Wednesday, March 7, 2012

90 feet to salvation.

I recently started attending the church of my youth again. Every Sunday, as devoutly as the Pope. 

However, no one there wears a robe. The steeples are foul poles, and the alter is 60 feet 6 inches long. Communion is taken in the dugout, and the only hymns are sung by maple and ash. There is no confessional booth. Nor is there need for one. There is only a batter's box where all your of failures and triumphs will be laid out for the world to bare witness. And it's only 90 feet to salvation.

I love baseball

Anyone who knows me is well aware that I love baseball. I can't rattle stats off the top of my head, and I am not a huge fan of sabermetrics. In fact, I'm not even sure what WAR is other than it stands for Wins Above Replacement. So I guess I'm considered "old school" even though I'm only 27. But baseball is the only thing I consider myself truly passionate about. Sure, I go though times when fly fishing is just about the only thing on my mind, and hockey takes up a lot of my time from October through June, but baseball is still king.

Anyone that knows me is also undoubtedly aware that I have recently started playing baseball again, because I talk about it constantly. My apologies, I am just very excited. For me, it's like getting a second chance with 'the one that got away'.

Now in all honesty, I was a pretty good ball player when I was younger. However, I have no delusions that I ever would have had any sort of career in baseball. If I really would have worked my ass off in high school, maybe I could have played in junior college. Maybe. As it is, I have no regrets about hanging my cleats up when I did, and I actually did it on one of the few pieces of good advice my old man gave me. He told me, "Baseball is supposed to be fun. If it ever starts to feel like a chore, you shouldn't be playing anymore."

That being said, I had no idea how much I missed it until I got on the diamond again. I missed all of it. The smell of it, the feel of, the ritual of it. Turning a dozen double plays in practice to make sure everyone knows where they should be and what they should be doing. Time slowing when it's your turn to take a grounder. Square up. Soft hands. Pivot. Plant. Release. I missed the 100's of tiny intricacies that go into every play that end up winning you or costing you games. I missed all of it.

Now it's time to get to work and get my game back. And there sure is a lot of work to be done, but there is nothing quite as satisfying as earning your salvation 90 feet at a time.

I love baseball.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Virgil Versus the Toyota

Let me tell you a story. This story has been a few months in the making, but the important parts all happened within the past week.

After looking for a Tacoma for months, and getting hosed yet again after driving all the was out to Fallon, I thought to myself,  "Self, I'm looking for a Toyota, so why don't I just go down to the Toyota dealership? Brilliant!" So on Saturday morning, down to Reno Toyota I went. On Saturday afternoon I came home with a 2010 Tacoma... and with very little idea how I was going to come up with the rest of the down payment and still have enough money to get it insured and registered. Well, that's enough in its own right to cause stress, but here comes the good part.

Yesterday while leaving the grocery store (after stocking up on tuna and all the other poor bachelor essentials) I stall my new truck. No big deal. Happens all the time since I am still terrible at driving stick. So I push the clutch in, turn the key and prepare to probably stall it again at least once more before I'm on my embarrassed and merry way. Only this time my sweet new(ish) sound system is accompanied by a strange clicking noise instead of the soothing purr of a soon-to-be-dead-again engine. Shit. I hop out and push my new truck out of the way since I had managed to almost make it out of the parking lot before stalling. Luckily a random stranger, Robert I believe, was there to lend a helping hand and give me a jump start and I was (surprisingly) able to make it home without stalling again.

Fast forward to this moning. I go out to my truck, hop in, say a little prayer to a god I don't believe in, push in the clutch, turn the key, and... SUCCESS!! "Killer," I think to myself. So I go back inside and get ready for work. 15 minutes later and I'm looking as dapper as every other corporate smuck who wears a tie to work, but hey, those fat cats are paying for this awesome truck so who cares, right?! Anyway, I hop in my awesome new corporate sponsored truck and get ready to take off in a whirlwind of masculinity... and then promptly stall. Well, maybe I'll try to be a little less masculine about it this time. Push in the clutch, turn the key, and.... ClickClickClickClickClickClickClick. GOD DAMNIT!!

So my new truck has now been towed down at the Toyota dealership, and I am walking to work for at least another day. You win this round, Toyota.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Devils in the Dust

Some people will say that the desert is a haunted place. They are mostly right. However, the devils in the desert are not the kind that lay hidden in the sage, waiting for some lost soul to stumble upon them. No, these devils are yours alone. The alkali wind stirs them and draws them to the surface like the sweat on your brow. The desert is as haunted as you are. And we are all haunted.

I've known about these devils since a young age, and they are what draw me into the hills, and valleys, and mesas, and solitude of the desert. It's the only fitting battle ground to have it out with these sonsabitches. With the distractions of city life these devils can hide and disguise themselves as things you think are important. But not in the desert. The openness brings them into sharp focus. Scalpel sharp. And once the bastards have finally shown themselves, it's up to you to put the boots to them and leave them on the prairie where they belong.

Not every battle is won, and sometimes you and that devil have to help each other limp back into civilization to nurse your wounds. And not every trip into the sage is a battle, but there are quite a few devils out there.

I have left my fair share of devils in the dust, and lord knows I still have a few to go.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Plans are for the weak.

The thing I've learned about making plans over the years is that there's always a reasonable chance that they will awry. This is why I generally try to avoid making them, and this past week has been a good reminder of that for me.

Avidly refusing to make plans was a tenet of my life for a long time, and led to some of my best times. Somewhere along the line, I had lost that. But no more, my friends. Everything that has happened in the past few weeks has reminded me the value of being flexible, and I am once again limber.

Change is key. There is nothing exciting about sediment. The excitement is in the motion. These are things I learned years ago.. and relearned in the past few days. I finally feel really, truly free for the first time in years.

I understand that it is still necessary to be somewhat responsible, but that is no excuse to lose our sense of adventure. Join me for a summer of fun, and let's fight off becoming jaded old assholes for another year.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

This is the start of something... well... we'll just leave it at that.

Well, I guess I'll give this blog thing another go. I had one once, but it was pretty terrible, and I think I only posted to it two or three times. Anyway, on to (hopefully) bigger and better things...

This past year has been... tumultuous, to say the least. Divorce, death, heart ache, and an uncertain future have had me thinking a lot over the past twelve months or so. The point of this blog is not to bitch and moan about all that bullshit (this isn't livejournal, you goddamn squares), but it was born out of that bullshit. I've realized that I've changed a lot over the past few years. By social standards I suppose it would appear to be for the best. I have a steady job, I make good money, and I stay out of trouble. But truthfully I just feel bored. And boring.

There was a point in my life were I made rash decisions on what seemed like a weekly basis. Once a friend floated the idea over a bottle of scotch to cut to South America for three months. Two months later we were on a plane to Buenos Aires with nothing even resembling a plan or a care. Three months after that we were on a plane back home, and I haven't really done anything worth note since.

There also was a point in my life were I was either writing or drawing on pretty much a daily basis. I have no delusions that I was particularly good at either, but I miss them nonetheless. My creativeness has only ever come in spurts, but as I've gotten older the spurts seem to be much fewer and far between.

These things upset me. So this blog seems like a good way to take care of these grievances that I have with my current situation in life. I am not planning any grand adventures around the world (at the moment), but I am determined to make the most of this summer, explore this desert I grew up in, and write as much as I can about it.

To be honest, all of this is going to be more about my benefit than your entertainment. Which is the way it should be. People that try to be interesting or entertaining generally just come off as obnoxious assholes. Maybe I'll have something interesting to say every now and again. Maybe I won't. I guess we'll find out.