Wednesday, March 28, 2018

On Living Your Life and Fortune Cookies: A Lesson in Perseverance.

I have never liked eating in restaurants. I don't care for the way restaurants smell and I've never really cared for the way restaurant food tastes. I've never cared for servers, truth be told, they somewhat freak me out. The real dichotomy in this declaration is that I've spent most of my life working in restaurants, most of my working years cooking, cleaning or serving food. Even during the years I did other work, I still never cared to eat in restaurants.

At this point of my life, I realize that I may owe a great deal of my physical health and well being on the fact that I've eaten almost all of my meals at home from fresh and whole ingredients.

When I first got back to Denver, in the early 1990s, I was a poor college student. I worked. I went to class. I paid my way the best I could with the money I had. I lived a great life and I enjoyed being a poor college student. Denver in those days was a great place to live and work and study for the future.

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Never Let Them Take Your Concentration

By the spring of 2006, I was well into my retirement. I had retired from smoking weed some time during the year prior. The year prior, sometime, in April I think, I was in Corpus Christi, Texas, JP 2 had just died and I was with my ex-wife and a local woman who had been a fishing boat captain turned waitress. We were at the house of the latter, smoking joint after joint when her teen-aged came home and thrashed us all to hell. This perhaps is another story for another time. And although I'm sure I smoked weed after this incident, I don't remember doing it. Yes, by the spring of 2005, weed was out and booze was in.

So, fast forward to the spring of 2006, about a year into my weed retirement. I was on a break from my restaurant gig. It was the middle of the afternoon, 16th Street Mall, sunny Denver, Colorado. I was approached by a clipboard welding douche bag. Now, not all clipboard people are douchy but this dude was. He said, “Hey man, wanna legalize weed?”

Oh, god.

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Beware of Screens Part II

I haven't seen the “Kill your television” bumper sticker/t-shirt in a long time. I haven't seen the “Theater is life, film is art, TV is furniture” in a long time either. Perhaps TV is passe. Who knows? The two things I do know are that there are more TVs than I can count in every bar and restaurant I go in and I see at least two to three old TVs on the street or sidewalk or alley every day.

Those statements like “Kill your TV” or “TV is furniture” for some reason don't seem to apply anymore. Maybe it's because they were a Gen-X thing when Gen-X was still in rebellion. Of course, in our youth Gen-X wanted to kill TV because TV was never for us, but for the generation before us, The Baby Boomers, who I suspect made the TV as big as it was in both size and importance.

You don't need me to tell you that TV is bad, but does it still need to be so invasive?

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

The Element of Location in Fiction: Beware of Screens

For those of you who know me, either personally, or from my work, you know how important location or setting is to my fiction. It is so important to me that when I begin writing something, I have to ask myself, “Where?” before anything else.

I've been thinking about the point of “Where?” since mid-December when I reflected on my NANOWRIMO experience: The Second Door. During that reflection it seemed like I picked a familiar place and started my story because I knew the place intimately or I had an emotional connection with it. Yet for some reason, that rationale is just not good enough for me.

I mean, why pick a place at all? Why not put your characters in a vacuum and let them go through their battles and dramas and conflict in an open space devoid a pinpointable location?