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Grumpy Old Man

I’ve been waiting for this moment since having children. The Elder Extroverted Holy One and I had a “Back in our day” moment with the Young Extroverted One and the Neighbor Boy. I can’t remember what we were talking about before the event but I started talking about how when we were kids there weren’t any channels devoted strictly to cartoons. The only cartoons shown were on Saturdays, to which the YEO says, “That sounds boring!”

EEHO responds, “We weren’t bored we went outside to play or we read books.”

Yeah, we also walked up hill both ways through the snow to get to school. Fought off bears with our little slate chalkboards. Crouched in fear when the sky went black as night during an eclipse. We didn’t have TV, we sat on a hill and watched the sun ’till our retinas burned out. Or my favorite phrase of all time: I remember when that Wal-Mart wasn’t there.

Every once in awhile I obsess over things. Sometimes it’s a T.V. show, actor, character or a book but I usually forget about it after a little bit. I probably become preoccupied with something else. The one person that has popped up on my obsessive radar more than once is Chris McCandless. This young “asthetic voyager” left behind his old life of privilege to live on the road and in a Henry David Thoreau-like existence. His goal was to make it in the Alaskan wilderness. Well, he made it to Alaska but he didn’t make it at living there. At the age of 24 he died of starvation in a bus that was converted as a backcountry shelter.

I’ve read the Outside article and the book that spun out of that article both written by Jon Krakauer. I’ve followed off and on the press that this young man received since he died in August of 1992. Recently, I watched the Sean Penn film based on the book and that, of course, got me all engrossed about Chris and his story all over again. In my obsessiveness (thank you internets!) I found the documentary “Call of the Wild” which I ordered because Netflix didn’t carry it (remember I’m haunted by this guy) after watching the film it helped me connect to Chris even more so.

When I heard about Chris I was out of high school in the process of transferring from junior college to a small school in North Carolina. My intended major was outdoor recreation/outdoor education and my initial take on the guy was that he was a little lot delusional and idealized or romanticized the wild and nature too much. Those of us in the O.E. program were focused on safety, preparedness and lessons that could be learned and taken home with us. I believe none of these things were on Chris’ radar at all.

After watching the documentary film I’ve looked at the whole situation a little different. The filmmaker takes a look at Generation X and how growing up(both he and Chris are the same age) as a part of that generation may have played into his actions. I, too, didn’t know what I wanted to do with my life. I was a little cynical and was disillusioned by school and people. I wanted nothing more than to just go into the woods or be a monk or something. So, in one aspect I respect the guy for actually following his dreams of solitude. But, on the other hand, he’s a schmuck.

But how is it his story keeps on living? What is it about this ill-prepared intellectual that keeps him at the back of my mind?

I’m not sure I have any answers to those questions yet. I do, however, recommend seeing the documentary which I own or you can order a copy here. Where the Sean Penn film romanticizes Chris McCandless the Ron Lamothe documentary tries to get to the heart of why Chris may have headed out to the wilderness and Ron poses some interesting new ideas about Chris’ situation as well.

I’m very proud to say that I got the Bobblehead to giggle yesterday. It was just a little one but any giggle will do. I’m just happy she knows who I am considering how much I’m at work and how much time she spends with the Elder Extroverted Holy One (who graduates soon!!!).

It’s kind of funny that the EEHO can’t get her to laugh yet. But, then again, I am the goofy one.

I’ll have to break out the video camera and tape her giggle and post it here.

From the Wittenburg Door

Crucial Government Terrorism Advice: While Absorbing Radiation With Your Crotch, Think About Your New Tattoo

04/03/2008
By Jamie Crossan

The Department of Homeland Security has a new website, www.ready.gov, with all the latest official signs to be used in case of a terrorist attack. As a public service, The Wittenburg Door is publishing the signs along with a translation of what each sign is instructing us to do.

Here are some of my favs:

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Try to absorb as much of the radiation as possible with your groin region. After 5 minutes and 12 seconds, however, you may become sterile.

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If you are sprayed with an unknown substance, stand and think about a cool design for a new tattoo.

 

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If you spot terrorism, blow your anti-terrorism whistle. If you are Vin Diesel, yell really loud.

 

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If you have set yourself on fire, do not run.

 

 

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Hurricanes, animal corpses and your potential new tattoo have a lot in common. Think about it.

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If you spot a terrorist arrow, pin it against the wall with your shoulder.

 

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We always thought there was something wrong with Texans.

 

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Use your flashlight to lift the walls right off of you!

 

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After exposure to radiation it is important to consider that you may have mutated to gigantic dimensions: watch your head.

Stephen Moseley over at CoolPeopleCare twittered his experiences of being a single parent for 36 hours. I am coming to the close of my time being a single parent and it is extremely hard especially when work and school is a factor. I would much rather have had the weekend to be the full-time daddy. Today, alone, I believe my head almost exploded three or four times. And that was just this morning getting ready to take the Young Extroverted One to work with me to get some things done before I took her to school.

Alright, the Elder Extroverted Holy One just called and said that she and the Bobblehead are leaving Montreat now. Hopefully, by the time I pick up the YEO we’ll be a complete family again. Single parents out there need some sort of huge award. Monetary in nature would be preferable.

Quotable Quotes IX

Highland Brewing Co.

“Why is God playing the bagpipes?” — Young Extroverted One looking at my Highland Brewing Company pint glass filled with Gaelic Ale.

I notice she didn’t mention anything about God drinking beer . . .

Randomness

Listening to John McCain speak the other day I had a revelation. One shouldn’t be allowed to be president if one pronounces America (four syllables) as amerca (three syllables).