot store, with a cheeky name like “Rocky Mountain High”.  I think some law must have changed right after we left, or people just wised up that selling medical weed is way more profitable than running a doggie day care.)

It’s weird to be back in general.  It’s not as oddly nostalgic as it was the last few times I returned, but it is still weird to vacation in a place I used to live.  I mean, we parked last night in the lot that I used to look at all day when I was in my office writing.  And it looks like that apartment’s vacant, so if I really wanted to come back in exactly the same fashion, there you go.  But it’s funny – we were talking the other day about “wasn’t that apartment really great”?  And then we started thinking – “yeah, but when the sun rose in the morning, the bedroom turned into a sauna”, and “there were no screens on the windows, and these giant Jurassic Park bugs would fly in”, and “every time the garage door opened, two floors below, you heard this ‘beep beep beep’ sound”.  I still did like the layout of the place though.  One of our main criteria when we shopped for our new place was “some place like Denver, but to own instead of rent”.  And the neighborhood is hurting, tenant-wise.  It looks like the place is only at a third occupancy, and they’ve built several super-huge modern apartment buildings, which all sit vacant.

Not much else.  My nephew turns 13 today, which is weird.  I vividly remember my 13th, if only because my parents were getting divorced then.  I can’t even imagine my parents married now, so it’s weird to think of their split.  I just remember being overly concerned about getting a home computer, because I spent my hours writing BASIC code on sheets of paper, trying to invent a new Zork-type game to streamline my D&D playing experience.  So you know where my priorities were those days.

Okay, I should get off of this shared computer in the business center and go find a quiet place to write on my netbook for a bit before we start the day.  Full report when I get back to sea level and have my real mac and the ability to upload a few thousand photos.