Silly Grins

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Naked Islands: Banned in Japan

Knowing what the islands look like in color and from a distance maybe changes everything.  

The sweat, the slope, the weight… knowing what it feels like maybe changes everything. 

Having heard the actual screams and cries of a woman in her tantrums thrown over lesser challenges… knowing that makes me understand (or at leas imagine that I do)… understand how he hears, sees, and keeps moving.  

Just lets it go.

Sometimes there’s something to the stoicism that I do appreciate. 

Something like wisdom or ....

Something that serves to energize and motivate.  

The blue down below and the wide-open sky above.

And how nothing is said. 

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Blowing Minds, One Spoon at a Time

This is about spoons. But it (this post) is not about the kind of spoons that are not there - those imaginary gems we see on the screen and put into our mental matrices. 

No. Not this.

Not this at all. This is not real.

Let's drop a few pegs down, shall we? 

You ready? 

Thursday, May 24, 2012


This is do not believe.


Like they care.

Then again, that's just based on my experience.
Maybe to understand, you had to have been there, or grown up that way.


Wednesday, May 23, 2012


“Your wife doesn’t beat your kids, does she?”

“No, she beats me.”

“Well, my wife, she goes after the kids. And my instincts say protect at any cost. My instincts take over. Not my logic. Not my reason. That primal drive that goes from zero-to-sixty in less than a heart-beat when I see the blazing dilations of anger directed at my children accompanied by a full set of gnarly adult teeth bared in a snarl below that set of  wide open sockets of irreconcilable maternal rage. ” 


“What happened?”

“Had I been trained to control my anger in a reflexively aggressive manner, you would be reading about it in the paper." 

"Don't go there. Man, you don't want to go there. Not worth it."

"I know. The bright side is, thanks to the table between us, I missed. And now I am paying the price. Just, I don’t know how much it is going to cost until the physical account is tallied. The minimum price is bound to include a few sessions with the dojo approved ding-repair guru.  The body-therapist is good. He’s got experience and should be able to give me his opinion. A lot better than running off to hospital to endure having a number of unnecessary and costly diagnostics performed on my dairy air.”

“You must feel ashamed of yourself?”

“A bit of that, for sure. I let myself down. Funny thing is, I’m still hoping she gets the message that there’s a difference between disciplining the kid and attacking him.  Especially considering the fact that all her rage, all that hellish energy she was directing at her child was triggered by her own actions. She knocked over  her own glass in anger. And then she became something else.  Blame it on that wicked temper of hers. Maybe she was furious that I let her know I was not going to help her clean up her mess. Unfortunately, the torrent from the river of fire in her mind was directed toward her kid. And I attempted to step in front of that. She triggered my primal ignition switch.”

“I guess the fact that my wife beats me is something to be happy about. There really is a bright side to everything.”

 A or B?
 Which is it? Take your pick...

“And this?”

“Daughter is the youngest. The bright light.  And she sees all. This is how she expresses it. She doesn’t have the vocabulary, but she’s able to connect the visuals.  Only two cards from which to choose. Pretty simple. "A" or "B". But it has to be a choice. And it takes two. That is the divide between wife and I. She lives in a world tormented by an undeveloped, shadow child-side that appears to be taking over. Alcohol doesn't help.”

“My mother-in-law says she first saw the rage when she was three. Daughter who sees all, she’s not too far from that age. Hasn’t even started school.”

“And your daughter, she can see this?”  

“Guess she gets that from my side. The contrast on the photo has been turned up to that you can see what the "B" side looks like. All frowns. She made extra effort to point out the fact that there's a crack down the middle of the heart. Her gift can be a curse.” 

"She drew a few more of these on other pieces of paper as her way of coping. She's handing them out. One for Grandma. One for Grandpa. This is how she is coping. There is no easy way. And I'm not going to ignore the mess. Not going to buy my head in the sand while son gets ripped to shreds by maternal demons."

These are the cards...

Deep in the Heart

After class last night, one of the older women in the group, a sixty-something who looked like she was going on early fifty-something, stayed late.

She had some questions. Some questions because her daughter, a medical researcher in the US had just gotten married. Apparently, surgeon-daughter is going to a third country to do more research and wants to take her newly minted husband with her. 

“Yes, there will be a lot of forms. And you’ll probably be told not to do something by one department just after someone in the same office just told you to do it. The bureaucratic way. That's their nature. Just be sure to take down the name of everyone you speak with. Keep notes. The ride might get a bit bumpy and you’ll be duplicating the spousal-visa research on this that your daughter has probably already done. Too much preparation won't be enough. Either way, you’ve both got homework. Congratulations. And good luck.”

But this isn’t about visas, marriage certificates, or immigration.

This is about motivation. 
This is about a question and a surprising answer. 
This is about the proof.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Kickin' Shit

(Well, the first part anyway)

I am not a shit-kicker
Nor a shit-kicker's son
But I can kick shit
Even if it's sick shit,
Thick shit or slick shit
With horse spit
I won't quit
Because I can kick that shit,
Till' the shit-kickin's done.
Now wasn't that fun?

Listen... (you might want to read the sign at the top again)

(If you don't, you're missing out. But you're going to have to hold on.
Yes, gentle, but firm. )

At the Barbecue

"Had a good laugh? Me too. Could feel it in my ribs"

 (Smiles and gets ready for a monologue)

Sunday, May 20, 2012

"It's a beatiful..."

From a Wonderful World to a Beautiful One 

A Wonderful World:

Anything from Hotter Than July.  That's star material, celestial body, guiding-light kind of stuff. Here forever. Forever a part of us. 

You know, those songs that you grew up listening to because they were so hypnotic... easy to listen to, but you maybe never really paid attention to the words. You know, one of those songs?

From Wikipedia... and no, they aren't done either.

Well, there may come a day when you actually reflect on what those words were all about. And discover their weight. That moment when you find yourself singing along and actually getting the meaning, and think, "Same as it ever was".

No, not them either, but we're getting close.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

We Had Planned...

We had planned to take a walk...

 through the forest

along a river

with the kids

and be back 

in time 

to visit our neighbor...

It's Happening: A Little Piece of Everything

It's happening. 

And probably has been happening for a while now. But noticing it firsthand comes as kind of a shock. Like, you can't say, 
"That didn't happen!"
Okay, maybe you can scream it at the top of your lungs, but trying to deny what's on the record is becoming harder and harder to do... especially when everything, I mean everything is going on the record.

This post is about a little piece of that everything. And how erasing people is much harder to do that it used to be. You see, they come back. Now, everyone has a voice. The 'otherwise forgotten people' are much more difficult to ignore. And not everybody is comfortable with that. Nope. 

Word is spreading. And unless something big happens, it ain't going to stop either. In a way, that's pretty 'eventual'

Thursday, May 17, 2012

He Crossed the Line

He Crossed the Line

And now it is time to die.

The first time we met, he crossed the line.

Smiling even.

Walked right through the gap

in that fence we were building. 

Our neighbor. 

We give him peace before he rests. 

Wednesday, May 16, 2012


"Microaggressions" and "Macro Smacks"


Georgia Bold


“There’s a difference?”

“Heck yes. Hypersensitivity is one thing. However, the Mac smarts, makes your eyes tear up.  But that’s the least of your worries when one of those is served up (or shoved down your sorry-ass throat). That Le Roayal with Cheese, the Big Kahuna of a wallop carries much more than what leaves a little swelling and momentary discomfort. Bees sting, but only once.  Practically harmless to most people, unless they swarm."

"The Japanese honeybees (Apis cerana japonica) forming a "bee ball" in which two hornets (Vespa simillima xanthoptera) are engulfed and being heated. The body heat trapped by the ball will overheat and kill the hornets.Yokohama, Kanagawa prefecture, Honshu Island,Japan."

"The cumulative effect of those nasty little 'cognitive habits' – the fearful ignorance of the waitress, the preemptively terrified pale-faced shoe salesman who didn’t approach the umber family of four, but instead practically leaped over to cling onto the khaki college kid who was obviously just killing time before the movie started… the cumulative effect of anything that’s simply allowed to build up can make anyone sick.”

Monday, May 14, 2012


This is what that was all about. Didn't want any comments. Just needed to get it out. Besides, not too many people have the patience, or desire, to watch the exchange that took place. That cave, a 'power-spot' or groovy place to be, is somewhere on an island, like all those others that are mostly neglected, let adrift. A spontaneous, creative, and playful space. A time and place to remember on later walks.

Thinking... and then feeling.

Why anyone would want to sleep in a tent with no access to a warm bath or proper toilet for more than twenty-four hours was beyond her. Wifey couldn’t understand why gaijin-husband needed to get away, but they’d made a deal. Husband and Son could go for three nights (okay, probably four) to camp out on the uninhabited island with the ‘hippies’.  Sleeping bags and tent were chucked into the fossil fueled caravan and the two boys were on the road before anyone had a chance to change her mind.  Not like it would have made a difference.

"As free as the wind blows..."

Although they were a few days early, they’d managed to hitch a ride on a boat with the understanding that they’d be pitching in to help set up. An extra set of hands, if needed.  

The boatman and his crew of one...ferrying souls across the water.

And the people they'd meet…

(limited to a set of three for sake of this post)

Friday, May 11, 2012

Dates, Fun, & Dancing

Dates, Fun, & Dancing:
And Other Not-so-innocent Horror Stories

A little more than a decade ago, the King put together a collection of stories. The order in which the stories appear in his book was dictated by a stack of cards that he dealt to himself in a solitary sort of spontaneous tarot ritual. Apparently, it worked.

From the cover of Everything's Eventual

One of the things I remember from that collection of stories was the voice in the foreword. The introduction mentions something it refers to as the practice of an almost lost art. 

Here's a peripheral slip-thought to entertain.

Maybe the best things in life are those that induce overwhelming feelings of apprehension. There is one particular sensation that can be described as a perpetual state of almost losing. There's a rush that comes with realizing that we’ve got to do something. And quick. Yes, quick, before the bitter-sweet 'oh-my-god-it-might-be-too-late' feeling has us drooling all over the place. Okay, maybe just me. 

In the introduction, Stephen talks about the almost lost art of short stories. Yeah, short stories. Short stories that are understood as one-of-a-kind items only found in artisan’s shops. But these stories are not given out to just anybody. Short story artisans only deal to those who have the patience of a connoisseur and strength to keep their addiction demons in line. Each tale holds the potential for a jump to a place that gives a hyper-space kind of high:

Those jumps to warp speed take us a little further out than we’ve ever been before. But the reward is only for those who can wait. Patiently.

Blogs, blogging, or reading blogs can be like that.
Okay, maybe it is just me. Or not.

Back to the book.

Somewhere in those first few pages of foreplay, there’s mention of discreet, yet fancy, airport lounges populated by handsomely-suited husbands well versed in powerful and persuasive lies from the canon of busy-busy businessmen literature such as The Seven Habits of Highly Successful Cheese Movers. Always on the move, those business-minded husbands are already dressed up for their undertaking - that which awaits those who are rush-rushing toward their 401(k) heart-attacks, promising rewards for their wives who obliviously know better. Wives whose passionate vows tend to sound something like, “Till death do us part, dahhhling!”

In trying to keep with the 'eco' spirit of ISO 14001, 
my wife has been instructed to only attempt a resuscitation on me 
with a solar-charged AED. Either that or a blow-job.

Busy people, shorter stories, and that nasty-bad habit of blogging. 

Look, the trash-to-treasure ratio (T3) in the blogosphere’s asteroid belt is pretty daunting. It seems like at least half the people drifting out (t)here are hoping for that big lottery win, the chance discovery that makes them rich, famous, and shameless. Sometimes I wonder why the cyber-space jockeys (junkies?) don’t quit while they are already ahead by one. The mere aspiration for shamelessness is more than enough for me. 

Just ask Wifey.
"See...she's telling me I'm a 'winner'!"

Which brings our orbit back to the point of this post. 

Everything…literally everything that I come across, whether I want it to or not, has the potential to weave itself into a fantastical soil-your-loins kind of scary story. Without even having to think, it just happens. The mind has an annoying habit of making connections where there are none. That's why I wear diapers from time to time. Not just for the bragging rights either.

Look. Gotta level with ya.

All of this 'joking' is really my way of trying to make light of when I relapsed and put myself through one of those more subtle moments of horror. A moment drifted up roughly a year after March 11, 2011. A rare instance when everything s-l-o-w-e-d waaaay down. In an instant, the spin and pull of gravity was suddenly hard to escape. I couldn't run. No, not a dream.

Feeling the creep of getting ready to almost lose something, I consciously noted that my feet were tingling, that sweat was beginning to collect on my forehead, and my heart was beating in my throat...because the weight in hand felt just about too right.

One of voices in my head, one that wasn't laughing, screamed "Tell me this isn't fucking happening!" The following internal dialogue came after a few longer moments of nervous silence.

Edges, Weight, and a Beckoning Whisper

Below are the three tarot cards from what started out as a sunny, once-upon-a-walk-along-the-beach kind of afternoon:

I. Edges
One was missing...
"Hey, let yourself go. Just go with it." I was telling myself, "The coolest stuff washes up on shore all the time. Picking up other people's garbage can be fun. We can make it a game. C'mon give it a try. Everything's a clue. All you have to do is just figure out what happened. See..."

II. Weight
The glove that was not empty...

No, that tattered glove was not empty. I thought it was. But when I reached down to grab it, everything was suddenly 3-D and technicolor. Tingling, sweating, hard to swallow, what the fuuuh...? I'm sinking. I could feel the weight of some hapless fisherman's hand who'd been unlucky enough to have been in the wrong place at the wrong time. The high tides had brought this ashore. The dead-fish handshake was ebbing. An hourglass of sand started spilling from the glove's wrist. I went ahead and tipped it up, to empty whatever might have been lodged in there, giving it just the right amount of weight. was light as a feather. Son-of-a-bitch. That son of a bitch! 

On the way home, an odd combination of discards had me distracted. Anything to take my mind off of what I'd almost seen. 

And there he was again.

III. Beckoning whisper
It looks kind of dark down there...

* * * * *

Well, it freaked me out. 

I'd really hate the guy if he didn't have such a messed up sense of humor.


Thursday, May 10, 2012

Adult ADHD

Adult ADHD: 

A Person Who Couldn't Sit Still

Movies and television are hard to watch. No, not hard in that all you need to do is sit and pretend that what you see is real or real enough. Productions are Hard to watch because they tend to do everything they can to mesmerize and very little to inspire.


“But that’s the problem.”


“Look…some folks sit down to watch, believing what is on the screen or what's been feed through the tube rather than what is in the world around them.”

Okay. So, what do you want to say? Where are you going with this? Show me something. Say it in a way that I can understand.

“From real-life?”

Yeah. Go.


“From somewhere in the Puget Sound, up through the San Juan Islands, through the Strait of Georgia, through Desolation Sound, up to Glacier Bay and back. In six months.”

“In order for a person to cover such a distance, solo, a lot of experience is required. An intimate knowledge of one’s craft. From the bottom up. Every fiber. Because things are going to break down. And survival is based upon the knowledge of how to mend whatever may need mending.”

“Although a fair number of people may kayak up and down the strait all the time, this is different. Not a kayak and not a sailboat.”

“The man-boy who built the boat actually built a large rowing shell. You see, kayakers rely heavily on their arms for power to get them through the challenges they face on their journeys.  Man-boy built his vessel so that he could row…with his whole body...facing where he’d been, navigating by markers in the past while relying on reflections to get where he thought he needed to go.”  

“He was maybe forty-something when he made that trip. A trip that was a culmination of lifetime’s worth of skills. His first big project was while he was in high school. Most kids in the special class were required to build a house for their project. He was given permission to build a boat; they either float or they don’t. His floated. He must’ve been seventeen.”

“The following winter, upon Man-boy’s return, he gave a number of slide shows, gratis, using a hundred or so of the thousands of photos he’d taken during one amazing journey. So many stories where self-sufficiency meant survival and the kindness of strangers meant not going hungry. Such an experience.”

What's this got to do with movies and television?

“You see, that’s the thing. If you’re living a life without too much of the big screen and no steady drip of the tube-infusion, you might start to get a better perspective, realize how amazing the real world is and maybe live…a little.”

"Memories that he shared...reverently whispering through the water while graced by the silent blessings of an Orca, gliding alongside." 

"Custodians, slaves, and warriors..."

Excuse me?  

"Drifting a little, just thinking about the company of sea lions and dolphins. And how, whether we realize it or not, we have the power to determine how we live our lives."

 "If we ever meet again, I wonder what I'll say...probably just 'thank you'."

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Fighting Weight: Didn't say...

natural selection n.

the process by which forms of life having traits that better enable them to adapt to specific environmental pressures, as predators, changes in climate, or competition for food or mates, will tend to survive and reproduce in greater numbers than others of their kind, thus ensuring the perpetuation of those favorable traits in succeeding generations.

Yeah, life can involve trade-offs. Fewer people on the planet doesn't seem like such a bad thing. Voluntary decline in progeny vs. war, famine, or pandemic...think I'll opt for the slow decline. 

Then again, as a species, the fittest have been defined as those which are able to see their offspring (children) reproduce, and their offspring (grandchildren) have great-grandchildren. That must be quite a feeling. Joy, sorrow, and all that other stuff. It's life.

More than a dozen to her line, down to a third generation...great grandchildren. Hard work. The right attitude. 

Her: (smiles) You look like you are down to fighting weight.
Him: (sits up straight) I'm not a fighter. 
Her: (head tilts forward, without missing a beat) I didn't say you were a fighter.

Her first time she had tried pull-ups, she had done almost a full dozen. 

Wisdom...the kind of wisdom that is capable of more than just getting by, but wisdom that knows what it takes to survive... 

Not too long after her first attempt at a dozen chin-ups, well into her sixth decade of life...

Yeah...she's a 'great'-grandma

All he can say is, "Thank you." And prepare to listen. 
She smiles again and asks, "Now, tell me about Japan."
Everybody laughs.