Wednesday, July 23, 2008

denver > las vegas > hollyweird

By Pauly
Hollyweird, CA

I had one of the whirlwind days on Tuesday. Breakfast in Denver. Lunch in Las Vegas. Dinner in Barstow. And bong hits on Nicky's couch in Los Angeles around Midnight.

But let's rewind to Monday.

The Joker was a trooper and went to work after a long weekend of partying. He loaned us his trusty vehicle, Marco, so Nicky and I could drive up to Boulder. Her sister went to school there and she had not been back since her graduation. The last time I was in Boulder was in 2006. Hung out with Daddy and the Joker and saw Galactic at the Fox Theatre.

We arrived in Boulder still around breakfast time. The Joker used to take me to a place called The Buff. When we passed by it, I suggested that's where we eat. Their breakfast was cheap but high quality. They served iced tea in big ass mason jars and have delicious omelets on the menu. We experienced a relaxed and casual breakfast for the first time in months. It seemed as though I was always rushing meals in Las Vegas because I was running late or didn't have time to waste. Monday's breakfast was a different story. Small. Simple. Pleasures. Like sipping cold iced tea after a relaxing meal.

We drove up to the Flat Irons and checked out the view from above of Boulder below. That's when my digital camera crapped out. It made a gurgling sound as it breathed it's last breaths of life. The lens opened up but never closed. It was like a corpse who died with their eyes open. I couldn't get it to shut. Busto. Broken. Fuck. I loved that camera. It lasted just 18 months but I beat it to all hell and took it all over the world with me. 12 countries? 13? 14? Hard to count.

I was sad to see my camera die on me in Colorado. Last year just around the same time, my laptop died. At least the have enough sense to wait until after my huge work assignment to crap out.

After checking out the windy roads in the Flat Irons, we drove down to Pearl Street to check out the scene. Plenty of tourists wandered around including a few local shirtless street kids who offered to play songs for a price of $1.

"What happened to playing for free? And busking for tips?" wondered Nicky.

Pearl Street is the perfect place to people watch. We soaked in the scene. It felt amazing to be outdoors and not inside a casino. The majority of people in Boulder where radiating positive vibes instead of oodles of negative energy that accompanies most people in Las Vegas.

Nicky went shopping and I headed into a used bookstore. I migrated to the magazine section. Zero poker mags. Tons of yoga, fitness, and ski magazines. I perused the shelves and bought a used copy of No Logo by Naomi Klein.

Johnny Walker lived just outside of Boulder in Lousiville so we stopped by his condo on our way back into Denver. I had not seen him since March Madness. He looked good then and looked even better on Monday. He used to work in the poker industry with me and was one of the fortunate souls who escaped both the industry and Las Vegas. He fled back to Colorado which suited him well.

We headed back into Denver and I played with Emilio Estevez the cat. Emilio got too excited. He threw up and I made Nicky clean it up. When the Joker got home from work, we headed to grab a bite a a local brewery. We made a pitstop at Sancho's on the way home. I've been there before. Total hippie bar with a Grateful Dead theme. The cover charge was $1 and a Grateful Dead cover band was on the bill that night. I drank cheap pints of Peroni as the band opened up with Cold Rain and Snow followed up by an Allmans Band cover and then they busted out Mr. Charlie. All in all, my last night in Colorado was fun.

Woke up on Tuesday and headed to the airport. We ate chocolate croissants. Our flight was on time. I read almost 100 pages of No Logo during the 1 hour and 26 minute flight. Nicky thought it was extremely bumpy. I barely notice those things and was focused on the words in front of me. Nicky, on the other hand, clutched a barf bag. She was ready to hurl on both takeoff and landing. We almost had The Return of Puke Girl.

Last week, Schecky asked me when we would move out of Scheckytown. I said the 28th. Of course, every day Nicky and I had a short discussion and we moved up the move out day. 26th. 25th. 24th. Then we decided late on Wednesday the 23rd.

As soon as we landed, Nicky said she wanted to leave ASAP. We decided upon a 7pm departure which would get us into LA around midnight. We grabbed lunch at Chili's and I overheard The Connection by Phish. It was never performed live in concert and appeared on their last album. Very strange that it was being played on whatever satellite station Chili's was playing in the background.

Nicky did a quick load of laundry and we slowly moved out of the house. We had to clear out everything from our bedroom and I had to sort through all the shit that cluttered on my desk in my office which was the empty living room. The only thing in there was a desk, chair, light, a huge grey exercise ball, and a portable putting green. Usually everyone hung out in the kitchen/den area where the TV and Wii was located... that's why I had the entire front room to myself.

We loaded up the car and pulled out of the driveway by 7:06pm. We encountered some light construction on the Nevada/California border and the speed limit was dropped to 55mph which slowed us down a bit. Along the drive I listened to a lot of Jerry Garcia Band and Phish. I also put my iPod on shuffle. 4,200+ songs. The selection was heavily slanted towards Miles Davis and Widespread Panic.

We stopped off for dinner at In & Out Burger in Barstow. I forgot that I had a wad of cash on me. It wasn't until I went to pay and reached down and felt that lump in my pocket. $7,000. At least. I sort of freaked out for a couple of seconds and scanned the room to see who would be the person most likely to rob me. I sized up everyone and felt I could take on everyone but one big ass motherfucker. My paranoia subsided when my 3x3 was ready. I took one bite and forgot about the world.

We got into LA before Midnight. I had never been so happy to drive down La Cienega. I missed Nicky's apartment. I wanted to be anywhere but Las Vegas.

We quickly unloaded the car. Less than fifteen minutes. It was 12:14am when we plopped down on the couch for bingers as Deadliest Catch played in the background.

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