Thursday, March 07, 2013

Cryin' Won't Help You, Prayin' Won't Do You No Good

I promised myself that no matter how busy I was today, that I'd get a blog post up at some point.  I wish I had something good in the 'draft' file, but the cupboard has been bare for some time.

However, that is about to change because lately the Muse has been singing her heart out. But I've been away from the computer for most of the week.  The other night I was killin' time in a coffee shop and ideas just started gushing so fast that I couldn't keep up.  Of course I didn't have my laptop with me, but I had a legal pad in my backpack and got two pages worth of scribbling done.  No coherent stories, but lots of ideas, a few smart turns of a phrase, and an overall vision for what I wanted to do.

And I realized that I actually have to write TWO books, not just one.  I had a flash of inspiration while reading one of my 'how-to' writing books, and everything just clicked.  Had I not been in public I would've just turned on the voice recorder, like a songwriter, and let 'er rip.  But I got some words on paper and we'll see where they take me over the next few months.

In the meantime, the chores of daily life continue apace.  I was actually off today, but I'm at the tail-end of a 20+ item to-do list, and I've got two hours till the next place I have to be.  So I'm holed up at a corner table at the Panera Bread in Brentwood, fully aware of the envious glances cast my way from those who would colonize the electrical outlet where the Hurricane Mikey flag is currently planted.

I got out of the house early today, hit the bank and the grocery store, then had my emissions check done on the Challenger.  After that I took a nice drive over to my favorite little town, Gallatin, to renew my tags.  Unlike the DMV in Henderson, where it is not only an all-day affair, they never even gave me a reach-around for the $900 a year I paid for the privilege of driving my truck on Nevada's roadways.  Here, I pull up to the drive through window--that had no line--gave the nice lady $75, and my car is fully legal once again to flex it's muscle on the back roads and freeways of Tennessee.

Once that chore was done, I drove over to the Dodge dealer to get the last of my severely-discounted oil changes and the 20,000 mile look-see.  Except for the huge pile of crusty bird poop on the satellite antenna, everything was in mint condition and the total cost of the check-up was about twelve bucks.  I was done much earlier than expected, and all of my automotive chores that I'd budgeted four hours for were finished inside of one.  What was I to do?  I had all kinds of time to kill.

So I drove down to Opry Mills and caught an early matinee of Silver Linings Playbook.  I'd been wanting to see it, but just never had the time until now.  And while I wasn't quite sure what to expect, I enjoyed it a lot more than I thought I would.  (It's always risky when the only people who recommend seeing it are women... I'm never quite sure if I'm gonna get suckered into a romantic comedy or costume drama).

After the movie, I got a bit of exercise by walking just over a mile around the mall.  I ended up at Bass Pro Shop, where I picked up some synthetic clothes for backpacking.  I've needed a long-sleeve shirt forever, because it seems that it's always too cold for a short sleeve t-shirt, but much too warm for a fleece jacket.  And I also got some convertible pants (the legs zip off and turn into cargo shorts), but the more I think about it, the more I realize that synthetic convertible pants are direct descendents of those silly zipper-covered parachute pants we all wore in the 80s.  And while I was tempted to go full-on MTV style and get the black ones, I went with a respectable and trail-friendly olive green instead.

The best part of the whole shopping experience was the simple fact that I didn't have to go to the Big & Tall store to buy new clothes.  Yes my friends, while I still have a way to go, I know longer have to give the rip-off artists at Casual Male and King Size Men another dollar.  I can now shop amongst the 'normal' folks.  And I can't believe how CHEAP clothes are for skinny people.  I was disciplined and only got a couple of things, but it was actually enjoyable to try on new clothes.  It was a momentous day for sure, and that's an essay for another day, too.

I was planning on going to Costco and picking up some non-perishables, but the check I deposited at the bank was larger-than-usual, so they put a 24-hour hold on my money, only letting me walk with two hundy.  So the Costco excursion has been delayed until further notice. 

I have another Meetup Group gathering to attend this evening, tonight it's the Tennessee Backpacker's Meetup.  It's not until 6:30, and it's way down here on the south side of town, so that's why I'm parked at Panera Bread this afternoon.  It's just not worth driving home thirty miles and then trying to come back through downtown in the height of rush hour.   So I'm kickin' it here enjoying half a steak and mushroom panini and getting full on iced-tea refills.

Tonight's meetup should be an interesting one--we're all bringing our trail stoves and cooksets to compare and compete.  Word around the campfire is that there is a contest to see who can boil water the fastest, but I'm more interested in finding decent meals I can pack that won't make me sick, but will still get me the nutrients I need.  I usually take in about 500-1000 calories a day, total, and when backpacking you burn about 8000 calories a day.  So I have a few more challenges ahead of me.  But I guess the takeaway is that if you really want to lose weight, just strap on a 35 lb backpack and walk 12 miles a day up and down hills...

I'm really liking these Meetup groups I'm a part of.  The writers groups are absolutely fantastic, it's like drinking from a firehose of knowledge and experience.  The hiking groups aren't quite as enjoyable as I'd hoped, only because of the subconscious competition that seems to go on whenever I go on a group hike.  Everyone wants to be the Alpha, and everyone wants to be the fastest. 

Not. For. Me.

I haven't given up on 'em yet, but I've scaled back on signing up for trips.  My new thing is to find out which trails they're doing, and then just go on them by myself at a different time. 

Regardless of the Meetup groups scheduling, I've still got three overnight trips planned between now and the end of April, and then at the end of May, I'm going to hike most of the Georgia portion of the Appalachian Trail with a friend of mine for about eight days.  At least that's the plan right now. Gonna go from Springer Mountain to Hiawassee, which off the top of my head I believe is around 65 miles.  That'll tell me what I'm made of.

If I don't find any inspiration, at least I'll have something to bitch about.



Vegas Linda Lou said...

Oh, Mikey, I am so freakin' proud of you!!

norm said...

Way to go Mikey, keep on trucking with the health and plan to walk the AT.
I would like a "fiction" book from you on the poker scene in Lost Wages!