Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Like the Quimbys, but with better accents (and morals).

I went out to the Nelson family's cabin at Jackson Lake this weekend, which I think I'm going to start referring to as "The Nelson Compound." They, much like the Kennedys or the Quimbys (from the Simpsons), are a local dynasty, plentiful in numbers and active in civic affairs. But, with way better cell phones. (And a more vast and varied knowledge of all things Disney/TV Land related, too, I'll bet.)

Anyway, out at the cabin, tubing and other boating-related enterprises ensued. Sarah got a lot of stellar footage for her annual tubing/wakeboarding/waterskiing mash-up tape (mostly wipe-outs, duh, because those are the most fun to watch), while the rest of us yelled at the loons.

Shannon readies for her longshorewoman tests.
Shannon practices for her longshorewoman tests.

No-wake zone. Which, in other words, means, "Slow down, you jerks from Lake Namekagon, stop killing nature!!!"

Hot tubing action!
Me, I don't tube. I lack the requisite interest in catapulting myself through the water at high rates of speed. And, uh, probably the upper arm strength, too. But I'll certainly watch others give themselves belly flop burns from hell, sure! Rev the engines, let's see some blood!!!

Lose the hat, KFed.
Liz is going all K-Fed on us. Next thing you know, she'll be butchering the Portuguese language in the name of "dance music" and knocking up pop stars.

Reveling in nature's splendor.
Me, reveling in nature's splendor.

The other boat.
Watching the tubing boat from one of the other Nelson Compound boats.

Sarah and Liz, discussing the finer points of yelling at loons. (Yes, there are finer points.)

Alan & Nate, readying for battle.
Nate and Alan, readying for battle.

Shannon & Liz.
Shannon and Liz, exhausted after a celebratory "clap-off."

Still no-wake.
Is it weird that after a full year back here, I'm still a bit awed whenever I see this much water & vegetation in one place?

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Police blotter.

Saturday, 12:27 PM:
Caller reported that he was threatened by his neighbor when he was riding his bicycle to the cemetary.

Sunday, 9:22 PM: Report of a dog bite at a bluegrass festival in Mellen.

Monday, 11:39 AM: A Red Cliff caller reported that someone was pointing a flashlight in her window.

Monday, 1:54 PM: Caller complained that he was trying to sell land and someone kept removing his "for sale" signs.

Tuesday, 7:40 PM: A report was made to an off-duty police officer regarding a fight involving at least four people in front of the boat landing at the marina--responding officer said it was an argument between brothers about fishing techniques.

Wednesday, 1:03 PM: Caller reported hearing a very weird, shrieking animal noise at night, unlike any other they've ever heard.

Wednesday, 4:56 PM: Report of a logging truck driving down Ondossagon Road, with a log sticking out the back that was taking out mailboxes.

Thursday, 6:27 PM: Caller reported seeing a sign approximately five miles south of Ashland that said "Sherman for Ass" and that they'd like it removed.

Friday, 10:35 PM: Caller stated that there were about a dozen cows in her yard and she didn't know where they came from or who owns them.

Saturday, 12:12 PM: Report of three kids trying to set a bucket on fire.

Frog kaffeeklatsch.

Five frogs, one fake lilypad.

Frog kaffeeklatsch.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Happy Anniversary.

Saturday marked a year since I moved back to Wisconsin.

And what a year it was.

Six months of stagnating unemployment.
My grandma's near-death experience last fall.
My dad going through prostate cancer.
Four days as a telemarketer.

In the face of all that crap, why am I feeling so (perhaps uncharacteristically) optimistic?

Well, between that stuff, there was NYC. And Oshkosh. And Bingo TV. And that one really patriotic lawn ornament. And Snakes On a Plane. And I got a job.

And it definitely helped that I spent that anniversary night on Wisconsin Point near Superior with a bunch of other people who love burninating things until sunrise.
These and more are also over on my Flickr page. (Which is in its fledgling state right now, but which I hope to use more from here on out.)

Friday, August 18, 2006

I wonder what the dream dictionary could tell me about this.

I had a dream last night that I was working on a script for a Rob Schneider movie called...

The Animal 2: Earthworm Rob.

In which Rob Schneider's character is hit by a bus, and gets an organ transplant...from worms. And then, of course, he starts acting like a worm. By which I mean, he rolls around on the floor and dances the Worm whenever music comes on. Oh, and comedy ensues. (The dream didn't last long enough for me to find out whether or not he'd turn into two worms if he got chopped in half, though.)

I can't decide if this is all very Kafka-esque of my subconscious, or just intensely disturbing. I think I'm leaning toward the latter.

(And the sick thing is, I've never even seen the original Animal movie. Nor do I have any particularly strong feelings about Rob Schneider one way or the other. Sure, he's funny & all, but c'mon, why can't Ewan McGregor show up in my dreams more often?)

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Bessy needs a Band-Aid.

This past weekend, my sweet Bessy got backed into by my brother Dewey.

Bessy, who survived driving back & forth from Montana to Wisconsin several times without incident. Bessy, who made it through downtown Seattle without so much as a scratch. Bessy, who proved her off-roading capabilities time & time again on any number of inappropriate roads and mountain passes throughout the backwoods of Montana, bad struts & all.

And yet, she couldn't survive a night on Dewey's driveway unscathed.

Oh, I kid -- Dewey's been wicked nice about letting me park there over the past couple of weekends, and I feel much worse about his car, which is newer & shinier & is now sporting a much more dinged-up bumper. Bessy, she's built like a tank. Those Mazda "zoom-zoom-zoom" cars, they just aren't made for the off-roading. If Bessy needs a Band-Aid, I reckon Zoom-Zoom's bumper needs a tourniquet.

Weirdest thing: last week, my dad's truck also got backed into (in an entirely unrelated incident). So that makes three cars in the family getting into fender-benders within five days of each other. They say things come in threes...let's hope that's true, because lordy, we're running out of cars.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

New York, Pt. 6 - Putting the "Free" in "Freedom"

After cutting in line and stowing away on a Circle Line cruise boat for a V.I.P. ride to Liberty Island, perhaps you'd think that the freebies would've stopped there.

Ohhhhhhh, no. See, you're forgetting that Regina puts the "free" in "freedom."

After a quick stop by the Liberty Island gift shop (to clarify, that's the island that the Statue of Liberty is actually on, Ellis Island's next door) to find a souvenir spoon for my Grandma Rosie (she's big into spoons), Regina marched us over to the food court where we got in line for some ice cream. We got to the front of the line and the gal behind the counter suddenly smiled and said, "Hey, you!" Yup, another former co-worker of Regina's. And thus, the ice cream cones were on the house, thankyouverymuch.

We hopped on the next boat that came in and went over to Ellis Island.

I could go on & on, waxing poetically here about how much I enjoyed this stop, how interesting it was and inspiring I found it...but eh, let's get back to the stories about free stuff instead. :+)
We spent an hour or two visiting the museum, then got back in another epic-lengthed line for a boat back to the city. Once we were on the boat, Regina sidled up to the concession stand inside and caught the eye guessed it, yet another former coworker. This time, we got hot dogs and some good conversation out of the deal. Tasty.

When we got back to Battery Park, we spent a few minutes mocking the more blatant tourists (like shooting fish in a barrel, I know), and Regina showed me one of the most morbid statues I've ever seen in my entire life.

Sure, I like morbid stuff as much as the next person--probably more, actually--but wow, this really took the cake.

But hey--at least it was free.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Have you considered...?

I was driving near Bayfield the other day, and came across this (which is especially funny to me because seriously, there's hardly any roads up there--how could you get lost in the first place?):
Taken out in the yard the other day.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

(Gingerbread) Manning it Up

After trembling in fright at the wallpaper border framing Joe's kitchen in Superior, Shannon and I decided to do something about it.

Oh, we manned it up.

(It was this, or little gun stickers. The beer seemed homier.)

Tuesday, August 08, 2006