Saturday, July 31, 2004

Disappointed

About a week ago, the chain discount furniture store, IKEA, opened in Bloomington, across from the Mall of America. After enjoying a few beers with the wife, we decided to check it out...not that I'm looking for new
furniture...Oh, no...not with all the miniature tornadoes I've bred....but just to satisfy my curiousity.

IKEA is famous, I guess, for their simplicity in design...which is obvious after paging through their catalogue. I wasn't too impressed, and I figured that I could duplicate most of their furniture using the limited number of power tools I have access to, while consuming generous amounts of alcohol in the privacy of my own garage....nothing goes better with power tools than a good ole' alcohol buzz....

Anyways, we arrived at the store in the mid-afternoon, and we were distraught with the number of cars in the parking lot...I'm guessing it was better than 30 acres of parking (free, by the way), and nearly all the spots near the store were taken....a handful of police (you can't trust the man) and various rent-a-cops were directing traffic. I was concerned simply because I had a full bladder, and I thought the quarter mile walk to the store was certainly going to KILL me. It didn't.

The entrance to the store looked like the entrance to the Minneapolis/St. Paul International Airport...once getting inside, there was a cafe, and a restaurant... and, well...that turned me off right away...I looked for a place that sold beer...no dice...I think I could get into furniture shopping if more stores sold beer...

The place was packed...practically elbow to elbow...and the furniture, was one step above what you could find at Walmart, or Kmart, or Target, or next to the dumpster in my apartment complex (oh, yeah, I ain't too proud). Overall, I was disappointed...However, I did get some pretty good ideas for building a loft bed, and some bookshelves...but overall, doubtful I'll be buying anything from IKEA anytime soon.

Not unless they start serving beer.


Monday, July 26, 2004

Baby deer.......Alive!

I arrived in the bustling metropolis of Ottertail, MN at approximately 8:46pm Friday night. My aunt an uncle had already started drinking without me, so I had a lot of catching up to do. I first had to tend to my parental duties, which included sending my youngest to bed, and getting the other two settled down. It was at this time my uncle stumbled over to the neighbors house to borrow a guitar.

See, my uncle and I have this thing we do, which is, get drunk, then sit around the fire and butcher blues music, me on the guitar, and him on the harmonica. He's pretty good with the mouth harp, and I'm about average on the guitar. We have a couple of songs that we usually start of with....eventually it turns into a marathon rendition of "Kansas City" which morphs into something completely different over the course of several shots of whiskey....

Anyways, After about fourty-five minutes of "jamming", my uncle came up with this brilliant idea to go to one of the two bars in town, and provide the entertainment. I wasn't so much drunk by this point, but I was fairly pliant...So, he grabbed about five different mouth harps and placed them in a freezer bag, and I put the guitar in the backseat of his Chevy Lumina, and off we went....

As it turned out, the bar we selected to invade was in the midst of Karaoke....which I suspected would be the case even before we left, but seeing as how I'm no longer considered "a local" (which means they no longer accept my checks), I've been left out of the loop. So, my uncle and I shot a game of pool, and I sent my stage name..."Stinky"...in for a couple of songs. Because I'm a returning former local, and a former favorite bartender from the rival bar down the road, I managed to drink for free....long story short, I got hammered pretty quickly, all while getting caught up on the local gossip, doing my best Frank Sinatra, and beating my uncle at billiards...

When the big fat Karaoke show shut down for the night, my uncle staggered out to the car and grabbed the guitar, and we proceeded to entertain the remaining crowd with our antics...which meant that I was too drunk to finish any one song we started, although I took requests for anything from Blind Willie McTell, to Brittany Spears (I do a bitchin' version of "Oops, I Did It Again" on the acoustic. We got kicked out.

In our brilliance, we thought maybe the other bar down the road would be more receptive to our brand of entertainment because, well, I used to bartend there.....as it turned out they wouldn't even serve us....and after getting three chords into a song, we were shown the door there also....

By the time we arrived back at my uncles house, my wife had already shown up...I guess she'd been there an hour or so, and was helping my aunt finish a bottle of wine (girls)....

The rest of the weeked wasn't as entertaining....took the kids fishing (I caught four little pan fries using my daughters "Spider Man" Fishing rod) and to the fair (where we ran into many people who still reside in what I affectionately call "stink town")....I miss the good times there, but the job market sucks, and it's impossible to make a living or provide for my kids (especially when I've got FOUR...yeah, I'm a pretty busy guy)...Went tubing, or as my friend and cyber drinkin' buddy from Carbondale (Jonny B) refers to it, a float trip....

....however, the last bit of drama occured on the way back to the metropolitan area....

Being from "cow's ass" Minnesota, I'm familiar with all the shortcuts, or as I refer to them, "snake routes", to get back to the interstate..(contrary to popular belief, there are paved roads north of St. Cloud, MN)...anyways, I'm driving through a fairly rural, and little used country back road, when out of nowhere, two deer start across the road...there never really is a correct way to avoid a deer when it's coming at you...the best idea I came up with on short notice was to brake and swerve...which, as it turned out, was the wrong thing to do....because I hit one of the deer....it took out my mirror, and nearly the entire drivers side of the car...funny thing was that the two children in the backseat barely noticed anything had happened....I had thought for sure the deer was going to attempt to jump over the car...fortunately that wasn't the case....

...So anyways, I got back to the cities, and called my insurance guy up and shucked the jive with him over a couple of beers.....hopefully it'll get fixed by the next time I venture up north....for those readers (hahahaha!) who are members of PETA or any other animal rights organization, I'm happy to report that the deer was able to leave the scene of the accident, apparently unscathed....



Monday, July 19, 2004

Junction City

I see that there is a new movie coming out...."Thundercats". This is especially thrilling to me...and here's why:

When I was in kindergarten, all of about 28 years ago, my favorite afterschool cartoon was "Thundercats"...and I don't think I ever watched it after kindergarten...I only have very vague memories of the program, which I can only attribute to the copious amounts of alcohol I've consumed over the years. I do remember, however, that my friend, Terry, and I would reinact the previous days episode on the playground during our "lunch" break by wearing our hooded jackets as capes and running around battling whoever might join our little game. I'm sure it must have been like the "Power Rangers" of today, but I don't remember being obsessive over it, like my son is about the rangers.

So, I'm waiting, quietly to see this movie, under the assumption that my children will want to see it more than I will...If not, then perhaps I'll take the wife to see it at the dinner theater....(hey, they sell beer at the dinner theater).

We also made our intentions to move official....we'll be moving once again, this time to Lakeville, MN. The move only takes us about five miles down the road, but I hate moving.

The upshot of this is I can go back to my second favorite pasttime....drinking in the garage (which is second only to my first favorite pasttime...drinking in the basement..)

Monday, July 12, 2004

Take two.

So, I had a few minutes to spare, and took in a beer and an order of Buffalo Wings at a bar in Alexandria, MN this weekend.

Beer and Wings go together like peanut butter and chocolate...or Hall and Oates.... or professional athletes and prostitutes. I find myself daydreaming, at times about a cold beer, and a big plate of hot wings....bleu cheese....celery...

On an unrelated topic...I enjoy taking my breaks at work between 5pm and 5:30pm to watch The Simpsons on the breakroom TV.