It’s been a long time. How’ve you all been?

Miss us?

Of course you did. After begging for attention in the Indy’s dumb Best of the Springs contest, we needed to relax a little and regroup. Recover a little from our shame. Maybe have a cheeseburger or two.

Anyway, so we’ve been busy being out in the world. Here’s a quick roundup.

We saw Band of Horses in Denver earlier this month at the Ogden Theater. Great show, even though we had to get our tickets through Ticketmaster. Come on, Ogden, do something about that.

Band of Horses at the Ogden Theater, Denver

If you have a chance to see Band of Horses anywhere, it's probably a good idea. They put on a great show and seem like a genuinely decent group of people. No actual horses in the show, though. So there's that.


Band of Horses, Ogden Theater, Denver, Sept. 4, 2011

People at the Band of Horses show love Pabst.


Band of Horses, Ogden Theater, Denver, Sept. 4, 2011

After drinking the Pabst, instead of throwing the can in the trash, go ahead and crush it underfoot and leave it on the floor. The person who has to pick it up doesn't mind. It's cool.


Band of Horses, Ogden Theater, Denver, Sept. 4, 2011

Billboard outside the Ogden. Pabst, anyone?


Band of Horses, Ogden Theater, Denver, Sept. 4, 2011

Thick-rimmed glasses, check. Ridiculous beard, check. Plaid snap-up shirt, check. Pabst, check. I am a caricature of the hipster. Except I am old. At least I put my damn empty beer can in the trash.


Band of Horses, Ogden Theater, Denver, Sept. 4, 2011

Of course this chick isn't a caricature of anything. Just having a rum and coke and enjoying the show.


Band of Horses, Ogden Theater, Denver, Sept. 4, 2011

After the show, we walked to Tom's Diner. Great food for a late night. I had the fish sandwich, and Adrienne had a BLT, I think.

After picking up  Adrienne from the Denver airport after one of her many trips to L.A., we stopped off at the Interstate Kitchen & Bar. Interesting. I really enjoyed the vast bourbon offerings and had for the first time in my life a flight of bourbon. Enjoyed the Interstate very much and will likely be back the next time we’re in Denver.

The Interstate Kitchen & Bar, Denver

The bar at the Interstate.


The Interstate Kitchen & Bar, Denver

The Interstate Kitchen & Bar, Denver


The Interstate Kitchen & Bar, Denver

Adrienne had the fried chicken at the Interstate. She said it was very good, particularly the gravy.


The Interstate Kitchen & Bar, Denver

My flight of bourbon. And an Olympia beer. Because why not.

More recently, we took a day trip to Littleton and to Rollinsville to look at a summer shack we’re interested in buying, even though we have no money to buy a summer shack. But we figured we ought to look at it anyway, just in case.

In Littleton, we stopped at Merle’s for a cheeseburger. Lots of mixed feelings here. First of all, we have no complaints about the food. But the service was lacking. We’ll list our dissatisfactions and leave it at that because we don’t want to dwell on the negative.

  1. Virtually every place we’ve ever been will seat you, hand you the menus, and a single drink menu. Why only one drink menu? Are they in short supply? Seriously, people, give a drink menu to everyone at the table.
  2. The Tex-Mex burger with jalapenos and barbecue sauce is amazing. But it’s a little messy. How about you give me a couple extra napkins?
  3. Once at Flatirons, the hostess sat us at a table right next to a family of screaming toddlers even though the place was empty. I know there’s a flow and a system. You don’t want people seated at opposite ends of the restaurant, making the server walk unnecessarily. But at the same time, if there’s plenty of room, please don’t sit tables right next to each other. It’s uncomfortable.
Merle's Restaurant, Littleton, Colorado

Adrienne wanted to sit out on the deck at Merle's in Littleton. The hostess said it was cold, but we found it to be just fine.


Merle's Restaurant, Littleton, Colorado

The cheeseburger at Merle's in Littleton. The fries, though, get rave reviews from Adrienne, who's very picky about her fries. She would not stop talking about how excellent the fries were. The perfect combination of crispy and greasy. Fries: A-plus.


Merle's Restaurant, Littleton, Colorado

All this space out on the deck.


Merle's Restaurant, Littleton, Colorado

Go ahead and seat these guys here right next to us. You know what, how about you seat them at our table? We have two extra seats.

And on a final note, my mom dropped by unexpectedly tonight and delivered a fall/pumpkin seasonal sampler pack of beer. My mom is awesome.

Seasonal beer dropped off unexpectedly by my mom for no reason at all.

Seasonal beer dropped off unexpectedly by my mom for no reason at all. We're liking the Tommyknocker very much.





South Pearl, Denver

The South Pearl area of Denver is a really cute part of town. It’s made up of several streets, all with an old fashioned feel. it’s mixed with business, retail, and residences all together. If we ever move to Denver, that’s where I want to live.

Last fall we went to Kaos and had some really good pizza. I’ve been wanting to go back and we finally did.

We had some lunch at Pajama Baking Company. It’s really cute inside and they have really good food. They also have all kinds of coffee drinks and ice cream.

I had the Greek Veggie, which is red peppers, olives, artichoke hearts, roasted garlic and herbed cream cheese on ciabatta. It usually comes with spinach but I had them leave it off.

I had the Greek Veggie, which is red peppers, olives, artichoke hearts, roasted garlic and herbed cream cheese on ciabatta. It usually comes with spinach but I had them leave it off.

Mike had the pulled pork sandwich.

Mike had the pulled pork sandwich.

After lunch we left the neighborhood and went to an architectural salvage place up north and some other antique stores on Broadway. Then we went back to the South Pearl area and went to Bistro One for happy hour. It was a pretty limited happy hour, which was disappointing, but we managed anyway. It’s really more of a restaurant than a bar, I guess.

Happy hour at Bistro One, Denver, CO

Happy hour at Bistro One, Denver, CO

Have you been to South Pearl? What should we try next time we’re up there?

Caught speeding in Colorado Springs?

It’s possible that I might have been speeding. It’s possible that on East Platte, where the speed limit is an inexplicable 35 mph, I might have been going 45, along with every single other vehicle.

So I ended up in traffic court for a long morning of bureaucratic silliness that, if you’ve never experienced it, is worth talking about just a little bit.

It is very easy to get pulled over in Colorado Springs: Lots of random speed limits that change abruptly. I’ve lived in other cities where speeding or rolling stops are just not very high on the police priority list. Other cities, where police are busy with things like solving crimes. According to the National Motorists Association, in a CNBC report, Colorado Springs is the nation’s fourth-worst city for speed traps with 186 of them  (Houston is first; Denver is sixth, by the way).

“Speed limits are supposed to be based on factual studies of traffic and what the majority of motorists deem as a safe speed,” said Chad Dornsife, director of the Highway Safety Group . “Now, the posted limit has become a revenue generator – not a safety device.”

There’s one speed trap I notice every night coming home from work. Each night between 10:30 and 11:30, there are police on Nevada Avenue between Boulder and St. Vrain hiding in parking lots. Sometimes two cars are parked there, and the police are just talking to each other for a long time. Wonder what they’re talking about. Important Cop Stuff, probably.

View One speed trap in a larger map

Anyway, if you’re in Colorado Springs for very long, you can probably bet on ending up in traffic court at some point. What to expect? Good question.

I’m a big fan of paying things online and being done with them. That’s why I love the new red-light cameras: You get caught running a red light, they send you a picture, you pay the fine, and everyone moves on with their lives. It’s quick, efficient, convenient. You get punished, the city gets money. Win-win.

With traffic court, if you’re unfortunate to end up in this morass of ridiculousness, bring a book (or a smart phone with a cool game like blackjack on it). You’ll be here a while. It will go like this:

  • At check-in, you’ll walk up to the bench and the clerk will pull your paperwork. If you didn’t have proof of insurance when you were pulled over, this is where you’ll provide it.The clerk delivers all the paperwork to the prosecutors.
  • Have a seat. Relax. Text your friends. Post on Facebook. And be sure to check out all the fun people. It’s a good opportunity for people-watching.The court has a television in the room that will play a video explaining your rights. You probably won’t be able to hear it, and it’s all the stuff you already know, unless you’ve never seen any prime-time crime drama. It’s the court equivalent of your flight attendant explaining how your seat belt works.
  • At some point, the prosecutors return your paperwork to you. Typically, there is a “plea agreement” being offered. But don’t get all excited thinking that you’re going to get out of this without paying the exact same amount you would have otherwise. They’re getting their money. But as a reward for sitting through all this silliness, you don’t get as many points taken off your license.
  • You’ll have some time to look over the deal they’re offering you. In my case, for example, the city prosecutors wanted me to lie and plead guilty to having “obstructed windows.” A fellow speeder next to me was being asked to plead guilty to a “defective headlamp.” (Sidenote: Some curious language on the paperwork. Some violations are the violations themselves: defective headlamp; unsafe vehicle. But others are the opposite: “reasonable and prudent speed”; “windows unobstructed” — so technically I’m pleading guilty to having unobstructed windows.) There’s a box on the paperwork detailing the fine. For speeding, it’s $10 per mph over the speed limit. So in my case, it was $100. So even though I wasn’t pleading guilty to speeding, I’m still paying the fine for speeding. It’s all just some silly bureaucratic sleight of hand. What’s the point? Who knows.
  • After what seems like hours and hours, the judge will finally come in to lend some kind of credibility to this whole farce. Today’s judge was a William Cogswell, who kept having to tell people to remove their hats. I find it kind of interesting that he is concerned about Joe Mechanic’s ballcap, but Shredded-T-Shirt Teenager with Spiked Collar doesn’t faze him. Whatever.
  • The judge will call you up to the podium one by one. One by excruciating one. He will read off a script: Shredded-T-Shirt Kid, you are charged with violating 10.5.104 of Colorado Statute blahblahblah, how do you plead? (Guilty) You’ve seen the video and understand your rights? (Yes) Do you have anything to say to me before I pronounce sentence? (No). The court accepts your guilty plea and requires you to pay $100 fine, $20 court costs, and a $15 surcharge (true). You can pay the fine in room 108. Multiply this by 87 people (I counted). And this is just the morning session. There’s an afternoon. So let’s say this is an average number. This means that Colorado Springs is rolling through about 900 people a week. And I didn’t see a single person whose fine was less than mine. So let’s be conservative and say the city’s pulling in at least $6 million a year from traffic court alone. This isn’t counting those who are allowed the mercy of paying online. That’s some pretty good cash.
  • At this point, you’re free to go. What took two-and-a-half hours could have taken 10 minutes online. Basically, you go in, the city asks you to lie, then they take your money, and you go home — or like most of the people there, back to work. I’m sure everyone’s jobs are flexible enough to allow for hours sitting in court. And I’m sure everyone’s bosses are totally reasonable and understanding.
Tryin' to catch me ridin' dirty.

Do I know how fast I was going? Not really. The speedometer on this thing's in kilometers. In mph, I'm guessing I was going only 90 or so.

Kaos Pizza, Denver, CO

Not only do I love making pizza at home but I love going out to get it, too.

We took a quick impromptu trip to Denver recently and stopped at Kaos Pizza on South Pearl Street,  my favorite Denver neighborhood.

It’s located in a cute little old Victorian house with a big neat outdoor space.

Kaos Pizza, Denver, CO

Kaos Pizza, Denver, CO

There are tons of plants and some of the tables are tucked away behind trees and vines. It’s very cozy and romantic. The owner says he even opens the patio on nice days during the winter. Most places completely close their patios during winter, so that’s nice.

Kaos Pizza, Denver, CO

Kaos Pizza, Denver, CO

They have a bunch of local beers and even some local wines. Like really local- made just a few miles away in Denver! They have a lot of other local foods, eggs and greens from just a few blocks away, even.

Local Denver wine at Kaos Pizza, Denver, CO

Local Denver wine at Kaos Pizza, Denver, CO

And then there’s the pizza. OMG, it was good. Really good. The crust was perfect, crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. There are a million toppings you can choose from. I had pesto, caramelized onions,  and wild mushroom on mine. Usually I say I can make better pizza than any restaurant but not this time. If I lived nearby I’d go here all the time. It is really great. Mike had some baked pasta that was also really good.

Pesto carmelized onion, and wild mushroom pizza from Kaos Pizza, Denver, CO

Pesto caramelized onion, and wild mushroom pizza from Kaos Pizza, Denver, CO

Misc. Colorado Springs Things

I meant to write about the two weeks The Dange had off but we didn’t wind up doing all that much. It rained a lot of the time. We spent some time doing things around the house, working on planting the deck, eating, drinking, cooking, hanging out with the cats, and going for bike rides. Now that we live downtown we ride all over the place. On Sundays we ride to Starbucks and read the New York Times and drink coffee like people who live in a normal city…:) There are also TONS of trails, bike paths, alleys, and even just plain bike lanes here so it’s really fun to just hop on the bikes and go. The weather, as usual, is insane. Snow, wind, hail, rain, sunshine- practically all in the same day. Anyhow I think I’ve posted some of these pictures before, I can’t remember (they’re not all from the “stay-cation”).

Bike rides!

Cool retro dry cleaners by the house.

One day we rode our bikes to an oldey timey hanburger stand which was delish. There’s a bike path that goes all the way thru the city, passing by both our place and the stand…:)

DMs bday lunch at Steuben’s in Denver. it’s trying to be sorta retro 50s and I guess it’s doing a decent job.

Peach cobbler!

I had green beans, mashed potatoes and an iceberg wedge with blue cheese, yummy. DM had fried chicken. I’m not sure why I don’t have a picture of it!

One of my masterpiece pizzas. Tomato sauce and ricotta.

Carmelized onions, asparagus and cheese. It looks weird but it was super good. Even The Dange liked it.

DM at Smashburger. It’s a new burger place here in COS that everyone seems to love. DM eating some chili with an ice cream spoon because they were out of regular spoons, WTF?

He ordered some kind of fancy burger with BBQ sauce that they mistakenly left off, and fride onions. MMMM.

They have two almost identical burgers on their menu, both pretty basic. They gave me the wrong one but I didn’t notice till I was at least halfway thru. Still, it was pretty tasty but a little too salty. I enjoyed it more than DM did. The fries were some kind of fancy garlic rosemary fries and were just ok.

Ordered a chocolate malt and got a chocolate shake. The service wasn’t very good and it was extra lame because there were only like 2 other tables in there. Still, the shake was good!

They also have pretty cool decor.

Another pizza, carmelized onions, cheese. Then after it’s cooked, salad mix with hummus drizzled on top.

Plain cheese pizza.

Cookie Puss lounging.

The Colorado Springs Eddie (but fatter than the real Eddie) at Tony’s bar downtown Colorado Springs!

DM in Tony’s. We have a love/hate relationship with this bar. We love it cuz it’s really nearby, just a couple blocks so we can walk. They have really good bar food, they’re always open. But the service sucks and it’s always full of annoying college students. There’s Colorado Springs Eddie in the background again.

Doing the aformentioned walking to Tony’s! It’s so close we can even walk there in a blizzard.

Homemade biscuits and gravy. I don’t eat pork anymore so no sausage gravy. I made this out of chicken drippings. It was really good.

Cookie Puss and PJ. I can’t believe how huge Cookie Puss is now. You may remember the pics I posted when he was a kitten and how he was so tiny compared to PJ. He is almost 18 pounds now and PJ is only about 8. PJ has chronic renal failure (he’s 15 years old) and doesn’t have a very good prognosis. But he’s hanging on and enjoying life as a cat. We have to give him subcutaneous fluids twice a day and a bunch of other medications but all in all it only takes about 5 minutes per day to do and he’s pretty good about it.

I don’t know what this was all about. We were probably drunk.

The red floor. It took 5 coats of paint and I still have more to do. Gotta sand it down one more time, put on another coat or two of the red, then some kind of polyeurathane or something.

Us in Boulder. I had to wear the hippy clothes so I could fit in.

I made this last night. Mexican chili soup with fried tortilla strips, Mexican cheese, sour cream, cilantro, and avocado.

Also made chicken tacos with all the fixin’s. That’s a caipirinha in the background. My current fave.

Fatburger. We’re trying to find the best burgers in town so we’ve been going to a lot of different places in a lot of different categories. We’re going to post it on our food blog at when we’re done. I am ashamed to say we haven’t updated it in AGES.

Fatburger is Fatburger, we have them all over LA. I remember them being better than the one I had the other day. Still, it was good. I think I liked Smashburger’s better, tho. DM likes the Fatburger better.

Their shake wasn’t nearly as good as Smashburger’s.

Wade’s cafe in Colorado Springs. They’re known for their pancakes and they win Best Pancakes all over the place all the time. It was packed and we actually had to wait which never happens here. I was not impressed with my huevos rancheros.

DM liked his breakfast and the pancakes WERE really good. Still, not as good as the REAL best pancakes in town which are to be had at Maggie Mae’s.

DM is now into fly fishing. He took a class and got all the gear. He even caught some fish!

I guess after that lame huevos rancheros I decided to make my own. I honestly don’t remember this at all.

Here’s DM practicing casting. And getting the line stuck in the tree. Not the best place to practice, Dange! Note the junkyard chic we have going on in our back yard.

Cookie Puss!


They are always stalking the squirrels, who are really quite bold. Yesterday I let them out and suddenly Cookie Puss lunged toward the chair where I didn’t realize, was a little squirrel! They never come down onto the deck itself. He tried to catch it, it scooted away, right toward PJ! Who tried to get it, and it went back toward Cookie. OMG It was horrible. I thought for sure one of them was going to catch it and hurt the little guy. Not to mention getting rabies or some such shit. I managed to pick both the cats up and put them in the house and the little squirrel jumped the fence and into the tree.

All wound up and being fierce.

PJ is constantly going over the fence and into the backyard. It’s not really a backyard, it’s more like a parking lot. Anyhow he’s not supposed to be over there but he does it anyway. For someone on his last legs, he’s extremely fiesty. He does have a bad day here and there but most of the time, this is his M.O.

Here are some pics of the various weather on the deck

That plastic is there because it hails a lot here. Including yesterday. I had been meaning to make a more permanent structure for hail protection but hadn’t gotten around to it. Yesterday out of nowhere it started pouring down hail. I bought this plastic awhile ago and had DM drag it out for me then we went out in the hard rain and hail and covered everything. We were only out there like two minutes but were completely soaked all the way thru our clothes. It was insane. Today I went out and covered them at the first sign of thunder. Sheesh.

The following are various seedlings and plantings. You’re not really supposed to plant tomatoes till this weekend but I did it the first week in May. Luckily we didn’t have any snow and they’re doing pretty well now. I’ll keep taking pics as the summer goes on. I’m trying to do everything by seeds this year, so we’ll see. It’s a pretty short growing season here, so…

Ok so that’s it for now! I hope you enjoyed the pictures of my Oh So Exciting Life!