I grew up reading massive volumes of books. We moved around frequently and I rarely got connected to the libraries outside of the elementary school ones, with their age-specific selection, but Ma was also an avid reader and often had books on hand that I would read after she'd finished, before giving them back to … Continue reading Life As a John Irving Character
After four days of getting to know Pop during a transnational road trip, our intensive "captive audience" journey was nearing its end. Ahead of us lay Calhoun County, Pop's home turf, in a very minimally populated part of the Florida Panhandle. There are offices in San Francisco that have more employees than the entire county's … Continue reading Pop’s Home Turf
After thirty years' absence, I was finally off to meet Pop for the first time since my parents' divorce when I was three years old. Flying to meet Pop was in itself an experience. He lives in the Florida Panhandle about halfway between Tallahassee and Pensacola. West, in fact, of a line that cuts off … Continue reading Meeting Pop: Reunion on a Transnational Road Trip
One day in late 2003, I came home to a phone message. The voice on the other end had that familiar slow, deliberate Southern drawl that I immediately recognized from a single phone call over twenty years prior. “Ahm loookin’ fowah Zayan Caaayannon Gaowf. Ah think this heyah is heyis nuumba. Ahm his daayad.” After … Continue reading Embracing Pop
I remember living in many different places in Denver as a young child, but not exactly which memory flash fits in where when it comes to sequence. I do recall the last two very clearly, though. Both were distinctive, thanks to events relating to felony, police, hidden basement nooks, a zucchini, and a ghost. But we'll … Continue reading Denver Ghost Story
The other day as I was walking the dogs I passed the first house I lived in here in San Francisco, and I started pondering how long I've been here. Earlier this month I'd gone to my 25th high school reunion, up in my hometown of Willits, CA, and was thinking about the fact that, though I think … Continue reading Where Am I From, Anyway?
"That's not an ear," the doctor said, "it's a vagina." The doctor's words put an immediate halt to my interruptions. I had sensed as I was talking that something wasn't right, but that didn't shut me up. It took misidentifying an orifice to do that. It's amazing how clearly you remember certain things from your childhood. … Continue reading Wrong Orifice
I turned 18 near the beginning of my senior year in high school in Willits. I wasn't exactly itching to get out on my own, but I knew it was coming soon enough, and a sense of independence was building throughout the year. It was also the blossoming of a creative learning period in my life. … Continue reading I Bet It’s the Duck!
I've been a little lacking in posting of late. Lots of drafts in the works, but much time has been absorbed by school. Not that I haven't been writing! In my last post I published my midterm submission from my Humanities class - a self-portrait collage and related description. My final project assignment for the … Continue reading MyArtStory
Throughout my childhood there was a recurring theme of unbalance, of the idea that I needed a father figure. Ma tried to keep men in her life for my sake on many occasions, often actively seeking ways for me to have a male influence for me. In my teen years I suppose I had a … Continue reading Pop Out (Dad, Part One: A Fatherless Childhood)
If all my life stories were of fond and amusing childhood memories I would have a much different view on life. I've had to deal with loss and grieving in many ways though, from pets to people. In May of 2004 it hit an extreme when I came home from work one day and discovered … Continue reading Good Grief
In the summer of 1982 I had just finished fifth grade, and Ma moved us back to the Russian River to live on a nude beach for the school break. Not go to one, but live on one. Three years of living in Guerneville ended just as I started my fourth grade year. We had always … Continue reading The Bare Necessities
Every young teenager anxiously awaits the age of 16. It's the age you can get a driver's license. It's the age that represents freedom. At the beginning of the school year I started getting pulled from Physical Education classes to attend Driver's Ed. I hadn't really expected that, or planned for it. It just happened. … Continue reading Friendly Delivery
1976 was the year we moved to Northern California. I was a wee kid, but have vivid memories of that year... I was born in 1970 in the lush and glorious international destination of Flint, Michigan, but my parents' divorce led Ma and me to Denver by the time I was a year old. At … Continue reading Forging a New Life in California