Monday, May 26, 2014

The Idiot's Guide to Dumpster Diving

Brandon has a problem with dumpster divers in his alley. And while he's not personally got anything against those who reuse perfectly good items, he is against the assholes who are doing it all wrong.

Yes, that's right. There's a right way and a wrong way to dumpster dive. The right way, of course, is to pick out anything that someone discarded that you may find useful - a chair, an old fan, bottles that you can recycle for money, etc.

But these lowest of the low are all examples of what not to do while wading through Brandon's trash.

The Raccoon
This crazy bastard tears through trash bags like a chainsaw in his never-ending quest for goodies. He'll leave trash strewn all over the back alley, and because everything's been ripped open, it also attracts animals... Like him.

This asshole never quite figured out that anything put inside of a trash bag is not inherently useful so much as it is disgusting.

Don't be a Raccoon. Trash bags were created for a reason - to keep the trash contained. Not to hold the rotten confetti in your all-night trash party.

The Hoarder
Like the Raccoon, the Hoarder has every intention of seeking out "profitable" items to resell on ebay or some such nonsense. But rather than rip through everything, this genius shows up at 3 in the morning, grabs every bag out of the dumpster, and throws it in his minivan so he can sort through it later. This dumpster diver doesn't just deal with trash, he literally lives in trash.

Don't be a Hoarder. There's nothing in there worth hoarding. There's a reason that Brandon throws away snot-stained tissues and bloody tampons and doesn't donate them to the Salvation Army.

The Freegan
The Freegan is basically an extreme version of a hippie, who sees the mighty trash receptacle not as a final resting place for unwanted food waste, but rather as their own personal grocery store. That's right, freegans drag all of their meals from the depths of dumpsters. And it sounds okay on the surface until you realize that these trendy uber-hippies are really only doing one thing: starving actual homeless folks.

Don't be a freegan. Eating out of the trash isn't cool, and it's not saving mother earth. It just makes you look like a lazy asshole who'd rather mooch out of people's trash than sack up and get a job at McDonald's like other hungry people are inclined to do.

So, dear dumpster diver, the next time you see something poking out of the trash that catches your eye, go for it. Grab it. Use it. Resell it. But please, don't shred it into a million pieces, don't take the entire dumpster back to your house to see if there's anything else good inside, and for the love of God, don't eat it. I have two pretty big dogs and I throw away a LOT of dog shit, so that's definitely not special sauce that's on that soggy bread end you just found.

Anyone else have problems with dumpster divers in their area?

Cheers and stay hygienic, folks,

Beer: Peach Pale Ale (Lone Tree Brewing)
Music: The Black Keys

Monday, May 19, 2014

I'm Really Sorry My Hawk Destroyed Your Property

Dearest neighbor,

You've lived here only a year and already my pet hawk has made quite the mess of your place. Pots thrown everywhere, animal carcasses, mountains of excrement. It's like my balcony is his personal bachelor pad while your balcony is just his big rectangular garbage can.

Now, I didn't ASK to have a pet hawk. It's not like one day I walked out onto my balcony and said, "You know what would complete my life? A pet hawk, one that I can use like my own personal avian bodyguard."

But a few years ago he just started coming around my balcony. Ours is a complex relationship, you see. It started off with boundaries. He'd perch on the balcony ledge for hours at a time, and each time I peeked through the blinds, he'd just stare at me.

I got brave. Or maybe stupid (I mean, have you seen the talons on these things?), because he seemed more curious about me than anything, so on one of his visits I stepped outside. He watched me for a few minutes, and then he flew away. I thought maybe I had offended him with my presence. I do that to people, you know. But he came back about an hour later with a gift. A dead mouse. Not the best gift I've ever received, but honestly, still not the worst.

Now whenever he comes by I just sit and hang out on the balcony with him. Sometimes he brings me things, sometimes not. But I'm sorry, dear neighbor, that when he's done with his meal he often tosses the carcass on your balcony. And I'm sorry that when he's done hanging out with his favorite human and hops up and flies away to go do hawk things that he almost always sprays your balcony with a torrent of bird shit.

I'm also sorry that last week he used one of your potted plants like a bowl so he could eat a rabbit's intestines like spaghetti. After which he flew away with your pot, smashed it on the ground, and started pecking at it aggressively.

He has a bit of an anger problem with inanimate objects. Not so much with me, though.

I should mention that in all fairness, the hawk's been coming around for years now, and you've only been here one year. Perhaps the Realtor that sold you the house should have explained to you that the guy living to the right of you has a very loud motorcycle, and the guy living to the left of you has a hawk. I think those are both valid concerns when purchasing a house.

But since it's too late for that, I can only apologize on my hawk's behalf. You know, since he can't do it himself.

Your neighbor Bryan

Since I know the comments will be full of "Is this real?" I'll beat you to the punch. Yes, all of this is true. He drops by once every few months, and mine is the only balcony he'll sit on. Most often he only wants to spend about an hour with me, but he's been known to wait overnight for me (as evident by a small mountain of shit on my own balcony when I wake up). He also brings me animal parts, at which point he'll sit and stare at them, then at me, then back at them, waiting for me to eat it.

...I just kick them aside when he's not looking. "Mmmm, thanks buddy, that was SOOO good!"

My balcony is really small, so when I'm with him, I'm only about 2 feet away from him. I don't dare get any closer than that, though, since we may be buddies and all but I don't want him mistaking it for aggression and clawing my face off.

And I do indeed just hang outside with him, usually drinking a beer and reflecting on life while we occasionally exchange glances. Believe it or not, a hawk makes for pretty good company with that.

Also, it's kind of amusing to me, because from the side he looks like such a badass killer...

But when he looks you straight on, he looks completely harmless. Goofy, even. He looks like a teddy bear and a bowling pin had a love child.

It's a good reflection of our relationship, you might say. The killer brings me the gifts, but the bowling pin teddy bear is the one that hangs out beside me silently like an old drinking buddy.

Cheers and stay classy, friends,
Bryan (and Brandon)

Music: Celldweller
Beer: The Ale of Yoto

P.S. If comments, snarky replies, and returned e-mails are slow around these parts it's because the two of us are going on vacation. No, not with each other, you weirdos. Bryan's going to be in Las Vegas celebrating his 3 year wedding anniversary, and Brandon will be in New Orleans with his fiancee celebrating historic liver damage. Posts have been pre-scheduled, and we'll see you soon!

Monday, May 12, 2014

Divine Secrets of the Yee-Haw Brotherhood

Not so long ago, in a state not all that far away, Brandon was fortunate enough to be introduced to the ancient and mysterious arts of "being a real man." That time was two weeks ago and that state was Nebraska. And even though Brandon does construction work during the day, rebuilds old axes for fun, and listens to enough heavy metal to give Sammy Hagar a headache, Brandon still knew his manhood required the mentorship of a higher power. And so his quest led him to a place where cattle outnumbered men a thousand to one: Nebraska.

Brandon knew he was going to need a lot a work.

For this, the elder council of wise men, comprised of a dozen cowboys, rednecks, and all-around manly men, helped initiate Brandon into their tutelage by taking him to a cattle branding. And castration. It was a place where Brandon saw more testicles than he ever had in his life. But first, as is customary, there was the pre-branding ceremony of drinking one's weight in beer the night before.

Fun fact: Keystone Lights aren't nearly so light when you've had 27 of them in one sitting.

And apparently where most folks would pass out or check into a hospital after having that many beers, the cowboys had only just begun.

Following a forty minute ride into the vast, rolling countryside of nowhere, Brandon and the elders of manliness arrived at the ranch. His brow was sweaty and his hands shook. It wasn't the doing of Folgers, but rather that of Keystone Light. And the branding commenced by the gathering of the cattle. There were horses, and lassos, and a mobile fire-pit the size of an elephant.

But no, apparently that meant pinning them to the ground so they could be castrated, branded, and given shots. And Brandon gave it his all.

Some might say that the atomic piledriver was a little unnecessary, but it's surprisingly easy to brand and castrate a cow you've battered unconscious.

And soon after, Brandon learned that if you're going to spend the day watching testicles be pulled out of a bull scrotum and thrown onto a fryer, it's best not to be hungover for the event. Fortunately, his wise elders knew of a simple and ancient hangover remedy.

Ultimately, Brandon wound up no manlier than he had upon his arrival, but he did learn a few things that he would forever treasure and practice. He learned that the art of true beer drinking is not an event, but rather a lifestyle. From bottleneck to urinal drain, it was a metaphorical circle of life, really. And judging by the chunks of spaghetti spattered on that urinal, let it be noted that while Keystone Light giveth, Keystone Light also taketh away.

Any cowboys in these here parts?


-Brandon (and Bryan)

Beer: Keystone Light
Music: Hank Williams