Monday, February 19, 2007


stacey and i went dogsledding this weekend. not really, but we volunteered to work at the end of the big dogsled race this weekend. we were off on our lonesome, in the woods, right on lake superior. it was fantastic. big oil drum. started a fire. brought flashlights and read and listened to music. it was great. we actually stayed long after the last team came through. it was a little funny though cause we expected to see these teams just racing through. but, as we were on the last mile of a 200 mile race (i think), the dogs were moving at a pace a little faster than i walk, in foot deep snow. but, it was still great. i love these times the best. being alone in the woods with stacey around a fire talking and reading and comparing what music we're listening to. by the way, i've been reading short stories by robert olen butler. check him out, he's really good. we were actually trying to figure out ways to camp out in the woods this time of year, but we couldn't figure out how to bring enough wood with us to burn all night. there is no way we'd get any sleep in this cold. anyways, we had an awesome time. these are our pictures.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

stacey's birthday

just so everybody knows, its stacey's birthday today. she's twenty-five (and she thinks thats old!!!) not old, though. very young and healthy. this picture here is of her following the doctor's advice that a beer every day is good for your heart. i dont think he was referring to these 2 25oz'ers, though, babe. (actually, one of 'em is mine--but only one of 'em). if you know stacey, give her a call today and wish her a happy birthday. we're going to houghton tonight to see the ice sculptures at michigan tech. and maybe get a little chinese food. tomorrow, we've volunteered us to work big dogsled races that come through marquette, and stacey has the day off work. so, hope ya'll have great weekend, too. jason.

Thursday, February 15, 2007


just for anybody that tried to leave a comment but couldn't, i want you to know that i fixed it. anybody can now leave a comment. all right then. goodnight.
i was at the gym the other day, having just a hell of a time. i was running on the giant industrial treadmill at about 6 mph, a nice steady pace. my goal was 3 miles. i was feeling good. listening to miles davis' "filles de killimanjaro," getting completely lost in the incredible drumming on that album. miles and herbie hancock were taunting each other back and forth with trumpet and keyboard, each shooting off turrets-like blasts, back and forth, back and forth, each only about a half measure long and so loud and overfilled with notes, sounding like an old man trying to catch his breath but only coming up with spastic coughs. it was great. i was about 12 minutes into my run, about a mile and a quarter, when the machine just stopped. didn't slow down, nothing gradual, but instantly came to a complete halt. i was not focusing on running at all, everything was going smooth, until i about busted my sternum on the front display of the treadmill and nearly flipped myself over the top. well, looking like an idiot, i quickly tried to find the problem so i could get back to my run without losing any more momentum. so, i got it started back up again and was about 7 minutes into it when the same thing happened. my reaction was the same. i was angry and frustrated and looked like a complete fool when the girl next to me said "yeah, it was doing the same thing to the last person" (i'm not sure why you wouldn't tell the new person about this problem).

so, i got on another machine, finished my workout and headed to the locker room. when i got there, and old man, probably mid-60's, and very heavyset, was standing in front of my locker in only his tightie whities. i stalled a bit, avoiding eye contact, headed to the bathroom, filled up my water bottle and went back to find him in the same spot, still in his underwear, but now with a t-shirt on. i finally struck up a little conversation with him, mentioned that he was in front of my locker, and he moved and we kept talking. the conversation was empty, but it was nice. my favorite part was after i was complaining about the treadmill and that nobody warned me, he said, "well, they say that the problem with common sense is that it isn't all to common."

i felt good, then. the saying, well, it was cliche and not very enlightening, but it felt good just to have this little bull shit conversation with this guy, both standing in our undies. it is something that i really have been missing up here, the simple camaraderie with people, talking cause you're both people and, why the hell not? people walk around the gym and don't acknowledge anything but themselves. they ignore you and pump their chests out and admiringly stare, pseudo-intimidatingly at themselves in the mirror, ignoring everybody. i realized through this conversation that when i am really tired during my morning janitor shift at the ice rink, frustrated that nobody seems to be able to hit the urinal and i have to mop their piss off the floor and clean tobacco chew off the locker room walls, it is still important for me to at least, acknowledge people. just say good morning to them when i pass them in the hall, slow my pace a bit and linger, just in case they need to indulge in a little bull shit conversation. everybody is in a situation. not the same situations, but maybe they just bombed a test, or their baby at home is sick, or they broke up with someone, or maybe they are just ornery because its so cold outside, but they are in a situation. that is kinda what brings people on the same level with each other. and maybe just being acknowledged throughout their day instead of feeling invisible may make that situation a little easier to cope with. even a little bullshit conversation, at least somebody is realizing that you're there.

im not pretending to have advice to spread, or to insist everybody begin talking more, i just made a realization for myself. this old man helped me to remember something about being human that i left somewhere in high school. i felt good when i was finished in the locker room. but i felt inclined to linger a bit. i was sad for this man, knowing that he was headed into the gym to exercise and knowing that for the next hour or two he would be completely ignored and snubbed and labelled and probably discouraged. though i felt so much better, i left hoping that sometime on the way home, whether at the grocery store or at the fuel pump, somebody would engage in a little bull shit conversation with him.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

im a baboon's ass

okay, so today i made a complete ass of myself in class, today.

i was in my fiction workshop and we were work-shopping a classmate's story. I really enjoyed the story. Briefly, it dealt with a man, somewhat of a recluse, who accidentally wandered into the wrong house. the resident was on vacation and the man was fascinated by her grand piano. he eventually started sleeping there until she returned. he spent a lot of time fixing up the piano and cleaning her house. while he was there he brought over his cat and let it play around with him. that is a very unjustly summary to a wonderful story.

so, at the beginning of the class, we went around the group and spoke about what we really enjoyed about the story. When it got to me, i went off on a tangent about how much i appreciated the consistency in representing the man's disturbed childhood and his reliance on his imaginary friend throuhgout the story. Well, apparently there was no imaginary friend. it was a cat. a real one. Turns out, for whatever frickin reason, i read the story, 3+ times, and it never occurred to me that the cat was real. though everyone else did. So i was going on in class about this imaginary friend that was only imaginary in my own head. Very humbling experience for a graduate level fiction workshop. the biggest problem was that all my comments on her paper, as well as my 1 page written response all dealt with her successful inclusion of an imaginary friend in the story. i get this sick feeling that she is back home now, reading my responses, in tears of laughter.

the problem was that last thursday i was out with some friends and i asked one of them (who was in my class) about the stories, as i hadn't read them yet. he remarked that one of them was dealt with magic realism. for whatever reason, i just assumed it was this particular story and after 3 reads, never thought, even for a second, that the cat was real. apparently, my classmate was talking about something else.

my the majority of my embarrassment is due to the fact that i am an english nerd, literary geek, etc., that prides himself on his close reading of texts, and well, i can't deny it. im officially a literature geek.


Friday, February 9, 2007

new blog

this is my new blog. it is a supplement for my existing myspace account. i hate the format of myspace and i figured that since i'll probably keep the same songs up for years, but put new writing up occasionally, i should have a format where the writing is more accesible and immediate, and the music is in the background. hope you agree. well, kind of. if you only agree because the music is shit, and the writing is only good because it is not the music (you can skim the writing and you definitely do not have to listen to it) then don't tell me, or at least, tell me to my face. i want to see your expression. nothing else is pressing enough to write further about, so i will say hello to my first post, and goodnight to everything else blog-related.