Tuesday, April 24, 2012


I just collected another one and am beginning to feel like a greedy hoarder.  Started off innocently enough with the cake face in my highchair, as my Mom captured that occasion in black and white.  I progressed, with pail in hand, grabbing Easter eggs on my fourth.  If I survive another seven years, I can revert to my old ways and do that it again.
Birthdays seem to make one look forward and back.  Bought my first car on my eighteenth, a Mini-Cooper in 1971.  Transferred the title that day and when I came out of the licensing office, it wouldn’t start.  I loved that car, but it didn’t love me.  The next year, my parents bought me a gold watch, flexible band and all.  Didn’t take much time after that to get in trouble.
Got married after collecting twenty-three of them, had thirty when my mom was alive and one more before I became a dad.  My forty-eighth was big.  As the house manager for a benefit concert, the performer sang an impromptu song about me to 1,200 in the audience.  On my fiftieth, my dad was a surprise dinner guest.  Didn’t know it at the time, but we only had two more together.
Now my birthday is sandwiched between National Weed Day and Earth Day.  I fit in there somewhere and share the date with John Muir, Queen Elizabeth and my attention whore, little brother around here, the Space Needle.  Learned over the years world’s fair is a misnomer, but even so, I was flooded with love via phone calls, packages and internet messages from near and farther away than ever before. 
Don’t know how many more birthdays I’ll collect, but I was acutely aware and appreciative this time around the sun.  So, in seven years, I’ll pick up the pail and hunt for more Easter eggs.  And then eleven years after that, I’ll finally hang up my bucket of birthdays as my grandchildren, who haven’t been born yet, will take pictures on whatever the newest gadget is of me bibbed in a wheelchair getting cake faced.  Flying my own flag, I collected years like no other.  Simple, complicated and priceless.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Writer Dos & Don’ts

            Writers should never do yard work.  It gives them too much time to think things like mowing the lawn must be traumatic for the bugs that live in it.  Their forest is being destroyed.  And as the rotary blades behead the dandelions, they must be stressed that their sun has been murdered.  Mole hills must be like volcanoes and earthquakes combined.
Writers shouldn’t do laundry either.  They throw whatever colors together and let them soak and spin.  When it’s time to fold things up, they seldom do it neatly and always leave the lint filter clogged with loose strings. 
Writers should never do housework.  They are good at creating a mess, but seldom clean everything up.  Sure, they dust here and there, but come on.  They never leave things spotless.  Although a writer may be a gourmet cook, never ask them to do the dishes for the same reason.
Writers should never be given ultimatums, deadlines or set bedtime hours.  Their creative time should be treated as sacred.  Never interrupt one when they are in the flow as this can be dangerous for all involved.
  All of the don’ts mentioned above are activities that tend to be slow in getting done anyway because they stop to take notes on the front porch after seeking bugs in the grass, watching the washing machine rattle in spin cycle, inspecting the parts of the vacuum closely or playing with the soap suds in the sink.  
               Writers should always have access to little people.  It is through young eyes that the wonderment of life is intended to be viewed.
Writers should always have something to drink handy.  Whether it water, juice, coffee, tea, beer, wine or hard liquor, they need something to prevent their words from becoming dry.
Writers should always be allowed to express their ideas and thoughts freely without fear of critics or authority.  It is only through this pure process can one’s truth be told.                      
Writers should always have some knowledge of their topic.  Because of that, I looked up the controversy of apostrophes or not in the title of this post.  The grammar police tell me “dos and don’ts” are plurals not possessives, thus need no extra apostrophes.  I am going with that.
Writers should be loved at all times for they are the acute observers of the human condition disseminating their wisdom through words.  They paint mental pictures, sculpt scenarios while juggling a collage of issues singing out their imagination, planting seeds for thought.  Be sure your writer always has an ample supply of pens and paper.  They get snarly otherwise.
Of course, these dos and don’t are just a partial list, but someone had to start compiling this vital information.  Just another example of how important writers are in this world.  You are welcome in advance. 

Friday, April 13, 2012

My Absence

Hello all, I've been gone for awhile.  Life has been wild, challenges galore, added up to one great big compost pile.  You probably thought I ran out of words or things to say, but I've been busy writing away.  I'm writing a book and I'm half done.  It's a lot of work and a whole lot of fun.  Will it get published?  I don't know, got nothing to sell if it's not whole.

Other stuff going on too.  Sickness came to my house and flung open the door.  It's ugly, it's sad, but to even the score, I had to learn to smile even more.  Kids left home, now an empty nest.  They still come around, they are the best.  Car got stolen ten days ago.  She came home yesterday.  Expensive joy ride for those bozos and I got to pay.  Been too busy to cut my hair, never before gone a year.  My beard aint appreciated much either around here, but I don't much care.  Been a friend coach, teaching what I can share.  Student is learning I am a bear.

So that's the latest from dandelion farm, hope my absence didn't caused you alarm.  As you can see, I haven't lost my charm.    

Saturday, April 7, 2012


I recall at a vey young age being told I was special, unique and I should celebrate that.  It was pretty cool.  Then we got herded up and sent to schools with structure and rules and expectations trying to make us all the same by treating us that way.  Wear these clothes, learn this stuff and act this way.  Don’t be too weird in your uniqueness or we will have to control you in other ways, like magic pills to dull your imagination and tame your spirit.  And the sad thing is most of us buy into it.  When we grow up, it’s only okay for each snowflake to be different, but not people.  We all live in boxes, are fed the same crap by the powerful, told when to sleep, how to behave and what to look like.  Different is frowned upon.  For the most part, I played their game.  I cut my hair and painted my picket fence while I was making others richer and being led to believe this was my “happy”. 

I had buried me in their clone-ness.  But, their plan was not my dream.  I am different and darn proud of it.  When I walked away, I went through a long mourning period and then began to realize a rebirth.  I am still that special and unique kid.  I am different and it bothers others that I celebrate my uniqueness.  They aren’t me and I refuse to give the boundaries that are rightfully mine.  They have no right to shove their expectations on me.  I will groom as I please, I will love who and how I please and harm no one.  Hey, Easter people, isn’t that what Jesus did?  Our political leaders wear their clown costumes and are war mongers while they shout “peace and freedom” as the get obscenely rich.  Put me in the martyr column with John Lennon. 

Everything will remain the same until enough people wake up to the reality and question, even challenge the status quo.  I have been rich and I have been poor, it’s my turn to be happy.  Now that my friend, is different.