Something about the words “Dude Ranch” smacked of an unhappy conflict. And so it was. I had to be the only person who said the word “dude” on this ranch somewhere deep in the Santa Ynez valley. I’m sure it was beautiful, but my god, dude, it was boring, oppressively so.
Eventually this post will, I swear, provide an answer to that question, but for now I'm going to fly in the face of upstanding journalistic standards* and veer straight off to Tangent Land rather than Main Point. If you've come to expect anything from these entries, though, that bar should be set very, very low, because: a) I'm my own worst editor; b) I'm not getting paid so there's no reason to be all professional and shit; and c) I'm by no means equating myself to Kurt Vonnegut, but similar to his novel Breakfast of Champions I do think I'm in the process of purging all the garbage that has been piling up in the assorted sordid waste bins of my mind—and, if I may be entirely honest, I wish the contents were more substantive in nature to reflect a life well lived, but… well… so it goes.
They say the road to hell is paved with good intentions. The same can be said for the boulevard to holidays. You see, we had every seasonal intent to release this new "Gargoyle" board by Todd Bratrud last Halloween, but the moving parts in our production schedule proved to not be so moveable—or at least not to the limitless bounds of our wildest unrealistic fantasies—so we, in turn, had to temper our expectations in a much more malleable manner. But that was then, this is now, and at least it's green so you can ride it with pride come St. Paddy's in a week.
Contrary to what Forrest Gump famously postulated, life is not a box of fucking chocolates. What it is, though, is exactly what the esteemed philosopher Miller pointed out in Repo Man:
"A lot of people don't realize what's going on. They view life as a bunch of unconnected incidents and things. They don't realize that there's this like, lattice of coincidence that lays on top of everything. I'll give you an example. Show you what I mean. Suppose you're thinking about a plate of shrimp. Suddenly, somebody'll say like, plate, or shrimp, or plate of shrimp. Out of the blue. No explanation. No point looking for one either. It's all part of the cosmic unconsciousness."
The year was 1992—isn't it always?—and I'd just started working in the World Industries art department after getting the steel-toed boot from Powell-Peralta. I was fresh off the boat in Torrance, you could say, and not yet savvy to the internal affairs and politics at World, most of which stemmed from the still relatively fresh intake of the new kid on the block, Plan B.