Fightin’ in Kentucky

Quick post here, as urged by my sister. She’s smart, I’m not. She read my TCL post about my dislocated shoulder — yeah, fuck, fuckfuckfuck, I dislocated my shoulder two weeks ago and I’m supposed to leave for Patagonia in four weeks, but recovery takes three months, fuckfuckfuck — and she liked the post, asked if I’d linked to it from here. Uhhh, well, I haven’t quite gotten around to it yet. I’m a busy guy. “If not, you’re a douche,” she said. Ouch. The WebTV-Baby Lady is calling me a douche. But don’t she know I got shit goin’ on? Right now, for

Life imitating art?

example, as I type, I’m swilling a marg, drowning my sorrows, preparing to go out for Halloween. Fortunately I don’t even have to dress-up — cheapest, easiest costume ever thanks to my new haircut and stylin’ ‘stache.

My buddy Craig is telling me about Halloween parties growing up in Kentucky, and just said, “We got into a big fight this one time, like six on six, and one of us was a parapalegic — and he’s the one who started it, cracked a guy across the head with his crutch.” His story ended with, “And that’s when I realized I couldn’t fight while intoxicated.” He just told me that my Halloween “costume” is what started the topic of fightin’ in Kentucky.

Anyway, I know this is the lamest post ever, but a much better one, the story of my shoulder, can be found here.

What's to come for me over the next couple of months.

We’re Not Breaking Up

I swear it’s not you, it’s me…. I just, I just, I have a lot on my mind right now. Like climbing, drinking margaritas, climbing, a new bottle of Cabo Wabo Anejo, and some work. Priorities.


Professional athlete.


OK, that’s my slack ass apology for not posting in forever. Well, um, I’ve been writing regularly for someone else. Patagonia’s award-winning blog, The Cleanest Line. I just forgot to link this to that, because perhaps my sister was right about the effect of my new haircut (She goes: “Seriously, Kel, it makes you look mentally challenged”). This is sweet, I’m psyched. I make my living as a writer. I am not a “professional climber,” nor do I deserve to be. Yes, I have some sponsors, and I’m hugely grateful – nobody owes me shit for going climbing – but that’s not how I make my living. Momentary side rant: Michael Jordan was a professional athlete.


Not a professional athlete.


If you still live in your parents’ basement or in your truck, and earn less than a janitor for going climbing, you are not a professional climber. I’m talking being paid to climb; not paid to write, or to take photos, or to guide, or to work in a gear shop or have a paper route on the side (the kid – or pro climber – delivering your papers is not, for example, necessarily a journalist,). OK, now I’m laughing – that seemingly ubiquitous “pro climber” claim cracks me up like a scene from Waiting for Guffman. Anyway, my primary, meager living comes from writing and editing (and if you’re reading this drivel, you’re surely thinking like those folks who see modern art and go “my kid could do that”).

The Cleanest Line is awesome, but they wanted more climbing. Given my pathetically one-dimensional nature, it seems a good fit. I can blather-on endlessly about the wonderfully worthless world of climbing. Granted, for my TCL posts, I’ve had to tone down the f-bomb (fuck) and I probably won’t rant against other companies (like I did here, here, and here, for example), and my clown suit jokes probably won’t make the cut, either, but I can do such things here if I get the urge.


An obligatory, random climbing shot. It's from a route we climbed about 10 days ago -- was so psyched, given my leg. I've got a summer of recovery post coming (if I get around to it...).


What I want to do here is post updates about my TCL posts, like a little bit about the stories, maybe some stories behind the stories, and so on. We’ll see. Maybe I can at least remember to post a link when I do a TCL post — shit, I’ve been writing for TCL for two months now, and this my first update here. Oops. I hear a little voice: “Dude, if writing is your living, then you are quite possibly the worst businessman in the world.” True enough.

A couple of notes on some of my TCL posts:

• My most recent post: Going Up. It’s basically about desire and the secret to hard climbing. I’ve always thought of it in the alpine sense, and on my best alpine routes I’ve seen it in my partners: badasses like Jonny Copp, Scott DeCapio, Jim Earl, Colin Haley and Josh Wharton. I’m seeing it in other realms of climbing and in life as well, and will write more on the topic soon.

• The post before gave a sort of update on my recovery: Just a Five-Minute Run.

• Sometimes I’ll be TCL’s editorial voice introducing a climbing story, like in the three-part series about Tommy & crew’s China trip. Here’s part three, Tommy’s superb trip report.

• Yes, the margarita recipes are there. The good folks at Patagonia insisted on it. I’m like, “Really, you guys sure? I mean, I don’t drink many margaritas…” Here’s one (my opening post), and another. Reminds me, it’s about time for a new one.

• They’ve got my posts filed under my name, so if you’re suffering from insomnia and want to read them all, here you go:

Hey, anybody ever see that Onion headline a few years back: Internet Outage Sends Nation Into Spurt of Productivity. Well, for all four of you who read my blog, so long as we don’t suffer an internet outage I’ll do my best to try to keep distracting you – if not here, then at least over at Not that I’m trying to diminish productivity and bring you down to my level, no, no – I’m just all about spreading the love. It’s not me, it’s you.