Sunday, November 08, 2015

Easy Like Sunday Morning

So here I am, four months into our trip to Valdivia, Chile and I finally decide to write a blog post. As I said . . . a while ago, twitter killed my blog but maybe being in South America can raise it from the dead.

We're getting ready to head over to a friend's house for lunch. We're being hosted by our realtor/fixer (and his family) who has hooked us up with not just a place to live, but also a car, a chimney sweep, a dentist, a place to buy a swim suit in the middle of Winter, you get the picture.

So we've been a few asados down here now, the first one was hosted by one of WifeRat's colleagues from UACH. It was a true blue Chilean asado, we started off with EntraƱa (skirt steak) as an appetizer, then we had a little choripan (sausage on a roll), and finally the main event which was some sort of gigantic beef roast that has no American equivalent. All this was cooked on a "parilla" style grill which I have come to like and appreciate so much I went ahead a bought one for myself.

Andreas, is from Uruguay and has a whole different kind of grill setup. His is a huge thing built out of bricks, so I'll be interested to see how this goes down.

That's it for now, let's see if I can get some momentum going on this blog.


Friday, August 15, 2014

Failure Be Damned!!!!

Despite having the time & inclination to write and/or blog this week during the work day this week, actually mustering the will to do so on a consistent basis has eluded me. Yes, I've been getting my scribble on in the Moleskin notebook my family bought me for Father's Day this year, but I've largely failed at getting blog posts up. But like the title says, FAILURE BE DAMNED!!!!! Yes, I've screwed the pooch and stepped on my dick, but I will not relent, I will not RELENT, I WILL NOT RELENT, I. AM. DRIVEN.

This is no different than pushing through the pain when you're working out, running, lifting, or playing rugby. It's difficult right now and to some degree I can't imagine that it won't ever be difficult, but at the same time I know that if I just keep going that won't be true some day. Part of the way I can allow myself to keep working at this is to remind myself that this is good for everyone. I feel better when I make time to write, I'm better to be around when I make time to write, I'm a better father/husband, and so that means that writing is no longer a selfish act but one that I should compulsively indulge to benefit of all those around me, right? FIN.


Wednesday, July 09, 2014

Getting It In

OK I fell off of with both my yoga and writing over the 4th of July weekend, but I remain undeterred. And it's not like I haven't been writing at all, I've been drafting bits and pieces of this monthly status report (MSR) a couple of sentences at a time. But since I don't track it, I don't count it as part of my daily writing time.

I'm doing something slightly strange, I'm sitting at a bar with my laptop open and writing. WifeRat has been crashing on finishing a couple of papers and, while I wouldn't say that I was kicked out of the house, it was clear that my presence would be a distraction so I bounced down to U St. to see my boy ButterBurger at the Fainting Goat. I had a good experience writing longhand when I was at Trusty's last week, so I figured I would give drinking and blogging in public a shot.

I've been totally into writing longhand, it's definitely a little freeing to know that whatever you write down isn't likely to find its way into the gaping maw of the internet. Without the distraction of putting in a few links, like I feel somewhat obliged to do in a blog post, I find I write a lot more in a lot less time when I'm literally putting pen to paper. There's also a very primal feeling to writing longhand, like you're connecting with everyone whoever scrawled their thoughts on a piece of paper around the world, across time. Kind of like the Speed Force, only for writing.

This wasn't a great blog post, but I'm getting it in and that's what matters. I continue to work this muscle, to train it, to challenge it, to hone it, to make it better . . . I hope.



Sunday, June 29, 2014

How To Write a Lot

OK, so I took a writing class called "How to Write a Lot" yesterday at the Hill Center and part of the class was setting some goals and holding yourself accountable for writing. Among the many things I took away from the class, was the fact that everything I write doesn't have to be for posterity. Not everytime I put pen to paper (really 9/10 times it will be pounding keys like I"m doing now) has to be going somewhere or part of a greater whole or anything other than participating in the exercise of writing. That was kind of a freeing revelation, as was acknowledging that any writing I do is an inherently selfish indulgence and getting more comfortable with that idea.

Another tip we got yesterday that I think will prove most helpful to me going forward is one that I inadvertently used when starting this blog post: start off by writing one sentence that's true. Apparently this was a technique that Hemingway used when writing and, while I haven't read enough Hemingway to understand why everyone gets so steamed up for him, he accomplished a lot more as a writer than I likely will so I'm going to keep rolling with this tip until it's no longer useful to me.

I'm going to go ahead and put this out there so that if I falter, fake, or fail maybe one of y'all will hit me up and call me out. We had to set two week and four week goals in this class, my two week goal is to do six blog posts and to pitch an article to and my four week goal is to twelve blog posts and submit my article to Cracked. If I can discipline myself to actually write for an hour every day for six days a week these are realistic goals.

Blogging is pretty easy, I'm gonna bang out 500 or so words (what I consider to be an acceptable word count for a blog post) right now over these 20-30 minutes. The blog posts are going to be rough, no editing other than what I do while I'm writing, I'll use those to knock off the rust and get me ready for doing something that will actually be reviewed and evaluated. The Cracked article is going to be a little more difficult but, since I already have a pretty good idea of what I'm going to pitch, if I'm writing everyday I should be able to get it done.

I also picked up a writing partner in yesterday's class too. I exchanged email addresses with the guy sitting next to me in class and we said we're going to get together next week to hold each other's feet to the fire. As a happy coincidence he lives about 3 blocks away from me, so we'll probably meet at Sova (I'll never call it H St Coffee House or whatever the fuck they renamed it to, Frank Hankins FTW!!!!) and see how we're doing. We were talking and both agreed that shame is a powerful motivating factor, so I'm not gonna be the guy standing there like a 5th grader without his homework next week.


Sunday, June 16, 2013

Back to Life?

Yo, so it seems like any kind of energy/will I had towards actually sitting down and writing was being sapped by my former overlords and workplace at the Dept. of Stupidity. Now that I'm back to being part of a team, in a more high stakes, high performance, high stress, and high output situation I'm feeling the urge to express myself in more than a 140 characters at a time. But as I look at these last two sentences they're probably both not too much more than 140 characters. No matter, the dam is starting to crack and as I continue to have to write more and better for work, I will write more and better for myself.


Monday, February 20, 2012

One of These Days . . .

. . . I'm gonna start posting on the regular again, I swear.


Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Handsome Devil

I woke up early this morning. My bedroom was mostly dark, but some light managed to sneak in from the street lamp between the panels of window coverings. There was just enough light to outline one side of the cherubic face of my little boy as I put my hand on this chest and felt his heart beating there fast, steady, and strong.

As I looked at him, ran my fingers lightly over his cheeks, and pressed my face against his I thought about the awesome responsibility of raising this boy. This child came into the world a blank slate. All that it is written on him, both good & bad, comes from my hand at this point.

I think I'm doing OK so far.