the mongol herdsman

Friend P won free tickets to see The Thermals playing at The Marquis Theater in Denver on Friday and since D decided to be a lame-o and bail on him, I got to go instead. But I would've paid. Honest. And, weirdly for a Friday night and a fairly popular band (or at least I thought so anyway) they weren't sold out, so I could've. The Shaky Hands, another band I love quite a bit, opened. They put on a pretty good, albeit short, show and the place was still empty enough at this point to see them pretty well. This was one of those weird times that the band looked exactly like I'd pictured them. Imagine Bob Ross growing his hair really, really long and learning how to play bass. Or a bunch of highly social misfits who know how to rock. Either one.

Then it was The Thermals' turn. And their set was killer. They rock just as good live as they do on record. Sadly for P, by this point the place had filled up pretty well and The Mongol Herdsman decided to stand right in his way. And I got to stand next to Too Drunk to Stand Up, But Not Too Drunk to Wave My Arms in the Air and Almost Decapitate the People Around Me guy. And the Couple Who Likes to Square Dance (and Get In Everyone's Way) Even to Punk Music Which Isn't Really Square Danceable.

Other than the minor annoyances provided by the crowd, the show was great, they played almost all of my favorite songs and it really made me want their new album even though I doubt they'll be able to top their last, The Body, The Blood, The Machine.

this is the last one, i promise

her favorite mornings were ones full of virgin snow. she would run out and stuff her face down into it to see if it was deep enough to play in. then she would look up and grin at me to prove how much fun it was.

when she was little she got a bad case of dry skin, so i started giving her a can of tuna packed in oil a few times a week. this only lasted a few months but even eleven years later, whenever she heard the can opener, she would come running into the kitchen to see if it was 'tuna time.' i'd give in and let her lick the cans clean.

she was afraid of trash cans, awnings and flags, but thunder, fireworks and other loud noises never really bothered her.

she would get really excited if she got to go on a car ride, but about five minutes in, she would sigh heavily and sink slowly down into the back seat. resigned to the fate of Waiting to Arrive.

she did not like the wind in her face.

she tested me every single day to see what she could get away with. some days she was more successful than others.

she was the most stoic dog i've ever met.

she was also the happiest, most days.

she would overheat quicker than any other dog on the planet.

she was game for anything that involved leaving the house. she would happily go anywhere i wanted to go without any concern or fear for her safety. unless we came upon a trash can of course.

everyone who ever spent five minutes with her learned to fear The Tail of Death. or at least keep one hand on their drink.

i once got tennis elbow from playing too much tug of war with her.

until about a year ago, on walks, she stayed right behind my right foot until i told her she was free. she also waited for me at every corner we came to and rarely stepped off the sidewalk.

her favorite treat was week old horse poo.

she never did have any idea of how much space she took up. and, oh god was she klutzy.

the worst thing in her world was getting a bath. second worst? getting her toenails clipped.

when she was about six months old i used to take her for 'runs' around the lake in winston-salem. i would ride my bike and she would run balls out behind me. it was the only way i could tire her out.

she loved to swim. and she would always go after anything anyone threw into any available pond. sadly, for we the people, she'd never bring them back. unless it was the floating kong on a rope, that was a failsafe. until she got too excited by it and chewed off the rope. then i learned to just throw rocks into the water. much, much cheaper.

thanks for all the good days, r-dog. there will never be another like you.


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Boo. Bootasm. Spasimodo. Pupadoo. Shorty. Meeestair Spazzy Pants (said with a French accent). R-dog, of course. And for the last couple of months for some reason, Puppy. I miss her. I understand the meaning of bereft now. I'm most definitely adrift. I didn't realize how much of my day was wrapped up in her. Walking her, talking to her, feeding her, just plain ol' existence, but it happened every single day for the past eleven years and three months. There's literally a hole in the room where her bed used to be. It sounds completely insane to be this sad about a dog, but she was with me for most of my adult life—she was my strongest, most long-lasting relationship. What pathetic things that says about me, I don't know, but it's true. She was a constant in a lot of moves, some sad times and more happy ones. She saw two different cars, five towns and many people come and go. A huge part of my identity was reliant on her being there.

I know it will get, if not better, easier and I'm already starting to learn how to be without her around, but this is...hard.



Remember this guy?

I found out a couple days ago that he was accepted into the American Illustration 28 annual. It was juried and all, so it's not like it was that finger painting you did that one day in kindergarten that got a gold star and hung up on the chalkboard. So, there's that.

I really need to paint or draw again. I've been lax because I grew a little bored with the portraits of famous people, honestly. I think 52 of 'em was maybe a little too ambitious. I do, however, have a new series in mind. Of bugs.

I also wanted to say thanks to those of you who have worried about me disappearing from blog land and sent me email. I'm still alive. Just too busy to blog. Hopefully, that will change soonish.