Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Sunday, January 15, 2017

A Real Bad Boy


"[Zevon girlfriend] Annette Aguilar Ramos: Warren didn't preach twelve steps, but held the principles in the highest integrity. So, when he found out that his sponsor was shooting heroin, it was a major devastation. When he confronted him, his sponsor admitted using, and that really disillusioned Warren. The idea that the principles are divine, but people are fallible, was the lesson, but it created a distrust in him for people. Then, when it turned out that his manager was doing drugs as well, it was too much. He stopped going to AA meetings right after we broke up. After that, our little bad boy became a real bad boy. I kept trying to regain what we had had in the beginning our relationship -- that monogamous, committed relationship. But, Warren had tasted the other side and liked it."

Crystal Zevon, I'll Sleep When I'm Dead: The Dirty Life and Times of Warren Zevon, Ecco 2007.

Friday, January 13, 2017

Camping 2016

"Washington Cabin" on Green Bay, outside of Escanaba, MI -- May/June medical leave

"Teepee Camp" -- Cheboygan, MI

"Lake Superior Cabin", Porcupine Mountains

Lake of the Clouds, Porcupine Mountains

Little Carp River, Porcupine Mountains


Split Rock Lighthouse State Park, Minnesota
Travelling N along the famed Highway 41 on my pilgrimage to Dylan's hometown of Hibbing, MN

Highland Recreation Area, SE MI
Weekend off from psych day program

"Horseshoe Harbor" -- Copper Harbor, MI
Camping w/ Adam, November

Friday, January 6, 2017

Friday Night in a Northern Town

Eyes bloodshot and bleary but you're thoughts are blue, when you've got one book on Zevon open and another on Van Gogh, because the wind chill is -13 and football season's over too, late news: high school hockey, house fire, more lake effect snow.

Well I soon fell in with thugs and thieves
and gamblers from the beach
And the devil himself sugggested an all-night game
But the night winds came along
Like some dark-eyed senorita's song
And blew my straight flush out across the waves

I've got a million dollar bill
And they can't change it
They won't let me leave until my tab is paid
So I might as well settle down yes
And buy the house another round
Send my mail to the Rosarita Beach Cafe

- WZ, "Rosarita Beach Cave"

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

How I'm Spending My Christmas Break

feel like I'm living in the plot of this movie

Wednesday evening reunion with Frank, T, and B at the condo -- as soon as I step in the door it's like I never left. Friday night date at the Penn -- Christmas Vacation with popcorn, pepsi, swedish fish and a nerds rope; then an unexpected pleasant reunion with a friend I hadn't seen in years (due to a personal feud), went to sleep that night as happy as I'd been in some time. Saturday night, Christmas Eve at Aunt Mary's and Uncle Paul's in Ann Arbor (a tradition now, but when I was a child Christmas Eve rotated amongst the aunts) -- it felt good this year, as I was for the first time able to proudly boast of my exploits in the North, hiking, camping, teaching, writing my novel. Strange to think that only last Christmas I was lamenting the rut I was stuck in, how stressed I was between work travel and vacation plans with the girlfriend's family, how stuck I felt in my hometown again. Spent a late Christmas Eve night with Frank's cat Dika (they were out of town to Taylor's hometown for Christmas), jamming and brainstorming how I was going to cut a 20,000 word novella into a 5,000 word short story by mid-January. The cat woke me up at 5:00 a.m. on Christmas morn, and I spent dawn watching both "Scrooged" and "A Christmas Story" before venturing over to Millwood for Christmas with the fam, in dire need of coffee.

Some things really never do change. Yesterday, I joined some buddies at the bar to watch the Lions on Monday Night Football, only to be reminded of why I've never felt any sort of loyalty to my local pro team; afterwards, I'm the only one sober so I drive to bowling in Canton, talk writing with Adam's brother Brian, a songwriter from Texas in town for the holidays, watch my friends stumble drunkenly across the bowling lanes. These nights seem so much more enjoyable now that I'm detached from the scene in my Northern winter abode. Woke up today around 1:30 in the afternoon, remembering a line from "Beautiful Girls" -- "what we've been doing lately is smoking massive amounts of drugs, binging on Entemmann's and listening to old Pink Floyd cd's". Just like I left you.

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Home for the Holidays

There's such a big difference between being home for the holidays and living in your hometown for the holidays. Upon arriving home, I heard about an old family friend who, like myself, has spent much of her adult life struggling with substance abuse and mental health issues. She won't be coming to Michigan for the holidays after all. Heard this song driving home from my cousin Frank's late last night, the festive lights on the houses passing by in colorful blurs, and it made me think of her. I'm grateful to be home for the Holidays; it was only earlier this year that I was pretty lost myself.

My heart goes out to you, wherever your are, M.

I don't want to understand this horror
There's a weight in your eyes
I can't admit
Everybody ends up here
in bottles
But the name tag's the last thing you wanted

As the world explodes
We fall out of it
And we can't let it go
Because this will not go away
There's a house built out in space

I can't see the thief that lives inside of your head
But I can be some courage at the side of your bed
And I don't know what's happening
And I can't pretend
But I can be your
be your

Someone help us understand
Who ordered
This disgusting arrangement of time and the end
I don't wanna hear who walked on water
'Cause the hallways are empty
Clocks tick

As the world implodes
We fall into it
And we can't go home
Because this will not go away
There's a house built out in space

It's a long long getaway
It's a long long getaway
Make it home again
Make it home again

- Our Lady Peace, "Thief"