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Category: Personal
Wednesday, March 16th, 2005 @ 11:31 am
Posted By Brent

Well, the big day is almost upon us. Brenda's family is starting to trickle in, and everyone keeps asking me if I'm nervous.

If you're at all wondering, yes the picture to your left is the actual location of the wedding at the Celtic monument on the median between West End and Ponchatrain Blvd. I don't know if it has a more formal name other than "that Irish monument thingy," but if it does I sure has hell don't know it.

Now for a bit of back story. There have been a few discrepancies between many things I've heard and read about the spot, but here's the basic gist.

Where West End and Ponchatrain Blvd run now used to be the New Basin Canal, which was apparently extremely useful for getting from the city to the lake during the late 1800's, seeing as the city didn't extend all the way to the lake at the time. It was mainly dug by Irish immigrants, of which around 8k of em got killed off by yellow fever, cholera, and the assorted grab bag of goodies you get from standing waist deep in stagnant water while digging a canal in a mosquito infested swamp.

Anyway, apparently many of them were just sort of buried where they fell, or in the vicinity, I would guess because they were immigrants with no family, but that just my deduction. Around the 1950's the city proper had sprawled all the way to the lake, and cars were getting pretty common so they just filled the damn thing in and built the roads that stand there now.

If I've heard right, at some point in recent history, a Sav-a-Center (or something more local at the time, like Schwegmann's) bought the land up to build a grocery store on. When they went to break ground, lo, they found quite a plethora of grinning skeletons. I'm sure they instantly identified them all as micks what with their boney little fingers clutching whiskey bottles and the like, but this is pure speculation.

From there I gather the land was bought back by the city or whatever civic body owned it, and the monument was erected. This is the story as I know it, and I can't really vouch for its veracity.

In conclusion, come and join us in a good Irish celebration of love and togetherness as we all stand mere feet above the decaying corpses of men who died digging holes in the ground.

(For more info and pictures from the era of the canal's existence, the most informative link I've found would be this one: clickity.)


Category: Personal
Wednesday, February 2nd, 2005 @ 08:26 pm
Posted By Brent
Modern Tanning Bed: 1
Pasty Computer Dude: 0

Well, with a mild, but as far as I'm concerned, pretty henious case of psoriasis breaking out I decided to go to the doctor last week to see what I could do to kick this. His advice, along with his bill and prescription to an expensive name brand skin cream, was to try out a tanning salon. Apparently UV rays are pretty therapeutic for these types of skin conditions and he said he's heard quite a few success stories from patients with the same aliment clearing up after spending a day on the beach or similar activities.

Now most of you all know me and know I'm not the tanning salon type. In fact, if you were to ask me if I were interested in going to one a week ago, I would have probably told you that men that go to tanning salons are probably psuedo alpha-male business types named "Todd" who stop by to work on their tan between a round of sucking at golf and a tryst with their fat, ugly secretary with whom they are cheating on their fat, ugly wife. Needless to say, I view it as a highly narcissistic activity, and view those who partake of it (outside of hot women) with utter contempt.

But, after taking into account my doctor's advice, along with a realization after seeing a few photos of me pale to the point of looking straight up jaundiced out, I figured a little color might do me well. Brenda's been talking about getting a membership to a salon right around the house on Harrison, so I told her I'd be interested and she got us some memberships and booked our first appointment for Wednesday.

Well, we showed up, the girl behind the counter asked to see my goggles (which are apparently very mandatory in these places), instructed me as to what booth I'd be going to, then began to hassle Brenda for not bringing any goggles. This next part is up for debate, but whether I was given the wrong room to go in (my story), or misheard which one (Brenda's story) is neither here nor there. The point is I ended up in the wrong booth. As I shut the door I noticed this big monstrous device that looked kind of like a Port-a-let on steroids. I wasn't expecting a "stand-up" tanning "bed", but oh well. I was pretty worried when I saw the text "UV-Less Tan!" emblazoned across it, seeming as I was here to bombard my psoriatic ass with cancerous UV rays, but I was at least going to investigate before I wandered back out with a dumb look on my face. Luckily, I've seen an episode or two of Bravo's hit series, "Queens Help the Straight Guy Be More Gay," so upon opening the door (which was accompanied by a creepy female digitized voice asking me to step in or something) I noticed spray jets and immediately recognized it as one of those new fangled spray-on tan doo-dads. I started for the door when I heard one of the girls there shouting that I was in the wrong booth. I replied with a polite version of "no shit," left the booth and went to my correct room.

It was in this new room I was greeted with a regular old tanning bed, one which I felt infinitely more comfortable operating, which I was under the assumption I would be doing. I uncomfortably undressed and climbed onto the inactive bed and began investigating the control panel. There was a radio and two knobs, one unlabeled and one with labeling that wore off sometime around when Dynasty went off the air. I started twisting them in various directions to varying degrees when the thought occurred, "Hey, maybe it'll just come on when I close it! Christ, I'm smart!" I laid back and closed it. Nothing. Opened and reclosed it. Nothing. Then, when I was about to admit my shame and ask for help, it sprang to life before my very (un-goggled) eyes. I scrambled out to fetch the goggles, which produced a very convincing, and very loud, fart sound as my back released its suction on the bed, and returned for my heat-lamping.

It was odd in there. Time did not exist in this place. Someone left the radio on some crappy country station, but I was feeling too defeated to try to change it. It smelled like weird oils and burning skin. I began wondering if maybe I had turned it on somehow, and likewise was expected to turn it off. I was told I was going to be doing seven minutes. What if they forgot about me and I had been in there for 30 minutes? What if my organs were about to start boiling? Right about when I realized my entire body felt hot, the bed clicked off and I stood up to dress. When I stepped out, I realized that my ass was sunburned. Not just my ass but the entire back portion of my body. My pale Irish ass has become quite familiar with the distinct pang of sunburn pain and this was it, that hot, tight, itchy feeling. In seven fucking minutes.

After getting home and examining myself, I'm definitely burned, but not bad, and pretty much exclusively on my back and ass cheeks. Suppose I should have flipped over or something. Anyway, I suppose I'll be returning, but not until the sting of this burn dies down.

Until next time, this is George Hamilton, signing off.


Category: Personal
Monday, January 31st, 2005 @ 04:45 pm
Posted By Brent
I realize now that the Darkslide website wasn't working for everyone, especially since I had never tested it on Internet Explorer. Needless to say, it didn't work on Internet Explorer, which means it didn't work for the 90% or so of you who still use it. So, if Pete told you to look at his cool new website, but all you got was one dumb page with two retarded posts on it and a menu up top that didn't work, that was my fault. I'm sorry.

Anyway, I moved it to it's own site (which doesn't have a domain name pointing at it currently, so you can't see it yet), but rest assured I've fixed the broken menu (or rather Jason has). I hope to have a domain name for it sometime in the next two weeks or so, hoping a certain domain name situation pans out and I get what I'm hoping for, all will be good and all you little bastards that hang around the shop will have somewhere look at pictures of yourselves, talk on the message boards, etc.

I feel like I may be fully healed by at least this weekend, so maybe we can schedule that ramp-bbq-drink-a-thon at Feasty's for this Sunday? Can I get a Amen?


Category: Personal
Friday, January 28th, 2005 @ 05:57 pm
Posted By Brent
Well, here's a link (ed: now moved to another spot for easier development) to the early Darkslide Skateboards website. As of this writing, it's got a homepage with news updates, a public message board (with an "announcements" forum in it that the news updates read from), and a photo gallery that the site admin (Pete) will be able to add photos to very easily. Once we get together to map out Chalmette and get some photos together, there will also be a "Spots" page with a map of sweet skate spots in Chalmette that you can click on to get detailed pictures from that location.

It uses phpBB for the forums, and Gallery for the photo album; two excellent open source web apps. Of course it's all tied together to look like the same site with various small graphical and code tweaks by yours truly and a top notch site banner by Jason. I originally kicked one out but it looked like I had completely ripped off somebody elses phpBB site banner and slapped "Darkslide Skateboards" on it. It probably didn't help matters that this was excatly what I had done, but Jason stepped up to the plate and hooked a brotha up with a professional quality one that was actually original to boot.


Category: Personal
Friday, January 14th, 2005 @ 11:33 pm
Posted By Brent
Well, I've begun again. The first break was between the ages of 13 and 18. This break was between 19 and 28 so it's a substantial difference. Last time I restarted the habit I picked it right back up. This time around it's a bit more of an ordeal.

The first day out, we probably skated for about 2 hours. I couldn't even fucking ollie. I had lost the touch, but I was bound and determined to get it back. My ankles throb 24 hours a day now, getting back in shape is more painful than I suspected.

I started running on a treadmill around a month ago and the disappointing problem that I would always encounter was that I would go for about half an hour, but then I was done. Spent. Exercise finished. It wasn't fun in the least and it certainly wasn't a sustainable activity. Skating on the other hand is as fun and engaging as it is exhausting. After thirty minutes you're worn the shit out, but you don't have to play mind games with yourself to get yourself to continue; you actually want to continue. At least I do.

I've also learned that Jason's friend John is (or at least used to be) a pretty accomplished skater and has a 4 foot half pipe in his possession. I look forward to breaking my ass open on it one day soon. I'm in so much pain but this is the best I've felt in years. Actually having a physical activity that you want to continue pursuing is great.


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