offline pursuits

I promised awhile ago that I'd put up pictures from the Day of the American Cowboy parade a few weeks ago.  They've been up on Flickr for awhile, but I'm finally posting one here.  Here is the clan from one local ranch with their float–and yes, they do have a keg and they're handing out beer.  They were by far the most popular entry in the parade. . . nobody even minded that they were holding up the other floats.

I spent the weekend much as planned, attending various social events (Friends of the Library barbeque Saturday night; dinner party up the Wood River last night) and hanging out with Jim, who left today on a six-week vacation.  He gets free rent in exchange for doing a lot of work on the house he lives in, but part of the deal is that he clears out when the owner shows up for her vacation.  I am trying very hard not to think about the fact that I will never get another six week vacation.  It's a point of pride with me that I made it through the first 30 years of my life without ever having a full-time job, but grim reality is setting in now.

I did slip out for a hike this afternoon/evening, though.  After a day of working at the computer at home (the library is closed for cleaning), with no patrons to interrupt me, I was going stir crazy, and one of the good things about living here is that in under an hour I can be in the Shoshone National Forest, far from the reaches of almost anything–well, except bears and wolves and so forth.  But that's different.

Read and post comments

QotD: Weekend Goal

What's one thing that you'd like to get done this weekend? Is there anything holding you back?

Ha!  There's absolutely nothing I plan to get done this weekend.  Tomorrow I'm going to the Friends of the Library barbeque and Sunday night I'm going to a dinner party.  Otherwise, I'm just bumming around, cooking some things (I made custard for Jim, since he's refinishing two of my tables. . . it doesn't quite seem like a fair trade), reading, and maybe going to the resevoir or going hiking.  Or both.

Some days I lead such a disgustingly nice life I can hardly stand it.

Read and post comments

QotD: Can you hear me now?

What's your cell phone's ringtone? What made you pick it?

Ha!  I haven't had a cell phone since February, when I moved to rural Wyoming, where, at least with Cingular, I'd have to drive 30 miles to be able to use my phone.  I relied on it when I lived in the suburbs with my grandmother, because a) I spent a lot of time in the car, and, thanks to the wonders of headsets, that was my best time for talking to people, b) I was almost never at home, and c) my grandmother has many wonderful qualities, but message taking is not one of them.

I always used normal phone rings for my cell phone.  Well, I did at one point have a few funky themes picked out, one for my then boyfriend and a couple for other close friends, but I could rarely tell them apart.

Tomorrow I think I'm going to venture into the wild world of caller ID.  I get it free with my pricey high speed internet connection (all telecommunications out here cost a fortune–it's $45/month just to have a landline), but I don't have a phone with caller ID or a caller ID box.  My old phone seems to be dying, though, so it may be time to venture forth into the brave new world of knowing who's calling before I pick up.

Read and post comments | Send to a friend

QotD: Sugar, Sugar

What was your favorite candy when you were a kid? How does that compare to now?

My father kept a jar of peppermints and lemondrops in the car at all times.  It was a compact Plymoth station wagon, and in preschool, my best friend and I were allowed to ride in the way back, which is, of course, way cooler than any other location in the car (and this was before the days of childseats for children larger than infants), and we were allowed to eat as many peppermints and lemondrops as we wanted.  All these rules were of course suspended when my mother was driving, when we sat in the backseat and pretended to be watching movies on imaginary pull-down screens.  The movies were actually quite magical–you could watch a movie of anything you wanted–kittens, your last vacation, Oz, you name it.

I've never been much of a candy eater, now or then, but peppermints and lemondrops are still probably my favorites (truffles, I think, don't exactly qualify as candy).

I seem to be writing a great deal about my father here of late.  I'm not sure what's up with that.  In a couple of weeks, it will be twenty-five years since he died, so perhaps our culture's fetishization of anniversaries is having some subliminal effect on me.

On an unrelated note, is anyone else having difficulties with the drop-down menus on Vox?  I searched the help sections and sent them a note the other day.  Basically, I can't change who can see my posts because when I click on the drop-down boxes, I get no options, so they're all friends-only.  I appreciate the option of exclusivity, but I'm not trying to be exclusive all the time.

Read and post comments

horseback

As promised, here's a picture of me on Baby, the palomino, from my horseback riding excursion with my friends Shane and Tiffany the weekend before last.  I had not been on a horse since I was six, so we only rode for about an hour.  I was somewhat sore the next day, but not too bad.

This weekend Jim and my friend Edie and I took what turned out to be a 13 mile hike (we had been planning on a 7-8 mile loop) up the South Fork of the Wood River and Chimney Creek.  The next day I woke up and thought, "I could do that again"–or at least, "I could do that again if it weren't so freaking hot."  I must be getting stronger, though, because a couple months ago 8 miles left me totally whupped. 

Read and post comments

QotD: Scents & Sensibilities

What's the strongest association you have between a scent and a memory?

My father was a pipe smoker.  The photo of him which you can sort of see in this double portrait I took today was taken I believe right around the time my parents were married, six years before I was born, but he looked pretty much exactly like that for the whole time I knew him.

He always wore long pants (even to play tennis) and usually a tie and jacket, he often wore a hat, and he always, always had his pipe in his mouth, or near at hand.

When I was 12 and we were moving, my mother tried to throw out all of my father's old pipes, but I wouldn't let her.  They're still around somewhere, probably in my mom's basement.  I've never done anything with them, because of course they smell terrible–like old, stale smoked tobacco.  They belonged to my father, but they aren't him at all. 

I've never been a smoker, and I generally try to avoid really smoky places unless there's some compelling reason, like good music, to enter them.  But if I smell even the faintest whiff of pipe smoke, I'll follow it.  I'll follow until I find the source, and of course it's never my father, either, even though it smells like him.  But I keep following, perhaps as a result of reading Nabakov–"the following of such thematic designs through one's life should be, I think, the true purpose of autobiography"–and perhaps just out of hope.

Read and post comments