Sunday, June 19, 2016


We of SquidsKC had an enjoyable show at Californo's Friday night.  We have been playing the same set for some time but on this night something about the old birch trees and twinkly lights brought out weirdness.  The minimum thing a band can do is practice regularly enough to channel a batch of songs through a conduit of some kind.  If you are patient with this and not disheartened by lack of fame or fortune, enjoying friendship and ritual, you can leave the conduit (Brush Creek, guttering, galvanized pipe, perforated French drain, whatever) and weird indigo sparkle fish begin jumping in a more authentic alluvial environment. 

I captained an AHA Heartwalk 5K team at work but had a run-in with a posthole digger a week ago and found myself on the living room floor thinking I might just sleep there because it was too painful to get up.  Total low back lock up with shooting leg pains.  Chiropractor Dr. Jennifer Forbes in North Kansas City helped me get upright again but I couldn't run the race, total bummer!  Still, I went down and enjoyed the festivities and saw the team off.  You can still donate here.

Now we are off to Boulevardia to see The English Beat and Soul Asylum with our pal Logan, whom we met through Big Brothers and Big Sisters of KC.  A really great weekend in this city that I love being reunited with.


Tracy and I were lucky to see the U.S. Poet Laureate Juan Filipe Herrera at the downtown library a few weeks ago.  Poetry, bilingual performance, audience participation--FUN.


I will continue to advocate for military grade everything, in all walks of life, for all people, so I'll sign off now, my MRE brunch is ready. 

Saturday, May 14, 2016


1. SquidsKC have a show June 17 at Californo's with Small Waves, part of the Under The Stars series.  Hope to see you there.

 2. The Plaza Library poetry stacks are not huge, just a handful of columns, but I do enjoy going there and picking something out, whatever jumps out at me.  The wedge-shaped floor plan and tall glass windows with a Plaza view make it one of my favorite places.

3. Do I judge books by their covers? Yes.

4. Boardwalk Empire and Breaking Bad bumped Mad Men for a while at our house, but now that we are in the middle of Season Six, it's really a marvelous show, again.

5. Building raised beds is pretty easy if you have a countersink bit and buy lumber wide enough to achieve the depth you want without multiple boards per side.  Levelling on a slope will make you sweat, however.


6. The first three months of the year were for the most part sugar free, dessert free, junk food free.  The last six weeks have been alcohol free other than a couple of Duvels for my Aunt Priscilla's 85th birthday at JJ's.  Some of the sugar has crept back in.  My next minor vice to address is: worrying and bitching about stuff.

7. My plan to lose one pound a month for three years is going better than expected.  This is what happens when you stop drinking two beers every night.

8. Exercising five or six days a week, eating better--this imperative isn't going away.

9. As a 47 year-old with an 18 year old GMC Safari van and daydreams about a new truck, I must be in the crosshairs of every car marketing campaign ever, past, present, and future.  Renting a Ford F250 to haul dirt has ruined me.  I know a small truck would be fine, but that one rode so high, the stereo sounded so good, I felt like a lord, oh to crank some Flying Burrito Brothers in such a truck and float down to the lake with lawn chairs in the back.

10.  Every two to three years I buy the new Bob Mould  record and always like it.  It is special to buy such a record at Mills Record Company, across the street from the old location of Music Exchange, where I bought Flip Your Wig in 1985,
and probably went across the street to have a grinder at Mario's.

 11. The Who show at Sprint Center was a wonder, grateful to see that.


Tuesday, April 26, 2016


This instagram photo collage came from a drive on Highway 54 this weekend, between Louisiana, Missouri, and Mexico, Missouri.  I blasted Johnny Rodriguez and Son Volt, but as a friend on Facebook noted, this could be an ECM label album cover.  Later I listened to the last chapters of Jim Harrison's The Great Leader.  Nice drive.

Saturday, April 16, 2016


Grant Hart: Good News For Modern Man (reissue) 

Savages: Adore Life 

Don't Think I've Forgotten (soundtrack) 

Friday, April 15, 2016


Saturday, April 2, 2016


Maybe it was the loss of Jim Harrison this week that made me cook for the first time in a long time this week, using a recipe from Saveur to try something new.  A few days before his death I lingered over a handful of his books on my annual birthday run to Half Price Books, choosing instead a double 180 gram vinyl Little Richard anthology and David Thomson's New Biographical Dictionary of Film. I have some catching up to do with Harrison, since he was so prolific late in life, and what a pleasure that will be.  

The pasta I made had fried capers in it.  Where have fried capers been my whole life?  Mustard & butter, crisped cauliflower, red pepper flakes, paperdelle pasta--good with salmon one night and a fried egg the next.  Having just revisited Andrew Vachss revenger thriller Flood, I am moving on to a full reading of a Marcella Hazan cookbook.  For too long we have been making tacos out of whatever we had the night before.  I always suggest Minksy's and one out of 50 times, we do choose Minsky's.

It's hard to proceed with the next line of thought without sounding fruity, but anticipating Opening Day is different when your team has been to The World Series twice, winning the second time.  I haven't tracked every Royals personnel move the way I have the last ten years.  I don't know their spring training record.  I have neither unreasonable hope nor unreasonable pessimism.  The franchise is in a healthy state and the leadership group has earned the trust of the fans after many years of the punching bag treatment.  

I melted down plenty in my blog and on social media, in recent years.  Once, in early May, I even posted a picture of dirty dog water in the bathtub.  There were Royals cups floating in the muddy water and I compared it all to the Royals season: about to go down the drainBefore social media, there was just the ugly business of keeping my chin up in public after total strangers would mock my Royals hat or sweatshirt.

This year I'm more interested in player development and how the emerging stars settle in.  A breakout season for one of them would be fun but not required on a team that wins on hustle, execution, defense, balanced pitching, and fundamentals.

I had a weird notebook crisis recently after Tracy bought me a wonderful stack of Moleskins at Costco.  I had taken to using notebooks not for creativity but for lists that were impossible to execute and triggered depressions.  I would start a notebook, get one page in, and want to start a new notebook, because who wants a notebook full of stuff like:  

buy styrofoam cover for exterior hose valve
oil change

So, after reading Patti Smith's memoir Just Kids, I returned to a more agreeable use of notebooks: writing poems.  If a person writes one poem a day for twenty or thirty years, something good has to happen, something better than:

caulk upstairs shower