Sunday, October 14, 2012

In Memoriam: My sweet Motorola flip-phone

What a sad (if not the saddest) day, fellow adventurer!

My compadre, my bosom buddy, my one true friend has left for that great big trash heap in the sky. Yes, my Motorola is dead, and with it, perhaps symbolically, the era of the flip-phone. What we once thought of as an innovation, the likes of which the people of Earth had never seen save in the wildest dreams of Ben Franklin, has now become a thing of antiquity.

A sample of Ben Franklin's wildest dreams

This was something I'd seen coming for a long time now. When the buttons on the phone starting giving out, I knew that in a matter of a few months my phone would surely be begging for the sweet release of death. "Remove my battery!" it would say. When the front display crapped out, I realized that I needed to start thinking about the future. What would life be like without the phone? Should I buy a new phone and, if so, how soon after the funeral? I don't want to be insensitive after all.

And then, last night at 9:26 p.m. MST, an explosion of color appeared across the screen. The cancer had taken over entirely. Is this the little phone I carried? I thought to myself (also, these are oddly close to the lyrics of "Sunrise, Sunset," which is a total coincidence). The doctors did all they could but, in the end, they finally convinced me that it's not their job to fix phones and that I should leave the emergency room before they called the cops.

So technically my phone's not dead, but we're pulling the plug anyway because it's a registered SIM card donor and I need to make some calls to a bunch of fine ladies!

With this in mind, next week I'll be showing you all how to destroy the cold dead husk of your old cell phone!

Until then, RIP Motorola flip-phone, Whenever-Yesterday.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

The Most Familial Adventure: Navigating a Family Campout: How to Hold a Stone-Skipping Competition

How glorious earth's bounty, fellow adventurer!

Earth is a factory, creating many wonderful things. And, much like the factories of old, it takes a long time to make anything because the workers are underpaid and, therefore, lazy. But when the earth pops out a new batch of materials, it's always worth it (unlike the iPhone 5 (which I'm bitter about because I have a flip phone still)). 

One of, if not the, illest of all Earth's creations is rocks. Rocks can be used for heat and throwing. Some say there are other purposes, but those people aren't trustworthy, fellow adventurer. Stay away from them.

The most important sport of all time (and a big contender for new Olympic event, my heart tells me) is skipping rocks. If you can't skip rocks, it's because your spirit and body are not in communion. It's a natural skill for those who have souls, so you should take a long look at your life and figure some things out if you're having a rough time skipping a stone.

The first step to skipping rocks is finding some smooth stones, like the ones in the picture above. You'll notice that some of these rocks are a little large and not terribly round. These are the rocks that you give to the other competitors.

Adam (Senior Adventurer, 2nd class), trying to skip a trick rock

Now that you have your rocks, assemble the weakest and smallest of your relatives for a rousing game of Skip the Rock (the Indian name for it, probably).

REMEMBER: Don't let your dad play, because he's somehow better than you at everything.

Dad (Senior Adventurer, 1st class), destroying us even with his faulty old-person joints

The most important thing to remember about skipping rocks is that, no matter how many or few skips you get, you must always brag about it. If you get one skip, it had better make a huge splash (or, conversely, the smallest splash). If you accept failure, you accept the sad existence of a non-adventurer.

Of equal importance is form:

The rock may have skipped only once, but I look incredible doing it

As the game goes on, more people will likely join, thinking that they're somehow involved. Allow it. This brings me to a vital point: Do not skip rocks in the same area where you found them. Search for the best rocks elsewhere so that, if anyone joins your game in play, they will only find the worst rocks and you will look like some sage of rock skipping.

FUN TIP: If anyone finds your rock-gathering area, threaten them with death.

Our playing field, where only the most lopsided rocks rest

You may be wondering, fellow adventurer, why I have not discussed how to throw rocks or the ideal amount of skips. What a fascinating question that I don't care about AT ALL.

Conclusion: Adventure In Progress. Also, old people are deceptively skilled.

An old person makes us look stupid

Adam, having taken second place, enacts a variation on the B-Boy stance

Join us next time for Campfire Cuisine!

Friday, August 31, 2012

The Most Familial Adventure: Navigating A Family Campout: Contributing at Mealtime

 What a slimy lump of meat, fellow adventurer!

A family outing is incomplete without a dutch oven dinner. If you are going on family outings and not eating dutch oven dinners, you are not an actual family. The dutch oven is the symbol of the crucible that is family togetherness. If you trap a bunch of people in one place for a long time and apply loads of hot coals, they will grow closer together and become one delicious lump. There's probably a less cannibalistic approach, but it works for our purposes.

The first step in cooking a dutch oven dinner is doing whatever your dad tells you too, because you don't actually know how to cook a dutch oven dinner.

REMEMBER: Your only skill is following directions. You are an excellent lackey.

 Only the most trusted lackeys cut the chicken

Now that you've followed a bunch of instructions, you're ready for step two: The step with more instructions. As with all dutch oven dishes, this one requires a lot of barbecue sauce (this is true even of peach cobbler, trust me). So get out your favorite (only) barbecue sauce and start pouring!

FUN TIP: When your mother tells you to pour half the sauce in there, ask your dad how much he thinks should go in. Undoubtedly, he will tell you to put the whole thing in, which is much more fun than half.

One man should not have this much fun (unless that mean is me)!

Now that whatever you just made (I'm really not sure) is ready, it's time to stand around and wait for someone to yell at you. At this point, someone is, without fail, making some sort of potato-based dish. In this case, my mother is making a creamy, cheesy, starchy something with hash browns.

Whatever it is, I'll eat it in the name of adventure 

Now comes the final step of your involvement. Do you think it has something to do with the actual cooking of the food? That's very naive of you.  Your family doesn't trust you with fire, fellow adventurer! Not since you set fire to that paper bag in the middle of your room. Given, that was eighteen years ago, but clearly your family has some trust issues.

But your job is pretty great, even if it doesn't involve fire. Dump a bag of cheese on something!

Peach cobbler? Probably.

Now you're a dutch oven master! Congrats, fellow adventurer!

Conclusion: Adventure In Progress! Also, all things cooked in dutch ovens are peach cobbler at their core with slight variations.

Join us next time for the rock skipping competition!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

The Most Familial Adventure: Navigating a Family Campout: Boat Sport Spectating

What a strenuous day, fellow adventurer!

Camping. Freedom. America. These are all words that mean something. In other words (no pun intended, unless you found it funny, in which case, pun fully intended), these are all words that have definitions. We're on part two of our campout adventure, and, fellow adventurer, I'm sure you feel the thick, paste-like blood of a patriot coursing through your veins like never before. Now that you're feeling invigorated, it's a good time to do things that the less adventurous might find stupid.

Specifically, I'm talking about being dragged by a boat at high speeds through frigid water, your arms flailing like wet noodles and your hands blistering with the strain. But for every adventurer out on the open water, there's five more brave souls watching him and hoping that he gets in a spectacular wreck.

Reggie Pack (Senior Adventurer, 2nd Class) riding a flimsy plank of wood

Some adventurers might think they're too good to ride in the boat, deeming it "too safe." But it's a well-documented fact that there are over 300 boat-related deaths since time began. With that in mind, perch yourself on the back of the boat, effectively putting your life in the hands of someone who probably never achieved the rank of captain and may have never even been in the Navy (I'm looking into it, but the chances are pretty slim).

Now that you've come down off of your high horse and agreed to sit in the boat, watch as the first adventurer climbs out and awkwardly flails around in the water. It may take him a few tries to get going, but eventually he'll be up, slicing through the water like a hot knife through the soft skin of a baby deer (which would probably slice through pretty well).

REMEMBER: Even though the wakeboarder can't hear you, shout encouragement/discouragement anyway, because it feels good to be included.

Reggie, showing off like a jerk

Now it's your turn to ride the waves, fellow adventure!

SUBSTITUTION TIP: Instead of getting out of the boat, where it's cold and decidedly more "drowny," stay on your comfortable seat and claim that you need to take pictures for posterity's sake.

Conclusion: Adventure In Progress! Also, Reggie's display of fancy tricks may just get him demoted for making me look bad.

Join me next time when we make a dutch oven dinner!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

The Most Familial Adventure: Navigating a Family Campout: Getting There

Adventure, ahoy, fellow adventurer!

The family campout is perhaps the most dreaded adventure. In some families, it's an annual terror. We live in constant fear that, at any time, we could have a trip to the backwoods dropped on us. The most important way to deal with that terror is to fuel it with speculation on the myriad ways in which you might be killed on this campout.

REMINDER: You will probably die.

Let's say you and your family are headed to Red Fish Lake in Idaho for a fun-filled week. What should you pack? That's your problem and I refuse to help you. However, I will suggest that you "forget" to bring a swimsuit as an excuse to not enter into a long swim with your overzealous brother. It's not worth the lake water you imbibe in the process.

Once you and your family arrive at the marina, unpack your gear in the hopes that someone at the campsite on the other side of the lake magically knows you're there, since cell phone reception is a bust. After waiting for twenty minutes, some less-experienced adventurers might pack up and leave to find a campsite on the marina-side of the lake. But not the King. Let the others drive off while you wait for the boat. It will show up. Probably.

REMINDER: It will show up, I swear it will...won't it?

Once the boat shows up, gather the family.

FUN TIP: Since you can't contact your family via cell phone, run around the parking lot for a while, cursing your own stupidity. Eventually they'll come back!

Load up the boat and set out across the lake. Since the sun is gone, you'll have to create your own light source for the boat. It does not matter how useless your light source is, as long as you feel like you're contributing.

Me and Adam Pack (Senior Adventurer, 2nd class), acting as temporary figureheads for the boat

Once you reach shore, the first step will be to set up a campsite. Putting up tents in the dark is a necessary skill for any adventurer, since the adventurer is, like the jaguar, nocturnal (are jaguars nocturnal?). Tents should be run down and made of paper if you desire to be a true adventurer, but since I've paid my dues (and my dad happens to like luxurious camping), this may be a bit beyond you. 

 Standing room!

Now sleep.

Now wake up.

The first step in the morning will be, of course, to set up the hammock and take a nap.

 The Senior Adventurer in his natural habitat

Eventually, someone will get around to cooking you breakfast. So work up an appetite by going for a morning swim!

SUBSTITUTION TIP: Instead of going for a morning swim, just relax and wait until breakfast. You're probably hungry without the excess effort unless you have some sort of glandular problem.

Jeremy Pack (Senior Adventurer, 2nd Class) cooks some sausage poorly, probably

Now that you've eaten breakfast, you're ready for a day of adventure/terror! Next up: Watching people do dumb things in the water.

Conclusion: Adventure In Progress! Also, I make a pretty attractive figurehead.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

The Most Excruciating Adventure: Socializing at a Wedding Reception

What a miserable ordeal, fellow adventurer!

When two people fall in love, sometimes they make the mistake of getting hitched. But it's a glorious mistake, fellow adventurer! Marriage is the ultimate expression of blah blah blah and when a man and woman enter into it, blah blah blah. 

But while weddings are wonderful for the bride and groom, tradition doesn't take into account the pain and agony that everyone else has to go through. The most trying ordeal for everyone is of course the dreaded reception.

The gift table, which puts a material value to your love for the bride and groom

The first step of the reception process is walking past the gift table and realizing that you brought nothing. The trick here is to glance at the table once and then rush past it in the hopes that no one will notice your lack of gifts. If you stand around looking at the tags on the gifts, everyone will know that you're thinking of stealing their gift and they will get real angry.

A line of people with inexplicably sweaty palms

Once you've managed to make your way up to the handshaking portion of the line, enjoy those first couple of handshakes with the father and sister of the bride, who you've never met. When the father of the bride asks if you and your date are married, tell him, "No." This leads to the greatest bit of awkward small talk ever exchanged: "Well, this is what you have to look forward to." Look at your date and smile awkwardly.

The happy couple, being happy

When you get to the couple, wait for the bride to realize where she knows you from (it's from several visits to the groom's home). Then give her some cryptic advice. For example: "You'll have to watch this guy!" Because apparently he's prone to running away and/or stealing things when you aren't looking.

FUN TIP: The more unsettling the cryptic advice, the more opportunity you have to plant the seed of doubt in the bride's mind. Write down some real zingers before you go.

Give the groom (your cousin) a manly hug and reference some moment from the bachelor party ("Glad you got all cleaned up!" "You too." "Only barely!" "HAHAHAHAHAHAHAAAAAAAAA!!!").

Now escape the line and head straight for the cheesecake.

The single American male: A portrait of depression

A quick word to the single adventurer at the reception. Remember watching all those chick flicks 
(because you are a chick or because you thought doing so would somehow make you more attractive to girls (it didn't)) where two people, complete opposites, meet at the reception of their friends? This will never happen for you.

REMEMBER: It will never ever happen.

Find solace in the fact that the cheesecake is delicious and leave once the sappy music starts playing and everyone starts cuddling up close. It will only drive you down deeper into the dark crevice of depression...


If you find yourself at a reception where dancing is a thing (because apparently that's still a thing that people do), use the excuse that you have to take pictures of the dancing to avoid actually joining in. 

REMEMBER: Your date probably wants to dance, but don't give in to what they want just because it will make them happy.

The groom, dancing with someone who is not the bride (scandal)

After the band has played the sixth or seventh song, the bride's sister will inevitably have a guitar and a song (or two) in her heart. Listen to the first song (because it's courteous (and because she's actually pretty good (actually))). But once the second song starts, head for the car in the hopes that you, date in tow, won't get stopped by your relatives so that they tell you that you're next and ask when you're planning to get married to your date, who is probably far less uncomfortable than you think she is because you're projecting your own insecurities on her (wipe your forehead, you're sweating).

Conclusion: Adventure Accomplished! Also, only bring a date to a reception if you're a true adventurer who is willing to suffer through the terrible ordeal of introducing a girl to your family.

Go to, fellow adventurer!

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

The Most Adventurous Adventure: Camp Adventurous's Adventure Camp for Adventurers

Fellow adventurer, do you love adventure? If you answered "no," I strip you of your title. But if you answered "yes," let me tell you about Camp Adventurous's Adventure Camp for Adventurers.

America: A land of freedom, liberty, democracy, and opportunity. And how did America get to be so great? How did it gain all of these incredible attributes? Adventure. The Spirit of Adventure is the spirit of every American man, woman, and child.

Even this man, woman, or child

People are asking, "Whatever happened to America? It used to be so great?" Yes, America was once great (at enslaving people and oppressing women and minorities). But America's greatness has not left her. It has evolved. Every time you shoot a text from an iPhone or get soap from a hands-free dispenser or eat a Double Down from KFC, you're partaking of the great American adventure.

Adventure oozes from the Double Down and congeals in the hearts of all!

Don't you want to be part of that adventure?

I'm offering the opportunity for little adventurers to participate in what I have dubbed Camp Adventurous's Adventure Camp for Adventurers. We will do things, and you will learn stuff. It may increase your resistance to extreme temperatures! It's always a surprise!

So send me a message if you want to participate, and maybe neither of us will die.


Saturday, July 28, 2012

The Dead Letter Office: What I should have said to those who wished me a Happy Birthday

Dear friends, family, and acquaintances (who I have lost touch with (by laziness on my part)),

Thank you for the birthday wishes (even the ones that made my mother cringe (maybe I should get new friends (just kidding (maybe I should be glad I have friends at all)))). I'm glad to have you in my life (though I don't express that (because we never talk (and I can hardly blame that on you (you're so busy (relatively (I don't even have a job)))))).

It's been a good twenty-four years (I hope (I haven't really asked for outside opinions (please don't tell me (unless you think I really need to know (even though I don't want to)))))! Let's hope it'll be many more (at least, I hope you hope so (but it's cool if you're indifferent (mainly I just hope you don't want me dead (you don't, right?)))).

You've all been so good to me (regardless of how I've acted towards you (I know I can be less than cordial (and inconsistent))). I'm grateful for your friendship (so maybe we can talk some time (by which I mean, maybe I can stop being such a shut-in and talk to you some time (that is, if you aren't tired of my rambling (which is one of my more constant fears)))).

I hope you all have a great year (I say, because I know I'll forget to wish you happy birthday)!

Sincerely (probably),

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

The most Anticlimactic Adventure: The Polished Stones

What a magical day, fellow adventurer!

It has been seven days since we put the rocks in for the polish phase. This means it's time to check out your handiwork! Descend the staircase into the pit of Hell that you call a basement and retrieve the cylinder from the tumbler. On the way back up, be sure to look out for spiders! If they follow you upstairs, they will set up camp in your room and deposit egg sacs in you ears.

Head outside with the cylinder to spray off the rocks, because they will be filthy with slurry.

Admittedly, slurry looks like a delicious paste

Attach a spray nozzle to the hose and turn it on full blast, because the ensuing splatter of slurry on your feet and clothes will make the statement, "I'm an adventurer," to anyone who sees you. Once you've sprayed the muck off, take the cylinder inside and dump the rock out. Do they look exactly the same as before? Good! They look like this because the rocks themselves are trying to make you doubt yourself. Place them in a pitcher with water to wash off the film that is clearly hiding the polish.

These are rocks. They are in water.

After you've let them sit for a while, take the rocks out and dry them on the same hand towel you use to wash dishes, clean up messes, and eat off of in cases where you're out of clean plates. After you've wrapped the rocks up in the towel, wait until your roommate asks to see the rocks. Tell him that they aren't quite dry yet. When he persists, try to tell him an interesting story. He will tell you that he doesn't care about your high school debate trip and that he just wants to see the rocks. Now they're ready!

The dullness is just a trick of the light (and by "the light" I mean "fate")

Deny that you've done anything wrong.

REMEMBER: You are incapable of making mistakes.

There is one extra step when rocks are like this. Put the rocks back in the cylinder with water and bleach-free powdered soap. Run the tumbler for two days and hope that you haven't wasted four weeks on a fruitless effort.

Conclusion: Adventure In Progress! Also, none of this is your fault, it's all someone else's fault, you're so perfect.

Wish me luck, fellow adventurer!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Logan Out Loud: When the Fans Attack

What a rapturous Summer eve, fellow adventurer!

On Saturday, the members of Logan Out Loud gathered on Trent Hunsaker's front porch, ate Jordan Todd Brown's pizza, and congratulated Taylor Miles on another successfully navigated birthday as they waited for the arrival of an audience. 

Little did our improvisionaries know what horrors would momentarily befall them. Soon, small groups of people appeared on the horizon, carrying blankets and lawn chairs. They began to fill Trent's backyard like so many carrion birds on a stinking carcass. 

After about thirty people, things started looking grim. But this was not the end. That comes after the denouement!

In a matter of a half-hour, things had gotten entirely out of hand!

Look at them! Hungry for the kill!

The members of Logan Out Loud called upon their courage in the hopes that they might somehow appease the ravenous crowd as well as their mighty improv god, Blaydor, whose hoof seemed poised to stamp out all life in the yard. 

With that unknowable, unconscionable, unbeatable courage, Logan Out Loud had a pretty decent show. Somewhere between fifty and sixty people huddled in Trent's backyard to enjoy some comedy. That was enough to inspire Logan Out Loud to keep up the fight for another few millenia!

Also, no rocks were thrown, so let's chalk that up as a win!

This is the denouement

The End

Or is it?

(In one sense it is, because it's the end of this particular story, but in another sense, it isn't, so it depends on what "end" you're looking for)

(Or does it (it does)?)

Saturday, July 21, 2012

The (al)Most Complete Adventure: The Polishing Phase

 What a momentous day, fellow adventurer!

As you well know, fellow adventurer, the rocks have been going through the pre-polish phase. Well, they can't pre-polish forever! Eventually you'll have to head back down into your terrifying basement and just deal with the horrors that await you. It's time to get them started on the final phase, the polish!

The first step is to head downstairs. Many adventurers won't get past this step because they either are paralyzed with mortal fear or they forget that they have rocks tumbling downstairs and let them go a couple extra days and would rather not find out if anything has exploded. But the true adventurer will head downstairs, cautiously making his way to the corner where the noise of rocks smashing against each other sounds eerily like a troll eating the bones of foolish humans (any adventurer worth his salt knows that noise).

Once you have the cylinder in your sight and can verify that the noise is coming from inside it, shut off the tumbler, grab your rocks, and run. 

REMEMBER: A good adventurer knows that there is probably a troll in the basement regardless of whether he can hear it or not. The most dangerous troll is the silent troll who lives in the firewood room!

Now that you're upstairs, head out back where you can flush the slop out of the cylinder with the hose. Make sure the pressure is high, because splashing rock slurry on your pants is the only way to prove to your friends that you participated in an adventure today!

 Slurry, waiting to transfer itself to my clothes

With your cylinder of clean rocks, head back inside.

MULTITASK TIP: Wait ten minutes until you remember to turn off the hose. This way you can water a small portion of your lawn while you work on your rocks!

Your rocks should look about the same as they did before. This is good! The adventurer thrives on the fear that he has done something wrong. If you feel like crying, no problem! Let it out, fellow adventurer!

The same rocks as last week, but markedly smaller! Success!

To see if the pre-polish phase has taken, place a rock on a towel and sprinkle a little of the polish powder on it. Now scrub until the rock shines. If it doesn't shine, the instructions say to  put the rocks back in the pre-polish solution for another 24 hours.

REMEMBER: The instructions are useless. Just get on with the polish phase.

Toss the rocks back into the cylinder with some fresh water and the polish powder. Prep yourself for what may be your final trip to the basement and final moments on Earth. Rush down, put the cylinder on the tumbler, start it up, run for your life. 

Now we're polishing, fellow adventurer!

Conclusion: Adventure In Progress. Also, maybe you should put the tumbler in the garage next time.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

The Most Cerebral Adventure: The Pub Quiz

So many mixed emotions, fellow adventurer!

One of the attributes most prized among the adventurers is that of immense trivial knowledge. Many non-adventurers will tell you (jealously) that your knowledge of the Civil War or the entire IMDB website will get you nowhere in life. But we adventurers know that there is a place where the master of trivia is elevated to the high status of King Smarty-Pants: The Pub Quiz.

For years, Logan, Utah has been bereft of such an opportunity. But a month ago, two fine gentleman decided to bring this tradition to our local bar and grill.

Trent Hunsaker (using his partner as a human shield to defend against projectile mugs)
 and Jordan Brown (slightly taller than he is in reality). purveyors of the finest Pub Quizzeries 

These two men run the Zeroes N' Heroes Trivia Challenge at Logan's Beehive Bar and Grill every Tuesday at 7:00 p.m. Now, adventurers salivate at the simple suggestion of "Pub Quiz." But others, understandably, live in constant fear of such activities. For the fearful who wish to become adventurers, I, King of Adventurers, offer you this simple tutorial on the Pub Quiz experience.

The first step in participating in the Pub Quiz is coming up with a team name that is simultaneously unique, humorous, and offensive (offensiveness always trumps humor in this situation, so if you need to sacrifice one attribute, let the offensiveness be the humor). Our team name for the week was Planned Parenthood/The Morning After (we chose both because it was a disservice to pick only one). Now, while there is nothing inherently humorous in those names, the offensiveness of using them in a light-hearted fashion makes chuckles erupt from the most stoic of Pub Quizzarians.

Now that you have a great name, it's time to learn some trivia! Go online and surf the web for ten minutes before getting stuck in a loop for two hours before you realize that maybe your entire day (possibly your entire life) has been wasted collecting trivia. Cool off that self-loathing with a couple humorous/kitten-filled videos! You feel better already, fellow adventurer!

It's time to head over to the Pub Quiz. Head over a little late so that you can be excluded from the main group. Spend a couple minutes looking forlornly at your teammates who avoid your gaze as though it was the stare of Medusa. After failing to elicit any sympathy, find a seat at an empty table, yards away.

The team, breaking my heart

Now it's time to start! As your team begins to answer every question correctly, convince yourself that you're an outside consultant who is needed as a fresh set of eyes. Wander over to their table often, checking their answers and offering thumbs-ups and head-nods.

QUICK TIP: Your friends need you. They feel really bad about not having a spot for you. They are planning a surprise party for you. They love you, no matter what they say.

Two "N's" in Anna, guys, but good job!

Watch as your team wipes the floor with the past week's winner as well as any other hopefuls. But be ever-vigilant, fellow adventurer! The one question they don't know the answer to may come along. For example: Which American Idol judge quit the show last Friday? Now, most people will answer Steven Tyler, since his image is forever burned into their minds (his face is the face of my nightmares). But what you know that the others may not is that Steven Tyler quit on Thursday, making the answer Jennifer Lopez. How do you know this? Because on Friday you were talking to your mother as she read the newspaper, and she noted, "What is Steven Tyler?" Meaning, of course, that Steven Tyler was in the paper on Friday for Thursday's news of his leaving. That leaves Jennifer Lopez (because Randy Jackson's heart is in a glass jar in the producer's office)!

Thanks to your one correct answer, your team wins. Celebrate by standing close to them and feeling their collective glory wash over you.

REMEMBER: You are the most important member of the team. They couldn't have won without you. You are their lucky charm. Right?

 Mike Grover and Brock Champlin, awash with winner's glory

 The only way to truly complete a night of Pub Quizzery is to laugh at the losers. And there are so many of them!

Losers, sobbing

REMEMBER: Winners may someday become losers, so make fun of them while you can. If you are a loser, remind yourself that all winners are cheaters.

Conclusion: Adventure Accomplished! Also, your friends think you're great, no matter how much they refuse to acknowledge you.

Best of luck on your trivial pursuits (please don't sue me, Trivial Pursuit), fellow adventurer!

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Moments of Weakness: My Great-Great-Great Granddad can't beat up your Great-Great-Great Granddad

After finding out that I'm descended from Canadians, I figured my family's position in history could sink no lower. But I made the mistake of continuing to read about John Pack's exploits this week. John was a rough-around-the-edges pioneer who didn't only make spelling errors, but spelled the same words incorrectly in a variety of ways (Example: Know became "no, knoe, now"). He served as a leader during the migration of the Latter-Day Saints from Missouri to Utah. Why was he chosen? Because he was strong, smart, and tough as the nails he was born on (note to self: check accuracy of "born on nails" statement). So you'd think he wouldn't manage to get himself beat up too often.

Well, fellow adventurer, you'd be wrong! Because John Pack was also a little cheat who broke the most basics rules of any playground child. As we all know (unless you've never been a child), one of the chief rules of the playground is, "no cutting in line." 

Now, maybe we can get away with breaking that rule every now and then. But eventually it catches up to us. Especially if we break that rule and cut in front of a man like Howard Egan. Apparently there was a pretty solid order in the wagon train when the Saints were headed west. But John Pack wasn't one for order and decided to drive his team on ahead of Egan's.

This is how that should have gone down:

John Pack


Howard Egan

2-NITE! 2 Men enter! 1 Man leaves!
Kids seats still just FIVE BUCKZZZZZZZZZZ!!!!!!!

Instead, my Canadian ancestor, lethargic with the maple syrup that pumped genetically through his bloodstream, got knocked off his wagon by Egan who then jumped down and kicked him while he laid in the dirt, crying like a little girl (note to self: don't check accuracy of "John Pack cried like a little girl" statement (because it might be true (and that would just be the last nail in the coffin))). It goes without saying that he surrendered (but I'll illuminate my point anyway by reminding you that John Pack was disgustingly, desperately, irreversibly Canadian).

The worst part is, I know Egan's great-great-great grandson, and, had I known the history between our families, had ample opportunity to punch him in the face and restore some dignity to my family. But now we're friends, so I'll have to be sneakier about it.

I sent him a text about it, to which he replied: "Doesn't surprise me." WHAT?! Wait, let him explain: "He had a law named after him in Utah. It was called the justifiable homicidal act. Look it up. Lol." 

Lol? LOL?! Lol, fellow adventurer. It turns out that Howard Egan's wife had an affair, Egan killed the guy, and then lived the rest of his life a free man. In effect, I was one well-placed kick from not existing today. Egan was an animal (no offense (some offense))! John shouldn't have even been in that bout!

Basically, it's just this whole mess and it goes to show how much Canada has ruined my life. I admit that I still have a lot of respect for John Pack, but I think we can agree that this was a dark chapter in my family's history.

I may never come back from this, fellow adventurer.

Now listen to this awful version of "O, Canada" while I cry myself to sleep:

The Dead Letter Office: What I Should Have Said to my Friend after his Break-up

Hey, Bro (brother),

Don't even worry about it (it being the girl (the girl who broke up with you (I think I'm calling too much attention to it (I'm sorry)))). There're plenty of fish in the sea (though I speak from experience (and cliche) when I say, probably none like her (for example, there was a girl I met a couple years ago who I have never gotten over though we never actually dated (you know her too (I set the two of you up (you went on a couple dates (it was a weird time for me, admittedly)))))).

I bet you'll find a girl soon (not that you'll want to (I know I wouldn't want to (I feel sometimes like the need to move on spawns from a push to get married within the culture (and the push works (sometimes I'm afraid I'll die alone (which is common, I think)))))).

I know what you're going through (I don't (I've never been dumped out of nowhere (I once broke up with a girl because she liked me too much (it was pretty ridiculous (I've still never apologized for it))))).

Keep strong, man (which is my way of saying, "Don't express you emotions man" (maybe it's because I don't like to feel (by which I mean, it's hard for me to empathize (I lack a lot of basic human emotions (which I make up for by exaggerating all my emotions as a joke (but then, that may just be an excuse to act amoral (if so, it works))))))).



Thursday, July 12, 2012

Adventure Cuisine: Navajo Fry Bread (With a Dash of History!)

Prepare for a tasty (and informative) adventure, fellow adventurer!

A tasty treat for the culinary-minded adventurer is Navajo fry bread. When I was just a youngling, my mom would make it in the hopes that the grease would congeal in our bloodstream and slow us down. Believe me, fellow adventurer, it works!

The best part of making fry bread is the simplicity of it. The Navajo didn't have much, but as the stereotype goes, they used everything they had to its fullest extent. One of the reasons that the Navajo had so little was the rationing that the U.S. government subjected them to after herding them out of their ancestral lands by gunpoint. So sure, fry bread came from a dark time in American history. But the taste and the versatility of the bread make up for all that suffering!

Ooops! Guess I forgot to integrate these ingredients into one mass!

The first step to making fry bread is getting kicked out of your home by both the Spanish and the American governments. The first few miles of “The Long Walk of the Navajo” was probably pretty rough, but after a while, calluses (both physical and emotional) started to grow and everything got much better, so tough it out until then.

Once you get to the government sanctioned land, you’ll discover that your enemies, the Comanche and the Apache, are also there, bringing the land meant for 5,000 up to an angry 10,000 who still manage to mount constant raids on one another, regardless of the U.S. military nearby. Keep your head down and you’ll be just fine.

When the first rations show up, toss out the majority (since they’re rotten) and get to work. Get your flour, leavening (baking powder works), salt, and water. 

SUBSTITUTION TIP: Out of salt? The store’s too far away? You can use the sweat and tears of the Navajo people instead! If you don’t know any Navajo, head down to the area between the Four Corners and the Pecos River valley. The Navajo left loads of body salt.

This is all you need because this is all you have!

Mix one cup of flour, a quarter teaspoon of salt, a teaspoon of leavening, and a half cup of water together in a small bowl. Is the bowl/land too small to fit the ingredients/people? Deal with it. That’s all the bowl that the U.S. government gave you, so you’d better make friends.

QUICK TIP: If your neighbors come by for a raid, offer to share some fry bread with them! Maybe they won't kill you.

Wow! It sure is a mess in that bowl/government designated land!

Now cover your hands in flour (or dirt, since it’s not going to do much to the taste of dough made from rotten ingredients) and make the dough into a ball. Now separate that ball into four balls (a good way to remember how many balls to separate each serving into is to remember the four sacred mountains that made the border of the Navajos ancestral lands). 

FUN FACT: If you live in the Four Corners area, you live near where the Navajo made their home for over 300 years before being driven out by gun point.

If you're Navajo, maybe you don't remember your ancestral lands

Put some lard in your frying pan and get it good and hot. If you put too much lard in the pan, you can scrape some off the top. For scraping reference, see the scalping of the beloved Navajo leader, Narbona, in 1849 by the U.S. Military.

Call it shortening if you want. It's still lard.

Once the lard is hot, drop in your fry bread. You’ll want to stretch each ball out thin to make a scone-like shape. Don’t worry about stretching it too thin, because it will become hardened by the constant heat and pressure! Let the bread brown on each side before pulling it out.

Don't get too close to the oil! It'll scorch you like the sun scorched
the backs of thousands of Navajo men, women, and children.

Let the fry bread cool and then slather it with butter and jam. If you don’t have butter and jam, I guess you can use more lard. If you have to conserve your lard, just eat it plain. If there isn’t enough for one piece each, break yours into pieces and share.

This is a great meal unless you have to eat it every day for an extended period of time because the government is taking forever to find a scrap of land to leave you in!

From my kitchen to yours, enjoy!