Friday, July 18, 2008
Thursday, July 17, 2008
All rightie-Di-Dee. I am burned out. This staying out late and listening to rock&roll at the river until 11:30 and getting up at 5:30 stuff is burning me out. But it's summer....and they can be short here up Nort, so ya gotta do as much as you can when you can, cause it is real difficult to hang around outside in January and February is not worth talking about. Anyways, I think I was supposed to bring in donuts today, but I ate 'em all on the way to the office. Too bad for anyone else that wanted one. I ate 'em and don't feel a lick of guilt for doing it! So there! Ok, the deal is that Anita and Ms. Jood and Randal started talking about favorite non-alcoholic thirst quenchers &stuff and it reminded me that we have some pretty-gosh-darn good ones right here in beautiful DownTown Wisconsin. Most are made by the local brewing companies that figured out that 'hey, what the hell, we gots all these bottles and stuff and we don't have to put beer in all of 'em' so they started making some sod-ee pop. And root beer is big on the list. Gees, even the NY Times has figgered it out
Now I sure am hoping that getting a good Root beer made, more or less, in the old neighborhood is not something special just around these here parts, cause that sure would be a shame&stuff.
My favorite and the one that the Times ranked #1 out of twenty-five is made by the Sprecher Brewing company, one of the first micro-breweries in Wisconsin. The Beer is excellent and the root beer is to die for. The Stevens Point Brewery makes a vanilla cream that is almost as good as sex and certainly good after sex, you pick 'em.
Gray's Brewing from Janesville makes one of the best Oatmeal Stouts that I have ever tasted and after mowing the lawn, the orange cream soda can't be beat. It is so good that, gees, screw mowing the lawn in the first place!
Now don't get me wrong. I like the dude. A lot. Great quarterback. Without a doubt one of the best to ever play the game. Hall of Fame. Yadda-yadda-yadda, but if you live in Wisconsin and Lambeau Field is only an hour drive......you get sick to death of hearing stories of whether or not ol Brett is gonna retire. Ad nauseum. I love football only slightly less than I love beer and a tad more than I love cheese, but gimmee a break!!! Retire already....just so I don't have to listen to this shit over and over and over.........
Anyways. I didn't want to write about Brett Favre. He can figure out his own life without my help or opinion. I wanted to tell you about another old dude, a good friend of mine, Joe.
He is an analyst at the local University's Test and Evaluation Center, basically evaluating tests that the professors&such like educators use. A post at Journeys with Jood reminded me that I had not talked with him for a couple of weeks. One of his pet peeves, and a subject that really throws him into a rant, is Bush's 'No Child Left Behind' program, which Joe dismissively calls, 'No Child Left With a Mind'. Jood did an excellent post. Go read it.
The real deal is that I remembered that tonight we were going to Waterfest to listenPaul Sanchez & The New Orleans Rolling Road Show, Joe & I, and that he and I hadn't talkedfor awhile cause he was doing his annual golf trip through Canada. The Dude loves golf. Does it three or four times a week. He also likes to drink good beer, porters mostly, talk witty and insult me. When he excessively indulges in the former the quality of the latter is way off the charts. Fun is Joe on the barstool next to you.
So we meet for a couple of beers; he shows me photos and score cards from the different Canadian courses in Alberta, Saskatchewan and BC, describing the beauty of not only Canada and the courses, but every damn good hit on the ball he made! He is really waxing eloquent after three pints.
"I love golf! I could golf all year round! There is nothing as pretty as seeing that little white ball fly on a straight line a couple of hundred yards in the Spring! Son, it is a thing of beauty! I love knocking that little white ball around!"
I tell him I hate it trying to find the ball when the dandelions all turn white.
" Well, Son, that's when you switch to the little orange balls. Much easier on old eyes. And in the fall, you just switch to the little yellow balls, easy to see in all the brown leaves and shit."
I remind him that I bought the last round. He flags Schultzie down.
"Ok, and what do you do in winter? Hit your little black balls?"
I duck fast because the man is still pretty quick with his hands and has an awfully long arm span.
I really don't care if Farve retires.
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
I had gone down to pick up some free tickets to an outdoor rock show but ended up riding out the storm drinking beers with Billy Lang and checking radar on his laptop. And trying to get in touch with the kids.
I have two kids, one of each, ZPG&Family planning, three years apart&alla that stuff; Bubba is in what his sister refers to as his 'First Last Year' of college. Bug just finished her first year and can't decide between physics or art.
-----so that night Bub was doing sound on film they were shooting about twenty-five miles south, right where Billy Lang's Radar showed three tornados, (Billy has some sophisticated Pilot's Radar program-really weird looking stuff) And he doesn't answer his phone. And Bug isn't picking up hers. Seriously getting worried. It really was that nasty.
I finally found them at about 10pm. Miriam (I only call her Bug to her face) had her phone turned off and Bub had left his in the car. They were both OK, but the ex-wife took two feet of rain in her basement. Bubba had just moved all his stuff down in the basement because his new lease doesn't start until September. All of Miriam's Art stuff was down there. As well as a lot of 'my' old furniture.
We had fun the next day. The ex is tense (hey, and THIS time she has good cause) and is only a fraction away from turning into psycho-mom. All of Bub's Senior Project TV show tapes and his CD's and DVD's are all major-league fucked. His futon and furniture is just a curbside collection. All of Miriam's sketch books are junk.
Bubba just kept staring at his TV show tapes. Six episodes of 'Causal Socks'. It was two parts Monty Python and on third Kafka. Kinda black, ironic comedy. He had written it, produced it, financed it, rounded up actors, edited it, added sound and spent literally hundreds of hours on it. He just kept staring at the tapes. He wouldn't talk.
Miriam opened the box that had contained her Senior High School yearbook and all the photos and articles she had written when she was Photo Editor for the school newspaper. Her lips became taunt steel wire and danger flashed in her eyes. THERMO-NUCLEAR-LOOK-THE-FUCK-OUT-DANGER-WARNING. Then she found the box that had contained her old collection of Barbies and Beanie Babies and other assorted child-hood stuffed animals and stuff......and lost it. Uncontrolled. Inconsolable. Just let it go. I-AM-S0-REALLY-PISSED-DON'T-TOUCH-ME-LEAVE-ME-ALONE-I-AM-SO-PISSED. When the quiet woman gets that way it is best to give her hundreds of miles of space and eons of time. Or twenty yards and a minimum of a half-hour, which ever is handiest or easier to achieve.
Bub picked up on it right away and he turned his red, blood-shot eyes into me. "Let's go check on Mom," he said, and I followed him back into the house and into the basement. The ex was on the phone with her insurance agent. Her washer and dryer are fucked, probably the furnace, too. Bubba and I walked into the finished room where he had put all his stuff. We just stood there for awhile. Ten minutes of silence is a long time, just looking at an empty room with water lines.
"Ya know," he finally said, " my next show is gonna be twice as good! Three times as good." Small rivlets left his eyes. "I'm gonna call it 'Wet Casual Socks'. Add some porn to it. Hot babes. I'll have better lighting, better sound. Really HOT CHICKS. ." Now he is standing taller than his six foot two and poking his finger into my chest. ".....and I'm gonna sell the script to HBO. Opening shot will be right down here! I should have filmed all this!!!!! WHAT a great shot this would have been!! All the fucking floating boxes and wet shit! Hey, let's just flood the whole thing again and film it!!" He's grinning now, big time, right through his tears, his pencil thin mustache framing over 3K of adolescent orthodonture. "Aw, fuck it, Dad!", he puts his arm around my shoulders, " let's go get the Kid and go to Leon's!
We dodge through the assorted rubble and wet shit in the drive and find Miriam in the backyard. She is pinning stuffed animals on to the clothes line and singing.....
....down came the rain and washed the spider out
out came the sun and dried up all the rain
and the itsy-bitsy spider
went up the spout again....
"Miriam," Bub hollars," we're going to Leon's"
"Sounds good to me!" she calls back. "Hey, it's not so bad. I called Ms. Williams at school. She thinks she can find me another yearbook. And these should dry out, ok."
Sometimes you can fix things and sometimes you can't, but you can always go to Leon's for frozen custard or add a little porn to your movie or........ just hang the animals on the line to dry.....
I love my kids and like them even more than that. They are OK.
Monday, July 14, 2008
Wowsers! I am one tired dog! In a good way, I gotta add, but tired is as tired did, see, and the guys and I done did a whole big bunch of stuff and still found time to imbibe copious amounts of beer, gin, and brandy. Some tequila, too, if I remember correctly. Now there might be some folks who think that sex is better than sitting around a campfire on a clean clear warm July night, with the winding rustling through the oak and aspen and white pine, and smoking great cigars with your best-time college buddies and telling stories about the good old days. Now I have no idea who those folks might be, but I gotta guess that they either do not get laid nearly enough or don't have any friends (probably why they don't get laid enough, huh) or maybe they don't have any stories worth telling (which could, all in all, be another reason they can't get laid enough) or have absolutely no idea how good a cigar or two a year can be. Frankly, I would rather get laid on a regular basis and have two cigars a year than smoke cigars alla time and only get laid twice a year and maybe that just my opinion&stuff, and I never wanted to be an expert on cigars (but gees, a snifter of fine brandy and a cigar IS a good thing).......anyways, I am not demeaning sex...cause it certainly has it's moments, but mere fornication is like a cheap cigar but hanging out with your Buds and enjoying true moments of brotherhood after a day of rafting down the Wolf River Dells is a spiritual moment. Of course just rafting and smoking is not the only thing to do when up North with the boys. You have to grill meat outdoors. It is a primal urge. Of course, grilling meat outdoors is Not as good as sex outdoors....but I was with the guys and we love each other a lot, but not that much...so we settle for grilling meat. Gees, I wonder what was in that cigar we were smoking, anyways!!And we did go hiking through the woods &stuff...check out the local floral and fauna. We saw lots of sandhill cranes and hummingbirds, and wild turkeys, deer, some snakes that no one could identify, I mean, gees, this is northern Wisconsin and it is just full of gorgeous wild life.
I know that Ray spent a lotta time perusing through his field guide trying to identify the species on the left. Rosie told him it was the elusive Wisconsin Wood Bunny and that they are very dangerous. Pete added that pursuit of said species is extremely dangerous and can lead to divorce if practiced while married. Tim said that is all well and good, but a man should still be able to identify native species, just in case he runs out of cigars.
I could write a bunch about the raft trip and I will after I recover. I still had a few brain cells left, and when the guys went home to their wives I went down to the the BoDean concert. There is always room for a little rock&roll. Being single has it's benefits.