How to tell a story

How to tell a story

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Friday, June 24, 2016

R.I.P. A Writerly Retirement. 2013-2016.

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The End

Having decided to archive this blog when I disappear into a retirement center, I see no reason to keep it going until then. This blog no longer has a purpose.

For new visitors, earlier posts share many thoughts about the writing life.

I haven't quit blogging or writing. But since I've lost all sense of having an audience, I don't see the point of remaining "in public."

Therefore, I disappear.

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Impossible dream

Getting the hell moved still feels like a task beyond our abilities. Talking to company that does this work for you.

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Trump on rise

US sees parallels with Donald Trump in Britain's decision to leave EU

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From Brexit to Trump

"Trump, if he is anything substantive, is a scream of defiance by white America — married, traditional, commercial — against the new multicultural and global country and world." Huffington Post

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R.I.P. Ralph Stanley

Bluegrass Pioneer Ralph Stanley Dies At 89

Spectacular vocal in O Brother Where Art Thou?

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Thursday, June 23, 2016

Where's Harriet?

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Mariners collapse

Lost 8 of 10, 5 in a row, dropped to third.

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End in sight

When we move, I anticipate ending and archiving this blog. If I start another, it probably would be anonymously. I want to disappear.

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In order of importance ...

1. get Harriet resettled for the long run, where I can live with minimum stress.

2. complete my disappearing act by turning the new environment into the only environment, including localized projects.

3. Optional. A posthumous experimental fictional work of some kind, aimed at future generation. Would need energy rebirth in new environment.

4. Manage my death so I decide, not the medical establishment.

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Wednesday, June 22, 2016


I've grown to the realization that European football is a superior game to American football. More intense and engaging to watch, requires more athletic ability to play.

What makes American football American are more opportunities for commercials.

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I have an intense memory of my first officemate at PSU: beat down, weary, depressed, a retiring literary scholar, a John Dos Passos scholar. We got along because I am a great Dos Passos fan myself. But this great American author is forgotten and ignored today, on the literary trash heap. Now joined by my officemate, bitter, angry, that philistines had taken over academia.

It would get worse. Small d democrats would rule, turning literature into a part of pop culture. Yes, brain surgeons needed specialized skills - but not poets.

And now it's my turn ...

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Slow motion

My life crawls at a snail's pace toward change.

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Tuesday, June 21, 2016

I got $80!

Free credits in your Amazon account? Apple pays up after price-fixing suit

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Nice west coast jazz on Alexa, dinner prep activity, nice earlier talk re moving, and once we are resettled, I think we have a shot at a few really great years. For me, it's a disappearing act, going underground, maybe a few small localized projects. Would love to meet a few kindred souls.

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I have H's kids on my side, trying to get us out of here ASAP.

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Not yet

Really hoping to "win" something in my old age so I can address certain arts and culture issues without being accused of sour grapes. One opportunity gone, I just learned. Two more still possible.

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Headline of the day

Miramonte's Ionescu, all-star game MVP, commits to Oregon


Best HS lady in country chooses Ducks!

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Patterson's BookShots

I thought you might like this story from The Washington Post.

"And now the author of popular thrillers — and children’s books and young adult novels and romances and mysteries — has launched BookShots , a series of short, cheap, plot-propelled novels directed at an audience more prone to reading smartphones than print. (Naturally , there is an app for it.)

“In this day and age, when so many people have decided to spend so much of their lives not reading books, I think to create a new habit for them is a smart thing,” says Patterson, 69, perched in the summer study of his Hudson Valley home, the room dominated by a sleigh bed where he reads and edits.

The trick? “I’ve taken the fat out of commercial novels,” he says. “In an awful lot of novels, there’s more in them than there should be.”

Not in these books. The sentences are simple and declarative.

And frequently double as paragraphs."


I had similar idea several years ago, of course, novellas based on the screenplay. See CineFiction. He's rich and famous. I'm not.
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Monday, June 20, 2016

Salesman of the year

Indie retirement living a booming competitive industry. Our tour guide today got my attention with a gift: a collection of essays on aging by Donald Hall! Remarkable. Ends up she googled us, discovered I was a writer.

Not sure she made the sale, though it's definitely a finalist.

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Sunday, June 19, 2016


My late buddy Ger finally got the retirement situation he wanted and was so excited! He died 3 months later.

Hmm ...

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6 more to go

I've seen 2 I love, a bit far out for H but I'm working on her. 3 of 6 remaining great on paper. This can be done!

As impossible as it sounds, I'm shooting for October. Probably after first of year.

I'm going to turn into a film director living in a hotel! I need 2 actors, whom the camera loves. I'll find them.

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Friday, June 17, 2016

Creative juices

... really flowing with ideas for projects at retirement center:

videos of personal stories of residents for youtube
make a movie there
readers theater, touring to other retirement communities

I'm assuming I can find a few kindred souls. One we saw yesterday already has theater group, done two plays.

Projects happening far out of the mainstream. Perfect!

Can't wait to get resettled.

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Thursday, June 16, 2016

Where's Harriet?

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Meat loaf

Great day! Found a place we both like ... Got tax return ... Nothing scheduled for tomorrow.

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Christmas at the Juniper Tavern

... will be performed in nearby Newberg in December. Great! Former grad student championed it.

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Monday, June 13, 2016


Hurting big time.

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Disappearing act

Man, I'm ready. The madness can get along without me.

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Trump is pathetic and dangerous

"...Suggests Obama May Be Sympathetic To Islamic Terrorism" -

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Quotation of the day

“Politics is the entertainment division of the military industrial complex.”
Frank Zappa

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2 this week, 4 the following, 3 the next.

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Home sweet home

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The skin of our teeth optimism

I thought you might like this story from The Washington Post.

"“These findings suggest that we need to move away from a conservation paradigm of protecting the earth from change to a design paradigm of positively and proactively shaping the types of changes that are taking place,” said Oxford’s Nicole Boivin, the study’s lead author. “This sounds scary, and it sounds very self-serving. But the reality is that there are 7 billion people living on an already heavily altered planet. It is a pipe dream to think that we can go back to some sort of pristine past.”

Indeed, Erlandson said that while human impacts have only accelerated, the research has given him an optimism that humans will find a way to deal with climate change, in part because societies have risen to almost every quandary that has come before.

“There’s a story of ingenuity built into this deeper time perspective,” he said. “Humans have over and over again met challenges in different parts of the world, and they’ve found ways to meet those challenges. Every generation has its challenges. But we have found ways to solve them.”

“No matter how bad we screw things up,” he added, “if we can find the collective will, we can overcome them.”"

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Burns on Trump

"Ken Burns May Have Given The Best Donald Trump Takedown Yet" -

Shocking how many under-estimate disaster of Trump presidency.

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From the Chronicle:

No Milky Way at night for one-third of Earthlings Los Angeles Times | 368 words Across the globe, light pollution is making the night sky lighter and the stars harder to see, according to a study. In a paper published Friday in the journal Science Advances, researchers reveal that one-third of people worldwide are unable to see the Milky Way when they gaze up at the heavens at night in their hometown. In addition, a whopping 83 percent of the world's population lives under light-polluted skies.

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Extraordinary interview

Vanessa Redgrave on why she was ready to die: ‘Trying to live was getting too tiring’

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Sunday, June 12, 2016

How Trump wins

"If we do not get tough and smart real fast, we are not going to have a country anymore. Because our leaders are weak, I said this was going to happen – and it is only going to get worse. I am trying to save lives and prevent the next terrorist attack. We can't afford to be politically correct anymore." --Donald Trump

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Old man with a push mower

Keeping ahead of the grass, barely. Will hire pro before house goes on market, in meantime doing best I can, which isn't much.

Man, downsizing will be monumental task.

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One pitch

Mariners at home, top of 9th, 2 outs, 3-2 count, 1-0 lead ... one pitch from victory over Rangers.


HR. Extra innings. Mariners lose in 11.

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Hear, hear!

Cooking is a simple route to joy

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The new West

From the Chronicle:

In Los Angeles, 48.5 percent of the population is Latino, 12 percent of Asian descent, and 9 percent black. Nearly two-thirds of the residents of Los Angeles speak languages other than English at home.
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Saturday, June 11, 2016

Up to them

Bernie Sanders' supporters vow the revolution will not be silenced

First, don't call it a revolution until something revolutionary happens. Political platitudes in the context of a two party system are impotent.
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Friday, June 10, 2016

Survival of species

I thought you might like this story from The Washington Post.
Elon Musk provides new details on his “mind blowing” mission to Mars

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Golden moment

The more I think about it, the more I believe it's the perfect time for a dynamic young progressive leader to come forward and lead the way to a future new party or coalition. Does one exist? Surely, somewhere.

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Another tour

...and free lunch. So so location but fanciest place we'll see in our budget range.

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I hope no one is shocked by the recent apparent shakeup in political allegiances. Textbook party politics. There's no revolution going on -- yet. There's a great opening for a Mario Savio clone to lead young people to a new party.

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Everybody loves a winner

From The Guardian:

Kunoor Ojha, Sanders’ national student organizing director, has jumped to rival Hillary Clinton’s team. Ojha is the first Sanders staffer to officially jump ship after the former secretary of state clinched the Democratic party’s nomination on Tuesday.


Pundits surprised it happened this quickly.

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And should be searing

I thought you might like this story from The Washington Post.
‘We’re horrified’: At Stanford, the impact of a sexual assault is searing

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Ah, Bernie, how hard it is ...

"Bernie Sanders Gives A Speech Divorced From Reality" -

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Thursday, June 9, 2016

Very interesting!

Elizabeth Warren declares herself ready to be Hillary Clinton's running mate

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And the band played on ...

Elizabeth Warren endorses Hillary Clinton: 'I'm ready to jump in this fight'

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Stressful day

Getting surgery date; reality check with realtor, reinforcing difficult details of downsizing. So much to do. But time is on our side.

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And now the news

Why am I not surprised?
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Done deal

'I'm with her': Barack Obama endorses Hillary Clinton for president

Apparently Sanders is on board, too, after meeting with Prez. No surprises, no revolution, but a more progressive platform, thanks to Sanders.

Corporations don't care.
Nature doesn't care.
Life goes on as before.

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Waiting room

H in consultation regarding cancer options.

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Friends and politics

TS has a good new piece at CounterPunch:

Years ago, when my best friend was alive, we constantly argued politics. I was an idealist, the older Dick a pragmatist. We got most heated in 1968, when I refused to back Humphrey, which Dick said would elect Nixon. He was right.

And now, 50 years later, I find myself ranting at idealists just like Dick ranted at me.
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Wednesday, June 8, 2016


Brown said politics is pissing in public. I feel like I'm in a pissing contest.

TS is obsessed with his belief that I never criticize HC. Aside from the question why should he even give a fuck, my calling her a hawk, which I've done several times, apparently doesn't qualify. This only makes sense if he believes I'm a war-monger. Disappointing.

TS, I resign. "Opinions are like assholes, everybody has one."

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Quotation of the day

"The difference between a democracy and a dictatorship is that in a democracy you vote first and take orders later; in a dictatorship you don’t have to waste your time voting.”
Charles Bukowski

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I think institutional sexism is more entrenched than institutional racism. It affects everyone. Beware of anyone who denies it.

Power changed Obama in a negative way. But power-driven change can happen in positive ways, too. We'll see what the women can do. Clinton is not alone.

In the long run, neither Democrats nor Republicans can stop Nature's rage. I suppose the party in power can influence who gets to escape to Mars.

Brown says the dynamics of power struggles are archetypal and repetitive, "an endless story," with the sons always turning into the very fathers who oppressed them, to oppress their own sons in return. Sounds about right to me.

Politicos take themselves too seriously.

"The Way is to the crematorium, " to quote my own play. "Life is a nice place to visit, but I wouldn't want to live there," to quote my brother.

Breaths are finite. Marvel at them.

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Women who ran before Hillary Clinton: 'I cannot vote, but I can be voted for'

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"70 Years Later, Bikini Atoll May Still Be Too Radioactive For Resettlement" -

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Good days

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Quotation of the day

"There's shit everywhere, and it's all mine." Harriet, on the prospects of moving.


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Tick tock

Arctic sea ice fell to record low for May

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Corporate media

They greatly over-rated BS's numbers in California. Very interesting.

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TS blues

TS has the Calif blues. I don't. 2 reasons. I think she wants to get revenge on her hubby by being a better prez. More importantly, a large number of women will be watching her every move. This is the moment women have been waiting for. I really hope she picks a lady VP. This is about much more than the Clintons now. This is about American Women in power.

Bill's staff used to call Hillary Lady Bolshevik. Her unsuccessful health care bill as First Lady was close to what BS wants. I think on domestic stuff, she might be great. I hope Lady Bolshevik reemerges!

But foreign affairs? Bernie for Sec of State? No way. She's a hawk.

I'm giving her a chance. Men have fucked up everything for centuries. Let's give women a shot.

If the polls are close, I'll leave Greens to avoid Trump.

I feel good but concerned about H's cancer.
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H loved the place we saw yesterday: close in, diverse community incl ladies she knows from Unitarian church. Now the front runner. I have no issue with it.

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Ugly minority

Oregon senator switches to HC

Tuesday, June 7, 2016


An ugly night from BS supporters, the worst of delusional rage by a minority that refuses to accept this reality.


Happily, very wrong. BS gave speech setting up support of HC to beat Trump.
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What will BS say?

Everybody waiting. With 33% in, HC wiping floor with him. I'm surprised. Voters from both sides often stay home after a winner is announced. HC may get enough PLEDGED delegates tonight. Very decisive victory.

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Making history

37 Emotional Tweets From Women Who Just Watched Hillary Clinton Make History -

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Quotation of day

Harriet (in tears) listening to HC victory speech: "I waited for this moment my entire life. It's about fucking time."

And millions and millions of women feel the same way. I will say nothing to compromise their excitement and victory.

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Judge in Stanford sexual assault case faces recall effort over light sentence

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Political dilemma

You are a citizen. You want change. What do you do?

History is not encouraging. You kill the powerful or influential. That's the American model in my lifetime.

OK, you don't want to kill anyone. Now what?

First, you need to get an accurate bearing. Very likely you are a minority. Very likely you believe great silent support is out there. Your job is to activate it.

The early union movement saw how to do this. Through education. Show folks the reality of their situation. EDUCATION.

Modern progressive movements have forgotten this. Consider the Occupy movement. "We're the 99% percent!" Unfortunately 70% don't get it and so don't see it this way.

Wayne Morse put education as his #1 political priority. Without it, progressive change is hopeless. That's where we are today.

A meaningful progressive agenda would put education first, using earlier models like the early union movement, Berkeley's free speech movement, teach ins during the Vietnam era. Create an Education Corps and blanket the nation with free events.

Less masturbation and more fucking.

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The crowning

Big DNC event tomorrow, Prez will be there, sounds like a crowning party to me. THIS IS WHAT MAINSTREAM PARTIES DO! So in his predictable outrage, Bernie just demonstrates his ignorance of the game HE CHOSE TO ENTER.

I mean, imagine the arrogance of someone insulting the very people he wants to change support to him. Hilarious, in a dark comic way!

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Baking bread

Olive bread, TS's fav. Should give him a loaf as a peace token.

So the same old game was played the same old way (structure trumps content, McLuan) with the same old results. And some folks are outraged. Might as well be outraged by gravity.

H's cancer concerns me more than boring, predictable two party American politics. At least Sanders won't get shot, he's not dangerous enough.

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The Guardian

Clinton clinches Democratic nomination as Sanders vows to fight on

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R.I.P. Peter Shaffer

Peter Shaffer - playwright of 'Amadeus' and 'Equus' Associated Press | 442 words LONDON - British playwright Sir Peter Shaffer, whose durable, award-winning hits included "Equus" and "Amadeus," has died. He was 90.

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From The Chronicle

"Obama poised to stump for Clinton New York Times | 530 words WASHINGTON - President Obama, after months of sitting on the sidelines of the rancorous contest to succeed him, is now ready to aggressively campaign for Hillary Clinton, starting with a formal endorsement of her candidacy as early as this week."

How quickly it ends.

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Last chance, Bernie

You can boycott the Dem convention and send your army to the Greens ... Or you can do the knee jerk protest, yell a lot, and end up on the podium, grinning with HC.

I think we know which it will be.

What we have in America today are increased outlets for expressing opinion but a decrease in actual freedom, a consolidation of corporate power. BS's hot air about banks and inequality of income sound great but the remarks are impotent, just more political masturbation for progressives. Expressing opinion is not power unless you give it context that threatens the status quo. Sanders was never a threat among the Dem elite. The Dem party has never been a democracy.

Bernie, boycott the convention. Endorse the Greens and send your army there. Use the threat of Trump, which is real, to invite a coalition with Dems with an actual progressive platform. You'll get peanuts in the convention compared to what you'll get if you make the Dems shake in their Trump-fearing boots and come to you OUTSIDE THE CONVENTION.

But I fantasize. Hey, Bernie, smile for the camera!

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Reality is so hard

I thought you might like this story from The Washington Post.
In San Francisco, Berniecrats lash out at press for calling nomination for Clinton

Pathetic. Of course she's anointed! How the fuck do you think the two party system works? Chris Hedges told you on day one but you didn't listen. There are no surprises here. There is no revolution here.

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Monday, June 6, 2016

AP says Clinton over top with new superdelegates

I thought you might like this story from The Washington Post.

"But according to the AP, Clinton continued to pick up commitments from superdelegates over the weekend, and on Monday, those gains effectively guaranteed her the nomination."

OK, it's over except for HC and BS grinning and waving together. Isn't American politics great?

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What a pleasant shock!

I just learned that issues really matter in popular American politics. Fantastic! What's next, that quality really matters in popular literature? What a wonderful culture.

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TS is not happy with CD

Whew, got that last book in just in time! Just kidding. TS is a pro.

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Gazpacho weather

Got to find some or make some.
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The Big C

What a scary fucking word!

My friend dying in N.D. started with skin cancer.
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Happy birthday?

H has skin cancer. Caught early via sore on leg, will operate to cut it out ... Sign regarding present trumping future?

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Family support

H's kids approve of our plans to move and would like it to happen sooner. We'll see. Nice to get their support. They worry about their mother.

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I thought you might like this story from The Washington Post.
Crabbers use sex to catch naked soft-shell crabs

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June 6, 1966, 1968

RFK gave a speech in South Africa on this day in 1966. Driving back from the airport this morning, I heard it on NPR - and it brought tears to my eyes. The power of his words, soft spoken but passionate, poetic, inspirational! What a contrast to the shouted bombast of Sanders. How sad our "progressive reality" today.

And two years later to the day, RFK was dead.
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Tuesday's howling

I can hear the Bernie fanatics already, It's a conspiracy! We been robbed! Because with a victory somewhere Tuesday, probably NJ, HC will grab the 30 delegates she needs to go over the top and cinch the Dem nomination. Not officially but for all practical purposes.

If BS goes on to win Calif., the outrage will be deafening. However, not a majority outrage by any means. HC will retain her lead of millions (!) in the popular vote, which somehow doesn't count to a minority that believes their votes count for more just because they are right. Talk about special privilege!

My friends, no conspiracy is necessary. The citizenry is filled with ignorance. Q.E.D.

I want to be spared this farce and therefore hope HC wins in Calif. It won't shut them up but maybe it will make their self-delusion more obvious.

Back to the drawing boards, progressives. Find a strategy that begins with an understanding of American politics. Sanders was a joke from the very moment he decided to be a Democrat and at the same time insult the party leadership.

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Sunday, June 5, 2016

Progressives need to live in reality

Hey, we're a minority, and probably a growing one at that! We live in America, after all. Shouting and pretending we are "the people" are delusional bullshit!

King changed minds by taking the moral high ground, R Kennedy with quiet, passionate eloquence. Face facts: MILLIONS prefer Hillary to Bernie. Deal with it. Quit yelling and whining and find ways to change minds.

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Quotation of the day

"I'm ready to move tomorrow." Harriet

Motivation to downsize!

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Slow motion

I feel like life is in slow motion. I know what to do but it takes forever to do it.

I need a creative project so I don't go crazy waiting. Not writing! Belated ukulele jazz studies, I think.

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Read sample


Found a local company that specializes in helping seniors downsize and move. Definitely will check them out later.

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...during a heat spell. H wd have a fit, which is why I started early.

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Saturday, June 4, 2016

My dad, 1976

Sent by cousin Robin.

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UCLA eliminated

Grand slam in 1st, couldn't hold it. No pitching.

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New favorite

Cracked wheat with grape nuts bread. Incredible toasted.

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Refugee athletes

I thought you might like this story from The Washington Post.
Rio’s ‘Symbol of hope': The incredible stories of the world’s first Olympic refugee team

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Ali's top 20

Muhammad Ali: the 20 best moments that made him The Greatest

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Ali's imagination

Muhammad Ali's best quotes: 'I'm so mean I make medicine sick'

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#80 birthday girl

A planned party this afternoon at which she'll discover 3 surprise guests.

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Friday, June 3, 2016

R.I.P. Muhammad Ali

Ali passed tonight.

When we faced trouble in the Army, we had a saying: "If only Cassius Clay were here!" Then we'd laugh like hell.

A fellow linguist's father was a Louisville businessman who was part owner of a young pro boxer. Cassius Clay. What a ridiculous name. This kid is going places, the father wrote the son. What a concept! We'd laugh some more. Yes, Cassius Clay kept us in stitches.
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Historic comeback

"The biggest comeback in Seattle Mariners history is what 710 ESPN’s Danny O’Neilcalls “absolutely unbelievable.”

The M’s rallied back from a 12-2 deficit Thursday night by scoring 14 straight runs to defeat the San Diego Padres 16-13."

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New TS at Counter Punch

How can there a counter-revolution if there's no revolution (in the U.S.) in the first place? I don't get it. Of course, I'm a cynic and believe BS changed nothing that will keep. I think it's all smoke and mirrors.

It's really good that TS found a home at CP. Writers need editors who dig their work. Keep it going, Terry.
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New world

Went to our neighborhood pot shop, Marijuana Paradise, to buy H a brownie for her birthday. What a place. I'm a dinosaur!

Back to baking bread.

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Dumb America

Oregon Senator Wayne Morse liked to call himself the education senator. Democracy depends on an educated citizenry. Everything in government depends on it.

How much we've failed in this regard is evident by the rise of Trump. Social media contribute by emphasizing the value of opinion over knowledge. So does the democratization of the arts. Mediocrity is celebrated.

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Thursday, June 2, 2016

Extraordinary comeback

Down 12-2, visiting Mariners now lead 16-12 in bottom of 7th in S.D. Far from over!

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A good thing?

Scientists launch proposal to create synthetic human genome

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2 months to live

An old friend, Eileen O'Connor, has terminal, aggressive lung and skin cancers. With family in North Dakota.

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Off to terrible start ... they hit 4 batters in first inning! Behind 7-0 and getting worse.

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Fine music!

"Alexa, play West Coast Jazz radio."

And she is indeed. Love the Amazon Echo.
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Writing is rewriting

Few writers would disagree with these comments on the process by TS:
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Watch me shuffle
And watch me twitch
Cause I'm one lucky
Son of a bitch

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Starting right

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Starts today at 9 a.m., 8 teams, including UCLA. 4 games today! Love it. They play like student athletes.

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Wednesday, June 1, 2016


Found incredible place on paper. Very flexible regarding meals so we could afford 2 br and I do our cooking except when we pay per meal, less than going out. Ideal location in Raleigh Hills, walk to shopping, groceries. On public transportation. Almost walk to a fav Chinese restaurant. Shows movies, guest lectures and performers, trips, etc, the usual. But full kitchen instead of kitchenette, letting us afford 2 BR, 1 combined art studio, my office, esp attractive. And it is our last scheduled tour.

Knock on my wooden head.

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3 of 6

...sections of yard mowed, worst invading bberries cut ... Knocked me out. When we move, no yard work!
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Bases covered

I'm about as together and on top of things as possible in our unpredictable world. The living transition has more attractive options than I anticipated. First up, prep and sell the house.

Going to bbq ribs today. My reward after yard work.

Life is good on the small personal scale.

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Rewards of life

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Pleasures of life

Baking buttermilk rolls at 3 a.m. is high on my list.

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Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Fine essay

How to Turn Trump Fans? Show Them a Greek Tragedy -

"Tragedies reveal the horrible consequences of seeing things in black and white and so encourage us to discern shades of gray."

p.s. Some Sanders fanatics also suffer the blindness.

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Hippy idealism

I thought you might like this story from The Washington Post.
A graying generation founded on peace of love finds its champion: Bernie Sanders


Well, what can I say? I won't. Maybe I'm wrong. (But I doubt it.)

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Like hell

They say money can't buy happiness. Then how come I feel so good after a windfall today? I don't recall ever feeling bad about getting money!

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Successful experiment

On a whim, added Grape Nuts to last batch of rye bread. A keeper!

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For me, with Trump, it's become a one issue election:

"Hillary Clinton has secured the endorsement of the political arm of the Natural Resources Defense Council - one of the nation's leading environmental organizations - in her White House bid, marking the first presidential endorsement in the 46-year-old group's history, The Chronicle has learned."

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Blah blah blah

What is political rhetoric any more but venting? What doe it accomplish except group masturbation? Well, I guess it can be fun.
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Monday, May 30, 2016


I think BS has a real shot. NJ should put HC across the finish line but a Calif victory should give BS supporters a lot of energy at the convention. Will Bernie walk or kiss ass? Can't wait to see.

Early on it seemed like the Republicans would have the zoo. Will be the Democrats.

I thought I'd die before the worst of impending disasters hit the fan. With Pres. Trump, not so sure.

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Quotation of the day

"I keep reading that Portland is one of the best places to live. They should say, one of the best places for white people to live," W Kamau Bell says.



What an irony Portland's white hip Sanders supporters don't see their own racial elitism. No wonder black people are fleeing the city.

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Crystal ball

Bitch of retirement is having fixed income, rising expenses, and unknown longevity. How do you plan for the future?

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Blame game

I can see it now: Trump defeats HC with considerable help from Bernie's boycotters. Disaster begins quickly when Trump's bullying personality makes HC look like a dove overseas. At home he creates jobs until climate change catches up with him, events making Katrina look like a sprinkle. Chaos accelerates, far beyond 1960s street conflicts, Trump so mishandles everything that the military stages a coup ... America gets its dictator at last. It's every man for himself. R.I.P.

Bernie's boycotters, however, stick to their values and insist HC would have been worse. Nothing changes the mind of the morally superior.

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Sunday, May 29, 2016

Bruins upset Ducks

... in exciting 3 games in Eugene Super Regional. Off to WCWS where 4 of 8 teams from SEC. Pac 12 once ruled softball. No more.

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The best road team in baseball just lost 3 in a row at home to the worst team in baseball. Frustrating!

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Strange giddiness

Life is nothing if not unpredictable. I would have expected to be depressed about the removal of a road trip in our plans. I'm not. I expected to hate all retirement communities. I've only seen one and would move in tomorrow. Very surprising indeed.

I'm also surprised to be so comfortable with the end of my career. I'm not "done," strictly speaking, just done with projects of great ambition. No longer have energy for it. But I can do smaller things.

I always get nervous when I feel this good. From experience!

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Why I am voting against Trump

Because he doesn't believe in climate change. That's it. His decisions would be disastrous to human survival. This is not about politics. Nature doesn't do politics. So if it means voting for HC, so be it.

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Birthday flowers

Friends took Harriet out to dinner last night.

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Happy camper

Man, I feel good about my career and my last "serious" book, about our future, whatever we choose among 3 options -- stay here, sell and rent apt, sell and move into retirement community. I have plan for H in her 90s when she may have to downsize again for financial reasons (and I clued her kids in under assumption I'll be gone). In other words, she'll be ok if I go first.

I hope we live in hotel environment for 5 or 10 yrs. Place yesterday was spectacular in my book.

But i can live with just about anything.

Which is a dangerous thing to say.

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Damn, I feel good today. The plan for future has changed, but it's still a workable good plan. Exciting possibilities at hand. I hope we can agree on one.

Softball, cooking. Good weather coming, yard work.

Beginning to feel really RETIRED.

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Saturday, May 28, 2016

Hey, Bernie!

While you yell about democracy, try to remember that HC has THREE MILLION more votes than you do ... and hey, a black southerner's vote is not to be dismissed as "early." Is it stupidity or senility that makes you yell absurd claims?

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A great irony

My last play ends with the words, from the Crow: You can't eat money.

Exactly!, I say.

So here I am, by default, our financial manager.

And Portland is too goddamn expensive to retire in. But I can't budge Harriet. If she stays, her 90s could get financially challenging. There are many places where she could be secure for life.

I am trying to set up security, for 20 yrs. Women in her family reach 100. Better safe than sorry.

But her pension won't last at present rate of expenditure. She should downsize, impossible here.

What to do? Not much fun.

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Shaky ground

H changed her opinion from one extreme to the other about 4 times last night about her living preferences. Of course, she didn't recall each earlier preference.

Maybe she'll get consistent in a year.

I been to the zoo.

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Headline of day

CNN show asks: Is Portland so 'hip' and 'cool,' it's now hopelessly gentrified?



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Friday, May 27, 2016

What progressives?

According to the most recent Washington Post/ABC News poll 20% of individuals who voted for Sanders in the Democratic primary intend to vote for Donald Trump in November – twice what it was in the same poll in March.

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Mariners at home ...

... getting creamed by the worst team in baseball, with their best pitcher on the mound. Ah, me.

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Super Regionals, like the Sweet16 ... and #16 Georgia eliminated #1 Florida! ... love it.

Rooting for Washington now. UCLA v. Oregon tomorrow.

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Visited first community ... I could move in tomorrow! What? What?

Satisfies fantasy of old writer living in a hotel. Luxurious one at that. Alcoves with fireplaces for reading ... lots of opportunity for privacy or activities ... inhouse theater, daily movie at 2 and 6, excellent choices this week ... great food, lots of options ... stuff I need, like wifi, access to full kitchen (all meals included in rent) ... met a couple of likeable old guys. It's full ... so might take a while if we got on wait list ... so I dig it. H would like to be closer to downtown, this is in Happy Valley.

I did not expect this reaction. 1 down, 11 to go.

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Quotation of day, or the meaning of 80

"How can I be so tired when you did all the driving?"

--Harriet, arriving home yesterday

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Volvo: A State of Mind

NW Portland before gentrification, from Round Bend Press.
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The exploration begins

Lunch at and tour of a retirement community, the first of a dozen before July. Is any for us, or more accurately for Harriet? The answer determines what comes next.

My personal motivation for selling the house is gone, but Harriet can't live alone and we need to prepare for that. The longer we stay in our house, the more profit when we sell. Many variables. Many uncertainties. So we are collecting data.

I actually feel good, despite loss of the road trip. Knowledge is security. I know my limits. I've had 3 long road trips in my life, as a teen hitchhiking, summer during grad school with P, and summer with Harriet shortly after we moved in together. Well spread out. Now I'll watch trips on TV ha ha.

Despite changes, the first step is the same: house prep and downsizing. H has many decisions to make.

I'm good. I hope Harriet can learn to be as good.

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The grass is green

Right here.

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Thursday, May 26, 2016


Home! Why in hell leave this house?

First two hrs drive home was great, puttering, lunch in Willamina. The last leg a nightmare, horrendous Pdx traffic, back killing me, knees killing me. Home a delight!

Need to rethink everything.

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Ready to roll

Get packed, Harriet!

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The human touch

I thought you might like this story from The Washington Post.
These animals relied on each other for 100 million years. Now climate change is killing them both.

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Still processing the shock that I'm older than I thought "on the road," and it ain't easy to pile up the miles. This doesn't mean I can't travel but it does limit my miles in a day, what with my back killing me. Harriet is worse than I am. So trips need to be realistic and a drive 3000 miles doesn't sound too realistic unless we took a month to do it ... which, of course, is possible.

Otherwise perfect here at the coast, a great room with a beautiful ocean view, but we're both a tad homesick ALREADY in the sense that we miss our homebound routine. Man, this is a surprise! Our energies are down enough to make the usual touristy exploration tiring, even a drag. Everything is different. And in a year, everything might be "older" than it is now, in fact it should be, likely will be. We ain't getting any younger.

So the adventure ahead, as planned, is more suitable for 70 than 80. I think maybe we blew it as far as road trips are concerned.

But that's not the end of the world. That just means find something more suitable. I can amuse myself doing nothing anywhere. It's Harriet I worry about.

So I will shrink the universe and focus on helping/urging/begging H to downsize, so we can put the house on the market in a year or later, whatever is appropriate. Many of my motivations for selling the house are now gone. Not hers, I suspect. In fact, if we see a community she likes, she may be ready to move into it as soon as we sell. I'll go with the flow.

I think Sketch definitely would like to be home. Routine!

Well. I am very very glad we did this because we surely learned things we need to know.


Leisurely drive home. I want to get in before rush hour traffic but, in fact, Pdx area traffic sucks around the day clock these days. The place has grown and keeps growing. I'd love to move but no way H will. If I outlive her, I'm gone ASAP.

H asleep, Sketch asleep, I'm at the window. That lovely constant ocean hum. Salt air. I've lived at the ocean in SoCal and could again.

I am surprised how deserted the beach is. But then, the kids are still in school and it's mid week. Good time to come.

Getting hungry. Wish folks would wake up. It's 9.

Some playwright chores when I get home, copies of new book should be there ... enter in a couple things, inscribe some books for special friends. I have some competitions to enter with the big three last plays, too. I'd really like to see a production of one before I pass. A long shot but possible. They are first rate. Which actually means nothing in the real world of theater politics and how things get done. Unless you find a director with a passion for a particular script. I've had that happen. Then nothing stops them.

Sooo ... my life ain't one day at a time, it's one hour at a time!
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Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Old old old

Man, did we learn a ton on a little visit to the coast! Wasn't even our intention.

1. Our ambitious driving days are over. About 3 hrs in car is our limit. Back pain, etc. 3000 miles across country? Forget it.

2. Home trumps vacationing. Travel not as appealing when you get easily tired and just want to sit. Home is more convenient.

So this changes everything. We blew it. Should gave done a road trip much before 80.

All plans on hold until our tours in June. Still getting house ready to sell. Then ...?????????

A little shocked, a lot disappointed.

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Across the room

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One Thing Even The Good Men Don't See -

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Old man

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No: young ideologues are not flexible

Can Elizabeth Warren unite a divided Democratic party to stop Trump?

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Plans, oops

Hmm driving across country may be more than we can handle, esp in a year. Borderline now.

First revision. Sell house. Move downtown. Take smaller trips in west. H flies east to see relatives.

We are aging FAST. Esp H, who is wiped out from 3 hrs of shopping. And just driving to coast wiped me out. Bodies much older than minds.

Man, we don't know where we'll be in a year! Maybe dead.
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So here I am with an ocean view, listening to the Angels-Rangers game on my MLB app, working on the AlphaSmart on the serendipity memoir, for my own amusement, mellow after a fantastic breakfast at a place called Wild Flower, enjoying a break from the normal routine ... and Harriet off shopping at a bargain mall, what else?, buying clothes when she has tons she hasn't worn in years but won't get rid off, ah the mystery of women!

Sketch is mellowing out, too, after a period of adjustment.

No word from the doc regarding my liver, so I assume it is nothing urgent. I'll probably get a new pill. I swear, before I pass, I am going off all my pills! Clear my system, die a natural man.

The Mariners won a dramatic game last night, at home where they suck, a HR in the bottom of the 9th, which keeps them in first place. Quite an amazing season so far. They have the best road record in baseball but can't win at home.

Rooting for Angels since the Rangers are in 2nd, a game and a half behind the Mariners.

Friday is our first visit to a retirement community. A dozen scheduled through June! We'll surely learn something or other by then. And adjust plans accordingly if necessary.

The MLB app is incredible. EVERY game, no blackouts, with either home or visiting announcers, all for less than ten buck a year. Best app bargain around. Includes spring and post besides. TV option is more expensive, considerably, but I prefer radio anyway. Grew up on radio baseball.

What a nice response on my memoir from an old friend and artist. He totally "got it." So did Terry at Round Bend Press. Great when that happens. I'm sure it happens more often than I learn, which makes it especially nice when someone takes the time and trouble to tell me.

Wild game ... Texas just took 6-4 lead in only third inning. Be a long one.

Long abandoned beach here in Lincoln City, at Sailor Jack's, our traditional stop on the coast.
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Kentucky recount

Sanders could sweep and HC would still be nominated, so this is either an act of futility, driven by pride and arrogance, or part of a future walk-out strategy. Which? No idea.

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Who is the audience?

Writing usually begins outside-in. The writer aims to communicate with a particular audience "out there." I call this commercial writing, and there was a time when I supported myself doing it.

But writing also can begin inside-out. The writer aims not to communicate but to make sense of personal experience, perhaps wrestling with demons. Artistic writing.

Any writer can do both approaches at the same time on different projects, but it takes a very good writer to embrace both in the same work.

The audience for artistic writing is the serious reader who reads for more than entertainment. The serious writer makes a leap of faith that such readers exist. Sometimes they can be hard to find.

It's a blessing, therefore, to hear from one, as I did recently about my short memoir:

"Have read Quilt 3 times. As memoirs go, have never seen its like: an elegant encapsulation of the interlaced pursuits of art and life. One could not do without the other."


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Tuesday, May 24, 2016

End of day

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Harriet and Sketch

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Man, some very sweet things could happen to me in the near future. I have nothing to do with the outcome. But some first rate work is available for decision makers to reward, should their tastes match mine. Would make an old man feel good if it happened.

If not? Life goes on.

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Med tests

Failed two. Waiting to hear what this means. Not stressed about it. On too good a streak of blessings to be stressed about anything. What happens happens.

I can see results online before doc interprets them for me.

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A bit of insomnia. Should crash again and listen to BBC, which is superior to American media.

Think I passed the tests. No big C today. Excellent.

Doc had great suggestion, strategy, for getting H to downsize. Gonna do it! Doc thought our plans were good. She also thinks I'll outlive H, which is interesting.

Back to bed ...

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Monday, May 23, 2016

It's over, Bernie

Why in hell would Hillary debate you in California? Go Green, or get off the pot.

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At doc, lots of tests. To be continued.

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Good old days

Edward R. Murrow 'Would Have Skewered' Donald Trump, Media Critic Says -

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Waiting room

Here I am. Don't expect bsd news. Only have half the symtoms of stomach cancer.

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The Plan ...

... Is for Harriet's benefit. If I outlive her, I am moving as quickly as I can manage it, toward sun and warmth. Depending on health and finances, anything from a studio apt in the southwest to buying a used van and living in it. But I don't expect to outlive her.

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UCLA v. Oregon

Sat. and Sun., 2 out of 3, super regionals. Oregon favored. I win either way but will root for Bruins.

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