Man Day

The following is a description of my life over the course of the last two days. At least one person will read all of this, I know this for a fact, and that’s what gives me purpose. That and years from now I’ll read this and I’ll be able to reminisce about the those times which are these right now.

Years ago, my dear ol’ dad bought a two-bike motorcycle trailer. Studio quality. See, he and I would go riding together as a pastime of ours. He and his dad used to take big elaborate motorcycle trips together. He and I have done our fair share, but only to Lake Berryessa or Suisun Valley or Napa and back; nothing too extreme. So, he (must have) thought, “If I buy this motorcycle trailer, I could take my son on big elaborate trips to Tahoe, and Idaho and beyond, take our motorcycles with us and have giddy father son times.” He thought that exactly sans the word giddy.

So he bought it. ‘Twasn’t cheap. He brings it home one day as my mother and I give each other that look of, “We’re never gonna use this ever.” And dad and I maneuver it through the side gate to the backyard. On the way we notice our gas meter is in the way. No worries, let’s pick up the side of the trailer. “I can’t do it dad I need your help.” Music to a father’s ears. He comes over to help me. “Ouch,” we both say as we simultaneously pull muscles in each of our backs. Not really, but we would have if we kept trying. It was impossible to lift … He measured the width of the house … didn’t account for the gas main. Honest mistake.

After giving up I’m back in the house, bewildered about how to handle this new situation that my family has to deal with. This expensive burden on our lives that we didn’t need and will never use. Dad comes in the house shortly after, “Okay it’s in the backyard.” He was sweating, out of breath, and very relieved looking. His confidence had returned.

I don’t know how he got it in there. It was like.. lifting a car kinda heavy. But the embarrassment of the measurement mistake gave him the brute strength to overcome; like when a mother lifts a car off of her child who’s getting crushed underneath my father lifted that heavy trailer over a very sensitive gas main and didn’t fuck anything up, except his muscular system most likely. At the time he was probably 66 and really not in the best of shape, war vet and more.

So to store this giant thing, he used a “come-along”, whatever the hell that is, to hoist it up the side of our hill, and there it stayed, until today:

IMG_9555

Here’s a little more perspective on the steepness of the hill. Really dangerous actually..

IMG_9557

And here’s my dad’s method of hiding this outta sight outta mind all these years:

IMG_9559

It was there for at least 4 years, we’re not sure how long exactly as we’ve been blocking its existence out of our minds, but we never used it once. My dad, now 70, hasn’t been able to ride his bike for a couple years now. Physically he’s a lot older than 70 and, well, it sucks. Blame Vietnam, that accounts for most of it. But he thought if he bought this trailer it would inspire us to use our bikes more and do more fun things together. Pipe dreams in his condition. So sad … That, and, I really don’t wanna deal with a trip like that. Dear god that sounds awful. I’m happy with our short little trips. I gots things to do anyway!

As the years went on, an ongoing joke began to develop in our household. Whenever dad would complain about something I did wrong, or my mother or my sister, and went on about it a little too much, a quick vocal jab of “motorcycle trailer” would always end the conversation. We found value in it after all.

We made a deal with our local moto repair man to take the trailer off our hands and he was to come by this morning with a couple of guys to pick it up. He made this decision with my mother—yesterday. I had plans to write a story for a magazine that was due the previous day that I’d yet to start because writer’s block of course, but that didn’t matter to the parentals. NOpe. My day had now changed—as if I’d have started the story anyway, I choose to think I’d have been very productive, no matter—time to prep the trailer for departure.

I had dad show me the damage: all the shit I had to move (a bunch of metal stakes and a giant metal welding table on rusty wheels), which wasn’t much actually. Then he pointed to a tree we’ve had back there forever and said, “That’s gonna be in our way … We’re gonna cut it down anyway, so, I dunno.” Which was his way of asking me to cut it down. There was suddenly a lot to be done. I convinced him I could handle all of it alone and he went inside for more coffee.

I used a chainsaw, big branch cutters, a rake, did I mention chainsaw? It was nice to do something physical for a change that didn’t require mental angst. I finished everything just in time for nightfall. I cleaned up the whole area and look at all the tools I used!
FullSizeRender-3

So manlike. I actually broke a sweat! And that never happens. Because I am a princess.

I finished just before nightfall and had to put everything away. In doing so, I accidentally knocked over a webster on a long stick that fell behind me onto my mom’s Cadillac. It made a loud noise that instantly made me hate myself. It hit the car right on the hood and I saw a mark that is most likely from what just happened. Wouldn’t come off either, permanent damage. Can’t REALLY notice though, so I haven’t told my mom yet. However, she is the one person I mentioned earlier that I know will read this, and may be reading this right now, in which case hey ma! Love youuuu…. Sorryyyy… don’t blame me blame the motorcycle trailer! This is all dad’s fault!! ………..and in case you know her personally and see her in person, please don’t mention this just in case she hasn’t read this and still doesn’t know. If she doesn’t read this then that’s what she GETS for not supporting her son by reading every single one of his daily novels.

I went to my childhood room to finish (and start) that story that was due. Somehow I ended up on my bed and fell asleep. I woke from my procrastination nap at 5 am. Just like college. Got nothing done and went back to sleep.

Morning.

Two guys in their 60’s and a kid in his 20’s show up 45 minutes late to get the trailer. Dad was exiled to the indoors, I was outside callin the shots as I am the reasonable one of the two of us. I told them how it was gonna happen, I warned them about how heavy it was and for all I knew it’ll come rolling down the hill at full speed and kill us all, I braced them all the the worst. I handed them some 2×4’s and some wooden poles to brace the bottom of the trailer as it comes down the hill, while I was going to stay at the top of the hill holding a rope tied to the top of the trailer, weaved between two redwood trees for pulley support. Then one of the guys said “Oh YOU wanna be up there and leave the old guys down here, huh?” He was right. So we switched. I showed him where to sit, brace his feet on the tree and hold the rope. Got the other two guys in position with the poles. I untied the trailer completely AND!!! It didn’t move. It was working! I rushed down to the bottom and grabbed my 2×4 in the middle of the other two guys—the most dangerous place in this whole job. Anyway, ’twas ALL my idea, and it worked beautifully, and my mom was there to watch, and later she said we couldn’t have done it without my ingenuity and I was like “aww thanks mom” and my dad was like “thanks my son” and I was like “thanks dad, and by the way your complaining rights are revoked for life”.

Me and the three guys got the trailer over the gas meter no problem and then it was out of our lives forever, a moment my mother and I thought would never come. I said to my dad, “look at all this space we have out here now” and he responded, “yeah, guess I oughta buy another trailer”…..

The guys that picked it up run a bike shop in town, I hopped in with one of em as my dad’s motorcycle was getting repaired so I had them take me with ‘em so I could drive it back. I rode his bike home and goddamn… if you’ve never ridden a motorcycle before it’s like… amazeballs. It’s one of the best feelings in the world. Up there with sex and roller coasters. Maybe a combination of the two. It’s a Harley Dyna or something like that. 1600 engine whatever. I dunno. But god it’s powerful. Every time I’d accelerate just a little it takes off and I feel like I’m gonna fly. I roar through Vallejo disrupting everyone’s peace and quiet in exchange for my own personal thrill. I’d start laughing at random points riding home as it’s hysterical how powerful this thing is. I can’t believe they’re legal.

Then I got dinner with two of my closest friends and their newborn baby. We ate sushi and hung out at the restaurant for 3 hours and 19 minutes. It was bliss.

Then I got home and finally finished that story that was due two days ago.

Then relaxed and got lost online for a while.

And now here I am.

And now here you are.

But that was then

THIS… is now.

Now this is now.

Actually all of this is then because it was here before you saw it.

Please forgive me.

Solano County Fair, yay!

We all know the typical happenings at the fair, whether it be the rides, games, food or barnyard animals—we know what to expect, and that’s fine! I had a blast. I was actually at the fair every single day—EVERY. SINGLE. DAY!—performing improv with the Rats in the Alley. The Solano County Arts Council & Creative Arts Consortium collected all sorts of artists from around the county to perform in the “Fine Arts & Flowers” building by the children’s area. For the shows our slogan was: “Come for the flowers, stay for the improv.”

Meandering about I noticed something rather exciting: A robot! A real-life artificial being! (real + artificial / same sentence = oxymoron?) The bot would roll around greeting people as they approached. Kids would ask it questions and it talked back with relevant answers! I knew something had to be up:

Turns out the man in the back, trying to get out of the picture frame, was controlling the robot from his waistpack and the straw in his beverage cup was concealing a microphone! Brilliant!

Turns out the man in the back, trying to get out of the picture frame, was controlling the robot from his waistpack and the straw in his beverage cup was concealing a microphone! Brilliant!

After speaking with Dale (the mysterious controller man, also a representative from Atlas Robotics in Santa Rosa) I learned that his robot was actually quite friendly—it even asked me for a hug!

I think I made the robot blush. Can't you tell???

I think I made the robot blush. Can't you tell???

Meandering elsewhere I came across a tank; the last thing I expected to see written on it was Solano County Anything, and yet, there it was:

DON'T MESS WITH SOLANO COUNTY! OR the sherriff. WOW, can you imagine? That's quite a threat being able to tell someone, "If you break the law I'll either arrest you, or shoot you and investigate your body myself." That's ... quite a threat ... In conclusion: Stanton rules!

DON'T MESS WITH SOLANO COUNTY! OR the sheriff. WOW, can you imagine? That's quite a threat being able to tell someone, "If you break the law I'll either arrest you, or shoot you and investigate your body myself." That's ... quite a threat, indeed: Stanton rules!

Then my friend and fellow Rats in the Alley trouper Stewart Evan Smith walked up to the tank and said: “You don’t look so tough!” The tank had news for Stew:

(Don't worry kids, he's faking it) "That's what SHE said!" Hey! Who said that? "SHE did!!!" ... wHat!?!!!?!??

(Don't worry kids, he's faking it. "That's what SHE said!" Hey! Who said that? "SHE did!!!" ... WhAt!?!!!?!??)

Hippie heffers

I have some family friends in the Suisun Valley area, Chris and John Pray, that have a great hunk of land out there. I visit on occasion and last time I went I was halted by the Scottish Highland Cattle (aka “kyloe” according to wikipedia.org) that live on the property.

Hairy cows! I would tip them, but I don't wanna mess up their "do" ... maybe if I brought some hair gel ... LOTS of hair gel. Imagining that makes me laugh.

Hairy cows! I would tip them, but I don't wanna mess up their "do" ... maybe if I brought some hair gel ... LOTS of hair gel.

Uh oh, I've been spotted! That's Hilary. By the size of her horns you can be sure she's the dominant member of the group. It is quite fitting that she's named after Mrs. Clinton.

Uh oh, I've been spotted! That's Hillary. By the size of her horns you can be sure she's the dominant member of the group. It is quite fitting that she's named after our Secretary of State.

What's this!?!? OH ... VERY mature Hillary. Stick your tongue out at ME will ya ... well try THIS on for size: :-P HA! Didn't wanna have to do that. What's that? YOU WANT MORE!?!?! Oh ... she's eating ... well ... this is embarassing ...

OH! ... VERY mature Hillary. Stick your tongue out at ME will ya ... well try THIS on for size: 8-P HA! Didn't wanna have to do that. What's that? YOU WANT MORE!?!?! Well there's PLENTY more where THAT came fr... oh ... she's eating ... well ... this is embarrassing ...

This is the baby steer, Angel. So meek, so timid, so "in his place." One day Angel! You'll be BIG! I promise. Just like Tom Hanks.

This is the baby steer, Angel. So meek, so timid, so "put in his place." One day Angel, you'll be BIG! I promise. Just like Tom Hanks.

I was looking around for Lucille who suddenly disappeared. And then, out of the corner of my eye … ::(gasp!)::

How'd you like to see THIS in your driver's side mirror? Lucille is a "formidable redhead named after Lucille Ball," says Chris.

How'd you like to see THIS in your driver's side mirror? Lucille is a "formidable redhead named after Lucille Ball," says Chris.

Here's a lone Hillary in her habitat with a fantastic view of Solano County.

In the distance you'll find a lone Hillary in her habitat with a fantastic view of Solano County. Joy.

Despite their very large stature, these creatures are rather gentle. “Extremely gentle with something wonderful in your hand to eat,” says Chris. It seems these cattle will eat anything, including poison oak. Something that makes the Scottish Highland Cattle even more unique in addition to their long flowing locks. Umm … not much else to say about these cows, other than that they are fun to watch and have great personalities. They remind me of really big dogs … if dogs had horns.

Goats!

If I had a dime for every time I woke up with hundreds of goats walking up my street, I’d have 10 whole cents. This is what I saw when I looked out my window this morning:

goatview1

GOATS!

Then I looked the other way, and saw this:

Is that goat eating my foliage? Lame...

MORE GOATS! And one of them's eating my foliage! ... Lame...

Then I went outside, and snapped this blurry photo, perhaps adding to the effect:

It's an amorphous goat blob! Run for the hills!

It's an amorphous goat blob! Run for the hills! er ... AWAY from the hills!!!

Once they left, I noticed something. Well … LOTS of someTHINGS … words just can’t explain:

The aftermath :'(

The aftermath 😥

Those goat bastards! Are they literally crapping 24/7 ? Don’t they ever take a break?! That is some efficient digestion … blech … I didn’t know what to do! How could I leave the house? I sure wasn’t driving ANYwhere in thAT mess … Was someone going to clean it up? Once all the goats were cleared a city bus drove down the street, which was kinda funny. But then some poor guy in a Land Rover came passing through, totally clueless.

Silence.

Suddenly, I heard a loud rumble in the distance. I must say, I was quite relieved to see this:

Talk about a crap job

Talk about a crap job

There he is! The sweeper! Coming up the hill like a majestic crap-infested angel. He waved to me and everything, but left quite an image behind him:

Streakmarks! My street turned into one huge goat diaper

Streakmarks! (hahaha)

hillSo what were these goats doing here? I almost wish I hadn’t run into my neighbor the other day who told me this hill (right) was covered in goats and the street had been closed off for crap cleaning, because then the shock this morning would have been tenfold! Oh well, it was still a nice … well … interesting surprise.

These goats were obviously being used to “mow” the grass on said hill, perhaps as a “green” or “eco-friendly” means of landscaping. But after the goats walked up my street, and shat all over it, the sweeper must have driven up and down the hill in his big diesel-powered truck 10 times to clean it all up! Doesn’t that kinda defeat the purpose?

WELL … it turns out, upon speaking with the city, this was more of an “experiment” than anything. They are simply looking for the MOST efficient means of incorporating these goats as regular visitors to the Vallejo’s open space areas—no procedures are yet set in stone. Goats R Us in Orinda actually donated this 3-4 week service for free to help out the city of Vallejo. So not only are these goats environmentally friendly, but they’re communally friendly as well. Aww … :’ )

Check out the article at: solanomag.com