Sanctuary 2.0: Gratitude

Ok, yes, it’s cliché to write about what you are thankful for on Thanksgiving. Several-years-ago-me would have rolled my eyes at the thought, just as I rolled my eyes at all things holiday related because of the commercialism and forced nature of it. I still despise the commercial side and don’t decorate or celebrate in any big way (because by the time Christmas rolls around we’ve been subject to decorations and holiday music for two goddamn months already in every store and on every street corner!), but I have adapted slightly and brought a little holiday spirit into my life in my own way.

Adult life goes by fast. I mean, remarkably fast. I look back on events that happened five years ago with certainty that they only happened a few months ago. Sometimes it takes literally months of planning and trial and error to finally get together with a friend for lunch because our schedules are so hectic and rapidly changing. And I still am unconvinced that 40 is just around the corner. So, the way I see it now, it’s nice to have a day on the calendar dedicated to giving your beloved some extra attention, to appreciating your parents, or to reveling in the fact that you are alive on this amazing planet for another year. It doesn’t have to be commercial at all. There doesn’t have to be a big sit-down dinner or a parade or a massive family picnic. It’s about taking a moment. And so, especially because my life satisfaction level is currently around 96%, today I’m taking a moment to write about what I am thankful for in my life. Continue reading →

Boulderites: The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly

People in Boulder are, well, to put it nicely, eclectic. No, I’m just going to say it. They are weird, really weird. As much as I enjoy the extreme friendliness of the overwhelming majority of people I interact with in town, there’s a reason I live in isolation in the mountains. But even so, I can’t escape bizarre interactions. Sometimes I invite them, like the time my partner and I went to an organized date night event run by two early-twenty-something “intimacy coaches” that turned out to be more a group therapy session with us and 28 complete strangers. But other times, they just happen. I present to you the following evidence.

The Good: A few Fridays ago, I was headed downtown to meet a friend for happy hour. I entered the trendy part of town around 4:45 and started to look for parking. The good thing about living in a small town like Boulder is there is always ample parking. The bad thing about that is people have no idea how to really parallel park because they generally have two whole car lengths to do it. I was about to encounter one such spatially challenged individual. Continue reading →

November

During 2012, my official Year of Insane Parties, I hosted a Thanksgiving dinner that has gone down in history as literally the Best Thanksgiving Ever. At the time, I was living in a house that being foreclosed on. I was paying the rent but the landlord, who had moved 1,000 miles away, was not using my rent checks to pay the mortgage. So, the city wanted to foreclose on the house but by Colorado law, they couldn’t do so while the owner was still in bankruptcy proceedings. All of which is to say, I lived there rent free for 13 months before the city was able to kick me out and, as you can imagine, during that time I let the house fall into a state of serious disrepair, largely thanks to the Insane Parties I hosted all year.

Colorado is a state of migrants, which means a lot of people don’t have family to spend Thanksgiving with, so I got a nice crowd over at my place that year. Preparations, and drinking, began around noon. My friend Catia made a beautiful turkey, which I don’t remember eating at all, while a few other friends stuffed a piñata full of nips. Because nothing says Thanksgiving like a booze-filled piñata. And then at some point after we had busted the piñata and enjoyed the prizes, my partner poured Everclear or some other equally undesirable liquor on the fire to get it raging. Continue reading →

Two Days Shy of 13 Weeks In the Mountains: The Dead Season

Skeletons and carcasses surround us. No, not the spandex, rubber, and cake makeup kinds. Real ones. The dead season is here and while as a city-dweller I was largely insulated from it, I can’t help but pay attention out here.

The flies staked out the entryways the last few weeks, desperate to get into the warmth. They drove my partner crazy and even though I told him they would be gone very soon, he bought some flypaper anyways. He never had the chance to hang it. They are all dead now.
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The two aspens that preside over our front steps have been stripped bare. The glory of autumn is very short and limited in the mountains. Our canyon displays a range of golds, but none of the crimson and brick and auburn and merlot of an autumn in the Adirondacks or the Catskills. And now, even the mustard and the saffron and the dandelion are gone. Continue reading →