I Am The Secretary.

Sometimes I really love where I live.

I came home from work today to find the Oscar Meyer Wienermobile parked right outside of my house. I was on my way over to the Post Office for some stamps, when I noticed it taking up a considerable amount of space in the parking lot. For a second, I thought I had won some contest I didn’t remember signing up for, perhaps before I became a vegetarian. I was already thinking of a kind way to let them know I wouldn’t be accepting their fine meat-based products. I’d be more than happy to take a few t-shirts and a wiener whistle or two off of their hands, but they would have to take their Olive Loaf and Brown Sugar Ham back to California with them. Soon I realized it was unoccupied, so I took some pictures and looked for keys.

Having failed to get the Wienermobile started, (it had a bratwurst-shaped “club” on the wheel) I stood in line at the Sun Prairie Post Office for 20 minutes before giving up and walking the 50 yards back to my apartment. It was enough for me just to pay my bills, I didn’t deserve to waste my time in line because of them too. I spent the rest of my free time cleaning the house and preparing supper before Celia got home from work. I’m going to make a great housewife once we have a kid. I’m already starting a scrapbook.

I haven’t mentioned this much here, but in 2 days we’re moving out. Sure, we’re just moving a block down the street and we get a month to do it, but I’m really looking forward to the change. We found a brand-spanking new place that’s twice as big and not too much more expensive. There’s plenty of closet space, and we get our own washer and dryer, so I was instantly sold. Our new furniture is coming from Rubin’s this Saturday, and we’ll be gradually getting everything in it’s right place until the official “move-in” date of October 1. I promise that once we’re all settled in, we’ll have a big housewarming party, and you’ll be invited. Unless I don’t know you. Or unless I know you but don’t care for you. More on this once the moving begins.

Now that the Olympics are over, I have no idea what to watch on television from 7 to 11pm every night. Currently, I’ve been filling the void with the Republican National Convention, because I believe in fair play and 2 sides to every argument. But seriously, going from something as beautiful as Athens to the sight of thousands of Conservatives is like winning a thousand dollars, then slamming your nuts in a patio door. You’re too confused to be hurt.

By the way, I want to personally apologize for the scene that took place during the Marathon event on the last day of the Olympics. If you didn’t see it, I’ll fill you in on the details. With about 3 miles left to go, a deranged man charged onto the track, pushing the leader into the crowd before being detained and arrested. I originally thought it had nothing to do with me, or this Communist Dance Party site, until I saw the photographs.

Again, I’m sorry. I have no control over who my fans are.

Casual August.

“Joy is like peeing your pants. Everyone can see it, but only you can feel the warmth.”

This is an actual CD cover from Japan. You can see hundreds of things like this on Engrish, almost the funniest page on the Internet. Go there now, I have nothing more for you today.

Have a good weekend.

Fat Kid Dunk Tank.

Aren’t you sick to death of visiting someone’s Blog, and finding yet another picture of some inanimate object that they thought would make some sort of statement? I mean, do these people think they’re photographers or something? Listen dude, you’re not an artistic genius. You got an expensive digital camera that makes everything look good, and it doesn’t make you look like you have a sensitive, artistic side. Stop advancing the stereotype, you loser.

That being said, I think this is just a beautiful picture I took.

Moving on, this weekend marked 3 important events. First and foremost, me and the missus went to the parade that kicked off the Sun Prairie Sweet Corn Festival. Celia loves parades, and I…well…

You get the point. I look like a pale, unshaven zombie.

On the good side, the weather was nice and nobody around me was acting like an ass. I’ve found that standing next to crying babies is a hundred times better than standing next to the group of loud teenagers with raver pants and Disturbed shirts on. I don’t like babies very much, but at least they don’t know what they’re doing.

Friday was a big day. Our friends Ben and Sherry exchanged vows in Winneconne, and are planning a big celebration/ceremony sometime next year. It was a small gathering, and I was very proud of them. I forgot to bring my camera with me, so here’s a picture of me playing a game of “Guess Who” with them.

God bless ’em. They’re moving to Green Bay together, where I’m certain we won’t be able to see them every week like we’re used to. Now we’ll have to take turns driving for hours and sleeping on each other’s floor. I’m kinda looking forward to that. Good luck with the move, and all the responsibilities that come with it. If I have any decent advice to give, it would be to not fight irrationally about money, work out a spending plan, and keep the place clean. Nothing makes someone more uncomfortable than coming home to a dirty house and a lazy spouse. Ben, I’m obviously talking to you. I’m much lazier than you though.

They joined us on Saturday for the Sweet Corn Festival, where we ate dozens of ears and pounds of butter. I spent 20 bucks on Mini-Donuts, dunk tanks, carnival games you can’t win and more Mini-Donuts. Again I have no picture of these events, so here’s a shot of me holding a kitten.

I’m alone in the apartment right now, as Celia is attending a “Passion Party” with some of her co-workers. I chose not to go in favor of catching up on some things I had to do, mainly eating alone at Culvers and watching football. A concrete chocolate malt always beats a sex toy in my book. Who knows though, maybe she’ll bring one home.

Watching the decathlon on the Olympics reminds me of when I was doing the shot put in 5th grade Gym class. I tried to throw it like a baseball, and tore everything in my arm from the shoulder to elbow. Then I pretended to throw it at a passing car, and the old man behind the wheel gave me the finger.

Enjoy our photography.

Dagger Vision.

You’ll notice the big banner ad on top is gone, and has been replaced by a slim search bar. This bar is really neat, because it only searches within this page! For example, if you wanted to read everything I’ve ever written about Celia, just punch in “Celia” and….well, you know how search engines work. But it’s my own personal one! Not only that, but you can search through all the old formats, old quotes and even old comments! It’s a trip down Communist memory lane. Give it a test search or two. At the very least, it’s a quick way to read all the stuff I’ve ever written about you. Lord knows I have.

The same goes for my other page, which will be updated once the crew gets back into the swing of things.

I also added a few new links, among them the bands “Apparently Nothing” and “Communique“. Apparently Nothing is a decent Madison band that I had the pleasure of working with when I went to MMI. I was a co-producer on their debut CD, and I’m listed in the credits. Communique just released their debut CD on Lookout Records, titled “Poison Arrows”. This CD has not left my car for over 2 weeks now. It is 10 tracks of ass-shaking, love making, sexy, beautiful music. This is without question the make-out CD of the summer, and by far the best album of the year. Take the music of the Faint, vocals and lyrics of Alkaline Trio, melodies of The Shins, make them 10 times better and 100 times catchier, and this is what you get. You will not be let down.

While looking into my site traffic last week, I saw that someone clicked on my page after it came up during a search for “dry hump movies”. Imagine his disappointment. Now, I’m aware of several different genres of pornography, but to specifically hunt for this type of pleasure is something special. Bless his or her heart, I hope he or she finds what they wanted.

If there’s anything you want to see here, feel free to let me know. Midgets, more nudity, unnecessary swears, you name it. I’m in the people-pleasing business.

I’ve got to get back to my non-stop Olympics watching. Ever since the US Men’s Basketball team got their asses handed to them by Italy and Puerto Rico back-to-back, it’s a blast to watch them crash and burn under their own egos. Say what you want about the idea of a Croatian basketball team, at least they know the value of teamwork.

I’ll see you this weekend at the Sun Prairie Sweet Corn Festival!

Fondue For Two.

This weekend was the first one in a long time that me and the missus have had to ourselves. Sure, we always enjoy our time away from the monotony and drudgery of work, but having some alone time is vital in keeping a relationship enjoyable. So I told Celia to plan us a day trip to anywhere she wanted to go. For the longest time, she wanted to visit the town of New Glarus, a Swiss settlement about 40 miles southwest of Madison. As the story goes, about a hundred or so Swiss settlers colonized in New Glarus in the early 1800’s, and set up shop. Since then, it has basically remained the same place, complete with original buildings and more Swiss antiques than you could ever imagine. I was sold.

You immediately notice a few things upon entering New Glarus. First off, there’s painted cows everywhere.

What business these cows serve is really beside the point, because they look beautiful and are fun to touch. So much fun, in fact, that you are specifically instructed not to do so.

Being the rebel I am, I could not help myself.

Another wonderful thing about New Glarus is the attention to detail. While most of the buildings are from the original time of settlement, there are going to be new ones that pop up from time to time. Being a tourist town, they took care of that, and made sure that every new building adapted to the Swiss culture.

After the initial taking-in of the scenery, we went miniature golfing. The Swiss know how to run and properly maintain a mini-golf course. It was certainly one of the prettier courses I’ve played on this year. And hey, check this out!

Goats! On the golf course! They were well-fed, well-maintained, friendly and eager to please. Me and Celia both finished well under par and continued on our venture.

Now, everyone has their fantasies. Some guys wonder what it would be like to sleep with 2 women at the same time. Others think about what it would be like to win the lottery.

My fantasy has always been to play Mini-Golf and then go Bowling immediately afterwards.

Fantasy no more.

Swiss Lanes reminded me of an older, smaller, older, more run-down, older version of Marble Park Lanes. We entered the place thinking it was closed, due to the fact that all of the lights were off and nobody was there. We saw an old woman playing an illegal gambling machine in the corner, and an old man smoking a cigarette and staring off into space behind the bar. We asked him if we could bowl, and he said yes, once he went back and “turned it on”.

8 ancient lanes, dark as night, and not a single person around. The alley was ours, and we couldn’t be happier. The lanes were so warped and crooked that you had to forget everything you knew about physics before you rolled. For example, if you wanted to aim for the center pin, you had to start your throw, say, 4 lanes over. Check out my killer form:

My score suffered because of this.

Nevertheless, it was coolest game of bowling I’ve ever played. We thanked the old man, and continued on our lovely Swiss journey. Next stop on the tour were the souvenir shops.

Handmade Swiss dresses, Cuckoo clocks wall-to-wall, beer steins as big as console television sets. We took in store after store of these wonders, while Polka music filled the air, seemingly following us everywhere throughout the town. I, of course, sought out the music section, which didn’t fail to impress.

Here’s the best part: they were only 20 bucks each! I grabbed an armload of them, and headed for the register.

After blowing most of our budget on yodeling tapes, we decided to take in some of the beautiful architecture. Like this Church, for example.



(Pictured: Ryan Zeinert)

After several hours in New Glarus, I started to feel jealous. I wanted to be Swiss, or at the very least, live in Little Switzerland. These people represented everything I loved in a culture. Non-violence, fine wines and cheese, land-locked for minimal contact with water. I didn’t want to leave. I wanted to spend the rest of my life thinking that I was not only Swiss, but that I was actually living in Switzerland. I made a promise to myself that I would always spell “house” as “haus” from now on. It was the least I could do to remember such a neat place.

But the day wasn’t quite over. We treated ourselves to an authentic Swiss dinner at the New Glarus Hotel.

We got there too early to see the polka band that plays there nightly, and the festive dance that’s sure to follow, but it was great nonetheless. We shared a massive Swiss fondue, and a dish of traditional cheeses. I have yet to go to the bathroom. I finished off with a piece of mint-chocolate cake, and before you knew it, it was time to say goodbye to Little Switzerland. We stopped at the local winery, got a bottle to remember our trip, and headed back to Sun Prairie.



Goodbye New Glarus. We’ll be back soon, but not soon enough.

Marinated String Cheese.

I remember my 21st birthday like it was a year-and-a-half ago. Me and the missus (who was the fiancée at the time) went out for a quiet dinner at a nice chain restaurant. (While some people like to look down at chain eateries, I actually prefer them to a hole in the wall or an expensive bistro. Give me an Olive Garden or Damon’s any day of the week, I say!) It was exactly what I wanted. While most people celebrate their being of legal drinking age by getting thoroughly trashed, I settled in with a non-alcoholic beverage and whined about my life being mostly over. It was clichéd and stereotypical of what most boring emo-guys would do when faced with a change in life, but anything else from me would have been quite unexpected and wrong. We went back to the house, where I’m certain we were asleep by 10pm.

But I’m not an entirely normal teenager-turned-adult. Most of the time, I refuse to acknowledge what people my age “should” be doing, simply because I hate most people my age and don’t want to play ball with them. For the most part, I dislike my generation immensely for what they’ve done to my attention span, and for what people think of me just by looking at me. The boring originality and angst of generation-X was diluted by the media and given a suicidal makeover with pre-ripped pants and name brand plaid. I, of course, fell right into line in the last 2 years. Sure, I look a lot better now and my clothes are much more expensive, but my insides ache for the fashion nightmare I used to be. Make no mistake about it; I really don’t like my generation as a whole.

All ranting about my wasted youth and jaded outlook aside, we need to talk about someone else who celebrated a 21st birthday this weekend. Erin, friend to all and a co-star in my movie, invited a dozen or so people to a gathering last Saturday evening. This was supposed to be a classy get-together with classy snacks and classy drinks leading into a classy dinner at a classy restaurant, and culminating with classy conversation at Kevin’s classy homestead. Everyone showed up with their cards and gifts, dresses and slacks, uncomfortable shoes and all. Kevin had prepared a wonderful spread with various cheeses and mushrooms and other intestine-blocking goodness. We said hello, got comfortable with everyone, and prepared ourselves for the classy evening that was bound to unfold.

If only.

While this should be obvious to anyone who knows me, I all but break out into a rash when I’m around more than 4 people at a time. There’s never been a time when I wasn’t a social butterfly; the life of the party, but that doesn’t mean I enjoy it over silence. If you put me in that situation, however, I will adapt and do what I must to make people happy. It’s how I operate, and if I don’t make people happy, I get depressed. To you, this may sound like severe sociological disorder, but to me it’s just…well, I’m not sure what I think about it, but it’s gotten me this far, so I’m not going to rock the boat.

I arrived at Kevin’s house with Celia and Sherry, both looking as cute as silk-covered buttons. We well-wished Erin, and I conversed with Kevin, who was fretting himself into an episode about all the nice food he made. “Why isn’t anyone eating?” “Do you not like it?” “If nobody is going to eat anything, then I guess I will.” What Kevin forgets is that nobody wants to be the first one to start eating, especially ladies, so I took it upon myself to break the ice and start munching. I eventually ate enough cheese to stop my colon until Labor Day. It was fantastic, though. Eventually everyone showed up, and I found that I barely knew any of them. They were all a bit younger than me, and I actually had gone out with one of the ladies for 2 long weeks back in 1995 or so. The reason for the quick breakup was sketchy at best, but I think that it had something to do with us not having anything in common apart from jumping on the trampoline in her front yard. Once the bounding was over and all you had was the stars dizzily spinning above your head, you realized that there was absolutely nothing to talk about. Apart from that, I had an awful acne problem I hadn’t fully come to terms with yet. Nevertheless, I became comfortable with as many of them as I could, before we all piled into our cars to go out for dinner. I also did what I could to not be appalled by the fashion sense of her new fiancée, whose peach polo and clip-on cell phone were enough to send me reeling for the exit. I’m not superficial.

Most of the kids rode in Kevin’s Suburban, while me, Celia, Sherry and Lindsay went in my car. We were really in no shape to rub elbows with near-strangers and loud voices for a 45-minute drive. What happened in my car on the way there will have to remain a mystery, as the ladies have sworn me to secrecy. (None of that was true) We arrived at “The Cliffs” eatery a minute past 8, just in time for our reservations. I took a seat between Celia and the birthday girl, who up to this point was being her normal, interesting, reserved self. After all, this was her 21st birthday, and she was doing what she could to be a great host.

This was until the drinks started rolling in.

To say that Erin is a virgin drinker is like saying I’m a virgin, both of which couldn’t be closer to the truth. Within 1-and-a-half Brandy Old Fashioned-es-es, Erin instantly turned into a less-annoying, less-crying, more-giggling version of me last week. (See this post for all the lush details) I, in the role I was destined to play, did absolutely everything I could to make her laugh even harder. I kept this up for the remainder of the evening. Being able to successfully make someone laugh heartily is one of the best feelings in the world, as far as I’m concerned. Not as good as “Sex on the Cliff”, but you get the point. I munched on my limp pasta, told some more annoying jokes and headed out the door, buzzing a tad on the couple drinks I’ve had thus far. I did drive, but I was well within my legal limits, and felt just fine. (I would never endanger the lives of friends due to poor judgment. Again.)

Ben joined up with us, and we went back to Kevin’s house for more drinks and awkward conversation. By this time, I was feeling a bit tired. As an old man, I don’t stay up nearly as late as I used to, and I’m just not built for that kind of socializing anymore. I’m the type of guy, that if I decided to be quiet and space out for a minute or two, people would repeatedly ask me what was wrong. That’s far more annoying than just talking non-stop for 5 hours, so I always choose the latter. I attempted to get some people to play some cards, and they obliged, but it didn’t really work the way I wanted it to. It was also around that time that I realized that Sherry’s friend Sarah was nothing short of a hustler when it came to cards. I half expected her to pull out a personal deck of cards and chips from her handbag. Then it was time to go. While I’m not certain what happened after we left, it was either one of 2 things:

1. Everyone got tired and left one at a time until the place was empty. Or

2. Drunken orgy. (Why they waited for me to leave before starting is beyond me.)

Enough speculation. It’s time for the…

Moral:

You learn something new every day. Sometimes, if you’re really lucky, you’ll learn more. I learned a lot about myself that I didn’t know last week. I saw the new location of my tolerance, patience and overall outlook of where I’ve come from over the past 5 years. I also learned that all of my wife’s friends look cute in dresses, and they have an uncontrollable urge for guys much younger than them. I learned that I’m better off now with a couple friends than I was before with dozens of them. I learned that you need to be insured to drive a car in Minnesota, Sherry tastes like nuts, and it’s completely impossible for Erin to do something stupid, no matter how tipsy she got on her 21st birthday.

Happy Birthday, Erin. I really needed it.


American Idiot.

“Alright corn….start talkin’.”



If you can think of a funnier caption, put it in the comments section, I’d love to hear it. If you like it, we’ll have a caption-off more often.

Me and the missus are going back home this weekend for Erin’s 21st birthday. The climate has been so beautiful this week that I felt ashamed of myself every time I walked to my car to go to work. A construction crew has torn up our driveway, so I have to walk about a hundred yards to get to my vehicle that’s parked in the street. What’s funnier is that I’ve been too lazy to take a television out of it from the movie shoot last week, so it’s simply begging to be broken into. We’ll see how that unfolds.

“HOW many innocent people have I killed? Ha! That’s WAY better than my Daddy done!”

Have a good weekend.