What is a friend, even?
What is a friend, even?
What would you do over?
This is not a big deal, to some people, probably.
But something that filled me with regret for months is that I didn’t record some goats chasing me through a field.
Well, those goats. In that picture.
I visited Idaho in May and went on a wacky roadtrip to spread my dad’s ashes. No, it was actually fun.
One of the things that was miraculous was the place my family and I stayed. Windysage Farmstay B&B, in Mackay, Idaho, home of Karen and Adam. It was ridiculous. Go there if you can.
Seriously, surrounded by mountains. Animals everywhere. The hosts were so gracious and kind. Karen even made a dairy free apple crumble that we devoured. They made us ice cream, including a sorbet for me. Which was delicious.
And I got to visit these goats every day. Well, we were only there two nights, but I visited them multiple times a day.
On the final day, my sister and I went out to say goodbye with some carrots. Those goats were gentle and kind but they did like a good carrot, so when we left, the whole group started trotting after us. We ran away, laughing. I thought I was getting the parade of goats behind me on camera.
BUT I WASN’T.
Such regret. So no goat.
I ached with regret. I throbbed with regret. It would have been the best video ever of goats chasing sisters.
And now I can’t even find any of the videos or any pictures except the one above, which was preserved for posterity by the magic of Facebook.
Just goes to show you: You should spend less time experiencing your life and more time on social media. How else will you remember anything?
This post is part of Think Kit by SmallBox
Prompt: “Mulligan. We’ve put another quarter in the slot – free play! Hit the reset button on a moment this year: what would you do over? Whether or not you analyze your actions – how would you act differently? Would the outcomes shift, or stay the same? From a single sentence to a whole day (and everything in-between), feel free to explain your choice, from how you felt immediately after the moment passed, to any thoughts that ran through your mind beforehand. Take a mulligan!”
Think Kit Day Ten. Time to get weird.
What was weird? Watching my family scatter my dad’s ashes on a hilltop in Idaho this May.
It was ten years after his death. My sister, my brother, my stepmother, and I drove from Boise down to the Little Lost River valley and met up with my aunt and uncle and some of my cousins.
We convened at an old family haunt known as the Goldfish Pond.
Because. There. Are. Wild. Goldfish. Living. There.
For real. It’s a hot springs out in the middle of nowhere and someone or other released tropical fish at some point. It’s awesome.
Not so awesome was the raucous crowd of rough livin’, truck drivin’, yelly folk who surrounded the pond, sorta ruining the mood for my family and me. They sucked.
It was windy. We ate lunch. I took a dip in the pond and felt connected to the past, despite the Other People.
Everyone wanted to trudge up to the top of a windy hill to scatter the ashes. I couldn’t think of anything but the scene in The Big Lebowski where ashes blow into the actors’ faces.
So I walked up hesitating. No one else seemed to feel it. My sister and stepmother tossed ashes with abandon. The wind took them and turned them into plumes like smoke. It was beautiful. I gingerly took up a small amount and tossed them out carefully.
I felt something up there. Even though I’m an atheist.
I took photos, thinking about the view my dad would have. I made a recording of bird song. I thought about eternity.
We all walked around looking down at the ground, at the flowers and sage brush. Everyone looking for an arrow head. My dad was known for finding arrow heads.
Nobody found one.
Guys, I haven’t put up a Sunday comic in a while. How have you been getting by without it?
Anyway, this is a very important topic, so I had to share.
Think Kit Day 3: Deck the LOLs: What made you laugh out loud until tears formed?
When I try to rewind the year and think of funny things that happened, what I remember is laughing really hard with one or the other of my sisters. Annnnnd, I can’t repeat any of the jokes or stories because they’re generally not ready for prime time. What I can reveal is that when Samantha and I laugh in front of other people we are referred to as “rude,” “intimidating,” and “horrible monsters.” Okay, not the last one but the other two. Eve and I laugh more quietly but also very hard.
The two of them aren’t even related to each other. They’re my half sisters (aka sisters), one from each parent.
And in addition to sharing my alarming sense of humor, my sisters have saved my life. Don’t know what I would do without them. And I’m so proud of the ladies they’ve turned into.
Eve and Samantha, I love you!
That’s what made me laugh. Aside from the porn magnets, which were hilarious, but which I can’t really discuss.
Think Kit Day Two: What did you change your mind about this year?
This year I became a full-time freelancer. By accident.
Ya see, I got fired. Well, not fired exactly, since my position was eliminated. It sounds better in terms of my worth to society to say laid off.
I like to say fired though.
Anywhoo, the org for which I previously worked, Acme Inc., needed people to continue to do the jobs it had eliminated.
So I said I’d do it while I looked for another job.
And then I loved it. And I’m still doing it, six months later.
I like not commuting. And I like hanging out with cats while I work and being the boss of them. And no one being the boss of me.
I never thought I’d enjoy working from home or be self motivated enough to do it.
But it turns out I do and I am.
I thought I’d feel isolated but instead I feel more engaged. Same with productivity (mostly).
So raise a glass to Jen Bingham Writing & Editing.
The best thing about freelancing, though, is taking my laptop outside and just sitting it in some grass in a way where I would not actually be able to use it.
Think Kit Day One: A Thousand Words: Dig into the deeper meaning of a moment frozen in time.
Remember January 2014? So many Facebook posts about paying it forward! We were all going to take the names of people who replied to our post, find a treat for that person, and send it to them through the actual mail as a lovely surprise in 2014.
I know I promised to do this! But I can’t. I’m sorry, small number of people who asked this of me. I think there were three of you and I have no idea who you are.
I’ve let you down. If you are one of these people, let me know and I will fulfill the promise. I will probably even send you something if you lie and pretend you signed up previously. However, keep in mind that I am an oath breaker.
A very lovely person named Cindy did remember her people and just sent me the scarf, small gardening journal, and cute card pictured above. The cat is my own contribution. I was having a fairly bad day last Friday and receiving these items made me really happy. Cindy, you are super cool and I have always liked you.
So what else did I promise to do this year?
Well, I totally failed on my only real resolution for the year, which was to stop clicking on Buzzfeed links. In my defense, I didn’t know that in addition to the ever-bewitching quizzes, Buzzfeed would start creating amazing content in the hallowed year of 2014. In addition to clickbait headlines, they’ve added lots of interesting articles and a video series that examines social issues in a fun way. And they just hired a person who previously worked for a website that WAS SPECIFICALLY FOUNDED TO MOCK THEM. I don’t see how it’s possible to head into 2015 not loving Buzzfeed.
However, I have, more or less, been blogging, which I started last year with the help of Think Kit. Which is a thing where you sign up, they send out prompts, and you write a blog post every day for the month of December. A friend of mine is involved in the arcane process of creating these prompts so shout out to Drew and his employer, Small Box. I’m excited Think Kit is back because I’ve been Bad About Blogging during the last month due to it sucked balls.
My very first post on this here blog is a Think Kit prompt, in which I write about my newly rediscovered love of reading, which is another thing I’ve kept up all year! With the help of Ye Olde Goode Reades, I’ve been tracking my reading and this year have read 87 books. I’m pretty happy with that number.
One goal that is almost, but not completely wrapped up, is rereading all the books that English writer Robert Barnard churned out during his long and prolific career as a mystery writer. About 40ish of the books I’ve read this year are by him.
Two things stand in my way: Last Post and The Corpse at the Haworth Tandoori. Two books that are so chilling and traumatic to have read, that I’m scared to reread them. The first time I read Last Post I was so angry at Mr. Barnard that I vowed never to read anything else he wrote. (Yet another promise I failed to fulfill.) The ending is tragic, haunting, and 100 percent earned yet shocking. The Corpse at the Haworth Tandoori is problematic because it has an unbearably, disturbingly evil character and some imagery that is hideously haunting.
Anyway, I’m actually afraid of these books, but I want to meet my goal. Also, I don’t always care if I meet goals. They are more there to guide me in the right direction. I’ve made some pretty good moves this year. Who knows what I will do? I am a Different Kind of Cop.
And also: Welcome back, Think Kit! You are cool.