Thursday, July 28, 2011

How to... With The Writing Huntress

   Going to the movies, now that I am once again unemployed, is something of a luxury.  The prices of movies are astronomical; one generally has to give up half of his or her college fund in order to pay for said movie night.  When I see a movie that I would really enjoy seeing, I wish I were back in Lockport, NY the home of a drive-in movie theater that costs about as much as half a coke at a regular theater to enjoy an evening full of visual delights.  The whole thing is an experience of the highest cinematic order, from seeing the night sky as you gaze up to the mammoth screen, to eating home-bought treats and even maybe a little wine in paper dixi cups.  Besides being allowed to sit wherever we wanted, from the hood to the roof to the tailgate of DU's truck, the best part was the previews. Without fail, after each preview rolled past the screen, I was quick to rate the movie, good, bad, or horrible. A movie about the pop sensation who strikingly resembles a young girl with a bowl cut, Justin Beiber? No thanks.  A movie about football teams who have to deal with the drama of which cheerleader belongs to whom? Yeah, no thanks.  A movie about getting lost, deep inside the Alaskan wilderness, searching for one's true self amongst the moose and bear? Sign me up!   I returned to this memory quite a few times in the last week as I have fallen into a little bit of a rut.

   I again, have stumbled into the arms of another unsettling predicament with my previous employer.  So, once again, a company has closed and I am unemployed.   I had a couple of really neat pieces half-finished when the ax fell and for some odd reason, I just could not finish them.  Like lost little lambs, I have let them stray, worst yet I can't even seem to find the energy to retrieve them.  I was talking about this with DU, who is always the best for brainstorming.  I had told him a little while ago that I wanted to start doing videos on HLYH.  I assumed that this came from my brief stint in the limelight with my Cooper Tire debut or that my writing was drying up like grass in the late August scorching sun in the face of mounting stress.

   DU and I threw around a couple of ideas but it was only when I received yet another e-mail from someone who had found my blog and was looking for answers that the stars aligned.  I have been steadily receiving mail from those who have serious hunting questions.  Girls looking to start hunting, guys looking for advice about what to do about their girlfriends, and everything in-between.  I had figured that since my writing was taking a little bit of a Summer vacation, maybe it was time to start toying with other avenues.  Hence, I downloaded IMovie and started my work.

   I figured that no movie is really a movie without a super-dramatic trailer, filled with every random accolade the movie may or may not have accrued by every critic you have never heard of.  Also, I really did not want to revoke your right to critique a movie simply from the trailer so I went ahead and created this little gem for you all :


  And for those who are still interested with what I have to say about this new project, please direct your attention to the box below!

(For the record, I have no idea why YouTube decided to have that section as the beginning- I look like I'm either suffering from jaundice, scurvy, or other pirate-y diseases.)

   As I said in the video, if you have any information or questions that you would like to be answered, do not hesitate to let me know!   Tune in next week as I sweat and grunt through my pre-season workout!


Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Miniscule Feet Coverings: A Very Scientific Review

   The adage, "act your age not your shoe size" has always struck particularly hard in the heart of this huntress. Just as my hands are small, my feet are equal in their tiny nature.  Hence, when I am told to act my age, and not the measurement of my bases, my mind wanders.  I see myself, a mere two and one half years young, throwing a tantrum, refusing to act as a twenty-five year old should.  Which is obviously exactly the opposite of how I was acting in the first place.  There was no screaming in an incoherent babble of non-English or carrying about in such a manner while wearing a purple polka-dotted onesie.  Hence, such a request would be null and void as it is extremely difficult to act my shoe size when my bone-infused foundation points are as pocked-sized as God made them to be.

   Having hoofs the size of a first graders has never been fun.  Throughout high school, I would ritualistically purchase shoes that were too large in order to keep up with the ultra-cool fashion trends of my peers.  This made it so that my normally healthy-looking skin would soon be covered in red blisters roughly the diameter of dinner plates.   From the scholarly walls to the ice rink, my quest to find implements of ambulation has never been without embarrassment or tears.

   Embarrassment:  Christmas is always a happy time, especially because my mother and I have a ball when together anytime, let alone on a holiday.  Ever since my parents took their final split, we made Christmas our own, taking time to open gifts, enjoying good wine, great movies and delicious sustenance that only she and I enjoy.  If there is anything that the matriarch knows of her offspring is that her little huntress has never grown up, in mentality or stature.  Hence, she obtained a pair of multi-colored polka-dotted rain galoshes that were my size in perfection.  When Christmas morning came, I unearthed the box that contained the children's sized foot coverings: red with a gigantic, smiling school bus on the front which was urging its new owner to STAY IN SCHOOL!  The school bus caricature mocked me as the galoshes were unearthed, a small THESE BOOTS BELONG TO _______ tag on the inside just waiting to be claimed with a sharpie and a keen mother's hand.   I was 23 years old.

   Tears:  Cowboy boots are the quintessential country adornment.  Hence, when I adopted all things country-esque into my wardrobe, I needed to find a pair.  One of my best friends in NY, B. Eye, had connections at a western wear store about an hour away from where I was living.  When we got there,  I stood, amazed that the selection of hand-crafted cowboy boots.  The women's section was huge and contained anything a cowgirl could ever hope or dream for.  I fell hard for a pair of square, mahogany toed, green camo boots.  The smallest size they had in the store was a 6 but they, the entirety I'm sure, would be just tickled pink to order another size.  Weeks progressed, DU came to visit and we went to pick up my order.  My perfect boots slipped on my bases easily then proceeded to fall off as if they were covered in caro syrup and crisco.  Tears advanced as DU tried to put the pieces back together by steering me to the children's section, the only collective group of footwear which had any chance of fitting.

   Least to say, my experience with properly outfitting the dual nadir of my person has been an arduous one, especially in terms of finding hunting boots.  As we have already seen in my quests to find gloves and camo that fit this improperly proportioned huntress, companies are slower than an army of iron-clad slugs to change their ways.   However, there are some companies (read: Haley Vines and Magnum Boots) that are working to make it easier not only to hunt but enjoy all the time spent in the great wilderness.

   My current hunting boots are Lacrosse behemoth things that look like they belong guarding tree trunks against hurricane-force winds rather than my sad, stumpy legs.  I am forced to wear 3-inch thick socks whenever I spot these, even during the heat of early season in North Carolina  (Read: August with 13,000% humidity).  I figured this was the only way until Magnum Boots came into my sad, dreary footwear existence.   I was approached via Twitter to review some of their boots after I expressed an interest in their tactical gear, especially a pair of Elite Spiders.  The great folks at Magnum* were quick to help and get a pair of boots out to our humble abode as quickly as humanly possible.

    My love of mail has increased ten-fold ever since we moved into the log cabin.  I'm not entirely sure why this is, it may have something to do with our remoteness and that I imagine the UPS man swathed in a brown wrap or USPS clad in his statuesque blue canvas uniform battling against overly-aggressive crocodiles, trekking up mountains of sand then getting lost, confused on a winding dirt road, each tree looking exactly as the one before it had, only to come crawling up to our house, package still in his death grip; a valiant package deliverer who, against all odds, brought happiness to our little corner of the world. Hence, when my Magnum boots made their way to my doorstep by an invisible hand whose slight knock on the door forced me out of my chair, I yearned to thank the package's protector.  But when I looked to the outside, only a hazy cloud of dust hung in the air, a silent but present reminder of the brave, brave man who delivered my boots safely home.

   After such a grand entrance, I figured the boots must be something special.  I tore off their encasement, pulled out the toe paper and delicately undid the ties.  I grasped both sides firmly and let my foot dive into the size 5 boot.  With a little bit of wiggle room which could be corrected with a slightly thick sock my feet fit perfectly.  The exterior of the tactical boots looked very geometric and slightly threatening.  Best of all, the tan perfectly matched  the camo that I would be wearing for warmer, dry-weather hunting.   I began formulating a plan for the perfect review right then and there, standing in my basement sporting 5-year old shorts and one of DU's gargantuan sweatshirts.

   I need boots to help me out with the following things.  So, I did the following things (see below) while wearing said boots.  A very scientific process, I thought to myself smugly while smartly stroking my chin, very scientific indeed.  I then went through the ultra-secret bookcase passage in my basement which leads to my underground science room.  With the swiftness of a menacing tiger, I began pulling out the bunsen burners and schematics from their spider-web covered shelves like a shorter version of Bill Nye the Science Guy.  But, I remembered that I did not need any chemicals in order to go about this very scientific review so I put everything back into my underground labyrinth laboratory and tuned to my ancient chalkboard.  I wrote:

Very Scientific Test #1- Cutting Grass

     I love cutting grass but I don't love snakes. 
Hence Σ[cutting grass] > [love for snakes] = √[boots must be able to make cutting grass even more fun {if that is scientifically possible} all the while being able to battle snakes if need be.]

Very Scientific Test #2- Walking with Canines

I enjoy ambulating with my canines but I don't enjoy snakes, their poisonous venom nor twisting my ankle in a hole or up a hill. 
Hence [walking dogs without injury or posion]² > [love for snakes or being injured]³ = [boots must make ambulating for long distances comfortable, sans injury {µ }, all the while being able to battle snakes or other monsters if need be.] 

Very Scientific Test #3- Tackling Mountains, Rivers, and Large Boulders

When hunting, one must be able to attack terrain that is not normally flat or free of inconveniencing territorial landmarks such as rivers, spiky boulders, sheer cliffs, mountain lions, or bridge trolls. So, his or her boots must be able to do the same. 

Hence π[hunting free from{} mountain lions and bridge trolls] > ⁿ[having uncomfortable feet when battling mountain lions, bridge trolls, and the like]¹ = {¾} boots must perform well when taking part in such activities. 

Each test went along swimmingly. 

Test One (1)
When mowing grass, the boots kept me agile enough to wrangle my walking mower up and down hills.  I was also able to operate the weed eater with a heightened level of balance, which helped especially in the dog's yard which is conveniently covered in puppy poop.  
Best of all, the boots did not become overly stained by the wetter grass. 
However, my legs were battered and bruised from the weed eating.  I would have enjoyed the boots being a tad taller but maybe next time, I'll just wear pants. 

Test Two (2)
When walking with my dogs,  the boots were lightweight and made waking longer distances easier. 
My knees did not flare up with the lightning pain I generally feel when walking or running. 
Best of all, I could have walked all day, even in the stifling heat.  The lightweight, breathable material will be perfect for early seasons in the spring, summer, and early fall. 
However.... I have nothing negative to say.

Test Three (3)
Battling with mountain lions and bridge trolls can be difficult but not when you're sporting the Magnum Elite Spiders!
DU and I went to Morrow Mountain in Albemarle, NC in order to try out the boots in an all-terrain setting.  With the dogs by our sides, we took the hiking trails deep into the forrest, up hills, down into ravines, through Bridge Troll Alley and out through where the mountain lions dwell. 
Throughout the entire walk, my feet felt like air, my ankles were stabilized and my knees, again, shockingly enough did not hurt. 
Best of all, I found that they not only are practical for regular outdoor wear but also for hunting-esque terrain as well. 

The Magnum Boots were surprising in many ways. 
The most surprising and the best for my purposes is the fit.  I still cannot believe that the boots actually fit my child-sized feet. Generally, I must sacrifice size for function.  The footwear I receive is generally for children and thus ephemeral, their usefulness is not intended to be long-lasting. However, with my Elite Spiders, their quality and overall performance leads to me to believe that I will be wearing them for years, not months. 

I am looking forward to early resident goose season even more so now, as I have finally found boots that fit and will perfectly function as my lightweight hunting footwear.  Even better, I have the scientific evidence to prove it. 

* Thank you, thank you, thank you to Magnum Boots USA for their amazing product!  This review, as you can hopefully tell was an absolute blast to conduct.  You indeed make Essential Equipment, especially for this huntress!
** A special thank you to Alexis for all her help and prompt e-mails!