How to tell a story

How to tell a story

Monday, August 31, 2015

Against the wind

We in Alaska see that climate change is real. The time to act is now

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Radio v. TV

TS laments that he may have to listen to football on the radio ... see

I prefer radio. No doubt about kid sports experience. I was a teenager before I watched TV.


I'm still in my PJs!

Earlier I made biscuits, made bread, made us biscuits and gravy for breakfast.

Watching crazy LLWS final ... 13-10 in only 3rd, a home run derby.

Will I dress today?

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Fat chance

It's Time For Corporate America To Stand Up To Republican Climate Deniers -

Great start ...

... to season! Montana upsets N Dak St in final 2 sec!

Come on Bruins!

La de dah

Horror, live for all to see: another week in American gun violence

Only in America

Sarah Palin showers Donald Trump with adoration in 'interview of the year'

Tragedy II

Extreme Arctic sea ice melt forces thousands of walruses ashore in Alaska


10 Years After Katrina, New Orleans Is ‘Gentrification’s Ground Zero’:

Oregon football

Check out the cool countdown at Round Bend Press.

The magic ...

... of my buttermilk remains. What a blessing.

Paperback cover

Pitter patter boom!

Raining like crazy! Been a while.

Friday, August 28, 2015

A stressful week

Really haven't found my groove since end of road trip. H not making life easier. I have to learn how to ignore her repetitive crises.

posted from Bloggeroid


I encouraged this book by a former student, helped put it together.
posted from Bloggeroid


I wish Pac 12 college football started tomorrow. But Montana plays NDakSt! 

Ah, humanity!

Global Response to People Fleeing Ravages of War: 'Callous Indifference,' Humanitarian Failure:


Eager to see UCLA's freshman QB, Josh Rosen, in action. I have good feelings about the Bruins this year. A sleeper, good spot to be.

Thursday, August 27, 2015



Australia Reduced Mass Violence by Confiscating Guns. In the U.S., Police Sell Them Back to Citizens.:


Quite a shock that Betty died ... younger than I with far less bad habits ... life/death a crapshoot.

R.I.P. Betty Bernhard

Just learned of her death in March. A first rate radical theater artist and professor. We were grad students together. She commissioned and directed my adaptation of a Russian play, The Dragon. Later, while teaching at Pomona College, she brought me down to perform my Guthrie show. Admired the hell out of her.



New normal

The blasé acceptance that you might get shot is a fact of American life


Wednesday, August 26, 2015


Academic Freedom And The Meaning of Courage -

The other side

The Forgotten History Of 'Violent Displacement' That Helped Create The National Parks -


Is using your mobile phone in public ruder than you think?

And now the news ...

Virginia TV journalists shot dead on air in attack staged by former colleague

Freshman gets the job


The Case for Universal Basic Income:


= Wall Street. What a way to run an economy.


Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Poor showing in track and field so far

World championships: four days in, where are the American medals?


Hailing His 'Authenticity and Integrity,' Dr. Cornel West Backs Bernie Sanders:

Home alone

Grill prep: corn ... marinaded vegies ... to Mulligan, muted LLWS ... mellow morning.


they happen daily now
the shootings
of family and strangers
of police and suspects
of ordinary citizens
of you and me

and no one knows
how to stop them
so it's not much comfort
to understand Brown
in the tradition of Blake

that modern war (violence)
is war perverted
and the problem isn't war
but the perversion

that the real fight
is the mental fight
the Fiery Chariot
of His Contemplative Thought

something to remember
as you're bleeding
on the street

Monday, August 24, 2015


This Map Shows How Many More Students Are Living In Poverty Than 9 Years Ago -


Why the workplace of 2016 could echo Orwell’s 1984


Crashed early, now up feeling ill.

Rec'd ms from former student ... going to help her publish memoir of childhood in wartime Czech.


Iceberg big enough to cover Manhattan breaks off from Greenland glacier:


Alzheimer’s experts say dementia cases will nearly triple by 2050:


Fire is the new norm

When firefighters speak out on climate change, we ought to listen up

Damn updates

Software update on my Fire, auto and required, has caused a few glitches. Happens every time. Takes a while to get back to normal.


The fire next time

Fire spokesman: Blazes in north-central Washington are now the largest in state history - @AP

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Weird wasted smoky day

zzzzzzzz x 10000


Ken Burns Shoots Down The States' Rights Civil War Lie: It Was About 'Slavery, Slavery, Slavery':


Dad Drives From Prairies To See The Ocean Before He Goes Blind -


Once again the Ms took a "safe lead" into the 9th and blew it. The bull pen can't get it done, the story of their season.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

I feel it

Air quality in Portland, Ore., deemed 'unhealthy' by state health officials as result of wildfires in Washington state - @ashannstew


Exhausted tonight. That's what I get for doing nothing all day.

Poor showing, mostly

0-2 for Pdx in LLWS. Lost close first game 1-0, blown out in elimination game for 5 innings, came alive finally in last inning. Making game of it. 7-0 becomes 7-5 ... and nobody out. Stay tuned.

*Oregon eliminated. At least in 6th inning they showed up.

Tick tick tick ...

Why The Future Doesn't Need Us -- Revisited -

The last supper

Thanks Humanity. Now We're Unsustainable 'Super Predators.' -

Good morning

Crank it up

Driving to market, hit with wild risky idea to crank up stakes in Titanic. Yes! Going for it ...

Friday, August 21, 2015

Ready or not ...

Am I on the right planet?

Most GOP voters think Donald Trump will be their 2016 presidential nominee:

Not long now

College football a week away!

Girls will be girls

Ex-NFL Cheerleader Sentenced For Raping 15-Year-Old -

Paradise Regained

Time travel

Message In A Bottle Reaches Destination After More Than 100 Years At Sea -


The Feminist’s Case For Bernie Sanders -

Damn, I make good biscuits!

That's all ...

A poem written on the deck

I like meeting people
superficially on the run
"The wild fires are terrible!"
"How about that thunderstorm!"

when I don't know if
the guy is a pedophile
or has his mother-in-law
chopped up in pieces
in the freezer
or if she is like the lady
in Psycho on the run
with the money

when all I know is that
they are pleasant enough
and easy to talk to
about nothing important
and we nod and smile

and humanity feels like
a really great place
to hang out in

What a lovlely day! This is my kind of "retirement," puttering, brooding, making bread, making biscuits, doing some prep for turkey legs grilling later, daily checking of our finances to make sure there are no surprises, just the routine of daily living, which may be the very point of Existence. Yes, nothing like a road trip to make you apprciate what you have at home. Typing out here on the deck now, I am as relaxed, as peaceful, moreson, than at any moment on the road trip, including Boise and Baker City, the two highlights. I think my traveling days are over. Certainly on any grand scale. I'm just so damn contented at home! I wish H would get into this space as well. It's perfect for an artist but she hasn't found energy for painting since the heart event, except on scattered moments here and there. I'd like to see her in her studio every day, in the old routine she had in her working mode.

On the trip I asked her what she wanted for the rest of her life. Two things: peace ... and to be recognized as an artist. I understand both. I have both and feel lucky for it. She doesn't have either yet and I don't think she'll get the first until she faces the reality of her situation. The second is a crapshoot, but all you can do, all she can do, is do the work and keep the faith as much as possible.

I wonder if the Baker City motel was there in the 1980s. I would have loved to "hide out" there in my younger writing days. Perfect set up, swimming pool (no one used it while we were there!), free breakfast, great location, I really dug it.

One of the memories the road trip brought back was the summer four of us toured a short Oregon history play I had written, 3 of us performing, the 4th the stage manager, hitting several dozen small Oregon towns in central and east parts, several shows a week and the entire town would come out, it seemed, and give you a standing ovation no matter what you did, but it was the camaraderie among us, and the back road traveling, setting up the stage, doing the show, then being wined and dined by the locals, then back on the road to the next town and show, all paid for by the Oregon Committee for the Humanities on a grant, nothing out of our own pockets, and money left over ... it was a great gig! The 1980s were terrific for grants of all kinds for artists.

I also had memories of small town tavern hopping with my soul brother Dick, in the Idaho outback, one logging town after another, most with his relatives in or behind the bar, very romantic to my LA self at the time. I've written a lot about this.

And the memories are so much sweeter when they are not eclipsed by ego-driven fretting about whether or not your writing career was a waste of time or not ha ha ... nothing like the security of being "in the canon." Has really mellowed me out.

Welcome home 2

Man, I really appreciate our wonderful house, returning to it after a week on the road. Only two motels ... Boise and Baker City ... were as nice as right here, especially sitting out on the deck. I don't have the travel instincts any more that Harriet has ... I am hugely happy right here, doing my routine of baking, grilling, writing, brooding, and the rest. The idea to increae immediate cash flow was to finance travels together, largely for her benefit, but I also learned on this trip that it is stressful to travel with someone who loses something important several times a day. I reversed my idea about a reverse mortgage and now am against it, not for financial reasons but personal, psychological ones. Here i can escape. I can go to my office, go to the deck, go to the store ... on the road, I am stuck, which increases stress. So unless she has a reason and convinces me, it is off the table.

But we have to do something. So she agrees to try the "cash only" routine ... it will work IF she can hold to it. If she can remember it! Even yesterday, I let her go to the store alone, always stressful, she agreed to a specific list of things to buy, and nothing else, and came back spending 3x as much. It drives me crazy.

Well, I am looking forward to biscuits and grilling through the rest of the day, and checking in at my office, too, reading what I have on Titanic, and getting back into a routine of writing, and of course the music practive ... home stuff! It waa a very worthwhile trip and resulted in some progress regarding H family matters, and there were delightful moments along the way as well as stressful ones, but a good trip, all and all, and we spent a tad more than I had budgeted but what the hell. This house is insurance. As soon as we sell it, we are out of debt with a lot of money in our pocket as well. So it isn't the end of the world, but it could get out of hand pretty quickly. I now want to maximize our equity so we walk away with as much dough as possible after selling but I also want to live here as long as possible. As a matter of fact, I would like to die here. We may not be able to stay here that long. For health, mobility, reasons.

Well, one day at a time. I am thrilled to be home, thrilled to be back in my routine, and I hope I can figure something out to make life easier for Harriet but she has to do the work, too, she has to grow into accepting the new reality. Even yesterday she said she no longer had a memory problem just before going to the store and forgetting everything we had agreed to! Talk about denial.

Bitch bitch bitch ha ha. I'm shutting up.

Welcome home

Home sweet home

There's nothing like ...
... waking up in your own bed
... baking bread at 5 a.m.
... thinking, I need to make biscuits today
... asking, what to grill tonight?


Thursday, August 20, 2015

The scholar

Beheaded Scholar Refused To Tell ISIS The Location Of Hidden Antiquities -

Notes on the road, last installment

I wasn't sure this was a worthwhile trip until last night, seeing the daughter and grandson and the progress made in getting their lives together.

I am far less inclined to do a RM now than when I left. Travel with H is more stressful than sitting on the deck at home. On the other hand, there are things she could do alone with cash: more visits to east coast, for example. I just want her to stop using the credit card so much. I want less stress trying to keep our debt down. We have long talks about finances ... but she never remembers them, so we start over all the time. Life has become reinventing the wheel.

I am going to suggest giving her a cash allowance that is less than her monthly charges. Move to a cash economy as much as possible. The status quo is driving me nuts, far too stressful.


The free breakfast here, Baker City BW, was described as Continental but in fact wss a full breakfast. Cool.


Slow lazy morning, which is sapping my energy ... I like to get on the road earlier but H wants to say bye to grandson at his workplace noonish, so here we are. A long drive for us but it is all Interstate and yesterday this area was not too bad with traffic ... if traffic is light, I don't mind it but hate when it is all trucks.

Hope my buttermilk and bread dough survived my absence and I don't have to start over!!!


 HOME! OK, here are the last notes from the trip.

Home sweet home

I collapsed. Now to recover from "vacation" ha ha.

Blue sky!

In The Dalles, first non-smoky morning since we left.


Beautiful morning in The Dalles, enjoyed by Sketch and me. Not sure when H will rise and be ready to ride.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Columbia River

The Dalles

Great view of gorge but our room isn't as good as Baker City or Boise. I cd live at the Baker City motel.

We need to drive into town for food.

So so place.

Waiting to hit the road

On the road notes, part two

Part two of notes on the road, late Saturday afternoon, waiting for Harriet to return.

Maybe we'll explore downtown area before dinner ... not sure how hungry we'll be. Restricted by dog, too hot to leave him in car, so we get stuff to go ... not many dog friendly decks but in Boise, according to net, there are several, which will be nice. We have all day Monday in Boise to explore.

I played a little bit of ukulele today but that is the only "constructive" thing I've done, which is fine. It was fun to see a Portland team of kids go to the WS!

I would imagine H would be very tired after a long day of planned activities, I think. She may just want to crash. Fine. I can get dinner to go later and bring it back.

Man, the world has changed so much. I am sure every generation says the same thing; it's true every generation in a culture focused on change and youth. But I think Nature is showing us that short term fun has long term disastrous consequences ... the human experiment seems to have failed, though of course we will start all over again on Mars or somewhere, probably with the same brains and desires.

A short meeting at the institution tomorrow and if Sketch and I can't go, which I believe is the case, then we have four hours to kill OUT of the motel, which may be hard to do. I am not looking forward to it. Maybe we can find a park to hang out in.

4 o'clock ... H's day should be ending now and she's headed home. May make a stop at a market or something. Eager to hear how it went ... eager to see she is all right. I can never be certain.


This damn AlphaSmart ... just checked the battery ... 100%!!


Looking again at the hypertext book. The canon consists of 23 hypertexts chosen from over 200: my play is one of 9 considered "first generation hypertext." Quite an honor. Perfect for old age.


Harriet tired and rather quiet about her day. On the bed watching a movie now. I'm sort of watching, reading, writing, brooding, fiddling around.


SUNDAY MORNING. Rest of the family sleeping in (it's 730), so I have time to kill. Shower, take out at McD's for breakfast ... I like their $1 sausage muffin. Slow morning but we should get away early afternoon, short drive to Boise for two nights. Living it up in downtown Red Lion. Hopefully interesting walking there.

Then to Baker City to see a daughter and grandson ... then maybe 2 days to get home.

But so far, I actually feel more on vacation sitting on the deck at home than on this trip, with the exception of a few scenic drives along the way. But it can be stressful when H loses stuff on the road.


BOISE. First rate motel room with room service etc but the "downtowner" isn't very downtown, it's on the edge, about an 8 block walk from downtown. Otherwise, this is a huge contrast to the pits of Mountain Home.

Seem to be many dog friendly restaurants here, for a change.

Listening to Ms, tied with Red Sox in xtras for a change.


MONDAY IN BOISE. Very good first impressions! Ends up, we are well located ... short walk for my morning iced coffee ... near parks on the river, which we'll check out before going to Basque block downtown for lunch ... maybe some museums later, though many are closed on Monday.

Moment of stress ... car keys missing and H forget to bring her copy. They had fallen onto bed when I stretched out after taking Sketch out early in the morning.

So far, "vacation" is NOT as relaxing as sitting on the deck at home, so I am rethinking the whole RM thing: only sensible reason to do it is for more cash NOW, only sensible reason for that is to SPEND IT, only way that makes sense is travel ... but if traveling with H is so stressful, do I even want to do it? At the same time, I have to get H to spend less on her credit card. I am going to suggest giving her an allowance to do anything with IF she will not charge anything. Finances are a constant stress because she is so unpredictable and does things on a whim, like charge $100 of magazines we can't really afford. She wants her independence but we also have a very tight budget to stick to. I hate shit like this. I can be happy meditating and brooding all day, which costs nothing.

I am pretty bad at being a caregiver, manager, to tell the truth.


The Basque Market, where we had lunch on the sidewalk cafe, where we had a variety of tampas, had one called Paella Roll which was a seafood paella wrapped in something, a tortilla maybe, and deep fat fried, and man was it good! Trying to decide whether to order some to go on our way out of town. Man I loved them!

Boise has some first rate parks along the river, too. Ran into an old guy walking his dog ... moved from Montana, loves Boise. Loves his dog: which has a disease, and the guy is paying about four grand a year to keep the animal alive. "He's my best friend." I hear him. Sketch is mine these days.

We pooped out two hours before our parking ran out -- old farts, I guess. And actually there isn't all that much to see downtown in terms of time consumption, esp with the museum closed on Mondays. But saw some great hangouts, including a coffee bar with large sidewalk open air space attached to interior.

Boise is cool. I think I could live here.


Chinese take out in the room. Checkout not until noon and we have a short drive.

A "Castle" marathon on TNT, one of H's shows. I don't like it but don't mind it, just sort of space out and do something else, like listen to baseball on earphones.

This was a good day after a short stressful morning! Need more good days.

Interstates are great unless you are not in a hurry and want mellow driving ... so the I84 out of Boise soon was driving me crazy, took Idaho state highways for a while to mellow out.

Now in Baker City with another great room, a Best Western! H off to see daughter and grandson, we'll meet here for dinner at restaurant with patio where we can take Sketch.

Sketch has been a great traveler this trip. More mellow than usual: often takes him time to settle down but not this trip. Maybe it is old age, just as with us.

We won't drive the last 300 miles in one day ... 4 hrs is about our limit. So I suspect we'll spend tomorrow night between Pendleton and Hood River somewhere.


This road trip has brought back memories of my youth, a young writer, loving to work in motel rooms alone, or taking a bar hopping road trip with my best buddy, small town taverns after another, in Idaho and eastern Washington towns nobody ever heard of, great country, great characters in the bars, perfect for an LA boy getting a little too romantic about the Pacific NW, with a great guide in Dick.


Ready for dinner whenever the troops get here.


Eager to get back to work on Dancing on the Titanic ... renewed energy for it while on the road.


WED the 19th. Hard to find a room for tonight! Firefighters, I guess. Got a spendy resort room in the gorge, The Dalles, a little last night luxury. Then home tomorrow, a short drive.

Oh, yes, this motel has the best shower I've been in for a very long time.

Rooms scarce

Rooms suddenly hard to find ... must be firefighters. Took half a dozen failures to book a spendy room in The Dalles ... live it up final night. 220 drive with a late start.


Took H daughter, grandson, to dinner ... both dark drug pasts ... both getting it together, visible progress, realistuc attitudes ... goal of trip to visit troubled wing of H family, here were signs to be hopeful.

Goal today is Arlington, little town on Columbia we've stayed in before. 170 miles, no rush.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

The dangers of scholarship

Officials: Islamic State beheads antiquities scholar in Palmyra, Syria, and hangs body in main square of the historic site - @Reuters

Next stop ...

... Baker City, 130 miles. Easy day.

Then we're 300 from home but probably will take 2 days. Like Hood River, maybe a night there.

Monday, August 17, 2015

How very sad

The California Drought Is So Bad, It Might Be Killing The Giant Sequoia -


Dinosaur minds

Royal Dutch Shell granted final permit it needs from US federal government to drill for Arctic oil off Alaska's northwest coast for 1st time in more than 2 decades - @AP

Old farts

Explored downtown but pooped out after a few hours. The cool quiet motel feels real good right now.

Harriet: "This is the most comfortable bed we've been in."

A very large city park

Lunch at The Basque Market



A stressful morning but settled down now, maybe we can have some fun today. What a concept.

I keep thinking I could be home on the deck, feeling like I was on vacation ha ha. What a world.

Saturday, August 15, 2015

On to Williamsport!

Oregon crushes Idaho, 15-3.

A Portland team, first since 1958.

The bed is not always best

Road trip notes, part one

WEDNESDAY the 12th.

A very hot day in the Oregon desert ... and wildfires, which put us on a detour ... and we drove longer than we had planned but got to our destination of Prineville, hot and tired. A shorter trip tomorrow, destination John Day.


Smoky, hazy, burns the eyes, in Prineville, which will ruin viewing the meteor shower tonight, I'm sure. We had dinner at Subway to me, felt like a gourmet meal! Want to see the painted hills tomorrow, more sightseeing and less driving.


THUR the 13th. H to C breakfast here, I pass. Never much into other than old school breakfast. And my stomach a little stressed, H not always easy to travel with now, it turns out. Not sure I'd want a RM to do more! What a situation. Actually, I feel more on vacation sitting on the deck than on the road now.

Well, make the best of it. Nothing else to do.


A gift from the gods: putting the dog in the car at Painted Hills, I put my Kindle on the roof -- and drove off with it there! After several miles on a dirt road, I remembered -- oh shit. H reached up and found it still on the roof!

The drive from Prineville to John Day is one of my favorite roads. Love it.

Crashed early in John Day. Pooped. Two old farts don't travel like they used to.


A run of good fortune: JD motel across street from restaurant that serves breakfast all day. My favorite meal, which I missed today.


A context of high stress is when H can't remember where something important is: her pills, an electronic device, etc. She doesn't want me to take charge, nor do I want to, and she forgets to tell me where she puts things, as I suggest for backup; so a lot of time is spent looking for things. But, the bottom line is, it could be far worse!


Had a lovely meal in the room, which I got from across the street. A mellow evening, we hope ... maybe explore downtown after it cools off. A long drive tomorrow, to Mt Home, Idaho -- but we stay in our motel two days.

I feel relaxed about "retirement" for the first time because I know that among hypertext scholars, readers, audience, I've made my mark, I am considered a piooneer by many, some of whom see themselves as continuing my work in hyperdrama, my start, and this is all very satisfying to me. I never needed fame and fortune. I needed, and now have, respect and a sense that my work will outlive me. What has happened is enough ... and, at the risk of sounding top heavy, I think there's a decent chance even more will happen in the future. But for myself, now, in this life, being "in the canon" of first generation hypertext is contribution enough, influence enough. I worked hard and alone at a very esoteric craft that my fellow Americans seemed completely uninterested in. Well, with the exception of the Cambridge crowd. They are the real piooneers, I just turned the focus toward drama. At any rate, I feel like I can put a warm period at the end of a career now. I got my gold watch.


I could live in John Day quite easily. My kind of landscape. Not first choice but high on the list. H, however, could never live here. She needs more green, more cool.

I didn't like our room last night but I love it here. This is exactly the kind of spot I used to search out in my younger writing days, when I was living on grants ... find somewhere I was not known, write, drink with the locals, crash early ... everything within walking distance here, an important criterion, so yes, this is like one of my young writer haunts.

Sometimes I would role play! Once I presented myself as a Russian sailor on pass, speaking Russian and pidgin English. Who knows why? ha ha.


Still over 90 after 9 pm ... a trip for ice cream helped. And AC in the motel works. So we are surviving. Hazy smoke from nearby fires is unfortunate. Seems like the whole west is aflame.


FRI the 14th. I'm ready to go but H is still in bed ... be about two hrs before we hit the road. Will get breakfast across the street, bring something back. Long hot drive today but we end up in Mt Home to stay two days, so that will be nice. H at family day tomorrow with troubled grandson, the purpose of the trip. I'll hang in the motel and town with Sketch. Brought my ukulele, maybe I can get Avalon down tomorrow, with so much time on my hands.


A former grad student read the opening of TITANIC and digs it, is very enthusiastic about it, wants to read more, always a good sign. But I am in no rush ... I don't have the energy to be obsessed about it, it will have to develop at the new old man's rhythm.

Sketch and I have a day alone, as H participates in family day at the institute for kids. We'll be fine.


We're on Mountain Time, which doesn't affect me ... but for her family day, H has to leave here at 730 a.m. Pdx time and I can't remember the last time I saw her awake then. Soooo ... we'll see how she does.

I love John Day. I could live in John Day, easily. From what I've seen of Mt Home, you couldn't pay me to live here. Very ugly landscape.


SATURDAY. 720 a.m., almost time for H to get moving for her big day. Sketch and I will hang in the motel, maybe take a walk in this barren landscape, see if anything out there can amuse us. I have ukulele to play, books to read, movies to watch on Fire or TV, which gets 3 HBO channels. I'll be fine.

Not much else to report this morning. Sketch has taken my place in bed, stretched out and comfy. H stirring ... I think the office gives her a wake up call at 730. More official than my usual, Time to get up, which usually is ignored ha ha.


Maybe we're on the desolate end of town because the brochure in the room makes this burg look pretty nice. Hmm. At any rate, seems there's a decent diner within walking distance, if the urge comes ... with take out window.

Watching Little League right now. MANY constructive things I could be doing but maybe I'll just vegetate all day ha ha!


I have a Jazz Radio app, so great music goes with me wherever I can get online, as here in the motel. Listening to some good vibes at the moment! Watching muted Little League bball. Sketch crashed on the floor. Our day begins.

H in a tizzy getting off, very hard for her to get it together in the morning, gets frustrated with being slow, forgetful, which of course makes it worse ... but she made it and I hope her big day is everything she expects it to be. This troubled kid's mom, H's daughter, lives only 100 miles away but has made no effort to see the kid. H is the only contact he has.


So we took a tiny walk on our desolate end of town ... boarded up cafes and businesses, dry dirt/rocky path, pretty dismal. Back in our nice motel room, jazz on the app, feeling fine. I do have to drive around, though, and see the spots they photograph because this end of town is the pits.

Well, I should read ... or being Saturday, TV may have sports. Watch, listen to jazz. The dog hanging in okay so far.


Alone in a motel in the day reminds me of my young "starving writer" days, though I wasn't starving, I was making it okay living on grants by and large, for a while, and hanging out alone, or with a lady, in motels with nothing but writing materials and booze. I ate, if alone (ladies did not dig this), a lot out of cans ... cold chili, cold garbanzo beans, cold spaghetti, and such ... and as if to remember those days, for lunch now, instead of walking a quarter mile to what seems like a decent diner, I ate a can of cold chili from the can. It was good! Everything has its place and context. I lived like a king when I was poor.


LLeague game that just came on is Oregon v Idaho ... NW regional final ... how cool is that.


What happened to Mariners pitching? Yesterday Red Sox beat them 15-1 ... today they are leading 18-2! This is shameful.


Time to boogy ...

Sad, sad

Story in Chron details collapse Calif oyster industry, poss extinction. 10 yrs ago Ore State scientists sounded the alarm: acidification of Pacific from climate change.

The bad news will grow, accelerate. The human contribution.

Friday, August 14, 2015

After a long hard day

The morning wait

My dad's mantra was "100 miles before breakfast!" Not in thus family. I fart around for hours before we get started.


US flag is raised over the American embassy in Havana for the first time in 54 years

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Horror show

Got email from writer who rec'd a U of O Shubert Playwriting Fellowship after I did - and had a terrible experience, quite in contrast to my good experience. Can't share details but it's a shocking story. The good news is, He survived. But his experience reminds us that the sharks swim everywhere.


Nice to be relieved of the recent fretting about my career, asking myself if it was a waste of time, pissing against the wind and all that. I was looking for connection in the wrong place - in the wrong country! I have nothing to fret about. My contribution is established and secure. Pride is not hallucinatory.

Now the mellow fun begins ...

Mariners bullpen ...

... is terrible tonight. New pitcher, homer, another, homer, and Ms squander their lead in 8th.


Human management

Our Extinction Problem May Be Far, Far Worse Than We Think -


For the first time, I feel comfortable "resting on my laurels" because, well, my work is in the canon of first generation hypertext, hence important to those few who care about such things, mainly European scholars. This is enough. The effort matters.

A new acceptance for me of my own career: I have an audience, however "high brow." This is enough.

I can say, What a ride! and mean it.

And it's not done yet, or maybe it is, and which doesn't matter.


Coming mid-week!

Perseid meteor shower: how to see the celestial show from the US


In an email discussion of hyperdrama with an academic in Europe, and I'm a bit overwhelmed by the courtesy and respect coming from the other end. This has been my old age fantasy, to be a respected "retired' writer: and in this distant exchange I am feeling it. Here I feel like a discarded, ignored writer, but there, communicating with a European scholar, like an honored and admired writer. I dig it! Makes me feel very much at peace with myself.

This networking with Europe is triggered by the Ensslin book, of course. Am I glad I discovered it!

A fantasy coming true, close enough for jazz ...

Ah me

All H's women circle friends put her in a tizzy bec they think RMs are too expensive and rip offs. They are not rip offs if you follow the Fed guidelines ... and "too" expensive is a value judgment. You are increasing present cash flow by decreasing future wealth. Yes, it's expensive. It's called capitalism.

Monday, August 10, 2015


Bernie Sanders Speaks to 28,000 People in Portland, While Hillary Hosts $2,700-a-Head Fundraiser:

posted from Bloggeroid

A step

Another academic supporter

P. P. Schnierer, Eng Lit chair, Univ of Heidelberg, who "heavily draws on Deemer, considering him one of the most prominent hyperdrama practitioners."

Prominent!!! Ha!!! All things are contextual, my friends.

posted from Bloggeroid


So I looked up the scholar from Wales who gave my work so much respect - how could I not? - and she reminds me of my grad school soulmate. I'll stop here ha ha.

p.s. She's a heavyweight in digital lit field. 

Canonizing Hypertext

Astrid Ensslin is a Lecturer in New Media at the University of Wales, Bangor. Her book (London, 2007), "which argues for hypertext's integration in the literary canon, offers a critical overview of developments in hypertext theory, an exemplary hypertext canon and an evaluation of possible classroom applications." The book is a comprehensive study of hypertext literature.

I am honored to have my work included in the "exemplary hypertext canon." Here are the works she lists for the canon of "first generation hypertext," most published by the pioneer Eastgate Systems in Cambridge, Mass., which organized the first hypertext conference, which I attended (at Yale), the only playwright there:

1. Michael Joyce, afternoon, a story (1987)
2. Stuart Moulthrop, Victory Garden (1991)
3. Carolyn Guyer, Quibbling (1993)
4. Jane Yellowless Douglas, I Have Said Nothing (1994)
5. Shelley Jackson, Patchwork Girl (1995)
6. Charles Deemer, The Last Song of Violeta Parra (1996)
7. Geoff Ryman, 253 (1996)
8. Billy Bly, We Descend (1997)
9. Richard Holeton, Figurski at Findhorn on Acid (2001)

Ensslin organizes her proposed canon around three generations of hypertext. Each work cited is given considerable discussion. My work is cited half a dozen times throughout her groundbreaking study. I'm in good company. (Also see here.)

Twitter power

And the Winner of the Fox News GOP Presidential Debate?... Bernie Sanders:


Evoking the Wrath of Nature:

Chris Hedges:  "We do not have the power to make a new world. We only have the power to destroy or preserve the world we inhabit. We will either recover the sacred or vanish from the Earth. Those who do not respect the force of nature, who do not intimately know and understand its power, are doomed by it. The Native Americans got this right."

Fatherly love

The reaping

OMG… Greenland’s ice sheets are melting fast

Very sad

UK butterfly species at risk of extinction due to climate change, says study

I miss them right here in our yard.

Home town crowd

Bernie Sanders draws biggest crowd of 2016 contest at Portland, Ore., rally with more than 19,000 attendees - @CNN

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Small country wisdom

Scotland to issue formal ban on genetically modified crops


New Zealander is first woman to finish shark-infested California swim

SUNDAY. Morning grilling! Coals starting now ... half chickens seasoned two ways, buttermilk marinade and spicy (commercial) rub I like. Can't think of a better Sunday church service.

H got her date mixed up for an art affair yesterday ... gallery was empty when she showed! Was a closing night deal, and now she has to track down her paintings, which she was supposed to collect. She had the date in her calendar wrong.

Man, I have decided I hope this RM goes through we need extra cash to do some local, area, regional travel, stuff we'd have to charge and regret later ... we still do fine once we sell the house. It's almost doubled in value since we bought it. So unless the real estate market crashes, we're okay ... and the best thing about an RM is, even if it does crash, you never owe more than the value of the house, even if it's less than the loan. But you pay for this, of course, Nothing is free. An RM is trading present tense advantags for paying the piper later -- for many, after you're dead! Let the heirs deal with it (even they never owe more -- that's why the federal insurance is expensive, so they can cover their ass). I think, for our needs and fading health, it's now or never for doing some things. But, in fact, we may not qualify. The house has to appraise high enough.


Chicken is on ... check temp after half an hour, turning once ... can go an hour so we're fine. The design of this portable Weber has no easy way to add coals, so I am stuck with an hour of 350, another 20 or 30 above 300.


Man, this is FUN! Cooking on a grill on a beautiful Sunday morning on a beautiful deck ... I mean, how could we sell this house as long as we are mobile? Normally the deck has been ignored most of the year, in bad weather, but this year I am grilling even in winter and rain! I am going for it, the cave man lifestyle that is ha ha. This is just too much fun.

I am reminded of my late buddy Tee, who lived by the grill -- even grilled for an entire neighborhood during block parties in LA ... host of the infamous pig roast that I based my award-winning short story on ... Tee was the grill master, hands down. He must have grilled 4 or 5 days a week, forever -- in SoCal not unusual to do that sort of thing.

My dad liked to grill. My brother has a famous line as a kid, seeing dad at the grill ... "Steak again?" Dad loved that story.

If we get the RM, with travel cash, I want to do little trips where we get there in an easy day, stay a few, and return. We had a great time once on the southern Oregon coast ... want to do that again. Also the southern Washington coast. Do that again. Check out the John Day area, which I love.

A big trip would be to four corners canyonville area in the SW. My favorite scenery in the world, which H has never seen.

Ice coffee with a new blend of beans, trying in out, Peet's African blend, I like it. Their House blend is my regular. Like their beans better than others I've tried.

Will throw some pre cooked sausage links on at the end to brown, not worry about cooking.

Ah me, what a start to the day! Rest of the day? Well, I should practice music! And maybe brood about the book ... it isn't flowing right but that is fine at this early part. I need to get the main narrative thread, the central story, right, I think, first and foremost, and once that is done I can tinker and add all the time travel embellishments and such ... but there are two narrative threads that need to be gripping. They fail, everything fails. Lots of time and no pressure ... so it keeps me as busy as I want to be with it. Perfect.

I ordered a copy of Canonizing Hypertext, with the section on my work, just to perk my ego, I suppose, and see what a scholar thinks ... the excerpts I read are flattering in the sense that my work is taken seriously. SERIOUSLY. That's really all I want or need. It is not mainstream and never will be "popular" but it is a serious contribution to a serious area of the arts, although an esoteric and elite area.


Harriet is having a pretty good morning. Good to see. This is such a huge change for her but little by little she is realizing she is "an old lady" now and this requires a lifestyle change. Reality. I look forward to the change because then we can be old farts together and just explore hither and yon, in a slow old folks way. Get rid of her hyper activity mode, I hope. Well, by necessity the issue is whether she fights it or not.


Coals are behaving beautifully ... had left over, partially burned wood, used it as well. I am getting the skills down to do what I want to do with this.
Eager to see how the chicken tastes! One trick is having a small cat food can of water next to the coals, to keep the humidity high. It works, food doesn't dry out.


Wow, fire still hot after everything done ... I used more coals than usual, a tad, and it makes a difference. Nice to remember for longer grill times.

H's nice morning turning stressful as she tries to solve problems without success. Ah me.

Wish I had something to throw on the grill!


What the hell, I threw a couple of zuccinnis on!


Another problem: H spent almost $100 on magazine subscriptions she doesn't need or want. Trying to figure out how that happened and to cancel them.


French Lt's Woman

Intelligent review of film DVD in Sunday Chronicle:

This is an intelligent film that demands a level of intelligence from audiences in a way that movies rarely do anymore. Stay with it and you will be rewarded with two endings (evidently Pinter couldn't figure out how to include a third) that come at you in a rush and make you rethink everything that came before. - Ruthe Stein

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Street art

27 Pieces Of Graffiti That Paint Greece's Frustration Amidst Crisis -

That old?

Why modern life is making dementia in your 40s more likely

Whole wheat


Packed 4 boxes for VA pickup on Tuesday.... progress! Every little bit of downsizing helps ... however, H hasn't participated yet and 90% left in house is her personal stuff (collected over a long lifetime). A gigantic issue before selling house down the road.

Law and order

Dallas officer who shot and killed unarmed Angelo State University football player during a burglary call had never fired his weapon before - @AP


Talking finances gets H frustrated because she's not as sharp as before the heart event and brain damage. She went back to bed. I did point out that closing costs to sell the house are as bad as taking a reverse mortgage. They get you coming and going.

I say stay here, do nothing, and have one trip a year or

get a RM, stay here, and have many trips a year but less equity when we sell in 5 years or so.

I am happy with either. #2 would be more fun.

H supposed to go to a gathering this evening. She must be stressed out to return to bed.

The Killer

Jerry Lee Lewis: ‘I worry about whether I'm going to heaven or hell’


I was sound asleep when H woke me up in a panic, reverse mtg is bad idea, we should sell house and move into an apt.

La de dah, what else is new? And what will she want in the morning?

Haven't gotten back to sleep. Did calc on RM ... yes, it is expensive, nothing is free ... you are paying for ability to have more cash NOW ... the idea was to travel more NOW without charging it.

But I don't need to travel. I am perfectly content staying home. H, however, doesn't seem to be. But traveling on the credit card is not cool in the long run.

My bottom line is, avoid selling the house for as long as possible.

Friday, August 7, 2015

4pm Thur

Getting ready to prep for grilling dinner ... trying some new lump coal, maple wood ... such fun.

Most ducks in order today for applying for a reverse mortgage. Most important element is what house appraises at ... and of course we can "back out" up to the very end. Feds require "counciling" from approved folks, we are doing that tomorrow. It's a 30 to 45 min. phone event! Ought to be interesting.

FRIDAY. Busy, 1230 and 215 appointments. Not sure what if anything else I might get done. Does it matter ha ha? I'm retired.


11AM. Getting ready to go to campus for coffee date with L, former student. Then home for the rev mtg interview.

Beautiful day out ... no dinner plans. May grill, may not. Maybe pasta.

EVENING. My former student in an unexpected personal crisis, alas ... all I could say is, Hang in there, This too shall pass and, since she's a writer, It's all material.

Reverse mortgage "interview" was short and sweet. Now everything depends on the appraisal in a couple weeks.

Hot weather back, but going away again.

Opinion ... I accept 8 of these

Thursday, August 6, 2015


The Next Mass Extinction as a Greek Tragedy -


A new old AlphaSmart arrived today ... a complete package, rare, with cable, manual and batteries ... $20 plus small shipping, a steal, esp with the cable, which is harder to find than the machine. So I have three at home and one on loan, for as long as he lives. Then I'll want to see what he wrote on it.

We are looking into getting a reverse mortgage. If we do, it's a commitment to play more now, while we can. Extra cash at hand and all that. More trips, travel. I just don't know what I'd do if/when she has a bad day on the road. Can be difficult.

Turkey legs on the grill tonight, which takes time and planning.

Overcast mild day, not bad. Would like to get through the week with no more crisis. Knock on my wooden head.


I bet I am the only writer in America who owns four AlphaSmarts.



a zero sum universe
has to be filled
with very nice people

to balance all the acts
of war and rape
one horror after another

one atrocity after another
so much negative energy
that the universe sparkles

with nice people radiating
good energy hither and yon
and your job is to find them

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Advantages of memory loss

Harriet has forgotten this morning. I'm still recovering from it.

I gave my soccer ticket to her girlfriend. Old ladies night out.
I'll have a peaceful house to myself.


Hiroshima and Nagasaki, 70 Years After the Atomic Bombs Were Dropped:

Unusual politician

Bernie Sanders on his decision to speak at evangelical Liberty University: 'My views on many issues... are very different... It is very easy for a candidate to speak to people who hold the same views. It's harder but important to reach out to others who look at the world differently.' - @danmericaCNN


The Point of No Return: Climate Change Nightmares Are Already Here:

I been to the zoo

H woke up in a bad state, my mood crashed. In survival mode.

WED. MORNING. Going to a soccer game tonight, Portland Thorns, the women's team. Have to check out the parking situation ... park downtown, maybe, and zip over on the Max.

Need to get in the office and download the new chapter material into the master manuscript. Also some changes I need to make. In other words, work on the novel in the office today.

House chores to do. Business meeting at 11 re our future options living here or elsewhere. Still looking at everything.

Made myself a nice breakfast, left some for H when she gets up in a couple hours.

I also need to do banjo and ukulele today ... been doing a lot of banjo in my head, learning A part of June Apple.

Turned cooler ... but maybe too cool ha ha. I generally don't mind hot weather if it's not humid.


posted from Bloggeroid

SF Chronicle

Remembering 1945 ...

... we need to realize how the choices we have made continue to affect the way the world sees us. We see ourselves as heroes, the bringers of peace. Yet we remain the only country ever to have set off a nuclear bomb. We are a country that brings humor to our mass destruction. And we have yet to disarm ourselves.

Meg Waite Clayton is the author of five books, including the forthcoming "The Race for Paris" (Harper, Aug. 11).

posted from Bloggeroid


I miss the butterflies
that used to visit
our butterfly bush
every summer

I miss the deer
that used to wander
into the abandoned orchard
next to us for apples

Most of all, I miss
a night sky blazing
with stars, so many more
than this smattering
of token urban stars

--stars far beyond numbers
breath-taking, awe-inspiring
argument and proof
of human smallness
a nightly jolt of humility

which somehow our ancestors
under skies before industry
starry, starry nights
saw in an opposite way
looking up not with humility
but into unbridled opportunity
a powerful calling
to destiny and empire

which would be realized
the success of greed
destroying the sky

posted from Bloggeroid

Tuesday, August 4, 2015


A Cop Killed A White Teen And The #AllLivesMatter Crowd Said Nothing -

posted from Bloggeroid

Still warm and fuzzy from the surprise fan phone call. Writing is such a solitary profession, no one is around at the highest part of the process, when you know you finally have something right ... and I write so far adrift from popular tastes, and therefore from the marketplace, that I only rarely get positive feedback on my best and most serious work. Like the novel praised today ... and you can't give a better review than "I'm in love with CJ!" (she added that her reader was in love with ME ha ha). They even want to take me out for a drink. Now that is really rare. I told her to finish the book first.

Dancing on the Titanic could be even more powerful, to the right sensibility, than Sodom if I got it right. And who knows if I'll have time and energy to do that. But finishing a chapter troubling me today is encouraging. We'll just take it one small advance at a time. And I finish or die first.

Love the prep work before grilling, getting everything ready, the food, the grill, the set up, deciding what if any wood to add ... my kind of labor intensive, slow work that encourages my favorite activity, which of course is brooding.

Earlier I had a glass of COLD buttermilk. This is a highlight of my day. I usually have one a day. Sometimes two, if I have the first like at 4 in the morning. I'm making a couple quarts a week, so I drink about a quaart a week, the other always in the refrig, for cooking as well as for drinking. The chicken marinade was great. It is essential in my biscuit recipe.

Turkey burgers and turkey hot dogs tonight.

Ah, another surprise, email from a former student checking in ... too complex to explain my life now in an email, we are having coffee on Friday. And I look forward to it! The student now has two Masters degrees after her name.

posted from Bloggeroid

Phone call perk

Holden Caufield wanted to call up the writer after reading a good book ... someone just did, a blind woman having my last novel being read to her, "I'm in love with CJ!"

What a nice surprise!
posted from Bloggeroid


Before 10

TUES MORNING. 9 and I have energy, yard work ahead. Music this afternoon. That's the plan!

Grill turkey burgers and hot dogs tonight. Something simple.

Only chores: milk run to brew more buttermilk; books to pick up at library on grilling fish and vegetables.

Better get moving before I start fading ha ha.


Heard from my friend, who is using the AlphaSmart and digs it. First entry, story of recent ruckus when he was out in his wheelchair, knocking over cans at a supermarket -- because he could. Yep, sounds like a mood.


Might do more mowing later but definitely done now, panting and sweating.


Did some writing on the project! Finished the difficult chapter I was on. Sometimes exhaustion quiets the mind, gets the clutter out of the way. Seems to have worked that way this time. Real progress today!


posted from Bloggeroid

Breakfast variation

Poached egg on a biscuit. Nice.

When it settles, looking over property for yard work I can do during break in heat spell.

posted from Bloggeroid

Here we go II

Looting Turns Deadly In Venezuela Amid Severe Food Shortages -

posted from Bloggeroid

Glad I'm old


posted from Bloggeroid

Here we go

Kentucky Man Arrested For Shooting Down Neighbor's Drone -

posted from Bloggeroid

Ha ha ha: the hype revealed

US bookshop offering refunds for Go Set a Watchman

posted from Bloggeroid


To teach only 'American exceptionalism' is to ignore half the country's story

posted from Bloggeroid

Life II

Are plants intelligent? New book says yes

posted from Bloggeroid


Eight things insects – those unsung heroes – do for us

posted from Bloggeroid


Continue practicing Sandy River Belle and Avalon ... learn A part of June Apple.

posted from Bloggeroid

And now the news

the human attraction to atrocity
is nothing new but today
we get reminded daily
with example after example
horrifying beyond belief
a young boy filled with air
a hose up his ass
until he explodes
just another day
in the human community

we become numb
we become paralyzed
so we turn away
and order another coffee
order another beer
buy another car
buy another dress
hey how about those Giants?

ignoring the distant screams
of horrific agony
just a young boy
just a human balloon
life goes on

posted from Bloggeroid

Monday, August 3, 2015

Ms crash, survive

Blow 4 run lead in 9th, win by 1.

posted from Bloggeroid

Yes, I did accomplish something today

posted from Bloggeroid

Better (too?) late than never

Obama says no challenge greater threat to US future than climate change:

posted from Bloggeroid

SUNDAY NIGHT. Another low key day without progress on writing, though I did play banjo briefly ... really do need to get back on track with project and music.

But no pressure, so it happens when it happens. I do brood about it all - and on the radio today, I heard Sweet Georgia Brown and my mind immediately was going through Django's jazz chords for it. Cool.


My friend in the hospital looked a fright: purple legs, purple blotches everywhere, very deflating but he took it well, better than I would. He was in a lot of pain, requested morphine while I was there. And yet his mind was sharp -- slow, he said, but he normally could be so hyper, a slow mind was fine by me. He said his family -- 8 siblings -- visit this weekend ... and he expected to be moved to a hospice soon. He also said, if he can write and read and be without pain, he wouldn't mind living another few months. But if he does want the pill, he has to start the paper work. They don't make it very convenient, from what I understand.

Beginning to wonder if brooding about this new novel is all I'll do -- the Zen notion of writing, the mode of thought in the mind of the poet. A ton of work to make it "material" ... and I question the value of it, of course, in this new days of little faith in literature. At the same time, seeing a chapter in a book devoted to my work reminds me that what feels like neglect and even oblivion may not be at all, I've never been in the popular genres, after all, and my perks come from other intellectual high art sorts who discover my work ... and especially in hyperdrama, where I am considered a pioneer by the very few who give a rat's ass about such things, I have a solid history of contributing to the "scholiast", to use an old professor's favorite term. I've made my mark, in other words ... so why do more? The actor who almost embarrassed me with praise a few months ago when I hestitated at his question, Any new plays?, quickly followed with, Of course, you can rest on your laurels. I actually never thought of it that way.

The thing is, I just don't like feeling, which grew with old age, that my career has been a waste of time. Intellectually I know it hasn't -- in fact I am far "better off" than other writers of talent I know ... but I don't like FEELING this has all been a solitary trip, intellectual maturbation, a waste of time. I want a sense of community, even if miniscule and elitist. Maybe especially if miniscule and elitist ha ha! In the 1980s, here, I very much felt a sense of "belonging" to the local theater and arts communities -- and was treated with the respect honoring and embracing this. But all this ended in the 1990s, largely due to my obsession with hyperdrama.

Well, writing this, it all sounds so vain and meaningless. Who gives a shit?
My career is pretty much exactly what I set out to do by choice. And my rewards should be enough.


Need to hose off the patio after several days of grilling. Time to do that.


I think my fluctuations re work come from the fact that American pop culture has more control over the arts than when I began in the 1960s. Elitism in the arts was more honorable just as elitism in the sciences should be! In other words, talent and knowledge are not democratic. Today we don't have knowledge, we have opinions. We don't have craft, we have expression. I think the pendulum swings between extremes in these areas, and I've lived long enough to see the full cycle.

As I've said before, I learned more about the arts by serving as a judge than by any other activity, especially if I was a judge on a committee of judges. Revealing, saddening, even ridiculous.

What would the culture be like if literature actually MATTERED?


I waste too much energy brooding about bullshit like this.


Sitting out here on the deck feels like a vacation. It's the best thing about our house.


I need an afternoon goal. Maybe to record the banjo song. Onward.
posted from Bloggeroid