Wednesday, September 07, 2011
Back in the Saddle Again
Yeah, so I stopped writing altogether in January--call it fatigue, burn-out, whatever, but I was tired and needed a break. I guess it happens when you do something long enough. I figured my Hurricane Mikey days were behind me--life was all kinds of different by then, and I kinda wanted to be a little more private, too.
But I cant deny my nature and I started to feel a little restless earlier in the summer--so I made another go of it with the Grant Silverstone blog. After a few weeks, I realized that I didn't much care for the focus and the direction it was going, so I shelved that idea too--I knew I wanted to get back into writing and/or blogging, but I wasn't sure what to do.
However, spending a good portion of the past few weeks reading the old stuff on here, I realized that there's some good content in the archives, and it would be a shame to lock it away and let it all gather dust. Besides, nobody calls me 'Grant', and nobody cared for hiking stories, anyways.
So I'm back, baby!
I hope my long-time readers and re-clickers are still out there, ready to be entertained by my daily scribbles and rants. (You die-hards need to spread the word!).
So--what have I been up to for the past nine months? Well, I'm pretty much recovered from all my medical issues that laid me out last fall. After the new year, I started searching for a new job in earnest--which was another part of the reason I restricted this site in the first place. I didn't need some toad from a random Human Resources department doing an internet search and finding this site, only to be vastly offended by something I ranted about in years past and tossing my resume in the garbage can without giving me a chance to dazzle them in an interview.
But that's not an issue anymore--I secured employment in February at a company that doesn't give a rat's ass about anything I say or do on the internet, nor will angry little trolls be able to copy and paste content from here and forward it to say, a casino manager, telling them what a troublemaker they have on their hands. Yep, that actually happened a few years ago--somebody with nothing better to do tried to get me in trouble at my job at Sunset Station, but it didn't actually work out the way they'd hoped. Oh well. It's nice to have so much free rent in somebody's head that they would actually take the time to try and sabotage my job. It's kind of a rush knowing that I had that much influence over somebody, don't ya think?
But I digress... All is well in Mikey's world.
Anyhow--I'm back in the rat race full-time, and have been for almost eight months now, and I have to say, I'm not a big fan. I loved making a decent living while only having to work about 20 hours a week and playing poker every night when I was back in Vegas. Life was good. Although, speaking as someone who is slowly paying off about $70,000 worth of hospital bills, it would've been nice to have some insurance as a safety net. So yeah, I've slowed down a bit and got a real job again. The money's ok, the benefits are great, I don't have to wear a nametag or an ugly polyester shirt, and I don't have to deal with drunks. It's a trade-off, but I suppose it's one I needed to make.
So what have I been doing all year here in Tennessee, you ask? Well, working a lot, for one thing. I forgot how much of your life is taken up by having a full-time job. On the other hand, it's nice to be able to actually work again. For awhile there, after I got sick, I would've given my left arm for some reassurance that I'd be 'normal' again and able to function like a regular person. Now that life is pretty much back to normal, I realize that it's a little dull, but it sure beats the alternative.
But enough about that.. Re-reading my adventures from last summer, I realized that man, I sure played a helluva lot of poker. Of course, I needed to subsidize my income, and for awhile there, I got pretty damn good at it. But something changed and it hasn't interested me at all for most of the last year. Y'all know that I love me some Josie, and try to keep up with her adventures, but I found my mind wandering whenever I read about her poker adventures back east. And normally I would be all over the WSOP website and jonezing for updates during the Main Event, but this year, I pretty much disengaged. I don't know why, but once I left Las Vegas, it's like that door got slammed shut. I haven't picked up a deck of cards or played in a real poker game in over a year. I feel like Mike McD, driving Knish's truck and trying to make ends meet with a legitimate job.
One of the main reasons I was looking forward to getting back to Tennessee when I moved was the nearly limitless opportunities to take advantage of the outdoors. I lived out west for the better part of the past 20 years, and I love me some desert, but I never really wanted to go out and play in it. I like the hills, woods, streams, lakes, waterfalls, and trails of Tennessee much better. Part of my rehab was to do a lot of walking, and that evolved into a new-found appreciation of hiking, which has also led to an interest in backpacking.
However, when it comes to backpacking, the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak. I'm still not in nearly good enough shape to do it--oh, I was getting there, but an episode earlier in the summer landed me back in the emergency room and the doc put the brakes on any walking in the heat. Before that I was doing a short trail every weekend and doing a mile-and-a-half every day on my lunch hour. But that was almost three months ago, and it's been so hot that I've gotten lazy and soft again.
A couple of weeks ago, I thought I'd man up and take a 12-mile backpacking trip--it sounded like so much fun, and the trail was rated as fairly easy. However, the combination of 97-degree heat, 90% humidity, and a 37-lb. backpack conspired against me. I had to throw in the towel after only three hours and four miles. A man's got to know his limitations, and well, I ran smack-dab into the middle of mine. The bummer of it was that I thought it would be a piece of cake, and it would be for most people, but I'm not there yet. I was quite disappointed to say the least.
But that doesn't mean I still can't go out and play. I'm just coming off of a long holiday weekend camping trip that was an adventure in extremes--I'll post about it later this week. But lemme tell you, as fun as it was, we were good and ready to get home once it was over.
So the bottom line is, I'm back! Not sure if I'm better than ever, but as big of a pain in the ass as it can be to maintain a blog on a regular basis, I kind of missed it. So I'm sitting down at the keyboard once again, ready to unload whatever nonsense flows out of my brain, and share it with all of you.
I hope that it's been worth the wait.
Posted by Hurricane Mikey at 3:19 PM