May 18

Working On My Shit

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I got back out here on Tuesday night, and went to work for a couple of days, but have had the last few off. The days off, were really busy, but also good to keep my mind off of being alone again. Today, I am taking some time to relax in my underwear and catch up on shit.

My own shit.

Johnny got his BBQ fixed up, so I’m going to head over there in a bit and eat some food. I might possibly drink a cocktail or three, if he allows me to sleep on his couch or finds me a ride home. His place is cleaner, and it has better snacks, so I hope it’s the couch that he chooses.

Yesterday, I went down to look at the house we are buying when the girls get out here. It’s as cool and homey as I remembered it, and brought back a lot of great memories. It was a safe place during a lot of my gloomier days. I think that’s why I like it and Hudson’s Hope so much. It’s where I went to escape some shitty times. Aaron and Lannie, and then the boys after they came along, always made me feel better, and still do.

(Update: I didn’t finish this before going for a delicious dinner of steak, asparagus, beer, and new potatoes. The post from here on out is today.)

As the big move draws near, I find myself getting very emotional, because it’s really happening. My dreams of off grid living are getting their start.

I know it’s not going to be immediate, but the dream is alive and growing, and I got my subscription to Small Farm Canada when I was home. My first issue was waiting for me when I got here, and I’ve read it cover to cover, twice. I get to the point of weeping tears of joy, when I read this magazine, and I always have, as I dream of our Dexter cattle, farm fresh eggs, and crop rotations.

I know that it’s not for everyone, but I have become so incensed with the way our world has changed that I found myself getting more and more depressed as I thought about it.

Until I met Mrs. Birdman.

She encouraged me, even though she wasn’t on board with my ideas from the start. She would give me little pushes when she could see me losing sight of my dream, even if it was just sharing an article about alternative homes, talking about growing the ingredients for her favourite salsa, or mentioning that having eggs from our own chickens will be a nice addition.

It all helped. Whether she knew it or not.

Now I can’t get it out of my head, which is good. It’s a lot better dream than the crazy one I had last night. Meat dreams are insane.

Birdman

May 11

Conversations With Blue

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This morning Blue came up to bed as everyone else was getting ready for their day. I was trying to avoid getting up before ten, so I turned his whining into a conversation to drag out my lounging. Hey, it’s not my fault that he didn’t feel like eating when I let him out at 6:30.

 

Blue: (high pitched hunger whine)

Me: What’s the matter, boy? Are you okay? Come up here in the bed for a minute.

Blue jumps up on the bed and mashes my face and balls with his jaggedy pins and does another whine.

“What is it? Oh, you’re sad because I’m leaving tomorrow, aren’t you?”

“Yeah, I hate it when you go away. Every time you go, it’s for years.”

“No, it’s never been more than a few months. I think that you’re exaggerating.”

“No, I am not exaggerating. I can tell by all of the new gray hairs that you have when you come home. Why do you have to keep leaving? I love our mornings laying in bed. Rub my belly. With both hands. You know you have two.”

“Okay, I’ll rub it for a minute, but then I’m going back to sleep. The reason I have to go back out, is to get things ready for when we move. You know that we are moving, right?”

“I heard you guys talking about it. Are we all going? Usually it’s just me that moves. I’ve had a bunch of different families. I like it here with you guys though. I even like the lady now. She is really nice to me. The kids always hug me too. I hope I get to move with you.”

“Oh buddy, that makes me sad. I love you so much. Yeah we are all going. You and I will be on the bus, and your mom and sisters will be flying out. It’s going to be a long trip, but I don’t think that you would like to be stuck in an airplane hold for hours at a time.”

“No, I would rather stay on the ground, because flying seems unnatural. I will protect you on the bus, so you can sleep. I won’t let any crazy guys cut your head off and eat it.1)That insane prick got out the other day, so be on the lookout.

“Thanks, boy, but we are driving our own bus out. Your nana might come too. You’ll like it where we are going. You can go to visit Woody and chase deer off of his yard. He would like to have a hunting buddy. There are all kinds of mountains and forests out there, so you will have all kinds of places to run.”

“Oh Daddy, that sounds so fun. I’m your good, running boy. I like to run fast. Can we take the squirrel with the white tail with us? He’s my friend and I like to chase him up the tree. Can you please scratch where my nuts used to be?”

“You bet I can. How’s that? I know you like to chase him, but we can’t take him. There are no walnut trees out there for him to get his food. You can probably fight a bear or a cougar though. Do you think you’d like that?”

“Oh, that’s really good. I know it’s been three years, but the scar still itches. I don’t know what bears and cougars are, but I probably would like to fight one.”

“Here, I’ll show you some photos.”

Grizzly Bear Standing And Roaring Rocky Mountains

Grizzly Bear Standing And Roaring Rocky Mountains

And here’s a cougar.

Mrrrawr

Mrrrawr

“Daddy, I would fight the bear if was hurting you, but I think we should stay away from them if we can. As for the cougar, I’d hump her leg, if I still had my man juice.”

“Haha, I know you would, buddy. Me too. This is what a real cougar looks like.”

http://www.canadiangeographic.ca/magazine/mj04/indepth/

http://www.canadiangeographic.ca/magazine/mj04/indepth/

“Jesus, no. You know I get scared of the cat at our pet store. I never want to fight a cougar.”

“Yeah, me neither. I guess we had better get you fed. It will probably be the last time I get to before I come back. I’m really going to miss you, my good boy. You are the best dog I’ve ever had.”

“Can we please not talk about it? Just keep rubbing.”

Never stop rubbing

Never stop rubbing

Birdman

Awesome footnotes   [ + ]

1. That insane prick got out the other day, so be on the lookout.
May 07

Therapy Thursday

therapythursday2

Dear Birdman

I see that you got a couple of kids. Me too, and we live in a small apartment.

Ever since my old lady fucked off on me, I have had my kids every other week in my apartment. I think the bitch just figured that I was going to pay money and never see them again, but the courts said I could have them every other week and I don’t gotta pay her anything. Like I am going to give her a grand a month for fucking around on me with her boss.

So the problem I have is that I don’t want the kids eating crap when they’re at my house, because she tried to tell the court that I was going to malnourish them or something. Like ya, I love to eat junk food and I drink a lot of soda, but she makes it sound like it’s all I feed them. 

My problem is that I woke them up tonight when I opened a bag of doritos, then when I opened my soda can they opened the door and asked if they could have some. I was all the way across the apartment and it still woke them up. How do I open cans and bags of snacks without making any noise. I hate not being able to let them have some treats before bed.

Studebaker

Dear Studebaker?

Is that your name, or a lame attempt at a nickname?

Anyhow, I really don’t care about your shitty relationship woes. He said, she said and so on, and so forth. Tell it to your therapist, or send a question in for next week. I’m just taking them one at a time right now.

Your chips and pop problem I can help you with, as I have had that problem in the past. I will tell you that it’s almost impossible to snack quietly, so instead we will be doing more of a conditioning sort of thing and there are two ways that you can go about it, depending on how old the kids are.

The first way works best if your kids are under about eight years old. They are way easier to manipulate when they are younger.

1. Get yourself a terrifying costume like this one. If your kids like clowns, go with something else.

photo from The Daily Hiit

photo from The Daily Hiit

2. Put some fake blood on your hands and mouth.

3. Stand about six feet away, facing their bedroom door and loudly open your pop can and your bag of salty goodness. Get some fake blood on both.

4. When they open the door, laugh maniacally and extend a bloody hand, with a chip in it, toward them and offer them a drink from your bloody pop can.

5. Repeat if necessary, but in my experience after two times, you will never see them out of their beds again.1)Keep something on hand to clean up urine with. That was a hard lesson learned.

6. Sign them up for therapy when they become trained, because it will be weird when you see them in social situations. It’s hard to explain why your kid has a seizure or something, every time someone opens a drink at a party.

The second way will actually help your kids to never want to eat your chips or drink your pop ever again.

1. When your kids aren’t home, open a bag of your favourite snacks and sprinkle some Borax or other powdered cleanser into the bag. Not enough to kill them, but enough to make it blister their lips.

2. Now open a can of pop and dump half of it out. Mix in the cheapest fish oil that your pharmacy has and let it fester.

3. Sit as you normally would, open a new can and bag, then quickly hide them while crinkling the chip bag. When they come out and ask you for some, offer it freely.

4. Even the most stubborn teenagers won’t ask after the third time

I hope that this helped you out. If you have any blow outs because of any advice I’ve given, I am not responsible. Remember that. I don’t need the cops here because you put too much cleanser in the chips. Consider this my disclaimer.

Birdman

P.S. You can send your questions for the Birdman, or possibly Mrs. Birdman, if the question piques her interest, to birdman at changethetopic.com or if you like anonymity, just go to the Harass Us page and put in a fake name and email.

Awesome footnotes   [ + ]

1. Keep something on hand to clean up urine with. That was a hard lesson learned.
May 04

Reprieve

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I postponed my trip west for another a week. It may seem slight, but it feels pretty good to have another week to finalise Family Game Night festivities. TT and I smoked through a game of Cranium to win the right to choose Family Date Night.

The restaurant and the movie.

Yeah. It’s a pretty huge win.

We were supposed to do best out of five in a run of different games, but the losers seemed to not want to play against us any more, so I guess it’s now best out of one, unless by some miracle we get challenged.

That should work out in my favour, but to tell you the truth I was really looking forward to spending a bunch of nights as a family and doing family things. I think it’s because I missed so many of them over the winter, while they were all still being a family. I was just the guy who called every night and asked how everything was going.

Before you tell me that they’re just kids, I will just say it… I know. I get it. I was one once too. I probably hurt my family’s feeling by wanting to go out drinking1)We didn’t have texting and game consoles. with my friends, instead of hanging out with my parents.

It doesn’t change the fact that they are growing up and I have been missing it. It hurts to come home one day and see a thirteen year old girl that’s as tall as you are, when the last time you saw her she was a good inch or so shorter. Especially when you always think of them like this.

From the wedding

The happiest day of my life

Remember that day?

I do. That will be three years ago in about a month. How did they get so old all of a sudden, and where the hell have I been?

I just keep repeating “June” in my head. It keeps me grounded. We’ll all be out there in a couple of months. Together, on a new adventure as a family.

In a school bus.

Thanks for the inspiration, Chin.

Chin gets to be Reuben Kincaid. He already called it.

Anyhow, I hope that some better movies come out this week, but if they don’t, I’m fully prepared to drag everyone to see Do You Believe?, by the makers of God’s Not Dead. I want to see if it’s horrible as well.

I will have my Family Date Night. No matter what.

Birdman

Awesome footnotes   [ + ]

1. We didn’t have texting and game consoles.
Apr 27

The Time Draws Nigh

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Yeah, I can feel it weighing heavy on my heart and mind. It’s the unspoken grief that we can feel as we snuggle in for another night. One of only a few that are left.

For this trip.

I’ll be back in June to start packing everything up and begin our trek to the west. We are hoping to be out there and going by early to mid July, and if things work out the way I hope, I will be driving a school bus that we will later convert to a motor home for some treks up the Alaska Highway, and to meet Skippy and Dancing Queen in the Jasper and Banff areas for some camping and shenanigans.

There are some pretty neat conversions that I’ve found online so far. I might need to learn to weld and do carpentry though. It looks like those are some pretty handy skills when it comes to building an rv.

But enough of that happy shit. Now is the time to mourn.

I have to leave in a little over a week and I really don’t want to. It’s hard to get back into the swing of things, when it seems like I’ve just got into my groove here. I have just gotten used to the feeling of Mrs. Birdman’s warmth and energy in the bed at night, and between her and Blue, I have relearned how to sleep in three square feet of mattress.

How can I go back to having a whole bed to myself?

I’ll also have to get used to the taste of frozen boxed food and pizza again, because I’m sure it will be 85% of my diet. Like usual. There will probably be very few home cooked meals between May 5th and the end of June.

Bah, I’m just being pissy. I have a lot to do while I’m out there. I have to get my little truck going.

It works, but I need to put a new carb in it. We should get some good camping out of this baby.

I also have to secure us a place to live and get things ready. In a month and a half. Hopefully while working.

When I write it down, it seems a lot harder than it feels. Maybe I should be more nervous than I am. For whatever reason, I just feel like everything will work out fine. We’ll sell or rent the house here, and we’ll buy or rent a house there. No problem, right? It sounds pretty simple, so let’s hope that it is.

Oh, back to the school bus thing. I found some pretty cool blogs from people who are living their dream in a bus.1)Not like the guy from Into The Wild. Here’s a cool post from one of them. Catching Eddies

I’ll leave you with one of my favourites.

Birdman

Awesome footnotes   [ + ]

1. Not like the guy from Into The Wild.