Showing posts from August, 2019

A Week Of Everything And Nothing

It has been a week of randomness around here, so rather than focus on a single subject, I'm going to do some free thinking and see where it takes me. Random Thoughts: 1. Monday mornings are always harder when you wake up to rain. They get infinitesimally harder when you step in a puddle of water by your kitchen sink on your way to the fridge. We had a leaking faucet which we traced to a spot that couldn't be reached without replacing the whole faucet. That was tonight's job (Yes, we lived with it for 3 days, that's how we roll.) and I completed it with good results. Running water is good. Menomonee Falls Landfill Hillshade/Alcohol Ink by S. Risley 2. I got word that my publisher is starting on my poetry collection formatting and cover design. That's the good news. The bad news? Its release has been pushed back to November. Nonetheless, it is all good that they are starting to look into it. 3. I got my "GeoArt" (my term) artwork from arti

My 4 Years Of Military Service

This past weekend was my high school class of 1979's 40th reunion. The event was held in St. Paul and because of recent travels and other commitments, I was unable to attend. A couple good friends from high school did go and kept me posted via text and phone calls on how it was going. There were two events, a social on Friday at a bar on Grand Avenue, and a multi-school social/mixer at The Lexington Restaurant, a place where I worked many hours in order to pay tuition and afford movies, records and all of the other things a 17-year-old finds to use his money for. I've only made it to two reunions in 40 years, my 5 year and my 30th year. Because I am working on a memoir about my years at old Cretin High, it would have been nice to make it to this one and talk the book up a bit. As it turns out, I left any promotion of my writing and my books to my good friends Pat and Peter who did an admirable job of plugging for me, from the sounds of it. My years at Cretin were not bad in

Sub Atomic Micro Fame

So, it's been quite a month from a writing standpoint around here. It started with a couple of acceptances by a cool little publication out of Chicago called Coexistence. I'd heard about the journal from a Facebook friend of mine who is fond of my writing and made a point to reach out to the editor. He was then kind enough to reach out to me with a free copy of the journal and a nice personalized note soliciting my work. It's not often that an editor does something like that, so I was sure to follow through. I sent him a fiction story from my work-in-progress memoir, Cretin Boy, as well as a couple of new poems. Within a couple of days, he wrote back accepting all three. Two for the September issue, and the third for a future issue. I was both grateful and a little shocked. He seems like a straight up guy, so I respect his judgement and am elated to be part of his publication. Today I found out my poem, Unqualified, received an honorable mention for the WI Academy of Sc

Natural Restoration

Just back from another week at Pine Forest Lodge with family. This trip saw the four of us plus Sam, my daughter's boyfriend, and Van a friend of my son's. We've been going up to this cabin on and off since about 2003 or so. Lots of great memories over the years, fish, fun and family. This one came on the day after my son's 21st birthday, so we celebrated with a birthday apple pie, a gift opening and a few drinks because, well, 21! The week was full of lots of reading too. Four of us had books we were well into throughout the week. My wife actually finished more than one. It is refreshing to have so much downtime that you can read without guilt or interruption. It is a habit that I am happy our kids have adopted. Even Sam commented how much he'd enjoyed reading a book instead of peoples' crap on Facebook. What struck me most about the trip was the continuous outdoor quiet. There's something healing about the wide open spaces and the way it seems to

My Personal Woodstock

This weekend marks the 50th anniversary of Woodstock, "three days of peace and music." Much like the Green Bay Packers Ice Bowl, I would love to say I was there, but I wasn't. At 7 1/2 years old, I couldn't find a ride. Even my older brother was only 14 at the time, so none of us was of the age to go. If you know me though, you know I am a music lover. I tend to romanticize big events like Woodstock and its California equivalent Altamont. From what I've seen of the history of the event, it was a poorly organized, understaffed and underprepared event, set in the middle of a rainstorm. There have been some good articles about it recently, as well as a PBS special  that was well done. Both talk about how it was about more than the music. It was a community of sorts. More importantly, though, it was a statement about a generation. Hedonism? Probably. Hippies, for sure. But a gathering in the name of peace, by any standards, is something worth striving for. So,

Legal in 50

Tomorrow my youngest turns 21. We will celebrate it together as a family on Saturday in one of our favorite places on earth, Pine Forest Lodge in Mercer WI, aka, "The Cabin." We have gone to this resort on and off for almost 20 years. We took a year off last year, but missed it so much that we booked it again this year. Ben has said that one of the things he is looking forward to doing is ordering a beer at the bar in the lodge. I guess I can't argue with that logic anymore. He is 21 after all. It's as legit as it gets. But nevertheless, it is weird to say I have two adult children who are relatively self-sufficient. You slog it out in the trenches for so many years, then deal with elementary, middle and high school, and before you know it you're watching them navigate college and adult life. There are too many good memories of Ben as a young kid to put in a single post. One of the forever memories will be when he was a little over a year old, he'd walk

Current Situation

After a day like yesterday in our country, it's a little hard to put together an upbeat, funny or positive blog. Nothing is funny in light of what appears to be a systemic problem with guns and racial divisiveness in this country. And while I place much of the blame on the fear-rhetoric of our current administration and the spinelessness of our congressional leaders to face up to it and do something about it - everything from gun control to condemnation of the Twitterer in chief fanning the flames with his thumbs on his phone - the spineless swamp is wide and deep in Washington. Sorry, it's been a tough go for me lately. The worst part of it is the sense of powerlessness and the resulting despair that comes with it. It seems all I can do is wield the power of the pen. So, I'll keep it short and leave this post with a couple of poems I wrote on the subject of guns a while back during, oh, I dunno, the 39th mass shooting of 2019, or so. We're up to 249 in August for t

Of What Is Seen And Unseen

I managed to lose my glasses last week. I don't know how it happened or where I lost them. I came out of work a week ago and when I got home I realized they weren't in my backpack. I frantically searched my backpack about a dozen times then drove back to work and checked to see if I left them there. No dice. They've got to be around, I thought. I never lose-lose things like glasses, keys or wallets. Of course I misplace them around the house all the time, but I never lose them. (Is there a difference?) Well, I've been looking for a week straight. It's weird what losing something will do to a person as obsessive as I can sometimes be. I start looking in the strangest places. Last week I actually looked under my hat hanging on a hook by the back door. Because that's where everyone puts their glasses, right? I checked the lost and found at work and have retraced my steps to and from the car several times, checking in the flower beds and parking lot stalls