Tuesday, July 23, 2013


I am obsessed with the idea of building a sailboat.  But I have no desire to ever sail it.

I had the same dream three nights in a row when I was a kid. I am in a small grocery store with my parents, when I realize they have left me there. I start to panic, but then immediately find myself in the cargo section of a Mrs. Bairds truck, which is filled with loaves of bread. As I am thrashing around, trying to get out, I slowly start to sink down, and the bread completely engulfs me. That was over 40 years ago. I still get an uneasy feeling in grocery stores.  Especially in the bread section.

My father once told me that Wolf Brand Chili was made from wolf meat; that was why they called wolf brand chili.  Even though I know better now, I still can't bring myself to eat it.

It wasn't until I was a senior in college before I found out I had been mispronouncing my last name all that time.

I once considered killing my father.

I have misplaced my copy of Flaubert's "Bouvard et Pecuchet."  I have looked everywhere.  I have no idea what could've happened to it.

I begged my parents to let me buy a German dagger, which I became obsessed with after seeing it in a store at the mall.  After constantly pestering them for weeks, they finally acquiesced.  While in the woods one day, using it as a throwing knife, the rosewood handle completely broke off, as it clanged against the fallen tree I was throwing it at.

 When it comes to food, I will try just about anything, but I draw the line at feet.  Also Brussels sprouts.  And Mrs. Bairds bread and Wolf Brand chili, it goes without saying.

I have changed my mind about the sailboat.  I think I would like to sail it into the ocean, and never return.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Who are you?

Just today, I noticed this blog of mine has had 4000 page views; but hardly anyone ever leaves a comment. I'm curious. Did you just land here by mistake? Is this a case of "dialing a wrong number?" Satisfy my curiosity and let me know what brought you here. Okay? Thanks!

Monday, May 20, 2013

Letters of William Gaddis

I've been busy reading "The Letters of William Gaddis." I'm really enjoying it. I have the Kindle version, so it's easy to get through a few letters no matter where I might be, either on my Kindle, tablet or phone (isn't technology grand?) I'm having a blast getting a deeper insight into the man himself, the writer who never let anyone in (would Gaddis have approved of a book such as this? Not on your life! He was adamant about keeping his private life private.)

What a complicated person he was. At times he comes across like a self-absorbed, conceited little prick (it should be noted that I'm still reading letters posted from when he was in his twenties. And weren't we all stilll full of ourselves at that age? My wife informs me that at 48, I still am--she's probably right.)

At other times you have to marvel at his fearless tenacity to discover himself. He is constantly on the move--dude makes a nomad look like a slug. He will often get a wild hair, and charge off on some crazy adventure. Most of the time his plans come to nothing, but he never lets that stop him. I would've never had the cajones to do half the things he did: roughing it in the wilds of Mexico, traipsing down to Panama to work on the canal, etc...

Almost all of the letters so far are to his mother. And hardly a letter goes out without him asking her for something (usually money.) We only have the letters he wrote, and none of the ones sent to him, but it doesn't seem she ever denied a request. That woman was a saint! What patience she had with him! So, would he have been able to do all the things he did, have all the adventures that would provide the fodder for the greatest novel ever written (The Recognitions, of course) without her? Not a chance. Much is owed to Edith Gaddis.

One letter in particular hit home with me, the one where he mentions a friend named Bernie. Bernie is trying to write a novel, and WG laments Bernie's lack of talent, even calls him simple-minded. He goes on to state how much of a tragedy it is, how he is such a nice person, but will never be able to fulfill his dream. Bernie and I are kindred spirits, it would seem.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

The whale who lost his tail

There was a little whale named Benjamin
The nicest little whale you'd ever meet.
Each sea creature considered him their friend,
Even the squid that he so loved to eat.

He'd swim around all day and sing his song
Elating all who came within earshot.
If you were sad, it didn't last for long;
His lovely voice would banish heavy thought.

But one day as he sang a little scale
A boat above him dropped a heavy weight.
It spiralled down, severing his little tail--
A careless, thoughtless act that sealed his fate.

Now, all he does is lie around and cry,
"Why did this have to happen to me?  Why?"

Book before 50

Just turned 48 the other day. Two years to the half-century mark. Two years to get my novel written. Guess I'd better get back to it. I just found the notebook I had my character notes and plot ideas in; so I'm excited about resuming. But I'm not telling anyone about it--just this blog,to help me keep track of my progress.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Re: verse

Once upon a time
I wrote a simple rhyme.

Wanting to seem
More Astute.
Made me
Depth -->(-p+a) --> Death


Age has changed my mind.
I'm back to plain design.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Out of Myself

I'm in a bit of a quandary.
Not even by doing laundry
Can I spin myself out.

In a balled-up situation.
Not even through masturbation
Can I jerk myself out.

These doldrums, ennui, whatever
Got me feeling under the weather.
Gotta get myself out.

But wither can I go?
Just blither, blather, blow,
Maybe blow my brains out.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Demetri Martin saved my life (probably)

So, I was driving home yesterday after seeing Demetri Martin at Book People. He was appearing there to talk about his newest book, “Point Your Face at This.” What a cool guy, very funny (of course) but also very, very nice. As it became my turn in line to get my book signed, he made sure to address me by name, and when he asked me how I was doing, I got the impression that he really wanted to know, and wasn’t just spouting out auto-verbiage.
So, I’m driving home with my signed copy next to me, in a really good mood. I also have to say that I was in a good mood because of some of the stuff he had talked about in his opening spiel, about how he tapped his creativity. I won’t go into details here, but suffice it to say I was inspired to get back to my writing; especially the kind of writing I really want to do, what really excites me, which is short little humorous essays. The novel I had been working on was just not coming together, and the frustration it was causing me pretty much dried up any creative juices I might have had.
So, as I was saying, (so, how many times am I going to start a paragraph with so?) I was driving home in a good mood, still basking in the glowing light that is Demetri Martin, when I see some guy standing on the side of the street, hocking loogies on passing cars. Hmmm, not something you see every day. And he wasn’t just standing there nonchalantly, spitting at cars; he was really putting some effort into it. Picture some guy, angrily hopping up and down, with a crazed look on his face, and when he let loose, he put his whole body into it, launching a really large gob of spit at each car. As I get closer I start to wonder to myself, will he spit on mine, too? And I’m in such a frame of mind that I’m also asking myself, if he doesn’t, then why not? Am I not important enough to spit on? You spit on everyone else, but not me? Am I chopped liver, you sumbitch? You better spit on me too, you a$$hole.
Well, I needn’t have worried, because he didn’t leave me out. But I sensed he didn’t put the same effort into it that he did with the other cars. He just kind of stood there, and half-heartedly let one go. I chalked it up to the possibility that he could have hurt himself on the previous attempt. (the things we tell ourselves to make us feel better.)
Now, if I hadn’t been in such a good mood, would I have taken more offense to his act? I merely laughed and shook my head. I suppose I could’ve pulled over, gotten out and asked him what his problem was. And if I had been in a bad mood, I might have done just that. And it would’ve been a huge mistake. First of all, I’m an out of shape 47yo man who has never been in a fight (my 8yo daughter kicks my ass on a regular basis.) This guy was obviously mentally deranged, and apparently in very good shape. He was also obviously pissed off enough to feel the need to stand on a street corner and spit on passing cars. He probably would not have given a second thought to completely beating the crap out of me. And then spitting in my face, or what was left of it.
So, I think I can safely say, without a doubt, Demetri Martin saved my life. Thanks, Demetri, I owe you one!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Dunkus Interruptus

This past Saturday, after tucking in my little one and kissing her goodnight, I traipsed downstairs in the hopes of cornering my wife. She had dropped a few hints earlier that it could very well be my lucky day, and I wasn't about to let this opportunity get away.

She was lying on the couch, watching some college hoops on the tube. I convinced her those college punks didn't have nothing on me, and after some pretty slick moves (I got a mean crossover, you know) I was able to break down her defense and achieved penetration. Nothing but slam dunks -- over and over and over... Rather pleased with myself, I started engaging in some serious trash talk. I'm not normally very vocal, but what can I say, I was in the zone.

In the midst of negotiating a particularly complex between-the-knees, behind-the-back tomahawk slam, I hear what sounds like my daughter calling from upstairs. Damn.  I defy gravity and hanging in mid-air called up to her, asking if everything was alright.  She yelled back down, "Keep it down, down there, I'm trying to sleep! "

My wife and I both busted out laughing. We decided to call it halftime, and wait a few minutes before resuming the game. Luckily she never came down, and didn't even mention anything the next day. Whew!  Next time I'll remember to make sure the A/C is running and her music is on before we have another game of one-on-one. 

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Almost Done!

Well, it's been almost a year since I started this project, but it is almost completed.  Had some help this weekend from my bro-in-law, which I really needed with the roof.  All that's left is putting on the shingles, enclosing the underhang and finish the loft.  Oh, yeah, there's going to be a loft.  Here's what it looks like so far.
I'll cut out a couple of round windows above it, so she can lay down up there, and gaze out.  Here's what the playhouse looks like from the front porch of the cottage.
She wants to decorate the inside with fossils, animal bones and various other artifacts she's found on the property, and make it her archeologist's lab.  Strange little girl, huh?  Gosh, I love her!