More Details on This Little Life


  1. Just had my 6 year old Panasonic Plasma 50-inch TV click off mysteriously/ unceremoniously / quietly …just like that…while I was watching it, minding my own business peacefully and it never would come back on despite stuff I did that I’d found suggested on Google. Found an old Japanese man who fixes TVs…another dying art… who told me it would be about $300 to fix it, so I decided to go new. A 5 inches bigger version… A Sony Bravia 4K on sale. Good deal as that goes. And I got for the first time ever a sound system that accompanies it. But when I got the TV all set up and cooking, the audio was great coming from the TV, so I’m going to take the sound system back. It was on sale and tempting, but an extravagance we don’t need –one more thing to clean and take care of. You can’t be a Park though and not be ‘mainline’ connected to your TV. So my living room man cave, to which I openly invite my woman mate, is back in business. TV really is my sparkly clean and wide open window on the world… that and my ‘smarty-pants’ phone. Too bad how these gadgets just die and you have to discard them, but I do like the fact that everything is getting lighter and smarter. Except me, just the opposite, unfortunately.BN-ES845_tvbing_GR_20140926122106Also our plan had been to give the car –Chevy HHR 2009– to Quilla when she turned in her lease, but they decided, and we concurred, that it would be better for us to drive the car for at least another year or so… so we have no car payment for a while. That’s a bit of having to show some restraint, but it makes economic and other sense. This Chevy only has 50000 miles on it and we don’t drive it much, so it’s in good shape with no maintenance problems so far. However, I am sorry to announce did just recently lose a hubcap. A bit of a whodunnit actually. eBay will solve that particular problem. I did change my plates so I have my Washington plate, but I have to get the vanity version of it at some point. Which reminded me, I just heard Carly Simon’s “You’re So Vain”  while I was shopping the other afternoon.  A fellow shopper was singing along out loud. That was a true blast from the past.


3. Out here they are about two and a half inches of rain over what is normal this winter. But when I think of inches of snow that it could have been back in Erie, and all the heavy lifting etc., falling down on ice, I count a few blessings. Although I know from the time I lived in San Francisco that I will soon miss it. The difference is that we get some here that’s  aesthetically pleasing but not  laborious to deal with  or greatly  inconveniencing . I can also get to snow relatively easy here… And I even see it on the mountains all around me. The towns around here are scenic that way.

4. Sitting here right now playing music through my Amazon playlists and it’s more than adequate on the TV speakers for this amount of space and these older ears.  NOTE: Check out intimate songs of DANNY SCHMIDT.  He’s one of many artists I discovered over the recent years when tv shows started putting on more obscure artists in background for more moody scenes in their shows.  I heard his beautiful COMPANY OF FRIENDS, for example, in end scene of the forensics show, BONES. Which led me to his several albums all full of gems.

5. Speaking of old and all those things kind of falling apart, I just got looked over after the sinus surgery and I got two thumbs up. Although that is all weird — I had a problem that I didn’t know I had, symptoms that I didn’t perceive, and now it’s ‘fixed’, and I feel and sound and breathe exactly the same way as before…with no problems that I was aware of. Although I guess I was ripe for infections with things the way they were, with dangerous potential of their travelling internally to other organs, so I guess it’s an important tweak. My thumb is still in its cast and I don’t feel like it’s getting any better. I still have pain and the cast is cumbersome. Everything I do that involves my right hand is challenging and hurts. I go to the doctor with Isabel who’s going to also be seen for her elbows, which are also not improving. We’ll see if both of us need surgery to keep us functioning optimally. We both have considerable discomfort so it’s  rough doing everything you have to do. But no colds or flu or anything like that this whole winter. We’re largely doing well I would say. We’ll see what the doctor says about outlook and plan of action for our extremities.

6. We want to start taking in some live theater in Seattle. Lots of interesting options. And for music too. We’ve already taken the light rail trains up to the city…an easy process so I don’t have to drive or park. We explored that option and know how to do that now and can meld in with the people that have to do it all the time.

7. I also now have my library card and take out books digitally, like magic. For that matter, I can still take them out from the Erie Library. And the Goodwill (and other lines of thrift) stores here are amazing and all over the place with collections of books like you wouldn’t believe. Another aspect of cultural paradise so to speak. I say ‘so to speak’ because all of that is always relative. Somebody in the paper the other day was talking about how overdue we are for a major earthquake and how we all should be  doing things to be ready for it. I knew that stuff from San Francisco, but it’s still something people put off preparing for. I’m working on getting my ‘go bag’ together. The one good thing is Isabel and I are usually together. We weren’t when the earth cracked and moved madly in 89 in San Francisco and that complicates life because phones usually go right down.

8. The other thing I heard the other day was how Seattle would be the number one target for any North Korea missile attack on USA. Every day Trump keeps poking that nutty guy of late so I wish I had my old heavy duty desk from way back then… the ones we used to hide under in case the Russians ever nuked us. The strongest desks America ever made. Where did those all go, by the way.  Probably to thrift stores across the nation.

9. Coincidences and synchronicity at work. Listening to “Cortez the Killer”,  a live performance by Neil Young at the Cow Palace 1986 November 21st… a favorite song of mine that I used to listen to up on the hill in the dense SF fog in the gas station all night while at work (almost 6 yrs) and this concert would have been performed in the city where I was living at the time and I probably didn’t even know about it. I did go to a Cow Palace concert or two though. It does all work out I guess. And here years later hearing it again…in broad daylight this time.


10.  Notice the photo of my ACTUAL window on the real world in front of our ground floor apartment. We have two windows and a glass door that goes out to our patio and storage closet outside and there’s a railing and beyond that a small yard and then cars parked in front of the building and straight across the campus drive-through is our garage.   0411171616_HDR

So when we sit on the couch or love seat in the living room (the man and woman cave) we can see who comes and goes. You just CAN.  I don’t camp out doing that, but when I’m here if I see movement I’m kind of like a cat that follows the moving object. Our daughter makes fun of me and says I’m  like Gladys Kravitz from Bewitched, the nosy neighbor who was always looking out the window and telling her unbelieving husband about the odd goings-on in the next door house with the nice witch, Samantha. But I argue that it IS important to know what’s going on in your neighborhood… so I take her razzing in stride. As usual. I’ve always been observant and can’t turn that off.

11. I love going out and making a hard right and boom there are the mysterious woods. And going around the building and down the hill is a creek and at night it’s all frogs and whatever other creatures are out there, watching me as I imagine them and listen to their otherworldly songs, while we are stuck so close to this earth. It’s really quite rural in ambience without being so when you remember where you are, actually. Much as was the case in our house in Erie… we are very close to so many things which makes it convenient, all the while  tucked away here somewhat. A lot of places like that in Erie  too… off Peach Street, you get away a little bit and you’re quickly in the woods, encountering deer and raccoons, a nice juxtaposition that helps keep you sane.

0415171208It’s neither total isolation nor out the front door rat race. It’s nice having some peace and quiet while being able to get to all kinds of stuff in a matter of minutes. You do need a car though where we are, most certainly. Although plenty of people get around here without them, it’s harder here than living in the city proper. And it’s nice that there’s a lot more than we were able to get to in Erie… more restaurant types, more bookstores, and other variations of interesting art and cuisine and commerce. Although I argue that with the Internet, TV, etc. one can now be a true hermit in the middle of nowhere and still be very aware of the world, daily mining all kinds of rich cultural veins. Getting wise, or at least knowledgeable.

12. I still think of my dear departed mother and father on a daily basis, not lamenting or woesome and blue, but just gently missing them and remembering all they gave to me in the world. For them I am here, literally and a lot of other ways. I tip my hat to them in this tender, unassuming moment, in this quiet place. If I had a hat, that is.

13, Listening to Iron Butterfly’s “In-a-Gadda-Da-Vida” right now while finding a poem by the great and dryly humorous Billy Collins… that seems to go well with this digital scrawling that I put down here as today moved through, also like an ever curious, older cat.

Billy Collins

The woman who wrote from Phoenix
after my reading there

to tell me they were all still talking about it

just wrote again
to tell me that they had stopped.

14. And, apropos of nothing except going places and looking at things. The singer- songwriter, James McMurtry, who I have liked for a number of years and is the son of the great writer of panoramic, character-rich westerns, Larry McMurtry (of Lonesome Dove fame.) Here he is in concert doing a small song.

15.  Bingeing these days on HOMELAND series. Pretty exciting and well done. Very connected to what goes on now in real world. Scary and intense out there.

16. Last but not least we hit the streets again…all of us full of righteous indignation that was making our feet move and our voices call out to the space around us and across the land.  We march and hope big.



More later. God willing. And the creek don’t rise too high.


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