turning your orbit around

or... the utter enormity of the task



though today is my actual birthday, it's the third birthday party for me in as many days. on sunday, a friend of mine and i had a shared birthday party at his place, with a keg and everything. a kegger - not bad for 31 (me) and 34 respectively. it was mostly his and his wife's friends, who were all very nice. we played horseshoes and grilled out and tried not to get too drenched by a cold rain.

yesterday, same thing except at our place: cook out, drink the remnants of the keg, and try not to get too wet when filling our cups out in an even chillier rain. we had some neighbors from our condo complex come over, some cmc co-workers, a few of my friends not from work, and some of my sister-in-law's buddies. it was a very nice afternoon and evening where everyone got to know each other better, and i couldn't have asked for more. it was capped off by chris walsh and me playing buzzed songs on the guitar.

today, a party at work - bring your own lunch and sit on the deck with your librarian. 60 degrees, beautiful sunny day, everything smells fresh from the recent rains, and milk and cookies to top things off.

it all got me to thinking - i feel truly blessed. i love where i live, where i work, the fact that i'm playing music with friends. i really enjoy the people i work with and the people i meet. steamboat rocks.

put very simply: things are good.


hey, can someone get me a pop, y'all?

My Linguistic Profile:

60% General American English

15% Yankee

10% Dixie

10% Upper Midwestern

5% Midwestern

small town drunk's debut

our drummer in big pants, brett, is currently up in the great white north of cold, cold canada. he's there to train people for his employer - the giant and scary corporate conglomerate called resortquest. this training is taking place in whistler. lucky bastard, eh?

while he's gone, we've been playing with a 19 year old CMC student who goes by the name "rasta phil." rasta phil likes reggae... and other trappings of the rastafarian lifestyle. this is just a guess. but if true, it doesn't seem to inhibit his drum playing too much, since he's pretty good.

anyway, last night we played the "friends of the yampa river" benefit at mahogany ridge. we did about an hour's worth of music, and we didn't suck too bad. but it was f*#king awesome because we were actually on a stage. at our regular gig at braun's, we're just down on the floor and people are dancing about 4 feet away from my microphone. but at mahogany, we got a stage. a stage!! sweet.

in order to honor brett's place in big pants, we decided to go by a different name. last night, we were "small town drunk featuring rasta phil." i stole it from a pretty good north dakota band. it's just for a week, so i don't see how they could mind. plus, they're broken up, and currently looking for their misplaced garden gnome.

we also did a couple of songs with another CMC employee - this skinny white girl who sounds like aretha franklin when she belts it out. just a phantastic voice. anyway, here's the setlist, if you're interested:

voodoo woman (with heather) - blues classic
women and wine (with heather) - martin sexton
handshake drugs - wilco
waiting for signs - an orginal by me
rodeo clowns - jack johnson
the golden age - beck
california stars - wilco
ball & biscuit - white stripes
hey julia - robert palmer & little feat
empire builder - mason jennings
ain't no sunshine (with heather) - bill withers
don't push - sublime


motion deferred

last night, i pled not guilty to having dogs that "run at large." (it makes them sound like criminals, doesn't it?) a trial date will be set; it will be a trial to be decided by the judge, and not a jury trial. the complainant, who does not live here year round, will be summoned. if she cannot make it, the case is dropped. if she can make it, then at least i have a chance to make a personal contact and implore her to communicate with us in the future if she's ever unhappy again.

court costs incurred for this whole process? a measly $15. i figured it was worth the gamble.

i am learning how to work the system. sign me up for law school!


a dog's day in court

well, folks, i go to court at 5 o'clock this evening to protest our "dogs running at large" citation. it was issued to us at the beginning of the month, at the request of a joyless old hag in an entirely different condo complex below us. and she's a vacation homeowner to boot! grrrrrrrr.

i've armed myself with the city's municipal ordinances regarding dogs, and i think i've found my sentence on which i'll build my case:

"a dog shall be considered running at large if the dog is left unattended on any public property, whether or not the dog is secured by any leash, cord, chain or other means..."

though our dogs were unleashed, they were never "unattended." we were always with them.

wish me luck. if i lose, i'm out a hundred bucks.


hobbled dogs update

went home for lunch and administered some doggy first aid. slathered their pads with neosporin and then covered each paw with little toddler socks i got from wal-mart, and some athletic wrap. they're still in pain, but they look hilarious.

i'll see if i can get a pic for tomorrow's posting.

two hobbled dogs

yesterday, the dogs and i hiked up mad creek trail. if you've been paying attention to the weather here in colorado this may, it's already very warm. too warm.

couple the heat with the fact that this was our first hike of any significant length this season, and, well, i have two marvelously miserable dogs. the girls have not built up really rough paws yet, and their front paws blistered and tore on the hike. i carried marley downhill the last quarter mile or so.

they're stumbling around like 6 week old puppies, licking their paws at every available opportunity, and we have to carry them up and down the stairs and outside for bathroom breaks.

i feel like such an asshole.


sweet mountain mud

the original planners of howelsen hill ski area did not do a very sound job of cutting its ski runs. this year, and pretty much every year i think, the center of the headwall run is slowly losing an impossible, grimy battle with gravity. every day, more muck makes its way down the slope, in a glacially paced mudslide. city directors, local engineers, sports & rec employees - they're all trying to figure out how to shore it up so that it doesn't happen again.

all of that inspired this.

mud season

the banks of the yampa
are undercut and wet
espresso chocolate dark

a handful of mud is smooth
with little bits of grit
like sugar in cookie dough

for a few weeks
normally dry fields become

muck disguised under grass
grabbing sandal soles
soft and messy sounds

and i
just like the aspens
reach my roots deep

drink in the water
the spring
the snowmelt

blossom a brilliant green
and sow my soul
in the mud of this valley


thank you everyone

thanks to everyone's help, we were able to raise $850 for the muscular dystrophy association! awesome!

i just got back from the mda jail, which was actually just a local mexican restaurant decorated with prison bars and police sirens. the restaurant kicked in and gave a free lunch to all the hardened criminals. my friend chris walsh came by and sat with me so i'd have a cellmate.

thanks to:
keith olson
matt pilcher
ma n' pa willis
paul primrose
britt powell
dave remmert
kelli kuhl
craig n' christine muehling
chris neukom (snookum)
wendy pickering

there were 3 anonymous givers, so thanks very much to you 3 also. and thanks to my many coworkers here at the college, though i don't think any of them read my blog.

if you have not donated yet, and still want to, my lockup page will be up for 30 more days. check it out if you have time.

great job, people!!


a full schedule

first off - have i mentioned that i'll be locked up tomorrow by the muscular dystrophy association? if you'd like to help me post my bail, and donate a few dollars to a great cause in the process, please go to my lockup page. (mom, dad, timmy... buehler? buehler?)

in case you missed that link, here it is again: dave's lockup page.

and again: dave's lockup page.

so, i was thinking about my evening schedule for the summer, and something has got to give. i'll need to have big pants practice at least two weeknights a week; i'm taking beginning adult tae kwon do on tuesday and thursday nights; i have yoga on wednesdays after work; at some point, i'll need to occasionally go to book cart drill team practice with my fellow steamboat librarians for the july 4th parade; and to top it all off i'll be working until 8 monday through thursday every other week, which will necessitate me missing some classes anyway.


my first tae kwon do class was last night, and it was awesome. not only was the physical aspect all about joyous movement, but when the instructor started talking about blocking punches by anticipating someone's chi changing - well, i just about lost it. that shit is cool.

yoga is tonight, and i hear the instructor is great. if i love it, i may stick with the yoga, drop the tae kwon do for the summer and then sign up for it again in the fall.

any ideas on what should stay and what should go?


just about one third of the way there

hi folks!

two days left until i'm locked up for the annual muscular dystrophy association fundraiser. i'm a little over 1/3rd of the way to my $1200 goal. if you haven't made a donation yet, please do! i'm going to make this whole message a link to my lockup page website, so no matter where you click you can't go wrong.

once on the site, you are able to pay online by credit card. or, if you'd prefer to send a check, there are directions for that as well. obviously, i won't get the check by thursday, so if you could send an email to me (dwillis@coloradomtn.edu) and let me know what you're giving, i'd appreciate it.

thank you for your friendship and support.


i feel like a million bucks

tonight is the CMC graduation ceremony. i have been asked to don my cap and gown and sit with other faculty and staff on the stage and look "official." which will be difficult for me, since i think i'm still a couple decades away from looking "official." but i agreed to do it nonetheless.

in preparation, i got a haircut today at tribeca salon, which is pretty much the only salon in steamboat springs where a man can get a proper metrosexual cut and style. my stylist - meadow - also trimmed by beard and did the whole hot mentholated towel thing on my face while she was washing my hair. i felt like a made man in the mafia.

have i mentioned that i'm going away to jail next week? to help post my bail, visit my lockup page.

congrats to mista overman and p-diddy for finishing their first years back in school. i couldn't be prouder or happier for both of you.

i'll keep writing if you keep reading.


9 days until lockdown

hey all -

if you haven't heard, i'm being taken away to jail at the rio grande restaurant on may 12. it's the annual muscular dystrophy association's lockup, and i need help raising my bail (if i don't meet my goal, i'll have to sit around all day eating chips and salsa with handcuffs on - and the rio's salsa isn't that great).

thanks so far to the following people for helping post my bail:
keith olson
matt pilcher
britt powell
dave remmert
several coworkers to remain anonymous

if you'd like to give online, go to my lockup page. you can also find info there on mailing a donation, including my address and who to make a check out to.

thank you very much, loyal readers!


is that a marmot in your pants?

on thursday and friday of last week, i drove the 3.5 hours to grand junction for the annual marmot director's meeting. marmot is our shared online catalog. around 30 western slope colorado libraries are part of a consortium, administered by the marmot group, that provides us, among other things, increased buying power with library vendors and a shared cooperative online catalog (i.e. if we don't have it, mesa state college will and they'll send it to us).

it was a good time, and the librarians really cut loose. the dinner/cocktail hour on thursday night was at the marmot president's house, and it was a cinco de mayo theme. as a result, there was a piñata, which was tied up with a kite string, and the kite string was simply not cutting it. anytime someone would whack it, the string would break. finally, no one was willing to tie up the sad little piñata again, so...

we gave it a south central l.a. gang style beatdown on the ground. it was the funniest goddamn thing i've seen in awhile. 3 mild-mannered librarians (myself included) stomping and beating this orange horse like we were bloods and crips and it owed us money.

got back friday evening in time for big pants' second gig at braun's. we were much better this time, played 2.5 sets that lasted about three hours, and actually had about 15 people dancing at one point. good fun.

i'll keep writing if you keep reading. peace out!