Wait One…

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I’m still out of town but I have to let you know I have some good stuff on the way. Here’s a teaser: My uncle Mark is dating twins, tarot cards, sick cat, NYC, blacked out cab ride, Grandma’s basement, and much much more. Hang tight. Be there in a jiff!

How A Guy Makes A Christmas Sweater

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It’s that time of year again! Time to roll out the holly, deck the halls, drink the eggnog and buy your dad English Leather. But this year I am adding a new tradition. I am going to make my own Christmas sweater and attend at least one holiday ugly sweater party. Lucky for me I was invited to one and I don’t have to crash a complete stranger’s shindig.

So now is the question of how does a guy go about making a Christmas sweater, anyway? Well, I need a sweater. That’s the first step.  TO VALUE VILLAGE!

img_0365There it is! The canvas for my Christmas expression! And it was only $6 so I can’t feel too bad if I butcher it with gaudy crap. It’s not like I went to the mall and picked up a Kashmir sweater. I just pray that no one died in it.

What you are about to see in the next few pictures was inspired by a lost bid on eBay and even as I write this I am still stewing over that loss. I take the most stupid shit personally sometimes. Anyway, I lost and now I am stealing the concept and doing it myself. I hope who ever bought that sweater online is happy they paid $210. Maybe it’ll give them a rash.

I am starting with the back of the sweater because the front is 3D. You know where I am going with this.

img_0377Yes. I went to Hancock Fabrics. Wanna fight about it? Ok, well I decided that on the back of the sweater I needed a reindeer’s ass. This was not on the said lost sweater. This is my invention. So you can see the antlers that I cut off a novelty headband and fabric to cut out the body from. I am the type of person that will always get the carpenter’s rule of thumb, “measure twice, cut once”, backwards. I just jumped in with a permanent marker and scissors and went to town.

img_0378img_0379Reindeer are males, right? It’s hard to imagine Donner and Blitzen as girls and if I am not mistaken, wasn’t Donner Rudolf’s father? Did I just make all that up? Oh well, he needs testicles so there will be no confusion. Christmas balls!

img_0383img_0385You can’t buy shit like this, folks! Seriously, where would you find this? Now for the front. This is where I have “borrowed” the idea from eBay. But that was sewn and I am gluing. I feel confident that the glue will hold because Billy May’s said it would. He has an outside voice.

img_0370Isn’t he cute? Well don’t get too attached because his head is coming off and I am gluing it to my sweater.

Oh, and there is Kootanee. We are best buddies now.

img_0372img_0373It’s kind of funny but Kootanee actually watches TV. About a second after I took the picture above a bear came on the television and Kootanee ran into the bathroom and it took me about a half an hour to get him to come out. Poor guy. I gave him the headless bodies.

img_0374Now that I safely decapped the snowmen it is now time for gluing. But first I had to measure the position they were to be in. This takes both precision and a degree of shamelessness. You’ll see why.

img_0380I have no shame. Who do I think I am? My Mom would be so disappointed in me. I apologize, I really do. Me and my naked feet.

img_0381As you can see I am going for the Madonna style with the carrot noses. They are not as big as I would like but they’ll do. Why should I complain, though? I have bigger issues like the fact am a 30 year old guy making a Christmas sweater.

img_0392img_0393I’m not going to lie to you, I am pretty proud of the way this turned out. Making crafts has never been my bag. I went on a date a long time ago to paint pottery and drink wine. It’s a quirky Atlanta thing. Anyway, I finished it, brought it home and it leaked. True, I didn’t make the bowl, but that was a sign that all things creative should not come from my kidneys. (points to forehead)

img_04031And it fits! That’s really all that matters anyway, right? Happy Holidays.

A Walk

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It’s kind of funny how the most simple things in life can solve some of the most complicated issues. I know I haven’t been posting much and there is a good reason. A couple of weeks ago I was at the fire house and we were called to respond to a fire. The details were not clear until we pulled up to the house but when I walked in…I don’t know what to say.

A 6 year old girl was standing next to a wood burning stove that caught her pajamas on fire and she suffered 3rd and 2nd degree burns to over 90% of her body. I will skip the details but I will say that night I had to throw out my clothes and keep busy not to hear the sounds in my head from that call. She’s just a baby and that will haunt me for sometime to come.

I’ve seen a lot of bad things in my life and I can process it fine. One way is to escape to nature and the other day that is just what I did. And wow, did it work a miracle!

img_0342This is the trail right next to my place. It goes for miles without any human sounds or contact. This tranquility of being alone on a mountain while the snow is falling is just what one needs to clear the mind and remember who you are and why your here. I’m not too religious but it is hard to argue that God isn’t real when you are surrounded by beauty.

img_0341The sounds of the wind blowing through the trees and distant branches falling was so peaceful I felt as if I was the last person on earth. I walked about five miles up the mountain and sat down. Taking advantage of the situation I took out my iPod and listened to the only song that made sense of the moment and reflected on how lucky I am. Here it is, “The Wind” by Cat Stevens.

Damn it feels good to be a gangsta!

Found A Value In The Village

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So, I have been gone for a while. So much has happened I don’t really no where to start. Actually, nothing exciting but between work, traveling and course study, there hasn’t been very much time for yacking on the blog. And I am sorry. BUT, I did manage to find some winning apparel that only you would appreciate. I found it at the Value Village.

img_0320A blog friend of mine made me aware of the infamous Value Village but I believed it only to be of myth. However, on a hunt to find the perfect tacky Christmas sweater for an upcoming party I drove by the sign and it really does exist! I made an illegal u-turn and only killed one person. It’s cool, she was old.

Value Village was everything I had imagined and more. Like any discount clothing stores, the presentation is not the important part. I find that the 3rd grade organization is both endearing and, well, easy for me. I hit my head a few years ago and ever since then I have been a fan of straight forward signage like “Pants” or “Shirts”. Don’t tell me name brands, just tell me what they are. Corn. Unicorn. Unicorn on the cob.

Unfortunately, I didn’t find a sweater worthy enough to rock the Christmas party. The tacky level must be at least a 10 out 10 on the “Nice sweater; Who shot the couch?” scale. But check out the loot I did find!

img_0323T-shirts! Oh I am a sucker for odd t-shirts and I found the mother load! Here is the first one. It’s a peanut. Like I have to explain…

img_0324Looking closer we see this particular peanut is from Spokane. I live about 25 miles from Spokane so I feel I should represent. Plus, the peanut has “nut” tattooed on both arms. If I ever get the balls to have a sleeve done, I will include “nut” somewhere in the mix.

img_03261I guess it’s pretty chick to exploit Jesus for comedic relief nowadays, and to me it gets pretty old. Even if you don’t have a religion, the guy wasn’t that bad. He cured people’s diseases, preached peace and tolerance and oh yeah, he was tortured to death for mankind’s salvation. The jokes on him fall a little short with me. UNLESS, it is done by the religious right themselves. Here we see Jesus Christ advertised like Coke. Really, this shirt makes no sense but it doesn’t have to. It’s Jesus.

img_0327-1I don’t know how I feel about wearing K. Kraut’s shirt but for $0.99, why not?

img_0325I don’t think you can find a shirt like this on purpose. You would probably have to go to a print shop and face the embarrassment of saying you want a shirt reading “it’s all good”. Luckily for me, there is Value Village.

I am a little nervous to wear this. My life is full of ironic events and I am pretty sure that if a die in a catostrophic way like a plane crash or explosion, it will be in a shirt like this. Moving on…

img_0330Holy Hell! A tribute to Dimebag Darrell, the late guitarist from Pantera! Who would ever part ways with such a shirt? Who ever they are, may they get a rash every time “Cowboys From Hell” is on the radio. Regardless, I own it and I am a little saddened that I already met Phil and Rex a few weeks ago and missed the opportunity to rub Darrell in their face. Kittymao knows what I am talking about.

img_0329I had to get this one. One of my best friends is named Vicki. There is no stronger gesture of affection that says you care like wearing your friends name around.

img_03311Yeah, I know it’s tacky but I appreciate the humor. I think I may wear this to work for, you know, the irony of it all. That’s a stretch.

img_0321Yes I bought a Garth Brooks shirt. And yes, I made small talk with the cashier and claimed that I own everyone of his albums. I even turned the bullshit nob up one notch by saying we went fishing ’93. I gave her some made up FYI stuff like he only drinks warm beer and smokes cloves. She was mesmerized.

img_0322It has a back too! The question is where would one wear this? I know I live in North Idaho and I could walk into a grocery and people would compliment me but I make statements. Perhaps I should wear this and no pants? It’s not like I am trying to make Garth Brooks fan friends. Look at this guy! Awkward…

Now here is my favorite shirt. It speaks volumes of what Idaho is to me.

img_0332Animal art shirt! I don’t think there are words to express my feeling when I found this. I think I blurted out a word that infused fuck, God, Oreo, dolphin, and bike. Regardless, I scared a lady in a wheelchair and she made a skid mark trying to clear the aisle. I love this shirt and tonight I wasted no time in donning it. Is it as cool as I think it is?

img_0335Oh yeah. That’s where it’s at.