02 November 2018

55º, mist, and an excuse

my favourite weather is what scots call a soft day - cool and grey with humidity level so high that water droplets sort of hang in the air. one of the reasons i love this weather is that there is no pressure on these days. on sunny days it's all GO OUTSIDE and DO YARDWORK and EXERCISE and so on. ENJOY THE WEATHER. gah. get off my back, sunshine. on grey days it's like playing hooky on life. everyone just gives up and watches netflix. ahhh.

also, grey is one of my favourite colours, along with periwinkle and pine-green.

in other news, i am in grad school now. in the past month, i've produced 59 pages of content, 4 cover pages, 4 reference lists, and 4 tables of content. because this is a writing-intensive endeavor, i am going to use it as an excuse for my not writing more here. of course, i am already not writing much here, but now i have An Excuse!

maybe all the grad school intensity will pay off later in more blog posts. (don't bet on it.)

i'll try to stop by and leave a note now & then, which probably won't be much different than it has been the past few months.

maybe you wouldn't even have noticed.

but if you do...


i have An Excuse.

books 2018

audio list
print list

the witch elm - tana french 
fantastic beasts: the crimes of grindlewald (the making of)
hex hall 2 demonglass
warlight - michael ondaatje
good intentions - neil gaiman and terry pratchett
a study in emerald - neil gaiman
harry potter: history of magic - ben davies
the very first damn thing - jodi taylor
a foreign country - charles cummings
when zachary beaver came to town - kimberly willis holt
the raven king - maggie stiefvater
blue lily, lily blue - maggie stiefvater
the dream thieves - maggie stiefvater
the raven boys - maggie stiefvater
pimsleur brazilian portuguese - lessons 6-10
pimsleur brazilian portuguese - lessons 1-5
the inquisitor's tale
the likeness - tana french
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

red cross lifeguard training manual
18 minutes - peter bregman
bills of material for a lean enterprise - dave garwood
drums of autumn - diana gabaldon

03 September 2018

inoculate the populace

the author of this article creates a spectacular analogy: harry potter and the confederacy. i hate to spoil his twist, but at the same time, i sort of have my doubts that you'll go read it. if you're going to read it, stop here and come back after you've read it. i'll wait.

did you read it?

reeeeeally? #doubt

okay, i'll take it that you've either read it or you're not going to. if you read it, wasn't that amazing and wise? if you didn't, i'll give you one more chance. i'm waiting.... okay, okay. fine! the cool thing he does is to draw an analogy between confederate monuments and horcruxes. yeah, now you're sorry you didn't read it, aren't you? #loser

after you've read it, the connection is so obvious. i mean, think of hufflepuff's cup. it's beautiful to look at and there's nothing inherently wrong with a cup, problem is, that particular cup has a bit of voldemort's soul implanted in it. well, yuck. that's just gross. who would want to drink out of such a corrupted cup?

the confederate monuments are corrupted by the same sort of dark power that voldemort wields. so it's kind of a no-brainer to go out and tear them all down.


Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it. - George Santayana

as we destroy the markers of evil and work to drive evil from our laws, communities, society... how do we safely retain accurate knowledge, so as not to travel that road again? where do we store the vaccine? how do we inoculate the populace?

with knowledge as the germ here, we store the vaccine in history books and in the stories we pass from generation to generation. a vaccine is made to be administered by a professional, and in this case, that's an expert instructor with no bias. so it's simple, really. alls we have to do is store the accurate knowledge safely and find an unbiased professional to deliver it.


30 August 2018

i saw a crying baby in the clouds

i saw a crying baby in the clouds
feet and fists raised flinging
and tears were streaming out
a face so fierce and angry
so lonely and betrayed
that i tried sent out comfort
as it blew away

12 August 2018

cement and the tiny screwdriver

we did a project today and in the box were nuts and bolts and washers and even a tiny screwdriver. i dumped all the bits into this small garmin box. can you find the screwdriver?

the project didn't go well. we ended up capping off the wires and leaving it for another day. the two main issues were cement and the tiny screwdriver. well, that's not fair. not the screwdriver per se, but rather the portion of the project in which it was involved. anyhoo, lack of success was had by all. we moved on to another project which was also unsuccessful. just one of those days.

i did realise something, tho, so it wasn't a total waste. i realised screwdrivers are color-coded. did you know this? phillips are blue-handled and flatheads are red. i literally never knew this but it makes so much sense. it sort of just clicked in my brain today as i was fetching tools. once i caught on, retrieving the correct tool became so much easier. standards are so the lubricant in the gears of life, are they not? (i assume it's a standard. it's true of all the variously branded screwdrivers in our possession.)

the tiny screwdriver is a flathead if that helps you find it.

08 August 2018

polynesian ramble

after we test drove the subarus, we stopped by chick-fil-a for a bite, and i spotted this roving polynesian on the restroom floor... sans lei.

05 August 2018

just ducky

there's a classic interview question: if you could be any animal, what animal would you be?

as for me and my self, we would choose duck.

why, you ask? let me count the ways.

10. ducklings achieve independence almost immediately. they're born with their eyes open and are flying within a couple months.
9. ducks' feet don't have nerves, so their feet never get cold.
8. ducks are omnivores, which is my favorite kind of vore.
7. quacking is fun.
6. ducks are unassuming. geese and swans, for example, are fussbudgets.
5. ducks have excellent vision.(1)
4. ducks can walk.
3. ducks can swim.
2. ducks can fly.
1. ducks can walk and swim and fly!

(1) Because a duck's eyes are located on either sides of its head, they have a field of vision of nearly 340 degrees. And thanks to the shape of their eyes, they can see objects both near and far simultaneously. To top it off, ducks have three eyelids and can see in color. -- http://mentalfloss.com/article/66642/10-delightful-duck-facts

01 August 2018

one transformative feature

if my life were a sitcom, one of the recurring characters would be this girl at chick-fil-a. she works there, so she's got to be at least 15, but i doubt she's more than 16. she's small, with glasses, a pixie cut, and rosy patches of acne on the apples of her cheeks. she's smart and funny and painfully shy... i deduced this from the minimalist smile she flashes, before she realizes what she's done, in response to my infinite wit.

one of her most distinguishing features is a heavy silver pendant on a short thick chain, sitting just in the notch of her penultimately buttoned uniform polo.

this pendant...

31 July 2018

ergo: Metallica

i switched on the radio to get some inspiration from NPR to write something for you and ended up listening to Metallica instead. i chose the radio in the first place because the audiobooks that i have right now suck. not that i am in a position to criticize anyone else's writing. i mean i'm having a hella time just ginning up two paragraphs, and these others have churned out thousands of words. but position be damned, amirite? because i will say it: these are not award-winning words they are churning.

when audible or the library suggests that people who read the books that i like also read these other books, it really makes me wonder about those people. did they really understand the books that they were reading that i like? because those books are unique and fast-paced, fresh and entertaining. they have well-rounded characters who develop during the story and plot lines that you wouldn't expect. intelligent books with smart yet realistic dialogue. books that show instead of tell. those are the books that i like.

these other books? these books that they say that the people who read the books that i like also like? most of them are routine with flat characters and tired plot lines. are the people who are reading the books that i like reading these other books just because there're not enough books in the world to keep them happy, or do they like these other books and they just read the books that i like because there're not enough books in the world to keep them happy? how could you not like the intelligent books with the well-rounded characters and the well-crafted plot lines? 

all that said to say, i cannot find enough quality audiobooks to keep me happy - ergo: Metallica.

30 July 2018

i'm not making excuses, but...

i don't write something every day 'cause i just don't know what to say.

i sit and sit before the screen, yet it's as blank as ever been.

its harder than you think, you know, to think of what to say, and so,

i don't write something every day 'cause i just don't know what to say.

i sit and sit before the screen, yet it's as blank as ever been.

its harder than you think, you know, to think of what to say, and so,

i don't write something every day 'cause i just don't know what to say.

i sit and sit before the screen, yet it's as blank as ever been.

its harder than you think, you know, to think of what to say, and so,

i don't write something every day 'cause i just don't know what to say.

26 July 2018

make mine a stovepipe.

why don't we decorate our cars more? i mean, sure, there're bumper stickers, magnets, and the occasional wrap, but most of us are decidedly dully rolling up & down the freeway. would you wear the same clothes every day? okay, not you, you freak. no one is talking to you. would the rest of you wear the same clothes every day? no, you would not. why do you wear the same car every day? why do any of us? seems to me there's a whole untapped market for car hats, scarves, and double-breasted jackets.

25 July 2018

onde está minha mala???

my pimsleur portuguese tutor is teaching me about lost luggage.

today i was in an all-day meeting in a conference room in my office building. it wasn't my meeting -- was actually led by people from another organisation. i didn't have responsibility to prepare any content, just basically had to show up and bring my brain. it involved people from other places around the country, plus one guy from the UK and one from india.

the location in my building isn't one i frequent, which meant i was using unfamiliar restrooms, and i will say that one of the two such facilities smelled strange. not strange like gross, strange like strange. like it was in another office building. like i was in another office building.

it was a touch surreal and a tidge freeing... as if i were not only in a different place, but as if i were also a different person.

maybe even a person who speaks portuguese.

24 July 2018

eu me chamo ace.

for a good while, i've thought it would be cool to be able to speak portuguese. audible had some pimsleur books on sale so i used a credit to get book 1 of brazilian portuguese lessons. the pimsleur method involves a lot of speaking and no writing, so other than a few words, i don't know how to spell the things that i am saying. for example, it sounds like they are saying "yo" but i know it's "eu". so, i can get why they teach you by sound because obviously the letters are confusing. i've done all 5 lessons twice and i am getting pretty good at the lessons, but when i tried to show off some of what i learned at work, my colleague was all, haha you sound like a robot with that careful pronunciation. well, joke's on her because the portuguese word for robot is robô which is pronounced hobo and hobos are the bomb diddly.

08 March 2018

hotels and me

one of the best things about travelling is staying in hotels.

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

for olivia

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
the laughter
and playing
or snuggles
and hugs
vrooming miniature cars
on an alphabet rug
or humming and rocking
and quietly blessed

every day
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
to life
you just might
find that

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

and now it's tuesday evening.

it snowed friday, and they closed the office. saturday... sunday. on monday it was a holiday, and on tuesday it snowed again. five days out of work, and now it's tuesday evening and what do i have to show for it.

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.

01 January 2018


here we are, two years away from the iconic 2020. where is my hovercraft?

resolutions. resolutions. what do i want to change... you know what i'd really like to change? the list of things i want to change. it's always the same: write more and run more. obvs, the only way to change the list is to accomplish what's on it, i suppose, but i am beginning to think these two are a lost cause. especially running more, since the better i do at that, the quicker i end up injured. maybe the key to running more is actually running less. interesting.

vague resolutions aside, there are a few things i want to accomplish in 2018.

- renew my lifeguard certs
- collect (some of) my poetry into a volume
- clean out my closet in a very real and meaningful way
- get my home office organized and feng shui'd

stay tuned to see how all this turns out!