Feb 19, 2007

Bears, Bulldogs, Basketball, Building Better Bombs. Bam!

So there's been a bit of a blog absence -- a blogspence, if you will. I'm slowly becoming a victim of the Winter Blues (aka TWB) and I blame my sub-par blogging skills on this midwest winter.

To fight TWB, Jeff and I buy a shit ton of tickets to Timberwolves games. Seriously, we buy tickets to like 700,000 games.


At the first game, against the Detroit Pistons, we run into the one and only Todd Guelker (inspiration for the infamous quote"Fuck Todd" and the slightly less popular "Todd is dead, dude") at the game. We are suprised and impressed by his dedication to the Wolves, as evidenced by his sweet KG jersey.


The Wolves lose a nail-biter in double overtime, total bummer. The entire last quarter I'm distracted by this guy sitting in front of me who is totally uniterested in the game and is way more into using his digital camera zoom feature to take photos of the cheerleaders' tah-tahs down at courtside. He seriously does this for like 45 minutes, despite the wedding band on his finger.


That weekend, we're having a pre-party beer with our badass cats.


We head down the hall to our friends/neighbors Todd and Britt's place. They just eloped on a mountaintop in Colorado (yes, for real) and are having a post-elope party with family and friends. This is their bulldogs, Ike, who weighs 8,000,000,000 pounds. Bulldogs are so crazy looking and they really love not moving. Siting and laying around is their M.O. Now you know the deal on bulldogs.


The happy couple --Todd and Britt Hansen (formerly Knippel, yikes)! The party is a relatively fancy affair. Todd is repping some just-got-off-work banker steez and Britt is rocking some cocktail dress 1930's vibeage. Jeff, Beak and I are there, wearing bluejeans and button-up shirts. Not fancy.


Family photos. You know a party is getting crazy nutso when babies are involved. Though it is hard to get them to do a kegstand, admittedly.


We wish the new couple well and head off to Beak and Cam's in the TPC van. Here, these assholes are listening to demos of their own band's new songs on the drive. Total nerds.


At Beak and Cam's, we are Getting Amped (capital letters intentional). Tomorrow is the next game in a several week stretch of Big Bears Games. If the Bears win tomorrow's game and go on to the Superbowl, Cam's going to get a Bears tattoo. That's dedication.


The best way to prepare for tomorrow's game is to do video karaoke, obviously. Here, J.C. gets really real on a song that none of us recognize. Notice the Bears gear. He's already in the game mindset.


Beach scenery provides the proper emotional and mental context for belting your heart out.


Scotch + beers + robot voice on the karaoke microphone + Jeff = this move right here. The night once again goes late. We all crash out and dream of a Bears victory in the NFC championship game.


The next morning. Pregame Bloodys with super-spicy mix concoctions.


It should be noted that, despite the audacious partying and fun that comes the night before a big Bears game, the acutal process of watching the game is extremely stressful and anxiety-ridden. When the Bears fuck up, we all clench up and grind our teeth and hold our faces in our hands and pray to Allah and grab another handful of Cheez-Its and a Premium Can.


Yes! Victory! Stoop-smoking celebrations.


A repeat of the previous weekend, I do believe.


A few days later, me and Colzoz head over to our old pal Nicole's new house in the Como area of St. Paul. She too, now has a bulldog. Its name is Matilda.


BAM. Fast-forward a few days. My co-worker Caylie recieves flowers from her boyfriend at work. Check out the awesome note. Wow. This calls for endless teasing. She breaks up with her boyfriend 5 days later and something tells me his poetry may be to blame.


BAM. Fast-forward a few days. 50's is back from a two-week stint in China. We missed the asshole, so we meet up at the Bulldog to welcome him home. His whole family was on a adventure to visit his brother who's teaching Chinese kids how to speak American. He brings back with him a pirated version of Snakes on a Plane, candy, beach sand, and some Chinese money. He takes time to describe to us the shitting situation on the "mainland." Totes N.C. (not cool). Apparently it's just a hole in the ground, and you are responsible for bringing your own toilet paper to public places.


Fast-forward to that Friday night. Blestos invites us down to Medicine Lake in Golden Valley to check out to the Shanty Project. Basically, a bunch of awesome artists get money to build ice houses on a frozen lake and make public art installations out of them. Blestos and his crew are some of these awesome artists. Needless to say, I'm down for this. We put on longjohns, bring a case of beer and get ready to hunker down.


Blestos' shanty is the Postal Ice Shanty, set up to look like an old outpost postal office. You can actually send mail to and from their shanty (they've got a P.O. Box). There is some question as to whether or not all this is actually legally-kosher with the USPS, but tevs. We take advantage of the opportunity and write some letters to peeps.




A letter to my mom from Fingertap and Jeff.


A letter from Jeff to 50's. Thanks to Blestos for a top-notch postal experience.


The next night, Saturday. We're still not over this whole "winter blues" (aka TWB) thing so we decide to stay in and watch downer movies like An Inconvient Truth. Total raging Saturday. Here, Whittier is so into getting brushed, that he tries to permanently forge the brush into his fucking face.


Halfway through our chill movie night, Jeff's co-worker Greg (aka G-Money aka G-$$$$) calls us (pictured, in the jacket). He's a block away at Alary's, after celebrating the Saint Paul Winter Carnival all day. We decide to head down. Two side notes for the uninitiated:

1) The St. Paul Winter Carnival is basically a city-sanctioned booze fest for old-school working class St. Paul neighborhood dudes. It's been going on for decades. It involves medallion hunting, dudes dressing up in all red and calling themselves Vulcans and getting wasted at a new St. Paul bar every night, a "Bouncing Team" and so much more.

2) Alary's is a block from our house and is known for a) being a cop bar b) being a Bears bar for Chicago transplants c) being usually full of douche bags and d) being the kind of bar where all the bartenders and waitresses are odd-looking St. Paul girls who are required to wear almost no clothes while working.

G-$$$$ is totally stoked becuase he somehow walked onto the Bouncing Team earlier in the afternoon parade, a lifelong dream for this old-school St. Paul kid.

For those of you who don't know, the Bouncing Team is a huge part of the Winter Carnival festivities. Their role is to hold a huge round peice of cloth and bounce hot chicks several stories into the air during the many Winter Carnival parages. Check out this clip of Greg on the news.


Hot chicks and Jag Bombs. FUCK. YEAH.


Alary's predictably blows and we hear a rumor about a secret Vulcan party over on Selby at the St. Paul Curling Club. It turns out to be a lie, so we head to Costello's instead. Greg and Carly (his lady, pictured here in the sweet winter Twins hat) have been drinking since noon and are getting pretty awesome. Photographic proof above.


These are the kinds of things that people write on cars in St. Paul.


BAM. Fast forward. Another T-Wolves game. TWB ain't no match for KG.


BAM. Fast-forward to the Superbowl. The Bears are in! Which means a huge, massive rager at Beak and Cam's. The have a Superbowl party every year, but the stakes will be much higher this year. To celebrate, Danielle (aka Danny Tanner aka Meryl Streep) and 50's make this amazing football shaped cheese dip with realistic finger grips made of almond bits.


The game starts well enough with the Midway Monsters returning the opening kick for a touchdown. Excitement builds. This picture doesn't do the party justice either. There were literally like 30 people spead throughout the house on 3 different TVs. All eating cheese dip and drinking keg beer.


Later on, the score is not looking as good. The Colts are totally sonning the Bears. Cam is hopeful the Bears will pull through this and be victorious, but alas its not enough. Sadness reigns, but keg beers softens the blow.


Fast forward. Home improvement time. I spend a long-ass time assembling and hanging new kitchen cabinets. A success if I do say so myself. What did we do before Ikea?


Fast forward to the next weekend. Time for tour. TPC is doing a weekend in Sioux Falls and Fargo with Building Better Bombs to do some Dakota Damage. The land is flat, the air is cold, the time is right. This proves to be a fairly rageful weekend.


Friday night, the show is in Sioux Falls at Nutty's North. Yes, the name of the club is Nutty's North. Yes, that is the name for real. Nutty's North. Apparently, there is also a Nutty's South, but we have it on good authority that that place totally blows. This club has huge 4 foot tall barrels full of peanuts. Noice.

Here, Jeff shows us what he's about to do: bring the rock on Dakota. He will not, however, be drinking Coors Light while bringing said rock.


Relevant water naming. This shit was purely American.


TPC and BBB get this sweet backstage VIP that used to be a girls bathroom. It's stocked full with beers and lockers.


50's preps for the show by getting serious. Ryan from BBB is in the background, trying to fix his aching back which he claims he threw out while eating a too-intense Burger King Whopper. Sure, very common.


Fun with local press clippings.


This crazy Jack Daniels statue is just standing around backstage. It definitely needs to come out for public showing.


TPC rocks for the Sioux Falls kids.


BBB does the same.


Yep, there's our guy -- JD. Jeff offers him a helping hand.


Get pissed.


This guy is stone cold chillin'.


So weird.


Great show, man. No really, loved the set. For real. What ah....what kinda cabinet is that? Does it have a D.I. connection? Oh, sweet. Yeah, yeah, no for real loved the set dude. Really great stuff. Lotta energy. You look like you're having a lot of fun up there.


Who are these people, you may be asking? On the right is McTubbins' brother and on the left is his wife. They live in Sioux Falls and came down to the show, leaving their little one with a babysitter for the night. We seriously kick it with these dawgs.


Me, backstage in the V.I.P.


After the show, we head over to Steven's place to crash. Isaac and Jeff get kissy kissy.


Steven has a Will Whitmore skateboard deck! If I skateboarded I would totally get one.


The next morning we hop in the vans and head up north to NoDak. BBB have pretty much the same exact van as TPC. Noice.


Dakota dreamscapes.


In Fargo, at load-in we notice a band called His Mischeif has left us a friendly message. Pretty sweet. Our Deuce Cities sticker collection remains affixed to the front of the stage of the Aquarium from when it was put up in summer of 2006.


We're in Fargo early, so we head down to the Chinese Buffet down the street. This is the kind of Chinese Buffet that has chicken fingers, french fries and ice cream on the menu. Bastardized Midwest versions of the Orient are much better than the real deal.


After food, we head back to the club. The show is in the upstairs portion of the venue. Downstairs is a whole nother crazy frat-vibe bar that has blackjack tables. That shit ain't legal in Minnesota. BBB takes advantage by losing a bunch of money to the dealer.


Eric (aka ETC) is along for the trip and makes this extremely life-like drawing of Jeff's hair on a bar napkin.


TPC rocks for the kids. Awesome note: the kids in Fargo will spontaneously and-without-warning clap rhythmically to your songs during slow break-down parts. Truly inspirational.


ETC tags the bathroom up nice. Hardland/Heartland.


After the show, we drive 45 minutes to Detroit Lakes, MN to Ryan's parents' cabin. It is so quintessentially a "lake place" and the perfect aftershow party venue. 50's does his best impression of this thing on the wall.


Disturbing imagery.


There is a sweet bedroom with some crazy woods-scene murals going down. This bald eagle is totally bringing a whole fish to its babies.


50's once again, impersonating wildlife. He needs to train a little more at this cause I can totally tell which one is him. Also, that little blue bird has a worm in its mouth.


Yes! Lake places.


We proceed to get awesome and play a rousing game of Catch Phrase. BBB vs. TPC. Worth noting: Stef wears a golden dinosaur hoodie and baggy green stretch pants.


Getting awesomer, finding things funnier.


Let's pick this intensity meter up a notch. TPC proves victorious. The deal is that the losing team has to walk to the middle of the frozen lake.


Even though TPC winds, they choose to accompany BBB out to the middle of the lake for two reasons. First, its good sportsmanship not to rub your victory in the face of your competitors. Especially when its fucking Catch Phrase and not, like, I don't know, the Olympics or some shit. Second, we are feeling awesome enough that walking to the middle of the lake in the middle of the night in freezing cold conditions sounds like a good time.


Getting ready for the lake walk.


Further lake walk preparations. This walk will be a big deal.



As we're walking out the door, I spill my beer all over Jeff. This is hilarious to me at the time and the first thing I do is document it with the blogging machine rather than go get a rag to clean it up.


The crew, ready now for the lake walk. Notice Drew's full body suit.


Lakewalk ghosts. Beers clutched close, breath freezing in the air, no one awake for miles. It's safe to say that we won this night.



Still walking. It was a big lake.


We leave our mark. Total street team type shit.



Back to the lodge.


This night, too, goes late. Things get awesome.


Harsh reality the next morning. We pack up and drive back to the Deuce Cities.


That night, TPC and BBB are playing one final show for the weekend. A secret house show in South Minneapolis to celebrate the release of BBB's new album. At the show, the ever-awesome Vader Clan present TPC with their 2006 Christmas presents -- engraved flasks. You can't tell, but they all have nicknames on them. Beak instead of Aaron. 50's instead of Matt. You get the idea.


TPC brings it "old school."




BBB also partakes in the rocking of the old school fashion.


Basement parties can be fun. I had forgot.


Jaws is drinking a beer? Hell has truly frozen over on whatever fruity girl concoction she usually drinks.


  1. Anonymous1:59 PM

    well worth the wait

  2. Vast.

    You have done well in your fight against SAD.
    NIce Ones.

  3. That bird totally had a fucking worm in its mouth. See you in a month.

  4. Building Plastic Bombstellations