It’s now snowing. Windy and cold. My bare garden is infested with slate colored juncos. Always juncos. Those tough little bastards actually fly south to here. Or the the ones who just stay here, cardinals and crows and chickadee’s. I want a warbler, damnit. How about an indigo bunting just for kicks. The hawk is back though. Good hunting brother, get those woodchucks before I have to.

So I hear some interest in the story of the big burn. It will be awhile before I get to that one. I need to do it right and that means discribing the landscape and weather conditions and how they combined to create a fire storm. And I’m a little intimidated by the task of doing that clearly. It wasn’t a big fire by Yellowstone standards. Probably not even a thousand acres. But it was very intense.
I guess I make this time in my life look all exciting and romantic, but remember I’ve been verbally polishing these stories for thirty years. They make great party stories and help me compensate for the dork I really think I am. My plan after college was to work seasonaly jobs so I could develope my art on the off season. My goal was to become a famous painter. I ended up turning my back on art, drinking very heavily, not to mention other substance abuse, having truely nasty relationships with women, getting very sick, becoming so distant from reality I couldn’t figure out how to stop my beard from taking over my entire head and generally losing all confidence in myself. All this time, driven by an insane urge to compensate for my youthful athletic failures and suddenly blessed with a new body forged by fire, I became obsessed with basketball and spent the part of my life that sane people spend forming careers, polishing my game. And for what? So I can hobble down stairs like an 80 year old when I’m 55? So I can’t straighten my legs out and there are only a few positions I can sleep in without pain? So I can be stuck in a low level corporate lacky management job that requires more organization than you could distill out of a hundred of me and where I have to deal with managers who have more organization in their toenails than I will ever have? And artists who make me look like an organizational genius? And never, ever saving a fucking dime?

On the flip side….it was often FU-UN!

11 thoughts on “

  1. wow that’s a great picture. and yeah and yeah and yeah. we make the strangest decisions along the way but that’s why people listen to our stories, right? I said to someone Thursday, “I wish I could be as appealing in person as I am on paper.” She just looked at me and said, “that’s impossible.” which is either a compliment on my writing or something else entirely. Oh well. And yeah, I think you thanked me. I like moving the audience around as much as I’m able… have a good “Easter Saturday,” watch out for wild rabbits.

  2. umm… is that a before and after picture of you?  you went from looking like the unabomomber to a lunatic that looks like you can be boss from my previous job… i can picture you yelling at me for fucking up at my job… I fear you…  and I guess the timberwolves pretty much clinched the top spot on the playoff… bastards…

  3. But you have all the stories to tell your kids, grandkids, mediocrekids and the waybelowaveragekids, bad knees and spine are all worth that. Well, I’d guess. I lost my game before I ever found it. I blew my career deciding years opening my store and wallowing in poverty. I probably have good knees though.

  4. nice photo.  we got some brown-headed cowbirds here the other day, along with a rufous-sided towhee.
    You know from the part about hobbling down the stairs to the end, I thought you were talking about me.

  5. I adore juncos and celebrate their appearance every year! Tough little muthahs, they are. I like that in a small defenceless bird.

    As for the whole high-powered career thing? Hah! It is to laugh! Vastly overrated, I like to think. Of course, as a woman who has lived the last seven years of her life in polar fleece hoodies and stained cargo pants, who has spent vast tracts of time wiping noses and purchasing “the wrong Cheerios, Mum!”, you might wish to discount my views on the matter.

  6. It sounds like you’ve had an interesting life, despite not being a famous painter. Plus, everyone knows painters die young and obscure only to be famous later, but how is that worth it? Your before pic sort of reminds me of Rasputin. Cool!

  7. Nice pic. I don’t know that I have any pics of myself when I had a beard.

    And yeah, my dad who was just as much a basketball nut as I turned out to be has very bad knees. He has yet to go under the knife for it, although he had arthroscopic surgery. If I remember this correctly, he really has no cartilage in his knees to cushion the impact of walking.

  8. damn.  that is one helluva before-n-after.  my pictures don’t change at all; when i’m oldlikeyou i’ll still look the same, just wrinklier and wearing a straitjacket.  i don’t know if i feel like i missed out on the crazy shit or not.  too soon to tell, i guess.

    ducking and running now for the oldlikeyou remark…

  9. Holy shit, sir. (I say “sir” because you’re in a tie, and I don’t know that I’ve ever said “dude” to a person in a tie.)  I don’t know how I missed this!  Quite a transformation.  And you look so much like my Russian Politics professor, Jeffrey Hahn.  Although, he’s older than you, and his smile is crooked.

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