Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Untangled

When I worked as a hairstylist, I'd joke to my clients about how power cords end up being the archenemy of every stylist. You're constantly battling tangled blow dryer cords, flat iron cords, and five different sizes of Marcel curling iron cords. You have to learn how to wrap the clippers cord around your arm so as not to get in the way of a buzz cut. They're always in the way! It's enough to make a hairstylist raise prices, believe me. #tipsarewelldeserved

I've never been okay with power cords. Sometimes I think they're trying to kill me.
Then my husband comes along, who has spent the past ten years in the audio/visual industry {15, if you count his high school job at Best Buy}. He is the cord whisperer. He has this trick with cords! I've tried to replicate, but I'm too right-brained to get it right. 

All that work with high-end electronics and fancy entertainment racks, complicated home automation systems...

It cracks me up how I've nit picked about the toilet seat for a decade, but his CORDS stay tidy! It's also an absolute delight to pull the immersion blender out of the cupboard all nicely tied up. Or to find that the quirky a/c unit built into the wall of our 1950s master bedroom is perfectly wound for winter. It's like his little area of OCD. To me, it's cute and wonderful. 

The power cords in our house, I tell you, just another testimony to how God matched us well. #codependent

Cheers,
Heather

Friday, October 10, 2014

Chapter 1 - A Grand Day Out: Featuring egg travel and speakeasies

If you and your spouse should find yourselves without your three children {who headed out to the grandparent's farm} after church on a given Sunday, you will decide to hit up The Bagel Deli {that hole-in-the-wall joint featured on Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives on the Food Network, yeah, that place}. 
 Because you've always been interested in trying it. The atmosphere inside is a little intimidating. This is a legit Jewish deli, and you feel as if you just stepped off a Denver sidewalk an into a New York City restaurant. 
 You split the Reuben and decide that it's definitely worth the $12 you paid because the meat is stacked a mile high and it falls apart as you eat it, but it's worth it. You'll eye the TV as the Broncos lose the game {just barely, though, #omaha} and agree with your Soulmate that you'll have to return for that breakfast deal advertised on the wall. #baklava
 #sauerkraut

If you make it out of the Bagel Deli because the Broncos are losing and there's no hope left, your spouse will drive you to a random Denver street and ask you to get in this egg of a car with him. Why? You will ask. We're going downtown. He'll say. 
 Whatever. In this EGG?! Alright. Whatever.
{I mean, it really does look like something one of my chickens could pass.}
You'll reminisce about how your Soulmate once drove these Car2Go cars to work sometimes, back when he worked at that one company you loved so much, back when we were happier, back when you were a one-car family. #itwasworthit #nocardebt

Your spouse will show off his skills with the "game", wherein you attempt to drive as economically savvy as possible. That's clever of them, you think. 

While the freeway will be too scary to take pictures--what, going 60mph in a giant fishbowl, albeit a surprisingly roomy fishbowl--but then you'll see the downtown skyline and know that everything is right in your world right now. Broncos game = low downtown traffic. Parking is free and easy with Car2Go, because you don't have to pay the meters and they even have reserved spaces just for their cars. 

 You browse the Tattered Cover, remembering how the owner was your husband's client, back at his past job...back when things were happier. 
 You admire the shelves of Denver's favorite bookstore, you might find some chicken and beekeeping books while your spouse calls the grandma to ask if the children are behaving. 
 You stumble upon a printing press...you're impressed. 
 If you end up at the Tattered cover, you'll hop across the street to visit the newly renovated, redesigned Union Station once again. 

 You've stepped back in time! No, it's modern, yet they've kept the 1880s charm this station was built with. It's half hotel, half shops and restaurants. You think you could move in. You remember you have chickens. #nocigar
 It's so beautiful. You are proud of your city for turning this dead, nearly-vacated train station into something so lovely, buzzing with life, yet again.
 You browse the small shops...
 ...you find that the Tattered Cover has a mini-bookstore. So charming, you think.
 You take more pictures...
 Soulmate and yourself will agree, next anniversary we should stay at this hotel. 
 You take a photo to help you remember to come back here, once again, without the children. 
 Wandering over through the restaurants, you're planning your January anniversary in your head. 
 You think this might be a nice place for an anniversary dinner. You wonder what is in those burlap-capped jars? 
 You leave Union Station and wander back toward a Car2Go egg because your Soulmate suddenly has an idea. You walk past the Oxford, where you spent a previous anniversary, and think, Oh, Denver, how I love you.
 Soulmate will locate an egg on his smartphone, and suddenly you're Highland bound. {You know Highland(s), Denver's neighborhood with the highest concentration of hipsters. Also, Little Man Ice Cream.} You remember fondly how your Soulmate's famous band member clients lived in Victorian mansions and art deco homes in the Highland neighborhood. You wonder why people call it "The Highlands" when it's just Highland, meanwhile people made fun of you in college for calling Washington's I-5, "The Five"? #lamehipsters
 Williams & Graham will be the surprise destination, in "LoHi", which is apparently a really old bookstore that has been around since the turn of the century. Or is it
Soulmate's friend/previous co-worker from happier times had told him about this place, describing it as "an experience". Together, you & he decide to experience it. 

"This appears to be a turn of the century bookstore, Soulmate," you say. 
"It's a speakeasy," says he. 
"I don't really want to go in there, then."
"Why not?" he asks.
"Am I going to have to recite teenage angst hipster poetry while people snap their fingers and someone in the background taps a drum?"
"You idiot. That's not what a speakeasy is."
"Oh. Right."

 You will find that he is right. What appears to be a tiny bookstore is actually a "speakeasy". I mean, not a real one, that is, because--duh--prohibition ended long, long ago. You hand over your ID to a hipster man in a vest and a bow tie--topped appropriately with a bowler hat--and wait for a "discreet" red light in the bookcase to turn green. What's this?! You don't say?! This place is no bookstore, you realize as the bookcase swings open to reveal...
Pitch blackness. 
Until your eyes start to adjust and you find yourself seated at an old fashioned bar and handed a menu full of $12 cocktails. A friendly hipster bartender kindly teases you when you ask if he can recommend anything with St. Germain in it. {Because this anniversary dinner taught you how amazing St. Germain--and sweetbreads?!--can be when in the hands of a skilled bartender.} Well fine, I'll go more hardcore then. 
"What's the 'Blackberry Bourbon Sage', then?"
"It's good, but, it's a little boozy," he says and you realize he's pegged you as someone who can't hold her liquor all because you happen to like expensive elderflower liqueur that is maybe too dainty for his hispter taste. Whatever, hipster man. 
"I'll have that then."

 One boozy-but-good drink later, and after some amazing balsamic herbed french fries with aioli dip, you are shown out the back door--for once, not because you've been kicked out--of the speakeasy and you will regret leaving the 1920s so quickly. 

Later, you will read that this bar has been named one of the 50 Best Bars...IN THE WORLD. Wow. The entry was a little Disneyland, but I can see how it made that list. I think the only reason we were able to beat the usual 2-3 hour wait was because we happened to show up at 5 p.m. like only alcoholics or sleep-deprived parents will small children would: right when they opened. If you want to see one of the 50 Best Bars...IN THE WORLD, for yourself then I advise a reservation.

But you know what? Props to me. Because I have pretty much never been to a BAR except when I've been waiting to be seated at a restaurant. My first bar just happens to be one of the best in the world. ::admires fingernails::

Cheers,
Heather

What's that you say? I've been super whiny about Justin's new job lately? ...have I?
Hmm...



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