Monday, April 25, 2011

Car #1: Chevy El Camino.

Driving into Bend the other day I caught a glimpse of a car going in the other direction that looked exactly like my very first car. A maroon 1973 Chevy El Camino 350SS with racing stripes. Boy, that brought back some memories.

I've had a lot of cars during my life; Chevy El Camino, Mazda RX7, Honda Prelude, Porsche Carrera, Mitsubishi Montero (go figure), Lexus SC400, Jeep Grand Cherokee, Audi A4, Audi All Road, Toyota Prius and Toyota Highlander but some of them meant more than others and that El Camino was certainly one of them.

Cars were a big thing where I grew up and no one waited a minute longer than they had to to get their driver's license. That El Camino meant freedom and girls and a whole new world of trouble. You have to remember that this was 1973... before kids gave drinking and driving a bad name. In 1973 in small town Connecticut, driving totally shit-faced was looked on as a rite of passage. By everyone; parents, police and priests included. One of the great features of the El Camino not mentioned in the brochure was that it was really easy to get a keg in the back and just drive around all night looking for parties. My friends would sit in back with the keg and hand plastic cups of beer forward to me in the cab until we found a party that looked interesting. Than we would throw open the doors, crank up a little Emerson Lake and Palmer 'Brain Salad Surgery' on the 8-track and start to party. When that got old we'd move on.

Another great feature not mentioned in any of the El Camino literature was that on the rare occasion you actually got a girl to agree to have sex with you there was plenty of room in the back assuming, of course, it was summer when she agreed to have sex. So you didn't have all those shift knobs and mirrors and steering wheels to get in the way and fuck things up for you. You could do that on you own.

It wasn't all fun and games though. The El Camino also had many practical advantages. Like freshman year when I drove it back from Colorado for the holidays. At the time, Coors was still a small cult brand not available in the east and everyone wanted to try this magical beer. By packing lightly, I was able to load 23 cases in the back to bring home and share with friends and family for the holidays. Today Coors has the Silver Bullet. Back then I was the Maroon Bullet.

I loved that car and I will always treasure the memories it provided. I'm just glad I survived long enough to get my next car, a Mazda RX7 which really did almost kill me. But that's another post.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

I'm Due Back On Earth Now.

Having regularly driven back and forth on Interstate 5 the last few years I'm no stranger to the 700 mile long vein of right wing wackos that populate the middle of California. I'm treated to the bizarre outdoor boards they erect on their farms demanding that Obama produce a birth certificate, endless hand painted signs blaming Congress for a dust bowl, more outdoor boards reminding me rather graphically that Jesus spilled his blood for me and bumper stickers informing me that 'It Ain't Gonna Suck Itself.'

But there is one stop along this journey through fruitcake land where the other side of the wacko spectrum truly holds court. A place where, in the course of walking two blocks, I've had a guy in camouflage get nose to nose with me and yell "Eat a bullet motherfucker" and then, moments later, passed four middle aged men and woman dressed like Buddhist monks wearing pyramids on their heads. Only to be followed by an elderly woman who lifted her skirt to show me way more than I ever needed to see.

That place is Mount Shasta.

Don't get me wrong. Mount Shasta is one of the most amazing mountains in the world. And as I learned in the natural food store, it's the main reason why so many 'interesting' people are attracted to the area. I learned this during what started out as a relatively normal conversation in the supermarket with a relatively normal looking man in his 50's.

"Hi," he said.
"Hi," I returned.
"Do you live here in Mount Shasta?" he asked.
"No, just passing through. How about you.?"
"We're from Twin Falls. Just traveling. We're here for the meditation seminar."
"I like to meditate too." I said, " I just saw Jon Kabat Zinn in LA two days ago."
"I don't know who that is." he said. "We're here because the Ontarians are hovering their spaceship over Mount Shasta so the energy pathways are fully open."
"Really. Ok. Well I'm just going to get this lasagna and hit the road."

Maybe the left will get it's own Tea Party yet.

Monday, July 19, 2010

A River Runs Through It

People like to do different things in rivers. Some people like to fish in them, some people like to race down them in kayaks and some people like to dump toxic chemicals in them. Me? I like to float in them. Slowly. Languorously. Fortunately, there's no better place in the world to do what I like to do than on the Deschutes River as it passes through Bend, Oregon. The Deschutes is a long, beautiful river with many personalities but in downtown Bend it widens, shallows and slows to a perfect crawl. Then, when the temperature hits about 90 degrees, an inflatable armada shows up with anything in the garage that will float and takes to the river for a cooling 1 1/2 hour tour. You might see a giant duck float by or a swan. Friends will tie 10 floats together and catch up. Young girls and guys will position themselves perfectly to show off their tanned bodies to each other. I even looked once. Trailer trash will show up in their 'I'm with stupid' t-shirts and burn their flabby bodies to a bright red lobster color. Obama supporters will embrace Palin supporters. Dogs will sleep with cats. And life will be perfect for a brief, intoxicating moment. It's all true. Join me some time and I'll show you.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

I Am Such A Pussy

Woke up feeling very manly today. Grabbed the dog and headed up to the trailhead at Black Butte for a rugged uphill hike to the summit. Parked the Jeep Grand Cherokee with heavy duty off-road suspension, put on my hiking boots, my special moisture wicking underlayer, my fleece vest and my Patagonia Goretex windproof outer shell. Switched on my solar powered Garmin 60XS GPS unit with the special Oregon geographical contour overlay. Strapped on my dual-bladder hydration pack and grabbed my cork handled Leki spring-loaded hiking sticks which are capable of absorbing 30% of the shock from my knees.

As I was locking up the Jeep a beat up old 1980 Subaru wagon with bald tires pulled into the space next to me. A woman stepped out of the car wearing slip on sneakers. She grabbed her baby girl out of the car seat, slid her shirt open and started breast feeding her. And that was how they went up the same trail I was heading up. I think she gave me a very quick condescending look as she left.

Happy Father's Day.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Violence Erupts In The Streets of Sisters After Laker Win

Ignoring the post game pleas of both the police and LA news commentator Rob Fukazaki, a Sister's man went on a wild celebratory spree that turned violent and destructive Friday evening after the Los Angeles Lakers clinched the NBA Championship against an especially ugly Boston Celtic team.

According to Millie Cyrus, owner of Alpacas n' Things, "I looked up and saw Mr. Monteiro run past the store wearing nothing but his Laker boxer shorts and a big smile. He seemed to be excited. Very excited. Really, really excited and it's been such a long time since I've had any. Gosh I wish he'd come in."

Mr. Monteiro was also witnessed trying to turn over a garbage can and set it on fire. "He pushed and pushed but he couldn't get it to tip over so we went out and helped him," said Bob and Mary Grace Coulterville, owners of Ear Expressions. "Sure, he was trying to burn down the town but he's still a neighbor and you help neighbors."

Mark Monteiro, a former Los Angeles resident and longtime Laker fan was finally apprehended after a high speed 3mph chase down Main Street in his buckboard. Sister's Sheriff Joe Bob Beergut who made the arrest said, "We haven't seen anyone going down Main Street that fast since the throttle got stuck on Clarence Twilly's electric cart. Mr Monteiro was in an obvious state of intoxication when we finally pulled him over and he was shouting profanities at someone named Red Auerbach."

After spending the night incarcerated at the ice cream shop Mr. Monteiro was released. His court date has yet to be set.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Vote No On Rich Siegel

It has come to my attention that Rich Siegel's blog is funnier than my own and he has more followers. So... Are you all aware that Rich Siegel voted not once but twice to raise taxes, supported Obama's misguided Health Care plan, doesn't care if illegal aliens cross our border and kill our children, is responsible for the oil spill and once slept with a goat.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Guns and Roses

Homemade ice cream and leather purses. Shoes and frozen yoghurt. Tax returns and taxidermy.

One of the charming things about my little town is that all the businesses here offer an assortment of services. There's no such thing as specialization. I'm sure it has to do with the economy and being a seasonal town and trying to make ends meet and all but it is kind of strange.

Even the kids in town seem afflicted. As I was walking into the dry cleaners and dentist today I noticed a poster on the door announcing that the girls volleyball team and car detailing service were have a spaghetti dinner... with a Chinese flair. It was going to be held at the high school and urgent care center.

I'm probably making way to much of this. Anyway, I have to go to town for an oil change and prostate exam.