01 June 2018
a letter of mary - laurie r king
the moor - laurie r king
harry potter and the deathly hallows
the grave's a fine and private place - alan bradley
plus one - christopher noxon
faithful place - tana french
harry potter and the half-blood prince
harry potter and the order of the phoenix
harry potter and the goblet of fire
harry potter and the prisoner of azkaban
the book of lost things - john conolly
harry potter and the chamber of secrets
harry potter and the sorcerer's stone
train dreams - denis johnson
glass houses - louise penny
wise man's fear - patrick rothfuss
18 minutes - peter bregman
bills of material for a lean enterprise - dave garwood
drums of autumn - diana gabaldon
08 March 2018
i like staying in hotels because
10. the kinds of places i stay, you can generally get some breakfast on a tray and bring it back up to the room.
9. little soaps and shampoos in scents i don't use are the bomb-diddly.
8. hotels invariably have accessible, rarely-used stairs. i like using accessible, rarely-used stairs. it somehow makes me feel like i am in the know.
7. thermostat is completely up to me and making a direct affect is quick because it's just one room (plus a bathroom).
6. it's just one room (plus a bathroom) - probably the closest i'll ever get to a tiny house. i'm enamoured of the tiny houses, the epitome of bare essentials.
5. i often travel alone, and i like being alone.
4. giant beds with tons of pillows.
3. if i'm in a hotel, it's because i'm travelling and i like travelling. i like being new places and seeing new places. i like trying different restaurants and going on different streets & sidewalks and looking out the hotel window onto a different town. i like being the stranger, the anonymous stranger.
2. someone else is responsible for the cleaning.
1. when i am in a hotel, my stuff is pared down to the bare essentials. george carlin explains this here. #adultlanguage i love being pared down to the bare essentials. at home, every day, it just isn't possible because the essential activities of living require stuff - pots & pans, multiple pairs of socks, a few lamps, some DVDs... you know. the stuff of life. you can pare this down, but you can't get away from it. until you do. until you leave it... and go to a hotel.
02 March 2018
spring is panic and desperation and there's not enough time, not enough time, and the walls are closing in because the walls are opening out and there's no more hiding, no more hiding inside. spring is tank tops and come outside to play, put down that book and come outside. springtime is tears and fears and springtime is leaving and it's the last time you'll spend time with those friends but how could you know when no one tells you that the next time you come home you'll be coming home to a different town. how could you know?
13 February 2018
you put in my hand
a miniature car
and i come to sit
on the floor
where you are
and we vroom-vroom our miniature cars all around
and you get the giggles when i make a sound
of a honk-honking horn
and a spin-spinning wheel
and soon we're both laughing so long and so real
then you crawl in my lap
put your head on my chest
and it's so hard to say
which is the best
vrooming miniature cars
on an alphabet rug
or humming and rocking
and quietly blessed
it's just life
and we are just in it
we hardly can value each golden minute
there's just too many from the start to the end
to really appreciate each one of them
but we go about living and loving and so
throughout it all i'm watching you grow
coming into your own
and it's like meeting someone
i've always known
09 February 2018
life is hard
and it can tear you apart
and disappoint you
life is sweet
and it can make you complete
and anoint you
life isn't easy or smooth or straight
life's not authentic without a complaint
life is not unencumbered delight
but if you pay attention
you just might
life is sweet
and it can make you complete
and anoint you
08 February 2018
maybe love isn't complicated per se; rather, it's our language that's too simple. loving your car and loving your spouse aren't the same thing. why don't we have different words for these? we say brotherly love, agape, platonic relationship, passion, lust... all those amd more, and they all mean something different and all relate to love, but they're weird or archaic or stilted. they're not for everyday use and they don't cover all our everyday uses for love.
i mean, can you really venerate or adore, empathize with or feel kinship with... your car? your smartphone? a packet of crisps? nobody truly loves french fries. c'mon.
we act like saying I LOVE YOU is some profound relationship milestone, then we turn around and devalue it. respect the love, people!
we could use at least one more word -- a word for intense feelings of enjoyment induced by things which cannot reciprocate: inanimate objects, places, concepts, circumstances. new words are difficult to introduce, but i have faith in us. let's introduce lah-huv.
i lah-huv that dress! i lah-huv those kicks! i lah-huv your car, my car, this park, that chess set, her eyes, your haircut, those curtains, these pillows.... peanut butter, crayons, cats, dogs, basketball, paris, rainy days, bow ties, long talks, long walks, long sleepless nights.
i think you get it.
lah-huv /lă həv/
an intense feeling of deep affection for a thing, place, or concept.
to feel a deep affection or adoration for something that cannot return the feelings.
16 January 2018
we hung some small shelves, rigged up a pulley system for the bird feeder, and put together the drain for the outdoor sink. we worked out, went to the grocery, and took his sister to eat for her birthday. we drove up to the city to retrieve his hat. we sorted the mail. we did the laundry. we took his mom a piece of pie. we went to the dry cleaners and to walgreens and to get a smoothie.
just a mess of piddle. the only task of any substance that we accomplished was to give a sackful of krystals to a couple who were begging in the verge.
it was when we went to retrieve his hat, which he'd left behind when we were out last wednesday evening. exiting the parking lot from there, we saw a man and woman sitting on the culvert beside the intersection, and i asked, did he want to give them any money. he said, no, let's get them something to eat, let's get them some krystals. seemed like a good idea until we sat at the drive through window for like 20 minutes (what the hell, krystal??), but they sure were happy to get some warm food. they were all "bless you, bless you" and i was all trying not to actually touch them. i mean, they were REALLY dirty.
so it felt pretty good to do that, and we agreed we should do it more often. we talked about how a structure like welfare depersonalizes the transaction and opens it to decay into a place where the giver starts to resent it and the receiver starts to expect it. it's easy to feel animosity towards an anonymous stranger, to judge them as greedy or lazy or selfish or heartless.
we talked about how, even at publix where they are just trying to make it easy and to increase giving, they aren't really helping. we talked about how it used to be that you would pick out some canned goods and whatnot, and deliver them to the food pantry. then, it got to where you could pick out the food and drop it into a box there at publix, and then publix started having pre-loaded bags of food where you just picked that up and scanned it and dropped it in the box. now they have pictures of grouped food selections hanging by the cash register and if you want to give, you point to the grouping that looks good to you and they scan the appropriate bar code. it's easy, it's fast, it's accurate. no one has to separate the jumble of tuna from the mass of mac & cheese, and very few trips have to be made to the food pantry. all the jars of peanut butter are the same brand and same size and fit in the box just like they are supposed to.
the transaction is completely depersonalized, no one on either side ever has to each other, and no one is ever in danger of brushing someone else's hand.
so, anyway, we talked about that, and now it's tuesday evening.