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    Monday, August 21, 2006

    The Gipper Once Said...

    "Politics is supposed to be the second-oldest profession. I have come to realize that it bears a very close resemblance to the first."

    -Ronald Reagan

    Tuesday, August 08, 2006

    "Hey, I'm no Dr. Phil"

    I went to Charleston, S.C. last weekend for a little R&R. One of my best friend's wife invited me along with a couple of her friends and her sister. I don't want to drag this out too much and I know she is reading this now, so "A" I'm about to let off some steam- prepare yourself and forgive me ahead of time. I'll be brief and begin with how I was completely unprepared for how very difficult some females can be to travel with. I've been spoiled with some pretty good gals whom I hike, kayak, and backpack with now and again here in N.C., and I think I was in shock when I had to deal with the typical Mississippi Southern Belle and her high-maintenance ways. Examples? How about wearing heels after being warned not to because of all the walking required in Chraleston, and then complaining and wanting to go home because of blisters? Another example? How about not taking advice to get a solo kayak rather than a tandem, and then complain about how horrible the tandem is and then go so far as demanding that someone switch? It gets better- how about throwing a fit all night long keeping everyone up by slamming the hotel room door, and crying and screaming and arguing with folks until someone finally caved in to give said person her due attention... this is a 29 year old BTW and I finally got to sleep at 6AM and woke up at 7AM to lead a kayaking tour. I could go on and on, but then I'd be borderline asshole, maybe even total asshole. Now, in all fairness, this young lady happened to be going through a very tough time in her life, and I suppose I should have been a little more sympathetic. I was not on my best behavior in the sensitivity department although I did make a valiant effort- I swear! I have a very sarcastic and dry sense of humor which can be taken incredibly offensively if one does not know me very well as I tend to deal with difficult situations with these, in my opinion, "qualities". I am also quite arrogant at times, which is certainly not my intention, but my confidence can certainly get out of hand. To make a long story short, this girl went barking up the wrong tree with her manipulative ways, and Jake had to send that dog wimpering away with her tail between her legs. Yes, I made her cry. In the end, all I can really say is, "Hey, I'm no Dr. Phil."

    Charleston wasn't a complete failure. I and the others still made the best of a bad situation. The city is incredible, it reminds me of New Orleans in many ways except cleaner and less sweltering. I ate enough to feed Somalia for a week and I think I fell in love... with the views of course. I was constantly wondering about these South Carolinians and their flag. If you've ever been you know what I'm talking about. That flag was on every vehicle, in every window, and on every other T-shirt. I began to have dreams about that damn thing. At first I thought to myself "that looks like some kind of Muslim flag- what the hell?" After some investigation and interrogation of a local merchant I got the full scoop over a praline and bottled coke. Apparently, the Crescent was worn by the militia during the Revolution, and the Palmetto (which is a plant) was used to defend the city against the cannons of the British Navy during the great blockade. Apparently the pliability of this large plant faired better than hardwood, even causing some of the cannonballs to bounce off them. The explanation was much more colorful and storytellish than what I just regurgitated, but that's the impatient Jake version. I've got a lot to talk about and am trying to cut this down a bit. These South Carolinians are worse than Texans with their flag, and I'd say they rival the Canadians and that little Maple Leaf obsession that those confused North American/French/Indian (sorry Jenna just a small joke) insist on sewing to their luggage and backpacks when traveling. Kayaking was cool, we saw dolphins up close the entire time, and it's always cool to see new kayakers enjoy themselves so much (all but one). A horse carriage ride is a must, as is a walk in the old artillery battery. Charleston is haunted too, and I think my ghost will be returning again soon before I leave the East Coast. Oh yeah, and I brought back two and a half pounds of pralines.

    That's what I did last weekend, the week before that I was simply eating, working out, sleeping and eating... a lot. My training over the last few weeks at Camp Slappy was intense to say the least. Turns out eating acephalous worms, turtles, grass, stingling nettle, and berries doesn't do much for nutrition, and neither does stealing a handful of rice from prison guards. I lost a total of 22 lbs. It was all muscle, as I didn't have an ounce of fat on my body going out there. When I got home and looked in the mirror, I thought I looked like a light-skinned Ehtiopian. I was in such disarray I decided to call Worldvision and apply for being a Worldvision kid. I figured I could get a couple of sponsors who would help nurture me back from starvation. Turns out I'm a little old for the program, so I called Sally Struthers, turns out she's been long forgotten somewhere in the dark continent herself. So, I've taken to two-a-day workouts, lots of Muscle Milk, and Creatine, and lots of resting, hence my absence.

    I also was able to see Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby this past weekend. Holy cowbell! That movie was ridiculously funny if you're a Will Ferrell fan. It is a total joke of all things Red State. The worst part is that Red Staters have no idea they're being made fun of, and all those Red Sate Nascar fans are the ones buying all those tickets. Go figure.

    Lastly, what is the deal? I leave for three weeks and come back to Israel invading Lebanon? Mother of Pearl! I always miss the big stuff. Well, there's the update- long and uneventful. I am officially back, but I can't say that I'll be as active as I was before, I just am getting the squeeze on some things here, and things are a little crazy with Mother Army these days. I'll keep you posted.