Real-life MacGyver

 

I may be a writer, but I consider myself more of a creative problem solver. Some say when life gives you lemons, make lemonade. This is great advice when life gives you something as delicious as lemons, but more often than not, life gives you a swift kick in the pants.

 

For example, two weeks ago, I was driving from Atlanta to Birmingham to fulfill my destiny of becoming the most infamous executive creative director to have ever lived. It began to rain as I was driving down interstate twenty. Hard. After an hour of pouring down rain, the clouds re-arranged, and formed into more of what one would refer to as a “monsoon”. Luckily for me, I drive a Jeep Wrangler. The rock-crawler’s compact build, and all-terrain driving capabilities allowed me to successfully maneuver through even the harshest of conditions…or so I thought.

 

So, I’m driving. It is raining leopards and wolves. My windshield wipers are moving faster than the speed of light, as they whisk away every last bead of water from my windshield. But the rain kept coming. It was coming down too fast, even for my windshield wipers operating at maximum speed. Soon after, I was wedged between two 18 wheelers, and the worst thing happened. I couldn’t believe my eyes, and they couldn’t see either. My impervious windshield wiper had gone rouge. A bolt had shot loose, and the wiper blade had jumped ship from my wiper arm. All of this happened, while riding down an unlit three lane highway, in between two big rigs.

 

I didn’t know what to do. I collected myself and tried not to panic, while I blindly drove down the highway. I looked out my passenger side window, and saw that the next exit was four miles away. I turned the right knob on the side of my steering wheel to switch my wipers off. The blade was hanging onto the arm by a thread, like Scar from The Lion King hanging off the side of a cliff, holding onto the Mufasa’s paw for dear life.

 

So what did I do? What could I do? I did exactly as any logical, practical man would do-I drove blind. It was all I could do, besides peering out of the driver’s side window of the Jeep for a minimal amount of sight. Finally, after the four miles that felt like 4,000, I pulled off at the exit. The exit was home of the legendary Talladega Superspeedway. As I pulled off the highway, slowing down, the Shell station in the distance gleamed like a lighthouse leading the way to the shore, after years at sea.

 

I finally arrived at the gas station, ran through the door, covering my head from the rain with my jacket. As I stepped into the gas station convenience store, I put my head on a swivel, looking everywhere. I was asking myself, “How am I going to jury-rig this wiper into working for the next seventy miles?”…“I need toothpicks” I thought to myself. I looked everywhere, but could not find them for sale. I went up to the counter, and found a jar filled with toothpicks , a paper clip, and a rubber band. I grabbed them and ran outside. I jammed three toothpicks into the empty bolt hole, and bent a paper clip around the remaining space of the hole. Then, I wrapped a rubber band around the toothpicks, twisting and wrapping the band, until the wiper blade was locked onto the arm. I drove around the parking lot to test the wiper out, and to my suprise, the windshield wiper was working good as new. I hopped back on that Alabama highway, and headed down to Birmingham, without a scratch.

 

The moral of this story, is I am basically a real-life MacGyver. I am great at thinking on my feet. Give me an obstacle, a brief, or a task, and I’ll improvise the hell out of it. If I can fix a problem so large, with so little, you can’t imagine what I could do with the proper time and tools. Once I was in the Northern New Mexico desert, where I met a wise old man who told me, “Scramble and be flexible.” That’s my mantra.

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Poetry Portfolio

 

Green

Viscious, valinet pierceing ray

Penetrating luscious leafed organisms.

 

Oozing through slimy mucus

Membraned-stagnant liquid

Never moving from its place.

 

Never drank from except from

The brown maned, four-legged organism

That rides from hillside to mountainside.

 

Never achieving the rank of lake

It sits, sitting ugly

For the air to take.

 

Wishing to be verdant but perched

As a pot.

 

Never stirring.

Never Leaving.

Forever sitting,

 

Green.

 

 

Grocery Catastrophe (Word-draw Poem)

 

The phosphorescent halogen bulbs

Glimmered from afar.

The Peruvian pour-over permeated

Throughout the grocery coffee shop.

 

The Boars Head brisket spill flooded the floors

Knocking over the barley-heavy beers

and potted hydrangeas.

Hoppy petal-filled air floated

Slippery fulminate coated.

 

 

Cherning Spheres (Sestina)

 

Spherical dough rolled like a ball.

Masking taste with hair of the dog.

Getting off the midnight train.

Cool breeze covered by fur.

That was back then.

Whistling train and chugging whiskey.

Whisking in the sauce pan covered in whiskey.

Frying dough balls.

Taking them out then.

Wagging like a dog.

Dusted in fur.

Moved like a train.

Round cherning like a train.

Watered down whiskey.

Coarse and fierce like a fur.

Moving like a rolling ball.

Chasing round the block with dogs.

Coming home to bacon then.

Remembering what happened then.

Back when we rode the trains.

Hanging in a pack like dogs.

Doiled down whiskey.

Eating mozzarella balls.

Warm in jackets fur.

Skin coated in fur.

Fur from then.

Laced white and red balls.

Catching games on the train.

Sipping Tennessee whiskey.

Wanting to be the dog.

Daring to be the dog.

 

Dogs loving their fur.

Flopping in mud whiskey.

Binging on tastes from then.

Drinking on the choo train.

Thinking of the days of games of balls.

Dogs running from then.

Fur lined seats warming on the train.

Whiskey rocks floating in the shape of balls.

 

 

Roaming (Kontakion)

 

What would I do to get where I’m going?

An average person would take a cab

Lousy cig smelling yellow cars by the

Kabob stands flinging franks to the dogs.

Everyone else might go for a quick walk

Randomly passing faster passengers.

 

Frozen knuckles come from walking in cold.

Luxury lies between the leather seats

You wish that you were sitting on instead.

 

Why would one choose to travel in that way?

Ability may actually be why

Lucky ones with money can get there easy

Kicking back in their reclining leather

Even sipping on an ice cold whiskey

Raised fourteen thousand feet above the ground.

 

Flyboys speed through the casper like wind clouds

Looking forward and looking down at ground.

Youngsters looking up hoping for future.

 

Wasps spread wing to fly through the winter air

Anteaters stomp their beaked snouts wildly

Launching one foot in front of the other

Knocking dust up adding to erosion.

Eating the salami scraps left behind

Reaching towards silky sky shag carpet.

 

Frantic flopping pterodactyls fly high

Launching from five story high roof tops,

Yellow-breasted little singing song-birds.

 

Wild beasts flying through desert sky

All sleep under the same yellow moon light.

Looking towards the bat shaped shadows

Kite-like leaving the walking for the wolves.

Even the tree squirrels move wingedly

Really showing their prowess and pride.

 

Feral cats squeamish of water

Lift their paws gently in and out of water

Yelling when the filthy fur gets dirty.

 

Water posed opposite to sky making change

All throughout the globe filled with life

Little alligators muddling through muck

Kicking their dinosaur tiled toes towards swamp

Eating the rubble of broken coronas

Regurgitating the mucus membrane of bayou.

 

Mosquitos awaiting their death after blood

Licking critters get chomped or drown in the

Yucky ole’ bayou swamp water.

 

Wadding in the cool winter waters

As the fish flicker fast through

Lake and river bed bellies going

Kinda fast-like in the shimmering light

Eel-like with it’s slithering through the rough

Rivers much faster than the land-walkers.

 

Fresh waters navigated without a

Lack of fear or thoughts of why the

Young spotted trout don’t have legs for walking.

 

Washing the stale stenches from the

Abnormally shaped abdomen in the

Lake waters gushing through piping packed

Knifing through wicked waters with power

Explosive-like eruptions detonated

Really loud with a cartoon dynamite.

 

Fresh water jet-ski slapping

Lots of rapid flowing waves

You just whipped up with ya tail whip.

 

Whales eating Norwegian cruisers

At a huge rampant-rabid pace

Letting out it’s big ginormous tongue

Kissing ships as it swallows them whole

Eating land creatures whole

Relinquishing their thirst and taste

 

Feeding the little wooden man in

Liquidy stomach acid bubble baths

Yellow and bubbly like a chemical spill.

 

Wondering where they are in the

Abnormally full rib walled cave

Locked down on in whale town

Kicking back until the imminent death

Eventually drowning while walking

Really slowly while the room is swimming.

 

Feeling like shit wish to swim

Lies can only get you so far

Yield to swim wish to fly.

 

Wombats won’t last once they realize they

Are not bats and wish for wings

Like really big ones spreading

Knuckles and arms and grabbing

Earth covered cold cave walls

Rusted and immovable concreted feet

 

Feeling like the feet are dragging

Lake down bubbles going up

Yearning for air wishing to swim

 

Wander like the hot dogs scavenged

Around the dirty black street tops

Lined with those double yellow

Kinda crazy never ending lineage that

Everyone can never escape their

Rejected old ways of moving

 

Freed Willy swimming through choppy water

Lucky Lads sprinting through the dusty streets

Young yearling ducks spreading their floppy arms to sky.

 

 

Bomb Cyclone

 

Whirling, twirling, spinning around

Look left, look right, stay clear of the ground.

Asphalt goes flying, people are dying

As little black bombs fly, smash to the ground.

 

Windows cave in.

The glass had been blown, into

Tiny little pieces resembling snow.

 

Roads pummeled to pieces, buildings fell down

Into beautiful rubble that covers the ground.

 

 

Beast (Sonnet)

 

Walking quickly, big boots hit hardwood floor

What could be there? Noise echoes from outside.

He stomps, he walks, going toward the door.

Looking outside he sees a beast, green eyed.

 

Its screech was loud like nails on a chalkboard.

The beast looked angry and snarled at him.

It emerged from the forest with its horn.

As it charged at him his future looked grim.

 

Jumped to his feet to avoid the attack.

It lunged at his head with its big black horn.

He dodged the attack but fell on his back.

It came back with its horn, shoulder torn.

 

Laying on his back, looking at the roof.

The beast drooled over his face and his hair.

The beast stood on his chest, with it’s left hoof.

All he could do was look up, say a prayer.

 

 

Manhattan (the process) 

 

Packing tobacco, puffing the pipe.

Sweet earthy air enters the room.

Two shots rye, one sweet vermouth.

Two dashes aromatic.

Orange rind, one cherry.

Shaken thrice on ice.

Poured into glass.

Take a seat.

Sit back.

Sip.

 

 

Summer Hoops (Triolet)

 

Sun beating down on the dark black ground,

Sweat droplets pouring down, splashing.

Nothing but breathing, squeaking, and dribbling sounds,

As the rays come down on the deep black ground.

Bouncing the ball, old, weathered, and round,

Put into the air, it comes down crashing.

The sun beating down with heat coming from the ground,

Sweat went down my face, splashing.

The Art of Making Beef Jerky

Ahhh Mountain breeze, rustling pine needles from the trees, the sound of a quickly flowing stream. What’s missing from this picture? The taste of tough and chewy meat that keeps for what seems like forever. That’s right. We’re talking about beef jerky. Are there many things more American? You gotta feed your wild side with some jerky. You’ve heard it straight from the Sasquatch’s mouth. But why would you keep buying beef jerky from Jack Links, Matador, Oberto, Duke’s and countless other companies, when you could make better and cheaper jerky in the comfort of your own home? Here is a step-by-step guide to easily making your own jerky.

The Process:

First things first, you will need to have a dehydrator. I personally have a Presto Dehydro food dehydrator. The first step to making jerky is deciding what type of meat that you want to use. The most traditional type of jerky is beef jerky, so that is what we will be discussing today. The easiest and probably best cut of beef for making beef jerky is a flank steak. I most recently used a beef brisket flat. A couple other common cuts for making beef jerky are round steak and rump roast. Once you have decided what type of cut that you want to use, it is time to cut the meat. Cutting the meat is one of the most important parks of making the jerky, and it is standard to cut the meat into slices about 1/4 of an inch thick and cut the fat off. Make sure you have a very sharp knife to do so. If you have an electric knife, this process is much easier.

Getting Saucy:

Once you have finished cutting your meat, it is time to marinate it. There are many fresh ingredients that can be used to create marinades for beef jerky, usually involving pepper, Worcestershire, garlic, soy, onion powder, etc. However, for the easiest way to marinate beef jerky, you can simply mix pre-made jerky cure and seasoning with soy sauce, or my personal favorite, Mr. Yoshida’s sweet & savory marinade sauce.

And the Waiting Begins…

Feel free to combine the seasoning, cure and sauce with any of the ingredients previously listed. Making jerky is all about trial and error, until you come up with a mix of ingredients perfect for you. Once you have created your marinade, combine it with your slices of meat in a gallon Ziploc bag, and keep it in the refrigerator for a full 24 hours.

Time to Start Cooking!

After you have marinated that delicious beef for a full 24 hours, it is time to stark making your jerky. Place the slices of your meat onto the trays of your dehydrator. Set your dehydrator somewhere between 120-160 degrees, and cook for 7-12 hours. I personally set my dehydrator to 140 degrees for 10 hours.

Snack Time!

After your long wait is over, give yourself a pat on the back, because you have made your own beef jerky! Now you can make your meats last for weeks and weeks. Hope you enjoy your tasty beef treats!