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,