Baron Mind, This Is A Random Post

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Every so often I come across something on the Internet so brilliant, I just can’t keep it to myself. I feel like I have to share it with my friends (you are my friends, right?) because I know they will like as much as I do. And if they don’t, I’ll storm out and kick the cat. Well, I’ll give it the finger at least.

So what is this awesome of awesomeness I speak of? Why it is none other than the nemesis of all civil minded people, the great Baron Mind.

n16501269_32274658_5694Created by a very funny guy over at Revelation XIII, the character Baron Mind, played and written by Mike Revenaugh and filmed/edited by Kyle Camping, is on his way to become an international web-sensation. And finally, long over do, he is up for an award. The Horrible Awards from Dr. Horrible of the Evil League of Evil, has nominated Mike’s character for the ‘So They Say Award’ for the best non-musical video for the Evil League of Evil. So pop over to here and scroll down to the best non-musical video for the ELE and vote for Baron Mind. It takes literally 23 seconds. Watch the great Baron Mind and check out Mike over at Rev XIII.

In other news, I found out something. Did you know instant coffee has 120 cups compared to the brewing coffee that only has 90 cups for less money? Why didn’t anybody tell me this? Sure, you have to sacrifice some taste but like the great Crocodile Dundee said, “You can live on it, but it tastes like shit”. You know Mick? I can live on this and damn it, I kind of like it. The smell of instant Folgers reminds me of my Grandmother’s house in Pennsylvania. You want me to take you on a tour? The correct answer is yes.

dscn0110My whole life I have moved at least every few years but this house you see above has remained a constant when I was growing up. I was here as an infant, every Christmas was spent here, more Nerf boomerangs have been eaten by the roof and more light saber battles have been waged in this backyard than Lucas could ever imagine. It’s hard to believe that there are over 30 years of personal memories here.

dscn0092To get in the house we will go around back to the covered porch. The only people who come through the front door are deliveries and company. You’re with me so we will go this way. See that cooler over there? It’s always full of beer. There is nothing better than sitting on the porch with the space heater blaring, drinking Yeungling and reading my Grandmothers Parade magazine. I’m not joking. Just looking at this picture I smell the stale cigarette smoke and electric heating coils. *sniffffff……ahhhhhhhh*

dscn0091From the back porch we get to the kitchen. This is where my love for instant coffee was forged. But this picture is bitter sweet because as I look at the chairs my mind drifts to the days when I was forced to finish my cooked carrots, no matter how long it took. You see, my grandparents grew up during the depression and not finishing your food was as insulting as telling them the Pope is a bag of dicks. So I would sit there and endure a child’s equivalent to water boarding as I would choke down cooked carrots, dry heaving and tearing. I do, however, have a great memory of my Uncle Mark coming to my rescue and scarfing down my carrots when my Grandmother left the room, giving me a wink and a shush finger as he headed out for his night on the town. I love that guy.

dscn0090Leaving the kitchen we come to the dining room. It’s funny, but this room elicits a little bit of anger from me and it comes from a silly pet peeve. I hate eating in a quiet place and listening to eating noises. This side of the family eats….well…like a G-damn horse. They never have the TV on so all yo hear is crunching, smacking and nose-whistling. I always show up to the table with two forks; one to eat with and one to stab into my leg out of anger.

dscn0089The living room! This is where we gather to watch TV and I swear, the local news is on at least half the time. To this day, coming home to Grandma’s is not official until I hear the channel 6 theme song, “Move Close To Your World”. Still makes me smile. I have so many memories in this room like playing with a Hasbro X-Wing fighter, using the Persian rug as the perfect play mat and ruining a vacuum with a missing Micro machine. But, now that I am older this is where my Dad and I have a book read-off because there isn’t shit to do. This past holiday I won with four books. But it back fired on me and I was robbed a few million brain cells after reading Bill O’Reiley’s book, Culture Warrior. I get his points but damn, that guy really talks down to people.

dscn0105My Grandfather passed away a few years ago. Every time I am alone in this house I tend to stare at the old pictures and remember him. He really was the product of the greatest generation. He served in the Navy in WW2, came home, started right to work at GE making rotatory rocket engines for ICBMs, got married and had kids. I constantly think about his work ethic. Every year he worked like a dog to provide for the family and only had the one week vacation at the shore to look forward to. He never complained though and he never quit to find greener pastures. He was tough, selfless and had a heart the size of Gibraltar. But cancer came and took him from us in 2003. God I do miss him.

dscn01031We are now upstairs. You are looking at the only bathroom in the house. If you look closely at the frame on the right you will notice that it has a slight curve to it. When the weather changes the wood swells and this leads to the door sticking. I can not take a shower without locking the door so that means the door has to be flush with the frame. So, I spend 15 to 20 minutes in the bathroom and 30 minutes prying the door open. Two years ago I pulled the knob straight off.

dscn0104We are going to skip the other two rooms up here and go right to Uncle Mark’s room. This is where I usually sleep when I visit. Notice the folded cot on the right? Yeah, sleeping in here is a challenge to say the least. I try to beat Uncle Mark to bed because if he falls asleep first, it’s like sleeping in the trombone section of an orchestra. There is nothing worse, besides eating sounds, than trying to fall asleep over super sonic snoring and four-note sleep farts. Try to find your happy place during that!

dscn0088GAAAA! Don’t forget who sleeps in the next room.

dscn0093Now we are in the basement and this is the best room in the house. My Uncle Mark has occupied the basement ever since I could form memories. This was the place where I spent most of my time and I know that was a little selfish because I should have spent more time hanging out with my elderly great aunts and eating their blue mints. But seriously though, how could a kid resist cable TV, a bag full of candy next to the recliner, a computer with Duke Nuke ‘Em, and every cool gadget known to man. I mean, I didn’t grow up with cable so HBO and old school Nickelodeon was something you had to take advantage of. I swear I saw the movie The Explores and the show Pinwheel more times than necessary on these AstroTurf-covered recliners. If you clicked on Pinwheel I am sorry, but you will have that in your head for the next 12 years. My gift is your curse. Here are some quirky things around the basement.

dscn0100The hat collection. This is actually willed to me. I’d like to say I can’t wait but that means somebody has to die. I’ll wait for the hat collect.

dscn0099Here we are! The vacation fund and it’s full….of dimes…..and there is a lock on it. dscn0098Uncle Mark’s ex-girlfriend was a graphic artist an she designed screen savers. This is one of them. I really hope this was the reason he dumped her because, WTF?!?!

Well, now you have had the tour. Very few people have seen the place that I call home away from home. I hope you enjoyed it.

Here is a survey question: I stayed at my Aunt’s house while I was in town and slept in my cousin’s room while she was away for college. If you weren’t paying attention, in the picture below, what would you brush your teeth with? I hope I am not the only one picked wrong.

dscn0111I’ll post my failed pick tomorrow.

EDIT: If you picked this, we have something in common. That stuff really doesn’t taste as good as one would think. Actually, it was the worst thing I have ever put in my mouth. Ha Ha…I know where you are going to go with that Ginny.

What Do You Mean This Is Forever?

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I learned something new about myself over the weekend. It turns out I have a slight claustrophobia issue. Who knew? Let me lay it all out for you.

So I show up for my shift (I am a firefighter) on Saturday and within ten minutes of arrival the alarm goes off for a fully involved house fire. I absolutely love these calls even though it usually sucks for the people who are standing in the yard watching their whole lives go up. But with all the foreclosures it is oddly coincidental that house fires are on the rise. Or maybe people just need to clean their chimney. Regardless, it was hot, hard work and about halfway through I was thinking that Friday night beers were a bad idea.

Well, we finished our job and headed back to the station. It was about that time that the chief felt that it was great idea to keep the momentum of the day going and squeeze in some training. And what kind of training? Oh, we trained on emergency egress training through a confined space. That means we had to crawl through two 20 foot long tubes. One was 24 inches in diameter and the other was only 18 inches. I didn’t think anything of it. Until I was in the tube.

img_0484We were pretty tired and switching out the bottles of air was laboring enough after pike-poling ceilings and water cannoning a house. So by the time I was suited up, I severely underestimated my ability to complete this task.

img_0490So this is what we had to do. With all the gear on, including oxygen bottle (SCBA) and mask, we had to first crawl through a 20 foot long tube that was only 24 inches around.  There isn’t enough room to move the arms to you have to go in hands first and push with your toes and pull with your fingers. After a long morning this proved to be a challenge but after completing that length, the obstacles just got worse.

image1Above is the 24 inch tube and for some reason I felt it was a better idea to wear my SCBA on my back while going through. That basically exerted a lot of energy because I had to get all the equipment off my back while still lying on the floor and push it out in front of me before I crawl in the 18″ hole.

So, by the time I was ready to start my journey through the tube I was completely exhausted, hot and sweating so bad my mask was fogged over. I pushed my oxygen tank out in front of me and pulled my body into the hole. It was so tight I could only push the tank with my finger tips and move only inches at a time with my toes. You can’t move your arms, bend your knees or even lift your head. The temperature was over a 100 degrees inside and all I could see was black as I was sucking my tank empty. That’s when I began to feel the sensation of sheer panic. I needed to get out and it had to be now. There was no way to go back and I was directly in the middle of the tube. I really felt as if I woke up to find myself in a coffin, six feet under. Never in my life…

I closed my eyes and inched my way to the end. It took about ten minutes to complete the distance but it felt twice as long. When I crawled out my brothers dragged me out and I sat on the ground collecting myself. And then my SCBA alarm sounded indicating my air was about to run out. I couldn’t imagine dying in an 18″ tube while suffocating. Now that scared me.

img_0493When I finally collected myself, I hobbled off to drink some water and get my mind off what had just happened. I checked my phone and was going to go back to take more pictures when I accidentally took my own photo. I look pretty shook up. That was my first experience with claustrophobia and managed to capture my dilated eyes and pale face. Super.

The next day I had breakfast with a friend and her roommate. Her roommate is a very intelligent guy that many people rely on for quirky trivia and life advice. He’s all around a great person to talk to. Well, I told him my dilemma about claustrophobia and asked him how I can get over it. He told me that people never get over it. So that is swell. But I’m not giving up without the good fight.

img_0497So I am writing this in full SCBA while doing laundry and watching the news. It may be all for not but I have to try. Tonight I will sleep under my bed blind folded. If my methods prove to be successful, I’ll write a therapeutic book. Maybe it will be a children’s book. I’ll title it, Wigout Will and the Big Black Tube. NY Times best seller list, save a spot for me. Until then I’ll be running with a fishbowl on my head.

Under Influence

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You know, I have always had a hard time deciphering the difference between influential people and inspirational people. I guess it was only recently that I figured out inspirational people make you want to do something and the influential just make you the way you are; good or bad. So that has me thinking. Who is to blame for me? I’ll tell you who…

lindablair_wideweb__470x3300Linda Blair. I know what you are thinking but she has had a big influence on my life. This lady set a new standard for things that go bump in the night. I’ll never forget sleeping in a sleeping bag in the parents bedroom at age 12 because I was sure Reagan was hiding in my closet giving me that creepy grin. You know the grin.

So thanks, Linda. Because of you I will always jump to the conclusion that I am possessed if I hear strange noises at night. Even as a 31 year old.

joe-strummerJoe Strummer. It’s weird to realize your influences so much later in life. When Joe died of congested heart failure in 2002 I had been a Clash fan going on 12 years. I was saddened but like many other people I figured a rock star life was one that circles the drain anyway and it was only a matter of time. The other day when I was thinking about this post it really hit me that Joe set the standard for my musical taste and messages the artists bring to the table. Was he the greatest singer? Compared to many, no. Was he the greatest guitarist with the cleanest live performance? No way. But when you read the lyrics and see the raw artistic talent, it will make you involuntarily sit down. The Clash set te bar high for me and Joe’s death really affected me more than I thought.

peter_benchleyPeter Benchley. I guess it would be easy to put the blame on Steven Spielberg but I am going right to the source. I saw the movie, Jaws when I was younger, and it’s true that after seeing that I was deathly afraid of the ocean, harbors, ponds, lakes, pools, bathtubs, toilets and anything else that held water, the life-force  of great whites. But I feel that blaming Steve is like shooting the messenger. no, I think the mastermind of Jaws deserves a bit of the blame for my inability to tread water in a lake without visions of teeth and dorsal fins.

I read Peter Benchley’s book, Jaws, one summer in high school. It kind of hit me that this guy is the real reason that it’s never going to be safe to go back in the water. I held the same resentment for Peter that I held for my grandfather when he would make me walk down the center of the aisle because he was positive that I would poke out my eye on the hanging hooks. To this day I walk dead center in the aisle for fear of loosing an eye on a sock hook. But I have to let go and forgive them. Besides, they’re both dead and wouldn’t care anyway.

b1946178-4bd0-47a3-b7d4-50c23e57c925widec

You know, I have been accused many times of being emotionally disconnected or cold when it comes to sad situations and even thought to have never shed a tear. But those who claim such a fact never asked me about Jim Henson. Then I may just ball like an eight year old girl.

I can’t under state how this guy with his socks, strings and foam shaped my childhood and gave me so many precious memories. Memories like renting Muppets Take Manhattan for the fifth time and watching it on the couch with my Dad. Spending the summer in Elk Grove, California with my then 19 year old Uncle as a young child and how he skipped a party to take me to see The Labyrinth. I even remember the countless summer days watching Sesame Street, never quite sure what was going on with Bert, Ernie and the Yellow Ducky but certain that Grover was the greatest character to ever bless the Public Broadcasting Station. But I’ll never forget on May 16, 1990 when my Dad told me Jim passed away and said in a shaky voice, “Jim Henson died today. He’s been your buddy since you were a baby.” I think many children of the 70’s and 80’s sat alone for a while that day.

I don’t think you can pull off a life like Jim Henson had without being destined to do so.  I guess what really got to me was the thought that all the characters I grew up with passed with him. He really did put a soul into what ever he touched. Thanks Jim. Your influence shaped me to be a reflective adult. I hope when I have kids they can have memories like the ones you gave me.

See? I can’t even hear this song without tearing up.

So, that’s just a few of the influences I am under. Maybe they are just puzzle pieces to why I am like this? Who knows? I guess inside I’m just a possessed, punk rock, muppet shark.

I’m Here

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Good grief I am sorry for the long absence. It seems that life gets crazier and crazier everytime I turn around and before I can stick my head out to see what is going on, the sun has not only set, but done so four or five times. So let me catch you up if you were curious.

  • I’m older. I turned 29 on Saturday. That sucks.
  • Damned near killed myself while driving through Washington. And by damned near, I mean I saw my life flash after my tire blew. These are a few of the images.

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  • 000kg3yqesb_21bmulletI have officially declared snow and ice to be the worst part of Mother Nature. Snow rhymes with blow and ice rhymes with shitty-fuckfuck.
  • This is big news. I am officially down to two cups of coffee a day. If you don’t think that is a big deal than you should have heard me a few weeks ago on two pots a day. “HIMYNAMEISWILL! ILIKEFOOD, DOYOULIKEFOOD? GOOD! LET’SGOGETSOMEFOODANDEATIT! BECAUSEIT’SFOOD!”
  • I saw the movie, The Wrestler a while ago and it’s an amazing  movie. Loved every minute of it. But it’s definitely not a date movie.
  • I’m on a bowling league. I am also the worst one on the league. That really sucks too because there are two ladies who bowl with both hands. But if I am going to be bad at something, being a bad bowler doesn’t really bother me.
  • Apparently I am “King Treadmill”. I’m too big of a wuss to run outside.

Well, that’s all. As you can see, I’m not dead or missing. For the next couple of hours I will be catching up on everyone else’s blogs and I hope I haven’t missed anything huge. If I did, please tell me. I’ll make you a card out of construction paper and glitter-glue.