January 23, 2005

stayin’ up all night, playin’ D&D

To my list of things that I can absolutely live without, you can officially add pet hair. My new home has a dog and cat, who both seem to shed at an alarming rate. I’m not allergic to them by any means, so you can just write me off as one of those people who doesn’t like hair in everything.

Perhaps it’s a character weakness, like in Dungeons and Dragons. Maybe your chaotic neutral ranger was strong of body but weak of charisma, and had a face that looked like it lost a fight with a knife drawer. Perhaps your cleric who lacked in strength what she had in wisdom, had to roll a savings throw against a dislocated shoulder whenever she tried to open a door. And your halfling? Well, your halfling may have been clever as all get-out, but he cringed at the sight of wolves, raccoons and squirrels.

I don’t like hair. Actually, I take that back. I like hair. I just like it attached to something, and we have pets that manage to have a lot of hair that isn’t attached to anything. It’s all over the house, and I wouldn’t have so much of a problem with this if it weren’t for the fact that I keep tracking pet hair into my room. Even though I’ve moved my six-foot pile of boxes into the attic, it has since been replaced by a more manageable four-foot pile of stuff. I don’t have a lot of wiggle room in here, so inevitably many things end up on the floor… which, again, wouldn’t be a problem, if only I didn’t already have hair all over my floor.

I swept a few high-traffic rooms in the house, in an effort to stem the relentless tide of pet hair. I swept the kitchen no less than four times, and each time I ended up with a huge pile of hair that could have been glued together to form a whole new animal. I swept the other rooms, the dining room and living room, and stacked up similar piles. Tufts of hair would cut loose on the air currents of my movement every time I walked by them, and they would roll across the floor like horrible tumbleweeds.

Besides that, it’s been an awesome weekend. On Saturday I went for a hike out at Eagle Creek, which I hadn’t revisited since Ryan and I first came out here in March of 2003. I hiked until the trail turned into packed snow and ice, and then turned around because I really wasn’t in the mood for a twisted ankle. If I did wrench my ankle it would have been a long and lonely hike out, followed by a four-hour drive to Parilla’s in Bend, so I could get beer and wraps before going to the emergency room. Because we all know that if we wrench our ankles, we must go out for beer and wraps at Parilla’s before going to the emergency room.

Friday night I saw Oracle Shack at River City Saloon. I talked with the guys quite a bit over setbreak, and then jogged home to grab my saxophone. I got back just as they were starting their second set, warmed myself up, and sat in with them on a couple of songs. They were a blast to jam with; Cameron was super sharp and poppy on the drums, Ryan laid down some really thick, funky bass on a few charts, and the interplay between Noah the guitarist and Gilbert the keyboardist was really tight.

There were a few points where it felt like the five of us really locked together, and we were putting out a pretty sweet mix. The audience totally dug it, and some people accused me of rehearsing with the band during the day. We finally closed the whole thing down around 2:00 in the morning, and I packed up my horn and began the long crawl up the hill back to my home.

Back to my tumbleweed.