I Fell for Fall

People ask, “How was your summer? What ya been up to of late, Dave?”

All I can think to say is,

“Well, I got married, it’s been crazy great.”

“Cool. Well, the bunch of us are all going to Burning Man next week, you should come,”

“I’d love to, but I”ll be married then too,”

“Oh, right on, well, you should totally consider it for next year, there are tons of hot ladies, covered in mud,”

Feeling the need to emphasize the new life I’ve been living, I confess,

“Did I mention we got a new puppy?”

“Holy crap, your life is totally over. Those things don’t run away on their own. Bummer dude. Later … NOT.”

•••

With the Fall comes the realization that summer is over.

It’s been a great year thus far. Our pup Shadow weighs nearly 50-pounds now–halfway to full-grown Malamute. We’ve had the luxury of spending all of our time with her, taking her everywhere we go in hopes she’ll grow to be a well-developed dog that doesn’t pee on your feet when met with a new circumstance.

We’ve taken her on outback hikes in grizzly country, and successfully wrangled her away from moose in our front yard. We’ve danced with her at open-air concerts; and toted her along to various auctions, festivals, farmer’s markets; with hundreds of people and their dogs to bump noses with. She’s endured all-day car rides and daily quick trips to the market and Post Office. She goes with us everywhere; and if she can’t go, we make new plans.

Here are just a few of photos we’ve taken this summer, showing how we spent our Not so Bummer vacation with our little girl who is growing up nicely.

Too bad Burning Man won’t allow dogs–not.

Dragon Tales of Dragging Tail

Today I started once again on the road to better health.

I’ve been known to try crazy diets in the past; or employ ridiculous workout regimes, with hopes to reduce weight fast. Devising a way to negate years of abuse in just one week, why not?. Why lift a 20-pound dumbbell 10-thousand times to gain muscles? Can’t I lift a thousand pounds just once, to make it happen?

Today, as I thought soulful and sincere about my health, I poured the last of the fresh salsa on my cheese enchiladas, which in turn, I topped with fried huevos. Swallowing the last of my second, cauldron-sized Margarita, I pondered, do I lack commitment? Or maybe it’s just my genes.

(Which reminds me, I can’t wear JEANS any more unless they have mom’s elastic in them somewhere. Is that the Guess jean? Guess what my sex is people! Find that genitalia, I dare ya). 

Finally, I thought how cool it would be to have this meal every day … to get up and spank the blender with a slug of tequila; then, eat a giant Mexican platter; and finally, ease into a vigorous exercise routine led by a master teacher–someone engineered from the commingled DNA of Sly Stallone and Richard Simmons–their love-bastard yoga child–as featured on the aerobic crack channel. 

In just seconds a day, without dietary restrictions, you can transform your doughy self into the puff pastry of your choice. BYOOM (Bring Your Own Oven Mitts) ’cause there’s hot buns on the counter. 

So, rather than do anything radical this time, I thought I’d just write an impromptu poem and have a laugh on myself, and the turning of the seasons, while strolling the meandering path to the other side of yon hill.

Anatomy of a down and dirty doodle.
Anatomy of a down and dirty doodle.

(Ah, hem and Ah, hem)

Long ago, in a time that was before what is known as Todayland, lived a man who was me. He/Me/I, was the fairest of his clan, save for the bits of bumps about the zone of his T. A writhing pustule, viral and venomous both, yet bound for hinterlands filled with sweet milk and mayo; and briars most sour and prickled.

The me whom I was, sauntered about aimless–without much care for much more than he, himself, and ISir He-him-i-me therefore he became. The boy without bruise or boggy bowel. Finest of hairs dancing beneath that taut chin. The sinew of a lion, ribbing a young torso–and more so–Sir He-him-i-me bore a box of junk, worthy of worry-free lockerroom banter.

Yet Alas, in the valley of Todayland, it doth seem that this man-o-myself totes but a sick sack of mixed and forgotten nuts, bore rinds, and scuttle flakes.

With autumn comes the withering of knees, among yellowed leaves. Loins that long for leaps of yesteryear, must needs require propping. The tale doth lag, of the tail which drags of the dragon who bloweth smoke, where once a mighty blaze arose.

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Just a moment

Whilst most of Wyoming resembles a Mad Max apocalyptic landscape, the light at dusk–can and does–elevate the typical high-dessert scene to something more warm and inviting … If you take the time to see it.

On this day, our dog Shadow has prompted a quick pull over to pee and ponder the setting sun. Just a few miles from home, and I don’t know if I’ve ever noticed the rusted tin trailer that likely hasn’t had a human inside it in decades. The toppled plastic dinosaur speaks to the fossil futility of its kind’s iconic fall.

Impending rain presses closer to town. Abandoned corrals ebb with ambient movement. The subtle flow of irrigation canals reflect a magic-hour light–which ironically lasts only minutes.

I’ve driven the miles between my small hometown in the Wind River Mountain Range, and the nearest shopping arenas an hour or two away, yet shamefully, have not taken much time to stop and smell the photo-ops.

These are not belabored tripod shots with multi metered exposure readings, bracketed for that perfect calendar page. These are point and shoot hand-held grab shots. Journal entries, representing moments that usually pass me by … or is it the other way around?  I fear  too often it’s the latter.

anal og

I used to write letters with paper, and ink and I’d draw a doodle at the bottom. I’d never see it again once it slid into the metal mail slot.

I made phone calls standing next to the refrigerator, sometimes taking advantage of my proximity to the milk carton, making the best of a long-standing phone conversation, while tethered to a coiled cord on the wall.

I grew up without remote controls. I was the remote control of the family! “David, click the knob back to Hee Haw right now, and wiggle that tin foil … it’s still fuzzy!” 

I read 20-cent comic books which I held in my hand, and I far exceeded the budget of any block buster movie with the special effects of my mind as I read, filling in all the blanks between each text bubble.

Spielberg would likely agree that Hollywood could never equal the power of one’s imagination. Unless we fail to use that grey glob of Industrial Light and Magic between our ears. Unless we get tangled, mixed up, trapped in what we’ve come to call the …

spidey's-web

Despite this truth, I’m still glad you’re here. I’m happy for this technology. I think we’re all stuck with it. But I do miss much of the analog universe I used to live in.

Shadow Dancing

rei·ki •ˈrākē • noun
  1. a healing technique based on the principle that the therapist can channel energy into the patient by means of touch, to activate the natural healing processes of the patient's body and restore physical and emotional well-being.

I knew I needed a serious intention in order to help make this therapy worthwhile. So when the reiki master asked me what MY intent was before beginning the session …  all I could think to say was, “I need to overcome my fear of puppies.”

Here’s the current poop on Shadow the Malamute … she’s still crapping all over my world like an evil, Stephen King-gone-mad, Playdough Factory.

The lacerations about my fingers and arms–in various stages of scabbing over–resemble those of a blind, Ginsu Knife-handmodel–one which never quite cut it well enough to make the midnight infomercial cast.

All we wanted was a tiny bit of Disney to color our average world. To walk into the movie poster–as a couple on a beach, their faithful dog, politely not obscuring the scenic beauty with a pile of feces. Dogs don’t poo in Disney flicks.

Instead, we got an extra anus in the family, to follow us everywhere, wagging its little brown eye with a wry wink and a giddy grin.

Underlying everything I’ve felt the past few weeks, is my classic fear of commitment. Having Shadow in my life, means a loss of freedom; a permanent change of life for at least the next decade or more. No more watering a few plants and shutting the house down for a couple of weeks with no other cares.

So yeah, I went through a pretty crazy stage of Puppypeeinsidehouse syndrom. My precious oak floors; as well as my aloof and flighty lifestyle; were in jeopardy. So I had some energy work done; I built a better fence; I found a tastier chew toy; and we have started to see the joy of having our little Shadow, in our lives.

My little writing buddy.
My little writing buddy.

It is more of a dance, than a walk in the park though. It’s something I’ve almost forgotten how to do … almost. But as I pull dead things from her clinched teeth during our walks; as I fret when she wants to lead me off the curb into traffic or attempts to fly out the truck window on a long drive home, because she sees an antelope a mile away on the prairie; I have to smile and recall the fact that this isn’t my first rodeo with a puppy, nor my first waltz with a wolfy little Malamute.