Tuesday, August 30, 2011

On the Road to Danbury

If you told me four years ago I would still be blogging and sometimes getting paid for it there's a good chance my off-key laugh would have been directed towards your face.  If you told me I would be writing a six-to-eight page research paper for an advanced composition class that I asked to be in, on the path to a bachelor's degree, I'd ask for a hit of whatever you were smoking.

Despite the next four weeks being the most crammed, stressful, busy, in-need-of-a-clone time of the year, this space is needed to let the air out of my belly before everything besides my appendix and bruised liver bursts. This blog feels like a neglected puppy, cowered in a corner from lack of touch versus abuse, just wanting someone warm to cuddle up with and maybe tell him a story while in a lap on the back deck and a late summer's breeze drifts over both of them.

In the mist of this presidental-like schedule there are places to carve out tax cuts for the rich and relief from stress.  "Honey, I'm going into town".  Didn't take much as school provides education and a reason to seek WiFi during our weekends up north.  The drive is under 15 miles and seems too short when the weather cooperates.  A single gas station on the right with a selection of porn better fit for SexWorld in downtown Minneapolis, the family golf cart dealership where the wife has been eyeing half of my scant poker bankroll for a cart with a backseat rigging so the kids could comfortably get shuttled from the cabin/trailer to the pool and the clubhouse for the best dollar ice cream this side of Coldstone. 

Passing the unseen town of Swiss with a sign leaning back like a limbo dancer, probably caused by the straight-line winds that still show their destructive forces in the small town of Danbury that was my destination.  The "Welcome to Wisconsin" is a awesome sight for someone who stupidly ran out of beer and ththankfully the cheeseheads have no blue laws on the books to keep me from enjoying one more day of sun and suds.  As the first turn into town there's "Stubbs Fireworks" which I can't tell if its the proprietor's name or an unfortunate moniker from an M-80 mishap. 

After the bend the new St. Croix Casino (formerly Hole in the Wall casino, which was a dead ringer for what is was, desperate gamblers and slot machines inside of connected trailers) stood tall at the end of road just past the four block stretch of the town. 

Homemade fudge, fresh broasted chicken, an arts-and-craft store that smelled like lavender soap, and a giant Leinenkugel's chair in front of the grocery/liquor store in which some Chardonnay, chicken dry rub, and New Glarus Spotted Cow were on the list.  But, my spot was on the left at a bar named Wild Waters.  Log exterior, comfy interior, sizable enough to move around, not-so-big to miss a person's conversation from opposite ends of the bar.  This was my fourth visit of the summer, and surly owner always corrects my pronunciation of the delicious New Glarus on tap as I take a seat along the wooden tables with change stuck underneath the glass. 

While I am there to figure out the variance between standard and actual cost for an imaginary manufacturing company there's an extra pint or two taken with each visit just to watch the locals filter in.  Some by ATV, by Harley's, and some by foot.  All coming in with smiles on their faces, catching a quick chat with the others while watching the Packers updates on the flat screen hung on the back wall (although this week the Vikes were showing despite knowing I was probably the only Purple and White fan in the joint). 

One or two beers is mostly the cap for these folks, as it is the afternoon on a Saturday or Sunday and not exact prime time to start up rounds of Jagerbombs.  To me there's a relaxing feeling in those pure oak stools, something not found in surburbia-land where corporate heads suck all of the life out of glass before its even poured with flair.  But, it's my time.  And my time does not come over very often with full time school, work, and the upcoming WCOOP at PokerStars next week. 

Yes, I did and do manage to find my way into the St. Croix Casino, much like asking a married man if he finds Minka Kelly attractive, this gambler has some oats to sow that don't involve breaking his marital vows to Deter Jeter's girlfriend.  During these rushed times it necessary to drop your business suit, parenting suit, and even your birthday suit if you're into that sort of thing, and take a few minutes to breathe.  What gives you that air is up to the individual and holding your breath too long will take the life from you.

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Same old, Same old (tired) situation

A post seen too often lately from friends followed for almost eight years.  "Where have you been?", "why haven't you been posting?", "is this place getting dusty?".

The first one, school has kicked into high-gear, combined with no weekends off for over month plus trying to get up to the cabin every weekend, equals zero time to jot inane markings of my boring suburbanite married life.  Busy does not equal exciting, at least in my world, to others flying around the world in exotic lands and less-than-safe hotels and airports, my path is pretty straightforward with the same 8.7 miles commute in the wee hours of the morning, same return trip and maybe spice it up with a stop at the Holiday gas station, then back home to become either daddy or that one parent trying a little too hard to remind his five year old daughter to keep her hands together while swinging the bat playing T-ball.

Add in the Swedish sauna-like heat over the past three weeks, plus an annual guy's weekend trip that included passing out next to a bottle of Pliny the Elder and getting stacked in a $20 buy-in NLHE game by a chick that had her chair crying for mercy, and you've got one tired blogger.  Hell, Saturday night there was me, myself, and I slumped on a tan sectional all alone when I should have been downtown having a beer on a rooftop with good friends.  But the sirens of the afternoon nap called and four hours later I woke up to Parker Bonn Jr. trying to close out a bowling match on ESPN 26.

Lack of posting is both the above excuses, which really are lame, and lack of desire.  Since my advanced composition professor has decided to make our fingers bleed while banging out long drawn out analytical thesis,  10 to 1 arguments, scouring academic papers for the true meaning within, and becoming conversant while penning the next Moby Dick, my fingers and whatever is left of the magical pixie dust of creativity within my rum-soaked fingers is dried up from the effort.  The challenges are awesome, I mean who wouldn't want to learn how to draft a cost summary for a processing plant while derviving the meaning from a paper that compares tommy girl perfume commericials and corporations exploiting nationalist pride for profit?

Again, exciting life I lead.

The film of non-use on this writing shelf?  Since this is my shelf to place trophies, kids stories, and bitch about when the missus and I have not had sex for weeks, it will be used, abeit sparingly during the summer.  Much like the golden ages when Americans could play quasi-legal online poker for more than points towards a t-shirt or brass bracelet, my fun time online takes a big dip in the months filled with baseball, sweaty boxer briefs, and tall, cold pours of Surly Furious on the deck.  Drunken poker Thursday are no more, as my degeneracy has been diluted to playing slots on Facebook.

See DOJ, you make me cry, turning my hobby night of blank thoughts into an evening of Mark Zuckerberg sponsored pokes and pop-up windows to remind my friends that I'm playing Slot-O-Mania past midnight. No worries about that five page paper and 30 different general ledger entries due by Sunday before getting the low-down on the final two tables of the PokerStars Sunday Warm-up.  Yep, NO FUN FOR YOU! /Soup Nazi

No drawn out rant today as tonight I'll be thumbing through 20 pages of academic writing penis pumping (or titty enlarging?), as the author's of the textbook seemed more concerned with the amount of 50 cent words they could cram into paper-filled vacuum than trying to teach a point to improve my writing skillz (or lack thereof).  Reading while taking my son and 10 other kids to something called "SkyZone" to wear them out playing dodgeball on trampolines. Actaully looking forward to this as we had a blast the first time I took him here, something that the recent stock market roller coaster, riots in London, or moral online gambling zealots won't touch.

And times like these will get my pen here for a few minutes each week.