Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Satellite Sierra

Satellite Sierra ... you fly, it's true
High above still, around, away, and back again
You come and you go

My eye fixates, my breath taken
You dance in magnificence

Large from a distance,
you are bright like a star in the dark
Daytime drags, I've lost you again

Are you bigger than my arms?
I dream you're within reach, believe it

Can I wrap you? I need to try.
I need to wrap. I want too much

You come and you go

Monday, October 29, 2012

Plastic Pools and Dating

Ahhhh.. the dating pool. Not really a pool here. More like one of those kiddie pools you see on sale at the store when it's 110º out, and your kids' eyes well up with hopes and dreams of splashing about, and they are small enough to actually enjoy it. So you fork over the $13 bucks at Walmart and take it home, pick a spot on the lawn (soon dead), fill that sucker up and let the fun times begin.

Two hours pass — from purchase to playtime — the hose doing its best to keep on task. To fill, slowly, gallon by gallon. The kids wait and wait and wait in the in their bathing suits, and they're out in the baking sun. You passed on sunscreen, what with the new pool and all. Why put sunscreen on your kids when it's coming right off with the first big splash. Lord, it's hot out today.

"We're hot! When can we get in, daddy?"

"Be patient! It's almost ready. Don't you know that waiting for things is the best part?"

"Why isn't it going faster, daddy?"

"Because! It's just not! It's going as fast as it can!"

The waterline rises, millimeter by millimeter. Painful to look at, really. You wonder how much bigger your water bill will be because of this stupid pool. This pathetic, plastic, fake pool.

The waiting ends. The thrill returns.

"Okay, kids, get in. I'm grabbing the camera. This is gonna be so much fun!!" You leave them and they are indeed giddy. That mental picture levitates you into the house. You're a good parent; your kids are happy. Fun awaits.

You bound back outside again, they stand there shivering like cartoon skeletons, their little bones rattling, and their lips quivering in a state of pre-shock.

"Get in there, you little brats!"

"It's too cold, daddy!"

"The hell it is!! Get your sorry butts in that pool!" And then tears. Despair. Crying.

"I hate you, daddy!"

Fatherhood is punctuated by long heavy sighs.

If you read this far, there is a parallel in this story. Something about expectations and reality.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Heart Phones

Before, my phone beeped like a soft kiss, a nibble; an embrace from another time zone. Now, just a beep. I miss the kiss.

What do future relationships look like? Not too far back our smart phones evolved, grew beyond their pixels, chips, buttons, and data plan coverage maps. Mobile device morphed into the primary conduit for ongoing emotional exchange, especially so when romance is involved — especially more pronounced when long distance romance is in play.

Is it unreasonable to assume that the smart phone we carry in our pocket is also a heart phone, one we carry into the deepest pockets of who we are as lovers, friends, spouses?

Does romantic relationship require physical presence to thrive? Does proximity play a huge factor in whether a romantic relationship lasts? Does it matter anymore?

People who enjoy ongoing physical closeness break up all the time. They had every advantage to succeed. You hear of LDRs (long distance relationships) lasting. But they're the exception. The rule says the deck is stacked against those who choose to love each other from a distance.

Found the following LDR statistics at

Total percentage of U.S. marriages that are considered long distance relationships2.9%
Average amount of time for long distance relationship to break up if it’s not going to work4.5 months
Total percentage of long distance relationships that fail when changes aren’t planned for70%
Total amount of couple who claim they’re in a long distance relationship14 million
Total percentage of marriages in U.S. that start as a long distance relationship10%
Total percentage of college relationships that are long distance32.5%
Total percent of long distance relationships that break-up40%
Total percentage of engaged couples that have been in a long distance relationship75%
Total amount of marriages that are long distance relationships3.75 million
The following shows both the average (median) response and the range of 95% of LDRs from a sample of over 200
Average distance couple in LDR lived from each other125 miles
Average times couple visited each other per month1.5
Average amount of time in between phone calls2.7 days
Average amount of letters written to each other per month3
Average amount of time expected to be separated before LDR couple can move closer together14 months

(Disclaimer: I'm not an expert, and don't pretend to be.)

Of course, draw your own conclusions. But it seems LDRs are close to the average for more conventional relationships, in that half or near half of LDRs fail too (40% according to this survey).

Actually, LDRs seem to do better. Can that be right? Must research more....

Debating the pros and cons of LDRs isn't why I'm writing today. It's my phone; it's dead, lays there like a black corpse on the table — a previously vivacious device gone strangely silent after almost a year of phrenetic vibrating, ringing, beeping, battery draining long conversations, hot topics, cool texts, and all the rest. Good good nights and good good mornings. It was all good, babe; now gone.

The heart was ripped out of my smart phone (perhaps as the device was meant to be). And it's taking this new reality better than me. It only looks dead, and still functions. Whereas I'm barely functioning and feel like I'm absolutely dying.

Thursday, October 25, 2012



It's like waking from a dream, a sweet one.
Hard to grasp, hold, process.

Powerful themes. Players loving. Boldly.
Colliding worlds, moving words,
emotions tossed about.

Control, out of reach, abandoned.
It swept me away, like a leaf on a beautiful current.

Too good, too sweet, too much, too hard.
And I was doomed from the start.
For it was only a dream.


Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Riding The Waves

Honda NC700X

When you're new to motorcycling you quickly learn the art of not crashing said motorcycle. Also, clutch shifting, hand/foot braking, off-the-leash-dog avoidance, bugs, balance, and iced-nipple realization that your pathetic, freshly pulled-from-the-closet attire repels weather like a high quality fishnet stocking.

Unless you're riding like a drunk lumberjack, fellow riders can't tell you're noob sauce on two wheels.  So they wave at you, because they believe you're one of them, and because you're a picture of calm.

Road etiquette figures in somewhere down the road, but for the beginner "don't wreck" is foremost on the brain.

First Wave

I wasn't ready when the other rider waved. His left hand slid off the handlebar fluidly, relaxed. And I left him hanging, like a douchebag. He was coming down Southway as I was headed up. I nodded in reflex, upwardly, but only slightly. Shit, maybe it was enough.

My helmet has a pretty healthy beak, so I'm hoping it caught wind and shot up like a hand. Meh. I blew  it. Just let it go, I say. He was me once. Perhaps we'll lay eyes on each other again, on some secluded stretch of road, our sweet rides glistening in the sunshine, and we'll get it right. At least I will, dammit.

Second Nod

Shortly after the failure on Southway I humped up on a hog by Albertson's on 11th Avenue. Shit, Chris, just breathe. He can't hear my spirited, cutesy Jap bike, a Honda NC700x, over his thundering American muscle. Hell, I could barely hear myself think inside the helmet. He sees me, eyeballing me through one of his side mirrors. I nod again, like an idiot. He figures I'm headed to Starbucks. His doo-rag covered head shakes dismissively. Laughing at me, I figure. He guns the throttle a few quick blasts.


The red light lingered. I felt small, alone. My fragile motorcycle psyche was on the ropes — beat down, listless — courtesy of Harley-Davidson, the King of the Ring. And it's not just the hog. This guy looked like a bad ass, too. Faded plaid shirt under some faded leather vest, with a million miles on each. The back of the biker's vest displayed a hideous moniker of social belonging, "Satan's Farts," or some other damned thing. Sons of Anarchy came to mind, though I've never seen it.

Finally green. I happily rolled into the busiest intersection in town. Like it was nothing. The devil and I parted ways, him a choosing a day long kicking of ass on the road, and me puttering off to Starbucks.

Charmed by three

Free wi-fi and a few Americano's bolstered my confidence to get back out there. I had to get home at any rate. I took the long way 'round back to my house (link to Ewan McGregor's and Charley Boorman's round the world motorcycle documentary), out towards Lindsey Creek Road.

The other rider approached on a BMW street bike, newish and sleek.

Oh, it's on, dude. His hand came off as mine did, two peace signs pointed down, the proper 45º angle to the road. Exhilarating!

"Damn right," I recalled, just after. It felt great.

Smiling the whole time, I curved up Lindsey Creek Road to the eastern edge of the Orchards, and dropped down to Tammany Road in front of the Roundup Grounds. Now heading down Tammany Creek, I enjoyed some more curves behind the Lewiston Orchards and off towards Hells Gate State Park and the Snake River. Almost home.

Good ride.