North Carolina Business Trip: Epilogue

Flying on 9/11 may not be the smartest thing I have ever done (then again neither was this. Or this. Or this), but, as the rabid Carolina Hurricanes fan sitting next to me on the plane said yesterday “If we do not fly on 9/11 then the fucking terrorists win.” Preach on, guy who loves Rod Brind’Amour, preach on (note to Perez: ‘Canes fan was a former Philadelphia Flyers fan which almost made me stop talking to him until I asked him why he stopped rooting for the Flyers. His response, “Because my wife and I have been living in Raleigh for the past seven years and, well, fuck the Flyers“). Sitting in the CLT, here are some highlights from my recent business trip to North Carolina:

  • North Carolina is green and lush. I mean really green and lush. I guess I am too used to the yellow-brown hue Colorado is covered in year-round. There are a plethora of pine tress in the greater Raleigh-Durham area, too. I was not aware the Carolinas were so friendly to the coniferous tree family.
  • Various topics discussed with our client that was not related to his website: Carolina Panthers football, the point spread on the UNC-Rutgers game, Indian hotel investors, hairy pussy, bald pussy, Viagra and wine.
  • Various topics discussed with our client related to his website that had nothing to do with design or development: their T1 connection.
  • Various topics discussed with our client related to his website that had to do with design or development: none.
  • I enjoyed a ridiculous meal at a five-star resort called Herons. I gorged myself on a tremendous meal of sea bass, hush puppies, numerous expensive glasses of wine and sweet potato pie.
  • How many times our client’s partner urged me to “beat my children with a strap” upon telling him that my wife was pregnant: 3.
  • How many times our client’s partner passed on the restaurant valet service even though it was free: 2.
  • The next time I will be to invited fly to Raleigh and “talk about the website”: 6 months.
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Instant Messaging From The Edge

Wil: This communique may be brief. Damn third world countries and their third world internet.
Me: It is the rebels I am guessing. Monitoring for subversive conversation.
Wil: Could be some Sandinistas. I am in their hometown after all. Birthplace of Sandino himself.
Me: Well in that case, Viva Sandinistas! We love you!
Wil: Nice. Leon is also where that crazy poet gunned down Somoza. There are statues of him everywhere. Rigoberto Perez, I think it was. Cold John Lennon’d his ass. I could be wrong. I have had many Victorias.
Me: Well, when you are a dictator you have it coming. I mean, you have to know someone will pop a cap in your ass.
Wil: Yeah. Leon is like Boulder. Total liberal town. It would be like Pat Robertson coming to Boulder and making derogatory remarks about wheat grass. Some hippie would kill his ass.
Me: Or just try to offer him some really choice weed.
Wil: Ha! Tomorrow I head to Granada because this town sucks. Much like Boulder. I want wear a Somoza Rules t-shirt make a statement similar to your Shut Up Hippie bumper sticker. It might end up worse than someone keying my car, though.
Me: They tend to cut off your head for freedom of expression down there, Willie.
Wil: Man, if prison had air conditioning I would do anything to get thrown in. It is hot down here, Holmes.
Me: Like flames of hell hot?
Wil: Like sweat indoors but do not realize it until your shirt is soaked through hot.
Me: Like your balls sticking to your legs and smelling of old cheese hot.
Wil: Exactly. I stink really bad right now and there is a water shortage so I cannot do any laundry.
Me: You are in the jungle, dude. Fuck it. When we were in St. Lucia showers meant nothing to me. Mostly because after taking a shower I would not be able dry off for three days.
Wil: Good point. But my jeans are especially bad. Alright, I have to get the hell out of this steamy internet cafe because it is making me sweat more and smell worse.
Me: Remember to rubber up.
Wil: Will do. Adios!

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Oregon: Epilogue

Highlights from the Eugene/Coastal Oregon family vacation:

  • Number of relatives houses we crashed at that had wireless internet but not cable television: 1.
  • A movie that is not fun for the entire family: I Am Legend.
  • A movie that is not good in any way, shape or form: The Man From Earth.
  • Times the phrase “I slept like the baby Jesus” was uttered: 4.
  • How many trips were made to Autzen Stadium to procure gifts: 4.
  • How many trips made to Autzen Stadium were to take back items bought by hasty husbands who purchased items with no thought of sizes/people in mind: 2.
  • Times the assumed identity “Grayson Buttdorf” was used to sign into the Oregon Coastal Parks and Recreation gray whale watching sheet: 1.
  • How many variations of the assumed identity “Grayson Buttdorf” were mulled over numerous Alaskan Ales and one annoyed 18 year-old misquoted cousin: 5.
  • Beer, in ounces, that was consumed on the front deck of a the Heceta Head Lighthouse bed and breakfast in one evening: 184.
  • A roaring ocean, a good buzz, a comfortable bed and a warm room gave me the best night of sleep in recent memory.
  • A short, slanted ceiling, high-backed bathtub and hand-held shower head gave me the most uncomfortable bathing experience in recent memory.
  • How many gravely-voiced suspected serial killers ate with us during our “seven-course breakfast”: 1.
  • Lastly, props to my brother-in-law drove who our rented mini-van like Al Cowlings across Northwest Oregon in order to get us to our flight at PDX with minutes to spare.
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The wife knocked the Xmas gift exchange out of the park (again) by procuring me an official Tyler Durden leather jacket and This Is Spinal Tap Collectors Edition on DVD (“The question is how much more black could it be? And the answer is none. None more black.”) I got her jewelry and perfume. I am the best husband in the world. Aside from skidding our truck into a ditch and having my brother-in-law tow us out with his penile enhancing mega-vehicle and than having said skidded truck’s battery die on my parent’s driveway, our baby Jesus day went off without a hitch. As of post time I am sitting at PDX minutes from procuring a rental car and driving down to Eugene to spend the week with my wife’s family. We also plan to renew our love affair at the Heceta Head Lighthouse as the romance is dead in our marriage. Happy holidays, loyal readers of the MB. I hate all seven of you.

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My Own Private Idaho

The wife and I spent the weekend gallivanting around Boise, Idaho and visiting with family. Some highlights:

  • Taking your intermediate level skiing wife down a run called Widowmaker first thing in the morning does not help her psychologically for the rest of the day. It just scares the bejesus out of her.
  • My wife’s grandfather, aged 97, to me regarding the Boise State Fiesta Bowl victory: “It was the best thing to ever happen to this town.”
  • A hotel room sink packed with ice can hold a twelve pack of Alaskan Amber nicely.
  • My wife’s grandfather, aged 97, to the jabbering ladies on stage during Robbie Burns Night: “Get on with it!”
  • Haggis and Scottish shortbread cookies make for a fine meal.
  • If the United Nations would only listen to heavily intoxicated, foul-mouthed artists and German citizens working towards Ph.D.’s in brain cancer research than this world would be a much better place.
  • I was recognized as “That guy from the Boise State parade” twice in the same night. Once next to the urinal in the men’s bathroom at the Bittercreek Alehouse and once outside the Bittercreek Alehouse by a throng of intoxicated college girls.
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A Walk In Vegas Remembered, Part II

I get lost again walking through the hotel/casino I’m staying at. Never trust Mexican food from a place that sells margaritas by the yard. Never trust old ladies that look like old catchers mitts and carry their cigarettes in sequined coin purses. A man lies passed out on his shoes in the bus shelter by the Bellagio. Past the flash and glitz of “Disneyland” lies north Las Vegas. The crooked past of the city is exposed. The further north I walk on the Strip, the faces look rough and mean. Missing teeth, chiseled age lines, hollow eyes and ruined dreams manifested in each countenance. It costs $30 to go to the top of the Stratosphere. That’s Daddy’s crap money. I turn south and head back down the Strip after I realize I may get robbed and stabbed. I snap pictures of things and a crack head emerges from the darkness behind a palm tree and quips, ‘Take all the pictures you want, baby, they don’t cost nuthin’.’ A man lies passed out behind the bus shelter across the street from Frontier. I quell the urge to wake him up and tell him it would be more comfortable if he were sleeping on his shoes. Drunk fat girls drinking margaritas by the yard howl and ogle as men walk by. A punk in a Slayer shirt sings South of Heaven loudly in the middle of the street. I get propositioned by another black prostitute over the walkway between the MGM Grand and Tropicana. I hit the craps table thinking I’m White Chocolate. I lose $40 before the waitress brings me my first drink. On the walkway to the Luxor, a fat girl’s ass hangs out of her mini-skirt. I’m leaving tomorrow only $39 down. The last thought that enters my head before I drift off to sleep: I AM White Chocolate.

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A Walk In Vegas Remembered

This town is a corporate dumpster. Drag queens on the corner ask me for spare change and menthol cigarettes. Children asleep in their strollers as parents walk them back to the hotel after blowing this month’s mortgage payment on roulette. Mexicans peddle sex on the street corners that killed our best gangster poet. Ugly people pretend to be beautiful. Beautiful people pretend to be ugly. Underage frat boys watch the Bellagio fountains with a twelve pack of Corona. The well-manicured casino landscaping smells like vomit. A black prostitute propositions me. I say ‘No thanks’ and she calls me a racist. A man in a wheelchair races his friends on the Excalibur walkway and crashes into the glass doors at full rolling speed. I lose $39 at the craps table. Tomorrow I will get an In-N-Out Burger for lunch.

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Boise: The Jewel Of The Gem State

The future wife and I spent the past few days in the bustling metropolis of Boise, Idaho. We visited with grandparents, caught some early bird specials (unfortunately Perkins was one of said early bird specials), attended an Idaho Steelheads game and walked around Hyde Park, Boise State and the downtown area. All you need to know about big happenings in Boise is that they usually revolve around the P.F. Changs.

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Chicago/Oregon: Epilogue

Highlights from my past two weeks of travel:

  • At the HOW Design Conference, I learned some new tricks, saw some awesome design work and ate deep-dish pizza and drank numerous beers with friend/former coworker Michael. I cannot wait to get back to work with renewed creative enthusiasm only to have it crushed in a matter of seconds when I am given four pages of copy and told to “make it work” on a one-sided direct mail postcard.
  • Caught a Cubs game at Wrigley Field. The future wife and I soon discovered that our alcohol tolerance is much higher in the Midwest that at altitude. I spent the entire game covered in sweat due to high humidity and a broken air conditioner on the El-Train ride out to the game that was packed butts to nuts.
  • Visited the Art Institute of Chicago and saw some amazing work (Picasso, an orgy of impressionism) and some atrocious work (minimalism and American Gothic). Best quote while looking at the Georgia O’Keeffe collection: “She is very vaginal.”
  • The future wife and I took a beautiful sunset architectural tour of Chicago.
  • Visited future in-laws in Eugene, Oregon. I found out that Eugene is almost identical to Boulder, minus the sex assaults, random rioting and the Flat Irons.
  • Animal House was filmed at the University of Oregon so the future wife’s cousin took us on the Animal House tour at U of O, showing us the infamous frat house (currently vacant) and the cafeteria where the food fight scene took place.
  • Drove up the Oregon coast on Highway 101 that is incredible for scenery, shitty for traffic and great for fried seafood joints.
  • Spent three days in Long Beach, Washington in the heart of Lewis and Clark Country. We did the tours of various Lewis and Clark outposts, forts and landings, learned that the proper pronunciation of Sacagawea is Sa-caca-we-ah and ate a cut of fresh fish the size of our heads in Oysterville, Washington.
  • The closest I got to the ocean was dipping my feet in the 42-degree water. The oceans surrounding the Columbia River are some of the roughest and most treacherous in the world. Mix that in with the fact they are as cold as an Eskimo’s vagina so swimming is not ideal (unless you are white trash parents laying out on towels “watching the kids play in the water” while smoking cigarettes).

Sidenote: After months of procrastination and toil, I finally got Broz Design up.

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Chicago/Oregon: Prelude

In a few short hours, I will be on a plane headed for Chicago and the 2005 HOW Design Conference. Once the conference concludes, the future wife and I will be hanging around the Windy City for a few days. We will be back in Denver next Thursday only to leave for Oregon the following Saturday to visit with our in-laws for the week. Posting will be minimal to none on the MB during this time. If you start going through withdrawals consider Jake, Boing Boing or Fleshbot your methadone. Especially Fleshbot. They have dirty pictures and stuff.

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