Interstate Everywhere

Monday, 7 July 2003

I re­turned late last night from the wed­ding of my friend Jeremy in Tipton, KS. For the most part, the trip was event­ful, or bor­ing, and some­times both to­geth­er. The Interstate sys­tem is a won­der­ful thing, It can take you most every­where, and if it can­not get you there, it can get you damn close, but it takes a hel­la long time to get most places.

Tipton is a se­vere­ly small town. Due to re­cent con­sol­i­da­tion, it lost its high school to neigh­bor­ing Downs, arous­ing much ire from the denizens of Tipton. I came up with an Idea for the mas­cot of Downs. Currently the Dragons, I feel that they should be­come the Syndrome, and each team should have an ex­tra play­er.

The ini­tial thir­teen hour haul from South Bend to Tipton with the best man, Sven, was bro­ken up by a stop in KC to see the Royals thrash the Cleveland Indians. This was the be­gin­ning of Jeremy’s bach­e­lor par­ty, he con­sumed rough­ly one beer per in­ning and threw up in the back­seat of my car on the way to the gentlemen’s club.

I’d nev­er been to a strip joint be­fore, and I re­al­ly have no de­sire to go ever again.

Granted, it was fun to watch Jeremy, but the whole at­mos­phere seemed hol­low. One of the guys bought me a lap dance, and while my body en­joyed the car­nal [i’m at work right now — a nun just walked in and asked for a com­put­er] as­pects, it didn’t even re­al­ly get me that turned on. It was like those Easter rab­bits, choco­late­ly on the out­side, but noth­ing fill­ing it up but stale air. I was bored af­ter the first half-hour. Apparently the on­ly at­trac­tion that the club held for me was the cu­ri­ousi­ty of the un­known. It on­ly took me thir­ty min­utes to un­der­stand the in­ter­ac­tions be­tween cus­tomers and staff, that is how shal­low it felt. It was a ba­by-pool cul­tur­al­ly.

It did teach me some­thing of my­self thank­ful­ly. Pure unimag­i­na­tive phys­i­cal­i­ty does not turn me on. I need at least the ap­pearence of ap­peal­ing per­son­al­i­ty to give me that nudge. I have no in­ter­est if there is no rec­i­p­ro­ca­tion of de­sire. So when I crush hard on a girl, I’ll know there is more to it than just lust. Boobies in the face aren’t that in­ter­est­ing un­less there is a vest­ed emo­tion­al in­tent be­hind them.

We Notre Dame folk were put up in a small house that dou­bles as a hunt­ing lodge right down the street from both re­cep­tion hall and church. Hell, every­thing is right down the street in a town that has on­ly a gen­er­al store and one restau­rant.

The next day I met most of Jeremy’s gi­gan­tic fam­i­ly. He has some cute cousins but told me not to hit on them. That evening, af­ter the ridicu­lous 115 de­gree weath­er, there was a pool par­ty in the near­by town of Beloit. I had not been swim­ming in ages and the heav­i­ly chlo­ri­nat­ed wa­ter was good in­deed.

The 4th was the re­hearsal day, af­ter the re­hearsal, we had pork brisket, baked beans, pota­to sal­ad, and home­made ice cream at the huge lo­cal hunt­ing ranch. Then we blew up an ar­se­nal of fire works for sev­er­al hours.

The wed­ding day was boil­ing hot, es­pe­cial­ly in the church in a suit. I video­graphed the wed­ding with­out a hitch and the re­cep­tion din­ner was roast beef, mashed taters, corn, rolls and amaret­to wed­ding cake. The dance was great, I sup­pose I en­joy danc­ing when I don’t feel ob­lig­at­ed to try and dance well, and can just be crazy. I was crazy, and it was a blast. I al­so caught the garter. Apparently it was arranged by Jeremy and Christy to get me to­geth­er with Christy’s friend Theresia. Well we end­ed up danc­ing to­geth­er and we talked a bit, but I’m not re­al­ly in­ter­est­ed. Besides, she lives in the mid­dle of nowhere Kansas.

We ND folk stayed up ass late talk­ing and then arose ass ear­ly to dri­ve home. The dri­ve home took a bit longer be­cause of a traf­fic jam, and we didn’t ar­rive in SB till 11:30. It was a long but good week­end.

O, Canada

Saturday, 14 June 2003

Damn, I sure need­ed that trip. Canada was ex­cel­lent, the fish­ing was great, the food was wun­der­bar, the weath­er was per­fect. I caught the biggest Northern Pike, the two largest wall­eye, and the largest perch [in­sert snick­er here].

and read on.

It had been sev­en years since I had last made the trek to Ear Falls, Ontario, the Bald Eagle Capital [of what ex­act­ly, they do not spec­i­fy] for a fishin’ trip. Much was as I had re­mem­bered it. Western Ontario is des­o­late of civ­i­liza­tion [we bare­ly had re­cep­tion on the on­ly ra­dio sta­tion — an AM sta­tion], and er­go won­der­ful. God’s Country ma’am. I saw moose, beaver, ea­gle, mink, bear, deer, loon, ot­ter, and i should not ne­glect to men­tion the fish, north­ern pike, wall­eye, and perch.

The fish­ing was the best I’ve ever ex­pe­ri­enced, my un­cles con­curred. The Ontario con­ser­va­tion pro­gram has done a good job im­prov­ing the fish­ing in Canada’s lakes, they low­ered the bag lim­it to 3 fish and 1 tro­phy fish per species from its pre­vi­ous lim­it of 5 and 1 re­spec­tive­ly. For pike, they al­so made a pro­tect­ed slot for the fish size, be­tween 27.5 and 35.5 inch­es. This con­tin­u­um is the prime breed­ing size for pike. The pike fish­ing wasn’t the best [al­though i did catch a 10 pounder that was 35 inch­es], but we caught many small ones [ham­mer-han­dles] which bodes well for com­ing years.

The wall­eye were enor­mous. In pre­vi­ous years we have been hard pressed to catch an 18 inch wall­eye, but this year, we glad­ly re­leased wall­eye af­ter wall­eye that were from 20 – 23 inch­es in length. These bug­gers were mon­sters. We found a spot where we would catch a fish al­most every pass of the boat, and re­turned there for most of the week. 2 of my wall­eye were the best ones we caught, I had both a 5 pounder and a 6 pounder, filets of which I have brought home to cook for my friends. We go to Canada for the wall­eye, and the wall­eye sure as hell were there this year. [they are aliased as pick­er­el and sauger too].

The ride up was long but not over­ly so, we ate din­ner in Eveleth, Minnesota [home of the US Hockey Hall of Fame] at the Sawmill, as un­so­phis­ti­cat­ed as it sounds. However, it was quite a large place, and chock-full of young beau­ti­ful women. I didn’t pay much at­ten­tion to my food. Next door to Eveleth is Virginia, MN, the Land of the Loon. When we crossed through International Falls to Canada, it was quite late. The bor­der guard who let us through was quite nice for a la­dy in a flak jack­et.

Traveling with my un­cles was good, and de­spite their con­stant send­ing me up, i main­tained my calm and shot right back at ‘em. Corbin was a bit try­ing at times, telling me how to do every­thing, but that is just what hap­pens when a Berkshire [him] clash­es with an­oth­er Berkshire [or half of one in my case]. Dean was quite pa­tient and pi­lot­ed the boat for most of the trip.

We used the trip [us men] I think as a way to talk about things that nev­er get talked about oth­er­wise, we talked about my dad a bit, and they dis­cussed some of the things that trou­bled them as well. There was even some phi­los­o­phiz­ing.

While I was up there, I got some ideas for po­ems as well, which is good news for me.

After be­ing on a boat for an en­tire day, I had ful­ly de­vel­oped my old sea-legs. The prob­lem is, once I’m back on land, every­thing has a nice reg­u­lar rock­ing mo­tion to it. Distinctly no­tice­able when you close your eyes.

The po­lice in Ontario are called the O.P.P.

i’m sure there was more but i can’t think of it now. if you wan­na know some­thing just ask.

Gone Fishin.

Thursday, 5 June 2003

I’m leav­ing bright and ear­ly to­mor­row morn­ing to go fishin’ in Canada. I’ll be back on the 15th, hope­ful­ly with a load of wall­eye and north­ern pike filets. This will qual­i­fy as my first va­ca­tion in about ten years. The last va­ca­tion was my last trip to Canada. I was on­ly twelve or thir­teen.

I’m go­ing with my un­cles, just the three of us, in­stead of typ­i­cal groups of eight to ten. It should be quite laid back and re­lax­ing. There is no bet­ter med­i­ta­tive ex­er­cise for me than sit­ting on a boat and fish­ing from can see to can’t see.

National Champions

Tuesday, 25 March 2003

last tues­day i left for Colorado Springs, CO to sup­port my team­mates at the NCAA fenc­ing cham­pi­onships. it was quite the trip. Those who drove were 4: Steve, Mad Dog, Matty, and my­self. the first 18 hours of our dri­ve out there were fine; un­til we ar­rived in Colorado amid the af­ter­math of one of their worst bliz­zards in years. I-70 was closed 12 miles in­to Colorado de­spite the fact that there was nary a snowflake on the ground. we de­toured to CO-25 which was al­so closed. we de­toured to CO-40, closed. we end­ed up go­ing all the way to Pueblo and then drove north till we ar­rived in Colorado Springs. 8 miles south of Colorado Springs we fi­nal­ly saw some snow, by the next day most of it had melt­ed.

we beat the team out there de­spite leav­ing af­ter they did. they’re flight was laid over at St. Louis and the next day they had a con­nec­tion in Houston be­fore fi­nal­ly get­ting in­to Colorado. the tour­na­ment was sup­posed to start on Thursday and con­clude on Sunday but since none of the teams could make it out on time they resched­uled and had a com­bined tour­na­ment last­ing all day sat­ur­day and all day sun­day. tough stuff with the al­ti­tude.

that left us with two full days to kill. since the Super 8 we were stay­ing at was lit­er­al­ly 30 feet from the Drury Inn where the rest of the team was, most of our time was spent over there goof­ing around, uti­liz­ing the hot tub, etc. Janusz was glad we were out there so we didn’t have to pay for our meals for most of the trip. we went to a bar one night, saw Chicago as a team and ate and ate and ate. the night be­fore the tour­na­ment we had a team meet­ing and every­one got their goals.

the first day of com­pe­ti­tion was in­tense. our fencers dropped a few bouts here and there, and the di­rect­ing was a bit try­ing at times, but by the end of the day we had a nice cush­ion in 1st place, al­though we still knew it was go­ing to be quite close. the 2nd and fi­nal day was a roller­coast­er of emo­tion the en­tire day. we were on­ly up by one bout in the fi­nal round with Penn State right on our heels. we need­ed any com­bi­na­tion of 3 ND wins or 3 PSU loss­es to se­cure the vic­to­ry. we won. there was pan­de­mo­ni­um. all of those clich s about win­ning and be­ing a champion…are true when you re­al­ly are one.

our AD Bernard took us to Carrabba’s an ber-nice Italian place in cel­e­bra­tion. once we got back to the ho­tel a few folks went on an al­co­hol run and a bunch of us went to the bars. i like tequi­la shots. we played a few games of pool, just re­laxed with our team and a few peo­ple from the oth­er mid­west teams. then we went back to the ho­tel, par­tied a bit more and hit the road home. (Mad Dog drove first, he hadn’t par­tak­en be­cause he is on an­tibi­otics). 20 hours lat­er we ar­rived in South Bend. ex­haust­ed but vic­to­ri­ous.

i can­not speak, my voice is shot from yelling. i shot plen­ty of footage to make a swee­t­ass video and took a ton of pic­tures. we are cham­pi­ons! i am a cham­pi­on! w00t!

Politricks and Fencing Championships

Tuesday, 18 March 2003

at 6 this evening i’m dri­ving out to Colorado Springs, CO and the USAFA for the NCAA fenc­ing cham­pi­onships. It is about a 19 hour dri­ve and at the end of it i still might not be able to watch my team com­pete for the cham­pi­onship. i had to sub­mit my so­cial se­cu­ri­ty num­ber, driver’s li­cense num­ber, etc. in or­der to get se­cu­ri­ty clear­ance to get on the base. at all times i must have two forms of pic­ture ID. but once the war starts not even that will get me on the base. i’m still go­ing out dammit.

what a stu­pid ul­ti­ma­tum from Dubya. yeah like that is EVER go­ing to hap­pen. might as well re­quire the im­pos­si­ble so we can start bomb­ing on sched­ule. any­thing for the war. even if the ul­ty did work i’d still be creeped out be­cause the US would be able to co­erce a coun­try in­to es­sen­tial­ly giv­ing up its sov­er­eign­ty. jee­bus.

what the in­ter­net needs is a bes­tiary of myth­i­cal beasts. and a good one at that. the on­ly ones i’ve found have been crap. maybe i could start my own if i had some time. mea­gan will you draw the crit­ters and creepy crawlies?

Trogdor the Arcade Game!

I’ll be back some­time next mon­day un­less NORAD and the USAFA get nuked by Iraqis.

Flight to North Carolina

Thursday, 6 February 2003

i’m fly­ing to Raleigh-Durham, N.C. to­day for the Duke University Duals. Its just the top four from each squad that trav­el when we fly. the guys leave to­day and the girls leave to­mor­row. i’m ex­cit­ed to be trav­el­ing. i do, how­ev­er, have the snif­fles. last night i put on lots of cloth­ing turned the heat up and put on a sock-hat then got un­der the cov­ers and sweat­ed my­self out. hope­ful­ly i didn’t just in­cu­bate the cold.

any­way, i get to wear my suit to­day. i don’t get chances to dress up of­ten so i fig­ure i’ll make the best of it and go all out.

no fri­day mp3 this week…

seeya sun­day.