Saturday, March 17, 2012

what the soul is supposed to be (Friday's Sunday's Poem)

Walking to Oak-Head Pond, and Thinking of the Ponds I Will Visit in the Next Days and Weeks
Mary Oliver

What is so utterly invisible
as tomorrow?
Not love,
not the wind,

not the inside of stone.
Not anything.
And yet, how often I'm fooled-
I'm wading along

in the sunlight-
and I'm sure I can see the fields and the ponds shining
days ahead-
I can see the light spilling

like a shower of meteors
into next week's trees,
and I plan to be there soon-
and, so far, I am

just that lucky,
my legs splashing
over the edge of darkness,
my heart on fire.

I don't know where
such certainty comes from-
the brave flesh
or the theater of the mind-

but if I had to guess
I would say that only
what the soul is supposed to be
could send us forth

with such cheer
as even the leaf must wear
as it unfurls
its fragrant body, and shines

against the hard possibility of stoppage-
which, day after day,
before such brisk, corpuscular belief,
shudders, and gives way.

About the poem: Last night, I rushed home late from work, hurrying to be able to fulfill the promise I'd made Mr Bunches and Mr F when I'd left for work that morning. "If you're good today," I'd told them, "We'll go to the park tonight."

There are about a zillion -- well, three -- parks within walking distance of our house, but you can't go to a park when it's cold or wet or snowy, which it is 373 days per year in Wisconsin.

This week, though, it's been in the 70s and 80s and yesterday was shorts wearin' weather, and when I got home, the weather had held up, the boys had been good all day, and so we were off!

The park we went to is only a few blocks away, but even that wasn't quick enough for Mr Bunches, who raced ahead and raced back and hopped up and down and at one point did a Happy Park Dance while we waited for the light to change.

We were only able to stay for about a half-hour, but that wasn't really the point. The point was to get out and walk, to see the cars and the clouds and show Mr F and Mr Bunches on the walk home a star that I'm pretty sure was Mars (I always think at least one star in the sky is Mars, but this one looked to actually be Mars, because it was kind of red) and to swing.

And to begin, officially, the spring-and-summer part that is the best part of the year -- the time when we will walk to parks and go to ponds and rivers and swim in lakes and go to the zoo and not spend all our time cooped up in the house or wandering through malls.

There is nothing like the freedom of being outside on a nice day.

About the Hot Actor: I asked Sweetie to name one, but she's out of sorts today, probably because when we first woke up, I promised her a McDonald's Bacon, Egg & Cheese biscuit, my treat, which I did because Mr Bunches had announced that he wanted "soda", so I was going to take him and Mr F and me to McDonald's to get hash browns for breakfast, only then Mr Bunches wanted to watch Quasimodo (as he calls The Hunchback of Notre Dame) and Mr F just wanted to swing.

So we didn't go, and finally, after about an hour, Sweetie said:

"Who did you ask me last night if I liked and I said I did and you got mad and said you were going to be a cross between him and Ryan Gosling?"

And the answer was Channing Tatum, and I don't believe for a second that Sweetie forgot about him.

But I am going to look like a cross between Channing Tatum and Ryan Gosling. That's my plan. My version of the cross between them will be, of course, a 43-year-old version of them who is made primarily of McDonald's breakfasts and appears to be slowly melting, but I will achieve that.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Pictures With Non Sequitur Titles; 1

'Having a Conversation In Which Every Other Line Is An Ani Di Franco Lyric'

Thursday, March 15, 2012

What Friends Will do for One Another... (Middle)

Sometimes people will do anything for their friends…

So for the past three days I have been working on an art project for one of my really good friends….


I must be the most patient person in the world because I know that this took me three days (granted I didn’t work on it for three days straight I worked on it for probably five hours between work and sleep and what not but still) and I know that I have to do another two or three pages of this. Now these pages are not your average 8 by 11.5. These are 18 by 24 and they are not computer paper these are filter papers from my previous job that we could use.

My plan is to do two or three more sheets of these with this pattern and then purchase a very large canvas and paint it bright red (that is my friend’s favorite color) and then use a sponge and sponge silver all over the red background. Then I plan on taking the drawn pieces of paper and then cut them into a design (I am not sure of the design, I know that she loves stars so I was thinking some sort of a shooting star) and then clue the design into the canvas and give it to her as a house warming present.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

The Lucky 7 Meme

In lieu of today's usual collection of poorly-focused pictures, rambling and nearly-incoherent thoughts about toast, and/or rants against things that don't really deserve it, I have been made an offer by Michael Offutt, who blogs here and who is important enough in the blogging world that this is an offer I can't refuse -- call Offutt "The Blogfather," which I've just copyrighted or trademarked or patented or something, so if you do call him that, you owe me, let's say... $750,000,000. And you know you repeated it to yourself as you read it, so you've already called him that. I take checks, but I prefer cash.

Anyhow, Michael Offutt posted a meme, and I'm not entirely sure what that is, but it involves me talking about my writing, which is, like, my fourteenth favorite topic of conversation (my first 7 are me, followed by, in order:

8. Sweetie

9. Mr F and Mr Bunches.

10. Leftover pizza, which is technically number 8 but I lied and listed it at 10 because I didn't want Sweetie or the Babies! to feel bad.

11. The older kids (Oldest Daughter, Middle Daughter, and The Boy), who are all over 18 and consequently I can make them feel as bad as I want because when kids are under 18 making them feel bad about themselves is "abuse" but when they're over 18, doing the same thing is "treating them like adults."

12. Me, again.

13. Other things that I wanted to eat but I already filled up on leftover pizza, which, to be totally honest with you, I ate the other things too but I'm not going to admit it because you'll think I'm a pig.
Which brings us to my writing, checking in at number 14, and while I really like writing, and I really think you ought to like my writing, too, I don't especially like talking about my writing, which is fine because technically this "meme" (I think it's a kind of wheat) which Michael Offutt bestowed (?) upon me doesn't require me to talk about my writing at all. It simply requires me to:

1.. Go to page 77 of your current Manuscript.
2. Go to line 7.
3. Copy down the next 7 lines - sentences or paragraphs - and post them as they're written. No cheating.
4. Tag 7 authors.
5. Let them know.

SO! I did not pick one of the many fine books that I have written which include books about a maybe-crazy astronaut, how a guy and a sexy cop invented Christmas accidentally to avoid a madman taking over the world, a collection of scary stories about things like a family that steals corpses to bury them under their own house, a funnily sad (sadly funny?) story about a woman who dies and then tries to escape the afterlife with the help of William Howard Taft, a collection of essays about me and stuff I think, and a collection of literary short stories including one about two cowboys wandering in a neverending desert...

I did not pick any of those because I am about value. You have paid a lot of money to come to this blog and I intend to...


Stupid capitalism.

Anyway, I didn't pick any of the aforementioned books which you should definitely go buy and read and then buy again to make sure that if you lose your first copy you can re-read the second when the mood strikes you. Instead, I have picked an as-yet-unpublished work of mine.

This is from a novel that I began working on 5 1/2 years ago. It is a serious literary novel that features absolutely no talking pineapples, ghosts, ex-presidents, or astronauts listening to Led Zeppelin on the radio. Instead, this novel deals with a brother and a sister during one year of their lives. The character you are going to meet is "Bumpy," the brother. His real name is Dylan, but everybody calls him "Bumpy" because when he was little, his sister, Sarah, accidentally dropped him and gave him a bump on his head... and potentially injured him more seriously.

The book itself covers a year of their lives -- Sarah's fiance drowns under mysterious circumstances, their mother gets put into a hospital, a mysterious home movie surfaces, and Bumpy and Sarah stop talking. At the start of this excerpt, Bumpy, who has no visible means of support and no apparent job, but who dabbles in a variety of things, has come back home with his date for the night, to find an envelope waiting in his mail that he cannot wait to open; when his date comes back from using his bathroom, she finds him sitting there:
Bumpy was sitting on the couch. He had the envelope ripped open and sitting next to him. A packet of papers sat on his left leg but he wasn’t reading them. He was looking at the cup of coffee. In the dim light, she could not tell what the expression on his face was; it was in shadow. He turned. “Do you want some coffee?” he asked. She nodded, and before he stood up, he said: "They want to buy my script. And produce it. And make it into a television series. I’m going to be rich.”

The book is called Up So Down. It'll be available soon. In the meantime, did I mention that I wrote a bunch of other stuff?

And I'm supposed to tag 7 other writers, so I'll name:

Andrew Leon

Rusty Webb

Sandra Ulbrich Almazan

Heather Arundel

Jannet Ridener

Both The Blogger Girlz, if they haven't already been tagged. I don't know their real names.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

1 picture, every 30 minutes, from 8:30 a.m. until 8:00 p.m. Saturday. (A Photo Essay)(Life With Unicorns)

Do Pizza Samples Really Exist (and 117 Other Ways* Of Looking At Life)(*Give Or Take):

How will not paying attention to Paris Hilton destroy the universe? What can be learned about the ultimate nature of good and evil from looking at Peyton Manning and the Kite-Eating Tree? Whose hair is responsible for Hollywood as we know it? In the first part of this book, these and a great many other questions you didn't know you had are answered, in essays that begin by musing about something as prosaic as lime jello and end by pondering the ineluctable, including what "ineluctable means."

In the second half, slice-of-life essays give you a glimpse into the mind of the man behind the thoughts: a man who rescued his children from an inflatable castle but debated whether he should listen to the radio on the way to doing so, a man who was accused by his wife of wanting to use crocodiles as babysitters (and who didn't rule that out.)

"Do Pizza Samples Really Exist?" collects up two prior books from the author, comprising the best of his early work in humorous, thoughtful essays on everything. Buy it on your Kindle for just $0.99!