Peter Lyons

May 06, 2012

Fruita Trip

It's been a while since I posted, actually it seems I skipped the entire month of April, which I guess explains why this post grow to nearly 3000 words just clicking off events. I think I'll go in reverse chronological order this time since that's easier for me. Things have been very busy for the past several weeks and I've had very little unstructured time. It started to take it's poll on my this week and for the middle of the week I was feeling a bit down. A few weeks back I blocked off this weekend in my calendar for a big spring cleaning project and battery recharging, which I really needed by the time it rolled around. I started the spring cleaning on Friday and tackled my closet, the bookshelves downstairs, and the office. Then I biked to King Soopers and got some beef and vegetable kabobs to grill for dinner. I rounded out the night with half an episode of "Sherlock" and some popcorn topped with random seasonings from my spice rack.

Saturday I headed out for a great morning of garage sale hopping. I hit about three in Louisville and another four or so in Boulder, plus a stop at Goodwill to donate a bunch of the stuff from spring cleaning and also pick up a stool for the rehearsal studio. I got a great set of shelves for the studio and a few other items super cheap. I stopped to cook some scrambled eggs and sausages and then went out into the yard to hose down and wash off the dusty garage shelves I bought before installing them in Afronauts Tactical Command Center. I chatted with my neighbors Dave and Julie a bit on their way home from walking their yellow lab, Bella.

New tactical command center at afronauts headquarters

After a nap, more spring cleaning ensued. I tackled the music studio and the laundry room which is where my hoarding takes place. The studio is in much better shape now. I plan to donate the vast majority of the books in my house to the library later today. That will free up a lot of shelf space. I've been reading a bunch of interesting blogs lately, one of which is Leo Babauta's mnmlist, and although I'm still pretty much an extreme case of "maximalist" in terms of material possesions and lifestyle, I like a lot of what he says and am working to trim down to less-insane-but-still-by-no-means-minimal levels. More on other interesting blogs later.

Last night I played some Boggle and Bananagrams with my new AirBnb roommate Beverly, who will be staying here for the month of May. I have the upstairs guest bedroom rented out through the entire summer, which is great! Then I finished my "Sherlock" episode and called it a nice relaxing day.

Today I'll be making some french toast shortly for Beverly and Julia. Today is my Slow Carb binge day, and the past few weeks I haven't really binged but more relaxed things for 3 days over the weekend. I'm going back to the rule book this weekend so stayed strict Friday and Saturday and today the calories are going to go through the roof.

(Insert pause here for french toast and scrambles in real time)

OK, that was yummy. Julia and I just biked back to South Boulder and I'm now blogging on the patio outside of Mickey's Bagels enjoying my salt bagel with butter and cinnamon and peppermint Mocha.

OK, let's roll back the clock to last weekend. On Friday, April 27 The Afronauts played a gig up in Nederland at the Pioneer Inn. There was some good playing and Dave the owner claims he recorded the whole thing. We'll see if it ever materializes. Saturday I biked to aerial workout at the Boulder Circus Center, which was fun because they have the highest rigs around. I don't remember what I did in the afternoon, but that night I sat in with Javier Gonzales at Jake's in Denver. Javier is an old friend of Joe Peterson's (Sunny Daze bass player) from grad school at the Institute for Jazz Studies at Rutgers. Joe has been trying to connect the two of us for years and years. It was a fun gig, and I brought Stephen from The Afronauts with me. Javier's bass player Keith is really skilled and sounds like a very interesting guy who plays multiple instruments in several styles. It was a sports bar, though, and I'm just about ready to declare myself done with playing in bars.

On the suburban homefront, I accomplished two Do-It-Yourself tasks this month which generated small but measurable amounts of pride. I ordered and installed a replacement handle for my microwave when the current one snapped. There's something awesome in the 1950's sense of ordering a part by part number from Sears Roebuck and Company. The more impressive one was properly filling and starting my lawn sprinkler system. I watched a bunch of youtube videos and learned funny homo-erotic words like ball valve and pepcock valve. I also learned that if the backflow preventer is dumping water out the top, to stop it you have to add MORE water pressure behind it and then it kicks in and all is good. That took a while to realize, though. When I finally had all the zones working properly, I was pleased with myself, but of course in retrospect it seems pretty simple.

Sunday I went into City Park in Denver for a Fantastic Hosts Rumpus, which basically means a gigantic sound system, DJs, burners dancing, and lots of hula hoops. Some of the aerialists from my Denver school were also there performing. I hung out with Michale and we snacked on fresh rotisserie chicken I brought and my beloved Triscuits and swiss cheese. And as always chocolove dark chocolate.

I proceeded 10 blocks west to Dardano's School of Gymnastics for my Sunday evening aerial fabric class, miraculously managing to get through it without puking. I shopped around Albertson's on the way home for the most calories/sugar for the buck to conclude my weekly calorie surge binge day and opted for the box of 4 cinnamon rolls for $1, which I took home, microwaved, added additional cinnamon, and devoured rapidly.

Back to Monday the 30th. On Monday my 2nd AirBnb guest arrived. Her name is Beverly and she is moving up to Westminster from Houston to be near her son John. She is renting my upstairs guest bedroom while she shops for a condo. With Beverly the month of May and another guest renting for 10 weeks starting in June, I've got the place rented for the whole summer. Tuesday I went on an OKCupid date in Boulder in the evening, enjoying the bike ride into town. She was gorgeous and zany but probably not a great match. The rest of the week was work, Gypsy Wrangler's rehearsals, and aerials at CATS.

Roll back to the week of the 23rd. A standard week jam-packed with work, music, and exercise. I also biked to Boulder to meet an entrepreneur who had contacted me and tried to give him some technical advice. Then I worked that day at Trada CodeSpace and stayed in town until CATS workout that evening.

Friday the 20th I knocked off work early and drove to the Safeway in Boulder to meet my carpool for the CHAOS mountain biking group trip to Fruita, Colorado. Fruita is a town near the Utah border with world-class mountain biking trails all over the place near the Colorado River and the Book Cliffs. Overall the trip was really enjoyable and I would definitely do it again. In fact, there's already another trip to Crested Butte scheduled for the first weekend of June and I signed up. We got a really late start on the road Friday because the original trip organizer got pulled into a work-all-weekend thing (unheard of in Boulder generally) and had to skip the trip. So we packed up Mike's big 4-runner with a ton of gear and bikes and Mike, Jennifer, Staci, and I rolled west on I-70. We stopped at the Dam Brewery for dinner and rolled into camp at Fruita near midnight. One of our group members Donald had already pitched a big 6-man tent and he and another guy were sound asleep in there, so I just set down my sleeping bag and sacked out. Easy peasy.

Saturday we rode the Zion Curtain trail. 18 miles of up and down rocky hills in the blazing desert just across the Utah border. I had a pretty good time holding down the last or next-to-last slot in the slow group all day. But 18 miles of that terrain in that sun is no joke, and before the halfway point Donald was cramping up and walking up every hill. Most of us were back to the cars by 3 or 4pm (getting a late start after 11am), but Mike stayed behind and helped Donald and it took them another hour or two to reach the trailhead. It was a bit of an ordeal. In addition to that, two of the cars at the trailhead were running on empty in terms of fuel. We had failed to gas up in town and then missed the turn off for the trailhead and wasted 20+ miles correcting that mistake. Of course, this is southern Utah, one of the few areas in the contiguous US where you can drive 100 miles on the Interstate between service stations. So while waiting for Donald to get back, Jennifer and I drove Mike's truck to Loma, CO and gassed it up as well as bringing a 2-gallon gas can back to the trailhead for Donald's car. At the gas station in Loma, Jennifer hit the Lotto and won $108! We celebrated with slushies and coca cola, which hits the spot immensley after 18 greuling miles riding in the desert.

On the way back to the trail head we got a call that Mike and Donald were already back and had already filled Donald's car with gas, so we just did a U-turn and put the can of gas into Mike's car and returned the can to the gas station. Then it was back to camp to chillax with some pre-dinner beers before the entire group hopped a barbed-wire fence and walked across the street for an enormous Mexican dinner.

After dinner there was extended lingering and conversation and I was completely exhausted. I laid down in a booth in the restaurant for a while but soon I had to give up and head back to camp, where I collapsed into my sleeping bag immediately (it was probably 9 pm or so) and slept soundly until sunrise. Sunday we went to the famous Rustler's trail then on to Horsethief Bench. Rustler's is a really fun beginner train and Horsethief is more difficult. There were some big hills we had to portage the bikes down and up. This was a shorter day, closer to 10 miles and about 3 hours or so, with lots of stops for group photos and a long flat repair.

Then we piled back in the cars and drove to Grand Junction for lunch at a brewery there. We stopped again on the way back to dip in some hot springs at the edge of Glenwood Springs, which was quite nice (and free since we just snuck into the pool near the river). Afterward I hit the Village Inn for apple pie and then the whole group got ice cream at a shop in town. Then we made the rest of the journey home, stopping in Golden to attempt to transfer some passengers, but our plans got messed up. I was anxious to get home and get some rest.

During the trip, one of the bikers named Rhonda and I were chatting about the heaviness and crappiness of my bike, and she has an old Specialized Stump Jumper that is in disrepair following a crash, which she has now nicely donated to me to try to fix up and get running. So that will be my bike repair educational project sometime in the next month or two, hopefully.

OK, the week prior to that (starting Monday, April 16) was a mostly normal busy week with two rehearsals and aerials. I also was trying to get into mountain biking shape so Monday night Lewis and I biked Doudy Draw to Spring Brook Loop. I biked to the trailhead from my house after work, which was about 18 miles round trip on road and another 5 or so on trails. It took until about 8pm. We saw gorgeous views with the Sun low in the sky as we came to the vista at the top of Spring Brook Loop. Man, Lewis is tall and fast though. He was blowing me away.

Prior to that on the 14th I took Markus and Erin up to Lyons to ride Picture Rock Trail. We did Picture Rock and then the big Wild Turkey loop on top so it ended up being about 12 miles of mostly rocky, hilly, terrain. It was very enjoyable though and almost the perfect level of technical and physical challenge for my current ability. Definitely want to go ride it again this season, maybe when I get the Stump Jumper working. That Sunday I saw Frequent Flyers Productions "Cirque de Minuet" at the Dairy Center for the Arts. It was a good show, but the best part was the 1-man-band, composer, and singer Jesse Manno. He had a vocal mic, an accordian he rigged so he could play with one hand, a laptop, a keyboard, a kick drum, snare, and hi-hat, penny whistles, and who knows how many other instruments and gadgets. He switched between them rapidly and fluidly. I was pretty amazed.

The weekend prior to that The Afronauts played the Laughing Goat on Friday, April 6th. Saturday was a fun mountain bike ride at Walker Ranch with Lewis and Logan. We were also supposed to ride with Tober but we were late so Tober rode it by himself and then afterward all of us biked down to the Farmer's market for lunch. That was my first mountain bike ride of the season, and also a binge day but I only gained one pound with the exertion of Walker Ranch. It was a beautiful day and the four of us really enjoyed ourselves.

That Sunday I met with Jasmine to work on music for the Circus of Illumination. Then I spent most of the afternoon at Caffe Sole in South Boulder making a slide deck for my Skillshare class "Web Programming Concepts for Non-Programmers", Session 3: How Data Powers the Web, which I taught the next day. There were about 12 people who had paid for the class, but only 4 actually showed up. It went pretty well and was well-received I think. I had about exactly the right amount of material. I would have really liked better attendence, though.

Also that day my first ever AirBnb guest arrived. She is an actress from Hollywood with all the trappings: huge breast implants, cosmetic surgery, tons of make-up. It was a bit odd but otherwise worked out OK. Ask me for more details in person if you are interested.

That's most of the month of April. On the 1st Julia and I went up to Gunbarrel for my friend Stephanie's 40th birthday party (another binge Sunday). We ate, talked, and attempted to slackline. Then I went into Denver for aerials class that evening.

Now for the rest of today. After my second breakfast, I rode over to Jasmine's house in the Table Mesa neighborhood and spent the whole afternoon working on an arrangement of Beats Antique's "Roustabout" for the Circus of Illumination. I left as dark grey clouds darkened the sky on a last-minute Afronauts errand. I biked to Kinkos at Basemar and printed up a bunch of posters for Wednesday's Laughing Goat dance party show. By the time I had the posters printed, it was starting to drizzle a bit. I biked them over to the coffee house and hung them up. Then I was planning to take my bike on the bus home but it was a 50 minute wait, so I considered eating at Pizza Locale, but instead went to Atlas Purveyors, typed a bit more of this blog post, ordered a boba tea, and then went back to the transit center to catch the 7:07 bus home. I haven't used the bike racks on the front of the RTD buses before, but they work basically like Thule racks, so it was no problem. I'm on the bus now heading home and hoping for a relaxing night at home plus some bingeing. I was going to go to aerials but I didn't plan for the last minute poster errand so now it's too late.

Overall, today has been absolutely amazing. Definitely a highly memorable day. Working on the CoiL project with Jasmine is a real thrill and pleasure. We have a sneak preview fundraiser coming up May 18th. Overall it is starting to come together and I'm sure the combination of all the great elements will make it a real spectacle at Apogaea.

Aerials have also started to progress again. I learned my first two drops and a few other useful tricks. I'm starting to piece together the beginnings of a routine, which I hope to be able to perform sometime maybe late summer.