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    A question for the congressman, a question for the candidate

    When Justin Mahan, a Pueblo resident, couldn’t make a meet and greet lunch with U.S. Rep. Jared Polis in early August because the meeting wasn’t in a wheelchair-accessible space, the Colorado gubernatorial candidate stayed late, paid for Mahan’s pizza and the two took a few minutes to chat about Mahan’s concerns on national health care policy.

    What happens with the Affordable Care Act and whether it is repealed and how it will impact Medicaid is important to Mahan, as he relies on the program.

    “I have a disability and Medicaid pays for people to come into my home and help me do everyday stuff. It more or less ensures my independence, so it’s very important to me,” Mahan said. “The big thing I stressed to him (Polis) was that if Medicaid were to receive major cuts, such as those proposed during the health care repeal, there was a good chance I might end up in a nursing home.”

    Given the chance, Mahan said he’d lay out the same concerns with U.S. Rep. Scott Tipton, who had some reservations of the the GOP but ultimately voted for to repeal and replace ACA. Afterall, Tipton is the congressman for Pueblo.

    Polis, a Boulderite, represents Colorado’s 2nd Congressional District in congress. This summer he has made more trips to speak with Puebloans in an open setting than Tipton has.

    It didn’t seem to matter much to those at the meet and greet with Polis which district he represented, many came with questions and concerns of the Trump administration and what Democrats are doing in congress to fight various policy changes. Pueblo City Council president Steve Nawrocki even took an opportunity to say how embarrassed he felt that Trump was the president, and even worse that he’d won Pueblo.

    The Polis event was reminiscent of a town hall with a congressman because it was. It just wasn’t a townhall with Pueblo’s congressman.

    “It seems like Republicans are more reluctant to have town hall-style events ever since the health care debacle,” Mahan said. “They got a lot of bad press during those events.”

    Jason Munoz, a Pueblo Democrat running for city council, helped organize the meet and greet.

    For him, the town hall-style event was a good way to meet Polis and get to know the candidate’s stances on Colorado issues. But admitted there were a lot of questions for Congressman Polis, as opposed to candidate for governor Polis.

    “Maybe because that was the first time in a long time that they had a federal representative willing to field tough questions,” Munoz said. “I think it does say something about the political climate.”

    Tipton has hosted a handful of tele-townhalls where constituents can call in with questions, but just one in person meeting in Pueblo West.

    “I think his (Polis’) town hall approach is an attempt to bridge that gap, he’s trying to connect with people who feel left out of the conversation so far,” Mahan said.

    That’s also a major theme of Polis’ stops in Pueblo so far, Mahan said. When voters are asking about healthcare or Trump or education, they’re reminding the candidate that Pueblo hasn’t seen the same kind of economic growth as the Denver metro area has.

    Mahan calls it the rural resentment issue, and it’s noticeable at campaign meets with Polis.

    “Several people asked very pointed questions about what he is going to do about the issues places like Pueblo face, and people really felt that they’re being left out in favor of more urban places to the north – especially in Denver,” Mahan said.

    Of course, those issues aren’t new. It’s not unusual to overhear a conversation where the hook is how state government has neglected Pueblo and southeastern Colorado, whether that be in jobs, infrastructure resources or education, all umbrella issues that a governor — opposed to a congressman — could more quickly create lasting impact.

    For the issues Pueblo and its constituents face, there isn’t always a hard line between whether it falls in the jurisdiction of a governor or a congressman. The Polis campaign says this is particularly true with healthcare.

    “Jared has a strong record of championing bold solutions to expand healthcare access and reduce costs, some of that can be applied at the state level such as pricing transparency,” said Polis’ campaign spokesperson Mara Sheldon. “That is why Jared has been traveling the state, hearing from Coloradans on what is working and not working. Jared’s guiding principles on healthcare reform are that he supports changes that expand access, reduce costs, and maintains quality.”

    But the question, given the concerns of those who attend the meet and greets, remains: can Polis do more at home than back in Washington, where a lot of people’s political anxiety seems to be rooted?

    “Yeah, probably so. Unless maybe he ran for Senate in 2020,” Munoz said. “But even still he could probably do more for Colorado ASAP if he becomes governor.”

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    Take a shot of the alt-Country twang of Denver’s Strange Americans

    Open-sky Americana | Strange Americans

    Brimming with big production and bigger songwriting, Denver’s Strange Americans have taken a noticeable leap forward on Borrow You, Brother. From the opener of No Punches all the way through album closer Towers, there isn’t a song that doesn’t radiate with warm and inviting Pop-Americana, laced with earnest Springsteen-esque blue collar bravado that can and hopefully will crossover well and play to both the folk fests and the indie fests alike.

    Jagged Grunge Punkers | Loretta Kill

    Taking major snaps from the 90’s, the 4 songs that comprise Denver, CO relative newcomers Loretta Kill’s Dumb Child EP are absolutely replete with a sneering yet endearing demeanor; part overdriven punk and big fuzz grunge rock worship, but inlaid with real sparks of geniusly simple songwriting and catchy melody that catch you off guard.

    Trippy Lo-Fi Hip Hop | Amalgimals

    Telluride, CO is usually known for bluegrass and jam band vibes, but make no mistake; there’s some real hip hop coming out the 970! With 35 tracks, Telluride’s Amalgimals take the lo-fi route on Vol. 1, cloaking this digital beat tape in dense layers of reverb soaked jazz and vintage pop overlaid with sample after sample, turning the experience into more of an aural collage than hip hop album.

    Hushed & Intimate Indie | weareforests

    Listening to weareforests Part, Parcel with headphones in is quite the intimate encounter. Like a secret only meant for you to hear, full of warmth and ambience, all eight songs from this Fort Collins-based singer-songwriter hum softly and poignantly, creating a space for the listener to really take root and appreciate them as they are.

    We wanna hear your new music. Seriously. We ❤ new music! No matter the genre, drop us a link at editor@pueblopulp.com so we can get our fix!

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    Hot Popular

    Sweet and bold, Pueblo’s Fruit Bar is a fresh oasis

    As the dog days of summer hazily make their way into southern Colorado, most of us (myself included) are counting down the days until cooler weather appears. But if I’ve learned anything in all my years as a Coloradan, it’s that summer never goes down without a fight, and often sticks around as long as she can.

    As the dog days of summer hazily make their way into southern Colorado, most of us (myself included) are counting down the days until cooler weather appears. But if I’ve learned anything in all my years as a Coloradan, it’s that summer never goes down without a fight, and often sticks around as long as she can.

    With this in mind, I step into Pueblo’s Fruit Bar, newly opened mere steps from the Riverwalk downtown. You see, in hot weather such as the current wave we are in, the body and indeed the soul craves cold, refreshing and most importantly nutritious eats and treats. But why a fruit place, you ask? What could possibly be interesting about a place that only does fruit?

    The short answer is everything, but the long one will take a bit more explanation.

    For starters, Pueblo’s Fruit Bar looks great inside, a tidy corner shop with window seating and pleasant personnel. It has a bit of a Mexican soda shop feel, which is spot on when their menu is considered. Because this fruit bar is hiding some seriously fun snacks, from classic concession fares like nachos and hot dogs, not to mention Mexican elotes (a Mexican street corn on the cob engulfed in copious amounts of chili, lime, mayo and Parmesan cheese, served either on the cob or in a cup). On the sweeter side, summertime classics like milkshakes and soft serve ice cream are also available for those in want of.

    The Crown Jewels of this fruit bar are their fruit dishes, all of which are assigned numbers upon the wall. After a few moments are spent deciding, my partner in crime and I decide on the #6 Mango and the #10 Piña Preparada. Upon ordering, we are asked if we want them both set up with lime salt and chile, to which we enthusiastically agree to. It’s not every day you get to have your fruit snack set up like a Bloody Mary!

    After just a few minutes, we are handed two elaborate fruit concoctions and bid a pleasant farewell. After a short stroll (and impromptu photo shoot with such gorgeously served dishes), we dive right in.

    The #6 is an entire mango, scored in a pattern resembling a flower, drizzled with chamoy (a pickled fruit-chili sauce) and plenty of lime salt. Simple, fresh and spoiler alert; it’s downright amazing, with the natural peppery undertones of the mango coming through with help from the chile and lime pairing, so that you taste sweet and heat in varying waves on the tongue. Perfect for a hot day.

    Speaking of treats perfect for a hot day, have you met my new best friend the #10 Piña Preparada? Served inside a hollowed out pineapple, the Piña Prepada is ostensibly an edible arrangement; fresh cut pieces of jicama, cucumber, mango and cantaloupe mingling with pineapple rings and strawberry garnish, again with a liberal drizzling of chamoy and flavorful chile, lime and salt combo. Every bite was fresh and satisfying; the savory, sweet and heat coupling leaving my nosh date and me with a want for more while also feeling sublimely satiated.

    Whether it’s savory or sweet, if you’re on the lookout for a healthier way to snack here in the 719, the Pueblo Fruit Bar and More has what you’re looking for.

    Pueblo’s Fruit Bar is open at 112 N Union Ave 12-8 PM Tuesday-Thursday, 12-9 Friday, and Saturday, and 1-6 PM Sunday.

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    New EP from Pueblo Metalcore warriors BRIDGES is a brave new world

    For Fans Of: Deafheaven  // Shai Hulud  // August Burns Red

    Self-titled music albums often equate a scorching of musical earth; that a band or artist has grown from their previous works or at the very least incorporated them into a new direction. Or it means you’re too lazy to give your album a title.

    But I’m happy to report that it’s the former with BRIDGES. For a half decade and running, this Pueblo based five piece (born from the ashes of early aughts Pueblo acts like Dorian Gray and Son of Man) have been crushing stages all over Colorado with their particularly crushing blend of technical metal-infused hardcore.

    Not content with this simple but effective formula, BRIDGES has always stood out for their sense of sonic experimentation, and this newest EP continues on with their foray into other genres; elements of black metal and grindcore meet up particularly beautifully against swashes of dare I say downright pretty and enthralling swells of ambience, taking these songs and giving them more depth and emotive qualities, and in the process solidifying them as being steps above your average chuggy drop C metalcore band. “False Hope”, the closer to the record, exemplifies this newest facet, alternating from a raging set of guitar riffs and a thundering rhythm section into a quieter but no less vitriolic section that shows you don’t need the old trick of volume or distortion to be considered heavy.

    Shows and info for everything BRIDGES available on their Facebook page.

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    The Live List: Colorado Comedy

    Ali Wong | September 9

    Paramount Theater (Denver, CO)

    Ali Wong is a stand-up comedian, writer, and actress living in Los Angeles, CA. With the recent release of her Netflix Special, ALI WONG: BABY COBRA, Ali became the first comedian to record a stand up special 7 months pregnant. Ali co-stars in the new ABC comedy, “American Housewife,” premiering this fall. In 2010, Comedy Central listed Ali Wong as one of 7 “Comics to Watch.” In 2011, Variety Magazine named her as one of the “10 Comics to Watch,”and Ali appeared in the 2011 and 2012 Just for Laughs Comedy Festival in Montreal,QC. Ali has performed on “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno”, “John Oliver’s New York Stand-Up Show”, and “Late Night With Seth Meyers”.

     An Evening with Jim Breuer | September 16

    Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center (Colorado Springs, CO)

    With over 20 years of stand-up comedy experience, Jim Breuer remains one of today’s top entertainers and continues to win over audiences with his off-the-wall humor and lovable personality. Named one of Comedy Central’s “100 Greatest Stand-Ups of All Time,” Breuer is one of the most recognizable comedians in the business, known for his charismatic stage antics, dead-on impressions, and family-friendly stand-up. In addition to keeping busy on his current comedy tour The Family Warrior, Breuer can be heard on his weekly podcast The Metal In Me which is available for download on BlogTalkRadio and airs Thursdays 7-8 p.m. on Opie Radio Sirius/XM.

    Ron Funches | Oct 5-7

    ComedyWorks (Denver, CO)

    Ron Funches is an American comedian, actor and writer currently residing in sunny Los Angeles. He starred in the NBC series Undateable as Shelly, has appeared frequently on Comedy Central show @midnight, and was a cast member and writer on the short lived but much beloved Kroll Show. Ron has built an impressive acting resume, whether it’s lending his voice to projects like Trolls, Bob’s Burgers, and Adventure Time. Or his memorable acting roles on Curb Your Enthusiasm, The Goldbergs, Black•ish, New Girl, Transparent, and Powerless…he even made being a gang member likable in the film Get Hard. His personal stand-up appearances include Conan, The Tonight Show, @midnight, Chopped, Cupcake Wars and many more.

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    A Rainbow in the Dark

    Pueblo has a much more storied and vibrant underground and alternative music scene than many even involved with said scenes in other parts of the country could ever know.

    Now-popular alternative bands such as AFI and the Aquabats and so many others have come through Pueblo on their way up the ladder to eventual successes.

    One of the most appealing parts of the Steel City is while you may not get the biggest acts coming through at their peak, there is a chance the next big thing is a local dive bar.

    For decades, small, yet fierce, numbers of dedicated music fans have traipsed to venues all over the city for a fix of music that was, until the advent of Al Gore’s internet, hard to come by and even harder to keep active. With Phil’s Radiator’s dirty, dive-y walls now a distant memory, Pueblo had been struggling, needing a steady alternative-minded venue, one that didn’t shy away from the abrasive and loud — a venue that could serve as a new meeting house and playground for the scene.

    The Rainbow Bar, at 309 North Santa Fe Ave, has since become this venue, as the new monarch in a long lineage of now-infamous Indie music spaces. Open for more than 70 years it wasn’t until this past decade, since Phil’s changed owners, has the Rainbow become the go-to for those that want something a little different or aggressive to see play live in a 30-plus mile radius.

    That’s thanks to its new manager Justin Taibi.

    Justin Taibi has taken over the helm at the Rainbow Bar, and in doing so has helped fill the void left in a growing local music scene. (Photo via author)

    “My great uncle bought it in 1944 as the Rainbow,” Taibi says. A native of Pueblo, Taibi is quick to call himself “more of an overseer or operator” of the bar than an owner, adding he has full-time work all throughout Colorado as a CPA, but still comes back nights to manage the family business.

    “It’s definitely a labor of love,” he says. “I have a busy schedule, but I always like coming back to Pueblo. I mean, this is my hometown; so I always enjoy coming in and putting smiles on people’s faces and trying to bring some music to them.”

    “We’re pretty much open to whatever here. We’re not here just to pack the bar and to have everybody here have a miserable time,” Taibi says of a typical night of music at the Rainbow.

    “We’re here for pretty much any band to come in and get some playing time and exposure in; for you and your friends and everybody to just have a good time, drink a few beers on me if you’re playing that night, and to maybe sell a few t-shirts.”

    “We’re a good stopping point between Colorado Springs or Denver and Albuquerque for bands,” Taibi says, noting “we’ve seen all kinds come through on tour.”

    He says that this newfound swarm of bands and activity is in no small part due to a man named Sword.

    Tyler Boyce of BRIDGES taking the high road at a recent show at the Rainbow Bar (Photo via Eyeworm Photography)

    For almost a decade, Mike Sword, a Pueblo musician and an engineer of everything audio, had been twisting knobs and championed sound for bands as the resident soundman for Phil’s Radiator; But after its somewhat sudden closing, both Sword and the scene at large were left without a place to go.

    “It was kind of nice at first,” he says of his break in-between venues. “I needed a break from the constant shows; my ears hurt, and my liver was shot.”

    But that vacation soon wore thin as it became difficult to find places for his bands and projects to play out live. “It was almost like ‘What should we do?’ ‘Should we scrape together some house shows?’ The home team hasn’t seen us for a few months.”

    “Justin has been very cool and very gracious about all of this crazy music coming into his bar,” Sword says of the new partnership that has blossomed at the Rainbow. “I’ve actually wanted to make shirts with a picture of his face superimposed over a saint, Because he really has saved the underground scene here. This is probably the only way we would be functioning.”

    “A saint may be a bit too far,” Taibi laughs as we talk briefly about Sword’s canonization of him.

    “I love people showing their appreciation for the bar, and whatever I can do to help out with the local scene I love to do,” he said. “I’m a music lover and consider myself and the bar a part of it.”

    When asked about the recent string of rather successful events at the bar, Sword has an idea of why. Nearly all of the shows at the Rainbow Bar are no cover events, a move that Sword thinks is beneficial for attendance.

    “Our economy sucks,” he states plainly. “I think the pressure of not having enough cash to get into a show can turn some people away. But having the shows free makes it so that even if you’re broke, you can still come down and be supportive and have a good time with your friends.”

    This sentiment is echoed by local musician Shanon Sinclair, who plays in Might of Henry and the newly founded Last Reel Hero, both punk rock & ska/reggae groups.

    “I love and appreciate the fact that the Rainbow never charges for entry to see the bands play,” he says via a quick message to an old bandmate (read: me). ”It makes itself stand out as a place where everyone can come in and enjoy a night of live music even if you can’t afford to.”

    “Most of the venues in town are kinda genre specific,” he adds when asked about what makes the Rainbow different from playing at any other bar locally. “But the Rainbow transcends those lines much in the same way the late great Phil’s Radiator did. It’s absolutely integral to our music community.”

    “It’s been a great team at the Rainbow, too,” Sword adds. “All of the bartenders are cool and supportive, even if they don’t exactly dig on everything that comes through the doors.”

    Not that the Rainbow is all crazy music all the time. Not dead set on only offering up moshable music, the space offers up differing styles and genres when the opportunity presents itself.

    Colorado local Black Sabbath tribute act HAND OF DOOM at a recent performance at the Rainbow Bar. (Photo via Eyeworm Photography)

    “We have had some stellar outlaw country and western bands come through,” Sword says. And indeed, recent posters for indie-rock acts and singer-songwriters on the walls currently at the Rainbow add to the anything-goes attitude of the space.

    Bands from the world over are starting to take notice of said space. With music acts and artists recently gracing the Rainbow’s stage (or floor as it were) from Europe and South America, as well as bands from all over the continental U.S., the Rainbow has put itself on the map for the underground touring circuit.

    Most of these bands are usually only looking for a place to play and hopefully some gas money. “They never expect it when they walk in,” Sword says. “As far as venues go, the Rainbow is almost a closet. But plenty of bands walk out letting me know that we give some of the best sound and best shows they’ve had on tour. Because Pueblo has always been just ready for a good time. We try and take care to get the best sound we can out of it. I mean, my soundboard is probably as old as I am, but it still sounds great.”

    “It’s not Madison Square Basement,” he adds, noting he borrowed the phrase from a friend, “but it is what it is, and we’re making it happen.”

    The Rainbow is new a home for new and old bands alike in the local underground to hone a sound and build connections with touring bands in a way that is as unique as the Pueblo scene.

    The bar itself has always been best at doing a lot with a little, doing its own thing while letting musicians do their thing, but first and foremost doing it for the love of music paired with the finest can of cheap beer.

    More about the Rainbow Bar and their schedule of events can be found at facebook.com/rainbowbarpueblo.

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    For the Love of Westcliffe, in Photos

    I absolutely love Westcliffe.

    I love the people. I love the quiet, small town setting of the Sangre de Cristos. I love the wildness of mountains. I love that it’s still considered “a secret” in this state.

    I love the Mennonite bakery with their butter cookies and cinnamon rolls. I love that there is a bowling alley with average food but the most reliable restaurant hours in town. I love the little supermarket and how the cashiers will chat with locals about how they can’t wait til the busy season is over. I love that it’s considered one of the best places in the world to see the stars.

    I love (and have to laugh at) the culture here that simultaneously needs and despises tourists. The barely under the surface sense of, “we don’t want things to ever change, so please don’t move here” attitude that most residents and business owners have. And I don’t blame them one bit.   

    I love the type of people this place attracts: the pioneers, the fierce independents, the homesteaders & DIYers, the “I’ll figure that out” crowd. Those who don’t want a manicured lawn and cookie cutter home and life.

    Most everyone that I know here is fine with friends stopping over for an unplanned meal. I love the church we’ve attended. I love that the people here take care of each other. I love our friends here. They’re like family. I really love that to get anywhere in civilization you have to drive 2+ hours.

    I seriously love this place.

    I love the mountains. The aspen groves. The pine trees. The endless hiking trails. The peaks. The high mountain lakes. The summers and the winters. And the spring and fall, though those seasons are the shortest. I love the wildflowers. I love the afternoon thunderstorms in the summers. I love the feel and smell when summer starts to fade and autumn is beginning. The aspens start changing and for a few short weeks, the mountainside appears to be on fire.

    I love running the Instagram account @WestcliffeColorado because I get to know the creative people who love this place too. I’ve learned that it’s very easy to showcase the best parts about Westcliffe, especially online in a quick snapshot. But in reality, the heart of the town is not only pretty pictures of mountains and pine trees in nice matching squares online.

    It’s a town full of hard working people who are extremely passionate about their freedom to live a simple life.

    If you want to learn high altitude gardening, how to preserve food, knit, quilt, build a house, build a car, forage in the wilderness, hunt, fish, shear an alpaca and spin the wool, cook,  or live off the grid, this place is crawling with folks who could definitely survive the end of the world just fine.

    If you’re looking for a weekend away from the fast-paced constant movement of the city, without the tourism of Breckenridge, Westcliffe might be a good fit for you. Whether it’s hiking up to South Colony Lakes and camping out under the stars after cooking some fish or staying at a bed and breakfast downtown, there is definitely a special charm to this small town.

    Westcliffe is full of residents who are eager to preserve its solitude and isolation. So, if you decide to come visit for the weekend, try to find it within yourself to appreciate the occasional cold shoulder and slow-paced culture around town as well as the rugged beauty evident everywhere. The wildness and simplicity of this place will make your soul come alive.

    by Hannah Corson, special to PULP

    Hannah Corson created and helps moderate the @WestcliffeColorado Instagram account, which features photos from locals and visitors to the region.

    Hermit Pass is directly West of town and is one of the tallest passes in the state. If you enjoy four wheel trails with a view this is a great spot to visit! Thats a wrap for me moderating this week, thanks for all the support! We'll be visiting the area in a couple weeks to shoot lots of time-lapse photography so if you see us out and about say hello! – @elemotionphoto Image by: @stephcoffmanphoto Selected by: @elemotionphoto · · · #westcliffecolorado #SummerInTheSangres #coloradotography #offroad #landscapephotography #sunset #mountains #adventureculture #coloradocameraclub #discoverearth #exploretocreate #getoutside #ig_mountains #keepitwild #mountainlife #natgeotravel #travelcolorado #visualsoflife #instagood

    A post shared by Westcliffe, Colorado (@westcliffecolorado) on

    Question for all you Colorado locals & natives: what is your favorite hike in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains? If you want to have some new hiking adventures this summer then tag yourself and a friend, we'll compile a list of the top 5, then tag you in a post telling you the best hikes to try out! Tag your Westcliffe adventures: @westcliffecolorado, #summerinthesangres Image: Dena Smith Woods Selected by: @hannahcorson • • • • • #Westcliffecolorado #visitcolorado #coloradotography #colorfulcolorado #coloradountamed #travelcolorado #optoutside #livethemountainlife #choosemountains #rural_love #photographyislifee #mountainsarecalling #landscape #photoaday #huffpostgram #coloradocollective #coloradophotographers #coloradoinstagram #colorfulcolorado #summerhiking #coloradohikes #hikingislife #14ers #rockymountains #sangredecristomountains #denver #coloradosprings #salidacolorado #pueblocolorado #adventureisouthere

    A post shared by Westcliffe, Colorado (@westcliffecolorado) on

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    August 2017 Horoscopes

    Capricorn 12/22 – 1/19

    Your ruling planet Saturn will cease its retrograde on June 24th and begin a long journey towards Capricorn, this will be Facebook official on December 20th, 2017.  Networking and expanding your circle should be number one on your to-do-list. Your social circle and the chance of making life-changing network connections couldn’t be better. There is a Full Moon Lunar Eclipse in Aquarius on August 7th and a New Moon Total Solar Eclipse in Leo on August 21st. Make sure to protect your ojos.

    Aquarius 1/20 – 2/18

    The Full Moon Lunar Eclipse on August 7th is in your sign Aquarius. The Full Moon is an excellent time to receive the gifts you so-earnestly deserve (or just take what you want). It is also a perfect time to let go of anything holding you back e.g. your “girlfriend”, it’s almost football and video game season. It is not a good time to let go of your spine, which is holding your back, proceed with caution (and an aspirin). Like Capricorn, your ruler Saturn will stop the retrograde motion in our sky and start to make its journey into the capricious goat (sounds scandalous). You’ve had plenty of time to think things through, aim your vision big and shoot for the stars. Just do it, ya soft Nancy.

    Pisces 2/19 – 3/20

    I peered into a crystal ball online and it showed me that the best day for you this month is August 27th when Jupiter sextiles Saturn. Neptune is retrograde so the entirety of August may feel like the love baby of M.C. Escher and M. Night Shamalamadingdong. There is both a Lunar and Solar Eclipse this month, which only heightens the probability of that previously mentioned freaky scenario. My advice is to prescribe to the unusual; say, “no” when you’d say, “yes”. Say yes when you’d say, “no.” Do you not disagree? Yeah, right.

    Aries 3/21 – 4/19

    Uranus will be retrograde in Aries on August 4th, to those unfamiliar with astrology this could sound like a frightfully painful situation. That day could be described like running backwards through a cornfield with your pants down while listening to Pantera vs. Cotton-Eyed Joe at 150 bpm while a midget-err little person, dressed as a clown chases you yelling, “come here, Elizabeth” even though that’s not your name. Some may enjoy this, and some may find it incredibly uncomfortable. Mercury will retrograde in fellow fire sign Leo, so batten down the hatches of communication.

    Taurus 4/20 – 5/20

    August is dominated by the elements of fire and air. You are an Earth sign ruled by Venus and she enters Leo (fire) on August 26th. Balance the trio with water, and you’ll be good to go. Prepare for your love to be unyielding, fiery, and ravenous. Gather fuel for your embers in the days preparing for this alignment of the great cosmos. Like the poet Rumi once said, “set yourself on fire, seek those who fan your flames.” The energy coming from this transition is hot, dramatic, and enthusiastic. This is surely to be a time of great vitality and don’t call me surely. Have fun with this one.

    Gemini 5/21 – 6/21

    Gemini, oh Gemini. There isn’t much going on in your sign this month. You could and should settle down the twins, who were gone with the wind in June and July. Shut up and kiss reality, you fool. This August your face may resemble a chipmunk, since your mouth sword may be tongue-in-cheek. My neighbor’s cousin’s fortune cookie said that you should get all major communications cleared prior to August 31st, which is when your ruling sign (Mercury) goes retrograde in the wrath of Leo. Roar. Also your lucky numbers this month are 1, 2, 3, ready, set, go.

    Cancer 6/22 – 7/22

    Is it called cannibalism if a Cancer eats Crab? I Googled that question and I received no answers. But I did get put on a watchlist, so thank you. This month can be life-changing. You are ruled by the Moon and like a sexy pair of jeans, it’s fitting in all the right places (I just learned that statement could be harassment, or herassment in the workplace, I didn’t fully hear Debra at the PR meeting. Thanks Debra). Anyway, there is a Full Moon Lunar Eclipse on August 7th and a New Moon Total Solar Eclipse on August 21st. Eclipses mark the beginning and the end, and two in one month could be the end of the beginning.

    Leo 7/23 – 8/22

    Happy birthday, Leo! Yep, still your birthday month and it’s still due to multiple planetary alignments circumnavigating towards your fervent constellation! You’ve got the: New Moon Total Solar Eclipse in Leo, Venus entering Leo, Mercury Retrograde in what?! You guessed it! Leo! Not to mention Mars is in a sign that rhymes with Cleo (hint: not Neo). When?!  Right now!  What does it all mean?! I don’t know… you tell me. Life is subjective anyway, but you’re the mane dish in August, always.

    Virgo 8/23 – 9/22

    Hey Virgo, it’s yo birthday. Go Virgo, it’s your birthday, you should party like it’s yo birthday. You should sip Bacardi like it’s your birthday, because after September 22nd, I’m gonna say, “it’s not your birthday.” There is a lot happening in the way of Virgo this month. Your ruling planet, Mercury (God of Communication) begins its retrograde cycle in your sign on August 12th, and then goes full-on Leo status on August 31st. Like the wise Kimya D. sang, “ Loose lips might sink ships but loose kisses take trips. To San Francisco, double dutch disco, Tech TV hottie, do it for Scotty. Do it for the living and do it for the dead. Do it for the monsters under your bed. Do it for the teenagers and do it for your mom. Broken hearts hurt but they make us strong.”

    Libra 9/23 – 10/22

    Libra, you are a Libra, very good job Libra. I kind of heard that in my head being said by the POTUS. Take that as you will. There are two Eclipses in August, so you’re getting cut quite the deal. On August 7th, there is a Full Moon Lunar Eclipse in Aquarius and on August 21st there is a New Moon Total Solar Eclipse in Leo. All signs will definitely be feeling the dark side of the moon. This month begs you, and your fellow earthlings to honor the darkness and to bring that which lurks in the shadows to light.

    Scorpio 10/23 – 11/21

    No major transits occur in your sign this month. This is not a good thing nor a bad thing, it just is. Sometimes it’s nice to have a neutral month that lacks intensity and apathy. Your ruling planet, Mars is in Leo so you may have a little more ‘oomph’ in your step; a little more ‘ineffable’ in your presence. If August were a dance, it would be the Salsa–stepping forward with your left foot, leaning back on your right foot, stepping back with your left foot, etc. If August were a fictitious film character it would be none other than Marla Hooch, what a hitter. What a game, but Scorpio’s, playing baseball? *wink*wink*wince*

    Sagittarius 11/22 – 12/21

    Sagittarius. Yo, girl, we need to get real (boys need not get offensive, just go with it)…okay, nevermind. Strike that. Reverse it. The dog days of summer are here and things may start getting especially steamy (or moist) on August 26th when Venus enters fellow fire sign, Leo. Don’t let the pride of this alignment get in the way of greatness. There lay a tremendous power in surrender, succumb. Don’t deny that which has been present, all the more do not acknowledge that which has been lacking. Do or do not, there is no try.

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    Path of Solar Totality: How and where to watch the eclipse

    Is it a dragon eating the sun, the sun and moon quarreling, or God’s warning of doomsday? Throughout history, solar eclipses have captured the imagination and mythology of countless cultures—causing drama and intrigue wherever they happen. And on August 21, the U.S. will get to experience a solar eclipse that will cut across the entire United States all the way from Oregon to South Carolina around midday.

    The path of best viewing cuts across the Midwest. Places such as nearby Wyoming and Nebraska will be thick with tourists flocking to see the eclipse, but places in northern Colorado, particularly in the northeastern portion of the state, will have great views, too.

    In Colorado, viewers of the eclipse should expect to see the sub disappear at approximately 11:45 a.m.

    Here’s what you need to know about the big day:

    1 Solar eclipses are more common worldwide than you may think, but this one is still kind of a big deal.

    Created with GIMP

    On average, a solar eclipse can be visible from somewhere on earth every 1.5 years, but having a solar eclipse with a path across the entire United States is a rare occurrence. The last time a total eclipse occurred coast-to-coast in the States was 99 years ago, and the next time one will travel across the entire county will be in 2045.

    2 No matter where you are in the US, you’ll get to experience some of the effects of the solar eclipse.
    On August 21, every single spot in the continental U.S. will experience at least 60-75 percent of the sun obscured. You will get to see the sky darken in the middle of the day to some extent, and watch the strange phenomenon. Temperatures will drop, and animals will act strangely because they will think it’s dusk.

    3 If you want a full experience of the total eclipse, you will have to travel out of state.
    However, if you want to see the solar eclipse in its entirety, you can’t stay in Colorado. There’s only a thin line of about 60 miles stretching across the States where the solar eclipse will be observed in full force. For Coloradans, two of the closest, prominent spots for seeing the Eclipse will be Casper, Wyoming or Lincoln, Nebraska—both of which have festivals planned surrounding the eclipse.

    4 Hotels and campgrounds are all reserved and full in most cities hosting events for the total eclipse.
    If you do want to go to the path of totality, then you most likely won’t be able to stay at a hotel or rented campground around the cities involved. Hotels and campgrounds are booked out solid for that time period in major cities that are in the pathway. Instead, you’ll have to figure out alternative ways, like driving into the area the day of and driving back out. Get creative now and figure out your plan.

    5 Wherever you end up watching the eclipse, protect your eyes.
    No, you can’t go blind watching a solar eclipse—another popular myth perpetuated for centuries. However, staring directly at a solar eclipse without eye protection can permanently damage your retina. Normal sunglasses do not work and will not effectively protect your eyes. If you’re interested in observing the eclipse, you should buy a special solar eclipse glasses—which you can find online easily for a couple of dollars.

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    The PULP Live List: Stand Up Comedy

    The Lucas Brothers | August 17-19

    ComedyWorks Downtown (Denver, CO)

    Comedians, actors, and writers the Lucas Bros (Keith and Kenny Lucas) continue their rise as two of the freshest, most dynamic new faces on the comedy scene. “In a short time….the Lucas Brothers have made a big impact on comedy,” lauds Vulture. Just this April, the guys’ first hour stand-up special The Lucas Bros: On Drugs premiered on Netflix. They were also recently seen as recurring characters on Season 1 of the hit Netflix series Lady Dynamite starring fellow comic Maria Bamford. They were named one of “Variety’s 10 Comics to Watch of 2014,” featured in Rolling Stone Magazine’s “Hot List,” appeared on the cult hit TV show Arrested Development and HBO’s Funny As Hell, and were stand-outs at the Montreal Just For Laughs Comedy Festival.

    Gabriel Iglesias | August 25

    Colorado State Fair (Pueblo, CO)

    Born in Chula Vista, California, Gabriel Iglesias is the youngest of six children, raised by a single mother in Long Beach, CA. It was during his childhood that he developed a strong sense of humor to deal with the obstacles he faced. In 1997, he set out to hone his comedic skills, and performed stand-up anywhere he could find an audience; including biker bars and hole-in-the-wall joints. Gabriel’s stand-up comedy is a mixture of storytelling, parodies, characters and sound effects that bring his personal experiences to life. His unique and animated comedy style has made him popular among fans of all ages.

    John Mulaney | Sep 9

    Pikes Peak Center (Colorado Springs, CO)

    John Mulaney is an Emmy Award winning writer and comedian. He most recently starred in the Broadway hit, “Oh, Hello on Broadway” alongside Nick Kroll. In 2015 Mulaney released his 3rd hour stand up special a Netflix Original titled “THE COMEBACK KID” which the AV Club called “his best hour of his career.” He began his career in New York’s East Village and has since toured around the world. Mulaney’s first comedy album, “The Top Part,” was released in 2009. He released his second Comedy Central special and album “New In Town” in 2012, and upon review KenTucker of Entertainment Weekly hailed Mulaney as “one of the best stand-up comics alive.”