Monthly Archives: November 2011

An Empty Well

I sit here late at night, a glass of wine and a flickering candle by my side. The room is pitch black other than the light from my laptop screen and the orange glow from the fire in the wood stove. A blanket of fresh white snow covers the ground outside, the remnants of yesterday evening’s snowfall, the first of many as we head into the chilling months of a long Michigan winter.  I sit here quietly, alternating between tapping on my keyboard, and admiring the silence and the peacefulness and the crackling of burning wood. The warmth of the fire engulfs me and the desire to wrap up in the thick blankets of my bed is overwhelming.  Its moments like this that make me feel content, as if there is a truer and more existential existence than the chaotic lifestyles we have all accepted as normal.

I sit here tonight trying to write, but I have nothing to write about.  I try to be funny, but nothing makes me laugh. I try to be poetic but the words are not rhyming. I try to write anything, but the proverbial well is empty.  I crank the bucket all the way down, inch by creaky inch, and at the very bottom, the bucket hits the dry ground.  But why is it empty?  Isn’t this when writing should be spectacular, in these moments when all of the situational stimuli are in perfect harmony? This is my romantic vision of “the writing life. ” Shouldn’t the words be flowing like an open tap?

But what is “the writing life” when you are only a blogger?  Many of you have written before about that moment when you were finally able to call yourself a “writer.” I have not reached that point and I’m not sure I ever will. I’m not really even sure what that means, to call oneself a writer.  Sure, I sit here in my idyllic environment with my crackling fire and I tap keys on a keyboard… and words appear… and it makes me happy… and it satisfies some internal creative drive that I have.

But am I a writer? I don’t know…

My grandmother, who has long since passed away, was an art teacher and a significant creative influence in my life.  She was an amazing artist, able to sketch pencil drawings and paint beautiful watercolor paintings. She handcrafted porcelain dolls out of clay and hand cut and hand sewed the clothing they wore. She saw things differently than other people and she taught me how to see the world through the eyes of an artist, through the lenses of creativity.  Long ago she gave me a copy of the classic Annie Dillard book “The Writing Life” which I have mentioned in previous posts.

For a short time during her later years, my grandmother wrote a column for a local newspaper.  She wrote about personal topics and simple anecdotes about life.  She wrote columns that readers connected with.  I guess it was like blogging before the internet was around to allow us all to write our own personal blogs.  But I’ve often wondered if she ever considered herself “a writer” and what that word meant to her…

…and if she ever cranked her bucket all the way down to the dry ground of an empty well.




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Overlooked… AGAIN!

I am mad!

I am really mad!

I am really so fucking MAD!

Do you know why I am MAD?


Well, listen up, ‘cuz this is some serious business!

You readers probably know this already, but just in case you don’t… in case you are not a subscriber… in case you haven’t seen the front page…. well… I have been overlooked once again. OVERLOOKED… ONCE… AGAIN! Do they think I haven’t noticed? Do they think I’m not offended? Do they think I haven’t figured out that they probably are not even considering me?

Well… BELIEEEVVEEE MEEEE… I HAVE noticed. It’s a sham, it’s a crock, its criminal. Time and again I’ve put myself out there in front of the world and time and again I’ve been overlooked. Overlooked like the last kid picked in gym class for the dodgeball team. Overlooked like some dork at the school dance, standing against the wall, hoping the homecoming queen will ask him out. Yeah, I’ve noticed alright! I keep getting overlooked and… I… AM… MAD! In fact I have been overlooked so many times I’m starting to feel like Susan Lucci at the Emmy Awards.

Seriously, are they saying I don’t have what it takes?

Well, you know what? I think I do have what it takes. I mean, what the fuck do these other guys have that I don’t have? Is it because I swear too damn much? Or what… do you have to have connections or something? Do you have to kiss someone’s ass?  Do you have to be like a goddamn movie star?

I mean, who in the hell do these people who make these decisions think they are? Who’s involved in the selection process? What’s their criteria for selection? I want to know! I want some facts and figures! I want some answers to these questions!

I demand some goddamn answers!

Because, you know what? YOU… KNOW… WHAT? I think it should finally be my turn.  I think I deserve it because I’ve worked hard and I believe I have a large fan base that would support my selection!  Think what it would do for my reputation, my fame, my stature.  Think how my blog would grow! Next time around, I want to be selected, I want to be on the goddamn front page!

I will not be OVERLOOKED any more!

I mean, who the fuck is Bradley Cooper anyway? Sure, he’s handsome and has great hair and stunning blue eyes and perfect teeth, and sure, he won this time…

… but frankly… I’ve never heard of the guy.


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MEMO: Changes to Shitting Policies


November 25th, 2011


RE:  Changes to Shitting Policies


As stated in the Brown Road Resident Handbook and Policy Manual; Section 5, Page 24; Shitting Policies:

Any resident (person or animal) that uses the out-of-doors as the primary location for shitting shall have no restrictions on where the particular shitting must occur. As the Brown Road Residence has a reasonably large area of property, Brown Road Management feels it would put undue burden on our residents to specify that out-of-doors shitting only take place in certain areas.

It is these types of flexible and considerate policies that Brown Road Management believes contributes to the well-being and consistent happiness and satisfaction of all of our residents.  However, it has come to our attention that there has been a proliferation of shitting on or in the vicinity of the entryway porch.  Yesterday, to prepare the residence for guests to arrive to share in the annual Thanksgiving Feast, Brown Road Management was required to clean up roughly twenty piles of dog shit from the area immediately surrounding the main residence entryway, as well as sweep up a large volume of goat shit that had been directly deposited on the porch.  Brown Road Management understands that the actual process of shitting can be complicated and can, perhaps catch some of our residents off-guard. However, as the Brown Road Resident Handbook and Policy Manual makes quite clear, Brown Road Management believes we have afforded all of you out-of-doors shitters, plenty of space to do your shitting, approximately three full acres and that it is unnecessary for you to do the vast majority of your shitting in the roughly twenty square feet that our residents and guests must walk through upon entering the residence.

Shitting on or in the vicinity of the entryway porch is problematic for a variety of reasons, those being most notably;

  • It is unkempt and unsanitary.
  • Guests entering the home resemble soldiers traversing a minefield.
  • Independent research has proven that stepping in shit and tracking it into the home has negative ramifications on the well-being of those residents who spend most of their time inside.

Therefore, with sincere and deep regret, Brown Road Management has determined that we must immediately revise the out-of-doors shitting policy as follows:

Any resident (person or animal) that uses the out-of-doors as the primary location for shitting shall be restricted to shitting no closer than 100 feet from any and all high traffic areas. This includes all entryways to the home and barns, picnic tables, seating areas and driveway. We understand that this may put an undue burden on those residents that do the majority of their shitting out-of-doors but in turn we believe that these shitting restrictions are in the best interest of all Brown Road residents.

Violations of this policy will be handled on a case-by-case basis, but in general will follow the steps outlined in the Brown Road Resident Handbook and Policy Manual, Section Seven: Disciplinary Procedures and Corporal Punishment. Please review that section of your manual at your earliest convenience.  We also suggest you print a copy of this memo and add it to your individual handbooks for future reference.

Thank you for your patience and understanding of Brown Road Management’s decisions regarding this regrettable situation.




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As Long As You’re With Me v.3.0

Sorry to bombard you with yet another version of this song, but I’ve been fiddling around with some very cool home recording software, recorded the song, added some harmonies and this is what I came up with:

It’s not ready for iTunes,  but I think it sounds pretty good.  It’s hosted on a website called Groove Shark so hopefully the link works.

Anyway, thanks for listening!  One of these days I’ll get back to serious blogging.


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As Long As You’re With Me

UPDATE (November 20th): I’ve been playing around with some home recording software.  Check out this site where I’ve posted an MP3 version of this song:

Hey all, remember me?  Sorry I haven’t been posting much lately.

I haven’t shared a song in a while.  Today is my 19th anniversary married to my amazing wife.  We’ve been together for about 25 years. Some of you may have read this poem that I wrote awhile back.  I’ve had a tune running through my head for months and one day it just came to me that this little poem might just fit perfectly into the tune. So I reworked the words a little bit to fit and came up with this song.  So HAPPY 19th Anniversary to my incredible wife.  Here’s to many more years… as long as you’re with me!


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