• Category Archives Humor
  • You’re Joyful

    Beltane and the Beltane Moon


    Friday gratefuls: Tiredness. Long sleep. Denver Mountain Parks. Trail off Brookforest Drive. Mussar. Feelings shared. Luke’s hug. Acting. Felix. Learning lines. Reading. Zweig. Powers. Meisner. Tal. Out of the head, into the heart. Jon. Ruth. Gabe. Diane. These wonderful Mountains. Shadow Mountain. Herme. Kep. Kate, always Kate.

    Sparks of Joy and Awe: Denver Parks Mountain Trail

    Tarot: Ten of Bows, responsibility

    “To tackle the challenges that come with responsibility here requires resilience, endurance, and assertiveness. The burden may be overwhelming and disordered, but the task given to you is aiming for a good, great goal, not only for yourself but also for your family or tribe.” tarotx.net


    OK. Second time in two days for the Ten of Bows. Psyche telling me. Pay attention dude. Responsibility. Those bows weighing me down. Keep moving. Be assertive. Yes. Endure. Yes. Be resilient, yes. Figure out a way to hold a relationship without giving in to hurt or immorality. Or, figure out a way to let it go altogether.


    More learning of lines. Reading about Meisner. “Renowned American actor and acting teacher Sanford Meisner developed his groundbreaking technique to guide actors in behaving instinctively and getting in touch with their emotions instead of getting trapped in their own thoughts.” NFI  “The Meisner Technique is a brick-by-brick process designed to get you out of your head and into your gut.” Meisner Technique Studio.

    A great way to move myself beyond the last period of my life and into the new one. Didn’t take the class imagining this reward, but there it is. Thanks Alan and Tal.


    Mussar yesterday. A sweet time. These folks have my back. And my front. Getting to know Luke better. Leo, his dog. A sweetheart. Sweet. A word I reuse. Means I often see the world as precious. Most of the time. Life, too.


    Acting class on Monday. Kabbalah and the Stars on Tuesday, zoom. Diane on Wednesday zoom. Mussar on Thursday. A lunch or breakfast with Alan or Luke or Rebecca. The Ancient Brothers on Sunday. An occasional service, a visit from the grandkids and Jon every couple of weeks. MVP once a month. That’s plenty for me. I wouldn’t want much less and certainly not much more. The Hermit in a Crowd. Living alone with a crowd.


    On the way home from mussar I stopped for the lovely Denver Mountain Park Trail near the bottom of Brook Forest Drive. About 30 minutes. A Stream. Valley walls covered with Ponderosa. Green Grass along the Stream bed. Going in and out of Shadow. Lodgepole. Dogwood. At the end of the trail the reward is Water falling over a graduated step of Rock, the Stream not yet finished wearing them down. The sound, soothing. On a small Pond I saw Water Wtriders. Picked up a Pine Cone that had a new Pine growing from its tip, a chartreuse baby Tree. Overstory on my mind the whole hike.


    During an acting exercise aimed at getting us to our feelings Tal said of me in succession: you’re patient. I am patient. You’re kind. I am kind. You’re joyful. I am joyful. That last one. Yes. At last.


  • The No Strangers, No Contact Which Requires Extra Effort Level

    Beltane and the Beltane Moon


    Monday gratefuls: CBE. Comedy. Tater tots. Alan as an auctioneer. The improv troupe. Luke’s mom. Luke. Mindy. The auction. The Ancient Brothers on travel. Black Mountain. The Solar panels. Warm weather. Cool nights. Last of the back pain beginning to recede. Hamish. Acting Class. Felix. Oscar. Dinner on Friday with Alan.

    Sparks of Joy and Awe: Folks beginning to ask me for favors

    Tarot: Two of Bows, Decision

    “A person standing on top of a hill, in the middle of the night, against the starry sky. His head is surrounded by a halo of fire, the flame of determination. In each hand, he holds a long, incomplete arched bow, which is higher than the top of his head. From the bow, the flames erupted, symbolizing his vitality and authority.

    Awakening the unconscious senses associated with the desire to make decisions. The gate is opened in front of every individual, who is prepared to take the initiative.” tarotx.net


    An interesting back and forth right now. Continue on, stay the course with the life of today. Which I love. And/0r. Add more elements to it so that my every day veers into new territory. The two of Bows suggest I’m trying to push myself toward something different, something new. Acting? Short trips?

    As Ode said yesterday morning, routines are (or can be) deadly. Draining vitality. Obfuscating potential. They can also though be productive. 17 plus years of Ancientrails. An exercise habit. Feeding dogs. Sunday mornings with the Ancient Brothers.

    Excited to feel the stirrings. No idea right now where they incline. Will emerge. And I want to be ready.


    Got the art cart cleared off. Ready to get out my sumi-e brushes and start one-stroke painting. A meditation. Got the coffee table cleared downstairs. My pruning continues. Slow, but steady. Having the Sewing Room dining area created opened space for me to do other fussy stuff. Gonna clear off the table in there today, too. Just washed jars for the pantry and my collection of Rat Zappers.


    Also head down the hill at 8:15 to Stevenson Toyota. Tire swap. Blizzaks for all-seasons. Checking tread depth. Might be time for new Blizzaks. This fall. While waiting on this work to get done, I’m going to work on developing Felix and the lawyer from A View From the Bridge. I have the Odd Couple script, but not the Arthur Miller piece yet.


    Another interesting paradox right now. I’m so at home with Marilyn and Irv, Alan, Ron, Jamie, Rich, Susan, Judy, Tara even Ellen, Mindy, Anne, Sally, Fran, Anshel, Leslie, and Robbie. They’re my CBE. As long as I’m one on one, or in small groups, I feel welcome and loved. There are a few others like Michele and David, Tal, Joan and Rick, Jamie and Steve, Dan and Kristi, the Lehmans that are a smaller, further circle out for me, but I still see them as close acquaintances.

    Yet when I go to a service or to an event like the Funraiser Fundraiser which featured a Jewish comic from New York, I can’t get away fast enough when it’s over. Most of the other folks I don’t know. When Kate was alive, this paradox almost didn’t exist because she belonged there in a way I didn’t and I stood in her acceptance.

    To be fair I always skip out of theaters, movies, concerts first of all the folks if I can. I like to get out and away. I’ve told myself it was because I didn’t want to hassle with other cars in a crowded parking lot. Now I’m wondering if it’s because my social battery has been drained dry during the event.

    As I’m writing this, I’m thinking, hey. There’s your answer. This event yesterday had a long form improv group directed by Tal perform. Afterward, Alan auctioned off Jewish food: latkes, mondle bread, knishes, smoked brisket, rugelach, macaroons, and, of course, chopped liver. The six pound brisket went for $200. My friend Mindy’s knishes brought well over $100 for 16 and her mondle bread went for over $100, too. A fund raiser.

    Then came the comic. Jessica Kirson. Never heard of her, but she was good. “I love doing shows for my people.” Her set went longer than advertised which was good.

    But. I got there 2:50 and scooted out the door at 5:35. Exhausted. I’d been around more people than I had since Covid began. No mask. Double boosted. There was ventilation and it wasn’t a massive crowd though a good turnout for CBE. That’s it. Not that I don’t fit, just that I’d run my battery all the way down to the no strangers, no contact which requires extra effort level. Nearing nobody at all no how. The bottom.

    Thank you for listening. And out.





  • Speak Across the Years

    Samain and the Thanksgiving Moon

    Tuesday gratefuls: The Clan. Gathering in an hour. Tom and his gift book. His thinking of Ruth. The morning darkness lit by the Thanksgiving Moon. Orion and his great Dog pursuing the hunt toward Mt. Evans. 50 days until Trump leaves. Vaccines. The holidays of light. Needed to dispel the four years of ethical darkness. The gas heater here in the loft/studio. Emerson. Lao Tze. Camus. Hesse. Aldo Leopold. Wendell Berry. Wes Jackson. Thomas Berry. Rilke. Saints in my short, very short, tradition.


    And your world, it’s rapidly changin’. Wow. Trump defeated. Vaccines looking good. Kate with almost a month of good days. Add your own spectacular news here.

    However. Even rapid change is sometimes not enough. This month, this December, will require all the good feeling we can muster. For ourselves, those we love, those in our neighborhoods and communities. It will require all the festivals of lights we celebrate: Hanukkah, Christmas, Kwanza, New Year’s. It will require an extra effort to avoid a, “I’ll be dead by Christmas.” holiday season. Going home for Christmas may take on a new meaning unless we stay. at. home. wear. masks. distance ourselves from others. worship virtually. Flu. Covid. Cold. Holiday celebrations. = Potential disaster.

    Why? Because the surge, that one where the Covid infections became a hockey stick graph like climate change? Is about to surge. According to the NYT this morning, all of California’s intensive care beds could be overwhelmed by mid-month. We’ve not seen the uptick from Thanksgiving travel. It’s coming. The same article says that we hit four million infections in November, more than double the previous record. 1.9 million. When? October. Both before the Thanksgiving holiday visits.

    We’re in Monty Python’s Holy Grail. We can cross the bridge of death to a vaccine and Biden future but first we have to say just how fast the unladen swallow can fly. Or, Come up with capital of Assyria. If we’re wrong, well… I’ll give you a hint. Tell the gatekeeper that he needs to stay socially distanced, get his vaccine, cheer Biden at his inauguration (virtually), and, close the bridge, go home, and stay there.

    Rereading some Camus. I’m mostly with him. His notion of the absurd. The universe rolls on with or without us. There is no meaning to life. In other words the universe does not have an Easter egg for us that, if only we look in unlikely places, will reveal itself, as in a computer game.

    I part company with him on the notion that we cannot give meaning to our life. I believe we can give meaning to our own lives. We can choose, a critical idea in existentialism, to live for others, with others in spite of that ultimate absurdity of our situation.

    Thanks to Tom for sending out this poem, Wendell Berry’s XI.

    We can choose, as Wendell Berry asks us, to:

    willing to learn what this place,
    like no other, will ask of you
    and your children, if you mean
    to stay. “This land responds
    to good treatment…””  Wendell Berry, XI

    He addresses this plea to these persons:

    “The need comes on me now
    to speak across the years
    to those who finally will live here
    after the present ruin…”

    This is crossing another bridge of death, the one after Covid, the burning of our planet. I agree with Berry that there will be a life after we’ve ruined this one. It will be. So different. Not recognizable to us. Our grandchildren will know. And their children will know nothing else. Not that far away in human terms.

    Go to a new tab, quick. Look up how fast an unladen swallow can fly. It just might save your life.

  • A Trumpburger

    Summer and the Lughnasa Moon

    Tuesday gratefuls: The clan. Riyadh. Singapore. San Francisco. Shadow Mountain. Cool mountain mornings. Beau Jo’s pizza. Kep walking on my back this morning. Rigel sniffing her way into breakfast. The new perspective aborning. Gettin’ ‘er done. That new drill. Those ten-year battery smoke detectors.

    Let’s start with cows for relaxation.* Or, cow cuddling. Yes, it’s a trend. Before that steak dinner get up close. Might let some of those dairy farmers on the brink achieve a new revenue stream. Other than milk in a bucket. Why not? Cows are big. They’re warm. They’re ungulates.

    Also prey animals. That’s the steak part. Probably something folks in India knew long ago. Sacred cows.

    That was the sweet part. Let’s turn to jackbooted thugs wandering the streets of Portland grabbing U.S. citizens off the street. Homeland Security. Put in a picture here of my hat that reads: Let’s make Orwell fiction again. Where are all the second amendment freedom-loving Boogaloo bros? This is the kind of government overreach that they prattle on about. Could be a come to Jesus moment for the far right and the far left. Finally, an enemy we can agree on. Not holding my breath.

    Then there’s cutting money for covid testing, contact tracing, and the CDC in the new Trumpian budget. More money for storm-troopers, a lot less money for the storm. Not forgetting the obvious move right now of the Administration lawsuit to zero out Obamacare. In the middle of a pandemic. Or consider. Who speaks for the W.H.O.? Not the plague flea in the Oval Office.

    One positive for Biden’s campaign is Trump’s promise to restart the daily Coronavirus briefings that served him so well before. Let’s play another round of What Will He Say Next?

    One thing he said next is that he will send Federal troops into other big cities. This is not the start of a dictatorship. It’s the realization of one. I’d like a black and white photoshopped image of Stalin, Hitler, Mussolini, and Trump. I will hang it on my wall as a precautionary tale for my grandkids.

    Kate asked me the other day about the Trump Presidential Library. Always fun to speculate. Maybe big golden arches with an L.E.D. counter for lies. Let’s say it will start at 45,000. Inside will be screens of tweeted screed, a backroom full of unread briefing books and intelligence updates. Food, you ask? Of course, included in the $45 a person admission will be a large chocolate shake, a Trumpburger, and an order of Freedom Fries. That American Flag napkin is take-home souvenir.

    What else can we do? We have to laugh at him. If we take him seriously, all is lost. He’s an unserious man, a man of no depth but infinite in his cruelty and his greed.

    Vote. Please. Get your neighbor to vote. Get your family to vote. (No, not red hat Uncle Harry) but everybody else. Please. Vote. Vote. Vote. Vote. Vote.

    Did I mention vote?

    * “A farm in upstate New York is offering self-care seekers the chance to spend 90 minutes cosying up to cows. The Mountain Horse Farm explains that cows are “sensitive, intuitive animals” who will “pick up on what’s going on inside and sense if you are happy, sad, feel lost, anxious or are excited, and they will respond to that without judgement.”” Guardian

  • back of the vehicle semiotics: continues

    Fall                                                                           Harvest Moon

    A very new and odd one. Saw a motorcycle headed up 285 two days ago. Attached to the jump seat was a mountain bike. It stuck out well over the motorcycle’s rear tire, its own front tire removed and strapped to the side. Sort of made sense, but looked strange.

  • Mostly Musical

    Fall                                                                         Harvest Moon

    Wow. Had a lot on my mind yesterday. Sorry about the length. More yet, too.

    Alan, Jamie, Tara
    Alan, Jamie, Tara

    Anyhow. Met with Tara yesterday. Director of Education at Beth Evergreen. I said, Help. She gave me lots of ideas on classroom management, help. She’s delightful. Bright. Straightforward. Open. An example. How you arrange the classroom is very important. Oh yeah? Where the kids sit, what’s on the table when they come in. Having a separate table for attendance. A close by table for snacks. OK. Would never have occurred to me.

    Later in the day Kate and I went to see Funny Girl. It was interesting, very, comparing the tech rehearsal we saw a week ago Wednesday with the full production. The show yesterday had none of the rough edges we saw then. Props ended up in their places. And there were a lot of prop changes. Lines were crisp and the dancing, singing were good, too. It went on about an hour too long for me, but I’m not a fan of musicals. The first act had energy, pop. The second act had some, but to my tired butt, not as much.

    Stage ready for act II
    Stage ready for act II

    Musicals are the cotton candy of the theater world, at least most of them. Lots of sugar, easy to consume, then all that’s left is sticky fingers. I came out humming People Who Need People, so there’s that. I guess I’m more of a drama guy. Beckett. Friel. O’Neill. Wilson. Kushner. Still, it was a nice change up.

    Also, it was community theater. Not the high production values of the Guthrie, for example, but pretty good. And the casting depends on a limited pool of volunteers though in spite of that the voices and acting abilities were even better than pretty good.

    Fanny Brice
    Fanny Brice

    The director had some great ideas about staging, including opening and closing scenes that showed the cast playing to backstage on which was painted a theater. We were back stage ourselves, watching them perform. That meant the entire story took place between opening and closing of one of Fanny’s shows. A show between shows about show business. A bit of a fun house mirror effect.

    One especially nice piece of staging was a solo by Fanny, leaning on the piano. Behind Fanny and the piano, in half light, a couple danced. It was a view (at least I saw it this way.) inside her mind as she sang. The effect was wonderful.

    FannyBrice1c.jpg2We knew people in the cast, saw folks we knew in the lobby, and were greeted by the costumer as we left. He remembered us from our visit to the tech rehearsal. In other words this was also a moment of immersion in community, our community. That’s not the same as a visit to the Guthrie or to Broadway, but has lots of other, ancillary benefits.

    Back home at 6:30 (it started at 3:00!) I made Kate a fatty meal for her gall bladder ultrasound today. Oh, boy, another procedure.

    Finished the Netflix limited series Maniac last night. You have to have a quirky aesthetic to like it, but I did. It may bear watching a second time. Lots in it and a great cast: Jonah Hill, Emma Stone, Gabriel Byrne, Sally Field, for example.

  • Back of the Vehicle Semiotics: A Continuing Search

    Fall                                                                            Harvest Moon

    20180922_161341A Subaru yesterday with three bumper stickers: Be Kind. Hiker. And, “Not a Native, but I got here as fast as I could.” printed on the familiar green with white mountains bumper sticker that often announces so-called Native Coloradans.


  • Yumm

    Imbolc                                                             (New Shoulder) Moon

    In my continuing and haphazard research into the semiotics of the American vehicle, especially the rear window and below it, I present my latest find discovered when I went to pick up supplies for my hearing aid.