How to tell a story

How to tell a story

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Mother of all upsets

Leicester’s blue-collar workers on the verge of greatness

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R.I.P. Daniel Berrigan

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Detroit All-Girls Team Wins Top Prize At Prestigious Chess Tournament -

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... the upcoming book, June 1 publication. 3 very strong plays. Nice final statement in traditional drama form.

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Mariners get one hit and win

McKinley's dream

The most unfortunate dream in American history, the birth of empire:

In an interview with a visiting church delegation published in 1903, President William McKinley defends his decision to support the annexation of the Philippines in the wake of the U.S. war in that country.

"When I next realized that the Philippines had dropped into our laps I confess I did not know what to do with them. . . And one night late it came to me this way. . .1) That we could not give them back to Spain- that would be cowardly and dishonorable; 2) that we could not turn them over to France and Germany-our commercial rivals in the Orient-that would be bad business and discreditable; 3) that we not leave them to themselves-they are unfit for self-government-and they would soon have anarchy and misrule over there worse than Spain's wars; and 4) that there was nothing left for us to do but to take them all, and to educate the Filipinos, and uplift and civilize and Christianize them, and by God's grace do the very best we could by them ..."

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Quotation of day

"Growing old is not for the faint of heart."

--Harriet Levi

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Friday, April 29, 2016

Hangin' in II

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Hangin' in

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Tick tock

Obama administration warns of ‘climate refugees’ due to rapid Arctic warming

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Tick tock


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Spain In Our Hearts

Only a few chapters in, I see this is a terrific book. Follows ten Americans through Spanish civil war. More later.
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Remembering Spain

Money in politics

I thought you might like this story from The Washington Post.
Sanders is biggest spender of 2016 so far — generating millions for consultants

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Civil war

Protesters clash with Trump supporters at California rally

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Thursday, April 28, 2016


I thought you might like this story from The Washington Post.
After 20 years in legal limbo, 9,000-year-old Kennewick Man set to receive Native American burial

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Art marches on

I thought you might like this story from The Washington Post.
Teacher claims she was fired for saying ‘vagina’ in discussing Georgia O’Keeffe’s art

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Money and poetry

Camille Paglia

Cottage cheese rolls

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Overdue, as is much expanded draft

"Military Draft May Soon Include Women" -
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Without a draft, war happens in the shadows.


President Trump fills world leaders with fear: 'It's gone from funny to really scary'

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Jessica Lange keeps going

I thought you might like this story from The Washington Post.
Jessica Lange, Gabriel Byrne take ‘Long Day’s Journey’ out for its harrowing ride

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One of those Great To Be Alive! mornings. Despite gray weather, Portland's signature color (not emerald!). Hmm. Maybe early morning baking got me in the mood.

Cooking continues. Chicken soaking in my quasi Korean marinade. Cottage cheese rolls resting as dough. Chicken sausage links simmering for use in days ahead. Planning! I am the Grand Planner here.

Yesterday H, promising to work 5 hrs a week on house prep, worked an hour and collapsed from exhaustion. Now she understands why this will take a year! I'm no better. Old farts need lots of time.

No game today.

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More baking

Later today, trying cottage cheese rolls.

Last night's paella especially good, used paella/calasparra rice, which absorbs twice as much liquid. More spendy but better.
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First rise

Crashed early, up to bake bread. Trying my first raisin bread.

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Wednesday, April 27, 2016


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No choice in major parties

Donald Trump's foreign policy speech shows: we have no anti-war candidates

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Good show

Columnist Resigns After Being Banned From Writing About Sheldon Adelson -

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Good show

Street Teens In India Launch Their Own Newspaper -

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At last, a rational decision

A sad reality

Only A Fraction Of Students Are Prepared For College When They Leave High School -

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Read sample

Good going

Girl, 12, runs half-marathon by mistake

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I thought you might like this story from The Washington Post.
A majority of millennials now reject capitalism, poll shows

I suspect the accuracy of this. I think its sample is skewered.
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2 days in a row

... in first place, after crushing 11-1 win last night, go Mariners!

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Reality, Bernie

Besides her commanding lead in pledged and total delegates, HC now leads the POPULAR vote by OVER 3 million. Got the picture?

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Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Energy tanked

From zilch ... ran morning errands, made blueberry pancakes for breakfast, prepped and started slow roast chicken for dinner ... and collapsed. What kind of marathon is this?

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I'm a fan

'She has a name': Amazon's Alexa is a sleeper hit, with serious superfans


Alexa is playing Dave Brubeck as I write.

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Want to change 'politics as usual'? Make a viable multi-party system

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Perverted amusement

I hope Hillary sweeps today. The farther Bernie gets behind, the more irrational he becomes. A new leader must emerge to keep the energy together! Man, was Hedges right on many months ago.

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Rare moment

With a 3-2 win last night, and Texas and Oakland losing, the Mariners have slipped into first place. Can't recall the last time.

T Walker was great, 11 SO including 7 of 8 batters at one point. He's only 23.

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Berning the superdelegates

From The Chronicle:

"It was 2 a.m. when the insistent ring of his cell phone woke the Salinas man from a sound sleep. Fearing the worst, he staggered through the house and picked up the phone, only to find a nasty message from a supporter of Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, angered that the Democratic National Committee member was supporting Hillary Clinton for the nomination. "Now I know what it feels like to be targeted," Bagley said. "Since December, I've probably had more than 300 calls, Facebook messages, tweets and emails - almost all of them from Bernie's people." The messages aren't often pleasant. "Has your vote been bought?" one asked. "Keep in mind you're currently pledged to a criminal," said another. "Do you not respect democracy?" asked a third."


How to shoot yourself in the foot.

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Monday, April 25, 2016

Invitation ...

... to speak about screenwriting at a film festival. Declined.

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All-Female Theater Troupe Tackles Gender Issues In Shakespeare's Plays -

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Ironic consequence?

I thought you might like this story from The Washington Post.
Bernie Sanders is profoundly changing how millennials think about politics, poll shows

A Harvard poll says for the first time in years more young voters call themselves Democrats than Independents. The Sanders effect!

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Speaking of which II

Discussion in High Wired book of my early hyperdrama work at ATHEMOO.
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Speaking of which

A Dutch translation of my one act hyperdrama.
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Our inconsistent revolutionary

"Message to Bernie: There's Nothing Populist About Soda Pop" -

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The Marginal Writer

when something happens
it happens suddenly
without warning or fanfare
a token of appreciation
that the work matters

but you may remain ignorant
for a long time
before getting word
a shocking discovery
now they tell me!

and the feeling is wonderful
you made a contribution
and you ride the wave
for as long as you can
which is never long enough

until life is normal again
filled with no clue whatever
that the work actually matters
and your professional life
is more than jacking off

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Rich man

Red gold potatoes, eggs, scrapple, olive bread toast ...

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I thought you might like this story from The Washington Post.
When a doctor and patient disagree about care at the end of life

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The new wealthy

How America's rich betrayed their fellow citizens

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Sunday, April 24, 2016


The greatest benefit of retirement: no employer! If you feel like crashing, you crash ... and don't get fired.

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2 out of 3

...for Mariners against Yankees, Indians, Angels on road trip finished today with 3 HR victory in So Cal. Looking good on the road.

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Short video from jazz station

Sunday sanity

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Mario Savio where are you?

You are a grad student in Political Science. Got the Bern but see the handwriting on the wall. See importance of keeping the energy together. History picks its leaders. At a rally you speak: I too am disappointed but this fight has just begun ... and the crowd goes crazy. You have found your calling ...

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Mariners day game. Good excuse not to do chores ha ha.

I am a lazy bum!

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The Talent Poems

Terry Simons series of vignettes / prose poems set in the small Oregon town of Talent is among my favorite work by him. A blog entry today has examples.

I wish TS would revisit this material, add a simple plot, and present it as a short novel in the tradition of Steinbeck. It's first rate writing.

Plot? How about a local boy returning from war in the Midddle East with PTSD? Understated, doesn't take much, just something to add movement and structure. Beginning: he comes home. Middle: he has issues, people take sides. End: he commits suicide, life goes back to not quite normal.

A zillion options ... something to provide narrative direction.

This material deserves revisiting and center staging.
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I'm moving from disappointment to active dislike for The Bern. Something tells me he will be an arrogant, poor loser.

He could have said, Dear Democrats, you are on the wrong side of history. I am going Green. We will welcome you with open arms when you understand the new reality.


Imagine BS with an actual positive Vision of America. He suffers from a common ailment of old men. I have it myself. He enjoys griping too much.

I don't give a shit about Sanders. I feel sorry for all those kids he hoodwinked. One of them needs to step forward as a charismatic, visionary leader.

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Come on, Bernie

B says he lost states because poor people don't vote. Hey, you're supposed to be leading a revolution (ha ha), ahead of the curve, didn't you know that going in? Ever hear of voter registration in the south? If you're a leader, shouldn't you have faced the issue before the fact instead of whining afterward?

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Saturday, April 23, 2016

You can't go home again

Out on errands, had a fit of masochistic nostalgia and drove through my old NW neighborhood, where I lived in the 1980s, in love with Portland. My visiting NYC agent loved it, too: "This is the way Greenwich Village used to be. Pray it never changes." It did, of course, gentrification cranking up in the 1990s.

Tonight 23rd Avenue was filled with young diners out for a Saturday night, many not born back in the day. Many lines to get into restaurants and clubs I never heard of. These kids looked like they were enjoying Portland as much as I used to.

But I haven't liked Portland in ages and am here only because my wife won't move.

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A bit of inspiration

Why we read: authors and readers on the power of literature

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Managed a few basic house chores today ... about it. Tank getting empty?

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Friday, April 22, 2016

Sixties II

From Sodom, Gomorrah & Jones ...
Nostalgia, 1990

A NEW DOCUMENTARY film, Berkeley in the Sixties, opened for one night only at the campus theater. CJ and Helen arrived early, expecting a crowd, but found themselves taking seats in a half-full movie house. Most of the audience were their colleagues at the university.
The documentary affected CJ strongly and early. He was not expecting this. On screen Joan Baez was singing to a group gathered around her, many sitting on the ground at a building on campus, Berkeley students who were part of the Free Speech Movement in 1964, and as Baez sang, “all my sorrows, soon forgotten,” students sang along, such expressions of innocence and hope on their determined young faces, “all my sorrows, soon forgotten” and Baez's angelic voice rising to heaven itself, and CJ couldn't help himself, he started softly weeping.
Helen leaned close and whispered, “Are you all right?”
All my sorrows, soon forgotten.
CJ excused himself and went to the men's room. Looking in the mirror, he experienced a moment of shock when he saw himself as an old man, not all that far away now. His best years were behind him.
When he returned to his seat, Helen took his hand and kissed him on the cheek. They watched the rest of the film in silence.
In the lobby after the film, they ran into George and Mary, colleagues in history.
Boy, that brought back memories,” said George. “Those were the days, hey?”
Mary added, “Would you like to join us for a drink?”
I'm under the weather,” CJ said quickly.
Helen drove home. Before they arrived, CJ said, “It was a good film. It captured the moment pretty accurately.”
I thought so.”
That was the end of their discussion of Berkeley in the Sixties.
A few years later CJ was renting a video cassette when he ran across Berkeley in the Sixties on the shelf. In a yellow circle on the box cover was a blurb from the New York Times: “A potent blast from the past!”
Jesus Christ,” CJ muttered under his breath. The sixties had joined the ranks of panty raids and eating goldfish.

My favorite documentary film

Inspirational ... sad ... profound.

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Outrage v. morality

Watching a Spike Lee documentary, I realized what I find missing in the Sanders campaign: a sense of moral issues. I get the outrage. I get the anger. But I don't find the tone at the foundation of earlier campaigns by King and Bobby Kennedy: that at root we are speaking about morality. This raises the level of discourse and quiets it with righteousness. It raises politics to philosophy. It makes possible the concept of "a majority of one."

There is no need to shout when you are morally right.

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A cold glass of buttermilk

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Delusions of Grandeur

it only takes one

an excited reader
who shares the energy
in a review
in an email
in a blog

to let me know
this deafening silence
is not eternity

and my constant work
my inconstant faith
that my demons
have human company
gets proven true

and this can be
a basis for connection

it only takes one
to make me believe
against evidence to the contrary

that my work/life
has not been

a waste of time

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Olive bread

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Terry Simons at CounterPunch

The founder and publisher of Round Bend Press, a poet, playwright and essayist as well, has found a welcome home for his political writings at the online CounterPunch, giving him a progressive audience likely unaware of his blog. Six contributions since last June. Check them out.
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Must see this

I thought you might like this story from The Washington Post.
‘Louder Than Bombs’: A quiet yet resounding film about truth and lies

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What A World

here's the deal:
my life is blessed
my old age sucks

I shudder to imagine
my old age
without blessings

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Tick tock

Facebook, Google campuses at risk of being flooded due to sea level rise

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Alien dinosaur

I think the last pop musician who interested me was Bob Dyan. Or The Beatles. I never listened to Bowie or Prince or any of the pop icons dying of late. Still no desire to.

There are only so many hours in the day. I'd rather listen to Chris Connor or Caruso. Or Dyan or The Beatles for that matter.

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Thursday, April 21, 2016


...blow big lead, recover, win on Cano blast in 10th.

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Reality 101

From the Chronicle:

"Things could not have been better for Sanders in New York: coming in with momentum, a liberal state with a lot of young people," Caputo said. "But he ran into a Democratic buzz saw, with party leaders behind Clinton."

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Happy reader

Ryan reviewed Write Your First Screenplay

 Highly recommended April 10, 2016

I've read several books on screenwriting, but this is the only one I refer back to regularly. It's a great companion for writing your first screenplay and all the others after it. The great concept here is splitting writers into two groups: those who prepare extensively (tree people) and those who discover their story by jumping in and writing it (forest people). I don't recall any other book that encourages, or maybe even permits, the second type, but I wouldn't be any kind of writer without it.

I also found screenplays from the author, Charles Deemer, on amazon. They're great examples.

One more note - this book is very inexpensive... not sure why, but accept it as a gift! I bought a hard copy for probably 10 or 15 times as much years ago, and it was a steal at that price.


How nice.

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How exciting

9 a.m. Mariners' game.

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Report: Oregon DHS Fails All Federal Childcare Standards

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Wednesday, April 20, 2016

What progress?

I thought you might like this story from The Washington Post.
25 years ago, ‘Thelma & Louise’ was a radical statement. Sadly, it still is.

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Good question

I thought you might like this story from The Washington Post.
After New York comes the question: What does Bernie want?

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Press freedom

U.S. Ranks 41st In Press Freedom Index Thanks To 'War On Whistleblowers'

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TS: open letter to Sanders

Alas, BS is the wrong guy to dig this. His method was hopeless from the get go. He should have moved his supporters to Green on day one.

Maybe a new leader will spring from the young themselves, so they don't get snookered into following a rigid old man. They will suffer most in the future, they must take charge.

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Pdx reality

Lead story on news, need 60K annually to live with minimum comfort here. How do I convince H to move?

One option: sell house, split profit, I move and encourage her to join me.

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A Mulligan nap

Black tube = Amazon Echo, playing Gerry Mulligan for Sketch's nap.

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How to win superdelegates?

State Democratic Parties Fear Bernie Sanders Is Turning His Voters Against Them -

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Laughable delusion

Man, Sanders and his followers take the cake: going out of their way to insult the Dem party, they now expect to win at the convention with a change of heart by superdelegates, most of whom are loyal party regulars. They give idealism a bad name with such disregard for a very clear reality.

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You can summarize what's unfortunate about American culture in three words: lowest common denominator.

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Ain't it the truth

New York primary marks a dramatic turning point in US election 2016

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That was short comfort ha ha. H can't find her glasses. Can't drive without them, has morning meeting.

In last month she has lost a phone, a tarp and an outdoor gutter tool. How????? Two are large items.

She found them! Back to comfort ...

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Protective defense

A good mood!, no small wonder in a world gone mad, so I am hoping to maintain it step by step through a productive day.

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Free meals


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Ha ha!

The Guggenheim's monstrous golden toilet sums up the obscene art world

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Politics marches on

The Dem nominee is decided.

BS still has several constructive options but is too much a cookie cutter guy, no revolutionary!!, to see them. His campaign will change tone, more whining, more crybabying, more anger, more outrageous accusations, much of which will be replayed later in Republican attack ads. American losers are notorious bad sports.

All this was predicted by a few observers who understood the dynamics of American party politics. Hedges went so far as to say BS was betraying his supporters. Lying to them, in effect, out of ignorance, idealism ignoring corporate realism.

The result? A lot of pissed off kids. Thanks, Bernie.

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Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Read samples

Reviving the old man

Our housecleaner here, the monthly visit, so I am staying out of the way in my basement office. Lots of constructive things I could do ... but I am still tired from a long walk with the dog, so listening to Chris Connor sounds more fun than being useful.

Will I ever get this house in order? This summer will reveal all. If it is not in pretty presentable shape by fall, well, then it's beyond my solitary ability to do this. I need to figure out how to get Harriet to help ... most of the decision making regards her stuff, after all. But she isn't much help at the moment.

So I piddle along, doing the best I can under the circumstances. Not very satisfying.

I stopped my membership in Ukulele Underground. It's a terrific club but I'm not getting my dues worth lately. Low energy and the rest.

A perk before I pass would be so nice ... and so unlikely. My main fans are over the ocean, far far away. Better than nothing but they also are easily forgotten. My memoir isn't dark enough ha ha.

Heard from our accountant, filing late. We are small and  low on his priority list. That's fine. He does a great job for us.

I enjoyed the walk with Sketch, though I may have overdone it. Need to work up to that kind of activity. My old legs and knees feel it. No replacement for me! I prefer pain to being a bionic man. Old school.

Chris sounds so good. Music, jazz and classical, saves the day in so many ways. Pop culture, on the other hand, well, it ain't for me. I'll stop there.

Cole Porter wrote as cleanly as anyone around.

More later, probably. Killing time here.

Bygone era

Back in my journalism days, I had the honor of spending a week with former Oregon governor Tom McCall and writing a profile of him. McCall hated yes men. Consequently he appointed as his Chief of Staff someone with differing views (his name escapes me). McCall told me, "He thought I was a communist and I thought he was a fascist."

Imagine this happening today. It's impossible. We've become deaf to opposing views and compromise, which is how our system of government was designed to work. Instead of statesmen we have narrow-minded politicians. Instead of debate we have noise. And we citizens for the most part are no better. We get what we deserve.

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Monday, April 18, 2016

Wiped out


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Productive ...

... very busy day of yard and house chores. No energy left.

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Ode to gas meter ... must we?

Ta da!

Americans Like To Say They're Eco-Friendly -- They're Not -

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Tick tock

The Biggest Environmental Disaster No One Is Talking About -

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The human condition

Billions Of Cicadas Will Soon Rise From The Earth, Have Sex And Die -

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Cold turkey

Need to quit politics. Too depressing. Losing my sense of black humor.

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Up to bake bread. My last satisfaction? Old gets older.

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Sunday, April 17, 2016

Klamath Falls ...

... apparently has more sunny days than anywhere in Oregon. 2BR apt is $600. Let's go!

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Small universe

With low energy, aching joints, and a fragile attitude, I try to keep my world very small. Listen to game. Start soup for dinner. Take out garbage. Mow some grass.

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The great singer who never made it

I thought you might like this story from The Washington Post.
He could have fronted Led Zeppelin, now ‘Superlungs’ has to pay the pawn shop

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Sunshine ...

... helps the disposition. I need to move to get more of it.

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Back to bed

Listen to some BBC, eventually sleep. I feel adrift.

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Buttermilk rolls

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Out of sync

Crashed very early. Awake now, mixing buttermilk batch, baking rolls.

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Saturday, April 16, 2016

Clooney, why are you there?

Mariners ..

... take second from Yankees.

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Housing market

It's nuts here! Just read story about Austin couple's problems ... finally got one, best of 28 bids (!!!), sale price 100 grand over original asking price! A very very strong seller's market. I want to take advantage of it. HOWEVER if we are staying here, we should not sell because the market sucks for renters. This house is great and affordable for us. But isolated, once an advantage.

I want to sell and move. H at the moment wants to sell and stay. I don't want to be a buyer in this market!

I want to sell, take the money and run. RUN far from Portland.

Much work to get the house ready. First things first. I need to change her mind.

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No shocker

Tom Hayden Article Endorsing Hillary Clinton Produces a Flood of Angry Responses:

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Tom Hayden switches to Clinton

Quotation of day

Pope Francis on greeting Sanders and shaking his hand:

"If anyone thinks greeting someone is getting involved in politics, I recommend he see a psychiatrist."

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What word processing wrought

Friday, April 15, 2016


Ms beat Yankees in NYC.

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Beyond rude

A memoir I mailed to someone was rejected and returned unopened. Wasn't a personal friend but a professional colleague. What's that about? Sometimes dismissal feels like a blacklist. I think I've been in this town too damn long.

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Attempt at theocracy

I thought you might like this story from The Washington Post.
Tennessee governor vetoes bill making Bible the official state book

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Can the energy be saved?

If B loses NY, he has to abandon the fantasy of being the Democratic nominee and focus on keeping his supporters together. He can't do this within the Dem party.

Let him make a speech after losing NY, dropping out of race and supporting the Green Party, urging followers to do the same. Immediate barnstorming, letting Americans know the Greens exist. The press will cover this, making it the political story of the season.

Dems will be scared shitless ... all this happens before the convention! Greens continue the pressure, the kids could really get into this. The Dems come to the Greens to broker a coalition - they have to! And now progressives have real leverage.

BS would never do it, he is a traditional politician. But the energy could be put to work.

Give the kids something to believe in!

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Right message. Right time. Wrong messenger.

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Tweet of the night

Sick Of Listening To Old Guy Who Yells A Lot


Exactly. Bernie is not changing minds or winning superdelegates with his strategy of repetitive anger. His supporters no doubt love it but this, in the real political world, changes nothing. This is not a political revolution but political wishful thinking.

Why doesn't Bernie say, I will reinstate the WPA. SOMETHING! And quit shouting!

Bernie, send your supporters to Green but don't yourself be a candidate. You suck as a politician. Nothing is gray to you. Politics is the art of compromise. Revolutions are bloody. Take your pick.

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Good manners

Someone actually thanked me for something. Old school!

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Ideas I haven't heard

Reinstate the WPA to repair the country's infrastructure.

Form a universal military draft, men and women, with no deferments. Wars must affect everyone. This also will create a meaningful peace movement.

Eliminate corporate tax deductions for advertising.

Eliminate personal income tax for households earning up to 2x the poverty rate.

Eliminate all deductions for personal incomes over 1000x the poverty rate.

Automatically register every social security number to vote at age 17. Every SSN can vote once in every election, no restrictions.

Create a program where students can work off education debt with community service at $200/hr.

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Thursday, April 14, 2016

HC's best moment

"Clinton Calls Out Debate Moderators For Ignoring Women's Health" -

BS's best moment was on Palestine.

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New physics

Man, do we create our own realities!

I just don't understand how anyone believes the B can pull off any of his grandiose ideas in the real America. There is no 99% that agrees on anything. I bet more Americans believe in the Second Coming than in some of his (good) ideas. He lives in a Progressive Fantasyland.

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Eye of beholder

Most media online have BS winning debate EASILY. I have HC winning, not even my candidate (neither is B).

I don't think B could manage a baseball team.

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Coming back

BS much better in second half.

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No contest

Early on, Clinton is relaxed, bright, confident ... Sanders is rattled, repeated cheap shots, no specific program ... fans are fans, of course, but the contrast in political skill is huge. Sanders' negativity and attack mode are the wrong strategy. He needs A POSITIVE VISION. He is selling out his supporters. He doesn't come off like he could manage a baseball team, let alone the country.

SANDERS IS A DISASTER. I am reminded of the JFK-Nixon debate. Sanders is the squirming, sweating Nixon.

Man, this is too bad. Sanders has tapped something important ... and has accurate notions and good principles ... but is terrible in debate.

How can his supporters be moved to the Green party?
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I thought you might like this story from The Washington Post.
U.S. women’s soccer team will play New Zealand, France and Colombia in Olympics

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Stewart to Seattle

It's a start

I thought you might like this story from The Washington Post.
Canadian government introduces assisted suicide law for those ‘suffering intolerably’
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I've come to despise them both but may watch to pass time.

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Right on, Kos!

The Southern Democratic electorate—aka Blacks and Latinos—do not 'distort reality':


Another unfortunate remark/error by Sanders.

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Appalling injustice

Watching the HBO movie on notorious McMartin case. Hysteria! Always only a false accusation away. Very slow eventual justice, if at all. How different the reality from American myth.
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Mini meatloaf

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Future is now

I thought you might like this story from The Washington Post.
Star Wars meets the C-suite: Why this CEO’s hologram is getting beamed into meetings

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From Caruso to Mulligan this morning. Baked rolls, now baking a mini meatloaf from leftovers. No Ms game today.

My late best friend was the only one with whom I could share moods of cosmic angst. Miss it. Mulligan the perfect soundtrack for it.

The soundtrack of America has become 24/7 news bombardment and very loud pop culture. I regard each as the dying pangs of empire.

My sphere of sanity has become very small, with a dog in the center.

I should have put Sketch in the CJ novel. A mistake not to.

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TS on magazines


If you can sue a gun manufacturer because the company's gun is used to kill someone, then you should be able to sue an author because someone reads his book and commits s crime.

Madness. This culture has perfected the art of passing the buck, blaming anyone but the ACTor of an action. We need a return to the mantra of existentialism: no excuses!

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A part of me is impatient to hit the road. Another wants to remain here, burying myself in favorite lit and music, boycotting the news. Still another, cashing in while I'm ahead.

What keeps me grounded is Sketch. He's a cosmic clown, cracking me up constantly, reminding me that Nature wins.

Time and space don't mean what they used to.
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One thing

I move so slowly and have so little energy, I've reduced my daily goal to doing ONE (non-routine) thing. Man. Today, it was putting together my entry into a political play contest in NYC, at which I have a decent shot.

Routine: making buttermilk rolls this morning.

Sent some memoirs out but no apparent interest. What a surprise. I'll have more interest when I'm dead. What a deal.

This is not the retirement I looked forward to -- but better than alternatives that come to mind.

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New issue

I thought you might like this story from The Washington Post.
The most important mystery about U.S. climate change policy

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Hedges and Flowers

‘Days of Revolt’: Corporate Influence and the Pitfalls of a Two-Party System (Video):

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Wednesday, April 13, 2016

A win!

First home win, Lee with HR in bottom of 10th.

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Heart disease research marches on

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

"Yet the fuller accounting of the data indicates that the advice is, at best, unsupported by the massive trial. In fact, it appears to show just the opposite:  Patients who lowered their cholesterol, presumably because of the special diet, actually suffered more heart-related deaths than those who did not."


Ha ha ha! This is why I don't always take my doctor's advice. Doctors are like film directors: they must APPEAR to know what they're doing.

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5th loss in a row.

8-0, only 4 hits. Last place. Ah, to be a Mariners fan ...

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Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Bobby Kennedy

Listening to some of his campaign speeches, I marvel at how little time he spends on the faults of others and how much time on a vision of what America could become. Downright inspirational! And exactly what HC and BS lack, who spend most of their time spitting at each other.

What is Sanders' vision? What is Clinton's vision? You have to sift through crap to find it if you have the patience.

A Bobby Kennedy could have rallied the superdelegates to switch votes because the message would be positive. Today's candidates run on negativity.

To hell with the lot of them.
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Spectacular ending

You can count those noticing on one hand - hell, Django could! - but WHOLE CLOTH and 3 PLAYS ABOUT FAMILY are great ways to end my publishing career, if it comes to that. TS found the right word for the memoir, "amazing." Not because I am amazing but because the process, seldom documented in such detail, is amazing.

How nice if I got some Big Perks for such a finale but the literary world is a fickle crapshoot, I expect nothing. I am reminded of the wonderful line in MRS. PARKER AND THE VICIOUS CIRCLE when Dorothy Parker receives a literary award late in her life: "It's about time." HA HA HA!

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Made the cover for upcoming RBP book, 3 PLAYS ABOUT FAMILY, early summer date. Great fun, making covers. My last book I hope I hope!

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Under the weather, cancelled coffee with ex student, had looked forward to it. Really dragging ass lately. H still in bed, still living life of a vegetable. I fail at motivating her.

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"All gone. All used up."

My best friend Dick (Hooker in my work) died in a hospice in northern Idaho in 1998. Driving home from our wedding in Portland, he felt pain. He had pancreatic cancer and died before the end of the year.

On the last day of my visit, he gave me a goofy grin and said, "All gone. All used up." He was talking about the Life Force, I knew, telling me, What's a guy to do? I kissed him on the forehead, and he said, "Beautiful." I went home, and he died the next day. I scattered his ashes with his mother and two sons off of White Bird Hill above Salmon, Idaho.

"All gone. All used up." I know what he means. I'm not empty but I'm very aware of the bottom of the tank. My goal is to keep the doctors from messing with me and let Nature take its course.

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Mariners crash

After their 3 game power start, no offense, 4 losses in a row, last place.

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Monday, April 11, 2016

Ha ha


Mommas don't let
your babies grow up
to be artists
They'll spend too much time
locked up in their minds
looking for answers
that they never find

Mommas don't let
your babies grow up
to be artists
The Muse holds them hostage
with little to share
not even with someone
they love

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H drives me crazy. Yesterday, much in favor of road trip. Today, no way. Well, at best a year away ... She'll change her mind a zillion more times. If we stay in Pdx, though, should stay here as long as possible, mortgage low, value keeps increasing.

I'm downsizing anyway, alone. Can't plan shit. A drag but something has to be done, and I'm the default.
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Read sample

Haggard, scrapple and John Basham

Been thinking a lot of my friend lately, who had diabetes and passed too young. He was my favorite singer of Haggard, so the recent death sparked memories. This morning I had scrapple for breakfast, still having the touch, which reminded me of the day I came home from grad school to find a surprise from John on the porch. A pig's head! after the slaughter on his small farm in Dexter. Ah, the memories. We drifted apart after they moved to Seattle but I always held him close.

P and I met John in an Oregon coast campground. He heard us singing in the adjacent campsite, came over with a guitar and a bottle of ouzo. A few months later he was moving from Michigan to Oregon.

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Putting bankers in jail

'We thought we were over all that': angry Icelanders feel like it's 2008 again

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Tick tock

The Hidden Water Crisis -

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Twain's autobiography

James Baldwin

Sunday, April 10, 2016


WATCH: Ken Burns explains how America has always been a racist country:

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Scrapple in the refridge, chores done, Mariners on radio, H off for lunch with daughter ... feeling good about goal to sell house and hit road next Spring. Last chance! Getting too old, cutting it close as is. Put stuff in storage, keep money in bank to resettle, and take off and see what happens. Visit H relatives on east coast, wander back leisurely. How long on road? 3 mos. to a year. This is a Plan. I like plans. Alas, I really can't count on H to make this easier. I just don't want her to make it much harder.

I like this Plan! May, 2017, bon voyage.

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Crank it up

I need to get out of Dodge, which means selling the house, which means dealing with the basement, apparently with little help. Time to get serious. Take close to a year. Be nice to sell next Spring, hit the road before I'm too old.

I'll start tomorrow. 9 sq ft at a time ha ha.

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Greed marches on

The human face of fracking in North Dakota

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Robert Reich ...

... is a true believer. In his column today, he calls the Sanders campaign, win or lose, the biggest story of our time. Chris Hedges, some months ago, had a different view, Sanders' campaign was duping us because "a political revolution" is impossible within the Democratic party.

I hope Reich is right but my money is on Hedges. Sanders keeps putting his foot in his mouth, even sounding racist today.

The revolution will not start here and, in fact, we (the halfs) will be on the wrong side. The non white, non American poor will lead the way.

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Making scrapple

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What a dumbass thing to say

Bernie Sanders dismisses Clinton lead: ‘A lot of that came from the South’:


So fuck heavily black populations? This guy has become his own worst enemy.

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Scrapple! Breakfast! All burners going, just the way I like it.

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Been a while since I made a batch. Today!

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Friday, April 8, 2016

Ta da!

Bernie Sanders: 'Of Course' Hillary Clinton Is Qualified To Be President:

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The Boss cancels NC concert due to new bigoted law, 'some things more important than a rock show':

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My o my, so this is what poetry has become

I thought you might like this story from The Washington Post.
Why the next hot jobs in Silicon Valley are for poets

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Praising Oregon State

What It Looks Like When A University Truly Fixes How It Handles Sexual Assault -

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Hanging in

The Moment Audra McDonald Hit 'Bottom' And Almost Gave Up On Broadway -

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Smart kid?

In my 6day wonder play, a teenager says, You can't live in America without being part of the problem. He was on to something. Unfortunately ...

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Toward theocracy

TS delivers passionate analysis of current rich v poor scene.

Chris Hedges saw the Sanders disaster/sell out coming, even said followers were being duped. You can't stage a political revolution from the Democratic party. If Clinton is the wrong woman to be our first female president, Sanders is the wrong figurehead for systemic change. He is socialism lite at best. He ran as a Democrat, which immediately put conditions on possible success.

Two interesting questions. Is systemic change possible without violence? Is handing the election to the right wing preferable to Clinton?

Another: do evangelicals outnumber progressives in the U.S.? If so, then where is the actual "revolution"?

My disagreement with TS is that his spectrum of "bad guys" is too narrow and includes probably most of the Berns as well, especially younger ones, who want a slice of the pie, not systemic worldwide change.

Observation: Nature will make political discussion irrelevant soon enough. The colonization of Mars is more significant than Sanders v Clinton v Trump v Cruz.

In today's world, old age rocks!
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