Holy Rumsfeld, where did 2004 go? We're only two days away from the freaky futuristic society of 2005, where robotic oligarchs will no doubt rule with silicon fists and genetically enhanced clone children will creep us out with their emotionless logic and inability to love.
But hey, kiddos, it's only a matter of time until you hear the storm troopers' jackboots coming up your stairs to take you away to have your sperm or ova harvested for the creation of Semi-Sentient Pleiadian Hybrid Drones, so here are some suggestions from my very own brain on how to make the most of the rest of your year (and life!):
Find that record you've always wanted. Nothing can soothe the nerves and drown out the sound of NATO missiles bombarding the neighborhood like hearing a song you've always loved but have never owned. Mine was Elvis Costello's "Veronica," and I found the record, Spike the Beloved Entertainer, at Earth Pig Music (1953 W. Uintah St.). My life is now more complete, and yours can be too.
Learn to cook the meal you love the most. There's a plethora of recipes to be found online (
www.gourmet.com has a ton, or just Google the dish of your choosing), and there's really something to be said for finally learning how to whip up a perfect rouladen, or spicy noodle bowl or Paris-brest. In the new year, food will be manufactured primarily from petroleum byproducts and served in the form of paste dispensed from machines, so getting that last chance to savor an actual meal made from plant and/or animal materials may be the best idea I've ever imparted to you. Invite a gaggle of pals over and get good ingredients from gourmet-esque shops like Par Avion (1872 Southgate Road) or Tejon Street Market (321 N. Tejon St.).
Take in some art. Most forms of human expression will be forbidden in 2005 (there will, however, be special congressional allowances made for paintings and sculptures vilifying the United Nations). Catch what's left of creativity at our local bastions: the Fine Arts Center (30 W. Dale St.) in Colorado Springs, the Sangre de Cristo Arts Center (210 N. Sante Fe Ave.) and various Art and Soul Street Gallery exhibits in Pueblo, and the Denver Art Museum (100 W. 14th Ave. Parkway). All have some pretty great exhibits going on right now, which could be locked away forever come Saturday.
Learn to play an instrument. Check out local music stores for post-holidays deals, and use your remaining days of freedom to learn to strum, or tickle ivories, or toot or wallop or pluck or bow. Also honk. Maybe form a band! You can write songs about how your bathroom didn't used to have a surveillance camera -- at least until they confiscate your drums and melt them down. My favorite music store is Music Exchange (305 E. Pikes Peak Ave.), which is admittedly a bit guitar-centric. Also check out Prosound (2417 N. Academy Blvd.), Meeker (113 E. Bijou St.), Folklore Center (330 N. Tejon St.), Graner (3490 W. Carefree Circle) or any others of your choice.
Drown your sorrows. Let's face it: Things will be looking pretty grim when the coming constitutional amendments kick in, and with the disappearance of the sun and the mandatory shackling of our genitals, some of us will want nothing more than a stiff drink or two. My favorite local haunts are 15C (15-C E. Bijou St.), where they mix a slew of fantastic cocktails; Jack Quinn's (21 S. Tejon St.), which is now locally owned and possesses that Old World charm us New Worlders just can't get enough of, plus ass-kicking karaoke; 32 Bleu (32 S. Tejon St.), which has a great staff and wonderful ambience as long as Monster Magnet isn't playing; and Tony's (311 N. Tejon St.), a Leinie's-drenched haven for displaced Upper Midwesterners like myself.
Better yourself and your community. Paint a picture, write a poem, reach out to your friends and family and community. Do that thing you always wanted to do. Make that change you've always wanted to see. Enact what Hubert H. Humphrey called "the politics of joy." Do it before the robots come.
It's New Year's Eve, dudes and dudettes! Check out nearly canonical listings on how to get your revel on.
And now the future is upon us. Check out these Brave New Events:
Good lord, it's World Hypnotism Day! (And your shopping isn't even close to being done!) Celebrate this most venerable of holidays by trekking on over to Smooth Changes Therapies (4935 N. 30th St., # 170). As part of the festivities, they'll be offering free group hypnosis sessions from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. and again from 7 to 8 p.m. So, if you've ever wanted to quit smoking, lose weight or just act like a chicken for a few minutes, this is your chance. World Hypnotism Day comes but once a year, you know. For reservations or more information, call 271-6089.
Also today, check out the Indymedia Newsreal Brown Bag at Pikes Peak Justice and Peace Commission (214 E. Vermijo St.). They'll be showing people-power clips from nationwide independent media sources that corporate folks are afraid you'll see. Put a boot up the establishment's tailpipe and attend. The event is free and taking place from noon to 1 p.m. For more, call 471-3405.
-- Aaron Retka