Living - and already savoring - the Adventures across the backroads of western Idaho and eastern Oregon!

26 August 2011


Oxford’s Concise English Dictionary soon will feature this word. A single body suit for men. I don’t even know where to begin with this one ...

Maybe it’s a good thing – it's the great equalizer at the beach. I mean, we’d look equally silly no matter the spec’s of the donuts we often carry around. Or fuller tires for some. This topic reminds me of why it sounds so much simpler to accept being heavier, if you’re healthy and it’s your lifestyle and eating habits that bring it on. All that time spent worrying about calories and transmogrified cholesterol counts. I'd rather savor my Krispy Kremes!

Hey, how about we have these mankini’s at work? Women, you do what you feel like but us guys are gonna start one-piecing our way around the shop, wearing flip-flops and neat ties that clip onto the suit. It would put our bosses in a whole new light, and we’d focus on results and outcomes instead of persona and accessories.

Wonder what my best colors would be? And what would my wife say about her man in spandex? After she picks herself off the floor, rolling with laughter? Hmm, maybe this isn’t such a great idea.

25 August 2011

Of Phish and Fishing

Phish is that eponymous 90’s band that tinkles out some merry mellow tunes for those who missed the Grateful Dead in their heyday. My iPod stumbled onto their album Round Room when our family vacationed in the Catskills this month. Phish’ing in a hammock…

Amazingly, we did not fish once in six days. The shame I bring on my family, myself and my tackle box.

And there was no cyber-phishing either since we were without laptop or even cell tower coverage.

Why is that important? It’s not. But I’m happy to be wrong since it proves you don’t need lots of toys and distractions since they inherently distract one from what’s right in front of you.

No square room to box in my expectations. Instead, for example, a nice lake in a wooded valley whose ridgeline offered a brutal 2.5-hour hike, one I’d happily take again.

Campfires during the daytime (such boldness!). Eating when we felt like it. Wandering down by the brook. Tasting raindrops. Kayaking whenever the mood struck and the lightning did not. It’s all good.

23 August 2011

I need a Manager

Any takers? I just had an epiphany that a manager, someone of sound mind, could steer me right. Yes, I’m married but I happen to love her and wouldn’t ask her to take this tricky one on.

“Why do you have newsfeeds on your work PC’s Internet Exploder Favorites bar? You always rail at the news for its cynicism, the negative slants and how they revel in people’s misery and publish their stupid remarks. Delete the links! Get back to work!”

· Maybe he/she/it could be some voice of purpose, my own Mini-Gepetto.

“My son, you have not entered anything into your blog this week. What, is your mind so tied up in suspenses, deadlines and commitments that you have no time for others? BAH! You are weak. Shut up and type.”

· I could be directed in the right and righteous path in life, just imagine!

“You always plan, plan, plan but never do enough of what you think meaningful. Cut the chit-chat, focus and get on with it, Mr. Bingley!”

· Yes sir. I’ll drop my pink slip today. But, it will be harder to see your messages when I’m unemployed and without a laptop.

[Attribution~ I think Jane Austen was on to something but can’t quite grasp it, feeling like I’m blinded by the lights and sounds at the fair.]

22 August 2011

Oh Mr. Soul, it’s all about me, right?

Wrong, Mr. Human.

It’s about the others, the miasma of flesh called Humanity, those personalities that you love, like or detest. Or ignore, belittle and subconsciously judge.

Mr. Self-Righteous, do you feign indignation at the down-trodden, like that woman who’s bummed money for her kids outside Rosslyn Metro for at least 6 years, with the same signs and same wasted look about her?

Mr. Self-Absorbed, do you walk up to the cashier with the cell phone in head, ignoring common courtesies because you’re in the moment of an Important Conversation about the evening’s plans?

Mr. Technologically Empowered, what would your loved ones say when you’re whacked at the intersection because your Crackberry summoned you away from that somewhat important task of looking both ways, more than once, when crossing against the light since of course you’re in such a hurry?

Exactly, Mr. Human.

You get the point. It’s all about the others, those whom Reason, Conscience and Compassion compel us to include in the definition of “me.”

[TMM note: the other point here is that I ding myself constantly for these flaws. I'm just human too, living in the bubble that I make for myself, so let's join forces to collectively try harder.]

18 August 2011

Bus Oddities

That does it. No more fancy words wrapped in mumbo jumbo. TMM is getting whacked upside the head with the vagaries of a bus ride through DC, so let’s share some simple observations, on the rocks for full clarity:

· I see a woman step out of the elementary school and deposit a large black trash bag into the dumpster. Wait. She’s holding onto it, shaking it empty. Darn shame, think I, that the school district makes them reuse trash bags. Wait. She then tosses the now-empty bag anyway into the dumpster. Huh?!?!

· A banner outside a building’s construction zone: “Cleaners. Sorry your inconvenience. We open Regularly.” Odd English and definitely missing a word. So, what kind of professional businessman would let a client make such a mistake? Isn’t that a tad mean?

· The now-legendary DC rant of ‘Taxation without Representation’ that’s blazoned everywhere I turn around this town. Don’t they get my top-shelf tax rate of a meal tax? Room taxes? I must be missing something here, like a grip on fiscal reality. Would they spend the increased tax dollars any better than their joke of a City Council now does?!

· Lastly, on a less caustic note, I won’t count the road worksites where there are more plastic-hatted observers than folks working. There must be a logistical reason which explains why no one looks like they’re being inconvenienced nor in a hurry. I’m all for a living wage, and respect tradesmen and folks laboring in the harsh elements, so I again must be missing something here.

Thank you, gentle reader, for participating in v.1 of Oddities. I’m sure the pool of ideas is limitless and TMM’s four eyes surely will note more vagaries of metro DC…

17 August 2011

Quiet Cobblestones

Is there a wish to be living sixty years on

as I see my vintage prayers

fade before the Storm’s crescendo?

No, just walk me down to church on time,

in the rain coat I’ve earned,

a place where all colors become one.

Until them, I am the silent witness

the quizzical light in our world

filling a need for a sculptor

who turns out molds for others.

But deeper questions persist

like, is it blue or green,

that dreamscape in your eyes?

I leave vexing questions to others

and focus on the day, the need,

the trip home, to where you are.

15 August 2011

A fine Prospect down toward the City

A construction company is dancing an amazing pirouette – with dirt and mortar -- into momentous heights above DC’s Suitland Parkway. The hillside with its seedy buildings is being literally remodeled into, well, I don’t know what. What will spring up in time?

Picture swooping curves of masonry spiraling along the hill of dirt, with the top of the hill being some kind of chocolate topping of clean brown soil. There aren’t even any Big Boy Tonka Toys lying around to give it any sense of scale. So, it’s unfolding into the strangest thing I’ve seen in awhile.

Gentrification and renovation. It will be good to be the New Building, but how will the nearby Old Buildings feel? Has anyone asked? Too bad we can’t talk to brownstones. Their stories, like those of the noble Ents and mythical Entwives of Middle Earth, would have much to enlighten us.

10 August 2011

Writing outside the Slaughterhouse

Kurt Vonnegut was a guy noteworthy for writings deep with meaning, with his stories being very interesting along the way. I’m no book critic so won’t bore you with any recommendations. Instead, here’s a list of his meat-and-potatoes writing tips found in a college-level exposition on creative writing.

Mr. Vonnegut urges a writer to:

· Find a subject you care about

· Do not ramble, though

· Keep it simple

· Have the guts to cut

· Sound like yourself

· Say what you mean to say

· Pity the readers

· And, for really detailed advice, see The Elements of Style, by Strunk & White (1979)

Go figure – I’ve had that book in my office for years. This article reminds me to actually (a, hem) open that cherished book.

Interesting factoid: read up on Mr. Vonnegut on Wikipedia and you’ll quickly learn the story behind his book title, Slaughterhouse Five.