That same old song

I used to tell this joke. It wasn’t funny because I was too serious. I said it with anger. People laughed. Maybe I sounded funny, but I seethed secretly. Anyway, here’s the joke: If I die early, don’t play “Amazing Grace.” I heard that song too many times at my parents’ funerals. I wanted aContinue reading “That same old song”

Working out of the darkness in 2020

Darkness washed over me as I pointed my Charger south on U.S. Highway 169 toward Winterset. I forgot how dark it gets in the country, away from the constant glow of the city. Even a small city like Des Moines never goes completely dark. Orange hues from streetlights radiate into the night sky creating anContinue reading “Working out of the darkness in 2020”

My favorite Christmas music

If I’ve learned anything from modern journalism, if you don’t have anything to say, make a list. So here are my favorite Christmas songs. Note the words “my favorite.” This is not “the best,” which is so subjective as to be meaningless. I am no evangelist on the matter of music. Like what you like.Continue reading “My favorite Christmas music”

I’m going to talk about “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.” Some of you may want to look away

This is an obligatory blog post about the new “Star Wars” movie. Most of my most loyal readers are older than 60 and totally not into “Star Wars.” Parents 2.0 have already stopped reading. Most of my surviving teachers have moved on. So, I’ll pause here to let people who see “cinema” by Scorsese andContinue reading “I’m going to talk about “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.” Some of you may want to look away”

I’m having writer’s block even though I don’t believe in writer’s block for the sake of irony, I guess

Writer’s block. I don’t believe in it. Writer’s block is an affectation allowed people who already have a few successful novels and enough money in the bank to worry about perfection. I am a workaday, ink-stained ragamuffin. I sling sentences and stack paragraphs. I try to make them good. I strive for clear, concise andContinue reading “I’m having writer’s block even though I don’t believe in writer’s block for the sake of irony, I guess”

That horribly cliched post about 10 things I learned in the 2010s

I started to write the year-in-review, decade-in-review post. I stopped. Why? 1. Cliche. I hate cliche. 2. Who cares? I lived. I learned. I succeeded. I failed. Everything in between. This reflection on personal history is only valuable if you can take lessons from it to live more at ease in the next day. Otherwise,Continue reading “That horribly cliched post about 10 things I learned in the 2010s”

You don’t have to care about most things despite how much people harangue you

Simplify. Key to mental peace. Advice from favorite writer, Max Allan Collins: Kill every unnecessary word. This blog? Murder some necessary ones. No pay, no verbs. Deal. So, simplify. Take problems. Sort into two piles. Pile 1: Stuff I need to give a shit about. Pile 2: Stuff I don’t need to give a shitContinue reading “You don’t have to care about most things despite how much people harangue you”

It’s OK not to like people and it’s OK if people don’t like you

There are a number of people in this world who cannot stand me. Maybe I was cruel to them. Maybe I said something that was taken in a way I didn’t intend. Maybe it’s mutual. I have a short list of people that I just don’t like. Some problems stem from events, others from failedContinue reading “It’s OK not to like people and it’s OK if people don’t like you”

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