Sunday, August 22, 2010

Friends And A Fair

This weekend, our lovely friends Carolyn and Jeff ventured north to the cabin from Rochester, MN. They arrived on Thursday evening with a cooler full of goodies- always a plus when the goodies are good. When these two visit, you can always expect some lively conversation and great times.
This weekend, Carolyn and Jeff, conversions-in-progress to Judaism, subjected Curt and I to RITUAL ABUSE!!! Friday night, they got out a polyester table cloth in the same pattern that Dwight and Mamie Eisenhower had in the White House- instant abuse if you ask me- and a nifty little folding candle holder in which they lit two little Sabbath candles that were to remain burning until they disappeared. Then, while I fidgeted uncomfortably and looked longingly at the meal, they proceeded to say their blessings and prayers in a language I didn't understand. I assume it was Hebrew, but it could have been Klingon. When the blessings were FINALLY over- a whole 30 seconds later- we ate a wonderful meal, followed by games. All the while, Curt and I were afraid those little candles- still burning two hours later- would take our house down.
So, here are my suggestions to improve Judaism:
1. Outlaw polyester table cloths. Curt's elbows had floral indents in them after resting his arms on the table cloth during dinner. Gays in particular are sensitive creatures to things like unnatural fibers.
2. Sabbath sparklers. Can the candles. Light sparklers and run around the room while saying your blessings. We could all use a little excitement an distraction, especially when those non-Jews in the room don't know what the hell you're chanting on about.

Just my thoughts. Take them or leave them.

The Sawyer County Fair
Saturday, we ventured to Hayward for the Sawyer County Fair. This is a small fair, befitting of a county that has about 17,000 permanent residents. Visitors to the many lakes in the area during summer probably quadruple the population, but they don't get the federal dollars after the census. So this was it- a midway with about 5 rides, some buildings, a horse ring and an ATV pull track. You heard it right, not a tractor pull, but an ATV pull. I hope that was fun. I didn't see it.
First we stopped at the horse ring, where sensible young girls in helmets (safety first, ladies) rode their horses around traffic cones. This is clearly intended to prepare the pair for construction season in Wisconsin, which seems to be never fecking ending. I'm telling you, it's true.

Next, we ventured to the animal barns. Now, we're getting into my fun zone. I love the animal barns. I like to compliment the animals on their appearance and good behavior. If I'm lucky I can touch the cows and sheep and other little critters. Take a close look at this turkey. I think he is giving me his best bedroom eyes. Misdirected, but thanks, Tom. Your pink and blue ensemble is quite flattering as well.
Next we wandered out to the PETTING ZOO!! OMG! OMG! That's how excited I was about the petting zoo. This one was outstanding. Not only did it have baby farm animals, it had some baby exotic animals like a little zebra, baby antelopes and a lemur. They didn't let you touch the lemur because I suspect there is some risk of them getting a little pissed off and ripping off the eyelids of ill behaved children. So, prepare yourself for an onslaught of cute.
This little fellow is showing me the trick he can do with his tongue. Who needs fingers and the privacy of a car at a stoplight? By the way, I can touch my nose with my tongue, too.

This little fellow was a Brahma calf. His ears were like silky bunny ears. I loved him.
This is a little Scottish Highland calf. His mother was nearby and she was a bit unpleasant. I deduced this from the sign on the pen that said "New Mother: Stay Back 5 Feet." This is really good advice when interacting with new human mothers as well. They can be a little, well, hormonal crazy, if you know what I mean.
This is a baby llama. He was darling. When he gets big, I will ride him around the horse ring through traffic cones. I swear I will.
After two trips to the petting zoo, we wandered through the craft building. Mostly it was crayon drawings by first and second graders, but there were a few quilts, crocheted afghans and flowers. Now, I know there are only 17,000 people in Sawyer County, but, folks, step it up a bit please. The grand prize winner in floral arranging was 6 marigolds stuck in florists foam. Really? Aren't there any gays around to perhaps raise the bar a bit?
Finally, Curt and Jeff went on some rides. Here is one. Look for Curt. He's the one waving at me.
video

Sunday, August 15, 2010

I Love a Small Town Festival

You know I do.

I also like to add my commentary to the goings-on in hopes that an event organizer will take notes and include a few gays in the planning next year, just to spruce things up a bit. You know how that is. Everything can benefit from a few gays in the planning process.

This weekend's festival was Minong Summer Days in the bustling village of Minong, WI, population 552.

The day started with a $5 pancake and sausage breakfast at the village hall that was to benefit the Northwoods High class of 2011. Wouldn't you know it though that there were only 2 high school students in sight? Instead the class of 2011 let their mothers do all the work. My message to the class of 2011: Get your lazy asses out of bed on a Saturday morning and come to your own damn benefit! Sheesh!
Breakfast was followed by watching the softball and volleyball tournaments until the parade began. I believe all day there were more people leaning over the back of the bleachers than sitting on them. It was odd. Is sitting too much of a commitment?
We also observed several varieties of wildlife. Let me show you:

This coyote puppy was really cute. Okay, he's a 10 week old Pomeranian, but who's paying attention?

Someone left the chickens out and they went wild apparently- wearing pants and drinking beer at 10 a.m.
This young buck was seen wandering through downtown Minong throughout the day. He was being stalked by some old cougars, if you know what I mean.

The Parade
The parade was, well, a bit disappointing. On the plus side, it was short, there were few politicians, there was LOTS of candy throwing and Sasquatch made an appearance. No really, he did. On the down side, there were no marching bands, no "royalty" and festooned ATVs substituted as floats. Again, they need a few gays to encourage the right behavior and to get a few waving queens in the mix. Here are some "high"lights:

You have to have your firefighters and you have to applaud when they go by. Otherwise, they will let your house burn to the ground. It's true. They take names.

There were lots of little twirlers in this group who were headed in the right direction. They wore sequins, smiled a little and actually had some rhythm. This little girl will probably be naturally skinny all her life. Is it wrong to resent such a person? No. I don't think so.
I said Sasquatch was there and I meant it. Minong is home to Jack Link's Beef Jerky enterprises. So naturally (?) Sasquatch was throwing out beef jerky and t-shirts. He's scary enough looking that many children cried. I will advise Jack Link NOT to create a Disneyfied Sasquatch for next years parade. There is NOTHING wrong with exposing children to terrifying things that throw beef treats at them. If anything, it sharpens their fight or flight response, which when faced with a real Sasquatch will benefit them, don't you think?

'T'ain't a Wisconsin parade without a whole mess of ATVs. These took the place of horses at this parade. And while they didn't poop and pee on the street, they did emit fumes that are toxic for those of us who breathe and harmful to the environment. So, I guess they are about even with horses then.
These little future gay haters of America were allowed a spot in the parade despite my vocal protests and spitting. Okay, I didn't do that. But, you know the damn boy scouts are virtually owned by the fecking Mormons, who, by the way are apparently the new keepers of family values in this great nation of ours (hey thanks for Prop 8, bitches) as they sit in their celestial underpants and feel accepted by Focus on the Family. Well, get real, Brigham Young, they are only in bed with you for your money. Only believing in James Dobson as your personal savior will get you saved.
Okay, I'll stop holding up this float and let the little bastards pass.

You all know there is a load of bat shit crazy riding around on this ATV. Angel collector, really? Are those the missing children she has limed and rotting under her floorboards? I wish I had a big gong, because I would have gonged her right out of the parade.

In Wisconsin, there are machines for which the purpose is unknown to normal people.

There is nothing like crazy old women to lighten the mood. Now THIS is a float. Take notes everyone. All you need is a hay wagon or a modified pontoon trailer, some shiny stuff, a little crazy and some big bags of candy to toss and you have a float.

Hula bears also create a nice sense of wonder and humor. The people sitting in lawn chairs in front of the bear without much to do, not so much.
Okay. Click on this one to blow it up. This is the fabled "Beauty by Trudee" float. There is not a good haircut on the damn thing and there is an ape on top, among other strange contradictions. So confusing. So confusing.
The parade was followed by a short trip home to play in the water, then BINGO! Curt won the first round and Marina won in the third. We left shortly thereafter because we feared the crowd would turn on us.
And that, my friends is Minong Summer Days.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

I Return With Pointless Rambling

After much whining and carrying on by MNMom, I am going to try to blog a little more than I have been. That is, if I can get out of work before 7:00 at night, which has been a problem lately. The other "problem" is that my old college chum Paul is such a f*cking amazing writer/blogger that I feel shame at my poorly constructed sentences and limited vocabulary. Okay, that last part was just a poor excuse that I'm guessing made Paul momentarily place blame upon himself, which is in his nature and that I have fun exploiting since we have reconnected after 25+ years. I bet he regrets that decision about now.

So, here's a little list of three things I want to go away just to get things rolling:

1. Flip flops: These are the lowest form of shoe. I am not a connoisseur of fine footwear. No. But, I'll be damned if these shoes don't stick in my craw every time I see them. The only good thing about them is that some people from my generation and slightly older still call them thongs and you know my affection for all things thong. I think the thing is that everyone wearing them looks like they are heading in to the shower and nobody wants to imagine that, unless it is Hugh Jackman. They might just as well wear a towel with those sloppy looking shoes. Feh. Oh, and pay attention to the number of people that trip over those god awful things in front of you while simply walking in a straight line. Which leads me to my second list item...

2. Drunk girls: Drunk girls are the ones that fall all over their damn thongs in front of me and they seem to be everywhere. Take for instance, the 4th of July fireworks in Gordon, WI. On the way, slightly drunk girls were everywhere tripping over the toes of their flip flops right in front of me. On the way back, the same now drunker girls, hopped up on patriotism as well, are weaving around, being loud and tripping on eachothers flip flops and laughing and falling and generally snarling up foot traffic. I made the mistake once of asking a fallen drunk girl if she was okay and she said the one thing that leads me to my third list item...

3. The sound "WOOOOOO": Me: Can I help you up? Are you okay? Drunk girl: (pause) WOOOOOO!! My question is, when did "WOOOOOO" become the international noise of fun? Point a camera at a group of two or more people at a party, on the Great Wall or helping at an accident site and what do they all say? Of course, "WOOOOOOO!" Drunk girls are the masters of this sound and substitute it for reasonable conversation at every turn. Ask them their name. "WOOOOOO!" Ask them how they've been. "WOOOOOO!" Inquire about their dying grandmother. "WOOOOO!" After which they will pause, cry, make a pass at you and throw up on your shoes.

Okay, enough for now. Feel better, Margaret?