Saturday, June 28, 2008

Feeling Older Faster*

I've been enjoying the hell out of Double Cross recently -- it's a real kick to read stories about all the bands I worshipped as a teenager, see pictures of groups I'd long forgotten, find out more about names that were just mysteries on a lyric sheet thank-you list.

One of the posts got me to listen to Bl'ast! (or BL'AST! or however you prefer to type it) for the first time in ages. Probably 15 years at least. I was almost trembling with excitement as I put "It's In My Blood" on, sure that this was gonna kick my ass like it did when I was 18, and then, uh, I didn't like it. It sounded pretty awful in fact. I know a lot of people hold them up as fabulous, and once I did too, but they didn't age well. (In eternal optimism, I've half convinced myself that I just needed to get back in through "Power of Expression" instead.)

But it got me started on a mini-kick of revisiting the stuff that I listened to when I was much, much younger. Not stuff that I've listened to pretty consistently over the years, like Gorilla Biscuits or Black Flag or Laughing Hyenas, but stuff that I played over and over at 17 years old but haven't brought out in the last 15 years or so. So here's how a few of them stack up.

Helmet - throughout college, a big part of my life was putting "Strap it On" on the stereo, and playing it over and over as I played Sega hockey. Listening to it now, I can only conclude that I must have had a much higher threshold of tedium than I do now -- every song sounds pretty great for the first 30 seconds or so, but then I realize that I've pretty much got everything there is to get out of that particular song, and the rest of the time is just watching the seconds count down to the next song. The one exception is "Sinatra," which still sounds pretty fantastic (but isn't quite the world-beater I once thought).

Supertouch - there's two bands on this list that I was REALLY surprised to find I like as much as I do now -- in fact, I probably like them more than I did when I first heard them. I was the proud owner of a "The Earth is Flat" t-shirt, earning me the scorn of my peers who all thought this was really boring. I remember being secretly disappointed at how rock it was, AND IT HAD REFERENCES TO DRINKING, but still finding it kind of moody and satisfying. Now, with the exception of a couple clunkers, it's sounding really good to me. Who knew Revelation was putting out something geared to 35-year-old me when I was 17? Bonus fun fact: there's rumors floating around the web that Supertouch's singer went on to be a porn star, which cheers me to no end.

Crumbsuckers - I remember seeing the ads for "Beast on My Back" in "Rip" or "Thrash Metal" or whatever Pulitzer-winning periodicals I was reading when I was 15, and thinking that these guys wearing Jams and hitting each other with mallets looked really cool. Now, they sound like the most generic crossover thrash possible, notable only for some goofy vocal effects. And I swear every time I listen it's halving my IQ. But -- it's still kinda fun. I roll my eyes when it comes on, then find myself bobbing my head a bit. If I can find room in my heart for the Cro-Mags and Youth of Today at my age, I really can't turn away the Crumbsuckers.

Bad Religion - I have this theory about BR, stating that since basically everything they've put out since "Suffer" sounds more or less the same (there's some variation, but not on a Uniform Choice-Staring Into the Sun level), that whatever was current whenever someone gets into Bad Religion is going to be that person's favorite, and everything else is going to sound like a pale copy. It's not a fully-realized theory yet, but you'll have to wait for my doctoral thesis. I got into them in 1989-1990 or so, and therefore "Suffer," "No Control" and "Against the Grain" are well-loved while "Generator" and "Recipe for Hate" and so on kinda put me to sleep. Greg's holy trinity of Bad Religion albums hold up just fine now -- I think I liked "No Control" best back then, but now I'd put "Suffer" not only as the best but actually as one of my all-time favorite punk/hardcore albums. Since I brought this out a few weeks back it's been in heavy rotation and it's just great. I could listen to the opening of "Forbidden Beat" hourly for the rest of my life and be pretty happy.

Pressure Release -- I had completely forgotten this band existed until a post on Double Cross, which prompted me to track down "Prison of My Own", and holy crap. Welcome to the second band that sounds better now than they did 17 years ago. I remember this record really confusing all of us down in Tucson -- there were dark mutterings that it had been pressed at the wrong speed or something, rendering it weird and scary. Sounds great to me now, good old hardcore with enough unexpected moves and strangeness to interest me. Hard to believe this came out on the same label that was churning out stuff like Powerhouse and Outspoken. Can anyone find me a Pressure Release longsleeve?? (kidding. I think.)

Heroin -- Their second 7" had a big ol' impact on us Tusconans when it came out -- four songs of furious, anguished thrash that left me feeling pretty exhausted after it was over (six minutes or so). It led me back to their first 7", which is in the running for worst production ever, and then when their 12" came out it was good, but edging into meandering territory. Then they broke up and went on to form lots of art punk bands that I never got into. I listened to the whole discography yesterday, and it follows the same pattern: first 7" starts off pretty well but ends up just kinda eh, second 7" sounds amazing (with the benefit of history, though, you can see a whole bunch of really bad anguished bands being birthed in those four songs), the 12" has some great moments but you can feel the members thinking "what if we start doing improvisational hardcore?" I remember thinking these guys had really smart lyrics -- now, with a wince, I imagine myself listening to lines like "We just want distractions" and nodding, saying "that is so right! We DO just want distractions!" I really wanted to believe in hardcore, ok?

Two amusing (to me, at least) Heroin stories (who doesn't have amusing heroin stories?): at one point the singer (I think) somehow got my work number and called me to see about setting up a show in Tucson. He sounded kind of like my friend Britt, so I assumed that it was just Britt being a dork, and I started being a jerk in return (saying "you might have to play in a vacant lot," stupid crap like that), eventually realizing a) hey, Britt is sticking with this joke for a really long time, and b) hey, this isn't actually Britt. I apologized incoherently. The show never happened, but I don't think it was because of my poor phone manner. Britt started calling me at work and saying "hey, this is Chaka from Burn" and "hey, this is Walter from Quicksand." Second story: the lyric sheet to that second 7" had the line "this is why I sleep insolate". That drove me to the dictionary and reaffirmed my belief in the amazingness of their lyrics -- what could it mean to sleep insolate? Something astonishingly insightful, to be sure! It's only yesterday -- YESTERDAY -- that I realized that they had simply eliminated some spaces on the lyric sheet, and they're actually sleeping in so late. Maybe I shouldn't cast aspersions on anyone's intellect.

Government Issue -- a bit of cheating here, since I started listening to them pretty regularly again a couple years back, but rules are made to be broken. I've basically flipped 180 degrees on this band -- young me thought that the more hardcore stuff ("Fun Just Never Ends," I guess) was the shit, whereas the later stuff was pretty dull. I knew a guy (Sean Higgins, Triggerman's drummer) who had the cover to "You" painted on his jacket by Gavin Oglesby, and while I admired the art, I wondered "why?" Why not get something really awesome, like the Up Front album cover?? Now, the early records sound kinda generic (with the exception of "Bored to Death" and "Mad at Myself," two songs I still embrace) while I finally realize that yeah, "You" is really really really good. Unfortunately I still haven't learned to love "Crash" (aside from the Jay Robbins-vocaled title song) but maybe someday.

This was kinda fun (for me at least) so I'll probably do it again sometime soon. Things to look forward to: how do bands like Token Entry, Vision, Exodus, Side by Side, Up Front, Iceburn, and (if I'm brave) 411 stack up? Find out soon, unless I blow it off!

* - this is apparently an album by Threadbare, a band I vaguely remember listening to in the mid-'90s. No details at all though. The title, obviously, has lodged in my head as it's the first thing that popped into my mind when I started doing this.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Vacation Reading

What I read on my summer vacation, by Greg

#23 -- "Letters From London" by Julian Barnes

Barnes is one of those guys that I've always sort of known I'd like, but I've never bothered picking up any of his books for whatever reason. Maybe because he had some sort of spat with Martin Amis and I used to think Amis was really hot shit before he got kind of crazy, so it was misguided loyalty to Marty. Maybe there was just something that I always wanted to read a little bit more, sort of the same way Iceland is annually my #2 choice for vacation but I never actually get there.

But I found this in the travel section of a used bookstore back in Boulder, thought "perhaps this will be good," and since I hadn't spent my usual $400 on books, got it. And it's really, really good. It's a collection of columns from Barnes's time as the London correspondent for the New Yorker -- early '90s, roughly the end of Thatcher's time in office to the ascendancy of Tony Blair.

Barnes is quite talented at being unfailingly polite as he's twisting the knife -- it took a while for it to sink in just how much he was savaging Thatcher. He's also skilled at taking a small slice of English life and broadening his scope from there. Something everyone does, I know, but he's really good at it.

He's also really funny, and I've gone ahead and ordered a couple of his books just since getting home, because I need more books.

#24 -- "Everyday Drinking" by Kingsley Amis

The Ski Bum saw this and somehow gleaned that I might really like it. She was right. When I first read "Lucky Jim" many many years ago, I was delighted to be introduced to this (Kingsley) Amis fellow and certain that I'd be enjoying all the rest of his works -- after going on to read things like "Girl, 20" and "The Old Devils" I wasn't so sure. This is good fun, though.

It's a collection of three early books by Amis on drink, drinking and hangovers. It's full of advice and practical tips (including a lot on hangovers, which would have practical application this morning if I had properly memorized them and/or had the strength to open a book right now), recipes that sound great, and Amis at his wittiest. It's a good bedside book.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Banned in DC

That title makes no sense, but this is the first time I've had occasion to travel to Washington since I started this blog, so it stays. Rest assured that I will be repaid with the slings and arrows of angry people who were looking for info on the Bad Brains or Cynthia Connolly.

In the early part of this decade -- and holy crap, it's getting toward over! I swear the '90s lasted longer -- I traveled to Washington a lot, sometimes as often as once a month. Two of my closest friends from old Boulder days had relocated there after the Boulder Planet imploded, and I found the city invigorating. There's a sense of something in the air, something happening on every block -- that even though it's relatively small, you could wander all your life and not see anywhere near everything that Washington has to offer.

I was pleased to see that feeling still there, after five years away. Pleased to see other things too -- most of the places that I used to go when visiting Washington were still around. Bookstores, bars ... and, well, that's pretty much all I visit. Glad to see they were still there!

In one of those early-'00s trips, we spent the morning of my final day getting drunk, then staggering to the Metro station. As I was later loaded onto the plane, loaded, I drunkenly started fantasizing about becoming ... an architect. I obviously have a layman's love for architecture, but absolutely no skills that would translate over (in school, when we'd have a drafting segment in a class, I'd be the one who forgot to add doors to his house design). But having spent a few days exposed to DC's rather grand buildings, I decided that I'd scrap my career and become a magnificent architect.

Obviously I didn't do that.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

The Balkans Be Letting Me Down

I'm in DC for a few days of frolic with the Ski Bum and Fidel, so I haven't been on this at all. I arrived at the hotel just in time to catch the extra time and penalties in the Croatia-Turkey Euro 2008 game, when Croatia snatched victory from the jaws of defeat, followed immediately by defeat from the jaws of victory. People in rooms next to me were undoubtedly entertained by my screaming "YES! YES! YES!" followed by "NO! NO! NO!" two minutes later.

After Croatia fell, I adopted the Dutch, with predictable results. At this point I'll just pass on rooting for anyone, to save myself disappointment. If I weren't so personally scarred by their last two wins, I probably would adopt Turkey -- their scrappy comebacks are endearing. I wonder if people are getting really hot and bothered about their advancement in Euro 2008, in an Ottomans-advancing-on-Vienna sort of way.

The night of the Croatia debacle, Fidel and I went to the Brickskeller beer bar, a longtime favorite of mine, best known for an amazing selection of worldwide beers. Among them: an Albanian beer (name withheld), which I'd never seen in the U.S. I insisted we get a round, and... it was awful. It tasted of honey and foulness. I drank this particular beer a lot when in Albania, and remember it being fine, so I'm going to blame some error in the export process. I have to do that, to stay sane. So disappointing.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Bücher



#21 -- "The Professor and the Madman" by Simon Winchester

I've read a bunch of Winchester's books, but ('til now) not the one that probably drew the most attention. If you somehow missed this when it was all the rage a decade ago, it's the parallel stories of the editor of the Oxford English Dictionary, and one of the OED's main contributors, who happened to be mad as a hatter. It's livelier than a lot of Winchester's books, and good fuel for big nerds like me. Enjoyed it a whole bunch. He strains a bit to draw connections between the two characters early on, but so what? It manages to make the creation of a dictionary sound exciting as hell, which is no small feat.

#22 -- "Tortilla Flat" by John Steinbeck

Probably hadn't read anything by Steinbeck since high school. I just remember overwhelming depressing-ness, rightly or wrongly -- this, in a stack of books lent to me by the Ski Bum last year, is lotsa fun though. Drinking and carousing among the poor of depression-era California -- how could it not be fun? Sure, lots of poignant stuff, but I laughed a lot. It makes being an alcoholic transient look like a blast -- the yin to Ironweed's yang.

* * *

I don't think I've ever recommended a webcomic, because generally my relation with the genre goes as follows: I discover them, I entertain myself for hours going through the archives, then pretty quickly a) the comic starts sucking or b) the creator has his/her hands severed and never draws again.

Nonetheless, two that I've recently discovered haven't yet felt my curse, so here we go: Scary Go Round, which has introduced the phrase "And Malcolm Gladwell likes what he hears!" into my repertoire, and Kate Beaton's comics (not sure if they have a series name), discovered thanks to Wonkette. Go to that last link and then scroll down to "I Wonder If James Monroe Really Had It Goin’ On," and if you don't start laughing 'til the tears squirm from your eyes, you are dead inside. Sorry you had to find out this way.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Ruination

So Sunday's Turkey-Czech Republic match was one of the best soccer matches I've seen, while also throwing a giant wrench into my Euro 2008 rooting interests. I had to watch at work, meaning lots of muffled cheers (early) and groans (late). It was a hell of a good game, ruined a bit by the fact that it was my number one rooting interest folding like a card table. I freely admit I don't know enough about soccer to say anything intelligent, but the Czechs did seem (to my untrained eye) really, really passive in the tournament, concentrating more on keeping the other guys from scoring (until the last 20 minutes of this match, ha ha!) than scoring themselves.

Anyway, the hell with it, I'm cheerfully slutty about my sports affiliations so I'll be rooting for Croatia to win now (if the Czechs had won today, they would have faced Croatia in the quarters -- now, at least, my Pan-Slavic loyalties won't be divided). And the Netherlands if the Croats go down.

Sad, time-to-rethink-things moment of this first round: feeling a moment of pride because two members of the Czech team (Jan Polak and Marek Matejovsky) have spent time with my FC Brno club in Worldwide Soccer Manager. And really, at this point, I should start making any more computer soccer admissions.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Village of Lead

When I was a youth, we'd go camping in the mountains of Colorado most summer weekends, largely to my chagrin. My appreciation of the mountains was limited to seeing them from afar, and my feeling was firmly that if I was truly meant to spend weekends up there, then there would be televisions attached to every tree. It didn't help that my father and I had significantly different ideas of "roughing it" -- he thought plumbing was an extravagance on these trips, I thought I was undergoing unnecessary hardship if I couldn't find arcade games.

So my heart was not in it, and I realize now that I saw lots of cool stuff all over Colorado, but mostly I just responded with the sigh of a world-weary seven-year-old, and trudged back to the camper to drink orange soda and read Street and Smith's NFL preview, trying not to think about the episodes of the Baseball Bunch that I was missing.

One of the trips was up to Leadville. I remember nothing of it -- small town, no video games. This last trip up to Colorado, though, I got my parents to take me up there again, to make up a bit for my childhood whininess, and to drink a beer at 10,000 feet.

Two things stand out about this picture: 1) what a beautiful vista and 2) this was taken on June fucking 1st??

A masonic monument to a couple of towns that were wiped away by the paper towel of progress. Dad told the story of why the valley was wiped out, but here's the thing about doing a blog post two weeks after you take the pictures: you forget nearly everything.

Leadville's an old mining town, though now the industry is in something of a lull. I've got a bit of an interest in 19th century mining -- the labor issues, the immigration -- which was part of what spurred this trip. My interest is purely non-technical, though, so I have no idea what any of this stuff does. It mines, I guess.

At some point (in the 1890s, I believe) the city of Leadville built a giant palace out of ice. It wasn't the tourist draw they hoped, and it eventually melted, to the chagrin of people who had bought their tickets that day. This is a painting of it, which I guess is obvious, so moving right along...

This sight always stirs (adult) me a bit -- the vision of a Colorado mountain town. I tell myself that it undoubtedly looked exactly like this 100 years ago (if you ignore the SUVs. And paved roads. And electricity). I omit that it looks like every other Colorado mountain town. I sometimes think that I'd like to move up to one of these places, but I know myself well enough to realize that I'd eventually get a bit bored.

Cool old neon signage. This place has been around since the 1930s, I think. I secretly wanted to eat there because of the sign, but we ended up going to a place down the street.

Did I say I might get bored in a mountain town? I take that back! Every bar should have a sign like this.

In some form or another, this bar has been around since mining days -- if I remember my crash course in Leadville history correctly, it was originally called "The Board of Trade," which would look silly on a t-shirt. It's been the Silver Dollar since the 1930s, cashing in on Leadville's most famous story (more on that in a second).

Ghost ads! I saw a 1890s (I think) photo of the Tabor Opera House with this "DRY CLIMATE" ad prominently displayed -- that made me disproportionately happy.

The Tabor Opera House. The Tabors pretty prominent in Leadville -- H.A.W. Tabor was super rich and owned a bunch of mines, his wife "Baby Doe" was a famous beauty, etc. Eventually H.A.W. lost all his money and then died, Baby Doe ended up holding on to the bankrupt Matchless until she died, their kid "Silver Dollar" became an alcoholic and got murdered in Chicago, and so on. Loads of fun. There's a load more on it here, since I probably botched the details. The Tabor Opera House was the last bit of the Tabor empire to keep the name -- it's still in business as a theater and museum.

I dig this sign, just because it speaks of a Colorado mountain community before tourism became big business.

Part of the aforementioned Matchless Mine. It's still open to tourists, but we were feeling logy post-lunch and headed back down to Boulder.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Kloucek Lands

I've been meaning to do a few posts, one on the trip up to Leadville (now a week and a half old), another on Euro 2008, but those will have to wait as we've got some sort of breaking news: Tomáš Klouček has signed with HC Barys Astana in Kazakhstan. They'll be playing in the new Continental Hockey League next season, and I think we've all got to admit that this signing is a pretty big coup for the new league.

The downside: it's probably hard as hell to get Barys Astana game-worn jerseys.

HCBA will, of course, now be the PPA's official non-NHL rooting interest in the coming season. You can follow them here, if a) you read Russian and b) they ever update the page again (last update - May 21st).

Saturday, June 07, 2008

Crazy From the Heat

Not much good to say about the process of leaving nice, cool, pleasant Boulder for hot/sticky/humid as hell Atlanta. Most of yesterday was spent on the wrong side of 90 degrees and today it's already sweltering before 10 a.m. It may be easier if you use this handy kit to imagine this blog over the next few months: start off with "it's hot," add a line about how said heat makes it too uncomfortable to do anything (including writing about anything other than the heat), then say "I'm headed to (the bar/work), where at least it's cool." That pretty much takes care of it, other than the requisite "Kloucek has found a new team" post sometime in late July or August.

Thankfully, today, Euro 2008 kicks off, giving me the excuse to spend the day in the aforementioned bar. It's also the last day of vacation, so I'll feel no guilt. The Virginia-Highland fest is also today, but it's outside. So, soccer it is -- I'm supporting the Czechs (who face host Switzerland today), with backup plans in place for Croatia. Old pal Sauer says he's gonna do a Euro 2008 blog -- in the meantime, the Czech and Croatian blogs at worldcupblog.org are both informative and fun.

What else: I meant to add Frank Black's "Dog in the Sand" to the list of what I was listening to in Boulder, since I probably had that on more than anything else. Fidel introduced it to me a few years back, for which I'll always be grateful. I like the Pixies but can take or leave most of Black's solo stuff -- "The Cult of Ray" always seemed like a high-quality joke album, way too self-indulgent for my taste. But "Dog in the Sand" is fantastic from start to finish. It seems like it's been generally ignored, though since I read about three music blogs, I guess what I mean is that no one's ever come up to me on the streets singing its praises, and I never find it in jukeboxes. It came out on Boulder's W.A.R. records, which I mostly remember for sending me 16 review copies of every Samples album when I worked back at the paper. Anyway, it's great. You can probably find a used copy for 50 cents somewhere on the internet, too.

Moving on: I read a ton on vacation, but didn't finish anything -- probably because I focused on "Mason & Dixon," which is really thick and manages to be more difficult than the rest of Pynchon's work (after a week, I'm on page 170 or so), and because after vowing not to buy any books I bought about $150 worth. Hooray, me. One of those books was

#20 -- "Prague Pictures" by John Banville

which I found used at the Boulder Book Store. Didn't really know what to expect from this, because the cover screams "dour poetry" and while I've never read "The Sea," I seem to remember one or two friends having unkind things to say about it. But "Prague Pictures" is pleasant fun, a ramble through Banville's various visits to the city -- it's not unlike having drinks with an extremely gifted storyteller. He even manages to make Angelo Maria Ripellino's "Magic Prague," which I've found well-nigh unreadable in multiple assaults on its pages, seem accessible in occasional excerpts. Now I'll probably have to try that again, after I finish "Mason & Dixon."

Finally: reluctant congratulations to the Detroit Red Wings, for winning the Stanley Cup. I watched the final game in a bar with pals back in Boulder (an aside: one of the pleasant things about this trip back was being reminded how many people there are back there that I can slip back into easy conversation with, after not seeing them for years. Those people are few anywhere on the planet -- and I met a lot of them during my 1996-1999 sojourn in my home town), and was happy to note that the Wings fans there were generally non-douchebags -- obviously Boulder's civilizing influence has taken hold. And as a Eurohockeyphile, it was good to see both a European captain (Lidstrom) lifting the Cup and a European Conn Smythe winner (Zetterberg) in the same year. All the same, I'd prefer that they miss the playoffs next year.

Enough of all this. Time to prepare for soccer. I used to know the Czech term for "Go Czechs," but I've forgotten, so: Go Czechs!

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Sources of Confusion


Found while digging through the parents' basement -- my Mom's college atlas, which I devoured as a child. It's the same atlas that once befuddled me with maps of Atlantis and Treasure Island.

No sign of the Atlantis map -- the binding's shot and some pages seem to be missing -- but there's Treasure Island (along with an elevation map). To add to the confusion, it's on the same page as straightforward maps of real-world elevation and such.

Leave here in a few hours. Boo hiss. It's been nice. (it's also 49 degrees right now, a temperature I won't see again in Atlanta 'til November.)

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Winding Down

Vacation is almost over already? Is this fair? I had visions of the trip spurring this blog to new intellectual heights, but aside from a scrawled note reading "Chris Osgood/Sam McPheeters = separated at birth!!" I've got nothing. I did find some of my old high school literary magazines in the basement, so if I'm low on material and lose my remaining shreds of dignity, I'll probably be reduced to posting my essays from those.

I feel pretty fantastic, despite a Colorado diet that treats pork, beer, cheese, and coffee as the four main food groups. It's been very very relaxing. It kind of drives home what an unrelenting grump I've been in recent months.

For lack of anything better, here's the PPA Colorado playlist:

Rocket From the Crypt "Circa Now!"
Easy Action
Mastodon "Leviathan"
The Mekons "Fear and Whiskey"
Lungfish "Pass and Stow" and "Artificial Horizon"
Lifter Puller "Fiestas and Fiascos"
The Jesus Lizard "Goat"

Sobering realization of the day: "Circa Now!" is as old today as "Houses of the Holy" was when I was a teenager.

Sunday, June 01, 2008

All the Colorado You Can Eat

Hey, pictures. I managed to secure the use of a USB cord so tragedy has been averted. I spent the morning up in the old mining town of Leadville, about which more tomorrow; in the meantime, pictures around Boulder.

The Boulder Book Store's "Bookend Cafe," the place I usually go to drink coffee in the morning and perhaps my favorite coffee shop on earth. Not because the coffee is particularly spectacular, but because sitting out there in that setting is pretty goddamn relaxing.

The Boulder Theater. For several years, the now-defunct newspaper that I toiled at was located next door to this place. As a result, I never really thought much about it -- getting in to just about every show for free (we shared restrooms and an owner with the theater) makes places a bit less special -- but it's really a pretty cool theater. Nice art deco design, and holy cow, that's the largest and least subtle depiction of male genitalia ever.

Don't worry: the females are equally represented on the inside ceiling. Seriously. My old friend Bill Simpson, now long M.I.A., and I went in and examined it one drunken night, and yeah -- there was one big vagina on the ceiling.

I think I went to the Sundown Saloon about twice in my time here, and it's really not my type of place, but I'm glad that a place like the Sundown manages to survive in very clean, very upper-crust Boulder.

And finally, Tom's Tavern. Gone for months now, but the signs are still up. I'd like to think they'll stay, regardless of what takes its place -- I can't remember Boulder without them. I'm not enough of an optimist to think that'll happen, though.

More tomorrow, unless I'm hungover!