Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Weekend on the Water

I've got a pretty busy summer ahead of me, so I decided a weekend at home this holiday was in order. I spent the weekend getting some much needed rest and some much needed quality time with my roommates. I also spent some time on the water in the form of a Friday night paddle on the lake and a Sunday afternoon float down the river. I'm really tired and need to get to bed, so I'll spare you the stories for now and just let the pictures do the talking:

Cool Spider.

Pip looking very manly.

Cute kids.

Awfully dark out there.

River full of rednecks.

Nice day for a swim.

I don't know why Helen is making a weird face.


Make sure you can hear the sound on this one ... it's important:

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Trash Talkin'

I actually wrote this last week on Thursday, but I haven't had much internet access since then, so I'm just now getting around to posting it.

After working a big event at Disney World last weekend, I had to come down to the Tampa area for some smaller events during the week. My friend Becky was nice enough to let me stay in her condo in Sarasota all week. I was pretty stoked about that until this morning. I had the worst experience I've ever had involving a bag of garbage.

Becky and I were both staying in the condo on Tuesday night. We rode bikes and had lunch on Wednesday morning and then Becky left town. I went up to Tampa to work an event. After my event, I came back to Sarasota. It was still relatively early and I was bored, so I walked down to Main Street and had a few drinks at one of the bars. I walked back to the condo and when I opened the door, my first thought was, "It kinda smells in here." But like I said, I'd had a few drinks, so it didn't seem like such a big deal at the time. So I ignored the stench and went to bed.

I woke up to the sound of my tummy rumbling this morning. I was starving. So I put on some clothes and walked over to a little cafe across the street for breakfast. After devouring some bacon, coffee, and hella good grits, I walked back over to the condo. I had completely forgotten about the stench I encountered last night. I received a wholly unpleasant reminder, however, as soon as I opened the door. Before I even walked in, I was assaulted by a palpable putrid wave of sheer funk. I had to pee pretty badly, so I bolted for the bathroom to take care of business. As I walked out of the bathroom, I wondered what the hell could be causing such a nasty awful odor. The entire condo was nearly uninhabitable, but it didn't take me long to figure out that the kitchen was the scene of the crime. I thought it was a little odd since there wasn't any food. The refrigerator contained only beer, wine, water, and a box of baking soda. I thought, "Maybe it's the garbage disposal." So I sniffed around the sink, but that didn't seem to be the problem. Just in case, I dumped some of the baking soda in there and ran it for a minute. I decided to give it a few minutes to see if that, but some stroke of luck, took care of the problem.

I went outside and made a few phone calls. After a few minutes, I came back in and nearly fell over as another wave of nausea punched me in the face. In just a few minutes, the air inside the condo had become considerably more toxic. There was still something in the kitchen trying to kill me. Taking extremely shallow breaths, I walked back into the kitchen and turned on the light.

There it was.

I had forgotten about the small plastic grocery bag of garbage that Becky had left in the corner. As soon as I saw it, I remembered her pointing it out and telling me to use that for garbage while I was there and to take it out before I left. That had to be the perpetrator. I walked over to it, picked it up, and instantly threw it back down. Holy shit! Now the kitchen smelled like a thousand decaying zombies had just crapped themselves while throwing rotten eggs at each other. I stumbled out of the kitchen gagging and holding my shirt over my nose. I stepped outside, leaned against the railing and took several deep, much needed lungfuls of fresh air.

I leaned back and dreaded what I would have to do next. I would have to go back into the reeking inferno, pick up the fetid festering bag of death, and somehow dispose of it without throwing up all over Becky's place. I collected myself and thought, "Alright. The sooner I get this done, the sooner I can go back to hanging out inside the condo without having to wear a gas mask." I took one last hugely deep breath of outside air, ran inside, grabbed the bag and bolted outside, holding it at arm's length. As soon as I got back outside, I figured it was safe to breathe again. Wrong. Whatever was in that bag was POTENT. I stopped and gave the bag in my hand a bewildered look. Then I gagged again and remembered to keep running. I rounded the corner to head down the stairs and felt a sudden jerk from the bag. I brought myself to screeching halt, hoping I had stopped before the bag ripped open. I freed the bag from the hand rail that it was caught on, gave it the once over, and concluded that it had not ripped. Thank God. I got downstairs and looked around for a dumpster. I needed to get rid of this thing. I didn't see one, so I figured, "Okay, it's probably on the other side of the building." My car was right there and I didn't have a lot of time to be wandering around looking for the dumpster. So I decided I would leave the bag next to my car and when I left later, I would put it on top of the car and drive by the dumpster and finally be rid of the foul thing.

I felt pretty good about my plan as I walked back upstairs. Right as I was walking in, my phone rang. It was Becky. I had sent her a text message earlier about her incredibly rank ass condo, so she was calling about it. "I don't know what it could be," she said. Then a pause. That pause you do when you suddenly recall a pertinent fact. "You know what, I did throw away this broccoli stuff. That could be it." Well, at least then I knew it probably wasn't a severed head or anything causing the problem. I tried to go about my business, but after only a few minutes, I couldn't take it anymore. The place still stunk like a zoo. A zoo full of sick elephants. I searched around and managed to find some "room freshening" spray in the bathroom. Thinking this would help, I sprayed it quite liberally around the condo. I could see the mist rising from the can and then starting its gradual descent toward the floor. It didn't take long for the cloud to drop to about the same height as my head. It was about that time that I came to a terrible realization. You know that feeling you get when you realize you've just done something stupid and you can't take it back? That's how I felt. That "room freshening" spray smelled like ass. Granted, it was better than the broccoli from hell stench, but still. What the hell, Becky? Did you have to buy butt-scented spray? Would it have been that hard to just get some Oust? Then I started sneezing. A lot. I sneezed three times in a row, paused, and sneezed three more times. Wow. I needed a break. I went outside for a minute and then came back in. Three more sneezes. Not only did this "room freshening" spray smell terrible, but it was irritating the hell out of my nose. I couldn't take it anymore. So I opened all the doors and windows and turned on all the fans. I took a shower and by the time I got out, the air in the condo was once again breathable.

You might be thinking that was the end of the broccoli from hell saga. I wish I could say that were true. I finished getting ready and went out to my car to leave. I got within five feet of my car and could already smell the bag of death. Ugh. I still had to get rid of this thing. I decided that putting it on top of my car and driving it to the dumpster was probably a bad idea. Too many things could go wrong. Then I remembered seeing a pretty good-sized trash can near the recycle bins. It could go in there. So I picked up the bag and started walking across the parking lot. I was walking pretty fast and didn't realize how much the bag was swinging. I also did not realize that actually had ripped the bag on the handrail earlier in the day. Don't worry though, I figured out both of these facts soon enough. I was walking along and the bag hit my knee. Then a small, slightly moist cardboard box bounced off my knee, hit the top of my foot, and broke open. I froze.


Some warm wet chunks covered my foot. The foul rank funk invaded my personal space once again. I just stood there, looking up at the sky in disbelief. No way this could be happening to me. I was afraid to look down. I picked up my foot to kick the broccoli from hell into the bushes and was successful, for the most part. But I hadn't noticed that when I picked up my foot, a small piece of devil vegetable had fallen between my foot and my flip flop. So when I took my next step, I felt the unmistakable squish of soft rotting broccoli underneath my foot. I gagged and then stood there fighting off the urge to cry. Luckily I spotted a water spout, so I walked over and rinsed everything off. I went and picked up the nasty ass cardboard vessel of filth and threw that in the trash along with the ripped bag.

I went back upstairs and sprayed the hell out of my flip flop with some Febreeze. As I walked back down to my car, my moist left flip flop already starting to irritate my foot, I thought, "Stupid Becky. I'm never eating broccoli again."

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Gator Wrasslin!

I had a long exhausting weekend last weekend, and next weekend is going to be long and exhausting too, so I decided I'd better take today off and go paddle with my friends. So Jeremy, Casey, and I loaded up on sandwiches, Cheez-Its, and beer and paddled out to the Gulf:

Yes, that is an alligator following Casey. His name is Phil. Yes, those are water wings on my arms. Safety first. Yes, that is a floating cooler and it's awesome.

We paddled up this creek until we got to a beach that led over to the Gulf. So we landed our boats and hung out on the beach for a little while. You could really only reach this beach by boat, so we pretty much had the whole place to ourselves.

I'm all set.


By the time we paddled back, we had decided that some ice cream from Marble Slab was in order. After eating delicious ice cream, we headed home. Apparently we didn't get enough time in the water earlier, so we hung out in the pool for a little while. Aspen, the resident dog, was pretty stoked to be kickin with us until Jeremy and Phil harassed him and scared him:

Anyway, it was nice to get out and paddle and play in the water before it's time to get back to work. Sorry I don't have any great stories. I figured the pictures would be good enough.

Friday, May 02, 2008

Keepin it Together.

I managed to make it all the way home after my event in St. Louis last Friday night. Needless to say, I was some kinda exhausted when I finally made it to the house around 3am.

It was good to be home though.

Normally I have a very hard time being productive while I'm at home, but this time around, I really didn't have a choice. I had a shit ton of stuff to do and not very much time in which to do it. I only slept for 8 hours that first night home, which is a pretty far cry from my typical habit of spending the whole first day at home in the safety of my bed.

Anywho, I did manage to squeeze in some quality time with my roommates. Helen and Brett and I went down to the Dickson Street Music Festival to catch Michael Franti & Spearhead. It was an awesome show and well-worth the time and money. Plus, we ate some killer corn dogs and a funnel cake. I also took the cutest picture of Brett and Helen of all time:

Of course, there was plenty of incredible dancing to go around, but Brett was kind enough to show us how it's done:

After Franti, we headed over to George's to see Blind Melon. We waited in line for a billion years, then we stood around inside for another billion years all for a show that turned out to be "just okay." Oh well. It was late and we were getting tired, like old people, so we went home to hang out with Pip. I forgot what Brett was trying to tell Pip in this picture, but it must have been something good:

I was super proud of myself for getting a lot done in my four days at home. Granted, I didn't do everything I needed to, but that's alright. I just had to take a few things off the "to-do" list and move them to the "to-do later" list. I completed an epic drive down here to Florida and now I've got to go get a few things ready for the weekend, which is going to be incredible.

And ... I'm out.