May 16, 2012 § Leave a comment

This is one of those stages in life I will later look back on with fondness and longing.
Or maybe not, who knows.

On the bright side, I have been poking my novel and the slumbering creature may rumble to life. Though I am a little frightened to note that it seems to be whispering of a not too distant relation to my (failed) NaNo 2010 attempt. A relation which had been entirely unknown to me.

I think I kind of want to stop blogging.
Which I didn’t realize or decide until I was looking for something to write in this paragraph.
I want to stop blogging because it’s not what it was when I was 15 and designing layouts in html (oh wow. Just realized it’s been 10 years since my first website. August 2 will be 10 years since my first blog).
Maybe I want to stop blogging because it’s something that I needed then that I don’t need (or don’t want to need) now.
Maybe I want to stop blogging officially because in practice I have stopped. I make no effort to maintain this page or add content.

Chocolate != panacea

April 14, 2012 § Leave a comment

I’m trying to get over the fact that I almost T-boned someone on my drive home from REI.

I was in the left lane of this situation:

And the car in the right lane must have had something terribly pressing to do in the direction opposite that which we were going, because s/he decided to make a left turn from the lane s/he was in. Hello brakes and pounding heart! I absolutely laid on the horn. And overlooking the fact that it would have been detrimental to me as well, a litttttle bit of me wanted to ram them in the side for the sheer idiocy of the maneuver they emerged from unscathed.

So now I’m sitting here with my chocolate covered cherries, still coming down from the slight adrenaline high.

The most annoying thing though? More than the physical discomfort from tensing up, I’m irritated that the event seems to have overthrown the reasonable mood I’ve been in the past week with one that feels a bit crankified. Gonna try to fight it though, so we’ll see…

What I have been learning

April 4, 2012 § 1 Comment

April might be a little early to reflect on the year, but from where I sit, any day is a great day to reflect on where you have been and are going.

At least as long as you remember to stop reflecting and get the mail, return your library books, and make dinner.

2012 (or rather, God, in the year of 2012) has conspired mightily with events to teach me to wait.  I have followed through as far as I am able, and then left to me is but to wait.

You (and I, as well) might argue the importance of continued action. And this is a good reminder, but it speaks only to the moment. And the moment is important, but even if I do get around to calling in to see if I qualify for unemployment today, there is nothing in that action to lessen the weight of uncertainty that sits on my chest.

So in waiting and seeking and waiting there must remain the prepositional phrase. On whom am I waiting? From whom am I expecting direction? If ever that answer is anyone but Jesus, impatience and anxiety are bound to follow.

But when I cling to the hope of my salvation, there is peace, even if it only starts out as knowledge. And the more heavily I lean into Christ, the less tightly I hold to the burdens I have chosen for myself.

“Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.” Romans 5:5

The essence of unemployment

March 26, 2012 § Leave a comment

Today I:

  • Saw the crescent moon and its accompanying star. I’m not sure which it is right now.
  • Learned the difference between þ and ð (Icelandic). They both sound like “th”, but it’s the subtle difference between the buzzing “th” in “this” and the puff-of-air “th” in “think”. I could be wrong.
  • Reorganized all my stuff in the bathroom and cleaned out a few bottles that were buried and unused and probably past prime.
  • Finished reading The Marriage Plot.
  • Watched an movie that was interesting but not recommend-able (Hesher, but remember, I don’t recommend it for the R rating that is primarily due to incredibly crude language
  • Failed to cross anything off my to do list
  • Played Words With Friends

Tomorrow I will:

  • Work out after I get up (either run or do 30 Day Shred in my living room)
  • Have lunch with Kasey at the new hot dog place that just opened down the way
  • Cross off my to-do list the bit about figuring out what to do with the 401k I have to close out
  • Write. A blog post, or the essay I found on Friday, or something to do with that thing resembling a novel that I wrote
  • Attend community group

Wednesday I might:

  • Receive a job offer
  • Cry when I watch The Return of the King

Book Review: Ugly to Start With

March 22, 2012 § Leave a comment

Ugly to Start With by John Michael Cummings. © 2011 Vandalia Press. ISBN 9781935978084. Paperback. 168 pages. Source: review copy from publisher.

Back Cover Blurb: Jason Stevens is growing up in picturesque, historic Harpers Ferry, West Virginia in the 1970s. Back when the roads are smaller, the cars slower, the people more colorful, and Washington, D.C. is way across the mountains – a winding sixty-five miles away.

Jason dreams of going to art school in the city, but he must first survive his teenage years. He witnesses a street artist from Italy charm his mother from the backseat of the family car. He stands up to an abusive husband – and then feels sorry for the jerk. He puts up with his father’s hard-skulled backwoods ways, his grandfather’s showy younger wife, and the fist-throwing schoolmates and eccentric mountain characters that make up Harpers Ferry – all topped off by a basement art project with a girl from the poor side of town.

Review: With a voice reminiscent of Raymond Carter, Cummings brings the small West Virginian town of Harpers Ferry to life through the eyes of a teenage boy. Ugly to Start With collects thirteen short stories that showcase different vignettes from Jason Stevens’ adolescence. The language is straightforward, allowing the reader to enter easily into Jason’s world. By using stand-alone but interrelated short stories instead of a novel, the reader comes to see how small, sometimes seeming insignificant events can shape a history. Observations are made casually and their weight is not apparent until seen in light of the grander scheme. While the stories individually are well crafted and worth seeking out, I think they can be appreciated even more in the larger context of this collection.

Click to view free excerpt

(review cross-submitted to Read All Over Reviews)

a river runs through it

March 9, 2012 § Leave a comment

In an effort to make the most of my time which is decidedly unoccupied by employment, I decided to go for a run today. If you are not already aware of how strange this is, you will also likely not realize how remarkable it is for me to run a mile. (consecutively. I usually tally up a mile of running on such sessions, but cumulatively…in the walk-run-walk-run fashion.)

At first I was just trotting down the road, keeping my pace as best I could, contemplating whether I was a heel-striker or midfoot striker, enjoying the sun. Then I started to contemplate maybe I should just run the whole mile of my two mile round-trip route. And I spent probably the second half-mile contemplating who I could tag on facebook, bragging of my feat (because for me, it is a feat). That motivation was enough to get me through the mile. And I probably could have run farther, but the thing that always gets me when it comes to running is I just don’t want to keep going. By the time I turned around and started walking back though, I was thinking how silly it would sound to go boasting on facebook (and not only my own page, but that of others if I, as I was thinking to do, tagged Zach and Kelsey and Cherylyn and Jeff and Danielle and Myles).

As I was walking back (I thought of running a little more, but I was enjoying my contemplations too much), I heard the gravel crunching beneath my shoes, the river (not yet at spring’s highs), birds chirping and rustling in the brush. A couple cars passed, two of the drivers waved although I didn’t know them. I think life actually is more laid back on this side of the mountains.

A couple orchard workers were pruning apple trees up the hill, and I laughed to myself that the sound of chainsaws fondly reminds me of childhood.

Honesty compels me to admit that I find the green side of the Evergreen State more picturesque (rain does have its benefits). But this is the land from which I was grown. It calms and inspires me. I think Allison, Kelsey, Jeff, Caley, and hometown friends understand me better for having been here.

Rather than blocks upon blocks of houses I “run” past in Seattle, I can count on two hands the houses I pass between the mile markers.

a poem

March 7, 2012 § 1 Comment

Here
Ed Roberson (via poets.org’s Poem-A-Day)

 

There is nothing concrete to grasp in
looking into the morning sky

The evidence of red-eye
flights east a plane drawn line presents

is not a wheelbarrow solid enough
dependency as day and night

carry   in coming and going
You don’t see the poem

saying anything you can’t see in it
White dashes of contrails’

seemingly unmoving streak towards sunrise
disquiet the pale otherwise

unpunctuated blue of dawn
breaks it off                Here is that silence

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