22 February 2010

Booze, Guns, Booze, Cigars, Booze, and Booze (boozy booze)

Ever since I started writing in primary school, instructors have always advised me to know my audience, and write with them in mind. That's why I composed this post specifically for Blogger, a well-known and favored outlet for literate women with still-nested children and a penchant for some thing called etsy. Because really, what better audience or target demographic exists that could so easily relate to my previous weekend's activities?


I was invited by some friends to a hunting cabin for a long weekend. Leaving early Friday morning, we drove out to the exact middle of nowhere, as pavement turned to gravel road turned to dirt road turned to trail, before finally devolving into just a pair of muddy ruts with two-foot tall saplings growing between them. Somewhere between dirt road and trail, the beer drinking began in earnest.
Though comprised exclusively of mud, this is still considered a "dirt" road.
I can confidently classify it as "dirt" because I am holding a camera, not a beer.

After a few miles of tooth-rattling off-roading, we arrived at the cabin. From there, we proceeded to act like Anti-ATF Agents (the other Triple-A): Drinking copious amounts of beer, smoking ignorant amounts of tobacco, and firing MANY hundreds of rounds through a variety of firearms.
Sadly, this wasn't one of the guns.

I got to fire a sniper rifle this weekend. You know, those guns you always see in movies where some cop is on a rooftop with his cap on backwards while his lieutenant barks "as soon as you have a clear shot, TAKE HIM OUT!" through his headset. Yeah, one of those guns. What's more, the fellow camper that was instructing me on its use was an over-qualified professional with the weapon due to his exacting employment requirements. He showed me how to work the stabilizing sandbag that rests under the butt of the rifle (the more you squeeze, the further down it aims). It was super-cool. I killed a bear mountain lion wolf beer can from sixty yards out. I was pretty impressed with myself ... until he showed me how accurate he was at six hundred yards. Then he asked me if I needed a diaper change before I laid down for nappy-time.
Figure 3.7: a professional's perception of Krëg's firearms mastery.

I also got to fire a World War II-era Australian-made bolt action British 303, the recoil from which almost knocked me into the next county.
"He was last seen holding an Enfield rifle in one hand, a Pabst in the other, and flying ass-first towards Texas...."
The 303 was a solid weapon, and fired like a dream. I couldn't help but imagine I was plugging Nazis while squeezing the trigger. Blow ze heads off ze Germanz! Ja! Gut! But at a little over $2.50 per bullet, the owner was NOT enthusiastically handing out ammunition. So quite a few of the imaginary Nazis escaped to imaginary Argentina.

Other fine firearms I fired included a shotgun, a Beretta nine, and a Wather 22. It was speculated that the only sure way to shoot at and hit a beer car with a 22 caliber pistol is to hold the pistol firmly in your right hand and look squarely down the sights at the beer can target in your left hand.

But the camp "party" gun was the GSG 5, a semi-auto 22 with an expansive clip and a holographic sight.
Similar to this, except wielded by drunks.
Firing tiny .22 caliber bullets from a 22-shot clip as fast as you can pull the trigger, this little number is to straight adult males what the Red Ryder BB Gun was to Ralphie Parker. Except if you shoot your eye out with this thing, your brains go with it. Also, your mom isn't Melinda Dillon. Unlike pistols of the same caliber, this gun is actually capable of hitting a target further than ten feet out, and unlike rifles of a higher caliber, you won't go broke pulling the trigger.

This past weekend, the beer cans knew no end to their torment, as we would ritualistically rip their heads off, suck out their precious innards, and hang their empty husks on a nearby bush. Then we'd fill them full of holes. You'd probably think that we'd have grown bored of this rather quickly, but you'd only think that because you probably don't have a penis. It was fun on a bun.

It's been a little too long since I've spent much time away from an urban area, and I didn't realize how much I'd missed it. The campfire, the bedroll, the nickel-ante poker, the few dozen beers... [wistful sigh]
As a bonus, we were able to gloat to the people back in town what lovely February weather we had. My hometown was shivering at around 40°F and blanketed with rain and gray skies. We wound up on the lucky side of the weekend cold front, as while we experienced a brief downpour Sunday morning, the temperature hovered around sixty, and the sun made things feel even warmer.

Who knew that the iPhone was good for something other than expressing your pretentiousness.
Click this bad boy photo for panoramic goodness.

With all that drinking and smoking and shooting things and burning things, you'd think I spent the weekend at the cabin running a high risk of injury. And you'd be right. But oddly enough, the riskiest situation I was involved in all weekend occurred after we left camp and were back on blacktop.

I was riding in that red truck in front of which I am standing in the above photo, and my bedroll (fartsack!) and pillow were crammed into a garbage bag in the truck bed. Shortly after turning onto Highway 69 and blasting north out of Stringtown, we passed the prison. I had consumed a few (five) beers on the way out from camp (on private property only) because I didn't have to drive and I didn't want want those beers to get lonely in the back of the truck. So of course, my bedroll and pillow wait until the LEAST opportune moment to vacate the truckbed and onto 69. Even with the sober driver's lightning reflexes, we still rolled a good eighth of a mile further than my displaced gear. So piss drunk and filthy, wearing a jacket akin to John Rambo's in the movie with the same surname, I stumble down the breakdown lane to get my trashbag full of sleeping accoutrements. I sling it over my shoulder and proceed back towards the pickup. Only then do I notice a sign halfway between the truck an myself that issues a warning to motorists.
Fuck. Fuck, fuck fuck.
Also at this point, I notice that the weather has turned cold, gray, and windy, and that I REALLY need to pee. I was pretty sure that running to the truck would only arouse suspicion of any watching authorities, so I tried to remain calm while steeling myself against the brisk north wind.

When I got back to the truck and stowed my bag, my pilot only had one sentence for me: "I never took the truck out of gear, because I was sure the heat was going to show up and haul you in."

... ... ... ...

Three quotes overheard at camp:
"I'd suck a fart straight out of her ass." (referring to a beautiful actress)
"I've drank so much beer I could shit through a screen door." (referring to ... well you get the picture with this one)
"My last three farts had beer head on them." (Come to think of it, I'm not sure we had any conversations that didn't reference beer or farts. I may have even had one heated discussion that consisted solely of pop-top noises, belches, and flatulence.)

Two jokes overheard at camp:
Q: How many Hipsters does it take to screw in a light bulb?
A: It's a really obscure number that you've probably never heard of...

and sick
Q: What is so awesome about getting 14 year-old boys into the shower?
A: When you slick their hair back, they look like they're eleven.

Here's some campfire for you (smell and heat not included).


Next time I'll remember to update Twitter when I'm out of town. No wait. No I won't.

When Gary coyly asked his wife for meatsleeves, she totally misunderstood.

Have a good weekend.

18 February 2010

Lazy Post

Caption this photo.
Then go wash your eyes.

12 February 2010

Friday Audio Visuals

First the Audio...

I have a massive band-crush on Spoon. It's not a new thing. I've had it about eleven or twelve years, ever since a friend pushed A Series Of Sneaks under my nose. Their new album, Transference, dropped last week, maybe the week before (or several). It is one of their better albums to date, although a bit messier and without some of the studio polish which they regularly wield like a weapon. The low-fi sound, abrupt starts and ends, and smeared vocals all add up to a positive sum and leads to a good end. It's deliberately messy, and it works.

It took me a few (seven) listens through the entire album to isolate my favorite track. At first I thought it was Out Go The Lights, for the singular reason that it contained the lyric "You became like that on which your heart was fixed," one of the most ass-wrecking lines I've heard in a while. The songwriter in me is jealous of that lyric, mostly because it accurately describes the life paths of MANY of my friends, and possibly even my own. But that song also gave me a Coldplay vibe, which is a total non-starter. So it was removed from contention along with The Mystery Zone, with it's drums and bass counter-punctuating each other to create an infectious rhythm.
Ultimately, I've settled on Trouble Come Running as my favorite, because of its tempo and ability to kick shit from wall to wall. I'd post a link to it, but I can't seem to find one. So go buy the album and listen for yourself.

Instead, here's one to Metal Detektor.

And a motion picture talkie:


Then the Visuals...

A friend in town for NYE tested out his new camera on myself and friends. Considering how drunk everyone was, I'm surprised ANY photos came out as anything more than blurry abominations.

Have a good weekend.

11 February 2010

Jesus Puppy

People have seen the image of Christ in everything from fridge mold to French toast to the shroud of Turin.
... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ...

In order to illustrate my point for a childish email argument earlier this week, I ran an image search on Google for the phrase "Jesus Puppy".

I was surprised by the wide variety of the results.

They ranged from oddball crackpottery

To aesthetically nauseating
To slightly amusing
There were even a few cute ones

But NOTHING quite as remarkable as the image of Jesus that one day appeared on a puppy. It must be the result of the Lord's divine intervention, as a symbol for us all to have faith in him.

Pictured: Finally! Evidence of God's divine, compassionate presence.

Or maybe it's just a dog's ass.
... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ...

People need to get a grip, and quit looking for "proof" or "evidence" of God. Belief doesn't work that way; science does. For all of science's proof and evidence and hard facts, when it comes down to base motivators for human action, it cannot trump the power of belief.

Take a gander at THESE mind-raping tattoos.

09 February 2010

Where's The Giant Slingshot?

Friday, on the property where I work there was a curious sight. A curious sight indeed.

"What the hell is that? A rug?" asks a coworker as we drive back from securing our mid-morning meals of sausage rolls and caffeine something healthy that all the cool kids are eating/drinking. He points to what looked like a small piece of dingy, cut-up carpet.

"Looks like a dog or something, curled up on that gravel pile," I reply as I drive through the parking lot.

"Holy shit, that's a coyote!" he responds.

"Bullshit. It looks too fat. Plus it's not covered in ACME products," says I.

"All right pull in. We'll walk over there and check it out," retorts the coworker.

In response to this comment, about four or five different thoughts jammed up in a synaptic cranial bottleneck all at once, much like that three stooges gag where they all try to walk through a doorway together. Fortunately, one mental image trumped the rest:
...And his last words were: "We'll walk over there and check it out."

My car's tires squealed a bit as I made a sudden, impulsive turn.

"Are you totally high, or just want rabies? Tell you what, we'll just drive over there, since Toyota Avalons are coyote-proof, and denim is only coyote-resistant. Whatdya think?"

"Solid plan," agrees the coworker.

So I edge my vehicle in close to get a better look at the animal. When I get within about thirty feet, the animal unfurls and stands up on super-long legs. While not exactly baring teeth, the coyote did pace back and forth atop the mound. Telltale ACME products must have been hidden in the gravel.

"See! I told you it was a coyote," crowed the coworker.

"Yes. Congratulations. And now we've not only awakened it, but apparently we've also pissed it off. Plus, I'm sure to the hyper-sensitive nose of that mammal-hunter, we both smell like giant sausage rolls."

"Shit," repeated the coworker.

"At least I can run faster than you."


Coyotes are one of the most resilient mammals in nature, and have little trouble adapting to the very unnatural world of humans.


I'm still trying to park as close to the building as possible though.

I'm wondering if THIS will make Oprah's book list.

04 February 2010

Deal Breaker

It's been suggested that I break up my massive, multi-topic posts into MANY smaller posts. So I'll try that for a minute and see how it goes. Here's one of my first.

Don't go to Steve's House. Ever. It looks like the kind of place that will play host to cops unearthing corpses in another ten years. Seriously, that guy has some kinda fierce compulsive hoarding disorder. A disorder that might include hoarding human bones. Fresh human bones. You've been warned.

But hey ladies, he's single and a homeowner. What more could you really want?

I told the woman I've been dating that I don't listen to the radio, and haven't listened in years. She sent me a text regarding Fred Flintstone and making a bed rock, and cited the radio and a guy named Lil Wayne. She was pointing out what I was missing by avoiding the radio, albeit in a cheeky fashion. She also mentioned that all the good lyrics have already been taken, which is a sentiment the songwriter in me does not share.

So, I'm wondering if I should tell her that in spite of my sanctions against broadcast radio, I'm already a Lil Wayne fan? Or just keep secretly pumping Shooter through my cans and clandestinely shaking my ass?

What do you think? Could Lil Wayne fandom be a deal-breaker?

"I turned around, I was staring at chrome (hello)"

03 February 2010

Birthday Reflections

According to Google, today is the birthday of Norman Rockwell.

I used to think that Mr. Rockwell's paintings were overly contrived, with about four extra tablespoons schmaltz and nostalgia than ANY recipe ever called for.

I thought that for a long, long time.

Also, those little pricks at grandpa's right elbow are about to start some shit. Backhand those twerps!

It just always seemed like things were a bit too posed in his paintings. Almost fake.

... ... ... ...

My grandmother (father's mother) will be ninety this April. Born in 1920 (in case you can't do math), she's a tough lady with an even temper and an endless supply of patience. She has had the experience of seeing her corner of the world turn from agrarian to mechanized, and lived through some of the more interesting chapters of twentieth century history (including Oklahoma's depression-era dustbowl).
I can't help but reflect upon how many advances mankind has made since my grandmother was a child: splitting the atom, walking on the moon, curing polio, eradicating malaria, national highway projects, radio, television, computers, advances in medicine, civil rights, and women's lib, breaking the sound barrier, 911 service, color photography...the list goes on forever. The advances of my generation (and subsequent generations) don't really look that impressive by comparison, and seem to serve only individual selfish purposes rather than humanity's greater good. (Got cancer or AIDS? There's an iPhone app for that! ... But no cure.)

In preparation for my grandma's upcoming birthday, the immediate family (all 20+ of us) are pulling out all the stops, and our current guest list for the event is only slightly smaller than the 400 or so blood relatives who came out to celebrate the 100 year anniversary of my great grandfather's purchase of the family farm in 1898.
Fourth from left: Sweetest old lady in the world
Third from left: Some asshole blogger

My contribution (chosen for me by less tech-savvy relatives) for the party is to sift through photographs and compile a photo/video DVD as a keepsake for attendees.

And actually, most of the photos come pre-"sifted" from my other relatives, as NO ONE wants to scan and email their ENTIRE library of photo albums. So I'm only getting the relevant and most cherry of all the photos.
Like this one. Notice how well behaved children were when they were regularly beaten.

... ... ... ...

A few things keep popping into my head as I pour through the photos....

The first is what a spoiled little bitch I am. My dad spent his second (and possibly third) year of life literally living in a chicken coop, because the lumber (and ALL other building materials) from the old farmhouse were taken apart to be used in the new farmhouse. So he spent a year and a half living in drafty makeshift quarters in the middle of the windy plains. DHS was NOT called in response to these living conditions, and not just because they had no phone service out in the country. Mainly no one dropped the DHS hammer because the living conditions were not considered unusual for the area at the time. Contrast that against what gets people in a twist these days, and I think you'll agree we've all become a lot softer over the past few generations.

I think the worst scenario I've ever had to endure was when my electricity was out for a week after an ice storm. It is relevant to note that my grandmother went without power for a week and a half during that exact same storm. So she even proved herself as more of a hard ass than I in a head-to-head challenge.

NOT PICTURED: Sissified whining cowardly wimps.

Another thought is that I have a pretty long family history, and that history has only recently intrigued me. I should take a week off work, plan a lengthy visit, and soak up every last tale my beloved grandmother has the inclination and energy to share. Because while "Joseph beget Mathias beget Henry beget Mathias beget Krëg" is good to know, it lacks the colorful details that make it more than just my lineage, more than just branches on my family tree. There are things I'd like to know, blanks I'd like filled in.

... Like where my granddad got his pimpin clothes.

Seriously, where can I get some fly-ass suits like that?

Ok, so maybe I don't want to know EVERYTHING...

Finally, I've decided that while they are overly nostalgic and schmaltzy, perhaps Norman Rockwell's paintings weren't quite so posed after all. From the photos I've been sent, it appears that's how people actually behaved before the hydra of mass media began trading us fear in return for our own independent thoughts, judgments, and emotions.

"Shit! Look out! Terrorists and Swine Flu! Hide! ... Oh wait. I forgot. We DON'T panic about over-hyped crap."
"Damn straight. Pass the catsup, miss bad-ass."

If that's the case, modern society got ripped off. It seems we traded character, camaraderie, and resourcefulness for mass-produced shiny baubles and blindly following the messages of our favorite talking heads. Perhaps the technology that we praise for connecting us has also taught us that we no longer need to look people in the eye while communicating, and that the act of texting "xox-hugs-xox lol" is an acceptable substitute for the real thing. Our newest and best technological distractions seemingly only disrupt opportunities for REAL connections, and while they plug us in to a vast world of communication possibilities, they seem to leave us increasingly isolated from our immediate communities.

After looking through piles (albeit digital piles) of old photos, Mr. Rockwell's paintings don't seem quite so posed and fake.

In fact, they feel a bit like family.