Friday, December 30, 2016

Artisan flour

Feels different, tastes different. Prefer it.

Here we go ...

Sure is an active market ... already folks wanting to see the house. Optimistic because both rejects were close. But in no hurry.

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Why do my spirits rise when house sales fall through?

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The up side

I don't have to get into gear for moving yet!

And staying, mortgage goes down, house value goes up.

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Here we go again

Sale fell through again. Know why and must deal with it, but this may change all plans. 2016 ends on complete uncertainty.

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Thursday, December 29, 2016


Just had slice of my artisan flour bread ... may be the most tasty slice I've ever eaten! A keeper, even at the expense.

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Good feeling

Definitely eager to renew ukulele skills. Nice to play yesterday after so long.

Ah me ah me

This transition sucks. Sure hope the end is in sight.

I sure wish H wasn't a pack rat. Could be damn easier.

The final hour

We should have a deal, a bit below asking price. House built in 1936, elec and plumbing freak out inspectors, though no probs in 20 years.

More financial challenges ahead than I prefer. I think it's important to get out of here now.

Crossed fingers.

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Once again

Renegotiating price after inspection. Ah, me.

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Played favorite two songs after weeks away, not too bad. Good muscle memory. Get into regular practice at R.

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A good day

Need one! Relaxed, a few chores, baking, watched a movie, forgot about car. Like Thurs and Fri to be the same.

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I mix bread dough a loaf at a time, and it only has a few days in refrig before I use it. Therefore mixing special batch for 14 days before using, see if it has the sourdough taste as book claims.

Great spring rise this morning. Trying new KA artisan flour. Expensive ... But curious.

LATER. Outstanding bread! Special flour for special occasions?

Eager to make frequent loaves in Russellville.
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Good morning

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Signature scoring

Looking for my own scoring image on loaves. Not easy to create. Will try some.

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Found my second wind and hanging in again.

Will get second opinion on car. Maybe repair for Harriet. I look forward to not driving.

Baking bread, of course. Sanest activity in my life. Bread makes more sense to the old man than literature does.

Inspection was very short this time. Meaning?

Will fill out R forms today.

Nice to be feeling better. More positive.

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Killing time

... while house inspected. A drag. Especially in a dying car, with the dog. At SB presently. Tick tock.

I'm vegetating rest of year, I hope!

Stress City

What's next?

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Too many balls in the air.

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Monday, December 26, 2016

Attitude modification


I can rent a car every weekend for almost two years for estimate to fix transmission. Plus R van takes me to necessary places. And I'm at a Max stop.


Bad timing

Huge car problem, transmission, that I'd rather not deal with until the house closes. Stress and uncertainty. Terrific.

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Small world

Took car in for service. Mechanic's parents in R, love it.


Breakfast: open-faced sandwich, mayo, cranberry, turkey dark meat. Yum.

Sunday, December 25, 2016


Solitary cook

Still at it, basting turkey etc, while the house slumbers. Sketch up to go out, eat, back to bed. Harriet in bed for another hour or two, I expect. I napped for an hour, hanging in.

Sweet potatoes, green beans, cranberry sauce, more dressing.

A nice Christmas, low key.

House inspection Tuesday. That's what killed the first sale. Knock on my wooden head.

Will it all come together this time?


I hope I get 3 to 5 regular bread customers at R, each a loaf every week or two. Plus a weekly drawing for a freebie. Keep me baking.

Gonna need a nap soon.

Still hard to imagine this will happen.

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Slow roast

Looking at 8 to 10 hours, I think. Dick used to put his turkey on at midnight, wrapped in butter wine soaked cheesecloth. 12 or more hours.

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My two closest male friends, dead now 18 and 12 years, still have a strong presence in my inner life. They seem away, in another city, not gone. Merry Christmas, Dick and Ger.

One of the ironies of life: my two best friends couldn't stand one another!

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Never been big on this holiday as an  adult. Single, spend it in a bar. Not, go along for the ride. But I like Woody Guthrie's vision of Jesus: "he said to the rich, give your goods to the poor." Fat chance.

Institutional Christianity has a terrible track record. I'm not impressed.

But there's nice music and pretty lights. Berrigan brothers and Central American nuns. Dorothy Day.
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Early start ...

... for the Christmas turkey, stuffing, etc.

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Saturday, December 24, 2016


Sometimes getting to Russellville, a clone of my hotel residence fantasy, seems too good to be true. I keep pinching myself.

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Harriet decided to roast a turkey for Christmas. So bought one. Last night: "I don't know why I bought a turkey. I don't even want to make it."

So I will.

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Amazing (for me)

Our car remotes have been dead for a few weeks. Not the batteries. Big inconvenience. You get spoiled.

No close Chevy dealer, or I'd have taken them in. On a whim, went to net and found YouTube DIY instructions. With a screwdriver and aluminum foil, fixed them myself! And I'm no mechanic. (Though once I did rebuild a VW engine).
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Friday, December 23, 2016


Pdx appraisals are late because there aren't enough appraisers in town to handle the heavy market.


I find the procedure of buying/selling a house to be full of games and unnecessary stress. The appraisal, for example, which addresses the question, What is this house actually worth? This happens at the END. In other words, everything else is a dance of ignorance before facing reality. Shouldn't we START with reality, the appraisal?

Future of bread

At R, may have weekly artisan bread drawings. Also accept special orders. How much a loaf?


Neither of us in even an habitual holiday mode. But we do plan to roast a turkey.

Thursday, December 22, 2016

I have a hard time picturing ...

... Pres. Trump delivering an inaugural address. And later what will the Trump Library look like? A collection of Hustler magazines?

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Buttermilk rolls

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The plan

Relaxing for rest of year, hit the ground running in 2017 for Feb 4 closing. Already setting up mover and cleaner.

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An old fantasy ...

... of mine is to live in a hotel. Russellville has this feel, as most retirement places don't, for several reasons: layout and front desk; meal options at 3 locations instead of mass dining; non retired residents for age variety.

In other words, I can't wait!


What Harriet likes ...
art studio with small community of artists
on Max line, easy downtown access
close to daughter
next to Head Start for volunteering

What I like ...
full kitchen
in house movie theater, films change daily
non retired residents, feel of hotel

Excited and nervous

Found the perfect buyer ... know because she wrote us a note about her love for house. Now to navigate the hoops.

Not long now!

Tuesday, December 20, 2016


Amazing day. Rejected offer came back at list price, as is. Sold! Closing date Feb 4.

"I'll get up in a minute ..."

Monday, December 19, 2016


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2 offers on house today. One laughable, dismissed. Thinking overnight about the other.

The era

Truth is evaporating before our eyes

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Ukulele IV

Listen to Angelina the Baker by cdeemer #np on #SoundCloud

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Ukulele III

Listen to Autumn Leaves by cdeemer #np on #SoundCloud

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Ukulele II

Listen to Keyportrag by cdeemer #np on #SoundCloud

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Listen to Old Greasy Coat by cdeemer #np on #SoundCloud

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Sunday, December 18, 2016


My mother was something of an astrology fanatic. She often read me my horoscope. Dad, a skeptic, would point out that they often were so general as to be universally possible. I took Dad's side.

But I read my horoscope in the Post today. "A house issue will be resolved after the first of the year." Hmm.

Dad would point out that two years from now is "after the first of the year."

Hanging in ...

... for a sick old man. Vacating afternoon so house can be shown. A drag but I like the cause.


Relapse. No play.

Saturday, December 17, 2016


Wish I could see the play anonymously tomorrow. No desire to be in limelight. Except to thank director and actors, prefer being invisible.

Weather may keep me home.

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The horror, the horror

The human capacity for evil is nothing new. Homer, Picasso, Shostakovich: artists have reminded us throughout history. But never has the exposure been so prevalent, the very soundtrack of our days. We become numb. We expect it. Anf we are trained to expect worse.

Light rye, on a cold early morning

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Friday, December 16, 2016


Dug the car out, drove in and out of driveway. No longer snowed in.

Powdered snow. Easier than the ice last time.

Now Sunday ... can we get to play?

Still snowed in

Such is life.

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Thursday, December 15, 2016

Let it snow

Morale booster

To hear from my South American director/collaborator on hyperdrama, reminds me how the Internet saved my ass, led me to hyperdrama interest around the world during neglect at home.

"What an honor to hear from you," wrote a European scholar I contacted. Impossible to imagine an American saying this to me!

At home, "I get no respect." I mean, it's become a punch line.

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Snowed in

No problem. However, Sunday my play closes, want to be mobile.
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In Pdx, this is all it takes! I have no shovel.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

La Cloche #3

We are getting there.

Low on fuel

What happened to my passion for reading? For writing? Feels like too much work lately. Not a permanent condition, I hope.

My only recent passion is baking bread. Strange.

Let it snow

I cancelled the day.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Long day

Glad it's over. Too old for long days.

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Crazy day

Kicked out this morning so house can be shown ... lunch at backup retirement center ... doc appt for H, who is having dizzy spells ... all this with Sketch with us.

Crazy day.

Monday, December 12, 2016

Worth repeating

H.L. Mencken wrote in 1920, "On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart's desire...and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron."

Boring politics

I can't recall a time when politics was so predictable -- and so boring. Given the apocalyptic issues facing us, this is unfortunate. But there is no debate or discussion at hand, it's all ideological pronouncements delivered to those who already agree with you. The world ends in a great frenzy of political masturbation. It would be hilarious if the riot wasn't taking me out with it.
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Cheese bread

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Baking II

I began baking in grad school, primarily bread the traditional way. Then several years ago I discovered the popular artisan bread book and no-knead baking ... and here I am. I'm hooked but also striving to improve. I'm getting pretty damn good.

I want to return to short fiction. First, review the past 100 years.

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Little things

To improve bread experience: better bread knife, linen bread bags, European flour.

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I love baking bread so much, at Russellville I hope to find half a dozen customers for weekly loaves, at cost. Best therapy I have -- and these days I need it!

H's son called last night. She couldn't remember that the sale fell through. Man, it's a delicate situation.

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Sunday, December 11, 2016

La Cloche #2

A tad longer uncovered, even better re crunchy crust. Does everyone prefer this? I do.

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We have to stop meeting like this

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Ah Sketch

Woke me up. Sometimes he just wants company ... so he can go back to sleep.

Since I'm up, might as well bake bread. La Cloche #2.

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Saturday, December 10, 2016


I make great bread, now better than ever, and some special dishes, like paella and today's blackeyed peas, but perhaps best of all is my ... buttermilk. A cold glass suggests so.

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The capitalist progression

Spontaneous & chaotic --) ordered > commercial & hyped

I've seen, and lived in, this progression time and time again.

Berkeley 1959, before the Free Speech Movement, home to an extraordinary and creative street life ... becoming politicized and ordered ... becoming gentrified.

The World Wide Web, late 80s and early 90s, wide open and exciting ... becoming ordered and catalogued ... becoming a 24/7 shopping mall and leader in the triumph of opinion over knowledge.

The profit motive is the great destroyer of institutions honoring the inner life.

Kitchen as cathedral

Slow roasting turkey legs, simmering blackeyed peas ... A busy kitchen. A sane place in a mad world.

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I need a low key project to occupy my mind during this long transition. Not writing. Reading.

Picked up the anthology "100 Years of the Best American Short Stories." Cover to cover, chronologically.

This annual collection gave me my first official encouragement as a writer, making their Roll of Honor in 3 of 4 years in late 60s, early 70s. My response: abandon fiction for drama.

Resettled, I may return to short fiction, end where I started, full circle. The reading will energize me -- or not.

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La Cloche

A baking stone with a lid. The moist unkneaded dough creates steam during its spring rise in the oven.

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Friday, December 9, 2016

I approve

La Cloche makes a crunchier crust, a caramel color. A keeper.

Comparing crust

La Cloche

First loaf in the oven. Curious!


So far, so good. Improvement of crust is the advantage, says party line. Looks great!

Morning relaxation

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Jackie: Fact or Fiction?

Asks the Washington Post. Happens every biopic. I gave my take decades ago.

Writing the History Play: why dramatists lie in the pursuit of truth
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Thursday, December 8, 2016

Season 3

Mozart in the Jungle! Rewatched everything, finishing 2 last night. First rate entertainment, great music.
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Just because

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This Saturday, a ritual growing up that I continue as an adult, missing my parents, ducking the scorn of progressive friends ha ha. I make blackeyed peas. Can"t recall how that started.
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My cousin approves

Deemer-licious bread!

And imagine an even greater level! That will be the attempt with the clouche.

It begins


Why does "bad news" make me mellow? Maybe because nothing changes ha ha. Our realtor is totally with us on this. If we stay here all winter, so what?

No sale

We rejected the laughable post inspection counter offer from buyer. Back on market. No safety issues but they wanted fancy elec additions paid by us.

Waiting for the storm

Nothing yet. Disappointed if a noshow. Good excuse to do nothing.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016


My best ever?

Ground lamb and turkey, yogurt, catsup, eggs, bread crumbs. Very tasty, nicely moist.

No excuses

There's a zillion theories about why and how Trump got elected but it's depressingly obvious why: millions of my fellow citizens prefer his ignorant loud-mouthed lying sexist racist conniving manipulative egomaniacal undisciplined bullshit to the other choices on the ballot. Q.E.D.
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Big game!

Conn v NDame, women's bball, #1 v #2, today.

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Begin the day

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Big storm coming, we may be snowed in tonight and tomorrow. Take care of business early today.

I thought retirement was now in order. Wrong. More forms to submit. Today, before the weather. Ah me ... Will this "transition" ever end?

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I make good bread, and many people agree. Still, I'll try to crank it up a notch: I ordered a French La Cloche to simulate a steam oven. Arrives Friday. Reviews by good bakers sold me. Also the possibility of baking in toaster oven in retirement community.

A new baking adventure!
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Tuesday, December 6, 2016


At last, an automatic deposit after our restructuring of retirement. I was beginning to wonder where it was. Security, or as close as we get to it. Also takes pressure off house sale. Good news all the way around.

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Monday, December 5, 2016

My shrink ...

... is Gerry Mulligan! No doubt about it.
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Good day

Baked bread, marinaded game hens, made mushroom stuffing, slow roasting, west coast jazz, napping dog, Harriet shopping downtown ... Spells MELLOW.

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Slouching toward sanity

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A part of me hopes we sell the house with no place to go. Put everything in storage. Live in motels. Travel.

Quotation of the times

H.L. Mencken wrote in 1920, "On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart's desire...and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron."

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Saturday, December 3, 2016


"You should be pleased ...," writes a theater professional friend who saw the play last night. I see the matinee tomorrow. Looking forward to being pleased.

Not looking forward to the "talk back" after the show. I prefer the work to stand on its own.

Philip Glass thought works of art should be anonymous. What a concept.

Where we stand

The closing date moved because the appraisal couldn't be scheduled until mid January. Too much activity, all sales delayed in town. There may also be inspection issues to resolve. Should find out end of week.

Officially the house is still "sold" but none of this is encouraging.

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Half speed

Which is an improvement. Nowhere to go today.

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Friday, December 2, 2016

Cancelling ...

... everything. Sick, stomach flu? stress?

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What excitement?

See Juniper Tavern tonight but seem to be dreading the drive more than looking forward to the play. I no longer see the arts as a positive influence on American culture. THE QUIET AMERICAN didn't stop the Vietnam War.

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Thursday, December 1, 2016


Who knows? But that's ok as long as our $$ is ok. Seems to be.

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I had to cancel Russellville and get back on wait list because of these new delays. Now, at best, we move late Jan. -- somewhere.

So why am I so mellow?