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Hooray hooray for the first of May, outdoor intercourse starts today. So says a lame co-worker of mine.
What today actually means is that at some point mid- morning, we will get a request from staff to go home early because of the May day rally and March.
The March is set to start at 5 pm, permitted by the City.
Who in their right mind would permit a very large parade of May Day observers and anarchists is beyond me. So works, the city that works.
I may leave early, to avoid traffic and crowds of the self righteous.
Planning for the summer has already begun and I am guarding my August jealously, like something feral hovering over a scrap of festering carrion.
I am booked solid through September. When folks ask if I can fit something in during May or June, I simply laugh. I am double and triple booked during those months. If I survive them, it will be a testament to something. To what, I am unsure. I sure do not get paid enough to put up with this shit. I need less, better paying work.
I daydream of the Sky Lakes, one foot after another.
The snow level had dropped, and there was a dreary, bone chilling cold. Everything was wet, dripping with melting snow clinging to the trees. Threads of fog were lifting on the hillsides and cliffs. Higher up, he knew, the fog and clouds were blowing over the lower saddles of ridges, over the old log landings and rocky moss covered meadows. There was plenty of blowdown this season and the snow was just off. He stepped carefully so as to avoid falling and having the chain gouge his neck. Stopping, he dropped his gear and fired up the saw. Chips flew.
The footing wasnít so good, and were this TV, one would sense impending doom.
But the old fir log gave up easy and in a few moments, the woods were quiet. He sat and propped his legs against the section of log and rolled it off the trail, watching it tumble, thumping down the sidehill.
Setting the saw aside, he swamped the boughs and chunks of bark the deadfall had left on the trail, then walked 100 feet up the trail to the next blowdown.
The trail was mostly disused, but itíd be a crime to see it fade away.
The Coopers' hawks are skirmishing with the crows among the 100 year old elms on our street. I root for the hawks, a pair who have nested on our end of the street for the last five or so years. I like to hear their call and see them swooping low under the canopy down the middle of the street. Even the shards of less fortunate birds they sometimes let fall onto my car roof and sidewalk do not bother me. I despise the crows for their noisy and craptabulous early weekend gatherings. Iíd shoot the crows if I could.
Iíve taken to driving the old smelly uncomfortable turbodiesel because gas prices are insane, and diesel is presently 30 to 40 cents less than gas. Today I cleaned it out and took it for a drive. Dirt and dust from several Summersí trips cleaned out with the benefit of Simple Green and a lot of rugs. Floors vacuumed and windows cleaned. I noticed the clutch master is leaking Ė dripping onto the pedal. And the transfer case leaks. But the swivel hubs are dry, and the transmission shifts smoothly still. We drove it to soccer and the auto parts store today.
I canít tell if heís a carnie, bum or one and the same, but heís carrying a bulging white and red daypack and a coat. Itís 75 degrees and sunny. Heís unwashed and bearded, wearing a gritty baseball cap. Heís as dirty as the first nice day of the season is clean fresh and bright.
And, rolled up and stashed in a mesh pocket of his pack, is the current issue of Smithsonian magazine.
Incongruities rendering life more interesting are more frequently found among the humbler elements.
Perhaps this is a statistical truism given their numbers, but it nevertheless pleases.
Stop for the usual cup of coffee and juice on the way to work as I always do Tuesday and Thursday mornings and the same guys are behind the counter, the guy with the mustache wearing the usual worn t shirt Ė this one Wake Forest.
The sun is out.
Old man in a navy suit, bald pate walking by a warehouse.
A pickup with a bumper sticker devoted to bagpipes that I see once every couple of weeks tracing an am route that corresponds in part with mine.
Mom reminds me small things in life often yield the greatest pleasures.
Realizing later you were too busy is no excuse or remedy for failure to do then, what you should have done. But I have an excuse. I was indisposed all day today and so am writing this Saturday to explain why I was too busy Wednesday, and then once home that evening too tired to have writing here even cross my mind. In fact, I had no time to even think of it until Friday. When I am so busy my life seems full, and I am more efficient, but itís depressing that I get that busy. Life flies past.
It baffles me to think he could be so clueless and so uncommunicative so as to jeopardize relationships with the clients Iíve trusted him with. So this morning was spent repairing damage and doing work he should have done and explaining as unacceptable his failure to communicate regarding issues involving thousands of dollars and potentially more in liability.
The only reason for the Third Chance I contemplate for him is his wifeís recently giving birth to their first child.
He hasnít a clue.
I just want someone who cares to do the best work possible, and he ainít it, apparently.
The grass is tall. I let it grow as the new seed I spread out with compost over the bare spots is growing taller, and I didnít want to mow until it had really become established. Tonight I came home and mowed, then set the sprinkler. The bare spots are filled in fairly well. I have high hopes for the lawn since we had the trees pruned this winter, and more light should improve things. Then I went downstairs and gathered my pack and some other stuff for tomorrow. Tomorrow I finally get to leave Dodge City for a while.
We hiked the Old switchback road but it was covered with old drifts. The snowís low as Iíve seen it this time of year. We came back down another route.
Just below the lookout, on the North side of the ridge, I got a bad feeling when we saw shingles.
When we topped out I saw: the weather side of the roof had lost itís shingles, a couple of the underlying boards were gone, and the flashing on two hips was gone.
It means a lot of work in this remote location.
Generator, saws, hauling lumber.
Dangerous lookout roof work.
Spent the day doing the cooking and cleaning and watching the kids. Last year she was upset because I arranged for brunch without the kids. This year, by the afternoon, tired from Mimosas, she was asleep in a chair with my laptop, or carping at the kids, who were being a bit of a pain. So I guess I canít win. Made Dutch baby pancakes with strawberries and they turned out quite well. The flip side of all this is I am viewed as a bad father if I donít want to spend the day with the rugrats. I donít.
I woke to excruciating back pain. Iíve had it before but this was pretty bad. Odd thing is, I didnít work out over the weekend due to mothers day duty and other obligations Saturday. Went to work and worked my ass off as usual. Itís warm out but I canít enjoy it with this pain. I am hopeful it will subside a bit and that working out tomorrow morning will help. My temp secretary is getting kicked to the curb today. The spilled pop on the desk, critical errors, multiple times, it was all too much for me to ignore.
Working out didnít help and I was lifting and felt a sharper pain so I stopped lifting. I imagine it is nothing compared to what other people go through. People in car wrecks or with war wounds, but it is enough to grate on me, and make me less able to function well. It hurts when I bend, stand sit, etc. It hurts with each forward pace. It is kind of like having a cold in that one does not appreciate what it is like to be healthy until afflicted. Then you realize how lucky you are to be well.
I worked 12 hours yesterday and then saw the Magic Flute, which was about 3 hours 45 minutes. So I was up 19 hours before I hit the rack. And my back hurt.
I couldnít wait to get out of there.
Naturally we had a quick dinner out Ė which caused stress in getting to the opera on time.
And so she wondered why I was in a bad mood at the end of it last night.
I told her it was great, but too fucking long.
I couldnít wait to get out of there.
She thinks I am an asshole.
The old temp is gone, replaced by a capable and friendly deeply tanned lady. What I refer to as a War Horse, because sheís seen more action in my field, as a secretary, than I have, as the higher-up. Sheís from Colorado, so isnít terribly good with how things are done here, but she is not Dangerously Inept, like my last secretary.
We also have a Weird Temp working for us right now.
And Iíve yet to arrange a lunch with my real secretary to discuss Terms For Her Return.
The drama must stay at home. We havenít missed it.
See, itís like this. She was really good at getting work out, but she was pushy, and didnít recognize that she was less equal than the owners of the firm. And the drama, and endless chatter and fits of pouting caused waves and ripples. She believed, explaining her pushiness, that thereís no harm in asking. But there is harm in asking. And so, we are going to have her to lunch to tell her we want the drama and gossip and pouting to stay at home. Or she wonít be staying with us long. Iím just glad Iím caught up.
A more relaxing day with her absent I can not confess to her of course. But the pace is less intense and the day somehow less harried without her constant need to be right and to have things done her way and none other. The fact that my son played Halo at a friendís house on a sleepover is something I do not condone but at the same time is not something that merits twenty minutes of discussion and untold upset. I donít think it will make him a mass murderer. We had frozen pizza and veggies for dinner. Yum!
The BLM guys are all talk, and no action. All office and no woods. So Little Poteet made it up to tarp the roof with my canvas and itís likely we will be spending a day or two up there over Memorial Day weekend tearing off the remains of the old section of roof and re-sheathing and shingling it. The LO is pretty exposed, and the weather comes from the southwest, and takes itís toll. We can drive most of the way in but that last third of a mile on foot is steep, and repeated trips will be necessary.
Just before drifting off to sleep he thought of how irrelevant his life and work were.
Upon his death what would there be. He was an administrator in the process of splitting up the pie, and participated in none of the activity involved in making the pie.
He was not a miller of wheat, a forger of steel, and he did not have big shoulders.
The next day it dawned on him that some would think such thoughts wallowing in self pity.
As heíd been thinking them the previous evening, theyíd just seemed matter of fact.
It was the truth.
But that next day heíd also got back to work, after dropping his youngest son off at preschool, pillow head and all. Stopped for coffee along the way, dropped him off and headed to work. Thereíd been the piano recital the previous Friday, his wife and daughter had come home from a short trip out of town the previous evening. There was a full work week ahead and the prospect of some fun over the three day weekend. Everyone was healthy and well fed. Other than feeling he should visit his mother more frequently, things were good away from work.
They lived across the road. The son was older than us, with a conservative small town crew cut and didnít talk to us. His dad called us dirty hippies. This didnít stop him from buying various items of antique farm equipment in the barn and the old hay wagon in the field we found on moving in from California. Heíd daily pull up in his Buick and honk at the cyclone fence gate, a good 100 feet from the front door for his wife to open it for him. When he died, she started playing the organ at our church.
Weíd take backpacks full of Pepsi in glass bottles and candy bars and jerky pilfered from his parentsí store and spend the day in the woods in the back of the grass seed field or down in The Canyon.
Weíd build forts, shoot starlings and squirrels, sometimes ride dirt bikes, or go inner tubing.
As it got closer to dinner time, weíd head for home and play wolf or hide and go seek until dusk. And throw pebbles skyward to fool the bats into swooping for and catching them.
Later, I bucked hay.
Thatís how I spent my early summers.
Damn it I am behind. This 100 a day thing can be a bit of a tyrant. Especially when the creeping crud and a back problem combine with miserable work loads to take away all time and motivation to partake of luxuries such as writing 100 a day. It all started with the sniffles and now over a week later I sit still recovering. Thankfully I have some quiet days at the office ahead and time to catch up on the writing thing before my calendar goes crazy again. I had some weird symptoms and was sick longer than usual.
It all started today. We drove up to the snow line and hiked into ___ Lake, and then continued on to ____ Lake, switchbacking down to it, perhaps 500 vertical feet. We sawed blowdown on the way in and worked on water bars on the way out. My son enjoyed that, and I enjoyed seeing him have the opportunity to just mess around with rocks and water. But my back started aching and I had the sniffles. That evening I could barely walk my back hurt so bad. But I figured itíd pass. Next morning I was achy all over.
The thing that sucks about having a cold that comes along with aches and feverishness, is that you want to be in bed all the time. But laying in bed made my back hurt worse. And of course, I couldnít miss work. If I were staff, as opposed to an owner, I could take a day off. But I had stuff on my calendar and worries of overhead to meet. And the conference call the one client needed to talk of five different matters. So I twice scheduled it and called and she wasnít there either time when I called.
Act like an asshole and theyíll treat you like an equal. Ok, well maybe not. But When I take time from my day to schedule a conference call, and tehn take time to prepare for it, and then have the person who wants the call not be there, well, it pisses me off. And not so much as a single apology. Just more voicemails about the importance of talking to me. And of course the knowledge that she is putting in her log notes the fact that sheís tried to contact meÖ. Iím covered though Ė her boss knows the truth.
How much ibuprofen is too much? I am on a course of 800 mg three times daily, and am told to get to the doc soon, as they think I may have a kidney infection. I donít think so though. But the persistent dry mouth, fatigue, achiness, night sweats and back pain point that general direction. I think I am just sick, and need time to get better. I hate going to the doctor and feel like a whiner. I just want to sleep, eat, drink and get better. Hopefully that will happen soon. The weather has been wonderful. Irritatingly.
After hiking we decided to see if we could make it up to ________ Lake, through the deep snow on the road. I locked the hubs, put it in four wheel drive, and we went and the truck just walked right up it. There were only a few bad spots. The ruts from the previous trucks steered us. At a couple of spots we sent out rooster tails of mud and snow, but we made it al the way up, and drove down again. My son wanted to do it again, but it was time to go. Weíre already late..
It feels good to be sore from working out again as opposed to feeling achy from being sick. I am on the mend. But getting older sucks. Either this was a particularly virulent head cold thing, or I am getting older and less able to fight shit off. I think it is the former because I am pretty healthy right now Ė I am in better shape than I have been in a long time. The only exception is that I am run down from working too fucking much. Thereís an employee I can not trust, so I donít use him.
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