Saturday, January 17, 2015

Game Time

Just for fun, a series of shots taken from the school behind my place in Tacoma.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Coming Out as an Ally

I'm going to go on the record here and now and just lay it all out there - I am an ally.  I am proud to be an ally, and to speak up as a straight voice for the fair and equal treatment of my fellow LGBT citizens.

I don't know if anybody who knows me and reads this blog will be upset at this revelation.  Frankly, I don't really care.  Anyone worth having in my life will respect my feelings on this, and anyone close to me will almost certainly feel the same way.

Why is this so important to me to go on the record when I don't have a dog in this fight?

It's simple:
  • I'm a patriot who believes in the constitutional right to equality for all Americans
  • I am pro-love
  • I respect and admire the bravery and courage of those who have to fight each and every day to be treated with decency and respect instead of prejudice and hate
  • I ache for anyone who has been bullied, injured, cast out, rejected, and mistreated just for being who they are
  • I couldn't live with myself if I were any other way
I'll never know what it's like to be the victim of gay-bashing, or job discrimination on the basis of my sexuality.  I'll never know what it's like to be rejected by my own parents because of who I fall in love with.  I am of two minds about this, because I'm grateful that I will never experience this, and yet knowing that others have breaks my heart.

I think it's important to continue speaking out as long as discrimination takes place around me.  You can't think that it won't affect you just because you're white, straight, Christian, etc... the truth is that as long as we as a community tolerate hatred and bigotry from anybody, we allow our humanity to be diminished.

As humans, we must not allow that to happen.

I won't allow it to happen.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

You Leave Me

You leave me
gentle weak.
You lay me open
with your essence
I willingly submit
to delicious torture.
I can’t hide myself
from you, my love.

You leave me
diamond strong.
I can do anything
with you in my corner.
I gladly give
pieces of me
to fill your spaces.
Everything I give you
leaves me with more.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Another Toe In The Ocean

I always find it incredible how different beaches can be along the same coastline.  I grew up with rocky beaches that were covered in logs, barnacles, crabs, and branches - completely unsuitable for sunbathing.  I now live alongside beaches so pristine and perfect that you can often find them in movies (really).

For fun today, here are a bunch of photos I have taken over the years of the Pacific Ocean from all parts of the west coast:

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Read the Comments

I just read my favorite comment in a long time, and I think I need to make this into a t-shirt:
"Hey, the only way for anyone, man or woman, to influence anything in history is to give no fucks whatsoever. Like, see that dot in the distance? That's the fuck you almost gave. Goodbye fuck.

Now everyone go out and make some fucking history."
- Kimberly Lewis


Monday, January 12, 2015

Road Raging For The Fun of It

I get a little road-ragey - it's true.  Who doesn't?  I usually try to temper my rage with humor when I can because I don't like the sensation of being angry.  This means shouting out random and weird things to drivers I see who I think are being kinda dumb.  An example of what I might randomly yell:
  • "Swerving at me repeatedly does not count as a turn signal, you moron"
  • "If the lane you're driving next to is averaging 20 MPH, and the lane you're IN is averaging 50 MPH, you drive FIFTY MPH!  You do not go 20 MPH, or some apologetic average of the two.  Jesus."
  • "HEY!  Did you notice how everyone in front of you is 15 miles away?  That's because you DON'T KNOW WHAT THE F- YOU'RE DOING!  MOVE IT!"
  • "Yeah, I see you there trying to cut off an entire lane of cars because you don't know how to merge.  Maybe the freeway isn't FOR you."
  • "Nice Mercedes.  Be a shame if I didn't hit my brakes, and just let you dent it off of my front bumper instead, jackass."

Just for fun, and to share a little something about myself, here are some basic rule of my road-space:
  1. I know what I'm doing.  If you don't know what you're doing, I'm not waiting around for you to figure it out.
  2. If you are trying to get across 3 lanes of traffic because you were in the far left lane and now you need to turn right, then you weren't paying attention, and now you don't get to be in front of me.
  3. Get off your phone.  GET OFF YOUR PHONE.
  4. I am a better driver than you are.  Get out of my way.
  5. If you do something utterly stupid, be prepared.  I can hold this horn down for a lonnnnnnng time.
(Warning - NSFW)

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Don't Judge

I think the important message of the day - don't judge people on the basis of their looks, or religion - or just don't judge period.  It's not really that difficult to not do something, and you don't get anything out of the act of doing it (except perhaps for some disturbing sense of superiority), so why bother?

I think these videos serve as a good reminder to be the best you possible, and keep trying to make the world a better and more enlightened place.  The last one I put there just to show an example of how you don't always know what you're seeing after just one look.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Low Desert Punk

I have a really fine night with my beloved last night listening to Internet radio.  I have to just say, I am thrilled beyond description to live in a time when anything I want to hear or see can be mine from the comfort of my swivel chair.  Yesterday we took a listen to "Fatso Jetson Radio," and a number of pretty terrific songs came up.

Fatso Jetson:

Among the list of music served up were a number of 'stoner rock' bands from around the world, including Sweden and Argentina.  Here are some videos from the bands we were enjoying:

Queens Of The Stone Age:


Los Natas:




Friday, January 09, 2015

Snow Dog

It's hard to track smells
when the ground is covered up
I still leave my mark

Thursday, January 08, 2015

Unwanted Attention

How dare I speak
my heart to you?
You offer me joy
I don’t want.
I’m safer

when you don’t know me.
I wish
you would leave.

Telling you
would injure you.
My words would score
so deep,
so very deep.
You would bleed
all over the
I would always
be faced with
the evidence
of my crime.

I don’t have
the lust,
the will,
the strength,
to damage you.
You don’t deserve it.

You haven't earned it.
Your only crime

was offering hope
to the hopeless.

Wednesday, January 07, 2015

I Read The News Today, Oh Boy.

I have decided that I am more or less done reading the news.  It is unbelievably morbid and depressing, and the important parts seem to be missing.

I think instead I'm going to Google "random acts of kindness" from time to time and give myself a warm fuzzy.  Here's one to start us off:

Tuesday, January 06, 2015


Some scenes are straight out of a dream, like this foggy island off the coast of Maine.  I was there, so I know it's just a dirty rock in the ocean, but from here you can almost believe it's a fairy tale.

Monday, January 05, 2015


Your love conducts my symphony.

Your words are the vibration
along my cello spine;
the warm breath upon the flute
that brings my mouth to life;
the thundering drum
that is my heartbeat.

You are the song in me.

Sunday, January 04, 2015

Being Foody

Zak and I share a number of things in common, which is why we're so compatible.  One of the things we really enjoy is the experience of unique and delicious cuisine.  Apart from the fact that we could both easily eat an entire ocean of sushi, love a really well prepared burger and are not afraid to try new flavors on it, we also have a shared interest in regional foods.

Sometimes we'll spend a whole afternoon watching online cooking shows about the flavors of a culture, which is all the more interesting when we find locations where we previously knew little or nothing about their local dishes.  Here are a few examples of dishes we have seen recently that we are VERY interested in trying out:

Bunny Chow - South Africa

This delectable portable soup and sandwich looking thing is a street food found in Durban, South Africa. It's a hollowed out half-loaf filled with your choice of meat and curry, and I want to try them all. Here is a recipe for it, in case you can't make it to South Africa any time soon:

Smørrebrød - Denmark

Ah, the land of my ancestors - Denmark. Home of the fish and egg and rye creations that will comfort you through the coldest and darkest of winter. Some recipe suggestions for your dining pleasure: 

Spaghetti Nera - Northern Italy

That's a little too scary for me, but Zak seems to be into the idea of eating black spaghetti. Recipe (for the daring):

Bigos - Poland

I'm saving the ultimate in comfort food for last because it will have you leaving this blog warm and fuzzy all over - and that's what this blog is about. And here is how you do it:

Saturday, January 03, 2015


Like many folks, I am constantly plagued by a nebulous list of things that I want / need to do.  I decided to make a pseudo New Year's resolution, and create my "Satisfaction List: Things I Really Need To Stop Putting Off And Complete This Year So I Can Be Happy," or "SLTIRNTSPOACTYSICBH" for short.

Here's what I can remember for now, but I reserve the right to come back and edit the list as I remember more things I've been meaning to do:
  1. Clean and organize my office
  2. Get all my photos scanned in digitally and backed up
  3. Finally fill my empty picture frames and get them hung up
  4. Go through my clothes and get rid of everything I'm not going to wear
  5. Learn how to properly use Garage Band on my iPad
  6. Compose my first bass line on my actual bass
  7. Clean my carpets
  8. Get more plants for my house
  9. Organize my bookshelves
  10. Start writing my ghost stories down

I have a year to knock these out.  Ready, set, GO!

Photo courtesy of Google Maps

Friday, January 02, 2015

The Art of Stopping When You're Supposed To

Just now I was standing on the front porch talking to Zak, and I saw not one, not two, but SIX cars blow the 4-way stop at the corner.  This is pretty normal for that intersection, was doesn't give me any degree of comfort when I think about all the times I am in that cross-walk - and indeed, I've nearly been hit by cars on several occasions when drivers couldn't be bothered to come to a complete stop and look around for pedestrians and other cars before proceeding.  Terrifying.

So, this gets me to pondering and wondering - what goes through the mind of a person who has reconciled within themselves the concept of completely disregarding cardinal rule number one in driving school, and who then treats a stop sign or flashing red light like it's a suggestion?  Do they think, "it's not a big deal, there isn't much traffic here, everybody does it..." and then never look back?

Forget the scary thought of colliding with another car and the headache that would bring - the mere idea of accidentally running down a person and leaving their tender body parts in disarray on the pavement completely terrifies me - so much so that I have to stop every single time.

SO with that thought in mind, I'm going to make a recommendation to everyone else out there casually driving your two-ton potential murder weapon through neighborhoods; unless Godzilla is hot on your ass, or there's a bomb in the car that will explode if you slow down, stop and look - every single time.

Thank you.

Thursday, January 01, 2015

The Greatest Adventure

2015 is already shaping up to be the year of the journey. I'm not this guy, but I do have a few trips already on the calendar, and it's only the first day.

The second part of the year is somewhat empty at the moment, but I'm hoping that between my darling Zak and I, we will be able to remedy that. Here is a list of what is on the schedule so far:

Trip 1: January - London, England 

This will be my second time on the European continent, and my first time in the UK. Technically, my first trip to Europe was an overnight stopover in Brussels, Belgium. Many people would say that doesn't count, but to my (at the time) 14 year old self, it totally counted.

On the plus side, I plan to try and see as much as I can while I'm there. On the down side, it's a business trip, so I probably won't have a lot of free time to plan any excursions. Also, it's the tail end of winter, so there aren't a lot of daylight hours to work with. I plan to do what I can, however.

I suspect I'll be spending most of my time on this corner

Trip 2: February - Santa Ana, CA

This is not a trip in the conventional sense, Zak and I are just getting together for a weekend of music and jamming with a large group of online friends.  We do this sort of thing about once per year (last year we were in Nashville, and a couple years before that we went to San Diego).  With this jam scheduled to be just down the street from where we live, there was no way we were going to miss it.

Trip 3: February - Joshua Tree, CA

This is definitely NOT my first (or last) trip to my favorite place on Earth, however this will be the first time I am taking my mother, and my only time going without Zak.  My sister and her husband are about to have a baby, so before mom becomes assistant caretaker to her grandson I thought I would bring her down for some sunshine and whisk her away on a fabulous getaway to the desert.  I'm really looking forward to showing mom some of my favorite things in the park, and taking her to get the best steak on the planet.

We'll be seeing a few of these

Trip 4: May - West Coast Tour 2015

This is going to be a rare trip as my days of road tripping are mostly behind me, but on occasion I still like the idea of jumping in a car and seeing where I end up.  These days the demands and responsibilities of life don't allow for this sort of gypsy living, but a well planned excursion can still be done occasionally.

My traveling companion for this one is my like-minded friend Jess, who being from Wisconsin by way of Minnesota, has yet to see a lot of what we have here on the left coast.

Zak, unfortunately, is not a car journey kind of guy so he will be keeping the home fires warm for my return.

Planned stops for this trip:

Seattle, the city of my birth and starting point of our trip.

La Push, WA - a magnificent piece of the Washington coastline I have rarely seen.

Hoh Rain Forest in Forks, WA.  Yes, we do have our own rain forest in the US.

Mt. Saint Helens. It's making a beautiful comeback, but you can still see the volcanic evidence all around.

Astoria, OR - One of the most beautiful Oregon cities I have ever visited, and home to relatives of Jess.

Yachats, OR - I've been to this part of the Oregon coast a few times, and it never disappoints.

Eureka, CA - Home of the tall, red trees.  I didn't get to see much of them the last time I passed through.

San Francisco, CA - Our final stop and the place where we will part ways to return back to reality.

Sunday, November 02, 2014

Regrets and Avoidance

If there's one thing I have come to realize that I've missed out on, it's having that finely developed appreciation for exceptional music. I never learned to cultivate that ear as a teenager or a young woman, so I typically found myself caught in that pop rut with my peers during those years.

It wasn't necessarily a need to fit in or fear of being different as much as it was not surrounding myself with the people who could have shown me the way. Fortunately, this is not only no longer a problem for me. Also, the Internet has stripped me of any and all excuses for avoiding musical growth, so I've been doing quite a bit of exploring in the last five years or so.

With that being said, here are some of the entries on my "better late than never" list:

There are a lot of other artists that I could list here; many that I was aware of but never listened to properly. In any case, my plan is to avoid regrets like these in the future by putting my ears to work.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Game of Thrones - trying, and failing, to understand.

Many of my friends and family have been going on non-stop about 'Game of Thrones'. If I'm being honest (and I usually try to do that), I just don't get it. I watched an episode, and part of a couple others, and could not understand what the fuss was about. Maybe it's one of those things you have to see from the beginning to understand.

Here are some of the thoughts that occurred to me as I forced myself to sit through the one episode I watched all the way through:

  • I can't tell one fur covered bearded guy from another - how many people are IN this family or squad or whatever? I think there are different groups - or is it the same group from different camera angles?
  • Was bathing not invented yet? There are so many dirt-streaked people in this thing that it looks like a Monty Python and the Holy Grail scene, but not as funny.
  • There are supposed to be likeable characters in any show, but I don't care for any of the people I've seen so far:
    • A snot-nosed brat who kills people for fun
    • Some guy who made wives out of his 37 (or however many) daughters (ick)
    • Some girl with dragons who doesn't seem to know what she's supposed to be doing with them
    • Some sort of weird brother / sister thing, I think - and are they the parents of that wretched brat-king? I couldn't follow any of that. I was waiting for a wizard or something to break up the monotony of the scene, and then I gave up and went to fix a snack instead.
  • Everyone seems to be in a big hurry to get somewhere, but I have yet to understand where that is. Are they going to the same place? Different places? Are there more than four directions on this map? Why is it winter in some places and summer in others? WHERE THE HELL ARE THEY GOING???
Anyway, I don't mean to poke fun or criticize. I'm sure it's a great show if you're into it, but maybe it's just not meant for me.

For those of you who love it, keep on keeping on.

Saturday, May 03, 2014

A Teaser From The Crayon

I am proud and pleased to present this teaser compilation of some of the 'They Stole My Crayon' songs we have been working on.  This sample includes snippets of the following songs:

  • Longing On
  • Some Things I Can't Say
  • Take the Ride

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Something on the Darker Side


Every weekend
you choose
a weapon
(my family,
my career,
ambitions or dreams)
You hurl it
with deadly force
and pinpoint accuracy
at what is left of
my love.
My trust, the casualty.
After I have fallen,
you carry your
oblivious indifference
in your beer-stained cloud
to bed,
leaving my wounds and I
unattended and alone.

Next weekend -
You will not so easily
find me in range.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Best Quote Ever

“We danced too wild, and we sang too long, and we hugged too hard, and we kissed too sweet, and howled just as loud as we wanted to howl, because by now we were all old enough to know that what looks like crazy on an ordinary day looks a lot like love if you catch it in the moonlight.”

― Pearl Cleage / What Looks Like Crazy on a Ordinary Day

Sunday, March 16, 2014

The Older I Get...

... the more this feels like me:

I wish I knew who the artist was so I could credit them, but I think this piece is beautiful.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Boy Scout

Some prose for the day from the archives.  Should this keep going, I wonder?


I can hear singing in the cherry tree outside as I reluctantly open my eyes to the sounds and smells of six a.m. With resignation I shake the dreams from my head. There is so much to do today.

With a sigh I sit up and reach blindly for the slippers under the bed. I can only find one; the cat has stolen the other slipper, and no doubt it is lying somewhere in the hallway where I will be sure to trip over it. I’m not ready yet. I’m not prepared for a day of searching for footwear.


I trek sluggishly down the hall and find my slipper, balanced precariously at the head of the stairs. I retrieve it and insert my foot. To my joy I find warm cat saliva waiting to embrace my ankle. A recent theft then.

I am not yet lucid enough to wage war against the cat slobber on my foot, but I quickly wake up at the sight of the large cream-colored envelope waiting on the floor in front of my front door. “How did that get in here?” I mutter to myself as I bend over to pick it up. There is no name on the front, nothing to tell me where it came from. Distracted, I walk the rest of the way into the kitchen to get the coffee started. Nothing is happening in my house, at six a.m., without caffeine fortification.

I sit at the kitchen table, envelope lying there nearly forgotten, and stare out the garden window at nothing. The comforting smell of brewing coffee fills the house. I let my mind wander back to the night my life ended.

Alex never told me anything.

All those years of visits on Mothers Day and my birthday, and all he could talk about was, “Bob cracked us all up during the staff meeting” and, “I think Kevin and Darcy have a thing going on.” Investment banking was a safe choice. What do I know about investment banking?

He was always good at math; it made perfect sense to me. I could even picture him sitting behind his desk, tie over one shoulder, watching his computer monitor while speaking rapidly on the phone. I hoped he would have a picture of me somewhere in the clutter of folders and printouts. He had a messy room his whole life, why would his desk be any different? 

When they found his Kevlar vest in the bushes on the bank of the Columbia River I remember asking myself, what would an investment banker need with one of those? Between the words “line of duty” and “award for bravery,” I gradually began to understand. Alex had been lying all along. He knew as much about investment banking as I did.


The bubbling sound of the coffee maker brings me back to the present, where I have neither investment banker, nor undercover agent for a son. Where I have no son. I absently stir coffee and cream together as I release the final images of bullets flying around my beautiful boy from my mind. I don’t have time for this today. There is so much to do.

Glancing back towards the table I remember the letter. I set my cup down and pick up the envelope. I look it over again curiously and then open it. I read it.

Dimly, I hear a clatter and a crash. I feel wetness against my left leg. That’s not right, I think. The cat stole my right slipper.

It doesn’t matter anyway, nothing matters. The only thing left in the world is the carefully printed card I am holding on to for dear life right now.

“Mom, I am so sorry. I had no choice. Please forgive me.”

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Say a Word For Lou

Say a word for Jimmy Brown
He ain't got nothin' at all
Not the shirt right off his back
He ain't got nothin' at all

And say a word for Ginger Brown
Walks with his head down to the ground
Took the shoes right off his feet
They threw the poor boy right out in the street
And this is what he said

Oh! Sweet nuthin'
She ain't got nothin' at all
Oh! Sweet nuthin'
She ain't got nothin' at all

Say a word for Pearly Mae
She can't tell the night from the day
They threw her out in the street
Just like a cat she landed on her feet

And say a word for Joana Love
She ain't got nothin' at all
With every day she falls in love
And every night she falls
And when she does, she says

Oh! Sweet nuthin'
You know she ain't got nothin' at all
Wow, oh! Sweet nuthin', hey, hey
She ain't got nothin' at all
Oh, let me hear you

Oh, say a word, say a word for Jimmy Brown
He ain't got nothin' at all, not a thing
Not the shirt, shirt on his back
No he ain't got nothin' at all

And say a word for Ginger
He walks with his head to the ground
They took shoes, took the shoes, from his feet, from his feet
And threw the poor boy right out in the street
And then, he said

Oh! Sweet, sweet, nothin'
She ain't got, she ain't got
She ain't got nothin' at all
Sweet, sweet, sweet, sweet nothin'

She ain't got
Sweet, sweet, nothin' sweet, sweet, nothin'
Nothin' at all
Sweet, sweet nothin', got nothin'

Oh! Sweet nuthin'
Oh, oh, oh, ain't got nothin' at all
Oh, let me hear you

(Oh! Sweet nuthin' ain't got nothin' at all)
Oh! Sweet nuthin'
(Oh! Sweet nuthin' ain't got nothin' at all)

She ain't got nothin' at all
She ain't got nothin' at all
She ain't got nothin' at all
She ain't got nothin' at all

She ain't got nothin' at all, sweet nothin'
Ain't got nothin' at all, sweet, sweet nothin'
She ain't got nothin' at all

Click the album cover for a treat.