This morning I left the “yurt colony,” and turned in my key. Now I’m back in the physical world, trying to figure out how I ended up writing about 2000 words less than last time. It’s kinda disappointing, but I still accomplished quite a bit.
One of the problems was that I over-prepared. I had detailed outlines for the next five chapters, which was a good thing, but also went to bed at 9 pm the night before my first day inside the hippie pod.
I was determined to go into it refreshed, and swinging for the fences. I hadn’t had a drop of alcohol in days, in order to have a clear head. It was all far too healthy, and weird.
I turned the lights off at 9:00 that night, and was clear-cutting timber by 9:05. As planned. But at 12:30 I jerked awake, and couldn’t go back to sleep. I wallowed around, trying to find the magic position, but was fully awake with no change in sight.
What the hell, man? Tomorrow’s an important day, and here you are rolling around on a raised platform for hours on end… You’re blowing it, tubby: self-sabotage.
I moved to the couch in the living room, but couldn’t get comfortable there. So I took my pillow and blankie to the family room, and that was a little better. A few times I would start to drift off, and my mind would kick in: GO TO SLEEP! YOU’VE GOT TO GET SOME SLEEP!! And I’d be wide awake again.
Toney got up around 4:30 (she exercises at that time of day, if you can believe it…) and I returned to our bed. Where I konked-out, fully. And when the alarm went off at 7:00, it felt like my brain was swollen and pressing against the inside of my skull.
So, that first day was a struggle. I worked for at least twelve hours, but the words weren’t exactly rocketing off my keyboard. It was like trying to squeeze toofpaste out of an empty tube.
The campground was almost totally abandoned. It was just me, an elderly man and woman in an expensive fifth-wheel, and a holler trash couple in one of the cabins.
The cabin couple had a cocker spaniel with them, even though dogs are not allowed. I took a walk in the afternoon, to get my blood pumping, and the guy tried to hide the hound by moving it behind a picnic table.
I felt like telling him I didn’t care if he had a dog. Heck, I wouldn’t care if he brought in a tiger. What’s it to me? It’s no skin off my scrote.
But he seemed like the kind of guy who angers easily, and speaks this sentence on a regular basis: “Hey, you got some kind of problem, asshole?” So, I just kept walking and said nothing. I was praying the old man and woman in the fifth wheel wouldn’t turn him in; he’d think it had been me, and would probably show up at my roundhouse with a Rambo blade.
I went home around 8:00 that night, had a quick dinner, drank a beer or two, and watched an episode of Prison Break. Normal activities in moderation is better than all that completely foreign goodie-goodie bullshit.
The next day was much better and I wrote some strong stuff (I believe). If every day had been like that one, I’d be celebrating a complete victory today. But, unfortunately, I took things too far. Oh well.
I’m still a big fan of the yurt for writing purposes. It’s completely quiet out there (as long as I go when school is in session), cheap ($33 per day), surprisingly nice, and there’s no internet. The internet is my biggest enemy, I think. The library near our house has wiffy, and I can’t stay off of it. I go there to write, and spend 50% of my time dicking around on the Web. I have no self-control — I mean, look at me.
On Friday evening, after people were getting home from work I guess, the campground started to liven up. It was far from full, but there were probably twenty or twenty-five campers out there. And a metric shitload of hollering kids. Is hollering fun? Apparently it’s nothing short of fantastic.
Toney and the boys came for a visit, and we built a campfire. It was great. We ate dinner, sat around the fire, and had a good time. There was a bit of fall in the air, and it was just a perfect evening.
Then a park ranger stopped by, in his giant SUV, and told us we weren’t allowed to have two vehicles at the site. We’d have to move one to the parking lot, by the front gate. And he wasn’t being very nice about it.
Incredible. The place was about one-third full, most sites were empty, and he was enforcing every little rule down to the letter.
Toney was about to let him have it, we were right on the cusp of a “situation,” but I interrupted and told the guy we’d move one of the cars. I’d had trouble with that asshole before, he’s the type who wants everyone to know who’s in charge. It wouldn’t have ended in our favor, if we’d gone all scorched-earth on him.
Here’s an artist’s rendering of the man. As you can see, he’s quite nondescript.
I’m going back for another session in October, and am still planning to have the book completed by November 1. The first draft, anyway. I’ve allowed it to drag out for far too long, and now’s the time for extreme measures.
Thanks for your patience, during the site’s downtime.
I’ll get back to the “normal” on Monday.
Shiny Rod says
Joey Jo Jo says
“It’s no skin off my scrote.” Love it. May have to start using a feminized version — “It’s no skin off my nipples.” Should raise a few eyebrows, though the impact might be greater if I substituted “labia” instead. We’ll see.
Trisha aka Mrs. Wally says
almost. story of my life…
Thank god. I was having withdraws.
Whew. Glad you’re back.
JR in Sammamish says
Top 10 on a Saturday!
Wasn’t expecting a Saturday update…welcome back!
I might go find me a yurt too if you think it’s all that.
jim britton says
Joe $ says
I have never interacted with a nice Ranger. They always seem to have something to enforce in “their” park.
Jeff et al. – Link I thought you would enjoy…not sure if you have been there, but it is worth a visit.
scary mary says
Love people of walmart.com, try to check it each day.
Brad Mills says
Haha, top twenty.
Swami Bologna says
That drawing of the mean ranger reminds me of the original smoking fish — obviously both were rendered by the same deft hand — and makes me sorta miss the lil’ smoker. (sniff)
Ian the Errolite says
I am in your time zone!
Angie in Japan says
Keep up the hard work, Jeff!
OMG! ….In the top 20! Love you all…peace…out 🙂
I’m looking forward the book. And AngryWhiteGuy is a great “guest host”.
21?! Can’t be.
I’m going to find myself a yurt around these parts. Sounds much better than tent camping.
” . . . trying to figure out how I ended up writing about 2000 words less than last time.”
Maybe you used bigger words this time.
I think you have to be a retired cop to get a job as a ranger, “mobile home” park manager, or self-storage facility manager.
The epitome of the “king of all I can survey” mentality…
I think the lack of alcohol may have lead to the down fall of your first day of writing. After you had those “couple of beers” things apparently picked up and you were able to write again.
How can you go our in the woods during football season? Are you nuts!!! Waite, how can you go out in the woods? And why would you want to? Didn’t you get enough of camping out in the back yard with Bill when you were kids? (with stolen beer and watermelon shots? LOL)
Last but not least, the park ranger looks a lot like the one armed ranger in coonskin!!
Nice to hav e you back!
Alice in WV says
Did the Little Debbie’s help at all?
Yurt yurt yurt. I was eating yogurt in a yert with a muppet named bert.
Mr Lahey, the yurt policeman. Looks more like Randy, though.
White Trash Barbie says
Bryn – I think I would go with “It’s no skin off my hoo ha.”
It’s no circumference off my yurt…
So, you point out the couple who weren’t allowed to have a pet at their site (you said it was nothing to you, but you pointed it out anyway?) and then you cop an attitude because a mountie busts you for having one too many vehicles at your site. Am I not getting something here?
Shiny Rod says
It’s no epidermus off my testical protuberance…
I mentioned the couple with a dog because I was concerned I’d get the blame when the older people turned them in for it. So yes Rusty, you are missing something. Specifically: the point.
Alice in WV says
I see a striking resemblance between the smoking fish and Rambo. and then, scrolling down, Jeff’s drawing of the grumpy park ranger fits in there with them, too.
Well, excuuuusssseee me!
Lee Harvey Ramone says
Woo hoo…..It’s the little things in life, really.
Jeff: I hope you were not burning illegally obtained firewood (collected within the park), or feeding any wildlife. Them power-rangers really don’t like these forms of behavior. It makes their ticket-fingers get all itchy.
The few days without alcohol is what probably kept you up. It’s a depressant and if you had any kind of tolerance built up (heh), your body was wondering whassup. I’ve had the same experience several times after going dry for more than four days.
Next time just wind down with 3, 2, and then 1 beer the night before the yurt expedition – you’ll sleep just fine.
Lee Harvey Ramone says
And when you go back in October, the Ranger will no doubt let you know that there is a hefy fine to pay for supplying cigarettes to the fish within the park.
Lee Harvey Ramone says
That’s right, a hefy fine.
Hey, I know that guy!
Speaking of the smoking fish….
Jeff – has the order of maroon classic smoking fish t-shirts come in? Haven’t heard anything about them….but then again, work has been kicking my ass and cutting into my online social networking, so maybe I missed something.
WTB — “hoo ha” is perfect. The idea is still there but without the revulsion I feel when I hear that other word. Also, I can still be labeled crude or crass, but fewer people will recoil in horror. Thank you.
The Park Rangers here really only hassle you if you look like a holler monster or if you are most likely underage, both counts will get your alcohol confiscated “to be disposed of later” wink, wink, nod,nod. Now if you’re on the water, that’s a whole other set of rules. If you see the water patrol guys, and they’re close enough to make eye contact, prepare to be boarded.