January 3, 2003

nobody likes a setlist

Well… I’ve been on break for what? two weeks, now, and my feet have hardly skittered across the cold pavement since it started. In this, and in celebration of my friend finally getting my father’s computer working which now allows him to gripe about other more important things in life like the Shell Lake diversion project, I’ll try to account for all these lost days. I should really choose a stylistic tone… like epistolary, mock epic, or from-the-eyes-of-a-brain-suckling-zombie-child…

Whatever. I’ll just list things and recount the details that I haven’t forgotten, yet.

I got home the Saturday following finals, as my Methods class had a hang at Old Chi Friday night where we got drunk and turned in our 15 page papers (none of which actually reached the required 15… funny how that works). This allowed me to forget everything I knew about social constructionism and evolutionary psychology, both which are great stumbler words to get your friends to say at a party, and are sure to make 90 percent of the people nearby bleed from the ears.

Early Sunday morning we left for Madison to spend Christmas with my sister and my brother-in-law and a dog and another smaller dog and a cranky cat that yowls at 4am to go outside. What followed was a four day binge of book reading, bar hopping, street shopping, hobby lobbying, coffee drinking, beer guzzling and the swellest food eating imaginable. It was a perfect Christmas. My sister got a finger wall for rock climbing and they put it up in the hallway right off the living room. I got a bottle of Fireball whiskey.

On Thursday (immediately following Christmas day) we kidnapped Shara (Greta and Tyler’s black lab/dog-from-across-the-street mix, that shares the name of a mutual friend of theirs. Human Shara has since vowed to get a dog and name it “Stupid Greta and Tyler”) and booked back up to the Cities so I could volunteer for Yukon Days at Camp Ihduhapi. Piles and piles of wonderful people showed up, and we spent three days mostly ignoring kids and catching up on old times. Derik showed up with a Siberian husky/American sled dog puppy in tow and became an instant chick magnet. Sure, the chicks were 12, but the point was made. I kept running around (I conveniently forget about my broken toe, most of the time… especially when it came to climbing the stone fireplace in the dining hall) shouting “It’s a dog!”. Not surprisingly, this is the same response Keeva gets when she runs into the crazy house down the street from Derik’s Duluth residence.

Thursday night Montana fired up the sauna, and between blasts David and I ran to the island and back, barefoot, mostly devoid of clothing. Onshore the dominating thought was how stupid these men are, and that “at least if they fall in, we’ll hear them scream.”

Friday night Thomas showed up, bringing with him frightening stories of air travel and terrorism from England. A turbaned fellow set off the metal detector at the airport. The attendants wanded him, and the turban set off their handheld detectors. Satisfied that it was only his hat pin, they let him go. “No, don’t you see, he’s a terrorist! Now the only thing that stands between the free world and terrorism is me and this novelty chocolate Swiss Toblerone!”

Saturday afternoon after camp we reinstated a delicious tradition, and went to Buffalo Wild Wings for wings and beer and mixed drinks. The asshole craptacular bartender was working, and he made sure that any drink that required more than screwing the top off a bottle sucked.

Saturday night, after scouting some spelunking entrances, we met up with Thomas, Bobby and Kyle (who was down in the Cities before Yukon Days, and then suddenly had to be in Duluth during Yukon Days, but amazingly could be down in the Cities again for the post-Yukon Days party) and went to the liquor store and Pizza Hut in Dinkytown. There were a lot of homeless people at Pizza Hut, and we all watched the latest sporting craze to wash across the shores of television. SLAMBALL. It’s just like basketball, only with taller hoops, body checking, and trampolines.

After Pizza Hut we arrived at the post-Yukon party, where things were just starting to warm up. Pip was upset that he forgot the necessary components for pulling off Edward Fortyhands. Anna was trying to figure out what to drink, and Bobby offered her one of his malt beverages. I flipped out at him. “Look at you! Don’t try to pawn your malt beverages off on the poor girl! She deserves a beer or a mixed drink! Your Smirnoff Ice exists soley so that it can be advertised on tv!”

As the first hour of the party marched on we began to realize how bad the music was and would continue to be if one did not intervene. It was rap. Bad rap. Thomas started moving his head to the music, and after an hour he didn’t have to change the motion a bit as one song ground into another. We started making up our own lyrics.

Fuck her in the boot

in the boot?

there’s no room in the boot

there’s a body in the boot

there’s no place to put the loot…

bass is the place, London.

Fuck Sharing Cross.

I went out to my car and grabbed a few cds. I assumed that if people thought Phantom Planet and String Cheese Incident sucked, people could just switch it out and I wouldn’t complain. I also whipped out the Fireball whiskey. Montana refused to try it, pointing out that it came in a plastic bottle. With Fireball, they assume that you will get so messed up that dropping the bottle is inevitable.

Eventually it was 4:30 in the morning on Sunday and everyone but Jon and I had filtered out. Strangely, there wasn’t even anyone that actually lived at the house remaining. I fell asleep on the couch and woke up at 6:00 to give Jon a ride to the airport to catch his 7:15 flight back to Colorado. I finally got home at 7 and slept until 2 in the afternoon.

On Monday Luke and I went on a scouting mission looking for some spelunking entrances. We found a ladder, a few bum towns, some abandoned mill ruins, and really big big tunnel that we couldn’t get to without a rope or a ladder (wink, wink). After the sun went down we got in the basement of an abandoned rec center, and then decided to head back to Luke’s to get some dinner, equipment and recruits. Sandy and Ryan soon showed up, and we headed back to the sites. We left the car in the Red Cross parking lot and brought the ladder down to the big big tunnel. After figuring out how we were going to get down, Ryan pointed out that the tunnel was a drain for the river lock, and if they were to drain the lock we’d all be screwed.

We scratched that plan and instead explored the mill ruins. It was a large tunnel that followed a bunch of old wooden planks suspended five feet above deep, murky brown water infested with flesh-eating carp. After getting our kicks we went to the other side of the river to find a way down the cliffs to the flats, but our attempts were unsuccessful, to say the least. We called it a night.

New Year’s Eve Day morning I had an eye exam, which determined that my vision was piss-poor and I needed glasses. I got glasses and by noon was driving up to Duluth to retrieve my Playstation 2 for a New Year’s night of drunk video games. The Lake was calm and deep blue. I collected the booty and was back down in Hopkins by 6:30. We played Vice City and ate chicken wings and drank beer until 4:00 in the morning.

We got up at 10:00 and had breakfast. At 3:00 in the afternoon my family and I went to a friends’ house so Shara could play with their black lab. They played for hours as we sat around, talked, drank beer and checked out the 1970’s Porsche they were rebuilding. We ate wild rice soup and crescent rolls and went home around 8:00.

Yesterday I ran errands and got mittens and a snazzy coat from REI. Yesterday evening I saw the Jackass movie, which isn’t nearly as bad as some reviewers make it out to be. It was, however, too fixated on the out-hole, which is an area of stupidity that I would rather was left unexplored.

Today I ran more errands and called some companies out in Hood River to figure out what I’m going to do this summer.

Tonight I leave on our ski trip out to Colorado.


Hey Dane, great stories from Yukon days. Reminding me of what I almost forgot. Do you think you’re going to post those pictures soon?

I’ll probably post those pics around mid-January. I need to be in Duluth to do it, and right now I’m in Dillon, Colorado. I’ll toss down an entry when the pics go up.