November 2, 2003


It’s amazing how much you have to talk about after you fight your head above the thrashing seas of ambiguity.

In three weeks I will not be moving to Bend, Oregon to work as a lift operator at a ski resort. In three weeks I will not be moving to Bend, Oregon to work as a rental technician, either. All those positions were full by the time I woke up at 5:30 on Saturday instead of 5:00, left Hood River 45 minutes later than intended, got stranded in an infinite loop of traffic circles in Bend, got lost in the Deschutes National Forest when the road I was on turned to ice then fire then gravel, gave some yellow-toothed hitchhikers a ride back to downtown, followed some bad directions, swung by a coffee shop to figure out where in the heck the mountain was, and showed up at the job fair nearly two hours later than I intended.

Listen. In three weeks I will be moving to Bend, Oregon to work as a ski/snowboard instructor at a ski resort, a position that is beyond the wildest conjurings of my little brain. Well, actually my wildest conjurings involved building gigantic killer robots somewhere in the Metolius wilderness, and when the time was ripe turning them loose on the cowboy mouth of Sisters, the growing pains of Redmond and the ADD of Prineville (“Hey dad! Dad! Look over here! Hey! Look! Watch me! Watch! Me!”). Central Oregon is one huge dysfunctional family, in that wonderfully entertaining way that is fit for prime time, not that horribly tragic way that is resolved for late night when any sensible channel switches over to colored bars.

I mean, if any wilderness is going to act as a cradle for evil geniuses, it would have a name like Metolius. All those wildfires that evacuated Camp Sherman and everything this past summer? A cover-up for evil-genius experiments. Behind the smokescreen there are people who know what’s going on, and I’m sure that lots of people in Bend are in on it too. There’s a lot of brainpower running around Bend, as a good portion of the town’s upper crust consists of California tech-heads who felt it prudent to evacuate before everything burned down or came under the eloquent ruling of an Austrian superstar.

Of course, they’ve been here long enough to stage their giant houses on top of cliffs and hollow out a mountain and put the snow-capped peak on a hinge so it can flip open just like the M.A.S.K. hideout, so unless California dollars can somehow purchase prophecies the current state of California really had no bearing on their decision to move to Bend. It also had no bearing on the Californicators’ decision to cast their roots in the high-altitude desert sands of Bend, rather than continuing on to Portland or Seattle or Canada as some Centrorgonians with they had.

In three weeks I will be moving into a lovely abode that has been crowned “Lava House.” It is located on Lava Street, a block from a huge stone Catholic church and two blocks from Minnesota Avenue. Lava House is a mile from the shuttle line to the mountain and is within spitting distance of the historic Tower Theatre in downtown Bend (and, more importantly, within stumbling distance of the bars in downtown Bend). Lava House is outfitted with a gas stove, fireplace, two small decks, old Mel Brooks and John Wayne movies, neighbors and a stairway.

All I can think of is turning that LAVA house into an evil lair well known for the liquid hot magma in which you could torture your archnemisis before telling him your evil plans for world domination. Starting your rampage of terror on the West coast seems to be ideal. First you have an ally in California who will prove easy to double-cross later, secondly how many hippy/slackers will care if you install yourself as dictator? They already believe that they have a dictator in the highest office of the land, and you only have to convince them that you are a more forgiving and benevolent head of state.
Could I send in a resume to become an evil henchmen?

ryan, skip the evil henchmen. i’m still hoping for the formation of a triumvate between yourself, barrelboy, and dane. i can see you enlisting the help of the many addle-brained but genious-science type kids we know in the construction of your ruling mutant race.

i have begun construction of our elite south pole base as we speak.
did you know the very original south pole station (circa 1950’s) is sinking and is currently buried under 35′ of snow? guess where mutants can easily grow…