the denver trip

From 8/1 to 8/5 I was in Denver for my cousin Becca's wedding. My parents had volunteered to run the music at the reception as they love to do. They were more excited than usual because this time I was joining the party. It was good for everyone since I had plans of my own for Denver. And I was the one who convinced them to move their music production off the now 14-year-old Korg Triton on to a computer with Propellerhead Reason. Since I initiated this transition I thought I should go help them run it.

As I arrived at the airport on Wednesday I learned my flight had been delayed about 80 minutes. One day I'll learn to check this before I leave the house. Not to worry, I have plenty to do on the ole computer. As I checked my bag I paid the $20 fee, lovingly called an "excess baggage fee" by Frontier Airlines.  Yes, with one bag I am "excessive."

On the plane I finished off Packing for Mars which was hilarious. The poor woman next to me had to put up with all of my giggling; at least she didn't know it was mostly because of poop jokes. Next I started The Violinist's Thumb which is both interesting and very well written. After arrival my excess bag took 15 minutes longer to get to the baggage claim area than I did. Doesn't Denver have this fancy underground tunnel system? It didn't work.

My little brother Aaron was already circling, waiting to pick me up. I met Aaron when I was 25 and decided to join Big Brothers/Big Sisters. He was 9 years old at the time but now he's 26. Weird. The rent-a-cop immediately accosted him to ask if he was "ok."  There was a distinct marijuana smell in the area so they naturally assumed the young guy in the sports car was responsible. Or maybe he misjudged me and thought it was two young guys, ha!  A laugh or two later Aaron drove me to his place which was surprisingly put together for him being a young guy. But I guess at his age I was already married so I had less incentive to impress guests.


soul food


it's all rainbows and unicorns in aaron's world

We had dinner at a soul food place nearby and then headed over to the outdoor mall which I believe is called the 16th street mall, eventually settling in at a place called Jazz @ Jack's. Aaron tried to get me drunk but I have veteran savvy and kept myself pretty sharp. Well, whatever passes as sharp for me anyway. Soon the music started. It was not, in fact, jazz but an old-school funk/soul band. Think Kool & the Gang or Al Jarreau. They were good; add a horn section and they could be great. Some older woman was hitting on Aaron so I gave him a bit of grief for that.


the non-jazz


big brother, i'm scared!

Thursday

The next morning we headed out to meet my parents for lunch. It was at Souplantation or "Sweet Tomatoes" as it's called out there. This was the first of many white people chain restaurant meals I had on this trip. Or as Christine likes to say, pink people food. After that, Aaron had to go to work so I started travelling with the fam.

I had to do one work task on this trip. A conference call was scheduled for about this time that was deemed to contain very important business so I called in. I had some fears and I'm afraid the message was about the worst case I had considered. My boss and his boss are leaving my company to start their own. Since I like them both, this is sad news for me. But that's another story so let's get back to Denver.

The rest of Thursday I got more pink people food and did some last-minute alterations to all the Reason songs in the evening.  That took much longer than I expected.  But that meant that the rest of the music would go super smoothly, right?  Let's see.

Friday

Friday was all about wedding music practice. The first step was to head to the reception hall and set up the equipment. This took a while since much of it was rented and unfamiliar. Plus we are far from a finely-tuned machine when it comes to setting up anymore. Eventually we got everything up and the sound levels were good. Then it was time to head to the church - about 15 minutes away.


amazed we fit this all in one trip

Two weeks before I arrived the piano player told my cousin the bride that she could no longer make the wedding. That day I became the ceremony musician as well. No problem, I've played wedding songs before. There was just one I was unfamiliar with called A River Flows In You. And I had to practice my classical pieces a bit so that I wouldn't flub during the prelude. I snuck in one song from the movie Corpse Bride as my own personal joke. Anyway, the minister was very organized and had us out of there in 20 minutes.


horns rehearsal

Back to the reception hall we went to meet the horn players. In addition to my dad (trumpet), we had one more trumpet and two sax players joining us. Unfortunately, one of the original sax players couldn't make the wedding and his replacement couldn't make the rehearsal. Besides missing one player, the rehearsal was pretty rough. In large part because our printed parts didn't match our sequences exactly. I'm not certain why but we had to make some corrections to several songs. Once 9:45 rolled around we decided to call it and hope for the best.


we bored amy until she started photobombing

Saturday

Saturday with all its photos is in its own post.

Sunday

On Sunday I didn't have many responsibilities beyond heading home. I did manage to get Amy to sign up and join me for next February's Tough Mudder race. Yay, you should too! A couple hours on the plane (more reading of The Violinist's Thumb) and I was home. Christine and Noodle were excited to see me. Now it was time to relax! I've been working on these Reason songs for some time now and it was good to take a day off.

Monday

I took Monday off of work too. I had considered going on a 70 mile bike ride as my training schedule dictated. But I couldn't stomach the idea of going out so long so I did half that instead. Afterwards we grabbed some lunch at a favorite, Punjabi Tandoor. Before long it was time to head to the Padres Big Brother Big Sister fundraiser day. The other sponsor is Phil's BBQ so I got to eat that. What a food day! Even Ben & Jerry's was provided.

We met many friends there, Dan & Cassi, Anne & Gilbert, Victoria & Gary, and Randy & Rena. The Padres won the game if anyone cared. And on the way home I was still hungry so I completed the food trifecta with In-n-Out Burger. Photos from that day will show up on Christine's blog before long.

That was my trip.