Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Snow + Obama = Interesting Wednesday

Our terrace - 10/26/11

On Monday, Denver set a new high temperature record of 80°.  On Wednesday, it snowed and snowed - the first of the season.  Colorado weather is definitely interesting.

My ticket

Also, on Wednesday, President Obama spoke at UCDenver, where Barry works.  Since he was literally speaking across the street from our loft, I would have felt badly if I missed the opportunity to see our President.  Last night, he stayed at The Four Seasons Hotel, about 3 blocks from our place, so several blocks of the surrounding area were totally closed to traffic.  It was eery to walk over to the campus in the snow with no traffic to be seen.

Line to see Obama

Remnants of line to see Obama

With ticket in hand, I waited for over an hour as the white stuff continued to fall to go through security to get into the speech. It was worth it.  There's a certain excitement about being in a room with thousands of regular people and one very powerful person. Segments from his speech in Denver can be seen here.   Everyone was hoisting their cell phones to record a glimpse of the Pres, so I apologize for my disappointing photo below.

The guy in the white shirt under the flag is Obama

What a difference a swing state makes.  When I lived in Georgia, we never saw any candidates come through in 2008.  Both parties ceded the election to the R column. But, since Colorado is a swing state, I expect to see lots of action. This is already the second time in a month that Obama spoke in Denver.  Most people who have lived here a while have seen him numerous times.  I definitely had candidate envy, so I will have to make up for all of the lost opportunities of seeing politicians do their thing while we live in Denver.

So, an interesting Wednesday, and I'm ready for the snow to stop now please.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Cabbage of Ostracism

I was invited to Ethiopian Night at a friend's house, which meant making an Ethiopian dish to share.   Once I found a recipe named "Cabbage of Ostracism," I was hooked. How could I pass that one up?  Of course, I worried a bit about the ostracism part - hoping that there were not gaseous outpourings upon ingestion that caused one to be ostracized.  

It looked and tasted pretty normal, if anything I would have liked it spicier.  And no ostracism that I detected.

But it made me think how much fun it would be to name our dishes in this way. Meatloaf of Mediocrity, Eggs of Anxiety, Beneficent Brownies, Cauliflower of Conjecture, etc.  The possibilities are endless.  Tonight I think I'll go with Fish Tacos of Tenacity.  

Would love to hear your creative suggestions.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Is Thomas Wolfe Correct?

Yes and no.

He did say "You Can't Go Home Again", and I learned this past weekend that you can in some respects, but not in others.

For the first time since I moved to Denver last November, I went back to Atlanta (and, yes, I had grits more than once while there) for less than 72 hours.  I tried to cram in as much friend immersion as I possibly could in that short time period.  I was disappointed that I did not get to see everyone who I wanted to spend time with, and the time that I spent with those who I did see was shorter than I would have liked.  But it still was so much fun to see my ATL friends.

What struck me is that I don't miss the place at all.  I drove by my beloved home, and my first and foremost thought was "thank goodness we don't have to take care of that property any more." 

Of course, I do miss the people, but it was very comforting to see folks who I haven't seen in almost a year and just pick up exactly where we left off.  It was as if I had seen them a few weeks ago.  What a wonderful feeling - just the way I hoped it would be when I wrote about friendship in this blog nine months ago here.

How different adult friendships are than friendships when you are young.  Remember how people who you now barely remember signed your yearbook in high school, promising eternal friendship?  Then you saw them a few years later and had nothing to say to each other?  Well, this was nothing like that.  This was a great experience, giving a secure feeling that these people will be with me for life.

For me, "Home" was definitely not the place, but the people.  Thank you, friends.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Weekend Invasions

There were a significant number of  visitors to our hood this weekend.

First on Friday, I noticed a line of thousands of women pouring out of the Pepsi Center near our apartment.  I went on line to see the origin of this wealth of women and found out that it was a conference of The Women of Faith.  Who are these women, I wondered?  I went on their website and found this description of the the 2-day event in Denver:  "God loves us more than we know.  He gives us more than we can ask or dream.  He's unrestrained . . . excessive . . . outrageous . . . Over the Top."  Wow - I've never seen God described like a Justin Bieber press release before.  To add to this, I was rendered breathless by the list of speakers at this event, including ... wait for it ... Blair from The Facts of Life (Lisa Whelchel).  I've always felt that my spiritual world needs inspiration from a child tv star from the 80's, don't you?

In the other direction, on the downtown Denver roster this weekend, was the Great American Beer Festival at the convention center.  I'm not quite sure what one does at a beer festival, but I imagine it involves drinking large quantities of beer.  I do know that 40,000 tickets were sold to this maxed-out event.  I also know that there were beer-drinking folks everywhere, sporting necklaces with beer cans hanging from them or pretzel necklaces with actual edible pretzels dangling.

So I felt a bit out of place this weekend until Sunday, when the Race for the Cure invaded.  Finally, my people were here.  Quite a sight from the terrace as tens of thousands walked, ran, jostled and enjoyed.  A great cause.