Today was definitely mail day. I swear those sorting ogres sit on this stuff in their post office caves, and every fortnight a band of elves has to be dispatched to slay their filthy hides and retrieve my subscription renewals to Outside, Smithsonian and Euro Trash Monthly.
It was all good stuff this time around, though. I received a magazine from my auto insurance company, which is always comforting. It had a child on the front cover, no doubt a ploy to make me think of my own children and buy insurance for them, too. Like I’d ever do something like that. I mean, if I had kids I’d probably get them caught in my garage door, or hit them with my car, and then my insurance company would be all trying to get money from my insurance company and that’d be a huge mess with me caught in the middle with a garage door knocked off its track. Too much hassle.
My credit card bill arrived as well, with the charge for my electric bass and amplifier. I also got my tax return today (more than 1,100 smackers), which was a welcome windfall as I need to pay for food, bass, amp, car insurance, utilities, cell, and my rental company’s own incompetency. They lost my rent check last month (this is the second time they’ve done something of the sort and they deny it wholeheartedly, of course) and posted a strongly worded resolution that resembled an eviction notice.
I had to stop payment on the old check (which cost me $25) and issue them a new one, which they greedily snapped from my roommate’s hands with their slimy tentacles. They were kind enough to waive their $xx.xx “late payment” fee, but were not kind enough to waive the $75 “non-compliance” fee. Thanks for the love, guys. If this happens again, you can be sure that you’ll receive more checks with skulls scribbled in the memo area.
I also received a letter from my best friend Mark, who will be moving out to Washington for the summer to work at an internship building biodegradable nuclear reactors, or radioactive windmills, or something cool like that. We’re going to the String Cheese Incident festival at Horning’s Hideout next month, and we’re totally stoked. As it turns out, the fellow who is living in my old room up in Hood River is a huge jam music fan as well, and with his crew he’ll be hosting a few shindigs at Horning’s that weekend. Rock.
Most importantly, today I received an invitation to my friend Chris’ wedding, who will be married to the lovely Barbara this July in Iowa. Chris was the svelte Apple geek of our Nerd Herd, a biology genius and a fellow champion of the bastu, and he’s the first person among my misfit group of friends to go ahead and tie the knot. I’m excited for their wedding, for the reception, for the drunken spastic dancing that is bound to occur when we spin all the Nerds back together again. I’m also looking forward to seeing my old stomping grounds, kickin’ around in Minnesota, catching up with old friends, diving into Lake Superior, sipping a brew at Sir Ben’s, making a cameo appearance at Camp Ihduhapi, etc. Time to get on that ol’ jetliner, again.
I haven’t seen home since September, and while I miss just about everything about it, Oregon has been seeping deep into my soul for the last eight months. There is so much of me still back in the Midwest, and there always will be. At the same time I find my West Coast existence slowly fleshing out, synchronizing itself with my previous lives.
In the Midwest I played the roles of camp counselor, Kentucky essay grader, windsurfing director, photographer, humor writer, jazz monger and Phish tourist. I’m still finding my place out here, but so far it has involved windsurfing gearhead, webmaster, Sambaist, kiteboarder, mountaineer, snowboard instructor, cripple, web designer, blogger, rock climber and mountain biker. That, and so much more that can’t even be categorized.
I do know this, though: Give me some crayons and I can draw a mean Tyrannosaurus Rex with a chainsaw.