Saturday, January 27, 2007

i want to point out a fantastic story by my son, noah. he rocks! we had a murder-mystery challenge; he produced- and, his light shines through- along with his memory of new york...i'm proud!

a bicycle sproinged undone on me, one weekday morning, left me walking & late for class, a bicycle to fix. it's the heart of winter, but not too cold here, just gray, long, bleak. into the bog where the leveretts, someone else besides me, helped me win, even tonight, not rock the bog night. and, at cesl game day, i even got a team cesl going this afternoon, and told my colleagues, the point of this game is to work together to try to beat my brother (who was also playing, presumably at work). teachers liked the game, being natural wordsmiths, but, students gravitated more toward playstation car races, where the action was. speaking of which, motor speedway, official, airplane with propeller- these are all as real as cardboard now - eli can hardly wait to get started in the evenings, cutting, coloring, making cardboard wheels, etc. but the scanner is down- and what time do i have at work? would like to show some of this hard work, but havn't had a chance.

and finally, i humbly await the cd while our singer tries to finish her phd exams...could be some news on the creative front soon...though i don't expect it to change much. it's grim, this winter, a bicycle view of old fast-food bags blowing around the gray, wet streets, the cold angling up into one's jacket, making buildings into heat saunas. i'll be grateful, when i can just sit outside again.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

the new blogger is showing me all my unmoderated comments out there. they are unmoderated, because they were unseen. i was under the impression that blogger was at least sending me notice that someone had made one. but in fact, i hadn't seen any of them. by e-mail or in any other way. don't know how that happened.

some, going way back, are quite interesting. my apologies to any i failed to answer, but should have!

Sunday, January 21, 2007

team leverett rocked the bog tonight- must have been bruce, but we won every game from when i got on (10:00 chicago time- somebody was already winning) for about half an hour. somebody even made a name, leveretts are killin' - though that could have been one of us. we were killin'...but then, it fell away for a while, and then, about 11 or so, my game froze up on me. i saw nothing but an old board and a frozen setup. i waited for a while until i finally logged out & came back, noticed leveretts were still around- but not for long. they were pretty much gone by 11:30. i'm pathetic alone, so i gave up for a while.

so here's to bruce in pittsburgh pa, margot in nyc, josie in seattle, noah on allyn street, justin in lawrence kansas, bill in derbyshire uk--way to rock the bog!...we'll be back- i for one may not be there all three hours, but if we can win big i've gotta see it. it could be a dynasty...see you thursday!

Saturday, January 20, 2007

another story- the old home place. One of these days i'll make another book of 'em.

Friday, January 19, 2007

team leverett will rock the bog on thursdays and sunday evenings, roughly 9-12 chicago time, and we started tonight, but not with a bang. i did get fourth or fifth with justin, and fourth or fifth alone once; with noey we did pretty well too but didn't win. margot called early but we couldn't get on early. we did the best we could.

it's an interesting culture, with a curious use of names to express selves. hello to old friends like oniondip, ann enigma, i voted for kodos, and laia, and what's up with annecentral? i also like people who talk to the bog itself, like chai is SO a word, and i hate NaN. it's interesting when football and the bog cross (geaux saints, colts lose by 11)- curious bedfellows maybe. i'm down on politics and arguing about israel. my favorite is katie rocks the leverett will rock the bog too.

lost a computer at work (wouldn't wake up after break, no reason) and a truck in herrin (wouldn't come home). i'm grateful, though, it's nothing in the big picture. i'm back at school, and my son is back in kansas, with his friends, his drums, his dorm room. i'll put my prayers on the westbound train, out to where there's nothing to stop the sound of the whistle, carrying over the milo fields, no screech of brakes to wake up the armadillos. try to make some time, and we'll write stories and bog, when the cardboard's put away.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

vignettes from break- our most extended one, almost a month.
-skipping stones with r-jammer, nephew man, first at campus lake and then at the mississipp (see picture below)- a good kid. one who can skip a stone, will go far in life.
-painting the truck camper, on th., before the rain, then pulling it under the trees for the rain that has lasted almost four days- i don't care for this 'warmest winter ever' business- but the cold is supposed to be coming in. the truck will be happy under the pines- until i make a parade float out of it.
-winning the bog, with boys, with bruce, sometimes alone with bruce, or sometimes with boys not bruce. alone i don't win- i'm too tired, it's too late, i'm not all that great at it. in fact it's a time sink. but, it's vacation. even with piles of stuff to do, i figure i have to do exactly zero, all three & a half weeks, just to average out at 45 hr. weeks. resolutely refuse, sometimes, to even get started on tesol.
-watching old westerns, back to the future III twice, bowls of popcorn, eating eel & hearing zztop with sheyo (sheesho), home from college...
-mostly, a lot of time with corey & eli...corey, hell-bent for trouble, into everything, talking, cuter'n'a button, trying to do somersaults (i-fip), stepping in my coffee, helping to feed the dogs- eli, making a motor speedway out of cardboard and paints, piston cup, with lightning's tent & tex possibly coming, a very good boy, follows the rules, watches carefully, and loves his brother in spite of that frustration with the young fella acting out.
-stewing over my work, still hopelessly divided by genre (music, poetry, stories, plays) - not even counting graphics (calendar not finished even yet) or novel (the one i want, but haven't had the consistent stick-to-it to stick to it)...the stories need work. i'm breaking the rule of don't put anything in there unless there's a reason. they need to be filled out & purposeful. on the one hand i enjoy the loose ends of life, the possibilities that the reader is allowed to entertain. on the other hand, why? to torture him/her? leave a vague sense of unease? i can do better. fill out the characters & make them more three-dimensional, vague only if necessary. would like to write a series of wal-mart stories...
-but instead, adding slowly to the haiku epic, now at 161, but hopefully going over 400. will tell a story, have dimensions, be filled out. right now it's anemic, inconsistent, poorly linked. it's a slow and painful process, think i mighta gone a whole year without adding to it. not to mention boxcars, intended to be a web-design, kind of hometown tribute. it's even more sadly neglected, even more brutally incomplete.

i used to sew a quilt when watching small children...that too is out in the garage, with the train-tracks-to nowhere, the tools-in-a-pile, the license-plates-waiting-to-be-displayed, somewhere beneath. and it's still raining. happy king day, don't forget about justice, fight the war, next time make them learn history before they put our young in harm's way. stop voting for these morons. but don't stop voting, somebody's got to do the right thing...

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

ok, here it is, a story for your perusal. Another of the murder mystery genre. Free Parking, it's called. Enjoy!

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

-my flickr account is full, which gives me a picture-storage dilemma; i'd noticed that pictures (like those below) can actually be stored on the weblog itself (as these two are), but i don't like that for several reasons. one of them is that even with my bad eyes i can see that they are grainy and unclear, and have begun to enjoy the luxury of using major bandwidth to actually see faces. i realize of course that when i put a big honking picture on this weblog some of you out there have to wait a little too long to see anything- for that i apologize.
-team leverett won the bog, not once but three times, not just my older boys and myself, but some other mystery leverett, presumably bruce. bruce knows everything, in particular obscure words. and bog has become big business these days, sometimes with a field of over 200 players, servers that back up, and almost nobody left from the old days except maybe laia.
-my youngest son is at a very intense stage of language development where he actually has enough language to actually communicate a number of things, but often with faulty interpretation on our part. for example, he might say, "mawmo" and point to the vcr; we interpret that as him wanting to watch an elmo (mawmo) movie, when in fact, it's better interpreted as, let's watch any movie. or, entertain me, i'm too young for weblogs, runescape, or second life.
-at one point (vacation snippet), some toys over on the shelf settled, and one, deep down, spoke. i'm not sure what it said. this also happened, if i recall correctly, beneath the christmas tree. if a toy speaks, and nobody is in the room who hears it (or, it doesn't wake up the dog, who is going deaf), is that the same as the tree falling in the forest? no, because you can use the tree for firewood.
-the cd is done, but i may get pulled into the graphics end of it, which would actually be difficult for me, because i'm a cut-and-paste graphics designer, not a photoshop one. this is not by choice. would love a few basic skills in this department. i do have a number of old postcards, but no time to scan more, or even put the ones i have in one place (scroll down the template)...
-a murder mystery challenge is on- i hope to write one, and hope also that my older boys will each write one. last time, it was a totally successful and awesome experience. this time it's vacation, it might go a little slower. one is back in school already; i unfortunately have had to at least start thinking about it. mostly, though, i'm spending my time watching the little fellows (planning & making a cardboard racetrack, for example)- and waiting for the older ones to either wake up, or get off the computer, or both. i did get a swim in today, though, and, love the weather, though it's rainy, then cold, then gray, then rainy again, etc. my kind of stuff. makes you appreciate the la-z-boy. my story, if i write it, will be about wal-mart. i hate to make promises though. i do the best i can; i'm kind of resting. am working a little on a tesol presentation, though, so maybe i'll get the writing blood flowing again.

Friday, January 05, 2007

break is more than half over, and i've begun to focus on some things that needed done. got a few of 'em done too. mostly i wanted to spend some time with the young fellas in the family (4), all of whom are around and in need of some careful watching. got three haircuts this morning, but for a good view of break just go here and read one guy's view of it. with the 5-yr.-old we've finished chuck, lightning's forklift driver, and have moved on to a motor home with flags on his head- this being cardboard architecture. got some pictures too from bruce:


this is our dining room...


...and this is bruce's family, minus bruce, the photographer, and plus justin, my 19-yr.-old home from college. they are at the banks of the mississippi, where you can see the missouri side. this is the one truly spectacular site of southern illinois, because the big river just kind of rushes down through the countryside, and our peaceful universe kind of opens out onto it at certain points. we went out there, as you can see, on a winter day, watched the barges come on down, and ran around in the sand and rocks for a while. it kind of redefines 'stop and smell the roses' as 'stop and watch america lose its farmland' - for just a moment- that's what vacation is all about.

Monday, January 01, 2007

ok ok so i'll do better in the new year, starting now. the wind got taken out of my sails by a number of things, including, one, vacation, most people blog more when they have time, but i blog to release stress, so when i have only family-type stress, i actually have less material- two, my brother visited, with his family, and he knows virtually everything about my life, besides being my most consistent reader maybe, but this of course brings up the question of exactly what i am putting up here and what is the standard deviation from the absolute truth. brings it up in my mind, of course, since he was polite enough to say very little about it, except that there is more that hasn't gone up yet. and third, there's the general reflection that goes along with every break, which is, what the heck am i doing anyway- my writing was already somewhat splintered, with plays, short stories, and this kind of rambling stuff featured here, and i was hoping to get off a novel one of these days, but now, things are still splintered, i'm tired, no chance of a novel for the moment, and i'm still up in the air about the different genres i toss about like so much hay on a fork. i wrote another christmas letter, and i'm kind of sentimental about that, because in a way it's those letters that started it all, made me realize i like writing. i actually had a productive year, but also left a bunch of stuff hanging, i'm not happy with it, i know it could be better and feel like applying myself to it before i put it away. yet, to be honest, don't know if i will. so many promises to myself and even to this blog go unfulfilled, maybe i better just rest my fingers.

lose weight, visit parents, provide a gentle hand for those who need it, those are my resolutions. i'm grateful, for now, that i'm under everyone's radar, no one has asked me what my five things are. did i ever have five things that nobody knew? i'm just a schmuck with five things too many already, that everyone knows. maybe that's why they didn't ask. i'm also the kind of guy that could very easily spend twice as much time here as i should, and am grateful to the occasional person who tells me to get off & get a life. i've got a life, but, i want to write too. that's what it's about, for me- i'm not ready to publish it yet, i'm still working on the style, but, at the same time i'm publishing every minute, and enjoying that too. and the staying-under-everyones-radar part is working out just fine, although i know that if i ever make any real enemies, they'll be all over this thing like a fly on _____. eat your hearts out. if you find anything juicy, i'll just say it's fiction. the best you can do probably, is prove that i'm right here, by my computer, at this very moment, which is just barely after the new year passed over denver's snowstorm. bless you all, my faithful audience, and i wish you luck & genuine prosperity in the new year.