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Green Bay, Week 1, Day 1

15 November 2004

CONVERSION NOTICE: This is one of 250+ blogs that originally appeared on MySpace. I’ve done my best to represent it with as much historical accuracy as possible, but there are limitations. Read about it in the FAQ.

Most of you don’t know this, but when I was in school, I once took a temp job as a secretary at a landfill in Livermore, CA.  It was off in the hills, way out of the way… and during those few weeks in winter, surprisingly cold and misty.  It smelled like nothing I’d ever experienced… compost, garbage, cow dung, and something else… maybe chemical?

As I stepped off the tiny plane last night and on to the Green Bay airport tarmac, I was instantly transported to my days answering phones at the dump.  The smell was… identical.  The night, cold and misty.  The resemblance to a Livermore waste area was truly breathtaking.

But I was determined to have the Wisconsin experience, however backwoods it may be.  As I drove to my hotel, listening, appropriately enough, to “Freebird” on the radio, I was struck by the relatively little that seemed to be going on.  Apparently the city of Green Bay has something like 100,000 people.  That’s a “town” where I come from.

I’ve been thrilled with how much Wisconsin has turned out to be like it is in the movies.  Everything is named after the Packers, Native American chiefs, or Germanic surnames.  All the girls are blonde.  They all have big teeth and gums.  Even the morning newscasters speak with that unmistakable Wisconsin accent.  They say “woont” instead of “wouldn’t.”  It’s adorable.  And they’re all terribly nice.  I can’t complain about them at all.

Did I mention though that it smells like cow crap and chemicals?  OK, good.  Because it does.  Even as I type, it waits for me outside my hotel room door.

The project here is fine, and seems easy.  Early mornings and late nights though.  I may not get to check out the town’s only strip club.  But the building I’m working in is big and out in the middle of nowhere… a great view of open fields from the top floor.  The cafeteria must be subsidized… I had some really good food… a ton of it… $4.25.  It would have cost $12 in California.

The desks suck.  I banged my knee on one today and JUDAS ISCARIOT did it fuckin’ hurt.  So badly, so quickly, that I almost instantly threw up.  I broke out into a cold sweat.  That’s never happened to me before just from pain.  Is that normal?  I love you too, Green Bay.

P.S.  My ’62 Fender Jaguar finally shipped today.  That’s right, bitches.

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