Monday, July 28, 2014

The road and the path.

"The mountains are calling and I must go." John Muir

It's right around 0300 (3am) on the day of my WNC trip. I plan on leaving around 0400-0500 ish. I woke up early like I am want to do on days like this. I got as much finished on the truck as I felt comfortable. It's far from complete, I lack the time to try to tackle anything else and be able to make the trip.

The truck is packed, I will say that being just a little more organized makes a difference. I don't have so many bags in the rear of the truck which cuts down on the paranoia of keeping things easily visible from the outside the camper shell. Thinking to what I have packed I think I packed too many books. I brought along a few nursing related text books and 2-3 easier reading books. Perhaps before I leave I'll unload all the easy reading books to force me into a strange bookstore if I stumble across one. This time I did not pay attention to what I'll be reading as I have in the past. I was able to get the rear curtain and velcro of the truck fixed so it won't look completely ramshackle. That caused me a little stress last trip.

I was able to get my action packers into the truck. I wanted to eliminate one of them by making cabinets, it just did not happen. I still have my "Ah shit" box which has tools, jack, jumper cables etc in it. and my "Yum" box which is all kitchen and food type stuff. On the subject of food I still have the old igloo with beer bottle caps sloppily glued to the side of it. I had my eye on a Yeti cooler I just really lack the 200-300 dollars to spend on that just yet. Besides I have plans for the old igloo which consists of sending some good BBQ out to some friends in California, more on that later.

I went through most everything yesterday and tried to make things just "so". There is a forecast for 30-40% chance of rain (much like last year) the exception being that spending 5 dollars in the local army surplus store will save me from the rain this year. I shake my head even now, I swear I without a second thought I do most of my shopping there. I buy pants, shorts and various camping implements from that establishment. sheesh. Instead of making the effort to ride daily I am going to switch sites daily nearly. Ride one day and day hike another. I have my wonderful trail running shoes that more than proved their worth at Yosemite's hiking trails and hell I even dug out my gaiters.

I'm pretty excited about the trip. How I know is that despite taking an ambien I am up SO early. I'm ready for some good quality adventure and alone time. Although I have gotten adventure time lately I have been short on alone time. Yesterday I had about 5 hours of it and while packing the truck, which for that task I needed it because it was a lot of talking to myself and repacking. I look forward to my time in the woods because it gets me back to the basics of life on the trail which I enjoyed so much in Colorado. I ride/hike I come back drink a little beer, eat some dinner, read maybe or if clear enough look at the sky and then fall asleep in the back of the truck.

The alone time is important to me in order to sort my thoughts without something in the background. Whether that is a TV blaring in the background, worrying over the various truck projects, worrying over my mother or older sis, being paranoid about work and school or feeling lonely because I'm seemingly doomed to lack "friendly" female companionship during my time in nursing school or for the rest of my days in Georgia. No matter, alone time cuts down on the chatter and skip cuts in my mind.

I gave myself 45 minutes to write before I left. I'll write when I can once I get back. Thanks for reading.

Monday, July 21, 2014

How I wish I could write like this

Just watched "All is Lost" the opening monologue floored me:

It's sad and mournful. The words make me gasp for the simple reason that I have tried to live my life this way and most times over all...I'm just sorry because for whatever reason I feel like I don't nor will I ever will measure up to the standards I want to live up to either put on myself or by others.

 Obviously being a "Good, kind, man" has it's limitations.

A day of simple frustrations. I got the curtains done for the rear of the truck, it only took a year of waiting to get it done. The internet is good to me at times, it taught me how to use a sewing machine today. Velcro done on rear curtains. I spent a rainy day yesterday actually making sure it would work.

The frustration came from just not knowing what the fuck I am doing with wood working. I spent nearly three hours trying to get the lower chain/tie down storage area squared away. It was suppose to be a simple project. I'm trying not to waste wood and digging around trying to find the right bits and screws. Ended up stripping 3 of my four long screws got stripped then it drizzled. The BIL rolls up and fills me in on a much easier way to do this small part. He was supportive and cool about my obvious mistakes.

I lost it.

Not because of him or at him, just because I'm tired of trying my ass off and getting shit results. I've run out of time. It was my high school wood shop teacher droning in my ears telling me that I am stupid and lacked the common sense to do a big project like this. That I was only able to handle the drill press under very close supervision when we made tables for class. I was permitted to drill 4 decorative holes in a brace for those fucking tables. I hated that damn table.

Wood and tools got thrown, I was within about a few seconds of getting the large sledge hammer and destroying the whole build in the cargo area. BIL got me chilled out, he attached the one piece of wood that needed to be affixed using the 3 unstripped screws. Nearly 3 hours of work done which equates to one 19 inch 2x4 was affixed not by me instead by BIL. Which was all that got done. Oh and I have to buy more wood, construct it all and cover it all with pack cloth.

I put all the shit away and went out to go climbing with a person who is a acquaintance. She's very cute and normally if the wind had not been beaten out of my sails I'd make a play on her. Now I could care less. I have an attractive woman at least speaking to me and I give a rats ass. Poor showing in climbing, have not climbed in months could barely do 5.7's oy vey

nothing like going out and feeling absolutely nothing for someone and not wanting to be there because I know I'll feel more alone later. I went because I knew I needed to get out, I just needed a woman to talk to me to know that maybe I mattered for a few moments in this life.

Now I have to cut my mothers grass tomorrow and run errands. Called mom and told her what she needed to do in order for me to run errands. Which elicits the "I'll do my best" which means little to nothing will be done and it will be a struggle to get errands done at all.

I'm leaving for Western North Carolina early next week no matter what to Tsali for sure other destinations in that area is unknown. I should make an itinerary in case something happens at this point I could care less because despite some glass half full things I'm having some dread hanging over my head. The second semester of nursing school has got me scared...real scared. I did nothing to make it easier this summer I have nothing to show for it because like my high school shop teacher said I'm just a stupid fuck up. I just worked and tried to have fun, mostly being rejected and feeling lonely wishing I was someplace else.

Like the man said up above.

"I'm sorry"

I'll keep going forward becaue I'm too stupid to quit and being a 'good, kind, man' is just not good enough for nearly all single women. Maybe solitude in the WNC mountains will recharge me.  I still have 3 work shifts to get through without serious bureaucratic trouble, injury or death. I'm being dramatic, just tired I suppose.

How I am tired I know full and well. I do not need to re hash it. I also miss my father tremendously. Could always be worse. Goddamn FWP's

Thanks for reading.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Gearing up for Western NC trip

In an effort to show my three readers that I am doing more than moping around and shoegazing  and that I have been productivehere is my summer outdoorsy adventure project. As I stated in an earlier entry this summer's current project is tearing out the jump seats of the truck in the crew area and making it a cargo area, it's been an ongoing thing,  I'm prob about 65% done. I cannot and will not claim credit for getting this far. B.I.L has done a majority of the woodwork in the truck's cargo area.

Although due to a wrong measurement on my part the action packer would not fit into the appropriate area. I drug out all the necessary tools and went to work on this problem. The braying of my jackass 10th grade high school woodshop teacher still ringing in my ears I set to work. It was not that hard it was moving and cutting some wood. Despite the high school shop teachers bias towards me in the past it all went back together correctly with minimal fuss. So FOAD Mr. Z! Now there is room for the action packer, jump bag and map books. I promise pics of this project will come soon.

What that leaves is building the main part of the project is the cabinet on the passengers side behind the passenger seat. Then of course covering all this stuff with the waterproof pack cloth I found at a local fabric store. I can hear someone out there now "Hey dude why don't you just stain all that shit and be done with it?" Well I thought on that and decided that since I am not the best woodworker and that there was going to be mistakes made on this little project that covering it would cover mistakes made and make it look a bit better. Let's face it in many ways I consider my truck home. My putting some durable manly pack waterproof pack cloth over the areas. BIL will help with most of that as well. The truck in the short term smells fantastic, just like fresh cut wood.

With that going on and with the end of July getting ever closer it's time to plan my "sorta annual" trip up to Western North Carolina. Last year was a bit of a disappointment with the near constant rain and being in pretty terrible shape because I was just too lazy to get off of my ass. The upside is that I scared a bear out of camp on my first day and drank copious amounts of beer. This year will hopefully be better, although I am greatly tempted to go to Pisgah and Dupont forests I decided to go 90 minutes or so outside of Asheville to Tsali. I've heard and read a great things about the area. I'll also day hike a small section of the Appalachian trail and poke into The Great Smoky Mountain National Park.Why am I planning so much for the trip? Well, I was really encouraged by my Nor Cal trip. Hiking Misty trail and carrying my buddy's day pack for 3/4 of the hike (which held a USELESS coffee pot and no water purification...sheez k-man!) I did a great deal of walking under gear in Nor Cal with nary a problem. I'll equate that to being in OK shape and having decent footwear.

I'm looking for all my gear which for some reason gets spread all over the damn place. I find it all eventually and add things here and there. This year I decided on a shower:

The reason why is that it's compact and last years dives into cold mountain streams although refreshing and very mountain man like was not as much fun as I would have imagined. I have had experience with solar showers as well, which lacked on the warmth. I've come to the conclusion that when you're on a trip of this nature having a cold washing experience is part of the adventure. I saw this thought it was nifty and was able to find it in a local "outdoors man store"

I was told about this oudoorsman store by BIL. I went a small bit outta my way to one of these such places. It is a slick place and I did find what I was looking for which was the sea to summit pocket shower. I was a bit underwhelmed and overwhelmed at the place. Underwhelmed at the pandering more and more to the "redneck" lifestyle that is being marketed so much here in Georgia. I get it, it's America someone is out to make a dollar and I cannot fault someone for that. Just when I see something like this:

I just tend to shake my head in wonder. It's just that living here and be like that sometimes esp if you do not have the mindset already. Neat clothes sure, I could see myself buying some carhart pants there in the future. Just don't count on me rushing over there to buy realoak well patterned...everything in the future. Anyways the gear is going to be sorted and packed. I reckon I'' leave on a weekday to avoid the weekend crowds up that way in WNC.

That's about it for the moment. Thanks for reading.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Summertime blues

Alright I'm in a funk.

I have not cracked a book for school in weeks. I have not ridden in a couple nor done stairs either. I can point to my California trip and say well that broke the routine, I just won't say that. I am not looking forward to starting back school in the fall because I'm simply terrified of failing the semester like so many other nursing students. I am considering just not going back, not that it will do me any good. I'll still be stuck in my very dead end job.

I have my estranged 2nd older sister in town now which promises to be a headache when dealing with both her and my mother. I'm considering staying in a hotel room for a couple of nights just to avoid that mess and doing some truck camping over the weekend just to stay away from all the drama surrounding her. She comes to town expects us to cater to her every need, stirs the shit and leaves for the southwest from where she came. No one wants trouble because she is here for a week and she is visiting. It takes us months NOT to hear about her trip from Mom after she leaves. I know I am throwing everything on older sister when taking this attitude  This is one of the many reasons I liked living in Denver so much. I never had to deal with my 2nd oldest sister, she never came up because it was "too cold up there". Frankly I can't stand her. She refuses to rent a car when coming for a visit and expects us (really oldest sister because I refuse to do it) to drive her around.

The episode a few years ago when Pop was lying in the hospital post surgery to remove his bladder cancer and suffering really tore it. She insisted I take her to the airport to catch her flight back to the southwest. He was out of surgery for not even a day and having some complications, I could not envision leaving him because of that. I asked her what the rush was and she said she had to get back to her job. Which was like a slap in the face, I had taken 3-4 month leave of absence from work to come back and take care of Pop after his surgery. That trip in fact was a lynchpin in my decision to move back here. I told her that there was no way I was leaving Pop and she could at least stay for a few more days to make sure he got better. In hindsight I should have taken her to the damn airport and be rid of her. She stayed and grumbled the whole time making a tough situation worse.

Dread is the most appropriate word to use when I have to deal with her.   

On top of that I still have not worked my way through the whole dating episode. Nothing like coming back from an awesome trip working a tough job, being totally rejected then dealing with a sister you hardly ever see and cannot stand. I know this is life and how things go I really just am tired of the horse shit. I was looking forward to this summer, I really was now it's just blech. In a few weeks I'll be back in school dealing with a whole set of other problems. I really just need to get away from here and never come back ever again. In short I stay in this moment in time I'm fucked and when I go forward I'm fucked.

I'm being a big cry baby about the whole thing. It's very much a FWP. In fact the video needs a repost just to remind myself to deal with it:

Hey let's try this, I'm not currently having someone trying to dig their nasty fingernails into my arm like at work last week and although I live under two places I do not have to worry about a roof over my head or getting food into my ever expanding middle aged spread. If I wanted to avoid 2nd oldest sister I would have really planned better. Work sucks, it's nearly always sucked and will continue to well....suck. Rejection by an awesome woman nothing new there that shit used to happen a lot to me just not recently, because of the total lack of interesting women here in Georgia at least out west I had a better ratio. I have been alone for a long time and will continue to be alone. So be it. School is tough and it's suppose to be because I am dealing with peoples lives.

I'm tired of writing and complaining. time to deal with it.

Thanks for reading.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Just not good enough.

This is just a starting point, a reminder if you will to myself for my next entry. In this world I tend to get reminded that being a good person is often not the standard most want. The next entry will definitely fall into the "Head full of weird" part of the blog title "Bicycle Of Steel And a Head Full Of Weird" cause man it's going to get way introspective and strange. More later.

A little DenCo sunset time lapse to signify the passage of time. This is the "More Later". I'll start off with a rollins quote to set the proper mood:

“My feelings for you shame me into silence. The truth of this and your name will never be revealed. It is you who has made me realize the failure of my life. The thought of you fills me with longing and at the same time, a burning humiliation that produces scar tissue and dead brain cells. Your existence mocks me and I am unable to confront this. You have no idea of any of this. None of this is your fault. It is completely with me. It is you who makes me see what I really am. I am weak and out of touch with myself.”

In the last few weeks I had gotten to know a woman and we had a couple of dates since I came back from California. I had a lot of hope for her. She is easy on the eyes, tough, smart, has a good eye for photography and close to my age. She's a strong independent woman who stands on her own. I had high hopes indeed and really could see a future with her until what ended up being the end of our second date.

I cannot tell you what it was, in an instant though I realized I got friend zoned without her saying a word. My demeanor towards her changed immediately when I realized I was just spinning my wheels and wasting my time. She and I had talked for a bit before hand about how she was looking for well someone like me a "good, kind man"  who "is very attractive" and has some "super attributes" I doubt the attractive part and waver on the others, hopefully you see my point.

The date ended awkwardly and then I get a text from her trying to explain herself because I preemptively sensed something and probably because I preemptively ended the date. She had to have the last word. I said little which lead to a call today from her with more explanations. My counter to her point of "the chemistry was not there" was simple if it was not there then why talk for so long and go out on a couple of long dates? If I am so great and fit the bill in so many ways why am I on the outside looking in? She could not really answer to those points and repeated herself and further said she felt bad about hurting such a great guy (which I suppose is me) and that I did not deserve this.

Deserve and what happens are two different things.

I told her that like most women I have met since moving back here that she was shallow. In fact since moving back here I have yet to date anyone born and raised in Georgia. Georgia born and raised women are way too high maintenance and vapid for me. I told her if I were just a little bit more attractive, had a little bit more money or my own place that we would not be having this conversation. The funny thing is that she is in the exact same spot I am in life at the moment. Which is going to school middle aged, broke and living with her family.  Naturally she denied this, we both know the truth I could hear it in her voice.

I wished her luck in her endeavors and the strange conversation ended after that. I admit that this little episode stung because I honestly saw something special in this woman and I thought she was beyond such things being close to my own age. She was not and more is the shame I suppose.  

During our conversation she reiterated how good person I was which got me to thinking about the question above:

"How good do you have to be to be considered a good person?"

If I were that good then none of the other shit should matter, that's the way I see it at least. I'm no saint, in fact if there is a christian god then I will certainly go to hell and honestly I'm not that good of a Buddhist.

Giving up a good life in Colorado and moving back to Georgia to take care of elderly parents, taking the reigns to take care of a dying father, giving his eulogy at his funeral, being an EMT, going to nursing school and committing my life to easing the pain and suffering of others well that's just quite not good enough because I don't have the looks or bank account of a fucking male super model. I will go as far to say I could be as enlightened as the Dali Lama and be trapped in this middle aged body and it would still count for shit.

I could spend a few hundred thousand on plastic surgery and a personal trainer and I bet ya I'd get some consideration then wouldn't I? Nice wholesome guys finish last indeed. If I were a goddamn dirt bag with a decent look or bank account then I would not be writing this entry.

Yes, I'm a bit irked at this woman because she had me fooled into thinking that I may have found the one other person in the universe at this point and time that would understand me. We got each other (at least I thought so), somehow I came up lacking because of a genetic predisposition of average or below average looks and the lack of foresight and proper financial planning to have a decent career and bank account. That shit is OK because I am a "good, kind man." having that in my heart should calm me in my nights alone and in my moments of insecurity. It gives me the same thing that having good morals gives me which is fuck all.

Where do I go from here? Well I console myself with this little cliche:

I told this woman that she was a bit of a surprise because I thought and had settled on being alone for the rest of my life that really no woman was out there who I could relate to in the romantic realm. I treat people decently and do what I can for the human race and I continue to get shit on. I truly wonder sometimes if this is the way the world works for everyone else. I doubt it does.

I bear this burden alone because it seems every friend I got that I can count on has moved away or in another state. Old neighborhood friends don't really talk to me anymore for what reason I don't know. I can only surmise that it's because I am single, don't have kids ,lack good looks, don't have a college education and I do not have a decent bank account. I can say that I am no longer home sick for Colorado, just wish like hell that I was no longer here and so alone. The only way to fix that is to get through nursing school get a couple of years of experience and head out west where I belong. I want like hell to be out of here by the time I'm 50. That way maybe I can have a truck, a tiny house, my bicycles and a piece of land to call my own.

Dating sucks, I'm better off alone.

Thanks for reading.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Nor Cal trip

I only have a few minutes to write something quick. First off I apologize for the lack of entries these last few weeks have been busy. I indeed went to Nor Cal for a little over a week. I have a lot of things to share I just have not had time to download all the pics and get my thoughts organized.

Just off the top of my head. I can see WHY so many people want to live there. Stunningly beautiful in any direction you look, the people are way laid back and fantastic, great public transportation, the climate is VERY temperate in the summer and damn Yosemite is just about 3 hrs drive away. I won't be getting overly homesick, because the last time I spent any significant time in California was in Ft. Irwin at NTC which was really no fun from beginning to end. I will be inspired and hope to live in an area like Nor Cal one day. Just amazing.

Thanks to my good friends for putting me up for the week and being friggin awesome! Alright now it's time to pull it together for work which is the exact opposite of Nor Cal. More pics and stories to follow after the fourth of July holiday. Thanks for reading.