Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Small Bowls: Not to be Confused With Small Bowels

I’m sitting up in Victor, ID. We’re up here to shoot a TV spot for The North Face. Jimmy Chin and Hilaree O’neil are climbing up and skiing off the top of the Grand Teton, while Tim and i climb up in front of them and shoot down and what not. It’s pretty much exactly how it sounds. Awesome. Unfortunately, we’re sitting at jimmy’s house in victor because it’s dumping rain and there would be no point in going up to just get soaked and sit around and not shoot.

So here i am. Sitting. Waiting in anticipation for a glorious serving of mountain and alpine and early mornings and in general, a good beat down, although i’m psyched. Legitimately psyched. Naturally.

But here i am. Sitting. Writing. I just ate breakfast. Some granola. And blueberries. And strawbrerries. They were great.

But here i am. Sitting. Angry. Full of malice. Why? Because i wish people would get real bowls instead of these little plate bowls.

How to you expect someone to eat a hearty bowl of cereal when you’re basically using a glorified plate? It’s stupid.

Back in high school, i accused someone (ford erickson) of having plate bowls and they almost broke my fingers with a drumstick. A wooden one, not a chicken one. . . . . . . This is how passionate people get when you accuse them of having plate bowls. Completely understandable.

I don’t want to say it, but i’m going to, because i want to. If you’re a real marekin, you need a real bowl instead of a little frenchy plate bowl. Because nothing says marekin, like a giant bowl of granola on a cold rainy morning in victor, idaho. Nothing. Except maybe a teeshirt (which i own) that depicts lady liberty riding a motorcycle with a giant flag in the background, but that would be an unfair comparison.

I’ve included a picture of said plate bowl, but it’s not going to do it justice because it makes it look a lot bigger than it actually is, but trust me, it’s basically a plate with some small upturned sides.

100% of the milk that i poured into the plate bowl this morning spilled out onto the floor. All of it. It was the stupidest thing i’d ever seen. I just wanted to frisbee (verb) the plate bowl out the front door, but they weren’t mine so i didn’t. . . . but i wanted to.

Anyway, hopefully the weather breaks and we can get on the mountain, but we’ll see. It turns out la nina is in full swing. Who knew that little girl could be so terrible?

ps - oh i didn’t want you to confuse small bowls with small bowels because people have no control over small bowels and it’d be ridiculous to get mad about something you have no control over.

pps - i also included a picture of my new patriotic shirt because it's awesome.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Adult Babies: Hands Down The Creepiest Thing I Have EVER Seen. EVER.

Most of the time i enjoy writing my posts. I spend most of my day surfing the internet for idiotic things and when i find them, i chuckle to myself, send the link to a couple people, then write about how stupid or worthless said thing is. For example. . . . “snooki is an idiot”. “the jersey shore makes me sick”. “the shakeweight is an awesome work out tool”. “glen beck is a crazy person”. blah blah blah etc etc etc. Usually i stick to the dumb, but once in a blue moon, something falls on my table that is seriously disturbing, to the extent that i reeeeally don’t want to write about it, but i’d be crazy not to.

Enter adult babies. What, fresh hell, are adult babies? Well, the name speaks for itself. They are adults that like to act like babies. If that description wasn’t enough, click here. Even if the description was enough, click on the link because you won’t want to miss it. Ok, to tell you the truth, i didn’t watch it fully. It was too creepy. Not horror movie creepy. Not even facebook stalking creepy (there is nothing wrong with that). It’s more like adult male laying in crib wearing a onesie drinking out of a bottle creepy.

Here are some of the highlights that i witnessed. *NOTE* there are probably more, but i couldn’t make myself watch the whole thing. I speed watched it.

  1. Adult male (who might be wearing makeup to look younger) laying in an adult sized crib while his mom (an obvious instigator (we’ll touch on this later)) comforts him.
  2. Adult male sitting in smaller (yet still adult sized) crib doing something creepy.
  3. Adult male drinking a bottle (even writing this, my face has somewhat of a scowl of amazement on it).
  4. Adult male wearing a diaper. An adult diaper (whether or not he poops in it is a mystery. I feel like he would, judging from the fact that he’s wearing an adult diaper.
  5. Adult male mentioning that other people do this.. . . . .


Other people do this? More than one person likes to dress up like this? I mean, i wouldn’t have guessed it for a million dollars. I would have tried to guess it, but i couldn’t have, because adult babies don't cross my mind very often. Maybe once or twice a week.

So. . . . . anyway, the thing that bothers me the most, besides the fact that i just saw an adult male laying in crib dressed like a baby, is the fact that the mom is encouraging his behavior. I mean, i’m no parent, at least i don’t think i am (the tests are inconclusive), but i would think that encouraging behavior like this is against what you learn in your parental handbooks that the hospital gives you. Even if you skipped the birth because you had better things to do, it seems that maybe something deep down inside of you, like say. . . . . your brain. . . . or common sense, would tell you that this is behavior that you should not tolerate. Who knows. Maybe it’s just me. Maybe i’m the only juan who thinks that way. I’m going to go out on a limb and guess that 99% of the population thinks that way. Probably 99.95%.

Oh, ps, is anybody else excited about The Rapture tomorrow? I am. I stopped swearing a couple weeks ago so i’m preeeeeeetty sure it’ll be awesome. Good luck!!!

pps, i’m really sorry if you have nightmares about that video. It creeped me the eff out. As i was speed watching it, my face was stuck in abject horror. I will never watch that again, but deep down, i know that it is plastered somewhere in my brain. That is an image that will never leave me. Ever. Good luck getting it out of yours.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Planking: Seriously?

So this is apparently what Australia has been up to lately.

Click here.

If you’re not going to watch the video, i’ll just explain it real quick. “Plancking” is when you lay face down in weird places, preferably so you suspend most of your body in the air, such as on a guardrail 7 stories up. The goal is to be so awesome and to not fall off the guardrail, which the kid in the story failed to do, so he is disqualified.

Ok, i’m not going to lie. I laughed when i saw the video. It’s just the weirdest thing i’ve seen in a while. I know. I’m a terrible person. I admit it. Somebody died and that’s never funny, but really? Planking?

I’m only going to assume that australians have done virtually every activity known to man and they ran out of ideas so they decided to try this. Either that or they're seriously board.

I’m sure it sounded something like this (please read with australian accent)

mate 1 - “excuse me mate, i can’t think of anything to do. got any ideas, mate?”

mate 2 - “no, mate. if you would have come to my house 10 minutes ago, we could have had a barbie, but i just cleaned up, mate, and now i was thinking about going crocodile hunting, mate”

mate 1 - “crikey, i did that yesterday, mate, how about we go and be the son of Odin and Freya (google it)

Thor - (walking into the room) “sorry mates, i just did that and it’s not that fun. How about i go lay facedown in a road somewhere and you take a picture and post it to my facebook” It’ll be soooooo funny and i’ll be popular.”

mate 1 & 2 - “crikey”

Thor - “no worries, mate”

mate 1 - "mate"

Anyway. . . . . while i was watching video, i kept thinking that it was the onion news or something along those lines. It must have been a prank (pun, if an asian would have said “plank”), but it’s not (at least i think it’s not). The people in that video are 100% genuine. I just don’t see how you could keep a straight face reporting on a “growing trend” of people laying facedown in random spots. This brings me to my next point.

What constitutes a trend? Are there guidelines that a certain activity must meet before it’s considered a trend?

. . . . . . That’s a serious question because i’m not sure.

I’m going to assume that a trend is something that occurs on facebook more than 10 times, but i could be wrong.

. . . . . . Ug. Sorry, this one sucked. I’ll write one more later this week. It’ll be better. I promise.



Monday, May 9, 2011

The End of An Era: Wildfire

If you’re not going to read the whole thing, at least read the last 5 paragraphs, but you’ll be missing out, you idiot.

The last summer i had was back in 2002. I had just graduated high school and i’m not sure what i was doing for work. Maybe nothing, but maybe something. I really don’t remember. I really don’t remember. I’m sure it was fun. Anyway. . . since the summer of 2003, i have been fighting wildland fires, mostly with the Bureau of Land Management. I spent my first 3 years on an engine, based out of idaho falls. While this was awesome and a great learning experience, the seasons weren’t that busy, so i found myself quite often bored out of my skull.

In 2006 and 2007, i applied to Snake River IHC and was hired. I was so nervous and with good reason. They were some of the most difficult summers i’ve ever had. In 2006, we finished the season with about 1100 hours of overtime, on top of the 40 hours a week, and in 2007 (a slightly slower year), we finished with just under 1000. The work was tiring and endless. The hikes were brutal, and the fires ripped. I worked with some of the best men and woman (not a typo, only one woman. . . sara) in the business. The overhead knew what they were doing and i trusted them with my life as did most everyone else.

As the summer of ’07 drew on, my attitude changed. By the end of the season, i was ready to be finished (along with everyone else) and the overhead knew it. I felt like i was finished with fire. Luckily, i was asked not to come back (not because i was lazy but because they knew i didn’t want to be there anymore, and they were right).

The next summer, i swore off fire. I wasn’t doing it. The hiring deadline passed for the BLM and i breathed a sigh of relief. I was out. . . . except that i put in an application for a student spot (could quit early for school instead of quitting in oct/nov) on the Caribou Targhee Helitack crew, just to see if i could get it and i received a call asking if i wanted to work with them. My excitement returned. Working on a helitack crew was a break that i needed. We still worked hard, but it’s different kind of work. It was a rappel ship, so we trained weekly by rappelling out of a helicopter. Normally, i look down on people who enjoy rappelling, but for the first time, i was actually enjoying it.

I guess the biggest difference is that it is a more independent crew, meaning, you’re not working with 20 dudes all the time. Most of the time you were working in smaller groups, which isn’t necessarily better, just different. One memory that stands out is the time a really great friend of mine, bryan wheat and i took an entire division to ourselves. We were down in a drainage putting in line and we heard over the radio that they weren’t sending any people down in the drainage because it was too dangerous (they didn’t know we were down there). I radioed up that we were down there and it was fine, but that we could use some more resources. After a while, they sent us some more and we punched line down the rest of the hill and tied it in to a ridge late that night. We were psyched. Unfortunately, due to consistent 30mph gusts (not crappy line, but probably crappy line), our line blew out that night. We chased it the next day and caught it with the help of some tanker drops and the fine bucket work from our helicopter pilot. Ha! so awesome. . . Anyway, like every summer before, it ended.

By the time the next fire season rolled around, i had graduated college with a degree in mass communication and had completely forgotten how hard being a hotshot was. In the summer of 2009, I moved down to salt lake city and started working on Bonneville IHC. I once again, found myself in the thick of it, working alongside great people. Even though we didn’t get as many overtime hours, We still spent hour upon hour hiking around, dropping trees and cutting hotline. I was in heaven. On top of that, the overhead was different from Snake River. It felt like they actually cared about the crew. We bonded like anyone would in that situation and became great friends. It was like working with a giant family. Yes, there were squabbles, but like any family, they pass and at the end of the season, we could look back at the good times and the bad times and laugh.

In 2010, I was back on Bonneville, ready to kill it. The season started out slow, which left all of us feeling antsy. As a hotshot, the hardest thing about a fire season is not getting fires. I can’t tell you how frustrating it is to see other crews getting sent to fires and you’re just waiting. It’s hard because on one hand, you don’t want people’s homes to burn, but on the other hand, fire is what you live for. It’s like a drug. Standing next to a running crown fire is the most awe inspiring thing i’ve ever seen. The energy that it puts off is incredible.

Anyway. . . .to the relief of everyone, we finally started getting work. Like the year before, i was on a saw team. My swamper (saw partner, i just wanted to use lingo), Chris Hoerter was awesome. We worked hard, but still had a good time. We found out at the beginning of the season that chris was a dad. Something he failed to tell us over the winter. One of the scariest memories of last summer was almost watching him die. To this day, he has no idea how close he was to being smashed like a pancake, but the expression on everyone’s faces and my reaction is probably as close as he’ll know.

We were cutting hotline (right next to the fire) i think in idaho, i’m not sure. Anyway, we had entered an aspen patch, which creeped me the eff out because they’re sketchy trees, but thought we could make it through without incident. We had just finished and were getting ready to head to the next section when i heard the saw boss yelling. I looked up just in time to see a huge flaming tree smashing through the canopy above us. I yelled. Chris and i just started running. We ran for our lives. Literally. RAN FOR OUR LIVES. I looked over and Chris was about 10 feet to my left with the tree right above his head. At the last millisecond, he tripped and fell to his right. The tree landed right where he was. I ran over thinking his kid was now fatherless, he got up. Everyone was screaming and i hugged the crap out of him (not literally).

Don’t get me wrong. Things like that have happened before. Actually, numerous times, but never that close. It was kind of a wake up call. At this point, I feel legally obligated to say that what happened was an accident and we did our best to mitigate the dangers, but things just happen in that environment that you have no control over. Anyway, the season ended with two people quitting. One kid quit because of the incident above, the other (i forgot his name otherwise i’d call him out) quit because he was a wiener. P.S. Kobe Bryant is a rapist (inside joke, but seriously, he is).

This winter, i made the hardest decision i’ve ever had to make. I decided to not fight fires. It’s been my life for almost a decade. It has allowed me to be where i am today. I’ve loved it, and i’ve hated it, but i decided that I’m ready to enter a new stage of my life and I’m ready for different adventures. Different challenges. I will never forget the memories that are sandblasted into the back of my skull, nor will i ever forget the friends that i made. Today, many hotshot crews around the nation started their training. I would like to give a shout out to all my friends who continue to pursue “the dream” and wish them a safe season. I miss you guys.

p.s. i cried a little.

Here are some photos from the past.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

The Age Of America: An Irving Manifesto

The age of america! The age of AmericaaaaAAAAAAA. Ameeeriiicaaaaaaa! Ameeeericaaaaa! Harmony and understanding! Sympathy and trust aboooouuunding!(should have sounded like the age of aquarius)

A couple weeks ago i read an article titled “IMF Bombshell: Age of America Nears End”. It was disturbing on a couple different levels.

#1 - Not sure what IMF stand for, but i’m pretty sure it’s something like MILTGTTMW (Mother I’d Like To Go To The Movies With).

#2 - Why do people care what IMF’s Think? I mean, obviously they’re wrong 95% of the time because mareka will always be on top.

*slightly depressing sigh* The reality is, with our current habit of cutting education and increasing defense, we are loading the gun that we will inevitably use to shoot ourselves in the foot. We’re going to end up with a military run by a bunch of morons and an economy that is worth about as much as a bag of dongs. Hot dongs. The ones you buy at Smith’s Food and Drug. . . . . So about $2.49.

I think it’s a good idea to keep in mind that a military is only relevant if you have the economy to back it up, otherwise, you end up like the soviet union; completely broke and addicted to vodka. 20 years later and they are barely pulling themselves out of the dirt, wondering what happened the night before, worried that they impregnated someone. Yes, there are some striking differences between communist russia and an economically crippled America. But there are some striking similarities as well.

Actually 3 similarities that i can see, and by 3, i mean none, so i’m just going to make stuff up.

#1 - Russia didn’t have a middle class: That’s weird, isn’t the American middle class going the way of the cassette tape.

#2 - Russia was nationalistic: Russia was on top and nothing was going to change that. . . except running out of money. With the current glenn beck fanatics (i actually used the word “fanatic” in place of a different word, because my mom would be disappointed in me) running around thinking mareka is the greatest and will always be, it has me wondering if we’re headed down the same path.

#3 - Russia was communist: If obama had his way, we’d all be wearing the same grey outfits.

Anyway, those are some ridiculous accusations, but i stand by them. Not directly by them, but in the same vicinity. . . . Ok, i can see the accusations from where i’m standing, but i need some binoculars to do so. Also, i’m hiding behind a tree. Also, i’m naked. Right now. Typing this. . . . . . .

. . . . . That being said, I’m not saying America isn’t great. I really love living here. I enjoy the freedoms that allow me to write this even though it’s the same freedom that allows the westboro baptist “church” attendees to be crazy insensitive jerks. I enjoy taking my mossberg 590a1 9 shot and shooting things such as tires, bottles, cars, cow carcasses, etc. . . . I enjoy a lot of the freedoms that i couldn’t have anywhere else, but at the same time, i’m acutely aware that we’re not perfect.

A country that is infused with christian values has the least christian healthcare system on the planet. . . . . next to nazi germany. I was also taught that receiving education is one of the most important things you could ever do, and i think it’s safe to say that most people were taught that as well. Now, all i hear is how education is being cut and school is becoming too expensive for the middle and lower classes.

Education is the single most important aspect of any one person’s life, next to being born into money.

We’re getting rid of that for reasons not understood. It might be because people are so incredibly selfish, they don’t want to pay taxes that go to public education because they don’t have any children in public education. That would be interesting because someone did it for them, but they can’t do it for anyone else. Real mature. Ok ok, I’m sure there are other reasons as to why people hate the public education system. It’s not perfect. That would be an impossibility. But i think people expect that, and that my friends, is a stupid thing to expect.

In conclusion, We’re going to be #2, next to china and personally, i don’t think it’s a bad thing. It’ll be a huge weight off our shoulders and then maybe we can concentrate on other things like learning mandarin instead of stupid things like birth certificates.

Also, i’m still naked.

Also, sorry this one was so political. I promise the next one will be about something a little more stupid, like turtlenecks.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

May 1st: The Greatest Day The World Has Ever Known

Some interesting events that have taken place today:

1751 - the first cricket match is played in America. (coincidently, this is also the day that boredom was invented)

1844 - The Hong Kong Police Force is established. (Yay for human rights violations!)

1846 - Mormons formally dedicate the Nauvoo Temple in Nauvoo, Illinois. (nice)

1852 - The Philippine peso is introduced. (i have no jokes for this one)

1900 - The Scofield mine disaster in Scofield, UT kills over 200 men. (no jokes for this one either. just thought it was interesting)


0 - Summer olympics canceled due to war. (. . . .thanks a lot hitler)

1956 - Polio vaccine is made available to the public (fortunately the tea party didn’t exist, otherwise they would have convinced people to not get them because it infringes on human rights. . . idiots)

1982 - World’s Fair opens in Tennessee (rednecks of the woooooorld. UNITE!)

2003 - “Mission Accomplished” The war in iraq is canceled due to a poor turnout.

2009 - Same-sex marriage is legalized in sweden. (Sick. How dare people have free agency)

Anyway, those are some interesting events that occurred, but the births are actually what this post is about because someone awesome was born today. Check out wikipedia (which is actually where i got all my information for this), it’s a credible source that can be used in college, so why not trust it?

Click *here* for a link to wikipedia's "definition" of may 1st.

Just saying. You might want to check out who was born in 1984. If you’re too lazy, i’ll just include a screen shot. If you’re even too lazy to look at that, i’ll just tell you who was born today. ME! Happy birthday to me! But seriously, check out wikipedia (they might have taken it down though).

Last year, my friend hairy gave me the best gift ever. Accidentally sliding down a mountain and falling off a cliff and somehow not getting hurt. Thanks Hairy. Unfortunately, this year we won’t be on any peaks, but we will be tomorrow, so maybe i can get a late birthday present. Who knows, i may have just jinxed myself. Oooooh, this could be the most ironic post ever. I guess we’ll just see how this plays out.

So, to all you who didn’t know it was my birthday (which is probably most everyone), i accept sleeping bags or meat sticks or both (karen/michelle combo), i accept awesome adventures (ryan/hairy), i accept perineum lifts (brent, kevin, chad, blake, scott and everyone else who has ever been on a climbing trip with us and needed a boost to the first hold), I also accept dates from non-familial women because everyone knows that i’m terrible at asking out, but would love to go (especially if i’m not paying. . . . just kidding. . . . . . kind of). And for the rest of you. I accept $5 bills inside cards. Or at least a phone call. Or all of the above. Or none of the above. THANKS!!!