Monthly Archives: December 2009

blue moons, impending decisions, beginnings and endings

So much, so much…
Sleepless year end nights,
pajama pockets full of crumbs and regrets.
Sneaking cookies, memories into bed for late night nibbling away.
Fears, foreboding, wishes deferred to lay an aching head upon.
Waiting. Waiting. Waiting for falling sunlight, day, year, decade.
Fresh starts, frozen toes, naked feet in midnight snow.
Oh to begin again.
Starting over, once upon a times and happily ever afters.
Diverging paths left unanswered, bad tastes on tongues.
Oh to catch snowflakes again with a child’s eyes.
I want again the benchseat, wrapped in blankets, dashboard heat, cracked windows, icy breeze, cigarette smoke, sleepy eyes, childlike first snowfalls, midnight drives. Picking up my mother at some brightly lit city hospital. I remember these early days. Three deep on pickup truck seat. Snow swirling. Roads empty. Father’s sure hand at the wheel. I knew we’d get home every time.
These days I’m not so sure.
Even a steady hand needs a direction.

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everyone i know goes away in the end

2001.
My mother died. September 11th happened. My very close grandfather died.
All in a tightly packed little row.
I never cried when my mother died. Never got upset.
The morning I found out, my father and sister banging early on the door to the apartment my girlfriend and my brother and I shared.
I found out after she had already been rushed to the hospital and pronounced.
What was left now was identifying and signing.
I called and quit my job. A very good job. One I had worked hard from nothing to gain. One with a future and promise. One I was very good at.
Paperwork.
I had to go, the others too far gone already to cope with minutiae.
I said goodbye in a cold empty room off the emergency entrance.
She looked nothing like the woman I’d grown up next to.
Nothing at all.
I never cried.
Not for any of it.
I left the hospital to get coffee and read the employment section.
Asked the counter girl if they were looking for help. Got myself hired slinging coffee.
I helped my father handle proceedings and logistics.
At night I had a large group of friends over, making everyone dinner.
Following dinner I did my radio show.
I never cried.
Not the day we lowered her down. Wearing borrowed suits. Central stage among hundreds of friends, family and colleagues.
And not the day we buried my grandfather. The man I spent my childhood next to. Gardening. Working in his garage. Rainy days spent next to him on his porch.
Helping my father bury his father, I never let go. Never felt as others feel.
I never cried.

But never once, no matter the mood I’m in, have I been able to hear the guitar begin, or see the video open, without feeling all that pain and sadness well up inside me and want to explode.
I have not cried about anything since I was a child and decided one day that I would cry no more.
But every time this song plays somewhere, anywhere, anytime…
I feel thirty three years of emotion pile up at the door.
Johnny Cash.
Synonymous in my mind with Grandpa.
The hands as he closes and gently caresses the piano.
I miss my mother. I miss my grandfather.
I still wish I’d been able to cry for them.
But I sure as hell never forget them.

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enthusiasm shared

I really enjoy the world of podcasting. Something, at least to myself, still relatively new. I love the opportunity to be able to produce an exciting, fun and enthusiastic program on some small great thing to share with others. Other nerds that is. Podcasting provides the window from which to shout all your useless and thrilling knowledge. Your Jeopardy ephemera.
I do not produce a podcast. But I love nothing more than hours of various and entertaining topics running along as my life’s soundtrack. Driving, working, interbrowsing. The plethora of useless facts and jokes my brain dives into as an all you can learn buffet to then regurgitate onto my poor bored and exasperated friends and family.
Well, except my brother. He’s as bad if not worse than myself.

Anywho, the point of this entry is to share a new podcast I discovered while attempting to entertain myself during an excessively long and lonely Christmas. The stories are short. Only lasting four or five minutes at the longest. But the stories overwhelm in quality what they lack in quantity. The production is great. The enthusiasm is intense. All around, awesome.
So. I would like to pass it on to others. To share what has been shared. Enjoy.

The Memory Palace

Also, available on itunes.

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“they probably would have been successful…

…if they hadn’t started burning down churches and killing people”

If you haven’t been introduced to the absolute joy that is “The Sound of Young America” then now, right now, is that time.
The moment is here. And what a fantabulous moment it is. Just in time for the holiday special.
Not just any holiday special.

A Brutal Metal Holiday Special

Call it a holiday gift.  
Enjoy it.
It’s all you’re getting.

The Sound of Young America

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an interesting conversation about writing, the job.*

“I write just exactly what interests me and not another word”
-McMurtry
from an npr interview

I enjoy some of McMurtry’s writing.
I love some of the films based on McMurtry’s writing.

Does his easy translation to the big screen make him less of a writer? More of a writer?
Is there less purity to his art because it is easily monetized?
Is he less important or relevant to the discussion of  American literature?
More iconic because his books make great movies?

I’m asking, not telling. 

Larry McMurtry created stories that spoke to Americans. He wrote tales portraying important periods in the American story. 
Hell, Lonesome Dove helped me fall in love with the West as a kid.  

What makes good reading?  
What defines great literature?
Is accessibility  an important aspect?  Should it be?

I dislike abstract styles of painting.  
I dislike overly embellished styles of writing.  
I like clean lines on cars.  

I’m not an expert.  .
I’m just asking questions.
I’m just writing about what interests me.

* Just so we’re clear. The “interesting” refers to the NPR interview, not my post. I lay no claims to “interesting”.
Hell, I got bored typing this.

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How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bear

I never enjoyed William Faulkner.
Yes. Read that again. I am a literary criminal. Assault on the canon of American literature.
I never enjoyed Faulkner.
I always felt like he wrote in circles. I never liked his overly ornate style, no matter the darkness. I loved the South and felt his South was portrayed with constant scorn. I am also no expert and tend to make rash and easily offhand judgements. When there is so much to read, these judgements help you wade through the muck.
Yes, I may have also just called his oeuvre muck. Ha!
I am a man able to admit his wrongs. Well, I guess with such a wealth of wrongs, I should be able to by now.
I loved “The Bear“.
Amazing. Dark and earthy. Um, other words that describe the sense of “real” that I want from the fiction I read, from the authors. Down to earth realism, with nods to the powerful and beyond. (No. Not that powerful and beyond.)
Anyway, “The Bear”.
I highly recommend. Especially to those like myself who wrote off Faulkner long ago. The story will probably change your view on him as a writer. I am more than willing to explore other pieces by him now.
It is nice not disliking him completely.
Makes me feel a little less criminal.

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things i found while riding my bike in the woods, Pt. II

Not caught by camera:
– dog chasing me up a hill too steep to pedal
– me carrying my bike a mile in the too deep mud
– the sounds of hunting dogs and guns, far off, but not far enough
– the freezing rain that followed the snow
– my poor decision making skills

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