Thursday, June 23, 2011
Just put this photo up on Craigslist because I'm selling my old dining room table. I've already set up the meet for 2:30pm today, and a woman named Rebecca is going to take it off my hands and make it her own for $45. I'm a little emotional and actually said a little goodbye and thank you to this table and gave it a tender caress with my hand. I know it's not a person and shouldn't elicit such feeling, but it has also been my table for the last eight years. I had it in my old life in NYC; I drove it across the country to my new life. I've eaten thousands of meals off of it, I created the first curriculum of my teaching career on it, I hosted board game night with friends on it, I've folded laundry on it, I've had family sit around it. It's solid wood top is charged with memory. It's a cheap table and a little wiggly, and I thought to jut put it on the street for some passerby to pick it up, but my emotional connection stopped me. I wanted to give it to someone who really wanted it, someone who would keep the charge going. So Craigslist, $45: a little effort to get it and a little money. Goodbye little table, I love you, and I hope you're all this and more for years to come.
Sunday, May 29, 2011
Well, this is a table filled with inspiration, with both a quick glance and a zoomed in closer perusal you'll see what I mean. My good buddy texted it to me today while he was walking through Greenpoint, Brooklyn. Said it reminded him of me. Old typewriters turn me on! I got a small collection of three. I type little impromptu haikus when I entertain guests at my abode. A recent one went like this: I bought tonight's meal/last minute from Trader Joes/but said I cooked it. I also collect old clapboard suitcases. Recently at a steampunk art gallery opening, a cool burning man, side show DJ spun records from inside such luggage and a vintage pin-up girl swung from a rope swing in the middle of the proceedings. I'm thumb-typing this blog entry from my galaxy transponder (my iPhone), but if I could post it from an old typewriter, I most certainly would
Sunday, April 24, 2011
Cruising on Valencia St. down in the Mission there are some cool bookstores. Probably my fave is Dog Eared Books. I like bookstores that have new and used books on the same shelf. This means you can search your favorite author (I usually judge a bookstore by their Paul Bowles collection) and see an array of different covers of different editions through the years. When I'm traveling in other countries I love to find foreign editions of my favorite books. Funny, how much a cover gives a visual or mood of the reading experience. One of my favorite authors, Pat Conroy, has the worst covers; they're like sappy romance covers, and yet the stories are so cool. Salinger made a rule that his covers would be blank so some future artist couldn't mess with the mood of his storytelling. That's one of the bummers of these new e-readers; you can't see the covers of what people are reading. Same goes with mp3 albums; I couldn't tell you the cover of recent albums I've liked. But back to Dog Eared Books; they have a whole McSweeny's/Dave Eggers section. They also have a section dedicated to pirates, cowboys, and circuses. If you're ever looking for me, you can find me there.
Friday, April 15, 2011
Wednesday, April 13, 2011
Sunday, April 3, 2011
There are plenty of positives and negatives about having a sweet ride like mine. A big plus, seen obviously in this picture, is that it's a chick magnet. But there are other big positives. It drives forward. It's got those seat belts that automatically strap passengers in place. It can get into tight parking spaces because it's small like a clown car. It's got a rad cassette player and the speakers only rattle a little. It has solid AM radio. It can accommodate four dudes and their boards on a surf safari. Dents blend in. And, most importantly, nobody wants to steal it. But there are a few negatives too. It sometimes doesn't drive forward. It's got these beeping seat belts that automatically strap you in. It's small like a clown car. It's got a cassette player, and I threw those out in 1989. Dents are bold and plentiful. And, nobody wants to steal it. Even with these minuses, it's my sweet ride. Though, I do have two automotive dreams: One, to have a car that was made in the decade I'm living in. And two, to have a car with a key chain door remote. I'm just gonna keep dreaming, and maybe one day my ride will be even more sweeter.
Saturday, April 2, 2011
Jeeze, I'm starting to sound like an old man. I stand in front of my young students and paint a picture of my childhood, which doesn't feel that long ago, and they freak out like I was born in a impoverished, far away world. I talk about a time before computers, cell phones, internet, 1000 channel TVs, electronic chalkboards, mp3s, GPSs, and texting. I mention ancient things like CDs, VCRs, phones with cords, cardboard 3D glasses, encyclopedias, folding maps, handwritten letters, Madonna, JC Penny Catalogues, and snail mail. And, my students stare at me with a pitiful blank stare like I'm some Oliver Twist from a bygone era. But that's how I looked at my parents when they told me about sitting in front of the radio listening to the Lone Ranger radio hour, walking five blocks to watch the one black and white TV in the neighborhood, traveling by ocean liner, and walking to school both ways, barefoot through snow. I showed my 93 year-old grandfather my iPhone and he said it looked like it fell out of a spaceship from an advanced alien civilization. I can't imagine what my students' childrens' lives will look like. They'll never remember a physical mailbox, and that's why this tree is eating one.
Saturday, March 26, 2011
Friday, March 11, 2011
Thursday, March 10, 2011
Saturday, March 5, 2011
My 93 year-old beloved grandfather has decided his time has come to dance into the next life. The family was notified, and I drove through the night to say my last goodbye. I sat at his side, held his hand, told him stories, cried a little. Then he whispered in my ear that he'd like one last cocktail hour with me. I looked over to the nurse who smiled and said anything is possible. I poured him his usual, a Smirnoff vodka on the rocks. I poured one for myself, too. He has been using this lollipop sponge to wet his lips with water, so we dipped that into the vodka and let him suck on it. He was happy as a clam. We dipped the sponge many times. We had many toasts. One to his great life, one to his safe journey to the afterlife, and one to a beautiful afterlife. When our cocktails were done, he whispered again into my ear, "That was the best cocktail hour of my life. I love you."
Sunday, February 20, 2011
Saturday, February 19, 2011
Friday, February 18, 2011
New Year's parties often disappoint. Expectations are high, and the reality doesn't often match. Not so this last December. I found a tattered, golden invite with the words "The Bootlegger's Ball" written on it in script. The instructions on the golden ticket led me to a time machine. And the time machine took me to a magical land of flappers, circus performers, and jug bands. My iPhone camera turned into an old, super-8 movie camera and this is the actual movie I shot.