Archive for April, 2015

22
Apr
15

Return to Weedville; My Brief Analysis

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I recall catching up to Ramone and the Dr. as the human time bomb decided to head to one of the two all-nite diners on East Colfax. He promised us he’d get a table there and we were to meet him after we went back to the Satire Lounge to finish our drinks. Time began to alter a bit but I know at some point I looked at the Doctor and we wondered if Ramone had stayed true to his word. Peculiar; not too long ago he had mentioned how he hated that particular diner’s food. I kept imagining him running back to the bar, unable to steer away from some emotional click that the ‘whore’ sent off in his head. The Lion’s Lair did not need that kind of brutal situation to deal with.

We checked in the diner and Ramone wasn’t there. Dr. B. was able to raise him on the phone and found out the kid was currently running…somewhere….perhaps all the way home. The only certainty was he didn’t go back to the Lair. The night was salvaged-saved from an ugly scene in downtown Denver or at least one we conjured. That doesn’t mean the fun didn’t continue there on the East Colfax strip. The Dr. and I walked down to another diner that’s popular with a lot of the drag queens who perform next door to it. The rest of my nights in Denver were less caustic but no less bizarre as Dr. B. and I took advantage of heightening our inebriated journeys, my baked state of mind and the other dark drugs. Encounters at the burlesque show, street fights and whip-it freaks. Through all of this I couldn’t see much difference in the city I had left a couple years ago. The familiar landmarks had not changed; some of the same street performers and vendors still hustled their wares and talents in LoDo. Some new faces, like the feral street girl who seemed to be in an autistic fog, eating a half hot dog someone had thrown in the trash. The thing is, none of these oddities were brought about by the decriminalization of cannabis. Denver already had that crazy appeal within it-the herb had nothing to do with it.

Some locals did express a few minor changes to the town. There now is a big concern and notice of more stoned drivers texting. I’m sure they were texting way before getting baked but I can see where this would be a problem. Driving a car in the Denver area is a challenge enough without adding the stoner factor to it. Citizens did seem to be making a conscious effort to not let the place be overwhelm with a stigma of lax and immoral. They had their fair share of crazy from folks like Jon-Benet and her family, Klebold and Harris or the more recent James Holmes. The attitude I was getting from most responsible people was ‘handle your high’ and don’t fuck this city up irreparably.

I feel Denver is a fine representative for anyone wondering what life would be like in a world where pot was legal. So many Baby Booomers grew up never thinking they would actually witness the day it happened yet here it is. The streets aren’t burning any more than usual out there and this has become evident to a number of other states. The list grows with different Senators and other Statespeople presenting agendas supporting the legalization in their state. Here is Colorado,your poster child, and the baby didn’t blow up.

My final time in Denver saw me hurrying to the airport to catch my flight; the Doctor and I had only a few hours sleep at most and as I drove away in an Uber to DIA, I had to smile. Another legendary time with the Illustrious Dr. B. and I’m sure, not the last we will have. I feel we should make a pact, like Richard Burton and Richard Harris; first one dead has to wear a god-awful colored red suit to his grave.

Weedville is fine folks; go see for yourself.

18
Apr
15

Return to Weedville; the Beast I call Ramone

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My planned journey to Sobo 151 wouldn’t begin until evening so I took advantage of the day hours to gather some info on how the pot scene has affected the Mile High city. Dr. B. had his own morning commitments so we were to meet up later that night at the Czech bar down on Broadway. I stopped off to see a good friend who I felt could give me one good observation on the weed scene; Oscar is an audiophile/vinyl head with a penchant toward good sound and great rock. Oscar is one of those guys who meets everybody and everybody meets. He took me down his favorite dispensary where they give him discounts on his pot purchases for being a student and other criteria for lowered prices. We did a quick few purchases of some higher than average grade pot and I picked up a couple pre-rolled to give them a taste test. I recall the last time I bought and smoked prerolled joints they were fairly harsh and took true courage to rifle through a whole one. They seemed to have improved those joints a good amount since then.

When the Doctor met me at Sobo we began our endeavor with some good scotch (and I already had a decent amount of THC flowing through me) and headed for the pool tables. We were waiting on a friend of his I’ll call Ramone. I didn’t quite understand when the Doctor told me he was guilty of collecting ‘stray puppies’ but it all clicked in about thirty minutes after I met Ramone. This kid was a young (if I recall all of it right) ex-police officer (recently released from the force), ex-Army G.I. with about 1 percent body fat, caustic PTSD just looking for something to tear into. He was as tightly strung as a compound bow with an eighty pound pull. We hammered down a bit more scotch at Sobo before jumping over to the Lion’s Lair. The Lair is one of those fantastic little joints on Colfax which from first appearance reminds you of a seedy little place designated for the truly depressed and lonely but the Lair hosts some of the finest rock shows Denver has to offer with great acoustics and screaming good talent.

A friend named Whitney was jamming on bass at the Lair. Oscar was there as well to rock the night away. Me, the Doctor and Ramone saunter in and everything seemed to be going pretty good. There was a trio of compadres at the bar, two women and a man. One of the women was beating this guy, not strong enough to have her thrown out for abuse but a bit more harsh than just a playful love tap. She was laying some pretty good shots into his chest. Ramone at some point walks into the conversation with the trio and a series of interchanges between all them took place. My mind was scattered and wasn’t able to hear the brunt of the conversation over the great screaming band sounds but by now both Dr. B. and me had begun to notice a bit of disconnect between ourselves and Ramone. The troubled ex-GI began to promote a more skewed reasoning-it was similar to how Lenny Small from Of Mice and Men might suddenly just wander into another frame of mind. Eerie. He had given one of the two women his phone number and now she was bar flirting with other men so this was the catalyst to his mind shift. He told the Doctor that she was a ‘whore’ for acting like that-after taking his phone number. Ramone was getting more agitated internally but externally he still had that happy smile on his face. The kid was a walking time bomb waiting to go off; me and the Doctor were walking that thin line between keeping him diffused or running for cover. I have to admit, I was more of the mind to run and let the situation explode (just for the sake of that anarchist in me who loves to smile and throw metaphoric firecrackers). Thank god Doctor B. had enough conviction to grab the human grenade and take it out of the bar’s equation. He had to drag the guy in and out of the bar a number of times before it reached a point he was unsure whether he could control it anymore.

I sat down next to the girl who was punching her friend and started up a good conversation. At one point she asked if I knew Jack Kerouac, then felt bad at the unintentional insult she put on me. Her reference to Kerouac was because she thought I had that type vibe of coolness, not because I could have been that old….or at least that’s how I’ll take it. This conversation led into one about my paintings and after showing her some samples, she wanted to arrange an agreement with her to show them at the hotel in Denver where she was proprietor. Now the situation became more delicate regarding Ramone. I didn’t want him blowing a possible business venture by pummeling the proprietor’s male friend so I covertly worked out a plan with the Doctor to get the human bomb out of the equation for the rest of the night. Dr. B. would take Ramone down the street to the Satire Lounge and I could meet them down there soon to help dissuade Ramone’s attention from the ‘whore’ who had him so distracted. It was uncertain whether or not this would work because Ramone’s emotions were overtaking his logic. He would blurt out disconnected phrases to us; at one point he stared at us and said ‘You know….I’m a virgin…’. How could you be certain where a mindset like that was going to go?

The Doctor was on it.

17
Apr
15

Return to Weedville; the Illustrious Dr. B.

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I had to get back to Denver.

I nearly cancelled my weeks planned trip back there due to a looming depression but was reminded by someone that I needed high doses of sunshine and a bit of unhinging to break that demon of sadness; that someone was my personal physician of the psyche, Dr. B.

I was losing my religion; Colorado was the birthplace of The Church and I needed revitalized. My beacon of inspiration this time, my therapy, would not be following the trail of Occupy Denver squatters and the political zombies I studied for about a year. This time I would go to Denver and take a look at how the Mile High City had changed (if at all) since I left, having been converted to a legalized pot sanctuary. Spin the hamster wheel and tell us what you see, Reverend.

When the Doctor and I get together there seems to be a kinetic incantation leading us to predestined bizarre situations. We both toast the diversity of strange we bring about and I was ready for a dose of that madness. The last encounter we had to together (see The Strange Case of Mr. E and Dr. B., posted 11/11/13) ended with the doctor staggering down the street on a head full of drugs, a incomprehensible mutant turned by the wicked chemicals we ingested. This time the Doctor promised me he would not become the monster that took him last time and I knew he would hold true to his words. We all fall victim to those moments where something manages to creep into our skin and play with our motor skills and reason. I very well could become the beast this time but whatever the consequences, it was time to meet up with Dr. B.

I don’t take flying well but after downing seven shots of Jameson in the airport lounge before takeoff I felt sufficiently numbed and ready to board. The flight went without any hiccups and by early evening I found myself once again under the canvas tarps of Denver International Airport. My study of the natives would come the following day-it was getting later by the minute and I had to coordinate with the Doctor to get to his place. My phone was running out of juice and I needed a place to charge it up a bit or lose the phone. The best spot I could think of to charge the phone was my old haunt, The Shag Lounge. Anyone planning to take a trip should look this dank little establishment up. The DJ plays the best hip hop and gangster thumping music one could hope for. The staff is always friendly and the crowd is accommodating. A young girl in shorts and a sleeveless top began dancing with me there in The Shag, then sauntered over to the stripper pole the bar leaves placed for those who feel the urge. No time to see what could develop with her, I had to get to the Doctors.

Before leaving Colorado approximately two years ago the marijuana scene had already become a lax affair for Denver. They had petitioned their way into having the illegal weed claimed okay for ‘medical’ use, which once the floodgates opened on that allowance, the masses took full advantage of it. I was among those who first took to these newly opened clinics/dispensaries and waited my turn to pay the $50 fee to get a red card that would allow me to purchase and possess dope with (apparently) no fear of ramifications from law enforcement. When my spot came up to see the physician that would evaluate my need for a weed prescription, my flimsy story was that I got sever headaches often from eye strain; that’s all it took to get me a red card.

That first night in Denver was more about settling in and getting myself grounded for what me and Dr. B. might face ahead. I think we were both ready to get that four wheeled carnival wagon up on two wheels and Saturday the wild ride would begin. Saturday evening crept in and as promised, the Doctor stayed in control (cognizant of the surroundings) and did not become the monster….however he did conjure one up to meet us at the Czech bar.

07
Apr
15

Rand Paul in the Quarter Turn

rand_paul I find our Presidential elections-in particular the period of campaigning that starts to slowly get started halfway through any given incumbent’s term-as analogous to a horse race. The gates opened a few months back with those first few wanna-be contenders jumping out like horses jacked up on Lasix. The initial weeding out usually dismisses any early candidate from getting the press coverage they need to continue as front runners to the general voting populace. Some of their popularity will rest on how they fair on the campaign trail but I also give credit to the press, who develop their clandestine plans behind closed doors in rooms (I imagine) where they figure out who the golden boy, or girl, of the hour will be. Their priority during this horse race for the White House is not to report the facts so much as it is to obtain an audience of followers. If they can’t keep the audience engaged they know their readership/viewership will dwindle and another news provider will snag their followers. Former Governor of Florida Jeb Bush was in the media seat for a while, as was Mitt Romney, but those old boys lost the attention of campaign followers; in walks Rand Paul.

Junior Senator Rand Paul (R, Kentucky) is no stranger to anyone following politics the last two elections but the media moguls always seemed to throw him in like a side dish, never really spotlighting him as much as you would expect. Perhaps this was because they had so many entertaining moments with the likes of Rick Santorum who scared the general public into believing he wanted to create a religious dystopia of our country akin to the oppressive society in Turkey or Kabul. Sarah Palin manages to sneak in every so often with some jaw dropping statement to the press but all that gets tiresome and the GOP needed a candidate to show that could make it the full race. For the moment the press seems to think Paul could be that man.

Washington AP stories describe Paul’s campaign strategy as ‘changing how members of his party go about getting elected to the White House and how they govern once they get there’. I see no big difference at all in his strategy. His doom and gloom rants about how ‘all is not well in America’ reminds me of the same approach Rick Perry and a few other assorted Republicans took to lambaste the Democrats. The opposing party will almost always paint a dismal picture, followed up by how they will bring the shining beacon needed to better things for everyone. It’s a cyclical campaign approach both major parties play to that, is the bizarre attraction of political campaigns.

Rand Paul may very well have what it takes to stay in the lead with the popular vote however he has a long string of soured GOP dogs who aren’t ready to back him in this race. Arizona Senator/Presidential loser John McCain has ill feeling toward Paul, calling him a ‘wacko bird’ for trying to block the nomination of John Brennan as CIA chief. if Paul can get the people behind him them perhaps he will make it into the final turn of the track where as it stands for the moment, he will have to face Hillary Clinton. The Democrats are being predictably clumsy and scared, unsure what will become of them once the Obama era ends. I would not care to wager how many Hillary haters are out there but I would have to say that there are enough to make it a close race should the Republicans come up with a solid candidate-even halfway solid.

Let’s see how you run Senator Paul. You made it to the quarter turn so now let’s see if you can stay ahead of the pack.




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