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the drink

R.I.P. Shelby's 2019

By the time you read this, the last of the old school downtown dive bars will be ground into dust. (That’s a lie, but let’s perpetuate it so we can keep the last two, or three, secret.) I don’t have many stories from this place. I’ve been here precisely three times. These are what remains of my memories of it:

This was the one place in Denver I remember feeling overwhelmed by cigarette smoke. It was like a smack to the face when you opened the door. The place still smells like that. I miss second hand smoke.

During the day it was the business lunch crowd, but not for the suits. Clerks, temps, tellers and the like could sneak in an afternoon beer in order to keep from opening their wrists back at their desks.

At night, the crowd was friendly enough, but felt like it could boil over into a mob at the smallest provocation. And they seem to take their cues from the ownership and staff behind the bar. The bookie and the drug dealer that held down stools there would leave at the start of happy hour. It wasn’t worth the trouble.

In the end, that’s the best way I can sum up Shelby’s.

It wasn’t worth the trouble.

http://denversyntax.tumblr.com/post/18212403649/hangovers-are-not-punishment

i’m not one for exotic alcohols…ouzo, sambuca, tuaca, goldschlagger, rumplemintz etc…so, i’ve been a little oblivious to the recent resurgence of absinthe…until i read about how one company is producing it here in the U.S…and then i found a recipe…if Papa Hemingway took absinthe seriously enough to name a drink after one of his books…(or understood the marketing value…that wiley Papa)…i decided this fancy spirit deserved further investigation…so, tonight’s cocktail hour is dedicated to…Death in the Afternoon…

first i went searching for st. george…turns out, you can’t just run down to the liquor store and grab a bottle off the shelf…go figure…they did have some other brands…with bottles that reminded of the bottles you sometimes find on the window shelves of fraternity houses…the bad old days…they did have Kubler…a label i did not recognize, but it’s the Swiss…any country that only maintains an army for self defense can be trusted…right???

for the champagne, i made sure of two things…keep it small…ms scribe doesn’t like the bubbly…and, no sparkling wine, brut, or prosecco…champagne…

materials secured, it’s time to get to work…drinking…

as i write this i am half way through the glass…let’s start with this…it is right and proper to have the word Death in the name of this drink…that’s exactly what it tastes like…that may have something to do with my proportions…measuring tools…are…for…amateurs…right now my face is numb…and i keep catching myself touching my lips…an old habit from the XTC days…or maybe it’s because my lips are tingling…


(this odd, stolen, clip just about replicates my experience…)

hmm…one glass of champagne never has this effect on me…i have to tip my hat to absinthe…there is certainly something to it…it warrants exploration…i just have to find a better way to drink it…i welcome any fellow curious travelers to join me…or offer suggestions…i’ve got a big bottle of kubler to share…

BTW, i am working on a year end review of my favorite music of the year…look for that sometime later this week…and if it sounds as goofy as this post…you’ll know why…

oh arrogant bastard…help me find a way to summarize the events of the previous week…

so monday night i sat down to watch Talk to Me…the 2007 movie about the life of Mr. Petey Greene…as directed by Kasi Lemmons…this movie sat next to the dvd player for a month…why…because while i dig anything Don Cheadle steps in front of the camera for…and Ms. Lemmons previous work…especially Eve’s Bayou…struck me as the work of a director with a strong voice…if needing to grow over time…but this one fairly shouts…VANITY BIOPIC…which rarely works out…for the audience…so when i sat down to watch the movie…i had a book in my lap…just in case…

here’s what i thought worked about this movie…the performances…Cheadle and Chiwetel Ejiofor play the difficult friendship between their two characters with authenticity…Petey Greene, ex-con, ex-drug dealer, had a PHD from the streets…Dewey Hughes, at least this movie’s version of him, is cut from the same cloth as Sidney Poitier’s…New Negro…you don’t see this class tension among black folk played out very often in a piece of mainstream entertainment…and it rings true here because the two leads hit all the right notes without playing to stereotype…not too much anyway…the poolhall scenes are the heart of their relationship…

there are some excellent moments from director Lemmons as well…especially a recreation of a Tonight Show appearence by Greene…and some deft work around a James Brown concert after the MLK assassination…

really though, that’s all i can recommend about this movie…Taraji Henson is wasted here on a cardboard thin character…Lemmons direction is flat most of the way…too often relying on montage…and the actors are the only thing that keep some of the dialog from being laughable…i won’t even mention the inaccuracies…others have done a good job already

i ended up not reading that book in my lap…i didn’t get carried away by this movie either…mostly, it made me think about my friend shoun…well…i should say he’s someone i try to be a friend to…i can’t say he’s done too much to reciprocate…and it was weird that he contacted me that night…his health is not good…which is a shame because he’s a talented young black man…i’d like to see him become an old black man…and what he can do with his talent during that time…maybe he’ll try to take care of himself…

meanwhile, life goes on…and on of the perks of being a volunteer for the Denver International Film Festival…is the occasional free screening…this year it was Surveillance from director Jennifer Lynch…yes, David Lynch’s daughter…i walked in knowing nothing about this movie…i didn’t know until the credits who the director was…and what a craptastic way to spend an hour and a half…nihilistic and condescending towards rural people…especially cops…i nearly walked out…instead, i waited and hoped for this movie to redeem itself…it didn’t…

there are movies that are guilty pleasures…cheap tawdry rhinestones that aspire to nothing more than entertainment…and they succeed…

and there are films that are difficult to watch…but reward you for your time and effort…

but a movie like Surveillance is just toxic waste…

okay…that’s enough outta me…sincerely, your glorious arrogant bastard…

happy thanksgiving…

monkey knife fight lager…chef’s burger…pesto mussels…and grog…@ nodding head brewery

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