Tuesday, September 28, 2010


a friend of mine on fb linked this video from youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RxsOVK4syxU&feature=related and i began to think about the teachers throughout my formative years that inspired to me to do something greater.

sad to say, some of the names have been forgotten. but i remember every act, and how it affected my life.

i had a young kindergarten teacher with long brown hair who taped my mouth shut till recess once. (in retrospect, she had probably warned me over and over and over again to be quiet, and i just wasn't paying attention.) at the time, i was embarrassed, appalled, and angered. but i tried in the future to not yammer on quite so much. this is the same teacher who hugged me for what seemed like hours after my first attempt on the monkey bars which ended with me covered in mulch and crying (or, at least, once i had gotten my breath back.)

my first grade teacher had a sort of page-boy bob haircut in blue eyes, and told my mom that i was showing incredibly advanced talent in art and drawing, and that she should keep pens, pencils, and a never-ending supply of paper handy. my mom still proudly tells this story when she shows the plate that was made from the drawing i did of the pink panther and the inspector. i still draw and paint.

i had a second grade teacher, probably middle-aged with curly hair, who all but checked books out of the library for me. i still love to read. she also let us write and enact elaborate plays (mostly stolen from star wars) to our hearts content and which usually involved the majority of the class, and to which only she, and possibly one or two other teachers on break, would be audience.

my male third grade music teacher pretended not to notice that singing peter, paul, and mary's "leaving on a jet plane" would cause me to cry and cry.

mr. jensen let me draw in class. he even gave me sheets of the expensive carbon paper, and if i drew something suitable and he liked it, he would mimeograph them and hand them out to the whole class to color during quiet times.

mr. weller (who looked a little like chuck norris) indirectly taught me that it is ok for grown men to cry, cause he had trouble getting through the last chapters of where the red fern grows. he would later be my cross country and track coach, and would inspire me with his personal interest in my life outside of sports and the classroom. i have actually tried to find him and contact him, as he once said when i was a junior in high school that if i ever wrote a book, he wanted a signed copy.

mr. steffens would read the short stories i wrote at home or outside of class. he would offer constructive criticism. he still teaches and is the high school librarian at my old high school. he read several chapters of The Unfinished Work when it was still just more of an idea than an actual book. he was perhaps the first teacher who really made me feel like my stories and writing would be interesting to someone besides myself.

mr. mccree most recently helped me to realize that while i write prolifically, and am not a bad writer, i still have much room for improvement. he has also proofread at least two of the chapters from my someday upcoming book, Pierce County.

but the teacher that i will never forget, and to whom i dedicated a whole chapter of The Unfinished Work, and who i liked the least and for the longest was mr. bruce graham. he seemed to hate us students. me in particular. and i never passed any of his math classes with anything higher than a b- (geometry, and all the algebra classes i took with him were straight c's.) but on the day when i aced my college algebra class, and was smiling and dancing around and thinking, "fuck yeah! never have to take another math class ever again in my life!" i immediately wanted to run out, and be able to show it to mr. graham, and tell him, "thank you, sir. and i am really sorry i was such a bastard to you for so many years."

without our teachers we are nothing, and we generally, as a society, treat them like shit. thank a teacher today.

darth sardonic

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Tuesday, September 14, 2010

metaphysical fiction

i am like the breath through a harmonica: sad, and lonely. my toes still try to dig into the soil, afraid to let go. afraid to change. afraid of what lay beyond the tops of the highest mountains. beyond the increasing hole in the ozone.

afraid, perhaps, of what becomes of all that remains of me when i sever ties with the mud and dirt and the crawling worms to explore the vastness of space without bounds.

but the sun is warm. the sky is blue. my skin is raw. and i need to sail beyond the swirling pain of this existence.

and i let go. at first i only see my yard. the green grass, needing to be mowed. the tree preparing its leaves for a trip just as far in the opposite direction of my own. mossy rocks. crawling beetles.

i spread my arms wide as i pass the top of the fence and begin to see my neighbors and their unmowed lawns, their shrubs, their dying flowers.

i kick hard, like a swimmer evading a shark. these are known to me, familiar; i long to pass beyond this to the unexpected, the unprecedented, the unknown.

the tops of the trees give way to the tops of mountains, and i see the lonely few who travel to these heights to see god and still fall so short. i sidestroke past them on my own rapid trip to the center of my being and the center of the universe.

my being begins to flake as i leave the atmosphere; not due to the extreme cold, for i am no longer capable of feeling it, but as i push past each lightyear into galaxies beyond the scope of our technology, my self is beginning to give away to the forces that have no play on the planet i once called my own.

tendrils of my self wind away like loose threads from an old sweater; warm, fuzzy, and pulling my form into formlessness. these tendrils intertwine with those of my father, and my father's father, and my father's father's father. the familiar stars wind down to holes punched in a frail piece of black cloth as i am now drug by the cosmic fabric into a gap like a patch to fill a void and lose all sense of self in a mesh that becomes a blanket that warms a baby as it sleeps in its crib.

darth sardonic

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Sunday, September 05, 2010

just more of the same...

what can i say? life continues along, often with nothing to report. so i don't.

what's happened in the last few? well, i am 39 now, though honestly i don't feel it. except maybe for my knee. and the encroaching gray, especially in my goatee.

my wife and i celebrated our 11th year of marriage, and our 12th together. we are still madly in love, and enjoy each other's company.

i've sold quite a few of my books, but apparently not enough to add up to the requisite 25 bucks or whatever it needs to be for the company to send me a check. i honestly may never get one, but that is much less important to me than the fact that i have a book rubbing shoulders with naked lunch, on the road, tropic of cancer, and running with scissors that has my name in the author's slot. i am still working on another memoirs, as well as my fiction novel. i keep telling myself i am going to mail out stand-alone chapters from The Unfinished Work and the upcoming Pierce County to literary magazines and such to drum up interest, and eventually i will.

big dumb animal practices on a regular basis and our main setlist is getting tight. we probably have 20 to 30 songs in the works easy, but are choosing to focus on about 10 until we can play them without thinking. we have an fb page where we post pics and videos, so if you're interested in checking us out, just search facebook for big dumb animal. or friend me on fb and check it out from there. i am actually amused and surprised at the fb friends i already have who i know as non-existent readers.

we have another cat now. a black and white stray we named binx after the cat in "hocus pocus." some family formerly loved him, as he came to us healthy, neutered, and declawed, and he is more friendly than either pele or pepper, and overall, more well-behaved. you do, however, have to watch your dinner with him. we have been spoiled by pepper and pele in that neither one of them has ever been interested in human food. binx, on the other hand...

add him in with the two other cats and our two beta fish (7 and ponyo) and we are close to being ready for forty days and forty nights of rain.

i am doing well in school, and am down to my last four classes. it's pretty exciting, but at the same time, the job market is a little daunting. hopefully there is a big boom in the need for drafters in the area before may.

and that is pretty much it, o my beloved non-existent readers. overall, not much to tell. hence the major gaps in posting.

i cleaned up my pals list as well, as more people have gone leaving their respective blogs (or perhaps me as a reader) behind.

darth sardonic