Monday, February 27, 2017


…I don’t know if most people check their Junk email folder, but I do because sometimes there’s something there that isn’t junk, like a story acceptance.
This morning when I looked at it there were four different offers for discounted rates on Viagra, Levitra and Cialis.  It was nice of them to send me such bargains, yet, luckily, I don’t need any of those pills.  I’m sorry for the men who do, but at least they have options.

…On Friday night I spent the evening watching Dawes perform live for three full hours.
It doesn’t matter all that much, but I looked out at the crowd and couldn’t see a single black person.  I wonder why black people don’t like Dawes because I’m pretty certain Dawes likes black people.
Nonetheless, it was a pretty damn good concert.  Better than good.  Maybe the best one I’ve ever been to.  I knew the lyrics to just about every song and they even did me a solid by singing “Good Night, Maria,” in its entirety, meaning ten full minutes.  I was a happy boy.
That is one great piece of writing.

…I’m reading “What We Carry” by Dorianne Laux for about the tenth time.  I was fortunate enough to meet her at AWP.  I hope to someday write poetry that is half as good as hers.

…I’ve been feeling a little nostalgic of late.  So much so, that I got the nerve to dial up my old high school friend who I’ve not spoken to in close to 40 years.  My call went to voice mail, but I left him a message.
He was a person, through a chance encounter one day when I missed the school bus and was walking home, who completely changed the trajectory of my life, and most definitely for the better.
I called because I wanted to tell him how grateful I was/am for his kindness in befriending me.  I’m not sure if I ever did so when we together.
It’s incredible how one person can affect your life.

…I have another friend who journals daily.  When I was young, I kept trying to write in a diary but everything I wrote seemed insipid when I read it back afterward.  For instance, who cares about what the weather was like on a Monday or Tuesday?
This blog is the closest thing I’ve come to having a journal.

…I saw quite a few homeless people on the streets of Seattle Friday night.  I kept wondering how they got that way, whose son they were, if they had kids of their own, and if they did, what their kids thought, if they’d tried to help, if they’d tried really hard.
I can’t imagine having a parent who’s homeless, let alone a child of mine.
I read a book called “Under The Underpass,” or something like that, a while back.  The two authors spent a year as homeless people.  They said 95% of all homeless people are addicts of some sort and that you’re never to give beggars money because they’ll just use it for alcohol or drugs.  (They recommended giving them food of some kind.)  But only half of those I saw Friday night looked like addicts.  The other half just seemed very desperate and lonely.  It was kind of heartbreaking.  No, not kind of; it was definitely heartbreaking.
You really have to shelve your dignity in order to walk up to every person waiting in the concert line, pleading for spare change as if your life depended on it. 

…At dinner my son asked me what one piece of advice I would give to a twenty year old.  I had to think about it for a while.  There were a lot of ways I could have replied.  My counsel was to always be very curious, and to learn to ask good questions.  The thing was, though, he already is curious, and plus he’d just asked me a damn great question, so maybe I missed an opportunity there.

…New music arrived over the weekend, which is always a treat:
-Car Seat Headrest, “Tears of Denial” which The New Yorker says is “The kind of perfect, instantly familiar pop songs that echo in the background of your dreams.”
-Twenty One Pilots, “Blurry Face”
-Tove Lo, “Lady Wood”
-and my most sought after, Ryan Adam’s new one, “Prisoner,” which is supposed to be mostly about his breakup with Mandy Moore.
I’m going to have happy ears for quite a while.

…I have watched the ascension of a writer friend of mine for the last couple of years.  She’s become quite famous and even had a whole page in last week’s Entertainment Weekly devoted entirely to her likes, dislikes and guilty pleasures.
I’m genuinely very happy for you, Roxane Gay.
God, or the universe, is getting it exactly right by making you a star.

…Where I live there are a lot of coffee outposts along the road.  It always makes me think about Starbucks, and how they created not just a business, but an entire industry.  I wonder how many jobs Starbucks has produced.  I’m guessing millions.
I dislike Howard Schultz, personally, because of the way he sold The Sonics down the toilet, but I do admire other things about him.

…I love my office.  It’s where I spend most of my days.  I have an incredible view.  Sometimes--actually almost every day, around 2:00 until 4:00--the sun shines so bright that I can’t see my computer screen, and in order to write, I have to crouch down and make myself a gnome. 
I know, tough problems, right?

…I’m behind on watching “This Is Us.”  I watched two episodes last night and bawled my eyes out.  Then, to lighten things up, I watched an episode of “The Wonder Years” and again cried like a baby.  It was the one where Kevin’s stern teacher, a man Kevin is desperately trying to impress and get approval from, dies suddenly.  It was very, very sad. 
People who laugh at me for crying at “The Wonder Years” have never likely seen “The Wonder Years,” or if they have, they were reading a magazine during their viewing.
I have cried a lot lately and will likely cry plenty more this week.

…I am a big fan of the arts.  I think they shine a light on life and show us our lives, and other’s lives, in ways that we need to know, but don’t.  On Facebook (why am I even mentioning this?) quite a few people were bragging about not watching The Academy Awards.  It was as if not watching was their red badge of courage. 
Screw them. 
(Actually, ours is a free country—or so I still think it is—so they can do what they want, post what they want, rant about what they want to rant about.)
But me, I watched the entire thing.
Even though there was that big fuckup at the end, robbing “Moonlight” of some of its well-deserved glory, I thought this year’s Oscars was the best ever.  Normally it’s remarkably bland and boring, and afterward, I’m always left wondering why I wanted to watch it so bad.
Jimmy Kimmel did a great job hosting.  He was spontaneous and funny, as well as authentic.
The Oscars is basically a recognition meeting where people get honored and then, in turn, thank everyone they know, which doesn’t make for great viewing, but this year they added some elements which really helped disrupt the otherwise mundane pacing.

Oh Tuesday, you dark and noisy, pissed off thunderstorm…
Tomorrow I drive to Pasco for my friend’s funeral.  I haven’t been to Pasco in 30 some years.  It will be an emotional day.  I will try to be strong, something I am no longer good at.
I will be attentive and listen carefully and try to learn as many life lessons as I can. 
If you believe, and even if you don’t, would you please say a little prayer for me, but especially say a prayer for Pam, Rod’s wife, and for 11 year old Annie, Rod’s daughter?
If you do me this favor, thank you so much in advance.

…Okay, enough scattershot thought.
It’s late, or early, I don’t know.
I hope you have a great week.
Maybe you could tell someone something you appreciate about them and why.  You’ll make their day. 
I don’t know many things, but of this, I am certain.

1 comment:

  1. I found this post to be extremely interesting. Had a good time with this. I'm going to be sharing this with my collegues. Thanks