Categories
Commentary Journal

Home Sweet? Home

DSCN1156
Early morning. Thermal features near the Artist’s Paint Pots in Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming.

It’s been awhile: 23 days. 5974 Miles. 15 States. 10 National Parks. 2 Spectacular State Parks. 5 Motel Rooms. 7 Campgrounds. Temps 33 (Madison, Yellowstone National Park) to -99 degrees (Moab, Utah). 2 Jacuzzi nights.  About a dozen great old friends. A few new ones. A lot of new adventures.

Am I glad to be home? I’m still thinking about that one. I will say it is good to sleep in my own bed again, that it was nice to be indoors for two nights in a row, and that I missed my dog.  I guess I missed some people, too–a few here and a lot of you, there, gentle readers.

If I had it to do again, I’d take the laptop and blog from the road, even if it was only a an update now and then.  You’ll be hearing a lot of this trip–it was significant for me in many ways far and above simple nostalgia–but I’m certain a great deal of things that might have been amusing, or entertaining, or at the very least just a little bit droll, have fallen prey to my aged and distracted mind.

I didn’t write while I was gone.  Intentionally.  The object was to stoke the creative fires, build up a good appetite, and enjoy the trip viscerally rather than interpretively or expositionally, and I’m feeling some of that but, strangely, this is my third evening indoors and I had to overcome a bit of awkward reluctance to sit down and start–something I can best describe as shyness.

I met up with a group of old friends–former coworkers I met 25 years ago as a young, messed-up, kid who didn’t know the first thing about the world or himself–except that he wasn’t happy. It’s been 20 years since I saw most of them, and I was a little nervous going in: these people mean so much to me, but were we still the same people?  The sensation was disconcerting, to say the least–I’ve beaten as much of the hesitance and doubt from my soul as I could without breaking my hammer, and I’m unaccustomed to feeling awkward, but this was important. I’ve made very few friendships that move me as these people move me.

DSCN0692
Badlands National Park, South Dakota, with some innocents who have no idea I’m about to make them famous…. When you see these long narrow panorama pictures, give ’em a click…they get BIG.

And, of course, I had nothing to worry about. There was no question that the years had passed, but I fell right into the comfort of my friends’ company as naturally as if we’d been separated for a day or two–there were hugs, of course, a general marveling at how much we did/didn’t look as we once did, and a profound awe at meeting our respective children.  At least, I was awed.  Every kid I met was loaded down with coolness and cuteness and –because folks like us were drawn together for a reason–there was just a little devilry to be found in those youthful eyes.  I would remark over and over again how strange it was, to be in that place, among those people, knowing full well how much time has passed but at the same time feeling like it was nothing at all.  A blink.

How strange it was, then, to come home a few weeks later and feel estranged and awkward at my desk?  Some things I’ll never figure out–and I’m not going to waste more time talking about it.  I’ve got a ton of writing to do, both here and on The Novel, a lot of work in my day job, a lot of work around the house, and a host of other crap in front of me and, strangely enough, I feel motivated to take care of some business.  I also have over 3 weeks of my favorite bloggers to catch up with–so be patient.  I’ll be around, eventually.

Categories
Funny and/or Strange Photo I Like

After A Long Day on The Highway….

In truth, my family is probably much more interested–and justifiably so–in taking me apart after two long drives in 3 days.

Screenshot_24

(If this doesn’t get my wife to comment on my blog, nothing will….)

Categories
Funny and/or Strange

Real Actors Read

So, perhaps you’re wondering: where’s the original writing?  I began this blog to focus on recycling youthful, forgotten poems, perhaps a few new poems, and excerpts from fiction-in-progress.  I’ve been doing all of those things, but things get in the way of my vow to share them: first the holidays, and now a seemingly ceaseless barrage of interesting links and pictures and gods know what else.  I found “Real Actors Read” by chance–it’s pretty straight-forward: actors doing dramatic performances of unexpected prose including recipes, travel reviews, and so forth.

If you don’t think a pork loin can be sexy, think again:

http://www.ulive.com/video/roast-that-pork-loin-baby

And if you wonder why people dread American tourists, consider this:

http://www.ulive.com/video/warning-too-many-fish

The Lady doth protest too much:

http://www.ulive.com/video/it-was-a-real-swingers-hotel?autoAdvance=true

Your passports are worth nothing!  No beer!

http://www.ulive.com/video/no-id-no-beer

Categories
Uncategorized

The Big Truck (excerpt)

Image
This picture respectfully stolen from http://www.reid.org/~dreid/89suburban/notes_on_truck/thoughts.htm

The Big Truck (excerpt from a short story, circa 1990)

A door slams and a key twists in the ignition of a big, new capable American machine. None of that third world bullshit, we’re talking Eight bedroom-sized cylinders displacing more than six liters in a gurgling rumble of power shouting of fundamental inconsistencies, hell, it’s goddamned hypocrisy to I digest so much carbon fuel in getting to the wild places I’m aiming to get to. And I don’t care.  To hell with consistency; it is the mask of the uninteresting soul, the warm, smothering blanket of the tamed mind: too much about being correct, responsible, intentional, when we should be flying full bore towards living for good, wild lives.
It may very well be that I am lacking hormonally something, needing three hundred-odd horses to power me, but those dainty little Asian fuel miser machines doesn’t cut it (I have had one, loved the zip but loathed the coffin-like fit my build demanded).  It could just be that I was raised on toy cars and trucks.  Whatever the case, there is something magic in the early morning growl of an idling big block V-8 engine.
I like that fact that it practically begs to be let loose to flatten the teeming knots of Hondi and other bullet shaped knatmobiles out there.  This machine, on the highway, is like walking the park with a vampiric Irish Wolfhound on the end of the leash.  Power to spare.
The assembled corps of Highway patrolmen wait ahead, their microwave beams slow-roasting innocents from over hills, behind bridge abutments, around blind curves.  We will tempt them presently, joining in the mass of sensible speeders bravely playing political out on the roads, defying the revenue fishers and legislators fat on insurance lobby kickbacks.  From here in Pittsburgh to the border it will be bad, Pennsylvania being a wonderful state except for its archaic clinging to the 55mph barrier.  Great yellow signs greet visitors: Pennsylvania Maximum Speed Limit is STILL 55mph!!  Might as well erect an afterward, a new slogan.  Pennsylvania, backwards-assed and proud of it….