Thursday, July 5

Welcome To Devil's Lake. Go To Hell.

Grillin like a villain.

I may be stating the obvious here, but I've never been a huge fan of Independence Day. I don't like fireworks, I don't like going outside in July, and I'm merely tolerating America on a day-to-day basis. To me, it's just another paid holiday. But yesterday, me and the Missus (along with Ben & Sherry) headed out to Devil's Lake State Park for an afternoon of grilling, drinking and throwing pine cones at crows.

The drive through southern Wisconsin was beautiful as always, taking in incredible hillsides and other Ice Age artifacts along the way. True to idiotic form, however, I assumed that we were the only people brilliant enough to come up with the idea to spend our Fourth of July at Devil's Lake. We were wrong, but nonetheless found a nice tree to set up camp under.

Ben got things going on the grill.

Grillin like an ass.

When Vegetarians grill out, it's slightly different than when most normal people throw down. Hamburgers become veggie burgers, hot dogs become veggie dogs, and steak becomes sweet corn. For as healthy of an alternative as vegetarianism is, I was more than winded after only 30 seconds of tossing the football around. The fact that it was about a brazillion degrees didn't help any.

I did my best to stay hydrated by sucking down a massive batch of Bomb Pop that I whipped up just for this trip. It's a refreshing Summer drink that consists of grenadine, lemonade and about a quart of Blue UV. At least, the concoction that I mixed did. It gave me the strength I needed to play a strenuous game of Bocce ball and eat over 5 pounds of both potato and macaroni salad.

Drinkin like an ass.

I didn't wear my commie shirt for any comedic effect on Independence Day, it was just a coincidence. Also, it wasn't a coincidence, and I'm only suggesting it was to cork the cryholes of those who don't think it's funny. It is funny, and you can kind of see my right nipple in that photo. I bought it at Urban Outfitters, so you can assume that it's incredibly thin and more than a little overpriced. But that's the price you pay for wanting to look like a douchebag.

As I slowly slipped into a coma, we did some people-watching, which included no less than an hour of a severely overweight woman attempting to fly a kite. By herself. Honestly, for over an hour. I then set my car alarm off from 20 yards away when a little girl rode her bike past it. I was trying to get her to actually fall off of the bike, but I was still pleased with the results.

Veggie patties ahoy!

After most of the alcohol had been drank and the food properly digested, we said goodbye to Devil's Lake and hit the nearest Go-Kart track. If there's one thing more fun than driving Go-Karts on the Fourth of July, it's doing it whilst partially hammered.

Just the four of us had the entire track to ourselves, which we tore up like nobody's business. For the sake of protecting their egos and social status, I will not tell you how badly I destroyed the other 3 contestants. Let's just say that I got to run 2 extra laps because of how far I was ahead. I looked like Toad and Toadette rocking the Daisy Cruiser in Mirror Mode with the Pink Kart (if you got that reference, you're officially invited to my next Mario Kart party).

Just a reminder; today's post is brought to you by rocks.

Rocks. Nature's rock.

Rockin the rocks.

It's times like this that I feel very fortunate to live in Wisconsin. We have so many different formations and varying degrees of land here, that you get to take in a lot of the nation by never crossing state lines. It's not perfect, but damn, I've never once thought that Wisconsin wasn't anything short of awesome.

After a long day outside, we headed back to CDP Headquarters, where we realized that Ben had left his keys back at the campsite, almost an hour away. This happened because they got dropped onto the ground at some point by accident. We verified this by zooming in on one of our photos, CSI-style.

Have a look at this unassuming photo of our post-lunch mess. Everything seems innocent enough, but what's that metallic object buried in the grass?

Uh-ohs.

We'd better zoom in for a closer look. Can we get a magnification on this?

Oh noes!

Damn.

Looks like someone's going to be sitting at my house tomorrow afternoon, waiting for their wife to get home from work. I sure hope I didn't throw my metal detector away.

So, Fourth of July week is drawing to a close, leaving me relatively unscathed. I got minimal sunburn, no hangovers to speak of and nothing but good stories to tell. I cooked out twice, celebrated my cousin's graduation, got my hands on about 400 vintage vinyl albums, spent lots of money in some of the coolest parts of Madison, lit fireworks in my driveway, made mad progress on my book, hit up a state park and it's not even Friday yet.

Furthermore, the four of us will be headed off to Steven's Point (about 110 miles north of Madison) for yet another party this weekend. I have no idea what the occasion is, but I've been told to get us a hotel room for the night up there, so I can assume it's going to be just slightly more than I'll be able to handle.

I genuinely hope that your week has been as good as mine. If it hasn't, I guess I don't give a crap.

Tuesday, July 3

Cultural Diversity Is Unoriginal.

Fall Down Go Boom.

On Saturday, the Missus and I (along with Ben and Sherry) headed out to the lakeside terrace in downtown Madison to see Rhythm & Booms, the largest fireworks show in the state. The Missus really wanted to go this year, as we had missed out for 4 straight years due to one strange circumstance after another (got lost, got lost, forgot & got lost, respectively).

As we hit the lakeshore, I was instantly surrounded by 10,000 people...er...individuals.

One woman was skipping around, rocking Birkenstocks and playing an African drum. Another group of folks was* playing bocce ball (in amongst a massive group of roving people in the dark, mind you). Others were staggering drunk, others reeked of weed and still more thought they were doing everyone a favor by gracing us with their singing voice. I didn't get bitten by any mosquitoes, presumably because they were so annoyed that they left.

(*Grammatically correct. Yup.)

You know, the problem with cultural diversity is that it's so...unoriginal. Also, notice how I already structured a sentence in this post the exact same way as the last one. Isn't that lazy? Isn't that stale and predictable? Well, so were these people. Lately, I've become so bored and disappointed by seemingly intelligent people that I could spit. In fact, I just did spit, but most of it hit my shoe. What looked like a Utopia on Saturday night, to me, looked like a bunch of people trying too hard.

Clearly, there's something wrong with me. Normal people don't think that way.

I also find it interesting that after 1,000 years of evolution, human innovation, entire civilizations rising and collapsing, we still look to the skies year after year to watch things blow up. Regardless of where we go as a race, I doubt we'll ever get tired of fireworks. The spectacle of putting flame to colored gunpowder has lasted longer than Aerosmith and The Simpsons combined. The show was beautiful, however, and I managed to leave without taking a swing at anyone.

Heading home and feeling less than ready for bed, my friends bought a $30 assortment of fireworks with the intention of setting them ablaze in my driveway. The Missus, in a rare moment of adventure and carefree thinking, convinced me that the fireworks wouldn't make any noise (you know, those silent fireworks that everyone talks about) and the cops would not drag me down to the station for creating a noise disturbance at 11:30pm.

I agreed and went along.

For the next half hour, we lit things on fire, woke up hundreds of elderly neighbors, ran from cars and stared directly into blinding light. I was acting 10 years younger and 20 years dumber, and quite frankly, enjoyed the hell out of it. The four of us were falling about the driveway, knowing full well that had any teenagers pulled the same stunt, we would have come out and beat them within an inch of their collective lives.

It was ridiculous, but it was what I needed. Just because humans evolve, try too hard to be cultural, don't try hard enough...whatever; it doesn't mean you can't just have fun every now and again. At the end of the day, the only person trying too hard to appear significant is the person who's criticizing all of the individuals.

That person is me; I'm an asshole and I'm sorry. I know better now, although I tend to forget constantly.

Other highlights from my weekend include watching Sicko at the new Sundance 608 Cinema (a great theater and a fantastic film), spending an evening in the delightfully posh and serene Hilldale Mall area, acquiring no less than 400 vinyl albums from my uncle (which I plan to digitally archive for the purposes of awesomeness), and celebrating my cousin's High School graduation (she's coming to Madison for college; I look forward to having her visit). The weather was atypically beautiful for Wisconsin standards, and I even tanned a little bit, considering that I was born with no pigment whatsoever.

The perfect weekend?

No chance; it was way too...unoriginal.

Monday, July 2

Monday Polysics Fix.



This week is devoted to Polysics, who I have been proclaiming the Greatest Band In The World for many years now. Let it be known that I've never wavered on this argument.

The J-Pop Gods have returned with yet another amazing album, Karate House, and this is the video for their first single, 'Electric Surfin' Go Go.' The video is just another slice of the Polysics pie, giving you a great peek into their creativity, other-worldly pop music sense and overall kickass-y-ness.

Watch, listen and please say hello to your new favorite band. More to come.