A shoulder season survival guide

It looks like I have to admit that it’s finally happened. The leaves have fallen off the trees, we all set our clocks back, and it’s really cold outside. Hell, even Halloween has passed. Even someone with powers of denial as strong as mine has to admit summer is over. Fall is my least favorite season of all. My memories of golfing in shorts and a t-shirt before a barbecue are still fresh as I get all bundled up just to take the trash out.

Yep, I’ll take an exciting, robust season like spring any day. But I find myself here, where it’s gray and dreary and there’s nothing to do. Of course this is not really the case, but with Hank III, this weekend’s biggest happening, being sold out, it just feels like it. Therefore, as a public service to anyone who may feel like I do, I’ve compiled this list of falltime activities to entertain while waiting for the snow to fly. And we all know how long a wait that could be.

1. Take a road trip

Fall is the best time to go to the desert because it looks the same as it does in the summer except it’s not 150 degrees in the shade. Now would be the perfect time to go on that extended Canyonlands hiking trip you’ve always wanted to take.

In the other direction, it could be a few weeks before the trip to the Front Range takes three days and involves riding horses part of the way. Go now while it’s only a six-hour trip to civilization. If you are in Denver in the next few weeks, country rockers, Drag the River will be at the Bluebird Theater on the 15th. Or you can catch Beck with opening and backup band The Flaming Lips on the 18th at the Paramount Theater. Beck Lips, as they’re calling themselves, are touring behind two new strange records (Beck’s “Sea Change” and the Lips’ “Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots”), and the two bands playing together promises to be a somewhat silly but musically adventurous time.

2. Play lots and lots of golf

When your buddies call you up and ask you to go golfing, don’t say “Hold on, I’ve got to ask my spouse or significant other.” Just tell your pals yes, and then tell your spouse or significant other what the heck you’re doing. In December you’ll be glad you did. Sure you can sometimes play Piñon Hills in the winter, but there is nothing fun about chipping off of a frozen fairway, especially if that chip is perfectly placed but lands on a green that plays like a parking lot.

If you don’t golf, just insert your favorite summertime activity and do that. Just go now while you still can.

3. Gain 10 pounds

That’s right: switch to Alfredo sauce, give up the light beer and start drinking White Russians. Renew your friendship with a couple guys named Ben and Jerry. Have you ever had a ham and bacon sandwich? Delicious! The extra padding will help keep you warm during our frigid winter, and when spring comes, you’ll have a built-in reason to get active again. Those who know me know I take this pretty seriously, I just always seem to forget the “active again” part.

4. Rake your leaves and mow your lawn

I know most of you subscribe to the school of thought that says waiting until all of the leaves have fallen before raking them is the way to go, but I say get out there and do a little raking every day. It’s a great time-killer, and while your neighbors will surely talk about you, one thing they won’t say is you’ve got a messy yard. After that,
mow the lawn, preferably at 8 in the morning or dinner time. If you don’t have leaves to rake or a lawn to mow and feel like you are missing out on a great autumn tradition, come on over to my place. You can bet my leaves will still be there in the spring, and I’m sure not mowing again this year.

5. Watch a lot of TV

You probably lost touch with your old pal during the summer and that’s OK. This is your chance to get reacquainted. The fall season is in full swing, and the weekend is full of sports. If you’ve got a little money saved up, there is no real reason to get off your couch until Thanksgiving. Personally, I’m looking forward to the Simpsons season premier this Sunday (last week’s Halloween thing does NOT count). With the baseball playoffs on stupid FOX, we have had to wait far too long, but the time has finally come.

Good luck out there, I truly hope you are able to endure the weeks ahead. Of course I realize snow could fly tomorrow and this list would be irrelevant. Should
that happen, don’t forget No. 5. TV needs you.

This week’s sign that the end is near: A while back I heard word of a new law called Colorado No Call. It’s a list that telemarketers are forced to buy that contains phone numbers of Colorado residents they are forbidden to call. Anyone can get on this list and it’s free. I immediately signed up and have enjoyed peaceful evenings ever since.

Then election season comes along, and every night I’m getting two or three calls from hopeful candidates, most of them prerecorded. It seems the very people who made this “no call” law somehow exempted themselves. Yet another reason why voters are so apathetic.

Do you wanna mow my lawn?







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