Friday, August 21

I Have A Black Belt In Armchair Jiu-Jitsu

A few weeks ago, I was fortunate enough to take in my first-ever live MMA event, when I attended the Madtown Throwdown here in Madison, Wisconsin. The show was fantastic, the production and talent were top-notch, and I honestly think that we have an awesome group of up-and-coming fighters that could potentially make waves worldwide in the next few years.

The Missus had a prior engagement that night, so I flew solo for the event. This caused a slight bit of discomfort, as I was given a bleacher seat wedged between two of the fattest dudes I've ever seen outside of the Guinness Book of World Records. I'm a small enough guy, but it was a tight fit to say the least, and the event itself lasted for somewhere in the neighborhood of six hours. Still, I faught through the pain; they were nice guys and took great pleasure in drunkenly shaking me back and forth whenever they delivered the punchline of a sexist joke. Good people.

As I sat there and attempted to immerse myself in the action taking place inside the cage, I began to hypothesize (absurdly so) about my own potential talents as a Mixed Martial-Artist. I mean, I'm in good shape, adequate height and weight, good diet, lots of energy, free of cigarrettes and drugs, great knowledge of the MMA game and all it entails. Hey, why not me?

Who's to say that after a solid year or two of serious gym training and getting whipped into fighting shape, that I couldn't step inside the Octagon and have an honest crack at knocking some bitches out? I'm smart, I'm tough, I'm dedicated and I love the sport! Yes...YES! I'm going to peel myself off of the proverbial Couch of Life and GO FOR IT!

This epiphany had made me quite hungry, so I decided to take a break from the previous four hours of decrepit, fetal bleacher seating and grab some nachos. Without stretching and with an unnecessary amount of upward propulsion, I squirted myself free from the crushing Black Hole of the huge guys on my left and right, took a big step forward and promptly pulled my groin.

Read that again. I pulled my groin at the Madtown a spectator...because I stood up too fast to get nachos.

I tapped out to nachos. It finally went away entirely early this week, but it taught me a very important lesson about not only the ravages of age and mortality, but that I should never, under any circumstances whatsoever, try to fight for a living.

God is imaginary.

(2005, 2006, 2007, 2008)

Thursday, August 20

It's A Brassicaceae Massacre! Evacuate At Once!

What I Said To Anyone Who Would Listen To Me:

"I smell gas! I'm telling you, there's a gas leak in this office! We need to call the Fire Department and get everyone out of here! There's no time to speculate, this place could blow at any minute!"

What The Building Supervisor Said To Me:

"Yeah, I found your 'gas leak.' It was actually some cabbage that was left in the break room over the weekend."

What I Said In Return:

"Thank you for your time."

God is imaginary.

Wednesday, August 19

An Incontinent Truth.

What The E-Mail I Sent To The President Of The Wisconsin Medical Examining Board Was Supposed To Say:

'Sorry for the inconvenience.'

What The E-Mail I Sent To The President Of The Wisconsin Medical Examining Board Said After I Auto-Corrected My Spelling Errors:

'Sorry for the incontinence.'

God is imaginary.

Tuesday, August 18

I Want To Ride It All Night Long.

August 22, 1992 - Tom Cochrane's 'Life Is A Highway' is released to moderate acclaim, reaching #6 on the Billboard Hot 100. It would be Cochrane's only charting hit.

August 15, 2009 - On my five-minute drive to a nearby Subway, I hear 'Life Is A Highway' on two different radio stations at the same time.

God is imaginary.

Monday, August 17

CDP Wayback Machine - Swiss Edition.

'Fondue For Two.'
(Originally Published August 15, 2004. Wow, five years ago!)

This weekend was the first one in a long time that me and the Missus have had to ourselves. Sure, we always enjoy our time away from the monotony and drudgery of work, but having some focused alone time is vital in keeping a relationship enjoyable. So I told her to plan us a day trip to anywhere she wanted to go. For the longest time, she wanted to visit the town of New Glarus, a Swiss settlement about 40 miles southwest of Madison. As the story goes, about a hundred or so Swiss settlers colonized in New Glarus in the early 1800’s, and set up shop. Since then, it has basically remained the same place, complete with original buildings and more Swiss antiques than you could ever imagine. I was sold.

You immediately notice a few things upon entering New Glarus. First off, there’s painted cows everywhere.

What business these cows serve is really beside the point, because they look beautiful and are fun to touch. So much fun, in fact, that you are specifically instructed not to do so.

Being the rebel I am, I could not help myself.

Another wonderful thing about New Glarus is the attention to detail. While most of the buildings are from the original time of settlement, there are going to be new ones that pop up from time to time. Being a tourist town, they took care of that, and made sure that every new building adapted to the Swiss culture.

After the initial taking-in of the scenery, we went miniature golfing. The Swiss know how to run and properly maintain a mini-golf course. It was certainly one of the prettier courses I’ve played on this year. And hey, check this out!

Goats! On the golf course! They were well-fed, well-maintained, friendly and eager to please. Me and Celia both finished well under par and continued on our venture.

Now, everyone has their fantasies. Some guys wonder what it would be like to sleep with two women at the same time. Others think about what it would be like to win the lottery.

My fantasy has always been to play Mini-Golf and then go Bowling immediately afterward.

Fantasy no more.

Swiss Lanes reminded me of an older, smaller, older, more run-down, older version of Marble Park Lanes. We entered the place thinking it was closed, due to the fact that all of the lights were off and nobody was there. We saw an old woman playing an illegal gambling machine in the corner, and an old man smoking a cigarette and staring off into space behind the bar. We asked him if we could bowl, and he said yes, once he went back and “turned it on”.

8 ancient lanes, dark as night, and not a single person around. The alley was ours, and we couldn’t be happier. The lanes were so warped and crooked that you had to forget everything you knew about physics before you rolled. For example, if you wanted to aim for the center pin, you had to start your throw, say, 4 lanes over. Check out my killer form:

My score suffered because of this.

Nevertheless, it was coolest game of bowling I’ve ever played. We thanked the old man, and continued on our lovely Swiss journey. Next stop on the tour were the souvenir shops.

Handmade Swiss dresses, Cuckoo clocks wall-to-wall, beer steins as big as console television sets. We took in store after store of these wonders, while Polka music filled the air, seemingly following us everywhere throughout the town. I, of course, sought out the music section, which didn’t fail to impress.

Here’s the best part: they were only 20 bucks each! I grabbed an armload of them, and headed for the register.

After blowing most of our budget on yodeling tapes, we decided to take in some of the beautiful architecture. Like this Church, for example.

After several hours in New Glarus, I started to feel jealous. I wanted to be Swiss, or at the very least, live in Little Switzerland. These people represented everything I loved in a culture. Non-violence, fine wines and cheese, land-locked for minimal contact with water. I didn’t want to leave. I wanted to spend the rest of my life thinking that I was not only Swiss, but that I was actually living in Switzerland. I made a promise to myself that I would always spell “house” as “haus” from now on. It was the least I could do to remember such a neat place.

But the day wasn’t quite over. We treated ourselves to an authentic Swiss dinner at the New Glarus Hotel.

We got there too early to see the polka band that plays there nightly, and the festive dance that’s sure to follow, but it was great nonetheless. We shared a massive Swiss fondue, and a dish of traditional cheeses. I have yet to go to the bathroom. I finished off with a piece of mint-chocolate cake, and before you knew it, it was time to say goodbye to Little Switzerland. We stopped at the local winery, got a bottle to remember our trip, and headed back to Sun Prairie.

Goodbye New Glarus. We’ll be back soon, but not soon enough.