Cole-Lee Wedding

My brother got married this past Friday! The wedding was at Benham’s Grove in Centerville, and they’re now on their honeymoon somewhere in Mexico. This whole past week has been a blur, but a lot of fun.

[nggallery id=1]

Photos courtesy of Katie & Ken Cole.

No Limit Kitten Hold’Em

On Sunday Scott, Kraig, & I took in a stray cat, henceforth known as Lady Macbeth. She was black & white and a little gimpy, with one deformed ear and one hairless patch on her tail. Ms. Macbeth was starved for affection and food, both of which we lavished on her unceasingly — even cobbling together a litter box and buying gourmet cat food.

She was a very cute, docile, loving feline and would’ve been welcome here indefinitely… if only her hairless patch hadn’t been identified as kitty mange. On Tuesday an open sore developed, which her biting/scratching obviously exacerbated, and radioactive tails just aren’t my thing. When sore-pus (I apologize for the graphicness) dripped on a couch pillow, I drew a line and booted Macbeth right back out the door. From catless to catfull to catless in three days ain’t no fun. 

Even worse, having Lady Macbeth around had a dramatic effect on my poker results. Below is a graph of my results for May (click to enlarge), and you’ll quickly notice that there is a direct correlation between money-won & cat-presence:

Dumpster Diving for Fun & Profit

This weekend was busy: finally graduated college, hung out with frieds & family, threw out my arm playing Wii rowing, watched Celtics mop up Bulls, then watched Manny Pacquaio flatten Ricky Hatton in under 6 minutes (“I didn’t know it’d be so easy,” said Manny before leaving for hours of celebratory karaoke). 

I also spent about 5-6 hours dumpster diving around campus while all the bourgeois students moved out. Saturday the crew included my sister, father, brother, future-sister-in-law, and our friend Scott. Yesterday Kraig, Laura, Scott & I went out again where there was essentially just one full dumpster left but it was a goldmine. Cedarville has acknowledged the typical profligacy of its students and this year filled multiple truck trailers with donated stuff — but an obscene amount was still thrown out. We’ve been inspired by international hero Micah Hans Holden, who essentially does 80% of his grocery “shopping” by rooting around in dumpsters. He would’ve gone nuts if he’d seen the Cedarville dumpster piles this weekend. It’s a great hobby that I intend to keep up this summer — it’s anti-consumerist, voyeuristic, and profitable… what more could you ask?

Here’s a bit of the haul from day 2:

  

(more…)

Miscellany

1. Thanks to everyone who sent me birthday wishes. I am shocked to see 3-0 bearing down on me. 

2. Congrats to my little brother Kraig for getting engaged to Laura last Saturday. He will be the first Cole to get married and nobody’s surprised.

3. Kraig & I took the GRE on Wednesday. That test is hard as hell. I had two goals: get a 700 on the Verbal section, and/or a combined total of 1200+. I made one of these goals. Kraig and I were both happy with our scores so that’s excellent news.

4. It’s -10° outside. My moustache instantly freezes if I venture out.

5. Please remember that my phone does not have texting capabilities. I’ve gotten a couple messages recently and, alas, cannot read them.

6. Win Butler and his crazy band put out a DVD called Miroir Noir that is pretty awesome. It’s mostly Neon Bible material with 2 Funeral songs. I highly recommend this if you can get a copy. Here’s a teaser:

Halfbeard’s Inane Weekend Moralizing

Jehovah-Jireh… God will provide. Do you believe it?

I went to a friend’s wedding this weekend in Willoughby, Ohio. The number of bachelors I know is dwindling steadily. My sister, en route to a wedding in Warren, took me to the NE outskirts of Akron so I could hitch the rest of the way. I barely got onto the road before I was greeted with “fuckin’ hippy!” by a pack of testosterogues — bored male teenagers with IQs matching their speedometer reading. (more…)

In Belize!

Quick update from beautiful Belize… Kraig and I are in San Pedro right now, maybe moving to Caye Caulker this weekend.

We’ve mostly just been laying around, enjoying the sun & sand. Today though we got up early to go snorkeling where we swam with – and pet – nurse sharks and manta rays. We also saw moray eels and every kind of crazy fish out there — at the very end we even got a glimpse of a hammerhead shark. Hopefully our underwater camera will produce at least a couple good shots.

We’ve been eating lots of Mexican food but tonight stopped by Ali Baba’s for Middle Eastern fare — though I ate more traditionally with roasted chicken & fries.

It’s amazing being at sea level and thinking about the piles of snow and ice I left behind in Ohio. I often dream of moving to Scandinavia, but who am I kidding? I have a tropical soul, a coconut for a brain. Merry Christmas friends.

Bizzangkok

I’m in Thailand? I think, yes. We left Wednesday at 9.30pm and arrived at my parents apartment in Bangkok on Friday at 3pm… of course it’s actually Saturday morning here. Yes, I’m confused too — I do know that total flying (in-air) time was almost 23 hours. LAX -> Taipei was the longest leg at 15 hrs but contrary to what was expected, China Airlines was excellent. In most ways, at least. Kraig and I are beyond exhausted so I’m out for now.

p.s. – here’s your fun fact of the day: we hand-carried 5 pounds of premium sausage all the way from Indiana to Bangkok. Aight, goodnight friends. Er, good morning. Not sure.

My Mazda Hates Me

What is man in a post-Brokeback world? The cowboy is dead, and Ang Lee has killed him. If not the leather-chapped bronco tamers of yore, who now are our all-American men, the ones who ooze masculinity and bleed testosterone?
I can’t help but pontificate on manhood after a day grunting over the engine of my car, dead on the side of the highway. Indulge my braggadocio for minute: see me bracing against the wind, in the dark, and sopping wet in an all-out thunderstorm; watch me crank levers and wrestle with bolts; look, there’s our hero still covered in oil and grime up to the elbow despite a dozen washings. I am the world’s greatest mechanic, hear me roar.

This is not, actually, the first time I’ve found myself stranded on a paved vein in America’s heartland, solving the same old problem (damn you alternator). The first time, two years ago, my sister was on-hand and declared my triumph over automobile to be the pinnacle of my existence thus far. I think it was the first day she realized that her childhood playmate, master of Legos, had somehow grown into someone with life skills, with the ability to, like, fix things. These breakdowns inevitably lead to a swelling of pride, momentary and fleeting, but there nonetheless because I actually accomplish something.

I am the world’s worst mechanic, let’s be honest. I am not the burly, mythic male machine who toils endlessly with his hands. Let the record show: I broke down returning from an art house film; I smoked the cloves of artistes, not the Marlboros of Western television heros; I may or may not have ignored the flashing warning lights on my dashboard for longer than recommended (it was more convenient to believe the wiring in my dash had gone haywire); do real men follow up a day of mechanical tinkering by listening to Schubert and Chopin? And really, I would’ve given up the surge of testosterone if I had the money to pay for a tow. How is it that a five-minute conversation with a beautiful woman makes me sweat more than loosening oil-caked lugs on my engine?

This is not epic, the reality of it, and there are no grandiose life lessons and character-building maxims here. It’s simple really: today I watched Apocalypse Now (now there’s a real rumination on manhood) and then spent five hours struggling with a mechanical system anybody with any actual know-how could’ve fixed in half the time. On the upside, having a showdown with my burdened and tragic car forces me to expand my tool collection (stocked now with wrenches and ratchets in both metric and standard, thank you very much). I’ve decided the real story here, the real man in all this, is probably my steadfast little brother who picked me up in the first place and who tirelessly held the flashlight in the rain as I bumbled around under the hood. He was there, commiserating and cheering, just there and being himself and that’s probably what really counts at the end of the day. I’m just the sissy boy.