Sunday, June 29, 2008

Promises and 12 Hour Drives

Sometimes, being a traveler is nice. Sometimes, like driving through thunderstorms with a ten year old, a seven year old, and a wife who believes that more than five hours of driving deserves a spa treatment, being a traveler sucks.

My day started the same way most of them do, I woke up, and faced being in a different place, and it was a shock to my system, I had been in such a comfortable warm place with mountains and blue skies and steel towers and sailboats, and voila, 12 hours of driving.

I missed several things today, the blur of the highway makes that a possibility, I missed a few minutes, a few chances, and just a word or two - but I did not mean too. I have to catch up with this later, my eyes feel like lead, my legs are just now shaking off the 800 or so miles, and I think I will sleep for a little while before revisiting...

Wow - what a difference a day makes - slipping from a daydream to a good morning filled with bumpy, yucky feelings (please accept yucky as the best adjective I can muster right now) - and a day of convincing someone that they are more to the universe than they know - that sometimes they just need to look at the silver lining, move forward, and breathe...deeply, slowly, and with the sense that this might be the last word muttered or last smile streched across that face.

I don't have much to say - I just am somewhat drained - my brain hurts, my heart is somewhat tired, my willingness to help is reaching critical mass, and my ability to be there is non existant - I can't be a cheerleader from so long a distance - there are too many fences - even with this age of technology. I can be supportive, and help as much as words can - but for the traveler, sometimes, the distance is just too far to make the same difference as a pat on the back, a walk for a cup of coffee, and some smiley face cookies at the bakery.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Energy Juggling.

First, let me say that my life has a large number of jokes - I take life and try and compact it into a series of funny but unfortunate events, and then look at them as if someone else was living them - but now, today, yesterday, and for the future - I can't think of anything that I would ever want to mold into a joke less than where I am now. I am in the most honest and most difficult time I have ever lived - I spend my time looking for more time to spend - and really, I should get more credit than I am typically given - this is not a joke, a game, a simple thing that I am doing - it is not a failure, it is not a shortcoming, it is not a distraction, and will never be a joke. Us travelers have to remind ourselves sometimes that as we climb to new heights, the fall only gets more painful - and the summit is still out of reach.

We all have to juggle sometimes. We have to throw six or seven or eight or fourteen different things in the air, and have to hope that we can keep up with the hand movements and the eye coordination and the colorful things that we balance precariously in the air - just long enough to grasp each one for a short amount of time.

I was very energetic today - why? Not really sure, but I have a pretty good idea of why - the sky was as blue as I have ever seen it in Washington State, the wind was no longer cold and brisk - but actually comforting, the company was tired but happy, and the work was simple and redeeming - that is why.

I also received a nice note this morning - that I sit with right now, and read through, and have put it into context with another blog (somewhat depressing and needy, but completely understandable) that I just read written by someone I follow very closely. Promises - hmmmm - I think promises are a little over-rated, especially where I am standing right now. I prefer respect and reflection - I can't promise anything to anyone - I can respect them, respect the time, the beauty, the space, the place where we are, and will always look at this time as cherished, loved, and open time. I have not been in this good place for a long time. I am now. I deal with those emotions of worrying about what is going to be - but frankly, I don't know - and I don't think anybody else really does either - what I do know is that I have right now.

I can't look that far ahead. The conclusions that we all draw after hours and hours of struggling with things really don't solve anything - we generally are where we are, and things are what they are, and we don't know what we don't know -

I trust, I believe, I hope, I love, and I dream as well about things - and I am put at risk for all of that - it is an equal and opposite reaction - overwhelming, foreboding, telling, secretive, and challenging at times - but those times are not for me to predict, right now is for me to live and enjoy and experience.

I don't know where I am going with this. In my mind, there is never really an end to anything that we feel - there are changes, there are behavior modifications, there are maturations, but there is no end until we stop breathing - so I, for now, want to walk the streets of Edmonds, and Juggle with a cadence in my head, and a rythm in my heart, and the sweet taste of cakes on my lips.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Bethesda Simple...

There are a few things in life that we all realize are simple...some puzzles that they design for three year olds are simple, sometimes, tying a clip on tie is simple, even getting to the point in a conversation is drastically simple.

Bethesda is a small enclave for rich people inside the beltway, and a community designed for those folks who can afford to forget about the rest of the world. It is full of diplomats, inherited money, some hard working folks who live in the rent controlled area (one block of two bedroom apartments that house the nanny's, housekeepers, and yard workers of the residents), and the rest are just oblivious folks that are not really sure what simple is - except as an outsider, and a traveller, I see simple. Simple gluttony with a touch of pure lust, mix that in with some jealousy, and voila! We have Bethesda...

My night started at a bar that was designed for cheese dicks who compared their golf swings - I mean right straight down to where their Golf Pro (who is kind of like the Oprah of how to stick your ass so that your gut does not get in the way of your arms) and they actually were in a bar swinging their arms with fake clubs and talking about their handicaps - well, try not living in a glass ball that only gets shaken up when they discover that their wives have been fucking the mexican sheetrock guy because they just wanted to be held harder than you hold your golf club...

I am rambling - I dont know why this town disgusts me so much, other than to say that reality is a simple thing. You accept what is, you live with what you have, and why disguise that between fake tits, a huge mortgage, and a husband who is twenty years older than you and totes you around like a cheap frustration is overwhelming - people are sometimes put off by my honesty - both emotionally and all other ways - but honesty sometimes will get you around those late nights when you look in the mirror and there is no one there to understand - I have to be perfectly honest with myself - granted, if I could afford some of the things that I see in these plastic towns, I would have - sure I would love to have a convertible Mercedes to tool around town in, and I always thought it would be nice to own a Rolex (I hate wearing watches because they remind me of time - and when push comes to shove, that's the only thing I can really lose, is time). I never really thought it that important to have the best clothes, the most expensive girlfriend, the biggest party, or the most free time. These people seem to compete and thrive on these victories amongst themselves - it is an odd world for me. I don't know how to function in this world - I am too honest, too straightforward, and too damn proud to let myself become so numb to my own feelings that I can't see through the bullshit, and touch reality when I need to touch reality...

Speaking of reality, I had a surprise similar to that Christmas morning rush we all had as children. One simple minute of time, or maybe a few more, but they were good. Most of all, I dont quite understand why or what I have done to deserve an ounce of what I have received - I am nothing special, I am fat, lazy, tired, and sometimes just a pill popping freak - and I receive warmth, compassion, and yes, even love, and I still do not understand why - I am not going to shoot myself in the foot, but I still don't understand why she picked me - but she did, and I picked her, and that's where I am - I know what I feel, I don't understand why she feels what she does - but perhaps it goes back to simple honesty...I am, at least, that.

Until next time,


Wednesday, June 18, 2008


I am not good with filters. Oil changes require filters, swimming pools require filters, air conditioners require filters, hell - just about everything us humans sit down and invent requires some sort of filter that we deem makes things more refreshing, more clean, more honest, more open...

The traveller in me says 92% of the time I have to be in a Brave New World (to borrow shamelessly from Huxley) and that I can take a soma, and we can raise beautiful things and make them a part of this bigger picture that will temper them to a simpler, more sophisticated world. I say to hell with that...

To hell with not being able to dance when you need to dance.
To hell with not crying when you really need to just cry and feel that feeling for a few minutes.
To hell with not being able to say that you need to feel someone close to hold and love.
To hell with the people that think you are wierd because you say what is in your head.
To hell with things that pester or confuse you - figure it out.
To hell with simple time, there is no simple time, it is borrowed time.
To hell with accusations and definitions.
To hell with cold showers.
To hell with emptiness, fill it up.

I am in love. More so than I can remember ever being in love in my entire life - perhaps it is the sheer novelty of it all, but I suppose by now, the new car smell would have been worn off that impulse by now - it is simply put, that I feel. I feel the awkwardness of seeing a beautiful woman that I am not allowed to, or able to, or sometimes even willing to, be a part of - what do I feel - without all of those filters -

I feel alive.
I feel wanted.
I feel important.
I feel like I can give without recourse.
I feel sweet kisses are all that it takes.
I feel like coffee in the morning is a good time to walk.
I feel music touches me.
I feel writing a few words lights a fire that is hard to extinguish.
I feel soft green sweaters.
I feel a few minutes at a time when hours are not available.
I feel a loss, a gain, and a love.
I feel confused.
I feel challenged.
I feel open and honest and want to let her know that she is the diamond that I want to hold.
I feel stolen minutes are better than no minutes.
I feel simple gifts like a beer cap heart are better than gold.
I feel that a one person tent was never designed for one person.
I feel that washing hair is a treat.
I feel that wasted time together is much worse than wasted time alone.
I feel that filtering any feeling, any emotion, any pure, deep, warm, tingly thought is a waste of my time- I want her to know that I feel - that I feel her move, and breathe and love - and even though I am thousands of miles of away, that I am better because, for once in a long time - I FEEL.

Those words above are why filters should go away - I don't need to filter my thoughts or actions - I don't need to stifle what flame my somewhat middle-aged frame carries - what I need to do is burn away those filters, run the engine wide open, and make room for those pure, unadulterated, unfiltered feelings - and let her know when and what I am feeling- that is good, that is filtering at it's most perfect sense - always giving the purest thought and feeling, without worrying about it.

So, sorry, your notes were wonderful - and yes, I do speak in sexual innuendo at times - but that is what I was feeling at the time, and I meant every syllable of those words - because (if I have not clearly defined it above) that is what Rythm feels like to me.



Saturday, June 14, 2008

The Water Park and Avoiding the Inevitable...

We went to officially the world's worst water park today - the water tasted something like recycled urine, the way I imagine Kevin Costner had to feel as he recycled his urine to make fresh water to drink in the mega-flop Waterworld - the lazy river could have been compared to the Zambezi River, sans hippos in brightly colored bathing suits fresh off the racks at Walmarts Clearance Center. It was a fun time, it was hot, the water was refreshing, even if I was a little hesitant to have fun - I don't know why I was hesitant, but I went down a few of those water slides that pack your ass full of your bathing suit, swam in the giant toilet they call the "kiddy pool", and slept for an hour or two next to a lady that needed more spandex to cover her breasts than the latest modern art display by that guy who covers everything in fabric...(what the hell is his name?)

It, all in all, and in hindsight, was a fun time. I did buy a snorkel, flippers, and a mask, and proceeded to rename myself "Scuba Steve" and wandered around the park - I looked like a special person, I was just short of a helmet and one of those guides who would keep me from eating shiny things, like broken glass or beer caps. It was amazing that for just a few minutes, everyone laughed at my expense, but I thought it was pretty funny. My tight wad brother-in--law gave me grief about spending twenty-four bucks to have a little fun, but he too laughed at Scuba Steve as I walked around the park in my bright orange bathing suit and scuba gear...I have to leave this post for a while, but will get back to it...

Father's Day has come and gone, it is now the day after Father's Day - and I am knee deep in love, and waist deep in more love, and speaking of water parks, being cooled by the thoughts of everything that I love right now. It was a moonbeam on a rainy night to hear your voice tonight, to read your words, to close my eyes, and picture you on the couch curled up in a dimly lit room - to imagine myself there, or you here, just happy to have some ice cream in the fridge, some sleeping children in other rooms, and you and I together. That's what I am feeling right at this moment. I can smell your hair, I can feel the softness of your shoulders, I can see the light bounce gently off of your eyes. There are few things in the world that I remember the smell and taste and vision of - even fewer that I remember the feeling of - there are those things that we put replacement feelings in our brain's file cabinets - but I feel you - at night when I dream, I feel your legs wrapped in mine, I feel your shoulders nudge their way to quietly ask for space, I sense your tiny hands on my arms, and I wake up feeling it all - it is more than a dream, it is love that knows that it is important for me to hold those real feelings - the traveller has little opportunity to feel that very often, but falling asleep next to a pillow, and waking up knowing that I have had a dream that is no less gratifying than you next to me makes these hotel rooms worth it all.


I had

Friday, June 13, 2008


That's what we all do these days, that's what I occupy my time with- this is a lithograph by Van Gogh, and although he did not do too many of these types of commercial prints, he did some, and this one, albeit simple and crude, is my favorite. Pencil lines, and stark reality from a crazy man, probably more in touch with the reality of what he was looking at than most of us are every day. We get caught up in the digging, the work, the panacea that we all need to keep our thoughts away from those things that we really want to spend time on - that's digging.

I too am in love - I too am afraid that one day, I am going to end up being the hunched over shadow of a man walking away into the woods leaving some pretty girl standing underneath trees that have yet to bare their spring leaves. My biggest fear is that I am going to end up being the consumate digger - picking up a shovel, and slowly, and alone, going about the work that is at hand - one shovel full at a time to move the mountain, or make the water flow, or just dig because everything else to do is nothing that I really want to do anyway.
That's a pretty negative fear, I disguise it pretty well - the travel helps, bouncing from place to place, knowing that I am always on stage, always representing some higher authority and required to carry the smiles of a company with me - that's the shovel I have to pick up, and that, in itself helps me avoid the thoughts of the future - there is another row to plow, another hole to dig, and just that simple work keeps me away from what I am scared of.
I guess the beautiful thing about digging is that it leaves a mark - much like love - no matter what happens, and no matter where I am, I know that there is a mark on the earth somewhere from my love, that forever, the things I have done passionately and without question or concern are out of a deep sense that I am supposed to be there, and that this was supposed to happen. I will never forget or simply walk away - there is the possibility of the converse, that I will be the one in the light staring at a shadow that is heading away - and then, like I have done for years, I will pick up my shovel, and start digging again, burying those things that mean everything to me, and going about the things that help me cover them up one shovel full at a time.
I have a wife who is a stoic, strong, realistic person. I don't think it was always that way, but perhaps it was. Perhaps that is why I am here - my issues are too long winded to discuss, and they exist - but most of the time they deal with the extremes of everything - I like the extremes - that is where we were meant to live, not pushing the handle of some steel implement to make things go, not cover up what we feel, not bury what we know at some given point in time.
Late at night, this time of year, when it is still eighty degrees outside, I go on the patio, and I think about all of the digging I have done, and all of the love that I feel - I don't want to bury these and become the man above, I don't want to have to plow some new field just to cover up last year's dying crop. I want to get away from that, and I want to live, and love, openly and honestly - and have not for many years been able to live that way - and now that I am, I look at my favorite Van Gogh as a warning - and as a beacon - this is where I can go back to - and all I have to do is choose -
Not too many specifics in this one, other than to say that I know that I love and feel loved and that I share the same deep seeded fear that I may be left with a shovel and hole and have to start filling all over again.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008


Bentonville, North Carolina is a small town - and is famous for being the last real tactical offensive launched by the Confederate Army against Sherman as his armies rode across the south, leaving behind a path of flames and injured soldiers - 3,092 Confederate Soldiers died and just over 1,000 union troops died on the small battlefield - and that's where I am tonight, at a comfortable Hampton Inn, just miles from the battlefield, possibly sleeping over a site that may house the last resting place of some injured deserter, or an old hiding spot for a battle weary boy to young to shave, but old enough to handle the kick of an outdated Kentucky rifle...

It was a long drive - a very long drive to get here, six and a half hours, two kids in tow, each with their respective I-pod Shuffle - each singing a different tune, each as tone deaf as their mother - but still, they sang me to here, and that is fine. I love the sound of tone deaf singing from those that I love, unfortunately, one voice was missing tonight, and I was hoping for a flat version of "I feel it all", but no such luck...

The things we remember and don't remember are amazing to me - tonight, all I could think of were a pair of tiny, soft, beautiful hands. Simple hands - nothing fancy except the diamonds, no special sort of extraordinary nail painting, or not overly soft, just small simple olive hands that smell of lotion most of the time, and never hesitate to touch a shoulder, dry an eye, nurse a wound, pick up a child - or most importantly just hold my hand - and squeeze as if to say, "Let's just hold hands for a while, because my hands like to be held". That's basically what I thought about for the last three hours - wonderful strong hands.

Distance is a hard thing to cope with, fear is even more difficult. I think of those young boys off to war in Bentonville, knowing that they probably would not make it home, and what had they left behind - what were they missing - for them, they were a world away - and it is funny, although not faced with death or being maimed by some lead slug, I have that same fear and the same distance - I don't want that. I want to be closer - and that sick feeling of fear, and the dry taste of lonliness that will not allow you to stop wanting to have some cold water - it will not go away - those boys had each other - and of course the price they paid was much higher than the trivial feelings I am talking about, but when you don't have each other, and all you have is the distance and memories of and longings for hands, the emotion must be the same. Laying awake at night, empty thoughts during the day, weeks of convincing and reviving yourself that it's okay - it gets exhausting, but most of all, the fear that things are going to go away lingers all of the time, except for the time that you are together, except for the moments that you can hear a voice, except for those peaceful moments in sleep when you can dream of being close and smelling the scent of freshly washed skin and feel the heat of a tired companion.

That's three hours of driving for you - Happy Anniversary to my friend - I know I am not supposed to say that, but I want things to be right and good and full, and most of all I want her to know that she deserves the best anniversary anyone can provide....

Until next time,


Sunday, June 8, 2008

Accentuate the Positive...

Holy Shit - I mean really super dee dooper Holy Shit as Barney would say after a few nips of Peppermint Schnaps and a long day of spending hours on the set with those happy little ankle biters whose parents believe them to be the next Ricky Schroeder....

I am having one hell of a day - of a weekend, and I know that I am going to have one hell of a week ahead of me - the last thing I want to think about right now is ten hours in a car on Interstate 95 listening to my wife tell me why things are not perfect - even when they are as perfect as they could possibly be - that's fucking life folks - it is not perfect, and granted, we all take some time to wallow in our pity, but for Christ's sake, shake it off, enjoy the imperfect world you live in, try to make it better, and just shut your fucking mouth and enjoy it for a few minutes. Why does there always have to be some other reason that it is not right or it is not good enough or even it is too black or too white? As you can tell, I am losing my religion right now, and should probably go for a run, but unfortunately I can't feel my legs after helping my brother in law with his yard, and my head is spinning from an hour long debate on how we should get our ten year old son to take his first tablet form prescription -

Now tell me how crazy I am - someone, please - here is the situation - my son is in tears, he is tired, he is running a fever, and he has tried every way possible to take his pill (to no avail, Mom's method of disguising the powder inside in applesauce made him puke all over the kitchen) - so we took a break, and I went back in there with a tall glass of water, a pill, and a positive attitude - he had to swallow the pill, not pull it out of his mouth, and go - well, for some strange reason it worked - he swallowed the pill, and, not feeling very well, he said, " Dad, my stomach hurts, I can't go to Washington DC or my school party" - to which I responded - you have two more pills prior to that - and by that time, you may be feeling better - now here is the perfect example of what sends me off of the deep end - quickly and shortly, my son and I were both informed that (just like the bottle says) this is a ten day prescription and he has to take those pills three times a day for the next ten days - and since they are antibiotics, he has to take all of them - NO SHIT SHERLOCK - he is ten years old, he will focus on the party and the trip to DC, and will do what it takes - why work him up further by telling him he has to take thirty more pills, and not have him have something positive to focus on? I just can't fathom how anyone can think this way - and feel so strongly that this has to be communicated to the moron husband who apparently can't fucking read.

Someone tell me to accentuate the positive. There are too many out there for this to be bringing me down - but sometimes, I get sick of hearing why or how or when or maybe or if or who is keeping the world we live in from being the perfect world to live in - even with all of its simple and manageable imperfections - they are there, and to always live in fear of them or hanging under the gray cloud that most pessimist's disguise as honesty and realism, is just not the right way to think.

A Demain.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

The Bucket List...

I was touched by the ill rated Bucket List - it actually got me thinking about the experiences I have had, and those I have not had in my life - and those are the things that we carry on for, right? Getting so caught up in life, and the personal weaknesses that we bolster behind expensive suits and nice slacks seem to be unimportant when you think about being faced with the last time - I face the last time too much these days, but that is another story, I have come to grips with that, and the breathless anxiousness that it creates -

So, The Bucket List - I guess I should first start by telling you the things that I have done that would be in the list -

1. Go to a three day rock festival and love every second, every minute, every ounce of the atmosphere, the music, the people, and the rooming accomodations.

2. Get in touch with my feelings - not be afraid to pick a flower, press it, and save it - or if it is really special, give it away.

3. Get hit by a woman for pissing her off.

4. Spend a night as a homeless guy. Just a night - but it was an awakening experience.

5. Run on the Puget Sound with my best friend.

6. Reread or read the classics and discuss them.

7. Kiss the most beautiful woman and most beautiful girl in the same week.

8. Hike a mountain, a river, and see the beauty of the Pacific Northwest.

9. Fall in love.

10. Fall deeper in love.

11. Have beautiful well rounded confident children.

12. Instill a sense of wonder in those children.

13. Make over $100k per year.

14. Buy my first new car.

15. Did I mention fall deeper in love?

16. Take a bath in Rose Petals.

Hell, if I was to keep listing these things off, it would go on forever, there have been so many wonderful things in my life, and so many so recently that I would not give them away - but the bucket list is intended for things I want to do before the last time - so here we go:

1. Climb Mt. Rainier, Mt. Baker, within a two week period with my best friend.
2. Kayak the Columbia River and spend a week in the wilderness camping from the Kayak.
3. Have another child.
4. Go to Scandanavia, hike the fjords, and run the bridge between Denmark and Sweden.
5. Not have to worry about time.
6. Just for once, play in a high stakes poker game.
7. Cry in the arms of a beautiful woman, and hold a beautiful woman while she cries.
8. Drive a NASCAR race car.
9. Take my son to Europe to backpack for a month.
10. Walk my daughter down the aisle at her wedding.
11. Hold my grandchildren.
12. Live in the Pacific Northwest, the Desert, Maine, and inside of the green line in the Adirondacks.
13. Restore an old Victorian home.
14. Restore a Volkswagon Bug or Kharman Ghia.
15. Make love on a beach, a plane, a plateau, and a mountain.
16. Write a book.
17. Leave a positive legacy.
18. Go to Bali, and spend three weeks on a small private island.
19. Grow a pineapple.
20. Spend more time spending time, and not counting minutes.

That's twenty of them - there are more, but this is not as easy as I think it is- what do I really want to do - the most apparent things are the hardest ones to decide on, I want to be somewhere else today, and want to be there 100% - I mean, it is a pretty trivial thing, but coffee at Starbucks and a long walk to the park - that is right now the thing that I want, and is the hardest one of the things on my bucket list to have.