Monday, August 08, 2016

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Oregon Blog

Well, I'm off to begin my adventures, and will be keeping a new blog: Fronting the Essentials.


Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Gus on Olympics Day

Luofei, one of my students, took this picture on Olympics day at THS. Gus was all pooped out after a day of visiting all my classes and running across the gym at the commencement of Olympics and thinking he was at the Westminster Dog Show. Yes, that's David and Max to the right.

Monday, March 14, 2005

Drive Out Your Ghost

Here's a song I wrote about a year ago. I tried recording it last week, and was almost done when the program crashed and I lost the tracks. Here's another attempt. Me and my guitar. Capo sixth fret.

Drive Out Your Ghost

Sunday, March 13, 2005


The promise waits―split in two―
the way a brain is. And I crack into
the time when you and I broke a whole
bowl down to shells and dust. Like this,
I said, like the earth'll be, and you said
nothing of moons or of what cowards
people nevertheless grow into when
they lock the last of themselves
into such darkness.

Thursday, March 10, 2005

Voltaic Backpack

As if the Habanas weren't enough, my ex bought me this backpack for my upcoming birthday. I haven't received it yet, but she told me about, and it's so cool! The backpack is not only a good, sturdy pack, but it's a mobile power source. The three solar panels on the backside soak up the rays and store the energy in a battery pack, which is hooked up to all kinds of adaptors inside the bag. You can run a digital camera, a phone, a camcorder, an iPod, a GPS, etc. You can't use it to run a laptop, though, as that would require a much bigger panel, one which wouldn't be practical to carry around with you. But I'll have one of those at the cabin. This gadget is more for being in the field. When I'm out photographing mushrooms and wildflowers and critters, I won't run out of batteries!

Voltaic Backpack

It'll come in handy traipsing around cities and towns, too. I can keep my cellphone charged up or run my MP3 player on it.

And, of course, the coolest thing about this or any other gadget, is that people will stop me and say, "Hey, what IS that?"

That is, if I see any people.


Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Walking on Water

I know some of my faithful readers have been complaining that all I'm doing is posting songs, but I'm sorry---that's all I seem to be into right now. Collages have completely fizzled out, writing (besides songs) has resulted in virtually nothing, and all creative impulses have changed course into writing and recording songs (however bad they may be). Don't fret. I'm sure that in two weeks, I'll have changed course again. This is my M.O. and has been for a long time. But I always come back to writing. And when I'm finally installed in the cabin out west, I know I'll begin some intensive writing projects. Lately I'm interested in stories of plague and apocalypse. I recently read T.C. Boyle's story "After the Plague," which, strangely enough, is about a writer off in a remote place living in a cabin. While he's out there a plague strikes the world and nearly everyone dies. The only survivors are folks like him who were far from the general population. I won't spoil the story, but you should read it. It's classic T.C. Boyle. And now I've begun a novel, Into the Forest, which has a similar plot, only this time it's two teenaged sisters out in a remote place in California. The narrator, one of the sister's, hasn't yet revealed what's befallen the world, but I have a feeling it's a plague following on the heels of a general breakdown in the country's infrastructure. In any case, I like this one because the sisters are having to deal with living in a place with no electricity, and the narrator reflects a lot on living off the grid and making do with what's at hand. Camus also has his novel, The Plague, which I should read. I liked The Stranger in college (remember The Cure's song, "Killing an Arab"?). So, maybe the plague story's been done too much? I don't know if I'll write one, but I'm interested in the notion of the planet without people on it. Maybe this is on my mind because I'm about to go MIA in a big way, or maybe I'm just feeling nihilistic.

A month from now I'll be on my way to Oregon, road weary, bleary-eyed from the yellow dividing line. I will have left New York, traversed I-80 the length of Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois and half of Iowa. Maybe that's as far as I will have gotten by April 9th. But in Iowa I plan to drive north on I-35 (a highway I used to travel often in graduate school) and get onto I-90, where I'll cut across the bottom of Minnesota and through the lower half of South Dakota. In that state I'll go through the Badlands, past Mount Rushmore. Then I'll cross into Wyoming, then Montana (a state I used to fantasize about living in until I realized I don't like winter enough). Then I plan to cut through the tip of Idaho, a state I've always wanted to see. Then I'll either climb north through Washington up to Seattle, or I'll drop down through Idaho and get on I-84 for the rest of the way to Portland, where I'll hook up with Bradley Boyden and, hopefully, Lang Cook, to make the final leg of the journey down to the southwestern part of Oregon, deep into the Klamath Mountains and the Rogue River canyon. It's going to be an incredible journey just getting out there. I hope to drive around 400 miles a day. If it's too cold or snowy, I'll avoid the north route on I-90 and just stay on I-80 until I hit I-84 at Salt Lake City, Utah. I'll have to keep on eye on The Weather Channel while I'm staying in the various hotels and motels along the way.

But I've forgotten why I logged on here in the first place. Yes, I recorded another song. I'm digging this one. Lots of cool sliding on the strings. Have a listen, if you can bear to hear another.

Walking on Water