Category Archives: Living

Papa

I’m not sure when I switched over to calling him Papa.

It was always Ken, my wife’s father. Before that, he was Ken, my girlfriend’s father.

When we got married, he had tears streaming down his heavily lined face. He was signing our marriage certificate, and he stopped, looked up and said, “I’m not losing a daughter, I’m gaining a son.”

And to this day, I have never felt anything less than a solid member of the Carpenter clan.

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The Sky is Falling

nero-on-throneIs this what America’s life looks like as it flashes before its eyes?

Like opening and closing my eyes to reveal the chaotic scene of The Great Fire of Rome and Nero dancing and singing as the flames spread from the Circus through the narrow streets below.

Or maybe I’m tired and it’s later still, the middle 400s, Rome has no emperor. Only enemies. Enemies it has hired or enslaved, who now destroy the city in their cold revenge.

Are we on a precipice? Eternally compared to the greatest Empire the world has ever known. Twins unable to escape eachother’s orbit or trajectories.

You can almost hear the echoes of their voices off the marbled walls through time itself.

“Let’s make Rome great again.”  Continue reading The Sky is Falling

Trump is president and Leonard Cohen is Dead

I was killing time at my best friend’s condo in PDX tonight, waiting for the protests to die down when the news of Leonard Cohen’s death broke.

My friend didn’t know who he was, so I played “Hallelujah” on Spotify for him and his kids.

Of course they only know the Jeff Buckley version, or, more realistically, the John Cale version from “Shreck,” but my point was made.

The man whose lyrics I read more than I ever listened to is dead at 82.

And Trump was in the White House today.

Continue reading Trump is president and Leonard Cohen is Dead

A Day Removed

Like many Americans, I woke up sick to my stomach.

Did that just happen? Did we just put a tax-dodging, racist misogynist in the White House to spite the establisment?

It sunk in as my daughter came down the stairs and asked me tentatively, “Did Hillary win?”

I’m sure she already knew from the despondent look on my face.

It was soul crushing to answer her.

I gagged as I said the words.

“No, honey, Donald Trump is the president elect.”

Even now, that has an absurd quality to it I can’t process.

Continue reading A Day Removed

See you on the other side

This is my first election night not spent in a newsroom in more than a decade.

Four or five hours into this great America tragedy, and I miss the comfort of the newsroom.

The way you felt in control of things, even though it was only an illusion. Being tied into the campaigns so tightly made you feel like you really understood them.

The hot pizza at 5 p.m. and cold at 10 p.m. And bottle of Scotch for midnight. The sense of purpose and feeling like everyone was listening, watching, reading your every word.

Election nights are intoxicating.

Continue reading See you on the other side

A Vocation Vacation

A strong feeling of suitability for a particular career or occupation.
A strong feeling of suitability for a particular career or occupation.

It’s raining, really raining.

Not just the little summer drizzle. The kind of rain that builds into a rhythmic melody on the roof and on the windows.

I’m sitting here in my parents’ kitchen drinking a big mug of green tea staring at a counter full of vegetables I want to ferment.

It’s Friday.

The Friday before I return to work after an overextended hiatus.

I thought about going back to bed after I dropped my daughter off at school. The sound of the rain and the thought of laying there under the covers and drifting off to the pitter patter of water on window was extremely hard to resist.

The only reason I didn’t, is because I know that next week I will completely rely on routine to get me through the week.

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A Dory on the River

She fitted out and ready for the water.
She fitted out and ready for the water.

It’s a perfect Oregon afternoon.

By that, I mean it’s in the mid-seventies, and the sun is shining and the trees have that look about them. That look they get just before they start to change their colors.

It’s imperceptible, just the lightest downgrade from summer’s dark green but not quite as verdant as spring. If you look carefully, you can watch summer’s slow demise every day.

It’s not fall yet, but the dog days are over. The perfect in-between.

My brother texts and says he has some things to finish around the farm, but that we can hit the river at 1:30.

I run around frantically looking through storage for my bass gear, before remembering that it was twenty years ago that I put together a nice bait caster with a 6 foot super stiff rod that could lift smallies and largemouth from the river like a crane.

Continue reading A Dory on the River

To unfinished stories;

UnfinishedSleep, or something like it.

More is needed.
I think.
Moving about is a product of the engine inside me. Well-fueled, and I have the energy to go from here to there.
But the opposite is sometimes true.
On days when the fog rolls in like it used to cover San Francisco when I still lived on those hills and valleys. I suppose it still does, even though I’m no longer there.
I like to breathe it in like pea soup and let it clog my pores and gouge out my eyes and fill the crevices with gray nothingness,

Continue reading To unfinished stories;