Sat August 29th, 2015
Day 356: Gluttonous fuck
I need to get back on track.
I updated my blog, and I added pictures to it without much context but it’s fine. I intended to revise or at least read through the entries I wrote while out firefighting, but I didn’t want to. I simply didn’t feel like doing it at the moment. I think it’s better this way anyway as each entry reflects honestly on the moment I wrote it. I’ve yet to read through all of them, but I think I will eventually. It was a fun three weeks that I was out there saving the world, and a hectic and unfavorable past week getting back to my regular routine.
The regular routine is fucked. I plan to do a lot of work tomorrow but planning and doing are two very different things. Also, like I mentioned in another post, I don’t care about 500 words anymore. I’ll write what I write and that’ll be that. I have a little over a week left, anyway. I can’t wait.
I’ve been drinking beer and eating out and not cleaning my house or showering or even shaving, even though I’m intentionally growing out my beard for now. I like it. I’ll see if I still feel that way once it grows out more. My fingernails are long. I feel bloated. Everything feels disorganized. I don’t like it. Fire season is over, so it’s time to regroup.
This will matter to no one but me: I tweaked YNAB, removing my Credit Cards category and instead having my categories show their true debt load. I thought this would help me see which category has the most debt, in which case I won’t spend any of my money on it once I get paid. This mostly means I don’t have money to spend on anything I want. I might break this rule and buy a few things, but I’ll see once all my money comes in. This means I probably won’t buy a TV this time around. I might not have a big purchase this year with my fire money. Hmm…
I’ll shower tomorrow and get my OmniFocus tasks back under control. Then it’s time to consume what I need to consume, create what I need to create, and lose the fat I need to lose. I love September.
Fri August 28th, 2015
Day 355: The weekend is here
So I’m still trying to get my life back on track again. Fire season seems to do that. I know it does it and I know to expect it, but it’s still very tough to steer the ship back to where it used to be. I’ll get there.
Tomorrow I will finally have a day off in almost 4 weeks. It’s been a long time coming and I can’t wait to sleep in and finally go grocery shopping, but I wished to be out firefighting this weekend. It won’t happen. My crew looks like they will demobilize this weekend, giving me zero chance to fight with them.
I still haven’t added all my past entries on my blog. It’s been a long week. I will do that this weekend for sure. It’ll be good to do that then since I only have ten days left on this year. Holy shit you guys. I’m going to make it to a full year of daily entries. So much has happened that I don’t even know where to begin.
Good thing I don’t have to since I’ll have a few future entries to reminisce on that. What’s really on my mind is the fact that I don’t want to spend my money on anything. I’m wishy-washy about it. There are so many things I wouldn’t mind having, but at the same time, I feel like I have enough. I also haven’t received all my firefighting money yet, so my thoughts might change once it does. I also have to wait until my school checks stabilize, and I can get my budget back on track.
So I removed Apple Music from my Apple devices and am going back to buying music. I didn’t like it. I don’t like streaming music. I like owning it. I wrote about this already, but just thought I’d mention it again, if anybody was curious.
I have a lot of work ahead of me still.
Thu August 27th, 2015
Day 354: Exhausted but still ticking
So I still haven’t added my entries to my blog. I’ll do it soon. Tomorrow is Friday, which means I may have a chance this weekend to do it, only if I’m not allowed to go back to firefighting this weekend. I haven’t had a day off since August 2nd, but who cares, right? I’m making money.
I felt better today, but still very very tired. I took it easy, today, though, and nobody seemed to notice. I did my job when it was required of me to do it, but I did the absolute minimum. I have a running list of teachers who need my help, but I, for the most part, ignored it. I checked off a few teachers, but it was hardly a dent.
I totally don’t care about hitting 500 words an entry anymore. I have 11 more days before I close the books on this blog, and I can’t wait. I love writing and I love journalling but I hate blogging. Especially daily blogging. I get less joy out of it than if I wrote in my moleskine. Sorry to be a debbie-downer.
I’m growing my beard out. I haven’t shaved in almost 4 weeks, and I really really missed having a beard. I missed scratching it and petting it and the way I look with it. I’ve been thinking of simply growing it out as far as I could, but I don’t know if I’ll be able to stomach that. We’ll see.
I’ve been making plans in my head for what to do with all this money coming in, but for the most part, I don’t really want to spend it on anything extravagant. There’s kitchen supplies and a new TV and books and a few electronics, but all that stuff can wait for now, I feel. Who knows. Maybe I’ll feel different when all my money comes in.
I’m behind on TV and New Yorker issues and my Instapaper queue is filled to the brim. I love fire season.
Wed August 26th, 2015
Day 353: Not feeling good
Today was awful because I woke up with a runny nose, and I drank two Cold Smokes, which caused me to take a nap for about 2-3 hours just now, and I really didn’t want to write this entry, but here I am writing what I can.
It looks like I have less than 2 weeks before I’m done with all these entries. I have nothing planned for the end other than finishing. I don’t think I’m going to do this for another year. I’m going to write in my moleskine journal as often as possible, but I won’t be bound by word count or consistency. At least not daily consistency.
Today was the first day of school, and god dammit, I didn’t feel good for it. I was so irritated with everyone by the end that it came out during my interactions with people. At least I think so, nobody seemed to have any conflict with me. I think they knew I wasn’t feeling any good.
It’s almost 10, and I don’t know how much sleep I’ll get. I’m not that tired right now, so we’ll see.
I still haven’t posted the last three weeks’ worth of entries. Ugh. I have to do that soon.
Tue August 25th, 2015
Day 352: Settling down
School starts tomorrow, and I’m totally not ready for that.
Work the past two days has been very, very busy, which is good because it’s already almost Wednesday, and I’m still getting paid. I haven’t had a day off since August 2nd, which was the last weekend I had to myself, too. That means I’ve been earning money since then, which is pretty fantastic once you start thinking about it. And nothing below $17.80 an hour, to boot.
We have a lot of new faces at work, and yesterday we had this meeting in the cafeteria with everyone employed by the school, and we were all introduced to one another. All the work I did before leaving to firefight is paying off because it has made my days this week a little bit easier. A lot of the work I’ve had to do has been little things that add up because everyone has needed my help for something. I still need to do a few more big things tomorrow and maybe Thursday, but I think (hope?) that by Friday things will start to slow down. At least by next week I should have my routine back… again, I hope.
I’m still writing this entry in Day One because the thought of adding all the entries I’ve written since August 4th is making me procrastinate. It’s not an easy task, something i can accomplish in a few minutes. I hope by the weekend things start to settle down and my routine will return. I at least cleaned my house a bit today. No more expired food in the fridge, clean dishes, and everything put back in its place. Even my firefighting gear.
I miss firefighting.
Mon August 24th, 2015
Day 351: Working through it
One of the saddest things about the end of fire season is the hard crash that comes from the monotony of a slower routine. Firefighting has a predictable and somewhat harsh routine: wake up early, sleep deprived, and exhausted, have a few minutes to brush teeth and put boots on, attend briefing, have breakfast, and finally go to the fire, catching up with micro-naps here and there. Then there’s the long hike into the fire, the few hours of work before lunch, lunch time, a few more hours of work, and the long hike out of the fire. Then dinner. Sprinkled in-between all of that, though, is the fact that you’re doing something you love with people who love it just as much as you do. These people are also all so different, and you learn so much from them and them from you, and there’s a camaraderie that builds up so quickly and feels like it’s lasted so long that when it’s over, there’s no way to replace it.
Time seems to work. This is my fourth fire season, so I know that time works, but I also know that I’ve fallen into a depression after each fire season, too. I drink more, I eat more, I try my hardest to be more social in an attempt to recreate the social life of firefighters while out on a fire, but it hasn’t worked. I’m going to give myself tonight to drink and sleep and feel what I feel, but I can’t let it linger forever. I’m even going to try to come back and fight fires during the weekends, but that’s not guaranteed in stone or anything.
I just miss it. There’s still a lot of work to be done, and I forgot to mention how beautiful Montana is, even when it’s on fire. The best part of all of this is being able to see places a lot of people have never seen before. God, I need to go hiking again.
Sun August 23rd, 2015
Day 350: Home
I’m back home.
My 2015 fire season is over, and I go back to work tomorrow. Back to the daily grind. It sucks that I have to leave my fire family now when there’s so much more work to be done, but I have a good job that I can’t abandon for a few weeks of work and fun.
School starts on Wednesday, and there’s still a lot of shit yet to be done. People have told me this first week of school is super stressful, so we’ll see what happens.
I’ve already had a couple of beers, and I’m tired. Tomorrow I’ll edit and post all the entries I’ve written since going on fires almost 3 weeks ago. It should be fun reading through them again. I know I didn’t write super long entries, but it should hopefully trigger some awesome memories.
This was a great summer. I really loved it, and it made me so proud to be a firefighter.
Sat August 22nd, 2015
Day 349: T Minus 1 day
The penultimate day of my 2015 fire season is over, and it went well. We did a bit more than yesterday because the weather was a bit better. Cold, but better. The lightning storm from last night didn’t do much damage on the reservation, which was good, and the rain actually helped our fire a lot. The section my squad was in charge of had a few big smokes but very few overall smokes. We easily spent our time and took out all the troublesome heat from my section. The higher-ups were impressed with all of our work, so that’s something we’re all proud of.
Tomorrow will be my last day, and I’m not too sure what we’ll be doing there. There’s still a lot of heat in the interior, and it looks like the line around our division has been secured really well, so I don’t know. It’s been fun.
One more day and my 2015 season is done. I don’t know how to feel about that. For one thing, I’m happy to be coming back home and getting back into my routine. I’ve also enjoyed all the new friendships I’ve made that may or may not extend into my personal life outside of fire. But on the other hand, I’m going to miss all the work still left to do this fire season, and I’m going to miss all my fire friends. They’re really a second family, and I’m going to miss that.
I’m sure I’ll have some more words to say about this tomorrow. In the meantime, good night everyone.
Fri August 21st, 2015
Day 348: T Minus 2 Days
Today was a slow day, and I think we all needed that. Our old crew boss is taking the next few days off to get her kids ready for the upcoming school year, so we got a new crew boss today, and he’s much more laid back than she was. So we sat around for most of the day.
We couldn’t do much without water, and our resources are so extended that we probably won’t get any skidgine’s for awhile. So we opened the spots as best as we could and we tried to dry mop them, but dammit, we couldn’t. They were just too hot. In fact, they were so hot, the deeper we dug, the softer the dirt became, and once we hit that soft dirt, we could see it boiling. There’s nothing like seeing dirt boil.
So we sat around, talked, goofed around, watched the storm roll in and pass us and then hit Ronan with 45 MPH winds and hail and lightning, and then bumped out and drove off the hill, just in case that storm decided to do something stupid over us.
And now I’m home, tired, washed, and ready for bed. 17 days to go.
Thu August 20th, 2015
Day 347: Shit rolls downhill
T-Minus 3 more days.
It’s hard being the boss sometimes. You’re held responsible for everyone’s actions, and when shit goes wrong, you’re the one who’s blamed. Shit rolls downhill, and the overhead of my overhead was in charge of the western side of the fire, which is what we were working on, and if our ineptitude caused the fire to spread any farther, he would’ve been to blame. So of course I understand why he was hard on us, since we are ultimately the ones doing the work, but damn… it’s hard being the boss.
It’s especially hard when you have an inept fucking fuck of a worker who wanders off god knows where with his headphones in his ears and fucking trees torching below him. Thankfully, I was able to pawn him off to someone else, so that made my life a little easier.
Orders have been unclear and messy the past few days, and communication sucks up there. For many of us, we’ve been fighting fires for over 2 and a half weeks with one day off, and we’re all tired, beat up, and complacent. I know I am. I’m fucking tired. But I have 3 more days before I have to get back to work. I honestly can’t wait.