Tuesday, July 15, 2014


Writing in my blog when I have nothing in mind can be a bit dangerous.  Not in a literal sense, like texting and (fill in the blank of most activities, except sitting down).  Just dangerous in the sense that I will wander through my thoughts and drag you poor people with me.  For instance:

  • I realized that I am finally used to, and enjoy, the cool, foggy summer mornings here.  Notice that reads mornings, not all damn day.
  • I noticed a ding in the front/side bumper of my new car yesterday.  I didn't even realize that had happened. What's newsworthy about that?  I didn't cry.
  • I meant to give myself a good talking to (silently) that I wasted a perfectly good 3-day weekend.  (No, we don't get Bastille Day off; I just felt like it.)  Then I realized, I don't care that much. 
  • I sometimes experience kairosclerosis but the memory of my 3-year-old self* at the amusement park forces me out of it. My story isn't exactly the same as kairosclerosis, that's really about anticipatory anxiety, but still.  (Such a good argument to make when no one is around, "Yeah, but still.")
Perhaps tomorrow there will be more here to read.  Tonight is writing group.  Keep your expectations low though,  kids.

*You've surely heard this one, right?  I was riding a little kiddie ride at a park adjacent to the Sacramento Zoo.  Just my mom and I were there and she waved at me and smiled as I went by.  It was ride that went around and up and down a little and the "cars" were made to look like fish. A photograph of this scene exists in family albums.)  They even made a swish-swish-swish sound. After the ride, my mom asked me, "How come you weren't smiling?  Was the ride too scary?"  "No," I said.  "I was just thinking about how sad I'm going to be when we leave."  Welcome to the hard-wiring in my brain.  

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Who doesn't like a list, when you think about it?

A bit of silliness from last night's writing group:

Here is a list of things that, from now on, I will try very hard not to complain about:

1. Skinny-jeaned, handle bar-mustachioed, ironic T-shirt wearing hipsters
2. The elaborate, music-filled, BBQ smoke emitting picnics that appear along the lakeside every weekend.
3. My boss' obsessive-compulsive need to scour the websites I manage and then email me 5 or more times in a hour about things he does not like.
4. The next door neighbor's new love of playing loud country music and/or video games.
5. Bev, erstwhile hippie turned dumpster diver who lives in our neighborhood and tries to convince everyone she meets to write letters to the city about potholes.
6. The monstrously rude biker who plows down the back street setting off car alarms and terrorizing apartment dogs.
7. The bootcampers doing tricep dips off the curb of a major street or do crunches on the sidewalk.

Monday, July 7, 2014


n. the frustration of photographing something amazing when thousands of identical photos already exist—the same sunset, the same waterfall, the same curve of a hip, the same closeup of an eye—which can turn a unique subject into something hollow and pulpy and cheap, like a mass-produced piece of furniture you happen to have assembled yourself.

Photography for me was always a vemödalen-producing experience.  Hmm.  I'm not sure about the usefulness of the word "vemödalen," in my life at least, but I noticed it while was I perusing the site and it made me think of this photo.  iPhones are phones, text devices, calendars, and so much more but cameras you can expect to capture a deep-breath moment, a sudden stillness that makes you want to memorize it all?  Probably not.  

The image of the shade with a great expanse of nature and humanity stretching out beyond it, in the bright sun, is what stopped me.  It's cool there in the shade.  My eyes can un-squint.  It's safe, but the glare and dust is waiting for me.  The sharp descent will tease me into a quiver or a fall, but there's no other way to get home.

Thursday, July 3, 2014


Packing wood before the rain
Oak logs piled
I remember it in rows
Mossy, wet, sharp fresh cuts to the grain
Woodcut scent fills my head
Endless trips, driveway to back porch, back porch to driveway
Whistle of the bark against my winter coat
Safety cone orange and white reflector piping
Sisters holding, packing, putting down, repeat, repeat
After-school clouds, late autumn gray, build above us
Holding, packing, putting down, dripping water, drip-drop
Then she takes pity.  Finish it tomorrow, she says.
Wood stove welcoming, iron hunk, strong legs, warm as a heartbeat
Fingers defrosting, stinging cheeks softening
The stove draws us in, holds us, expelling intoxicating heat
Irresistible spittle drops, hot stove surface, watch it dance, sizzle.
No more, she said.  No hugging on the stove.  It's bad for you.
Rain outside, hissing wood on fire
Boiling soup, hot brown mugs, steamed windows.  Home.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Waiting for the Sun

It's there.  It's trying to kill us.
Trying to kill us all
A/C breakdown, 106, dry dry foothills
One massive, gaseous, life-giving, left-ending star
Baking the upholstery, cooking my thighs
After that day, Sunday, visiting day
We know he has his hot sun, his solar panels
His egg farm.  Chickens scratching, pecking
Cigarette smoke, old shoebox, old photos
Stories starring me, always the fool, all nerves and pratfalls
But I smile
He remembered, saved the memories, saved the pictures
Boy.  Such a boy at 5, at 10, at 21 a father
A boy still looks through the folds of skin, white hair, smoke
Cigarette smoke
He keeps the sun for us, keeps it busy, puts it to work
Earning its own keep
On a slant behind the hen house, next to the driveway, of his house.