Wednesday, May 18, 2005

poke her knight...

It starts as usual with a friendly lynching from a tree. This is how we begin everything in Arkansas. I don't have all the answers. I just follow tradition. Tuesday nights have recently become poker nights at the Baribeau Ranch, and since I am a member of the infamous A.I.M. (Architecture Intern Mafia, a.k.a. Architects who Instant Message...alot) I feel obligated to attend. Not that it is a huge strain on my schedule or anything. I pretty much show up for anything that starts with a hanging, even on week nights. This particular one needed help from a professional, so obviously I offered my skills with a rope.

The other Chris is not a professional.

After many failed attempts at setting the loop on a branch, the other Chris reluctantly bestowed upon me the responsibility of getting this party started, to use the parlance of our time. No big deal though, seeing as how I've hung plenty of people, this one should be a breeze. I successfully set the loop on the third attempt. I then gently placed the noose around Lance's neck. He volunteered, I swear. He was that dedicated to this thing.

They all wanted this thing to happen so badly.

The onlookers began to get excited. I started to wonder if this mob would get to witness the lynching they so deserved to see? After all, they had traveled for several quarters of a mile to attend. The tree looked weak, but we had faith in it. We couldn't let the kids down.

They call this 'failure'.

As soon as it began, this party came to a crashing halt...literally. We had just finished kicking the stump from beneath our victim's feet when the branch gave way under the intense weight. It smashed to the ground suddenly, nearly killing a dog in the process. Lance sat there staring at the debris in disbelief. Meanwhile, the crowd quietly filed into the house to partake in some serious food and libations. They needed something to take their mind off of the sadness, something tasty, something dead, something covered in cheese and placed between two buns. That pretty much narrowed it down to hamburgers. Pretty much.

From the left: Hope, Knitting, Boredom, and a Wal-Mart Flush.

After the royal stuffing of our faces, we decided to continue with the poker night, despite the fact that it was no longer official from lack of pre-game execution. Unfortunately, what little enthusiasm that still existed from the burgers was quickly lost in a simple game of cards. There was something in the air, an emotion, which had taken over the room. I couldn't quite put my finger on it, but I'm thinking it had to do with the fact that one person had quit the poker game in exchange for two knitting needles and some thread. It was complete and utter boredom. I had seen it once before, when some friends and I attempted to play Trivial Pursuit: The Accounting Edition.

Raise? On a queen and an eight? They must be joking.

I tried to spice up the night by obviously cheating everyone out of several hands. I discovered that a translucent glass table and a tiny digital camera with the right exposure settings can be a healthy combination for a successful card game. I was quickly outed and there was a slight ruckus for several seconds, but the hum-drum mood came back with the quickness.

It was getting late, and I had work in the morning. I decided the only way to do my duty as a card carrying member of A.I.M. was to leave with style. I had to do something that would light a fire under these people's asses, even if it were after my departure. But all I could think of was to leave my empty beer bottle on the table along with a nice little mustard stain. Also, I took a dump in the grill. I'm sorry Chris.

Monday, May 16, 2005

los extraños están en efecto completo...

The beauty of sitting near a window at work is that I can completely distract myself with the activities of the neighborhood. While mindlessly drafting details of aluminum composite wall systems, I concoct insane stories in my mind about the Mexican family that lives across the street. Most of the time they seem fairly normal, normal to most people who would consider themselves normal. I do not consider myself normal.

As I'm typing this, the family, who I've nicknamed The Extraños, has just awoken from its slumber. The padre has pulled an old 70's model yellow lawnmower out of the garage, started it, and put it in front of the madre who has proceeded to begin mowing the lawn. She's a tiny gal, no more than 100 lbs. It is not surprising that she's having quite a bit of trouble pushing the narrow wheels of the mower through the rough terrain. One of the hijos just appeared at the front door. I say "one of" because I'm still not quite sure how many hijos live in the house. Its very difficult to tell, but so far I'm at two hijos and an hija. This particular hijo is at least 16 because he has a car, and he's no small fry. He's a very long fry as a matter of fact, one of those fries you get that hangs all the way out of the box and out the top of the bag. I thought for a second that he would take over for madre on the lawnmower, but instead he's following her around holding a cell phone in her face like she's got a call. Well, it was apparent five minutes ago that she did not want to talk on the phone. She wanted to cut grass. Hijo has been persistent with the phone thing though and is still following her around holding the phone, tugging at his baggy jeans to keep them clear of grass stains. All the while, the padre is using a weed-eater to remove the tall grass that has grown up around the abandoned cars in the front yard.

I watch this family obsessively throughout the day, afraid that I'll miss the climax of a story that I'm not quite sure exists. They're one of only a few remaining families living on the street. My office is located in a neighborhood of old houses which have all been slowly converted to businesses such as law firms, catering services, and child psychology clinics. As interesting as those places sound, they do not provide the quality of entertainment that the Extraños do. These places operate on a similar schedule as my office. Workers show up in the morning, go to lunch around noon, take the occasional smoke break, and then leave in the late afternoon. I can't get interested in this.

The Extraños seem to operate on an entirely different schedule than the rest of the world. Just the other day, I watched as the padre parked a small grill on the front porch and began grilling some sort of meat. This was at 9:00 AM. On any other day, these people do not emerge from their house until at least 11:00 AM. This guy was grilling legs of a recently killed animal for an early breakfast. There was one thought that I couldn't get out of my head. Why haven't I heard their dogs barking from the back yard lately? Now, I'm not accusing anyone of eating their dogs, I'm just pointing out a strange coincidence.

The couple that lived in that house before the Extraños had somewhere between eight and twelve dogs, depending on the day of the week. Half of them lived in the back yard, the other half lived inside with the family. I could only imagine what the inside of the house smelled like. Normally, a white family with that many dogs in Arkansas means you have yourself a Jerry Springer episode just waiting to happen. This wasn't the case here, as these folks seemed to behave themselves somewhat. They were obviously unemployed though. They spent the majority of their time taking the inside dogs out to the front yard to do their business one at a time. So basically throughout my day I had the pleasure of watching the little doggy poop parade, single file.

When that couple moved out about 4 months ago, I was worried that the next family would have jobs and the house would sit empty all day. I hoped everyday that the next family would be unemployed, convicted criminals with visits from the occasional parole officers now and then, something to keep me entertained. Little did I know that the first hint of new hope was right there on that little white sign that read "Mi Casa Realty"

Thursday, May 12, 2005

'peace' like five times rapid fire...

I have an intense twitch in my left eye today. I wonder whether my boss could see the twitch while I talked to him at his desk. He probably thinks I'm on a heavy dose of meth or something. My hair is pretty messed up, I'm unshaven, my eyes are red, I'm walking with a slight limp, and I'm wearing the same clothes as a couple of days ago. I also think I slightly smell like bug spray and I'm a little more talkative than usual. I guess these chopped up rubber bands separated into tiny, color coordinated piles on my desk might seem a little odd too.

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

there is no life i know to compare with pure imagination...

This morning I considered buying tickets to the Cubs game online. The problem is I'm a 10 hour drive away and the game is at 1:20 PM today. There's a direct flight from XNA that I can make if I hurry. The flight is only an hour and a half. That would give me plenty of time to get to Wrigley and make it in time for part of the first inning.

According to RTA, and for a mere two dollars, I could just take the Blue Line from O'Hare to Addison. Then I can take bus 152 eastbound and arrive at Addison and Clark by 1:26 PM. I'll probably just stay here and work though.

I daydream way too much.

Monday, May 09, 2005

an unillustrated guide to self induced general discomfort...

I'd like to begin this discussion by simply pointing out that there exists in Fayetteville a band by the name of (hold your applause) Anal Blast. I just thought I'd bring that up for discussion. If you don't have any comments about that, there's something wrong with you, like maybe you can't read. I said someone named their band ANAL BLAST! And you wonder why I love this town so much.

As I sit here and write this, I'm sweating. Not because I'm nervous that some ass-raping freak will stumble upon my blog after Googling anal+blast, but because it is hot in the attic today. That's where I typically blog from, a finished-out attic space above my house. We turned it into a studio space of sorts and it can be pretty cozy when the temperature is milder. It got a little warm outside today, so now the heat is transferring from the roof straight into the house. We have air conditioning, but I guess we are being cheap and we'll wait until someone passes out before we'll turn it on. Until then, we will all have swamp ass. In case you don't know what I'm talking about because you live in a colder climate or have no sweat glands, swamp ass is the condition when one's sweat glands around the buttocks and genitals become overactive due to heat that gets built up inside of the clothing. It causes much discomfort when doing everyday things such as walking in jeans, riding in a car after walking through a large parking lot, or simply just watching television while sitting on a suede couch. This condition is similar in discomfort yet is not to be confused with what is known as mud butt.

I'm stopping here because I have this insatiable urge to start writing about the many changing ecosystems of the human anus. Nobody wants that.

Sunday, May 08, 2005

sometimes you wanna go where everybody looks the same...

There's a bar in Fayetteville called On The Rocks. It is the most frightening experience to be had in town for certain, but I'll save that discussion for a later date.

What do I do when I feel like posting something but don't actually feel like writing? I post old photos of random crap. Today I've chosen Andrijana's birthday at On The Rocks as the random crap topic. I look sauced in these pictures.

We're obviously the coolest people here. Shit!

Could Philip's behavior be any more disgusting? And the answer is YES.

Friday, May 06, 2005

The squirrels are coming.

Thursday, May 05, 2005

i hate the kids...

I must have ate like four strawberry cupcakes last night. They had cream cheese icing, what the heck was I supposed to do? My friend Kim made strawberry cupcakes at my house last night while the rest of the gang watched South Park. It sounds strange out of context, but trust me, it was nothing unusual. Kim's entire life could be viewed with absolutely no context and still make about as much sense. She was born, she snuck out of her house to give her boyfriend some pixie-stix, she married him and had a baby, she threw up in my driveway, she made strawberry cupcakes, the end. Actually, that makes quite a bit of sense.

Truth be told, I think my life makes even less sense when laid out in that fashion. With another year of it gone by a few days ago, I've realized that 26 means nothing except that I'm just getting older from here on out. Turning 16 was the driving thing, turning 18 was the chewing tobacco thing (and subsequently the cancer rotting the jaw off thing), turning 21 was the drinking, hotel room renting, and official adulthood thing, and finally turning 25 was the lower car insurance and ability to rent a car thing. Now what? Twenty-freaking-six, what the hell? I'll just keep 25 for a little while, thank you. If you're really old (and you know who you are) and you're reading this, I can read your mind at this moment. You're about to say something like "26 isn't old...that's young...blah blah blah" right? Well, I'm curious to know if you thought 26 was young when you hit that age? Ok, well actually I don't care to hear your answer, so keep it to yourself. I don't like hearing old people talk. Your breath smells like moth balls.

Yesterday, I was definitely feeling old though. We had a "job-shadow" kid from the local junior high school following us around at the office. I know now for a fact that I am no longer "hip" to the youngsters. I tried chatting with the kid. It was difficult. The only thing I knew enough about to hold a conversation on was a video game called Halo. I was feeling pretty cool talking about strategies of the game and how I've played it once at a friend's house while linked up on the internet, tournament style and all that nerdy stuff. Apparently though, this was not cool enough. I was quickly informed of just how uncool I actually was because I hadn't been aware that he was talking about Halo 2 the entire time. Halo 2? Damn it! I mean, uh...yea, I've seen it. But I've been too busy driving my CAR in REAL LIFE to play it! Yea! Take that, you little 8th grader!

I find joy in belittling the youth. Does anyone have a breath mint?