Friday, June 28, 2013


…Well, I got up early and ran 12 miles on the trail in town this morning.  That’s the longest I’ve gone in quite some time.  Unfortunately, I’m also giving blood in an hour.  I hate giving blood.  Half the time they jab that needle in too hard.  Still, I’d like to think someone else would donate blood if I needed some.

…My son’s best friend’s house burnt down last night.   He lives across the lake.  Everything is gone.  He’s a great kid and I feel terrible for him.  He’ll probably be living here a while.

…I have this last story up at Pure Slush to finish out my run as Featured Writer for June:

…I’m dying to see “Fruitvale” and I hope it’s out this weekend.  You should see it, too.

…Here are some funny things someone sent me:


An elderly Floridian called 911 on her cell phone to report that her car has been broken into. She is hysterical as she explains her situation to the dispatcher: "They've stolen the stereo, the steering wheel, the brake pedal and even the accelerator!" she cried. The dispatcher said, "Stay calm. An officer is on the way." A few minutes later, the officer radios in. "Disregard." He says. "She got in the back-seat by mistake.

Three sisters ages 92, 94 and 96 live in a house together. One night the 96 year old draws a bath. She puts her foot in and pauses. She yells to the other sisters, "Was I getting in or out of the bath?" The 94 year old yells back, "I don't know. I'll come up and see." She starts up the stairs and pauses "Was I going up the stairs or down?" The 92 year old is sitting at the kitchen table having tea listening to her sisters. She shakes her head and says, "I sure hope I never get that forgetful." She knocks on wood for good measure. She then yells, "I'll come up and help both of you as soon as I see who's at the door."

Three retirees, each with a hearing loss, were playing golf one fine March day. One remarked to the other, "Windy, isn't it?" "No," the second man replied, "It's Thursday." And the third man chimed in, "So am I. Let's have a beer."

A little old lady was running up and down the halls in a nursing home. As she walked, she would flip up the hem of her nightgown and say "Supersex." She walked up to an elderly man in a wheelchair. Flipping her gown at him, she said, "Supersex." He sat silently for a moment or two and finally answered, "I'll take the soup."


An older couple were lying in bed one night. The husband was falling asleep but the wife was in a romantic mood and wanted to talk. She said: "You used to hold my hand when we were courting." Wearily he reached across, held her hand for a second and tried to get back to sleep.
A few moments later she said: "Then you used to kiss me". 
Mildly irritated, he reached across, gave her a peck on the cheek and settled down to sleep. Thirty seconds later she said: "Then you used to bite my neck." Angrily, he threw back the bed clothes and got out of bed. "Where are you going?" she asked.
"To get my teeth!"


80-year old Bessie bursts into the rec room at the retirement home. She holds her clenched fist in the air and announces, "Anyone who can guess what's in my hand can have sex with me tonight!!" An elderly gentleman in the rear shouts out, "An elephant?" Bessie thinks a minute and says, "Close enough."


Two elderly ladies had been friends for many decades. Over the years, they had shared all kinds of activities and adventures.
Lately, their activities had been limited to meeting a few times a week to play cards. One day, they were playing cards when one looked at the other and said, "Now don't get mad at me ... I know we've been friends for a long time ...but I just can't think of your
name! I've thought and thought, but I can't remember it. Please tell me what your name is."
Her friend glared at her. For at least three minutes she just stared and glared at her. Finally she said, "How soon do you need to know?"


As a senior citizen was driving down the freeway, his car phone rang. Answering, he heard his wife's voice urgently warning him, "Herman, I just heard on the news that there's a car going the wrong way on Interstate 77. Please be careful!"
"Hell," said Herman, "It's not just one car. It's hundreds of them!"


Two elderly women were out driving in a large car - both could barely see over the dashboard. As they were cruising along, they came to an intersection. The stoplight was red, but they just went on through. The woman in the passenger seat thought to herself "I must be losing it. I could have sworn we just went through a red light." After a few more minutes, they came to another intersection and the light was red again.  Again, they went right through. The woman in the passenger seat was almost sure that the light had been red but was really concerned that she was losing it. She was getting nervous and decided to pay very close attention to the road and sure enough, when they came to the third red light, they went right on through. So, she turned to the other woman and said, "Mildred, did you know that we just ran through three red lights in a row? You could have killed us both!"

Mildred turned to her and said, "Oh, am I driving?"

Wednesday, June 26, 2013


…My house faces the lake, as does the exercise room on the first floor, and while on the treadmill this morning, listening to Better Than Ezra (my all-time favorite band) two deer, does, made their way on the lawn out to the lake.  They were beautiful, so sleek and graceful.  Deer are my favorite animals, next to zebras.

…It’s my birthday today, and I’m okay with that.  I used to hate my birthday, getting older, plus I didn’t like it when people lavished attention on me. 
Now it’s kind of nice to be noticed.

…This is one of my favorite stories that I’ve ever written.  It appeared in Black Heart Magazine.  I just love Ruthie.

            Before she died, Ruthie wanted to go skinny dipping. 
She paid a man from the home named, Jay, to take her.  They rode in the van with the bad shocks and she watched her skin bounce, heard it slap, her dermis the color and texture of tortillas.  In the rearview, Ruthie saw herself as a series of shudders, a broke down woman with white dandelion seed hair strapped into a wheel chair unit.  When she leaned forward she could pick out the sparkly bits of sliver-blue in her irises.  Her eyes were the thing that had changed least over the years.  She knew she’d never been beautiful, but Levi had gushed about her eyes.  At first Ruthie thought he just wanted inside her skirt, but Levi never stopped remarking on their light, said the colors shifted in the sun, said it was like panning for gold.  And so she’d believed him.
“Are we almost there?” Ruthie asked.  It had been decades since she’d been so excited.  Her stomach gurgled.  She felt giddy and girlish.
Jay leaned over the headrest, his breath smelling awful of cigarettes.  When he shot her a look, Ruthie knew not to ask again, not to push her luck just yet.
Levi was deeply muscled with skin like cooled lava, the first black man she’d ever befriended.  He stared at her constantly and this made her feel as if she were being excavated.  His consistent attention wasn’t overly sexualized, though.  He just seemed very interested about her.
Levi worked on the other side of the lake doing landscaping for the Wheelers and one brave day Ruthie rowed across, tied the boat to the dock, and called to him.
His gaze went immediately to her eyes, gleaning something she was unable to discern.  Sweat twisted down his neck, into his chest like inky rain and she was ashamed by how desperately she wanted to lick it off.  Ruthie was not that kind of girl; she was a virgin and had only really kissed Tommy Pittman.
Levi smelled of mown grass and sour perspiration and Ruthie adored the aroma at once.  She was exhausted with always having to be ironed and perfumed.
They talked for hours that day.  And the next.  And for days and days that summer.
Ruthie’s affection for Levi became dominating and exclusive.  She knew she would never love another, but Ruthie soon learned that Levi’s fondness was simply that.  He did not love her, not in the way Ruthie desired.
Levi loved a white man named Benedict.   
To be homosexual back then, and to also mix races, was preposterous.  Levi realized he was in a doomed affair, just as Ruthie knew she was now equally ill-fated. 
Listening to Levi describe his yearning for Benedict was a paradoxical torture for Ruthie.  He had opened up a place inside her that no one else could fill. 
Levi confessed to Ruthie that he would meet Benedict on Friday nights in the hidden cove east of Storm Lake.  They’d go skinny dipping.
“You should come!”
Ruthie laughed, but secretly she was holding herself back from having a heart attack.  The thought of seeing Levi naked ran a hot blade of lust through her. 
“Seriously, join us.  We get there at nine.  I’d love for you to meet Benedict.”
The days leading up to that Friday were impossible.  Ruthie had decided she would do it; she would swim naked with her beloved and her beloved’s lover. 
At the last minute, however, she chickened out.  Convention got into her brain.  Suddenly it all seemed ludicrous—her infatuated with a man who did feel the same.  And to go skinny dipping with them!
Saturday morning her world burnt down.
Both Levi and Benedict had been found drowned, washed up in the cove with cattle rope strung around them, neck-to-neck. 
Ruthie broke, actually felt something coming unhinged inside her, irreparable for all eternity.
That was sixty-seven years ago. 
            Now the river came into view.
 Jay grumbled as he extricated Ruthie.  “This is the worst idea ever,” he said, pushing her to the water’s edge. 
“I paid you $1,000.  Where else are you going to get that kind of money?”
Jay had fitted her with a life vest and tied a tow rope around her waist.  He was ornery but strong and had no trouble lifting her into the water. 
“Damn river’s ice cold,” Jay spat.  He fed the rope some slack and Ruthie drifted out a few feet. 
“Turn around.”
“Just do it.”
“You’re a nutty old broad.”
“I am,” Ruthie agreed.  “But if you don’t keep your back turned for a full five minutes, I’ll report you to Nancy.  I’ll tell her you hatched this plan, that you robbed me.  I’ll see you ruined.”
Jay called her an antique female dog, but did as she requested.
Ruthie had worked her skirt off already.  Next she undid the buttons of her blouse, and then she sawed a jackknife through the rope.  She’d planned well, had even spent time sharpening the blade.
There.  She floated.  A current caught her at once.  It was wonderful.
The waves sounded sloppy, like enthusiastic applause, an ovation.
She went under, which was perfect, because that gave her the ability to finagle the life vest off.  When Ruthie came back to the surface, she was naked and Jack was a tiny bug on the shore.
She tilted her head back.  She closed her eyes and listened to the water having its way with her.  She did not protest.  She felt Levi caressing parts of her no one had ever even seen, the parts she’d saved for him all these years.

And when some time later Ruthie went under for good, she heard Levi say, “Open your eyes, Baby Doll.  I want to see your eyes again.”

Monday, June 24, 2013


…I think chocolate milk may be one of my favorite things ever.  It’s so creamy and silky all at once.
I had a glass after a five mile rain run.

…It doesn’t seem like Monday today.   Everything feels a bit off.
Still, it’s going to be a good day, I can tell.

…Here are some things that have happened in our world of late:

…The other day seven service members were reported killed in the Afghan war.  Four of those were 21 years of age or younger.
Can't we just get the hell out of there?

…93,000 people have died in the Syrian conflict so far.  6,500 of those were children under the age of 10.  On average, 160 people are killed there every day.

…32% of all Americans plan to vacation in Las Vegas or Atlantic City this summer.

…The typical American home is 2,300 square feet, 50% bigger than in 1973.

…62% -Average U.S. voter turnout
Mississippi ranks highest at 75%

…Every year over two million children are bitten by dogs.

…49% of women regularly worry about losing all of their money and becoming homeless.

…4 out of 10 Americans own a tablet, up 30% from last year.

…Last month a painting of Bea Arthur ("Maud") topless sold for $1.9 million.

…More than 6 million dogs are euthanized each year in the U.S.

…The nation's poverty rate is 15.9%.
It's a staggering 42.5% in Camden, NJ where Camden's murder rate is 12 times higher than the U.S. and New Jersey.

…35% of new marriages are from couples who met online.

…Mexico's drug syndicates are the No. 1 supplier of illegal drugs into the U.S.
65,000 Mexicans have been killed and 25,000 are missing from the drug cartels' war against one another and the government's operations to break them.

…3,700,000 people have purchased real estate on the moon.  Really.

…4% of all missing remote controls are found in the fridge.

…According to a recent survey, 44% of women and 63% of men have had one-night stands.

…Congress has failed to pass legislature making mandatory background checks for all gun purchases.  This, while 88% (yes, 88%) of all Americans support the potential law.

…Only 9% of Americans have a favorable view of Congress.  Head lice, Nickelback, colonoscopies, root canals, Donald Trump, traffic jams, cockroaches, France, used-car salesmen and brussels sprouts all ranked higher.

…21 -Number of calories a man in his 30's burns during six minutes (the average length) of sex.

…7 -Number of calories he burns watching TV

…Legalized sales of Marijuana 2011: $1.5 Billion
Estimated 2015: $3.3 Billion

…4.5 million Americans admit to regularly abusing painkillers such as Oxy Contin.

…281,000 Americans, 12 and older, admit to using heroin regularly, up from 111,000 in 2003.

…The average tax refund is $2,790.

…Sirius XM Radio CED Mel Karmazin exercised $244.3 million in stock options last year.  That on top of his $11 million salary.

Friday, June 21, 2013


…What have you got planned for the weekend?  I bet you’re going to have a great time.  Try to, okay?

…I had these two things published in Pure Slush, as I’m their featured writer of the month:

…Sometimes writing is arduous and slow for me.  Other times, when I’m lucky, it spews out. 
I’m in two different writing groups.  One is virtual, and we send out prompts.  The prompt was a very short piece—500 words or less—that needed to include words: celebrate, New York, animation, gag and Triscuit.
I wrote this in about 30 minutes:


                        Before the bodies were found, there was calm, the days bloated and dull like slow-moving Zeppelins, days we wanted to reclaim now, having taken them for granted, always saying we were bored, there’s nothing to do in this cow town, can’t we move to the city?
            Months after, our mother took us to New York.  In the street, people celebrated something.  A parade of gay Iranians trundled down the street in a flush of color, raucous and happy as we sat in silence at the coffee shop. 
            My sister had frosting on her nose, but we didn’t say anything.  Mother stared at a skyscraper, not realizing she kept clicking her fingernails together.  No one was looking at me and so I filched Triscuits from my coat pocket, softly chewing each cracker, trying not to gag, the taste of food now something that repulsed me.
            Outside an animated Iranian man dressed in bright green silk blew me a kiss through the window.  When I didn’t respond, he scrunched his face and flapped his hand as if shooing a fly.
            The parade ended and the street was bare and then in just a few minutes it was full again.  I looked at every face, especially the girls, teen girls about my age, so many of them everywhere.  I wondered if they’d stay safe the rest of their lives.  I wanted to warn them about men who seem friendly but are evil instead, men like my father.  He’d said he didn’t do it, protesting all through the trial, but the evidence was clear and those girls didn’t bury themselves.
            When it was time to go, we walked through the crowded sidewalks, the same as anybody.  I held my sister’s hand, giving it squeezes.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013


…Well, it’s been quite a day—I got my ass kicked in shuffleboard, the stock market dropped more than 200 points, and James Galdofini died.  It’s got to get better, right?

…Me, I’m heading to a bubble bath with a book, but I’ll leave you with these:

"This life we have is short, so let us leave a mark for people to remember." - Kip Keino, Kenyan Olympic Gold Medalist in Track, explaining why he adopted and educated 69 orphan children.

"Until one is committed, there is always hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness. Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation), there is one element of truth, the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans - that moment one commits oneself, then providence moves all." Goethe

"Do what you can where you are with what you've got." Theodore Roosevelt

"This frenzy/like bees stinging the heart all morning." Anne Sexton

"I was told over and over again that I would never be successful, that I was not going to be competitive and the technique was simply not going to work. All I could do was shrug and say 'We'll just have to see.'" Dick Fosbury, who won an Olympic gold medal at the 1968 Mexico games after he invented a revolutionary high-jump technique.

"If you dance around a cauliflower, every now and then, from certain angles, and in the right light, it will look like the sun." Paulo Coelho

"I never doubted not only that I would get out, but also that I would prevail in the end and turn the experience into the defining event of my life, which, in retrospect, I would not trade." James Stockdale Commenting on his 8 years as a prisoner of war in Vietnam, during which he was tortured over 20 times.

"We write to say there is no them. There is only us." Luis Alberto Urrea

"The greatest virtue in the world is action." Nick McDonell, "The Third Brother"

"The job of a writer is to vanquish mess-to wade onto the seething porch of actuality, pick out a few elements with which to make a story, and consign the rest to the garbage dump." Janet Malcolm

“I would quit while you’re ahead. Really. It’s an awful field. Just torture. Awful. You write and you write, and you have to throw almost all of it away because it’s not any good. I would say just stop now. You don’t want to do this to yourself. That’s my advice to you.”  Phillip Roth (I think he was being sarcastic.  I hope he was anyway.)

"Writers are very often miserable people: some thrive on unhappiness, others don’t. But few are immune from feelings of deep and avid dissatisfaction. We write because we are constantly discontented with almost everything, and need to use words to rearrange it, all of it, and set the record straight." Avi Steinberg

"Joining, in other words, happens through a process of opposition, irony, and dissent. If you’re going to join a messed-up club, you have to pass the messed-up entrance exam. You enter into the sect only when you push back, when you finally say, Listen, I don’t care what you tell me. I know it’s a bad idea, but I’m determined to do it, and I will do it.

“There was a time when I thought I loved my first wife more than life itself. But now I hate her guts. I do. How do you explain that? What happened to that love? What happened to it, is what I'd like to know. I wish someone could tell me.”
―Raymond Carver, "What We Talk About When We Talk About Love"

Monday, June 17, 2013


…In nine days I’m getting a puppy, and man is she cute.  Part Yorkie, part shitsu, she’ll probably not be more than ten pounds.  Indeed, good things do come in little packages.
Her name is Lucy.
I’ve been doing a lot of studying on how to train her.  I let my last dog pretty much do whatever she wanted and that was a big mistake.

…It’s sunny and beautiful here in Seattle.  The lake is noisy and I like it.

…Here are some interesting comments from Facebook that might make you smile.  They did me.

-Wow. Facebook really, really wants me to lose some weight before I put on a swimsuit. I'll try not to take that personally, Facebook.

-I woke up and realized I did that thing where I drunk ordered stuff online. For shame.
I taught my nephew how to high five. Now on to the next logical hand gesture... flipping people off. BEST AUNT EVER!

-A truckload of pigs just overturned on the autobahn. Horrible.

-Just once I'd like to have someone call me "sir" without following it up with "you're making a scene."

-A listing for an office job says, "Wkly $450+pot." Uh...

-My dog has a big dick.

-The devil on my shoulder is playing a mammoth role in my decisions tonight.

-What is an acceptable tip to give someone after they stare at my vagina for an hour? Just the tip...

-Hello Monday, you rotten corpse.

Friday, June 14, 2013


…I ran ten miles this morning and feel a little banged up.  It’s nice to be able to go on those long runs when they’re comfortable, but I’m not in the shape I used to be, so around mile 6 it usually gets a little painful.

…I ran across this the other day.  It’s kind of cute:

Children Are Quick           

--TEACHER:    Maria, go to the map and find   North America  .

Here it is. 
TEACHER:   Correct.  Now class, who discovered   America ?

CLASS:         Maria. 

--TEACHER:   John, why are you doing your math multiplication on the floor?

JOHN:          You told me to do it without using tables. 

--TEACHER:  Glenn, how do you spell 'crocodile?'

GLENN:      K-R-O-K-O-D-I-A-L' 

TEACHER:  No, that's wrong

GLENN:       Maybe it is wrong, but you asked me how I spell it.   

--TEACHER:   Donald, what is the chemical formula for water?
DONALD:     H I J K L M N O. 

TEACHER:   What are you talking about?

DONALD:    Yesterday you said it's H to O.  

--TEACHER:   Winnie, name one important thing we have today that we didn't have ten years ago.

WINNIE:       Me! 

--TEACHER:   Glen, why do you always get so dirty?
        Well, I'm a lot closer to the ground than you are.  

--TEACHER:     Millie, give me a sentence starting with 'I.'

MILLIE:         I is. 

TEACHER:     No, Millie..... Always say, 'I am.'

MILLIE:         All right...  'I am the ninth letter of the alphabet.'

--TEACHER:    George Washington not only chopped down his father's cherry tree, but also admitted it.   Now, Louie, do you know why his father didn't punish him?

LOUIS:           Because George still had the axe in his hand....

--TEACHER:    Now, Simon, tell me frankly, do you say prayers before eating?
SIMON:         No sir, I don't have to, my Mom is a good cook.  

--TEACHER:       Clyde , your composition on 'My Dog' is exactly the same as your brother's.. Did you copy his?

CLYDE  :         No, sir. It's the same dog.   

--TEACHER:    Harold, what do you call a person who keeps on talking when people are no longer interested?
HAROLD:     A teacher 

Wednesday, June 12, 2013


..Hey Hi.
How are you?  How are you really?
Me, I ran five miles this morning.  I’m going bowling this afternoon and tomorrow I’m going to see a movie.  Hopefully I’ll do a lot of writing as well.

…Here are some things I liked that you might, too:

"You know you're in love when you can't fall asleep because reality is finally better than your dreams." Theodor Seuss Geisel

"Sometimes I see something so moving I know I’m not supposed to linger. See it and leave. If you stay too long, you wear out the wordless shock. Love it and trust it and leave.” Don DeLillo, Underworld

"Despite the success cult, men are most deeply moved not by the reaching of the goal, but by the grandness of the effort involved in getting there." Max Lerner

"The best advice I've ever heard about writing, and how to succeed, is that first you must write. And second, you must write. And third... You must write and not take self-criticism too seriously. Just write, as a bird flies and a fish swims. Write." Greg Bear

"If you wish success in life, make perseverance your bosom friend, experience your wise counselor, caution your elder brother and hope your guardian genius." Joseph Addison

"Everyone should be lucky enough to be loved for a long time."
"You have to be willing to hold your breath longer than you think you can." -"Mr. Peanut", by Adam Ross

"We act as though comfort and luxury were the chief requirements of life, when all that we need to make us really happy is something to be enthusiastic about." C. Kingsley

"Many a friendship--long, loyal, and self-sacrificing--rested at first upon no thicker a foundation than a kind word." Frederick Faber

"Aerodynamically a bumblebee shouldn't be able to fly, but the bumblebee doesn't know that so it goes on flying anyway." Mary Ash

"If you just keep playing, keep believing and have some faith, something good can happen."- Washington Redskins coach Norv Turner, whose team became only the second in NFL history to win six games after losing the first seven games of the year.

"I can give you a six-word formula for success: Think things through-then follow through." Eddie Rickenbacker

"Death generates an amazing amount of paperwork." Stephen Marche

"Don't be too hard on these poems until they're typed.  I always think typescript lends some sort of certainty. If the things are bad then, at least they appear to be bad with conviction." Dylan Thomas

"I learned to never empty the well of my writing, but always to stop when there was something still there in the deep part of the well, and let it fill at night from what fed it." Hemingway

"A man must have a code." Bunk, "The Wire"

"Why don't you take a nap?  Your face looks like a bag of walnuts." Roger Sterling to Don Draper, "Mad Men"

"Never mind what others do; do better than yourself, beat your own
record from day to day, and you are a success." William Boetcker

"We live in a world where it is more dramatic to lose your phone than your virginity." Megan Fox

"You get whichever accomplishment you are willing to declare." Georgia O'Keeffe

"The people you love become ghosts inside of you and like this you keep them alive." Kacia Domay

"My motto was to keep swinging. Whether I was in a slump or feeling badly or having trouble off the field, the only thing to do was to keep swinging." Hank Aaron

"... I'll be happy here and happy there, full
of tea and tears ..."
-- Frank O'Hara

"The trouble is, you think you have time." Buddha

"To get the full value of joy you must have somebody to divide it with." Mark Twain