Date Archives April 2014

The Buckhorn Exchange

 

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The Buckhorn Exchange is Denver’s oldest restaurant, running continuously for over 120 years. More importantly to the hard drinkers, they also were issued Colorado’s first liquor license. It actually used to be known as the Buckhorn Restaurant; the “Exchange” part was added a bit later owing to the owner’s standing offer to exchange railroad worker’s paychecks for gold and silver plus a free beer and lunch. It became such a popular practice that the railroaders practically stampeded the restaurant every Friday…and the renamed Buckhorn Exchange didn’t lose anything in the bargain, because the thirsty workers were exceedingly unlikely to stop drinking after their free mug was quaffed.

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Located as they were at the heart of the frontier, a lot of historical figures have rubbed elbows at their white oak bar. We were seated in a section with a significant amount of Buffalo Bill memorabilia and I noted the “Buffalo Bill” drink on the menu, so I ventured to ask our waitress if he’d actually dined at the Buckhorn. She informed me that he was a regular…at least at the bar. His drink of choice? Bourbon and apple juice. Brown liquor and the least tasty of the juices? That’s a hard pass from me, I’m gagging a little just thinking about it.

The Buckhorn Exchange today is first and foremost a steakhouse; they offer most of the standard cuts you’d expect. They additionally offer a variety of exotic meats and what they call “the big steak”, which is specially cut and can be ordered to feed between two and five people. I’m generally of the opinion that a steak is a steak is a steak unless you’re getting a really high-quality piece of beef, and so I usually decide not to pay inflated restaurant prices for steak unless I’m at a place where I’m certain their cows died of happiness (like John Howie). I decided this was a much better opportunity to try something new, so I ordered a split plate of elk and ostrich, with a side of bison bean soup. I would have started us off with some rocky mountain oysters, but there was no way I’d be able to eat even a half order by myself and Jason said there was absolutely no way he would eat even one, so I had to save ingesting balls for some point in the future. That’s right, the thought of apple juice and bourbon makes me gag, but not the thought of eating a testicle. Go figure.

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Shortly after our entrees arrived, a large party was seated near us; one of the members was a strong contender for biggest hipster douche on the planet. As his friends arrived, he’d loudly make a point of saying “Oh my god, did you see all of this stuff on the walls? I know, it’s so awful! And I’ve eaten here before and the food is TERRIBLE.” There aren’t words for how much I loathed him. I wanted to give him a wedgie that was so hard that it would split him into two hipster halves, only attached at the glasses.

Thankfully, our waitress noted his obnoxiousness (or perhaps saw that I was sculpting my mashed potatoes into his likeness and stabbing it with my steak knife) and asked if we’d like to be moved elsewhere in the restaurant. Yes, yes we would. No fewer than two managers came to our table and apologized for moving us; they comped our drinks and dessert, and gave us a Buckhorn Exchange postcard, all of which was unnecessary–they did us a huge favor by moving us, they didn’t need to comp us further!

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P3230743Plus, they moved us to directly underneath the two-headed calf!

P3230731While nothing tastes as good as free dessert (hot dutch apple pie ala mode with cinnamon rum sauce), the rest of the dinner was good as well, especially the bison bean soup. Neither cut of meat was preferable to beef (and Jason felt the same about his bison steak), but they were both interesting in their own way, particularly the elk, which had an unusual slight cedar flavor.

Stuffed to the gills, we made sure that we’d seen everything there was to see in the restaurant, including the original bar, which has been moved upstairs to accommodate diners on the lower floor.

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Before we left, I hit the restroom and was startled to discover the above deer peering into my stall. It looks much too excited about watching humans do their business. Stop it, deer. Stop it. You’re gross.

The Worst Hair Day

While at the Buffalo Bill museum, I couldn’t help but notice his son Kit’s extremely unfortunate hairstyle, which, even for the time period, he looks very unhappy about.  Kit, I feel your pain, as this reminded me of the worst forced haircut of my youth.

In the summer of 1994 before 7th grade, my mom, unhappy with her own short haircut, badgered me into getting my own hair cut short so we’d “be twins”. At twelve, I was hardly the paragon of obstinacy that I am today, and eventually I was dragged into “HairCrafters” (don’t think elite master of a craft when you see the word “crafters”, instead picture the hodgepodge glitterglue kind and you’ll be more on track) with a picture of Ellen DeGeneres*. I was parked in a chair, my mom pointed at the picture and instructed the stylist to “give [me] that” and eighteen dollars plus tip later, I was just at the beginning of a three year long nightmare hair journey, although I didn’t realize it at the time.

Mom, proud of what she’d wrought, proceeded to take me from house to house in the neighborhood to show off our new twin status. I stood there in the summer sun while my mom chatted with the neighbors and the kids, normal kids, splashed in the pool and had fun. Although I was invited to join, my mom told me I shouldn’t because she didn’t want me getting it wet and ruining “the cute style”. She had me so convinced that I looked great that the rest of the afternoon, I rode around on my bike with my helmet carefully strapped on, the better to surprise reveal to my friends when they came to their doors. Publisher’s Clearing House, I wasn’t, and I couldn’t quite understand their nonplussed reactions. Later, when I arrived at home, I’d found that in a hot afternoon of summer bike riding with a helmet, the sweat and immense amounts of hair product had plastered my new short locks onto my head, like a shiny, sticky skullcap.

Short hair and I were never meant to get along: my hair has that natural sort of half-assed wave, is possibly sentient, and if so, is definitely an asshole, and what looked cute on Ellen looked horrific on me. This was also the period of time when the crunchy bang wave hit Wisconsin, and I really, really wanted to fit in with my peers, so each morning, I carefully hairsprayed and gelled my bangs into the crunchiest wave I could muster, the humidity taking its toll on the style no fewer than five minutes later, allowing random pieces to escape and curl across my forehead in a particularly uncool manner.

Add to this the fact that I had braces, owl glasses, and my mom still dressed me (to this day I cannot look at a pair of patterned leggings or a beaded vest without breaking out into a sweat), and we had the perfect storm for yearbook photo day.

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That is the oldest looking twelve year old I have ever seen. When I signed my friends’ yearbooks that year, I actually drew on more hair to hide that solitary forehead bang, like they couldn’t see my solitary forehead bang glaring at them in real life at that very moment. It took three years to grow that hot mess out, and then it started falling out, so where there was once a crunchy bang wave, I now have a bald spot.

Hair, you are SUCH an asshole.

*To reiterate: lovely lady, very funny, awesome person, but absolutely the wrong style for a kid with a fat head and unruly curly hair.

The Buffalo Bill Museum and Grave

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Sometimes it takes visiting a museum dedicated to another person to realize that you don’t have enough items in your home with your face and name emblazoned on them. For me, that museum was the Buffalo Bill museum. I’ll admit to not knowing much about Buffalo Bill prior to my visit, other than he was shot during a poker game at Deadwood….which wasn’t Buffalo Bill at all, it was Wild Bill, so let’s go ahead and say that I had a baseline knowledge of zero as pertains to Buffalo Bill.

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William “Buffalo Bill” Cody was one of the more well-known figures (barring my ignorance) in the American West. He was born in Iowa, and like many Iowans, couldn’t wait to leave*; from there he covered nearly as much land as a person could cover in those days, traveling across the West as a scout, a Pony Express rider, a ’59er, a trapper, a hunter, a showman, and even as a founder of a town. The Buffalo Bill museum was established by his foster son, Johnny Baker, four years after Cody’s death.

I bore that fact in mind as I toured the museum; while every museum of this type has a vested interest in making the subject as appealing as possible, by being opened by his son, there’s an undeniable bias and some potential truth-twisting.

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I had visited the restroom prior to entering the museum, and inside each stall was a short Buffalo Bill story. The one in my stall said that Cody was a great believer in women’s rights, had given Susan B. Anthony box seat tickets to his show, and when she arrived, he made a point of bowing to her in front of the entire audience. “Wow, what a great guy!” I thought. But when I saw the bit above about how his family was anti-slavery, and elsewhere in the museum that he was one of the first to call Native Americans “Americans” and recognize their rights as citizens, and that he didn’t even kill that many bison so he can’t be held accountable for their brush with extinction, I began to wonder how it was that he ended up on the right side of history in every major issue of his time. Given the caption of the above illustration, I figured there had to be a first-person account of this incident somewhere, and as it turned out, it’s free on Kindle. Cody’s father was stabbed at a public meeting regarding slavery, but his stance wasn’t quite as noble as the museum depicted:

“Gentlemen and Fellow-citizens: You have called upon me for a speech, and I have accepted your invitation rather against my will, as my views may not accord with the sentiments of the rest of this assembly. My remarks, at this time, will be brief and to the point. The question before us to-day is, shall the territory of Kansas be a free or a slave state. The question of slavery in itself is a broad one, and one which I do not care at this time and place to discuss at length. I apprehend that your motive in calling upon me is to have me express my sentiments in regard to the introduction of slavery into Kansas. I shall gratify your wishes in that respect. I was one of the pioneers of the State of Iowa, and aided in its settlement when it was a territory and helped to organize it as a state.

Gentlemen, I voted that it should be a white state–that negroes, whether free or slave, should never be allowed to locate within its limits; and, gentlemen, I say to you now, and I say it boldly, that I propose to exert all my power in making Kansas the same kind of state as Iowa. I believe in letting slavery remain as it now exists, and I shall always oppose its further extension.”

The autobiography cuts off before his Wild West show days, so a number of my questions are unanswered, but if his own book is to be believed, he certainly did kill a hell of a lot of bison: there’s an account of killing sixty-nine in a day in a killing contest, he attests to killing 4,280 over the course of his 18 month stint with the railroad, and it seemed like every time he spotted a herd, the entire thing was doomed. This isn’t the work of a conservationist, and I don’t know why the museum would attempt to portray him as such. No one is infallible, and I think the truth ultimately serves the public (and his legacy) better. When you see a few small not-quite-truths, it throws everything else that’s actually true (like the Susan B Anthony thing) into question. He was an interesting man, and it seemed like he was the Forrest Gump of his time, having a hand in just about everything of note during that time period–he even helped Marsh during the Bone Wars! There’s really no need to tell any half-truths to make him more compelling. Besides, it’s not like he was otherwise unlikeable from a modern perspective–I particularly enjoyed his bits of self-deprecating humor sprinkled throughout:

“Had the villains captured me they would have undoubtedly put an end to my career, and the public would have never had the pleasure of being bored by this autobiography.”

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThis issue included no fewer than 17 new sex tips involving pemmican and hard tack.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI want–no, need a lamp with my face tastefully painted on it.

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One of my favorite parts of the museum was the “Kids Cowboy Corral”, where I ignored the “kids” part entirely and tried my hand at lassoing a plastic calf. As it turns out, even when your “mount” and your target aren’t moving, this is really difficult to do, and I only succeeded in roping the calf’s ear. Jason cheated, and placed the lasso around the calf’s neck before taking a seat on the horse. In the Old West, they might’ve stabbed a man for that.

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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI don’t know why I find having little locks of hair on display so creepy. I just do.

An entire section of the museum was dedicated to Buffalo Bill artwork, and they left it to the viewing public to decide whether each was an example of folk, fine, or funky art.

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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAt first, my attention was grabbed by the horse being shot in the forehead. As I look back on it later, I have to wonder–where is that guy’s neck?!

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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERADefinitely fine art.

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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI could also use some really badass personal stationery. Wax stamp with my face on it mandatory.

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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAPart of Buffalo Bill’s storied spoon collection. Supposedly, he hired a guy whose sole job it was to polish them. So where are the rest?

At the end of the museum, they offer up an area for you to vote on your preferred museum experience–guided tours, audio tours, self-guided, etc. I took one look at the general public’s remarks and became incensed on behalf of the museum.

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What are the odds that the majority of these were from one giant illiterate asshole family? Really, you and your shitty children were bored from too much reading? They had two videos, a dress-up station, a place to rope a calf, and a place to touch all sorts of animal pelts that you would probably otherwise never be able to touch. That’s not interactive and entertaining enough? What else do you need? A bank of game consoles so they can play “Grand Theft Stagecoach”? Someone walking around in an anthropomorphic bison costume? Maybe try the water park next time if you can’t handle all the reading at a fucking museum. It really irritates me when a museum that was this well-done gets slammed for not pandering to the lowest common denominator. I walked into the museum knowing nothing about Buffalo Bill, and from all the (gasp) reading I did while there, I left knowing quite a bit and wanting to know more. That’s a success, and I’d be very sorry to see it change format and lose some of the information contained therein.

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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIt’s like they knew I was coming.

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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERABetween these plateaus is the Coors plant, where they turn water into tinted water and can it.

Buffalo Bill was so immensely popular that multiple states battled over his corpse, each claiming that they should have the right, or that Buffalo Bill had stated his desire to be laid to rest there. Ultimately, he ended up in Golden, and Denver parked a tank near the grave while it was covered with over ten feet of concrete to prevent anyone from stealing the body.

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The gift shop had a lot of your standard gift shop crap–snowglobes and t-shirts and pins and generic Colorado/vaguely Western stuff, plus an entire wall of creepy collectible dolls. I would have liked to have seen more Buffalo Bill-specific merchandise, more poster replicas, lasso kits, old West weapon replicas…things that you wouldn’t find at the very next gift shop down the road.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERABecause if there’s one thing we need, it’s more armed kids walking around.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThis is the door of mixed messages.

If you have any interest in the Old West and don’t mind doing some reading, the Buffalo Bill Museum and Grave is one of the better museums I’ve seen. It was definitely among my favorite activities on our jam-packed Colorado trip.

*According to a recent (2013) poll, this is a lie, Iowans generally speaking have a lower than average desire to move elsewhere.Damn facts, messing with my hack jokes!

Spotted on the Roadside: Blucifer, the Murderous Mustang From Hell

bluciferPhoto by Lori Greig, they don’t let you get near it anymore, and this picture is miles better than the one I took from the rental car shuttle.

As you drive into or leave from the Denver International Airport, the blazing eyes of 32 foot tall Blucifer will haunt you. Apparently they originally envisioned people being able to picnic under his terrible hooves, but airport security and/or common sense put a stop to that right quick. This piece of public artwork killed its creator and looks like it would like to kill you. Keep an eye out for Blucifer on Peña Blvd.

Walking With Dinosaurs: Dinosaur Ridge

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If you’re into dinosaurs and paleontology, Colorado is an excellent place to visit. The Morrison formation has been one of the most fertile sources of Jurassic fossils in North America, but more than that, it was one of the main sites of the Bone Wars between Othniel Charles Marsh and Edward Drinker Cope in 1877. Cope and Marsh loathed each other with a passion that made for excellent stories but terrible scientific method; not only would they rush to be the first to name new species (resulting in misidentifications like the Brontosaurus), but they’d also sabotage each other’s sites, bribing, stealing, destroying fossils, and each trying to ruin the other’s credibility so as to cut off his funding. Basically, if these guys were around today, we’d ask them to celebrity box or kiss and get it over with. Or there’d be a reality show: EXTREME PALEONTOLOGY. As it stands, they made both enormous contributions and did substantial harm to the field, discovering species while yet reportedly blowing up others with dynamite; their lasting animosity left both destitute, and yet they still would not yield. Before his death, Cope issued a challenge to Marsh by donating his skull to science, his desire that Marsh do the same so that their brains could be measured to “prove” which was more gifted. Though as we know, brain size is not an indicator of intelligence, and they’d both be dead anyway, so I suppose it was just a matter of getting it in the fossil record. Marsh never took Cope up on the bet, but Cope’s skull is still hanging out at the University of Pennsylvania today. What makes Colorado so awesome for paleontologists, aside from apparently easy-access dynamite? Well, it was above water during the Jurassic and underwater during the Cretaceous, which means that it has an astounding diversity of fossils–dinosaurs, plants, and marine reptiles. The area was then uplifted by the formation of the Rocky Mountains, and at the Morrison formation, a creek carved through it, exposing the strata of Mesozoic and Paleozoic sedimentary rocks. Excavation is no longer happening at the Morrison formation, but you can tour and see all of these things for yourself: it goes by the more tourist-friendly name Dinosaur Ridge. You can do a self-guided tour and hike up Dinosaur Ridge, or you can pay a nominal fee at the visitor center and take a guided tour on a shuttle bus. We elected for the guided tour, and you can decide for yourself whether it was laziness or the thirst for knowledge that drove that decision. P3230639

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P3230648I don’t want to spoil the story, but we only saw one of these things. And we saw a LOT of them.

P3230647 We arrived just in time to hop aboard the next shuttle bus. Unfortunately, so did several families with a veritable herd of children around the age of two. I believe that the scientific term for a gathering of children around that age is “a terror”. We should have waited for the next bus. It’s not that our shuttle guide wasn’t fantastic–she was! She was knowledgeable and enthusiastic, she was quick to point out photo opportunities, and she deserved every cent of the tour fee and tip we gave her. Unfortunately, however, it was incredibly difficult to hear anything she had to say over the reverberating screams of that many children. I’m not saying this as an unreasonable kid-hater, I’m saying this as one of the only two people on that bus trying to hear the tour guide, the other being Jason. Literally no one else was paying attention to her. Not the screaming kids, not the parents with glazed-over eyes. She’d ask a question hoping for a response and get “AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAIEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE” shouted back at her for her efforts. Hostage negotiation and traffic control are notoriously difficult jobs, but I’d put this at a close third. At least in those first two professions, you don’t spend any portion of your day hoping for the sweet release of death. I’m sure there are things I would have liked to have learned about whatever it is going on in the below photos, and I would have been happy to share that knowledge, but when I think back to this tour, I mostly just hear “AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAIEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE” which is really only helpful if you’re looking to memorize some of the vowels.  Sometimes I think it would be helpful to travel around with a little notebook so I don’t forget important details, but in this instance, I think all that would have come from it was a series of furious scribblings of increasingly angry faces. P3230649

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One thing I did learn is that one way paleontologists quickly determine if they’ve found a fossil is to lick it, though the tour guide recommended that we not lick any of the fossils on site as they’ve been touched by many many many hands. I don’t know whether I’d rather lick a stranger’s hand or a coprolite, personally. Preferably neither. I also learned that the bulk of Allosaurus remains have come from this area, and that Allosaurus may have been a more badass dinosaur than the more popular T.Rex. T. Rex is widely believed to be a scavenger and carrion eater. Allosaurus is believed to have been more involved in active predation; with their incredible expanding jaws, they could eat a chunk out of live prey and run away, and even if they took a beating for doing so, they often lived to see another day.  Plus: usable arms.

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P3230659Dinosaur ridge needs to update their signs! Though “Apatosaur Bulges” doesn’t sound as pleasing to the ear.

P3230663The area the tour guide is standing in originally contained a fossil that was cut out by some modern-day fossil-wrecking buttwad, possibly a descendent of Cope (Marsh never married). It was eventually found (I am not making this up) propping open a door at the University of Colorado.

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The next bus that rolled up the hill only had two adults on it. Damn, we should have waited.

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The Mount Vernon Tulip Festival

It took two trips to get back to the tulip festival (I first attended in 2011); the first was on a Sunday and we sat in stop and go traffic for more than six hours, still never got within striking distance of the fields, and I was ready to blow a gasket. May everyone who cut in front of us during the four hours we sat in the exit lane’s toenails fall off, and may they also get an eyelash in their eye that they can’t get out, and that might help them feel a fraction of the annoyance I felt with them for deciding they were too good to wait in line like everyone else. The second attempt, on a Tuesday, was smooth sailing the entire way. If you want to go, check the bloom maps and avoid the weekend if at all possible to save yourself a lot of agony. The visit is worth the effort it takes to get there–the swaths of color splashed across the ground is invigorating to the eye and the creative spirit. It makes me want to rip down all of the brush behind my house and have my own mini tulip fields so I can experience a bit of this glory every day of the season! OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Continue reading

Nom or Vom: Blue Balls the ice cream

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Photo from Lick Me I’m Delicious

Lick Me I’m Delicious created a custom ice cream flavor for “an A-list celebrity client” (of course, your average butthole on the street isn’t going to dose all of his buddies with prescription drugs for funsies): champagne and Viagra. Each scoop of ice cream is dosed with 25mgs Viagra and flavored like champagne. Obviously the only way you’d be able to try this concoction for now is to make it yourself, but the question here is WOULD you eat it, not WILL you eat it. What say you, nom or vom?

Pros: Dude, not only did you eat ice cream and catch a buzz, you also caught a boner! High five! Or low five! You have a celebrity friend, congratulations! You’re basically eating exclusivity, that’s what it tastes like.

Cons: The potential for getting a boner for more than four hours because you ate too much ice cream, champagne headaches, alcohol and sugar headaches, the very real possibility that you’ll get a boner from this novelty item and then have nothing to do but waggle it around aimlessly in front of your so-called friends,  and any of the myriad side effects listed on boner commercials: Bladder pain, burning feeling in the chest or stomach, burning, crawling, itching, numbness, prickling, “pins and needles” or tingling feelings, cloudy or bloody urine, dizziness, increased frequency of urination, indigestion, painful urination, upset stomach, tenderness in the stomach area, abnormal vision, anxiety, behavior change similar to drinkenness, bleeding of the eye, blurred vision, bone pain, breast enlargement, chest pain, chills, cold sweats, confusion, convulsions, cool and pale skin, deafness or hearing loss, difficulty concentrating, double vision, drowsiness, dry eyes, dry mouth, dryness, redness, scaling, or peeling of the skin, excessive hunger, eye pain, fainting, fast, irregular, or pounding heartbeat, feeling of something in the eye, fever or chills, severe headache, heart failure, hives, increased sweating, increased thirst, itching, lower back or side pain, severe nausea, nightmares, painful, swollen joints, prolonged, painful erection of penis, seeing shades of colors differently than before, sensitivity to light, shakiness, skin lesions with swelling, slurred speech, sore throat, sudden weakness, trouble breathing, unusual tiredness or weakness, blindness, diarrhea, ear pain, drooling, vomiting, failure to climax, ringing in ears….

Would you eat viagra ice cream?

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What’s older: older than the hills or old as shit?

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It’s my birthday! Now that I’m old and boring and can’t seem to put a party together to save my life, let’s look back at some of the better birthday parties I’ve had:

Mellzah’s Midnight Carnival

Redneck Fabulous

Buffetitties/Boobieffet

Mad Scientists of the Future

I just now realized there was never a post about Sparkle Party, my 30th, where we did it up in Vegas, and apparently there never will be because I’ve somehow misplaced the photos. Rest assured, everyone was eye-searingly sparkilicious.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to go shake a cane and yell at teenagers and I am not even joking.

Spotted on the Roadside: Giant Milk Can

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Who doesn’t like ice cream served out of a giant milk can? Little Man Ice Cream drew a crowd even on a cold March evening. You may ask yourself: “Self, even in this relatively large milk can, how could one possibly fit all of these flavors?” The answer is: they don’t, so I may never know what a Space Junkie actually tastes like, though Salted Oreo was at least interesting if not life-changing. Spotted on 16th St in Denver.

Why’d they build this ghost town so far away?

 

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When I saw the brochure for “Ghost Town Wild West Museum” near Colorado Springs, I was under the impression that it was actually a ghost town with a wild west museum inside, something along the lines of Cripple Creek, only with something to do there other than gamble and be depressed. Now, the thought crossed my mind that it was awfully close to a major-ish city to be a ghost town, but my pressed penny-loving lizard brain pushed that thought away. When we pulled into the parking lot and saw one building, I knew I was right to be suspicious. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The Ghost Town Wild West Museum is essentially a small-scale wild west town built inside of a warehouse. This isn’t to say it’s bad, it’s just not an actual ghost town, no matter how many times it says “authentic” in the brochure. It reminded me a lot of “The Streets of Yesterday” in The House on the Rock, but on a much lesser scale.

After we paid our entry fee, I asked the employee if they had a pressed penny machine. She looked at me as though I had just sprouted a second head and said snottily, “We don’t have anything like that here.” I felt embarrassed until I walked in and saw that HALF THE DAMN PLACE WAS COIN-OPERATED.

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All of these machines, the shooting gallery, EVERYTHING cost extra and was coin-operated, but no, I could see how they’d be above something like a pressed penny machine. What bothers me is that they don’t have the decency to tell you outside that you need another ten dollars in quarters to see the attractions inside. House on the Rock also had a mess of coin-operated items, but they tell you in advance that you’ll need tokens and they even give you a handful. The Ghost Town Wild West Museum doesn’t even have an ATM if you wanted to withdraw cash to do these things, and then they have the audacity to have an animatronic prisoner who begs you for money to (I am not making this up) buy a gun.

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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASo on this “authentic” sign, we learn that old-timey miners used backwards letters to evoke a sense of false whimsy, like the ‘r’ in Toys ‘r’ Us.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAlso note the old-timey, authentic christmas lights.

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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOld timey authentic ghost town or hipster’s living room? YOU DECIDE.

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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI told Jason to rob the bank, and with each progressive photo, I told him to make a meaner face. Meaner. MEANER! MEANER!

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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThis animatronic guy claimed to have a cure for everything except baldness in men and “the gossip habit” in women. Fuck you, old timey asswad.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAPlease tell me this is the etymology of the phrase “horse pills”: human and horse-shared medicine.

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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIf you get the used soap, just consider that you’re getting pubes thrown in FOR FREE.

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Old timey town or a hipster’s living room? YOU DECIDE.

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This little girl is going to learn an important lesson about co-pays and deductibles, because this old timey doctor doesn’t work for free.

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I am going to install a skinny mirror in my house and use it exclusively. I’d better eat ice cream for breakfast again, I just can’t seem to gain weight!

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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI really like Chester A. Arthur’s taste in bedroom sets, but his taste in quilts was apparently ghastly.

For an additional fee (surprise!), you can have your name printed into an old-timey newspaper. I decided they’d gotten enough out of me already and that a little photo editing would suit me just as well.

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