Thursday, October 25, 2007

And you shall know them by...

It’s been a long day. A long week. It has been difficult for me to maintain my 1,000 words a day. I’ll have to put in some make up time this weekend. The key to today’s entry is to keep typing and not care about structure or syntax or some overarching theme hey y’all all get outta here like the long scroll of On The Road can’t be interrupted by changing papers. Contacts dry. Baseball on the radio. Headphones. Sony Walkman. AM 1000 still comes in crappy, all static, but it comes in on the headphones, not at all on the stereo. The station comes in on the boom(barf)box -- not too long story about the barf, but a funny one I’ll tell forthwith -- but the strange thing is there’s an almost minute lag between the barf box and the headphones (different stations?). And the barf box, even resting on the windowsill, antennas poked out to the stars, is too static.
**
About the barf box -- Mardi Gras Fat Tuesday 1999, a.k.a. the last time I ever drank Mad Dog 20/20. Bored, at home, I drank a bottle of wine alone and split the Mad Dog with a neighbor, Jon, who wore a t-shirt of an owl in flight with the label “Hell’s Mensans.” The Mad Dog was too much, and before I could make it to the toilet I urped up a vomit. But then I got the majority of it in the toilet. Thing was, afterwards, I couldn’t find the urp, even though I drunkenly remember it. Not long afterwards I passed out with the mystery of the missing urp unsolved.
**
A couple days later I went to play a disc and found a puddle in the now-closed CD case. I dumped the found urp in the sink, but alas, the CD player was toast. We kept the boom box, now nicknamed Barf Box, for the radio and tape player. Off we went on our gallivanting, the barf box in storage and in use by Esther’s sister. When we came back we noticed the sister using the CD player. The barf had dried enough to restore functionality to whatever circuitry had been disabled by the urp. The barf box was fully restored.
**
I have it to this day. The CD player still works, but it can’t play copied Cds. Urp or no urp, it never could.
**
With the Sony Walkman I can move it around. Right now its in just the right spot on the table. If I move it anywhere else Joe Morgan and Jon Miller start undulating in and out. Add to the mix the static put out by this laptop. The static returns if I have it on my lap. I should go out and watch the Series. I have never just listened to it. This is strange. But so what. Oh wait! Yes I have. The last time I listened to the World Series was the Yankees-Mets series in 2000. I listened to Game Two of that series at the White House Landing, a hostel in the 100-mile Wilderness in Maine along the Appalachian Trail. I had to toot a horn to bring a boat out to get me. I stayed there with Hollywood and some guy whose trail name I forget. I just remember us talking about daily newspaper work, he a copy/ ad editor for some dailies in central Indiana. Gotterdamerung! That was the life once, my word count much higher in those days, but devoted to county board meetings and writing about Ted Nugent’s appearance at River Fest. The best stories, like the one about horse farm abuses, happened when I do what I do best, go out and explore and notice my surroundings. Unfortunately, at my level, small to mid-market, I earned my bread and butter covering piddly events, and in the case of the Beloit Daily NEws, hanging around a court house.
**
I regret leaving the Antigo Daily Journal when I did, even though I did it to go on a thru-hike. If I could have any lifestyle back, it would be that one. MY current life as closely approximates the simplicity of those days. Then and now I walked to work. Then and now I was involved in a job that was more than 9 to 5. Then and now my social life revolves around a few good friends and family. Although in Antigo days Esther and I were very involved in church. I wasn’t much of a believer then, but did like the church as a social and musical outlet.
**
That’s another thing I miss. As recent as 2003 I’ve been involved in an organized performing musical group, like a community band, orchestra, or choir. After all this grad school business gives over permanently to the regular schedule I enjoy today (something very different, despite my more than 9 to 5 comparisons, from the Antigo days). Even though then I could predict the irregularity of my schedule because it was based largely on the high school and community teams I covered. But when my schedule is truly regular again, I plan to join a community choir and/or band. I’d love to re-take up the trombone. I don’t think the neighbors would be too appreciative. But the Charlie Brown parents clamber for revivalance.
**
And I’d also like to get involved in journalism again, but not on a full-time basis. I’d like to write and sell travel stories as well as have an outdoors or general interest column in my local daily or weekly. Just something to keep me honest and read. And maybe make a little money. I still have literary aspirations, but I’m no longer staking my fortunes on it. Not that I ever really have. I do think I have a novel or two, at least idea-wise, lurking inside my cranium. I just need to summon the long-range focus and discipline to make it happen. I think I owe as much to the characters brimming around inside me cranium.
**
I admit work has its place in my life, but when I get away from it can be pretty lazy, despite my innate restlessness. I don’t have any hobbies that require long-range concentration, such as building models or woodworking. I like to hike and explore natural areas, photography, cooking, and music. All are action oriented, and, with the exception of photography (if I ever pay for prints), transient.
**
I guess I could add writing to the hobbies list, since, ahem, it is no longer my livelihood. Though I am proud to say a love of words, reading, and language is still central to my vocation.

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