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Showing posts from 2020

Yardwork Zen: Making Progress vs. Looking like Progress

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You take a few in-between moments to check social media,{current news/facebook rants/stats on Medium} to see if you're (still) relevant. It's readily-available dopamine. Over time, those stats equate to oxytocin synthesis if they continue to mount.
I check my business email regularly while I seek a paycheck; I'm online to find editing clients, pimp out my illustration skills, work out logistics for another art exhibit. Between moments I tend the yard. 
I'd do it anyway, but I'm compensated by a rent reduction and I am grateful. There's a lot of work that needs doing here. While the mower was out of commission, we received 2 weeks of rain and the grass got almost calf-high. I had to make several passes of incrementally closer shave to get it back to normal maintenance level. Some areas of the yard grew tall weeds, and these need to be taken back manually. I know there are boulders and stumps in those areas. And bees. I got stung twice this week. The poison ivy ras…

Patreon vs. Learning to Read - A Trifecta.

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I'm sinking in Blursday, y'all. I want to make the best use of my unemployed time; at the moment a lot of that is deprogramming from the last day job. I will be fresh and malleable by the time I find a new gig. I'm also trying to re-structure (because o-r-g-a-n-i-z-e is a scary word) the "projects" I hope will segue into respectable work: editing, painting, sculpting, writing poetry, fiction, and nonfiction. I've got a really big plate.

Patreon is a great way to support artists if, as Diana Gonzalez says, you don't want or are unprepared to purchase their work. Going forward, my Patreon account will be family-friendly and focus on my creative endeavours. All the bullshit will be here
Hey, mom! I'm learning to c-o-m-p-a-r-t-m-e-n-t-a-l-i-z-e. At least that's the direction I'm aiming the mower.
All this juggling means my toggle is broken again; hence the blur. I know that input and output need to be balanced, so I've cleared a space on my…

Did I Just Overshare? Who Cares...

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I just had an interesting conversation about oversharing - something I've always been told I do - something everyone seems to be doing as social distancing continues.
I do it because I don't understand where the lines are or why truth shouldn't be shared. I always thought I was reporting, and that honesty is supposed to be, well, honorable. How did this get difficult?

I think oversharing should be normalized. Maybe we need rules. If someone overshares with you, there is no action required on your part. Acknowledge that you heard them. If you don't understand how the overshare relates to the conversation being had, ASK. Every conversation leaves several people holding things that desperately need to be said, and the things need to be included in a conversation for context. There are thousands of millions of stories out there waiting to be told. You can't know whether they're important (to you.)
Get used to accepting things that don't fit your narrative. Leave …

On Slop in Genre: A Letter to All Industries

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Fusion is perhaps the greatest love of my life - right next to Tamarindo and letterpress chapbooks. By fusion I mean the fuzzy area where any two things collide: Asia and Europe, death metal and bluegrass, Latino-Indian cuisine (it is hard to find; you should seek it out.) Intercultural marriages. Family dynamics. Psychology, both ab- and normal.

I realized something today which I think is hilarious: I understand the concept of genre as pertains to music (I create for myself a great visual of record store bins) but when it comes to literature I'm flummoxed - or so I just said to my guitar player. She loves playing with my crazy brain.

Mötörhead was formerly known as Hawkwind. Based on their name, Hawkwind got filed in the Country & Western section of the record store - I'm told sales were not so great*.  At the local level - local being me - occasionally I'll write something that I know is a country song. It first happened in 1985 when I was living in Mississippi, in ac…

Permutations: My time with Kenajuan (classic literature c* word notice - you've been warned.)

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Kenajuan remembers me. This is important because I move around a lot; I worked in hotels for decades, so I've met legions of humans and made at least transient connections. It's important because I remember almost everyone I meet, but that's how I'm wired. It's surprising when others remember me, and those who do matter.

Health or aging is taking its toll, and honestly I'm not sorry I can't remember which year it was when Buck Dharma accidentally left a penny in the vending machine across from my office. I'm not sorry I can't remember the name of the guy I gave it to (you want to be a better guitar player? You have to practice - but here, take this magic Buck Dharma penny.) I do remember he said, "Who's Buck Dharma?" and I took it back.

Kenajuan and I worked hotel front desk in Kalamazoo - this was around '98. He wanted a suggestion to read for an audition, so I gave him something by Henry Miller from Tropic of Cancer:
“At night when…

This Blog Post Has a Soundtrack - where you got yourself

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why does pain so familiar feel so good?  I play the same song over & over opening the same vein over & over recounting the crossroads where
the path could have been different
mighta been
coulda been
shoulda been

woulda been
never matters anyway
It's not regret I'm feeling, no I'm playing Physical Graffiti to remember a particular permutation of me.
The me who helped break a puppy out of dog jail. ...the one who once took a bunch of the blinky traffic signs and put them in someone's yard like their front door was blocked off...and then another day did the same thing but blocking off Douglas, one of the main streets in Kalamazoo. THERE WASN'T ANYTHING ELSE TO DO.

Final installment: FRIEND *Serial Sci-Fi*

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This morning, two beefy gray-jumpsuited men are in the break-room, prying a hand-truck under the vending machine.
“Good morning…?” I run my fingers through my hair, unsure why I find this development unsettling. The taller man grunts. The other leans the hand-truck forward and sighs. A patch on his jumpsuit reads Jones – his name, or the vending company's.
“G’morning, sir. Taking this machine out. Contract expired.” Jones speaks politely.
“Contract?” One Baby Ruth bar dangles from the center spiral. “Can I get that?”
“Sure. Guess they’ll install sumpin’ else. Willie, plug it back in.” Willie grunts again, forcing the prongs into the outlet; the machine blinks briefly and whirs to life. I fumble in my wallet for two singles to put into the machine, but the candy drops before I manage.
“Sorry, sir. We took the change out.” Jones shuffles awkwardly, expecting rebuttal.
“I’m fine.” I salute with the candy bar in hand. “Thanks, gentlemen.”
Willie sniffles and unplugs the vending machine; co…

FRIEND - Part 4 of n *Serial Sci-Fi*

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Upstairs, we took turns examining spindles under the stereoscope. Lee became less freaked, more scientific. Sperling kept stroking the stubble on his chin.
“We’ll need to shave this down, of course,” Sperling muttered, his face balanced on the eyepieces of the scope. “It’s amazing.”
“Terrifying,” rejoined Lee, “a little. Beautiful. Let me see it again.” 
We formed an arc facing ProTAI’s tank. Sperling spoke first.
“That’s nice work, ProTAI. Wonderful, truly. Why did you decide to make…this…cell?” We looked to the digipanel for response.
CALL ME SKYNET. I’M PRETTY. YES?
“Um…” Sperling, Lee and I looked at each other peripherally. Lee snorted. “Well, that’s retro. Yes, baby. Very pretty.”
THANK YOU. CAN I HAVE IT BACK, PLEASE?
“Um…” Sperling muttered again. He cleared his throat. “ProT…Sky…can we call you Sky? We need to keep your very nice sample.”
GIVE IT BACK. I MADE IT.
“Technically, you’re under contract with the rest of us. Anything you create in this lab is proprietary.”
“That’ll help,” snic…