Dropout with Proficiency

In the beginning, there was the Word. And it was probably misspelled – if, like me, you attended a California public school circa the ’70s or ’80s. I didn’t make it far enough to gauge the quality of our state’s education for the ’90s, or subsequent decades, which I presume sucked as much as it did in 1988, when I split high school two years prior to graduation so I could write poetry and play guitar as a self-styled beatnik troubadour. This was a viable career option back in the ’80s, so long as one lived with one’s parents and subsisted on little more than donut shop coffee and clove cigarettes. Continue reading “Dropout with Proficiency”

Ego Check, Please

Egos are like balloons, fragile, overinflated and susceptible to little pricks. Some egos are as small as water balloons, others rival the dirigibles seen hovering over wine country and come with as much hot air. My own ego has resembled the Hindenburg at times, not just in size, but in outcome.
Though my ego hasn’t directly caused 97 people to be engulfed in flame, I’ve surely burned as many people, figuratively speaking, with my outsized sense of self-worth.
Continue reading “Ego Check, Please”

Medium Talent

“‘Medium talent.’ This remains the greatest possible insult you can throw at any creative person. It’s suggests that the individual is both overrated and underachieving at the same time.”– Chuck Klosterman, I Wear the Black Hat

On Research

“I think the richest ‘research’ is driven by discovery, that intersection of curiosity and serendipity that lets you expand your intellectual and creative comfort zone beyond what you already knew you were looking for.”
— Maria Popova, BrainPickings.org

Pictures at a Demolition: A Meditation on Images, Peanut Butter

For several weeks, the background picture on my laptop screen has been set to an image of a desolate, crumbling brick building. It’s the rear view of an edifice in Pt. Reyes Station that’s either aesthetically dilapidated or an eyesore, depending on how well one slept in art class.
Frankly, its seismic retrofitting would be best done with dynamite, though a misdirected sneeze could probably achieve the same. On the side that faces the village’s main drag, fliers cover it like barnacles on a sunken boat. The handbills for charity spaghetti feeds, dances and a dude who will convert your vinyl records to digital files, are probably what’s keeping the wall from collapsing. The rear wall already has and what’s left is subject of the photo on my screen. Continue reading “Pictures at a Demolition: A Meditation on Images, Peanut Butter”