Aspen, Colorado

Aspen is a beautiful place.  And likely you are thinking of skiing and snow.  But in August the snow is a memory and the sun is hot.
There’s a hot like August in Acapulco – steamy.  There’s a hot like August in Vegas – baking and dense.

It isn’t the temperature so much as the feel.
The hot in Aspen is a standing in front of an inferno hot.  The hot of a scorching conflagration.

Just you and your very close friend, The Sun.

Elevation:  8,000 ft.

The air is thin. The cocoon around you in Vancouver stayed behind as you flew off for the heights of Colorado.  I wondered what it would be like to get Colorado high, but most of my processing software also didn’t make the journey.  It seemed ill advised to exacerbate this light headed situation by smoking up in the park before trekking to my building through the hills and valleys, mostly hills.  Then the worst part:  3 flights of stairs.

No one spoke with that person coming through the door until they sat in The Chair for a while. There was a lot of recovery happening in that chair.

Still, it would have come to pass if someone had told me ahead of time the herbal pharmacy required passport I.D.

What to do in Aspen?
There is a bookstore in a house. Yes, a bookstore in a house!  It has a sofa.  And lamps.  Upstairs is a restaurant, Pyramid Bistro, serving coffee and peach cobbler with ice cream.  Explore Booksellers, 221 East Main Street.

I’m craving the green curry at the Bangkok Happy Bowl Thai Bistro in the mall on North Mill Street where the very expensive Clark’s grocery store is, and the all important liquor store.

You can go up Aspen Mountain in a gondola to 11,000 ft.  And that my friend is pretty darn high.

Off in the distance are some of the highest mountains in the Rockies.

Before going back down, best to stop at the bar for a drink, a strong drink. Because you remember the terror as strong winds tossed your little gondola around like a balsa wood hand glider on the way up.


There is the Aspen Gallery, where it is said an officer of the store threw a customer out for saying he was an artist.
Intrigued, I made a visit.

Lovely art.

After 10 minutes the man on duty was getting a little testy.  I hastily took my leave.

The drive to the ghost town at Independence Pass takes less than an hour. The buildings there have mostly disappeared. Did they sink into the ground?

It’s windy.  It’s hot like Lucifer’s Halloween bonfire.

Why is there no working outhouse in the ghost town at Independence Pass?  How many $5 bills does the donation box need to take the padlock off the door of one of those little outhouses and make my day?

Aspen has a community center with an alleged pool. When is it open though?

Do you like bears?  I hope so.   There are deer also.

And there is the Aspen Center for Physics.

It’s in there.

Public lectures are held Thursday evenings.  The final talk of the season, Turning Stars into Gold: The Discovery of the First Kilonova by Iair Arcav, reset the bar.  They saved the best for last.

On the walk to the Aspen Center for Physics there are elegant old houses, preserved, injected with Restalin, Forever Young lotion slathered into their aging wooden siding.
Among them, the home of the late physicist, Murray Gell-Mann.

I’ve heard he didn’t get along very well with one of my favourites,

Richard Feynman: “The first principle is that you must not fool yourself and you are the easiest person to fool.”

Vancouver City Hall

Not one drinking establishment an easy walk from City Hall. There used to be a lounge across the street. And a pub kitty corner in the City Square Mall.

Are those people running things actually sober?

There is a marijuana store.

Love this rainy day view.

Beautiful, isn’t it?


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Moving on, or leaving Vegas for The Good Wife

Vegas the TV show ended. I didn’t take it well. All the usual suspects: shock, confusion and bewilderment. You know what comes next, sadness, lethargy, anxiety, depression.

There were a precious few episodes that didn’t get deleted. But it was over and I knew it. Onward, but to what? I tried this and that but with no real satisfaction.

Then one day I saw an ad on TV for The Good Wife. What got my attention was Mr. Big from Sex and the City.


Chris Noth as Mr. Big in Sex and the City

Mr. Big didn’t treat Carrie very well. Would he somehow redeem himself and turn out to be her prince after all? Year after year I waited. They were difficult years.

After the TV show ended the story continued in the movies. Would karma finally catch up with him? It didn’t.

But there was light at the end of that tunnel. Maybe karma doesn’t always arrive in a lifetime. As I was soon to discover, Mr. Big was not so big after all. And the void in my TV viewing life was about to be filled by The Good Wife, a lawyer show. I’ve liked lawyer shows ever since Perry Mason.  And then there was LA Law, Ally McBeal, and Boston Legal.

So Mr. Big is a lawyer now.

As it turned out, The Good Wife offered more than just another look at Mr. Big, a lot more.

I kept the faith, believed in a higher power and CBS came to the rescue.

The star, Alicia Florrick: The Good Wife:

Julianne Marguilles as Alicia Florrick

Julianna Margulies as Alicia Florrick

Married to, yes, Mr. Big reinvented as The Bad Husband:

Chris Noth as Peter Florrick

Chris Noth as Peter Florrick

There he is again, seated next to his wife...wait a minute. I don't like the looks of this.

There he is, seated next to his wife…wait a minute. I don’t like the look of this.

The thing about karma though…

Mr. Big in the slammer

Mr. Big, er Florrick, in the slammer

Meanwhile, his good wife is out and about, working to support the family.

Alicia Florrick and Will Gardner, played by Josh Charles

Alicia Florrick with her boss Will Gardner, played by Josh Charles

All work and no play make for a dull day.

ah, hem

ah, hem

Never mind, Alicia deserves a little fun after that husband of hers took full advantage of the accoutrements at his office. So Mr. hot shot philandering man about town Big, all the lying and cheating finally caught up with you.

Here is a lady I haven’t seen since the sitcom Cybill ended in the 90s. She just keeps getting better.

Christine Baranski as Diane Lockhart, a senior partner at the firm

Christine Baranski as Diane Lockhart, a senior partner at the firm

These lawyers do go to court sometimes [yawn].

3 of my favourite characters on "The Good Wife"

Peter Florrick’s campaign manager, Eli Gold, managing a crisis as only he can.

Alan Cumming as Eli Gold

Alan Cumming as Eli Gold

Honourable mention to bad guy Lemond Bishop. There is always tension when Lemond is around. Easy on the eyes tension.

Malcolm Howard as Lemond Bishop

Mike Colter as Lemond Bishop

Many recurring guests weave their way through the episodes.  Some of my favourites:  Michael J. Fox, Rita Wilson, Stockard Channing, Nathan Lane.

This season we meet Johnny Elfman, hired by Eli to work on Alicia’s campaign for State’s Attorney.

Eli discusses strategy with Johnny Elfman played by Steven Pasquale

Johnny Elfman, played by Steven Pasquale, discusses strategy with Eli

I wonder what is in store for Alica.


passing notes

west end

English Bay on the longest day

Vancouver, BC

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