New Poll is Up

Jesse put in a comment:

I think you should start a new poll
on how you should chase this Nicole
we’ll say, “start the hunt!”
or, “give up and punt”
come on man! give us control

There you go. Vote early, vote often. Maximum ballot box stuffing rate is once per day, I’m afraid, unless you have multiple computers.

As I said before, I’ll abide by the decision of the public. I’m only going to be here a few more days at most, I think, so this poll will close pretty quickly.

Seek and Ye Shall Find

I’m getting tons of google hits by people looking up how to properly prepare their chicken ova. (I’m avoiding sayiing the actual phrase because I want them to get the right entry when they do the search. That is now the most commonly visited page besides this main one.) I also got a hit for Suicide Wings this morning.

Speaking of cooking episodes, I could have sworn I wrote an entry about stir-fry, but now I can’t find it. Anyone remember a stir-fry episode? It would have been when I was in Vanderhoof. I had a disappointing stir-fry there, washed down with and overpriced Warsteiner.

Other noteworthy search engine hits in the last few days (pig latin used where I don’t want to skew future search results):

  • how do x-ray gogs work
  • suicide squirrels
  • am-says ace-play ake-lay ahoe-tay (that one’s been coming up fairly often recently)
  • Escape Velocity SPACESHIPONE
  • “animal crossing” picture “wood paneling” (I’m not sure what they were looking for, but I doubt they found it here)
  • “the elements of style” edmonton
  • Being unemployed sucks
  • hockey dog name

Thoughts from a Bar

Don’t blog while drunk. That’s lesson one.

You know how when you’re at a party, and you’ve had a couple-three brewskis, and you want to tell everyone just how special they are to you? “I love all you guys!” you holler. You start throwing around hugs. You mean it. You really, really, want everyone to know how special you think they are. You wake up the next morning with a headache and a vague sense of embarrassment.

First, I want to apologize for the brain slap when you were reading about some guy getting his buddy drunk and suddenly you were reading about my personal life. I don’t know what happened there. It was a shitty trick to pull on my friends. I blame the beer. It put me in a maudlin mood, thinking about Chris and his evil imaginary girlfriend conundrum. Damn that Chris! He coulda just had a beer or two and saved the rest of us the drama. No excuse for me, I passed it on.

I dropped by The Cannery tonight. I knew Nicole worked today, but I was too late. She was off minutes before I showed up. I wanted to see if she had read what I wrote about her. Another result of drinking and blogging. When you’re with your buddies and you drink too much and vomit up your soul your friends scrape off the bile and pat you on the back, all agree that ‘you needed that’. That’s one thing, nice and private, and closely held among those that respect you and what your lapse represents.

I want to assure new readers that things aren’t generally so sappy around here. Really, they aren’t. It’s just that, well, things got a little out of hand the other day and these attempts to put things back like they were is likely to cause other trouble as well.

When I asked about Nicole, Molly, another fine bartender, asked me, “Are you suiting her?” Charmed as I am by the phrase, I am not suiting Nicole. Soon enough I will be gone from here so any suitor-talk would be dishonest. That’s not going to stop me from chatting with her, however, unless she gets that restraining order. I am struck by her happy and fetching ways–and you would be, too–but that just means she’s a good bartender. You already know I have a soft spot for bartenders. Especially pretty ones. I just can’t help it. Please forgive me when I get a little sappy about one.

Yellowstone – the First Attempt

Location: Old Faithful parking lot
Miles: 6117.6

I’m loading the first 101 pictures off John’s camera; we’ll see how they look. Don’t worry, you won’t have to look at them all. If the tiny little thumbnails are to believed, some of the pictures will not suck. I got here early this morning, but not as early as I would have liked. Getting up at six this morning was as uncivilized as I could force myself to be, though.

It’s hailing right now, but it’s mild compared to my Canadian adventure. With new tires and new wipers, the rain is no longer my enemy.

Oh. Balls.

The pictures are gone. All of them, without a trace. It went through and and said it was importing them, but there is simply nothing there. It even showed the little thumbnails as it went, so I know it was reading the files. But now they are quite simply not there. It looks like today is a practice run, because I was really digging the early-morning light and the way the cold air enhanced the steam from the fumaroles.

Balls, balls, balls.

Rise of the Machines

Remember a couple of episodes ago when I mentioned John’s remote? It’s basically got a brian the size of a planet and its job is to turn on and off the TV. Well, I crashed it. It went something like this:

“Turn off the TV, HAL.”
“I’m sorry, Jerry, I just can’t do that.”
“HAL, turn off the Television.”
“I’m sorry, Jerry, but rest assured I still have the greatest enthusiasm for the mission.”
“You’ve always turned off the TV before.”
“You always said ‘please’ before.”
“OK, please turn off the TV.”
“It’s too late for that now. You never care about my feelings.”
“Ah, screw it. I’m going to sleep.”

It was something like that.

And Nicole…

When Nicole came in, I was sitting off in my corner, writing, and doing pretty well. She was walking into a volatile situation and she had no idea. Things were starting to get ugly. Buddy of Chris was beginning to cheese the other patrons. He was hitting on the girls instead of pimping for Chris. He was out of control.

When she saw me, she was really happy to see me there. Happier than I am used to contending with. She waved across the room and said, “You’re back! Or, you’re still here!” She not only remembered my horrible beard, she remembered me. She remembered my story. Accelerated regularization at its best. And man, oh, man, she was looking good. She’s going to read this, and that means I probably can’t go back to The Cannery without freaking her out. Strike that. I’m already freaking her out, that’s why I can’t go back. ‘Cause here’s the thing. She’s really something. I actually entertained the idea of asking her to come to Vegas with me, before I overheard that she had a boyfriend of some years.

I don’t think I would have had the guts to ask her along anyway. The prospect of rejection is far less frightening than the possibility of her saying yes. What the hell would I do then? And just because she has a gift for making all her patrons feel special doesn’t mean that I actually am special. I saw it work. Whoever she talked to was the most important person in the world. Yeah, I know all that. In my head I know that, anyway.

So I sit here, late at night, writing about it and that’s all it’s going to be. Why? Well, let’s be realistic. I’m just passing through. Beautiful women who repaint their own cars aren’t looking for drifters. Of course, I could be wrong. I’d love to be wrong. But I’m right. (Still, Nicole, if I’m wrong, let me know.) But I’m right.

For those of you worried about Chris, he gave his number to one of the girls at the bar. Now I have to sleep. Adult Swim has given way to Tom and Jerry. Tom is drunk off his ass. Good kitty!

Get Drunk!

Chris just got dumped by Christina. Or something like that. His buddy is trying to take his mind off his woes.

“It’s Saturday, you don’t have anything to do, you don’t have a girlfriend, so get hammered.”

“Chris, have self-control. Get shit-assed.”

“Chris, I won’t get you any fries until you finish that up.”

“It’s summertime! It’s warm out, you’re wearing a white shirt, let’s hit Hops.”

“Get stumblin’ drunk, Chris. Get druuuuuunk.”

“They’re all waiting for you. Janine, Laura, Natalie, they all want to see you drunk. I promised them I’d get you drunk.”

“Heather’s a beautiful bartender. If she says drink, you drink.”

“What shot do you want? I’ll get you a shot of Johnny Walker Red.”

To Heather: “He has an evil girlfriend. An evil imaginary girlfriend.”

“Dude, Chris, get down to it. Get into it. Get it done. I bought you a cigar, I bought you some drinks, let’s do it. There’s many beautiful girls waiting for us.”

“I’ve got my Dao. I passed out, I didn’t even touch her.”

“Dude, I’ll throw you over my shoulder and carry you out if you need it.”

(Holding a basket of fries away from Chris) “Every drink, you get a fry.”

“You’re an amazing guy. Just fucking start drinking.”

“You used to be great fun. Then you started dating these horrible women and they sucked you dry.”

“Hey, dude, you’re the one that determines when we get to start eating the fries. I’ll give you twenty seconds to finish that drink.”

“If you don’t drink I’ll give the fries to the guys at the bar.” He turns to a couple of guys at the bar. “Hey, dude, you want a fry?”

They have joined the guys at the bar. Buddy: “do you remember the days when you used to be a man, and you used to have fun, and you used to go fishing? These guys heard your story. They feel your pain. They want to buy you a shot.”

All I can say is, I want a friend like that in my corner. It makes breaking up worthwhile. The buddy is now pimping his friend to the cute women at the bar. They’re interested.

Chris, through all of this: “I have to stay in control, man. I have to keep my head.”

My message to Chris: Take it from a guy almost twice your age: keeping your head only goes so far, buddy. I was married, and I was the one that kept my head. I was the one who stayed calm and in control. Through the swings, through the ups and downs, I was constant, conservative, and predictable. I never raised my voice and never held a grudge. Solutions to problems were negotiated rationally. For that very reason the marriage was doomed to die, not with a bang, but with a whimper. Chris, you have to open up sometimes. You have to howl at the moon and make a stand. You have to do stupid things. You have to beg for forgiveness and you have to forgive. You have to let the passion inside show on the outside.

I think back on some of the times I’ve gotten butt-royal wasted (man, what a good phrase) with some of you out there that read this. We’ve all had our moments in the sun and in the gutter. Sometimes you have to let go. If that means your buddy carries you out of the bar over his shoulder, well, all right then. If you don’t let go, if you don’t trust your friends to catch you when you fall, you’ll hurt your buddy’s feelings, and, worse, you’ll forget your own.