A semi-daily chronicle of my life as a musician, a family man, and a citizen of Oregon.

Oct 25, 2008

Continued Bathroom Humor

I've posted a couple of times about the need that people feel at my work to post signs in the bathroom.  The seem to do so in a sisyphian attempt to reason with people who piss on the floor, convinced that people who partake in such actions do so not because of their inherent laziness or possible incompetence at the task, but because of some sort of belief system they hold in which this is a desirable behavior.

Well, just like Sisyphus himself, it looks like this activity may indeed go on for all eternity.  Here's the latest edition of the bathroom times:

Note the brave editorial decision to capitalize words beginning with the letter U intermittently.  Keeping us on our toes, and therefore touching less piss.

It is worth noting that after I took this picture someone wrote after the bullet "It is not only Uncivilized (sic) but also very Unhealthy (sic again) for the rest of us to walk on urine" the words "Blatantly untrue".  This last comment leads me to believe that despite my previous arguments it may indeed be true that there are people who pee on the floor because they think it's a great idea.  Weird.  Notice, however, their lack of motivation to post signs advocating their position.  When you're in the majority, as the bathroom floor pee-ers are, you take for granted your convictions.

Oct 16, 2008

The Stories of Breece D'J Pancake

The Stories of Breece D'J Pancake The Stories of Breece D'J Pancake by Breece D'J Pancake

My review

rating: 5 of 5 stars
First thing to just kind of get out there is that the story of Breece D'J Pancake is kind of a bummer. I won't get into it in too much detail - but suffice to say that Pancake was apparently a guy who wasn't too comfortable in his own skin, may have been a bit depressive, and seemed to feel like a person outside much of the time. The reason you probably haven't heard of him is that he committed suicide at a relatively young age - 25. Admittedly, I am often drawn to this kind of person - Nick Drake, Elliott Smith, etc.

But putting all of that aside, Pancake was an amazingly talented writer who excelled in the short fiction form. Pancake was from West Virginia. Think coal miners, farmers, rural towns. This is the world that his stories inhabit, and the authenticity of this world leaps off the page.

His stories are poignant and profound, with layers of meaning not explicitly outlined, but there for the reader to pick up and examine, just like the trilobites that are the feature of one of his better known stories. As I read this I thought a lot about Hemmingway. Apparently I'm not the only one, as the comparison is drawn on Wikipedia as well.

View all my reviews.

Oct 6, 2008

Back in the Swing

Let's just clear the air and admit what we're both thinking.  It's been a really long time since I've updated. This kind of self referential thought is kind of boring so let's not give it any more thought than that.  I'll start writing more.  You'll start seeing more.  It'll work out, don't worry.

So without much thought a whole month has gone by.  The kids are back in school, Brianna is now in 4th grade and Andrew began 6th grade.  They both have plenty of extracurriculars  to keep themselves entertained.  Andrew is in fencing once a week, is playing the saxophone in band still, is taking piano lessons, and is taking an after-school spanish class.  Winter swimming starts in a couple of weeks for both of our kids.  Brianna is participating in a program at school through SUN where they visit a nursing home once a week to visit their adoptive grandparents.  Brianna is still participating in the I Have a Dream program, which she will continue to do up through her graduation from High School. 

With school starting for Jen this fall I'm now working earlier shifts at work on Wednesdays and Thursdays.  Jen and I are also training for the Christmas marathon in Olympia Washington on December 21st.  This means that Wednesday and Thursday nights Brianna accompanies me on my runs - last week she did six miles and three miles.  This week we'll do 7 miles on Wednesday and 3 miles on Thursday.

My longest run so far was on Saturday, when I ran 13 miles.  It took me two hours and fifty minutes.  Definitely this will just be a marathon where I'm trying to finish.  I'll worry about increasing my speed after the beginning of the year.  The biggest thing I've noticed about training for the marathon is the gigantic time commitment.  Between the running and riding my bike to work I'm also hungry all the time, but in a good way.

Anyhow, that's the scatter-shot for now.  I'll be doing more specific updates as they come up.