Sunday, March 31, 2013

Quotation of day

"The Baylor coach has no class like Pat and Holly." --Tenn. fan blog

Hear, hear! Calls went Baylor's way all night, to tune of 24-14. So blame the refs. Right. An embarrassing champion, good riddance.

Baylor loses!

Rejoice! The mother of all dances! Nothing to top this. Of course, they are bad sports about it. No big shocker. B were 24 pt favs ha ha ha! And all their sour grapes at the press conf after, no class.

Tentative conclusion

Unless you are escaping from a burning building or leaping out of the way of an oncoming train, I can't figure out why anyone should be in a hurry to do anything.


Ah, the last slow dance begins tonight. Got my Fire app installed and ready to go, audio for all games. Ready!

Saturday, March 30, 2013


Done and looking good. You know it's a good day when you make scrapple!

Magic mower

I have a classic Scotts push mower and, man, they don't make them like this any more. Got her oiled and ready to go - and mowed the tallest grass in the back forty. About killed me but the machine was working beyond the call of duty. Want to do another section today, two tomorrow, and I'll be caught up. And breakfast with Mark tomorrow.

Horse racing

Season now in earnest, Santa Anita Derby next weekend, always a biggie growing up ... the Triple Crown ahead.

The horse population has better manners than many human jocks ha ha. Swift notwithstanding.


Time to oil the push mower and give it a test run. May have to hire a power guy for the first mowing.

Delaware lost.

New batch of scrapple on the stove. Take H to a funeral later.

Only dance step left that would excite me is Baylor losing. To anyone.

UCLA woes

The Bruins have a new bball coach. But the alumni blogs agree the problem, and in fball too, has been the AD.

There's a delicious rumor afloat: USC is courting the fired UCLA coach. Talk about revenge!

Time to root for Delaware.

Meet the Martian

So now they are talking about lowering the basket in women's bball. They should be raising the basket in the men's game!

Maybe I should start following chess again.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Bye, guys...'s been fun. Nobody left. 3 teams left in women's dance.

Come on, baseball!

Last chance

FGulf is my last interest in men's dance. Nike did better than I expected. 3 #1s gone. Weavers raised my spirits. Hope to do a bit of outside work tomorrow. Syllabus done. Onward.

Nike U

Not a chance unless they shoot sixty and L forty. Game try surely but out manned big time.


Just a wee least did grunt work part of syllabus...a short hour left of small changes ... has Chris Connor put me in a funk? Never, or never before but she sounds especially sad today. ...need games to start and distract me...maybe it's how seldom I am warm in my old age - and iced coffee has nothing to do with it. Desert dreams, sigh.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Digital Grab: Corporate Power Has Seized the Internet | Common Dreams

Digital Grab: Corporate Power Has Seized the Internet | Common Dreams:

"“Most assessments of the Internet fail to ground it in political economy; they fail to understand the importance of capitalism in shaping and, for lack of a better term, domesticating the Internet,” says Robert W. McChesney in his illuminating new book, Digital Disconnect: How Capitalism is Turning the Internet Against Democracy."

No one should be surprised by this. It's a very old pattern.

The University Of Louisville Is Everything That's Wrong With College Basketball | ThinkProgress

The University Of Louisville Is Everything That's Wrong With College Basketball | ThinkProgress:

"Major college sports operate in a perverse system that generates billions of dollars a year off the backs of free labor, and both Kentucky and Louisville are willing participants. But if no basketball program does a better job of making the system look ridiculous than Kentucky, perhaps no basketball program is right now doing a better job of epitomizing the lies on which that system is built than Louisville."

I have yet to see anyone discuss the most simple and quickest "fix" for college sports: GET RID OF SPORTS SCHOLARSHIPS. Here's a switch: let's turn colleges into institutions of learning!

But what about the great jocks? Don't worry, they'll be taken care of by the pro teams that should be taking care of them in the first place. Right now pro teams love the free farm system handed them by colleges and universities.

15, 20

15th wedding anniversary, 20 years together this summer. A celebration at an Italian restaurant in Carlton, a little town we discovered on a drive through wine country some years ago. Taking Sketch, of course. He's family. A charming little town - and before the tourists (like us) invade.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

A new book of poems?

If this rhythm continues through the spring, I may have enough poems for a new book. Need 50 good ones, about 75 to get them. We'll see what happens.

Home sweet home

Back from a full morning of health related chores from one end of the city to the other. Now for a little mellowness. Making blackeyed peas.

A very large Starbucks

Near the clinic...this place is huge and busy...rather like it this morning...H having a bad day...figures in a zero sum universe...I feel great, she not. What can you do?

Avoid negative energy. Today's mantra.

p.s. the reader not the Fire now, better suited for this.

Health chores

Off to PT and then a hospital chore across town ... and a perfect day for it, grades in, a breather however short. A new multi part poem idea this morn. Life can be good in the small personal view. Onward.

Morning Chronicle

2 new millionaires: lottery winner, a struggling immigrant; a teen selling a news app to Yahoo for 30 million. I like both those stories.

Stanford women on fire last night! Beat good Mich. team by 30 pts. I missed the game, at Seder with H. And Delaware won for first trip to Sweet 16. VP Biden cheering them on. 2 teams to root for.

Grades in ... new syllabus to do. Classes next week! What????

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Slim pickings

There are 3 double digit seeds left in the men's dance. Only teams I'm going to watch. When they're gone, I'm gone.

Former student

Good news in the email from a former student:
I'm happy to tell you I was accepted into the Michener Center for
Writers at UT Austin. Out of 1,200 applicants, I was the only
screenwriter selected this year, and will join a cohort of 12 students
this fall. 
Impressive, especially since screenwriters are usually treated like second-class citizens in the literary world. Always nice to see former students do well. His entire MFA program is paid for.

You know what MFA stands for, don't you? Mother-fucking artist!

Dumb basketball

Last night I saw the stupidest play on court I've seen in ages. Cal women have a ten pt lead with a minute left. They can't hit a free throw but that's ok because they have a 4 possession lead! Then Cal does the incredible. A foul on a 3 pt attempt - twice in a row! SF makes 5 of 6 to send the game to OT. Cal eventually wins but man, talk about bonehead play!

Monday, March 25, 2013

I need a vacation

...but have to wait until summer to get one. I'll survive but this has not been a restful break.

I'm glad my brain is delivering poems again. Makes me feel productive.

On James Baldwin by Darryl Pinckney | The New York Review of Books

On James Baldwin by Darryl Pinckney | The New York Review of Books:

"He was right about so much in our political and social culture, not to mention gay marriage and how liberating is the freedom to be like everyone else. I said then and say again that his voice has not aged; that the journey out of Egypt is his true theme; and that in the kingdom of the first person he has few peers."

Hear, hear! A giant of American literature.


Here's how incompetent coverage of the women's dance is: 2 ESPN channels are covering the same game! Unbelievable.

Hardly a break

I can't believe Spring term starts next week. Barely time to prepare my new syllabus and it's back in the classroom. At least summer follows. Maybe I can get warm for a change.

Not the same game

I grew up in a basketball era when very tall players were rare. Now they are standard in the men's game and soon will be so in the women's. I don't enjoy the tall game much, which is why I never watch pro bball. I may have to give up Div I college soon and follow small schools, if anyone. MM looks more like pro ball every year. One and out jocks, a scandal. NCAA is a scandal. But nobody gives a damn.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Another first

Gulf is the first Florida team I've ever rooted for.

La Salle also still alive. 2.5 teams to root for, the half being Nike ha

History in the making

With an 18 pt lead and 3 mins, Gulf may become first 15 seed ever to make sweet sixteen. Watch the fans then!

Gulf Coast fans

Going nuts again as their #15 team looks good early in second half. Most exciting team left. Love the fans!

The end

Saw a video of last weekend's memorial in SLC. Glad I wasn't there. Would have felt entirely out of place. Barely recognized the person being eulogized.

But oh the subtext! Which I've already addressed enough for one lifetime. The end.

Two blogs

I seem to be taking TS's advice and keeping this blog alive even as I focus on the new one. We'll see how it goes.

Best news of morning

#15 Navy women lead #2 Ken. by a point at half. This would be as big an upset as Harvard and Florida Gulf.

Great respect for service academy teams. The popular arrogant jock style not tolerated.

Gonzaga down, Nike forward

Ah, listen to the east coast tweets trashing overrated Gonzaga after Memphis State took them down, the first #1 seed to crash. Well, M made 14 3s, including their last 7 at the end. Even then, G could have won this game narrowly except for a colossal mental error. Trailing by 1, they flubbed an uncontested inbound after an M basket! M promptly hit a 3, it suddenly became a two possession game down the stretch. Now G depended on M errors. When they finally made one, G missed TWO free throws. End of story in reality.

The Nike Ducks now draw a #1 seed themselves. More power to them but it will be very tough.

Harvard got creamed. My interest in the male dance has crashed considerably, I now pay more attention to the women.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Terrible coverage

ESPN coverage of women's dance is very poor. Too much halftime talking heads instead of going to other games. Disappointed because otherwise I prefer the women (more old school bball, though this is changing, alas).

Mercy, mercy

At the women's dance, Idaho just got beat 105-37 ... by Conn. I suppose it was worth being there ha ha. Someone gave Idaho and 70 pts and lost a bundle!

What would happen if ...

... universities stopped giving sports scholarships?

1. Pro football and basketball would be forced to run their own farm systems.
2. Intercollegiate sports would be played by actual STUDENT athletes.
3. I'd have one less thing to bitch about.

Never happen. On the contrary, it looks like even Harvard is selling out to Big Time Sports. O brave new world ... etc.

Zero sum universe

While TV coverage of the men's dance is terrific ... all games free ... women's coverage sucks. They want $16 to give me options available at men's games. Law suit!

Up to the women

Both UCLA and Notre Dame embarrassed themselves at the men's dance. Maybe the women can win back a little respect.

Sports masturbation

Is there anything in sports more useless and self-serving than the post-game interviews? I suppose their purpose is to remind us how little of the "student" is left in today's student-athlete.

Underdogs move on

A 10 seed, 11, three 12s, 13, 14, 15. Not too shabby! And the women start this morning at 8.

I wrote a poem this morning. Very traditional. Interesting. I'll post it at the other blog.

Friday, March 22, 2013

FGC #15 takes down Gtown

More upsets possible tonight.

Fan delirium

Love fans of the underdog! Lots of time left but #15 Flor Gulf Coast creaming Gtown. Fans going nuts. Love it!

A break

Going to a short opera concert this evening. Get out of the house.

Almost done with grading. A few stragglers.


#12 seed Miss and #13 La Salle move on. Latter blew 19 pt. lead, won by 2.

It's a great app!

The more I use the March Madness Live app on my Kindle Fire, the more I like it. Here I am in my basement office, doing teacher chores, with the Fire on the desk beside me tuned into a scoreboard of all the games ... Wisconsin game gets close, so with a single tap I am watching it on video. Another tap, back to the scoreboard, where all the active games are accessible on video. Easy, convenient, quick. Amazing, really.

Most of the west coast teams played yesterday. Less interesting to me today.

How sweet it is

At the brewery and ale house at Harvard square, the energy was greater than during the Super Bowl. The celebration was off the charts. Harvard's victory is historic and what makes the dance such a unique sporting event. Can they now keep it together to give Arizona a game? I'll be rooting for them.

Remember, you read about Harvard here first, as soon as they got an automatic bid ha ha.

Unless a #16 wins today, this is the highlight of the dance for me.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Harvard beats New Mexico!!!

The dance cannot get better than this.

Pac 12 #12s rule!

Cal joins Oregon, though they tried hard to give it away.


I can't do this tomorrow. Get back to grading and be more selective watching games. Have Fire with scores at my side. Today has been exhausting - and Harvard game is at night.


#12 Oregon wins first upset of day but there were close calls. #14 Davidson had it won and fell apart in last minute. #11 St Mary's made heroic comeback; best player had open winning shot - and threw air ball. #16 Southern took Gonzaga to the wire. And many games left. This is exhausting.

What upsets?

The experts were predicting lots of upsets in this wide open field. Nothing close so far, unlike last year. Let's hear it for experts.

Using the app

It is very cool. 30 sec delay from TV. This afternoon I can watch Gonzaga and Oregon at same time!


In an hour or two I'll know if this app lives up to its promise. Tick tick tick ...

Strange forces

This month I've sold 9 different books over at the Kindle store. Very unusual and very strange.

MM Live app

Real test today but so far this is a great app. If it lives up to its design and hype, will be best way to see the dance by far. So glad I kept looking for a compatible version. Why isn't Amazon promoting it?

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Interesting idea

TS suggests that I keep both blogs alive. Hmm.


Had a hard time finding a MM app compatible with both the Fire and DirecTv. Tonight found one, terrific. Rest of games on Fire.

Thursday's dance


At The Palace of Auburn Hills (Auburn Hills, Mich.)
Michigan State (25-8) vs. Valparaiso (26-7), 9:15 a.m., CBS
Memphis (30-4) vs. Saint Mary's (Cal) (28-6), 11:45 a.m., CBS
At HP Pavilion (San Jose, Calif.)
Saint Louis (27-6) vs. New Mexico State (24-10), 11:10 a.m., TNT
Oklahoma State (24-8) vs. Oregon (26-8)1:40 p.m., TNT
At Rupp Arena (Lexington, Ky.)
Louisville (29-5) vs. N.C. A&T (20-16), 3:50 p.m., TBS
Colorado State (25-8) vs. Missouri (22-10), approx 6:20 p.m., TBS


At Rupp Arena (Lexington, Ky.)
Butler (26-8) vs. Bucknell (28-5), 9:40 a.m., truTV
Marquette (23-8) vs. Davidson (26-7), approx. 12:10 p.m., truTV
At HP Pavilion (San Jose, Calif.)
UNLV (25-9) vs. California (20-11), 4:27 p.m., truTV
Syracuse (26-9) vs. Montana (25-6), approx. 6:57 p.m., truTV


At The Palace of Auburn Hills (Auburn Hills, Mich.)
Michigan (26-7) vs. South Dakota State (25-9), 4:15 p.m., CBS
VCU (26-8) vs. Akron (26-6), approx. 6:45 p.m., CBS


At EnergySolutions Arena (Salt Lake City)
Pittsburgh (24-8) vs. Wichita State (26-8), 10:40 a.m., TBS
Gonzaga (31-2) vs. Southern (23-9), approx. 1:10 p.m., TBS
Arizona (25-7) vs. Belmont (26-6), 4:20 p.m., TNT
New Mexico (29-5) vs. Harvard (19-9), approx. 6:50 p.m., TNT

A great start

A really good start this morning ... I feel like I can coast the rest of the way, have all grades in by the end of the week. Onward.

Climate Science Denier Leads House Science Subcommittee | ThinkProgress

Climate Science Denier Leads House Science Subcommittee | ThinkProgress:

Who values ignorance more? American Exceptionalism.

The dance begins

Two entertaining games last night. I rooted for Liberty, who lost by a point, and I rooted for St. Mary's, who won. Two more tonight.

During the day, I'll work on final exams. The end is near.

Philip Roth's Eightieth Birthday Celebration : The New Yorker

Philip Roth's Eightieth Birthday Celebration : The New Yorker:

Tomas Young, Dying Iraq War Veteran, Pens 'Last Letter' To Bush, Cheney On War's 10th Anniversary

Tomas Young, Dying Iraq War Veteran, Pens 'Last Letter' To Bush, Cheney On War's 10th Anniversary:

"I write this letter, my last letter, to you, Mr. Bush and Mr. Cheney. I write not because I think you grasp the terrible human and moral consequences of your lies, manipulation and thirst for wealth and power. I write this letter because, before my own death, I want to make it clear that I, and hundreds of thousands of my fellow veterans, along with millions of my fellow citizens, along with hundreds of millions more in Iraq and the Middle East, know fully who you are and what you have done. You may evade justice but in our eyes you are each guilty of egregious war crimes, of plunder and, finally, of murder, including the murder of thousands of young Americans—my fellow veterans—whose future you stole."

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

The lesson

What Trevor taught me was that poetry embedded its own epistemology and did not require criticism to explain it. What criticism can do is suggest different ways to find this epistemology.

Later I would read Norman Brown: "The proper response to poetry is not criticism but poetry."

The new blog

The more vertical the page, the better the blog looks because more of the desert scenery is on the page. Thus it looks great on the Fire, good on a large PC screen at school, okay on my netbook. Interesting differences.

Happy camper

At last. See light at end of tunnel. Huge relief that 2nd surgery a year away. And the dance begins in 30 mins.

Sneak preview

I'm now blogging at the new site as well as here. If you want to take an early peek, go to ...

A Writerly Retirement

Visiting Trevor in Honolulu

This was in the 1980s, when I was living on grants and had a very flexible schedule. I visited twice, a week each time, though in the latter visit I took 2 days away to visit a Portland friend in Maui. I hated Maui. I loved Honolulu.

Trevor was fighting cancer the last trip and would die about a year later, as I recall. He was pissing in a bag and not in great shape.

Trevor had an apt along a canal
The first visit was more energetic, and I fell in love with Honolulu, which was no more expensive than Portland if you avoided the tourist traps everywhere. I loved and envied Trevor's routine, out to breakfast every morning, same booth, same waitress, usually the same order. My kind of routine! Routine in a life is like dramatic structure in a story: it holds the fort down so you can get crazy without paying serious consequences. At any rate, we had a great time, talking literature through the day, sipping and hanging out, and he gave me a grand tour of the island, and also showed me the locations for From Here To Eternity, and it was just an incredible visit, and I knew I could live in Honolulu in a heartbeat.

But I haven't been back since he died, in the late 1980s (I think).

Man, I'm glad I found his photo and put it here. Bob Trevor changed my life. Loved the man.

Daily Kos: On Great Teachers and Their Ability to Inspire

Daily Kos: On Great Teachers and Their Ability to Inspire:

My life was changed by the late Bob Trevor, my teacher in several English classes I took at Pasadena City College after the army. I was planning to go to UCLA but there was a hitch: all my Cal Tech credits were on the quarter system (as here), UCLA was on the semester system, so I found myself a fraction of a unit short on several required basic courses. I had to repeat them. Bureaucracy! To save money, I did the repetitions at PCC -- and am I glad I did.

Trevor made me an English major. I especially remember his Modern Poetry class and the way he began it.. He would read a poem -- twice. A poem not in our textbook. He forbid discussion of it! Just listen carefully, he said. Understanding will come and be easier as we progress through the term. He was right. The poem was more important than its interpretation.

We became friends and I visited him in Honolulu after he retired. Every Christmas he sent me a case of macadamia nuts. He put me up when I few to Columbia after winning a play contest. He was VP of a community college in Kansas City then. He was a big drinker at the time, as I was, and we put down quite a few in our literary discussions far into the night.

I wish I had a photo of him.

A BIT LATER. I found a 1963 PCC yearbook online (!!) and a photo ... now to figure out how to get it here.

A bit out of focus after enlarging, but here is Bob Trevor, with his signature bow tie, and an open book of poetry, as he might have started a typical class in Modern Poetry, reading a poem twice and forbidding discussion of it, lest its meaning become subservient to its interpretation. Circa 1963.
What you can find on the Internet is amazing!

Daily Kos: LGTB Literature: Then and Now

Daily Kos: LGTB Literature: Then and Now:

Ah, me ...


Visiting high school classes at a Jesuit seminary many years ago, for a story I was writing for Northwest Magazine, impressed the hell out of me. I'd have to mention some of my classes in grad school and at Cal Tech to find educational experiences as intense and admirable. But these were TEENAGERS in high school! Studying Another Country by James Baldwin! Getting a better education than in most colleges, I expect.

Left a mark on me obviously. Jesuits impressed me, so I have this bias toward the new pope. (Also in the Army, a few buddies had Jesuit education, also impressive.)

New pope hailed by liberal peace activist who served as Detroit auxiliary bishop | Detroit Free Press |

New pope hailed by liberal peace activist who served as Detroit auxiliary bishop | Detroit Free Press |

"Retired Detroit Auxiliary Bishop Thomas Gumbleton, a well-known peace activist and liberal Catholic, said today that he was pleased with the selection of the newly elected Pope Francis, an Argentinian cardinal who became the first pope ever chosen from Latin America.

“So far, terrific,” Gumbleton said."

The new Pope -- Jesuit, chemist (i.e. science literate!), walks the talk -- suggests global political humanistic possibility to me in a way I haven't felt in many decades. The key is his taking the reins and hitting the streets. He could get millions to march. Will he? Very probably not. But in these dark times, even the possibility is refreshing. Focus on helping the poor -- the sins of capitalism will follow. He has unique and incredible opportunity if only he grasps it. (Instead he may just become a nice grandfather, not a moral activist.).

Five Katrinas A Decade? Warming Projected To Boost Extreme Storm Surges Ten-Fold | ThinkProgress

Five Katrinas A Decade? Warming Projected To Boost Extreme Storm Surges Ten-Fold | ThinkProgress: "Scientist:

“With the global warming we have had during the 20th century, we have already crossed the threshold where more than half of all ‘Katrinas’ are due to global warming.”"

What a legacy to give the kids, hey?

A Decade Of Mistakes: Timeline Of The Iraq War | ThinkProgress

A Decade Of Mistakes: Timeline Of The Iraq War | ThinkProgress:

"Ten years ago, “Operation: Shock and Awe” launched the war in Iraq. The next ten years would prove to be a calamity of unthinkable proportions, leading to the deaths of thousands of American soldiers and tens of thousands of Iraqi civilians, trillions spent and billions wasted. ThinkProgress has cataloged the entirety in a single timeline, stretching from the early days of the war to the present. The following is just a small sampling:"

At the end of Vietnam, the collective wisdom said, Never again! Yeah, right. We learn NOTHING from history.

States Cut Higher Education Funding, Increase Tuition To Avoid Raising Taxes | ThinkProgress

States Cut Higher Education Funding, Increase Tuition To Avoid Raising Taxes | ThinkProgress:

Not with a bang but not with a whimper either ...

As I near the end of this blog, and move my blogging to another environment, I realize I have no song and dance number for the ending. Just gonna end, and soon, and announce same and provide a link to the new environment. Which is looking good, by the way. Definitely the place I belong now.

Here in my office to return projects and pick up finals, many of which are being emailed to me. Hope to have my grades in Friday, Saturday latest. Shouldn't be a problem.

I've been blogging for ten years. Strange to realize in a way. I had a strong sense in the beginning of hoping to provide information for young writers but much of this got lost along the way, I think. Still, despite 90% or more topical crap here, in these blog pages are some valuable facts and information for beginning writers, especially screenwriters. I've had fun being here.

And I need to thank, in case I forget later, the regular and occasional readers who have come to this blog over the years. It takes two to tango, and all that.

Or it used to. The new blog is not about two to tango. The new blog will be more reflective, interior, maybe even spiritual. I have several end of life issues on my mind, for example, and it helps to brainstorm with myself. This doesn't have to be in public, of course, but the interface here is comfortable and a writer always appreciates the right audience. Anybody who would hang here, and soon there, and not flee in urgent boredom is the right audience by definition.

This is not the formal bon voyage quite yet. But we're getting closer.


I hope they charge and convict as many as possible. That shit can't be tolerated. The kids need to "get it" and pass the lesson to their peers.

This and that

Read last 2, ready to roll. Pick up finals and start over.

H's doc wants her to wait until next year for other knee. And not try to rush recovery. Hear, hear!

Big dance begins today. I enjoy round one the best before so many actual STUDENT athletes get eliminated. I think the one and done kids should be banned.

Off to school in a few.

The Dangerous Myth That Climate Change Is Reversible | ThinkProgress

The Dangerous Myth That Climate Change Is Reversible | ThinkProgress:

What makes a great screenplay? | Books | The Guardian

What makes a great screenplay? | Books | The Guardian:

"From Casablanca to The Killing – the elements of a great script are essentially the same. John Yorke – who is responsible for some of the most popular recent British TV dramas – reveals how and why the best screenwriting works"

Nothing new here but it's great advice.

Monday, March 18, 2013

To the wire

Up early to read last two scripts from Tues batch. First time so behind. Usual rhythm impossible. Well, one way or another, it gets done.

Marchus on marriage

Mark Marchus sent along this after my recent short post on marriage.
A male and female get married. Have a child. The male becomes wallpaper. Colorfully in the background. He has an immediate love/hate relationship with the child. The wife heals. More sex. Another pregnancy. Now he's the invisible man. Handlers have until age 11 for girls and age 12 for boys to parent. Then the mommy daddy thing is over. Either the parents morph into a more practical role - say advisor-guide - or the children go invisible. Mom alone. Dad alone. Then each starts looking around. Infidelity. Divorce. Kids grow up loving and hating parents who split. Marriage as an institution is over. Even if there are children. The nuclear family is over. Everyone on the planet finds themselves in some kind of personal survival challenge. Going out into the world means moving far away. Most not doing well. ... Parental influence is enormously exaggerated.
He also liked my scene from The Pardon, also recently posted:
God you nailed it. You fuck you're in love. And if you're in love you marry. I just reread the scene with Frank and Harriet. "The times knew no other moral possibility." I love the line "I felt like a tramp afterward. . ."

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Some highlights of 2013

Blog posts to remember since the first of the year.

Something like this can go on forever. We'll end it here.


With only one double fault, S won her first championship since last spring, dominant in straight sets. A joy to watch. She has class.


H is getting someone else to take her to PT tomorrow morn, so I have more grading time. Appreciate it.


For Polly Stewart in SLC, starting about now. Sent flowers, there in spirit.


I really like what I've seen of the new Pope so far. Like his style. Hope he becomes a Martin Luther King re moral authority. Hope he leads protests in the streets. The Pope as activist! What an opportunity.


It seems to me there are more male sexist jerks in America today than in the 1950s. Or maybe I've been listening to too much sports.

Very busy Sunday

Scripts to read ... Sunday papers ... selection Sunday ... too damn busy.

Teams I'm rooting for so far ... Gonzaga, Harvard, New Mexico. Obviously I'm not a betting man.

On the side, I'm trying to find a sports commentator with a show who isn't a jerk. The impossible dream?

Saturday, March 16, 2013

A madder madness?

This unpredictable season may lead to more upsets at the dance than usual. Hope so! Hope a team west of the Rockies survives, the higher seed, the better. Have this feeling Gonzaga will be upset early. Harvard will win a few. Eager to begin. And the Triple Crown follows!


...enough to get almost half done. Reduces panic. I prefer a much more mellow rhythm than all this lately. I suck as a caregiver.

Suddenly struggling

Got a good start on scripts, then my energy crashed. Not having Monday worries me. H had her surgery at the most inconvenient time possible. Need a second wind big time.

A Book Is a Start-up: Lessons from Leanpub, Net Minds, and Other Publishing Hustlers : The New Yorker

A Book Is a Start-up: Lessons from Leanpub, Net Minds, and Other Publishing Hustlers : The New Yorker:

"The world of digital publishing start-ups brings to mind blogging in its nascent stages. The guiding principle seems to be: if anyone can scribble on the Internet’s wall, anyone can become an author, and any text can become a book. Online, a book’s form warps into something more malleable, and fired-up digital publishers are trying to figure out how to turn that into a business—even if it means a proliferation of books that might as well have been blog posts."

"Remarks, Earnest, are not literature," said Gertrude Stein. Today's response, of course, is ... Gertrude who?

Coming: the official switch

I'll be closing this blog and making the new one public in about a week, as soon as I have my grades in. I'm looking forward to it. On the other hand, I can think of no fanfare with which to close this one. Looks like it will be a whimper, not a bang. Unless ...

'Girls': Lena Dunham can do better -

'Girls': Lena Dunham can do better -

"As Season 2 of HBO's 'Girls' heads to a close, it has little to show for itself besides controversial content."

LA Times TV critic, a woman, is not impressed. I haven't seen it but have been highly skeptical from a few scenes I've seen and interviews with the writer. This critic, like myself, believes in the importance of STORY, and if her descriptions are true, I would hate the show. But then I hate a lot of very, very, very, very popular shows ha ha. What else is new?

Ho hum

Pac 12 championship puts my BA school against my MFA school ... and neither excites me. Gonzaga  excites me. Hell, Harvard excites me. UCLA? Oregon? Zzzzzzzzz.

Scripts to grade!

Friday, March 15, 2013

No progress

Not sure grading will get done today. Monday shot. So need a good weekend.


Take H to PT, other morning chores before hitting projects, start grading. Usual end of term stuff. Grades in next week.

Sent from Yahoo! Mail on Android

New Pope

I like his style. And Jesuits impress me. Spent a week at a Jesuit seminary for a story in my journalism days. More rigorous  high school classes than most colleges. I was blown away, in fact. Lit class studying James Baldwin, uncensored!

Hiss boo!

UCLA joined the bad fashion parade of new, ugly uniforms, yet another triumph of marketing and hype. Man, it gets harder to root for teams I've cheered all my life. Even Harvard has an overpaid coach now. 

Well, at least at Cal Tech 3/14 was celebrated with campus streamers depicting Pi.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Deemer the dinosaur

Man, I will never get used to muscle-bound basketball players. I lettered in 3 sports as a freshman and never lifted a weight. How times change. I keep saying that, don't I? Broken record.

Pac 12

Utah upset Cal in OT ... UCLA stumbled forward, faces Ariz tomorrow ... Oregon soon to tip off.


Another way of looking at my blog change is this: this blog was like a documentary of a writing career in progress. The new blog begins with the premise that my writing career is over, with room for a few postscripts. It's like calling in a poker game. No more cards, no more bets. Let's see what comes down.

Not only am I comfortable with this, I'm delighted with my hand.


I agree with what Bertrand Russell proposed over a century ago ... the only ones who can get a marriage license are pregnant women. This is brilliant and reminds us that marriage exists to raise children.

Do writers retire?

A number of readers here have assured me they don't. Impossible. Philip Roth disagrees. I think it's a loaded question, meaning different things to different people.

The meaning that makes sense to me, which indeed can change, is a writer's relationship to readers and to the marketplace. In this sense I "retired" several years ago when I decided to ignore marketing. Why? Because I had depended on marketing for too many years, earning my living as a writer, and I was tired and frustrated. The work was too stressful and took too much of my shrinking reservoir of energy. I wanted to write more for myself and less for others. New technology made this possible without also abandoning readers, at least not serious ones. I took the plunge.

My writing income crashed, of course, but so did my bar bill (another story) and teaching provided a less stressful regular income than writing. To write apart from the marketplace was liberating.

Is this retirement? Yes and no.

The new change goes another step. I am changing my relationship to readers in a small but significant way. I'm still working on the details.

There are many reasons to write and many kinds of writers. In grad school writing programs in the sixties, we would have called most of the student writers I see today "hacks" for their enthusiasm for such commercial forms as genre fiction and screenwriting. Today this attitude is called elitist. How times change.

I often remember a class I took at UCLA, 19th C Popular Fiction. The most popular writers of their day! Never heard of any of them. Repeat, never heard of any of them in a time now considered a Golden Age of American writing.

So another way to write is to write for a future audience, to try and say something true about your own experience that doesn't depend on trends, fads, popularity and marketing budgets.

For some, writing becomes existential, a way of being in the world. "Being" doesn't retire, it ends. But these writers can change their relationships to market and to readers, which can look a little like retirement from a traditional perspective.

I changed my relationship to the market some time ago. Now I am changing my relationship to readers.

And many won't notice a difference.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Looking good

I think I have the new blog ready to use. It somehow feels like a better fit for me now. I feel like a lawyer who has just rested one case and is ready for the next one.

I wish I could think of a spectacular wrap up to this blog. I can't but I'll brood about it for a few days.

Last day of class tomorrow. Amen.

.Never thunk it

That a matter of housekeeping ... changing blogs ... would arouse such energy and inspire such advice!

2 projects in limbo

Have two projects started and stopped but expect each to continue forward at my present snail's pace. The outside-in thriller, which I like "professionally" (admire its craft) but really can't get obsessive about, and the difficult inside-out story of Brinkley bringing home CJ's ashes, which requires more knowledge of certain things than I presently possess, hence reading and research to do. The latter matters more to me but neither grabs me, possesses me, in any approximation of the old obsessive mind sets. Moreover, I don't think this matters.  I don't sprint any more, I hobble.

Looking forward to March Madness, a bit of escape and entertainment. Damn, I hope somebody can beat Baylor in the women's dance. They play too much like the men. Tall centers can do that to a team.


In Zen  poetry is not the words written down but the mode of thought in the mind of  the poet. Hence my earlier suggestion that the mumbling old dude on the bus mall is in the process of rewriting. The act of quote writing unquote has become irrelevant. There comes a time when you can do it all in your head and leave it at that. Maybe that's what a writerly retirement is like.


Take H to PT this morning but I'm waiting in the lobby. No fun to watch her in pain and I suck as an encouraging nurse. My instinct is, Let's blow this joint!

New blog looking comfortable, where I belong. Change soon. Readers here will notice little change, I suppose, but the new context is important to me.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Terrific game

Conn v. NDame, 3 v. 2, looking to go down to buzzer.

Moving ahead

Started preparing a new blog. So I'm not disappearing, just satisfying my addiction to dramatic order. Be making the change sooner than expected. Stay tuned.

In the beginning ...

Friday, January 10, 2003  

By God, it works! OK ... this, then, is a working writer's diary. One wonders if anyone actually will read this. Maybe it doesn't matter. At any rate, I invite conversation about "the writing life" with anyone who does stumble across this. I'll start with my writing background: MFA in Playwriting from the University of Oregon. Widely published short stories in literary magazines in the late 60s through mid 70s, when playwriting became my focus. Got interested in screenwriting after optioning film rights to a stage play of mine. Six screenplays optioned. Lately my focus is fiction, having tired of thirty years of collaborative writing forms. Shopping a novel, have started another, and for morale am writing a lot of very short stories. Have a literary archive at 

This is my first coherent blog entry, after testing the interface a few days before. "...a working writer's diary," was the idea. Why? Because as a young writer I loved reading the journals and letters of writers, to get a glimpse of their personal lives and especially of the relationship between their working lives and their personal lives. I thought "a living diary" by a working writer might be of interest to a few young writers who stumbled upon it. At the time I felt confident that it would be. I no longer am sure. I know the blog has been beneficial to me but I have no idea if it's been "beneficial" to anyone else. A few folks follow it, I know, though I wouldn't guess why. At any rate, this was the beginning.

I put my own process of writing under public scrutiny in the months and years that followed. I enjoyed doing it. My memoir, Dress Rehearsals, was drafted in the pages of my blog. The birth pains of all my recent work are noted here. I did what I set out to do.

But, as I said, I'm not sure the intended audience, young writers, ever showed up. Well, that's not quite right. Now and again a young writer would email me and thank me for the blog. Not many but a few. Enough to justify the premise, I suppose.

But now my life has changed and I'm really not writing enough to justify "a writer's diary." What I need instead is a blog about "a writer's retirement," and that's what I intend to start. Or maybe not. I haven't quite decided. But I do plan to stop writing here, ending this blog (in both its versions: a changed to a new one when the interface changed in 2006). I'll make a formal last entry soon, probably during my term break. By then I'll have decided whether or not I'll continue to blog. I likely will since it's become a habit. Maybe an addiction.

But the focus definitely has changed. I don't have "a writing life" any more, though I still dabble in it. Writing, however, has been my obsession until recently, and this is what has changed. The obsession is gone. I don't think an un-obsessed writer is "really" a writer.

So that's where I stand this morning.

Wrapping up

During term break, in about 10 days, I may formally end this blog. It no longer follows the conception of its birth. I'll explain in detail.

I won't stop blogging, however, and will link to whatever comes. But I no longer do what this blog was created to share. It's time to formalize the change.

Monday, March 11, 2013

March madness

Getting close. Harvard is in. Be fun to see how far Gonzaga can go. Re women, anybody but Baylor. Underdogs get my best wishes. Always like Big Upsets.

House of Cards

Watched the original BBC miniseries. Deliciously dark political satire, worthy of Swift, brilliant presentational style. HBO clone can't possibly be as good.


More male jerks enter sportscasting than enter any other profession.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Out of gas

Done as much as I can do today. What energy I have left will be for attentive relaxation. Finish students tomorrow morning. Still warfare in the immune system. Bad timing, even for not quite sick.


Want to finish scripts this morning. Need more sleep first. Still on edge of illness.

Saturday, March 09, 2013

What a game!

UCLA women put together an amazing game! 21 pt lead at half, hung on for victory of 12. Off to final, on TV tomorrow.


Actually this is a strange broadcast. It's as if a live mic was left courtside and forgotten. Hard to figure ... wait! An announcer has appeared. Hooray!

Audio treat

Fire found Pac 12 women's semi, underdog UCLA v. good Cal team. Not sure if this is a broadcast or just arena announcer. An audio adventure!

Jack White on the Mississippi blues artists: 'They changed the world' | Music | The Guardian

Jack White on the Mississippi blues artists: 'They changed the world' | Music | The Guardian:


Ah, ahead of the curve at last. Taking H for a drive to get her out of house. Enjoy the sun.

A decent start

A much better day, looks like. Good start on scripts. H doing exercises, after which I'll get her ice wrap ready. Want to do a bit of yard work later. Yesterday is history!

Friday, March 08, 2013

Good riddance

Don't need another day like today.

No comment

I don't often take my late mother's advice. If you can't say something nice about someone, she often said, don't say anything. But today I think I best follow it. Such were today's adventures through the health care system of America.


Too much on my plate. To hospital in morning. Two days of sun, lawn needs mowing. And so many scripts to look at. Too much at once on a day when I'd just as soon nurse myself in bed. Good time to remember my good fortune. It's all relative.

Another abandoned series

I've quit on The West Wing after admiring season 1. Now I've quit on the new series The Americans after liking the concept and start. Too much unnecessary violence.

Still hanging in with Nashville. Barely. Only series I still watch with enthusiasm is Blue Bloods. Like its inter-generational backdrop.

I'm a fickle audience.

Thursday, March 07, 2013

If I were a rich man ...

I would fly east on April 24 to see the Manhattan School of Music Opera Theater's production of my favorite opera, very rarely performed, but which I saw in LA in 2007: The Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny. 3 performances only there. Good for them for doing it! I'd like to see it again before I pass.



 "She had read, of course, about the rock-n-roll concerts at which teenagers rioted and behaved like hoodlums but somehow Foothills, snuggled peacefully below the San Gabriel mountains, with the strictest zoning code in Los Angeles County and a proud sense of well-to-do civilized camaraderie, had seemed impervious to what surely was only a fad, a new generation of teenagers screaming for its Frankie. She hadn’t thought that all this chaotic energy, the loud incoherent music and hysterical responding, was associated in any way with sex beyond the normal anxieties of puberty, not even by the gyrations of Elvis Presley, the assumed lasciviousness of which seemed to her to be greatly exaggerated. But now to learn that songs were being titled Baby Let Me Bang Your Box: the directness there was terrifying."

My 1975 short story set against the rise of rock and roll.

The Gender Wage Gap Is Getting Worse | ThinkProgress

The Gender Wage Gap Is Getting Worse | ThinkProgress:

Tom Engelhardt: Consulting the Zombies: Why We Invariably Turn to the 'Experts' Who Were Never Right on Iraq

Tom Engelhardt: Consulting the Zombies: Why We Invariably Turn to the 'Experts' Who Were Never Right on Iraq:

"We don't get it. We really don't. We may not, in military terms, know how to win any more, but as a society we don't get losing either. We don't recognize it, even when it's staring us in the face, when nothing -- and I mean nothing -- works out as planned."

Elizabeth Warren: Banks Get Wrist Slaps While Drug Dealers Get Jail

Elizabeth Warren: Banks Get Wrist Slaps While Drug Dealers Get Jail:

She's going to be a great senator!

From pain to pampering

Checked in with H, who says she is being pampered by two girlfriends today. Have a list for the store on the way home, incl a coffee from Starbucks, a sign of feeling better. Good to hear. (One of the friends even brought us tonight's dinner.)

Mission Unaccomplished: Why the Invasion of Iraq Was the Single Worst Foreign Policy Decision in American History | Common Dreams

Mission Unaccomplished: Why the Invasion of Iraq Was the Single Worst Foreign Policy Decision in American History | Common Dreams:

Good writing advice

Three Rules of the Crying Game | The Passive Voice | Writers, Writing, Self-Publishing, Disruptive Innovation and the Universe:

 "1) Protagonists don’t cry. If your protagonist does cry, then it frees the audience so that they don’t have to. Hence, if you’re trying to draw genuine tears from a reader, your characters shouldn’t be crying.

2) Let the emotion come naturally. Many authors will begin to fall into “purple prose” when they want to elicit emotion, and so they write in heightened, flowery images. Don’t. If you say something like, “In that moment, his love for her erupted like crocuses, touched by the sun after a long winter,” you’re working too hard."

The Folly of Sober-Minded Cynicism - Ta-Nehisi Coates - The Atlantic

The Folly of Sober-Minded Cynicism - Ta-Nehisi Coates - The Atlantic:

"I was skeptical of war, but if the U.S. was going to take out a mad tyrant, who was I to object? And more, who were you to object? I remember being out during one of the big anti-war protests and watching the crowds stream down Broadway. I remember thinking, "You fools believe that you matter? You think what you're saying means anything?"

In fact it meant a lot. It meant that you got to firmly and loudly say, "No. Not in my name." It meant being on the side of those who warned against the seductive properties of power, and opposing those who would bask in it. It also meant pragmatism."

The radicals were the only ones right about Iraq.

UCLA blues

Worst team in Pac 12, playing without 2 starters, easily beat UCLA last night, which had just upset Arizona. What's wrong with this picture?
This loss is 100% on the coach. UCLA has enough talent that they should beat this horrid WSU team without a coach this late in the season. The only "good news" is this should be the last nail in Howland's coffin. Bye-Bye Ben, enjoy your last games as UCLA coach because you are not coming back next year.

"Comic" of the day, week, month, year

Click to enlarge.

Developed Nations Must Cut Emissions In Half By 2020, Says New Study | ThinkProgress

Developed Nations Must Cut Emissions In Half By 2020, Says New Study | ThinkProgress:

Fat chance without considerable public pressure. A great long shot. We'll get Mars ready for inhabiting first.

Tuition At Public Colleges And Universities Hit Record Levels In 2012 | ThinkProgress

Tuition At Public Colleges And Universities Hit Record Levels In 2012 | ThinkProgress:

One of the great failures. When I was an undergrad, you could easily pay for 9 mos tuition with what you saved during a summer job. The Calif system especially was remarkably inexpensive. Higher education was considered a right in the public sphere. What a difference today.


H gets a good night sleep but her meds wear off and she awakes in much pain, enough this morning to bring her to tears. Apparently she needs to take more before bed or interrupt sleep to take more pain med. Something we need to work out.

Otherwise she's doing great so far. Able to get around better than I thought. I'm at the office now and she has friends looking after her. No shortage of friends!

Worth repeating

The quotation below appears in my email signature. Really nails it.
"I believe what really happens in history is this: the old man is always wrong; and the young people are always wrong about what is wrong with him. The practical form it takes is this: that, while the old man may stand by some stupid custom, the young man always attacks it with some theory that turns out to be equally stupid."  -- G. K. Chesterton
Doesn't say much for progress.

A while back, as noted here, some arts journalist with no historical awareness went ape over a recent play that was, in fact, hyperdrama. It was much less ambitious than any of my hyperdramas in the 1980s or any going on in Europe at the same time. The journalist thought this was some hot "new" kind of theater.

Each generation, it seems, has to reinvent the wheel. A frequent exception is in the sciences, where knowledge actually accumulates much of the time. But in less rigorous fields, based on subjective values, the wheel gets reinvented again and again.

And I still shake my head that Dos Passos' USA trilogy is not known by my students. I've been too optimistic ha ha.

When I was a young writer, I still recall a strange quality in the eyes of much older writers I met. I now know what it was. Been there, done that.

Eliot's essay "Tradition and the Individual Talent" puts all this in perspective. But probably no one reads that any more either!

City In Georgia Would Mandate That Everyone Own A Gun | ThinkProgress

City In Georgia Would Mandate That Everyone Own A Gun | ThinkProgress:

U.S. Wasted Billions Rebuilding Iraq | ThinkProgress

U.S. Wasted Billions Rebuilding Iraq | ThinkProgress:

"As the 10th anniversary of President George W. Bush’s invasion of Iraq approaches, the body charged with overseeing Iraq’s reconstruction has issued its final report, capping a tale of spending far too much money for very little results."

Big One-Year Jump In Atmospheric CO2 Brings Climate Catastrophe Closer | ThinkProgress

Big One-Year Jump In Atmospheric CO2 Brings Climate Catastrophe Closer | ThinkProgress:

 "There is a limited “budget” of carbon the world can dump into the atmosphere while still maintaining a reasonable chance of staying under the 2 degree limit: 565 gigatons by 2050 to keep our chances at 75 percent, to be precise. At our current trends — and as 2012′s jump can attest — we’re set to burn through that budget in 16 years, rendering our chances of staying under 2 degrees of warming alarmingly thin. Getting back on track will require keeping the overwhelming majority of the fossil fuel available to us in the ground.

Otherwise, we face destructively high sea level rise, water supplies for hundreds of millions of people threatened by climate shifts, global crop declines, bleached coral reefs around the world, a rise in ocean acidification threatening marine ecosystems, and a host of other crises."

Of course we don't want to eat bugs. But can we afford not to? | Life and style | The Observer

Of course we don't want to eat bugs. But can we afford not to? | Life and style | The Observer:

"The idea of eating insects disgusts us. But meat is growing ever more expensive. Enter the marketing department…"

Gunga Din II

H seems to have had another comfortable night. She got up early to take a pain pill, I believe.

I'm hanging in, fighting what wants to be a bad cold. Not better but not worse either. I can live with this but definitely don't want to get sicker. I give final project feedback this weekend, a ton of work. I need my energy.

And the weather forecast is sun for the weekend. That would be nice.

Otherwise, one foot after the other in the long ordeal of H's recovery.


The ad infestation of the Internet has gotten out of hand. I'm fighting it here all the time. Greed rules.

Natixis: US ranks 19th globally in retirement security - Business - The Boston Globe

Natixis: US ranks 19th globally in retirement security - Business - The Boston Globe:
Americans are less secure in their retirement than workers in much of Europe, as well as those in Canada and Japan, according to a new report released Thursday.
The distance between American myth and reality continues to grow as our shameful decline continues, even as our rich get richer.

Wednesday, March 06, 2013

Head above water

Managed to get the prep I really needed to do done. Satisfied.

Say what?

We discourage visitors from backing out our long narrow driveway. A friend of H tried anyway and somehow turned too soon and managed to suspend her car on a plank along the driveway. A wheel suspended in air. Quite a deal. Waiting for tow truck. Will adventures never cease?

Denis de Rougemont

My introduction to the work of this Swiss theologian was during my senior year at UCLA. I was an English honors student, requiring a senior thesis. I chose a trilogy of book-length poems by E. A. Robinson, his Arthurian cycle. In my research I read de Rougemont's Love In the Western World, which informed my thesis considerably. I went on to read other books of his, including Love Declared: Essays on the Myths of Love and The Devil's Share.

The latter, a very thin book, really has stuck with me. In it, de Rougemont laments that humans in the western world were making an unprecedented experiment in the elimination of risks before they fall due, driven by a growing capitalist insurance field. Facing and conquering risks, rather than eliminating them, had its place in the human equation, he argued. We are wrong to favor easy short-term solutions over facing long-term issues.

This, in my view, is exactly what has happened in medicine. Technology has given us miracles -- we have two bionic examples in this house! But we are farther than ever from facing Death with regard to its meaning, its uses, its proper place in the human condition. We favor quantity over quality. Certainly my quality of life as a kid driving through orange groves on a bus ride from Pasadena to Santa Anita race track reflects a better quality of life than the freeway drive today! Progress has polluted the planet. And we call this PROGRESS!?

We still hide and disregard the aged. We don't make passing easier unless, in some states, they get a terminal illness. We give them no real choices with regard to passing. Instead we do everything we can to prolong life, without even considering the possibility that some old folks may be perfectly happy to pass peacefully -- right now!

The elimination of risks before they fall due can have dire consequences, de Rougemont warned over half a century ago. I think he was right.

Full house

H has no shortage of friends eager to help, which gives our little house the energy of an airport. Some over now, and cars have me boxed in, so I'm wondering where I can find peace and quiet. Basement office the best I can do. But H has energy for them, which is good. I'm sure it feels good to make normal chat with friends. But how can so few SOBER people make so much noise?

Music music music

The Fire's access to worldwide radio stations is overwhelming. Any music you want. For example, now listening at Doowop Cafe, which is obscure true sounds, not the few hits. It's a style. 99.9% of doowop came and went ... and here it is! Amazing. Haven't heard this since Jivin' John's show in grad school.

Zero sum universe

H had a long deep sleep. The good news. The bad, all her meds wore off and she awoke in great pain. Took a bit for new meds to kick in.

Need to get prep work done today. Something of a struggle.

Time marches on

A headline in the LA Times this morning asks, Will the DOW ever break 20,000?

When I was managing editor of Oregon Business Magazine a long time ago, we ran an article with the title, Will the DOW ever break 1,000?

Funny, I don't feel 14x better off!

Gunga Din

Near as I can tell, H had a comfortable night. And I'm no worse and can have a low key day. H gets around our small house amazingly well with a walker. I picked up the right pain meds yesterday. Hopefully the last goof.

Selection Sunday in 10 days. Something to look forward to, esp with Gonzaga doing well. And rooting against Baylor women is always fun. Stanford not as good as in past years. Notre Dame better. And Cal getting better. Women all about beating B. Men wide open.

Delighted I haven't gotten worse. As the Killer ... Jerry Lee Lewis ... often said, Hangin' in like Gunga Din!

Tuesday, March 05, 2013

Climate Change as History's Deal-Breaker | Common Dreams

Climate Change as History's Deal-Breaker | Common Dreams:

"Perhaps a modern, post-religious version of seventeenth-century French philosopher Blaise Pascal’s famous bet is what’s needed.  He argued that it was in the interest of those who remained in doubt about God to place a wager on His existence.  As he pointed out, with such a bet, if you win, you win everything; if you lose, you lose nothing.

Something somewhat analogous might be said of climate change.  Perhaps it’s time to put your wager on the reality of climate change, on its paramount importance to us and our children and our children’s children, and to bet as well that your efforts (and those of others) will in the end make enough of a difference.  Then, if you win, humanity wins everything; if you lose, well, there will be hell to pay."

Los Angeles Aims To Be Coal-Free In 12 Years | ThinkProgress

Los Angeles Aims To Be Coal-Free In 12 Years | ThinkProgress:

More progressive than many folks think.

Get Your Camera: Spectacular Comet Views Lighting Up the Night Sky | Wired Science |

Get Your Camera: Spectacular Comet Views Lighting Up the Night Sky | Wired Science |

"Starting March 7, PANSTARRS will be visible to enthusiasts in the Northern Hemisphere shortly after sunset in the direction of the disappearing sun. Viewers should try to find an unobstructed, cloudless spot away from city lights and look just above the horizon in the west. A few days later the sun’s glare will make the comet invisible, but it will reappear on March 12 or 13 near the crescent moon (so get your cameras ready!). The object will then be visible through the rest of the month, fading away in April or after."

OOPS: Financial Pundits Predicted The Stock Market Would Plunge Under Obama | ThinkProgress

OOPS: Financial Pundits Predicted The Stock Market Would Plunge Under Obama | ThinkProgress:

"The Dow Jones reached an all-time high of 14,200 today, besting the pre-financial crisis record set in 2007. The robust gains may surprise many Wall Street analysts and cable news prognosticators who, just a few months ago, were raising the alarm that an Obama reelection would send the market into a tailspin."

Luckily pundits, like weathermen, don't get paid for accuracy.

Thomas Pynchon's new novel set in New York just before 9/11 | Books |

Thomas Pynchon's new novel set in New York just before 9/11 | Books |

America's greatest recluse now that Salinger is gone.

Candide ha

Here I am in the office, running on half cylinders. Fortunately just show a DVD today. Actually lecturing done, now it's reading the projects the next two weekends.

Need to get H's medicine in order, today I hope. I may be making a run to the pharmacy after class. 


Realizing what a major ordeal this is. And when it's done, one more time with the other knee.

H not a happy camper on phone with hospital but screwups may be getting fixed.

I swear, I live on a different planet. I'll explore this in future. Memories of Denis de Rougemont, a Swiss theologian, heavy influence as a young man. Brinkley and CJ must get into this.

Gonzaga cafeteria staff makes free, giant No. 1 cake for Bulldogs students [Photo] - Gamedayr : Gamedayr

Gonzaga cafeteria staff makes free, giant No. 1 cake for Bulldogs students [Photo] - Gamedayr : Gamedayr:

Corporate Profits Have Risen Almost 20 Times Faster Than Workers' Incomes Since 2008 | ThinkProgress

Corporate Profits Have Risen Almost 20 Times Faster Than Workers' Incomes Since 2008 | ThinkProgress:

In Epic Blunder, NY Times And Washington Post All But Abandon Specialized Climate Science Coverage | ThinkProgress

In Epic Blunder, NY Times And Washington Post All But Abandon Specialized Climate Science Coverage | ThinkProgress:

 "This weekend two of the premier newspapers in the country basically abandoned the story of the century — climate change — as a specialized beat. The NY Times shut down its Green Blog (fast on the heels of dismantling its environment desk) and the Washingon Post is switching its lead climate reporter, Juliet Eilperin, off the environment beat."


1 down, 99 to go

Or something. Got through first night. Some medication blunders to fix. They're not getting an A on this. In the meantime, I have to prep for school today. A long day.

Monday, March 04, 2013

My shero

A very long time ago I used to wear a button reading "Barbara Jordan is my shero." Wish I had one today for "Mary Cain is my shero." Discipline!


A friend set to stay with H while I'm at school is now in the hospital herself. Surprises abound. Looking for replacement. Life's little adventures.

Still feel lousy.


H is home.

The adventure continues

I left for lunch and dog ... while I was gone a nurse accidentally disconnected a drainage tube and H started bleeding from knee, took a while to fix it. Still no doc ... her regular doc has the day off. Is this becoming a farce?


A short video I put on YouTube of H art show opening has had over 41thousand views over past few years. Impressive. I'll link here again when I ger a chance.

H ready to go home. Still waiting for doctor.


At the hospital ... H much improved ... held down small breakfast ... no more nausea ... just ordered lunch .... waiting for doc ... hope she stays a day to be safe but we shall see ... nice to see her looking so well.

The pits

Miracle of miracles, I haven't been sick all winter. Knock on my wooden head. But the last few days ... feel like my body is fighting something. Taking strange Chinese pills H buys. Be the pits to get sick now of all times. These last weeks may be a challenge.

To the hospital soon. News maybe.

A stressful time

Surgery during the closing weeks of the term is not good timing. I still have prep to do ... tonight I guess. I just hope H stays in the hospital until she feels better. Maybe I'll learn something this morning.

What false optimism immediately after surgery. A lesson there somewhere.

Writing this on old Kindle. I really appreciate it more ... what it does best.

No progress

Call, H hasn't improved, spirits low. I'll see her in a couple hrs.

Amazing runner

The teenage sensation Mary Cain blew away her senior competition in the mile at the Indoor USA Championship yesterday. Man, she is fun to watch. Her legendary Oregon coach has her on a ten year plan. She is supposed to peak at 26! What fun to watch her get there. This is sports at its best.

Sunday, March 03, 2013


H had a bad day. Maybe they won't send her home tomorrow.


BP climbing, better. Still can't keep food down. Home tomorrow.


H not doing well today. Nausea, very low BP, watching her closely.

Saturday, March 02, 2013

Argo won the Oscar, but Zero Dark Thirty is a far more serious work of art | Deborah Orr | Comment is free | The Guardian

Argo won the Oscar, but Zero Dark Thirty is a far more serious work of art | Deborah Orr | Comment is free | The Guardian:

 "In Argo, Ben Affleck doesn't offer the US more truth about itself than it can bear. Kathryn Bigelow's film is much more complex and demanding"

Fat chance

My favorite cantankerous sports commentator, Frank DeFord, has issued a challenge to university presidents everywhere: pull your school out of the NCAA. Too right to happen. However, a lawsuit by ex jocks against NCAA has been moving forward. A little hope perhaps.


Tonight I am discovering the world of podcasts with a new Fire app. Some great stuff.

Bball. Gonzaga won big, will be #1. UCLA upset Ariz despite falling apart in last 3 mins.


H feeling great! Gonna make myself a steak for dinner.

Still waiting

Longer recovery room stay than I was told ... waiting, waiting.

Out of surgery

Call from doc, went perfectly. I can see her at 11:30ish.

Into surgery

Home for a few. Her doc and staff have great bedside manners. And great drugs ha ha. She is out of it. Return noonish.

The waiting begins

Greetings from the hospital waiting room. H scheduled for surgery at 7:30, I believe; out in 3 hrs, a couple more to recover. After she starts, I'll go home for Sketch and return.

Hungry. Grab breakfast to go on way home.

Comes home Monday.

Friday, March 01, 2013

Too late?

Really want to see the German film Barbara but it may have come and gone already. One week at one theater, one week at another. This has happened before. Gotta move quickly in this blockbuster world.

Out of last place?

The off-season  challenge for the Mariners was to beef up their offense. So far in spring training, they lead all teams in home runs, 18 in 8 games, and have a 7 game winning streak. Maybe this is the year they get out of the cellar!