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Friday, January 27, 2023

 Every now and then, I lift up my head I realize I've missed years.

I see this on social media where a friend's baby is four years old. Or 10 years old. Or graduating from a master's program at Stanford. And I remember only the diapers and the toothless smile. (I have older friends for the latter as well.)

In this last week, I've been looking up recent movies only to find they were released 20 years ago.

I don't know if this is a sign of aging or of being unaware of the passage of time.

Part of being aware in the moment -- which I try to be -- is that I lose the ability to measure the passage of time.

These are nice, peaceful ruminations but what of them?

Shit. I'm 57 and I have stuff to do. There can be no more waiting until next month or next year or flipping tomorrow. I'm reminded of the late actor Leslie Jordan who sold T-shirts that stated, "Well, shit -- what are you waiting for?"

I have to write the great American novel. I will write short stories, one a month about the common man. I need at least one nomination for Best Screenplay and I wouldn't mind a Tony award for Best Original play.

I've buried my head for four years now -- decades more, really. I must lift my head, my awareness, and do what fulfills me.

Watch me, readers. I have work to do before I die.

Peace unto the Ukraine and peace and awareness unto all of you my brothers and sisters.

Friday, January 20, 2023


Mom is stable and not so restless.

Kid has returned home -- with memories of a spectacular visit along with great food and a litany of drinks. (My new autobiography title.)

Colleague has returned to work after a horrific car accident five weeks ago.

I remain upright and breathing. (Maybe that's the better autobiography title.)

And it's 20 days into 2023 when I want to do better blogging on a more regular basis.

One thing right now is the weather. Friends encouraged me to move home almost two years ago and I remembered my upbringing fondly has just being a few times of difficulty during the winter in the Wisconsin Nort'woods.

This year has had one winter event after another. If it's not snowing 18 inches, then it's 30 degrees below zero. Looking forward to the warm-up? Then it will snow another 10 inches. Cool down? Well then be aware of your genitalia freezing to the naugahyde of the car's front seat. (Actually, best new title for an autobiography is "Nuts on Naugahyde.")

But nice things intervene.

I failed to mention a couple of weeks ago that regular blog reader Bertha, who occasionally sent money during my difficult times -- always $27 -- mailed me $31. Twenty seven was for my friends who lost their home to a fire. My friend, whom I accompanied to the tragedy, hugged me when I presented her $27. Then there was a $2 bill for me and one for Kid for good luck.

Another friend has started watching out for my driveway, plowing when needed during this winter that makes woman strong and men weep.

Still another pranked me with an obscene snowman on my deck -- looking straight through my picture window -- that has brought much laughter to friends and I imagine chagrin to my landlords. 

Life with struggles doesn't occur without bright spots of love and laughter and no little amount of liquor here in the Nort'woods.

In betwixt the storms, we must enjoy the sunshine

Sorry, that's too Hallmark. At least for me.

Endure the difficulties. Then have a couple drinks.

Peace unto Ukraine and peace and a couple drinks unto each of you my brothers and sisters.

Saturday, January 14, 2023

At this odd time in my life, a woman my age asked me to meet her at a bar where there was dancing.

For many years, I turned down such offers but from my studies of Buddhism, I decided turning down invitations showed a lack of grace. Short of having nothing else on my dance card, I accept as many offers as I can.

A beautiful woman suggested I meet her at a bar where live music was being played. About the closest I've come to this in real life was watching "Urban Cowboy" on cable television in the 1990s. (For the record, there were no mechanical bulls in this joint but there were a number of people whom I could attempt to ride until they threw me off.)

I went.

I attended.

After ordering a drink, this pretty person grabbed my corpse-cold hand and drew me to the tiny dance floor. From memory, I grasped one of her hands and put the other on her back. The music started and I shuffled my feet back and forth, as much as two inches at a time. Some wild ass music was played, something like Billy Joel slowed to a funereal pace. 

"I ... don't ... care ... what you say ... anymore ... this is my life."

I tried to dance, to sway to the music or respond to the movement of my dance partner.

I had visions of Lurch from "The Addams Family" laughing at me in his deep voice.

The pretty lady ended up holding my two hands, similar how parents dance with slow children.

I tried. 

Honest to God I tried.

But I haven't attempted to dance in at least a couple of decades. I'm not good at it, I don't feel the music as others do and finally I fear hurting myself given my advanced age. One misstep and I'm on workman's comp for six months.

She was quite gracious and finally asked, "Are you afraid?"

I said yes and she switched to a partner who appeared to be a strapping Mennonite buck.

I powdered and made my way home.

Peace unto Ukraine and peace and the powder to all of my brothers and sisters.

Friday, January 13, 2023

Life has been busy exemplified by few blog posts.

We've been filling in for a missing colleague on a small staff.

Kid visited for five days.

Mom is moving to hospice.

To say it's been busy is misleading. And that has caused some radio silence here on the blog.  I've found myself breathing deeply, meditation style and just accepting I'll make it through days which begin as a sprint and end with me, hands on knees, attempting to refill my lungs with air.

With it all, there have been great celebrations. Kid is a joy. She's intelligent and funny and I can say the worst jokes of all time and she responds with this new, guttural laughter that seems to come with adulthood. It's as though she's become a grownup. (She did about 10 years ago. I just might not have noticed as I see her perpetually as a 6-year-old.)

I must keep in mind that what does not kill me, lowers my immune system so that the next, smaller challenge will end me.

Kid is a hero in town because I only talk about her. She gets hugs and drinks and true friendship and all of it warms my heart, just as the tawny port we sipped on each evening.

Kid made an alla vodka sauce with fusilli that was restaurant level good. I provided the salad and garlic bread and we sipped on a decent bottle of Tempranillo. We talked to a nearby tavern for some Bailey's, which we refer to as the evening milkshake

We played as much pool as possible and for the first time since I taught her the game, I was skunked. I lost every game.

When I dropped her off at the airport, I said to her as she walked away, "I'm not crying -- you are." She responded, "I love you," I said, "Go to hell."

Thus it is with sons of the Wisconsin Northwoods.

Work, pathos and comedy.

Such is life.

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