Sunday, June 25, 2017


The first event of Not Sabbatical was a hit.

We drove down to Bend yesterday and had dinner with C then went to the Paul Simon concert. We stayed the night, had breakfast with C this morning, then came back up to Portland. Traffic wasn't terrible, which is great. It can be a nightmare between here and there. A few years ago we went down the Friday of 4th of July weekend, not thinking about it being the Friday of 4th of July weekend and our right around 3 hour drive took closer to 6. It was insane. But both yesterday and today weren't bad. Now to be fair we did leave right after breakfast this morning just to beat the rush home of everyone that spent the weekend on the rivers and lakes trying to beat the heat.

But was a good quick weekend trip and now we are home in time to get some things taken care of before work starts again tomorrow. Brent needs to fly to Seattle so that's a crazy sort of day in and of itself. Last time he had a meeting there his flight was delayed so much they ended up doing the meeting by phone conference AFTER spending a few hours in the airport. Hopefully tomorrow will be better. It's not Crater Lake, but we will get there some day.

The concert was really good. The Bend Amphitheater is a little less fancy than the one in Vancouver, more of a band shell than a concert venue, but it was still fine. Hot as fuck. Oh my god. The one thing it did not have that the amphitheater in Vancouver has is shade. So everyone was just out in the sun. Sweating like crazy. And since we all had to be wanded in the lines were crazy long. Now I went with fancy tickets so we skipped the crazy long line but we saw how long they were and felt really badly for everyone standing in them. (Yes, I know, but I am willing to pay for convenience)

He sounded great. He's 75 and did a two hour set. Amazing. C asked this morning if he did all of the hits (he was being a little facetious since he has no idea what Paul Simon's hits are) and I told him no, but that it would be impossible to do 50 years worth of hits. Fifty years. That's one hell of a long career. And he's still making new music. So no, he didn't play every song I would want him to play, but he played a lot of them. And even the newer things were good.

His band is incredible. And he has a brass section. I'm a sucker for a busy horn section. And we are pretty sure he was high as fuck when he first came out so to be able to sing that purely and remember all of the words while floating along on your own personal cloud. Amazing.

Now the parts that make me shake my head...

Why oh why do you bother to buy concert tickets if you are going to show up late, bitch about the artist, and talk through the songs? By the end of the night Brent had a hand permanently on my leg to keep me from spinning around and suggesting they would be able to hear their conversation more clearly outside of the venue so the man on the stage wouldn't keep interrupting them. It was making me crazy. He would sing they would talk louder. They had to have spent close to $500 for the number of seats they had. Why in the world would you spend that money to talk to each other and annoy everyone around you? Stay home. Throw a garden party with his music on in the background. Enjoy your friends and the music for so much less money and I would have to think so much more enjoyable of an evening. And for fucks sake stop tapping your foot on my chair. Don't make me ask you again.

One of the men was insistent that Paul wasn't playing his guitar. Every few minutes he'd announce to his group, "Do you enjoy air guitar?" then try to show how he would start and stop and so he obviously wasn't playing. Or his fingers weren't moving the right way. It took everything I had to not turn around and explain why he was an idiot. I guess he's never seen a band with more than one guitar player. And my guess is that the talking was making it hard for him to hear the difference when Paul was playing and when he wasn't. But seriously...every few minutes, "Do you enjoy air guitar?" What I would enjoy is you shutting the fuck up. Please. Just to be polite. They did pay enough attention to sing along with one song. That was the only time I thought they should go back to talking. Now I am horrible about singing along. I like to sing along. But I do so very quietly unless it's one of those moments where the artist encourages the crowd to join in . I figure you didn't pay to hear me sing so I will do it softly. And I don't have a terrible voice. *sigh*

After the second encore and the band took their bows and left the stage Paul stayed out there. Just him and a guitar. He closed the evening with a few final thoughts. Anger is addictive. It feeds on itself. And though there might be a lot of things to be angry about right now it's better to make decisions and plans with a clear and calm mind. So we need to keep in mind that someone is trying to make sure we are all staying angry. Someone is profiting off of our collective anger. And we shouldn't give it to them. Then he played Sounds of Silence on his guitar and sang. Just him. No band. One man and a guitar. Pure.

I turned around feeling the weight of his words to look at the people who had been driving me crazy all evening and....

SON OF BITCH they left early so I couldn't even tell the bastard, HOW DID YOU LIKE THAT AIR GUITAR YOU IGNORANT FUCK??

Saturday, June 24, 2017

What were you looking at?

I made the mistake of watching the Philando Castile video this week. The verdict had already come down and I wasn't surprised that they found the officer not guilty. That is the normal verdict after all. But watching the video was a mistake. Not only because I don't watch snuff films, and that's what that was. The man died. I knew going in that the man was going to die. I don't like watching people die. Let alone people be killed. And he was killed. Shot to death. But I shouldn't have watched because it made me angry.

What did they see?

What were they looking at?

You can hear Mr. Castile talking. He's very calm. He's not agitated. He's making the officer aware of his gun. That we in America are so proud to have to right to carry. So many guns out there in these great United States that every time a cop makes a traffic stop they assume the person is armed. I've heard it over and over all my life as to why that makes the job so stressful. What if the person is carrying? What am I going to encounter when I walk up to the car? Well, Mr. Castile told the officer exactly what to expect. He had a gun. He was carrying. When told not to reach for it Mr. Castile said he wasn't. His dying words were that he wasn't reaching for his gun. Dying words.

So when I watched it I posted about it and I had a couple of friends state that there had to be something else the jury saw. Had to be. Because the cop shot Mr. Castile so there had to be a reason. One pointed out how scared the cop sounded. If he was scared then there had to be a reason. Had to be.

This is a problem, in my opinion. And this is why we have officer involved shootings that end up in acquittals even when you can see what happened. When you the normal everyday man on the street watches and thinks, why did you shoot them? What were you looking at?

There had to be a reason.

We are conditioned to believe our police officers. We are questioned and condemned when we don't. I have a friend who is married to a cop who will drop you like a hot potato if you post anything remotely anti-police. I have a few friends who are in law enforcement who both dropped off of social media because they felt there was too much anti-cop posting out there. And it always makes me squint a little at what is shown to be anti-cop.

I'm not anti-cop. I think cops are great. Like I said, I have friends in the law enforcement community. I know the job they do is incredibly dangerous. I know they save lives. I know they help people. I know their family members worry about them coming home at night.

I also know that not all cops are good cops.

And no cop is perfect.

They make mistakes.

And if a mistake is made and someone loses their life? Well that's a mistake that should be punished.

And more often than not it isn't.

Because there had to be something more. There had to be something else. There had to be a reason.

But what are you seeing?

Are you seeing what is there or what you think HAS to be there? What you need to believe was there so you don't have to accept that that cop was wrong. Was human and made a mistake. A serious, deadly mistake.

I do think that the cop who shot Mr. Castile was scared. You could hear it in his voice. He was terrified. But Mr. Castile hadn't done anything to warrant that fear so why was he so scared? That's the part we should have been looking to answer. Not assuming that because he was scared there had to be a reason and because of that reason he was justified to be scared so he was cleared to kill Mr. Castile. What are you seeing there? I'm seeing a man who was scared. Scared of someone calmly telling him that he was armed. Getting his license out as he was instructed. Telling him that he wasn't reaching for his gun. Which makes more sense than telling the cop he had a gun and then going to shoot him. If Mr. Castile's plan was to shoot the cop wouldn't he have had the gun out, in his hand and just shot him when he walked up to the car? Why would he tell him about the gun? What were you seeing?

And I will have people tell me I wasn't on the jury. I don't know what they heard. And they will be right. I wasn't. I don't. But as I stated when I saw the recording, I have no idea what they could have said or shown me that would make me think that was okay.

Because, here is the thing, I assume cops are better than that. I want my cops to be REALLY well trained. I want them to have cool heads when the rest of the world is freaking the fuck out. I want them to be able to maintain rational, calm, cool, collected, mannerisms when every one around them is scared. The cops I know? They can do this. It's part of their training to be able to do it. So when a shooting happens like Philando Castile, Tamir Rice, Walter Scott (sadly just to name a few) my first thought isn't there must be something more, my first thought is that person should not be a cop. There was a huge mistake made somewhere that let them be a cop.

You can be both pro-police and anti-bad police. In fact you should be. I've said it over and over again. Bad cops make it more dangerous for good cops. They erode the public trust. They put their partners in to dangerous situations. They bring everything down. The whole bad apple analogy. One or two bad apples spoils the bunch. You have to get rid of the bad apples. You have to be able to say, there was nothing more. He was wrong. Someone died because he was wrong.

There are times when shootings happen that are necessary. When the officers are truly in danger or other people around them are truly in danger. There are reasons why that happens. I wish that I could read a story about the shooting and know in my heart that it was justified and if it wasn't then there will be punishment. But I don't know that right now. I don't believe that right now. I think we are wrong. We, all of us, when we say, there must have been something more there. Because sometimes there isn't and we are justifying something that is unjustifiable.

He was scared.

If that is all the justification that it takes then we should all be scared.

Friday, June 23, 2017

Best Laid Plans...

Today was supposed to be the first day of sabbatical. Brent's boss had an unexpected health issue and needs surgery and they both can't really be gone at the same time so we pushed it off. But there is still this feeling that today was supposed to be the first day.

The funny thing is that even if it were the first day of sabbatical there wouldn't have been much difference. Maybe an early morning hike before it got hot instead of a trip to the gym. Maybe stopping by work so Brent could turn his computer in for the next two months. But not really anything different.

I had planned on today being a down day. Brent just got back from Germany so I knew he would be jet lagged. I knew there would be laundry that needed done. I just baked in a quiet day at home before we hit the road tomorrow.

And we are still hitting the road tomorrow. We are seeing Paul Simon in Bend. Which now seems really extravagant. Before it was the kickoff to sabbatical. We were heading to Bend to see the concert then on to Crater Lake for a few days. Now it's just going down to see the show. Funny how the shift in beginning of vacation and weekend concert shifts the way I think of the money in my head. It shouldn't. It's still the same thing. We are going down for a show. But it still does.

We are still going on our Alaskan cruise next month. We had already booked and paid for it before we knew about her health so that did not change. He'll just take vacation time. Right now we are still planning on Hawaii in August but that might shift due to her surgery date. We just have to decide if the savings in the hotel would offset the flight change fee and make the call. I would guess we will change it unless the hotel doesn't have a room where we want it.

The funny thing is that I had really been slacking on getting everything booked and paid for. I had a lot of penciled in plans but only the two bigger trips actually booked. Then we needed to shift and it seemed like a good thing. I still don't have anything booked for Hawaii other than one dinner reservation. This isn't like me as most of you know. I schedule the hell out of our time in Hawaii. Tours, snorkeling, hikes, more tours, more hikes...but I've just been sort of letting it drift. Now it looks like that might have been a good thing.

And I still have to plan a full eight weeks starting in September, as of now. I think that will be locked in soon. Her surgery is scheduled, he needs to get back before Super Computing. (He doesn't get to wear a cape, I KNOW, I was disappointed the first year as well) And I do have a few ideas to line out. Maybe starting with a trip to Hawaii if that shifts. There is a trip to Michigan in there right now for the UofM/Sparty game. I was thinking we might do another one or two.

Overall I'm pretty relaxed about it all.

Which is not like me at all.

I think it's because of the moving of the time frame. It's not seemed like it's really happening just yet. It's the first time we've not had other things we had to do during sabbatical as well so it's just kind of nebulous. And there is the underlying existential crisis part.

Oh that?

Well it's the typical part of me that is pretty sure I shouldn't be the sort of person who can be so chill about shifting an 8 week vacation around without any problems. I mean who can do that? Only people with zero commitments. And although I really am a person with zero commitments and I'm normally really fine with that, it still seems like I shouldn't be.

When Brent's boss first found out she was going to need surgery and it was apparent that it would most likely happen during his planned sabbatical she was trying to decide how far she could push it off. He, of course, was like, no way. That's ridiculous. I will move sabbatical. That's easy enough. And she, of course, couldn't understand how that could possibly be easy. But it is, really. We are empty nesters. I don't work. We had only paid for two weeks of activities that we couldn't get out of or schedule around. Easy. Which is great. Except for the part of me that hears the voices in my head telling me that it's crazy that I don't DO anything.


I mean, I'm fine not DOING anything. I love not DOING anything. I love being flexible to what we need to DO around here. I love being able to sit down and write when I want to. Or take a day and read a book. Or watch a TV show that C wants me to watch. Or take a walk. Or iron shirts. Or deep clean my house. Or any number of other things that I DO. But even knowing all of that I feel a little like I should have a schedule. I should have people that rely on me to BE somewhere at a CERTAIN time. And there should probably be a paycheck involved as well, because reasons...

It's stupid and it's a little stressful.

Thank goodness I've got a big vacation coming...

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Just Checking In...

The vibration woke her up. The phone was bumping along on her nightstand like an angry hornet. She didn't look at the caller ID she already knew who it was. It had been a week since he last called so he was due.

"Just checking in..."

That's what he would say.

"Just checking in..."

Because that would make him the good guy. Then he could go on with his day knowing that he was a prince among men. I mean how many guys check in on their exes just to make sure they were okay?

"Just checking in..."

He could then take all of the attention. All of the condolences from their mutual friends. Soak them all in. "I've been checking in on her to make sure she's okay..." And they would all swoon. What a nice guy he was. How wonderful. They weren't even dating anymore and he wanted to make sure she was okay.

"Just checking in..."

The first time he had called she had fallen for it too. Oh my gosh, he cares. It was like cool water over a burn. Her heart had been so raw that seeing his name on her caller ID had been like a life line. Maybe he had realized it was a mistake. Maybe he wanted her back.

"Just checking in..."

Always a week. He'd figured out too often and it was like they were still together. Any longer than a week and he risked her actually moving on. But a week? That was the sweet spot. Let the wound just start to heal and then RIP the bandage off again.

"Just checking in..."

And always first thing in the morning. Waking her up. Taking away the only part of the day that didn't hurt. Getting her when she was most vulnerable. 

"Just checking in..."

The second time she had been so soundly asleep when he called that she had actually forgotten for a second they weren't together anymore. Hearing his voice had been so normal. So natural. Then he pulled the rug out again.

"Just checking in..."

The vibration had stopped. Soon the chime for the voice mail would come. And it would be the same.

"Just checking in ..."

His debt paid. His duty over. Her bleeding started again.

"Just checking in..."

How long would he do this? It had been two months. People were starting to think she had a problem. Why couldn't she move on? He was fine after all, they had just seen him out with friends having coffee, getting a drink, dancing with a new girl...

"Just checking in..."

She had thought about blocking his number. But then she was the crazy vindictive one. "I only wanted to check in and make sure she was okay. I don't understand why she blocked me..." So she left it alone.

"Just checking in..."

The voice mail chime sounded. "You have ONE new message. To listen to messages press ONE. To delete messages press SEVEN...."

"Just checking in..."

"Message Deleted. You have NO new messages. Good bye."

She put the phone down and walked to the bathroom. Looking at her tired face in the mirror she took a deep breath and... smiled. 

"Just checking in..."

She smiled again. Bigger. Then she laughed. And she kept laughing. She forced all of the joy she could manage into that laugh. Then she smiled again. She was going to be okay. She knew she was going to be okay. He didn't have her anymore. Nobody could keep her in check anymore. She had pressed SEVEN.

"Just checking in..."

She called him back later in the day. When she knew he would be busy and couldn't answer. "Yeah, it's me. I missed your call. No need to call back. I was just checking in..."

Then she marked her calendar to remember to leave her phone in the car next week. 

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

OH my....

So this morning I dug through a box of stuff I've kept from mine and Brent's middle school and high school years. I was looking for a sheet of titles from a game of sorts we played in high school. I say of sorts because it wasn't a game as in there was an objective, but it was a game as in we all had titles and there were rules. It was odd, but it was harmless and we all had a good time with it. So anyway...I thought I had kept the list of titles over the years and if I had it would be in that box. I had and it was.

It was in a binder that I have the very few pictures from that time frame, none of them from school, camp and tours only. Cameras just weren't toted around everywhere like they are now. Which is sad. I wish like crazy I had pictures of people from those time frames. Also in that binder were things people had made for me. Sketches that Chad did, notes and letters from Brent, a few Van Halen logos which could have been done by anyone of us. We had VH on EVERYTHING back then. And then a smallish collection of bad poetry and story ideas and starts.

I say smallish because I know that they were weeded out at one point. Things were tossed and things were kept. I have no idea what I used to make the decision because most of the stuff in that binder was dreck. But at some point it was the best of what I had. Or it meant the most to me. One of the things that made me smile was one poem that was fairly long that on other pieces and notes I had the same poem started 4 or 5 times. That first line was in my head for a long time before I turned it in to something else. There was also the start of a song. The only song I've ever tried writing. I can still remember the tune. The problem is I don't write music. I don't know anything about how to write music. So song writing wasn't really a calling for me. But I kept that one attempt.

So much poetry. I wrote a lot of poetry. And I kept a lot of it. I feel like I should print it all here so Skippy understands that the bad poetry I write now is actually outstanding poetry on the sliding scale. I won't, because, oh lord it was bad poetry. Hormones and drama and free verse...not a good combination.

I've been writing for as long as I can remember. Writing or just telling stories. I used to make them up on the fly while we were on the bus traveling. You have to remember that there were no smart phones or hand held video games. You listened to your walkman if you had one, and not a lot of us did, you read if you didn't get car sick or you figured out ways to entertain yourself. Telling stories was one of my ways. It would be nice to have some of those back. There was a scary story that had a punch line of e-i-e-i-o that had the bus in suspense and then mad laughter, there was a ghost story about La Llorona that terrified an entire girls dorm up at camp, there were others too. But I don't remember much about them. Usually just a few lines. Or the laughter when the ghost did the e-i-e-i-o bit...

It's good to remember and to touch that writing sometimes. To see not only that I have gotten better, that helps on days when words don't want to come or the crisis of talent hits and I want to delete everything. But also to see that is a part of me. It has been part of me for a long time. Even when I had to let it go due to time and I didn't feel like a writer at all I was still making up stories in games for C and telling stories at work about baby corn and confidence issues. Trust me that one slayed...

I packed everything back up in to the binder then in to the box. It will all go away again until someday when I'm looking for something else out there. And I will look through it all again and cringe at most of it, and think, yeah, there was something here for some of it. And hopefully remember the tune to my one song. And maybe someday someone else will find the early writings of the famous author Denise Mastenbrook and think...

Oh thank fuck she got better!

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Dead and Almost Gone...

If she had a nail file with her she would file her nails. Not because they needed it, but because it seemed to be the only thing that could capture how truly bored she was. She looked at her hands. Nope. They definitely didn't need it. So much for the old fingernails and hair keep growing after you're dead myth. Though to be perfectly fair her actual physical body was down there in the casket and she was sitting up here in the rafters so maybe her fingernails down there were growing.

She had separated from her body when they pulled out her heart during the autopsy. It was like she had been asleep up until that point. Awake and going about her day then darkness and dreamless sleep then SUUUUCKKK!!! being pulled out of her own chest cavity with her heart. She could see her other internal organs lined up on a work table with notes written by them. Condition, weight, color; it was a very surreal thing to be your first site of the afterlife. Here are your guts. Her heart was placed on the scale as well. Spoiler alert, it did not weigh less than a feather. So maybe this was her punishment. To have to sit through a funeral she had specifically asked not to have.

She couldn't get more than about 10 feet away from her body or she would not have been here. She shouldn't have been here at all. That was not the plan. When the mortician had placed her organs back inside her chest cavity and started to sew her up she had been confused. First off they were all supposed to have been donated, but maybe she had died in such a way that they couldn't have been. She had no memory of the actual dying part of her life. Which seemed like a real rip off. Like watching a movie on your DVR and realizing it ran long so you are missing the last 10 minutes. But okay, anyway, maybe her organs weren't good for donation, but why was he sewing her up just to cremate her? What a waste of time.

Then when he got out the make up kit, she knew. And she went from confused to furious. She had been really clear, very clear, as clear as anyone could ever be that she did not want a funeral. Never. None. Nothing. Donated, cremated, scattered. But no funeral. No grave. No head stone. No ridiculously expensive coffin. No. And while she screamed NO! over and over the mortician calmly reached down and turned up the music in his headphones and kept working. And since she couldn't leave she was forced to watch.

People were starting to file by the casket. Looking at her. She imagined they were thinking pretty much what she was. That she had never looked better. It was true. He had done a really nice job with her makeup. And she wasn't sure who bought that dress for her but it was a lovely color. The casket must have cost a fortune as well. Why in the world would he have done that? She had been so clear. No casket. Thousands of dollars for a heavy box with a silk lining. Even seeing it and seeing that it looked comfortable she couldn't understand why he would do it. She couldn't feel anything. She wasn't in that body anymore.

She looked down at the mourners filling the pews. Her nephew was there. Poor kid. She remembered funerals when she was that age. Boring. At least he had a video game with him. She wondered what he was playing and floated down to look over his shoulder. Oh she had loved this one. You had to pick up items on a walk to use later to build a house. He was about to walk past a crate that had tools hidden inside though. She reached forward automatically to point it out to him forgetting that he wouldn't see her and thuuup she was suddenly looking at the game from a different set of eyes. She pulled back as fast as she could and thuuup she was back looking over his shoulder.

Now this was interesting.

She floated over to where her mother was sitting and leaned in. Thuup. She was sitting in a pew thinking about how angry she was. He was just going to burn her body up and throw it out. No marker. No grave site. Nothing. Just gone. How dare he. Thank goodness she had found out in time...Thuup...

Well that explained that at least. Of course it was her mother. That explained the funeral. That explained the church. That explained the dress. She was a little mad that he disregarded what she had told him she wanted done but she knew better than anyone how hard it was to stop her mother once she was on a roll.

She looked around at the people nearby. Could she just pop in and visit anyone? Or did it have to be someone she was related to? One of her co-workers was viewing the casket so it seemed like a good time to check. She floated over to where he was standing and leaned in to him. Thuuup....She looked down at her own face and thought, Was she always that pretty? He really didn't think so, but maybe because she was such a ballbreaker he hadn't noticed. This might be the first time he had ever seen her with her mouth shut. She/he reached up a hand and wiped away a tear. He was going to miss her hard ass at work. And fuck he was so busy now trying to do both their jobs they better hire someone soon. Hopefully another ballbreaker. Thuup...she pulled back and then shot forward. He had walked away from her body while she was in his head. She had made it all the way to the back of the church while she was riding with him. As soon as she pulled out she snapped back within her range of the body. Now this was interesting as well.

So she could pop in on anyone. If she was in their space she could leave her body. She would hear their thoughts. Hmm...what else could she do?

The minister was walking in at that point looking through his notes for the service. Thuup...she was in and reading along with him. A sermon? Oh no. That wasn't going to happen. His hands grabbed the edges of his index cards and tore them in half while he suddenly thought, "No sermon." Thuup. She turned and looked at his face. He didn't look confused at all. He had no idea that it was her idea not his to ditch the sermon. Nice.

This could be fun. For however long she was stuck here it would sure beat floating over a grassy hillside near the family plot. She heard the intake of breath before she saw him. The rest of the mourners taking in that sympathetic sigh for his pain. For what he had lost. Everyone except her mother. Who watched him with angry eyes. Still not forgiving him for taking her away in the first place. And definitely not now that he wasn't even going to plan a funeral for her. Poor guy. He looked rough.

He didn't come look inside the casket, just took a seat. She knew he did that as his small way to honor her wishes. She floated down to sit next to him. Not noticing their friend Janice slipping in to the pew ahead of her. Thuup...She watched her hand reach out and rest on his leg. Slowly rubbing his thigh. She thought, once the body is buried his guilt will go away. Nobody suspects anything. He'll cash the insurance and we will head to Mexico to finally live the life she was keeping from us. Thuup...

She leaned in to him then. Thuup...Stop touching me. Stop touching me. Why did I ever listen to you? Why did I let you convince me to do this? Then her mind was filled with images of him laying in bed with a very naked and sweaty Janice. Talking about her. What to do about her. How to get rid of her. Thuup...

She floated in front of her husband and best friend for a few more seconds. Turned and looked back at her body laying in an expensive coffin that she never wanted. Remembering the last 10 minutes of her movie. The moment she realized that Janice wasn't helping her out of the water, she was holding her under. She had drowned. Accidental death. That was the note on the table near her lungs. Accidental drowning. The only witnesses were Janice and him. And he let her die. For the money. And a sweaty Janice.

She watched the rest of the funeral proceed trying to sort out her thoughts. Trying to piece together when it had started. How she had missed it. How she could have misjudged him so badly. Regret, so much regret. Then she looked at her mother again. Straightening her skirt, dabbing her eyes with a hand embroidered handkerchief. So much money. So much power. And yet she hadn't been able to stop her daughter from running off with him. The man she had tried to warn her about. He's lazy. Lazy people cannot be trusted. They will look for shortcuts. They are easily mislead. You deserve more than lazy.

If she had only known. Her mother was right. Lazy looks for shortcuts. And a big insurance payoff was a good shortcut.

Too bad for him he married a real ballbreaker.

Looks like she was going to go to Mexico.

She leaned in to Janice...Thuup.....

Monday, June 19, 2017


I'm writing this under duress.

It's my own duress.

But it's still duress..

I'm in the middle of a book right now. It's so beautiful. And horrible. And well done. And right now I resent anything that takes me away from finishing it. Like writing this blog. That I promised myself I would do. Everyday. Write.

So under duress I am writing this handful of sentences.

Then I will run to the store for something to have for dinner because all I've had today is breakfast before I started reading and fruit because I can read and eat fruit at the same time. Now I am starving. And I had to pee REALLY BADLY. Because fruit has a lot of water in it. And I resented that as well. But it got me to close the book long enough to take care of these other things I really need to take care of.

The book is Beartown, it's by Fredrik Backman and if I hadn't already read Britt-Marie was Here and A Man Called Ove I would think this book was a fluke. A once in a lifetime novel. But it's not. It's just how good he is. Read everything he writes. Make sure you have time to do it, because you will resent everything that takes you away from it.

Like food.
And going to the bathroom.
And your own writing.