Saturday, July 7, 2012

It's a Dirty Shame

It's been a while since I've been here; seems like it should have been a productive time here if anywhere, but I guess I've been in too much of a funk to do any soul-baring. I'm not going to make it to a concert I hoped to get to tomorrow in Bozeman which is a disappointment, but in the process I discovered a Bozeman band which will be the opener. The Dirty Shame is a good country rock band which I hope I'll catch some other time. You can hear their cd at their website. They made me think a bit of favorite Canadians Fiftymen whose free live cd I recently downloaded at their website. When all else fails, music still makes life worth living for me.

I'm in the process of finalizing dates for a winter job here and an April vacation in New Orleans. When I get those done, I'll start thinking more about where I'll be spending my October/November time off, and next summer's job. I'm ready to change that summer job after three years for both work and interpersonal reasons. I may try to switch to a different job in the office here, but I'm also tempted to try to get a job in one of the southern locations near Yellowstone Lake for a change of scenery and opportunity to do different hikes and enjoy cooler summer temperatures.


Friday, April 27, 2012

Status Querulous

It's Jazz Fest season and I'm spending as much time as I can listening to WWOZ, wishing I were listening to the music in person. Actually, rather than Jazz Fest, it's the earlier-in-April French Quarter Festival which I'm hoping to attend next year.

And I'm feeling so restless these days that New Orleans is one of the places I occasionally fantasize about moving to next. Strictly for music and food in that case, with unemployment, high crime rate, and ridiculous heat and humidity being the flip side of that particular coin.

Other passing fantasies for the next stop: Bozeman, back to Duluth, Yosemite, the Northwest, and Gardiner if I could get a job with the Yellowstone Association. They had an accounting job last year which I almost applied for but I decided I wasn't finished with life in the park yet. I'm ready now, unless I find a new job or jobs--six months in reservations is about two months too long, and it's very different situation from the place I enjoyed working last year. Being a non-driver makes this kind of transitory life very difficult to manage satisfactorily.

I've enjoyed spending time with a couple women in recent months, but have realized I'll be happier not spending time with either of them. They enjoy my company but don't show me much respect; neither wants anything serious, and I don't want anything casual. So back to solitude.

I'll find plenty to keep myself occupied once I settle my mind. I've got 198 miles to go to reach 500 this year, and I've got a big pile of free books to read and review. Along with novels (just finished The First Warm Evening of the Year, currently reading Boleto, to be followed by The Unseen, and Island Apart), I've got The Man Who Planted Trees and Straphanger. On their way are Secret Lives of Ants and Too Much Magic, the latest from Kunstler.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Turning Points

The hotel is closed and most employees leave tomorrow. The empty season has arrived. A woman I’d gone out with a few times leaves tomorrow also. We had some nice chemistry, but I soon realized that she was much too social for me, that the enthusiasm she showed when she saw me was nothing that she didn’t show anyone, and that in fact many other people here were more important to her than I was. Lord knows what she realized about me.

Three months passed without being able to get together with the woman from last autumn who I had high hopes for. Plans were canceled and canceled again, and the high hopes and what I wanted to explain to her began to seem like irrelevant ancient history and a new beginning unlikely.

I had some minor surgery this morning which will keep me from doing anything adventurous during these couple days off. The gym is going to be closed for repairs for the next month or so—I hadn’t been going lately because of an achy knee and general apathy, but my interest was just swinging back when I discovered the notice on the door.

One of the people who will be leaving soon and greatly changing my feelings about the community also happens to be my summer boss. I might have applied for the job if I wouldn’t have had to move out of the park if I were to get it. I’ve heard that over thirty people have applied for the job. Everyone wants to tell me what to do. All things considered, I’m suddenly considering the possibility that it might be my last year here. But then I’d have to consider where I’ll be next year.

It’s beer-drinking, Fred Eaglesmith-listening time.

Friday, January 20, 2012


That's the title of a Vine book I reviewed a while ago on Amazon. To give you an idea of the book's subject, the subtitle is "the power of introverts in a world that can't stop talking". It was an ok book, one I took simply because nothing better was offered that month. My short review was honestly a throwaway--nothing I had much interest in spending a lot of time on.

The book is still a few days away from its release, and I've been stunned by the number of votes reviews have already been receiving. I could probably make a list of a couple dozen much more important books I've reviewed there, add up their votes, and not reach the total number of votes this book review has received. The big difference, of course, is that all those books I consider more important are about the natural world, humanity's distance from it, abuse of other species, extinction, etc.

But apparently nothing is more important to many introverts than themselves. What is really most interesting, and maybe a bit frightening as well, are the comments I've received. Many of them seem to come from a point of believing that all introverts must have the same opinion as the commenter, and a few of them, if representative, would make a good case that introverts are indeed mentally ill, a point the book argues against. I think the comments also demonstrate how ill at ease young people feel about their places in society. You can judge for yourself here. I haven't responded to the comments at all yet, but will probably use this post as the basis for doing so.


It's been relatively quiet in Yellowstone and I've been quiet here myself. Having a room to myself this winter has been a great relief from the issues which arise from sharing a small room with a stranger. To some extent I'd like to say that it's led to a lot of writing and deep thinking as well, but really it's led to having a couple beers most nights and spending a lot of time listening to music. Which has been great in its own right, because music has always been my gateway to my emotions, and they've been swirling lately between a couple women after many years of rarely feeling anything at all. This morning I told one I still wanted to get together to explain why I'd been so reserved with her last fall; tomorrow morning I'll see the other I've been missing for three days while she's been away.

I haven't actually seen the work schedule yet to verify that I have the time off, but a week from now I expect to be packing for a snow coach trip and a few days at Old Faithful. To be at a place unreachable by automobile has perhaps been an unrealized lifetime dream. It seems like it should be quiet; it will certainly be isolated. And I no doubt will make an effort to spend my days farther away from the few people there. I will tell my inner voice to be quiet and stop talking.