Micah: Unmitigated

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Archive for the ‘Life’ Category

Dirty Work

Monday, August 29th, 2011

Yes, I have actually been doing some work this summer. The landscaping I did for a friend back in the winter has expanded to some basic home building work. For the past couple months – I have been knocking down walls, removing windows, hanging dry-wall, installing can lights, and building retaining walls. It is somewhat enjoyable though dirty work. I get joy out of walking in to gas stations or grocery stores covered in dust and feeling like a man who works hard for a living. You feel a connection to other construction workers and the blue-collar class. I have never wanted to shave and wear a suit to work everyday. I never want to put off that arrogant stock broker vibe. I often drive by the Daily Double sports bar, frequented by the neighboring apartment dwellers, and wonder if I could walk in there and have a drink without being told to go back to my yuppie bars on Hawthorne. I imagine that my lack of cursing and smoking would tip them off. I okay with that, I don’t really want to have a drink there anyways, it doesn’t seem like a very joyous place.

I am still looking for full-time work and a steady paycheck but have been feeling flush with cash, thus I have been able to enjoy my weekends. Highlights:

  • Played in 3 scramble golf tournaments… so far
  • Bachelor party in Vegas!
The Strip

The Strip

  • Completed the “Four on the Floor” Hamburger Challenge
  • Tore up the dance floor during the Blancher Wedding in Bend
  • Participated in the Beer-lympics
  • Family trip to Sunriver
  • Holed a short pitch shot for Eagle at Tri-Mountain GC, hole #7.
  • Camping and Rafting in Maupin
  • Kickball and Softball tournaments
Team Trinity Softball

Team Trinity Softball

Summer is not over with yet, and I plan to play more golf (both ball and disc versions), more hiking, and maybe climb a mountain or 2.

Let It Grow

Thursday, April 21st, 2011

April 19th marked the 1 year anniversary of the last time I cut my hair. The thought started in my head back in college: It was around Halloween and my roommate had a shoulder length wig that I decided to wear out to a go see a play with some friends. I topped it off with a stocking cap and felt like I looked legit. I remember walking out of the theatre and passing a guy with real long hair and exchanging a “What’s up”. I had been accepted.

Since then I have always wanted to grow it out and figured that 7 months in South America would be the perfect time to live the dream. Thus, I just let it flow and enjoyed the ride. The following is an attempt to take you on that journey with me:

4/26/10

4/26/10

5/15/10

5/15/10

6/25/10

6/25/10

8/10/10

8/10/10

10/09/10

10/09/10

11/1/10

11/1/10

4/19/11

4/19/11

I don’t know when I will cut it, but I think it will be fairly soon. Although I feel somewhat cooler and more Portlandish, the hassles of flowing hair are getting to me and I long to go back to the old comb-free days.

What’s Going On

Thursday, February 24th, 2011

The following is a brief update about how Micah is living:

Getting a little work in:
Landscaping for a friend of mine who flips houses. Just a few days and hours a week, but every penny helps. Also, my open schedule allows me to babysit my niece and nephews as well as watch over friends’ dogs. So, my new occupation is Lanscapper/Babysitter/Dogsitter, though I have not attempted to do all three at the same time… yet.

Extracurricular Activities:
The Kickball season began a couple weeks, so now my Sundays are full of bouncing red rubber balls and then drinking beer with friends. Good fun, despite my painfully low OBP.

I have also started playing in the occasional Ping-Pong tournament down at a bar called “Blitz Ladd”. Known as the sport of Kings, the competition on Thursday nights is strong and I lose on a regular basis. But, I believe I can compete with best and am now a dedicated student of the game.
(More Information about the Pong tourney can be found here. And, a local news story about it, in which I make a brief background appearance at the 55 sec mark, can be seen by clicking this.)

Well, that is about it. Life has gotten a little bit busier. I am still looking for a full-time job and considering future adventures. For now, I am enjoying the work and activities, even getting a few rounds of Golf in. –Take care.

Ten

Friday, January 28th, 2011

The discussion began on New Years Eve night, “What are the greatest comedy movies of all-time?”. My friend Nick subsequently blogged his list here, and now it is my turn.  The following “Top Ten” is in no way meant to be just my opinion but a carving in the stone tablet of history, and should be recognized as indisputable fact.

Without further ado, I present:

The Top Ten Comedy Movies of All-time

#10) Spaceballs

One of my favorite movies as a youngster, mostly for Rick Moranis in the role he was born to play. “Star Wars” was fresh in everyones mind, and this spoof delighted all who watched it. A great movie.

Best Moment

[Watching “Spaceballs the Movie” during the filming of “Spaceballs the Movie”]

Colonel Sandurz: “Try here. Stop.”

Dark Helmet: “What the hell am I looking at? When does this happen in the movie?”

Colonel Sandurz: “Now. You’re looking at now, sir. Everything that happens now, is happening now.”

Dark Helmet: “What happened to then?”

Colonel Sandurz: “We passed then.”

Dark Helmet: “When?”

Colonel Sandurz: “Just now. We’re at now now”

#9) Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery

I almost forgot about this one. The trilogy added so much to the world of comedy that I couldn’t ignore the first and best of the set. I think, as a whole, they get hurt by leading actresses who’s acting skills are limited, but Elizabeth Hurley was decent and this movie makes me laugh.

Memorable Quote

Dr. Evil: “You know, I have one simple request. And that is to have sharks with frickin’ laser beams attached to their heads!”

#8) ¡Three Amigos!

Three great comedic actors in their prime (Steve Martin, Martin Short, and Fred Asparagus) and a script that let them do their thing. I am watching it while writing this, and it all still works.

Good Moment

El Guapo: “Are gringos falling from the sky?”

[Ned falls from overhead and lands with a thud]

Jefe: “Yes, El Guapo.”

#7) National Lampoon’s Vacation

This movie hits home: Pile the whole family into a wagon for a summer road trip. We didn’t quite have the same wacky adventures – Dad never hijacked an amusement park or skinny dipped with Christy Brinkly (as far as I know) – but just imagine if he did. That would have been a fun vacation.

Best Exchange

Clark: “Oh, no, that’s a waitress. No, I was just ordering in. She’s a pool waitress. I was ordering some fish for you, Audrey and Mom.”

Rusty: “She took your order?”

Clark: “Yeah…, She took my order.”

#6) South Park: Bigger Longer & Uncut

This movie is brilliant. Yes, they swear a lot, but the musical numbers are amazing. I love how they throw in a little Les Miserables homage and the “La Resistance” medley rivals anything Leonard Bernstein could put together.

Cleanest Quote

Cartman: “That movie has warped my fragile little mind”

#5) Caddyshack

Sure, the percentage of Rodney Dangerfield jokes that hit is low, but you have to love the guys delivery. He is the third funniest guy in the movie behind the classic performances by Bill Murray and Chevy Chase. My favorite scene is when the two are together in Spackler’s shack – many many great lines within just a few minutes. And, the fact it is set on a golf course helps it’s staying power.

Good Quote

Carl Spackler: “Hey, Lama, hey, how about a little something, you know, for the effort.”

#4) Mounty Python and the Holy Grail

Call us all nerds if you like, but this movie is still great 35 years later. Almost every scene is classic and quoted to death. A knight that tries to fight with no limbs, knights that say a certain word, 3 questions, can swallows carry coconuts, a French taunter, … I could  keep going but you get the point. Go see “Spamalot” the musical if you have the opportunity, you wont be disappointed.

Smartest Quote

Dennis: “Listen, strange women lyin’ in ponds distributin’ swords is no basis for a system of government. Supreme executive power derives from a mandate from the masses, not from some farcical aquatic ceremony.”

#3) Ghostbusters

If Bill Murray is A god (not THE God), then he must have blessed his surrounding cast mates. Great performances all around, and Harold Ramis is a genius (despite the fact he had a hand in “Caddyshack II”). It played to a young kids imagination and is one of those rare movies that can please all generations. Plus, it had a theme song that topped the charts.

Great Dialogue

Dr. Ray Stantz: “Are you okay?”

Louis: “Who are you guys?”

Dr. Ray Stantz: “We’re the Ghostbusters.”

Louis: “Who does your taxes?”

Dr. Ray Stantz: “You know, Mr. Tully, you are a most fortunate individual.”

Louis: “I know!”

Dr. Ray Stantz: “You have been a participant in the biggest interdimensional cross rip since the Tunguska blast of 1909!”

Louis: “Felt great.”

Dr. Egon Spengler: “We’d like to get a sample of your brain tissue.”

Louis: “Okay.”


#2) The Naked Gun

Leslie Nielson’s later movies kind of tarnished his legacy, but hey, a man’s gotta eat. “Airplane!” was good, but Det. Frank Drebin was better. The first in the trilogy gets me every time. The whole supporting cast is amazing, I mean – who knew that O.J. could act so well?

Greatest Scene

Man in Stadium Crowd: “Hey Look! It’s Enrico Pallazzo!”  [Chants ensues]

#1) Dumb & Dumber

It wasn’t much of a contest. This has been my favorite, ever since I saw it in the theatre on New Years Eve, back in 1994. Jim Carrey is a funny man and Jeff Daniels should get some recognition for his range (He is in the funniest movie and the saddest movie of all-time – “Terms of Endearment”). The jokes are so ingrained in my head that I laugh in anticipation of them being said. Some people may write this one off as being too silly or stupid, but that is what I look for in my comedies. This will top my list forever, or at least until they come out with “Arrested Development – The Movie“.

One of the Best Quotes

[coming out of the 7-11]

Lloyd: “Hey guys. Woah, Big Gulps, huh? All right! Well, see ya later.”

——————————————————————————————————–

Others receiving votes: Superbad, Coming to America, Airplane!, Happy Gilmore, and Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby

The Sporting Life

Wednesday, March 17th, 2010

It all started about 18 months ago. H2 was recruited to play on a Kickball team by a friend and they finished up their first season (Summer) with a championship. H4 and I expressed curiosity and were invited to join them for the Fall season. The rest of the story now lives on in Kickball lore: 4 more titles in 6 seasons, capped by this years Winter season title and completion of the career Grand Slam. The triumphant return of our star player “Hot Puma” and the vanquishing of one of our nemesis’s “The Chukars” (We had not beaten them in 3 previous attempts), made the day even sweeter. Picture Below: a collection of some of the greatest Kickball athletes ever to lace ’em up.

Champs!

Champs!

A nice start to my favorite month of the year. Known mainly for the college basketball madness that occurs during the final 2 weeks, March also brings many family birthdays. Other months in the running: May (Mt. Hood hikes and golf scrambles) and June (More golf scrambles and warmer weather).

Which brings me to this years tournament. My Kansas Jayhawks are the favorite to win it all, which has normally led to disappointment. For the past couple years, I have tried to to be less emotionally impacted by the ebbs and flows in sports. Losses by the Jayhawks in the NCAA tournament have made me more depressed than even my own personal failures. I am not ashamed to admit that after we lost to Syracuse in ’03, I nearly cried. I have hated Carmelo Anthony ever since and if I ever see him in person, I will probably pretend to punch him in the face after he is out of sight.

All smiles during the Marquette win

All smiles during the win over Marquette, back in '03

In the NCAAs, one loss and you are done, 4 months of basketball finished in 40 minutes, 8 months until the next season starts. But now, I say that things like the Trailblazers blowing a 25 point lead to the Jazz and losing in overtime, don’t effect me. Even their 4th quarter blowup in LA back in 2000 that led to a 3-peat for Shaq and Kobe, … well that was actually really bad and could be the worst defeat for any team I have ever cheered. But stuff happens in sports, especially college where most athletes aren’t old enough to have fun in Vegas. The Beavers losing to the Ducks two years in a row with the Rose Bowl on the line, is tragic but understandable. Have you seen the shape of a football, how can you predict anything in that sport?

I think the teams we rooted for in our youth, especially those that attained success, tend to get more of our emotional investment. KU basketball will always be the one for me, with OSU football a distant 2nd, and Blazers 3rd. Sports are fun, almost more so to root for than play. I will continue to over celebrate the highs and pretend like the lows don’t mean anything. Rock Chalk!

Que Sera Sera

Tuesday, January 5th, 2010

We have always looked to the stories of those who have gone before us for answers. Specifically, I would like to reference the writings of a young man, not unlike myself, named Warren Griffin III. He came to a crossroads in his life back in 1990, and is now very successful thanks to choosing the right path. The following passage is taken from one of his works titled “Do you see?” and was performed as sort of a spoken word backed up by musical sounds.

“Should I A: Go back to slangin’ dope?
Or should I B: Maintain and try to cope?
Or should I C: Just get crazy and wild?
But no I chose D: Create the G-Child”

That “G child” he created went on to become the twice grammy nominated rapper known as “Warren G”. Now, I may not have the same exact options to mull over, but I believe there is a common thread that ties us together.

Look at how Warren's livin'

Look how Warren is livin'

His A) “Go back to slangin’ dope”: For me that would be going back to FedEx. Sure, I wasn’t actually dealing drugs, but I did work in a distribution center. The money was good, I had my own crew, and I once handled a package that was going to Damon Stoudamire. Remembering all of the reasons I quit, assures me that going back to “slangin’ dope” would be the wrong decision for me as well.

His B) “Maintain and try to cope”: I think for both of us, this would be searching for a 9 to 5 job that neither of us wants. The one thing I really enjoyed about my last occupation was the uniqueness of it. A casual night shift with a sprinkling of vulgar truck drivers. An office job where I may have to shave and wear a clean shirt sounds like prison. Most likely the time will come, when I will have to just “maintain and try to cope”, but I am not giving in yet.

His C) “Just get crazy and wild”: I have a friend who has chosen this path, and so far he is having a blast. He believes in his exit strategy and we hope that he has a smooth landing back into a sedentary life, if he decides to come back.
For me, it would be buying a one way ticket to a region (India, SE Asia, or South America) and then wandering the earth until deported or broke. Sure, I could get crazier and wilder, but I have to keep these options somewhat reasonable. I like the sound of this one except for the broke part. A few adjustments and this could be a winner.
(Alternate option C: Spend the next 5 months trying to win an entry into the “World Series of Poker”.)

His D) “Create the G child”: Despite the fact that “H child” doesn’t sound near as cool, the idea is solid. Creating another identity helps build the illusion of a clean slate and a new life. Now, I am not going to change my name and start spitting some dope lyrics, but I can choose a new career path. What that is, I don’t know yet. Part of the reason for traveling is to hopefully find that spark and opportunity. A job overseas or anything that has a positive impact on others and myself, is what I am looking for.

In conclusion, the “H child” is leaning toward an 8 month journey through South America. Using frequent flyer mileage, roundtrip to Bogota, Colombia would only be about $150. Venturing all the way down south and then back up again, 3-4 months of free lodging by WWOOFing, I can’t afford not to go! Que todos ustedes encontrar su “G niño”



In Dulci Jubilo

Monday, January 4th, 2010

There was much rejoicing in the Hoelter household during the holidays. My oldest brother (H1) and his family (H1², H1.1, H1.2, and H1.3) were in town for multiple days. The little ones add life to the party and I am reminded of how much energy it takes to be a parent.

On Christmas Eve, we gathered the kids, (2 of which you can see below)

My nephew and niece

My nephew and niece

And headed to Hoyt Arboretum for a walk.

Family walk

Family

I’ve never been up there, the morning frost provided an illusion of snow and there were nice views of Mount St. Helens. Upon our arrival back home, we opened a package sent to us from our Uncle Bruce and family. What was inside, provided a solid hour of fun and many lasting memories. The package contained a styrofoam cooler, which in turn contained multiple chunks dry ice. There was also some crab wellington in there, but it wasn’t quite as fun to play with.

So, after the basic pouring of water on the dry ice to create smoke, H4 suggested trying to bottle up the pressure in some type of bottle. We learned a lot from one unsuccessful attempt, and using a basic plastic water bottle, found the right balance. The result was surprising, as you will notice in the following video.

The projectile traveled over 50 ft through the air and landed in our neighbors yard. My 6 year old nephew considered it a science experiment and afterward wrote down what he had learned. The knowledge came in handy as I will explain later. With some mothers expressing safety concerns, we put a halt to the festivities and finished the day with the more gentle game of “Beatles Rock Band”.

We opened gifts on Christmas Day with the whole gang present. My haul consisted of  many travel related items that I requested and books. All high quality stuff that shall get extended use during the coming year.

The family holiday concluded with a visit to OMSI where they just happened to have a dry ice exhibit. The presenters asked a question to the group of mostly adults and teens “Does anyone know what dry ice is made of?” My nephew, flush with the knowledge he had gained just 2 days earlier, replied “Of course, frozen Carbon Dioxide!” The adults looked at each other in shock while I began and embarrassed  laughter as he also proudly stated that we had just made a bomb out of the stuff. No authorities were called, so we stayed a little longer to enjoy the ball room. A scrumptious Indian diner at a family friends house wrapped up the day.

learning is fun

learning is fun

I have been slowly exploring my next travel plans and hope to make a decision/purchase within the next couple weeks. There are many factors to be weighed, mostly of the financial variety. Should I live like there is no tomorrow and ignore the fact that it will probably take me a while to find a job when needed? Or should I curb my enthusiasm for adventure and become a productive member of society? I shall try and break it down in my next post.