Sunday, August 16, 2009


Holden at the coast, May 2009

Because of the podcast, most of my ideas have been funneled into talking fodder. If its quasi-socialist rants or jokes about my fellow man, the bulk of my creativity is channeled to a spoken-word format.

It bothered me for a few months. I wanted to write; I had that old familiar itch to knock out 400 to 500 words and put everything in a concise order for my desired effect. Then, I got over it. I love to talk. Having a podcast with a listenership of nearly 10 sets of ears is a lot of fun and it is closer to what I think I’m supposed to be doing.

But I can’t give up writing, man. I have to put something down. So this will have to be a bit more bloggy. The stuff I used to primarily avoid with this site will now take front and center. It is, after all, its intended purpose.

I have tomatoes. No kidding. With a grand total of about $22.50 three months ago, we have five species of tomatoes, some cilantro, thyme and basil in our backyard. It’s kinda cool, and my favorite part is that is took nearly no effort at all. I had jalapenos and carrots that didn’t make it, but I chalk that up to me not knowing what the hell I’m doing. Next year, we are going balls to the wall with berry bushes, green onions and I’m going to quadruple the amount of cilantro. I won’t be happy until I can make my own salsa without leaving the house. Man, if we could only get avocado going…

Speaking of veggies, Amy and I frequent the tiny Hillsboro Farmer’s Market to grab some greens and also to eat the best Mexican food I’ve had out here. While I’m there, I always notice the older guys strolling around there with their wives. I wonder to myself whether or not I’ll end up morphing into them ten to twenty years from now. These guys are all the same. Super boney with a beard. Mostly balding; shorts and sandals are mandatory. They have a grin and they don’t look worried about a damn thing. I hope I can turn into one of those dudes because they look healthy. Except that they probably are into smooth jazz and Steely Dan; which I just can’t handle no matter how hard I try.

Back soon; because coming up with this crap is easy….

Monday, July 20, 2009

Bloggy July Notes

As I slowly percolate into the steamier months of summer, I have to break for at least a makeshift post.

The pic above is what my kids do on the Fourth of July, just before we light off our backyard fireworks display. What are they doing, you ask? Well they are reenacting the death scene from "A Midsummer Night's Dream" of course; with Nick handling most of the meatier action. That kid can project.

Then there is this pic:

That is Nick in Ashland, Oregon, home of the world -renowned Oregon Shakespeare Festival. It sits in a valley 14 miles from the California border. We watched "Much Ado About Nothing" the first night, then walked the streets of Ashland, noting the Bard-themed establishments. My faves: 'Juliet's Massages' and 'CD or not CD'.

And now, as the days are longer and brighter, and my cheffy spouse awaits the rebirth of a new restaurant (She is not used to being home so much. Strange, I know)...we tick away the hours reading and rewatching movies to pass the time.

I am podcasting and I'm nearing my goal of 25 straight weeks of posting. Please give a listen and recommend to a friend. (A friend that isn't me.) I'm actually getting better as things go on.

Well, I'm going to knuckle down through August and try to muster some writing discipline. Ahh...elusive discipline...

Until then...

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Summertime Blues (The Who’s Live at Leeds version)

Summer is to creativity as a newborn baby is to a decent night’s sleep.

I have never been able to muster up a ton of original thoughts from May to August. In Florida, I had a wonderfully convenient excuse. I was too damn hot. Hot = grumpy, so I was never in the mood.

Fine, that worked. Once I understood that my creative amusement park ride is a roller coaster and not a merry-go-round, I accepted it with little trepidation. That is how I evidently roll. I have big bursts of energy followed be long droughts of wondering what I should do with myself.

Than I came to Oregon and I had to readjust. The summers are warm and not so damn hot. I began to posit a calendar of uninterrupted creativity. From January to December; NFL postseason to NFL regular season. I could write (and podcast) and feel like I was inching toward the unreachable something of my life every day of the year. Nice.

But that is the term. Nice. This time it related to the weather. In Florida you could skip the entire summer and still be treated to “nice” weather. (the general collective definition of nice weather is sunny and warm.) However, up here, it takes the first four months of gray and wet to get to spring and summer,, and for some reason the entire region wants to get out there and enjoy it. Get out! Go! Get some sun, see the ocean, go to a park, talk a walk, go to the mountains, buy some strawberries.

Damn them. They’re correct. I should live first. Check.

So creatively, I slow down. I need input. I read a little more. I do more things after work. I just do more wandering and wondering.

So less writing. I can’t help it. I wish I was a machine like some of my favorite writers but there’s just no mileage when there is no gas in the tank. Crapola.

Of course, when autumn arrives, and the nose senses a distinct thinning of the once sultry, warm air; when the trees begin to pout and the neighborhood kids are busy inside, I am part of the invisible parade again. The days shorten and we huddle in our own circles of light; mashing keyboards or scratching in oversized sketch pads. We transform experience and inspiration and add a touch of cultural rip-offs to produce a tasty warm plate of whatever-the-hell once more.

But for today, sandals and sweet corn.

Monday, May 18, 2009

My Morning Racket

Confession: I am a morning person. I don’t know why I feel the urge to apologize, but there you have it. It’s what I am; and if I am to have another few decades alive on Planet Earth I had better start accepting my lot in life.

First, there aren’t two halves of society; the night people and the morning people. (I avoid the term ‘night owl’ because it’s redundant) As far as I can tell, most people are night people or at least wish to be. The trait is more like handedness. Most people are righties and there are some that are lefties. Just like lefties, the world is not designed for morning people. It is a place that objects and sometimes derides us for what we are.

We did not choose to wake up when the sun is low or the sky is still pink with dawn colors. It just happens. I wake up and within a few minutes I want to get shit done. I know, it’s unusual. I’ve heard it all before. I want to sniff the thin, crisp air outside and I want to pour a cup of hot coffee when the house is welcoming, but still quiet. At least on the weekends.

On workdays I’m just as miserable as anyone else.

If I had a long lost Uncle Filbert that willed me 256 million dollars, I would still get up early every day. I want to make that clear. I know you would sleep until noon everyday. This is not a choice for me. I just Get Up Early. It is no admonition against the night people. I just don’t need a ton of sleep, and it feels nice on a subconscious level to be up when the day begins.

I think I’ve gone back to bed four or five times in thirty-six years.

There are few practical uses for being a morning person in my life. Were I a dairy farmer or a pastry chef or a drive-time DJ I would feel wonderful. For me, I get a little time to reflect. Granted I do this most of the day been when I am busy, the morning is my special time. I arrange my brain. I don’t loathe having to get out of bed like I’m being torn from the womb. I guess there is one advantage.

When I was little, I would always beat everyone in the house to the kitchen or to the TV first. I needed the quiet then. I used to think I was afraid to miss out on something. Maybe there was something interesting or fun happening and I didn’t want to be the schmuck who slept through it all. Later, I shrugged that off. Nothing is ever going on. If anything, I preferred the solitude and getting it in the morning was more sure fire than staying up until 4 a.m. Plus, I got more sleep.

Some people make gagging noises when I admit this. I’m just saying, there are a few of us out there. I could never life a thrilling Metropolitan nightlife. Me get so sleepy. I can roll out of bed, maybe a little groggy, but get things moving when I have to. Count on me when its time to get to the airport or get a road trip together. You’ll be the one cursing the clock, hair frazzled, incoherent, leaning against the front doorway to catch just ten seconds more of precious, precious sleep.

I’ll be the guy with the fresh doughnuts. Sorry.