March and April hold a lot of excursions, visitors and just plain work. And sweet Christ, I hope a little sunshine.
Tomorrow, Sara and I are going to the Grand Lodge, an old Masonic lodge converted into a hotel with a spa, frisbee golf course, bars and such. Should be fun. We’re going with Jen and Mike, a couple from her work. Sara signed us all up for massages, despite not knowing if Mike and I were okay with a male masseuse (masseur?). I decided I am if Mike is, since if we one of us does it and the other doesn’t it’d just be weird. Jen called and said Mike’s in, and I should be too, so we’d both “be on the same level.” So we’re getting massages. Never had one.
I fly to Chicago for a weekend in mid-March for “team meetings,” which are an open forum on how the organization works. How to improve; what we’re doing wrong. For those who don’t know what I do (which I think includes my entire family, most of my friends and sometimes Sara) I work for a national non-profit that runs liberal political campaigns. As with all large enterprises, it can be unwieldy to say the least. Still, I credit the leadership for allowing such a discussion. It speaks to the egalitarian (if at least in spirit) nature of the work.
Swedlund arrives late March. We’re going to see Son Volt and TV on the Radio. And ride through town on mighty steeds and make blood rain down on the houses our enemies. Folk songs will be written.
In April I travel to Southern Oregon to recruit college students for the summer campaign, plus leading out a camping canvass to Ashland. I went last year and it was a good time. Fucking grass seeds hit my allergies and turned me into a puddle of tears and snot for one day though. Man, Ashland is a great town. Just behave and don’t fall asleep in public if you visit.
My new regional director is coming to town for a site visit in April also. She’s staying at my house. I like her, but I sort of doubt the likelihood of folk songs. Or steeds. It occurs to me that I’ve hit a point in life where phrases like “regional director,” and “site visit” are part of my vocabulary. Weird. You can’t live out of cars and national parks forever I guess. Or can you?
My ex-girlfriend’s dad is coming to town for a reading of his latest book, a collection of his best newspaper columns from before he became one of the greatest living American novelists. I haven’t seen or heard from him or Casey’s mom since we split up. I’m tempted to stop by and say hello, and Sara’s undertaken a campaign to convince me to attend. “You should be an adult about it,” she said. I’m not sure though. It’s always a little weird when a split causes people who were almost family to become strangers. That and he’s a little scary. Not as a person. He’s actually an amazingly cool and funny guy, if a little quirky. We always got along. But I figure seeing an ex or ex inlaws always contains a certain amount of pressure to appear to be “doing well.” It’s tough to feel like that when you’re in the presence of a National Book Award winner.