How to tell a story

How to tell a story

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

In the office

Man, been a while since I typed that! I actually am going to enjoy this term very much, for a variety of reasons:

  • it's mostly a workshop, not a university class, much more flexible and fun
  • a raise and promotion raises the spirits - and pays bills
  • using the tutorial! at last, at last ... I wanted to 20 yrs ago but I was too far ahead of the curve then, too many students were not online.  Today I'm a dinosaur!
  • spring and good weather
  • riding the bus ... what a great people watching trip!
  • get out of the Groundhog Day atmosphere at home for a while
All is good ... so far. Knock on my wooden head.

A new class

Well, my unexpected return to the classroom is today at noon. I use my tutorial (free) as "text" ... first 7 weeks has feel of workshop, last 3 we become university class so I can give a grade. How will they like it? Will find out. I dig it.

Monday, March 30, 2015

Shock & recovery

UConn trailed Dayton at half! But lead by 24 with 6mins left.

posted from Bloggeroid

A mess

High stress event Sat. night, tore me up inside, a physical mess since. Need better recovery before classroom Tues. Worst timing. H influence, of course - she's the only stress in my life.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

A progressive city

Seattle mayor bans city-funded travel to Indiana following passage of anti-gay legislation:

posted from Bloggeroid

March sadness

Not much keeping my interest.

Spring Mariners not very impressive ... esp pitching.

Well, horse racing and world cup ahead ...


early in the morning
unable to sleep
stressed, a bad stomach

I take a seat
on one end
of the divan

on the other
Sketch looks up
and returns to sleep

this is the very
definition of
comfort, security

Saturday, March 28, 2015

PAINFUL to see!

Underdog hometeam Gonzaga women lead Tennessee by 17 with 5 mins left ... and collapse. Lose by 4 in OT. I quit and couldn't watch any longer. G first year coach didn't help, just stood there dumbfounded. Awful and amazing.


UConn women destroy #5 seed Texas 105-54 ... a perfect game of basketball if ever there was one. Impressive, to say the least.

Friday, March 27, 2015


Editor's note: Italy's top court's ruling to acquit Amanda Knox and former boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito for the murder of British student Meredith Kercher brings an end to the high-profile case. Kercher was found dead in 2007 and both Knox and Sollecito were convicted in 2009, cleared in 2001 and then ordered to face a retrial, The Guardian reports. In 2014, an appeals court reinstated the conviction. Today's decision declined to order another retrial. - Stephanie

Chris Connor!

Listening to the original Bethlehem recordings - 35 songs - while doing dinner prep. What great music!

posted from Bloggeroid

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Productive day

School prep ... deck work ... yard work ... collapse! ... Mariners ... later, March madness - retirement at its best, i.e. slow without stress.

Starting the day right

My cold brewed iced coffee ... my bread, toasted ... my breakfast ... & Caruso. Man!

posted from Bloggeroid

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Great edition of The Nation

150th Anniversary Special Issue:

Filled with gems from the past.

Home sweet home

H watching figure skating (Universal Sports via Sling TV); I'm listening to the Mariners with earplugs (MLB app); and Sketch is gloating after stealing my spot on the sofa. And we're all lucky to be alive.

O adjunct! my adjunct!


Signed contract ... significant promotion and raise. For the rescue, I bet.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

But otherwise, have a good day!

Noam Chomsky: Nuclear Weapons and Unchecked Climate Change Are Leading Us Toward Doomsday:

Monday, March 23, 2015


Forgotten how tiring serious thought is at my age ... putting my new syllabus together, a radical change!, using the online tutorial, no textbook, treating it as workshop at writers conf, no assignments until week 7! and then only so I have a basis to grade, and will encourage everyone to take it pass/no pass ... nothing like my past classes, only way I can do this.

posted from Bloggeroid

Sunday, March 22, 2015


Cornel West: ‘We Live in an Age of Sellouts [and] Love of Money, Money, Money, Money’:

posted from Bloggeroid

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Headline of the day

On CNN: Solar Eclipse Overshadowed By Hype

Perfect! American culture in a nutshell, responding to Nature's wonder.

Undefeated Princeton women play at 8 a.m. I'll be there.

Friday, March 20, 2015


Just taught H how to print wirelessly from her tablet. Can be useful.

Oregon State in a struggle ...

posted from Bloggeroid


Suddenly lots going on, and quickly.

Changes, changes!


After day one last year, about 18000 brackets were still perfect in the ESPN contest. After yesterday, only 273! This makes for a lot of good madness.

Thursday, March 19, 2015


Harvard missed a 3 pt that would have beat storied UNC, lost by 2. Amazing.

posted from Bloggeroid


An 11 seed, advances on lucky one pt win.

posted from Bloggeroid

Madness fun

Two 14 seed victories already! Love it.

posted from Bloggeroid

Ah me

H driving to doc appt ... phone call ... Where am I going? Wow. How memory loss affects driving! Something else to worry about.

posted from Bloggeroid

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

A shocker!!

Email from Eng Dept/PSU ... they have a full spring screenwriting class with a waiting list - but no teacher! Will I come out of retirement and do it?


1. We need the money for medical expenses.

2. I can try out some radically different teaching ideas I've been brooding about. I can have fun!

No textbook ... the text is my free online tutorial and app. This actually will be fun.

No out of class assignments. Out of class work is voluntary.

It starts in two weeks! Teaching while we are moving, wow.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Good news x3

1. Plan for selling house
2. Got on top of taxes today
3. H learned she gets 6-month license back without testing

Now listening to first four on radio ... enjoying it.

Go to DMV in morning ... H driving will free me up!

Another interview ...

... with yours truly, at Book Goodies. Can't recall when it was done.

Done deal

Signed with a real estate agent ... will try to have house ready to put on market May 1 but June 1 may be more realistic. Ton of prep to do, and the memory issue really slows progress and increases stress. The transition from hell.

Oregon State women start at home


All TV components working. No more upgrades until after March Madness, please.
posted from Bloggeroid

Tech issues and solutions

Opened Sling TV app on this Fire tablet ... sent me to Amazon store for update ... then it said the device is not compatible! WHAT!??? And at March madness!??? I rushed to Fire Tv ... and Sling, which runs WatchESPN, still worked there. Relief. But why the dramatic change with tablet? Made no sense.

I opened my iMarket app and found updated Sling there ...downloaded, works fine! Back in business.

It's an Amazon app store problem.

MORAL: there's always more than one way to skin a cat.


Spoke too soon ... update won't run ESPN ... ah me. Hope they fix it before the games. Jeez.

Monday, March 16, 2015


What Climate Change Looks Like for a Vulnerable Nation: "The Future Has Been Shattered":

posted from Bloggeroid

Seattle's Wonder Woman

Optimistic forecast for Mariners


Check out this Mariners article:

(Sent via Seattle Baseball News for Android by ZenMobi -

posted from Bloggeroid

Padded walls

Today's sanity challenge: doing taxes with someone whose memory lasts about 15 minutes.

posted from Bloggeroid

Thirteen Poems: an online reading

Feeling rather like a dying writer this morning, I decided I should give a final public reading while I'm still capable of doing so, a gesture for the road. However, looking into the open mic possibilities in town, I remembered how active the poetry scene is, how competitive, how noisy, and how it's not really something I want to jump into. I want someone to invite me to give a reading but since this isn't going to happen, I decided on the next best thing, which is to give my reading right here, online. And if someone wants to hear this live, well, invite me, goddamn it!

 Thirteen poems: a reading by Charles Deemer

  In My Old Age

 American History In My Lifetime 


 Having Coffee With An Old Girlfriend 



 The Body I Look Out Of 

 Email Stress 

 Morning Fantasy 



 I'm Not Fit Company 

 My Memorial 

 All poems from IN MY OLD AGE, Round Bend Press. Reading of entire book.

Sunday, March 15, 2015


Sketch and sanity

We're both on the downhill side. I outlived all my closest male friends, not sure I want to outlive Sketch too. He's the peaceful tonic of my existence.

Lasting feeling

Felt good to hear from a colleague, an actor I admire, that I deserve to rest on my laurels for my work in traditional theater in the 1980s, before my obsession with hyperdrama. I'm not modest: he is right ha ha. But you had to have been there to appreciate it and none of the current younger theater directors has rediscovered the work.

Men's 3000M

Just watched replay from yesterday, NCAA finals ... Ducks finished 1, 2, 3! WOW!!

Women didn't even get into finals.

Technology and sports

My setup:

Samsung TV runs Kindle Fire TV runs Sling TV runs WatchESPN ... which is where I most often access ESPN3. But both this app and Sling itself offer many (dozens of) sports options.

Looks more complicated than it is. This offers at least 10x (probably closer to 20x) more sports programing than Directv, at 1/4 the cost!
But it does take a little reseach and savvy to find and understand your options.

Cutting the cord, yes!

posted from Bloggeroid

Saturday, March 14, 2015


Was having some baffling trouble with Fire TV ... until research reminded me that REBOOTING solves many an issue. Immediately solved mine.

Selection Sunday!

posted from Bloggeroid

Old times, or ...

... flattery will get you everything.

To fund-raising concert, where master of ceremonies was a favorite actor from the Golden Age, who was excited to see me at intermission, and who introduced me to his wife with the most exaggerated and (yes) wonderful praise of my plays. "Christ, you can rest on your laurels," he said on learning I didn't write plays any more. All of which made me feel good, which is to say, unforgotten.

He said he was working on a history play - inspired by my history plays!


Great feature of WatchESPN app ... just watched last 3 mins of Oregon victory, almost giving it away, then fantastic last second bomb. Worth watching again.

Friday, March 13, 2015

Great book!

Arrived today: Jazzing the Ukulele, how to make jazz chord substitutions, with lots of music theory and a CD ... looks fantastic!

Men's 5000M

First day of NCAA indoor champ, Ducks had 3 in this final, took first and third, great race. Meanwhile UCLA hanging in with Ariz so far ...

"Knowledge" in our Dark Ages

Edits to Police Brutality Wikipedia Pages Trace Back to NYPD:

posted from Bloggeroid


Question of the day

I used to believe I was an American
but how can I be an American if
so little in America makes sense to me
so little in America reflects my values

but if I am not an Amrtican
then what the hell am I?

posted from Bloggeroid

Thursday, March 12, 2015

TV verite

WatchESPN has a replay feature. Moreover, track meets are recorded in real time, not edited event to event the way mainstream networks present them. In other words, you are there during warmups and the rest. I love it! because I like track meets, not just the highlight reel.

So the Missouri Valley finals replay just started ... four hours worth! A nice backdrop.

posted from Bloggeroid

Old Age

Old Age

I want to be
alive and mobile
in the shadows

bowels intact
no responsibility
a grinning observer

very few needs
self sufficient
no demands

happily moving
within a routine
baking bread

iced coffee
from the gods
less is more

one happy day
after another
until they are gone

now you see me
now you don't
rest in peace


Wednesday, March 11, 2015


H off with girlfriend for evening ... and I got more done in two hrs without her around than in the past week, necessary tax prep chores. She likes to "get involved" and second guess me, neither of which is efficient - or fun.

Battery charge

Feeling better since yesterday's melt down. This caregiver role is the hardest thing I've done, not my skill set. Desert rat more natural ha ha.

posted from Bloggeroid

R.I.P. Frohnmayer

The former U of O President indirectly influenced me when he was Oregon Atty Gen in the 1980s.

My play Christmas At The Juniper Tavern was widely assumed to be a satire about the Rajneesh in Oregon. In fact, it was an expansion of my one act The Death of Teng Yen-feng, written long before the ashram in Oregon. But no one believed me.

We had a mole in rehearsal! A week before opening, a Rajneesh attorney wrote the theater with plans to sue if we opened - and had specific quotations from script to make their case of defamation. How in hell did they get a script? The ploy was ridiculous - but almost worked. An actress single mother on food stamps got scared and was ready to quit, crashing the play. But Frohnmayer came to the rescue, offering to rep everyone free if it went forward. The Oregon Atty Gen took a stand!

We opened and no suit. A mega hit that went to public TV - and no suit.
Frohnmayer probably saved the play, the biggest hit of my career at the time.

Opinions are like assholes ...

... everybody has one.

Science in an Age of Opinion:

Idiots of the day

Republicans Propose Dress Code For Obama Daughters :

Body Art

Body Art

my dad was just a kid
lying to join the Navy at 16
escaping the paper mill in NJ

just a kid sent to China
in the 1930s before revolution
seeing so much poverty he later
endorsed communism as improvement

just a kid who one night
probably drunk though he never said
put a large tattoo on each bicep
which he regretted the rest of his life

and so I grew up to a litany
on the idiocy of body art
and it's no wonder I find tattoos
distasteful to this day

which makes watching basketball
a challenging experience
when so many illustrated men
and illustrated women
are playing the game

and I keep envisioning how ugly
their body art will become
on old shriveled skin

why don't they just use decals
if their fragile egos need
a fashion statement?

but it's a fruitless question
just pointing out how much
the culture has changed
and how out of place I've become
without body art

and with an unfashionable propensity
to ride "the fiery chariot
of his contemplative thought"
even into the sunset


Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Melt down

Long overdue ... now for a battery charge ... lobotomy ... gift from the gods ...

O brave new world ...

Neuroscientists successfully implant memories into sleeping mice:

Isn't this just great?


How sad I have to sit here alone at two in the morning to find a little peace and quiet in this world.

Monday, March 9, 2015

First take

Good vibes with agent ... he will make proposal this week. He suggests selling sooner rather than later because we're in a seller's market. Tick tock.

posted from Bloggeroid


for many years
I looked forward
to old age
as peaceful, mellow
having no idea
how unsettled
how stressful
how disruptive
it would be

yet another example
of my failure
to see things clearly

will I never learn?

posted from Bloggeroid

Big day, too much so

First meeting with a real estate agent ... boxes for vets to haul out to end of driveway ... get serious about taxes ... entertainment, try to shoo away stress ... lawn work with midweek rain coming ... help H on a couple things, SI copies, drivers license hoops ... whatever happened to a peaceful retirement?

posted from Bloggeroid

Sunday, March 8, 2015

American mythology

The Myth Destroying America: Why Social Mobility Is Beyond Ordinary People’s Control:

posted from Bloggeroid

Mind your own damn business

Fox News host suggests taking own life is a ‘cowardly plan’ for terminal cancer patient:

posted from Bloggeroid


Maybe I'm not so hot mowing any more but I still bake a great loaf of bread ... rye out of the oven, trying cracked rye flour.

posted from Bloggeroid

Mowing the yard

In the past I've looked forward to taking out my classic reel mower each spring and pushing it around the yard. Almost something Americana about it. The sound, the smell. Loved it.

This year it feels like work. I avoid it. Old age, I guess.

posted from Bloggeroid

Two films

"Harvest of Empire" & "Dirty Wars" Among Films Honored by American Library Association:

The good fight


Saturday, March 7, 2015

What a fun upset!

Belmont is a collection of 3-pt shooting fools. They hit 15 and upset a better team, Murray State, by a point, with the first ticket to the Big Dance.

Friday, March 6, 2015

SI cover


Is there a more mellow sport than baseball? The last slow dance, I called it in NW Mag 40+ years ago. Listening to Mariners and loving it.

Yard wotk later. Sigh. Getting too lazy for it.

posted from Bloggeroid

Computer puts Mariners in WS


Check out this Mariners article:

(Sent via Seattle Baseball News for Android by ZenMobi -

posted from Bloggeroid

Greensboro Coliseum

Watching ACC women's tourny ... court in huge complex that includes a theater space, where a play of mine was done in 1980s. They flew me in for a week, talks at three colleges, treated like a bigshot. My first "tourist" request - not the civil rights five and dime, not the O Henry house - the basketball court! The male actors loved it and we partied together.

posted from Bloggeroid

Mariners bats coming alive this season?

Check out this Mariners article:

(Sent via Seattle Baseball News for Android by ZenMobi -

posted from Bloggeroid


awake at the darkest
hour of the morning
I send my thoughts
far back in time
to another hour

a woman beside me
stirs and enters
the vast silence
of the universe

and together
half asleep
we make slow
and comfortable love

without language
without personality

(I wish I comprehended
this at the time)

posted from Bloggeroid

Thursday, March 5, 2015


Doesn't surprise me

American College Students Spend Less Time on Academic Pursuits Than All But One European Country:

posted from Bloggeroid

Tournament time

Many women's bball tournaments in action, more choices than I've ever had, but short on west coast teams. But I'll find something. And track and field finals ahead.


the older I get
the less I engage
the world at large

too much noise
too much commotion
too much atrocity

I prefer stillness
I prefer silence
I prefer myself

if my friends were alive
we'd laugh together
at so much absurdity

but I outlived them
and must laugh alone
not the same thing

I make great effort
to distract myself
from "nightscape in empire"

with Homer and Mailer
Shastakovich and Brahms
track and baseball

anything to drown out
the constant barrage
of bad news, worse news

the older I get
the less I engage
the world at large


"nightscape in empire" comes from a poem by Terry Simons
posted from Bloggeroid


From Crispus Attucks to Michael Brown: Race and Revolution:

Americans flip out

Here are 9 social panics that gripped America, were totally false, and did lasting damage:

Wednesday, March 4, 2015


ACC women's bball tourny on K Fire TV, no sound; Mariners game on K Fire tablet, audio. Not a bad way to go.

posted from Bloggeroid

Seattle Mariners

First spring game on tablet/radio!

Harriet's adopted son ...

Monday, March 2, 2015


I heard from two of my former grad students on the same day! Makes for nice moments. I like to see them doing well.

Two tributes

Birthday wish

For his 70th birthday this week, my brother has asked me to delete all his poems from my blog. I think it's important to honor a request like this. Not sure I can find them all. And his published poems are scattered so widely in used book outlets, no way he can erase the record of his considerable art. James Otis destroyed his life's work and the man John Adams called the First Patriot is forgotten by most but not by scholars.

I want one



waking from a nightmare
filled with usual demons

I turn on BBC news
to find ironic relief

the horror here and now
far worse than dreams

nothing in dreams compares
to modern human butchery

and whoever thought demons
would be welcomed as comfort?

Sunday, March 1, 2015

NCAAW: Oregon upsets Stanford

Shocking win for the 11-16 Ducks.


Home alone much of the day, which makes for catching up time: packing, banking, cooking, cutting grass, paperwork, with a backdrop of small time sports when inside. Look forward to it!

posted from Bloggeroid