Saturday, December 23, 2006

The Minute

Anxious minutes,
slow minutes,
watched minutes,
minutes that fall through time
like drops of cold molasses.

Nervous minutes,
excited minutes,
eager minutes,
minutes that await and hope
like children wait for sweets.

The minute,
a long minute,
a minute in which hangs every hope
a minute to undo
the staring, worried minutes.

The minute,
a violently felt minute,
a minute of falling,
a minute of breaking,
a minute for changing forever.

The minute,
the last minute,
a minute to leave,
a minute to forget,
a minute that will do neither.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Not Minutes

Not minutes.

Whole hours
whose purpose
not missing
not longing
not wishing
not hoping
not dreaming
not regretting

Relentless pain and emotion
Lived
Dulled
Crushed
by mintues
that flowed unheeding
like a river
refusing to turn back
leaving only
thoughtful hours
wondering
searching
praying for

a new heart

a clean soul

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Minutes

Once, a minute meant

A laugh.
A Confession.
A too long goodbye.
A kiss.
A look.

Now, ten thousands of minutes between us

Each minute an eternity.
Each minute full of memory.
Each minute an ocean of longing.
Each drop of time a torrent
          of sorrow
                       and of doubt
                                           and of fear.
Each one closer to the only minute that matters.

Each minute's grains of sand fall in a pile of
moments spent in anger
wasted moments of regret
bitter tasted moments of despair

I want to throw the hourglass against a wall.

I do not want these minutes that stare
full of regret

these minutes wasted
on thoughts—on worries—on fears
that bear no fruit.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

I'm Pregnant, the Second Trimester

So, I have a piece in the middle, called "The Big Day" which was supposed to be Alicia telling Matt that she's pregnant. But I got stumped. Instead, I have decided to try writing some later scenes and see how it goes after that...

Alicia walked out of the bathroom and stopped at the chair where she had set her prosthetic belly the night before. Matt watched, and when she was finished asked "why do you keep putting that thing on, Alicia?"

She turned toward him, naked except for the "Empathy Belly" they had bought two weeks previous, and answered, "Honey, I'm pregnant! Don't be silly. Now get out of bed and get ready, I need you drop me off at work. It's hard to drive with all this extra tummy." With that, she turned to the closet and rifled through the small wardrobe of maternity clothes that they had bought in the same two-weeks-ago shopping trip. Matt stared, as he had stared for the last two weeks when she dressed, when she undressed, whenever she told their neighbors about the baby, and whenever she wasn't looking. There was a glimmer of hope in his that this was some kind of test or a that it was a joke they were playing on their neighbors, on everyone at work. And on their friends. And on their family. And on him.

"Get up, Matt! You cannot lay there in bed all morning watching me dress. Look! I'm almost finshed and you haven't even showered." Matt threw off the covers, walked to the bathroom, and started the water running. It wasn't like the whole thing was all bad. She had been cooking breakfast now for almost two and a half months straight--a couple of pancakes and some sausage usually hit the spot in the morning. She still took long showers, but she was through with that whole morning sickness thing. Had she really been sick then? He had nearly forgotten those mornings when she would hold her stomach and lurch to the bathroom.

Matt was just turning off the water when Alicia poked her head through the door: "Almost ready? I made oatmeal." She poked his stomach as she added, teasing, "I think you're putting on the pounds after all." Alicia popped back out of the bathroom, but not before Matt gave himself the once over in the mirror--Were those love handles? Or a spare tire?

At breakfast, sitting across from her, Matt concentrated on his oatmeal as he tried to bring up the subject of her pregnancy for the third time. "Honey, I know you've been ready to have kids for a while, and I think if you just gave me a little time, I could be ready too. I'm not sure all this is necessary."

Alicia smiled and reached across the table to hold his hand, "Sweetie, I know you'll be a great father. You don't need to be worried. When I have the baby I'm sure you'll be ready...Which reminds me, we have an ultrasound appointment in a week. You better put in for sick leave so you can be there."

This was not going as Matt had planned, and it was not going as had his other two attempts, it was actually, suddenly, going much worse, "An ultrasound?"

"Aren't you excited? I can't wait to find out whether we're having a boy or a girl."

Matt stared, which he seemed to be doing a lot of recently, and asked his wife how exactly that was going to work, he couldn't bring himself to add, "since you strap on your pregnancy every morning?"

Alicia returned his stare and wondered at his lack of knowledge--"It doesn't hurt, Matt, for either one of us. In fact, you don't have to do anything. They just put this thing on my belly and they can see the baby. You must know what an ultrasound is, don't you?"

"Of course I do, but," and he didn't know how to finish so he just tried to get out of it instead, "Look, I've got this presentation next week and it's a big deal, I don't think I'll be able to go. Why don't you take one of your friends with you, I'm sure they'd love to go." Maybe they'd even talk her out of all this crazy pregnancy crap.

Alicia looked at him, and he knew before her eyes even began to be wet, that there were going to be tears. He also knew that he would be going to the appointment, and that he would be excited to know whether they were going to have a boy or a girl.

So, if you have ideas about the story, or ideas for scenes that should be included...feel free to leave a comment. Sorry about the comment moderation, just trying to keep the wackos of the world from posting garbage.

Saturday, September 30, 2006

My trip to San Diego...

I'm sorry. This isn't the next installment of "I'm Pregnant," but I wanted to share some of these pictures that I got from a walk on the beach in San Diego earlier this week. It was gorgeous, but I was about ready to flop over dead at the end...

Before we get into my amazing pictures, Let's have a little look at the trail we took to see the Torrey Pines beach:
The loop was a little over six miles. We had a 430 foot descent at the beginning and a 430 foot climb at the end. Notice, however, that the climb was much steeper than the descent (That's the little blue bit at the bottom of the picture). The website that makes the pictures here is pretty cool. It's www.gmap-pedometer.com . You may not think much of the walk, but just remember that there's almost 290 Lbs. of me to haul up that 430 ft. climb.

Now, on to the amazing pictures. We were there in the evening, just before and during sunset. It was very nice. This first picture is overlooking the edge of our trail looking at one of the first wide views of the ocean:

This is the bottom of the trail to the beach. We had already been through several switchbacks. Do you see the top of a sign in the bottom of the picture? The trail was actually closed. But after nearly two miles of walking around, we weren't about to be turned back.

When we first got to the beach we saw an osprey in her nest. She was really pretty and never moved the whole time we were there. I wasn't all that close, but I had a 12x zoom...

I call this picture "Beach Rock," because it is a picture of a big Rock at the beach. While it seems out of place, just think: In a few thousand bajillion years, the water will have eroded away the entire rock and turned it into the more familiar sand we generally think of as inhabiting the beach.
This, my friends, is a picture called "Water on the Beach." Of course, there's water in the ocean too, and that's in this picture, but what if I had called it "Water in the ocean" or "Ocean next to the beach" or something like that? that would just be stating the obvious. Everyone knows there is water in the ocean and that oceans are next to beaches. However, water ON the beach is something novel. sort of.

The next three pictures are my sunset pictures. Since I don't want to interrupt your viewing, I'll tell you all about them here. First, they turned out much more spectacular-looking than they were in person. You can thank low light levels and sunset effects for the nice look. Second, it was really nice. Third, there may have been some better ones, but toward the end of our walk, which was right at the end of sunset, two things happened: 1) The sun went behind some serious clouds and was almost completely blocked, which is sad, because when you can see it drop into the ocean, since they are both blue (the sky and the ocean, I mean) it kind of looks like the sun is just disappearing in the middle of the sky; 2) Naked men started walking around. I'm serious. We're just walking around, minding our own business, and WHAM-O! There he is, in all his glory, walking along the water. My appetite for taking pictures was severely lessened.



This is probably my favorite, although I don't think the web-posting programs did a good job with the colors....

There you have it. Stay tuned. I'm getting in the mood to write again. There are musings to publish, news to share, things to be pondered upon, and stories to finish. If I get really ambitious, I'll find a couple of stories from my fiction-writing class and get them on here. Cheers all.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Oh great tunnel-spirit-guide....

Thin and Gnarly, Burro Schmidt was not your everyday joe. He could have been your everyday california miner, except for one thing: his tunnel. Over the course of thirty-two years this small man dug a 2000 ft. tunnel through a mountain. The tunnel is a testament to an obsession. This, according to our tunnel-spirit-guide, is how you get there.




It is, apparently, very important to know where you're going on the way to the tunnel, because the whole trail is almost littered with signs. "Of course there are many signs to guide you to the tunnel," intones the tunnel-spirit-guide.
Do you see the little arrow? That's the direction to go. I don't recall how far it is after that, but you should be sure to settle in for a long ride: it's not close. I wish I could take credit for this shot, but I was driving and had a photography-major friend taking the pictures.


The sign on the right is not where you want to go. "No Motor Vehicles" means Baby is not allowed on that trail. "It is tempting to venture into closed areas and precarious roads, but the true way of the tunnel lies always within reach of the motorized vehicle," intones the tunnel-spirit-guide.




After a long while driving around, there is apparently somewhere you're not supposed to go. Or at least, there is somewhere that many intrepid tunnel-seekers have gone that did not lead to their goal. I believe that one of these adventureres, a pioneer in his own right, left a mark to guide the rest of us on our way. What became clear over the rest of the trail was that we had ventured into a land where paper-plates guide your way (see first image) and where fallen-tower-thingies are an acceptable medium for spray. "The land you have entered is the domain of The Tunnel! Do not belittle those who have left their mark to guide you on the path to the tunnel!"

"I'm sorry, oh wise tunnel-spirit-guide."

Two more signs....At least we're all still pointing in the same direction. "Do not be lulled into complacency my child. Tunnel seeking is full of danger and misdirection, though these signs will truly lead you to the tunnel you seek."




Of course, just like the rocky road of life, all tunnel seekers will encounter temptations along the way. Bickle Camp is actually visible from this sign (If I recall correctly). "Should I go see Bickle Camp? I've been driving forever. I don't think there really is a tunnel. I think it's just a myth."

"No my child," intones the tunnel-spirit guide, "you mush continue your quesht for the tunnel of burro schmidt! Do not be Desheived!

Oh NO!!! What have we done?!?!?! The signs are pointing the other direction. "Calm yourself little traveler," intones the tunnel-spirit-guide, "we have only turned a corner on the long road to tunnel nirvanah. There is yet much driving to do."










Apparently, the intrepid adventure seekers were not the only ones frustrated by the elusive tunnel and it's ever-mocking signage. "It is truly sad to see the way to the tunnel treated with such violence," intones the tunnel-spirit-guide.


The tunnel-spirit-guide says, "do not be fooled by the false signs my young tunnel-seeker. Follow the way of the true signs and you will not be led astray..."











"You see, my child," intones the tunnel-spirit-guide, "the way of the tunnel is no easy path. The road to the tunnel is full of turns and ruts and holes. You will only recognize the true signs of the tunnel by their visage." Ah, now that's more like it...

"Do you understand now the way of the sign of the tunnel? Will you believe that the tunnel exists and that these signs were left here by others? Will you not open your eyes and see the tunnel before you?!? Is there no Spam to eat in this truck?!?!?!

And so it was that the adventure-seekers and their tunnel-spirit-guide arrived at the tunnel after having followed the signs of it's hiding in the hills. We thank every spray-can-wielding barrell-dumping tunnel-seeker before us for the clues and signs of the tunnel that led us to our ultimate adventure.

THE END
(of the tunnel seeking adventure)


(what!?!?! you wanted pictures in the tunnel? It's over a mile long for heck's sake. It's pitch black in there. How did you think I was going to take pictures?)

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

I'm Pregnant, Breakfast

Authors note: This is the second post in a series on the "I'm Pregnant" story. I'm not guaranteeing that the story will move forward by equal amounts each post. Don't expect this one to move a lot. Before reading this, you should read the previous post...

After emptying her stomach, and when she was sure there was no more, she took a hot shower and let the water run over her back and especially her abdomen, which was still sore from so many days in a row of vomiting. By the time she was out of shower and dried off, she felt much better. And by the time she was out of the bathroom, she felt like she hadn't eaten for days. More truthfully, the net effect of throwing up in the morning but still eating regular meals was more like she had only skipped dinner.

Matt was sitting on the bed, towel in hand, waiting to take a shower. "You sure do take your time."

"Sorry, baby. I'll go make some breakfast. Eggs? Toast? Pop Tarts? What do you want?" She had attacked with her sweet, almost southern voice, and then offered food. Two of Matt's biggest weaknesses.

"Mmmm....pop tarts....no. Toast. No. yes. Toast and eggs." Matt was not known for being decisive.

"Well you go take your shower and get ready and I'll have something ready." Alicia finished dressing and went to the kitchen. They had been living in their two bedroom apartment for a couple of years, just since both of them had finished school. They used the second bedroom as an office, but Alicia already had plans for the room. The rest of the apartment consisted of the master bedroom and bath, a hallway bathroom, and a combined kitchen/dining/living room. By no means was it a big place, but it had room for the computer, Alicia's grandmother's table, Matt's guitars, and other regular household clutter. And it was that--cluttered. Both of them seemed to have a lot of unimportant little things--ticket stubs, concert programs, door prizes, old boquets--and neither one of them could bear to throw something away if it had even the smallest nostalgic value.

Alicia decided that toast and eggs sounded good, so she beat a few eggs and dropped four slices of toast into the toaster. Ever since she had realized she was pregnant, meat of almost any kind became impossible to handle. She stared at the eggs as she crushed the yolks and thought how they would have been cute yellow chicks on a little farm somewhere...

Matt yelled from the bathroom, "how's breakfast coming?"

"Almost ready," Alicia yelled back, as she tossed the beaten eggs into the frying pan.

Monday, February 06, 2006

I'm Pregnant

Author's Note: I'm going to start posting fragments of a story I'm writing, and if you start at this post, and then work toward the most recent, you should eventually get the whole story. When it's done, I'll post it all together as a big story. The story comes from a joke that never happened, and probably shouldn't have.
Alicia had been pregnant for almost two weeks, but had only just realized it after two or three mornings in a row of retching into the toilet. Well, to be honest, she was gagging herself to the point of throwing up. She was actually waking up sick to her stomach and thought she might as well get it over with. Alicia hadn't told her husband yet, and since his birthday was only a few days off, she decided to wait and surprise him.

This morning was no different than the others, and she had almost settled into a routine. It was 6:30 when the alarm first went off. Without opening her eyes, she rolled over; her arm snaked out from under the covers and her hand found the snooze button in the same place it had been every morning for years. She checked every minute or so to see how long she had left before the alarm went off again; each time, burying her head under the covers, avoiding the sun and the morning that would inevitably make her sick. As it was, something was twisting her stomach like someone wringing out a sponge. Her husband, Matt, shook her from his side of the bed, "Honey...Honey...You've gotta get up."

"No."

"Yes, you do," he said, a little more firmly. "You are going to be late."

She thought about it, albeit not deeply, and replied, "I'll take a short shower. I can stay for one more snooze."

Her husband shook her again and propped his head up on his elbow, "You and I both know that's not true. Especially this week--You've been taking a lot longer to get ready."

Alicia, sensing the direction the conversation was going, started to roll out of bed and let her knees hit the ground. "All right. All right. But if I have to get up, you should too. " And then she picked up the alarm clock from the desk and put it on the floor, several feet from the bed. On the way to the bathroom her stomach jumped and churned, as per the routine. She decided, again, as she walked to the bathroom, that women had definitely gotten the raw end of the deal when it came to reproduction. As her stomach gave a particularly hard lurch, she ran the last three steps, sank to her knees in front of the toilet, slammed the door, and turned on the fan. She flipped up the lid and seat, and stared at the water in the bowl.

Some people, when they feel sick, can stare at a toilet bowl, smell the lysol spray you use to clean up later, and vomit almost on command. Others, however, and Alicia was one of these, cannot; these have to wait for their stomachs to work up to vomiting. Alicia stared at the water wishing she could just throw up and feel better and move on with the day. After a minute or two and a few half-heaves she gave up waiting. She held her long, dark hair with her left hand and reached an index finger back as far in her mouth as it would go, and pressed up against her soft palettle. She coughed once; gagged once; gagged again, and then felt her stomach heave. Alicia caught the rim of the toilet with her hand and stedied herself while emptying the contents of her stomach.

After emptying her stomach, and when she was sure there was no more, she took a hot shower and let the water run over her back and especially her abdomen, which was still sore from so many days in a row of vomiting.

--stay tuned--