Today Veggie Turns Two

It’s true. This blog is now two and oddly enough this is the 200th post. Weird, huh?

I just wanted to thank everyone that has shared this with me. Some have come and gone and some have come and stayed but I will be honest, I never imagined that I would meet such amazing people on this www dot  journey. I am so blessed to be able to share my life and be able to share some of yours even though we may never meet. It’s weird wild world and this trip would be so less without all of you.

The funny thing is I misspelled “macabre” in the video. Of all things, you know? And I am not sure why Dire Straits is the anthem but it seems to fit the flow. Regardless, if you have been around over the past couple of years you may recognize many of these pictures.

Thank you again. I love ya from the bottom of the heart and I ain’t afraid to say it.

Viva Las Vegas And Most Of The West

So, I am back. I probably lost the last couple years of my life but what does that matter? Those are the diaper years anyway. No, this trip was…let’s say…interesting. I’ll recap it for you but not too much. It is my luck the boss will Google Noah Hathaway and find this.

Well, on Saturday the boss came in and asked if I had anything going on this weekend. I should have taken Winston Zeddmore’s advice when he said, “if your boss comes in and asks if you have anything going on this weekend you say YES!”.  I didn’t. I said I had nothing going on and that’s why I am working on the weekend.

That’s how I got roped into driving, literally from Canada to Mexico and back with a hell-ish stay in Vegas in just three days. Here is a time line.

3:00- Left Spokane with the boss in a GMC Denali towing a trailer to pick up a car in Los Angeles.

8:00- Found out my boss won his auction on eBay for a jetski in Sacramento.

4:30am- Met the guy who was selling the Jetski at a McDonalds in Elk Grove and loaded it in under 30 minutes.

7:00- Stopped at a Flying J truckstop so the boss could shower. I brushed my teeth and applied deodorant.

12:30pm- Arrived in LA and met the guy who was selling the car and loaded it on the trailer with the jetski. When I saw it there was definitely a “WTF” moment.It was a shell of a crap car.

2:00- Finally left LA and headed east to Las Vegas. Still no sleep.

6:00- Arrived in Las Vegas and checked into the Casino/hotel.

6:05- Agreed that we would eat dinner, have a couple of beers and maybe play a quick game of black jack and call it a night.

6:45- Boss has two drinks in him and decides that Vegas needs to be blown out and proceeds to drink heavy.

8:00- I am in search of the ultimate Chinese food and the boss is with two girls and telling them about his two cabins and many cars.

11:ish- Get a frantic call from the boss telling me to come to the lobby.

11:ish- Get to the lobby and found him sitting between two security bike cops. Got arrested for having sex in the parkinglot. Gives me his wallet and I bail him out.

2:20- Made bail and I went back to the room.

3:00-7:00- Boss went back to the casino. He won $10,000 in less than two hours, took a prostitute back to the room and had sex with her while I was asleep.

8:00-11:30- Just hung around the hotel until the boss woke up.

11:45- Boss realized the prostitute stole $5,000 while we were asleep.

11:45 and 10 seconds later- I excused myself and ran outside to laugh my ass off.

12:30-1:30- Waited in the car for the boss to buy a new iPhone because she took that too. He thinks…

2:00- On the road and I drove the whole way back while he slept.

2:00am- Swear I saw a unicorn and Orville Redenbacher.

10:00am- Pulled into the office parking lot. I passed out on my desk and miracled my way home to bed.

That’s exactly how it went. Pretty epic but I am grateful to see some beautiful country. Just wish the company was better.

This past weekend I ran a 30k X-Terra relay in Walla Walla, Washington in 100 degree heat. Still not back to normal from that one. More on that later.

Road Trip

Well, I went into the office this morning. I know..it’s Saturday but I had a good reason. Anyway, the boss came in and asked if I could go with him on a road trip to LA and an overnight in Vegas to pick up a hot rod car shell he collects. And I said sure.

So, I hope to make it back alive but expect great blog worth material on the 30+ hour car trip. I gotta go take my protien pills and put my helmet on. See ya in a few days and expect some better blog stuff.

Ode To The Elementary School Art Ashtray

This post may be a little dated to some readers but to many of us we have fond memories of the lovely clay art projects in elementary school circa 1980. It was a different time and what flew then would sure to crash hard today. I kind of miss that naivate’. Simple.

Around the beginning of December the art teacher’s project for the kids was always geared toward Christmas presents for the folks. I am not sure if they do that now with the whole “Christmas is offensive” campaign that seems to exponentially increase each year. But back in my day, parents always knew their tax dollars would yield intelligent kids and some sort of ornament each Christmas. The real bonus would be a clay thing. I say clay thing because many parents got just that; a thing.

Ball Art Room

I remember these projects would always give me delusions of grandeur and at the end of it I would be the envy of every kid as I brought home the most beautiful clay thing my parents had ever seen. Of course being a no talent ass clown grounded me within the first few minutes of art class. Clay was not the medium for me.

modelingclay-main_FullI really can’t remember how long this project lasted but I believe it was a couple of weeks. Each day we would retrieve our work in progress that was wrapped in cheese cloth from the fridge and start on destroying what we had done the previous day. There were not many guidelines for what the final product would be. If you had an artistic inkling then perhaps the folks would receive a pot for a plant or a nice plate with a hand print in it. If you were like me and struggled to form any sort of shape they got an ashtray.

pottery1It was a cool time when a kid could express his or her love through artistic expression resulting in a carcinogenic ash receptacle. There is no way that shit would fly today. Under that dump-in-a-jar plan for zero tolerance I am sure a kid who made an ashtray would be suspended and child services would be called ensuring a debate on Foxnews’ Kelley’s Court. (That woman sucks) No, kids don’t make them like they used to.

Well, the process would draw to a close soon enough. Once the shape was made it would bake. Then you painted it and glazed it and that usually sealed the deal for me. It wasn’t just shit but colored shit after that. But by that time I was just happy to be done with it. Of course the teacher had to grade it. No matter what I got the elementary equivalent of a B which was VG for “very good”.

img_1773Don’t be fooled, the picture above was not done by me. Actually this one is pretty fucking good. It is far less bumpy and minus the fingerprints. The only way to to tell the difference between my ashtray and petrified orangutan shit was the fact it had a convenient dent in the middle; perfect for putting out a cowboy killer.

On Christmas morning I would give them the ashtray with a little trepidation because even a little kid knows the difference between art and deification. But my parents always looked at it as if I gave them gold. Today I really look back at that and know how much they love me. They didn’t even smoke.

A few years ago I found my ashtray. It was in the table top Nativity set and baby Jesus was sleeping in it. I kid you not. But don’t tell him, he doesn’t need to know it’s an ashtray.

I Need A List

Of pure joy and happiness. Let’s see….

  • New shoe smell
  • Season one through five of the Simpson’s.
  • Drinking Perrier outside after a long, hard run.
  • Chinese food at midnight
  • Connecting with people even though you have never met them in person
  • Noticing Malcolm In The Middle is now on Nick@Nite.
  • Moving the fuck off this goshdarn mountain.
  • IMG_0707Priorities and where they are.
  • Being read to sleep. Still love it.
  • Playing Cat Stevens on guitar and singing in private. In private.
  • Finding out by our fire engine has a touch of Optimus Prime in it.

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  • Throwing down a business card and saying “no…you call me”. I’m kidding. Or am I? No, I am. Maybe.
  • A few of my favorite things.
  • Finally having a clean car because I am moving off this fucking mountain!
  • Reading Calvin and Hobbes at age 31.

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  • Living in a town of higher learning. (I’m a liberal guy at heart)
  • Coming to the resolution that I can not count down the days of my life but rather appreciate the one I’m on. No more working for the weekend.
  • Organic almonds. I swear they taste 10x better. Maybe it’s the organic spray?
  • Finding the perfect coffee shop with free WiFi. Fuck Starbucks. Fuck…Starbucks.
  • This dog

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  • Went running the other day and spotted two girls taking my picture with their cellphones. That’s a little creepy but come on, how can one not like that?
  • College town art in small businesses.
  • Door knockers. Just dig ’em. It’s a lost art that I really want to bring back.

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So…You’re Only Concrete

At times I need to understand life in the most simplistic form. Almost looking for the lowest common denominator that speaks to me in a way that even a child should understand. I don’t mean to say that it takes big letters and small syllables for me to get life but when it gets hard, when it get confusing and when hurts so bad you just want to crawl under the kitchen sink and close the doors, I try to break it down; sometimes in an anthropomorphic way.

I run. I am not a strong runner or fast runner. I don’t set goals or count my carbs for the ultimate distance. I run because it takes what I feel on the inside and makes it tangible. If the mood is good, the run is free and light. If there is conflict, the run is tough and drudging with the mind lost in thought. But I will never stop motion. Lately there have been a lot of “thinking” runs.

Yesterday I put on my running shoes and headed out the door to battle the trail and clear my mind. I reassess my choices made and people I choose to be around. And then out of nowhere I thought of something that made me stop. Not only did I stop but I sat. I sat, put my hand on my chin and closed my eyes.

I thought of a birdbath. You know, the ones made of concrete with a bird molded to the side to lure others to drink. Then I imagined this little swallow that was circling overhead trying to decide if the bath was safe to drink out of. Then he noticed there was a bird already there so it must be okay. He landed on the opposite side from the statue and stared across, finding comfort in it. He inched his way around until he was next to it. Since it didn’t fly off he took this as a sign of acceptance.

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The swallow rubbed against it but there was no warmth. The conversations were one sided. His offers of seeds and worms were left untouched and even the nest built beside the concrete bird was left unshared. But the swallow needed companionship so he looked past these indifference’s and stayed put.

Through the scariest nights, the stormiest days and the coldest snow winds, the swallow stayed next to the bird. He hung on to the fact that because the bird had not flown off, the emptiness was tolerable because after all, 1% is always better than zero. But soon that 1% became became less of a comfort and more of a question.

And then the reality of the situation hit the swallow. He saw that there was really nothing there at all and his bird was only an extension of the bath ledge he was sitting on. The real gravity was the fact that through the scariest nights, the stormiest days and the coldest winds he was really…just alone. So he flew off, gaining nothing and leaving nothing.

I suppose many would say that the swallow was just stupid for not seeing that the bird was concrete. Not me. I believe that time and situation control many of our actions and though they may not make sense to many, they make sense to us. There is something to be said for knowing when it’s time.

Where Did You Go? Part 10

Are you ready for another installment of “Where Did You Go”? No? Well, too  bad because I have the microphone so YOU WILL LISTEN TO EVERY WORD I HAVE TO SAY. Sorry.

newlander and feldmanIt’s the Frog brothers from the movie Lost boys! Actually it is Jamie Newlander and Corey Feldman. We all know how Corey is doing so we can skip that half-stack and move on to Jamie; the real lost boy. It’s funny to watch this movie and see those two act as “tough vampire killers” brandishing stakes and talking in ridiculously low voices.

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Besides The Lost Boys, Jamie hasn’t done too much other than the 1988 remake of The Blob, an after school special, and producing some other films here and there. He did make an appearance on the reality train wreck, Two Coreys. And even better news, IDBM has him scheduled for a Lost Boys 3. I am looking forward to that because from what I heard about Lost Boys: The Tribe, it can only get better.

2314598065_d79211639bTWWWOOO WEEEEEKKKSSS! Man, did this part of Total Recall blow my mind. And to be honest, really disturbed me. Priscilla Allen, (seen above) hit a home run in her freak out role as the malfunctioning costume that went haywire on Arnold. I suppose it’s just my weird thing with seizures.

priscilla allenThis sucks. Priscilla left us back last year after a long fight with cancer. I hate learning this while writing these but I guess that’s how we find out. As a native Sad Diego gal she really spent most of her life there as a drama student turned teacher. She had a few roles including Total Recall, The Naked Truth, Let Others Suffer and above all else a couple episodes of “Happy Days”. She mainly taught and did live performances. I am sorry that we lost you Priscilla. I am also sorry you were cast as the “fat lady” in Total Recall. But I will never think of a fortnight the same.

2290006229_d0a1ac110b“Here’s a quarter. Go downtown and have a rat gnaw that thing off your face. Good day, Madam.”

There are people who play small parts in movies that really can make scenes memorable. Mrs. Hogarth was one of them. When she was chewed out by John Candy in the movie Uncle Buck for referring to his niece as a silly-heart, you can’t help but applaud. The kid was classic in that scene too.

people2Man, Suzanna Shepherd has made a great career at being the grumpy grandma. I think her role in Good Fellas stuck with me and maybe it’s just that she reminded me so much of my own Grandmother on my Mom’s side. You know the type…(love you Grandma!) Anywho, she has been around town and has done amazing work. She is not the most obscure actress on the “where did you go” thing I have been doing but I just haven’t seen her around. Actually, I kind of thought she was chilling with Priscilla.

noahsmitEnter Taran Noah Smith: the youngest of the Taylor family in the hit 90’s comedy,  Home Improvement. Back in the day, Taran, who played the character Mark Taylor, was the cute little brother that fell pray to his mischievous older brothers. He was kind of the naive child that lived under the protection of Jill and try as he may, Tim couldn’t make him tough. But as the years progressed, Mark morphed from an innocent cute kid to a gangly goth goof. And really, in real life Taran did the same thing. My how life can imitate art.

who-was-on-home-improvement-taran-noah-smithWell, Taran’s career after Home Improvent never really florished. He married a woman 16 years his senior, sued his parents for his trust fund and started his own Vegan/Organic restruant called Playfood in California. Sadly he divorced and his home has been foreclosed and I believe Playfood went tits up. Oh yeah, I read he returned home to his parents house. Ouch. Good luck, Taran!

The_HitchhikerI think Rob Zombie said it best when he commented on the actors in the 1974 Texas Chainsaw Massacre. “Are these actors or did Tobe Hooper hire crazy people for this film? Man, these crazy people sure can act.”

I think the actor Edwin Neal has always been the one horror film actor that truly chilled me. Playing ‘The Hitchhiker”, his body movements to shifty eyes and crazy twitching movements, almost as if he was in the mid stages of muscular dystrophy, he nailed the one person you would never want to pick up on the side of the road.

edwin_nealEdwin has had a pretty long career after TCM. He did JFK with Oliver Stone and My Boyfriend’s Back. Most of his success as of late has come from his voiceovers to foriegn animation films and even Japanese pheonomenon action shows like the Power Rangers. Who knew, you know?

The cool thing about this guy is the fact he was awarded the bronze star with valor during the Vietnam War. I remember an interview he did about the filming of the Texas Chainsaw Massacre and he recalled it being as horrific as some of his war experiences. Now that’s a crazy horror movie! Oh yeah, he also resides in Texas to this day. Nice.

starThat’s Xur. He escaped in the movie The Last Starfighter. He set up a sequal and they never came through. Fuck that and fuck Xur. I am so bitter about that let down I could care less who the guy played Xur is. So that’s that. Stay tuned for part 11. I’ll get to it.

Learned Something

Did you know those plastic thingies on the end of your shoelaces are called aglets? I didn’t but now I do.

Thanks shoe dude at Sports Authority. I am now a richer person for knowing this.

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