Wednesday, July 31, 2002

Easy Money

How could I possibly top a day at the Warped Tour? Well, I couldn’t really, but on Monday I did make some mad cash for doing improv. Charlie, Pat, Ben, Gabe, and I all went to do a performance in St. James (which is west of Mankato) for some business meeting. It was quite a hike for us as it took about two hours to get there from Rochester. When we got there we noticed that the crowd was mostly over 50 and it was a pretty small crowd. This show would be a little different than our normal shows for two reasons, because the crowd was so old and because there was only five of us instead of nine. We thought we’d be able to pull it off fine (and we did).

Before the show, they gave us the $500 they promised in cash and fed us a free pork chop supper. Not bad. They then had a short business meeting and we were up. We pulled off a great show, in my mind, even though the crowd didn’t participate very much. I was the host of the show along with playing in it. I had a hard time getting suggestions from the audience and only a few people actually would give suggestions so I rarely had more than a suggestion or two to work with for inspiration for our games. The guys still managed to pull it all of very, very well. Some of our jokes did go way over the heads of the people in the audience, but for the most part I think they enjoyed it. We only had to put on a 45 minute show instead of our regular 2 hours so we were all high energy the whole time through. I had a fun time.

The ride back seemed to take forever to me, but probably only because I was still pretty tired from Warped Tour the day before. I finally got home at like about 2 am so I was pretty sleepy. I didn’t even make it to my room, I just crashed on the couch as soon as I walked in the door and set my palm pilot’s alarm to get me up. $100 for a 45 minute show sure made me sleep easy that night.

Tuesday, July 30, 2002

Warped Tour 2002

Warped Tour, the most fun you can have in one day. I think that this year’s Warped Tour was the most fun I’ve had in quite a while. Pictures should be up in a week or so (if the camera didn’t get wrecked—I’ll explain later).

Two of my friends, Lisa and Kim, came with me to the show on Sunday. We left at about 9:00 am so we could get up there in time for the doors to open so we could see some of the first bands. We got there right before 11:00 am so we figured we’d be some of the first ones in. In actuality, we didn’t get into Harriet Island until 12:15 because there are only five gates for people to go through so they were trying to get thousands of people through five lines. Because of that, I had to miss two bands I really wanted to see—Thursday and Staring Back. As soon as we got in, we checked out who was playing when and devised a plan of attack. For the most part Lisa, Kim, and I stayed together and watched the same bands, but a few times we split up to see different bands.

We started by seeing Something Corporate. I am not the biggest fan of their single, “If You See Jordan” but I actually really enjoyed their set and will probably pick up their cd sometime. They had quite a crowd for being early in the day. After they were done some band I didn’t care to see was playing so we checked out all the merch tents and managed to pick up some cds. I got the Punk goes Pop and Punk goes Metal discs. I love both of them. Punk bands covering pop songs and hair metal—how can it get any better? I also decided I’d pick up an MXPX shirt later on in the day so I didn’t have to carry it, but I didn’t get to get it for reasons you will find out in a minute.

After we looked at all the merch we went back to the main stages to catch Trust Company. I absolutely love their cd and I’ve been listening to it all week, but I was disappointed by their set. Their sound just didn’t translate that well on stage. The vocals were great but the rest of the sound seemed off. They did play a new song that wasn’t on their album. This song was actually their best sounding song, in my opinion, and it should have been put on their cd. I’ll just have to search the internet for it, I guess.

Next band we saw were Alkaline Trio. I’ve listened to some of their music but it’s always seemed pretty basic to me and I felt the same way about their set. It just seemed like an average set by an average, every-day punk band. I enjoyed it but it wasn’t special.

The next band we were all stoked to see—Reel Big Fish. How can I describe these guys live? Spectacular, maybe, or just freakin’ awesome. They had such a huge crowd and everyone singing along that you couldn’t help but get down, do a little boogieing, and jump around to them. I really have to get their new cd after listening to some of the new songs they played. Any time you can see these guys, do it.

After Reel Big Fish, we took a water break so we could get back in time for MXPX. We got back in time to grab a spot way up in the front middle of the crowd for MXPX and I’m so glad we did. I absolutely love these guys (even if they seem to have sold out on their last couple of records) and they were one of the main bands I was looking forward to seeing because, amazingly enough, I had never seen them before. I missed them last year and couldn’t go to their show when they were last in the cities. They mostly played classic songs such as “Chick Magnet” and “Punk Rawk Show” along with a couple of more recent songs. The crowd knew every word to every song and were singing along the entire time. MXPX has some very dedicated fans (me being one of them). So far they were the highlight.

After MXPX, the girls went off to get some food or something so I went over and watched Anti-Flag. They’ve got some catchy music, but their attitude of f*ck everything just didn’t sit well with me. I enjoyed their music and got into it, but after every song they’d have to go on about how something was wrong with our world and that we should all scream “f*ck [whatever they were talking about] and sing along.” I think they are one of the few bands I’ve seen that uses the f-word so gratuitously. If it wasn’t for that, I would have loved every minute of their set.

Next band up was Lagwagon. I’ve always liked these guys and seeing a bunch of old punk rockers on stage was a lot of fun. These guys are honestly the oldest punks on the tour, I think. It didn’t change the fact that they put on a solid show, even though their crowd was smaller than most other main stage bands. While watching them, I ran into a mother with her two year old son. He was on her shoulders nodding along to the music, wearing some sweet yellow sunglasses and he had his hair spiked up in a small Mohawk and dyed blue. It was so cute so I got my picture taken with him. After Lagwagon finished up, I met back up with the girls for New Found Glory.

This is the third time I’d seen New Found Glory, and I have to say for as much as I love their cds, they just don’t translate it 100% in concert. Even though they had a huge following (mostly of all the 12 year old girls there) I didn’t think they were as good as many of the other bands there. They did play a nice mix of old, new, and cover songs. I just don’t know why they don’t come across very well to me in concert. After they finished their set, I split up from the girls again.
They stayed to watch Flogging Molly, who they said were spectacular. I’ll take their word for it. I was too busy catching some other bands I really wanted to see.

First, I checked out Finch’s set. Their cd is one of my favorites of the last year but in their set the singer unfortunately did way too much screaming and not enough singing. He has such a great voice that I hated to hear him constantly screaming, even screaming parts of songs that he would sing on the cd. Besides the over-use of screaming, I loved their set. They also had a guest vocalist come out for their last song, “What it is to Burn” but I don’t know who it was or what band he was from.

After Finch I wanted to catch Quarashi, but I had some time to kill so I watched Wanted Dead. They only had about 45 people watching them, and I could tell they were disappointed by the way they played. They just didn’t seem to care and the lead singer went through a six-pack of Busch Light while he was on stage. Even though, they still seemed to have a good straight up punk sound that I enjoyed. I might just pick up their disc if I find it.

As Wanted Dead was finishing their set it started to sprinkle a little and it looked like it might rain some more so a lot of people started heading for tents. I went over to watch Quarashi and I am so thankful that I did. They were, by far, the most energetic and fun band to watch the entire day. Their crowd was huge for being on a small stage and while they were playing, it wasn’t a mosh-pit they had going, it was a dance pit. Everyone was free-style dancing and grooving to their music. It was like a dance party in the rain and mud. By the time they ended their set, it was a full downpour out and everyone was soaked. They were the last ones to play on the smaller stages as they closed all the small stages. The only ones left open were the main two stages and a small stage outside in the rain.

On the stage that was in the rain, the Mighty Mighty Bosstones were playing an encore set. They had played earlier and I caught about 5 minutes of their set, only long enough to hear they were going to play over at this stage. There were about 30 people watching and the band was playing in the rain in their suits. I was standing in water halfway up to my knees and the rain kept pouring down. They were so great, playing on for us in the rain and having such a great time doing it. After they were done, I went and talked with the lead singer and he is such a nice guy. These guys are such a classy band and they really care about their fans. I highly recommend the Bosstones to anyone.

After the Bosstones, I headed back to the main stages hoping to catch Good Charlotte, NOFX, and Bad Religion, and meet back up with the girls. Unfortunately, it started lightning so they had to cancel the rest of the show. Well, we decided to play in the rain and mud for a while and then finally headed home.

A great day, and an event I will keep coming to every year, as will Lisa and Kim after going this year for their first time. I had so much fun that I can’t describe it anymore. Punk rock rules, ‘nuff said.

Friday, July 26, 2002

Red, White, and Blue in the Face

Well, I think that the Hey Days thought has been up long enough so here I am trying to come up with something new. I haven’t written anything for a few days so you’d think I’d have tons to talk about but for some reason I am at a loss right now. The only thing that really sticks out is the Hey Days parade that I was at on Sunday (yes, I realize that this is another thought about Hey Days, but bear with me). My brother, Randy, and a bunch of my other friends were in the parade so I thought I’d go watch. It was a blistering, near 100 degree day. Scorching, baby.

The parade started off with a fly-over by four WWII fighter planes. It was pretty neat to see them flying right over our heads. It made me wonder how it must have looked to have hundreds of those planes flying overhead during WWII. If not for the massive loss of life, I think air battles would have been spectacular to watch. I’ve always been fascinated by planes and I often imagined myself as a fighter pilot as a kid. After the fly-over the parade started. As every parade does, this one started with a police car and all of the flag bearers. It then occurred to me that there would probably be an inordinate amount of flags in this parade because it is the hip thing to do (trust me, it’s not because of patriotism, even though that’s what everyone wants you to think). I told my brother, Ryan, that we should see how many flags there are in the parade. We also set up some rules. The only flags we could count would be the ones that would wave in the wind, that means they had to be made of cloth or something like that and be free-standing. We couldn’t count painted on flags, posters of flags, or flag-colored objects—just flags that could wave in the wind. We both put down guesses as to how many we thought would be in the parade. He said like 50 and I guessed about 45. How could we possibly be any more wrong? There were actually 181 by the time the parade ended. Do you know how many that is? I think there was probably only like 10 or 15 floats in the entire parade that didn’t put a big, gratuitous flag on their vehicles. Again, my distaste for people using flags to be trendy resurfaced. I don’t know, I’m just sick of flags everywhere. If I didn’t see a flag again for the next 10 years, I’d probably be a happy person. Call me a communist, socialist, anti-patriot, terrorist, whatever, but I’m just not going to buy into the whole red, white, and blue for trend’s sake. If you’re one of those people putting up flags because everyone else is, you’re doing it for the wrong reason. Our national symbol should not be a trend or fashion. That’s just my $0.02

On another note, I went to Treasure Island, our local casino, last night and came back tripling my money. I started with a meager $12 and came out with a slightly less meager $36. I was very happy. As you can tell, I’m easily amused by little gains such as this. Basically, it just means that I have $24 that I didn’t before to blow on warped tour memorabilia and stuff on Sunday. Oh, I can’t wait!!! It’s going to be so good. I’m going to go salivate over the band list now for a bit. Later.

Monday, July 22, 2002

Oh, The Humanity!

This weekend was Hayfield’s Hey Days. After being there for two days, I have now realized how the world’s morals and the people in it have more resembled trash than anything else. This weekend has succeeded in making me feel more sad and depressed than I have in a long time. Here is why.

To start, Friday after our improve performance I headed down to the street dance at Hey Days. I stop by an old high school friend’s place first to see what was up. They were all drinking when I got there, because that’s obviously the only thing to ever do in Hayfield or the surrounding area. No real big deal, this really doesn’t bother me. I was talking to one of my friends there and asked him how his job and summer were going. He told me it was great because he had all of these hot chicks that he was “banging” all the time. Hmm…that’s great, I guess. We all then went to the street dance. I immediately felt out of place because I was sober—probably the only one there. People of all ages were just sloshed left and right. Parents drinking with their underage (I’m talking around 16 years old here, not like 19 or 20) children and buying them their drinks or giving them armbands. I had beer spilled on me a total of five times while I was there (and I was only there for about an hour and a half). All of the people I knew there I couldn’t really have conversations with because they were all drunk, stoned, or on other drugs. Thank the Lord that I found Bryan and Jenny, two high school friends, to talk to for a little while. That managed to make me feel a little better. That and knowing that Jenny had gotten to be the Hey Days princess. She really deserved it and I couldn’t think of a better person to get it. As I was about ready to finally leave because I was sick of all the drunks and the skankily dressed girls, I finally found Sheryl. We left and went back to ride her new four-wheeler for a while. That was more fun than pretty much the rest of the night.

Day two of Hey Days. I go up at about 1:00 or 1:30 in the afternoon to the mud bogs with my little bro Ryan. We go every year, it’s kind of a tradition. I didn’t really see anyone that I knew there so Ryan and I grabbed a spot on the bleachers. Bryan came a little while later and sat with us. As we were there, I couldn’t help but notice how almost everyone there was just trash. Honestly, 75% of the people there were human garbage. It didn’t matter what age or size the women there were, they all dressed like $2.00 or less, clearance rack special prostitutes. It made me sick. Any woman there that dressed even half-way conservative, I wanted to shake their hand. The men there were no better. Half of them were tattooed with devils, naked women, and stupid sayings. They all cursed like sailors, smoked endlessly, and took down buckets of beer like it was the only thing they’ve had to drink in the last month. Families didn’t fare much better. I felt sorry for most of the kids there with their parents because they were hardly treated like children should be. You could easily see that in most of the families there was a lack of love.

Particularly, one boy in front of us was not allowed to do anything. When he wanted a drink of water his father just told him to wait until later. You see, the boy was too small to open the water bottle and someone had to do it for him and his dad just didn’t want to take the time to grab it and open it. Constantly the boy was told to also be quiet and sit down. The parents made him seem like more of a nuisance than a son. I felt horrible that this kid was treated like that.

There were other great examples of shining family morals at the mud bogs. A man about 25 or so, drinking away and cursing like nuts was sitting a few rows ahead of us. I believe it was his wife or girlfriend, I couldn’t tell by the way they talked, came up to him with a child in a stroller. She saw someone she didn’t want by her boyfriend/husband and started screaming using many explicatives and descriptions not meant for young ears (or mine, for that matter, there’s no need for it) even while there were many young kids around including my brother Ryan. Even though Ryan has been exposed to it and knows it is wrong to act like that, they are still setting horrible examples for the young around them.

I went to the street dance again on Saturday and it was the same as the night before—all drunk and the women were dressed like hookers. Don’t the girls of my generation (and younger) have any respect for themselves? I didn’t stay long. I don’t like being around crowds of drunk people. Call me no fun, anti-social, a loser, whatever you want, but it doesn’t change the fact that I can’t enjoy myself around people that can’t hold relevant and coherent conversations. As I was leaving I ran into two of my girl friends. We talked for a bit and as we were talking a couple of guys walked by. One of them grabbed one of the girl’s behinds and kept walking. That seemed on par for the trash that came out to Hayfield this weekend. What I wasn’t prepared for was my friend’s reaction. “Ooh, he grabbed my ass! He’s so hot,” were her words. What? I thought girls found that immature and didn’t like it. I guess I must be wrong and I should start grabbing asses and disrespecting women if I ever hope to find a girlfriend. Good God, I was done for the night so I just left and went home.

The entire ride home I cried. There were two damp streaks down my cheeks when I got home. It just seemed that everything that seems right in this world to me and everything I try to believe in no one else around me does. It’s weekends like this that make me feel alone. I gave my dog a big hug and stayed out with him for a while before I went in just to try and clear my head, and it felt good to get a hug from anyone at this point (even if it was a furry, drool-soaked hug). I went down to bed, said good night to Ryan and went to bed.

Where are the morals of our world today? It seems like I am one of the few wheat plants left in this field overrun with weeds. Our world is so full of chaff that I wonder why I sometimes even try to be a good person. All I want to do is be a nice person, be friends with the people around me, keep my faith in God, and try to do what is right. It seems to me like the world thinks the opposite. Let’s all be self-centered, do whatever we please, think of ourselves first, shift our morals to what we want them to be, and just have fun, no matter the consequences or ways we do it—those seem to be the morals of the world today. That makes me sad. I hate to focus on the negative, but that is what I have seen so much of lately. So what do I do? Do I stick to my guns, be a possible outsider and lose some people who I love dearly because I don't exactly fit in or believe in what many people around me do or do I let my morals slide and try to fit in and have fun at every opportunity no matter the cost?

Friday, July 19, 2002

Every Time I Turn My Back

Do you ever have one of those days that just sucks no matter what happens? Nothing seems to go right, the things that do go your way are spoiled later by something else, it seems like you’re God’s little practical joke for the day, everything just kind of sucks, and you just want to go home and cry. Well, as you can guess, yesterday just seemed to be one of those days. When looking back on it, sure a lot of things weren’t great, but it wasn’t that horrible of a day. For some reason, though, it really seemed like it. I don’t know how to explain it so if you know what I’m talking about, good. If not, then that’s too bad, I guess.

To start the day off I woke up earlier than I wanted too, which is always a bad thing, in and of itself. Waking up before your alarm is always no fun because you’re missing out on precious sleep that is supposed to be yours. I get to work a little early and start to work on my server pages that I was working on. Interestingly enough, yesterday they worked, but I needed to make some changes to them to accommodate the new format of the web pages. I load up my pages to see the differences. Lo and behold, my pages all of the sudden blow up and don’t work. They just changed the database and now my stuff wouldn’t work with it so I needed to change my previously working pages to get them to work again. Great. I talk with a few people online during the day, ask about what they had done the past couple days. The tell me, sounded like fun. This may seem like nothing, but it will be important later. One other reason I think most of the day sucked is that it was dark, rainy, and dreary the entire day. Usually I look outside every now and then to see the sun and the summer weather to remember that I have that to look forward to after work is over. Nothing to really look forward to yesterday since it was all craptacular out.

I get done with work early since I was there early and leave to go to a friend’s house. He isn’t home yet so I get my running clothes out to go for a five or six mile jog—I needed to work out my frustrations. As I’m getting changed I find that I have no socks packed in my bag. That’s swell. Screw it, I’ll just run barefoot in my shoes, what would the big deal be? I go running, and while I’m running, it starts raining on me. How lovely. It eventually quits raining and when I’m about 3 miles or so into my run I notice my feet start to hurt a little from not having any socks and my shoes being soaked. I guess the sides of my shoes were rubbing the sides of my feet a little too much, and without socks there to absorb the friction I developed some wonderfully huge blisters. I haven’t had blisters on my feet in probably a year or more. I get done running and I’m soaked, blistered, and grumpy.

I go out to eat with Karl, his family, and Julie to Victoria’s after I get all cleaned up. I wasn’t hungry so I only ate a side order of fries. This was the highlight of my day because of two funny things. I met an old school classmate who I hadn’t seen in probably 5 years, and he remembered exactly who I was even though I had a hard time remembering him. I eventually remembered who he was—Jesse Virk. He went to Hayfield for only a year, but he remembered me which made me feel great because I figure people usually won’t remember me. I’m not that memorable of a person. The other funny thing at Victoria’s is a mix-up we had with words. Our waiter, Jesse, asked Julie if she wanted soup or salad. Well, we thought he had asked if she wanted a super salad. We all thought it was quite comical. With that, the rest of the day was back downhill.

Improv practice was ok. I felt like I did a very crappy job practicing. I was off and I could tell. Let’s hope that it’s all out of my system so I can have a good performance tonight at our show. After improv I headed home and talked with a friend of mine on the phone who I hadn’t talked to in a bit. She talked just long enough, before she left for some dance, to inform me, by accident, that two of my supposed friends were doing things behind my back and trying to keep it from me. They must assume that I wouldn’t approve of what they were doing, but I’d be over it in a minute if I really would be mad (which I probably wouldn’t really be). When you try and keep it from me, it makes me feel like I’m an outsider and shows your lack of trust, friendship, and caring for me. One thing, I cannot stand is people shadily trying to do things behind my back that they think I might not approve of. Their assumptions make them look like fools and only succeed in making me unhappy with them. It also succeeds in lessening the trust I have in them. It also lessens the amount of effort I will want to make to be their friends. If this is what you were trying to succeed by keeping things from me, then way to go—you did it! Now I tell you this: I always thought we were honest with each other? What ever happened to that? What ever happened to us not being afraid to tell each other things? What other things do you not tell me? What have I ever held from you? I hope you read this and I hope to know your justifications.

Now, to top the night off, I get home at about 9:30 pm and not a soul is home. I was already furious and just wanted someone to talk to and no one could be found in our house except for our two cats, who I ended up talking to for lack of any other listeners. I found out by talking to one of my brother’s friends on the phone that my family was probably in Hayfield for the Hey Days fireworks. Sure enough, that’s where they were. They assumed I wouldn’t be home until later so they didn’t bother to tell me about them. Way to assume things guys. Well, I’ll forgive you. That just seemed to top off my night so I just went to bed and hoped that today would be a better day. That is yet to be seen….

Thursday, July 18, 2002

Caught in a Time Warp

Back to work and regular summer life after vacation… It always takes at least a couple days to get back into your regular routine after a vacation, no matter how small the vacation is. Work seemed to take forever. I also had plenty of work to do too, so I couldn’t be as laid back as I usually like to. I’ve been working with a bunch of new material so I’ve been learning how to program this stuff while I’m doing it. I realized something yesterday, and that is that I’ve done more programming and actual code-work this summer at my internship than I have most of college. I don’t even want to imagine having to do this for a full-time job when I graduate. I think I’m going to further my education indefinitely and forego the real world. That’s what I’d like to do, but my parents’ pocketbooks and mine seem to tell me differently.

After work I stopped at Best Buy to grab some new cds: Vex Red, Mad at Gravity, and The Vines. If you dig emorock at all, I would suggest checking out Vex Red and Mad at Gravity. Both spectacular bands. Three cds for $27 and some odd cents—that’s the way cds should be priced instead of paying $7 less than that and getting a SINGLE cd at Sam Goody or Musicland. I’m glad that the music I listen to isn’t that popular or I would be paying through the nose for every cd I bought. I always find it amazing that a band who sells a bajillion records also charges the most for their cds while a small band that probably sells a couple hundred thousand copies at MOST, prices their cds at $10 or less at Best Buy and like distributors. You’d think the smaller bands would have higher priced cds since they sell less and the big bands could sell their cds for less since they sell so many more. That would be my logic, but I guess the money-hungry record execs think a little differently than I do.

After I left Best Buy, I went to a friend’s house and he happened to be not home. I hung around for a bit, gave him a call and he said he’d be back in like 10 minutes. Well, an hour and a half later he gets back. I guess he must have got sucked into some time-slowing vortex or something. They seem to run rampant nowadays. While I was waiting I discovered how much of a comic genius Damon Wayans is by joyously watching an entire hour (I wish it could have been longer) of his hit ABC, laugh-out-loud, comedy sitcom…I hope you caught the biting sarcasm contained within that sentence. After my esteemed friend returns to his home we went to play some ultimate frisbee.

We played in a pick-up game here in Roch and as the game went on I got more and more frustrated. First of all, none of these people are actually real frisbee players. I don’t think any of them could ever really cut it on a real team (except a few that had talent but didn’t really know what they were doing). Second, every throw that anyone threw was a travel. They’d always take steps in whichever direction they wanted to if it suited them, and it is really frickin’ hard to mark someone when they just walk away from you before they throw. Third, almost all of the throws made were longer than 20 yards and about half were just long tosses towards the end zone. No continuity, no flow, no movement, just long tosses all the time. Fourth, after about an hour of playing the game got so slow. It seemed like everyone just gave up or got extra lazy. I don’t know if they were all out of shape or just bored or what, but the lack of energy made it even less fun to play. Finally, the people who played would rarely throw it to anyone besides people they know and since I didn’t know anyone on my team, I hardly got the disc. They just assumed I was no good. I was severely disappointed by the play and I miss our college practices and tournaments a lot now after playing for a night with all of these ass-clowns here in Roch. Well, that’s about it.

Wednesday, July 17, 2002

Wisconsin Dells - Bizarro

My vacation, part two—the wacky happenings and the not-so-fun times. Let’s start with my most recent encounter with Bizzaro World. One of the days we decided to walk down the main street and look through all of the little shops that are there and see if we couldn’t find and little souvenirs to take home. We walked along for about a half an hour or an hour and get to a $3.00 or less store. Everything is less than three dollars so Clayton, Randy, and I all decide we can find some cool junk in there to take home. We go in to look around and as we’re looking at some necklaces some guy comes up to us. He’s dressed in a button up shirt that is made of playboy magazine covers, cute, and he looks to be about 20-25 years old. He looks at us and gets our attention and then he asks us to leave his store because we are only causing trouble. Hmm…last time I checked, looking at merchandise in a store was not causing trouble. We told him we were looking and he got very angry with us and told us again to leave because we were causing a lot of trouble and he didn’t want to put up with it. We decided to ignore him since he was being annoying. We continued to shop and found some random junk (a big dollar sign necklace, some goth metal bracelets and necklaces and some other random metal stuff) and decided to check out.

I set my things down on the counter and playboy shirt, dork with an attitude is actually the cashier. How wonderful. As I put my things down he proceeds to just stare at me. Then when I ask him to check me out he simply tells me no and that he called the police to have us arrested. I was pissed and told him it wasn’t funny and left without buying a thing. As we were walking down the street a cop came and got us and stopped us because we were causing a raucous in that man’s store. The playboy shirt ID’d Clayton, Randy, myself, AND Ryan (who wasn’t even in the store). He also said that we had kicked in windows and thrown merchandise around in his OTHER store down the road, which we had not even gotten to yet. After he ID’d us he just up and left telling the cop he was hungry and was going to get something to eat. What the crap? Honestly, I think the guy was stoned and didn’t know what was going on period. The cop questioned us and I told him that it wasn’t us, we hadn’t been to the store specified, it was only three of us in the store, and we were with our parents the whole time. It was fun. The cop let us go and said he wouldn’t do anything but to avoid the two shops owned by retard-boy. I want the 30 or 45 minutes of my life back that got wasted because some dude is too stupid to pick out the real people that were messing around in his store. Do I honestly look like I’m that much trouble? I guess if you were a tie-dyed t-shirt, sunglasses, a backwards baseball hat and baggy shorts you are automatically a troublemaker.

Next bad encounter in the Dells. We were going to golf at Pirate’s Cove and as we were pulling into the parking lot they have a security guy who points the traffic which way to go. One way for the mini-golfers and the other direction for people who were going to shop at the shops or eat at the restaurants. We pull in and he waves us to park in the mini-golf section but we were going to shop a little for a souvenir so we just went down the other way ignoring the traffic director because how could he know that we were only going to mini golf. As we got out of the truck he walked all the way down (leaving everyone that was coming in while he was gone to park wherever they wanted, without his supreme guidance) to us to yell at us. He wanted to know why we parked down where we did when we should have parked up in the mini golf lot because that is what we came to do. How the hell does he know what we came to do? We told him that we were going to shop quick first and we didn’t want to walk all the way down from the golf lot just to pick up a souvenir. He gave my dad a dumb look and muttered, “Well…ok, I guess, if you’re going to shop, but you should still go where I point you…” What a moron. Can they not hire anyone with half of a brain to work any job in the Dells?

These two incidences managed to bring down our vacation a little bit…actually, they didn’t bring us down, they just made me very angry and annoyed. Stupid people should not be allowed to breed, these two goons are evidence enough to support this statement. Man, I hate dumb people. It’s too bad they’re everywhere today.

Tuesday, July 16, 2002

Wisconsin Dells - The Fun Times

Well, I’m back from the Wisconsin Dells with plenty to tell you. Pictures from the trip will be up in the coming days (I hope). I’ve got a lot to write about so let’s start with some of the fun things from the trip.

Randy, my brother, and I got to the campground early afternoon because my brother wanted to spend some time with his girlfriend Friday morning. Mom, Dad, and Ryan had the camper all set up and ready for us so as soon as we got there we could just go do whatever we wanted. Cool with me. We decided to go and grab some famous Rocky Roccoco pizza for supper. This pizza is ok, but everyone else in my family all claim it is the best pizza made in this fine country. It’s definitely a different style of pizza then what a normal pizza joint would serve, but I don’t think it’s the best ever. They have a very doughy and oddly tasting crust to their pizza, and I think that that is the main difference. Anyways, it was good, and after we ate we went to Pirate’s Cove to get some mini-golfing in. We all decided to toss a little money into a pot that the overall winner of the weekend could take home. There were five courses and we decided to do all of them, to get the true PGA mini-golf experience. Call me inconsistent. I won two of the five games by a load, under par both times. One other game I was a close second, but the last two games I stunk up the entire lower Dells area. I couldn’t make putts for the life of me and I had a habit for not staying inside the brick courses laid out for the holes. I still ended up with the money, however, so I wasn’t really complaining too bad.

We met up with some family friends from Chicago for our little mini-vacation Friday night—Nan (the mom), Clayton (20), and Rob (12…or so). They spent the weekend with us. This weekend was kind of a sci-fi vacation for me. It just seemed to have all of the qualities of sci-fi for everything we did. I had another run-in with Bizzaro World that I will talk about later. The obvious sci-fi came from our visits to some sci-fi related places. On Saturday we went to a little sci-fi shop that had all kinds of science fiction props and look alikes. I enjoyed looking at all the alien stuff, especially the UFO room where they had pictures and stories and videos and other things. Call me a nerd, but I dig this stuff. I also got a picture of my brother with H.R. Geiger’s alien and a picture of me with the alien from Independence Day along with some snapshots of the Mars Attack’s aliens.

Another alien-like place we visited was on Monday when we went to see the “Forevertron” in Baraboo. I’d heard about it from a co-worker and thought I would check it out. He said it was interesting if you dig big metal sculptures. I do, so we went. What we saw, I did not expect, however. At this old doctor’s place are hundreds of metal animals, machines, and his gigantic, 400 ton “Forevertron” strewn throughout an opening in the woods across from a huge ammo plant. It was quite the sight. I felt like I was on the set of a Dr. Who episode, or an extra in some new War of the Worlds movie remake. Pictures really can’t do it justice but I’ll post mine in a few days for you all to look at anyhow. The sheer enormity and amount of work that this one old man put into his work was amazing. I was a very happy boy by the time we left.

Well, what else did we do... We also went to one of the go-cart places to get our male, testosterone-influenced, racing urges out. Nan, Clayton, Rob, my brother Ryan, and my Dad all went on the Ducks (amphibious cars) one afternoon while Randy, Mom, and I just relaxed. Well, this is about all I have time to write here today. Tomorrow be prepared to hear about my encounter with Bizzaro World in the Dells. Stay tuned!

Thursday, July 11, 2002

Rain, Rain, Rain

Yesterday was quite the dreary and depressing day—dark and rainy, a little bit cooler (which I am thankful for). I usually love the rain, but I think it’s mostly because of the thunder and lightning that accompanies it. A rain storm just isn’t very fun or entertaining without the spectacle of the light and sound of lightning and thunder. The window-shattering thunder and blindingly-bright flashes of lightning has fascinated me for almost my entire life. When I was younger, my dad and me would always go outside and stand just under the overhang of our house and listen to the rain come down and watch as the lightning stuck and then count the seconds before the thunder, because then we’d know how close it was to almost striking us both dead. Now I just don’t enjoy rain unless it comes with a thunderstorm, so the lack of thunderstorm yesterday just left me a little more down than usual. I also couldn’t go running because it was raining, which made me grumpier.

Since I had nothing to do, I decided to watch a movie (I have been on a big movie kick lately and I don’t really know why). I popped in Jimmy Neutron expecting just an average kid flick that would maybe lighten up the mood a little. It wasn’t even close to being an average kid flick……it was frickin’ hilarious! The movie was like a cross between Dexter’s Laboratory, Inspector Gadget, and old school, late 80’s cartoons—all done with CGI. There were so many little in-jokes to other sci-fi that I couldn’t get enough. There was a huge Dune reference where a worm in an apple was actually a sandworm and Jimmy’s teacher was its rider. Other small things in the movie also just made me love it. One scene when all the kids rebel, you can just see the word “Poop” scrawled on a statue by a kid. Another scene where Jimmy uses his radar on the radar machine there are three buttons that you can just barely read—“Near”, “Far”, and “Really Far”. There was just so much to love about this movie that I’m surprised it didn’t do better at the box office than it did. I think I’m going to go buy it next time I get a chance.

After I had gotten into a better mood, there is always something waiting to bring it back down. I saw on the news that two of the monks from the St. John’s abbey have been dismissed because of sexual misconduct and twelve other monks are on probation for alleged sexual misconduct. I go to school with all of these monks and I thought they were all good people. There is no way that any of them could be involved with this big catholic sexual abuse scandal. I guess it’s just running rampant throughout the entire catholic hierarchy. It’s still my opinion that most of this sexual abuse would end if catholic priests and bishops and cardinals and all their ranks were able to get married and have families. There wouldn’t be that sexual tension anymore because they would have an out for their urges. I know that is a bad way to term marriage’s benefits, but I think this would alleviate much of the catholic church’s problems in the sexual abuse realm. I don’t know about the rest of the students at CSB/SJU, but I will have a hard time looking at the monks in the same light of innocence that I always have—their image will forever be a little tainted in my mind now. It’s like having a perfect, innocent little sister and then finding out she’s slept around. Even if she changes back to the innocent girl you knew, she’ll never be the same in your eyes. The monks are like that innocent, little sister, and now they’ve been caught sleeping around. It’ll be hard to see them the same.

One last small note, I'm leaving for Wisconsin with the family tomorrow and getting back Monday night so there won't be any new thoughts of the day until Tuesday, unfortunately. If you're in need of stuff to read, I'm sure you can find plenty on this site somewhere.

Wednesday, July 10, 2002

Computers on the Whack

Yesterday was a day like any other. I had work, then I ran, then I lifted, then we got mom’s computer back, then I popped into Bizarro World. Yes, I had another visit with that dark, wacky world once again. It happened like this.

We had taken our computer in to get fixed about a week ago. After a lightning strike the computer decided that it didn’t want to dial to the internet and that if I tried to uninstall the modem, the computer would not even post. That was wacky, and I didn’t want to look at it anymore so my dad took it into some computer guy in Austin who he knew. He looked at it, said that the problem was with the AMR slot. Some setting had to be changed so that the modem could be uninstalled and a new one installed. I don’t know exactly because my dad isn’t very good at relaying computer speak, which is understandable because I don’t expect my dad, the farmer, to know geek-speak. I plugged the computer back in and it booted up ok, the modem appeared to work and the AMR slot was disabled through the BIOS. Everything checked out like he said. Now to try out the modem and dial to the internet.

I plugged in the phone line to the back of the computer and hit the dial icon on the desktop. The dialing dialogue box came up and said it was calling. Then it quit because it didn’t find a dial tone. Weird. So I pick up the phone and there is no dial tone. I disconnect the phone line from the computer and the dial tone comes back. Plug in the cord to the computer, dial tone disappears. Unplug the cord, dial tone appears. Something’s definitely wrong. I thought it might be the lines in my mom’s studio so I took the computer downstairs and tried it on that phone line. Same deal. Well, I accidentally left the phone on with the dial tone and then plugged the phone line into the computer and for some reason the dial tone didn’t disappear. The dial tone actually stayed if another phone was open, so I tried dialing. The computer dialed up but it either froze during the dial-up or it promptly disconnected itself after it connected……and then the dial tone would disappear again.

I could not tell you for the life of me why this was happening so I told my dad to take it back into the computer dude and tell him it still wasn’t working. So as I slowly faded from Bizarro World back into our reality, I decided I was bored and that I was going to watch “The Royal Tenenbaums” dvd that I had just picked up. I had been looking forward to seeing this movie for a long time. I tried to see it in the theater but within the first 10 minutes of the movie, the film got broken and the theater exploded and burned to the ground…or maybe the film just broke. I can honestly say that “The Royal Tenenbaums” was one of the best movies I have seen in a long time. Everything about it was just so wacky and different that I couldn’t help but love it.

I think the reason I love movies so much and get into them the way I do (whenever a movie comes on I switch into “movie mode” where no one can interrupt me or bother me or I will flip out and beat you with your own arms after I have ripped them off) is because I always put myself into the movie as one of the characters, the one that I see myself being. Every movie I end up being one of the characters and it’s often interesting which character I relate with. In “The Royal Tenenbaums” I managed to relate most with Richie, the tennis star son of Royal. I don’t know why I saw myself as him, but I did, and I loved his character to death. Honestly, this movie was so good that I can’t describe it. Just go see it.

On another note about movies, I finally saw the trailer for Star Trek: Nemesis. I know I’m a nerd, but I’ve loved all of the Star Trek movies. There’s just something about them that I dig. Anyhow, the new Star Trek movie looks absolutely spectacular. It looks to be in the vein of First Contact. I hope it is because the action oriented Star Trek movies are just so much better than the others. I know I can’t wait for it to get here.

Tuesday, July 09, 2002

Burger King (of the Retarded) (Revisited)

I think it is very well possible that I have found the worst Burger King in the United States. Last night before improv practice I went to Burger King to get a quick bite to eat, since I hadn’t had anything besides some donuts for breakfast. I got into the drive-thru line and soon enough I was up to the order screen. The guy working asked me, “Lelcm too brgekang vhat cun I geet u tiday?” I swear he must have just learned the English language 23 minutes ago because I had no clue what he was saying. I decided to order the double whopper value meal, but I had to make it complicated. I didn’t want any lettuce or tomatoes on it because you should not put salad on meat. You just shouldn’t—it should be illegal. I told him to hold the lettuce and tomatoes. “So ya vant uh dabble wapper vith vhat un eet?” he asked. For crap’s sake, how hard is this. I decided to make it quite clear to him exactly what I wanted. I told him to get me a double whopper and put on it only ketchup, mustard, cheese, onions, and pickles. “So ya vant a dabble wapper vith nuthang bat kaychep, mastrd, chase, oanyans, und paykles?” Good, seems like he got it right. I go through and get to the window. “Thet’all bay fayve dallers und ayetean sins.” I had a coupon for a free value meal so I gave it to him to pay for my food, and he looked at it for honestly 25 seconds all confused looking. I think they forgot to teach him how to read English. He then just tossed it in the cash register and gave me my food. Now here’s the kicker: I got to improv practice and pulled out my food to eat. I finished my fries and opened up my double whopper only to find it a single whopper with ketchup, onions, and pickles on it. Where’s the cheese and mustard? Where was the drive-thru worker’s green card? Why can’t anyone get anything right anymore? If I didn’t have more free value meal cards to use up there, I would never go to the Burger King ever again in my lifetime.

Monday, July 08, 2002

Flags Instead of Pigs?

A big weekend update comin’ at ya, folks. Lot’s of events in my life that are relatively meaningless to all of you, but they mean a lot to me. First off, let’s start with Friday. We had another improv show, like we do every Friday, but this is the first one all year that we didn’t sell out completely. There was about 10 seats left in the place so I was personally a little disappointed, but everyone else didn’t seem to care that much. The kicker of the night, however, was that I think this was our funniest show by far. We had so much energy and so much funny that I just with every show could be this good. I always pay a lot of attention to the crowd whenever we’re performing and this show got the most laughter and response from the crowd all year. I was extremely happy with our performance.

Saturday was a fun day as well. I got up nice and early and headed into Austin for the 5-mile “Hog Jog”. I was mainly looking forward to getting a shirt that said Hog Jog on it. In fact, I was ecstatic about getting a Hog Jog shirt. I register and get my number and timing chip and my t-shirt, a “Freedom Fest” t-shirt. That’s right, no Hog Jog on it anywhere. Instead it’s a giant frickin’ flag. I was not a happy camper and I think that that is why I did not perform in the race as well as I wanted. Freedom Fest………grrr. I did somehow manage to get 3rd in my age bracket, though. I left before the awards ceremony because I was still mad about the stupid t-shirt, but Bryan told me later that I had gotten a plaque. I should be getting it in the mail any day this week. Sweet!

The rest of the afternoon was spent sleeping and doing yard/house work to get everything cleaned up since I was having a bonfire at our place that night. It was a spectacularly wonderful time. A bunch of guys from improv, some of my fellow runners, a few good-looking women, and some other random friends all came down. We played some botchi ball (sp?) all around the yard until it got dark and then cooked wieners and marshmallows over the fire and told stories and the like. One thing I did notice was the way that the few girl friends of mine that were there got hit on hardcore the entire night by every guy there, except me. The girls ate it up. They really loved the attention, but then it always makes me feel like I’m kind of invisible since I don’t make an active effort to try and hit on them and be talking to them all the time since they’re already my good friends. Maybe I’m just afraid of looking less cool in the eyes of the girls than the rest of the guys there. I don’t know, I guess it just sometimes gets to me that just because the girls that I’m friends with are gorgeous that everyone wants to hit on them. Well, whatever.

Sunday was a very laid-back, uneventful day. I spent the morning finishing up my work on my brother’s computer that I just finished building for him, got bored and decided to pop in one of the movies I’d rented. “The Devil’s Backbone” was the movie, a Spanish ghost story. It had gotten shining reviews on rotten tomatoes so I thought I’d give it a view. It was only an ok movie in my mind and I couldn’t see how it got such glowing reviews from everyone. Sure, it was a good way to use 2 hours, but it’s not a movie I would ever think about owning. Oh well. Split some wood, cleaned up around the bonfire pit, and then got on the old bike to head to softball. We had a decent showing again—about 20 people. Fun times, fun times.

Interesting thing happened at softball, though. My aunt Lois & uncle Bob and their family usually always annoy me and just get on my nerves. They are constantly always only out to try and make themselves look good and our family look bad. I could care less really, but lately it has gotten to me. To start, most of the yard work that we were doing on Sunday was repairing all the damage our dog, which they gave to us for Christmas (without asking, nonetheless), did. At softball they asked why we missed their daughter, Kate’s, birthday party. I told them we were busy, but the kicker is, when I talked to my parents I found out that we were never actually invited. Why would they ask me why we weren’t there if we weren’t invited? Am I supposed to be psychic or something? I dunno, you got me. Then Lois also kept trying to make conversation with me and I just didn’t want to talk with her because any conversation with her is like having one with a 5-year old. If I wanted to ever talk to them, I’d go up to them and talk. I just with they’d quit trying to force themselves into conversations with me. It’s annoying like you wouldn’t believe. At least softball was a fun time.

Friday, July 05, 2002

The Abomination of Our Flag

Well, there’s a lot of things I’d like to talk about, but I probably won’t get to them all, so I’m just going to delve right in.

Yesterday, as everyone knows, was Independence Day. I started the day with a short 2-mile race in Blooming Prairie. Last year I finished second and I was hoping to do that well again, but alas I couldn’t. I just wasn’t in the same kind of shape I was last year and I came in at a dismal 5th place. Quite disappointing for me, but on a positive note I did finish 2nd in my age group (the overall winner of the race, who I lost to by 15 seconds last year, was also in my age group). The other three people that beat me were young high school runners. Makes me feel like I’m getting old and losing it. Tomorrow I have the 5-mile hog jog in Austin so we’ll see how well I hold up in a longer race—probably not well.

After the race I came back home and took a quick nap and mowed some lawn before I headed over to Sheryl’s place. She said she would wash my car for a small donation to her basketball team for their trip to the summer national tournament. We had a fun time washing my car and whatnot. I then had some time to kill before I had to go to improv practice for the night (yes, we practiced on the 4th of July—we’re that hard-core!) so we decided to take the 4-wheeler down to one of the cricks to waste some time. We waded through the stream for an hour or so looking at all the minnows, fish, leeches, and frog-lobsters. Leeches? you may ask. Well, turns out that Sheryl is a leech magnet as she managed to have no less than four latch onto her legs while we were wading. They never touched me but loved her. Frog-lobsters? you may also ask. We interestingly enough found a dead crayfish that looked like it was half frog and half lobster. That’s the best way we could describe it so we called it the lobster-frog. Anyways, I had to go to improv practice so I told Sheryl and her younger brother to come meet me and my family in Rochester for the fireworks after improv. Off to practice.

Practice was all right for the night before a show (oh yeah, we have a show tonight if anyone should be inclined to come) and I then met up with the fam and Sheryl and Daniel. Karl, Erin, Matt, and some other kids came with too. As we sat outside waiting for the fireworks I noticed that almost everything that everyone in the entire park was wearing was red, white, and frickin’ blue. Oh, how I was ready to explode. Flags were everywhere to be seen as well. I felt like I could spontaneously combust at any moment. As you may or may not know, since September 11th of last year I have hated all the ways people find to display red, white & blue and the flag. It seems like every yahoo in the entire country now finds it “cool” to put up a flag on something or wear one. What the crap? If it wasn’t for Sept. 11th none of these people would even care about the flag. It has just become trendy and chic to wear flags and flag colors. No one really cares about what the flag stands for or means, it’s just a fashion statement now. Ask any wacko off the street wearing a flag shirt what it means to them and they’ll say something stupid like “America” or “Freedom”. Yes, these are part of what the flag stands for, but it also stands for so much more and that is something that most people fail to realize. It is a symbol of all of the hurt, hardship, and deaths that this country has experienced to be the way it is. It is a symbol of grandeur and accomplishments of this nation. It is NOT a freakin’ piece of clothing, or a night-light, or a refrigerator magnet, or a bumper-sticker. It is a symbol that should be respected and not exploited for profit. Every money-hungry entrepreneur out there that has cashed in on our country’s new-found renewal of patriotism should be skinned alive and dropped into a vat of salt. So now you all know why I’ve had such a distaste for the recent year-long proliferation of our flag. There, said and done.

After the fireworks, a good many of my friends hit on Sheryl for way too long so we didn’t get out of Rochester for a while, but when we finally did, Sheryl and I started talking about how I’ve never been in an accident ever and how I thought it would be cool to never be in one my entire life. Of course we then thought we would get in an accident because we talked about it. 30 seconds later, I'm back in Bizarro World because there was an accident right in front of us on the road we were on. Someone had flipped their car completely over onto its top and the cops had just gotten there so it just happened not to long ago. We were freaked out and decided never to talk about such things while traveling again. It was way wacky and a little creepy at the same time.

Wednesday, July 03, 2002

Burger King (of the Retarded)

Yesterday was a day like any other. I had work from 8 am to 5 pm. After that I went and ran around Silver Lake and then proceeded to Karl’s house to shower. After that I went to Burger King and then off to improve practice and then back home to work on my mom’s computer (which I could not, for the life of me, fix). One thing did manage to get to me, however, and that was the Burger King. Oh, how it frustrated me. I stopped there to get a chocolate shake and a glass of water. That’s all—no meal, nothing else. I went through the drive-thru hoping that it would be a quick run-through so I could get to improve a little early to just relax. There was only one car ahead of me and it was already at the food pick-up window. Shouldn’t take long, I deceivingly thought to myself. I was wrong. How wrong was I? About 15 minutes wrong. It turns out that the person in front of me ordered enough food to feed the entire population of Delaware……twice over. I had to wait behind this person for 15+ minutes to get a frickin’ chocolate shake. Honestly, have the person pull forward into the parking lot or something and they could bring out his gigantic meal when it was done and people like me could get their food (or shake) and be on their merry way, not stuck in line. Here’s another thought, remember how some older style fast food restaurants have two food pick-up windows. They did this for this exact reason. If someone had a big meal, they could just pull ahead to the next window and wait while everyone else with smaller meals could get theirs and be moving along. Why don’t they still do that? I will have my revenge, Burger King, oh yes I will.

On another side note, I managed to sustain my first ever improv related injury. I was on stage practicing a little rendition of the game “a day in the life…” when we came to doing a scene about being on a roller coaster. I was in the back and Pat was in front of me. As our roller coaster reached the apex of its climb we pretended to fly downward and then back up. In doing so, Pat’s head came flying backwards directly into my left eye, splitting open my skin under my eyebrow and making that part of my face hurt. I am now recovering. Our next show is this Friday, if you would like to come and see us make senseless fools of ourselves for your amusement. Hopefully there will be no crippling injuries during the show.

Tuesday, July 02, 2002

Green Eggs and Spam

Ok, this is going to seem like a giant rant and complain session, but there have been a couple of things that really have gotten to me. First, I ordered some parts for my brother’s computer from . I had to, of course, give them all the obligatory information they wanted to complete my order, including my email address. No real big deal except that over the last week I have received more than 60 spam messages from their service department. Most of the messages appear to be viruses or other stupid advertisements. I’ve emailed twice and they’ve told me that “they’re getting it worked out”. What the heck? Can’t they take down their email temporarily or something so that I’m not having my inbox clogged by their crap? I know they’ll never have my business ever again.

Another thing that got on my nerves yesterday was a conversation I had with a good friend. I went to lunch with a couple of people, Julie, Matt, and Karl at Famous Dave’s because Julie is leaving on Wednesday for her trip to Washington, DC. As Julie was driving me back to work, this other friend called and asked what I was up to so I told her and then asked why she was calling. She said, “No reason.” Well, then what was the point of calling? I told her I wanted to talk with Julie some so it would be great if she just called another time. I don’t think she was too happy by me saying that, but she really didn’t have a reason for calling and I was talking with Julie. Later she called me at work to talk again. She asked what I was doing that night and I told her I didn’t know. She was then curious if I wanted to do something. I told her I didn’t care, but she decided that by me saying that I didn’t care I was actually saying, “I’m really tired and I don’t want to do anything with you because I am just going to go home and sleep.” Honestly, it pisses me off to no end when people put words in your mouth for you. If I said that I didn’t care, it means I didn’t care what we did. Listen to the words coming from my mouth, I usually mean exactly what I say. After I finally convinced her to come into Rochester to meet me at the mall, she still seemed unhappy and like she didn’t want to be with me anyways. I don’t understand what this girl is thinking most of the time and because of that all I seem to do is make her upset all the time. I hate doing that to her, but she just seems to make everything so difficult. Maybe it’s just me being retarded, but I don’t know.

She then met me at the mall and everything was fine, just like we never fought. This happens so often with us—we’ll fight and then 10 minutes later we’re fine and then a week later we’ll fight again and afterwards we’re perfect again. It’s so wacky. Anyways, we just went and did some shopping at Hot Topic and visited Charlie at the shoe store he works at. Then we went and got ice cream, which melted unbelievably fast in the 95 degree weather. After that we just went for a run and watched some tv. It just seems weird that we always need to have those little tussles all the time. I guess we are just dysfunctional.

Well, one last thing. I checked my email again before I went to bed and what was there in it? About 20 more spam/virus emails from Don’t ever buy anything from there—EVER! I emailed again and doubt I’ll get a response.

Monday, July 01, 2002

A Real Ghetto Ride

First, I would just like to let you all know that I put up a bunch of new pictures. There’s new ones on the college, being stupid, home, and family pages. Check them out. There’s some really good ones.

This weekend was quite a weekend for me and it presented itself with many moments to reflect upon and write about. I will try and pick out most of the memorable moments and focus on them so that I don’t end up writing a novel. Friday night our improve show sold out again (we rock!) so afterwards a whole group of us went to Treasure Island Casino to gamble away a little of our money. The nickel machines raped me and I went through a good four dollars of nickels in about 20 minutes. It was a little embarrassing to be the first person to lose all their money. However, I would get the last laugh as the night came to a close. After we wasted away our nickel money, it was time to move on to bigger things—the blackjack tables, the $3 blackjack tables to be exact. I cashed in $12 to use. That would get me four hands, I figured. I actually ended up playing for about a half an hour and came out with double my money. I managed to walk away from the tables with $25. Good haul, if you ask me. Everyone else that went ended up leaving with less money than they started with. A good time was had by all.

Saturday was an interesting day. I did a bunch of house chores and junk most of the morning and early afternoon. We had planned on going to Treasure Island on Saturday, but since we went last night I was now open to do whatever I wanted that night. I knew that Embodyment, a great emorock band, was going to be in the cities so I decided that I’d like to go to that. It would be a good time and I absolutely love their music (honestly, check them out). I tried to find people to go. One of my friends was going on a date with another one of my friends that I wanted to go with me so they were both out. Two of my other good friends were in Alaska, another was at a wedding, another was out for the weekend, yet another was working, and my brother was going to the Miss Austin pageant. Hmm…I had one chance left to find someone to go to this concert, one of my best friends for quite a while. I had called her earlier but she was not home. I left her a message and she got back to me finally when she got home. I asked her to go and she had already made plans to go hang out with some other kid. This was a concert! You could go hang out with someone else another time. You can always do that. He’d understand if she canceled too, if he was a good friend. Whatever, I was extremely mad but I eventually got over it when Julie called and saved me from boredom. I ended going out with her and a bunch of people and eating at Applebee’s and watching a movie. I was still mad I had to miss the concert.

Sunday, I had church in the morning like always and then lawn mowing and the like. Interesting thing, though, is that my mom got an old 1940’s, rusted-out, piece-of-junk, brown car. She is going to use if for a prop for her photography. Well, we had to get it off of the flatbed and onto the ground by the woods where she wanted it. Now this car had no engine or brakes or anything. My dad decided I could drive it and guide it down off the flatbed. Ok…I was getting ready for it to slowly roll off when my dad yells out, “Here goes” and he just lets it go and fly down the back ramp. I rolled down and into a bank of trees. Fun times. That was the story of the day. Then I just had softball and a bon fire at my house, but it didn’t change the fact that I was still disappointed for missing the Embodyment show. Maybe next time they are in town…