Friday, October 3, 2014

My documentary

In 2011 I left home to make a documentary. It was going to be about central Wisconsin's history of  outsiders and serial killers. A weirdness tour through the heart of Wisconsin. I was about half way through filming the final part of my film when I received a tip. I was interviewing a man named  Ken Petroski who's dad knew Ed Gein. Ken told me that his grandad knew a woman who had dated Ed in high school. Very shortly after Ed and this woman his grandad knew broke up, she moved away. He repeats "Veeery shortly" and gives me a 'If you know what I mean' look. He tells me her daughter recently moved back to town to care for a dying relative.  He lets me know where I can find them. I finish with my interview and politely extend my appreciations, quickly pack up and head for the edge of town.
 I pull into the driveway. It is tree lined and overgrown. Two ruts with a grassy line between. It is a good quarter mile back through trees and open patches of grass. It smells of moss and woodsmoke. I pull into an open field. Grains ready for harvest surround a cluster of buildings. A house with badly maintained siding, a couple squat grain bins, a small, leaning barn, a half burnt chicken coop, a machine shed and an outhouse. I pull up in front of the house. A dog lies on the badly chipped concrete steps. It doesn't stir as I step out of my car. I step over the dog to the top of the steps and knock on the door.
I can hear someone stirring inside. The door squeaks loudly open an in the doorway stands a man of about forty. He dressed in dirty old pants, a once white tee shirt and a knit hat. He is small in stature but looks strong. There is an unstableness in his eyes. I shift uncomfortably around the dog. I inform him politely of the story. I heard substituting 'dated' with 'known' and was wondering if someone could corroborate the story. His eyes seem to squint more the longer I talk so I decide to stop and wait for a response.
 "Wait here." he says.
I stand on the porch making gentle steps around the dog when the lower half of the doorway is suddenly filled by a stout woman of about sixty-five.  She Squints at me through the screen and says. "Come in."
I pull the screen door open and follow her in. The first room is clearly a storage room the was once a porch. twenty feet across and waist high in boxes. At the far end are several skins stretched and drying.  At the next door she stops and turns slowly to face me.
"Excuse the mess. We are...remodeling." she says.
She opens the next door with a squeal of the hinges.
We step into the kitchen.
The kitchen has a freshly tiled floor and new cabinets in various states of installation. I shudder at the prospect of a kitchen remodel knowing my own kitchen could use it but really not having the time or money. A kitchen island with a butcher block top and an inset sink. Granite countertops. Ugh, who does granite anymore? What a nightmare to keep natural stone clean.  The woman points to a chair in the dining room and tells me to make myself comfortable.
  I sit quietly as I hear the clinking of glasses and a plate being made up.
  She enters the room with a tray with coffee and cookies. Some of the cookies have raisins. I hide my repulsion. I am here to do a job and no matter what I see I must try to remain objective and professional.
 She apologizes for not being able to sit in the living room but the floor is being redone.
 I introduce myself and try to politely relate the reason I am here. She tells me her name is Claire Engstrom and she is the granddaughter of the woman in question. Elise was her name. And she did in fact date Ed. For about a week. Her grandmother told her it was short lived relationship because he would keep rubbing his hands on his thighs and licking his lips every time they would talk alone and it creeped her out. She ended up moving to Nebraska because Elise's father got a job there. She met and married a young Norwegian  man and settled down. End of story.
 "Okay then" I say " Is there any other strange stories you might have heard or oddities in the area that might help me out with this documentary?"
 "I don't think so. We've really just been helping my cousin remodel the place while her foot heals. She broke it on the crappy steps out front while trying to step over the dog." she says.
We exchange some pleasantries I excuse myself and make my way back to town. 
I get back into town and see Ken on the corner where I had left him. He waves me over and as I pull up and roll down the window he leans toward the car and says "Sucker. lol."
  Clearly these people don't find the notoriety of Ed Gein being local amusing anymore. Wisconsin. Huh.







Thursday, October 2, 2014

Emergency! the tv show. Not a cry for help.

So I was watching Emergency the other day. Emergency is a seventies TV show that focuses on Roy and Jonny, two fire department emergency responders, in case you don't know. There was actually a cartoon spinoff of it that featured four kids that helped out called Emergency plus 4. I don't remember the particulars but I think the kids just stole pain killers from the truck while Roy and Jonny helped accident victims. Anyway, I was watching it and there is a scene where Roy and Jonny are helping a guy who had over exerted himself mowing the lawn or some shit. As Roy and Jonny help this dude out, there are two other firemen there and the guy's wife. The wife is a stereotypical nagging and screeching creature that is waaaaay overacted. A caricature really.
So as Roy and Jonny work on the guy, his wife is nagging him and saying he is doing it for the attention, blah, blah, blah. They cut to the two firemen watching all this happen and one fireman says to the other "It looks like they could use marriage counseling.". To which the other fireman says"...or a baseball bat.".
What the fuck?
A baseball bat.
A fucking baseball bat?
I know the seventies were a bit in the shitter as far as political correctness goes. But to hear a joke like that about beating his wife? Holy shit.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Bad movies

So I have always loved bad movies.  Spotting a bad movie in the 80's or 90's was easy.  The cover usually was a bad photo or drawing.  The quality of the video was bad and the sound worse. The acting mostly sucked but there were a few decent actors. The real upside was that the equipment was expensive so the people using it were competent.
Here is the problem with new bad movies. The video is much better,  but the equipment is relatively cheap.  So the people using it are amateurs.  With photo shop, they can even make the cover look decent. The actors suck because the low budget is so much lower. Why spend anything on the movie when the loss will be almost nothing.
The movies don't end up being bad.  They end up really sucking.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Ten commandments crap

So a judge in Oklahoma just ruled that a plaque with the Ten Commandments on it can stay outside of a state building on state property. After it was erected the Legislature passed a moratorium on any new monuments so nobody else could add one. 
Here is my problem with all of this. Christians just become assholes for the sake of being assholes. Knowing full well that this will go to court and then continue to go into court and appeals and appeals and cost everybody money come on they still proceed to do it. Because it's their belief. I believe but they're just being assholes. they are the first ones to scream about government spending too much money or wasting money. How can they not see that this is a gigantic waste of time and money for everybody?
This Court will go to appeal and another appeal and eventually they will have to take down this monument that probably cost them $10,000 to put up and another 60, 70, 80, 90, hundred thousand to defend. I just don't know why they can't stop being assholes about it. If you question them or their motives they're just going to become even more passive aggressive assholes.
Here is a new commandment.  Quit being assholes.  It is really the only commandment you need.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Travel 2

So I flew to another city and stayed for five days.  I only brought a personal sized bag with underwear, socks, and toiletries. I was staying with friends and family.  I went to thrift stores the first day and bought some pants and shirts and a jacket.  It cost me about what it would have cost to bring a carry on bag.  Washed them at my cousins house. Just before I left, I donated them back to a thrift store.  I am now about to board a plane home with only the same personal bag. 
Traveling light is pretty awesome. 

Monday, September 8, 2014

Travel

So I am going on a trip this weekend.  I got is super cheap flight through Frontier Airlines. One of the stipulations though, is a really can't take any luggage with me without spending a lot of extra money. The things I've always told you phone is when they're going on a trip don't take luggage, when you get there just buy what you need. Go to goodwill pick up some clothes go back to the hotel throw them in the dryer for a few minutes with a dryer sheets to make them fresh and clean. It takes nothing to stop at the thrift store. I have never personally done it. But this weekend I'm going to try. I have always over prepared for every trip over packed by incredible amounts. But this time I am literally taking five pairs of socks the pairs of underwear and the clothes I'm wearing for a five day trip.
When I'm done I will drop the clothes back off at Goodwill, get a tax deduction receipt, and head home.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

The Singularity

It has been a long journey to get here.  A journey started by my parents to get us to the last of the clean zones.  They knew they wouldn't make it but they had how for me.  For what ever was left of the human race. The rest of the world is contaminated and polluted.  Irradited and flooded.
Here is the last clean zone on earth.  The only place that the winds and the forests could keep clean enough for people to live.  When we left the clean zone we were in,  there were a few thousand people left.  Half stayed and half thought it would be better to come to this zone.  I know that of the 1700 that left,  it is just me that is completing the journey.  It was a genetic game of chance and I alone won. 
Upon arrival I see the remains of the former inhabitants.  A few standing structures that did not have resources in them worth taking.  Many bodies.  What little remains of the dead tells me they were old and inable to travel. Carved into a wood plank is their story.  They decided to leave for what they believe is the last safe zone. Ours. I came to this zone thinking it was the last and they left for ours thinking ours was the last.
Still looking for a better life.  Still thinking the grass is greener on the other side.  Still looking for a way out of the shit hole we created. 
We lose.