Thursday, July 05, 2007

Friendly Fire

As per tradition, the recent holiday was all about fire, in various forms.

But before I tell you about the traditional variety, let me back up.

Long before I came to Denver (way, way back in like 1999) an impulse buy at the grocery store yielded a pinata, and the Third of July Fiesta was born. Jen and Brian, out on a routine grocery stop, found the pinata which Jen really really had to have. They bought the pinata, filled it with mini bottles of booze, candy and condoms, and threw a party in its honor. And so began the Fiesta.

The fiesta has had many glorious traditions, including the ritual accidental setting of the roof on fire. For reasons unknown, the Fiesta had recently gone the way of the dodo, and was only resurrected this year. Mostly because Kate and Scott have a fire pit in their yard which is far, far away from the roof.

The evening began in classic mountain party style, with some thundershowers to cool things off, the teaching of the margarita mixing, and playing with dogs. Soon, more people came and they brought more alcohol and more dogs. Soon we had a plethora of pooches and a Pollock, fresh off the plane telling Pollock jokes. (Ah, you see, I'm not sure I'd normally call him a Pollock because doesn't that have a negative connotation? I don't know. But since a) he called himself the Pollock, b) he really was telling Pollock jokes, and c) he came with the token gay guy and the artist, it was expected of me, really. The theme for the evening quickly became "Stereotypes save time")(And no, we didn't really get his jokes.)

After feasting on our fiesta dinner, we gathered in a circle around the fire (the rain stopped long ago) and passed around the whisky bottle. Each person who took a drink had to entertain the rest of us with a joke, a song or a dance. (Nope, I wasn't drinking. I had to work the next day. "But, it was the 3rd of July!" you say. I know.)

After much time with the whiskey bottle, we decided it was time to hit the pinata. Garth took first honors and smacked the thing down in one samurai swoop. I laughed so hard I nearly peed my pants. Completely sober, mind you! The boys rigged the pinata back up, because one hit just doesn't have the satisfaction required, and David, Kym and then James gave it a try. It was pretty great. Try hitting a big paper hat after being blindfolded and spun around to dizziness on the side of a mountain. It's pretty fun to watch, anyway.

That was pretty much the highlights of the evening. There were more fun things, like staging "Dancing Queen" on the steps freaking out the dogs, and playing shadow ninjas with the spot light in the trees, but you really can't top a pinata filled with booze and candy. (No condoms this year.)

On the Fourth, I slept in and then went to work. Because I'm taking some time off next week, I worked through the holiday and made it out in time for darkness. (I actually really like working when nobody else is there. You can turn your itunes up really loud and laugh and nobody thinks your neither annoying nor insane.)

For the fireworks festivities I headed to Mike and Sara's house in the Highlands. They live just on the other side of I-25 from downtown. Here's my attempt at an arty shot a while back- the view from their balcony after it rained. Off camera left is Coors field, and off camera right is Mile-High, both of which were having sporting events with fireworks afterwards.

Anyway, so we had some BBQ'd burgers as required for all citizens, and went out to the balcony to wait for the fun. By 9PM we had at least 10 different shows going off in the 180 panorama that we could see. The various shows may have only lasted 20 or so minutes each, but we were good and entertained until at least 11:20, with only a minor time out of the action.

The Coors field fireworks were by far the best, being a smidge closer than the Mile-High show. They were definitely louder and had the added benefit of some dry lightning overhead. It was amazing timing- a round of fireworks would go off, and then a giant bolt across the entire sky would fill in the stillness. There was definitely some divine choreography going on that night!

My favorite fireworks were the giant cauliflower that exploded just over the Rockies fans' heads, the big blue sparkly rain that had about 30 shells going off all at once, and the squiggly loud illegal fireworks someone was shooting off a rooftop downtown.

My least favorite fireworks were the squiggly loud illegal fireworks that someone was shooting off right outside my window at midnight. They only got two GIANT coffee can sized fireworks off though, so after my heart stopped beating 300 beats a minute, I could go back to sleep with only minor dream interruption.

No comments: