Surprise Wolf Shirt. We Had A Good Run.

They say bad things happen in threes and I am really counting on that to be a truism. In one day I had to replace the entire rear brake system in the car, destroyed my iPhone and the epic shirt that has come to be known as the “surprise-wolf” shirt is stained beyond wear because I do laundry about as well as this guy can lull a baby to sleep with a lullaby. The brakes and phone are just a fact of life but I can’t get over the loss of this shirt. For five dollars at a Value Village it has brought me fame and fortune. Well, maybe not that but it has complimented my version of style. Let’s take a trip back to 2008.

I had just recently moved to the great white northwest and trying to blend in I figured that corporate attire might not translate so I figured what better way to show the natives that I too was down with style of the time. So I bought a wolf-scape shirt and was eager to grow a beard to complete the transition from suit to mountain man. (minus the Cubs hat)

The joke was kind of on me though because most people in rural North Idaho freaking hate wolves. I mean they will shoot them and leave them on the side of the road. Apparently these majestic (once endangered) creatures like to rove in packs and destroy all in sight. And they just do it for fun too. It’s not uncommon to see a bumper sticker stating their approval of the “kill all wolves bill” that was actually voted on in the state congress.

So it is completely my modus operandi to rock this shirt to a bar where 9 out of 10 people believe that by wearing this wolf shirt I am not only a bleeding heart liberal but also with the Taliban. I felt like I showed up to a breast cancer awareness rally sporting a shirt that says “I’m more of a butt and leg guy”. So the shirt only had a few wears until I moved down from the mountain and to a more progressive city where it was looked at as more of a hipster shirt than my real intension of wanting to be…tough?

There was a particular party that a little hidden gem was found in this infamous shirt. While mingling with the masses as I proudly sported my wolf shirt a girl stopped  and paid a compliment to my “beautiful four wolves on the tummy”. Four wolves?? From what I had known there where just three but before I jumped to conclusions and poured my beer on her head for confusing math with feet I went to the restroom to take a closer look. And I found a…

FUCKIN’ SURPRISE WOLF…IN A TREE!!! This blew my mind. There were so many thoughts running through my mind like why did I never notice this before? How many people have I met while wearing this and told them how proud I was of my three wolves (Alex, Joan and Dale)only to look like quite the fool to leave out the surprize wolf that has since been named Paul? Why did the artist put this wolf up in a tree? Does he/she just like to draw wolf heads? So many questions.

Well, I came out of the bathroom enlightened and proceeded to show off the surprise wolf to anyone who would listen. It may have been similar to a two-year old carrying around his potty to a dinner party gathering showing what he did. Regardless, that night changed the scope of that shirt and I walked a little taller knowing I had a shirt with a wolf in a tree. Or standing behind a tree trunk. No matter.

Today I look at the stained shirt and after writing this odd obituary I am not yet ready to let it go. No, I think there is a time and a place where I can get away with this shirt that has survived my time in Idaho and reminds me all the time of the most beautiful people who are still in my life. Strange how such silly things bring back the best memories. So when I wear this and people comment on its less-than-white appearance I will ask them who the press secretary is. FACE!

But I will admit there was a grown man who cried in his shirt when he thought he ruined it.

The Worst Renaissance Fair Ever

Okay, I can’t actually claim that this is the worst Renaissance Fair ever, but I am hard pressed to believe there is one as bad as this without  involving a hosting elementary school for the deaf and blind. This was no more medieval than the post-eighties transformation of the princess/girlfriends of Bill and Ted. (Wild Stallions!) No, this was a huge suck. Excalibur dinner theatre would be sad for this. Enter the Idaho’s Renaissance Fair of Shit.

What you see above is a real Renaissance Fair in all of it’s glory. There should be knights, mead, giant turkey legs, whore-ish wenches and horse poop! I should enter the gates a normal guy and leave a loser and proud owner of a sword. There should be everyday people who have grown a perfect Spinal Tap mullet just for this occasion and sing ballads of while juggling. Damn it, this is the time when we can all reference Monty Python’s Quest for the Holy Grail for the first time since high school! But not in Idaho.

I really don’t know what I was expecting. Sure I live in a small college town where the elevation out numbers the population but come on. If you are going to fuck around and say there is a Renaissance Fair in town, don’t forget the Renaissance. For awhile I thought that I was at the wrong park and was pretty giddy to think not only is there a Renaissance fair in town but there is a hippy art fair too!

Then I saw the Ye Ol’ Hot Dog Stand supporting the local Church of Later Day Saints. That is when I knew that there was not the Renaissance Fair that I have grown to love but a dirty, hippy craft fair in disguise with castle hot dog stands and a few nods to the days of knights and dragons.

Nods like custom-made shoes which is a stretch, but back then, they did have shoe smiths. The guy selling them had huge dread-locks and I over heard a woman asking him a question. Perhaps it was my untimely eavesdropping but when she asked him how he cleans them he told her with herbal dread soap. She said, “not your hair, the shoes”. For some reason that caught me so off guard I just couldn’t contain myself.

Also, right after I took this picture I met eyes with an old dude who nodded in approval. He thought I was taking pictures of these girls’ asses.

I am all about going green and not wasting what can be reused but I thought it was a little ridiculous to have guards in front of the three separate containers, ensuring no one throws a paper cup in the aluminum bin. I had just bought apple cider and was too intimidated to throw out my gum in fear I would have a high school girl scream at me for a wrong toss. It really didn’t matter anyway. Oh and the apple cider? It was hot apple juice. Fuck! Ass!

There were a few people who came “dressed to impressed” but like me, they were fooled by the title. It seemed like they were invited to a costume party by some dicks and when they showed up, it was just a normal party.

Damn, this is kind of a fucked up picture, eh? For the life of me I can’t remember how or why I took it. To the unassuming eye, it appears that the kid is trying to stab a dismounted child cyclist. You know what? Let’s keep it at that.

And this is what where I leave you. A great symbol of the Renaissance Fair I experienced this weekend. There are no words. Wait, yeah there is. Total shit. Hmmm, guess that’s two.

Dirt Napping

Man, what a month it has been! Can you believe in just a couple of weeks we have seen not one but four celebrities pass away? I know a couple were circling the drain but the other two, wow, out of nowhere. Well, let’s give them a shout out.

42-3870-smEd McMahon lived the life, didn’t he? He always struck me as a guy who liked his drinks a particular way as well as his women. I could be wrong but neckerchiefs and gold bracelets never lie. At 86 one would say that’s a good long run but I did feel a little bad about his homes going into foreclosure right before he died. I think Donald Trump bailed him out but still, that sucks something fierce at that age with the legacy he had. I hope he is up in heaven having a bullshot with Phil Hartman.

farrah-fawcettI think we all knew Farrah’s time was soon but still, an icon like this going down is still hard to swallow.( That sounded dirty and I am sorry.) Even as a young kid I remember looking at this exact poster in my Uncle Brett’s room and thinking, “I don’t know what is happening but I like it.” She blazed the trail by empowering women to embrace their beauty and use it rather than feel ashamed and hide it. At least that’s how I perceived her intentions. Her passing really brings to light the fact that cancer is terrifying and no matter who you are or what status you hold, it can still get you even after years of battle.

caratulas_MICHAEL_JACKSON-THRILLER_Ok, I did not see this one coming. Not at all. I know he lived a life of mystery and bizarre behavior to include a total face transplant, having a monkey, living in Neverland, napping with kids and naming his kid Blanket but I never imagined him passing so young. I remember when Thriller came out and that video terrified me as a kid. Those monsters were far more scary and disturbing than any rated R movie at the time. I can still close my eyes and think of Vincent Price’s part in the song and walking at a fast pace to my parents room for a safe night of slumber in their bed.

I will be honest, the man was a genius. He seemed to defy gravity when dancing and his albums were nothing less than perfection. I have yet to meet a person that didn’t like something he did. I bet even the Taliban has a little love in their hearts for Moon Walker.

m171161359As Scooby Doo would say, “Rut the Ruck?” Billy Mays died? Are you serious? I have always had a fascination with the man and it wasn’t for his ability to sell you shit you would not normally buy on TV but rather his high decibel voice. The man had no indoor voice and I wrote about that almost two years ago. You can find that here. Well Billy, I am sorry you were silenced so early. Your voice will forever be in my head  saying, “Billy Mays here!”.

You know what else died? My favorite bar in Idaho. It is true, my home away from home is gone forever. I know that including a bar in a blog about dead people is a little insensitive but I really feel like I lost a lot of friends.

When I moved to Idaho I knew no one. I mean really no one at all. I was living out of a hotel until I could find a place to live and my only real means of social interaction was the gym and the local pub next door called Paddy’s 2. That very day I first stepped in there I was taken under-wing by the bartender, met a nice lady would allowed me to to stay in her basement until I found myself a permanent pad and went on to forge many friendships that I still have today. It is sad when such an establishment goes under and you have only memories. And with a bar they are usually foggy ones.

IMG_0693Happy trails, Dougie. Until we meet again.

On a happier note, you are looking at, er, reading at(?) the proud member of probably the last 100% VHS rental store in America. Yup, it just proves that Idaho is still hanging in the 80’s. Of course I rented Texas Chainsaw Massacre and The ‘Burbs because that is how they were intended to be seen. Oh VCR don’t fail me now, we have work to do.

IMG_0692Oh, and somehow I caught pink eye. Jokes on me.

Cleaning Out The Cellphone Camera

I guess it is that time again. Time to clean out the pictures from the ol’ iPhone and share a little bit of those “no shit, there I was” stories with you. This is always good for a stretch when I am in a material slump.

This past Christmas I was flying to New York for a little vacation and very relieved to be leaving 7 feet of snow. Really, there was 7 feet.  Anyway, during a layover in Minneapolis I was witness to a random caroler attack. It was a little awkward to stand there while everyone in the terminal ignored their performance. It went like this…

IMG_0417“Tis the season to be jolly…”

IMG_0418 *cough cough*

IMG_0417“Falla la la la la la la laaa”

IMG_0419Last boarding call for Delta flight 663…

All of my Friends know that when it comes to moving, I am the one who will always lend a hand. The only thing I ask for is beer and Led Zeppelin 3 on the stereo. But I will admit, sometimes the beer can complicate things.

IMG_0578“This couch will totally fit down these stairs. Just let me finish this last sip of wonderful PBR.”

IMG_0576“You’re good, you’re good, you’re good…”

IMG_0577“Oh dude, I am so, so sorry. Let’s have another beer and drag the fridge down here.”

IMG_0664Well, they almost got me back for that little accident by packing all the knives in a box. Almost got me.

IMG_0623Cracker please!

Image023This is actually from my work phone. Didn’t notice it had a flash until I was trying to learn the features.

You know you are in a cool bar when it is decorated with old Hasbro Star Wars’ toys. I still want an AT-AT.

Image110IMG_0663

This proves that I am still rocking the Wolf shirt. Actually, I don’t even notice it as a satirical jest towards the Idahoians. Maybe I am one now. uhhhhh….

So that was a pretty pathetic post but I am at work so it’s the best I can do. I will be reading you blogs today so sweep the floors, put stuff under the bed and fire up the tea kettle. You’re having company.

Oh Wow

The is something to be said for being stupid. I think in Northern Idaho/Eastern Washington it runs rampant. Everywhere I turn I see or hear something that hurts my ass. My ass hurts! Living most of my life in the southeast I have had my fair share of crazy rebel rhetoric and it wasn’t until I moved here did I actually meet people who believe the South shall rise again. They do know they are a football toss away from Canada, don’t they?

Anyway, let me show you another fine example of creativity gone the way of the Dodo.

IMG_0652No fucking way! How on earth did these people do this? I mean, in order to open a bar there are a few people that need to be involved like the bank, the state, contractors, staff, restaurant supply sales, ect. And with all those involved you mean to tell me there wasn’t one who spoke up and said, “ejaculation is in the name of your bar”.

IMG_0653Even Budweiser was none the wiser. I hope the sign printing shop double checked. Well, I don’t think they did because they are missing an “N”.

You see what I mean? I don’t mean to be dick but come on, would things like this fly where you are? I didn’t think so.

IMG_0651At least I can buy maggots if I need some.

I’ve been working on some other posts. Much less bitchy.

A Walk

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!

Thanks For Thanksgiving

Things might get a little crazy between now and Thanksgiving so just in case I don’t get a chance to post then, I will post this now. This is what I am thankful for.

  • The state of Idaho. Because not many are thankful for it. It’s a handsome state when looked at from a map at least.
  • The movie The ‘Burbs. “I let go of the goddamn brownies…”
  • Finally being able (at 30) to grow a full beard.
  • img_0196Being comfortable with myself even though I look like a melvin. (Picture shown above.)
  • The men and women in uniform that keep this country safe and free.
  • Micro Brews with cool labels.
  • Empire Strikes Back. My first memory of the movies and we went the Thanksgiving weekend of 1982.
  • The Creepshow. That was the trailer before The Empire Strikes Back and to this day, I still am “creeped” out by that movie. God bless it.
  • REI
  • My place in the mountains. Especially my work desk view.
  • back-yardOh hell, I’ll just say it. Cheese.
  • The New York Times. It’s a Sunday must.
  • Kids with odd first names like “Lake” or “Apple” or “Valley”. It makes me feel better about my initials “WEW”.  Woooooo!
  • Home Improvement 1991-1994
  • XM/Sirus radio. The drive from GA to ID would have sucked real bad without that.
  • My job
  • X-Entertainment. No other place can one go to see their childhood archived.
  • My rock star shoes. They are on their last legs. So to speak.
  • img_0283Triscuits. Both reduced fat and Olive oil and Rosemary.
  • Maybe the one guy who can regain international trust, racial healing, national pride and all that is great with America will be the President. (don’t Fuck Up!)
  • The F-14 Tomcat. Even though it is retired.
  • Everyone on my blog role. I love sharing memories with them and I love how they share them with me. I imagine that we are all camping and exchanging tales of bike accidents and office blunders as we chortle our way to slumber. I have a very special place in my heart for each and every one on the Veggiemacabre blogroll.
  • All my ex girlfriends. I know that sounds odd but it is true. Each person has left an indelible print on who I am today. Even though most want me dead, they made me better. And for that I am thankful.
  • Little kids high on Juicy-Juice and cookies. (2:07…..it’s worth the wait. “ooooo!”) The little guy is breaking a sweat!
  • La Sportiva running shoes
  • My gift of gab
  • My parents. As the late, great actor John Candy’s character, Dell in Planes Trains and Automobiles said, “Love. That’s not a big enough word.”
  • Being in better shape at 30 than I was at 21. Or even 18. That is important to me.
  • Being able to put down the bottle and walk away. Always had a tough time with that. Especially last year.
  • Fitness Macabre is still in the works and the sponsors are letting me run with in after the 1st of the year. I don’t know if I am thankful for that yet but I’ll throw it up here.
  • The freedom to move around. Last year I thought 92 degrees was a cooler day and today I think 42 degrees is a warmer day. I love experiencing that broad shift of environments.
  • The Food Network. Especially Good Eats and 30 Minute Meals.
  • My close friends. The ones who put up with my snoring, know that when we eat out I may order in a foreign accent, will pontificate at random and tell long stories and often lose the point half way through. Thanks for taking it all in stride.
  • That my friend found the love of his life and married her. I wish I could have been there but this year I needed some serious “head’ time. I will always regret that.
  • Great White Sharks are making a comeback from being endangered.
  • And above all else, good health

So that is my 2008 list of thanks. I wish everyone a safe and happy Thanksgiving. Try to reflect and let the people who mean the most know how important they are to you. You never know when you may get another chance. Think of those less fortunate and if you can, share. Try to keep an open mind and forgive those who you don’t get along with. At least for Thanksgiving. Letting go and loving is so much easier than holding on and hating.

So, thanks.

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