How to tell a story

How to tell a story

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Headline of the new year

Climate Change Worse Than We Thought, Likely To Be 'Catastrophic Rather Than Simply Dangerous' (study in Nature magazine, reported by Huffington Post).


Baking bread

This is the third period in my life when I frequently baked bread. First was in grad school. Second was when I lived with L. in Pdx and Bend. Both these periods used traditional methods. Now, of course, I'm practicing the new non-kneading method, which is so much easier with excellent results. I am hooked. I love baking bread! And now it takes so little effort.

UCLA with a small lead. In black uniforms, unfortunately, joining the obnoxious fashion trend. It's hopeless.

Damn, I make good coffee!

Grind Peet's House Blend beans ... mix with cold water in large French press ... refrigerate at least 12 hours ... press and pour over ice ... best iced coffee I've ever had!

New batch whole wheat brewing for later in the week. Fish stew Friday! with Portuguese corn loaf. Will be special.

World affairs = insanity.
Cooking = sanity.

On Visiting My Literary Archive

On Visiting My Literary Archive

This feels like a family reunion.
So many memories!
So much to be proud of!
I never expected to raise
such a large, vigorous family.
The features of clan are everywhere.
How can I not be a proud patriarch?

I know, some if you expected more
fame and fortune than you found
but don't sweat it, there's no timeline
for such accidental rewards. Remember
how a few years back, a young student
browsing in the dark, dusty basement
of his university's library pulled a journal
from the shelf and opened it to
an essay over thirty years old,
started reading, and was so captivated
that he continued the argument
in a book, paying homage to our work
and saying so in print, a gentleman.

This is what can happen even as
the dust gathers. What happened once
can happen again and again.
So relax. Don't fret. You are healthy.
You are immortal. This is enough.



And so another year ends, which feels
like last year's ending, the same
violence and wars
massacres and mayhem
ideologies and patriotism
I'm right, you're wrong
I'm good, you're bad
so let's duke it out
nothing new here

unless you narrow the picture
to the tiny leaf of my life
where much is new
baking bread, playing ukulele
my last year of teaching
in good spirits for an old man
my attitude keeping the surrounding
madness at bay, helped considerably
by Sketch, rat terrier as cosmic humorist
my lucky draw at life's lottery
my complaints small and selfish.

Nature wins. It is human nature
to have an attitude.
Make it count.

Monday, December 30, 2013

Two for the new year

Caraway rye and corn olive ...

Headline of the day


from The Huffington Post. And we're supposed to be such a hot shit country. Appalling.

College football

Anyone old enough to remember when college football resembled a game more than a business will appreciate Terry Simons' reflection (and rant) on how the game has changed.


4 teams to root for

Navy ... Oregon/Nike ... UCLA ... Stanford.

Bring on the Winter Olympics!

Saturday, December 28, 2013

A Christmas Carol - the Concert

Don't miss this: narration, songs, this music drama is a first rate adaptation of Dickens.

Caraway rye bread

Bread & brunch

Guests for brunch loved my bread, ate most of it, so baking caraway rye now, earlier than planned. Olive rye next, followed by Portugese corn, with which I'll make a fish stew.

Cooking almost keeps me sane.



What am I doing here?
I don't listen to pop music.
I don't read pop lit.
I don't social network.
I don't watch "reality" shows.
I don't drive fast.
I don't play computer games.
I don't follow fashion trends.
I don't believe everyone is a poet.
I don't want to hear any unsolicited opinions.

But when I listen to Chris Connor
or hear Lombardo read Homer
or watch a Durrenmatt play
or read James Baldwin
or play with Sketch
or count my blessings

I'm one happy, lucky alien.

Ready to roll

Took my new syllabus to the copy center. I'm ready to go. Sooner I start, sooner I finish, sooner spring and warmer weather, closer summer and retirement. Tick tock.

Caraway rye flour brewing in the refrig.

I'm an alien breadmaker.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Whole wheat bread

Day after

Missed our movie yesterday, trying again today. First, baking my first loaf of whole wheat, more complex recipe.

Jazz and baking go well together.

Practiced my jazz chords this morning. Autumn Leaves forthcoming.

Need to get serious about my syllabus. Take it to copy center tomorrow, I hope.

Mellow good day. One of the quieter and better holidays!

Ukulele chords

I now can play the following chords in all 12 keys (!): 7, maj7, m7, m7b5, sus. Real progress. Applications ahead. But getting the jazz vocabulary down is an important step.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013


Outstanding job by Harriet. Compared methods on net, selected one: simmer in vegetable stock, then roast. Tender, juicy, delicious! First rate duck!

Bread parade

Dough in refrig for one more loaf of E Euro bread. Then a sequence of firsts: whole wheat, caraway rye, Portugese corn, Wisconsin cheese ... the adventure continues.

2 people, a dog, a duck

Just the three of us today, and I look forward to it! An early movie, then roasted duck. With luck, uneventful, mellow holiday. No extended family soap operas!

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

What if there was a bowl game and nobody came?

Almost the case in Hawaii, Ore St v Boise St. Stands very empty, no more than 10%. Amazing.

Christmas poem

[little tree]

little tree
little silent Christmas tree
you are so little
you are more like a flower

who found you in the green forest
and were you very sorry to come away?
see i will comfort you
because you smell so sweetly

i will kiss your cool bark
and hug you safe and tight
just as your mother would,
only don't be afraid

look the spangles
that sleep all the year in a dark box
dreaming of being taken out and allowed to shine,
the balls the chains red and gold the fluffy threads,

put up your little arms
and i'll give them all to you to hold
every finger shall have its ring
and there won't be a single place dark or unhappy

then when you're quite dressed
you'll stand in the window for everyone to see
and how they'll stare!
oh but you'll be very proud

and my little sister and i will take hands
and looking up at our beautiful tree
we'll dance and sing
"Noel Noel"

E. E. Cummings

Christmas poem

The Oxen

by Thomas Hardy

Christmas Eve, and twelve of the clock.
"Now they are all on their knees,"
An elder said as we sat in a flock
By the embers in hearthside ease.

We pictured the meek mild creatures where
They dwelt in their strawy pen,
Nor did it occur to one of us there
To doubt they were kneeling then.

So fair a fancy few would weave
In these years! Yet, I feel,
If someone said on Christmas Eve,
"Come; see the oxen kneel,

"In the lonely barton by yonder coomb
Our childhood used to know,"
I should go with him in the gloom,
Hoping it might be so.

Thomas Hardy

Christmas nook

Eastern European Bread

Miracle at Candlestick

The gods let the 49ers leave their stadium in style with a classic ending. Off to the playoffs.


Bread in the oven. Then back to bed.

Monday, December 23, 2013

At last

Peasant bread dough brewing in the refrig ... bake loaf early morning.

Whole wheat is next. Then caraway rye.

A bread baking fool. Already said that.

Ha ha!


Making a single loaf of olive bread while I'm waiting.


Waiting for rye flour ... waiting. Need to avoid lack of supplies in future. I want to bake bread!

Heinrich Kley

Elizabeth Warren Comes Down Hard Against Global Warming, Separates Herself From Hillary Clinton on Climate Change | Common Dreams

Elizabeth Warren Comes Down Hard Against Global Warming, Separates Herself From Hillary Clinton on Climate Change | Common Dreams:

"This could be a turning-point in Warren's political career. She's no longer at war against only   the financial industry corruption that dominates the conservative, Clinton and Obama, establishment within the Democratic Party (and all of the Republican Party) , but she is also at war against their environmental corruption."

'via Blog this'

End of era

Candlestick Park hosts its last game tonight and has been getting tons of press about the end of an era. But yesterday Hollywood Park had its last race, ending another era. The track was second only to Santa Anita in the hearts of horse players in Southern California.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Heinrich Kley's human condition


Itching to bake bread today but only have white flour in the house. Want to try something else. Tomorrow after delivery then. Hope it is early in date.

Moral: keep supplies up!

Can anyone give them a game?

Score as 4th Q begins ...

Santana's challenge

Santana wants a 24/7 "good news" cable challenge to return "reality" to balance.

Quite by accudent, through chance encounter with SF reporter, he was reunited with musicisn in original band, now homeless. A real feel good story!


Conn. demolishing everyone. This morning, Cal's turn.

Santa tells the Christmas story


The late B. Joe Medley as Santa.


Hide HideActor (4 titles)
1985A Summer to Remember (TV movie)
1980Reunion (TV movie)
1978Standing Tall (TV movie)

Trailer ...


From the basic bread, outstanding, still improving with age. Man, I love this bread method. Quickly a true believer.

Bread for breakfast reminds me of eccentric director I worked with decades ago in Eugene. His standard breakfast was half a baguette, unbuttered, dipped in strong black coffee. Fascinating couple. Filthy rich - she was of Whitney museum family. Huge supporters of Eugene arts, he especially of avant-garde theater, as director, actor. Very vibrant scene then.

Looking forward to new CJ book, starting this summer. Need lots of brooding, especially about ending. Same or new formal story strategy? Vignettes again? Or switch to first person? Hmmmmmmm...

Blessed, blessed, blessed. What can I say?

Sunday blessings

One of these mornings when I'm intensely aware of my good fortune in every aspect of my life. The gods have been kind.


Couldn't find exotic flour I wanted at store, ordered online, arrives tomorrow. Will use rye and wheat in my standard mix, what the book calls Eastern European Peasant Bread.

Olive bread a huge success. No losers yet, actually.

Ukulele day! Fell behind yesterday.

Time to brood about winter syllabus.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Finally, good news

#6 Stanford upset #3 Tennessee (NCAAW).

Cougar meltdown

Blow 15 pt lead in closng mins, 3 consecutive fumbles, CS scores 18 to win.

Both Washington teams gave away wins. Astounding.

Eastern Washington blows it

Less than 2 mins. left ... EWU on Towson 35, 3 pt lead, 4th and 2 ... too far for your FG kicker, so go for it. Instead of running for first down, surprise pass for TD, receiver totally in clear .. and QB overthrows him! Towson gets ball, drives for TD and win. Amazing.

Quick start for Cougs

Waiting for Harriet

Selling well

For reasons known only to the gods, my screenwriter-as-detective novel is selling pretty well at Amazon this month. Picked up some nice reviews along the way.
5.0 out of 5 stars Murder at the Black Ct B&B August 23, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Amazon Verified Purchase
I really enjoyed this book. It was easy to read in the sense that it flowed really well, with realistic dialogue that swept the action along and plenty of twists and turns to keep your mind working. A genuinely entertaining book.
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5.0 out of 5 stars must read murder mystery August 1, 2013
By jhocker
Format:Kindle Edition|Amazon Verified Purchase
Thoroughly enjoyed the style of the writer and the structure of the story. Have already looked for other books by this author to read.
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5.0 out of 5 stars what a great book July 27, 2013
By Norton1
Format:Kindle Edition|Amazon Verified Purchase
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. The ending was a total surprise as it seemed so many other avenues of solution were involved. Where else but in total recovery from cancer can a writer from Hollywood find excitement and adventure in a small Northern Nevada town. Made me want to go there and see if it really existed. I'll read more of this guys work. If you love a good mystery you'll love this one!

Check it out. 



waking in bed
thinking of breakfast

fried bacon
scrambled eggs
with cheese curds
on olive bread toast

sounds so good
sounds so comforting

I fall back to sleep

Lady Ducks

Averaging 106 pts a game, tops in nation. Baylor next at 101. But here's a big difference: Baylor allows 65 a game, Oregon ... 91!

8-2 Ducks get big test Jan. 3rd ... go to Stanford.

Friday, December 20, 2013


Lady Ducks broke 100 pts with 8 mins left in game.


Oregon women, 60-37 over Cal Poly ... at the half! On track for 5th consecutive 100+ game.

Olive bread

I'm a bread baking fool ...

Abundance in America


There are so many ways to die
in America. There are so many ways
music can rise from dead hearts
to stir an old ingrained patriotic
twitch. There are so many prayers
to say over the corpses of dead
soldiers. There are so many flags
to fold and plant in the deep laps
of widows. There are so many reasons
to keep shooting. There are so many
expenses that keep us from doing
this or that to help the poor. There
are so many poor. There are so many
proud Americans who believe they
live in the greatest country on earth.
There are so many homeless on the
streets of America. There are so many
uneducated students in the classrooms
of America. There are so many reasons
to keep believing whatever you believe.
There are so many reasons to deny
guilt. There are so many reasons
to deny responsibility. There are
oh so many ways to die in America.

Oh well

There are any number of things I should be doing this afternoon, such as practicing ukulele or working on Overdrive. But I'm baking another loaf of bread instead - Greek olive bread. Can't help myself, something very engaging about baking bread.

Oregon women

Bball women play tonight. 5th consecutive 100+ pt game? No TV, no radio. Maybe gamecast on my app. Equal treatment?

Best bread yet

Ever onward.

My Mexican bread

Improves with age ... makes good toast!


Bread and film

Baking bread reminds me of digital video editing: you spend a lot of time waiting around between steps, whether scenes rendering or dough rising.

Using the stone

My first bread using a baking stone.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

London theater diaster

The collapsing ceiling brought to mind a theater "ceiling event" here in Pdx, not tragic but certainly memorable. Late 70s, maybe early 80s. Storefront Theatre Co. has a funky space on N. Russell. One night during a show a rat fell from the ceiling onto a lady's lap. Never forget it. The lady screamed, audience commotion, but the actors didn't miss a beat.

Way it spose to be

Long ukulele practice today. Need a string of these.

Got a baking stone but haven't used it yet. Maybe tomorrow.


My experiment has mixed results: looks good, smells even better, but taste is more subtle than I expected. Put on back burner before I try again.

To Those Worried About My Health

To Those Worried About My Health

Now and again I receive an email
from an acquaintance or stranger
who has read on my blog about
the habits of my diet
and been taken aback by
how unhealthy it is
therefore taking the time to write
and set me straight.

I'm always insulted.
Of course I know my diet
is medically incorrect!
I'm not an idiot.

Say what?
I eat an unhealthy diet
on purpose?


I'm 74 years old
I can live (and die)
on ice cream if I choose.

I'd rather have scrapple
for daily breakfast for one year
than live three years without
etc. etc. etc.

But you are shortening your life!
you say.

No big deal.

I have no kids to rescue
no grandkids to spoil.
My archive is quite large enough.
I see no advantage to living
longer and, in fact,
some advantage
to passing sooner:

I'll miss some horror of
our dying empire.
I'll miss the worst
of Nature's revenge.

And I'll have the market
advantages of being
a dead writer.

So I appreciate your concern
but I damn well know
what I'm doing.

Pass the pecan pie.

Holiday cheer

Doesn't take much to cheer me up: 2 of my favorite books, very small sellers, were just picked up at Amazon: Baumholder 1961; and Country Northwestern and Other Plays of the Pacific Northwest. Hope they dig them, and I think they will. Or maybe the same person bought both. Hmm, probably more likely. Whatever, every crumb helps my fragile sense of purpose.


Class war

Suggestions in Chronicle, the recent wealthy tech class putting down the entrenched, long established homeless class. Stay tuned.

Oregon women

Bball team has scored over 100 points in four consecutive games. Eager to see them ... TV?



"CJ" by Thomas Strah (my title)

And it came to pass
as I was eating a typical breakfast
of scrapple and eggs on milk toast
Sketch stretched out on the divan
Harriet still in bed

I was visited by
an overwhelming presence
in the brain
the familiar figure of CJ
who said

I need you this summer, boss
I still have important things to do
I still have important things to say
and I need you to do your usual
midwife dance to bring them forth

I really haven't planned my--
I began before he interrupted me

You know I can make your life
a living hell if you ignore me

I did - he and others
so I said
Let's talk about it later
after the blossoms bloom

No, our meeting in spring
will be to plan our journey
Relax, I already have an opening line


And it came to pass that CJ
lived in his van for three years

And with this
he was gone

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

How will it taste?

Mexican bread experiment ...

Security blanket

Small pleasures

Eating a yummy piece of toast from bread I baked myself and sipping an incredible glass of iced coffee from beans I ground and brewed myself. Nothing like doing it yourself!

H has requested wheat bread and I want to bake rye bread, so lots of new adventures ahead. Today, the Mexican bread experiment. No idea how it will turn out.m..

#1 v. #2

In women's bball last night, Conn. at Duke. i expected a barn burner. Conn. crushed Duke by over 20!


Trying out this Mexican bread recipe I created ... an all day affair.

Clear thinking

Important piece in this morning's Chronicle by NYU history professor regarding shameful Heisman selection. Issue is not guilt or innocence regarding rape. Issue is meaning of "integrity" and history of the award.

What the stud jock has admitted to betrays the spirit of the award. Period. The good professor also slams the reporters who voted for him.

Of course, all this will be ignored and the professor's call for a boycott of the game is laughable - except by a very small minority, including yours truly. Look, here is another hugely talented and arrogant jock who thinks he is entitled to special treatment - and gets it. What else is new?

Well, at least some fans, like the history prof, can still think clearly.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Old Age

Old Age

as I sit here invisible, ignored,
waiting for attention that never arrives,
as influential as a stone
(less if the stone is picked up
by a radical), I pass the time
playing ukulele, baking bread,
eating pecan ice cream,
reading, watching movies,
of apparent use to no one
but the good dog Sketch,
but making no complaints to
the gods who have blessed me,
just a quiet old man waiting
for the bus and a new journey
to fire up the circulation, getting
these old and tired limbs dancing
to a brand new tune

though of course its very arrival
may be a profound and sad

Art and politics

From The Brothers:

One of the most compelling works of twentieth-century political art is Glorious Victory, a spectacular mural by the Mexican master Diego Rivera. It is a sprawling panorama on linen, sixteen feet long, depicting the 1954 coup in Guatemala. In the foreground are biting caricatures of the men who carried it out. John Foster Dulles is at the center, dressed in a flak jacket and grinning cruelly. Allen Dulles sneers from behind, his chin resting on Foster’s shoulder. A satchel of cash hangs from his waist. Dwight Eisenhower’s smiling face decorates a bomb planted in front of them. Dead Guatemalan children lie at their feet. In the background, laborers bend under the weight of bags of bananas they are carrying toward a freighter decorated with an American flag.

Morning musing

Did a few necessary chores in basement office. Should work on Overdrive #11 but no energy for it. Think I'll do two more and wrap, at least temporarily. Try more marketing after I retire. But I think I'm the wrong guy to hustle this - or anything. Would rather revisit CJ.

Bread definitely an improvement. Getting right tools finally = pizza peel, baking stone. I should be getting first class loaves by the first of the year. Great now ... but rise and texture can improve.

Going to try my Mexican bread soon ... 3rd loaf from now (special batch).

Damn, I make good iced coffee!

What day is it?

Monday, December 16, 2013



Unexpected surprises in my bread routine, all a function of using wrong tools. Need to quit the substitutions and get the right things! Anyway, in oven, no idea what I'll end up with.

Dec. 21

Stanford v. Tennessee women bball ... should be incredible game.

Low key

If all goes well, I have a nice lowkey day planned ... baking bread in the morning ... practicing ukulele in the afternoon ... maybe a little work in the home office, tying a few loose ends.

Movies to see ... new Payne and Coen films. Great directors.

Won't think of new term until after Christmas.

Gluten cloak

I am calling today Gluten Cloak Day. Baking bread this morning, determined to improve. What fun, as Jimbo used to say.

Sunday, December 15, 2013


My bread tastes great but I am not there yet. My gluten cloak needs work. Will work on this. Also am working around baking stone. May have to get one.

Saturday, December 14, 2013


Damn, I make good coffee!

Really enjoying my iced coffee thus morning. Peet's House Blend has become my bean of choice after considerable testing. Starbucks has several beans I like.

I am going to try making a Mexican baquette, adding salse verde, diced mild chiles and diced black olives. Sounds good to me.

Really ready for Army- Navy and a rush of family memories today. Game at noon. After this, only a few bowl games interest me, primarily Rose and UCLA.

Only two terms to go. Man, retiring from teaching will be sweet. Hope I don't emulate my late buddy Ger. He looked forward to a situation, got it, and barely started to enjoy it when he passed.

Black-eyed peas

Simmering now. Pork necks for broth and meat, cajun sausage, Annaheim pepper, onion, canned tomatos, spices. Low simmer all morning.

Next bread I'm testing an option, 90 min. rise instead of standard 40. See difference. I think I have a wetter dough, too. Maybe bake Sunday.

Dead last

Oregon is the worst state, dead last, in successful adoption of the new health care law. Washington across the river is an impressive #5. Yet Oregon started preparing a year before Washington and spent almost twice as much money. And its health website still is not functional! and won't be for months. Amazing how inept this state can be.

Winston rape case

More I look into this, worse it looks for our football hero.

From victim's attorney: "You have a rape kit, you have physical evidence, you have blood in the underwear, you have semen, you have marks and bruises, you have a sprained back, some scrapes on the feet," Carroll told reporters. "So you have injuries, identification, you have an immediate report ... and he (the detective) doesn't issue probable cause to get a search warrant for Mr. Winston's DNA. Instead, he issues a search warrant into the victim's phone records," she said.

Most damning evidence to me: first medical person to see victim said it was rape, and hero only claimed CONSENSUAL sex AFTER a DNA match.

What, me worry? Football heroes.

Early start

The day's game cooking has begun!

Friday, December 13, 2013


My baquette tastes as good as it looks.

Saw great Washington H.S. football championship game, last play for one point victory, Chiawana over Camus.

Crashing early.


Another late afternoon, early evening collapse. I don't mind it on a productive day like today.

Army-Navy game

If you grow up in a Navy family, as I did, no other football game brings the excitement, the energy, the traditions, or the values of this long rivalry. My dad's two brothers both served in the Army, so we had a family rivalry going, too.

When I joined the Army, not the Navy, my uncles gave my dad the works. My mom almost had a nervous breakdown. How could I? My dad understood: a 3 year Army hitch, not a 4 year Navy one. And even while serving, I rooted for Navy! Childhood roots are strong.

I'll start cooking bright and early. Go, Navy!

Uke studies

Full speed ahead tomorrow, incl putting together a new formal study schedule at Ukulele Underground, my home base.

What I did today

My baguettes are beautiful!

Haven't tasted them yet. But, man, this non-kneading method is fantastic. Want to bake bread without hassle? Follow the directions in Hertzberg and Francois' ARTISAN BREAD IN FIVE MINUTES A DAY. Not really but the method is fantastic. Little skill required.


Why not? Use the rest of the ready dough and make a new batch for the refrig.

Tomorrow, Army-Navy cooking. Great fun.


My first try rocks!

Grades in! Baking bread!

Man, so far this dough is the easiest to handle I've ever worked wirh. Crossed fingers. Goes into oven in about half an hour. Crossed fingers. I already said that.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Here's the Deal

Here's the Deal

I don't play video games.
I don't do social media.
I don't listen to pop music.
I don't read pop lit.
I would flunk every quiz
about pop culture after 1969
and barely pass the rest.

But I think Homer's Iliad is
the best war story ever told.

I think Dos Passos' USA trilogy is
the Great American Novel.

I think Durrenmatt's The Physicists
and Weiss' Marat/Sade
and Albee's A Delicate Balance
and Wilder's The Skin of Our Teeth
and Brown's Love's Body
and Berman's The Reenchantment of the World
and Connell's Mrs. Bridge
and a few other books are

works of genius inviting
many readings and considerable
reflection - so who the hell has time
for video games, social media,
pop music or pop lit?

Certainly not I!

--Charles Deemer

Early start

Nothing like a 7 a.m. trip to the dentist to start the day. So I have over half my grades in and should finish this afternoon or tomorrow.

Making scrapple today. Got my Saturday black-eyed peas stuff ... going the long way, pork neck bones for broth and such, a long production. Bread dough in refrig looking, smelling, good ... first loaf? Maybe tomorrow. Expect a few failures before I get this down ... but already thinking of wild breads I never heard of, esp for breakfast toast, remembering a past one I made decades ago. Salse verde in the mix, for example. Weird! But it may be great. Only one way to find out.

Think I'll try to finish up today.

Golden Globe nominations

Wednesday, December 11, 2013


Still there, still waiting ...

Is the universe a hologram?

2 white horses

There's a cable channel that shows live horse races from around the country. Catching a race from a track in Illinois, I am shocked to find two white horses in the same race. Never saw that before.

In the late 40s or early 50s, my grand dad had a winning ticket on a gray horse named Miche, which upset the great champion Citation by a nose at Santa Anita. Much later I named a cat Miche, which was raised by friends in LA.


In the early 80s I lived down the street from the best Mexican restaurant in town, Casa de Rios, writing, living on grants - and menudo (and beer).

Remembering those good times after having menudo for lunch for the third time in a couple weeks. Canned but decent, a Mexican product. I used to make it.

At the end of the marathon

At the end of the marathon
that's been my life
come exhaustion and marvel
reflection and wonder
satisfaction and doubt
many questions, few answers
leaving no resolution
no happy ending
nor sad ending
just the slowing down
of body and mind
in their awkward trajectory
toward eternal silence

--Charles Deemer

Finding first gear

Hard getting started on final exams. More fun to bake bread.

The adventure begins

Trying out a new artisan bread method, using a no-kneading wet dough stored in the refrig ... rave reviews ... so I mixed the initial batch, now resting on counter for 2 hrs, then refrig, bake a loaf tomorrow ... half recipe, 2 loaves at a time ... get the basic loaf down, then experiment.

Got great mixing tool, a Danish whisk.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Political poem:



Quotation of the day 2

"I'm not sure I want to go to heaven. I'm afraid I might meet John Foster Dulles there." --William O. Douglas

Have started a brilliant, upsetting dual bio of the Dulles brothers. Man, becomes pretty clear why we're in such a mess. More later.

Quotation of the day

“Time without consciousness—lower animal world; time with consciousness—man; consciousness without time—some still higher state.” -- Vladimir Nabokov, Pale Fire

Daily Kos: What Republicans don't want: Florida woman cries tears of joy after getting $3.19 Obamacare policy

Daily Kos: What Republicans don't want: Florida woman cries tears of joy after getting $3.19 Obamacare policy:

 "JoAnn Smith, a 60-year-old Florida woman, is making headlines as the latest Obamacare success story. Smith told NBC News that she "just instantly burst into tears" when she was able yesterday to sign up for a $3.19 a month health insurance policy through Obamacare.

Smith described the low-cost of her federally-subsidized plan as "totally mind-blowing" and praised the Obamacare call center agent who assisted her sign-up as "the most loveliest of helpers."

Previously, the aging Smith had been uninsured. The company for which Smith is a medical transcriptionist does not offer coverage to its employees."

'via Blog this'

The Message Of Francis « The Dish

The Message Of Francis « The Dish:

 "“Tradition and memory of the past must help us to have the courage to open up new areas to God. Those who today always look for disciplinarian solutions, those who long for an exaggerated doctrinal ‘security,’ those who stubbornly try to recover a past that no longer exists­ — they have a static and inward-directed view of things. In this way, faith becomes an ideology among other ideologies. I have a dogmatic certainty: God is in every person’s life.”"

This pope has great possibilities on the world stage.

Retirement: a poem


I want to be a bug
on the wall of life.
I want to watch everything
but have to do nothing.
I want to get good on
the ukulele for my own pleasure.
I want to read the classics
and marvel at how the best writers
have been dead for eons.
I want to stop watching the news.
I want to bake bread.
I want to figure out how
to stay warm. I want
to get good on the ukulele.
I want to repeat myself at will
and not give a damn. I want
to count my blessings, in particular
my wife and our dog, in particular
our routine, a roof over our heads,
food on the table. I want the complications
of my presently simple life to get
even more simple. I want to decide
I am not a failure after all.
I want to get good on the ukulele.
I want to be a bug on the wall of life.

--Charles Deemer

Passing time

Slow day, this exchange ... four more to go between now and 2, when I am out of here in a flash. Get my coffee refill at Starbucks and drive home before more winter attacks. Actually I think we are over the worst of it.

Tomorrow I'll attack the finals! And a few scripts I gave extensions on.

I see my books are in the bookstore for winter, all ready to go. Next to last term.

I am REALLY looking forward to retirement. I don't want the responsibility of teaching any more. I want to be a bug on the wall of life.

Sounds like the first line of a poem. Hmm.

70 Percent Of American Silent Films May Be Lost Forever, Says New Library Of Congress Study | ThinkProgress

70 Percent Of American Silent Films May Be Lost Forever, Says New Library Of Congress Study | ThinkProgress:

" But a shocking new study by film historian David Pierce for the Library of Congress reveals that just 30 percent of those movies exist in any form today, and only 14 percent of them survive in their complete, original format.
It’s a striking cultural loss that’s the result of wildly divergent attitudes towards preservation among actors and movie studio executives who worked during the silent film period. And losing that history doesn’t just deny us the opportunity to see movies from the early years of American cinema. It means we lose an opportunity to see how American movies have developed over the years, and to truly understand the evolution of the norms that have governed American filmmaking."

'via Blog this'

A Record Number Of Americans Can't Afford Their Rent | ThinkProgress

A Record Number Of Americans Can't Afford Their Rent | ThinkProgress:

 "Paying more than 30 percent of your income on rent is what experts call unaffordable. Yet the number of people who fall into that group has reached record numbers, according to a new report from the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University."

'via Blog this'

Masturbation actually has health benefits

Masturbation actually has health benefits:

Science marches on!

Nobel winning scientist to boycott top science journals

Nobel winning scientist to boycott top science journals:

 "He asserts that the practices of the top journals is causing undo difficulties with young researchers who have become convinced the only true measure of success is publication in one of the top tier journals.
He continues by suggesting that because the top tier journals are run by editors, rather than scientists, it's often the flashiest articles that get published, rather than the best or most relevant."

Ah, politics and in-fighting. It's everywhere. "Politics is pissing in public." (Norman O. Brown)

Daily Kos: 560 Major world authors: A society under surveillance is no longer a democracy

Daily Kos: 560 Major world authors: A society under surveillance is no longer a democracy:

Mars One plans robotic mission; 200,000 hope to go, too -

Mars One plans robotic mission; 200,000 hope to go, too -

'via Blog this'

Grade inflation

Appropriate graphic for this time of year. Rough trend: A's up, B's the same, C's down.

Dark Mission: an opera

John Nugent's fine opera, unproduced, for which I wrote the libretto. His music is wonderful and the midi files are here.