last day of the month

arbitrary boundaries

I’m the one that drew the line in the sand

it’s only sand


no laughing matter


but I’d rather be laughing

can’t we dig a hole in the sand instead? and see if a hole is more interesting than a line?

What else can this sand do?

value of stories

I read treasure island for the first time this month. I loved it

I want to do a book review but I haven’t taken he time to sit and prepare.

I did buy a copy for Veronica.

Chris found an essay talking about how Stevenson is underrted

the essay rocked my world.


the more fun the better, honestly. And the gorgeously makes them even more valuable.

I am more inspired to keep doing my book reviews. To savor the HELL out of these stories the tmean so much to me

making room

things I pay attention to are the things that grow

I am taking the time. I have not given in the time. The lockdown took me on strange paths, old programming and I hid. I was not the only one who went very primal.

I didn’t feel like I could be alone with my thoughts. The thoughts had monsters. the greek chorus of the news screamed warnings of monsters…or maybe the news was the monster

I couldn’t hear myself think. I didn’t want to hear myself think. So I slammed the door and took it somewhere else.

I want my thoughts back. I miss the beautiful stories and words I remember creating so easily.

maybe that ease is a false memory. Maybe it was harder than I rememver

but I did create. I am tracing bak to find my old tools and habits

this is one. making the time to think



I want to share them too, but I have to have them again.

Hello wonderblog my old freind.

This old Turkey?

I heard a lot of people this year speak badly about turkey. 

Thanksgiving turkey is traditional, as well as a number of other dishes. The familiar and the comforting sensations as we gather aroudn the table and observe the holiday. 

Was this the same as last year? I’m not sure they all blur together. What was different this year? The point was to be the same, wasn’t it? 

It must have been the same. It must have been different. 

It’s too close to see. 

I am taking a minute to look at what has been happening this last year, and what I would like to be happening. I do that a lot. With things were different, rail against how my life is not how I wish it might be. 

It’s too close to see.  

I went to a public place with other smells, sounds and voices and wrote down what I wished were happening. What am I hoping for? Is it really missing? 

If I reach for categories—What am I doing that is creative? What am I doing that uses my voice? What am I doing that make me grow? 

Upon examination, I am surprised to see more than I realized. I am not so hopeless as I feared. 

Gretchen Rubin wrote a book titled The Happiness Project. She was exploring what it meant to be happy and how to be more of it. I remember her writing that if she weren’t able to recognize that she was actually happy, she wouldn’t get the full benefit of it. 

Holly Golightly in Breakfast at TIffany’s didn’t know her cat belongeduntil he was gone. And Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz took her whole epic adventure to realize she had the secret to getting home all along. 

Happiness could be so worn out I don’t see it anymore. I am tired of these comfortable shoes, but it turns out all the others are just wrong. 

I put a coat of polish on the shoes and maybe I can feel newly satisfied. Or at least know that I am not and begin to look for something better. 

every day ideas

When I started this blog I blogged more than once a day.

Of thereabouts.

I miss the ideas and there freedom I had in my writing. could I be so free again? I have gotten much better at writing. but less prolific.

I want more proliferation in my writing I think. so. If I want it I think I have to create it. If I made the time every day to write a blog post what would that cost me? What would that give me?

Do I still have ideas? I think so. I just don’t entertain them as much as I would like to.

Com, ideas. Sit down. Stay for a while.

Breaking the sound Barrier-open mic 11-18

In the beginning was the words
I always had the words
Shards to fit
Form the outline of myself in the world
The outline of the world itself
I had to form myself to fit
Into the mysterious
Universe of all that is
All the things my words could imagine

I dropped
A world that words forgot

Over under hard out

Feelings at the speed of light
All the feelings
All the light
And all the dark as well


Past the borders
Of the word

One word


Hold on to that one word


Gonna need it
To find my way back
To the rest of the words
Words that form and fit this world

Is it me? Me?

Me that fits the world?

The word?

Can I form the word—the words?
To fit the world
To form the world
To form the words
The word


In the space between the words

My world

human traditon

I’m celebrating thanksgiving this week. America makes a big deal about it, and it is undoubtedly the start of the winter holiday season.

America has pinned down this holiday in November but almost everyone in human history celebrates the harvest. It’s a lot of work to bring in the things we’ve grown and we are grateful to realize that things have grown yet again.

The next holiday here is Christmas which isn’t as celebrated everywhere and everywhen like a harvest festival. There is one aspect of Christmas this is near universal, though.

The nativity happened in Bethlehem because of bureaucracy. Remember? It was a government requirement that every had to be registered in the place they were from. Ceasar Augustus himself was involved.

In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. 2 (This was the first census that took place while[a] Quirinius was governor of Syria.) 3 And everyone went to their own town to register.
Luke Chapter 2

As much as every people group in the world celebrates harvest, all of them despise the bureaucracy. It’s a very old tradition.

The Roman empire didn’t start this kind of empire government. The Romans are famous for copying the Greeks. Alexander the Great had an empire that lasted long past his life and almost up until the age of Jesus’ birth.

The proof of their influence was the continuation of the fees that the government imposed on the people therein.

I haven’t found an example, but I heard that during the Hellenic empire, fictional stories of pirates who got around all the government taxes were very popular.

The story of getting out from under the thumb of The Man as he is known to me now.

People are the ones who create and then submit to the empires. And then we don’t. Or maybe we do, but only to a point.

As I study the literature of humans across time and space, I know there are many examples of how people feel and react to the control of government. I’m not done with this idea.

Don’t look away

My job sends me to downtown LA a few days a week.  Last week I stepped out of the parking garage to walk to my office.  There was a man sitting on a concrete bench behind a stack of books, the top one open showing neat underlining on both pages.

I took all this in as I speed-walked to get to my building. I saw an intensity that drew my curiosity and I wondered what he was reading.

“Nice set of books,” I said as walked past.

His head jerked up and pivoted toward me, as he shouted, ‘CAN’T HELP YOU.”

Realization dawned as I kept my forward pace. That intensity I intuited was not just from the power of the books—there was a mental instability in this man. His shouts continued behind me directed toward the air.  I couldn’t make out the words he shouted, but I got his message.

The homeless problem haunts the crowded streets of downtown. As I go the last couple miles from the freeway to the office, I pass tents and the structures that are starting to fortify their homeless impermanence towards greater stability. People mill about with their folding chairs and carts.

Yes, they are at home in their homeless encampment. And yet, just like the man with the books, there is an unstable intensity in most of them. One morning I saw three different people lying on the concrete sidewalk shouting or moaning loudly. A block later, a man shuffled across the street in the crouch known to the fentanyl addicted.

20 years ago I worked up the street in the courthouse side of downtown. My co-workers and I would tell share stories of the one homeless guy who told the same story of being a student out of money to get a bus ride home. We took the bus ourselves and knew his request was for more than the cost of a ride and a transfer.

“He should come up with a different story. We’ve all heard his same story several times…Come on!”

This story seems vintage quaint as I pass the homeless tent shanty towns in my clean clothes and stable routines. I wish I could help these men and women in their obvious distress and yet it is not all obvious what I can do. The Fentanyl crouch reminds me that even my previous (and infrequent) habit of handing out some bills to these people could mean an overdosing death sentence.

Isn’t wisdom supposed to come with age? I hear people with strategies for solutions. One thing I know is that whatever solution is implemented has to be met with investment from the individuals it is supposed to help. I am not sure how much investment these played-out people have to give. The current strategies in this metropolis are not satisfying. I would like to help them towards a better personal situation. It’s hard to keep my eyes open, but it is the very least I think I can do.

I’ll have to keep looking for a way to help, from my tiny seat in the world. 

systems check

Ever meet a person who remembers you from an earlier meeting, and you don’t remember them? That happened to me a couple years ago. I had made acquaintance with a colleague in my industry at a mixer. I thought we were getting to know one another for the first time, but he said he remembered me from an earlier phone encounter. He said “I thought you were very organized, and had a lot of systems.”

That sounds like me. Like a beaver makes dams, I make systems. It’s how I do.

A few months ago, I was looking for a silly easy to read book. I picked up Scott Adam’s How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big. It was easy to read, but not nearly as silly as I was expecting. He is a proponent of systems versus goals. He says that a system is far more reliable than a goal. Systems are crafted for success.

I know. I create little systems and habits. If you follow me on social media, you know I have a very faithful habit of posting of photo of the sunrise. And weekdays, I post a two minute “Hey you!” video greeting and inspirational thought.

Then of course, there is this very regular Weekly Wonder. I never miss it.

These are good systems, or habits I have for engaging with my day. It gives me handholds to pull me forward.

And yet, it’s worth double checking. Have I outgrown these habits? Are my systems doing what I hoped they would?

With the changing of the seasons, I think it’s time to take a look around and make sure these systems are pointing me in the right direction.

What is it I really want? Are my systems moving me towards or away from my desires?

Small trajectories that persist over time can take me very far off course. It is worth double checking my momentum.

We just changed the clocks, to match how we use our daylight. I am ready to calibrate the course I’m on to make sure it truly is going where I hope to go.

That honestly means I have to double check the maps. Are the landmarks behind me? What assumptions have to be re-examined?

The longer dark days lead to this kind of introspection. I have to bring my own light to the shorter days. The systems that support the systems need some attention.

Contagious Curiosity

March 13, 2020 is when the Covid lockdown started for me. That Friday my kid came home with all her books and schools closed. Restaurants and gyms shut down and we all stood very far apart.

I couldn’t stop watching the news to find out what I needed to know about this scary virus. We were shut out and shut down.

That’s two and a half years back. We are not shut down anymore. Well, not exactly. But we didn’t really have a grand-reopening. And here in California the government sends periodic warnings that it will happen again. I find myself falling into a now-habitual posture of a protective crouch.

In Chapter 21 of the last book I published The Russian American School of Tomorrow, the soviet refugee Alex said he did not come to America to live in Alaska. He wanted to be in the middle of the action.

I want that too. I didn’t come this far to sit it out.

I haven’t been participating in so long I’m afraid. This kind of cautiousness is a virus of its own.

I’ve been afraid to get out of the house and try things. I can feel it like a hundred invisible spider webs, tying back the confidence I felt once.

Monday night was Halloween, when children practice being bad—evil!—and brave. When the sun was down and the moon was up, we walked the streets and admired all the kids with their costumes.

On the inversion holiday, can I turn this unhappy cowardice habit into curiosity again? Is there a witchery I can stir up into wishes come true?

News channels are downers. Facts have limits to their usefulness. Possibilities can pick up where the facts end.