Biodegradable Bendy Straws

I'm so disappointed that faceblock/twitter/etc sucked up all the oxygen and made social media easier for the masses, the masses pretty much ruin goddam everything. There is absolutely nothing magical about a 'post'. As forgettable as flannel in a flea market.

I flew to Boise, not having been in a plane for over a year. It was the first time I had flown TSA pre-select, and the altitude and fact that I hadn't had any alcohol in a week made a mess of my head once I got to the hotel, and instead of taking selfies and updating my blog, I curled into a giant migraine and sweated out every profanity I never confessed to Father Conrad, god rest his soul. I slept two hours, tops, and mercifully, had an energy drink to smooth out my laughlines. I got the agenda wrong, and showed up to breakfast an hour early, and of course, the only other conferees who show up THAT early want to talk, and so I listened. 

No one is as smart as everyone.

I shared this quote, some business jargon, to mild applause. It is harder to remember little details; years past I was advised: NOTEPAD NEXT TO NIGHTSTAND, in the hope that my wisdom might manifest mid-sleep, only to disappear if not captured like a lightning bug and smeared bioluminescently onto the pages. But that is too much effort, so I created a mental note. A really random access memory approach, so long as I said the words ‘MENTAL NOTE’ there was at least a remote chance I might remember what there was lodged. It requires its own sort of discipline, mind you, it must be used often or it atrophies.

Now that I travel more, I will find myself in airports and hotels, I need that extra repository (I have a rocketbook, but keep forgettin my frixion pens).

And I keep forgetting my name.

My longstanding nightmare of leaky roofs came true, and on top of pouring a new concrete patio and repairing said leaky roof, we have an entire wall coming down around us to replace everything that rotted. My daughter moved out into the firefighter recruit house and I see her once a week to hear stories and be privately depressed. 

I also had a misophonic breakdown, and have come to find that there is no solution to the madness brought about by our barking dog. Sweet as he is, I harbor terrible fantasies of revenge when no one is around, it led to a two day fight with no winners. I, shamefully, broke under the pressure and bought a bottle of wine at the GAS STATION when no one was looking. Later, it was noted that I was in a much cheerier mood, which was interpreted to mean that I was regretful for my previous outburst. OUTRIGHT CALUMNY. 

It just didn't hurt so much. For however brief a moment.

Mental Note - Biodegradable Bendy Straws

November 20, 2022


Among the missing chapters in the guide to taking in strays is the one about faraway stares. Even if you saved the poor thing from being destroyed and in spite of all the sincere gratitude they might lay at your feet, and silent, grateful sleep at the foot of your bed, they cannot help being drawn to the voices of laughing children. They linger as you tug at the new leash tied to a new collar bearing a nametag with a new, unfamiliar name. They stare off into faraway memories and fleeting familiarity. You wonder if you can give yourself entirely.

Last year, I was going to hike every weekend and run every other day and made a broken promise and sealed it with a broken leg. I made the same promise this year and took a new job, breaking everything again. I am at the pinnacle of human office shape, meaning my hands are lean and sinewy from doctor unrecommended words per minute strenuosity, and the rest of me is 100% carpet pad. I am supposed to go hiking with 3 out of the 6 of you who still visit this site and I will be there, but late and more than likely high as a kite. 

It has been a lonely, lonely summer. The nuclear part of my family left on its annual fissionary expedition, so my days are for the dogs, and all these hopes of making new adult friends in our new neighborhood are broken on the rocks.

One of the appeals of adulthood, at least how it seemed to me growing up, was that your parents always seemed a carousel of adult visitors with decks of cards and carafes of wine. There is still a part of me that thinks I will yet find myself around a raymond carver told table with other adults talking about love and sex and vices while the opposite spouses touch their toes to the others' knees. But if I am honest, I have to admit I am already much older than my parents were in 1982, so I guess I will have to settle for consoling abandoned puppies. Maybe we can stare off together into a shared distance.


Dave2 said…
Or... OR... harken back even further to those adult gatherings of the 1960's, then gather up the local bitches and have a key party for your dogs. But without the keys because dogs don't drive cars. That would just be silly.
Claire said…

I know what you mean about how adulthood seemed growing up.... social, interactive...

I actually interact less with people now than I did when I was in school, which wasn't much to begin with.

The difference now is that I don't mind much. Hanging out with just anyone for the sake of hanging out isn't my introvert thing. Too bad we aren't in the same quadrant though...
Brandon said…
dave thanks for reminding me that owning two dogs is essentially like hosting a nonstop key party.

claire, i don't even know what quadrant you're in. sadly, with the travel i do, it's likely we have shared quadrants and not known it. i hear you on the introversion, though.
scott said…
I don't know that I've ever witnessed the practice of actual adulthood. I'm not sure it exists.

Hello, Brando[n].
Brandon said…
scott, i think it's mostly practice. but few people actually make it as professionals.
Having housed a few strays in my day, I can honestly say that I prefer dogs to most humans, adult or otherwise. They're automatically grateful for even small things and the bitches almost all seem less bitchy than some of their human contemporaries.
Brandon said…
not only do dogs seem grateful for small things, they seem genuinely unimpressed with big expensive things. but you can't marry them, so it's not all good news.
eclectic said…
My stupid face won't stop grinning today, although your puppehs' pensive little faces are breaking my heart at least a little bit. BUT: dogs aren't allowed on the trail, and box wine and everclear ARE, so clearly, grinning is the appropriate response. Hiking, drinking... it's all the same when box wine and everclear are involved.
S P said…
You're lucky you can have dogs where you live. I suppose I'm assuming you're renting since buying in this high-priced gridlock is practically impossible for those who work in academia (believe me I know-I'm at UW). Counting me, I guess, we are seven... still read your blog.
matt said…
I'd rather keep company with dogs than dwarves, I think. Which is to say: Drunky, Stumpy, and Humpy don't live near you, do they?

(Life is made for broken promises, maybe. You still made it - both up and down - and in good time, so I refuse to buy that whole "I'm in terrible shape" crap.)

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