Thursday, December 21, 2017


Blog computer code got screwed up, two columns became one. Can't figure out a fix. Hmm.


At Chevy dealer waiting while car serviced.

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Soul sister

My soul sister in LA retired this week. Worked for many years at Santa Monica Community College, in student services. A talented songwriter, singer. Be interesting if she now devotes more time to it. Be interesting if we finally collaborate on a musical. 

Confounds the science

Thanks, Lena!

Monday, December 18, 2017

Widespread illness

Vineyard Place, we just learned, is in quarantine! We got out in the nick of time. Not that we are running at 100% ... both fighting our colds. Tire easily, move slowly.

Cold outside. A good day to stay in, stay warm, and stay quiet.

Sunday, December 17, 2017

Screenwriting Q&A

I started a new blog, Screenwriting Q&A, at which I will respond to questions about the craft of screenwriting and creative writing in general. I have a half century's experience as a professional writer. Shame to keep it on the shelf. In my experience, screenwriting is the writing genre most misunderstood by beginning writers, who usually shoot themselves in the foot from ignorance. I am here to help. Just ask.

Old friends

A surprise visit from an old friend of Harriet's and her boyfriend, a pleasant reunion and much needed good conversation, our first apartment guests. Charges the battery. Friends are important in these dark times.


My sense of community has changed in major ways over the years. With relatively early success as a writer, especially as a literary short story writer in the 1960s and 1970s, with citations in Best American Short Stories, I felt a strong sense of being part of the American literary community. This became more focused in the 1980s with my success as a playwright in the Pacific Northwest and a very strong sense that Portland was my home, both personally and professionally.

Much changed in the 1980s. My theatrical support group in Portland vanished  (death, moving, retirement) about the same time I abandoned traditional theater for hyperdrama. I no longer felt very much at home in Portland, where my new irrelevance grew over the decades. But I found a new support group online, an international interest in hyperdrama that put me in the forefront of this new theater form. I ended up contributing to the canon of "first generation hypertext," about as obscure an honor as one can receive. I also had graduate dissertations written on my work in Egypt, Spain and Sweden. How strange! But a damn sight better than working in a vacuum.

As I returned to fiction in 2000 and beyond, in the short novel form, my sense of an audience was not visceral. I received just enough perks to let me know I wasn't yet stuck in a vacuum. Yet the sense of community I had earlier had vanished. My audience was invisible.

Was I writing for the future, for posterity? At one time I embraced the possibility but I grew to understand how little literature matters in my own culture. What serious audience I had remained overseas, I suspected.

I never set out to be a popular writer. I don't read popular literature. But I didn't want to work in a vacuum either. By and large, my career has gone just about the way it needed to go, given my interests and my talents. In fact, I am a better writer than I expected to be. At the same time, I am much more invisible than I expected to be.

In my old age, I write largely from habit. It is what I do. It is who I am. I do very little marketing, only as much as takes almost no effort, like entering my last play in competitions. I feel fortunate to have a fan in the publisher of Round Bend Press, my recent home. I am happy with the arrangement.

I still get excited about writing. I am excited about my new novel, the CJ sequel. It is enough for my old age.

Saturday, December 16, 2017


At Vineyard Place, all meals were provided -- and surprisingly good for institutional food. However, this created a problem for me. Cooking, it turns out, is part of my Ritual of Sanity. I missed it. Fresh rolls were serviced at every lunch, damn good ones, which interfered with the rhythm of my bread baking.

Happily I am back to cooking daily again. For example, from early morning I put together a parsnip-turnip soup, which I just had for lunch, a several hours project, and man is it delicious! Cooking, I feel like I'm myself again.

I also am back working on the novel, the sequel to SODOM, and once again I am excited about it, after it had dropped off the radar at Vineyard. So this move is good for me, essential to my sanity in fact.

Harriet, I suspect, is not so enthusiastic but hopefully she will be after she starts painting again.

Taking the afternoon off to watch Oregon in a bowl game.

A new title

When I retired my previous blog A Writerly Reitrement and began this one with the title Disappearing Act, I thought I was beginning a blogging exit strategy. Not quite. I more or less abandoned this in recent months while living in a retirement community but the environment at Vineyard Place only increased my desire to avoid places like that for as long as possible. I'm back in the saddle again. And I've renamed this A Writerly Retirement II for continuity.

Friday, December 15, 2017

Early start

Sketch woke me up at four to go out. Full business, so he needed to. But usually he wakes me closer to six. So here I am, awake too early.

But with a great cup of coffee, thanks to our new machine. Very easy to use, very good coffee. A good investment.

Not ready to work. Watch a movie? Think about the day's meals and plan accordingly?

Counting my blessings. A warm house. Money in the bank. A cold but otherwise good health. And Harriet, of course.

Boxes everywhere. Let's make a few disappear today. One step after the other.

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Too much, too soon

Been sick, too many chores today, relapsing. Take it easy!

Gave ourselves new apartment gift: fancy coffee maker! Already love it.

We are old, move slowly, tire easily, and the apartment is full of boxes. It will take a while to get settled. Which is fine.

Did some work on the novel yesterday! Renewed energy about it.

This apartment rocks, and it is still a mess. Great things ahead.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Step by step

Boxes everywhere, and Harriet and I tire easily and move slowly, so getting settled will take a while. But we are functional, kitchen, living room, bedroom livable, just the details to fix, and this place definitely is far, far a better fit for us than the retirement community. That was great research for my novel, however! Eager to move forward.

Monday, December 11, 2017


write this on a computer at a desk in a room where I don't feel claustrophobic, on a morning without money worries, with no expectations of medics running hither and yon to attend to my neighbors, with no designated feeding times, and no expectations of hearing Trump praised, and I feel like I have my life back.

Sunday, December 10, 2017

A room of one/s own

Virginia Woolf nailed it: writers need a place to work. For a year, I have been denied this through unusual circumstances, writing as best I could in cramped quarters on tablets and an alphasmart. But now we have moved from the retirement institution, a temporary stop by design, into our own apartment, nearby as it turns out, and in the corner of the living room I have my own desk on which my netbook rests, a space of my own. And I am eager to use it! Returning to the novel in progress right away.

I'll have much to say about the past year. Definitely some new experiences, material to be sure. But then, It's All Material.

It feels great to be writing here and now, with a sense of being in my creative home space. Yes!

Tuesday, December 5, 2017


Early morning laundry. Movers tomorrow. Much to do. Very, very tired. Gave myself a month for this, not enough. No help.

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Light the end of the tunnel etc. The move is killing my arthritic knees, definitely not fun. But work needs to be done. Movers come Wednesday. The light!

Friday, November 24, 2017

What a day

In the retirement community today: a diagnosis of leukemia, three ambulances, a pet death, a resident death. Reality 101 here.

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Slow move

Stuff here to apt or garage, 3 carloads a day. Slow steady going. Maybe I'll get my life back.

Tuesday, November 21, 2017


Rented an apt, save money,  more freedom. Details later.

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Big project

Getting the chaos of our storage unit organized, prior to better things. Starting now!

Friday, October 20, 2017


I need some. Very unproductive period. Well, rehearsing birthday reading. Much grunt work ahead, organizing storage prior to move. Plus novel, chromatic. Not getting much progress.

This place beginning to wear on me. Too much illness.

Friday, September 29, 2017


Same routine around here, little progress on anything. Going to focus on getting H to downsize. Necessary!

posted from Bloggeroid

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Monday, September 18, 2017

Small world

Breakfast with  visiting New Mexico woman, fan of my screenwriting book, who says I was her Eng Comp professor at U of O in 1974, apparently so from what she remembers. Remarkable. Neat woman, neat time.

Friday, September 1, 2017


Haven't written in novel draft for over a week but brooding about it daily. Might write tomorrow. Making major changes in second section, of five, the action that takes place in a facility like here. Found vehicle I need, I think, in a character from Australia. Non American. Will give it a try.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Friday, August 25, 2017

Gaining speed

Better today, good harmonica practice, good novel brooding, house chores. Bake bread tomorrow. Nearing the normal routine again. Good.

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Moving slowly

A bit sick, low energy, for all of the week. A drag.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017


Close to nailing the melodies of two songs on chromatic, What Is This Thing Called Love? and Sentimental Journey.

Once I get a few melodies down, the real work begins, learning how to improvise around them!

This is a great place to do something like this, lots of time and very few house chores. Nothing but time.

And the novel crawls forward as well. So far, so good.

Great challenges ahead! I like it.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Cool down

Our considerable heat spell is over. Relief.

Plan to check out the local farmers market today, if Harriet gets up in time. She is a very late sleeper.

Chromatic practice is front burner now.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Lazy afternoon

Morning perk

Jeff R, DJ actor director friend, who directed Tom S and me in ZOO STORY in 1970s, says SODOM, GOMORRAH & JONES is "the best title since ZEN AND THE ART OF MOTORCYCLE MAINTENANCE."

Nice to wake up to.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Plugging along

A little work on the novel ... a few tunes on the ukulele ... practicing scales on the chromatic (C, G, F at the moment) ... a snail's pace but progress.

Monday, July 31, 2017


Busy all day, writing, reading relevant to novel (research), plus home chores, one of those days I want to clone. See how the rest of the week goes.

Still damn hard getting the tone right but progress, after all, is all that matters at this stage. Onward.

Sunday, July 30, 2017


Very difficult going on the novel. Haven't found the right tone yet for the retirement community section. A struggle, more so than usual.

Which outs my life in a mild funk. No progress lately on downsizing. Harriet still not into it. I need to bite the bullet and just do it myself, despite her displeasure as a result. We are held prisoner by all her belongings, 90 percent of which gathers dust and costs us storage money and has no other function that I understand.

Doing the best I can. Feels like it's not enough.

And still not back up to speed on ukulele. 

Sunday bread

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Granddad (Charles L Deemer), 1950s

Footage of building Passdena patio, designed as navigator's compass. Details in my 1969 short story, The Thing at 34 degrees ...

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Keeping busy

Lots of necessary auto chores done this morning, but not all. Ended up exhausted, got a second wind after lunch and did some work on both novel and home movies. Been some good days in a row. Harriet on new medication, which seems to be helping her attitude. Onward.

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Great morn

Terrific progress on novel. And fish tacos on lunch menu!

posted from Bloggeroid

Saturday, July 15, 2017


Slow but sure progress on projects and downsizing. Taken over latter. Only way to get it moving.

posted from Bloggeroid

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Thursday, July 6, 2017

1950s Christmas in Pasadena

Home movies

Beginning to go through them. Made clip for cousin, her parents before she was born.

20 pages into novel.

posted from Bloggeroid


The new novel is in three parts: The Big C, Sunnyside Village, Camp Thanatos.

In the last section will be a celebration of life, a challenge but also a joy to write.

Finished draft of part one. Short. This may be a novella.

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Delightful day

Rewriting ... Video editing ... Cool jazz ... Great weather ... Mariners win in LA... Yes.

posted from Bloggeroid

I love rewriting


Love the hours before sunrise. So quiet. Not even Portland's occasional traffic noise here. Did some work in Photoshop, making titles for video. Last night prepared historic photos. Bringing back skills I haven't used in almost a decade.

Saturday, July 1, 2017


Video turned out well. Be doing more of this.


In home grown video, it's always sound that is the challenge.

posted from Bloggeroid


Rehearse July 4 play and will tape it. Going to get into video again big time

posted from Bloggeroid

Friday, June 30, 2017

Home movies

What a experience, seeing them again. Will put highlight vid online.

Monday, June 26, 2017


In a good writing rhythm ... Best in years. Man it is fun to write about CJ
He is so much like me ha ha. Has become very good time of life despite certain complications. I love it here.


Saturday, June 24, 2017

Friday, June 23, 2017

Home movies

Digitizing my dad's movies from 1950s. Exciting.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017


30 hrs in hospital. Dizziness. Not a stroke. Probably dehydration.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Saturday, June 17, 2017


The devil made me do it.


A sequel in mind. Exit song, farewell wake. AMERICA, TRUMP & JONES.

Brooding time!

Score card

Challenges: with H memory loss
...managing finite money in place with skyrocketing costs
...retaining faith that my journey was worth the sacrifices
...aging health issues

Battery chargers:
...baking bread
...making buttermilk, eating breakfast
...readers' theater here
...revisiting favorite literature music
...a few friends who are left

Bottom line:
...hangin' in like Gunga Din
posted from Bloggeroid

Hanging in

Should be better than that. Not yet.

posted from Bloggeroid

Monday, June 12, 2017

Relaxing Monday


My demise will happen when I can no longer make my own breakfast. It's my great battery charger.

posted from Bloggeroid

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Wednesday, June 7, 2017


You'll never find this here: ground turkey and mushrooms, turkey gravy, eggs, bacon.

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Monday, May 29, 2017


That kind of day. My actors are falling like flies. Preview?


UCLA, Oregon and Washington in the 8 team series.

Memorial Day

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Softball WS

UCLA gets first ticket. Oregon and Washington still alive.

posted from Bloggeroid

Friday, May 19, 2017

Friday, May 12, 2017

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Tuesday, May 9, 2017


I love living
on a day like this
filled with sun
filled with warmth
a perfect day
to count my blessings.

let me die
on a day like this
filled with sun
filled with warmth
a perfect time
for permanent sleep

Monday, May 8, 2017


Nature takes a break
today, no storms
no ferocity and revenge
but a smiling warm day
filled with reminders
of how much we lose
when we piss off
Mother Earth

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Thursday, April 27, 2017


posted from Bloggeroid


My best part of day. Baking bread, make breakfsst, morning Ms game ... then to get through rest of day.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017


Stressful day. Glad it's over. Bake in morning, try to get grounded.

Monday, April 24, 2017


... to start rehearsing the script. Doing something I know how to do (for a change).

Sunday, April 23, 2017


Finished draft of NATURE WINS last night. Polish and time it today.

posted from Bloggeroid

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Friday, April 21, 2017


The sun! Really energizing. But rain tomorrow ...

posted from Bloggeroid

Tuesday, April 18, 2017


my fragility frightens me

I who has weathered storms
now crumble at a mere sneeze
of resistance

it's as if my will
has given up

as if Camus were wrong
and the struggle itself
will not fill a man's heart

it's as if all the questions
without answers
were not worth asking

and no ending justifies

Monday, April 17, 2017


Feeling good, despite kinks in my smoother goals. Ukulele progressing superbly. A project to create and rehearse. Busy with something other than the household mess.

posted from Bloggeroid


Found 2 others ready for a theater project here. Will now make it happen.

posted from Bloggeroid

Saturday, April 15, 2017


Let my old age
be filled with wonder

first at Nature
in all variety

next at ourselves
the human contradiction

creative and cruel
our own worst enemy

It was Pascal who said
our troubles begin
because we can't sit quietly
in an empty room


posted from Bloggeroid


How did old age
become so different
from all the ways
I imagined it?

Was it too extreme
to fantasize a quiet
life as a respected
old writer?

Nowhere in the fantasy
were the feelings
of irrelevance
of neglect
of impotence
that I feel today
in the picture.

How wrong I was.
How invisible I am.
I am not even here.
You are imagining me.

Good morning

Sketch's chair.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

2 new tunes

Soldier's Joy and June Apple, both a hoot to play. Getting good!

posted from Bloggeroid

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Monday, April 10, 2017


Harriet made downsizing progress this morning. Great!


Seattle has the worst record in MLB. Nowhere to go but up.

posted from Bloggeroid

Sunday, April 9, 2017


Can't hold 5 run lead in 9th. Jeez.


I have no desire to write, despite some projects in mind, and this is a first. Two reasons, I think. My conclusion that literature matters little in this culture, so writing is like pissing into the wind. And, probably more significantly, my best writing is behind me. I cannot imagine writing better than SODOM or FAMILY CLIMATE, to mention fiction and drama. So why add to an archive that's already huge and seldom looked at? What's the point?

Fortunately I have energy for something else, which is getting good at clawhammer and jazz ukulele. New books coming, a vigorous study program shaping up, and I definitely need to engage it. Otherwise all I do around here is wait between meals. Eating, eating, eating. Beginning to feel like a curse.

I might put together a formal show. Or two. A new ukulele version of my Guthrie show, and a new show about roots music. We'll see. Be practicing on a regular basis, and long, is the first step.

The apartment is still a cluttered mess. Harriet is impossible. She leaves for a few days to go to a wedding and I plan to haul tons to storage in her absense, then duck at her anger upon return.

posted from Bloggeroid

Tuesday, April 4, 2017


Sounded great this morning. Time for new songs.

Monday, April 3, 2017


I don't think H is capable of downsizing. Her kids will deal with her stuff by default after she passes. Very unfortunate. It restricts our retirement options in major ways. I don't like it at all. But I see nothing to do about it. Bummer.

Sunday, April 2, 2017


posted from Bloggeroid

R.I.P. Yevtushenko

A Russian poet whose readings in soccer stadiums drew over one hundred thousand. Not in America.

Friday, March 31, 2017


Little energy to write lately. But good energy to practice ukulele. Interesting.

Monday, March 27, 2017

Sketch ...

... has a terrific new vet! She gets on the floor with him, no exam table. Located two blocks away, next to an irish pub. yowee!

Saturday, March 25, 2017


Oregon women upset Maryland, on to Elite 8!

A lovely morning

Definite progress in our second week here. Living room a week or two from being presentable.

Friday, March 24, 2017

Strange rhythm

Breakfast, put 3-5 boxes in storage, lunch, downsize prep, dinner, TV, bed.


This place is dangerous. The food is too damn good, three times a day with options, too easy to eat, rest, eat, rest. Need to make an effort to be active.

I did get the wifi set up yesterday, more easily than i expected, so it feels a bit like home with Kindle Fire TV and Alexa playing Gerry Mulligan. But clutter is still everywhere and will be for a while. Need to rearrange storage to make more room.

I can't find my netbook yet. Bummer. Some notes on it that I hope not to recreate.

Otherwise, hanging in. Harriet is warm and cold about this place. But slow trend toward the warm, I think.

posted from Bloggeroid

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Slow progress

H is terrible at downsizing. All the clutter is her stuff, which she protects like a mother wolf. We may never get uncluttered here. Frankly I don't get it. Almost like a mental illness.

Monday, March 20, 2017


I stopped watching the news during the hectic week of moving and haven't started up again. I may be done as "an informed citizen." Too much irrational posturing in politics today.


Continuing downsizing apt this week, a big job. Hope to be "moved in" by summer!

posted from Bloggeroid

Sunday, March 19, 2017


... is the middle name of this place. Love it.

Saturday, March 18, 2017

A good place

I really like it here, and Harriet is getting into the rhythm and seeming to enjoy it more as well. Still a ton of work to downsize and make our apt liveable, which will take weeks or even months at our slow pace. That's okay. We can survive in it now fine.

posted from Bloggeroid

Friday, March 17, 2017


Got my own cart for moving boxes. Much moire practical, convenient, given how much I have to do.

posted from Bloggeroid


Doing a few boxes a day. Eventually we'll be where we want to be.

Going to teach bread making class here. Talked into it.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Slow but sure

Will take a few months to get the apt right. No pressure really. But sooner better, as far as I'm concerned.

Monday, March 13, 2017

Settling in

Much, much work to get our apt right, what with H pack rat stuff. But we'll get there. Otherwise doing ok after first week.

posted from Bloggeroid

Sunday, March 12, 2017


During hectic last week of move, missed all newscasts. So refreshing I ain't going back! Deleted my news apps.

posted from Bloggeroid

Friday, March 10, 2017

Transition from hell

On smart phone ... Empty house, waiting for cleaners. Next to make apt liveable. What an ordeal!!!!

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Thursday, March 2, 2017


Life is full of surprises, and our retirement is no exception. After much thought, we decided not to move to Russellville. There's no doubt it's best suited for us in many ways: the "academic" activities, in house movie theater and sports bar, on Max line, eating options. But it also is considerably more expensive than many other places. When our basement sprung a leak, when it became clear that at R money would be very tight and emergencies a disaster, when our nest egg shrunk due to a variety of things, well, it made no financial sense to move to Russellville. So we opted instead for another place we liked, Vineyard Place in Milwaukie. The perks here are quiet scenic location but also across from library and next to movie house. And significantly less expensive, including all three meals. I think it will be fine. I will try and start a readers theater group and I plan to do volunteer work across the street at the library. It also is close to a small Unitarian church in Oregon City, which we'll check out.

The big move is Monday. I've been taking a carload of boxes over every day, another this morning.

We are close now!

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Tuesday, February 21, 2017


More to do but, man, I am pooped. There's old age for you. It sucks.


Arranged final bills. Feeling more official all the time.

posted from Bloggeroid


A busy day. Switch the utilities, downsize dishware, which means struggling with H about what to keep ha ha. VA pickup tomorrow.

Sign Thursday. Buyers already signed. Close Friday.


Monday, February 20, 2017

Cheese bread

posted from Bloggeroid


From grad school ...

posted from Bloggeroid

Waiting room

H seeing her doc, get approved for continued driving.

Progress on house front. At last.

posted from Bloggeroid

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Friday, February 17, 2017

Tick tock

Trump's anti-press conference would be funny – if it weren't so scary

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

A literary giant

The fire this time – the legacy of James Baldwin

Copy this day!

Today is how I envisioned moving being ... both working, jazz playing, dinner cooking ... but today is the first, a FUN day. More ...

posted from Bloggeroid


What a busy, exhausting, productive day -- and it's only 2pm! But I am done and Harriet has gone to take a nap. We're old enough to have only a few hours in us, at least at a time, which is why we need all the time we can get to get out of here. It's all grunt work now, putting loose items in bags and boxes, but even this is enough for us. We are hopeless, remembering how we could work our tails off when younger. No longer. Amazing. Old is old, the new reality.

But today was great. The secret is to put these one after another. We don't have too much wiggle room if the deal goes through. It is not officially dead, as the buy still hems and haws as to buying a leaking basement. If he wants to come down, we can reject it, and he has the option to still buy at the original price. All the balls are in his court until a new offer, if one comes at all. We're down about as much as we want to go. What a mess.

What a mess. What a mess. I'm gone.

Good morning

Trying to get our taxes done, as well as continuing to pack as if getting out of here will happen sooner rather than later. I have no idea if that will happen. I have no idea about moving at all anymore. Nothing has been predictable and all surprises have been negative.

Reading Hofstadter again, I see that Trump comes from a long anti-intellectual tradition, he's just more extreme than most. But this kind of prejudice and ignorance is nothing new. A very unfortunate truth about American culture.

Man, I love this AS! I've said that before. Sure I'll say it again many times in the future. Writing here, and pecking on my Kindle, have absolutely nothing in common.

Harriet has gotten into gear, finally, and has worked on the house two days in a row, packing her antiques. Neither of us can work very long without getting tired and having to stop. That's why it takes us so long. We paid to get the basement downsized, several grand, and could pay several grand more to do this for us, and would if we were wealthy, but we're not and we also have time, so we keep plugging along.

I had to ask for my big deposit back from Russellville. They wanted us and did everything to get us there, but now I am thinking it is too expensive for us, given all the recent uncertainties. I still am driving a car whose transmission is about to go, according to our mechanic. I expected to happen by now. More uncertainty, more stress. If the car goes after we've moved, we still have transportation. Before, another expense and issue to solve. Knock on my wooden head. Which actually seems to accomplish zilch.

I reread KEROUAC'S SCROLL. Another strong novel. With SODOM, two novels any writer should be proud to have written. And I am. Each with almost no readers. Too bad. But I am not wasting my time by marketing anything. I live in a different universe with different value system.

I need to work on taxes today ... and the house goal is to organize the stuff left in the basement. Lots of work yet to do in kitchen and bathroom, getting loose stuff into boxes.

When I look around this house, I am overwhelmed by how much is left to do. Do we even have time if a quick sale goes through? And Harriet is no help, thinking there's no problem but at the same time doing precious little to help. I assume I have to do it all and be surprised otherwise, as in the last two days.

I am so eager to start a new life in a retirement community somewhere! So is she, actually. And she needs it more than I do. Her memory loss is a real personal setback.

posted from Bloggeroid

Tuesday, February 14, 2017


Mike Flynn might be done – but Trump's nightmare has just begun

The time is right ...

... to revisit Richard Hofstadter's classic, Pulitzer book ANTI-INTELLECTUALISM IN AMERICAN LIFE. I begin tonight.

Limbo fever

Call me Limbo. Jesus, what a transition! Every time I see light at the end of the tunnel, I get blindsided and blinded by an attack of bats.

But hey! I am not a refugee, I don't live in Aleppo ... AND I AM NOT A REPUBLICAN!

Whenever, wherever, I'd like to start, or get involved in, a readers theater group, and from that see if there are some old farts as radical as I to do a little political street theater in Pioneer Square. Something to look forward to.

posted from Bloggeroid

Monday, February 13, 2017

UConn women

So exciting to watch. In tight game tonight with SC.


But we continue to pack ... moving eventually.

posted from Bloggeroid


I'm writing now on the AlphaSmart keyboard, which I haven't done in too long. Who said you can't go home zgain?

I am going to start a short story, I think, just to have a project, a diversion, from the recent stress. And an excuse to write on this wonderful keyboard every day. This is the best writing tool on the market! Precious few agree with me, if they know about it at all, but if you want to WRITE, and not be tempted away by the Internet, and you want hundreds of portable hours for 3 AAA batteries, well, this is your baby.

I hope a sale happens soon.
posted from Bloggeroid

Saturday, February 11, 2017


Lots in flux but our attitudes are good. Details as appropriate.

posted from Bloggeroid

Friday, February 10, 2017

Good news

In the recent mess, some good news.

Finally got H's retirement payout set up right. Working on it since Dec.

The house finally got appraised, and higher than I expected.

posted from Bloggeroid

Sullivan on Trump

Andrew Sullivan: “Then there is the obvious question of the president’s mental and psychological health. I know we’re not supposed to bring this up — but it is staring us brutally in the face. I keep asking myself this simple question: If you came across someone in your everyday life who repeatedly said fantastically and demonstrably untrue things, what would you think of him? If you showed up at a neighbor’s, say, and your host showed you his newly painted living room, which was a deep blue, and then insisted repeatedly — manically — that it was a lovely shade of scarlet, what would your reaction be? If he then dragged out a member of his family and insisted she repeat this obvious untruth in front of you, how would you respond? If the next time you dropped by, he was still raving about his gorgeous new red walls, what would you think? Here’s what I’d think: This man is off his rocker. He’s deranged; he’s bizarrely living in an alternative universe; he’s delusional. If he kept this up, at some point you’d excuse yourself and edge slowly out of the room and the house and never return. You’d warn your other neighbors. You’d keep your distance. If you saw him, you’d be polite but keep your distance.”

“I think this is a fundamental reason why so many of us have been so unsettled, anxious, and near panic these past few months. It is not so much this president’s agenda. That always changes from administration to administration. It is that when the lynchpin of an entire country is literally delusional, clinically deceptive, and responds to any attempt to correct the record with rage and vengeance, everyone is always on edge.”

“There is no anchor any more. At the core of the administration of the most powerful country on earth, there is, instead, madness.”
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La de dah

I wonder what a day without surprises feels like.

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Thursday, February 9, 2017

Nighty night

Not quite official yet but the deal is very likely dead.

posted from Bloggeroid

Deal breaker?

After a foot of snow followed by two heavy rain storms, minor basement leak (our realtor's flooded!):


despite the news of the day
reporting the usual lies and atrocities
the wars, the crooked deals
the horrors happening to children
the collage of world suffering

and the lesser grief
in my personal plot of existence
the aches and pains of old age
the stress of finite finances
and always something going wrong
few surprises inviting welcome

the world going
"to hell in a hand basket"
and all that

despite it all

not one shred of horror
or grief or suffering
not one human complaint
not one human tragedy

compromises the joy
the wonder and the delight
the extraordinary gift of listening

to Gerry Mulligan's solo
on "My Funny Valentine"


Sometimes it feels as if the Universe is conspiring to keep me out of Russellville.

Tricks of the gods

Possible deal breaker appeared today. Realtor working to repair.

AMAZING!??! in a "toy thing of the gods" sort of way.

Wednesday, February 8, 2017


Saw our apt, it is GREAT. Knock knock etc.

posted from Bloggeroid

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

James Baldwin on America

From the new documentary ...

It’s not a question of what happens to the Negro here or to the black man here—that’s a very vivid question for me, you know—but the real question is what is going to happen to this country. I have to repeat that.

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In the years in Paris, I had never been homesick for anything American— neither waffles, ice cream, hot dogs, baseball, majorettes, movies, nor the Empire State Building, nor Coney Island, nor the Statue of Liberty, nor the Daily News, nor Times Square. All of these things had passed out of me. They might never have existed, and it made absolutely no difference to me if I never saw them again. But I had missed my brothers and sisters, and my mother. They made a difference.

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They don’t want to believe, still less to act on the belief, that what is happening in Birmingham is happening all over the country. They don’t want to realize that there is not one step, morally or actually, between Birmingham and Los Angeles.

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I’m terrified at the moral apathy, the death of the heart, which is happening in my country. These people have deluded themselves for so long that they really don’t think I’m human. And I base this on their conduct, not on what they say. And this means that they have become in themselves moral monsters.

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I have always been struck, in America, by an emotional poverty so bottomless, and a terror of human life, of human touch, so deep, that virtually no American appears able to achieve any viable, organic connection between his public stance and his private life.

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What I’m trying to say to this country, to us, is that we must know this… …we must realize this, that no other country in the world has been so fat and so sleek, and so safe, and so happy, and so irresponsible, and so dead. No other country can afford to dream of a Plymouth and a wife and a house with a fence and the children growing up safely to go to college and to become executives, and then to marry and have the Plymouth and the house and so forth. A great many people do not live this way and cannot imagine it, and do not know that when we talk about “democracy,” this is what we mean.

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To watch the TV screen for any length of time is to learn some really frightening things about the American sense of reality. We are cruelly trapped between what we would like to be and what we actually are. And we cannot possibly become what we would like to be until we are willing to ask ourselves just why the lives we lead on this continent are mainly so empty, so tame, and so ugly. These images are designed not to trouble, but to reassure. They also weaken our ability to deal with the world as it is, ourselves as we are.

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All of the Western nations have been caught in a lie, the lie of their pretended humanism; this means that their history has no moral justification, and that the West has no moral authority.

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The story of the Negro in America is the story of America. It is not a pretty story. What can we do? Well, I am tired…. I don’t know how it will come about. I know that no matter how it comes about, it will be bloody; it will be hard. I still believe that we can do with this country something that has not been done before. We are misled here because we think of numbers. You don’t need numbers; you need passion. And this is proven by the history of the world. The tragedy is that most of the people who say they care about it do not care.

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What they care about is their safety and their profits. The American way of life has failed— to make people happier or make them better. We do not want to admit this, and we do not admit it.

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In this country, for a dangerously long time, there have been two levels of experience. One, to put it cruelly, can be summed up in the images of Gary Cooper and Doris Day: two of the most grotesque appeals to innocence the world has ever seen. And the other, subterranean, indispensable, and denied, can be summed up, let us say, in the tone and in the face of Ray Charles.

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History is not the past. It is the present. We carry our history with us. We are our history. If we pretend otherwise, we literally are criminals. I attest to this: the world is not white; it never was white, cannot be white. White is a metaphor for power, and that is simply a way of describing Chase Manhattan Bank.

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What white people have to do is try and find out in their own hearts why it was necessary to have a “nigger” in the first place, because I’m not a nigger, I’m a man. But if you think I’m a nigger, it means you need him. The question that you’ve got to ask yourself, the white population of this country has got to ask itself, North and South because it’s one country and for a Negro there is no difference between the North and the South—it’s just a difference in the way they castrate you, but the fact of the castration is the American fact….If I’m not the nigger here and you invented him, you the white people invented him, then you’ve got to find out why. And the future of the country depends on that, whether or not it is able to ask that question.
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Peck's documentary on Baldwin

Just finished the screenplay. Brilliant, which is no surprise since the language is Baldwin's. The book adds essays by Peck and the film's editor.

No more important book for our troubled times. James Baldwin is our most prophetic writer.

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Olive bread

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Sunday, February 5, 2017

Super Bowl

Not much into it since my drinking days. Don't follow NFL or NBA. But no doubt I'll watch some of it.

More, hoping for a mellow day, making a little progress.
posted from Bloggeroid

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Deep breaths

One month to go, much work, potential stress, little help from H, really must focus, plan daily chores, hire help as needed, not get overwhelmed.

Beginning today.

posted from Bloggeroid

Friday, February 3, 2017

Pinching myself

Man. We caught a break.

posted from Bloggeroid


All is good! Mar 6 new moving date.

posted from Bloggeroid


posted from Bloggeroid


From realtor ...

the appraisal is out of final review and all is good! The value is supported and there are no conditions. Congratulations!

posted from Bloggeroid


Following Trump on the news. Wean myself from current affairs at R?

May have to push back move a week.

posted from Bloggeroid

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Guarded joy

If the unofficial becomes official, we're in great shape. And it's time to get serious.


"All looks good," says realtor. Official tomorrow or Monday.

Why Portland sucks

#4 nationally in rate of gentrification.

V. 1980s, "This is how Greenwich Village used to be."

But Russellville can be a hotel anywhere, like Switzerland, Europe, Denmark. I need to get there. Soon.

posted from Bloggeroid

Damn it!

Where's the appraisal? Can't step forward without it.

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Sourdough success.

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Sourdough #3

Best looking. Taste?

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