Wednesday, July 27, 2016


So... last Thursday I cut my hair back from sixteen inches to about a quarter of an inch.  I've done this before, with similar feelings.  I'm still sometimes feeling a phantom pony-tail, especially when I wash or when I drive a car.

I decided to see if I could fool my co-workers, so Friday, I wore a tie, a nice Oxford shirt, a tie, and sunglasses.  I practiced the lines, "I'm looking for some information on the English Major for my daughter, Caroline, who will be a freshman," moved my voice up from my chest to the back of my mouth, hunched my shoulders, and made sure to take small steps.   As I walked into the office, I was sure to peer at everything as if I was looking for something, and as if everything was new.  It helped that I was wearing big sunglasses instead of my regular glasses, so I really did have to peer at things. 

One of my co-workers saw me wander in and asked if she could help me.  I though for sure I'd be recognized--the sunglasses especially seemed a little Lady Gaga--but the haircut and altered stance made the perfect disguise.  What was fascinating was that she said she looked up, saw the sunglasses, and built a narrative around some guy who'd just come in from the eye-doctor's office and had had his eyes dilated.  Another co-worker came up to help--she thought I was visually impaired--and they both handed me things while I said filler things like, "Oh, yes; thank you.  This will help," all the time peering at introduction to the major materials.   

After about ninety seconds, I took off my sunglasses and said, "Boo."  It took about five seconds for my True Identity to be processed, even with the sunglasses off.  My Norwegian widow's peak (which I inherited from my grandmother) made it difficult for them to recognize that it was me.  We had a good laugh -- it was about as much fun as the time I did the same thing to a previous co-worker 13 years ago on Halloween.  

I got my boss the following Monday.  Mark warned me that tricking one's boss might not be the wisest move, so I simply waited for her to come into the office while I faced away from her and held a notebook.  She thought I was a vendor and said, "Hi, can I help y--whoa!!"  And we laughed.

More Hair-jinx here:  hair

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Marys Peak Hike

 Resting near the top.
 Watching humming birds fight over fireweed.
 Dusting a cloud for moisture.
 On the trail.
Contemplating fallen giants.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Mid July

Saturday, I had an extra-long workout at the gym; 30 minutes of which was elliptical work.

We went to the Oregon Country Fair.  It was rainy and just the right temperature for me.  While I missed seeing some of the more exotic costumes (or lack of costume), I also didn't miss some of the fashion donts that happen at the fair.  It was nice seeing L.H. a writer-friend who sells masks at the fair.  I think my favorite group was the Fighting Karma Marching Band, who plays a selection of Sousa mash-ups.

At some point over the weekend, The Child and I got into a discussion about music.  He's discovered "Imagine Dragons" and so he was playing me their song.  OK, songs; but like U2, their songs sort of sound the same.  In this case, there's a signature A-minor key, the word "whoa-oh-oh" in a sort of tonic-fifth-forth progression, an AABB rhyme scheme, and a key word (like "radioactive") repeated about four to ten times.   Actually, it could be much worse.

TC:  "John I want you to play something with a strong bass.  Like 'Duuuuuuhhhhhn.'"
John:  "Oh, well, here's something."  (Plays the Scorpions "Rock Me Like a Hurricane")
TC:  "No John; a strong bass."
John:  "Well..."  (Tries Duran-Duran's "View to a Kill.")
TC:  "C'mon.  Bass.  Duuuuuuuuuuuuuhhhhhnnnnnnnn."
John:  "Umm"   (Tries The Cars "Just What I Needed") "Er, no..." (Tries "My Best Friend's Girlfriend")
TC:  "There's no bass in this."
John: "Hmm.  Well, you know, I don't normally like what they play at the gym -- but I noticed when they changed the music to some newer stuff that it all sounded generically bland.  Listen to the artistry of the guitar in this--"
TC (throwing his hands up, tilting his head sideways and making a face):  "Ugh!  No!  (In a Graham Chapman voice) Not the artistry!"
John:  "Alright, fine; we can listen to "Imagine Dragons."  (figured I may as well listen to it to make sure that it's just sad indie songs and not songs about sex and war)

Monday, I went to the gym and had a typical workout.   My latest focus is on obliques, so I've been doing side crunch things.

Dreams:  Odd mish-mash dreams.  Tuesday and Wednesday nights I've dreamed that I've written a short story (the second time I remember editing it), but when I wake up, I can't remember what I've written.  

This morning I had another hypnopompic visitation; this time it was a small muppet-like white-whiskered gnome wearing a blue shirt and a red cap.  I think he had a red nose, sort of like Bert's from Sesame Street.  He was looking at the books on my end table.  I knew he wasn't really there, and he faded away.  So far all of these instances have been silent.   I suppose if they start talking to me I should write down what they say.

Friday, July 08, 2016

Early July Utility Post

Had a laid-back Fourth of July.

Working Out:  Went to the gym Sunday.  100-something calories in 12 minutes on the rowing machine.  There were a surprising number of people at the gym.  I was wearing my contacts, which kind of makes it hard to see some of the settings.  3X12X60 lbs on the pec fly.  3X12X85lbs on the lat pull-down.  3X13 suspended curls.  4X12 oblique curls.  3X12X30 triceps curls.  3X12X35 barbell curls.  3X4X12lb dumbbell shoulder shrugs.  3X12X12lb dumbbell uh, triceps pulls (I forget what they're called).  Some random dumbbell upper-shoulder things.  I'm sure something dreadful played on the stereo.


I'm in a funk.  (Throws back of hand to forehead in a silent movie fashion and utters, "Then my world turned to ashes and the sun was darkened in my eyes.")

I'm not going to focus on it here too much--because focusing on it seems to perpetuate it--other than to wonder if it's summer and I'm in a funk, what's it going to be like in The Deep Dark Winter.  

Unpleasant dreams last night, probably prompted by reading about a 1960 American biological psychologist who used electrical pulses to the pleasure center of the brain to condition psychiatric patients, including gay men.  

The rains are coming back.  Or at least the clouds.  This morning is going to be a warm mug morning.


Woke up feeling sore in my hands and feet.  Looked out the window:  yep, there are rain clouds out there all right.

Working Out:  Went to the gym.  220 calories in 20 minutes on the eliptical.  3X12X60 lbs on the pec fly.  3X12X85lbs on the lat pull-down (I've switched machines to one with a different gradation of weights).  3X13 suspended curls.  3X8 oblique curls.  2X12X30 triceps curls.   Then I needed to leave.


Slogging away at a short story.  Writing has been difficult this week; I feel like I'm plodding away but not moving forward.  This is the peril of "exploratory writing."  

I re-read some old blog posts... and noticed the parts where I sound like a broken record.  I need to fix that.

Sunday, July 03, 2016

Philosophy Games

Scene:  Summer Camp drop-off.  John and The Child have just checked in at the rain shelter, where other children are playing various games.  

Twenty-Something Counselor (to The Child): "Hey, there!  Want to play Candyland?" 

TC (glances at the game being set up): "Naw."

John: "Oh, but remember Jean-Paul Sartre."  (A reference to Existential Comics, where-in various philosophers play the game.)

TC (holds up spinner with a I-told-you-this-would-be-lame look):  "Look, John."

John (surprised that the color-coded cards have been replaced):  "Oh!  The illusion of free will has been preserved!"

20-SC:  "I think I see where some of his humor comes from."

Friday, July 01, 2016

July 1st Post

Wait... is today the first of July?

Working Out:  Went to the gym Thursday afternoon after (eek) about a week.  10 minutes and 120 calories on the rowing machine.  I love the rowing machine, even if it isn't possible to read on it.  3X12X70 lbs on the pec fly.  3X12X80lbs on the lat pull-down.  3X12X40lbs on the triceps pull-down.  3X12X35 lbs on the barbell curl.  I nearly dropped the barbells when the stereo started playing "Angie."  
3X12 suspended curl-ups.  3X20 scissors. 

I should add that the week prior, the stereo was tuned to something less Classic Rock; although I prefer the more generic light metal rock from last week because the beat is a little faster and the lyrics aren't as intrusive, I must say that the classic rock has better musicianship (even if the a majority of the lyrics are essentially either your-the-hottest-woman-I've-ever-beheld-and-I'll-sex-you-forever or post-one-night-stand-I-gotta-be-free-to-have-sex-with-whomever-I-meet-farewell-addresses with a sad-political-ballad thrown in for good measure).

I'm at a curious point where my bicycle tire is really responsive to if I've been eating junk food or not going to the gym.  I think I'm going to have to start calling it "Bloaty McBloatface" and figure out a Blexit Strategy.   That and do more planks.