Sep 2008

Last Day of Being Five

Dear Declan,

I usually don’t write birthday letters, but for some reason I feel like I need to this year. Something about leaving 5 behind for 6 feels BIG. Like I am losing my baby.

Maybe because this year has been so big for you. If you hadn’t been so determined to come 2 months earlier, this year you would have been starting Kindergarten rather than 1st grade. But you decided Friday the 13th of September was the day for you, come hell or high water, and in turn, your dad and I had lots of decisions to make. Do we send you to school at age 5, and make you the youngest in your class? Or do we hold you back so you could be the oldest, yet possibly the boredest as well? In the end, just like with your birthdate, you decided for us.

You started reading amazingly early and amazingly well. In fact, I have no doubt you could read this letter word for word if I were to show it you now. Your preschool teacher thought we were insane when we forced the discussion of “if” you would attend Kindergarten last year. But we wanted to make sure you were ready emotionally. Clearly you are smart. Like crazy, scary, freak me out sometimes smart. (And that is not just mommy brag talking.) You are also clearly more immature than your peers. How could you not be? Some of your friends turned seven this summer! When you are not even yet six. That is what we worried over. Lost sleep over. Would you have trouble fitting in, and keeping up?

But in the past year, you have amazed us. Truly, truly, amazed us. Sure, some of the growth has driven me to my wits end, but I have also smiled a secret inner smile – knowing the pushing back, the smart mouth, the rolling of the eyes – ALL OF IT – were signs of maturity. Signs my little boy is growing up.

You and I have this special thing. At night before bed, we talk about the big stuff. For some reason it never interferes with your sleep – it’s like you want to offload all your questions on me and then – HUHUHH! Whew, you can sleep. We talk about the most amazing things. Last night, if you look at the calendar, it was 9/11. It was the first time we had ever discussed it, and I went ahead and told you everything. (OK, not everything, but a lot.) You listened, you absorbed, and tears silently started falling down your cheeks. I could see them glistening in the dark. When you quietly asked me “why?” – I had no answer for you. But I felt so honored to be having to discussion with you.

Maybe that’s why your last day of being 5 feels so big. It’s like you are stepping into the next place in your life. The next big adventures. The big talks. And with all those big things you will experience, I know your dad and I will have less and less to do with them.

It doesn’t make them any less magical, or special – and we can’t wait to hear about them.

I’ll be waiting in the dark.


Aug 2007

My Recurring Dream

Nope, this isn’t (for once) a post about my night terrors. Well, OK, I will touch on it, but later.

THIS, my friends, is a post where I turn back time and become a giggly, overly-emotional, crazed 16 year old music fan.

Because we went to see CROWDED HOUSE last night.

Have I mentioned they are absolutely, positively, my all time most favorite band? Yup. I totally can prove it: I named my cat Finn after Neil Finn.

Yeah, yeah, I know I have waxed poetic about Duran Duran and The Police. Don’t get me wrong. I lurve those guys. But those two concerts were about missed opportunities. Bands I loved as a teenager but never got to see.

Crowded House has been top of the pile for over 20 years now.

I remember distinctly the very first time I heard “Don’t Dream It’s Over.” I was driving to work at the record store, it was around Christmas 1986, and it was snowing. I was late for work but the indie station I listened to constantly (the formerly great WHFS for you Marylanders) was playing this beautiful little pop song that I was completely entranced with. I pulled into the lot and just sat there in the car and fell in love. I was late but I didn’t care. The snow was slowly drifting down on my windshield and there was this piece of musical perfection coming out of my tinny teen-car speakers and damn it! I was going to sit there and soak every second up.

Luckily for me, they announced who it was and I sprinted into my job. At a… RECORD STORE!

Yes, I bought their debut album (OK, cassette tape) that very night – the first time I had EVER bought an album on the strength of one song.

I ABSOLUTELY loved the whole thing.

I enlisted as many people into the cult of the Crowdies as I could. My sister Karrie, in particular, was taken with them… which is no small feat since, while it may not seem to the casual observer that the canyon between our musical tastes is huge … Let me tell you, it’s no “stone’s throw” between the Grateful Dead and Depeche Mode. Crowded House was a bond between us.

And we got to see them! Together! In Washington DC in 1987, the last stop of their tour. I remember this because at some point in the show, Neil told his wife that he could not see the red light. Apparently she was up in the balcony filming the show for them personally, with a handheld camera. (And possibly not doing a very good job of it).

Then came “Temple of Low Men” and “Woodface.” Two more albums that I loved just as much as the first. Released at a point in my life (end of high school and through college) when I was trying to get my head around just who the hell I was. Neil Finn’s lyrics have a sense of mystery to them, but always have interesting twists and turns – and certainly any emotional wreck like me can make those lyrics shape the stories of their own lives too. Add lovely melodies? And you have the soundtrack of my life.

“Sister Madly” was written about Neil’s sister waking up and having nightmares. “Now youre heading down to find something, Something that you buried in your backyard, Sister Madly, Waking up the dead, Systematically stepping on my head…” Um. Yeah. You can imagine how that has become somewhat of an anthem for me and my night terrors over the past 10 years.

But there is one song that speaks to me above all the others. It was released during a time when I was in a relationship that was abusive on an emotional level. I look back now and can jokingly call him “The Liar,” but at the time, the way this man twisted me into knots is embarrassing to think about. “Whispers & Moans” really has ambiguous lyrics – and if any of you know the true meaning behind them, I actually don’t want to know. For me, the song is about longing. About looking in from the outside. About not being good enough one day, but then adequate the next. Maybe being held lovingly one day, but forgotten about the day after. About manipulation.

It is absolutely my favorite song by my favorite band. And when they played it last night, I literally teared up and screamed like a banshee. I had not seen it on hardly any set lists and could not believe they played it here in Denver. Amazing.

And why does it continue to be my favorite song when it brings me right back to that place? Because I finally untangled myself. I realized I am worth more.

The Liar, Marabeth and I saw Crowded House together in Orlando in December 1991. About 3 months later, I finally kicked him out of my life.

And 6 months later, I met Bryan.

Fast forward to now. Crowded House is still my favorite band. I may have been dethroned as their Top Listener on iLike by Neil from Glasgow, but he better watch his back. I’m coming for him! Just kidding. (Sort of).

Even Declan loves Crowded House now. Sure, his first introduction to the band was Paul Hester playing the Chef on The Wiggles and Tim Finn’s wooden appearance singing “Six Months In A Leaky Boat”… but I’m telling ya, my boy has my genes for sure. He has asked repeatedly when he could go see Crowded House with us. And had we not found a babysitter (THANK YOU MICHELLE AND PIERCE!), I was seriously considering just buying him a ticket and bringing him with.

In fact, yesterday at drop off for Kindergarten, I said to him, “Whoa, Declan – this place is a madhouse today!” And he said, “No Mama! It’s a CROWDED HOUSE!”

That. Is. My. Boy.

But, OK. Jesus. I haven’t even talked about the concert from last night yet. Which was the whole fricking point of this post.



Jeff and Bryan mainly went for moral support because obviously Crowded House is not really their cup of tea. But they assure me, they still totally enjoyed it.

But Danielle (aka Best Friend and Concert Buddy Extraordinaire!) and I had a BLAST. Of course, I do believe we were actually wetter than we were at The Fray because it seems the air conditioning at the Fillmore was on the fritz… but it did not matter. The boys sounded great.

We fought our way to the near front and danced our asses off. In fact, we met two sisters who were also huge fans albeit 10 years younger than us, and the four of us formed a union to guard our space. One has to pee, the other three spread out and PROTECT.

And I am glad we ended up in the section we did, because Bryan said (from his vantage point in the back) that the four of us, plus the drunk and wavy girl in front of us were pretty much the most boisterous group in the whole place.

And here is where I get down *again* on my beloved Denver. WHAT IS YOUR DEAL??? WHY do you go to concerts and stand there like a statue? And ESPECIALLY why do you fight to the front, wear a face like you have to poop, and NOT MOVE for 2 hours straight? That CANNOT be good for your posture. And it is SERIOUSLY bad for my blood pressure.

OK, rant over.

At least most of the crowd knew the words to the songs. It was like we were all at a German beer hall or something, the whole place sang almost every word to every frickin’ song. That part was wicked.

OK, yeah, the whole thing was wicked. I am so thrilled they came here. But you know, the people in front of us in line flew in from Virginia to see them. And if they do another tour at some point, I would so do that.

But for now, you will have to excuse me. Because I am off to write “Aimee + Crowded House = BFF” all over my notebook. A hundred thousand times.

AUGUST 22, 2007

There Goes God
Don’t Stop Now
Whispers & Moans
Fall at Your Feet
Heaven That I’m Making
She Walked Her Way Down
Private Universe
Silent House
Don’t Dream It’s Over
Pineapple Head
Never Be the Same (not whole song, and done slowly)
People Are Like Suns
Locked Out
Distant Sun

~First Encore
When You Come
Italian Plastic, dedicated to Paul
Weather With You, with a very long sing-along

~Second Encore
Four Seasons In One Day
World Where Your Live
Happy Together, impromptu and not knowing most of the words 😉
Something So Strong

Aug 2007

10 Second Movie Reviews

I was emailing with my good friend Tree about movies and I realized A) I had not posted a movie recap in a while and B) the contents of our email stream contained one! Ha! Laziness rules!

So, here are the movies Bryan and I have watched via Netflix over the past few months, with my pithy, yet still opinionated, reviews. The stars come from the Netflix system (more laziness, hoorah!) which is explained at the bottom.

What movies have you seen lately? What have you loved? What should we add to the queue? What should we rip from the queue and leave festering on the ground in agony?


Pan’s Labyrinth, 4 stars
Incredible effects, somewhat gross and hard to watch though. Subtitles.

Hot Fuzz, 4 stars
Not as good as their first effort (Shawn of the Dead) which is one of my favorite movies, but still very funny black comedy and action flick.

Becoming Jane, 5 stars
Saw in the theater last week. Loved it. Very well done, very melancholy and beautiful. Anne Hathaway’s accent was impeccable too.

Step Up, 2 stars
Good dancing. Bad acting. Weak plot.

Last Kiss, 3 stars
Great acting from Zach Braff (and Jacinda) but definitely NOT a romantic comedy. It’s hard to get around to like him, but a decent dramatic piece.

Gray Matters, 2 stars
Weak plot, whiny and horrible acting (per usual – why do I keep trying???) from Heather Graham.

Blood Diamond, 4 stars
Leonardo DiCaprio and Djimon Hounsou were amazing. Really good movie that was really hard to watch. I may never buy a real diamond again.

The Prestige, 3 stars
Not as good as I hoped from these two guys. And have I mentioned how much I adore Christian Bale? But it was really predictable and dragged on and on. And on.

Night At The Museum, 3 stars
Fun effects, but overall just “eh” for us. Just kind of a typical plot: loser finding his way. Yawn.

Breakfast On Pluto, 2 stars
Cillian Murphy gives another great performance (I love how his face just MOLDS to his character) but the whole plot was just too awkward (i.e wild) for me to watch.

Eragon, 4 stars
Very Lord of the Rings type movie, we enjoyed it a lot.

Murderball, 5 stars
This was the documentary on quadriplegic rugby players. Can’t recommend it highly enough.

Babel, 3 stars
The acting and cinematography was great… but the plot annoyed the piss out of me. It was like “Let’s all make the most fucked up decisions OVER AND OVER AND OVER!”

Trust The Man, 4 stars
Can’t remember exactly why, but I know we enjoyed this one a lot. How’s that for a review?

Lucky Number Slevin, 4 stars
Good action flick. Josh Hartnett, yum.

John Tucker Must Die, 3 stars
Could have been way better. Had Mean Girls/Heathers potential but fell short. Also, casting was allllll wrong.

Flags of our Fathers, 4 stars
Yes, it was Saving Private Ryan, Part II… but we still enjoyed it.

The Illusionist, 4 stars
Much better of the two magician movies. Ed Norton is SUCH a great actor.

Annapolis, 1 star
Struggling to be Officer and a Gentleman but failing. James Franco is really such a good actor but this movie sucked ass. Oh, and it was more about boxing than the Naval Academy.

Casanova, 4 stars
Heath Ledger was so charming. And Sienna Miller was surprisingly good too. Not to mention she looked beautiful as a brunette. I really enjoyed this fun little romp.

The Devil Wears Prada, 2 stars
I just didn’t get sucked in to this one as much as other people, I guess. I didn’t think Meryl was as great as an Oscar nod… I did NOT understand Anne Hathaway’s character… and all the funny laughs are in the trailer.

Little Miss Sunshine, 5 stars
Such a quirky little film but totally fun to watch. Steve Carrell and the Silent Brother totally make the movie.


5 stars = Loved It
4 stars = Really Liked It
3 stars = Liked It
2 stars = Didn’t Liked It
1 star = Hated It

Jul 2007

Greeblemonkey’s iPhone Pro & Con List

Let me just say, overall, I am VERY VERY VERY pleased. There are a few big cons, but in general, I am happy with this little slab of metal and glass. (And I’m not just saying that because I would be embarrassed otherwise).

I will start with the cons though, and get them out of the way.



1. No MMS. This is the biggest one for me, and it’s the one that caught everyone with their pants down. I discovered it when my sister sent me her first picture of Ridgely to the new phone and it told me I could go to a web site, PLUS enter a user name and password, to view it. And the web site wasn’t even clickable from the messages window (see example, right), so I would have to write the URL down (ON PAPER?), write the user name, write the password (all funky made up letters similar to the Blogger word verification crap), go to the web, and enter all that shit just to see the photo she sent me from her phone??? Major fuck up, Mr. Jobs. However, knowing Steve like I do, he probably did it this way on purpose to teach us a lesson like he did with floppy discs, that we really don’t need MMS, that the wave of the cell phone future is integrated email with inline graphics, and that all my sister really needs to do is change the place she is sending those pics to. Meaning instead of straight to my phone number, she sends them to my email and I can see them both at my computer AND on my iPhone. (Not to mention I was constantly forwarding her pics to my computer anyway to I could load them on my blog, so that would actually save me a step). Whatever, Steve. You still fucked up on this one.

2. Yes, that pokey Edge Network. It *is* pretty abysmal for the web on the Edge network. But it’s OK for Google Maps, which is what I was really concerned about. And it’s OK for low graphics sites like blogs, which is probably what I would be surfing at a restaurant (in the bathroom of course – since I am definitely not allowed to surf at the table with Bryan there). P.S. For those who have no idea what I am talking about, here it is in a nutshell: there’s an older cell network that is widespread, and a newer, faster network that is not widespread. Apple chose to go with the older network, presumably for coverage reasons (?), which, when you are out of Wi-Fi range, makes web surfing on the iPhone feel like the old dial-up days. The good news for me is I have Wi-Fi at home, at work and at Water World, so I am covered.

3. Crashing. Err, maybe I should calling this “thinking” so Apple doesn’t get pissed and sue me. I am going to call their iPhone support line (800-MYiPHONE) just to make sure this is normal, but I had to use that reset combo three times yesterday. It seems to freeze up when I was doing something at the exact time a text message came in. Basically, the poor guy got confused when it had too many things going on. Any other iPhoneys having this problem? (And P.S. I am not making up that number, the AT&T guys gave it to me!)

4. No file storage. You have all this room, but apparently it’s only for photos and music. I figured I would also be able to use the phone to transfer work files back and forth. But as far as I can tell: Nope. You *can* view businessey documents, but only as attachments to email.

5. No Flash on the web. Um, that says it all. (You may not know it, but most moving graphics on the web are delivered via Flash. And even some video.)

6. No voice dialing. I was pretty shocked by this one. I mean, I know I never actually used the voice dialing on my other phone, but I planned to use it on this one!

7. Speed dialing isn’t all that speedy. It could take you 5 clicks (I counted) to get to their version of a speed dial list (actually, it’s more of a “favorites list,” which I prefer anyway). But there is room still on the main interface, so it seems to me they could have had a speed dial list moved up there – or just had the damn voice dialing in the first place!

8. Limited repeat options on a calendar event. OK, I know I am being picky, but sometimes I have a meeting that’s the first Thursday of every month. Am I moron that just can’t see how to do it? Go on, figure it out for me and tell me a moron. I can handle it. You can only click these options off or on (see right). It’s like one of those SAT questions back in high school… if Jane leaves the bus station at 5 miles per hour and Jim leaves at 10 miles per hour, when will Aimee be able to have an event repeat the 1st Thursday of EVERY FRACKIN’ MONTH???

9. Lack of Alarm Control. Another picky one: but you can’t change around the calendar alarm sounds, their volume (I like mine LOUD!) or have a snooze button so it will remind you again in 5 minutes so you are REALLY not late for a meeting.

10. Embarrassment. I feel like an idiot pulling it out in public. Everyone keeps saying, “You actually waited in line for one of those things?” Bryan says I should brandish it proudly like Braveheart heading into battle (maybe with a little less blue paint), because dammit, I’m an Early Adopter and PROUD of it. OK, I will try to work on my inner Mel Gibson.

But that’s it. That’s my whole con list. Yeah, a couple of them are big ones. But I can live with them. I have seen several other con lists, and I think people are mainly being whiners or expecting to much from this phone. I mean, seriously, it’s wrapping 3 diverse functions into one device for the first time PLUS changing the way you interface with them. I am willing to cut it a little slack. It’s not like I walked into the AT&T Wireless err, Apple Store expecting a gadget that I could call people, maintain my calendar with, check my email with, surf the web with, get maps, traffic, stocks, and weather info from, listen to music with, show off my photos with, AND make dinner for me!

That said… on to the happier, lovelier, list.


1. Syncing. Happy happy joy joy, I plugged the damn thing in and my calendar, email and contacts flowed in like they were born to be there. Just like I hoped it would be. It’s a beautiful day for Mac users. Plus, making it sync as a device on iTunes is familiar and easy peasy. Very, very good, Steve.

2. The Size. I have not had a Treo or Blackberry, but I was checking them out before the iPhone was announced. I think they are a little wide to be comfortable in your hand. I spoke to my mom and aunt for about a 1/2 hour yesterday on the iPhone and was totally cozy.

3. The Resolution. Being a graphic designer + amateur photographer, I can’t tell you how much I appreciate the gorgeous screen (which is actually glass, by the way – to avoid all those annoying plexiglass scuffs). It will soooo help when showing off my photos on the fly.

4. The Keyboard. The funky touchscreen keyboard has gotten a lot of flack, but personally I love it. Granted, I have never used a QWERTY keyboard before, so I had nowhere to go but up! The word recognition/spell check thingee really works, and works well (especially when you are a terrible typist like myself). It’s only taken me about a day and I am flying on it *and* I have big fat sausage fingers.

5. The Flip Method. Using your fingers to flip up and down on contacts, flick left to delete and email, swish through covers in the iPod on the touchscreen? Well, that rocks. It’s so easy I can’t believe I have lived without it all my life. They are reinventing interface design as we know it here, folks. Again.

6. The Flip Method Part 2. Being able to turn the thing from horizontal to vertical and have it switch the screen automatically is the best thing since, well, sliced bread. I had wide screen capability on my Palm but never used it because it was a royal PITA. When our neighbors came over to “meet” the iPhone yesterday morning, the first then they did was play with the tolerance level of the flip. How far do you need to turn to make it go…??? Whoa, whoa… that far! It entertained us for 10 minutes alone.

7. The Camera. It takes a little getting used to, holding it and taking the pic and making sure it doesn’t slip out of your hands… but it’s a simple little gadget for a simple little camera. The pics I have seen thus far are quite good for a cameraphone. Light years ahead of my other phone. The photo below is an untouched photo of our neighbor’s dog, in the shadows, no less. Click on it to see the full resolution version. Anyone who expects a full kick-ass pro level camera inside a phone is about 10 years too early AND a total wanker.

8. Text Messaging. MMS issue above notwithstanding, I love everything else about text messaging. Especially how messages between the parties flow like and iChat (see right) rather than a million disjointed messages. That alone is pure genius.

9. Email. I know some of you have had this for ages, but ah-mah-gawd, it is awesome to check my email on my phone. And email comes in just fine over the Edge. Inline graphics are awesome, they are organized incredibly well, and easy to manipulate. Major usability testing went into this baby.

10. Visual Voicemail. I can see who has left me a voicemail before I listen, decide what order I want to listen to them and easily slide back and forth in the message at the flick of a finger. Cool.

11. Dialing. It’s easy easy easy to dial people either through the contact book, or via the keypad. Again, usability testing at its finest.

12. Photo Viewer.
I love being able to easily pick which iPhoto albums I want to sync, and then either play them like a slideshow, or flip through them with my finger. And Holy Coolness, Batman, the two-finger zoom is beyond awesome.

13. Video iPod. I didn’t really think I would care about this, until Bryan reminded me that I needed to get on the elliptical today (ugh), and reminded me that I had an iTunes Season Pass for Grey’s Anatomy, and that I was about 7 episodes behind. Halle-freakin-luhah! Something to do on the elliptical besides agonize how much longer I need to be on the elliptical!

14. Music iPod. For a music junkie like me, it’s a joy to have all my music back at my fingertips. I mean, I love my Shuffle and I will definitely still use that at pottery class when I am all mucked up with clay… but having an full iPod again to silently rock out to is something I didn’t realize how much I had been missing.

15. The Calendar. It’s easy to use, syncs like crazy as mentioned above, and has various, very user-friendly views. But the thing I really love? The casino-style rollers for changing the time and date on calendar events (see right). Now that’s just FUN.

16. Weather. I love my Mac weather widget and I was thrilled to have it on my iPhone. I can edit which cities I see and flip through then with my finger.

17. The Faux GPS on Google Maps. You can put in a starting point, and ending point and have your co-pilot click next through a series of directions to get from Point A to Point B. Or, if you are by yourself (or have a Luddite in the car), go to list mode and you can see the directions written out step-by-step for you.

18. Ringtones. I am hearing some people complain about the ringtones on the iPhone. But personally, I love them. First of all, there is a wide variety of sounds – not just 10 variations of basically the same rhythm. And also, almost every single one is pleasing to the ear and not tinny or shrill like many standard ringtones these days. However, I am currently using the one that sounds exactly like an old fashion phone right now… so maybe I am not the one to ask on this issue.

19. The Traffic Option on Google Maps. This is so freaking smart I can’t stand it. Look at a map, click the car button and it gives you up to date traffic information for the surrounding highways (see right). Green for clear, yellow and red for trouble spots. I checked it last night as we passed an accident on I-25 and 6th Avenue Freeway, and damned if it wasn’t up to the minute.

20. The Earbuds.
I am not a big fan of earbuds in general, but I love that I can be listening to music, the music will fade, a call will come in, I answer, have my conversation, I hang up, and the music comes back up right where it was. Perfect. Oh, and these earbuds are a bit more comfortable than my old iPod earbuds. (I am still anxiously awaiting an Apple Bluetooth headset, though).

21. YouTube Widget.
Yeah, it’s worthless when away from WiFi… with within WiFi it’s awesome.

22. Web Browsing. OK, while it’s not perfect, it’s still freaking cool that I am able to do it at all. In full HTML and not all weirdly cobbled together like I have seen on some phones. I already have all my blogs bookmarked, and the blogs are loading reasonably fast (OK, marginally fast) even on the Edge network. Loading them on my in-house WiFi is zippy.

23. Sound Quality. For both music and phone calls: stellar.


So. There you have it. After 2 days with my iPhone, I am still exceedingly happy.

Yes, it’s not perfect – but I never expected it to be.

Thanks, Steve.

Aug 2006

Do you speak Cherry Creek?

We live pretty close the Cherry Creek North Shopping District. It’s amazing how different the neighborhoods are, given the proximity… but Cherry Creek is ultramodern, expensive and trendy… while our neighborhood still maintains some old world charm. Much of that is probably because our neighborhood strictly monitors new construction and one must follow guidelines to keep the houses true to their original style.

Not that I dislike Cherry Creek. It’s wonderful to have all those restaurants and shops in walking distance and we do go down there often. However, we must have never really paid attention to the “scene” all that much. At least on Friday nights.

Jeff and Danielle were kind enough to baby-sit for us last night so Bryan and I could have a date. A real date, dinner and a movie! (Oh, as a side note, when Jeff and Danielle have kids – they have a shitload of babysitting credits with us.)

So, we decided to try out the new and swank restaurant North. Of course, on a Friday night we were lucky that they were able to squeeze us in and they only had a patio table available. Fine by us, the weather has cooled off recently and the big open air of the restaurant inside made it so freaking loud – we were very happy with our little patio table. The food was fantastic and the people watching… well, let’s just say that Bryan and I rarely have the opportunity to sit in Cherry Creek and just watch the masses go by.

There were the plastic surgery addicts, the ultra-hip gay couples, the post-work crew sniffing each other out for weekend hook-ups, the rich teens cruising in their parents BMW for the evening, the girls-night-out gang of girlfriends (very sparkly), the uber-rich families-of-4 with kids in clothing that cost about the same as my mortgage payment, the women who must have moved here from Texas with their layers of makeup and huge-ass hair, the kooky cool old couple with their funky green and purple glasses, the rich dude in a 3-piece suit and his 1/3 of his age trophy wife… and so on and so on. And us.

The good thing about Cherry Creek is, even with all this pretentiousness floating around, most people still are very nice. Some holds for the wait staff at most of the restaurants. So, we had a fantastic meal – although maybe our eyebrows were a bit tired at the end of it from all the silent gesturing to each other to check THAT out.

After dinner, we headed to the artsy theater in another nearby neighborhood to see “A Scanner Darkly.” I knew going in that the film was about drugs and done in a funky animated style. That’s it. I came out thinking it was a fantastic film that had great acting (especially Robert Downey Jr. – can you get an Oscar nomination when the character is a hand-drawn caricature of your performance?)… and the incredible effects (it was a really cool mix of seeing the actor’s performance through the drawing style but then being able to add visuals to enhance the drug experience they were going through)… overall, we both thought it was a great movie. Big thumbs up. If any of the above sounds appealing, go see it.

The theater itself is a startling contrast to Cherry Creek… small, dumpey and homey feeling. I mean, the theater screen is literally like 1/6th the size of the screen I saw Superman Returns on. It was a very.. well.. cute way to end the evening!

We need to plan more date nights.