As 2013 winds to a close, I can't say I'm sorry to see it go. Not because it was a particularly bad year, though. Just the opposite: 2013 was the first year in a long time that wasn't marked by some kind of personal tragedy. It was a year of minor triumphs and general pleasantness, unmarred by the kind of grief, misery and despair that's all too common in our lives these days. I didn't lose a job or anyone close to me; my worst moments came in the form of a few lost nights of sleep thanks to a toddler and a few days sidelined by a stomach virus. I'd like to think I can get through 2014 the same way, which is why I'm eager to get on with it - and with some of the items on my bucket list. -- Cory Casciato
1. Buy (and smoke) some 100 percent legal weed I've been smoking illegal (and gray market) weed on and off for more than two decades, and for a lot of that time, I figured I'd never see the day when I could do it legally (well, not without a medical condition, anyway). Come January 1, though, that's going to change, and I'm damn excited to walk in, slap my cash on the counter and say, "A bag of your finest weed, good sir!"
2. Take the whole family to Casa Bonita, because none of us has ever been I've lived in Colorado for sixteen years, thirteen of those in Denver, and somehow I've never made it out to Casa Bonita. It's about time for a family trip, I think. My twenty-year-old daughter is probably too old to enjoy it, and my almost two-year-old is too young, but goddamn it, at least we can all say we've gone - and lived to tell the tale.
3. Get a high score on a game at 1Up and put my initials on it I played plenty of arcade games as a kid, but I can count the number of times I managed to notch my initials on a high score on one hand, with enough fingers left over to make a number of obscene gestures. Now that classic arcade gaming is cool again, it's time I changed that. I'm making a pilgrimage to the 1Up (or the 2Up, its sibling on Colfax), selecting a game and dedicating myself to getting good enough to immortalize my initials in the top ten, even if it takes enough quarters to buy the damn machine.
4. See Peyton Manning QB the Broncos at a home game I try to go to at least one Broncos game a year; in fact, between 2003 and 2012, I only missed one season. Then Peyton Manning came to town, coinciding with the addition of a baby to my household. Suddenly, I had no time and no money, and the damn tickets were even harder to get than they used to be. Well, fuck that. I'm going to see the future Hall of Famer play next year, even if I have to sell a kidney to do it. I'd like to bring my daughter, but something tells me a two-year-old isn't going to enjoy four hours in the stands, even if it is in the presence of one the game's all-time greats.
5. Ride the trifecta of sketchy bus lines in one day: 15, 16 and 0 I've ridden Denver's sketchiest bus lines -- the 15 and 16, which run along East and West Colfax, respectively, and the 0, which serves Broadway -- many times, and have seen everything from a spontaneous sing-along to a near riot. What I've never done is ride all three in one day. There's a good chance I'll be hit on, get stabbed or catch hepatitis before it's all over, but I'm still determined to do it. Hey, some people climb Fourteeners; I ride sketchy bus lines.
6. Buy and eat the weirdest thing I can find at one of Federal's Asian markets I love the Asian markets on Federal for everything from their kick-ass candy to the great sauces and other ingredients you can get. I also love browsing the bizarre selection of exotic foods, though I've always been a little skittish to try them. It's time for that to change. Next time I stop by for sriracha and a package of noodles, I'm buying -- and eating -- the weirdest thing I can find. Dried cuttlefish, here I come!
7. Get a picture of myself next to Blucifer, the World's Greatest Public Art™ My love for Blucifer is well documented. It's high time I stopped the car and got a photo of myself with that greatest of all public art pieces, even if it's illegal to do so. (It is illegal to stop there, right?)
8. Go see a Nuggets game, completing my attendance record for all of Denver's major sports franchises Despite my lack of interest in every professional sport beyond football, I've managed to attend at least one game featuring each of Denver's professional Big 4 sports franchises - with the exception of the Nuggets. Now it's basketball's turn. Can anyone tell me if foam fingers are appropriate accessories? I've always wanted one of those.
9. Go to all three nights of a three-night Phish stand at Dick's I'm not what you would call a Phish fan, but I have seen -- and enjoyed -- half a dozen Phish shows over the past ten years, including one this year at Dick's. Every time I do, I hear about the great pieces I missed from the other nights at the same venue, so the next time the band does a three-night stand at Dick's, it's on: I'm going all three nights, even if it takes me a year and a half to shake the resulting hangover. Plus, I should never need to see another Phish show after that, so that's a nice bonus.
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10. Buy the rest of the RPG books I once owned as a kid from Black and Read As a young nerd, I owned dozens and dozens of role-playing games and supplements. Every time I go into Black and Read, I come across a bunch of them. From time to time, I buy one to fuel my nostalgia for that time, but now that I'm Westword's geek columnist, it seems like I should own them all. From now on, I'm buying one on every trip out to the venerable Arvada shop, until I own them all. Then maybe I'll start in on the ones I never owned but always wanted to...
Westword writers have been filling the bucket to create our ultimate bucket list for 2014. We'll be spilling the top 100 items over the next few weeks; in the meantime, post your own suggestions below.
From our archives, see 2013: The Year in Geek