what do i love – day five

February 15, 2014
  • Two lane highways
  • That my birthday is in the summer
  • Making hand crank ice cream
  • My panniers
  • Thunderstorms
  • That I wore purple velvet knickers when I was 10
  • Female jocks
  • Lifting weights
  • Sweet tea
  • How a good drummer changes everything
  • Playing raquetball
  • The internet
  • My insulated Klean Kanteen
  • My loud ass 4 fingered whistle
  • Creative collaborations
  • Knowing friends for over 20 years
  • A pork tenderloin sandwich from the Monroe County fair
  • Passing as a dude sometimes
  • Sharing a meal with friends
  • A good hair cut
  • Cool sunglasses


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what do i love – day 4

February 14, 2014
  • The sound of crickets
  • MTB’s garden
  • Doodling
  • Learning something new
  • Blueberries
  • Prince
  • Building something
  • Falling in love with a new song and then evangalizing the crap out of it to other people
  • A good diner, like the Otis cafe or Dianes
  • Manhattan
  • The Painted Hills
  • The Song of Solomon
  • Listening to Kurt Vonnegut’s voice
  • A British accent
  • Playing my guitar
  • Every time Becky’s come to visit me in Portland
  • Campfire food

what do i love – day three

February 13, 2014
  • Sticking with itness
  • Fava beans
  • Pet Sounds
  • Building a camp fire
  • Playing Boggle
  • A tostada
  • Writing music
  • Splitting wood with an axe
  • Imperfect heroes
  • A close basketball game
  • My space pen
  • Being born in the 60s
  • The county fair
  • Lonesome Dove
  • Trading
  • Fireflies
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what do i love – day two

February 12, 2014
  1. Kindness
  2. Reading a book out loud together
  3. Night-time bike rides in the summer
  4. Cooking
  5. My cat
  6. Taking a walk
  7. Tomatoes from the garden
  8. Laughing
  9. Being a Hoosier
  10. My dad’s best friend
  11. That I moved across the country
  12. Pussy willows
  13. Hugs
  14. Cooking
  15. Macgyvering something
  16. The song, Under Pressure
  17. Watching dykes play softball
  18. My summer camp
  19. A good chef’s knife
  20. Taking photos



all roads point somewhere

April 20, 2013

I got home late tonight and stood in my backyard. Right on top of the edge of one the veggie boxes I built a couple years ago. It was so quiet. I looked around at everything that’s coming up. It’s already starting to get thick and lush by the back wall. I had grand plans to move things around this spring but it didn’t happen. Plans got derailed. That’s ok. Spring is long. And things will still grow and and open up and bloom. Plus, this is not really my home.

Home. It’s such a tricky thing. When I look at my longing, which is vast and deep, I believe that home is at the bottom of it. That I am always longing for home.  Sometimes, if I try I, if I bring consciousness to it, or I am feeling secure, I can construct it — the stretch of road leaving Lake Lemon and heading toward camp, walking up the steps to Becky’s house, the streets around Butler, the drive from our old apartment on Fall Creek to Martha’s house, the smell of frankensense, the smell of toothpaste when I am camping, a chocolate shake and a car window rolled down on a hot summer night. I could make a new list. Call it, “ways to find home” and tape it up to one by my mirror called “take care, 2013.” It’s worth thinking about. It would be hard work. I know, home needs to come from somewhere inside me, but sometimes that place inside doesn’t seem to exist, which is about the best way I can explain it. Where there should be home in me there is me, untethered, and wishing I could find something to anchor myself too.

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thursday night in my backyard

April 19, 2013

Sometimes I sit on my back stoop. Except it’s not really a stoop. Its 3 steps that lead from the big glass sliding door off the kitchen and down to the gigantic deck that takes up almost half of the back yard. I like sitting out there at night and looking at the sky and the outlines of the plants and trees in the dim light. Its quiet and everything seems close in, kind of like a giant cocoon, and I’m not distracted by the weeds or how I didn’t move things around the yard the way I should have. I tried to sit out there tonight and write, because it was warm and because I needed to unwind, but it was raining on my computer screen. The front porch is not the same, with the street lights and the cars and the neighbors across the street sitting on their porch and talking and laughing and smoking. If my front porch was a proper covered porch it would be different, but it’s not, which is not the point. And by that I mean it’s not the point to dwell on all the things that not the way they should be or the way I want them to be. Although I can easily go down that path. The scarcity path. Which is a stupid heart suck. I was talking to my friend, VG, tonight about how you imagine the way you would be in certain instances or circumstances, and future you is like some other version of yourself, potentially better, more together, more Zen. But then when you are neck deep in the circumstance, you are so remarkably you. You are not the future you. You are the present you dealing the way you do with the stuff that’s happening in your life. You are doing the best fucking job you can do.

The thing is we’re all in it. Either we’re standing in the middle of something or were somewhere in the ripples. Millions of centers and millions of ripples.


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April 13, 2013

True confession. It is 10:30 on Friday night and I just ate a bowl of tomato soup with saltines and I am currently listening to a Justin Bieber song on purpose. I had plans for tonight. With myself. And at 6:30 they sounded perfect. Run some errands. Eat some food. Go to this thing at Slabtown. I was gonna ride my bike. But then it started raining and it was colder out than I wanted it to be so I checked out some new music thinking I would just wait out the rain. And it probably did stop raining at some point. I just didn’t notice because I got caught up big time into culling through a list of top 100 songs of 2012. I cannot resist the new song hole. I also made myself a list of things I want to get done on Saturday and Sunday. Lists rule. I make lots of them. Practical ones, like grocery lists, errands to run and people I need to get hold of  for one reason or another. Aspirational ones, like things I want to do this summer, books I want to read and projects I want to work on. Creative ones, like this long list I have of titles I can use for poems or stories or essays. I have a bunch of iTunes playlists. I have an audio list on a digital recorder of song ideas. I have a list called l.z., which is a list of things I can do to bring joy into my life and help me not get twisted up in my neurosis. If I was a different kind of person I would make a zine of my lists except I tend to not hang onto my lists. I do have an one old list from when my dad died. It is crammed full of writing in all directions and in different color inks, divided up by lines and boxes – call social security, call VA, get estimate for cremation, find bank account info, ask coroner they keep dad’s body at the morgue before we have to move him, etc.

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yard work

March 29, 2013

My hands were so dirty last night. I started pulling weeds right after work for an hour before I properly acknowledged that’s what I was doing and changed from my work clothes to my gardening duds and grabbed the weeding tool from the front porch. I am not a methodical weeder. I start out with that intention, but this time of year, weeds are everywhere and I’ll get going in one area and fill up my bucket with debris and then get sidetracked by some other place in the yard that I pass as I’m carrying my bucket of weeds to the compost bin. It’s hard to see progress when I work like this, but I don’t want to give myself a hard time about it either. That’s not why I’m out there.

I used to hate yard work. Hate. Hate. Hate it. And in the past, mostly I refused to do it. I’d mow the yard, begrudgingly. Or dig some stuff up and move it around when asked, but that was about it. It was only a couple of years ago that I discovered yard work’s secret magic, which is, that it’s a means to many ends, like feeling a sense of accomplishment, or doing something productive, or moving around some part of my body, which is what helps me manage the hard times that pop up when my head and heart are out of synch with I where I want them to be. It sounds therapeutic, and I hate to call it that, because that word does not even begin to capture the magic of feeling sweaty and sunburnt and tired and having dirt down under my nails and streaked across my skin or of drifting in and out the house for water and stopping to pet the cat or talk to a neighbor or turn up some music or sit on the edge of the deck and marvel at what I’ve gotten done. All this is part of yard work, too.

I probably could have kept going last night and weeded right up through dusk but Remy came home and I wanted to talk to her and I had to eat dinner before writing group and I needed to give myself some time to ride my bike to meet the group. It was a nice ride. Right on the cusp of being my first warm night ride of the season. Not quite warm enough though to qualify though. I did get all three of my veggie boxes done and there is still some dirt under my nails today.

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i can’t imagine

February 13, 2013

I say that phrase. When something shitty or fucked up or tragic happens to someone, I say “I can’t imagine  what it’s like to . . .” and then paraphrase the super shitty thing that’s happening or happened to them. Most times, when I say “I can’t imagine” I mean I haven’t experienced the super shitty thing myself, but I can guess what it feels like and it must be feel fucked up and they must be suffering, and I wish all of that wasn’t happening to them and I wish I knew some better thing to say to make it better for them. In short, most of the time I pretty much mean the opposite of “I can’t imagine” because I’m actually trying to imagine the fucked up experience but also I am afraid of failing in my imagination and in doing so, letting the other person down. I think this is true or I hope this is true for most of the people, most of the time, when they say that they “can’t imagine what it’s like to . . .” That they don’t mean it literally.  Because that would be really lonely and sad. If by saying “I can’t imagine” people were saying “I’m not doing that right now. I’m not going to picture you and what that might mean to you to have this fucked up thing happening.” Because when super shitty stuff is happening and you’re suffering and scared, you really need other people to imagine the super shitty thing with you, so that you are not so alone.

All this to say, I’m trying to exorcise this phrase, “I can’t imagine,” from my vocabulary. I have friends who are having super shitty experiences, epically shitty experience, and who have reminded me how it feels to hear that phrase and how sometimes it feels like being abandoned, like “oh shit, things must be really bad if you can’t imagine it.” I felt that way myself after my dad died in a house fire and people said “I can’t imagine that.” I wanted to say to them, “could you just try, because it sucked and I’m angry and sad and I need to be less alone.” I know there’s got to be better way to say to someone who is suffering, that I am thinking of them and holding space for their experience. A better way like lets take a walk or here’s some food or let me get that cup of coffee or tell me about your dad or your daughter or your husband or simply I am thinking of you.

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fuck yes friends

February 2, 2013

A big ass dose of friend love rocks!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Seriously. There was dancing and some kind of of aerobics/jazzercise and whiskey and taking pictures and chicken cacciatorre and wine and a cat and some talking about work and money to unwind from the bullshit of life and trying to sing Endless Love and lots of talking about love because you can’t get enough of that and some talking about sex and being naked just because and the roommates were there for a little bit but then they left and then they came back and big glasses of water were consumed, as well as honey mustard pretzels, and the green chair in the corner was super comfy and it had a great view and, totally, fuck the gender binary and big hugs all around at the end. Riding my bike home at almost midnight, no hands for 4 or 5 blocks, like a fucking kid. And super easy because I didn’t have my messenger bag or my panniers. Sit up, lean back and pedal and look at the stars. Lungs. Legs. Heart. Lucky Lucky. Lucky. Lucky ass lucky me.

A right on Friday night. For sure.