Wednesday, December 10, 2008


I curse the static in my veins. Once prolific, now I am lucky, I guess, that people still consider me to be and introduce me as a writer - for, long have my hands been idle. Save the few creative ways of explaining, say, that the previous "for" is what is called a "conjunction," I don't create much of anything. Well - anything of my own. Each day that I strive, that I push, that I motivate out of total blankness -- each day that I make my students see the gravity of their voice and the size of their footprints -- I am "creating."

Still, so constant is the roaring of hunger.

I got lost somewhere. Amidst the brilliance of better tomorrows. Amongst the infinite stretches of possibilities.

The more I see youth through experienced eyes, the more I realize how wind-blown and liquid it really is. How like a cartoon. For all the timbre of dreams, it seems really that we are but floating on waves of scent towards the next ham. For all of my foresight and best intentions, I feel like I have strayed far from my heart.

I love teaching. I love writing.

Must sacrifice be part of the equation?

I feel so often now like I am not a significant part of my own life. I know that may strike some as a dark and brooding sort of statement - but I mean it out of total confusion and insecurity. When did choosing grape vs. strawberry jelly turn into such dire stakes? When did those, then, turn into having no voice at all? I used to scan so far ahead that these spikes were averted with time to spare. Now, it seems, that I am an ant, navigating an impossible ever-changing path with only a vague memory as a map. Maybe that's overly metaphorical. Perhaps I am a turd circling the drain and frantically grabbing for a hand.

I must speak in metaphor, lest I lose my mind.

Picture a lonely gardener. He plants a garden that will become a beautiful bed of flowers. He loves it, though it is only a concept. It is only a picture on a seed-pack. One day, with no warning, it is gone. Infuriatingly, there is no one to blame. There is no reason. There is only a void and splendid visions that were yanked away to die - just too far beyond his pleading grasp. He mourns. He turns to what he knows to comfort himself. But it is gone. The words don't come. Something is broken. He is broken. All around him now are new gardens planted. Ones that he wants to hate, but cannot. He cannot. Because of the very joy they bring to their planters, he cannot.

Call me Fortunato, for irony is surely my closest friend.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Friday, November 28, 2008

Happy Gluttony. (A day late. So, happy sloth too.)

I was too busy dying of an intense stomach ache yesterday to post, but I meant to. Not a bad stomach ache mind you, but a good sort of dull over-indulged kind.

Thanksgiving wishes to all my friends and family. I hope it was a good day. We did well. I made my famous cranberry sauce, and I tried a new recipe this year as well: Spiced Pumpkin Fudge. My first batch was awful, but I nailed it on round two. We also had the proverbial turkey, potatoes of mashed variety, stuffing, peas, and bread. Often, we over-make side dishes that just go to waste. So, this year we kept it simple. All in all - it was a glorious feast.

So, not much else to say. If you are reading this because you know me and not for some other random reason, know that I am thankful for you. Maybe that's cheesy, I don't know. Really, and this may sound a bit pessimistic, I'm glad this year is almost over. It's been rough for us. But we are pulling through.

Here's pie in your eye.


Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Cool titles are for posers.


I am beginning to become more vocal about my educational philosophies. Like walking out into the desert sans water, I am opening my reluctant maw. I teach in a "traditional" school. (GASP)

Chapter One: The First and Only

I am beginning to reach a very different level of enlightenment. A new high, maybe. I think that Compass, great as it was for me, really fogged my brain. I lost track of what was real. What, actually, WAS authentic learning.

I have felt honored lately. People ask for my opinion a lot now. And, I realize, we are learning this together.

I guess I thought once that all we had to do was open up shop and slap an alternative model onto it, and we'd be doing everything there is to do. Sadly, that is not a reality. Real teaching is hard work. And, I'm not poking at those of you in alternative schools right now. What I'm getting at is how terribly we were misled back then. Just because someone works in a "conventional" school - they are not necessarily bad teachers, or inauthentic or clueless as perhaps we once thought. They are just overwhelmed with the realities of their job. And frankly, 90% of them rock. Seriously, real teaching is like trench warfare. And again, no offense is meant here, but I don't believe that one can truly understand what is alternative until they try to ply said warfare in a "conventional" setting.

My point is, I guess, that I used to fall back on Compass as this paradigm of how great passion meets great resistance. I thought it to be quite formative. Point blank... it was not. Sure, the megalomaniac at the gates sure could be grumpy, but in general - there was one focus.

You see, I'm the guy at huge district-wide staff meetings that suggests portfolio assessments. I'm the guy screaming for experiential pedagogy to be built in IN LIEU OF state standards. I'm the renegade that pleads with administrators to realize that authentic, meaningful learning CAN'T BE MEASURED. And most of the time, I am awed by the fact that I am received with support. With kindness. With enthusiasm. But putting it out there is hard. Not being sure. Hoping I know what I'm talking about. The truth is simple. Teachers want to teach. As long as my passion is well-aligned and I can support what I do, my administration is fine with it. Truly, it's not as I was told. I am met with no great injustice or blatant ignorance.

We had it all wrong. Sure, there are bad teachers... but overall - there is no wrong way to learn. Such a thing is a logical fallacy.

Like most of my posts, I am dancing around a point here. I think it is this: Reform happens from within. I commend all of you that are working so hard from the outside to change things, I really do. But I think it always has to come down to this question: Am I doing what I am doing because I really believe it to be the most authentic way to teach, or am I doing this because it looks "alternative" to outside eyes? And be honest. We teach kids all the time the power of self-reflection and integrity. But do we always live it?

Perhaps I am disappointing some of you by this revelation. I hope that is not the case. I still believe in my heart that this is my calling. I know it is for many of you reading this, too. But, public education is in jeopardy. Maybe charter schools provide a brief sanctuary from that darkness, but it won't be that way forever. We mighty few have to take it back. That seems to be the legacy time has given us.

Thanks for listening.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Sucker? Call me dum-dum.

Well - I seem to have chucked fairer judgement in favor of my heart strings. This morning, a 3 or 4 month old pitbull puppy showed up at school. Apparantly, the Maricopa Animal shelters don't like the pitbulls so much - and don't even get me going on that rant. They don't try to adopt them out, which means that if a shelter employee didn't take him... well we all know the rest.

So, anyway - he lives with us now... temporarily. He is a very sweet boy and is a beautiful dog... just in time for Christmas. (Wink)

I am vowing to find a home for him. I love the idea of keeping him - but not the realities of it.

So... anyone looking? Keep an ear out for me.

I'll try to post a picture or two.


Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Square Pegs are Punk Rock.

I sat in an inservice all day yesterday. I have to admit, I've never felt as dumb as I do working in Special Ed. A complex system of documentation of documentation for the sake of assessing assessments to better enhance enhancements for the action of meeting the needs of a small handful (per capita) of students exists as a badge of self-righteous bitching. And seriously, I don't understand a goddamn word of any of it.

Special Ed teachers, all teachers, have a certain right to bitch. We are underpaid and have way too many things to do. But there comes a point when our bitching begins to adversely affect our job performance... not to mention our emotional and mental health.

And, when we aren't bitching, we are obsessed with this concept of measurable outcomes. All of you: Seriously think for a moment... of all of the amazing things you've learned in your lifetime thus far, how many of them were measurable. I can't speak for others, but the learning of my lifetime that is NOT measurable is the most profound and most dear to me.

I feel everyday that I don't fit in.

My friend is an architectural drafter. My friend is a prison guard. My friend delivers pizza.

There is a point somewhere in this smattering of syllables. I don't know exactly what it is... but I am getting tired of making it.

Friday, November 7, 2008

What's this "Democracy" I keep hearing about?

There is a problem here. I am disheartened by the attitude that some great injustice was righted. The general scuttlebutt seems to be of such victorious self-adulation, that it is really difficult to distinguish what, exactly, is to come.

Let's be frank:

It's easy to stand up and shout about how well democracy was served when your candidate won. I'll be honest... my candidate lost. And the evidence that democracy was not really served at all is easy to find in the overwhelming shock that such a statement causes. "You voted for McCain?"

People love to formulate their own vision of the founding of our country. They do it so proudly and yet, so gratuitously. For, in truth, their actions aim to serve their own need to add backbone to their philosophy. The reality is that our country was founded. That's the important part of the equation. What's more, it was founded in the common unifying cry for having our voices heard. Beyond that, it's a bit superfluous for my needs.

I did not vote for McCain. But all one needs to see in order to comprehend the magnitude by which our train has derailed is that our default setting is to think in such black and white, blind reverence.

Is democracy really served when only two opinions are "allowed?"

So sayeth the masses.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Halloween fun

70 years ago tonight, many people across the county believed they were being attacked by aliens. Nothing to do? Here's the original broadcast.
(Link is to the right of the text.)

War of the Worlds

Notes from the briars...

I am starting to feel as if I'm turning the corner to getting back on top of my life. There is a glimmer of satisfaction in that. I am fanning it wildly to create a savage roaring glow. All things, I suppose have their dips, life being a journey and all that. I still yearn for something that will be our own.

I have found strength in Tracey. She is always my rock, and I try to be hers often. Five years of marriage has proven to us, I think, what my Poppa used to say - Married is Better. It is strange, but somehow, as if by magic, the love and trust and bond seem to multiply in magnitude of order 10.

I am striving to be a good teacher. I work hard to make a difference for them. I feel similar pangs, though... what is right for them is often disregarded by those that might help me effect such change. Mealworm? I am hungry now. Hungrier than ever before for this career. I am digging my bunker and preparing for long winters. (Metaphorically, of course - being that I live on the surface of the Sun.)

If only... that seems to ring loudly in my head lately. I wish I could go back sometimes and re-do things at Compass. Not for my sake, but for theirs. I know so much more now - what could be different today.

I segue now, not out of guilt, but out of mournful reminiscense. Adrian Calvillo, a student of mine (of ours, friends) took his own life a few weeks back. He was a bright, funny, amazing, talented kid. He made the world better... maybe that's all we can really ask of somebody. Rest in peace, Adrian. I will always remember your mischievous laugh and your angsty-but-brilliant poetry.

Anyway... love from the battlements,


Thursday, October 23, 2008

Half-eaten chicken.

I realize it's been a while since I spent the time to reflect a bit on my swirling tide-pool of a life. Alas, time, I have not. Blogospheria, lately, has consisted mostly of lurking low and reading the fine things my dear friends have to say. I too wonder if Leonard Cohen would eat homemade pumpkin pie and wax long in sophisticated prose of the ludicrousness of our current lack of political representation. I am enthralled by the talk of fashion-ready bike helmets and community building in the land of hormone-fueled monsters. I bow to thee, beloved wordsmiths. Indeed, in measure I am lacking.

I started a new job a month ago. A hard job. The hardest I have ever had, I think, because I really care about doing it right. Doing it well. Doing it... something. I think I am a good teacher. I know way more than I ever thought I would about the craft of teaching and mentoring. I have practiced and become fairly competent. But, smash it together with an over abundance of administrative tasks, litigation-happy parents, and the overall joys of special education... man is I tired. Grammar is beyond me, aren't they?

This isn't a play-by-play post, though. This is a contemplative post. A quiet resignation to the fact that I have chosen what is probably the hardest profession on Earth. I am the keeper of future thought, and I am scared.

Details are best left for beer-soaked chats with puebloan friends whom, I must address, we miss terribly. Perhaps the realities of what this year has been for us have not sunken in. Or, rather, perhaps they are beginning to. The motto seems to be this: It hurts to be lied to.

Maybe this post smacks of black fingernail polish and for that I am sorry. I am happy with my "new life." I just hope the price for it isn't a total loss of what was before.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Ah, these little lessons of life.

Someone wise once told me to never say never. I think I was about 8 years old or so, and I said, "I'll never work in a fast-food restaurant." I worked for my father until I was 16 or so... when I struck out to get a job on my own. Guess what it was? (That's a rhetorical question for the sake of cynicism.)

Another never, it seems, is coming to a rather fruitful reality. It's hard to think that, the more effort we output to controlling our own lives... the more we avoid fatalism... the less control we actually feel. About a year ago, I went to visit my 8th Grade English teacher in her classroom back in my home berg of Buckeye. She meant an incredible amount to me as a teacher back in the day, and has remarkably meant a great deal to me as an adult friend, too. So, I have always viewed her advice and experience as valuable tools. Going there was a healing journey, really. My student teaching experience was not a good one. C'est la vie.

"Jokingly" as I left that day of my visit, I was "offered" a job by two different people. I put no serious thought into it. After all, I would never move back to Buckeye. Or anywhere even remotely related to the Valley of my youth.

Pesky nevers. They always come around and bite me. Nasty bitey biters and their biting.

How does one begin to summarize so many events of ill favor. Let's try this: 2008 has sucked big hairy monkey nuts for Tracey and me. Sorry for the image, but it's true. I won't go over it all here, just know that death, poverty and other general misfortune have hung heavy like acid clouds above our heads. We thought that Flagstaff might be just the ticket. Alas, we made a poor choice. We miss our home in Tucson. We miss our friends. We miss the simply pleasure of the fact that we chose it ourselves, for ourselves, and for no greater reason than making a decision for our collective wants. Unfortunately, Tucson may be too far behind us now for a return. Our move to Flagstaff -for comparative purposes- was not the same. We moved here reluctantly for the promise of better things for our child. Ouch.

We are making a choice again. We have a plan... and we have goals. I accepted a very real, non-joking, offer to go back to Buckeye and teach with the very aforementioned 8th Grade teacher that meant so much to me. It is an opportunity, as I see it, to gobble up some valuable mentoring in a district that is growing quickly and will make good use of my passion and excitement. That means, if you didn't put all the pieces together, that we are moving yet again. This time to the lands of my rapscallion past.

I hope I don't have to write another post like this.

Thanks to everyone, sincerely, that has sent kind words and thoughts. Tracey and I feel very fortunate to have such wonderful people supporting us and thinking of us. We have felt it, and it was good. Thank you.

Love to all,

Tuesday, September 16, 2008


I smash my head on clouds, and dive head first deep into the belly of the Earth. I feel the wind pull on me. I watch days go by. Nights are now watercolor. I fight. I fight. This wretched bubble in my heart.

The grass is still growing. The trees are still so selfish. The sun smacks my face so harshly. I can feel the world spin.

I am stone.

My brain is champion of my world now. My heart has fallen so far behind.

Why does it hurt so much to love something that is only a concept?

If you have not heard by now, we lost the baby. We are together, and we are moving forward. Everything else feels plastic.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Things I ponder. Or: How to categorize a gorilla.

This question has popped up in a few conversations lately: What is your spirituality?

It strikes me, because I used to work with a guy that would always ask people what their nationality was, when he clearly wanted to know their racial and ethnic category. It used to drive me bonkers. I wanted to explain it to him, but he was beyond help.

So, when people ask me what my spirituality is, I guess they are asking to which religion do I subscribe.

I have given this a great deal of thought lately. I have read many texts. I have sought enlightenment from nearly every talking toad I seem to happen upon. And I guess what I have decided is that you can't put a label on me.

I am an atheist, I suppose. But as one says that, gasps aplenty are heard to charge through the room. To them, morality and goodness MUST be tied to belief in SOMETHING. "How do you decide what's right and wrong?" (Actual question.) "I use my brain." (Actual response.)

I find myself fascinated by the fact that people can't simply except what IS. To me, that which is right there for us to witness is far more amazing and intricate than any one being could ever imagine - let alone build. But still, they seem to think that because I am an atheist, and that I don't believe in a supreme being, that I am simply void of any belief at all. Period. And that couldn't be dumber, to be frank. They'll say, "You must believe in SOMETHING, though, right? Like, doesn't some religion speak to you, at least a little." Yeah, some do. Right up until the parts with magic. Again, the reality, I think, is far more beautiful.

But, still, I've been thinking. And here is some of the fruit of such thought.

Do I believe in a supreme being? Nope. A higher power? Possibly. For, what is nature if it is not a "higher power" to which we all, for real, 100% truly will lose. We are part of it, we effect it, affect it, change it, and try to understand it... but ultimately, we are fodder for it's greatness. So, yeah... okay. I worship the majesty of the Earth.

Do you believe in the afterlife? Kinda. Not in the super pretty, all-white spectacle of Heaven. Or Nirvana or whatever else. But if you look at Anthropology, there is plenty of documentation for the possibilities of afterlife. But before you get all riled up, let me explain further... See, we all have ancestors, and we all have memories. And, really, there is A LOT that we don't know about our subconscious minds. Here is my hypothesis: The afterlife, including ghosts, spirits, angels, entities and whatever else we may name them, do exist. But, and here is the part that would be left out if anyone ever tried to use this quote again' me... They exist somewhere deep in our subconscious. Someplace we don't fully understand where we can remember things with such clarity that they are there and they are very real. Then what about random hauntings when we don't have knowledge of the "person?" Same deal, I think. I think that if a real double-blind study was conducted, we would see that people "see" ghosts only after hearing stories of their existence in a certain locale. Now, undoubtedly, someone reading this is already shaking their head... and that's fine. You're talking to (or reading a monologue by, really) someone that has "seen" and "experienced" unexplained phenomena. But, again, the tangible is so magnificent, that I don't spend a lot of my time with the rest. I am a skeptic... which isn't a bad word. It just means I'm from Missouri.

Can't you at least agree that religion has provided some good things in regards to kindness and morality? Sure. But that stuff pales in comparison to the legion of awful, horrible s**t it has also given us. I love the materials that "Picture a World Without Religion." They say it much better than I.

What if you HAD, like absolutely, to choose a religion or face death? Honestly... Patrick Henry already summed up my feelings on this... but I'll humor you. Probably Buddhism. That's most closely matched with my personal attitudes and feelings about kindness and virtue, and its only real deity is knowledge... I can get onboard for that.

So, what do you believe? A lot.

I believe that the sky is just about infinite, and the way that it makes me feel small is indescribable. Same goes for oceans.

I believe that sunsets in the Sonoran Desert are as close as I have ever come to truly worshipping something.

I believe that the fact that our physiology is basically autonomous and definite is scary, but also very empowering and beautiful.

I believe that knowledge is power. Specialized skill is a super power.

I believe that children are perfect, no matter how they come out.

I believe that the most powerful medicine ever created is love. And I believe that it's sad that saying that has become cheesy and weird.

I believe in personal responsibility, and that being able to cognitively grasp that concept is divine.

I believe that our politics, how we organize ourselves, is meaningless squabble when compared with our need to apply equal parts tolerance and compassion. (And our ability to know the difference.)

I believe that we should all worry a bit less on what others believe, and spend some time thinking about what we, ourselves find important.

Most importantly - and this may require some pondering of your own - I believe that its way okay that I sleep with a stuffed chimpanzee sleepy pal.

Anyway - I felt like writing, I guess. I hope everyone is well.

A bit o' news. We've been ruled out as candidates for home birth with a midwife. We are a bit bummed by that - but we think we have the next best thing.

Love and peaches,


Monday, August 11, 2008

Like opening a clam with a wet bus ticket...

I think it's funny, or weird, or interesting, or something.... that when I express my fears of being a father, people always respond with, "You're gonna do great." Is this the natural response? Is it auto-speech? Like this old thing: "Hey, what's up?" "Pretty good." Raise your hand if you've ever done that.

The other day, I ran into an old family friend and while shaking his hand, said, "Nice to meet you." He was a bit peeved, and said, "I was at your wedding." It sounded really cool with his thick Salvadoran accent... but I think he knew I had made a flub.

I digress.

Why, exactly, do people always hit me with the "you're gonna do great" school of thought? Now, I'm not fishing here, but what is it that makes people think this? Are they actually thinking something else and saying this? Are they actually thinking, "Oh, F**k? That kid's in serious trouble." What qualities have they ever seen in me which might translate into being a good dad? And then I sort of realize, too, that it's so subjective. What's a good dad? It must be totally different to everyone, right? I think my dad is a good dad in many ways. He taught me how to be a hard worker and to be really and truly tough. I wish he'd given me his mustache-growing genes... but other than that, I have no complaints. So, really, I just keep wondering when I'm going to run into someone that's like, "You? Really? Are you sure it's yours?" Or something like that. Maybe that last bit's a little harsh - but...

I can't remember who I was talking to, but they said that they were thinking about trying to have a baby. I responded with something about how the only difference I can feel now that it's real is that I went from being theoretically terrified to tangibly terrified. As an adult, we become relatively comfortable with the idea of our lives. We become comfortable with our thought process and even our emotional responses. I am continually flabbergasted by the way my brain now works... and a little nervous too.

Scenario: 4 months ago - I thought: Man. I really want to go to Nicaragua and learn hot rod super Spanish. That would be awesome. Tracey can come too.

About 7 weeks ago - I thought: Holy F**king S**t. Holy F**king S**t. Holy F**king S**t. (Roughly translated - We're gonna have a what?)

Now - I think: I really want to go live in Australia and learn to harvest the perfect digeridoo. Oh, and learn to play it, like, really really good. That'd be dope. And Tracey can study homeopathic medicine with aborigines. Man, that is gonna be awes- Oh, yeah... baby. Can't.

And I'm not saying that I'm resentful or that I can't really do that, even with a baby... but it's definitely more complicated. And that's taking me a long time to get used to. And what worries me is that I seem to subconsciously forget that our peanut is coming. This is real. I know the peanut is there... but it's like some blurry image at the end of a very dim hallway. And I feel like I'm staggering my way there, arms outstretched, trying to grab one of those water wiggle things.

I believe that learning to ride a bike is a great metaphor for learning in general. As children, and sometimes as adults, we want nothing more than to be able to ride a "big kid's bike." We want to know how so badly that we watch the older kids and we picture ourselves doing it and we ask our parents ad nauseam when they're going to teach us, and finally we get our shot and... Well the story is really different for everyone there. Which is like learning. And for me, I just got fed up with asking and hijacked my brother's HUGE bike... and rode that son-of-a-bitch. And I didn't fall..

So, for me... learning is really a solitary process. I have all the books, and I read them. And I ask questions. I devour anything I can find on the subject... and I know that this too will be like learning to ride a bike. An amazing complicated, levitating, jet-powered bike*, but a bike all the same. I don't spend all my time worrying... but I guess I wish I could jump on the "gonna do great" bandwagon... but there are just too many variables...

*Credit to DK.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Sabado de paz

cinnamon rolls.
fresh squeezed orange juice.
weird weekend npr.
dog at my feet.
lazy mountain breeze.
orioles eating week-old sourdough.
goddess to my right.
baby in her womb.
so in debt, but so alive.
no need for capitals.

A cheesy poet still resides in my heart. We have our first midwife appointment on Thursday - turns out we stumbled onto the same midwife that delivered your friend's baby, Emery. The universe is mysterious indeed.

Our lil' guest cottage is being renovated a bit. I am told it will be quite nice. My head still vibrates from sonic nail guns.

Love and luck to all of you.

Riding turbo,

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

New days.

So, we made it to Flagstaff with very little trouble. My dad arrived in Tucson at about 7 am Saturday morning, and he and I had the horse trailer loaded with our meager belongings in about an hour. He went on up the hill while Tracey and I did a few rounds and made sure we were making a decent load.

Driving a little GMC Sonoma for 4 hours will always have a special place in my heart. That's sarcasm.

As we pulled into Flagstaff, all was well. I believed we were going to make it in one piece, and just in the nick of time, too. The massive mountain sky was beginning to turn it's ominous shade of summer black. My dad had been in Flag for about 30 minutes by the time we got there, and we had arranged to meet at a gas station in Cheshire, near our new pad... then I'd lead the way in. By the time we got to him, however, the sky was falling at a phenomenal rate. And my truck does not have windshield wipers that function at 100%. C'est la vie.

So, it was awesome to HAVE the horse trailer, because moving trucks can cost several hundred dollars. The bad part, though, is that the rain was able to freely infiltrate the openings along the top of the trailer. So, unloading it took on an air more to the tune of ripping open wet boxes to salvage photographs and family 'airlooms.' (I prefer such spelling.) To date, we have found no major damage - I am amazed.

And now, here we are. We have a modest one bedroom guesthouse (with a murphy bed in a den, hint, hint). Gracie is loving her romps throught the woods with no leash. She's pooping everywhere. There is an elk bed in the woods near the house, and she loves to roll in their ever pungent poo. We are relaxing nightly on our tree covered porch, listening to the gentle breeze and watching it tustle our prayer flags. We are smelling the ponderosa pine and watching the Ebert squirrels frolic. We are listening to the horrid squawk of the nearby jays, which the setting seems to make musical. We are thinking new thoughts and feeling new feelings, and though we have small pangs of longing for what was left behind, we are home now.

Our phone numbers will remain the same for some time... give us a ring next time you're in the 'hood.

Here's our address, though our generation seems to boycott real mail:

3165 W. Forest Hills Dr.
Flagstaff, AZ 86001

Thursday, July 24, 2008



No really - just... Buffalo.  Look at it for a bit.  It begins to take life.  It is, quite possibly, one of the strangest words.  At least graphically.

Now behold:

Buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo.

Apparently a grammatically correct sentence.  (Which that <---- was not.)

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

The plight of the educated...

...seems to be greatly deteriorating. I feel this way quite often these days. This comic illustrates my frustration. (It contains vulgarity.)

Monday, July 21, 2008

Random Unpredictability

Just a few things...

Tracey took me to see The Dark Knight yesterday. Now, normally, I don't really gush about movies. And let me say first off that the death of Heath Ledger really made me think that they hype was overly hype-ey. But, aside from being a tad too long (a necessity of editing, I think) it was great! And I hate jumping on band wagons... but Heath Ledger is outstanding as the Joker. I think he nailed it. I really think they were planning to keep the Joker in more movies, but alas, it was not so - this is why the movie really got too long, because they had to wrap up things they were going to use in sequels. Anyway - I recommend it.

My grandma broke her hip. That's rough. She just got out of surgery this morning. They replaced the whole g*ddamn thing with plastic, I guess. I think my mom is really worried, but she's holding fast for the family. I am getting to the point now where, more and more, I am seeing the generation above me dealing with the reality of taking over the senior leadership roles in our families and culture. That's strange on two levels. I still don't think of myself as old enough for any real responsibilities yet. And, thereby, I still see my parents as my protectors and mentors. I don't think that necessarily changes, but I guess more innocently, my parents are, to me, the same people they were in their 30's or 40's. It's odd to really reflect on the fact that, especially since I have a baby coming, I will be just about where they were at my age. And furthermore, seeing them have to go through that reflection with their parents is odd. My dad, maybe, dealt with it a bit differently. My Poppa died 10 years ago this August. And my dad seemed to accept the realities of that quite fast externally - even if internally it took a great deal longer. It must have been different with his mother, as he was only a tad older than I am now when she passed. My point there, I guess, is that I am starting to wonder if I should begin that treacherous mosey down the trail of reality too. The one where I start to realize that life's troublesome characteristic of being finite will ultimately apply to everyone - no matter how much I love them.

My house is filled with boxes. I suppose that's equal parts Small Apartment and Toll to the Moving Gods. Though, as an atheist, I shudder to imagine any god, albeit one so horrible. But, I am very excited about starting anew. I think it's irresponsible to say that... and you can't really start a new life - but I like the direction here. I am still scared about many things... but Flagstaff is a great ointment to me.

I think I have Carpal Tunnel. Most people don't really think about it... but my first grad schooling experience was really a glamorous ruse. It was 2 years of typing school disguised as and MFA. Alas, now my hands ache mightily with each stroke of the keys. Additionally, I am convinced that, equally, the experience ruined my once perfect eyes. I struggle to read street signs now that are mere feet away. Why bring it up, because I like to complain. And if I can't voice complaints unflinchingly through Hester, then what the hell good is spinning around?

Final thought for now: I am incredibly tempted... more and more... to chuck everything and go to bike school. I think maybe I have amplified the poetics of the life of a bike mechanic a bit... but it's sure hard to resist. Bikes don't talk back - or, at least, when they do, there is a beauty to it. Definitely. It's like being a surgeon without all the pretense and poo poo.

Maybe not.


Let's hear it for chimps,


Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Get out of that bag...

I am often prone to grandiosity.  I used big words.  I throw pomp around like confetti at one of those war parades.  The big ones when sailors kiss random women.  But I picture better than that. 

I like to think of myself like the noble warrior poet standing majestically on a hillside.  I came to conquer.  I came to fight for something bigger than myself.

When we moved to Tucson three years ago, we were refugees.  We lived in a cesspool of greed and superficiality.  We felt like we were losing our friends, our sanity, our very selves.  We were suffocating in piles of trash.  We were beginning to stink the stench of wasted dreams and clawed backs.  Life was bleak.

We were honest.  We told ourselves that we were going to give it a shot.  We were desperate for real people with real lives.  And, lo and behold, we struck gold.  We have met so many wonderful people here, and they have changed our lives for the better.  We found our passions.  We started a new chase for dreams.  The stench rolled away from us.

Tucson is a wonderful place.  There are many great people and several really good places.  To be honest, I'm not sure better Mexican food exists in Arizona.  (Northern New Mexico is still mecca.)  We love Tucson with a very special part of our heart.

As you know, we are expecting a new addition to our family.  This has put many things into focus and really made us think about the future.  We are not just 'us' anymore.  We are 'Us.'  And that means that we have to make decisions based on providing the best we can provide for our little one.  Alas, we have realized, with heavy heart, that Tucson is no longer best.

We will be moving "up the hill" to Flagstaff on July 26th.  We have some opportunities there, and one of them is free rent for a year or so.  That is an offer that can hardly be beat.

We will miss seeing all of you, but we will have an extra room.  (Hint-hint)

One never knows what the future holds, but for now, this is the path.

Not much else to say about that.

More to come,

Thursday, July 10, 2008

From my Thesis Play at UCLA

I've edited a bit so as to keep the blog in the PG13 range. Why, you may ask, am I posting this. No reason specifically. I have been rediscovering my voice as a writer lately. It really races around and it's hard to capture. I am realizing that I have to stay on top of it and ride it right through the twists and turns of life.

I was looking back over a lot of my writing, and I cringed a thousand times. More. I have one play that I wrote in undergrad, long before I had and "training" as a writer. To this day, it still gets the best reaction. People really like it. My friend Rodney jokes that using his monologue (from this play) in his UCLA audition was what got him into the MFA Acting program. But reading it again, now that it's close to 10 years old, I can't stand to look at it. And it's like that for almost everything I write.

A friend of a friend, someone that I have butted heads with quite a bit, also aspires to write. Her medium of choice is the screen. No comment. She once asked me, though, to elaborate my writing "process." I didn't know what to tell her except that I sat down and stared at the flashing cursor until my characters started to talk. It's that organic for me. And maybe that's why I can' t really go back. There is something surreal about seeing through time. Seeing back into that soul that can never really exist again. And if you know me, really know me, you know that I hate all that hippie-dippy crap... but it's really true hear. Writers take little pieces of themselves and slap them down on the paper. We bare a lot for the hopeful enrichment of others... and that can be a very metamorphic process.

Maybe I'm totally full of shit, though. I don't know. But I am reminded of the tombstone of our dearly departed Keats, which reads, "Here lies one whose name was writ in water." F**kin' A, Johnny. F**kin' A.

Without further ado - a little ditty from my thesis play American God.  (Which I titled before I knew of the book by Neil Gaiman.  But that title has a plural.)  I won't tell you anything about it.  Except this: His dialect isn't southern or Texan or any such thing - so don't try to read it that way.


A day's coming when the world will notice the little man in the corner scratchin' the skin from his arm.  They gonna ask what he's doin'.  An' he's gonna say that he's tryin' to change the way he was born.   He's tryin' to look like they look.  All his second-hand jeans got holes in the knees from one too many days carryin' the man on his back.  Carryin' him high up in the buildings he built for them so they could drop that axe down on his head.  An' there's a smile on their face when they say they don't need him no more.  A big fat toothy smile.  But what they really sayin' is that the planet called Earth be a whole lot better if he just climbed up real, real high and fell into space.

An' they'll grab his hand and say stop scratchin'.  But he ain't gonna stop.  Until all that skin is gone.  Maybe his guts will make them less sick than his skin.

An' they say, "How come if you so stepped on, you ain't cryin?"  An' he doesn't say nothin' 'cause if they don't understand without askin' they ain't never gonna know.  They don't know.  He just keeps his head real high all the time even when they're yellin' and screamin' real loud...  that's all he's got.  They don't understand that he's got more pride in his little pinky than they've got anywhere... anywhere.

An' they say that if he cry, if he cry people gonna remember the hurtin'.  People gonna notice and say to take care of that man.  Take care of them that takin' care of us.  An' they twist up their faces confused when he says that he doesn't want them to see how much they hurtin' him 'cause that just makes him weak and when he's weak they jus' keep steppin'.

And' they say somethin' like if they step on him and step on him and step on him, then people gonna start feelin' sorry and feelin' sorry and like that.  An' he stops them an' yells in their face an' says there ain't nothin' people should feel sorry for.  He says, "I'm a man and I'm strong and I'm proud and f**k you if you don't see it.  An' f**k you if you don't see it, an' f**k you if you don't see it."  An' on like that.  'Cause he's got a pride inside of him so big it won't never break.  An' he's goes back to scratchin' 'cause at least they see that.


Ugh.  Hard for me to read that... I know this reflection is important, but it's hard.

Enjoying my quaff,


Monday, June 30, 2008


I'm still flying. And up here, there is no feeling but greatness. I am still amazed by the things that were left on the ground. Still shocked by the freedom of an unshakable smile. Days turned into nights turned into days and I just floated.

Things have been rough for me lately. Sometimes, when I'm left alone for long enough, I start to sink pretty low. Maybe that's a surprise to some, as I definitely don't talk about it. And, from the time of the death of my father-in-law to the disappointment in certain once-desired jobs to a summer of meager prospects and an ever-ringing debt collector - That low was taking its toll. It seeps. It slithers. It rolls on and on until its deep into me.

This time last week, there was only minor anticipation of a terrific birthday party that had been planned in my honor. I was thrilled that people were actually going to come and spend the better part of an entire day with me. I started working that around for day and had just begun to highball that idea when I was suddenly lifted up and up and up. One second. Okay, one night. Okay, one night and six pee sticks. Wham! Life changes.

Gone, now, is the low.

On clouds have I skipped for days now. Right through a terrific weekend of events, which was cloaked in a milieu of double celebration. Right through sharing our news to shouts of joy, tears of joy, laughter of joy, and even some disappointment - of joy. And I capped it all off with my birthday present to myself (which could never match Tracey's present)- a new tattoo. (That sound was the collective cringe of my parents.)

So, needless to say, the past week has been an amazing journey. Actually, it is but the start of the path. But really, I have been flying on adrenaline for a week and sleeping very little. So I was not surprised by, nor did I fight, the long and restful sleep I have engaged in all day. I have only seen a small bit the day - and I'm okay with that.

My eyes are wide open now to things I never thought about. I held a 5-pack of jumpers for an infant at Babies-R-Us and nearly wept. I am terrified in ways I didn't even know existed... but I am reassured constantly by loving voices assuring me that I'm going to do great. I always knew that I had the tools... that's apparent for a long time. But, if I'm being honest, I never imagined that I'd have the heart to be a father. Amazingly enough, it's there. I don't know where it came from, but it's there. It's guiding me now.

Other News: (In which I try to not be one of those people that ONLY talks about their child)

My new play is moving right along. There have been blogs in my past that were stunningly well written. These are not they. Alas, my creative energy is being spent elsewhere, and I'm enjoying it. I'm doing my MFA proud.

Spain won the Euro 2008 Tourney. I was thrilled for them. I was rooting for Germany originally - but I love an underdog. Especially when they come out of nowhere. (I now REALLY get that - oops, I talked about it).

Farewell for now.

Dreaming of Old Main,


My baby's future wardrobe.

Friday, June 27, 2008

On happiness.

Here is some evidence of my fumbling attempts at photography. Actually, our little Canon point and shoot really impresses me sometimes.

The first sunset on the day I found out that I'm going to be a father. This is why I'll always love the Sonoran Desert.

Thank you to everyone who has sent blessings and wishes. This have been the most incredible birthday gift I have ever received. It's weird, but such a small thing has changed me immeasurably. No matter what. I can feel that.

Peace to you all,


Thursday, June 26, 2008

I love it.

Check it out. Bertrand Russell once said, "[We] are born ignorant, not stupid. [We] are made stupid by education."


Oh, this is a good week...

Monday: I turned 30 years old. I am excited for what's to come. The day was great and I just detached from everything and did my own thing all day.

Tuesday: One of my tutoring students signed up for another two weeks. I also got two more interested parents. This is going quite well.

Wednesday: Deutschland defeated the Turks. First monsoon rolls into Tucson with a very impressive light show. Something else comes up that totally blows our minds.

Thursday: Good morning friends and family. Please join us in celebration. Tracey is 11 weeks pregnant with our first child!!!!!! Blessings abound. We love you all...

Unable to stop smiling,

Jed and Tracey (+1)

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Since it was on my mind...

I just saw the move "Be Kind, Rewind." If you don't know it, it features Jack Black and Mos Def. Danny Glover is in there too. He needs new dentures... he can hardly speak anymore.

Anyway, I am oft on a rant about creativity these days. This, most of you know. This movie really got me thinking, though. If you've heard of this movie at all, you know that it's about a video store clerk and his buddy that have to film some famous movies like Ghostbusters and Rush Hour 2, because the buddy (Jack Black) became magnetized in an accident and erased all of the videos.

Underneath all of this, though, is a great story about holding onto our past and using our creative intellects to make things a little better. I could go on, but won't. It's a great movie and you should see it. Now on to my theme...

I am stricken lately by how few opportunities we have to create. Sure, there are those of us that work in creative endeavors, but it seems to me that, once upon a time, we all had little opportunities, at least. Perhaps it has been a steady decline into the bland and ordinary. And though I hate to sound so old fashioned - I have to, in part, blame the dilution of family interaction. Surely, this is not on the whole, but in large part, families are simply roommates these days. I picture days when families would sit around the dinner table and talk about their day. (As a teacher, I KNOW this isn't happening anymore. Many kids aren't even accountable to their parents anymore.) But I digress... After the meal, perhaps, they would retire to the living room to read or maybe listen, together, to a radio program. This inevitably was replaced by television, but I still remember times in my 1980's youth of sitting together with my family and watching gems like The Cosby Show and Cheers. Sure, maybe less imagination was needed, but the time and intent was the same.

I find myself wishing, quite often, that many of my students could have the family support and experiences that my brother and I were raised with. I can recall countless evenings spent with large family groups and talking about a wide variety of things. One can surely see the power of such interactions, since for us, it was not an everyday occurrence. Just having those moments as family passed through (or on our visits to them) made a huge impact on me. I remember my Auntie Paul and Auntie Carol swinging through a few times a year and regaling us with stories of family and their adventures together in extra-terrestrials and rocks and anything else that seemed to pop onto the table. We had some modern trappings. We had much more primitive video games and VCR's and stereos... but they never seemed to compare to hearing our grandfather talk of 1930's New Mexico. Or listening to our Uncle Eric and our father speak of Viet Nam or cowboy-ing around the southwest.

Flash forward. Today kids have cell phones and iPods and video games that are almost as real as real life. I still have faith, though, that moments like those can win out in the end. Maybe I am naive and maybe I'm just being a bit nostalgic, but is life that damned scary that we need constant escape? Maybe so. And I guess, in a round-about way, that is my point.

There was a time when the simple act of writing a letter to a loved one was all the escape one needed. And maybe the gentle and intricate act of perfecting the pen strokes - a sublime personal calligraphy - provided a tiny bit of creative release that made things okay again. Maybe, too, it was the venting of things we held inside. Whatever... we had communities. We experienced things together. I don't know if that's true anymore. Before cell phones, was the desire really there to talk to anyone and everyone while driving/walking/jogging/biking/shopping/gardening? I don't think it was. So has the capability produced the need? Is it an addiction?

An alternate theory.

"Be Kind, Rewind," at its heart, is the story of a community re-discovering why it loved being a community. Perhaps we have come to a point where we need constant stimulation and connection because constant stimulation and connection have actually separated us from our lives. Maybe our subconscious brains are screaming for something simpler... something real. Maybe we are yearning to re-discover our own communities.

Did anyone follow that?

Disgruntled by cherry pits,


(These are a couple of photos from my internet, cell phone free youth. I look miserable, don't I? Also, my mom made me the sweats I was wearing in the first picture... and I was totally satisfied. God, I feel like that curmudgeonly old man Dana Carvey used to play on SNL)

Monday, June 23, 2008

Musings from my 31st Birthday - On which I turn 30.

Greetings fellow travelers of life,

Today finds me in good spirits and overall harmony with most things. I wanted to send along a brief couple of notes on this momentous day. My new play, El Traje (whose title is rapidly speeding to ill favor) is about 1/4 way done. Writing plays is very hard work, especially if you do it right. (And let's not go there.)

Musing #1:

Today, on my way home from the YMCA, I encountered a homeless woman at the Ronstadt Center. (Downtown Bus Depot for you outta towners.) She was, judging from her constant angry chattering of "Shut your goddamn mouth," quite insane. "So what yer telling us, Jed, is that there was a crazy homeless person at the bus station? Why not point out sand on a beach." Relax faithful readers, the Jed abides.

What made me take note was that this lady was smoking (and imbibing a strange yellow liquid) for two. That's right folks, she was preggers, to use the vernacular. Now, I'm sure this isn't the first instance of a transient pregnancy. Neither is it likely that this is the first pregnancy thrust upon the mentally ill. Both? Not sure. But for me.... this is a first. My mind instantly went to the conception for some reason, and I was instantly brought down. I won't lead you on the detailed journey my hive-brain took me on, but let's just say foul play is likely. I'm not sure what statement I am trying to make by writing about this, but man, if that weren't some crazy cup-o-tea.

Musing #2:

Let's have a moment of silence for George Carlin. I was not a fan of all of his stuff, but he did make me laugh mightily on more than one occasion. Begin....

This loss put an unfortunately dark cap on a rant of late. Here was a man that broke convention so hard that they arrested him and tried to silence him. That's a hero, if you ask me. A real soldier for the 1st. May The Dude, like you know, tie his celestial room together... or something.

Oh, the rant? Thanks for asking. Who's going to replace Carlin. If you think about it, HUGE names in comedy can fit in one hand. Who is the next big comedy legend. Dane Cook? Only one problem I see there... He's not funny and that's a kinda big pre-requisite for being a comedian. Plus, there is a lot of evidence that he steals all of his s**t anyway... and that just makes him a damned ninny.

I guess what has bothered me of late is the overwhelming lack of talent that gets swirled out of media outlets everywhere we turn. Maybe this is a normal thing that happens when you turn a certain corner in age, but f**k mang, I ain't that sodding old. I'm young, in fact. But we live in an era where you can literally become famous for doing nothing. Paris Hilton, Nicole RICHie, anyone from reality television... you know the drill. Okay, so they did SOMETHING. They are media whores. They make total asses of themselves and lurk around to get on TMZ. Got it. But where is the talent? Where is the passion for a craft? Notice: You rarely see talented actors or musicians on tabloid shows. Why? Because their talent keeps them famous. If you don't have that, knock Suge Knight out and you're there baby.

Musing #3:

I just read something (I don't remember all of it) that said something about, um, how kids today don't actually read. Or something. This thing I was reading, said something about how, like, because of tests and massive information and stuff, you know on the internet... that the best they can usually do is to skim. Something like that. I didn't really read it all.

That's scary. Or something.

Musing #4:

I do try to be positive gentle readers. My students call me Negative Nancy. They are usually right. We live in an exceptionally cynical world, though. Picture if you will a man walking down the street. He's a younger fellow. He has on purple shoes and turquoise sweat pants. Say, is that a wolf t-shirt? Sure is... and a nice one too. A 'Who Farted' trucker cap? Man, this dude is fly. Let's say also that he has a huge, and I mean climactic, smile on his face. And that's that. We drive on by.

But be honest... what was your initial thought of that man? Was it that he was just a really happy guy with a unique and self-affirming sense of style? Was it?

No. You, like most people, probably thought that there was something wrong with him. Because the simple fact is that most of us can't imagine being that true and free.

I make this point to qualify that I am not alone. That's important.

Musing #5:

(Born out of Musing #4)

At the Sonoran Desert Museum here in Tucson, they have something called Summer Saturday Nights. You get into the museum for cheap and most of the animals are more active. They also open up a restaurant called the Ocotillo Cafe, and it is awesome. Two prickly pear margaritas, in case you are wondering, is enough to really put a grin on yer face. For a while.

People are so effing stupid I can't stand it. There was this whole family walking around with L.E.D. flashlights (the really bright kind) and shining them into the enclosures. Ostensibly to see the animals better. I wanted to grab the light away from one particularly s**tty little s**t and shine it into his eyes. Tracey thought it wasn't a good idea. I got her point. They were far too stupid to grasp my meaning.

But, it was pretty out there and I took some neat fotos.

Musing #6:

I am going to try, very diligently, to take one photograph of myself each day for the next year.

That's about all I have to share today... kinda muddled, I know. Next time will be better.

Perplexed by shower curtains,


Friday, June 20, 2008

Here. Feed your brain.

Here are some things I have seen and enjoy. Let's start a little discussion about them. (Read: Let's all prove we can actually use this medium for communication.) I am busy writing on my new play El Traje. Too busy to write here.

Chris Jordan - He gets a bit preachy but his art is cool.

Nathan Myhrvold -Can you have too much money? Yes. But it sure looks fun. (Hopefully we could all be more modest than this blowhole.)

Clifford Stoll - This guy inspires me when I understand him.

Brains need exercise too!

Photography by Brent Stirton - Not for the weak. Beauty is not always pretty.

BATTLESNAKE! -My birthday is Monday and I wear XXL.

Visual Literacy - Powerful teaching.

"High"dea - 'Nuff said.

Last but certainly not least. (Or really, last either... I know a lot of cool websites.)

Your new religion.

Ta ta for now faithful readers.

PETA sucks,


Thursday, June 19, 2008

Damien? Nay. Damian.

So, I recently had a bit of an argument with a chap about a matter of great importance to me.  I wear my Bob Marley shirt quite frequently and have a bumper sticker on my car to boot.  This guy said something about how Bob Marley would be ashamed if he heard the music his sons were making and that they are poorly representing the Marley name.  To this, I replied, "You're a dildo."

Proof is here.

I DARE you to watch it and not move.  I DARE you.

Brown Soup: Where Has Our Creativity Gone

Hester is a good ol' gal.  

(If you haven't been paying attention, Hester is this blog.  You may ask, "Why is Hester female when you are so overwhelmingly masculine?"  Such questions are really superfluous.  One might be better rewarded by asking why all unicorns are hollow.  Seriously, folks, roll with me)

Ehemm.  Hester is a good ol' gal.  She is here for me when others are simply ready to hit the mute button.  Truth is, sometimes I have tendency to drone on about this or that.  My didgeridoo wishes it could drone so long and so well.  Many people just aren't ready for the blast of atomic intellect that oft flies fast and loose from these lips.  And, really, that's okay.  

On my walk this morning (and really in my subsequent shower) I was thinking of a terrifying fact.  I wondered the fate of our dear creativity.  Is it gone?  If not, is it dying?  Has it run off with other forgotten rebels like Jim Workethic?  Florence Compassion?  Bob Tolerance?  I am unsure.  

Let me back up a bit.  As I was walking this morning, and really on most mornings, I am generally accompanied by several neighbors as we all meander around in the only cool air we are likely to have and rejoice that we have been granted another day.  We do not speak, save the cursory "G'Morning" and we rarely look at each other.  Alas, this is not my point.  Each person has a right to that constitutional, as for many of us it provides catharsis.  Nay, my example shall be far more specific.

The lady walking up ahead of me for several blocks seemed to have a very unfortunate deformity in which her right arm jagged upward at a severe angle and seemed glued to her ear.  How awful, I thought.  My friend Ray was born with only one arm and I know the struggles he has had because of it.  Still, it's very courageous of her to be out like this.  Why, we could all learn something from her spirit and her dedication to be seen as a regular person.  Damned inspiring, this one.  I wish my students could muster just one ounce of the gumption that - wait now... what's this?  Oh.  Sound Effect: Deflating balloon.  She's talking on her fucking cell phone?  At 5:30?  On a beautiful walk?  

My brother has a hypothesis that might fit here.  He believes that many people (and in his particularly vehement rants, sorority girls) are incapable of being alone.  Not necessarily afraid of the feeling of loneliness... just... incapable.  They don't know what to do with themselves.

I saw The Incredible Hulk this past weekend.  It's great.  It's totally action packed and full of great puns - the whole nine.  It also does every single bit of thinking for you.  Which is AWESOME!  Or, is it?  On my drive home from seeing the movie alone (ALONE), I remembered back to my childhood and the old Hulk television serious with Bill Bixby and Lou Ferigno. (Sp?)  It was f**king horrible.  The editing was lousy, the plots were laughable, the effects were ludicrous.  However.... I did not know that at the time.  These revelations have come but recently with the injection of over-stimulated frontal lobe and an over-priced MFA.  As a child, that show was as incredible as the Hulk's moniker implies.  

Let's get on with it.  There was a time, not so long ago, when we all had to imagine things.  The old Hulk t.v. show was awesome because my imagination was raging (much like the Colorado river used to rage, before we built those monsterous dams to stifle her - Side Rant).  My imagination was steroid for the lame effects and terrible writing.  Now, with this and many other  new movies, anything can be shown to us.  Right there for our little orbs to soak up.  And sure, there are benefits to that.  It does make things a damn sight more interesting.  Sometimes.  But as I thought about this all, I really started to worry.   Maybe today's generation, and those to come, don't know how to imagine anymore.  Do they daydream?  Do they work up silly scenarios for nothing more than amusement?  Can they?  

If a middle-aged woman can't enhance her walking experience solely with the thoughts her head can whip up, can our kids?  


Seriously.  These days, we have absolutely ZERO time to teach.  And what's more... if it's not on the test, it is simply not important.  I have heard those words VERBATIM.  That's scary.  We are so busy trying to save our own asses that we are leaving theirs completely bare.  And when we do take the time to really dig in and buck the system, it's all about logic and critical thought.  The arts are typically considered to be fillers.  And if you ask an administrator, they'll give you the standard response, sure.  They know all the right things to say.  "The Arts are very important."  Ask them, though, if they know why.  I could rant for a decade about this, but I will not.  Instead, I'll let Ken Robinson do it.  He's WAAAY better at it anyway.  So, take some time and watch this.

That picture up there represents my feelings on the matter.  That's what I saw on my walk.  

We live in profoundly cynical world, and sometimes we just need beauty and imagination for the sake of beauty and imagination.  I saw a homeless man once as I drove home after a particularly awful day at Compass.  He was on his knees and he had is arms raised to the sky.  I immediately tuned my brain to scenarios of misery.  Of mental illness and the way we don't care and push people aside.  How awful a life that man leads, I thought.  What a miserable f**king wretch.  I arrived home shortly thereafter and as I turned away from my car, my eyes were really opened.   The sun was setting and painting the sky with infinite hope.  Colors upon colors upon the salvation of humankind blending perfectly with the Earth.  I could hear the collective groan of universal release.  I was one with everything and still so small.  Really... It was fresh panties.  

I judged that man too soon.  I had complicated my lives.  We all complicate our lives.  We don't see what's around us.  And if I'm speaking out of turn and you DO... then help someone else to see it too.>

Goddamn the batteries,


Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Another post?

Well, yes... but a small one. I found this and wanted to give the link to all of my bike-o-phile friends. It's a good one.

O Black Nails On Mine Finger!

My blog is now black.
My heart bleeds black
Like the way the TV sucks my soul
I am alone
You are putty in my misery
Nails in your back
This is all there is,
Muddy Puddles
Muddy Filthy silt of my brain
My blog is now black

... If you're new here, you might be thinking - Oh, great!  Another tortured artist with brilliance suppressed.  Please do not be alarmed.  This is in jest.  An ode, as it were, to some fine people I have known who seem to merely rally under a darker banner than most.  I just like the way the blog looks in black - I was trying to be funny.  Please don't call a suicide interventionist.

In the spirit of that for which my blog, henceforth known as Hester, allow me to regale you with some of my real, inspired, well-though poetry.

(Clearing throat)

Roses are brown,
Violets are a dingy grey,
I suck at gardening.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Oderint Dum Metuant

I sat there and wondered what that feeling was that bubbled itself deep from my gut and morphed into a great ball of disgust and fear.  I looked to my left to see myself.  Sitting there, in a plush chair I don't deserve, insect legs, waving back and saying, "Hola, I am the Sun God."  I look to my left to see Thompson, shrugging, just like me.  I look to my left to see a great big Kit Kat bar with a fantastic mustache.  "That's epic lip hair, cat."  And he says, "You look like my cousing Leonard."  I look to my left to see my right.

See, I once met this man on my way to Cardiff.  His eyes were closed.  I pleaded with him to open his eyes and see the beauty that surrounded him.  He tells me that his life walked out the door with the cable guy. "She," he said, "was beautiful."  I could tell that he didn't want to ruin that.  One last perfect image.  Somewhere in his throat was a  bubble just like mine.  I reached down and pulled a soiled flower from the wet sod beneath my feet.  I gripped it in my hand as tightly as I could.  My hand began to disappear.  It was hard to hold on.  I reached up with my other hand and pried open his heavy lids.  I wanted to show him. "Look at this.  Remember her in these."  But as they unsealed themselves... they became ears.  And I realized that I'd ruined it.  The way he didn't want it ruined.  But back there in my chair my bubble turned to sorrow.

Pure.  Unadulterated.  "Change is always there."  A voice from behind me.  Behind me is my past. 

(Here I have omitted some things.  This was writing regarding concrete issues.  At the time, I worked at a wonderful school teaching amazing things to awesome kids.  Unfortunately, the school was run by a complete megalomaniac.  Most of this post was in regards to that.  It was a painful time.  So much potential but so little faith from those that could really make it happen. )

I miss simplicity in all things.  An orange peel smells like orange.  I wish it was always like that.

The wrong turns, the stumbles, the falls....

I am about to turn 30 years old in a week.  People are telling me that I am going to freak out.  So far, I have not.  I'm not sure I will.  30 is still just a blip on the radar of existence, isn't it?  After all, I have much left to achieve.  I realize that I have enjoyed blogging in the past, but I take a different approach.  I have noticed that much of the internet-generation considers this a place to write about very personal things.   I guess I don't avoid that, but I am a poet in my dreams.  Thus, my musings tend to take a bit of a creative slant.  I am totally okay with that.  I am hoping to get this out to people and whatnot... maybe you can read it and find something to laugh at.  Or something to ponder.  Maybe you can just print them out and use them as kindling... hey, as long as you read them, I am happy.  I have a motivation issue.  I may go long periods with nothing and then a few big posts in a row.  I have not written seriously since 2004 and now I have 3 plays in the works.  Typical of me.  Enjoy and feel free to comment and tell me I am totally full of it.  I appreciate friendly discourse.

Here (Oderint Dum Metuant) is an old blog from a couple of years ago.  I really liked it then, and think it still means a lot to me.  

Hasta luego,