Saturday, April 26, 2008

Reasons why I am head over heels in love with her, #16

Tis' better to trip than fall

She says she can dress me up and take me out.

A night on the town for MBS and I, at her suggestion, a date night that we take some R&R; going to see celtic guitarist Jerry Barlow perform, have a little dinner, and a nightcap.

Stuck here at the agency. A group earlier and now just doing the drug-testing thing. Ugh.

I should be using this downtime to crank out some quick articles for my newspaper (my editor wants them in first thing Monday for a supplement which is, in his words, "a big money-maker for the paper"). Maybe ol' Lefty has the answer to how I'll get it done:

HT to skippy

Throw in a few fingers of Cutty Sark and it's a done deal.

Friday, April 25, 2008

A two-fisted drinker in a two-job economy

Dammit, I need a bottle...

To clarify a bit of Wednesday's post (which I didn't get around to posting until today - oddly playing with the timeline...), I in fact continue to work in the mental health field. Yes, I'm working two jobs. Writing for a small town paper, covering town politics and business is where my heart is at, obviously. But as I said in that post, it's not yet a full-time gig and working as a lowly stringer doesn't feed the bulldog (or anyone else, for that matter).

Whatever time I have left after hunting down and writing stories, doing far less than my share of raising six kids, planning a wedding, and this blog thing (ok, knock off the giggling), I spend running groups for DUI offenders and monitoring drug testing (i.e. watching guys piss into a cup). The more the newspaper job demands, the less I want to be at the D&A agency. There's no dilemma - I want to write. It's just that the part-time / piecemeal aspect of my writing job makes it impossible to break from being a DUI counselor.

OK, enough bitching and whining... time for some fun:

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Reasons why I am head over heels in love with her, #239

She buys me energy drinks, even though she's totally opposed to them (she's such a health nut). And, she rarely gives me shit about drinking them.

With that, here's some Sony Rollins to smooth out your day:

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Until you've walked a mile in my shoes, you won't know how my feet smell

If I had a world of my own, everything would be nonsense. Nothing would be what it is, because everything would be what it isn't. And contrary wise, what is, it wouldn't be. And what it wouldn't be, it would. You see?

Ah, the glory of being a city-desk reporter. Or editor. Or something. Hell, I'm just a stringer. And it's not so much a "city-desk" as a "small town-desk".

I mean, the town is small, not the desk. There isn't even a desk, really, just a cell phone that my editor calls on to tell me what to cover, write about.

Again, not entirely true. Doing the wildcat thing makes it incumbent that I chase down the stray story, since I'm getting paid by the piece. The light posting here the past few days has been a reflection of that. Attending meetings, making calls, dropping in on town officials, stirring things up to see what rises from within the mire, all in the service of a few column inches; this past week has been balls to the wall. And if the gods are with me (my editor seems to be), I'll have five articles to my name in this latest edition.

Working hard for a pittance, yes - but having the time of my life. And sometimes, compensation is not measured by the size of paycheck, at least not for me. One of the reasons I stayed in the mental health field for so long was decidedly not because I thought I'd get rich; with the exception of a driven few or the therapists on the tee vee, people in the mental health field are not motivated by wealth. The more I work at this journalsim gig, the more the same seems to be true of my colleagues, that money is not the motivation.

Posting everyday (as I've been attempting to do the past week or so) isn't as easy as it sounds... WAAAAAHHHHH!!!!!!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

My write-in vote for precedent

We're all Bozos on this bus

Deadline's tomorrow and although I've cranked out 5 lengthy articles for this next edition (we won't mention the quality, mmm-kay?), I still have some writing to do.

So, hopefully, after the deadline has past, you'll get another dollop of my meandering drivel.

If you take the dollop I've given you and throw it at HRC, I'll give you five bucks. Scout's honor.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Hey, get a clue

My son has REALLY had it with you people...

Small town news has me preoccupied, yo...

Nothing to see here, move along....

With, oh, 6 or so articles needing to go live by Wednesday and very little to show that they're even close to being finished, posting will be light for the next 36 hours or so. As if if you're surprised.

And while you're wondering whatever happened to me, I wonder what happened to these guys - gals - um, penguines or something.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Confession time, episode # 337

...and my life has never been the same.

So now you know... there's a reason why blog posts have been scant the past few months.

Falling in love again, never wanted to; what am I to do? Can't help it...

Be good and you will be lonely

Not going to linger here, much, but only to say I am enamored... and humbled.

I've been enthralled by the meandering and brilliant short stories of Alice Munro this past week, kind of feeling like I should get back to bed and start my entire life over. When I regard someone writing circles around me, well, I am thrilled and a little bit shamed.

I wish I had more to say but I have 5 articles to complete this week and this here is a break from my writing and reading.

Carry on....

Saturday, April 19, 2008

It's not so much all the blood and such but the screaming - that's what gets to you, eventually

“If you define cowardice as running away at the first sign of danger, screaming and tripping and begging for mercy, then yes, Mr. Brave man, I guess I'm a coward.”

My eldest stepdaughter, R, officially entered into that phase of life that we all dread to deal with as outsiders, yet endured ourselves with such relish (and spastic angst).

This has been an auspicious year for R. Aside from turning 13 today, the remodel of this house to accomodate my brood included adding a room downstairs, effectively moving R away from the great unwashed upstairs (i.e. the rest of us), creating a sanctuary for her, alone, segregated from parents and little kids alike. And what else could a teenager ask for? Hell, it's like a whole other universe or something, the teen-o-sphere.

The festivities today included having two of her friends stay for a sleepover, the teen club downstairs while the rest of us hunkered down above, watching "Raiders of the Lost Ark," perhaps as some kind of training film (I have no idea what I'm talking about, BTW).

Actually, R is an awesome kid - er, "young lady" now - smart as a whip and handling the addition of three new siblings with exceptional grace. Despite my sorry ass stabs at snark (jokes at the expense of teens is a bit like screaming "toss the bum out!" at one of Z's T-ball games), I have to admit that she impresses me; I'm lucky to have her leading this mixed brood. Also, I enjoy her company: she's funny and engaging and sweet in a non-sentimental way.

Oh, but gods help us, she now has a cell phone. She can now text her friends that I have indeed indulged in far too many cracks at teenagers and that I'm lame and my music sucks and whatnot. That and my haircut is ugly.

Sweet day at the park for the "Say Hey Kid"

So say hey Willie, tell Ty Cobb and Joe DiMaggio;
Don’t say "it ain’t so", you know the time is now.

Spring has sauntered in here at the Crown of Valhala. Snow some days, accumulations that melt almost as soon as it's gathered, but otherwise our shoulders are warmed with a soft blanket of afternoon sun. Prairie dogs stand timorously at their doors, elk herds stand in the road with noble indifference and there's bluebirds a-plenty. The river rises as the peaks shed their white shrouds, announcing the end of winter with a mighty roar.

And then there's the call of "Play ball!"

Z started T-ball earlier this week and his love of the game has daddy all misty with pride and nostalgia. Spring is, by far, my favorite time of the year, and if there's anything that signals the end of cold, dark days it's the smell of fresh-cut grass and a groomed infield. Although my days of aspiring to the big leagues are long past, his days of dreaming have just opened up, a field of possibilities stretching past the horizon, "farther than those hills,
farther than the seas,
close to the stars
- beyond the crimson kiss of the setting sun. There is nothing that tomorrow can't offer him, he reckons.

At his first practice, Z took a nasty spill and his little face bears the raspberry badges that bubble up from the heart, scabs on his nose and cheeks and lips that attest to his dedication and spirit. Because, he indeed plays with all his heart. He's by no means the best player out there but oh, he fields a heart larger and more insurmountable than the Green Monster. At yesterday's practice, the coach told everyone that they were welcome to go ("I know some of you are tired") or they could stay and practice more fielding. Z ran full force to me, asking me if he could stay, beaming sunstrong and soul-deep as he turned to run just as fast back to the field.

Another dad at practice today, his son chided and cajoled and criticized, how to stand, how to place his glove, the poor kid not allowed to have fun and be five years old. No time to dream, not allowed to just breathe in the sweet aroma of the grass. Somewhere it was lost that we're supposed to "play" the game not "work" the game. Time enough to work, one day, everyday, and that day will come too soon.

For me, watching Z run after the ball he missed then pick it up, throw it towards first base and then do a little dance as the ball actually made it there - that was enough. No time to chide or demand perfection, no inclination to do anything but just bask in the warmth of the moment, Z's heart-so-big that there's no escaping the enthusiasm and love, presence and intention, the embrace of my own memories.

"Well, beat the drum and hold the phone - the sun came out today!
We’re born again, there’s new grass on the field."

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Some of this, some of that, some of youse dis an dat

I'm waiting for my nomination as "Worst blogger of the year". Not so much with blogging, eh, maybe once a month nor not reading anyone else's blog or commenting (though, in defense of myself, not commenting doesn't mean I'm not reading your blog) but mostly, egad, I don't really write much worth reading.

Such is this metablogging puissant; writing about you not reading. Or caring.

Thing is, I need to work on my chops and this seems to be the place to work em'. The few of you who remain following me (and all of this) might be interested to know that I'm writing for the local paper, covering town government. Or maybe not, who knows. At least the local paper pays for me to write.

Nonetheless, I figure my chops need to be honed and those of you who remain within this tiny sphere will get my castoffs, I guess.

So... I just got back from New Mexico, Santa Fe and thereabouts. Stayed with cool people and figured things out. Goddamn, this would be so much more interesting if I wasn't playing catch-up. Shee-it.

To the chops, man.