Monday, October 30, 2006

The Mules

Turning thirty was supposed to be about the mules.

You are all familiar with my birthday karma; imagine what the karma might wreak for the year marking the official end of my usefulness to the advertising world. I wanted to do something for my 30th to make it something to look forward to. Hence: The mules.

What I needed to do, I thought, was simply stick myself into the biggest hole the ground I could find on the morning of my 30th birthday. The Grand Canyon seemed adequate; I was there as a small bratty child, but only to the rim. I haven't seen it from the ground up.

So I booked a mule trip to the Colorado River for the weekend of my birthday, because what everybody wants to do, in the dead of January on the day their youth culturally expires, is host themselves onto an easily pissed pack animal for eight consecutive hours. Josh The Pilot wanted to come, too, because he does love his digital camera and probably wished to test the speed frame function as I went sailing over the canyon wall.

But this weekend I sat and looked over the numbers and scowled a lot and then called the mules and told them I wasn't coming. I can't afford it; worse, I can't justify it. I miss the West so much that I actually tranced out while on the phone with the National Parks Service because the hold music was Navajo flute melodies.

Five years ago, I would have gone anyway. Five years ago, I had a lot of growing up to do. At inches-to-thirty, I struggle to keep a mildewy roof over my head-- but it's my roof, soon to be partially financed by my book. It is enough, it is far more than I deserve, to see my nephews unwrap their Christmas presents and to hold the hand of a good man who loves me on my birthday, there beneath the mildew.

And so, I give you thirty: It is about the mules... it's about knowing enough to leave them tied to the rail for the moment.

brighty come back at: mb@blondechampagne.com

14 comments:

susan said...

Bright Angel and Marguerite Henry will understand.

Monica said...

I was going to go to London for my 40th. I've been to the west, and plan to go back, but my birthday is a few days after Thanksgiving and I thought I could get some Christmas shopping in. I've always wanted to go to England, and I thought I could start with one city and then head back for more.

Not only is money an issue, but I just can't get enought time off to do it right. I have become a workaholic. When did that happen? Could it be that I find work *gasp* fulfilling?

MB, don't be like me. Make your plans and fulfill your dream. If money is an issue, write something about the trip and make it tax deductible. Then it's work related, right? Authors do stuff like that all the time. I think it's called a "perk". I'm pretty sure I saw that section in Turbo Tax...

Danica said...

I'm fairly certain the Grand Canyon will stay there until you can visit. However I bought my book (and received it today, YAY!)so I've done my part toward your Grand Canyon vacation.

mike the future buyer said...

Monica: If money is an issue, write something about the trip and make it tax deductible.

I can see it now . . . the new book, MB Does America. A prospective chapter title: "It tastes like EEEVIL!!" :)

Josh The Pilot said...

Monica, fulfilling dreams and getting a tax deduction sounds nice, but the deduction is not enough to make it worth spending the money required to get the deduction, and the dream can always be fulfilled a little later. Delayed gratification is a great thing.
I have promised MB I'll take her to see Brighty sometime, and that's a promise I will keep sooner rather than later.

MB said...

Thank you, danica! And, monica, good idea. I'll keep that in mind.

Don't feel sorry for me, guys-- I'll get there :) Just a matter of when, and to what extent it will be covered by the mass media.

aazmom said...

Thanks for the vid, MB. It's great to have a voice to hear in my head now as I read your posts. And of course, a hairdo I will strive to emulate. :-)

So, last year I turned 40. I had been working full-time for about a year and a half due to a job offer too good to pass up and a one-time huuuge bill regarding one of my kids...and despite having children at home that I wanted to Be There For. As I started planning my fortieth celebration (I bust it out for myself every year) I thought I would take myself and my family to Disneyland (which I happen to adore) and stay in a hotel and eveything. But one day it hit me, that somewhere along the line I had begun working for the vacation, not out of necessity. This sounds really stupid now that I'm writing it out here, but anyway let me sum up by saying I didn't go, I quit the job, I'm now doing what I truly want to spend my days doing, and I may never see Disneyland again. But today I got to hang out and watch the costume parade at the elementary school, and let me tell you, it rivaled anything at the Magic Kingdom.

MB said...

You get what I was saying then, aazmom :) Good for you, and thanks for reaffirming my decision.

my kidz mom said...

As the old lady here on the blogblock (48 and counting), I can verify that aazmom got it right. MB, whacha got with the nephews and JTP - you've already figured *IT* out. Not bad for your mere 30 years on this earth.

red pill junkie said...

C'mon, I may sound too naive, but it's still october. And you know how the saying goes: It ain't over till the fat lady...uhm... buys the book? :-)

Ok, stupid joke. But although you've already received a lot of good advise, let me just say that don't try to plan you're entire life ahead of schedule. Be prepared for the unexpected (or as the shaman warriors put it, BE FLUID). After all, the reason your life is the way it is right now had something to do with an important (and tragic) event that you weren't in control of, but as a result among other things, you have that nice fellow beside you right now, right? You never know what God has got in store for you just around the corner ;-)

And personally, for me turning 33 has a more esoteric connotation...

Monica said...

JTP, if you have been to the Grand Canyon, you know what a life altering experience it and the whole 4 corners region can be. Did you ever fly over it? I promised myself I would try that someday. I rafted down the Colorado River, but I'm too chicken to try the mules.

I did fly over Monument Valley and Lake Powell. Holy moly! It was like seeing another planet! The plane was so rickety and small that they gave us a certificate for making it through the flight alive, but I barely noticed the danger. I was so enthralled with the view!

ShannJ said...

MB - you'll get to the Grand Canyon in no time - and you'll enjoy it that much more for knowing that you did it the right way. Thirty's not bothering me yet, but I still have almost an entire year to go. Let me know how it goes. ;-)

Anyway, so long as you get to spend time with those you love most, those are the most memorable moments we get. Anywhere that you spend your birthday, it will be special just spending it together. Enjoy it!

And, if you have a few minutes between hugging those adorable nephews of yours at Christmas, and have time for lunch, give me a call. I'd love to see you, and I found a couple of pictures that I need to give and/or send you.

MB said...

Awesome, Shannyboat. I will be home for a good long time at Christmas and hope to see you :)

ShannJ said...

Oh, that would be great! I can't believe how long it's been already - time really flies!

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