Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Good music goes a long way

The last few weeks, the responsible Mr. Matthew. D. Ohl** has been waging a full scale war of attrition on the car-bomb-drinking, bluegrass-dancing, backseat-of-the-Cutlass-drunken-sleeping, dead-end-job-working, purple-wig-wearing, every six-month moving person known in various geographic regions as "The Governor," "The Mother," "The Conqueror, and "Ranger Babyface." But the alter-egos of Mr. Responsible are holding their own. Obviously I am having some sort of early-life crisis. As much as I have tried to avoid it, I think that I have finally woken up to the fact that perhaps I should do a bit more planning for some sort of a career. More details on this raging battle will be forthcoming once one side gets an upper hand on the other.

In the meantime, I have found good music a must for maintaining my sanity on a daily basis. My current favorite has been provided via a good old mix tape given to my bro by a co-worker. I figured it is fair game to "borrow" things belonging to family members if they are out of the country for the near future (thanks Bri). On said tape is a song I consider to epitomize a nearly perfect bluegrass song. The artist is Old Crow Medicine Show and the song is Wagon Wheel. The song has great twang, appropriately interesting and folksy lyrics, a danceable beat, and good musicianship. It puts me in a good mood, and like a security blanket reminds me that "everything will be alright." Thanks Old Crow Medicine Show.

Responsibility vs...

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Rural fun

The third weekend of October brings in the opening weekend of pheasant hunting in SD. One of SD's few claims to fame (besides dead white guys on a mountain) is fantastic pheasant hunting. Pheasant hunting is a lot of fun. You can't start hunting until noon, you get to walk a lot, you are actually supposed to be noisy, and pheasants are darn good eatin.' Plus, you get to hang out on a ranch for three days. To make it even better, the owner of the ranch is nicknamed "Tex" for good reason. This is seriously rural, I even slept in the bunkhouse. The hunting wasn't that great this year, but still a lot of fun. One highlight of the weekend is the soup feed put on by the Hamil riding club. The feed takes place in the community center which was made of what looks like a giant stainless steel culvert cut in half lengthwise and placed on the ground. The whole thing is big enough to accommodate a basketball court and kitchen. Everyone from miles around shows up to support the riding club. There were more cowboys and cowgirls than you could shake a stick at. In the central part of the state, where Hamil is located, the family farm/ranch still abounds. The soup feed made this readily apparent. It was a good feeling to see this part of America alive and well. Of course, most of the people there are highly subsidized by the feds, but on the flip side it's easy to see that they still have an uphill battle to scrape together a living off the land. If I had a hat on, I would tip it to them.

Friday, October 19, 2007

My haircutting place has a myspace page

I got my hair cut today at a place in RC called the Factory. It is a very eclectic hole in the wall place. It's even hard to find. There is very little street front signage compared to the glaring awnings and sandwich boards of the nearby stores. I've been to this place about five times now, it has gotten trendier each time I've been there. Not trendy in the frat boy sense, but trendy in the hip, urban sense. The place even has their own DJ, not to mention its own myspace page. I really like going there, its like an adventure. I never know what it's going to be like. For instance, the last time I went, I had a serious conversation with Dawn, the person who cuts my hair, about getting some red highlights. At least I acted serious. She brought the subject up today, but I convinced her that my money would be better spent getting a new tattoo - an idea she wholeheartedly supported. Plus, my hair looks different each time I leave. It always manages to find its way back to the good old usual way I have it, but for an afternoon I'm a rockstar. Getting a haircut is also relaxing. The chairs go up and down, you get to wear a poncho, and people regularly run with scissors. What's not to like? Now if I could just get my hair to grow faster.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Pro and Cons

Whenever I find myself at a transition point, usually in the shoulder seasons of spring and fall, I often have a lot of time on my hands and a long mental list of things to accomplish. The problem is that items on my mental list come and go without always being accomplished. Knowing this, the struggle to keep them on the mental list before they escape can produce the illusion that I have much more to do than I really do. Enter the paper new best friend. I'm carrying around my new best friend in my pocket right now. According to Herb (my current list's name) I still have to:
1. Drink the rest of my latte (Herb is a stickler for details)
2. Get an idea of the cost of plane tickets to Chile
3. Run
4. Get the slow leak in my tire fixed

The thing about lists, is that if I write something down a) I don't have to worry about remembering it, and b) I usually accomplish the tasks because I wrote them down, thus making them seem more important.

All of my lists, of which there have been many, are inspired by the be all end all of lists that my sister and I concocted one summer. We were both home for the summer and had many things we wanted to do together that we had talked about doing for several years but had not accomplished. We titled the list "The Summer of George" after a Seinfeld episode in which George was going to do all the things he always wanted to do. The list took form on a giant poster board, keenly decorated by my younger sibling. I think the size really helped drive home the urgency of crossing off its items. Needless to say, we had a great summer thanks to the giant list hung on the wall.

A form of list that I have grown fond of over the years is the pro and con list. I have found it invaluable in making decisions. As an ode to the pro and con list...

Pros of being at home in RC: leftovers, Onyx the dog, Fox the cat, no rent, sweet AV system

Cons of being at home in RC: too much time to reflect on being at home, the subtle hints about good life decisions, Miller Genuine Draft Lite in the fridge

My latte is almost gone. Herbs usefulness is waning...

Monday, October 15, 2007

Like the Plague

Since my last post I have been extremely busy avoiding the reality of living in my parents' house in good ol' RC SD. I left the Tower for my final time early the morning of Sept. 29 and drove to RC. Upon arrival I went through a typical Ohlen last-second packing frenzy getting ready for an 8 day fly fishing trip to Yellowstone. I then jumped in the car with an uncle and drove to Bozeman to start fishing the Madison the following day. The next eight days were great. They included...
1. Big browns on dries
2. A 30+ fish day
3. Drinking with the patriarchs of the fam
4. Being the baddest-ass fishermen on the river (or the only ones dumb enough to fish for six hours in a snow storm)
5. Wolves running, wolves howling, bears eating, elk bugling
6. My favorite hot springs in the world
7. Eating corn dogs and rootbeer shakes at a genuine drive-in
8. Lots of "Extreme Hunter" two-gun action at the K-Bar in Gardner, MT

After getting back to RC I assisted my brother in preparing for his winter in S. America. By "assisting" I mean laying around watching Lord of the Rings while giving him advice on packing. He and I also managed to get in a good day of climbing and a night on the town. The average bar patron in RC can be found under the Webster's definition for "tool shed" but we had fun whispering about them and generally feeling superior. Then, since I am unemployed, I volunteered to drive him to Denver to fly out. He flew out on Sat. and I hung out with my aunt and uncle for a day then decided to drive to Gunnison, CO, where I am right now, to talk to a man about a job. I'm heading back to SD tomorrow. It will be a long haul, but it wouldn't offseason without at least one ridiculously long drive.

Fortunately, I do not have to return to RC, SD with no prospect of leaving. Before leaving to Denver I was offered a job in Telluride, CO. I am super excited to have that opportunity. I am also eying an NPS job in Gunnison, CO though the chances of that are slim. I feel like I should pursue the NPS job (hence my presence in Gunnison) for career purposes, but deep down I really just want to play in the snow this winter in Telluride.