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

Sliver: Chapter 1 (The Cullings)

NGC 5907 galaxy
NGC 5907 galaxy

Somewhere around the turn of the 21st Century, the world of man imploded. From what I gather, it had been intent on doing so for the better part of two centuries, which is how humans depicted chunks of time that consisted of 100 years, a year being 365 days, a day being 24 hours, an hour being 60 minutes, a minute being 60 seconds and so forth.

Growing up, I wished to know what life was like before our time. All permanent records were lost, but not the impermanent records in the minds of the very ancient ones.

But they would not speak of that time. The story of man was no longer passed down from generation to generation.

A generation of people who knew the stories of the time that came before silenced themselves for the sake of those of us who came after. Continue reading Sliver: Chapter 1 (The Cullings)

I leave it up to you

Joy

Omakase is a Japanese word that means to entrust. As in, I leave it upto you.

It’s a culinary tradition wherein the chef chooses the courses based on what is inspiring to him or her.

Entrusting someone is hard work. It’s casting aside all your cares and worries and believing that the person you’ve entrusted will at least meet your expectations, if not surpass them.

A week after one of the worst elections in my lifetime, if not US history, my friend Aaron put together an Omakase gathering for sixteen guests. Continue reading I leave it up to you

evitcepsreP yM gnignahC

Changing your evitcepsrep is all about exposing yourself to new views
Changing your evitcepsrep is all about exposing yourself to new views
It’s been a challenge to change my perspective this week.

I’ve been coming at this from one angle since all hell broke loose on Tuesday night.

Finding the negatives lying around on the floor, picking them up, weighing them, and then moving on to the next one.  Continue reading evitcepsreP yM gnignahC

A Hard Walk

These slopes are impossibly steep, impressively rugged and home to the mythical chukar

I once ran a marathon in almost the same time it took me to walk up a hill in search of small gamebirds known as chukars.

Chukars are mythical little creatures, undoubtedly the inspiration for wingsuit flying and possibly the Phoenix.

Originally brought to Oregon from India in the 1950s, they live on hillsides with slopes that seem to defy mathematics, they can run up hill faster than any hunter can go, and they dart away suddenly, as if carried away by the very hands of the gods.

I’ve perspired before. It’s a skill I’m rather gifted at, in fact. I rained down on those parched eastern Oregon slopes, and all the water from the turbulent Deschutes River a thousand feet below me couldn’t quench my thirst.

My colleague David has been telling me about chukar hunting since I started working at ODFW more than a year ago. Continue reading A Hard Walk

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

The False Narrative: Good Guys and Bad Guys

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - AUGUST 07:  Yulia Efimova of Russia celebrates winning the first Semifinal of the Women's 100m Breaststroke on Day 2 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at the Olympic Aquatics Stadium on August 7, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.  (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – AUGUST 07: Yulia Efimova of Russia celebrates winning the first Semifinal of the Women’s 100m Breaststroke on Day 2 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at the Olympic Aquatics Stadium on August 7, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)

I watched a press conference this morning in which “journalists” interviewed Yulia Efimova and Lilly King about their now high-profile Olympic spat.

Except it’s not a spat.

It’s just storytelling, good, old-fashioned storytelling.

But it’s a false narrative, something the Russians excelled at when maniacal tyrents wanted to keep the populace fearfully paralyzed or reactionary enough to turn against their own.

And something that demagogues still use to manipulate our deepest fears and our irrational desires.

Yulia Efimova is not a bad guy.  Continue reading The False Narrative: Good Guys and Bad Guys

How the Olympics became so small

Olympic Rings by ZEVS
Olympic Rings by ZEVS

For the record, I did not plan to have surgery wherein the two-week, doctor-recommended recovery period would perfectly coincide with the Olympics.

I actually find watching the American Olympic coverage to be rather cloying, like beer that’s too sweet or warm sushi.

Much has changed since the last time I had the time to sit down and watch the Olympics in their entirety.

Continue reading How the Olympics became so small

"THE WORLD BREAKS EVERYONE, AND AFTERWARD, SOME ARE STRONG AT THE BROKEN PLACES." – HEMINGWAY