420 sausage party in Lake Hill
Tuesday, April 20 2010
This morning I was coming back from the woods with a five gallon bucket of rotten wood and dirt for the tomato patch when I heard the dogs barking. It was Ray and Mark (the guys from last night's dinner party). It was a nice sunny day conducive to lying around on lawn furniture, and so that's what the three of us ended up doing. Though it was 4/20, all we did was drink coffee, and Ray didn't even do that (though he's fallen off the wagon on that and dietary veganism as well). Coffee has an immediate stimulatory effect on Mark's inner workings, and it wasn't long before he was asking if he could make use of my brownhouse. I was a little surprised, since yesterday the idea of a modern American having an outhouse seemed to ick him out. I told him to go ahead, and he ended up spending a good fifteen minutes down there, completely absorbed by my copy of the latest issue of Make Magazine. Later we had a long and fairly interesting discussion about chaos, data scarfing, and the limits to human insight (these ideas were fresh in my mind after having recently listened to another excellent RadioLab podcast). Mark is the kind of guy that one has stoner conversations with even if nobody is actually stoned.
After getting some work done this afternoon, I decided to take Mark up on his invitation for me to come over to the big gorgeous house he and his wife have been housesitting in Lake Hill. His wife and kid were actually gone, so he was out there in a remote part of the map all by himself without even an automobile. I don't often leave the house, and Gretchen rarely gets alone time, so she was in full-on hallelujah mode, particularly when I told her there was a chance I'd get too drunk to drive back home and I'd be forced to stay the night.
I made the mistake of heading out for Lake Hill without any directions. But I'd been to the house several times and I thought I'd remember how to get there. Unfortunately, my memory ended up failing me.
I'd remembered the house being west of Cooper Lake on the edge of a large flat field. There didn't seem to be many places where such a field could fit into the landscape, so I thought I could just drive up various side-roads soyth from 212, starting with Cooper Lake Road, which passes just west of the lake, and then trying other roads to the west. When Deer Run Road dead-ended, I parked beside a house that seemed to be briefly without occupants and walked out into a large field just beyond it to see if I could see the house I was seeking somewhere on the edge of that field. But I saw nothing that matched my mental image of what I was looking for.
By the time I got to Sickler Road, I felt as if I'd exhausted all the geographic possibilities. So I continued west down Sickler to where it rejoined 212 in Willow, and then went to visit my friends at the farm animal sanctuary there just so I could use their phone. I hadn't brought a cellphone, but even if I had it would have been useless. (The greater Lake Hill area is one of the larger local cellular dead zones.) With the help of a landline, I was able to call Gretchen, who couldn't remember how to get to the house either. But she knew the house's number, and so I was able to reach Mark. Mark couldn't tell me how to get there either, but we decided he should just ride a bike out to 212 and wait for me there. This was how I finally made it to the house Mark was house sitting.
We sat out on the edge of the big field I'd missed (it turned out to be a little west of the east end of Sickler Road, but invisible from it). There we drank beers and celebrated 4/20 in an appropriate manner. Mark was listening to a New Zealand punk rock radio station streaming on his laptop, although much of our conversation had its origins in esoteric conspiracy theories he'd absorbed and taken to heart from newsy alternative radio stations such as WBAI. Mark likes to do what he calls "research" on various things, and he has reached a number of kooky conclusions about the nature of reality. For example, he doesn't believe that Americans actually managed to land a man on the moon. Mark believes that the lunar landing was faked on a Hollywood set. I didn't say anything, but the clear-thinking homunculus inside my brain would have retorted something like, "If a country is going to go through the trouble of faking space missions, why not fake a Mars landing too? With its trace of atmosphere and more substantial gravity, Mars would actually be easier to simulate in a studio."
Eventually we went inside and Mark started preparing a dinner of cheese ravioli. Originally that was going to be the food both of us were going to eat, but then I told him that I'm actually vegan these days. So I ended up with pasta and some sort of sauce that probably contained cheese.
At some point Ray showed up sans waitresses from work, so we ended up having a rip-roaring sausage party. After the Red Stripe ran out, we drank Pabst Blue Ribbons. I had six beers in total, leaving me feeling uncomfortably bloated. When I get drunk these days, it's not usually with beer.
Then the three of us went out and soaked in the hot tub long enough to make me slightly nauseated but relaxed. I ended up sleeping on the couch in front of a fire.
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