It’s a wrap

Me HS portrait

Time for expansion. A new chapter in life. A new website. A new blog. Art. Photography. Same smart-ass observations though.

I hope you follow me to the next chapter. You can find me here.

Thanks to all, this has been a blast and I’m not done yet!

The Front Porch Light

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“Bust the lock off the front door
Once you’re outside you won’t want to hide anymore
Light the light on the front porch
Once it’s on you’re never want to turn it off anymore
And now it’s on…”

“Now It’s On”
Jason Lytle (Granddaddy)

Thanks Meggan, my niece by marriage, for your Face Book post on Grandaddy, it reminded me how much I liked them. I added the link to the restaurant Meggan and her Husband David own.  It’s been a while since I bought the CD’s…yeah, I realize the irony, even though it was semi-new-fangled technology
(for me) at the time of purchase.

So why mention Grandaddy? As usual, it’s how the lyrics either affected me in 2003 or feel relevant to me now. Back then, it was the wistfulness of Jason Lytle’s voice plus my own look back of my life. Seems I’ve been doing this since I could put a cognitive though process together. I was turning 48, lost my mother to complications from a stroke and wondering what I’d accomplished.  All this introspection happened within my head, none of it ending up on a written page.

This was all pre-blog. Now almost 62 and I’m still wondering what I want to be when I grow up. With retirement peering around the corner of my life again, prematurely arriving last year, revisiting the above lyrics have taken on a different meaning. Having taken an extended amount of time off and then returning to the workforce full time, it’s so true: “Bust the lock off the front door Once you’re outside you won’t want to hide anymore…” Taste that sweet freedom of not having to do the bidding of anyone but yourself and/or your partner. You don’t want to go back…

I also think that they speak to the very visible racial discrimination that should be gone from this country by now, societal unrest and uncertainty during this Presidential election fuckfest. “…Once it’s on you’re never want to turn it off anymore”

In this case, it’s not that you’ll never want to turn it off, but you simply cannot turn it off. Time to talk about why we seem so divided but really are not. Unless your ancestors were the original inhabitants of this land, you are immigrants. Period. Best to get along. This is the only planet we have folks.

And now it’s on.

Carnival Barker/Quiet Warrior

 

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Carnival Barker/Quiet Warrior

One person creating the mistrust of others,
One person creating a world of trust.
One person with a fragile ego,
One person seemingly without.
One person existing for self-promotion,
One person promoting the existence of others.
One person should have my sympathy…
The other no longer lives in this existence.

My emotions were at a crossroads a few months ago. First there was a personal affront to my integrity Although hurt, I let that shit go. Without looking back. To hang on would give that person more power than they ever deserved.

The second was a friend lost to an aggressive form of cancer. Taken before a deeper connection could be made. Funny, kind, intelligent, athletic, compassionate, giving. An advocate, global thinker, local doer. A quiet activist. An artist, photographer, mentor, small business owner. A son, partner, neighbor, mover, shaker. An all-round good human.

Most of us will never know the impact we’ve made during our existence on this planet. Unless we are recognized for doing something really good. Or, really evil.

This particular person would down-play the impact he had if he’d seen the tributes and stories that were posted on social media after his passing. From other small businesses he frequented. From people like me, but who had only passing contact with him.

He’s left a big hole in the local fabric of Sacramento.  And in the hearts of his family and friends. But his passing has given me hope. That there are more like him out there.
We need more like him. Many, many more.

Social Media, Opinions & Assholes, Cabbages & Kings

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The time has come to speak of many things. Sorry Lewis. As it’s also been said, opinions are like assholes, everyone’s got one and they stink.  Sorry whomever originated the O & A quote. It seems to vary. Maybe it was Samuel Langhorne Clemens. He seems to have said everything. As promised in a Face Book post last week here is a post including things I think you should know about events in California. Using a search engine is another. Google comes to mind. It’s so popular, its become a verb… Apologies to those reading from outside Cali or the country for that matter.

And now its time to blow your hair back…

As you know or suspect, I’m on a number of social media platforms: Face Book, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat (well, learning) to name the more frequent ones. I post most frequently on Instagram since I like to use my iPhone for artistic expression. And I’ve kept abreast of the current events in my area, the country and the world at large. You all know that a lot of shit has been going down with bombings, shooting of innocent people and…The Election. Opinions & Assholes have been especially ripe on all the above subject matter. Both can be sanitized but that requires self-awareness, self-restraint and a sense of smell. It seems the country is rife with individuals without any of that.

I have all three as well as strong personal hygiene so it’s irritating to me when others don’t. For the most part, I’m quiet on social media with the exception  of picture posting a minor opinion or a humorous comment to someone’s post. Well, that and my drawings and uploading a new profile picture. Shameless self-promotion. I try to use proper spelling also (there, their, they’re come to mind). Punctuation may be lacking though. I was a Design major in college, not an English major.

On two occasions last week, I raised my head out of the prairie dog den and offered an opinion. Checking Snopes.com to verify info before posting in the first instance.  The response I received was sarcastic bordering upon dismissive. So, I pushed back. Citing proper manners, woman-splaining (yes, it happens too), etc. I admit I was a bit harsh, but I dealt back what I was given. I received an apology which I accepted but part of the explanation given was that sarcasm/dismissive verbiage was generally acceptable on social media. And therein lies the problem. People think it’s okay to flip you off verbally if you disagree with or challenge them. Or call you out without any facts. Especially if they don’t know you personally. It’s rampant in our society. We hide behind our computers and in our cars and think we are the only “right” ones on the planet. That’s wrong, actually. I’m the only right one. Kidding. Really.

The second instance, and the one that lead to me actually deciding to post about it, came from me responding to a friends comment about me on another friends FB post regarding her being unaware of The Desert Trip concert in Indio, CA. The comment about me indicated I was there now and I hadn’t let my friends know about it, etc. The first part of the comment was only partially true – I was in the Palm Springs area but wasn’t at the concert.

PD Space

The second part of the comment was not true at all and I commented back the I had written a post about the concert back in May in this blog, shared the link to the post on FB, Instagram and Twitter, but couldn’t force anyone to actually read it.

I even tried to make it light by posting my Punk Rock response:

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The amusement was apparently mine alone. That lead to more comments which lead to the Face Book announcement on my timeline of this impending blog post…whew!

When I was called a name, by said actual friend, publicly, I drew the line in the sand.  Far too many people hijack some else’s post for their own agenda. Saying “Hi” to someone else commenting on the post, asking how they’re doing, where they live, etc. You know, stuff your dad or mom or gramma and their friends do.  TMI.

I don’t play that game. I think long and hard  about my responses to people and in some instances, decide not to post a comment. I think about who will see it, how the comment might be taken wrong, all of that. So I expect others to do the same for me. When they don’t, they need to be prepared to listen. And publicly apologize. It’s what I would do.

If you are going to get personal, if you really want to go there, you’d better think about the consequences. Do so in a direct message, not on a party line. While I may seem all warm and fuzzy on the outside, if you disparage me or my family, be prepared. I’ve got an opinion and an asshole. Beware of blast.

 

 

 

 

The Space Between

PD Space

The space that occurs at the bottom of an exhale before it becomes an inhale. I don’t pay attention to it on a moment to moment, day to day basis. But it happens like clockwork. An involuntary action of my body to keep it alive and functioning.

During a yoga class, I’m always aware of my breath – mostly the lack of enough and breathing harder than I want. Sweating and finding my technique starting to falter, it becomes rapid and shallow.

But every now and then, when I’m ‘in the zone’, I find myself exhaling completely. Without automatically filling back up. Relaxing, conscious of the empty. Prolonging it actually.

Finding the calm. No rush. No panic. No need. No want. Only stillness.  Like I have all the time in the world.

We all should strive for that lack: Of Panic. Of Need. Of Want. Nothing but room. For everyone, everything.

The space between.

 

 

 

 

Enough

As if we didn’t need another reason
To be sad and ashamed,
Now we have Orlando.

The anger and hatred
Being thrown about
Is too much to bear.

Enough!
Enough with your hate!
Enough with your political agenda!
If you have nothing kind to say, loving to say,

Shut. The. Fuck. Up.

Quit hiding behind your keyboard
And do something worthwhile, loving,
To benefit someone you don’t know.

Have a discussion.

That means you must LISTEN too.
Maybe even change your mind.

But only if it’s
OPEN.

Summer Sounds Past and Present

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The muse is toying with me today as often happens on Sundays. Usually in the afternoon. But today, it’s been pretty constant. It started this morning while browsing my Face Book/Instagram feed and then the paper. Yes, we still read an actual newspaper. Wood pulp, tactile, old-school. We read in bed, sipping our coffee and this time of year when it’s warm, we have the windows open which keeps the house cool throughout the day. I start thinking about the sounds outside our home and how they’ve changed over the 57 years I’ve lived (mostly) here in Sacramento, CA.

First it’s the birds: the robins are in full-on mating chorus mode: “Hey Baby! Hey Baby! Hey Baby!” There’s usually a mocking bird or two, impersonating birds not from this geographical region. I have no idea which birds they are imitating because, well, they’re not from this geographical area.

There’s the occasional human solo effort in the form of a lawn mower and leaf-blower. These should be banned, but another post, another time. The primary rhythm section behind the songbirds, though, is the freeway. In our case, it’s Interstate 5 that’s nearest to our house. Late at night, when it’s still, only a few semi-trucks can be heard, along with the occasional kid on a sport bike, winding out to redline. Later, after sun-up, the whoosh is steadier. Not quite the same as listening to the ocean waves, but close.

It’s hard to escape the freeway sound since Sacramento is really a crossroads. There’s the aforementioned I5, Interstate 80, U.S. 50 and CA 99. As a kid, the only freeway I really knew about was I80 since that’s how you travelled to San Francisco or Reno. I5 didn’t exist. 50 and 99 were accessed by following Folsom and Stockton Boulevards respectively. I80 required you to drive through West Sacramento via West Capitol Avenue to the Yolo Causeway where it became a real freeway. I don’t remember when the W/X section was built.

In the late 1950’s and early 1960’s the main noise came from the commercial airplanes flying in and out of what is now known as Executive Airport and my boyhood house in the Meadowview neighborhood was directly in the flight path. I remember summer nights, falling asleep to the sound of crickets and the sprinklers in our back yard, the slam of the screen door as my father went out to move them, the sound change from the change in water pressure of the pipes under the house as he squeezed the hose to shut the sprinkler off and then the free flow of water as he released it. Through it all, the distant rev-up of the planes as they taxied and took off – their roar getting louder as they became airborne and the rattling of our windows as they flew directly overhead. Terrifying now to think of the consequences if something failed or fell off in takeoff. But when you are 10, and later, looking back through nostalgic vision, it’s comforting. The summer chorus of crickets at night is still one of my favorites sounds.

This post started to flesh out in the afternoon as I was skimming the pool. My thoughts swirling around like the seeds floating on the surface of the water from our birch trees planted in the backyard, after the skimmer made a pass. Note to anyone considering a swimming pool: Under no circumstances plant birch trees near a pool.

Anyway… my thoughts…not only was I pondering how to write this post, I was thinking about the artwork I might draw to accompany it. Or an artsy photo taken from my phone camera. Or how I might paint something. And the music I might incorporate – only in my head since I haven’t yet tackled this additional twist. It’s always interesting to me how my thoughts spin like a pinwheel. Throwing off ideas like sparks into the night. Some ignite other ideas, some just fade.

As long as they don’t  scare the crickets into silence.