Thursday, February 17, 2011

Three Weeks to a Bed

My air mattress apparently sprung a slow leak a few days ago. Now I refill it each night, lie down, and slowly sink all night long until I wake in the morning in the pocket of my air mattress coffin.

This week’s been a heat wave in the 40s and a record 52 yesterday, leading to lots of melting followed by refreezing overnight. I headed out to take some photos yesterday morning but gave up on the idea immediately because it was like trying to walk on slippery glaciers. Last night it stayed warm enough to not refreeze but that led to being fogged in from the evaporating snow. Winter's due back tonight.

Along with moving preparations, I’ve been keeping very busy with a couple projects (film noir and classical music) while I still have a library to use. There are a couple novels (The Evolution of Bruno Littlemore and When the Killing's Done) published this month I want to read and am first in line for at the library but they haven’t processed them yet—I’ll be reading down to the wire, and still have a couple Vine books I need to read and review at some point.

I am reading a good book by Carl Safina, The View from Lazy Point: A Natural Year in an Unnatural World. Lazy Point is at the end of New York’s Long Island, and the book alternates nature writing based there and from other locations such as coral reefs and Alaska with reflections on how our economy, philosophy, and way of life are all completely removed from ecological reality and the changes which are happening because of the changing climate.

Of Alaskans who complain about federal land there while receiving on average 25 times the national average of per capita federal funds, he writes, “Like anti-‘big government’ folk in many places, such people are whining, selfish hypocrites.” Yep, there are a lot of them in the states surrounding Yellowstone as well--hunters complaining about wolves killing elk, subsidized ranchers complaining about bison. Always have been, and despite the oft-heard claim that local people know best how to "manage" local land, there would have been no national parks preserved had it been left up to the locals who wanted to exploit the land.

I’ve decided to leave a few boxes in storage here. No doubt it will cost me more than the dollar value of the contents, but some of it is irreplaceable. After this season at Yellowstone, my future there could be anywhere from ten months a year to never going back, and until I determine that, I’ll skip the hassle of shipping to and from there. There are no convenient storage places in Duluth but I’ve found the best of a bad lot and will make a couple cab trips in March to get my stuff there.

Although I’m storing boxes and will have a lot more space than I need, I’m still selling the books and cds I’d picked out. I made one trip to St. Paul and will go again next week. I could have carried everything at once, but thought I’d go easy on my foot. Even with the weight cut in half, my foot was so sore by the end of the day that I spent the last two hours of my first trip sitting in the bus station waiting for the return bus to Duluth because I couldn’t walk anymore.

I’ve got the bus ticket, settled another of my old debts, have given the disconnection date to the phone and electric companies, and gotten myself a Post Office Box in Yellowstone (what a cool address!) Moving seems overwhelming as all major change usually does to me, but when I get there, I’ll be in one place for 7 months, the longest in one spot since I left Duluth in 2009. Many of my favorite people from last year won’t be back, but it will be fun to reconnect with those who are, and meet some new people now that I’m more comfortable with the place. As homeless shelters go, Yellowstone’s pretty damn good.


Allan Stellar said...

Always fun to read your writing. I have no clue why you have such an affection for cold, drab climates. You ever thought of wintering in Tucson? Moab? New Orleans (now that's an idea)?

greentangle said...

What can I say? I'll be retreating north with the glaciers until none of us are left.

I do hope to visit New Orleans again before it's permanently under water, but I wouldn't want to live there.