It's pretty clear to anyone looking that this blog that it has sat dormant for (in web time) a near eternity. But time exists in the real world too. Perhaps a new blog is in order, but I like the Up North name, for even if I'm actually living in Kanzas and my time truly spent Up North has been limited, I still dream of relocating and maybe even gaining a legitimate accent, not one that comes out exclusively when I'm drunk.
Up North, the blog, was started as an outlet to document two weeks assisting my friend in her sculptural endeavors in Franconia Township, Minnesota in April 2009. Since then I have lived in Kansas City, Missouri - under a questionable quality of life - finally getting out in September 2010 to travel and camp in Nebraska, South Dakota, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania.
Right now I live at home in Eastern Kanzas (an archaic spelling from old maps, btw), and work in a large sporting goods store, saving money for the next time I destroy my domestic rut in order to actually experience something that really feels like "living."
It's the Holiday Season, the perfect time to (be able to) work 40 hours a week in a large sporting goods store. In the time returning from Up North after my last uprooting and actually securing a job - and before the days got too chilly - I was riding Blue Christmas (my 1970s Fuji 10 speed) about 80 miles a week on long pleasure rides and totally negating any of the beneficial aspects of cycling with bad dietary and other consumption choices.
Things are different working again. I'm drinking a lot less, my diet is a bit healthier and I've started using a stationary bike to keep my legs in the stress I feel they deserve (ha!). I need to quit killing myself with cigarettes. Up North may very well become a venting ground during nic fits in the near future, but for now I am hoping it can cure another nagging need.
Work 9 hours at the store, come home, 30 to 40 minutes on the bike with a techno soundtrack, shower and something to eat and I'm BORED. Aside from the week I was able to escape to the outdoors for an overnight trip, I have had this awful hunger that I have been unable to satisfy. Drink a beer, eat a snack, smoke a cig, and I'm still left with a void unfilled.
More than one person has suggested a blog, not as a prescription to fill said void, but just a general suggestion, as a compliment to my Voice and Perspective, for those who read blogs. I suppose it's appropriate enough, I know I have left many people in the dark about what's been going on in my life and when asked in casual conversation, it's hard to sum up 9 months of stuff in a quick couple of sentences while waiting in line for a drink.
In June I moved out of my apartment in KC's Northeast Neighborhood. In August I quit my job at the bowling alley. Both of those places were contributing to that aforementioned questionable quality of life, feeding a pattern of anti social behavior. I suppose now that no, not everything is fixed, but oh well, nothing's perfect.
In September, Dad and I tooled around Wisconsin for the better part of a week where fall was in full swing, leaves the color of fire and a cold rain following us everywhere we went. We stopped by Franconia to see how Alisa's piece had held up over a two summers and a winter.
Overall, it was in decent shape, sitting in the graveyard, it's chains padlocked to the gearing to keep it from driving away. Apparently Alisa hadn't even been back yet. I was glad to get some pics and to see it in one piece.
Did some good camping / hiking with Dad over the next few days and ended up in Milwaukee, where dad flew home and I headed to Riverwest to see Alisa in her (former) studio and see her new work, skillets in the shapes of the Northern Midwest states.
I got to revisit and take a crappy picture of a painting I did about 9 years ago which Alisa claims has been in her work space(s) ever since I gave it to her, which is pretty cool.
The next week was spent in the UP, in Saint Ignace, Michigan building trail for the North Country Trail Association. The North Country Trail is a National Scenic trail, meant mostly for hiking (though limited segments do allow horses, ORV / ATVs, mountain bikes) that runs from central North Dakota, through Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania and terminates at the New York / Vermont border.
I also visited my grandmother in Detroit, visited friends in State College, Pennsylvania and Chicago. A second leg took me Nebraska and South Dakota, where in the town of Brookings I had the most ridiculous of good times with Nate, Sarah, Lindsey, Michelle, Mario, Bender and Gretta the dog on Halloween.
Well, apparently it's also difficult to sum up several months in a blog post too... I'm not bored, but I'm tired of writing all this out. It's really not all that exciting.
It's back to the sporting goods store tomorrow. I'm feeling good about the return of the blog. Perhaps next time I'll have more photos, but if you're my FB friend, you've probably seen them all already and if you're looking at my blog there's a good chance you were invited here via FB. Good night.