Temporary Forever Home

We relocated the shower trailer, along with the entire camp, and I have to say: if the containment date on this fire really does turn out to be Oct. 30, I’m thrilled because our latest temporary forever home is the best yet, this season.  I like it more than I can explain, in fact.  I’ll list the cons first: 

We’re way hell out in the middle of nowhere, up on one huge gentle mountain and surrounded by other huge, rolling, gentle mountains, and some of them glow at night because of the fire.  It would be reasonably green, albeit scrubby green, except everything is blanketed in smoke so it’s a gray-green pastel watercolor.  We experienced easily 50 or 60 mph winds and rain and lightning and thunder AND, cherry on the Sundae, intermittent bursts of sunny hot heat, all within hours of getting set up.  The camp is sparsely spread out over this enormous area, so we literally have to drive to the caterer to grab meals — it’s too far to walk.  Seems silly.  Our shower trailer “business front” is actually pointed the wrong way, because it’s the only orientation where we could get the trailer remotely level enough to drain water as it must.  And there were some heroics, figuring this out.  At one point, I just thought the rest of my life would be trying to level the trailer, all over different patches of land.  You have to drive out from under it to see it it worked, and it never did.  Worst of all, it’s cold.  It’s not cold-cold, like all my layers cold, but it’s blue Walmart sweatsuit and long down coat cold.  I took a nap after the interminable set up yesterday, and at one point briefly realized the tractor was actually rocking in the winds.  Shrieking and howling are both cliches, when it comes to wind, because they both describe exactly how it actually sounds.  When I woke up, Nick was in active troubleshooting mode with our water heaters.  For some reason, during the wind, gouts of flame had burst out four or five feet, from beneath the large heaters, towards our other stuff parked there and his face, incidentally.  Then one heater was out, and we couldn’t figure out why.  I tried to take a shower, emerged frozen, wet, and not clean, crawled in the dirt, with wet hair, beneath the trailer to check propane levels, which was like a Vietnam tunnel dog situation due to our current situation where the trailer’s practically dropped on its nose to be level — and I had a whole unsuccessful fiasco trying to get propane, yesterday — called our boss, he walked us through what could be wrong, and we got it fixed.  The back of the shower trailer, when you open the double doors, is just this confusing assault of pipes, valves, pumps, heaters, breakers, switches, and gauges.  We’re slowly learning about all of it, usually by messing something up.  I did finally get a shower re-do, and it was very very long, and very very hot, in contrast to the wild cold rainy night air outside.  I slept so well.  

So, those were the cons.  Here are the pros: it just feels good, here.  It feels like that cozy shift to autumn, but in a landscape.  There aren’t flies or mosquitoes here whatsoever, and let me tell you, that shit goes a long way with us.  It’s not actually bitter cold, and probably very nice during the entire day — we’ll see, yesterday was not a good sample day, given the almost literally endless drudgery of dropping the trailer on all different spots at all different orientations with all different shims and interventions.  The weather was the last thing on my mind.  But yes, I think it will be nice, and then the evenings and the rain are just so cozy.  I bundled Buffy into her thickest polka dot fleece pajamas, last night, and she and Milo were quite deliberate about going out, peeing, and heading straight back in to the trailer office.  Milo snuggled into his doughnut bed with an intention to be cozy that was obvious.  He won’t tolerate pajamas, last I checked, but he was also like a scene from The Excorcist, back then, before we officially (it’s contested) adopted him and provided him with all these experiences to mellow and deepen him.  He was just a little dog, kept in a pen, year in, year out, standing on his hind legs and begging for things which he mostly did not receive.  There’s sage brush!  Sage brush everywhere, and no blowing dirt.  There’s plenty of sage and gorse to hold the dirt down, so it’s not flying sideways.  Huge net gain.  There’s an enormous upright stone nearby, vertically planted there as a memorial to this rancher’s mother who died.  The stone is a beautiful glowing fawn color, and yesterday during the Weather, the sun was shining directly onto it, and all else was gloom.  It was amazing.  

It feels wild up here, in the best way.  This is what fire season should be; not languishing in a 110 degree elementary school parking lot where someone rolls on to their keys every goddamn night and sets off their own car alarm when everyone’s trying to sleep.  We have shelter from the elements and tons of propane, tons of water, tons of diesel for the generator, the ability to get more, we know how to solve more and more of our problems.  We have 5 gallon buckets full of water holding down all the various corners of our fake grass ground cloths, and you can see the lumps and bumps of all the sagebrush underneath.  I love not being able to see that camp, frankly, due to our final orientation.  We just see across the country road to this huge Colorado-ness, as far as they eye can see.  There are two brand new portapotties close-ish by.  Oh, and maybe one of the best things overall, that I haven’t mentioned yet this season: our boss is a highly experienced and very practical, always reasonably sympathetic, badass, who always answers his phone when we call.  He’s really invested in us, and I appreciate it so much.  They even raised our pay a couple weeks ago.  Oh, and we have a potable water driver who’s just happy as can be, to do his job, and TWO gray water trucks on standby, and an absolutely marvelous facilities boss at the camp; just a stellar human being.  He was supposed to go home with the outgoing team but he has such a good reputation for running things that this incident team actually stole him from them, so we all get to keep him.  Dinner last night was great.    

It smells amazing here.  I’m smelling it right now.  And it’s still dark this morning, and the fire is glowing all along the southeastern horizon.  I’m here with Nick and the bugaboos, my one in a million lottery jackpot family.  Not to be shallow, but it’s hard to ignore that he looks like a male model doing everything he does, except male models IRL are actually kind of androgynous, and he’s not.  He’s super pretty for a dude, but def a dude.  His whole family is really pretty, whereas my whole family, me included, is ‘aight lmao.  GOD, the air is so fresh.  I just feel really good here.  Really good.

I could make a gratitude list a mile long, this morning.  It’s so nice to have gotten all the fuckin bullshit out of the way, yesterday, of getting relocated, and to wake up here this morning in my Walmart sweats, all clean from my late night shower, knowing that we can just be here doing our jobs for quite some time, sounds like.  Zero insects are landing on me right now.  We have loads of ice in the coolers.  Amazing.

Good lord, I might even be able to get some reading done at this incident.  With me, but so far mostly neglected, are: Fake News, Red Shoes; the comprehensive works of Charles Fort; the 12 Steps of Debtor’s Anonymous (let’s add a 13th step called motherfucking NESARA, amiright?? lol); and the Sermon on the Mount.  No juicy raunchy fiction, I save that brain cell for my audiobook narrating haha.  My main audio booking author has hacked the promotional situation in some kind of new way; ACX gives us both a bunch of refillable promo codes for free downloads that we can share, and neither of us has ever known quite what to do about that.  She has this whole thing going, now, on social media, where absolute HORDES of women are clamoring for these codes, and she can’t keep them filled fast enough, and our royalty checks just keep getting bigger with, in my case, zero extra work on my part.  My account generating codes too slowly, and then my hit-or-miss ability to get those to her in a timely manner, was the most problematic brake on the whole process, really, and finally we realized we could just have her sign into my account and generate them for herself.  So now she’s doing that, and there are just free download codes flying all around the internet at a higher rate than I can even imagine, and it’s starting to get really exciting to get the monthly royalty deposit email.  I mean it’s not like time to quit my job, nor would I, but it’s so amazing that nothing else meaningfully entered the equation — I didn’t narrate more, she didn’t write more — it’s kind of like Roosevelt’s New Deal, where somehow the same damn resources that were lying around all Great Depression long, are now organized in a different way, and it’s really stimulating our personal micro economies, tell ya what.  I feel kind of guilty because she’s doing all this on her own and I’m super lame, like “great work!  I’m trying to get a trailer level!  I believe in you!”, but she seems to enjoy it.  She’s such a rockstar, and a total sweetheart.  She writes these romance novels at, like, her kids’ soccer games and stuff.  

The next unavoidable question, talking about income and cash flow, is of course Bitcoin.  In my tiny little personal economy way, I’m trying to figure out what to put where, and for what term.  My brother found out last night that you can literally bet on the presidential race, and of course the more the underdog, the higher the earnings, if you win.  I guess people made a bunch off Donald Trump winning, last time.  It’s just shocking that Hillary didn’t clinch it.  She’s like a severely off-putting velociraptor in a pants suit, and now that I’ve read some of her deleted emails, I can’t even see her in the same totally unflattering light as I did before, which was not enough to galvanize my vote, let’s just say.  We’ve been keeping tabs, somewhat, on the Democratic National Telethon, this week, and it’s just sad to me.  I can’t believe that was the party I most identified with, for years.  They always have the same default: “if you don’t share this exact ideology, then you don’t care if people die.”  ‘Rona, gun control, highly manufactured racial tensions, whatever.  It’s so fucking tiresome.  I know I’ve said this before, but the emotional porn aspect (my emotions! — MY EMOTIONS!) falls so so flat with me.  

Now, Nick and I are both feeling irritated about one thing, for sure, on the Right: this circling of the wagons to include disdain for trans people.  If I want a surgery for health reasons, or vanity reasons, or gender fluidity reasons, that’s my right.  The whole fucking point of freedom is, you know, freedom.  These conservatives need to check themselves before they wreck themselves — it’s not about agreeing with people’s choices.  That’s the whole deal with freedom.  And for the most part, conservatives are doing a much better job right now, I’d say, of saying actual things instead of just constant gaslighting, but just lobbing in the trans stuff because, idk, it plays well with their demographic, actually weakens the other points in a way I’d prefer they not be weakened.  

They always want to make conservatism about God, which is what turned me off for so long no doubt.  I extra appreciate Heather MacDonald, here, outlining clearly that you can be a functioning conservative with God literally nowhere in that mix, which is exactly where God should be, relative to fucking politics, because any erosion of the separation of church and state is as much a slap in the face of our constitutional rights as erosions of the 2nd Amendment, ffs.  

And then they always want to make conservatism about traditional gender and eating meat.  I’m at this point where entertaining all kinds of conceptual space for gender queerness (which I don’t exhibit much of myself, but at least I “get” that I’m performing my gender, which I happen to enjoy) and being a lifelong ethical veg, and really adoring trans people who I think are as healthy of a challenge to individual, stagnated gender identity as gay rights was a challenge to heteronormative, stagnated relationship norms — anyway, I’m at this point where even all those typically left-leaning sensibilities aren’t enough to make me not call a spade a spade, and a bad ideology a bad ideology.  Conservatism has some growing up to do, and I think all the looting and rioting and devastation of individual businesses etc. is helping it to do that.  The “don’t tread on me” snake is making more and more sense by the day.  I’m willing to defer the prayer in schools issue to another time, when people can go to school again, for instance.  

As I’ve said before, I’m so so grateful to be gainfully employed, doing something I love, not wearing a mask except like five minutes a day here and there, and not facing some occupational choice to virtue signal or be cancelled.  (The choice would be obvious.)  And not being in an urban environment hardly ever, let’s add.  That’s a big one for me right now.  I don’t know if I’d ever want to live in a proper city again, after all this.  I’m all good with country roads, George Strait, vegan meats, and a wardrobe so goddess-y it’s almost anachronistic (which will come online again after fire season).  I don’t know if I’ll get a chance, during this societal breakdown, to launch myself out of my vehicle and physically attack someone blocking the road, which is maybe a little sad — I’ve also always sort of wished I’d have the chance, at some point, to slap a hysterical person and say “pull yourself together”, just as a bucket list type thing — but it’s probably nicer in the abstract than the reality.

Oh well, sun’s up and time to go get breakfast, made hot and fresh for us by people who got up at like 2am and have been slaving in and around a clump of tractor trailers.  Props!                                  

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