Emily and I visited Boulder Colorado to visit her brother Andy who was walking at graduation from Colorado University. He is finishing his PhD in Neuroscience, which means between his degrees and my soon to be- veterinarian wife, I'm looking more and more like a chimp with a pack of markers over here with my dumb cartoons. Not to mention I'm like, 95% certain whatever his degree is about means he can control people with his brain waves and chuck buses with his mind now.
According to him, even though he walked at graduation he doesn't officially get his PhD until he successfully defends his dissertation in a few months, so technically nobody is allowed to call him doctor until then. We all agreed to roll with it, partially because it’s the polite thing to respect his wishes and not give him a hard time, but also because he probably mind controlled us all with those brain powers into doing what he wants. Mainly the second one I think.
CU is so large that they apparently have a whole bunch of mini graduations over the course of a weekend for individual departments, which I guess is probably not all that uncommon unless you went to a school where the entire graduating glass was 2500 people like I did at which point you start to think it would just make more sense if they just texted everyone "Cngrts, u get 1 d-ploma, lol" and called it a day. The graduation ceremony for Andy's department was held in the basketball stadium and it was quite nice with the exception of two drawbacks:
First, I had to walk up and down the enormous flights of stairs approximately seven billion times as I was put in charge of the camera for the evening. My protests that I didn't want to be the photographer because if I took a bunch of pictures that were either blurry or had my thumb in them I would be solely responsible for ruining graduation forever were dismissed. Also my mother in law thought some seats on the opposite side of the gym might have been reserved for us and I had to go check it out. One week later, after making the pilgrimage and paying the Sherpa my last few dollars I found that the seats were in fact reserved for the Gersons. The Gersons, who never actually sat in those seats and I now hate forever because I had to walk up and down five miles worth of stairs just to look at their empty chairs with their smug little 'Reserved for the Gerson Family' signs. F*#%ing Gersons.
I can handle walking pointlessly up and down flights of stairs that seemed to have been constructed at an 84 degree angle in a stadium where the AC quickly failed to meet the demands of the crowd, but the thing was, including Andy there were a total of six PhD candidates. In contrast to this, there were approximately 2348542398563095823e10 undergraduates getting their bachelor’s degrees in Whogivesashitology.
Of course I don't mean that in the sense that their degree is pointless or they didn't accomplish something to be lauded for. I just mean that I, personally, don't have it in me to care. I nearly blew off my own college graduation due to my severe lack of interest in other people or their degree, the only thing that keeping me in my seat being fact that at some point someone would read my name over a microphone and a bunch of people would clap, because I am an ego-maniacal monster (also, there isn't really a way to just piss off after you get your diploma without making a scene). If the prospect of receiving my own diploma just barely held my attention you can imagine how much less of a crap I was able to muster for anyone in the University of Colorado Boulder's Psychology and Neuroscience undergraduate class of 2016 once the PhD group was done in the first ten minutes of the degree handing out portion of the festivities.
I'd like to say I did what reasonable people are supposed to do and sat there respectfully watching the hoard of undergrads get their degrees, but what really happened was less 'watching the proceedings through to the end like an adult who doesn't have the attention span of boiled carrots' and more "just getting up and wandering off five minutes into the sea of undergrads'. I swiped a piece of cake that I'm almost positive people weren't supposed to start taking until the ceremony was over and wandered around outside until everything was nearly done. I came back in at the end to get a few more pictures and set up to take a cool angle on the hat-throwing, which required I walk all the way down that god-forsaken flight of stairs again and then they didn't even do it which further enforces my negative feelings towards their general existence.
The cake was good though. I hope the Gersons didn't get any.
We were there for four days, so besides the graduation we did a bunch of hiking around in the mountains, as one does when one is in Colorado. I simultaneously love and hate hiking because it's a great outdoor activity where you can get fresh air, exercise and see some really amazing scenery, but in the case of many places we have been you're also walking on a narrow trail or climbing up rocks one foot from falling a million feet to your death at the base of a mountain.
I don't know this for a fact but I am convinced a person falling that distance onto a bunch of rocks would look a lot like when you ate those gummy candy snacks, Gushers, as a kid and you put one between your fingers and squished it until a blob of jelly splorched out the side. Except with entrails.
I fell head first off the top of one of those plastic spiral slides on a playground when I was six or seven, which in reality was probably a drop of like, four feet and I don't even think I got hurt, but when you are only 19 inches tall or however old six year olds are it basically feels like somebody threw you off the top of your goddamn house. Ever since then I've been a little uncomfortable around heights.
Despite the traumas of my youth, a combination of wanting to experience the outdoors and not wanting to look like a little bitch while other people hike, a bunch of little girls with their parents skip past me, unphased by the terrain and a teacup poodle looks at me like I'm an asshole as he shambles by with his owner forces me to push forward whenever we take a trip somewhere mountainous.
By the way teacup poodle; You have four legs and a low center of gravity, so f*#k you and your judgmental attitude.
In any case, here are a bunch of perfectly nice photos of scenery that Emily and I ruined by standing smack in the middle of them, blocking the view.
One thing we hiked to was the site of the Crags Hotel, a hotel that was built in 1908 way up in the mountains that you had to ride a special rail car to get up to. It promptly burned down in 1912 because apparently they built everything out of asbestos and dry leaves back then. All that's left really are a couple of low stone walls and a fireplace which based on the condition of everything else that remains from the structure, I am 1000% convinced they rebuilt more recently and are just claiming is the original one from where the hotel was so people have something to take their picture next to.
I saw this tree with a pair of boxer shorts hanging off them at the site of the hotel ruins. I'm not sure what situation leads a person to hike three miles up a mountain and then take off their boxer shorts and hang them on a tree but there you go.
Either somebody was banging up here at the ruins and left their shorts behind, had a case of the sweatiest balls in history and simply HAD to air everything out after the climb up, or my personal favorite: fancied themselves some sort of intrepid explorer, sumitting a mountain and planting their flag. Short on flags to play they made the best of a tough situation.
Whatever the scenario was that led to somebody hanging their underpants from a pine tree at 8000 ft, I imagine the trip back down the mountain, testicles jostling freely within their pants, could not have been ideal.
On the way home we had a layover in Chicago O'Hare. All through the airport they have these giant posters of peoples faces. There was some sort of "don't be a douche/terrorist" message that they were supposed to convey, but I've forgotten whatever it was, so first off, poor job Chicago O'hare, douches and terrorists are probably just as unphased as I was by your weak attempt to ward them off with enlarged ethnically diverse happy faces.
More to my point, in every single one of those photos the way the lighting they used reflects off the subject's eyes makes them look like they are all goddamn lizard people in human disguises.
Jesus Hershall Christ, it's like he's going to rip off his meat casing and be a sixty foot python with arms like Dwayne Johnson before he tears off my head so his mate can implant a bunch of eggs down my neck hole into my body cavity.
If you happen to be reading this post and plan on sleeping ever again in your life after having seen these murder lizards from Chicago O'hare, good luck.
They'll be watching.
PS Also Also
I fixed their poster for them