Sunday, August 19, 2012


Part of last weekend was spent with mom. She taste-tested avocado and mango in between preparing breakfast while I did a chore or two (or three). We sat. We ate. We talked, some. Nothing serious. Well, except for the litany of sick and death notices from around the horn of family and acquaintances.

Such seems to be her favorite pastime.

Three hours later, I grab my bag, helmet and whatever else she was trying to force me to accept, gave a hug and stepped to the door.

"Be careful," she warned as I turned the knob.

I replied, "I'm always careful, I'm no daredevil." To which she retorted, "I THINK YOU ARE!"  

I don't know what my, "are you shitting me" face looks like, but I'm sure that it was plastered on for a few moments before a shrugging of the shoulders as if to say, "whatever" and the easing on out the door, down the stairs, on onto my Brin to ride the 12 (or so) blocks home, carefully.

Her assessment has hovered about my shoulders all week. daredevil! Me. Does she really think that? And if so, why? What daredevil-like things have I done in her view? By definition I'm far from that persona, in my view anyway.

I'm an office worker for cripes sake! I do take public transportation to and fro, but so do several thousand others, she among them. I don't smoke. never have. I don't take drugs except vitamins and those needed to temper the skin issues, mostly over-the-counter. I do drink alcohol, but not in a reckless, irresponsible, ostentatiously daring manner.

I'm fucking pedestrian. Daredevil? Hell. No.

Oh sure, I've engaged in unsafe behavior on occasion in my 50 plus years, but she can't know of more than one or two of those instances. And unsafe, on occasion, does not equal daredevil no matter how you slice it, in my view anyway.

So I'm back to what constitutes daredevil in her eyes and when do I engage in such behavior?

Is it the atheism? Keeping my hair extremely short? Dating (and falling for) women? Wearing purple or striped socks? Can it be the art? The writing?  The voicing my opinion with regard to my dad, brothers, and other family members? Is it the bike riding? Is it the favoring of avocado as well as Mexican, Italian, Greek, Thai, and food of other lands? Is it the wearing of two pair of earrings on occasion but rarely a necklace? Is it the thumb ring? Is it my beliefs regarding church and state; the separation of the two? For cripes sake, I sold my rollers skates for fear of falling off them and breaking my ass.

I am so fucking pedestrian. Daredevil? Hell. No.

What then, pray-tell is it that defines me as daredevil-y?

Could it be that I'm merely different from her (and most everyone she knows) and that it wasn't the meaning for daredevil she meant to retort at all?  Could it be she meant something else altogether? And if so, what?

We'll never know. We're still working through that complicated tag she hung on a couple of years ago. We have yet to have a conversation of revelations and truths. Try as I might, that brand of dare-devilry is . . . well, like I've been saying, all along,

daredevil? Hell. No.

*artwork by daughter--age 8.

Sunday, August 12, 2012



1. Thank you dear friend for the bottle. Buttah insisted on being in the shot.   
2. Bike riding happened (beginning Thursday). And it was fun.   
3. My mom had not (until Saturday) ever tasted avocado (or mango). 
4. Avocado = fail. She didn't hate it but didn't like it enough to try to improve the taste (for her palate) with any additions; salt, pepper, tomato. etc.  One and done. 
5. The mango on the other hand was quite successful. 
6. Daughter went to the funeral of a former classmate. He was 31 days older than she. She has made plans for her 27th birthday. He didn't survive to see his 27th birthday.  
7. THAT has weighed heavily on her mind as well as mine. 
8. Back to mom, she continues to take issue with my closely cropped hair. She feels I'm 'dissing' the struggle (from when I was an infant/toddler with eczema) she faced 'saving my hair'.   
9. When I saw her Saturday AM my hair was (in my estimation) too long. By Saturday evening, no longer was it too long, it was just right (in my estimation).  
10. I wanted to put together a cucumber salad for my lunch(es) this week and likely still will but pretty perturbed that I couldn't find Kalamata olives at the store. 
11. Bike riding will happen in the early morning hours (before work) at least three days this week.  
12. Despite the emotions mixed with some procrastination the entire list of weekend (to-dos) gone themselves done. Well, almost. The folder containing the work I was going to do from home somehow got itself forgotten at the office. 

To paraphrase "Feeling Good" it's a new day, a new day, and I'm feeling . . .  


Friday, August 03, 2012

Deborah Dear

Dear Deborah, 

Finally, you are officially fifty-two. The daughter has been teasing, calling you, "52" since the day after you celebrated number fifty-one. The taunting, good in nature coming after you did something particularly 52-ish, like forget where you were going mid-step or a word mid-sentence, or something like put your shirt on backwards and inside out, has served as a constant reminder that, well, fudge, you're gettin' UP there.  

But that's okay. Gettin' UP there ain't so bad  especially if you have your health and some semblance of your mind. Or so I've been told. 

That said, dear Deborah, the birthday was several days ago and I'm writing today to tell you that the partying must be over. Enough with the Irish whiskey, French vodka (two martinis at Melting Pot! Really? two?)  Belgian Beer, and the rich desserts. Enough! Truth be known you've been in celebratory mode for the entire month prior to your birthday weekend. 

Well, that's what we'll call it, celebrating.

But I know the truth, and deep down, so do you. And I'm here to tell you here and now, 


No more blaming the heat, heartache, knee pain, crappy dye jobs, or crappier days at work. No more drowning in the dumps because your mom is...well, who she is and your dad, not a dad at all. I won't mention your brothers because well, what is the point of that?  


Your calendar notation for Tuesday reads, 'early AM ride' and did you? NO! It wasn't raining, wasn't unbearably hot. Sure, you were out late Monday (and again, two martinis?okay enough about that, it WAS your birthday, but still . . ) true enough, but if the skipping days doesn't stop doesn't stop you won't get back on track. And you must, you know, get BACK at It and YOU KNOW IT!!  It is so much more than a body thing, it is a mind thing. 

So, have some Hil....  

AND get your head out of your ass and get said ass in gear. I don't give, to steal a phrase from daughter, "two shits and a fuck" about  your looking sexy for the beach (or whatever) but I do want you to feel good. Bump that, I want you to feel GREAT, inside and out. I want you to think, I want you to write, I want you to create. I love what the actor said the other day, "crazy for creatives!"   I want the two of you to collaborate. I want. I want. I want...YOU BACK!! Now, dammit. I want to see you, feel you, hear you fucking Laugh Out LOUD once a day, every day right up to birthday number fifty-three. 

And then some. 

Happy, happy, joy, joy...for realz.