Search This Blog

Monday, March 28, 2022

I can't wait to cook.

I'm saving recipes and thinking about setting up a schedule for the first month in the new place, inviting folks over to enjoy the bounty.

In my last place, I did not unpack quickly enough but in this new joint -- I promise myself -- I'm going to unpack in a fury and get to settling in within a month.

Besides reading and writing, my third avocation is cooking. Well, eating comes before cooking but it's the chicken and the egg thing.

Fat guy gotta eat.

As I anticipate the move, I simply cannot spend time thinking about the most useless news of the day -- Will Smith slapping Chris Rock at the Oscars Sunday. I do not have an operating television to watch nor do I have an operating interest in actually watching.

I simply don't care.

It doesn't crack my top 100 concerns of the day.

Here are my first top 10:

-- How is Kid doing?

-- How is mom doing?

-- How is family?

-- What about my friends?

-- Have I treated every person today with dignity and respect?

-- Have I imbued every human interaction with real sincerity? Have I connected?

--  Have I enjoyed the moment?

-- Did I stay in the moment?

-- Did I chew slowly, identifying tastes?

-- What did the Green Bay Packers so?

I try to break down complex, overwhelming problems of the day into what I can control. And that is how I act and react to others.

So when I move back into a place with an address, everyone will be invited over to my join for some drinks, Julia Childs recipes and some decent -- even indecent -- conversation.

I won't slap most of you.

Peace unto Ukraina and peace and friendship unto you my brothers and sisters.

Friday, March 25, 2022

Sometimes plans change -- and that's OK.

I didn't get moved into the new place today because there's work left. That's actually good news. In addition to new carpeting, linoleum, my landlords added new cabinets and a new kitchen sink. So when folks ask what's new, I can say "everything including the kitchen sink" and be literally correct.

I tracked down mail that I've missed in the past month and there's a lot from a guy named bill. Some lower case cool going on there.  Like e.e. cummings.

And when you receive all your mail for a month, you see trends. I receive The New Yorker, The New York Times and the New York Review of Books. Pattern. I receive Food & Wine and Bon Appetite magazines, only two because Gourmet shut down in 2009. Finally, Wine Spectator, Wine & Spirits, the Whiskey Advocate, Vodka Advocate, Brandy Advocate, Bar Rail Advocate, Let Me Tell You Something Else Advocate and, finally, the Vomit Advocate. (Don't use the scratch and sniff in that magazine, let me advise.)

So I'll move next week and I can't wait.

I love my Steakhouse Lodge family but I was trying to determine this week why I feel so bad. Morning meditation -- now done on the edge of my bed because my knees are shot -- often brings clarity. I realized staying in a hotel room by oneself for an extended period of time makes me feel lonely. I never feel alone otherwise. Alone does not equal lonely. I enjoy my time alone. My two favorite past times are reading and writing and those are alone activities. But I'm home alone with my stuff.

That's not lonely to me.

The end is nigh for hotel living over long periods of time. After this most recent stay, I'll resolve to stay in temporary housing only temporarily. 

I'm thankful for so many good things in my life while the world is aflame.

Peace unto those in the Ukraine and peace and serenity unto all of you my brothers and sisters.

Wednesday, March 23, 2022

 Yes, the trolls hit this space some time ago and as the pageviews continue up, the trolling is up.

Some friends noticed this trend recently although I've followed for some time. See, I get notified by email when there's a comment on a post. As trolls started to hit, I was in the midst of enough tumult I chose not to take the time to delete comments.

Yet I've learned lessons from the trolls:

-- There's a lot of herpes out there.

-- Even with poor credit, you can get an unlimited loan with no money down.

-- Those who have straying partners can find help from any number of gurus and doctors and the occasional potion that includes the testicular components of the chupacabra. 

-- If I need some money, a mere $100 can net me $3,000 in less than a week.

-- Boy, herpes is here to stay.

-- It is now considered poor behavior to stone your spouse after said spouse has committed adultery.

-- For a reasonable price, I can get a passport to countries that don't even exist. Freedonia anyone?

-- No money down and you can hold own a palatial home of your own.

-- Herpes, herpes, herpes.

After today, I promise to delete the offenders -- despite all my readers with herpes -- and work as much as I can to delete all the previous offenders.

Peace unto all of my brothers and sisters in the Ukraine and peace and no herpes to all of you my brothers and sisters.

Monday, March 21, 2022

 I will have a new address come Saturday. 

10598 Glenwood Drive, Hayward, WI 54843.

The landlord's movers will pick up and move my junk Friday about six blocks from where it's stored in a friend's garage.

Then Saturday, I'll be able to lay my freakishly large head on of my pillows on my mattress on the floor. To you, that might sound pathetic. To me? It sounds like home.

My new landlord damn near took the place to the studs, so I'll have new carpeting, paint and appliances. Kid will have her own room, along with my library of books and one of my writing desks.  Yes, one of my writing desks. Different kinds of writing call for different desks, after all.

I'm going to be able to cook again and having been storing recipe ideas for this time. Everyone is welcome to join me with a couple day's notice. 

I will have a deck so my first big expenditure is a Weber grill, which will go well-used here in the northwoods. I'm within walking distance of Lynn's Custom meats, makers of the best bratwurst I've ever had. Lynn has a fabulous and all local meat counter so I shall avail myself often -- along with cooking all the fresh veg I'm going to get at the farmer's market that's only months away. (I'm attempting to assuage friends concerned I'll go caveman with a new grill. I've found a recipe for making a grilled ratatouille that looks righteous.)

Then I'll settle. I'll cook. I'll write after a day of reading and writing. I'll feed friends and visitors.

Peace unto my Ukrainian brothers and sisters and peace and home unto you my brothers and sisters.

Friday, March 18, 2022


Thirty eight years after graduation, Marty Crowe remains a part of my life.

I wrote a column some months ago about being contacted by Marty's daughter, Maureen, saying she was going through his papers and found one of my old high school assignments among them. "A college level paper" Marty had written at the top. 

Marty Crowe was a teacher of poetry and literature at my high school in Chippewa Falls. He was also the basketball coach

That column led to to the author of a Marty Crowe biography to contact me and send a copy of the book, which I received this week.

Which has led to a wave of guilt and  self-reflection.

I was not as respectful to Marty in high school as I should have been. I was a smart-ass and a mean smart-ass at that. I respected no one and joked about everyone.

Years after graduating, I looked at my senior yearbook and most people wrote they were afraid to write anything because I would make fun of them.

I was a bully.

Yet Marty stuck with me. I could never get out of my head his reading of Randall Jarrell's poem, "The Death of the Ball Turret Gunner":

"From my mother’s sleep I fell into the State,
And I hunched in its belly till my wet fur froze.
Six miles from earth, loosed from its dream of life,
I woke to black flak and the nightmare fighters.
When I died they washed me out of the turret with a hose."

Marty's dramatic reading, in his gravelly voice, was profoundly dramatic.

And he'd repeat the haunting last line.

Marty was a sports coach who took pride in teaching poetry rather than physical education.
He knew history, he knew social justice.

I look forward to reading the book, which has already included a quote from my friend
Becky from the graduating class of 1984.

In the years since, I've worked hard to stop being such an ass. I imagine Marty was part of
that, too. All these years later.

Teaching me to be better.

Peace unto all of Ukraine. Peace unto all of you my brothers and sisters.

Monday, March 14, 2022



I love my hotel room here in the Northwoods.

First, in order to enter, I have this thing called a "room key" that's actually a key.

I enjoy that here in the Northwoods. If the key works, has worked, will work, why change?

The second photo is of a pheasant -- I believe it has passed -- whom I've named Fred Funk because I believe his business card simply read "Fred Funk, pheasant." Said card did not include a phone number because I don't think he had a phone.

There there's Joe Buck -- no not the football analyst -- a local fellow who, as he aged, slowed somewhat. Thus the mounting.

These two hang over my bed in my neatly appointed and hyper clean room. I've found in my travels over these last year I don't need much other than my traveling bag, my electronic equipment and some rot gut gin to be happy.

I still can't turn on the TV because I'm the least capable adult in the world. I haven't had an operating TV for half a decade and am debating whether I should change that once I move into my new place.

In the bathroom, I have a place to clean myself so my colleagues have less to complain about. The room has one of those multi-dispensers for soap, conditioner and shampoo. I don't even have to buy those and I like the environmentally friendly nature of it.

I get some takeout but I also have a fridge and microwave for the minimal chef in me while also cutting down on costs. A box of the finest cardboard vino sits next to the rotgut for the sophisticate in my.

I'm catching up on reading a couple of books on my iPad, the first being "Extra Life" about how society has largely doubled life expectancy in the last 100 years. The two biggest factors? Vaccinations and municipal water systems. Pasteurization comes in a close third.

The other book is "The Dawn of Everything," which talks about how societies organized before hunter/gatherers settled in around 10,000 BCE.

When, after a day of reading and writing at work and I need downtime? Netflex, Hulu, Amazon provide me whatever I want to watch. I'm watching a great Kurt Vonnegut documentary these last two days. I tend toward documentaries so I'm looking for something to binge watch while I wait for "Only Murders in the Building."

In the context of today's world, I remain a lucky man.

Peace to Ukraine and peace to you my brothers and sisters.

Friday, March 11, 2022

 The problems of one homeless editor don't amount to a hill of beans in this crazy world.

Old posts embarrass me as I look at the images coming out of Ukraine. Dead bodies litter the streets, including babies and children. Millions wait to escape at train stations while millions of others have been bombed out of house and home. Millions more face starvation.

I don't want to see these images but I force myself so I can serve as a witness.

At worst, I have been inconvenienced. I've been well served and well fed -- the fattest homeless guy ever.

While in the Ukraine men, women and children are being slaughtered all because of the ego of one evil man.

I've been studying the philosophy of just wars for decades now -- the theory suggests the difference between an unjust war and a just war. This might be the most unjust war in a long time. Ukraine did nothing to even suggest a danger to Russia. Nothing.

War should only occur under attack, in self-defense and as the last means to a dangerous situation.

Not for made-up concerns.

Not for aggression for aggression's sake.

And not for an evil little man attempting to salve his razor-thin ego.

Peace unto Ukraine and to all of you my brothers and sisters.

Monday, March 7, 2022

A gentleman walked into the newspaper office today and said, "I'm the guy you hate."

It was the guy who bought my house.

"I told you I don't hate anyone," I said and we shook hands. We had talked before when he reached out to me after the sale.

Oddly, our circumstances aren't much different. He had sold his house some months ago while downsizing and struggled to find something in this area, which suffers from a lack of housing of any kind. So for half a year, he's been looking for a place to stay and it turned out to be my rental.

I'd written a local newspaper column about how my personal situation bodes ill for the entire community. We continue to grow because of natural beauty plus the many amenities not normal to a small town because of the tourism industry. However, we need servers and bartenders and bussers and the kind of employees tourism and expanding populations need. And there's no housing for those folks.

The guy was nice enough to bring in some items I'd left -- I missed one kitchen cabinet. We talked and laughed. He's a good guy. He also reads this blog, which makes him even better.

As he left, I reminded him we talked about going out and having a drink after we're both settled in.

"OK," he said. "But I'm buying -- because you're homeless."

It is my narrative after all. 

Peace and free drinks unto all of you my brothers and sisters.

Friday, March 4, 2022

There is a description in "Long, Dark Tea Time of the Soul" where the Norse god Odin describes why he likes staying in hospitals on Earth because the rooms and the bedding are crisp and clean and they come with a certain sense of order.

I'm living in a hotel room this week, and next, and probably next, and feel the same way.

I've learned to need little over these last few years. There's a bed, a little table, a mini-fridge, a coffee maker and a microwave. In the bathroom, the soap and shampoo are offered via bulk.

I'm only responsible for eating and drinking, two duties I do well.

In the "Tea Time" book, written by Douglas Adams, famous for "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" series, Odin loves the consistency of hospitals. If you're going to read "Tea Time," take on its predecessor "Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency" first. Splendid fun.

The two- to three-week stay at a hotel is a break from the subtle duties of life, cleaning, cooking, taking care of myself.

I'm basically like a zoo animal -- except no one no one shows up to see my cuteness. But there is a sign on my window, "Don't feed the editor."

It remains a place and time where, when not working, I can read and write.

Celebrate for me because those are my favorite pass times, even if that's also my job description.

Peace and orderliness unto all of you my brothers and sisters.