Tag: Jack Kerouac

A day off, bumming around

I’ve been driving myself like a slave putting raised beds in the garden, because last year’s garden was going very well until the gophers arrived.  So, I’ve been building 6′ x 3′ boxes from redwood fencing and hanging gopher-wire baskets beneath them.  I’ve gone Caddyshack.  It’s not just gophers, but deer, also, which I will drive from the land amidst their mothers’ lamentations.  I’ve put in thousands of feet of deer fence, and that job is nearly done.  Fuck the fucking deer, ‘tho’ I love them dearly, and hate driving them from their ever-dwindling home ranges.  I killed about a zillion worms in the garden violently excavating for the boxes.  Hate that, too, but they’ll be back in hordes once the super-kick-ass compost goes in on top of last years super-kick-ass.  The super-kick-ass consists of redwood sawdust, local organic compost, and chicken manure.  That’s on top of my personal composting over the past few years, wherein I literally sieved-out the forking California adobe clay, added a shite-load of red cedar pine needles for friability, then two years of kitchen waste and grass clippings.  The sheer yardage of soil moved by hand is mind-boggling.  This soil is pure kick-ass and the garden is going to explode this year.  

I knocked myself out yesterday.  When the afternoon breeze finally arrived, my sweat-soaked gratitude was the pure exaltation of nature herself.  Why do I work like a nineteen-year-old at my age?  At precisely 4:58 pm, the gin tonics started flowing as I finished up the eighth of 32 forthcoming boxes.  Per my sister-in-law’s instructions, it will be a pleasure to work in that productive garden when I’m done.  I may not have the balls of a nineteen-year-old, but with age I have gotten a lot better at listening to people.  

Today, I looked at yesterday’s achievements and said, “Wait a sec.  Rather than mindlessly driving deeper into Egypt with your tanks, Rommel, how about a milkshake today instead?”  I can’t remember the last time I had a milkshake.  I took the long way from Rancho Corralitos, through Pleasant Valley, Day Valley, Valencia Valley, a beauty-flecked drive of redwoods and apple orchards through the central coast that sneaks up on to a local coffee shop where the golden-skinned barista goddess makes the “chocolate dream” shake that includes bananas and peanut butter.  It was so good I could barely hold my lane on the drive home.  Today, I merely managed to throw a little straw around the boxes and water the rapidly germinating seeds, but otherwise just tonked around on the piano and played with the dog.  But I did score that milkshake.

Natalie Merchant was on my mind much of the day.  This song, for all Dharma Bums:

Her voice has a laid back and luscious register.  Hey, Jack, now for the tricky part…

I love the sustained chords and melody, as only she can do it.

Killer on the Road


jack Pictures, Images and PhotosMany long, blood-drenched and greedy years ago, before Vietnam, before Watergate, before Iran-Contra and Enron and Wall Street wars for profit, Jack Kerouac watched America going by and asked, “Whither goest thou, America, in thy shiny car in the night?”

America went on a long roadtrip, Jack.  We’ve put a lot of miles behind us, but we’re no closer to where we want to be than we were when we started.  It’s been a rough trip.  There were a lot of potholes on the Silent Majority Tollway, but we managed to make it through NixonLand relatively intact.  Back then, many of us thought the worst part of the journey was behind us, but we discovered otherwise.  

The Check Engine light started flashing on the Ronald Reagan Expressway, but the Gipper just grinned, cranked up the radio, and we got our first earful of the tirades of some shithead named Limbaugh as he bellowed on and on and on and on about blacks and feminists and unions and liberals destroying everything in sight.      

By the time we took the Thousand Points of Light Exit we were burning a lot of oil, the transmission was shot, the radiator was steaming, and something was on fire in the trunk.  In other words, major repairs were required, but Poppy just had Gomer fill ‘er up, clean the windshield, kick the tires, and off we went again.  

This is my story – I hope that it finds you

Note #1:  This is a highly personal diary but it touches on some important issues like education, prison reform, the drug war, the death penalty, war and peace, and man’s inhumanity to man.  To the extent that it is self-indulgent, I beg your forgiveness.  

Note #2:  I’ve been reluctant to post this for both personal and political reasons.  The personal will become obvious as you read, the political being all that’s going on right now such as the police state bullshit in MN, the repub convention and their ‘oh we’re so serious about governance’ choice of Palin for VeePee.  But it occurs to me that there’s always going to be a lot going on, so I probably should just post it now that it’s not quite ready.

Part I – Words Are Like Poison

I believe that we all have a story to tell…here’s mine.

I wrote about growing up as an Army brat in An American Tale.


Life as a military dependent was a fascinating way to grow up and contributed much to the formation of my personal point of view.  I would take nothing for the value I have derived from my interactions with other cultures.  It taught me that deep connections are often made between profoundly different people, suggesting what has become a theme in my life – that we are all more alike than we are different.  

Pops and Blues