:Chloroform in Print
I want to go to the top of a really tall building, take a leak, finish, zip up, and then have my pee hit the ground. I want my entire pee to be airborne. Man I love beer.
Sunday, August 29, 2004
Engage not in rodomontade.

Tuesday, August 24, 2004
The Ozette Raccoon Incident, pt. 2
After what seemed like forever, the roar of surf announced that we were getting close to the beach. As we rounded a final corner, the bushes gave way to a clearing that held a battered, 3-sided storm shelter. Huddled inside was Theo, futilely trying to smoke a wet cigarette and warm himself over the pitiful output of a candle lantern. He was miserable, freezing cold, and forlorn, and I will never forget the way his face lit up when he saw his friends suddenly emerge from the storm bearing gifts of food, booze, and dope. (Later, of course, this would devolve into bitterness and paranoia.)

We were almost as glad to see Theo as he was us, and amazed once again by his ingenuity. Despite the bedraggled condition of its resident, the shelter was as cozy as you could like considering the circumstances. Using a complex system of tensioning ropes, he had suspended a tarp just below the ceiling, which caught rain leaking through the log roof and funneled it to the back of the shelter where it drained to the outside. Another tarp lined the floor, and a neat sleeping area was set up in the corner.

After shedding packs and wet clothes, we sat to admire Theo's handiwork and smoke a bowl, then got to work completing renovations. Within an hour we had engineered a warm, dry palace of sloth. The interior was heavily shadowed, lit only by the fitful glow of candle lanterns swinging from ceiling ropes, hazy with pot smoke and humidity. The overall effect was inviting, intoxicating, and sinister - a backwoods opium den, and as we were about to discover, a gilded prison.

Ravenous from the hike, we dug into our provisions for the week. With great fanfare, Theo produced a large black plastic garbage sack and opened it in the center of the room. Inside were exactly 50 packs of genuine Carl Buddig lunch "meat," a kaleidoscopic array of smoked chopped sliced pressed by-products in every conceivable flavor, including several that never should have been conceived. We were so hungry that it actually seemed like a treat, especially when paired with sourdough rolls and a brick of aged white cheddar.

Though we didn't realize it at the time, this unholy, bowel-blocking triumvirate was to be our main source of sustenance for the week, and a clear contributor to the degenerate behavior to follow.

Truthfully, the blame for most of what happened can be lain squarely at the feet of Carl Buddig. Carl Buddig, with his hate for humanity and his shiny cellophane packages of greasy, bowel-destroying offal. There was so much of the stuff that we began playing games with it. Vasky took to folding the entire contents of a package in thirds, compressing it with dirty hands, and cramming it into his mouth. "Meat Bar!" he sprayed through half-chewed mouthfuls of Buddig, giggling madly, launching a fine mist of greasy saliva into the already foul atmosphere. Attempts to curtail this assualt on decency were met with agressive indifference.

Inevitably, single slices were soon being thrown at each other, with a minor uproar caused whenever an errant throw landed on somebody's pillow. The situation was degenerating rapidly.

Horribly, this was just the tip of the iceberg compared to what Carl Buddig had planned for us.

to be continued

The Ozette Raccoon Incident, pt. 1
Seeing as how the professed impetus behind starting this blog was to tell real-life stories of the PNW and Inland Empire, maybe I should start.

The players:
Theo (pronounced 'Tayo'), crazed mechanical genius and part-time bard
The Vasky, aka ''you crazy Polack'; intestinal emissions are a registered level 5 WMD
Justin, a supremely annoying roommate
KillJoy, his wet blanket of a girlfriend (and future wife)
Cass, Theo's sister, in a brief cameo
50 packs of Carl Buddig lunch meat
an unidentified number of delinquent raccoons
and yours truly, Jake Brake.

The setting:
Lake Ozette area on the Washington coast (the real coast, not Puget Sound), primarily confined to a claustrophobia-inducing storm shelter.

The time:
Spring break, 1993.

You can't say we had no warning; anyone with a lick of sense could tell that the lashing rainfall and violent, gusty winds were an omen of Trouble to come. By the time we had all struggled into our backpacks and started down the trail leading out to the coast, we were already sodden. But never mind. This was Vacation, and if you're too much of a puss to handle camping in the rain, this is just not your state. So off we went: Vasky, Justin, KillJoy, and myself – Theo and Cass having gone in the evening before to set up camp.

Further omens assaulted us as we tramped through the brush on a wooden boardwalk made treacherously slippery with rain and a thin coat of algae. It kept you from having to slog through the mud, but only in exchange for at least one painful and embarassing wipe-out. (The joy of falling on a slick wooden boardwalk while wearing a 40-pound backpack – especially the part that begins with an amateur dance number, segues neatly into a bone-jarring, flesh-scraping impact with the boardwalk surface, and concludes with a graceless, headfirst tumble into a salal thicket – is something that should be experienced by everyone.)

The first omen came courtesy of a panicky yuppie couple and their baby - all predictably clad in pristine North Face outerwear - who were hauling ass to the parking lot as fast as they dared. They stopped us and breathlessly warned "There's a big cougar back there!" When pressed for details, they admitted that they hadn't actually seen anything, but they heard ominous growling sounds from the bushes, and if we knew what was good for us we'd turn around and follow them back to safety. Recognizing them as full-of-shit out-of-staters (redundant, I know), we just shrugged and moved on.

A few minutes later, we ran into Cass, who was also on her way out as she had developed a case of the flu. She of course hadn't heard or seen anything resembling a bloodthirsty camper-menacing maneater, despite being within shouting distance of the yuppiecouple, but she was miserable and we were sad to see her go.

to be continued

Wednesday, August 18, 2004
Taglines I have known and loved
Since the tagline for this blog gets changed whenever we stumble across a cool new saying, and many of these are too good to just fade into internet o'blivion, I have decided to archive our past ones here. The ones I've forgotten will come back to haunt me, I'm sure, so when my badly beaten body is dragged out of a filthy train station bathroom someday it's a good bet that "On Vacation from God" is the perp.


Tuesday, August 10, 2004
Biting the hand that feeds me
A quick chronicle of a technical support issue I recently had with Blogger. My original question dealt with why my profile picture suddenly disappeared from the blog after I had swapped it for a newer version. Here is their reply to my question:

You may want to try republishing your site to see if this will resolve
your problem.

and my response:

Oh, for Christ's sake. That was the single lamest tech "support" reply
I have ever gotten. Considering the level of detail I provided in my
message, it should have been at least marginally obvious that I had
indeed attempted to republish the blog. On multiple occasions. It
seemed so obvious that I *thought* it didn't bear mentioning.

Thanks for nothing. If you have something constructive to tell me that
might resolve the situation, I am all ears.

Amazingly enough, I got a constructive answer in return. Kids, take note: Rudeness Pays Off.

Monday, August 09, 2004
There is no such thing as jaywalking in Denver. One of my first days there, I stopped on a corner and waited for the walk signal to turn, while a number of people ignored the light and crossed the street. There was a cop in traffic at the corner, who paid little attention.

The light changed and I started to cross the street. As he rolled by, the cop gave me a look like "what the fuck is your problem?"

This was a refreshing change from our paternalistic, clenched-butt-cheek laws on the west side of the Cascades. People in Denver are actually trusted to use their judgement as to whether or not it's safe to cross the street? What's next? People allowed to drive a car without a seatbelt?

Friday, August 06, 2004
Normally I dislike promotional web sites for movies, but I was drawn to visit the site for Napoleon Dynamite by strange forces I don't completely comprehend. Or didn't - until I heard the theme song, which sounds like the soundtrack to a game show where the grand prize is some Valium. It's groovy and it repeats itself effortlessly and it's addictive as hell. You have been warned.

Addendum: I saw the movie last night, and heard some of the idiotic "controversy" about it being a 'racist' film. Anyone who thinks this film is racist is defective and should be removed from the breeding pool immediately. Plus, isn't assuming that anything involving the state of Idaho and any kind of ethnic content that doesn't conform neatly to PC dogma just another form of bigotry?

As for the movie itself, it's all about the dance number.

Thursday, August 05, 2004
Drunk in Denver
Two words: Liquan Dong.

The best thing I have seen so far was a drunken, belligerent man striding down California St. at about noon, with a paper-bagged 40 in each hand, and shouting at nobody in particular. (Unless the bus counts.) I actually heard him long before I saw him. His rant went something like this:
I go to church! I pay my tithe!
I'm better than you!

That was fucking awesome.


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I like brown liquor, strong beer, barbeque, and brunettes. Also, you suck.

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